Samyuktagama 186

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Saṃyuktāgama 186. [Discourse on Tranquillity]

Thus have I heard. At one time the Buddha was staying at Sāvatthī in Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

At that time the Blessed One said to the monks: “It is just as if a person's turban is burning with fire, what could help him?”

The monks said to the Buddha: “Blessed One, he should arouse supreme desire, zeal, and energy at that time to help him to get it extinguished.”

The Buddha said to the monks: “Although one might still forget about one's turban burning, one should extinguish and eradicate the thriving fire of impermanence. For the sake of eradicating the fire of impermanence, one should cultivate tranquillity (samatha ). For the sake of eradicating what impermanent states should one cultivate tranquillity?

That is, for the sake of eradicating impermanent bodily form one should cultivate tranquillity. For the sake of eradicating impermanent feeling … perception … formations … consciousness one should cultivate tranquillity.”

In this way to be recited in full up to: When the Buddha had spoken this discourse, hearing what the Buddha had said the monks were delighted and received it respectfully.

Just as “what is impermanent”, in the same way “what is impermanent and of the past”, “what is impermanent and of the future”, “what is impermanent and of the present”, “what is impermanent and of the past and the future”, “what is impermanent and of the past and the present”, “what is impermanent and of the future and the present”, “what is impermanent and of the past, the future, and the present”, [discourse] are also to be recited as above.

Just as the eight discourses on “cultivating tranquillity”, in the same way for “cultivating insight”, eight discourses are also to be recited as above.

Just as the sixteen discourses on “one should eradicate”, in the same way for “one should understand”, “one should vomit out”, “one should extinguish”, “one should end”, “one should relinquish”, “one should make cease”, “one should make disappear”, sixteen discourses are also to be recited for each of these as above.

[The Blessed One said to the monks:]

“It should be understood as it really is that whatever bodily form, whether past, future or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, sublime or repugnant, far or near, it all is not self, is not distinct from the self [in the sense of being owned by it], does not exist [within the self, nor does a self] exist [within it].

Feeling … perception … formations … consciousness is also like this.

A learned noble disciple who rightly contemplates in this way gives rise to disenchantment in relation to bodily form, gives rise to disenchantment in relation to feeling … perception … formations … consciousness. Being disenchanted, he does not delight in it. Because of not delighting in it, he is liberated. Being liberated he knows and sees: 'Birth for me has been eradicated, the holy life has been established, what had to be done has been done, I myself know that there will be no receiving of further existence.'”

When the Buddha had spoken this discourse, hearing what the Buddha had said the monks were delighted and received it respectfully.

Just as “what is impermanent”, in the same way for “what is shaking”, “what is revolving”, “what is diseased”, “what is breaking down”, “what is rapidly tossed about”, “what is rotten”, “what is of immediate danger”, “what does not last”, “what is not peaceful”, “what is changing”, “what is afflictive”, “what is a calamity”, “what is Māra's evil”, “what is within Māra's power”, “what is Māra's tool”, “what is like foam”, “what is like a bubble”, “what is like a plantain tree”, “what is like a magical illusion”, “what is feeble”, “what is corrupted”, “what is a killer's striking”, “what is [like] a sword”, “what is afflicted by envy”, “what has the mark of being spoiled”, “what is diminution”, “what is decrepit”, “what is a bondage”, “what is beaten”, “what is a malignant sore”, “what is a carbuncle”, “what is a sharp thorn”, “what is an affliction”, “what is a punishment”, “what is a hindrance”, “what is an occasion for distress”, “what is grievous”, “what is a bad friend”, “what is dukkha“, “what is empty”, “what is not self”, “what does not belong to a self”, “what is an enemy”, “what is a chain”, “what is not beneficial”, “what is not comfortable”, “what is a torment”, “what provides no assistance”, “what is not an island [of refuge]”, “what does not [provide] a cover”, “what is not reliable”, “what is not a protection”, “what is of the nature of birth”, “what is of the nature of old age”, “what is of the nature of disease”, “what is of the nature of death”, “what is of the nature of sorrow”, “what is of the nature of being afflicted by dukkha“, “what is of the nature of being powerless”, “what is of the nature of being weak”, “what is of the nature of being undesirable”, “what is of the nature of being seductive”, “what is of the nature of [needing to be] recuperated”, “what is of the nature of being dukkha“, “what is of the nature of being murderous”, “what is of the nature of being vexing”, “what is of the nature of being feverish”, “what is of the nature of having characteristics”, “what is of the nature of being blown away”, “what is of the nature of being grasped”, “what is of the nature of a deep chasm”, “what is of the nature of being a harsh difficulty”, “what is of the nature of being wrong”, “what is of the nature of being violent”, “what is of the nature of being with lust”, “what is of the nature of being with hatred”, “what is of the nature of being with delusion”, “what is of the nature of being unstable”, “what is of the nature of being burning”, “what is of the nature of being an obstruction”, “what is of the nature of being a disaster”, “what is of the nature to rise”, “what is of the nature to cease”, “what is of the nature of being [like] a heap of bones”, “what is of the nature of being [like] a piece of meat”, “what is of the nature of holding a [burning] torch [against the wind]”, “what is of the nature of a fiery pit”, “what is like a poisonous snake”, “what is like a dream”, “what is like a loan”, “what is like fruits on a tree”, “what is like a cow butcher”, “what is like a killer”, “what is like being touched by dew”, “what is like stagnant water”, “what is like a torrent”, “what is like spinning yarn”, “what is like a wheel moving in water”, “what is like a cane thrown up [into the air]”, “what is like a bottle with poison”, “what is like a poisoned trunk”, “what is like a poisoned flower”, “what is like a poisoned fruit”, “what is shaken by affliction”. “In this way, monks, you should cultivate tranquillity and insight” … up to … “for eradicating what is impermanent and of the past, the future, and the present” … up to … “bringing it to cease” and “making it disappear”.

“For the sake of eradicating … up to … bringing to cease and making disappear what past, future, and present impermanent states should you cultivate tranquillity and insight? That is, for the sake of eradicating … up to … bringing to cease and making disappear past, future, and present impermanent bodily form you should cultivate tranquillity and insight. Feeling … perception … formations … consciousness is also like this.

“Therefore it should be understood as it really is that whatever bodily form, whether past, future or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, sublime or repugnant, far or near, it all is not self, is not distinct from the self [in the sense of being owned by it], does not exist [within the self, nor does a self] exist [within it]. Feeling … perception … formations … consciousness is also like this.

“A learned noble disciple who contemplates in this way gives rise to disenchantment in relation to bodily form, gives rise to disenchantment in relation to feeling … perception … formations … consciousness. Because of being disenchanted he does not delight in it, because of not delighting in it he is liberated. Being liberated he knows and sees: 'Birth for me has been eradicated, the holy life has been established, what had to be done has been done, I myself know that there will be no receiving of further existence.'”

When the Buddha had spoken this discourse, hearing what the Buddha had said the monks were delighted and received it respectfully.