Numerical Sayings I(5)

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Numerical Sayings - Ańguttara Nikāya I [8-10]

Directed, Pointed and Clear - Paṇihita Sūka Accha


[8] At Savatthi . the Blessed Buddha said this:
Bhikkhus, that the needle-like bristle on rice-straws or barley should be able to puncture hand or foot or cause hand or foot to bleed, when badly handled and directed, that is not possible. What is the cause for that? Bhikkhus, it is because the needle-like bristle is wrongly handled and directed. Even and exactly so, Bhikkhus, that a monk's wrongly directed mind, should be able to break ignorance, produce direct knowledge and realize Nibbana, that is not possible! What is the cause for that? Bhikkhus, it is because that mind is wrongly directed.

However, Bhikkhus, that the needle-like bristle on rice-straws or barley should be able to puncture hand or foot or cause hand or foot to bleed, when pressed pointed and well directed into it, that is indeed possible. What is the cause for that? Bhikkhus, it is because the needle-like bristle here is pointed and well directed. Similarly, Bhikkhus, that a monk's rightly directed mind should be able to break ignorance, produce direct knowledge and realize Nibbana, this is indeed possible! What is the cause for that? Bhikkhus, it is because this mind is rightly directed.

Sometimes, Bhikkhus, when having encompassed a certain wicked persons evil mind with my mind, I come to know, that if he should make an end right here and now, he would rearise in Hell as certain as if he was forcibly dragged and dropped there. What is the cause for that? Bhikkhus, it is because that mind is corrupt. Moreover, Bhikkhus, it is due to such corrupted mentality, that certain beings here at the breakup of the body, right after death, rearise in a state of loss, having a painful destiny, in a downfall, even in Hell.

In another case, Bhikkhus, when having encompassed a certain good persons pure and clear mind with my mind, [9] I come to know, that if he should make an end right here and now, he would rearise in a divine state as certain as if he was dragged and dropped there. What is the cause for that? Bhikkhus, it is because this mind is pure, calm and clear. Similarly, Bhikkhus, it is due to such purified mentality, that certain beings here at the breakup of the body, right after death, rearise in a happy destiny, even in a divine world.

Bhikkhus, a man even with good eyes standing on the bank of a muddy, stirred and polluted lake would neither see the gravel, pebbles, nor the shells lying still nor any schools of fish swimming about! What is the cause for that? Bhikkhus, it is because the lake is muddy, stirred and polluted. Even so indeed, Bhikkhus, that a monk's polluted mind should know what is in his own advantage, to others advantage or advantageous for both, or that he should know any supra-human state, or that he should realize the excellence of full Noble knowledge and vision, that condition does not exist. What is the cause for that? Bhikkhus, it is because the mind is unclear, agitated and defiled.

However, Bhikkhus, a man with eyes standing on the bank of a still, crystal clear and clean lake would obviously see both the gravel, the pebbles and the shells lying still as well as the schools of fish darting about! What is the cause for that? Bhikkhus, it is because the lake is still, crystal clear and clean. Likewise, Bhikkhus, that a monk's pure and calm mind should come to know what is to his own advantage, to others advantage and advantageous for both, should come to know directly the various supra-human states, and that he should come to realize the excellence of full Noble knowledge and vision, that condition does indeed exist. What is the cause for that? Bhikkhus, it is because of this undisturbed pure, calm and clear mind.

Just as sandal-wood is the most elastic and flexible variety of wood suitable for any work, in the same way do I know of no other single condition as frequent meditation, that can make any mind quite soft, flexible, compliant, fit and ready for any task. When mind is thus cultivated by frequent meditation, Bhikkhus, it becomes pliant, ready and fit! [10]

I, Bhikkhus, I know of no other single thing so quickly changing as the mind, insofar as finding just one other phenomena changing equally fast, is not easy to find.

Shining bright, Bhikkhus, is this mind, yet it is indeed obstructed by external defilements. Luminous indeed, is that mind, when it is safely released and freed from alien impurities.


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