006- If a Bhikkhu Should Wish

Discourse by Venerable Ajahn Brahmali

MN 01-01-06 Akankheyya Sutta

§1.  THUS HAVE I HEARD.
On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapindika’s Park. There he addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Bhikkhus.” – “Venerable sir,” they replied. The Blessed One said this:

§ 2. “Bhikkhus,
dwell possessed of virtue,
possessed of the Patimokkha,
restrained with the restraint of the Patimokkha,
perfect in conduct and resort, and
seeing fear in the slightest fault,
train by undertaking the training precepts.[76]

[ MA says that the expression sampannasila, translated here as “possessed of virtue,” can mean either “perfect in virtue” {paripunnasila) or “endowed with virtue” (silasamangino). The Patimokkha is the code of monastic discipline, which in its Pali version consists of 227 rules. “Resort” (gocara) implies a proper resort for alms, though it may also signify the proper deportment of a monk, his serene and self-possessed bearing. The key terms in this passage are analysed at Vsm 1,43-52.]

§ 3. “If a bhikkhu should wish:
‘May I be dear and agreeable to my companions in the holy life, respected and esteemed by them,’ let him fulfil the precepts, be devoted to internal serenity of mind, not neglect meditation, be possessed of insight, and dwell in empty huts.[77]

[ MA: The passage beginning with “let him fulfil the precepts,” repeated for each of the following sections until the end of the sutta, comprises the entire threefold training. The phrase about fulfilling the precepts signifies the training in higher virtue (adhisilasikkha)) the phrase “be devoted to internal serenity of mind, not neglect meditation” indicates the training in concentration or the higher mind (adhicittasikkha); and the phrase “be possessed of insight” points to the training in the higher wisdom (adhipannasikkha). The phrase “dwell in empty huts” combines the latter two trainings, since one resorts to an empty hut to develop serenity and insight.]

§ 4. “If a bhikkhu should wish: ‘May I be one to obtain robes, almsfood, resting place, and medicinal requisites,’ let him fulfil the precepts …

§5. “If a bhikkhu should wish: ‘May the services of those whose robes, almsfood, resting place, and medicinal requisites I use bring them great fruit and benefit,’ let him fulfil the precepts …

§6. “If a bhikkhu should wish: ‘When my kinsmen and relatives who have passed away and died remember me with confidence in their minds, may that bring them great fruit and great benefit,’ let him fulfil the precepts … [78]

[ That is, if the relatives who have been reborn in the realm of ghosts or in some lower deva realm recollect virtuous bhikkhus with confidence, that confidence will become a source of merit for them, protecting them from bad rebirths and becoming a positive condition for the attainment of Nibbana.]

§7. “If a bhikkhu should wish: ‘May I become a conqueror of discontent and delight, and may discontent and delight not conquer me; may I abide transcending discontent and delight whenever they arise,’ let him fulfil the precepts …

§8. “If a bhikkhu should wish: ‘May I become a conqueror of fear and dread, and may fear and dread not conquer me; may I abide transcending fear and dread whenever they arise,’ let him fulfil the precepts . ..

§9 . “If a bhikkhu should wish: ‘May I become one to obtain at will, without trouble or difficulty, the four jhanas that constitute the higher mind and provide a pleasant abiding here and now,’ let him fulfil the precepts …

§10 . “If a bhikkhu should wish: ‘May I contact with the body and abide in those liberations that are peaceful and immaterial, transcending forms,’ let him fulfil the precepts . .. [79]

[ 79:-These are the four immaterial attainments for which the full formulas are to be found below at MN 8.8-11, MN 25.16-19, etc. MA glosses “body” as “mental body” (namakaya).]

§ 11. “If a bhikkhu should wish: ‘May I, with the destruction of three fetters, become a stream-enterer, no longer subject to perdition, bound [for deliverance], headed for enlightenment,’ let him fulfil the precepts … 80

[80:- The three fetters destroyed by the stream-enterer are personality view, doubt, and adherence to rules and observances, as mentioned at MN 2.11]

§12. “If a bhikkhu should wish: ‘May I, with the destruction of three fetters and with the attenuation of lust, hate, and delusion, become a once-returner, returning once to this world to make an end of suffering,’ let him fulfil the precepts …

§13. “If a bhikkhu should wish: ‘May I, with the destruction of the five lower fetters, become due to reappear spontaneously [in the Pure Abodes] and there attain final Nibbana, without ever returning from that world,’ let him fulfill the precepts .. . [81]

[ 81:-In addition to the first three fetters, the non-returner destroys the other two “lower fetters” of sensual desire and ill will. The non-returner is reborn in a special region of the Brahma-world called the Pure Abodes, and there makes an end of suffering.]

§ 14 “If a bhikkhu should wish:[82]

‘May I wield the various kinds of supernormal power: having been one, may I become many; having been many, may I become one; may I appear and vanish; may I go unhindered through a wall, through an enclosure, through a mountain μs though through space; may I dive in and out of the earth as though it were water; may I walk on water without sinking as though it were earth; seated cross legged, may I travel in space like a bird; with my hand may I touch and stroke the moon and sun so powerful and mighty; may I wield bodily mastery, even. as far as the Brahma-world,’ let him fulfil the precepts . ..

[82. §§14-19 present the six kinds of direct knowledge (abhinna). See Introduction, p. 37; for details, see Vsm XII and XIII]

§ 15. “If a bhikkhu should wish: ‘May I, with the divine ear element, which is purified and surpasses the human, hear both kinds of sounds, the divine and the human, those that are far as well as near,’ let him fulfil the precepts …

§ 16 . “If a bhikkhu should wish:
‘May I understand the minds of other beings, of other persons, having encompassed them with my own mind.
May I understand a mind affected by lust as affected by lust and a mind unaffected by lust as unaffected by lust;
may I understand a mind affected by hate as affected by hate and a mind unaffected by hate as unaffected by hate;
may I understand a mind affected by delusion as affected by delusion and a mind unaffected by delusion as unaffected by delusion;
may I understand a contracted mind as contracted and a distracted mind as distracted;
may I understand an exalted mind as exalted and an unexalted mind as unexalted;
may I understand a surpassed mind as surpassed and an unsurpassed mind as unsurpassed;
may I understand a concentrated mind as concentrated [35] and an unconcentrated mind as unconcentrated;
may I understand a liberated mind as liberated and an unliberated mind as unliberated,’
let him fulfil the precepts …

§ 17. “If a bhikkhu should wish:
‘May I recollect my manifold past lives, that is, one birth, two births . . . (as Sutta 4, §27) . . . Thus with their aspects and their particulars may I recollect my manifold past lives,’ let him fulfil the precepts …

§ 18. “If a bhikkhu should wish: ‘May I, with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, see beings passing away and reappearing, inferior and superior, fair and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate; may I understand how beings pass on according to their actions thus:’ .. . (as Sutta 4, §29) . . .let him fulfil the precepts …

§ 19. “If a bhikkhu should wish: ‘May I, by realising for myself with direct knowledge, here and now enter upon and abide in the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom that are taintless with the destruction of the taints,'[83] [36] let him fulfil the precepts, be devoted to internal serenity of mind, not neglect meditation,, be possessed of insight, and dwell in empty huts.[

[MA: In this passage “mind” and “wisdom” signify, respectively, the concentration and wisdom associated with the fruit of arahantship. Concentration is called “deliverance of mind” (cetovimutti) because it is liberated from lust; wisdom is called “deliverance by wisdom” (pannavimutti) because it is liberated from ignorance. The former is normally the result of serenity, the latter the result of insight. But when they are coupled and described as taintless (anasava), they jointly result from the destruction of the taints by the supramundane path of arahantship.]

§ 20. “So it was with reference to this that it was said:
‘Bhikkhus, dwell possessed of virtue, possessed of the Patimokkha, restrained with the restraint of the Patimokkha, perfect in conduct and resort, and seeing fear in the slightest fault, train by undertaking the training precepts.”‘

That is what the Blessed One said.
The bhikkhus were satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

007 Simile of Clothe

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