SN 46.55 (S v 121)
Saṅgārava Sutta
{excerpt}
— A question from Saṅgārava —

A beautiful series of similes to explain how the five nīvaraṇas affect the purity of the mind and its ability to perceive the reality as it is.



Note: info·bubbles on "underdotted" English words


Pāḷi


English




Evaṃ me sutaṃ:

I have heard that:

Ekaṃ samayaṃ bhagavā sāvatthiyaṃ viharati jetavane anāthapiṇḍikassa ārāme. Atha kho saṅgāravo brāhmaṇo yena bhagavā tenupasaṅkami. Upasaṅkamitvā bhagavatā saddhiṃ sammodi. Sammodanīyaṃ kathaṃ sārāṇīyaṃ vītisāretvā ekamantaṃ nisīdi. Ekamantaṃ nisinno kho saṅgāravo brāhmaṇo bhagavantaṃ etadavoca:

On one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Savatthi, in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery.{n} Then Saṅgārava the brahman approached the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One:

– Ko nu kho, bho gotama, hetu, ko paccayo yenekadā dīgharattaṃ sajjhāyakatāpi mantā nappaṭibhanti, pageva asajjhāyakatā? Ko pana, bho gotama, hetu, ko paccayo yenekadā dīgharattaṃ asajjhāyakatāpi mantā paṭibhanti, pageva sajjhāyakatā ti?

– Why is it, good Gotama, how does it come about that sometimes sacred words I have long studied are not clear to me, not to mention those I have not studied? And how is it too that sometimes other sacred words that I have not so studied are clear to me, not to mention those I have studied?

– Yasmiṃ kho, brāhmaṇa, samaye kāmarāgapariyuṭṭhitena cetasā viharati kāmarāgaparetena, uppannassa ca kāmarāgassa nissaraṇaṃ yathā·bhūtaṃ nappajānāti, attatthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati, paratthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati, ubhayatthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati; dīgharattaṃ sajjhāyakatāpi mantā nappaṭibhanti, pageva asajjhāyakatā.

– Well, Brahman, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by sense-desires, and does not know, as it really is, the way of escape from sense-desires that have arisen, then he cannot know or see, as it really is, what is to his own profit, nor can he know and see what is to the profit of others, or of both himself and others. Then even sacred words he has long studied are not clear to him, not to mention those he has not studied.

Seyyathāpi, brāhmaṇa, udapatto saṃsaṭṭho lākhāya vā haliddiyā vā nīliyā vā mañjiṭṭhāya vā. Tattha cakkhumā puriso sakaṃ mukhanimittaṃ paccavekkhamāno yathā·bhūtaṃ na jāneyya na passeyya. Evameva kho, brāhmaṇa, yasmiṃ samaye kāmarāgapariyuṭṭhitena cetasā viharati kāmarāgaparetena, uppannassa ca kāmarāgassa nissaraṇaṃ yathā·bhūtaṃ nappajānāti, attatthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati, paratthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati, ubhayatthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati; dīgharattaṃ sajjhāyakatāpi mantā nappaṭibhanti, pageva asajjhāyakatā.

Imagine, Brahman, a bowl of water mixed with lac, turmeric, dark green or crimson dye. If a man with good eyesight were to look at the reflection of his own face in it, he would not know or see it as it really was. In the same way, Brahman, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by sense-desires, and does not know, as it really is, the way of escape from sense-desires that have arisen, then he cannot know or see, as it really is, what is to his own profit, to the profit of others, to the profit of both. Then even sacred words he has long studied are not clear to him, not to mention those he has not studied.

Puna caparaṃ, brāhmaṇa, yasmiṃ samaye byāpādapariyuṭṭhitena cetasā viharati byāpādaparetena, uppannassa ca byāpādassa nissaraṇaṃ yathā·bhūtaṃ nappajānāti, attatthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati, paratthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati, ubhayatthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati; dīgharattaṃ sajjhāyakatāpi mantā nappaṭibhanti, pageva asajjhāyakatā.

Again, Brahman, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by ill-will, and does not know, as it really is, the way of escape from ill-will that have arisen, then he cannot know or see, as it really is, what is to his own profit, nor can he know and see what is to the profit of others, or of both himself and others. Then even sacred words he has long studied are not clear to him, not to mention those he has not studied.

Seyyathāpi, brāhmaṇa, udapatto agginā santatto pakkuthito usmudakajāto. Tattha cakkhumā puriso sakaṃ mukhanimittaṃ paccavekkhamāno yathā·bhūtaṃ na jāneyya na passeyya. Evameva kho, brāhmaṇa, yasmiṃ samaye byāpādapariyuṭṭhitena cetasā viharati byāpādaparetena, uppannassa ca byāpādassa nissaraṇaṃ yathā·bhūtaṃ nappajānāti, attatthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati, paratthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati, paratthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati, ubhayatthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati; dīgharattaṃ sajjhāyakatāpi mantā nappaṭibhanti, pageva asajjhāyakatā.

Imagine a bowl of water, heated on a fire, boiling up and bubbling over. If a man with good eyesight were to look at the reflection of his own face in it, he would not know or see it as it really was. In the same way, Brahman, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by ill-will, and does not know, as it really is, the way of escape from ill-will that have arisen, then he cannot know or see, as it really is, what is to his own profit, nor can he know and see what is to the profit of others, or of both himself and others. Then even sacred words he has long studied are not clear to him, not to mention those he has not studied.

Puna caparaṃ, brāhmaṇa, yasmiṃ samaye thinamiddhapariyuṭṭhitena cetasā viharati thinamiddhaparetena, uppannassa ca thinamiddhassa nissaraṇaṃ yathā·bhūtaṃ nappajānāti, attatthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati, paratthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati, ubhayatthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati; dīgharattaṃ sajjhāyakatāpi mantā nappaṭibhanti, pageva asajjhāyakatā.

Again, Brahman, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by sloth-and-torpor, and does not know, as it really is, the way of escape from sloth-and-torpor that have arisen, then he cannot know or see, as it really is, what is to his own profit, nor can he know and see what is to the profit of others, or of both himself and others. Then even sacred words he has long studied are not clear to him, not to mention those he has not studied.

Seyyathāpi, brāhmaṇa, udapatto sevālapaṇakapariyonaddho. Tattha cakkhumā puriso sakaṃ mukhanimittaṃ paccavekkhamāno yathā·bhūtaṃ na jāneyya na passeyya. Evameva kho, brāhmaṇa, yasmiṃ samaye thinamiddhapariyuṭṭhitena cetasā viharati thinamiddhaparetena, uppannassa ca thinamiddhassa nissaraṇaṃ yathā·bhūtaṃ nappajānāti, attatthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati, paratthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati, ubhayatthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati; dīgharattaṃ sajjhāyakatāpi mantā nappaṭibhanti, pageva asajjhāyakatā.

Imagine a bowl of water covered over with slimy moss and water-plants. If a man with good eyesight were to look at the reflection of his own face in it, he would not know or see it as it really was. In the same way, Brahman, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by sloth-and-torpor, and does not know, as it really is, the way of escape from sloth-and-torpor that have arisen, then he cannot know or see, as it really is, what is to his own profit, nor can he know and see what is to the profit of others, or of both himself and others. Then even sacred words he has long studied are not clear to him, not to mention those he has not studied.

Puna caparaṃ, brāhmaṇa, yasmiṃ samaye uddhaccakukkuccapariyuṭṭhitena cetasā viharati uddhaccakukkuccaparetena, uppannassa ca uddhaccakukkuccassa nissaraṇaṃ yathā·bhūtaṃ nappajānāti, attatthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati, paratthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati, ubhayatthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati; dīgharattaṃ sajjhāyakatāpi mantā nappaṭibhanti, pageva asajjhāyakatā.

Again, Brahman, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by worry-and-flurry, and does not know, as it really is, the way of escape from worry-and-flurry that have arisen, then he cannot know or see, as it really is, what is to his own profit, nor can he know and see what is to the profit of others, or of both himself and others. Then even sacred words he has long studied are not clear to him, not to mention those he has not studied.

Seyyathāpi, brāhmaṇa, udapatto vāterito calito bhanto ūmijāto. Tattha cakkhumā puriso sakaṃ mukhanimittaṃ paccavekkhamāno yathā·bhūtaṃ na jāneyya na passeyya. Evameva kho, brāhmaṇa, yasmiṃ samaye uddhaccakukkuccapariyuṭṭhitena cetasā viharati uddhaccakukkuccaparetena, uppannassa ca uddhaccakukkuccassa nissaraṇaṃ yathā·bhūtaṃ nappajānāti, attatthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati, paratthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati, ubhayatthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati; dīgharattaṃ sajjhāyakatāpi mantā nappaṭibhanti, pageva asajjhāyakatā.

Imagine a bowl of water ruffled by the wind, so that the water trembled, eddied and rippled. If a man with good eyesight were to look at the reflection of his own face in it, he would not know or see it as it really was. In the same way, Brahman, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by worry-and-flurry, and does not know, as it really is, the way of escape from worry-and-flurry that have arisen, then he cannot know or see, as it really is, what is to his own profit, nor can he know and see what is to the profit of others, or of both himself and others. Then even sacred words he has long studied are not clear to him, not to mention those he has not studied.

Puna caparaṃ, brāhmaṇa, yasmiṃ samaye vicikicchāpariyuṭṭhitena cetasā viharati vicikicchāparetena, uppannāya ca vicikicchāya nissaraṇaṃ yathā·bhūtaṃ nappajānāti, attatthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati, paratthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati, ubhayatthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati; dīgharattaṃ sajjhāyakatāpi mantā nappaṭibhanti, pageva asajjhāyakatā.

Again, Brahman, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by doubt-and-wavering, and does not know, as it really is, the way of escape from doubt-and-wavering that have arisen, then he cannot know or see, as it really is, what is to his own profit, nor can he know and see what is to the profit of others, or of both himself and others. Then even sacred words he has long studied are not clear to him, not to mention those he has not studied.

Seyyathāpi, brāhmaṇa, udapatto āvilo luḷito kalalībhūto andhakāre nikkhitto. Tattha cakkhumā puriso sakaṃ mukhanimittaṃ paccavekkhamāno yathā·bhūtaṃ na jāneyya na passeyya. Evameva kho, brāhmaṇa, yasmiṃ samaye vicikicchāpariyuṭṭhitena cetasā viharati vicikicchāparetena, uppannāya ca vicikicchāya nissaraṇaṃ yathā·bhūtaṃ nappajānāti, attatthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati, paratthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati, ubhayatthampi tasmiṃ samaye yathā·bhūtaṃ na jānāti na passati; dīgharattaṃ sajjhāyakatāpi mantā nappaṭibhanti, pageva asajjhāyakatā. Ayaṃ kho, brāhmaṇa, hetu ayaṃ paccayo yenekadā dīgharattaṃ sajjhāyakatāpi mantā nappaṭibhanti, pageva asajjhāyakatā.

Imagine a bowl of water, agitated, stirred up muddied, put in a dark place. If a man with good eyesight were to look at the reflection of his own face in it, he would not know or see it as it really was. In the same way, Brahman, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by doubt-and-wavering, and does not know, as it really is, the way of escape from doubt-and-wavering that have arisen, then he cannot know or see, as it really is, what is to his own profit, to the profit of others, to the profit of both. Then even sacred words he has long studied are not clear to him, not to mention those he has studied.

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Bodhi leaf




Translated from the Pali by Maurice O'Connell Walshe.
Access to Insight, 1 July 2010.

———oOo———
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