062 Advice to Rāhula

MN 02-02-02 Maha Rahulovada Sutta
SUTTA EXPOSITION BY VEN AJAHN BRAHMAVAMSO
Exposition by Bhikku Bodhi -Part 1
Ven Bhikku Bodhi Exposition Part 2

§ 1.THUS HAVE I HEARD.640
On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park.

[640:- According to MA, this discourse was taught to Rāhula when he was eighteen years old, for the purpose of dispelling desire connected with the household life. The Shorter Discourse of Advice to Rāhula is MN 147 ]

§ 2. Then, when it was morning, the Blessed One dressed, and taking his bowl and outer robe, went into Sāvatthī for alms. The venerable Rāhula also [421] dressed, and taking his bowl and outer robe, followed close behind the Blessed One.

§ 3 . Then the Blessed One looked back and addressed the venerable Rāhula thus:641

[641:- MA: While Rāhula was following the Buddha, he noted with admiration thephysical perfection of the Master and reflected that he himself was of similarappearance, thinking: “I too am handsome like my father the Blessed One. TheBuddha’s form is beautiful and so too is mine.” The Buddha read Rāhula’sthought and decided to admonish him at once, before such vain thoughts led himinto greater difficulties. Hence the Buddha framed his advice in terms ofcontemplating the body as neither a self nor the possession of a self.]

“Rāhula, any kind of material form whatever, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near, all material form should be seen as it actually is with proper wisdom thus:
‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’”

“Only material form, Blessed One? Only material form, Sublime One?”
Material form, Rāhula, and feeling, perception, formations, and consciousness.”

§ 4. Then the venerable Rāhula considered thus:
“Who would go into the town for alms today when personally admonished by the Blessed One?”
Thus he turned back and sat down at the root of a tree, folding his legs crosswise, setting his body erect, and establishing mindfulness in front of him.

§ 5. The venerable Sāriputta saw him sitting there and addressed him thus:
“Rāhula, develop mindfulness of breathing. When mindfulness of breathing is developed and cultivated, it is of great fruit and great benefit.”642

[642:- MA: Ven. Sāriputta, Rāhula’s teacher, gave Rāhula this advice unaware that he had already been given different meditation instructions by the Buddha. He was misled by Rāhula’s cross-legged posture into thinking that he was practising mindfulness of breathing.]

§ 6. Then, when it was evening, the venerable Rāhula rose from meditation and went to the Blessed One. After paying homage to him, he sat down at one side and asked the Blessed One:

§ 7. “Venerable sir, how is mindfulness of breathing developed and cultivated, so that it is of great fruit and great benefit?”

Great Elements

Read The Extracted Essay From Wikipedia

§ 8. What Rahula is, The Earth Element

The Earth element may be either internal or external.
What is the internal Earth element?

“Rāhula,643 whatever internally, belonging to oneself, is solid, solidified, and clung-to, that is, head-hairs, body-hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone-marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, contents of the stomach, feces, or whatever else internally, belonging to oneself, is solid, solidified, and clung-to: this is called the internal earth element. Now both the internal earth element and the external earth element are simply earth element. And that should be seen as it actually is with proper wisdom thus:

[643:- MA: The Buddha here explains the meditation on the four great elements rather than mindfulness of breathing in order to dispel Rāhula’s attachment to the body, which had not yet been removed by the brief instruction on the egolessness of material form. See n.329 for explanation of terms requiring comment as follows :
Upādinna,
“clung-to,” is used in the Abhidhamma as a technical term applicable to bodily phenomena that are produced by kamma. Here, however, it is used in a more general sense as applicable to the entire body insofar as it is grasped as “mine” and misapprehended as a self. The phrase “whatever else” is intended to include the earth element comprised in those parts of the body not included in the above enumeration. According to the Abhidhamma analysis of matter, the four primary elements are inseparable, and thus each element is also included, though in a subordinate role, in the bodily phenomena listed under the other three elements.]

‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ [422]
When one sees it thus as it actually is with proper wisdom, one becomes disenchanted with the earth element and makes the mind dispassionate towards the earth element.

§ 9. “What is the Water element?

The water element may be either internal or external.
What is the internal water element?

Whatever internally, belonging to oneself, is water, watery, and clung-to, that is, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, spittle, snot, oil-of-the-joints, urine, or whatever else internally, belonging to oneself, is water, watery, and clung-to: this is called the internal water element. Now both the internal water element and the external water element are simply water element. And that should be seen as it actually is with proper wisdom thus:
‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’
When one sees it thus as it actually is with proper wisdom, one becomes disenchanted with the water element and makes the mind dispassionate towards the water element.

§ 10. “What, Rāhula, is the fire element?

The fire element may be either internal or external.
What is the internal fire element?

Whatever internally, belonging to oneself, is fire, fiery, and clung-to, that is, that by which one is warmed, ages, and is consumed, and that by which what is eaten, drunk, consumed, and tasted gets completely digested, or whatever else internally, belonging to oneself, is fire, fiery, and clung-to: this is called the internal fire element. Now both the internal fire element and the external fire element are simply fire element. And that should be seen as it actually is with proper wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

When one sees it thus as it actually is with proper wisdom, one becomes disenchanted with the fire element and makes the mind dispassionate towards the fire element.

§ 11 . “What, Rāhula, is the air element?

The air element may be either internal or external.
What is the internal air element?

Whatever internally, belonging to oneself, is air, airy, and clung-to, that is, up-going winds, down-going winds, winds in the belly, winds in the bowels, winds that course through the limbs, inbreath and out-breath, or whatever else internally, belonging to oneself, is air, airy, and clung-to: this is called the internal air element. Now both the internal air element and the external air element are simply air element. And that should be seen as it actually is with proper wisdom thus:
‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ [423]

When one sees it thus as it actually is with proper wisdom, one becomes disenchanted with the air element and makes the mind dispassionate towards the air element.

§ 12 “What, Rāhula, is the Space element?644

[644:- Space (ākāsa) is not a primary material element but is classified under derivative material form (upādā rūpa).]

The space element may be either internal or external. What is the internal space element? Whatever internally, belonging to oneself, is space, spatial, and clung-to, that is, the holes of the ears, the nostrils, the door of the mouth, and that [aperture] whereby what is eaten, drunk, consumed, and tasted gets swallowed, and where it collects, and whereby it is excreted from below, or whatever else internally, belonging to oneself, is space, spatial, and clung-to: this is called the internal space element. Now both the internal space element and the external space element are simply space element. And that should be seen as it actually is with proper wisdom thus:
‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

When one sees it thus as it actually is with proper wisdom, one becomes disenchanted with the space element and makes the mind dispassionate towards the space element.

§ 13. “Rāhula, develop meditation that is like the earth;

for when you develop meditation that is like the earth, arisen agreeable and disagreeable contacts will not invade your mind and remain.645 Just as people throw clean things and dirty things, excrement, urine, spittle, pus, and blood on the earth, and the earth is not repelled, humiliated, and disgusted because of that, so too, Rāhula, develop meditation that is like the earth; for when you develop meditation that is like the earth, arisen agreeable and disagreeable contacts will not invade your mind and remain.

[645::- MA: This passage (§13–17) is taught to show the quality of impartiality (tādibhāva).]

§ 14 . “Rāhula, develop meditation that is like water;

for when you develop meditation that is like water, arisen agreeable and disagreeable contacts will not invade your mind and remain. Just as people wash clean things and dirty things, excrement, urine, spittle, pus, and blood in water, and the water is not repelled, humiliated, and disgusted because of that, so too, [424] Rāhula, develop meditation that is like water; for when you develop meditation that is like water, arisen agreeable and disagreeable contacts will not invade your mind and remain.

§ 15 . “Rāhula, develop meditation that is like fire;

for when you develop meditation that is like fire, arisen agreeable and disagreeable contacts will not invade your mind and remain. Just as people burn clean things and dirty things, excrement, urine, spittle, pus, and blood in fire, and the fire is not repelled, humiliated, and disgusted because of that, so too, Rāhula, develop meditation that is like fire; for when you develop meditation that is like fire, arisen agreeable and disagreeable contacts will not invade your mind and remain.

§ 16 . “Rāhula, develop meditation that is like air;

for when you develop meditation that is like air, arisen agreeable and disagreeable contacts will not invade your mind and remain. Just as the air blows on clean things and dirty things, on excrement, urine, spittle, pus, and blood, and the air is not repelled, humiliated, and disgusted because of that, so too, Rāhula, develop meditation that is like air; for when you develop meditation that is like air, arisen agreeable and disagreeable contacts will not invade your mind and remain.

§ 17 . “Rāhula, develop meditation that is like space;

for when you develop meditation that is like space, arisen agreeable and disagreeable contacts will not invade your mind and remain. Just as space is not established anywhere, so too, Rāhula, develop meditation that is like space; for when you develop meditation that is like space, arisen agreeable and disagreeable contacts will not invade your mind and remain.

§ 18. “Rāhula, develop meditation on loving-kindness;

for when you develop meditation on loving-kindness, any ill will will be abandoned.

§ 19 . “Rāhula, develop meditation on compassion;

for when you develop meditation on compassion, any cruelty will be abandoned.

§ 20 . “Rāhula, develop meditation on altruistic joy;

for when you develop meditation on altruistic joy, any discontent will be abandoned.

§ 21 . “Rāhula, develop meditation on equanimity;

for when you develop meditation on equanimity, any aversion will be abandoned.

§ 22 . “Rāhula, develop meditation on foulness;

for when you develop meditation on foulness, any lust will be abandoned.

§ 23 . “Rāhula, develop meditation on the perception of impermanence; [425]

for when you develop meditation on the perception of impermanence, the conceit ‘I am’ will be abandoned.

§ 24 . “Rāhula, develop meditation on mindfulness of breathing.

When mindfulness of breathing is developed and cultivated, it is of great fruit and great benefit. And how is mindfulness of breathing developed and cultivated, so that it is of great fruit and great benefit?

§ 25 . “Here, Rāhula, a bhikkhu, gone to the forest or to the root of a tree or to an empty hut, sits down; having folded his legs crosswise, set his body erect, and established mindfulness in front of him, ever mindful he breathes in, mindful he breathes out.646

[646:- For explanations of unclear terms in this first tetrad on mindfulness of breathing (§26), see nn.140–142. Terms needing clarification in the following three tetrads will be explained in the notes to MN 118, the Ānāpānasati]

§ 26 . “Breathing in long, he understands:
‘I breathe in long’; or breathing out long, he understands: ‘I breathe out long.’ Breathing in short, he understands: ‘I breathe in short’; or breathing out short, he understands: ‘I breathe out short.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body’; he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out experiencing the whole body.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in tranquillising the bodily formation’; he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out tranquillising the bodily formation.’

§ 27 . “He trains thus:
‘I shall breathe in experiencing rapture’;
he trains thus:
‘I shall breathe out experiencing rapture.’
He trains thus:
‘I shall breathe in experiencing pleasure’;
he trains thus:
‘I shall breathe out experiencing pleasure.’
He trains thus:
‘I shall breathe in experiencing the mental formation’;
he trains thus:
‘I shall breathe out experiencing the mental formation.’
He trains thus:
‘I shall breathe in tranquillising the mental formation’;
he trains thus:
‘I shall breathe out tranquillising the mental formation.’

§ 28 . “He trains thus:
‘I shall breathe in experiencing the mind’;
he trains thus:
‘I shall breathe out experiencing the mind.’
He trains thus:
‘I shall breathe in gladdening the mind’;
he trains thus:
‘I shall breathe out gladdening the mind.’
He trains thus:
‘I shall breathe in concentrating the mind’;
he trains thus:
‘I shall breathe out concentrating the mind.’
He trains thus:
‘I shall breathe in liberating the mind’;
he trains thus:
‘I shall breathe out liberating the mind.’

“He trains thus:
‘I shall breathe in contemplating impermanence’;
he trains thus:
‘I shall breathe out contemplating impermanence. ’
He trains thus:
‘I shall breathe in contemplating fading away’;
he trains thus:
‘I shall breathe out contemplating fading away.’

He trains thus:
‘I shall breathe in contemplating cessation’;
he trains thus:
‘I shall breathe out contemplating cessation.’

He trains thus:
‘I shall breathe in contemplating relinquishment’;
he trains thus:
‘I shall breathe out contemplating relinquishment.’

§ “Rāhula, that is how mindfulness of breathing is developed and cultivated, so that it is of great fruit and great benefit. When mindfulness of breathing is developed and cultivated in this way, [426] even the final in-breaths and outbreaths are known as they cease, not unknown.”647

[647:-That is, the meditator dies calmly, with mindfulness and awareness.]

That is what the Blessed One said.
The venerable Rāhula was satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s