DN 22
PTS: D ii 290
Maha-satipatthana Sutta: The Great Frames of Reference
translated from the Pali by
Burma Piṭaka Association
Alternate translation: Thanissaro

372. Thus have I heard: The Bhagava was at one time residing at the market-town called Kammasadhamma in the Kuru Country. There the Bhagava addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "O Bhikkhus," and they replied to him, "Venerable Sir." The Bhagava said:

Summary

373. Bhikkhus, [1] this is the one and only way for the purification [2] of beings, for overcoming sorrow and lamentation, for the complete destruction of pain [3] and distress, [4] for attainment of the Noble Path, [5] and for the realization of Nibbāna. That [6] is the practice of the four methods of Steadfast Mindfulness. [7]

What are the four? [8] Bhikkhus, the bhikkhu [9] following my Teaching keeps his mind steadfastly on the body [10] with diligence, comprehension and mindfulness, [11] thus keeping away covetousness and distress. [12]

The bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on sensation, [13] with diligence, comprehension and mindfulness, thus keeping away covetousness and distress.

The bhikkhu concentrates steadfastly on the mind, [14] with diligence, comprehension and mindfulness, thus keeping away covetousness and distress.

The bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on the dhamma [15] with diligence, comprehension and mindfulness, thus keeping away covetousness and distress.

[End of the Summary]

Perception of the True Nature of the Body

1. Section on Breathing

374. Bhikkhus, how does the bhikkhu keep his mind steadfastly on the body?

Bhikkhus, the bhikkhu following the practice of my Teaching, having gone to the forest, or to the foot of a tree or to an empty, solitary place, sits down cross-legged, keeping his body erect, and sets up mindfulness, orienting it. [16]

Then with entire mindfulness he breathes in and with entire mindfulness he breathes out.

Breathing in a long inhalation, he is conscious of breathing in a long inhalation, or breathing out a long exhalation, he is conscious of breathing out a long exhalation.

Breathing in a short inhalation, he is conscious of breathing in a short inhalation, or breathing out a short exhalation, he is conscious of breathing out a short exhalation.

He trains himself to be clearly conscious of the whole stretch of the in-coming breath at its beginning, its middle, and at its end. He trains himself to be clearly conscious of the whole stretch of the out-going breath at its beginning, its middle, and at its end. [By being fully conscious of the inhalation] he trains himself to calm down the strong inhalation as he breathes in. [By being fully conscious of the exhalation] he trains himself to calm down the strong exhalation as he breathes out. [17]

Just as, bhikkhus, a skilful turner or a turner's apprentice knows a long pull [18] when a long pull is made, or knows a short pull when a short pull is made, even so, bhikkhus, the bhikkhu breathing in a long inhalation is conscious of breathing in a long inhalation, or breathing out a long exhalation is conscious of breathing out a long exhalation, or breathing in a short inhalation is conscious of breathing in a short inhalation, or breathing out a short exhalation is conscious of breathing out a short exhalation. He trains himself to be clearly conscious of the whole stretch of the in-coming breath at its beginning, its middle, and at its end. He trains himself to be clearly conscious of the whole stretch of the out-going breath at its beginning, its middle, and at its end. He trains himself to calm down the strong inhalation as he breathes in. He trains himself to calm down the strong exhalation as he breathes out.

Thus he keeps his mind steadfastly on the aggregate of physical phenomena which is his. [19]

Occasionally he realizes that the aggregate of physical phenomena [20] of others must be of a similar nature. Because of this realization, he can be said to keep his mind steadfastly on the aggregate of physical phenomena of others. In this way, he is considered to keep his mind steadfastly on the aggregate of physical phenomena which is his [21] or which is that of others.

When he gains more concentration, he perceives the cause and the actual appearing of the aggregate of physical phenomena. He also perceives the cause and the actual dissolution of the aggregate of physical phenomena. He also perceives both the actual appearing and the actual dissolution of the aggregate of physical phenomena with their causes. [22]

And further, the bhikkhu is firmly mindful of the fact that there is only the aggregate of physical phenomena. [23] That mindfulness is solely for gaining insights [24] progressively, solely for gaining further mindfulness stage by stage. The bhikkhu remains detached from craving and wrong views, without clinging to any of the five khandhas that are continuously deteriorating. Bhikkhus, it is in this way that the bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on the body perceiving its true nature.

[End of the Section on Breathing]

2. Section on Body Movement and Posture

375. And again, bhikkhus, the bhikkhu when walking, is conscious of walking; or when standing, he is conscious of standing; or when sitting, he is conscious of sitting; or when lying down, he is conscious of lying down; or in whatever movement or posture his body is, he is conscious of it.

Thus he keeps his mind steadfastly on the aggregate of physical phenomena which is his body. [25] Occasionally he realizes that the aggregate of physical phenomena which is the body of others must be of a similar nature. Because of this realization, he can be said to keep his mind steadfastly on the aggregate of physical phenomena which is the body of others. In this way he is considered to keep his mind steadfastly on the aggregate of physical phenomena which is his own body or which is that of others.

When he gains more concentration, he perceives the cause and the actual appearing of the aggregate of physical phenomena which is the body. He also perceives the cause and the actual dissolution of the aggregate of physical phenomena which is the body. He also perceives both the actual appearing and the actual dissolution of the aggregate of physical phenomena which is the body, with their causes. [26]

And further, the bhikkhu is firmly mindful of the fact that there is only the aggregate of physical phenomena. [27]

That mindfulness is solely for gaining insights [28] progressively, solely for gaining further mindfulness stage by stage. The bhikkhu remains detached from craving and wrong views, without clinging to any of the five khandhas that are continuously deteriorating. Bhikkhus, it is in this way that the bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on the body perceiving its true nature.

[End of the Section on Body Movement and Posture]

3. Section on Clear Comprehension

376. And again, bhikkhus, the bhikkhu in moving forward and in moving back does so with clear comprehension; in looking straight ahead and sideways, he does so with clear comprehension; in bending and in stretching his limbs, he does so with clear comprehension; in carrying or wearing the great robe, alms-bowl and the other two robes, he does so with clear comprehension; in eating, drinking, chewing and savouring, he does so with clear comprehension; in defecating and urinating, he does so with clear comprehension; in walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking, speaking or in keeping silent, he does so with clear comprehension.

Thus he keeps his mind steadfastly on the aggregate of physical phenomena which is his body... Bhikkhus, it is also in this way that the bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on the body.

[End of the Section on Clear Comprehension]

4. Section on Consideration of Repulsiveness

377. And again. bhikkhus, the bhikkhu examines and reflects closely upon this very body, from the soles of the feet up and from the tips of the hair down, enclosed by the skin and full of manifold impurities, [thinking thus:] "There are in this body: hair of the head, hairs of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, membranes, [29] spleen, lungs, large intestine, small intestine, contents of the stomach, faeces, (brain), [30] bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, solid fat, tears, liquid fat, saliva, nasal mucus, synovial fluid [31] and urine.

Just as if, bhikkhus, there were a bag with an opening at each end, and full of various kinds of grain such as hill-paddy, paddy, green gram, cow-pea, sesame and husked rice; and a man with sound eyes, having opened it, should examine and reflect on the contents thus: "This is hill-paddy, this is paddy, this is green gram, this is cow-pea, this is sesame, this is husked rice," even so, bhikkhus, the bhikkhu examines and reflects on this very body, from the soles of the feet up and from the tips of the hair down, enclosed by the skin and full of manifold impurities, [thinking thus:] "There are in this body: hair of the head,... urine."

Thus he keeps his mind steadfastly on the aggregate of physical phenomena which is his body... Bhikkhus, it is also in this way that the bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on the body.

[End of the Section on Consideration of Repulsiveness]

5. Section on Consideration of the Primary Elements

378. And again, bhikkhus, the bhikkhu examines and reflects on this body, in whatever position it remains or is placed, as composed of the primary elements: [32] "There are in this body only the earth element, the water element, the fire element, and the air element."

Just as if, bhikkhus, a skilful butcher or a butcher's apprentice, having slaughtered a cow and cut it up into portions should be sitting at the junction of four main roads, [33] even so the bhikkhu examines and reflects on this very body in whatever position it remains or is placed, as composed of the primary elements:

"There are in this body only the earth element, the water element, the fire element, and the air element."

Thus he keeps his mind steadfastly on the aggregate of physical phenomena which is his body... Bhikkhus, it is also in this way that the bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on the body.

[End of the Section on Consideration of the Primary Elements]

6. Section on Nine Kinds of Corpses

379. And again, bhikkhus, as if the bhikkhu is seeing a body, one day dead, or two days dead, or three days dead, swollen, turning black and blue, and festering, abandoned in the charnel-ground, he applies this perception to his own body thus: "Indeed, this body of mine, too, is of the same nature; it will become like that; it cannot escape such a fate."

Thus he keeps his mind steadfastly on the aggregate of physical phenomena which is his body... Bhikkhus, it is also in this way that the bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on the body.

And again, bhikkhus, as if the bhikkhu is seeing a body abandoned in the charnel-ground, being devoured by crows, being devoured by hawks, being devoured by vultures, being devoured by herons, being devoured by dogs, being devoured by tigers, being devoured by leopards, being devoured by jackals, or being devoured by various kinds of worms, he applies this perception to his own body thus: "Indeed, this body of mine, too, is of the same nature; it will become like that: it cannot escape such a fate."

Thus he keeps his mind steadfastly on the aggregate of physical phenomena which is his body... Bhikkhus, it is also in this way that the bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on the body.

And again, bhikkhus, as if the bhikkhu is seeing a body abandoned in the charnel-ground — reduced to a skeleton held together by the tendons, with some flesh and blood still adhering to it... reduced to a skeleton held together by the tendons, blood-besmeared, fleshless... reduced to a skeleton still held together by the tendons, without flesh and blood... reduced to loose bones scattered in all directions — at one place bones of a hand, at another place bones of a foot, at another place ankle-bones, at another place shin-bones, at another place thigh-bones, at another place hip-bones, at another place rib-bones, at another place spinal-bones, at another place shoulder-bones, at another place neck-bones, at another place the jawbone, at another place the teeth, at another place the skull he a applies this perception to his own body thus: "Indeed, this body of mine. too, is of the same nature; it will become like that; it cannot escape such a fate."

Thus he keeps his mind steadfastly on the aggregate of physical phenomena which is his body... Bhikkhus, it is also in this way that the bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on the body.

And again, bhikkhus, as if the bhikkhu is seeing a body abandoned in the charnel-ground — reduced to bleached bones of conch-like color... reduced to bones more than a year old, lying in a heap... reduced to rotted bones, crumbling to dust, he then applies this perception to his own body thus: "Indeed, this body of mine, too, is of the same nature; it will become like that; it cannot escape such a fate."

Thus he keeps his mind steadfastly on the aggregate of physical phenomena which is his. [34]

Occasionally he realizes that the aggregate of physical phenomena [35] of others must be of a similar nature. Because of this realization, he can be said to keep his mind steadfastly on the aggregate of physical phenomena of others. In this way, he is considered to keep his mind steadfastly on the aggregate of physical phenomena which is his [36] or which is that of others.

When he gains more concentration, he perceives the cause and the actual appearing of the aggregate of physical phenomena. He also perceives the cause and the actual dissolution of the aggregate of physical phenomena. He also perceives both the actual appearing and the actual dissolution of the aggregate of physical phenomena with their causes. [37]

And further, the bhikkhu is firmly mindful of the fact that there is only the aggregate of physical phenomena. [38] That mindfulness is solely for gaining insights [39] progressively, solely for gaining further mindfulness stage by stage. The bhikkhu remains detached from craving and wrong views, without clinging to any of the five khandhas that are continuously deteriorating. Bhikkhus, it is in this way that the bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on the body perceiving its true nature.

Thus he keeps his mind steadfastly on the aggregate of physical phenomena which is his. [40]

Occasionally he realizes that the aggregate of physical phenomena which is the body of others must be of a similar nature. Because of this realization, he can be said to keep his mind steadfastly on the aggregate of physical phenomena of others. In this way, he is considered to keep his mind steadfastly on the aggregate of physical phenomena which is his own body or which is that of others.

When he gains more concentration, he perceives the cause and the actual appearing of the aggregate of physical phenomena. He also perceives the cause and the actual dissolution of the aggregate of physical phenomena. He also perceives both the actual appearing and the actual dissolution of the aggregate of physical phenomena with their causes.

And further, the bhikkhu is firmly mindful of the fact that there is only the aggregate of physical phenomena. [41] That mindfulness is solely for gaining insights [42] progressively, solely for gaining further mindfulness stage by stage. The bhikkhu remains detached from craving and wrong views, without clinging to any of the five khandhas that are continuously deteriorating. Bhikkhus, it is in this way that the bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on the body perceiving its true nature.

[End of the Section on Nine Kinds of Corpses]

[End of the Fourteen Ways [43] of Perception of the True Nature of the Body.]

Perception of the True Nature of the Sensation

380. Bhikkhus, how does the bhikkhu keep his mind steadfastly on sensation, vedanā? [44]

Bhikkhus, the bhikkhu who follows my Teaching, when experiencing a pleasant sensation, knows that a pleasant sensation is experienced; or when experiencing an unpleasant sensation, knows that an unpleasant sensation is experienced; or when experiencing a sensation neither pleasant nor unpleasant, knows that a sensation neither pleasant nor unpleasant is experienced.

When experiencing a pleasant sensation associated with sensual desires, he knows that a pleasant sensation associated with sensual desires is experienced; or when experiencing a pleasant sensation not associated with sensual desires, he knows that a pleasant sensation not associated with sensual desires is experienced; when experiencing an unpleasant sensation associated with sensual desires, he knows that an unpleasant sensation associated with sensual desires is experienced; or when experiencing an unpleasant sensation not associated with sensual desires, he knows that an unpleasant sensation not associated with sensual desires is experienced; when experiencing a sensation neither pleasant nor unpleasant associated with sensual desires, he knows that a sensation neither pleasant nor unpleasant associated with sensual desires is experienced; or when experiencing a sensation neither pleasant nor unpleasant not associated with sensual desires, he knows that a sensation neither pleasant nor unpleasant not associated with sensual desires is experienced.

Thus he keeps his mind steadfastly on sensation, vedanā experienced by himself. [45] Occasionally he realizes that sensation experienced by others must be of a similar nature. Because of this realization, he can be said to keep his mind steadfastly on sensation experienced by others. In this way, he is considered to keep his mind steadfastly on sensation experienced by himself or by others. When he gains more concentration, he perceives the cause and the actual appearing of sensation. He also perceives the cause and the actual dissolution of sensation. He also perceives both the actual appearing and the actual dissolution of sensation, with their causes. [46] And further, the bhikkhu is firmly mindful of the fact that there is only sensation. [47] That mindfulness is solely for gaining insights progressively, solely for gaining further mindfulness stage by stage. The bhikkhu remains detached from craving and wrong views, without clinging to any of the five khandhas that are continuously deteriorating. Bhikkhus, it is also in this way that the bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on sensation perceiving its true nature.

[End of "Perception of the True Nature of Sensation"]

Perception of the True Nature of Mind

381. Bhikkhus, how does the bhikkhu concentrate steadfastly on the mind? [48]

Bhikkhus, the bhikkhu following my Teaching knows [49] the mind accompanied by passion, [50] as 'Mind with passion'; he knows the mind unaccompanied by passion, as 'Mind without passion'; he also knows the mind accompanied by anger, [51] as 'Mind with anger'; he also knows the mind unaccompanied by anger, as 'Mind without anger'; he also knows the mind accompanied by bewilderment, [52] as 'Mind with bewilderment'; he also knows the mind unaccompanied by bewilderment, as 'Mind without bewilderment'; he also knows the indolent state of mind, [53] as 'Indolent state of mind'; he also knows the distracted state of mind, [54] as 'Distracted state of mind'; he also knows the developed state of mind, [55] as 'Developed state of mind'; he also knows the undeveloped state of mind, [56] as 'Undeveloped state of mind': he also knows the inferior state of mind, as 'Inferior state of mind'; he also knows the superior state of mind, [57] as 'Superior state of mind'; he also knows the mind in a state of concentration, [58] as 'Mind in a state of concentration'; he also knows the mind not in a state of concentration, [59] as 'Mind not in a state of concentration'; he also knows 'the liberated state of mind, [60] as 'Liberated state of mind'; he also knows the unliberated state of mind, [61] as 'Unliberated state of mind'.

Thus the bhikkhu concentrates steadfastly on his own mind. [62] Occasionally he realizes that the mind of others must be of a similar nature. Because of this realization, he can be said to concentrate steadfastly on the mind of others. In this way, he is considered to concentrate steadfastly on his own mind or on the mind of others. When he gains more concentration, he perceives the cause and the actual appearing of the mind. He also perceives the cause and the actual dissolution of the mind. He also perceives both the actual appearing and the actual dissolution of the mind, with their causes. [63] And further, the bhikkhu is firmly mindful of the fact that there is only Mind (without soul or atta). That mindfulness is solely for gaining insights progressively, solely for gaining further mindfulness stage by stage. The bhikkhu remains detached from craving and wrong views, without clinging to any of the five khandhas that are continuously deteriorating. Bhikkhus, it is also in this way that the bhikkhu concentrates steadfastly on the mind perceiving its true nature.

[End of "Perception of the True Nature of Mind"]

Perception of the True Nature of Dhamma

1. Section on the Hindrances

382. Bhikkhus, how does the bhikkhu keep his mind steadfastly on dhamma, mental and physical phenomena? [64] Bhikkhus, the bhikkhu following my Teaching keeps his mind steadfastly on the mental phenomena of the five Hindrances. [65] And how does the bhikkhu keep his mind steadfastly on the five Hindrances? [66]

Bhikkhus, when sense-desire is present in him, the bhikkhu following my Teaching knows, 'There is sense-desire in me'; or when sense-desire is not present in him, he knows, 'There is no sense-desire in me'. Besides, he knows how the sense-desire which has not yet arisen comes to arise; and he knows that the sense-desire that has arisen comes to be discarded; and he knows that the discarded sense-desire will not arise in the future.

When ill will is present in him, he knows 'There is ill will in me'; or when ill will is not present in him, he knows 'There is no ill will in me'. Besides, he knows that the ill will which has not yet arisen comes to arise; and he knows that the ill will that has arisen comes to be discarded; and he knows that the discarded ill-will will not arise in the future.

When sloth and torpor are present in him, he knows 'There are sloth and torpor in me'; or when sloth and torpor are not present in him, he knows 'There are no sloth and torpor in me'. Besides, he knows that the sloth and torpor which have not yet arisen come to arise; and he knows that the sloth and torpor that have arisen come to be discarded; and he knows that the discarded sloth and torpor will not arise in the future.

When distraction and worry are present in him, he knows 'There are distraction and worry in me'; or when distraction and worry are not present in him, he knows 'There are no distraction and worry in me'. Besides, he knows that the distraction and worry which have not yet arisen come to arise; and he knows that the distraction and worry that have arisen come to be discarded; and be knows that the discarded distraction and worry will not arise in the future.

When doubt or wavering of the mind is present in him, he knows 'There is doubt in me'; or when doubt is not present in him, he knows 'There is no doubt in me'. Besides, he knows that the doubt which has not yet arisen comes to arise; and he knows that the doubt that has arisen comes to be discarded; and he knows that the discarded doubt will not arise in the future.

Thus he keeps his mind steadfastly on the dhamma, mental and physical phenomena, in himself. [67] Occasionally he realizes that the dhamma in others must be of a similar nature. Because of this realization, he can be said to keep his mind steadfastly on the dhamma in others. In this way, he is considered to keep his mind steadfastly on the dhamma; in himself or in others. When he gains more concentration, he perceives the cause and the actual appearing of the dhamma. He also perceives the cause and the actual dissolution of the dhamma. He also perceives both the actual appearing and the actual dissolution of the dhamma, with their causes. [68] And further, the bhikkhu is firmly mindful of the fact that there are only dhamma. [69] That mindfulness is solely for gaining insights progressively, solely for gaining further mindfulness stage by stage. The bhikkhu remains detached from craving and wrong views, without clinging to any of the five khandhas that are continuously deteriorating. Bhikkhus, it is also in this way that the bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on the five nivarana dhamma perceiving its true nature.

[End of the Section on the Hindrances]

2. Section on the Five Khandhas

383. And again, bhikkhus, the bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on the mental and physical phenomena of the five Aggregates [70] which are the objects of Clinging, (and perceives that they are just phenomena without any entity or soul). Bhikkhus, how does the bhikkhu keep his mind steadfastly on the five Aggregates which are the objects of clinging?

Bhikkhus, the bhikkhu following my Teaching perceives thus: 'Such is physical phenomenon; such is the origination of physical phenomenon; such is the disappearance of physical phenomenon. Such is sensation; such is the origination of sensation; such is the disappearance of sensation. Such is perception; [71] such is the origination of perception; such is the disappearance of perception. Such is mental formations; such is the origination of mental formations; such is the disappearance of mental formations. Such is consciousness; such is the origination of consciousness; such is the disappearance of consciousness.'

Thus he keeps his mind steadfastly on the dhamma, mental and physical phenomena, in himself. [72] Occasionally he realizes that the dhamma in others must be of a similar nature. Because of this realization, he can be said to keep his mind steadfastly on the dhamma in others. In this way, he is considered to keep his mind steadfastly on the dhamma in himself or in others. When he gains more concentration, he perceives the cause and the actual appearing of the dhamma;. He also perceives the cause and the actual dissolution of the dhamma with their causes. [73] And further the bhikkhu is firmly mindful of the fact that there are only Dhamma. That mindfulness is solely for gaining insights progressively, solely for gaining further mindfulness stage by stage. The bhikkhu remains detached from craving and wrong views, without clinging to any of the five khandhas that are continuously deteriorating. Bhikkhus, it is also in this way that the bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on this five upadanakkhandhas dhamma perceiving its true nature.

[End of the Section on the Five Khandhas]

3. Section on the Twelve Sense-Bases

384. And again, bhikkhus, the bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on the mental and physical phenomena of the six internal and the six external ayatanas, sense-bases. [74] Bhikkhus, how does the bhikkhu keep his mind steadfastly on the six internal and the six external ayatana dhamma?

Bhikkhus, the bhikkhu following my Teaching is conscious of the eye, is also conscious of visible objects, and knows any fetter [75] that arises dependent on both the eye and the visible object. Besides, he knows how a fetter which has not yet arisen comes to arise; and he knows that the fetter that has arisen comes to be discarded; and he knows that the discarded fetter will not arise in the future.

He is conscious of the ear, is also conscious of sounds, and knows any fetter that arises dependent on both the ear and the sound. Besides, he knows that a fetter which has not yet arisen comes to arise; and he knows that the fetter that has arisen comes to be discarded; and he knows that the discarded fetter will not arise in the future.

He is conscious of the nose, is also conscious of odors, and knows any fetter that arises dependent on both the nose and the odor. Besides, he knows that a fetter which has not yet arisen comes to arise; and he knows that the fetter that has arisen comes to be discarded; and he knows that the discarded fetter will not arise in the future.

He is conscious of the tongue, is also conscious of tastes, and knows any fetter that arises dependent on both the tongue and the taste. Besides, he knows that a fetter which has not yet arisen comes to arise; and he knows that the fetter that has arisen comes to be discarded; and he knows that the discarded fetter will not arise in the future.

He is conscious of the body, is also conscious of tactual objects, and knows any fetter that arises dependent on both the body and the tactual object. Besides, he knows that a fetter which has not yet arisen comes to arise; and he knows that the fetter that has arisen comes to be discarded; and he knows that the discarded fetter will not arise in the future.

He is conscious of the mind, is also conscious of mind-objects, and knows any fetter that arises dependent on both the mind and the mind-object. Besides, he knows that a fetter which has not yet arisen comes to arise; and he knows that the fetter that has arisen comes to be discarded; and he knows that the discarded fetter will not arise in the future. [76]

Thus he keeps his mind steadfastly on the dhamma, mental and physical phenomena, in himself. [77] Occasionally he realizes that the dhamma in others must be of a similar nature. Because of this realization, he can be said to keep his mind steadfastly on the dhamma in others. In this way, he is considered to keep his mind steadfastly on the dhamma in himself or in others. When he gains more concentration, he perceives the cause and the actual appearing of the dhamma;. He also perceives the cause and the actual dissolution of the dhamma He also perceives both the actual appearing and the actual dissolution of the dhamma with their causes. [78] And further the bhikkhu is firmly mindful of the fact that there are only Dhamma. That mindfulness is solely for gaining insights progressively, solely for gaining further mindfulness stage by stage. The bhikkhu remains detached from craving and wrong views, without clinging to any of the five khandhas that are continuously deteriorating. Bhikkhus, it is also in this way that the bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on the six internal and six external āyatana dhammā perceiving its true nature.

End of the Section on the Twelve Sense-Bases

4. Section on Bojjhaṅgā [79]

And again, bhikkhus, the bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on the mental phenomena of the seven enlightenment factors, [80] and perceives that they are just phenomena without any entity or soul. And, bhikkhus, how does the bhikkhu keep his mind steadfastly on the seven bojjhanga, and perceive their soulless nature?

Bhikkhus, when the enlightenment-factor of Mindfulness, [81] is present in him, the bhikkhu following my Teaching knows "sati-sambojjhaṅga is present in me"; or when sati-sambojjhanga is not present in him, he knows 'sati-sambojjhaṅga is not present in me'. Besides, he knows that the sati-sambojjhaṅga which has not arisen before comes to arise; [82] and he knows how complete fulfillment in developing [83] the arisen sati-sambojjhaṅga comes about.

When the enlightenment-factor of investigative knowledge of phenomena, [84] is present in him, he knows "dhammavicaya- sambojjhaṅga is present in me"; or when dhammavicaya-sambojjhaṅga is not present in him, he knows 'dhamma Vicaya-sambojjhaṅga is not present in me'. Besides, he knows that the dhammavicaya-sambojjhaṅga which has not arisen before comes to arise; and he knows how complete fulfillment in developing the arisen dhamma vicaya-sambojjhaṅga comes about.

When the enlightenment-factor of effort, [85] is present in him, he knows 'viriya-sambojjhaṅga is present in me'; or when viriya-sambojjhaṅga is not present in him, he knows 'viriya-sambojjhaṅga is not present in me'. Besides, he knows that the viriya-sambojjhaṅga which has not yet arisen before comes to arise; and he knows how complete fulfillment in developing the arisen viriya-sambojjhaṅga comes about.

When the enlightenment-factor of delightful satisfaction, [86] is present in him, he knows 'pīti-sambojjhaṅga is present in me'; or when pīti-sambojjhaṅga is not present in him, he knows 'pīti-sambojjhaṅga is not present in me'. Besides, he knows that the pīti-sambojjhaṅga which has not arisen before comes to arise; and he knows how complete fulfillment in developing the arisen pīti-sambojjhaṅga comes about.

When the enlightenment-factor of serenity, [87] is present in him, he knows 'passaddhi-sambojjhaṅga is present in me'; or when passaddhi-sambojjhaṅga is not present in him, he knows 'passaddhi-sambojjhaṅga is not present in me'. Besides, he knows that the passaddhi-sambojjhaṅga which has not arisen before comes to arise; and he knows how the complete fulfillment in developing the arisen passaddhi-sambojjhaṅga comes about.

When the enlightenment-factor of concentration, [88] is present in him, he knows 'samādhi- sambojjhaṅga is present in me'; or when samādhi-sambojjhaṅga is not present in him, he knows 'samādhi-sambojjhaṅga is not present in me'. Besides, he knows that the samādhi-sambojjhaṅga which has not arisen before comes to arise; and he knows how the complete fulfillment in developing the arisen samādhi-sambojjhaṅga comes about.

When the enlightenment factor of equanimity, [89] is present in him, he knows 'upekkhā-sambojjhaṅga is present in me'; or when upekkhā- sambojjhaṅga is not present in him, he knows 'upekkhā-sambojjhaṅga is not present in me'. Besides, he knows that the upekkhā-sambojjhaṅga which has not arisen before comes to arise; and he knows how complete fulfillment in developing the arisen upekkhā-sambojjhaṅga comes about.

Thus he keeps his mind steadfastly on the dhamma, mental and physical phenomena, in himself. [90] Occasionally he realizes that the dhamma in others must be of a similar nature. Because of this realization, he can be said to keep his mind steadfastly on the dhamma in others. In this way, he is considered to keep his mind steadfastly on the dhamma in himself or in others. When he gains more concentration, he perceives the cause and the actual appearing of the dhamma;. He also perceives the cause and the actual dissolution of the dhamma He also perceives both the actual appearing and the actual dissolution of the dhamma with their causes. [91] And further the bhikkhu is firmly mindful of the fact that there are only Dhamma. That mindfulness is solely for gaining insights progressively, solely for gaining further mindfulness stage by stage. The bhikkhu remains detached from craving and wrong views, without clinging to any of the five khandhas that are continuously deteriorating. Bhikkhus, it is also in this way that the bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on the seven bojjhaṅgā perceiving its true nature.

[End of the Section on the Seven sambojjhaṅgas]

5. Section on the Four Noble Truths

386. And again, bhikkhus, the bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on the mental and physical phenomena of the four Noble Truths. [92] And, bhikkhus, how does the bhikkhu keep his mind steadfastly on the four Noble Truths?

Bhikkhus, the bhikkhu following my Teaching knows 'This is dukkha' as it really is; he knows 'This is the origin of dukkha' as it really is; he knows 'This is the cessation of dukkha' as it really is; he knows 'This is the practice of the Path leading to the cessation of dukkha' as it really is.

[End of the First Portion for Recitation]

Exposition of the Noble Truth of Dukkha

387. Bhikkhus, what is the Noble Truth of Dukkha'? [93]

Birth [94] is dukkha. Aging also is dukkha. Death also is dukkha. Grief, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair are also dukkha. To have to associate with those persons or things one dislikes is also dukkha; to be separated from those one loves or likes is also dukkha; the craving for what one cannot get [95] is also dukkha; in short, the five Aggregates which are the objects of Clinging are dukkha.

388. And, bhikkhus, what is birth? The coming into existence, [96] the complete origination, the conception, the arising up in new form, the appearance of the Aggregates, the acquisition of the sense-bases of various beings in various categories , — this, bhikkhus, is called birth.

And, bhikkhus, what is aging? The process of aging, the decrepitude, the decay and loss of teeth, the graying of hair, the wrinkling of skin, the failing of the life-force, the wearing out of the sense-faculties such as sight of various beings in various catagories, — this, bhikkhus, is called aging.

390. And, bhikkhus, what is death? The falling away from existence, the passing away from existence, the dissolution, the disappearance, the end of life, the passing away due to completion of the life-span, the breaking up of the Aggregates, the discarding of the body, the destruction of the life-faculty of various beings in various categories, — this, bhikkhus, is called death.

391. And, bhikkhus, what is grief? The grievous anxiety, the sorrowful and anxious state of mind, the sorrowfulness and anxiety, the inward grief, the inward wretchedness of one who is beset by some ruinous loss or other, who encounters some painful misfortune or other, — this, bhikkhus, is called grief.

392. And, bhikkhus, what is lamentation? The weeping and lamenting, the act of weeping and lamenting, the condition of weeping and lamenting by one who is beset by some ruinous loss or other, who encounters some painful misfortune or other, — this, Bhikkhus, is called lamentation.

393. And, bhikkhus, what is pain? The bodily pain and bodily unpleasantness, the painful and unpleasant feeling produced by contact of the body, — this, bhikkhus, is called pain.

394. And, bhikkhus, what is distress? The mental pain and mental unpleasantness, the painful and unpleasant feeling produced by contact of the mind, — this, bhikkhus, is called distress.

395. And, bhikkhus, what is despair? The sorrowful trouble and tribulation, the troubled state, the state of tribulation of one who is beset by some ruinous loss or other, who encounters some painful misfortune or other, — this, bhikkhus, is called despair.

396. And, bhikkhus, what is the dukkha of having to associate with those persons or things one dislikes? Having to meet, remain together, be in close contact, or intermingle, with sights, sounds, odors, tastes, tactual objects and mind-objects in this world which are undesirable, unpleasant or unenjoyable, or with those who desire one's disadvantage, loss, discomfort, or state of harmful bondage [97] — this, bhikkhus, is called the dukkha of having to associate with those persons or things one dislikes.

397. And, bhikkhus, what is the dukkha of being separated from those one loves or likes? Not being able to meet, remain together, be in close contact, or intermingle, with sights, sounds, odors, tastes, tactual objects and mind-objects in this world which are desirable, pleasant or enjoyable, or with mother or father or brothers or sisters or friends or companions or maternal and paternal relatives who desire one's advantage, benefit, comfort or freedom from harmful bondage [98] — this, bhikkhus, is called the dukkha of being separated from those one loves or likes.

398. And bhikkhus, what is the dukkha of the craving for what one cannot get? In beings subject to birth the wish arises: 'Oh that we were not subject to birth! Oh that new birth would not happen to us!' But it is not possible to get such a wish. This is the dukkha of the craving for what one cannot get. Bhikkhus, in beings subject to aging the wish arises: 'Oh that we were not subject to aging! Oh that aging would not happen to us!' But it is not possible to get such a wish. This also is the dukkha of the craving for what one cannot get. Bhikkhus, in beings subject to illness, the wish arises: 'Oh that we were not subject to illness! Oh that illness would not happen to us!' But it is not possible to get such a wish. This also is the dukkha of the craving for what one cannot get. Bhikkhus, in beings subject to death the wish arises: 'Oh that we were not subject to death! Oh that death would not happen to us!' But it is not possible to get such a wish. This also is the dukkha of the craving for what one cannot get. Bhikkhus, in beings subject to grief, lamentation, pain, distress and despair the wish arises: 'Oh that we were not subject to grief, lamentation, pain, distress and despair! Oh that grief, lamentation, pain, distress and despair would not happen to us!' But it is not possible to get such a wish. This also is the dukkha of the craving for what one cannot get.

399. And, bhikkhus, what is meant by 'In short, the five Aggregates which are the objects of Clinging are dukkha'? They are the Aggregate of Corporeality, the Aggregate of Sensation, the Aggregate of Perception, the Aggregate of Mental Formations, and the Aggregate of Consciousness as objects of Clinging. These, bhikkhus, are what is meant by 'In short, the Five Aggregates which are the objects of Clinging are dukkha'.

Exposition of the Noble Truth of the Origin of Dukkha

400. And, bhikkhus, what is the Noble Truth of the origin of dukkha? The origin of dukkha is the Craving which gives rise to fresh rebirth, and, accompanied by pleasure and passion, finds great delight in this or that existence, namely, Craving for pleasures of the senses, [99] Craving for better existence, and Craving for non-existence. But, bhikkhus, when this Craving arises, where does it arise? When it establishes itself, where does it establish itself? When this Craving arises and establishes [100] itself, it does so in the delightful and pleasurable characteristics of the upadanakkhandhas. [101]

What are the delightful and pleasurable characteristics of the upadanakkhandhas?

In the upadanakkhandhas, the eye has the characteristic of being delightful and pleasurable. When this Craving arises, it arises there; [102] when it establishes itself, it establishes itself there. In the upadanakkhandhas, the ear... In the upadanakkhandhas, the nose... In the upadanakkhandhas, the tongue... In the upadanakkhandhas, the body... In the upadanakkhandhas, the mind has the characteristic of being delightful and pleasurable. When this Craving arises, it arises there; when it establishes itself, it establishes itself there.

In the upadanakkhandhas, visible objects... In the upadanakkhandhas, sounds... In the upadanakkhandhas, odors... In the upadanakkhandhas, tastes... In the upadanakkhandhas, tactual objects... In the upadanakkhandhas, mind-objects have the characteristic of being delightful and pleasurable. When this Craving arises, it arises there; when it establishes itself, it establishes itself there.

In the upadanakkhandhas, eye-consciousness [103] ... In the upadanakkhandhas, ear-consciousness... In the upadanakkhandhas, nose-consciousness... In the upadanakkhandhas, tongue-consciousness... In the upadanakkhandhas, body-consciousness... In the upadanakkhandhas, mind-consciousness has the characteristic of being delightful and pleasurable. When this Craving arises, it arises there; when it establishes itself, it establishes itself there.

In the upadanakkhandhas, eye-contact [104] ... In the upadanakkhandhas, ear-contact [105] ... In the upadanakkhandhas, nose-contact [106] ... In the upadanakkhandhas, tongue-contact... In the upadanakkhandhas, body-contact... In the upadanakkhandhas, mind-contact has the characteristic of being delightful and pleasurable. When this Craving arises, it arises there; when it establishes itself it establishes itself there.

In the upadanakkhandhas, the sensation born of eye-contact... In the upadanakkhandhas, the sensation born of ear-contact... In the upadanakkhandhas, the sensation born of nose-contact... In the upadanakkhandhas, the sensation born of tongue-contact... In the upadanakkhandhas, the sensation born of body-contact... In the upadanakkhandhas, the sensation born of mind-contact has the characteristic of being delightful and pleasurable. When this Craving arises, it arises there; when it establishes itself, it establishes itself there.

In the upadanakkhandhas, perception of visible objects... In the upadanakkhandhas, perception of sounds... In the upadanakkhandhas, perception of odors... In the upadanakkhandhas, perception of tastes... In the upadanakkhandhas, perception of tactual objects... In the upadanakkhandhas, perception of mind-objects has the characteristic of being delightful and pleasurable. When this Craving arises, it arises there; when it establishes itself, it establishes itself there.

In the upadanakkhandhas, volition focussed on visible objects... In the upadanakkhandhas, volition focused on sounds... In the upadanakkhandhas, volition focused on odors... In the upadanakkhandhas, volition focused on tastes... In the upadanakkhandhas volition focused on tactual objects... In the upadanakkhandhas, volition focused on mind-objects has the characteristic of being delightful and pleasurable. When this Craving arises, it arises there; when it establishes itself, it establishes itself there.

In the upadanakkhandhas, Craving for visible objects... In the upadanakkhandhas, Craving for sounds... In the upadanakkhandhas, Craving for odors... In the upadanakkhandhas, Craving for tastes... In the upadanakkhandhas, Craving for tactual objects... In the upadanakkhandhas, Craving for mind-objects has the characteristic of being delightful and pleasurable. When this Craving arises, it arises there; when it establishes itself, it establishes itself there.

In the upadanakkhandhas, initial application [107] of the mind to visible objects... In the upadanakkhandhas, initial application of the mind to sounds... In the upadanakkhandhas, initial application of the mind to odors... In the upadanakkhandhas, initial application of the mind to tastes... In the upadanakkhandhas, initial application of the mind to tactual objects... In the upadanakkhandhas, initial application of the mind to mind-objects has the characteristic of being delightful and pleasurable. When this Craving arises, it arises there; when it establishes itself, it establishes itself there.

In the upadanakkhandhas, sustained application of the mind to visible objects... In the upadanakkhandhas, sustained application of the mind to sounds... In the upadanakkhandhas, sustained application of the mind to odors... In the upadanakkhandhas, sustained application of the mind to tastes... In the upadanakkhandhas, sustained application of the mind to tactual objects... In the upadanakkhandhas, sustained application of the mind to mind-objects has the characteristic of being delightful and pleasurable. When this Craving arises, it arises there; when it establishes itself, it establishes itself there.

Bhikkhus, this is called the Noble Truth of the Origin of Dukkha.

Exposition of the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Dukkha

401. And, bhikkhus, what is the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Dukkha? It is the complete extinction and cessation of this very Craving, its abandoning and discarding, the liberation and detachment from it. [108]

But, bhikkhus, when this Craving is abandoned, where is it abandoned? When it ceases, where does it cease? When this Craving is abandoned or ceases, it is abandoned, or it ceases in the delightful and pleasurable characteristics of the upadanakkhandhas.

What are the delightful and pleasurable characteristics of the upadanakkhandhas?

In the upadanakkhandhas, the eye has the characteristic of being delightful and pleasurable. When this Craving is abandoned, it is abandoned there; [109] when it ceases, it ceases there. In the upadanakkhandhas, the ear... In the upadanakkhandhas, the nose... In the upadanakkhandhas, the tongue... In the upadanakkhandhas, the body... In the upadanakkhandhas, the mind has the characteristic of being delightful and pleasurable. When this Craving is abandoned, it is abandoned there; when it ceases, it ceases there.

In the upadanakkhandhas, visible objects... In the upadanakkhandhas, sounds... In the upadanakkhandhas, odors... In the upadanakkhandhas, tastes... In the upadanakkhandhas, tactual objects... In the upadanakkhandhas, mind-objects have the characteristic of being delightful and pleasurable. When this Craving is abandoned, it is abandoned there; when it ceases, it ceases there.

In the upadanakkhandhas, eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, mind-consciousness, each has the characteristic of being delightful and pleasurable. When this Craving is abandoned, it is abandoned there; when it ceases, it ceases there.

In the upadanakkhandhas, eye-contact, ear-contact, nose-contact, tongue-contact, body-contact, mind-contact, each has the characteristic of being delightful and pleasurable. When this Craving is abandoned, it is abandoned there; when it ceases, it ceases there.

In the upadanakkhandhas, the sensation born of eye-contact, the sensation born of ear-contact, the sensation born of nose-contact, the sensation born of tongue-contact. the sensation born of body-contact, the sensation born of mind-contact, each has the characteristic of being delightful and pleasurable. When this Craving is abandoned, it is abandoned there; when it ceases, it ceases there.

In the upadanakkhandhas, perception of visible objects, perception of sounds, perception of odors, perception of tastes, perception of tactual objects, perception of mind-objects, each has the characteristic of being delightful and pleasurable. When this Craving is abandoned, it is abandoned there; when It ceases, it ceases there.

In the upadanakkhandhas, volition focused on visible objects, volition focused on sounds, volition focused on odors, volition focused on tastes, volition focused on tactual objects, volition focused on mind-objects, each has the characteristic of being delightful and pleasurable. When this Craving is abandoned, it is abandoned there; when it ceases, it ceases there.

In the upadanakkhandhas, Craving for visible objects, Craving for sounds, Craving for odors, Craving for tastes, Craving for tactual objects, Craving for mind-objects, each has the characteristic of being delightful and pleasurable. When this Craving is abandoned, It is abandoned there; when it ceases, it ceases there.

In the upadanakkhandhas, vitakka, initial application of the mind to visible objects, to sounds to odors, to tastes, to tactual objects, to mind-objects, each has the characteristic of being delightful and pleasurable. When this Craving is abandoned, It is abandoned there; when it ceases, it ceases there.

In the upadanakkhandhas, vicara, sustained application of the mind to visible objects, to sounds, to odors, to tastes, to tactual objects, to mind-objects, each has the characteristic of being delightful and pleasurable. When this Craving is abandoned, it is abandoned there; when it ceases, it ceases there.

Bhikkhus, this is called the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Dukkha.

Exposition of the Noble Truth ot the Path Leading to the Cessation of Dukkha

402. And, bhikkhus, what is the Noble Truth of the Path leading to the Cessation of Dukkha? It is the Noble Path of Eight Constituents, namely; Right View, Right Thinking, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration.

And, bhikkhus, what is Right View? Insight-knowledge of dukkha, Insight-knowledge of the origin of dukkha, Insight-knowledge of the cessation of dukkha, [110] Insight-knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of dukkha. [111] This, bhikkhus, is called Right View.

And, bhikkhus, what is Right Thinking? Thoughts directed to liberation from sensuality, thoughts free from ill will, [112] and thoughts free from cruelty. [113] This, bhikkhus, is called Right Thinking.

And, bhikkhus, what is Right Speech? Abstaining from falsehood, from back-biting, from coarse speech, from vain and unbeneficial talk. This, bhikkhus, is called Right Speech.

And, bhikkhus, what is Right Action? Abstaining from killing, from taking what is not given, from wrongful indulgence in sensual pleasures. This, bhikkhus, is called Right Action.

And, bhikkhus, what is Right Livelihood? Bhikkhus, the ariya disciple following my Teaching completely abstains from a wrong way of livelihood, and makes his living by a right means of livelihood. This, bhikkhus, is called Right Livelihood.

And, bhikkhus, what is Right Effort'? Bhikkhus, the bhikkhu following my Teaching generates will, makes effort, rouses energy, applies his mind, and strives most ardently to prevent the arising of evil demeritorious states of mind that have not yet arisen. He generates will, makes effort, rouses energy, applies his mind, and strives most ardently to abandon evil demeritorious states of mind that have arisen. He generates will, makes effort, rouses energy, applies his mind, and strives most ardently to attain meritorious states of mind that have not yet arisen. He generates will, makes effort, rouses energy, applies his mind, and strives most ardently to maintain the meritorious states of mind that have arisen, to prevent their lapsing, to increase them, to cause them to grow, to make them develop in full. [114] This, bhikkhus, is called Right Effort.

And, bhikkhus, what is Right Mindfulness?

Bhikkhus, the bhikkhu [115] following my Teaching keeps his mind steadfastly on the body, with diligence, comprehension and mindfulness, [116] thus keeping away covetousness and distress. [117]

The bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on sensation, with diligence, comprehension and mindfulness, [118] thus keeping away covetousness and distress. [119]

The bhikkhu concentrates steadfastly on the mind, with diligence, comprehension and mindfulness, [120] thus keeping away covetousness and distress. [121]

The bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on the dhamma, with diligence, comprehension and mindfulness, [122] thus keeping away covetousness and distress. [123]

This, bhikkhus, is called Right Mindfulness.

And, bhikkhus, what is Right Concentration?

Bhikkhus, the bhikkhu who follows my Teaching, being detached from sensual pleasures and demetitorious factors, achieves and remains in the first jhana, which has initial application of the mind, sustained application of the, mind, delightful satisfaction and bliss, born of detachment from the hindrances.

Having got rid of vitakka and vicara, the bhikkhu achieves and remains in the second jhana, with internal tranquillity, with enhancement of one-pointedness of Concentration, devoid of vitakka and vicara, but with piti and sukha born of Concentration.

Having been detached from piti, that bhikkhu dwells in equanimity with mindfulness and clear comprehension, and experiences sukha in mind and body. He achieves and remains in the third jhana, that which causes a person who attains it to be praised by the Noble Ones as one who has equanimity and mindfulness, one who abides in sukhas.

By dispelling both pain and pleasure, and by the previous disappearance of sadness and gladness, that bhikkhu achieves and remains in the fourth Jhana, a state of equanimity and absolute purity of mindfulness, without pain or pleasure.

This, bhikkhus, is called Right Concentration.

Bhikkhus, this is called the Noble Truth of the Path leading to the Cessation of Dukkha.

403. Thus he keeps his mind steadfastly on the dhamma in himself. [124] Occasionally realizes that the dhamma in others must be of a similar nature: Because of this realization, he can be said to keep his mind steadfastly on the dhamma in others. In this way, he is considered to keep his mind steadfastly on the dhamma in himself or in others. When he gains more concentration, he perceives the cause and the actual appearing of the dhamma. He also perceives the cause and the actual dissolution of the dhamma. He also perceives both the actual appearing and the actual dissolution of the dhamma, with their causes. And further the bhikkhu is firmly mindful of the fact that there are only dhamma. That mindfulness is solely for gaining insights progressively, solely for gaining further mindfulness stage by stage. The bhikkhu remains detached from craving and wrong views, without clinging to any of the five khandhas that are continuously deteriorating. Bhikkhus, it is also in this way that the bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on the Four Noble Truths, perceiving their true nature.

[End of the Section on the Noble Truths]

[End of "Perception of the True Nature of Dhamma"]

404. Indeed, bhikkhus, whosoever practises these four methods of Steadfast Mindfulness in this manner for seven years, one of two results is to be certainly expected in him: arahatship [125] in this very existence, or if there yet be any trace of Clinging left, the state of an anāgāmi. [126]

Let alone seven years, bhikkhus, whosoever practises these four methods of Steadfast Mindfulness in this manner for six years... for five years... for four years... for three years... for two years... for one year

Let alone one year, bhikkhus, whosoever practises these four methods of Steadfast Mindfulness in this manner for seven months, one of two results is to be certainly expected in him: arahatship in this very existence, or if there yet be any trace of Clinging left, the state of an anāgāmi.

Let alone seven months, bhikkhus, whosoever practises these four methods of Steadfast Mindfulness in this manner for six months... for five months... for four months... for three months... for two months... for one month... for half-a-month...

Let alone half-a-month, bhikkhus, whosoever practises these four methods of Steadfast Mindfulness in this manner for seven days, one of two results is to be certainly expected in him: arahatship in this very existence, or if there yet be any trace of Clinging left, the state of an anāgāmi.

405. Because of these beneficial results, I have declared at the beginning thus: "Bhikkhus, this is the one and only way for the purification of the minds of beings, for overcoming sorrow and lamentation, for the complete destruction of physical pain and mental distress, for attainment of the noble Ariya Magga, and for the realization of Nibbāna. That only way is the practice of the four methods of Steadfast Mindfulness."

Thus spoke the Bhagava. Delighted, the bhikkhus received the words of the Buddha with respectful appreciation.

Notes

1.
Acc. to Dīgha Nikāya commentary the term "Bhikkhus" here includes all those dedicated to the practice of this Teaching and not only those who have been admitted to the Order.
2.
I.e., purification of the minds
3.
I.e., physical pain
4.
I.e., mental distress
5.
Ariya Magga
6.
That means "that only way"
7.
I.e., Satipaṭṭhāna
8.
I.e., what are the four Satipaṭṭhānas?
9.
I.e., the disciple
10.
Kaya — the body: strictly speaking, the aggregate of physical phenomena.
11.
"And perceives its impermanent, insecure, soulless, and repulsive nature" – same applies to sensation, mind and dhamma.
12.
"which will appear if he is not mindful of the five khandhas" — same applies to sensation, mind and dhamma.
13.
I.e., vedana
14.
I.e., citta
15.
Dhamma: the five dhammas consisting of (1) five nīvaraṇas (2) five khandhas. (3) twelve āyatanas, (4) seven bojjhaṅgas, and (5) four ariya saccas. This will become clear in ¶¶382-403 of this sutta.
16.
Towards the object of concentration
17.
No special effort is necessary to calm down the strong inhalation and exhalation. The more one gets mental concentration the more the strong inhalation and exhalation will calm down. When the mental concentration reaches its highest point, inhalation and exhalation will become so delicate that the yogi will feel that his breathing has stopped.
18.
On the string turning the lathe
19.
I.e., it is his own breathing, and he perceives its impermanent, insecure, and soulless nature.
20.
Which is the breathing
21.
His own breathing
22.
The causes of the appearing and dissolution of the aggregate of physical phenomena which is inhalation and exhalation are the existence or the non-existence of the body, the nose and the mind.
23.
Which is inhaling and exhaling
24.
I.e.,vipassanā
25.
And perceives its impermanent, insecure, soulless, and repulsive nature.
26.
The causes of appearing of physical phenomena are ignorance of the Four Ariya Truths, craving, kamma, and nutriment. They and their effect, i.e., the continuous appearance of physical phenomena, are called five Samudaya dhammā. The perception of these five Samudaya dhammā is called Samudaya dhammānupassi. They are perceived in the following way:

When the bhikkhu can steadfastly keep his mind on the body-postures by means of diligence, mindfulness, concentration, comprehension, he perceives the sign or incessant appearance of physical phenomena (nibbatti lakkhaṇā): This perception usually begins, when the bhikkhu achieves the second vipassanā ñāṇa — paccaya pariggaha ñāṇa. From this perception, the bhikkhu draws the conclusion that rebirth of beings take place in a similar way.

Therefore, while the bhikkhu is perceiving the continuous appearance of physical phenomena he realizes that endless rebirths are due to: (1) ignorance of Four Ariya Truths; (2) craving for pleasure of the senses; (3) kamma (deeds, words and thoughts) which has the potency for rebirth as its effect; (4) nutriment which is essential for physical phenomena; (5) mind (citta) which is the motivating force; (6) heat and cold. The causes of dissolution of physical phenomena are the absence of the above factors.

The bhikkhu then realizes that extinction of ignorance of Four Ariya Truths will cause the extinction of endless appearance of physical phenomena. The actual perception of the sign of change or disappearance or deterioration of physical phenomena will begin when the bhikkhu achieves the third vipassanā ñāṇa — Sammasana ñāṇa. The sign of change is called viparinama lakkhaṇā. In fact, the perception of the appearance and disappearance of physical phenomena, by means of nibbatti and viparināma lakkhaṇā, becomes clearer when the bhikkhu achieves the fourth vipassanā ñāṇa — Udayabbaya ñāṇa. However, the perception of only the disappearance of physical phenomena becomes stronger, when he achieves the fifth vipassanā ñāṇa — bhaṅga ñāṇa.

27.
"Without soul or atta directing it" — this shows the mental state of the bhikkhu when his mindfulness is at its height. Before he reaches this mental state, he occasionally imagines, in spite of his efforts to be mindful, (a) that body and limbs are his, (b) that his jīva (soul or atta) is directing them, to make postures. Occasionally, he even feels proud of and pleased with "his" body and limbs."

These false views of the body and limbs begin to disappear when he achieves the fifth vipassanā ñāṇa — bhaṅga ñāṇa. From that stage the bhikkhu perceives only the deterioration of the body. And he is no longer conscious of the body and the limbs as such. And therefore he does not take pride and pleasure in them.

With this perception of the non-existence of the body and limbs, he fully achieves the eleventh vipassanā ñāṇa, (saṅkhārupekkhā ñāṇa.)

28.
I.e.,vipassanā
29.
Including the pleura, the diaphragm and other forms of membrane in the body
30.
The brain is not included in the Pali Text of this Sutta; but is included in the Paṭisambhidā Magga.
31.
I.e., lubricating oil of the joints
32.
The primary elements: dhātu, 'element', is a force of Nature which behaves in accordance with the laws of Nature. The four primary elements literally translated above for the sake of brevity as 'earth, water, fire, and air elements' are:
  1. Pathavī-dhātu: a force of Nature that has the attribute of causing hardness. (It is sometimestranslated as the element of solidity or of extension);
  2. Āpo-dhātu: a force of Nature that has the attributes of causing cohesion and of causing fluidity. (It is sometimes translated as the element of cohesion);
  3. Tejo-dhātu: a force of Nature that has the attribute of causing heat or cold, i.e., thermal energy. (It is sometimes translated as the element of heat);
  4. Vāyo-dhātu: a force of Nature that has the attribute of causing motion or impetus. (It is sometimes translated as the element of motion).

The Pathavī-dhātu is predominant in the first twenty items of the list given in Section (4). The Āpo-dhātu is predominant in the last twelve items. The Tejo-dhātu consists of four kinds of heat in the body and Vāyo dhātu consists of six kinds of Vāyo in the body.

33.
So that only pieces of meat are seen and not the cow as such
34.
I.e., it is his own breathing, and he perceives its impermanent, insecure, and soulless nature.
35.
Which is the breathing
36.
His own breathing
37.
The causes of the appearing and dissolution of the aggregate of physical phenomena which is inhalation and exhalation are the existence or the non-existence of the body, the nose and the mind.
38.
Which is inhaling and exhaling
39.
I.e.,vipassanā
40.
And he perceives its impermanent, insecure, and soulless nature.
41.
Whithout soul or atta directing it
42.
I.e.,vipassanā
43.
Fourteen Ways: consisting of one way of perception in each of the first five sections and nine ways of perception in the sixth and last Section.
44.
And perceive its impermanent, insecure, and soulless nature
45.
And perceives its impermanent, insecure, and soulless nature
46.
The causes of the appearing of sensation are: ignorance of the Four Ariya Truths, craving, kamma and contact (phassa). These result in the appearing of sensation. The disappearance of these causes results in the dissolution or absence of sensation.
47.
Without soul or atta
48.
I.e., citta — and perceive its impermanent, insecure, and soulless nature
49.
I.e., is aware of
50.
Passion, rāga: In vipassanā bhāvanā, the bhikkhu is liable to misunderstand passion. He may think that he is required to be mindful of strong forms of passion only. He is, in fact, required to be mindful of all forms of passion — weak, medium, strong. In vipassanā, it is a very important point. Whatever takes place in the six senses, however insignificant, however good or bad it is, he is required to be mindful of it. (Passion=pleasure in or craving for something).
51.
Dosa: mental violence, hatred, frustration, desire to ill-treat, desire to destroy, desire to kill, are all covered by this term dosa
52.
Moha: (Usually defined as stupidity, dullness of mind, bewilderment, infatuation, delusion). Moha is a cetasika that makes citta (mind) incapable of choosing between right and wrong, incapable of perceiving the four Noble Truths, incapable of practicing correctly for the perception of the four Noble Truths, incapable of adopting a proper mental attitude. It is called micchāñāṇa, the intellect that is capable of giving only evil counsel in all matters. Moha makes a person blind to the nature and Consequences of a demeritorious deed.
53.
Saṅkhitta citta: (lit., shrunken mind); this means indolence, lethargy, slothfulness, lack of interest in anything. (The Commentary)
54.
Vikkhitta citta: A diffused or restless state of mind resulting in lack of concentration. (The Commentary)
55.
Mahaggata citta: The loftiness of mind experienced in rūpa-jhāna and arūpa-jhāna. (The Commentary)
56.
Amahaggata citta: (kāmāvacara citta): The mind as generally found in the sensuous realms, (The Commentary)
57.
'Sa-uttara', and 'anuttara' are relative terms, indicating inferior and superior states of mind. A state of mind that has some other state of mind superior to it, and is therefore inferior, is sa-uttara citta; a state of mind that is superior to some other state of mind is anuttara citta. Kāmāvacara citta, the state of mind of the sensuous realms, is inferior to the rūpa and arūpa jhāna states of mind. The rūpa jhāna state of mind is inferior to the arūpa jhana state of mind, but is superior to the kāmāvacara state of mind. In vipassanā practice, the arūpa jhāna state of mind is superior to both the rūpa jhāna and the kamavacara states of mind. Within the stages of the jhānas themselves, each jhāna is relatively inferior or superior, progressing to the nevasaññānāsaññāyatana jhāna which is the highest state of mind. An ordinary yogi who has no experience of jhāna cannot concentrate on the mahaggara or anuttara states of mind.

As a matter of fact, anuttara is normally an epithet for Lokuttarā citta or Magga-phala citta. However, in vipassanā practice, the yogi can concentrate only on the five upādānakkhandhas, the five Aggregates which form the objects of Clinging. He cannot concentrate on Magga-phala citta. Therefore, jhānas are given the epithet anuttara. (The Commentary)

58.
Samāhita citta is the mind that has samādhi, which is mental concentration on an object. According to the Commentary, Samāhita citta has (1) upacāra samādhi, and (2) appanā samādhi, (i.e., jhāna). Upacāra samādhi is samādhi that precedes, and is close to appanā samādhi, helping the latter to take place. Appanā samādhi fixes the mind on the mental object. The mind with upacāra samādhi generally belongs to the sensuous state of existence. The mind with appanā samādhi belongs to the rūpa (fine material) and arūpa (non-material) jhānas.
59.
Asamāhita citta: The mind without the two kinds of samādhi. (The Commentary)
60.
Vimutta citta: Here it means the mind temporarily liberated from moral defilements (kilesas). (The Commentary)
61.
Avimutta citta: The mind not liberated from moral defilements. (The Commentary)
62.
I.e., citta — and perceives its impermanent, insecure, and soulless nature
63.
The causes of the appearing of the mind are: Ignorance of the four Ariya Truths, craving, kamma, the complex of mental and physical aggregates (nāma-rūpa). The disappearances of these causes result in the dissolution of the mind.
64.
And perceive that they are just phenomena without any entity or soul
65.
Nīvaraṇa: means obstacles in the path of one's spiritual progress. They are hindrances to doing good deeds and to the achievement of jhānas and of the four Magga Insight, There are five Hindrances:

(a) Kāmacchanda: all forms of taṇhā; and lobha, craving and desire.

(b) Byāpāda: ill will; harbouring evil desires to ill-treat or destroy others, or to bring others into trouble.

(c) Thina-middha sloth and torpor; feeling or indolence, particularly for doing good and meritorious deeds.

(d) Uddhacca-kukkucca: distraction (or agitation) and worry. This has two aspects: flitting about of the mind (series of thought-moments) in all directions, and worrying over past commissions and omissions.

(e) Vicikicchā: doubt or wavering of mind.

66.
And perceive their soulless nature
67.
And perceives that they are just phenomena without any entity or soul
68.
The arising of the Hindrances is due to ayoniso manasikāra, wrong perception of phenomena, resulting from taking any phenomenon as permanent, pleasurable, endowed with soul, and non-repulsive. In the case of craving and desire, the Nīvaraṇa is due to taking what is actually repulsive as non-repulsive; in the case of ill will, the Nīvaraṇa is due to taking something as being offensive. The non-appearance or disappearance of the Hindrances is brought about by yoniso manasikāra, right perception of phenomena, viewing all phenomena as impermanent, unpleasurable, soulless and repulsive.

The discarded kāmacchanda will not rise again due to Arahatta Magga. The discarded byāpāda will not arise again due to Anāgāmi Magga. The discarded thina-middha will not arise again due to Arahatta Magga. The discarded uddhacca-kukkucca will not arise again due to Arahatta Magga and Anāgāmi Magga respectively. The discarded vicikicchā will not arise again due to Sotāpatti Magga.

69.
Without soul or atta
70.
Upādānakkhandhas are the five khandha Aggregates which are the objects of Grasping or Clinging. The five khandhas are:

(a) rūpakkhandhā, the aggregate of physical phenomena, or the body;

(b) vedanākkhandhā, the aggregate of sensation or feeling;

(c) saññākhandhā, the aggregate of perception;

(d) saṅkhārakkhandhā, the aggregate of volitional thought and action or mental formations, (with the exception of Vedana and sanna); and

(e) viññānakkhandhā, the aggregate of consciousness.

But the magga-phala citta (lokuttara citta) is not an object of Clinging. Therefore, only the viññānakkhandhā which does not include magga-phala citta can be the object of Clinging (upādāna).

71.
I. e., assimilation of sensation
72.
And perceives that they are just phenomena without any entity or soul
73.
The causes for the appearing and dissolution of the Aggregate or physical phenomena are the same as those for body movement and posture, (see footnote to Para 375); for sensation, perception, and mental formations, the same as for sensation (see footnote to Para 380): for consciousness the same as for the Mind (see footnote to Para 381).
74.
And perceives that they are just phenomena without any entity or soul
75.
Fetter: saṅyojana: a fetter that binds one to endless dukkha. There are ten saṅyojanas: (i) kāmarāga, craving for sensual pleasure; (ii) paṭigha, anger, disappointment, fear, grief, ill will; (iii) māna, pride, conceit; (iv) sakkāya-diṭṭhi, belief in the illusion that there is Self, Soul; (v) vicikicchā, doubt, wavering, scepticism. (see footnote on the Hindrances in Para 382); (vi) sīlabbataparāmāsa, the misleading belief that there are paths, other than the Ariya Path of Eight Constituents, that can liberate one from dukkha; (vii) bhavarāga, craving to become a brahmā with mind and body, (rūparāga) or craving to become a brahmā with only mind and no body (arūparāga); (viii) issā, jealousy, envy; (ix) macchariya, meanness and stinginess; (x) avijjā, ignorance of the Four Noble Truths. This list is according to the Abhidhamma classification.
76.
A fetter which has not yet arisen comes to arise due to ayoniso-manasikāra; the fetter that has arisen comes to be discarded through yoniso-manasikāra; due to one of the four Ariya Maggas the discarded fetter will not arise in the future.
77.
And perceives that they are just phenomena without any entity or soul
78.
The causes for the appearing of the physical sense-bases are ignorance of the four Noble Truths, craving, kamma, and nutriment; and the dissolution of those physical sense-bases is due to the disappearance of these causes. The causes for the appearing and the dissolution of the mind base are the same as those for the Mind; (see footnote to Para 381). The causes for the appearing and the dissolution of the mind-object base, which are not already included in the physical sense-bases, are the same as those for Sensation; (see footnote to Para 380).
79.
Bojjhaṅgā, pl. of bojjhaṅga: from bodhi + aṅga. Bodhi=knowledge of the four Ariya Truths, Enlightenment, through vipassana insight, and magga-phala insight, Aṅga factor leading to such knowledge. Bojjhaṅga is generally translated as factor of enlightenment or enlightenment-factor.
80.
Factors which enable one to comprehend the four Ariya Truths
81.
Sati-sambojjhaṅga: This is a combination of three words, namely, sati=steadfast mindfulness + sam=well, positively, clearly + bojjhaṅga= one of the seven bojjhaṅga. Sati-sambojjhaṅga is the bojjhaṅga of steadfast mindfulness that enables one to comprehend clearly the four Ariya Truths.
82.
This is due to yoniso manasikāra: yoniso =proper + manasikāra=attention to the object. (See footnote to para 382). This also applies to the three factors of enlightenment.
83.
This is due to Arahatta-magga: the fourth and final stage of Magga Insight, Magga ñāṇa, in which all the kilesas, moral defilements, are eradicated. This also applies to the other factors of enlightenment.
84.
Dhammavicaya is a combination of two words, namely, dhamma + vicaya. Dhamma means the five khandhas, or nāmarūpa, mental and physical phenomena. Vicaya means knowledge through proper investigation. Here, investigation means vipassanā bhāvanā. So dhammavicaya means knowledge of the true nature of the five khandhas by means of vipassanā bhāvanā.
85.
Viriya-sambojjhaṅga: Viriya means the right effort to be mindful. It is a well-balanced effort which is neither unduly strong nor unduly weak. If the effort is unduly weak, the bhikkhu cannot achieve mental concentration (samādhi). If it is unduly strong, be will become so exhausted that samādhi, which he has already achieved, can be impaired.
86.
Pīti: when one's viriya, effort, becomes well-balanced, after attaining sati, steadfast mindfulness, and dhamma-vicaya, knowledge of the true nature or nāmarūpa, one gets pīti, joy and satisfaction which may thrill one through and through.
87.
Passaddhi- sambojjhaṅga: After one has got pīti-sambojjhaṅga, one naturally gets passaddhi-sambojjhaṅga. Before this stage, one has to start the meditation process by making a definite effort to be steadfastly mindful. However, when this Passaddhi stage has been once reached, mindfulness takes place without much effort.
88.
Samādhi-sambojjhaṅga is a logical consequence of pīti -sambojjhaṅga and pasaddhi-sambojjhaṅga. When the bhikkhu achieves it, he is instantly and closely aware of every object as it appears in his mind.
89.
Upekkhā-sambojjhaṅga is a bojjhaṅga that keeps a balance between saddhā (faith) and paññā (knowledge of the true nature of the five khandhas, by means or vipassanā bhāvanā. It also keeps a balance between viriya and samādhi.
90.
And perceives that they are just phenomena without any entity or soul
91.
The arising of the Bojjhaṅga, factors of enlightenment, is due to yoniso-manasikāra, right perception of phenomena, viewing all phenomena as impermanent, unpleasurable, soulless and repulsive. The non-appearance or disappearance of a bojjhaṅga is due to ayoniso-manasikāra, wrong perception of phenomena, viewing all phenomena as permanent, pleasurable, endowed with soul, and non repulsive.
92.
And perceives that they are just phenomena without any entity or soul
93.
Dukkha as a Noble Truth is left untranslated. "Suffering" and "ill" are inadequate renderings. Dukkha is inherent in existence. The five Aggregates which are the objects of Clinging therefore embody dukkha. Dukkha has connotations of impermanence, insubstantiality, unsatisfactoriness, emptiness, imperfection, insecurity, besides the obvious ones of suffering, physical pain (as in para 393) and mental affliction.
94.
I.e., repeated rebirth
95.
According to the Commentary.
96.
Of nāmarūpa
97.
To kilesas, moral defilements
98.
To kilesas, moral defilements
99.
Kāma-taṇhā is hankering after and becoming attached to pleasures of the senses. Bhava- taṇhā is hankering after and becoming attached to continued existence, either the current sensual existence or a better and higher existence in the rūpa (fine material) or arūpa (non-material) brahmā realms, or becoming attached to the rūpa and arūpa jhānas. Vibhava- taṇhā is hankering after and becoming attached to the idea that there is no kamma for rebirth, and hence no future existence.
100.
Establishes: nivisati recurs again and again. (The Commentary)
101.
Upādānakkhandhas: In the Pāḷi text, loka, which the Commentary explains as the Aggregates which are the objects of Clinging.
102.
I. e., in the eye
103.
I.e. consciousness arising in the eye
104.
I. e., contact with the sense of sight
105.
I.e. contact with the sense of hearing
106.
I. e. , contact with the sense of smell
107.
Vitakka is the initial turning of the mind towards the object of attention. It is also rendered as 'reflection', thinking' or 'thought-conception'. Vicāra is the deliberate investigation or examination by the mind of the object of attention.
108.
This, in fact, is realization of Nibbana
109.
I.e., in the eye
110.
I.e., Nibbana
111.
I.e., the Path leading to Nibbana
112.
I.e., thoughts of loving-kindness
113.
I.e., thoughts of compassion
114.
In samatha, vipassana meditation
115.
I.e., the disciple
116.
And perceives its impermanent, insecure, soulless and repulsive nature
117.
Which will appear if he is not mindful of the five khandhas
118.
And perceives its impermanent, insecure, and soulless nature
119.
Which will appear if he is not mindful of the five khandhas
120.
And perceives its impermanent, insecure, and soulless nature
121.
Which will appear if he is not mindful of the five khandhas
122.
And perceives their impermanent, insecure, and soulless nature
123.
Which will appear if he is not mindful of the five khandhas
124.
And perceives that they are just Phenomena without any entity or soul
125.
Aññā, the knowledge of final emancipation, arahatta phala
126.
The state of Non-return to the world of sense-existence, anāgāmi phala