132 Ananda and Fortunate Night

MN 03-04-02 Ānanda bhaddekaratta Sutta

Listen to the Sutta Reading by Ven Bhikku Chandana

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

§2. Now on that occasion the venerable Ānanda was instructing, urging, arousing, and gladdening [190] the bhikkhus with talk on the Dhamma in the assembly hall. He was reciting the summary and exposition of “One Who Has Had a Single Excellent Night.”

Then, in the evening, the Blessed One rose from meditation and went to the assembly hall. He sat down on a seat made ready and asked the bhikkhus:
“Bhikkhus, who has been instructing, urging, rousing, and gladdening the bhikkhus with talk on the Dhamma in the assembly hall?

Who has been reciting the summary and exposition of
One Who Has Had a Single Excellent Night’?”
“It was the venerable Ānanda, venerable sir.”

Then the Blessed One asked the venerable Ānanda:
“Ānanda, how were you instructing, urging, rousing, and gladdening the bhikkhus with talk on the Dhamma, and reciting the summary and exposition of ‘One Who Has Had a Single Excellent Night’?”
§3–§10. “I was doing so thus, venerable sir: [191]


‘Let not a person revive the past or on the future build his hopes;1211

[1211:- More literally the first two lines would be translated:

Let not a person rඑවිවේ n back to the past
or live in expectation of the future.”

The meaning will be elucidated in the expository passage of the sutta]

And the future has not been reached.
Instead with insight let him see
Each presently arisen state;1212

Let him know that and be sure of it,
Invincibly, unshakeably.1213

[1212: MA: He should Contemplate each presently arisen state, just where it has arisen, with insight into its impermanence, etc.]

[1213:- Asamhiramh asankuppaam  .
MA explains that this is said for the purpose of showing insight and repeated insight; for
 insight is “invincible, unshakeable” because it is not vanquished or shaken by lust and other defilements. Elsewhere the expression “the invincible, the unshakeable” is used as a description of Nibbana (e.g., Sn v.1149) or of the liberated mind (e.g., Thag v.649), but here it seems to refer to a stage in the development of insight. The recurrence of the verb form samhirati in §8 and §9 suggests that the intended meaning is contemplation of the present moment without being misled into the adoption of a personality view.]

Today the effort must be made;
Tomorrow Death may come, who knows?
No bargain with Mortality
Can keep him and his hordes away,

But one who dwells thus ardently,
Relentlessly, by day, by night –
It is he, the Peaceful Sage has said,1214
Who has one fortunate attachment. [188]

[1214:- The “Peaceful Sage” (santo muni) is the Buddha.]

§ 4. “How, bhikkhus, does one revive the past?
Thinking, ‘I had such material form in the past,’ one finds delight in that.1215
Thinking, ‘I had such feeling in the past,’…
‘I had such perception in the past,’…
‘I had such formations in the past,’…
‘I had such consciousness in the past  one finds delight in that.
That is how one revives the past.

[1215:-MA: One “finds delight” by bringing to bear upon the past either craving or a view associated with craving. It should be noted that it is not the mere recollection of the past through memory that causes bondage, but the reliving of past experiences with thoughts of craving. In this respect the Buddha’s teaching differs significantly from that of Krishnamurti, who seems to regard memory itself as the villain behind the scene.]

§5. “And how, bhikkhus, does one not revive the past?

Thinking,
‘I had such material form in the past,’
one does not find delight in that.1216
Thinking, ‘I had such feeling in the past…!
had such perception in the past…
I had such formations in the past,’…
I had such consciousness in the past one does not find delight in that.
That is how one does not revive the past.

[1216:- Perhaps this sentence, and all the parallel sentences to follow, should be translated: “One does not find delight there thinking, ‘I had such material form in the past.”‘
The translation as it stands suggests that such thoughts arise but without the accompaniment of delight, while the alternative proposed here suggests that these thoughts do not arise at all. The same alternative construction can also be applied to thoughts about the future in §7. The Pali can admit either rendering]

§ 6. “And how, bhikkhus, does one build up hope upon the future?

Thinking,
‘I may have such material form in the future1217
one finds delight in that. Thinking, ‘I may have such feeling in the future,’…
‘I may have such perception in the future…
I may have such formations in the future…
‘I may have such consciousness in the future,’
one finds delight in that.
That is how one builds up hope upon the future.

[1217:- Perhaps this phrase should be taken as an exclamation:
“May I have such material form in the future!”]

§ 7. “And how, bhikkhus, does one not build up hope upon the future?

Thinking,
‘I may have such material form in the future one does not find delight in that.
Thinking,
I may have such feeling in the future,’…
‘I may have such perception in the future,’…
I may have such formations in the future…
I may have such consciousness in the future one does not find delight in that.
That is how one does not build up hope upon the future.

§ 8. “And how, bhikkhus, is one vanquished in regard to presently arisen states?1218

[1218 The verb here and in the next paragraph, samhirati, refers back to the line in the verse, “invincibly, unshakeably.”
MA glosses: “One is dragged in by craving and views because of the lack of insight.”]

Here, bhikkhus, an untaught ordinary person, who has no regard for noble ones and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma, who has no regard for true men and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma, 

regards material form as self,
or self as possessed of material form,
or material form as in self,
or self as in material form.

He regards feeling as self…
perception as self…
formations as self [189]…
consciousness as self, or
self as possessed of consciousness, or
consciousness as in self,
or self as in consciousness.

That is how one is vanquished in regard to presently arisen states.

§ 9. “And how, bhikkhus, is one invincible in regard to presently arisen states?

Here, bhikkhus, a well-taught noble disciple, who has regard for noble ones and is skilled and disciplined in their Dhamma, who has regard for true men and is skilled and disciplined in their Dhamma,

does not regard material form as self or
self as possessed of material form, or
material form as in self or
self as in material form.

He does not regard feeling as self…
perception as self…
formations as self…
consciousness as self,
or self as possessed of consciousness,
or consciousness as in self,
or self as in consciousness.

That is how one is invincible in regard to presently arisen states.

§ 10. .“I was instructing, urging, rousing, and gladdening the bhikkhus with talk on the Dhamma thus, and reciting the summary and exposition of ‘One Who Has Had a Single Excellent Night’ thus.”
“Good, good, Ānanda! It is good that you were instructing, urging, rousing, and gladdening the bhikkhus with talk on the Dhamma thus, and reciting the summary and exposition of ‘One Who Has Had a Single Excellent Night’ thus:

§12–§19. “Let not a person revive the past…
(Repeat the whole of the last , §§3–10 up to:)

Who has had a single excellent night.”
That is what the Blessed One said.

The venerable Ānanda was satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

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