120 Reappearance by Aspiration

MN 02-03-10 Sankharuppatti Sutta

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Part 2

§  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, I shall teach you reappearance in accordance with one’s aspiration.1132
[1132:- Although I have attempted to render sankhara consistently throughout as “formations,” here it seemed that the content required a different rendering to bring the intended meaning to light. Nm had used “determinations,” his own consistent choice for sankhara. MA initially explains sankharupapatti (=sankhara + uppaththi) as meaning either reappearance (i.e., rebirth) of mere formations, not of a being or person, or reappearance of the aggregates in a new existence through a meritorious kamma-formation. However, in subsequent passages, MA glosses sankhara with patthana, a word unambiguously meaning aspiration]

Listen and attend closely to what I shall say.-
“Yes, venerable sir,” the bhikkhus replied.
The Blessed One said this:

§  3. “Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu possesses faith, virtue, learning, generosity, and wisdom. He thinks: ‘Oh, that on the dissolution of the body, after death, I might reappear in the company of well-todo nobles!’

He fixes his mind on that, establishes it, develops it. [100] These aspirations and this abiding of his, thus developed and cultivated, lead to his reappearance there. This, bhikkhus, is the path, the way that leads to reappearance there.1133
[1133:-MA: “The way” is the five qualities beginning with faith, together with the aspiration. One who has either the five qualities without the aspiration, or the aspiration without the qualities, does not have a fixed destination.
The destination can only be fixed when both factors are present.]

§4- §5. “Again, a bhikkhu possesses faith, virtue, learning, generosity, and wisdom. He thinks: ‘Oh, that on the dissolution of the body, after death, I might reappear in the company of well-to-do brahmins!…in the company of well-to-do householders!’ He fixes his mind on that…This, bhikkhus, is the path, the way that leads to reappearance there.

§6. “Again, a bhikkhu possesses faith, virtue, learning, generosity, and wisdom. He hears that the gods of the heaven of the Four Great Kings are long-lived, beautiful, and enjoy great happiness. He thinks: ‘Oh, that on the dissolution of the body, after death, I might reappear in the company of the gods of the heaven of the Four Great Kings!’
He fixes his mind on that…This, bhikkhus, is the path, the way that leads to reappearance there.

§7- §11. “Again, a bhikkhu possesses faith, virtue, learning, generosity, and wisdom. He hears that the gods of the heaven of the Thirty-three.. .the Yama gods…the gods of the Tusita heaven…the gods who delight in creating…the gods who wield power over others’ creations are long-lived, beautiful, and enjoy great happiness. He thinks: ‘Oh, that on the dissolution of the body, after death, I might reappear in the company of the gods who wield power over others’ creations!’
He fixes his mind on that…This, bhikkhus, is the path, the way that leads to reappearance there.

§12. “Again, a bhikkhu possesses faith, virtue, learning, generosity, and wisdom. He hears that the Brahma of a Thousand is long-lived, beautiful, and enjoys great happiness. Now the Brahma of a Thousand abides intent on pervading a world-system of a thousand worlds, and he abides intent on pervading the beings that have reappeared there.1134
[1134:-MA explains that there are five kinds of pervasion: pervasion of mind, i.e., knowing the thoughts of the beings throughout a thousand worlds; pervasion of the kasina, i.e., extending the kasina image to a thousand worlds; pervasion of the divine eye, i.e., seeing a thousand worlds with the divine eye; pervasion of light, which is the same as the previous pervasion; and pervasion of body, i.e., extending one’s bodily aura to a thousand worlds.]

Just as a man with good sight might take a gallnut in his hand and review it, so the Brahma of a Thousand abides intent on pervading a world-system of a thousand [worlds], and he abides intent on pervading the beings that have reappeared there. The bhikkhu thinks: ‘Oh, that on the dissolution of the body, after death, I might reappear in the company of the Brahma of a Thousand!’ He fixes his mind on that…This, bhikkhus, is the path, the way that leads to reappearance there.

§13-§16. “Again, a bhikkhu possesses faith, virtue, learning, generosity, and wisdom. He hears that the Brahma of Two Thousand…the Brahma of Three Thousand…the Brahma of Four Thousand…the Brahma of Five Thousand is long-lived, beautiful, and enjoys great happiness.

Now the Brahma of Five Thousand abides intent on pervading a world-system of five thousand worlds, and he abides intent on pervading the beings that have reappeared there. Just as a man with good sight might take five gallnuts in his hand and review them, so the Brahma of Five Thousand abides intent on pervading a world-system of five thousand worlds, and he abides intent on pervading the beings that have reappeared there. The bhikkhu thinks: ‘Oh, that on the dissolution of the body, after death, I might reappear in the company of the Brahma of Five Thousand!’ He fixes his mind on that…This, bhikkhus, is the path, the way that leads to reappearance there.

§17. “Again, a bhikkhu possesses faith, virtue, learning, generosity, and wisdom. He hears that the Brahma of Ten Thousand is long-lived, beautiful, and enjoys great happiness. Now the Brahma of Ten Thousand abides intent on pervading [102] a world-system of ten thousand worlds, and he abides intent on pervading the beings that have reappeared there. Just as a fine beryl gem of purest water, eight faceted, well cut, lying on red brocade, glows, radiates, and shines, so the Brahma of Ten Thousand abides intent on pervading a world-system of ten thousand worlds, and he abides intent on pervading the beings that have reappeared there. The bhikkhu thinks: ‘Oh, that on the dissolution of the body, after death, I might reappear in the company of the Brahma of Ten Thousand!’ He fixes his mind on that…This, bhikkhus, is the path, the way that leads to reappearance there.

§  18. “Again, a bhikkhu possesses faith…and wisdom. He hears that the Brahma of a Hundred Thousand is long-lived, beautiful, and enjoys great happiness. Now the Brahma of a Hundred Thousand abides intent on pervading a world-system of a hundred thousand worlds, and he abides intent on pervading the beings that have reappeared there. Just as an ornament of finest gold, very skilfully wrought in the furnace by a clever goldsmith, lying on red brocade, glows, radiates, and shines, so the Brahma of a Hundred Thousand abides intent on pervading a world-system of a hundred thousand worlds, and he abides intent on pervading the beings that have reappeared there.

The bhikkhu thinks: ‘Oh, that on the dissolution of the body, after death, I might reappear in the company of the Brahma of a Hundred Thousand!’ He fixes his mind on that.. .This, bhikkhus, is the path, the way that leads to reappearance there.

§19- §32. “Again, a bhikkhu possesses faith, virtue, learning, generosity, and wisdom. He hears that the gods of Radiance1135 [1135:-MA explains that “the gods of Radiance” is not a separate class of gods but a collective name for the three classes that follow; the same applies to “the gods of Glory.” This celestial hierarchy is explained in the Introduction, pp. 46-48]
…the gods of Limited Radiance…

the gods of Immeasurable Radiance…
the gods of Streaming Radiance…
the gods of Glory…
the gods of Limited Glory…
the gods of Immeasurable Glory…
the gods of Refulgent Glory…[103]…
the gods of Great Fruit…
the Aviha gods…
the Atappa gods…
the Sudassa gods…
the Sudassi gods…
the Akanittha gods are long-lived, beautiful, and enjoy great happiness.
He thinks: ‘Oh, that on the dissolution of the body, after death, I might reappear in the company of the Akanittha gods!’
He fixes his mind on that…This, bhikkhus, is the path, the way that leads to reappearance there.

§33- §36. “Again, a bhikkhu possesses faith, virtue, learning, generosity, and wisdom. He hears that
the gods of the base of infinite space…
the gods of the base of infinite consciousness…
the gods of the base of nothingness…
the gods of the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception are long-lived, long-enduring, and enjoy great happiness.
He thinks: ‘Oh, that on the dissolution of the body, after death, I might reappear in the company of the gods of the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception!’

He fixes his mind on that, establishes it, develops it. These aspirations and this abiding of his, thus developed and cultivated, lead to his reappearance there. This, bhikkhus, is the path, the way that leads to reappearance there.

§37. “Again, a bhikkhu possesses faith, virtue, learning, generosity, and wisdom. He thinks: ‘Oh, that by realising for myself with direct knowledge, I might 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!’ And by realising for himself with direct knowledge, he here and now enters upon and abides in the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom that are taintless with the destruction of the taints. Bhikkhus, this bhikkhu does not reappear anywhere at all.”1136
[1136:-MA: The five qualities mentioned are sufficient for rebirth into the sense-sphere realm, but for the higher modes of rebirth and the destruction of the taints, more· is required. Basing oneself on the five qualities, if one attains the jhanas, one is reborn in the Brahma-world; if one attains the immaterial attainments, one is reborn in the immaterial world; if one develops insight and attains the fruit of non-returning, one is reborn in the Pure
Abodes; and if one reaches the path of arahantship, one attains the destruction of the taints.]

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

BOB-05

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