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Sutta Nipata V.13


Udaya's Questions

To the one in jhana
    seated dustless,
    his task done,
        gone to the beyond
        of all phenomena,
I've come with a question.
Tell me the gnosis of emancipation,
    the breaking open
    of ignorance.
The Buddha:
The abandoning
    both of sensual desires,
    & of unhappiness,
the dispelling of sloth,
the warding off of anxieties,
equanimity-&-mindfulness purified,
    with inspection of mental qualities
    swift in the forefront:
That I call the gnosis of emancipation, [1]
    the breaking open
    of ignorance. [2]
With what
    is the world fettered?
With what
    is it examined?
Through the abandoning of what
    is there said to be
The Buddha:
With delight
    the world's fettered.
With directed thought
    it's examined.
Through the abandoning of craving
    is there said to be
Living mindful in what way
does one bring consciousness
        to a halt?
We've come questioning
    to the Blessed One.
Let us hear your words.
The Buddha:
Not relishing feeling,
    inside or out:
One living mindful in this way
    brings consciousness
        to a halt. [3]


1. For a discussion of the "gnosis of emancipation" -- the state of knowledge consisting of mental absorption coupled with an analysis of mental states, see AN IX.36 and Section III.F in The Wings to Awakening. [Go back]

2. AN III.33 contains a discussion of this verse. The Buddha tells Ven. Sariputta that one should train oneself such that "with regard to this conscious body, there will be no 'I'-making or 'mine'-making or underlying tendency to conceit, such that with regard to all external themes [topics of concentration] there will be no 'I'-making or 'mine'-making or underlying tendency to conceit, and that we will enter & remain in the release of awareness & release of discernment in which there is no 'I'-making or 'mine'-making or underlying tendency to conceit." When one has trained in this way, he says, one is called a person who has cut through craving, unraveled the fetter, who has, through the right penetration of conceit, put an end to suffering & stress. He then states that it was in connection to this state that he uttered this verse. [Go back]

3. For a discussion of "bringing consciousness to a halt" -- showing that it is not an annihilation of consciousness, but rather the ending of its proliferating activity -- see SN XXII.53. [Go back]

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Dhamma Essay:
Refuge in the Buddha by Bhikkhu Bodhi

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