134 Lomasangika- A Single Excellent Night

MN 03-04-04 Lomasakangiya bhaddekaratta Sutta

§ 1 THUS HAVE I HEARD.
On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. Now on that occasion the venerable Lomasakangiya was living in the Sakyan country at Kapilavatthu in Nigrodha’s Park.1221

[1221:- According to the commentary to Thag, Ven. Lomasakangiya had been a bhikkhu in the time of the Buddha Kassapa. After the Buddha Kassapa had taught the Bhaddekaratta Sutta, a certain bhikkhu spoke about it to Lomasakangiya. Unable to understand it, he exclaimed: “In the future, may I be able to teach you this sutta!” The other answered: “May I ask you about it!” In the present age Lomasakangiya was born into a Sakyan family at Kapilavatthu, while the other bhikkhu became the god Candana.]

§ 2 Then, when the night was well advanced, Candana, a young deity of beautiful appearance who illuminated the whole of Nigrodha’s Park, approached the venerable Lomasakangiya. Standing at one side, Candana the young deity said to him:

“Bhikkhu, do you remember the summary and exposition of
One Who Has Had a Single Excellent Night’?” [200]
“Friend, I do not remember the summary and exposition of ‘One Who Has Had a Single Excellent Night.’

But, friend, do you remember the summary and exposition of ‘One Who Has Had a Single Excellent Night’?”
“Bhikkhu, I too do not remember the summary and exposition of ‘One Who Has Had a Single Excellent Night.’
But, bhikkhu, do you remember the stanza of ‘One Who Has Had a Single Excellent Night’?”
“Friend, I do not remember the stanza of ‘One Who Has Had a Single Excellent Night.’ But, friend, do you remember the stanza of ‘One Who Has Had a Single Excellent Night’?”

“Bhikkhu, I remember the stanza of ‘One Who Has Had a Single Excellent Night.’”
“But, friend, in what way do you remember the stanza of ‘One Who Has Had a Single Excellent Night’?”

“Bhikkhu, once the Blessed One was living among the gods of the heaven of the Thirty-three, on the Red Marble Stone at the root of the Pāricchattaka tree.1222

[1222:- MA explains that this occurred in the seventh year after the Buddha’s enlightenment, at the time when he spent the three months of the rainy season in the heaven of the Thirty-three teaching the Abhidhamma to the gods who had assembled from ten thousand world-systems.]

There the Blessed One recited the summary and exposition of ‘One Who Has Had a Single Excellent Night’ to the gods of the heaven of the Thirtythree:

§ 3. ‘Let not a person revive the past
Or on the future build his hopes;
For the past has been left behind
And the future has not been reached.

Instead with insight let him see
Each presently arisen state;
Let him know that and be sure of it,
Invincibly, unshakeably.

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,
Who has had a single excellent night.’

§ 4. “Bhikkhu, I remember the stanza of ‘One Who Has Had a Single Excellent Night’ thus.

Bhikkhu, learn the summary and exposition of ‘One Who Has Had a Single Excellent Night.’ Bhikkhu, master the summary and exposition of ‘One Who Has Had A Single Excellent Night.’ Bhikkhu, remember the summary and exposition of ‘One Who Has Had a Single Excellent Night.’ Bhikkhu, the summary and exposition of ‘One Who Has Had a Single Excellent Night’ is beneficial, it belongs to the fundamentals of the holy life.”
That is what was said by Candana the young deity, who thereupon vanished at once.

§ 5. Then, when the night was over, the venerable Lomasakangiya set his resting place in order, and taking his bowl and outer robe, set out to wander by stages to Sāvatthī. He [201] at length arrived at Sāvatthī, and went to the Blessed One in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. After paying homage to him, he sat down at one side, told the Blessed One all that had occurred, and said: “It would be good, venerable sir, if the Blessed One would teach me the summary and exposition of ‘One Who Has Had a Single Excellent Night.’”

§ 6. “Bhikkhu, do you know that young deity?”
“No, venerable sir.”
“Bhikkhu, that young deity is named Candana. He heeds the Dhamma, gives it attention, engages it with all his mind, hears it with eager ears. So, bhikkhu, listen and attend closely to what I shall say.”
“Yes, venerable sir,” the venerable Lomasakangiya replied to the Blessed One.
The Blessed One said this:

§7 .  “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 run back to the past
or live in expectation of the future.”
The meaning will be elucidated in the expository passage of the sutta]

For the past has been left behind
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]

§ 8 . “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.]

§ 9. . “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]

§ 10. “And how, bhikkhus, does one 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.

§ 11. “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.

§ 12. “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.

§ 13. “Let not a person revive the past…
Who has one fortunate attachment?


That is what the Blessed One said. The Venerable Lomasakangiya 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