151 The Purification of Almsfood

MN 03-05-09 Pindapata Parisuddhi Sutta

sutta exposition by Venerable Bhikku Bodhi

§ 1. THUS HAVE I HEARD.
On one occasion the Blessed One was
living at Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels’ Sanctuary. Then, when it was evening, the venerable Sariputta rose from meditation and went to the Blessed One. After paying homage to him, he sat down at one side. The Blessed One then said to him: [294]

§ 2. “Sariputta, your faculties are clear. The colour of your skin is pure and bright. What abiding do you often abide in now, Sariputta?”
“Now, venerable sir, I often abide in voidness.”1347
“Good, good, Sariputta! Now, indeed, you often abide in the abiding of a great man. For this is the abiding of a great man, namely, voidness.1348

[1347:- MA: The arahant’s fruition attainment of voidness.
All the four deliverances of mind are one in meaning in that they all refer to the fruition attainment of arahantship. MA also points out that the four deliverances are one in meaning because the terms – the immeasurable, nothingness, voidness, and the signless – are all names for Nibbana, which is the object of the fruition attainment of arahantship and
Here the words “supreme and unsurpassed” (paramanuttara) have been added. MA says that this is the arahant’ s fruition attainment of voidness.]


[1348 MA: This is the abiding of such great men (mahapurisa) as Buddhas, paccekabuddhas, and the great disciples of the Tathagatas.]

§ 3. “So, Sariputta, if a bhikkhu should wish: ‘May I now often abide in voidness; he should consider thus:
‘On the path by which I went to the village for alms, or in the place where I wandered for alms, or on the path by which I returned from the almsround, was there any desire, lust, hate, delusion, or aversion in my mind regarding forms cognizable by the eye?’ 1349

[1349:- Among the five terms, desire and lust are synonymous as are hate and aversion]

If, by so reviewing, he knows thus:
‘On the path by which I went to the village for alms, or in the place where I wandered for alms, or on the path by which I returned from the almsround, there was desire, lust, hate, delusion, or aversion in my mind regarding forms cognizable by the eye, then he should make an effort to abandon those evil unwholesome states.

But if, by reviewing, he knows thus:
‘On the path by which I went to the village for alms, and in the place where I wandered for alms, and on the path by which I returned from the almsround, there was no desire, lust, hate, delusion, or aversion in my mind regarding forms cognizable by the eye,’
then he can abide happy and glad, training day and night in wholesome states.

§ 4. “Again, Sariputta, a bhikkhu should consider thus:
‘On the path by which I went to the village for alms, or in the place where I wandered for alms, or on the path by which I returned from the almsround, was there any desire, lust, hate, delusion, or aversion in my mind regarding sounds cognizable by the ear?…

§ 5 . ‘On the path by which I went to the village for alms, or in the place where I wandered for alms, or on the path by which I returned from the almsround, was there any desire, lust, hate, delusion, or aversion in my mind regarding odours cognizable by the nose?…

§ 6 .’On the path by which I went to the village for alms, or in the place where I wandered for alms, or on the path by which I returned from the almsround, was there any desire, lust, hate, delusion, or aversion in my mind regarding flavours cognizable by the tongue?…

§ 7 .’On the path by which I went to the village for alms, or in the place where I wandered for alms, or on the path by which I returned from the almsround, was there any desire, lust, hate, delusion, or aversion in my mind regarding tangibles cognizble by the body?…

§ 8 .’On the path by which I went to the village for alms, or in the place where I wandered for alms, or on the path by which I returned from the almsround, was there any desire, lust, hate, delusion, or aversion in my mind regarding mind-objects cognizable by the mind?’ [295]

If, by reviewing, he knows thus: ‘On the path by which I went to the village for alms…
there was desire, lust, hate, delusion, or aversion in my mind regarding mind-objects cognizable by the mind,’ then he should make an effort to abandon those evil unwholesome states.

But if, by reviewing, he knows thus:
‘On the path by which I went to the village for alms…there was no desire, lust, hate, delusion, or aversion in my mind regarding mind-objects cognizable by the mind; then he can abide happy and glad, training day and night in wholesome states.

§ 9. “Again, Sariputta, a bhikkhu should consider thus: ‘Are the five cords of sensual pleasure abandoned in me?’ 1350

[1350:- Beginning with this section a sequence of development may be discerned.
The abandoning of the five cords of sensual pleasure is the preliminary step for developing the jhanas, and the abandoning of the five hindrances
(§10) the immediate antecedent to the attainment of the first jhana. The full understanding of the five aggregates
(§11) indicates the insight wisdom necessary to attain the path of stream-entry, and the sections on the thirty-seven
requisites of enlightenment (§§12-18) the cultivation of the factors needed to arrive at the intermediate stages of sanctity. The section on serenity and insight (§19), though applicable to all stages, can be seen as fully actualised by the non-returner striving for arahantship. Finally, the section on true knowledge and deliverance signifies the attainment of the path and fruit of arahantship.]

If, by reviewing, he knows thus:
‘The five cords of sensual pleasure are not abandoned in me;”
then he should make an effort to abandon those five cords of sensual pleasure.

But if, by reviewing, he knows thus:
‘The five cords of sensual pleasure are abandoned in me,’
then he can abide happy and glad, training day and night in wholesome states.

§ 10. “Again, Sariputta, a bhikkhu should consider thus:
‘Are the five hindrances abandoned in me?’

If, by reviewing, he knows thus:
‘The five hindrances are not abandoned in me”
then he should make an effort to abandon those five hindrances.

But if, by reviewing, he knows thus:
‘The five hindrances are abandoned in me”

” then he can abide happy and glad, training day and night in wholesome states.

§ 11. “Again, Sariputta, a bhikkhu should consider thus:
‘Are the five aggregates affected by clinging fully understood by me?’

If, by reviewing, he knows thus:
The five aggregates affected by clinging are not fully understood by me
then he should make an effort to fully understand those five aggregates affected by clinging.

But if, by reviewing, [296] he knows thus:
‘The five aggregates affected by clinging are fully understood by me,’
then he can abide happy and glad, training day and night in wholesome states.

§ 12. “Again, Sariputta, a bhikkhu should consider thus:
‘Are the four foundations of mindfulness developed in me?’

If, by reviewing, he knows thus:
‘The four foundations of mindfulness are not developed in me,’
then he should make an effort to develop those four foundations of mindfulness.

But if, by reviewing, he knows thus:
‘The four foundations of mindfulness are developed in me,’
then he can abide happy and glad, training day and night in wholesome states.

§ 13 “Again, Sariputta, a bhikkhu should consider thus:
‘Are the four right kinds of striving developed in me?…
§ 14 . Are the four bases for spiritual power developed in me?…
§ 15 . Are the five faculties developed in me?…
§ 16 .Are the five powers developed in me?…
§ 17 .Are the seven enlightenment factors developed in me?…
§ 18. Is the Noble Eightfold Path developed in me? [297]…
§ 19 .Are serenity and insight developed in me?’

If, by reviewing, he knows thus:
‘Serenity and insight are not developed in me,’ then he should make an effort to develop them. But if, by reviewing, he knows thus: ‘Serenity and insight are developed in me,’ then he can abide happy and glad, training day and night in wholesome states.

§ 13 “Again, Sariputta, a bhikkhu should consider thus:
‘Are true knowledge and deliverance realised by me?’
If, by reviewing, he knows thus:
‘True knowledge and deliverance are not realised by me,’
then he should make an effort to realise true knowledge and deliverance. But if, by reviewing, he knows thus:
‘True knowledge and deliverance are realised by me,’ then he can abide happy and glad, training day and night in wholesome states.1351

[1351:- Although the arahant, who has fully realised true knowledge and deliverance, has no need for further training, he continues to cultivate serenity and insight in order to enter into the bliss of the jhanas, the fruition attainment of arahantship, and the cessation of perception and feeling]

§ 14 “Sariputta, whatever recluses and brahmins in the past have purified their almsfood have all done so by repeatedly reviewing thus. Whatever recluses and brahmins in the future will purify their almsfood will all do so by repeatedly reviewing thus. Whatever recluses and brahmins in the present are purifying their almsfood are all doing so by repeatedly reviewing thus. Therefore, Sariputta, you should train thus:
‘We will purify our almsfood by repeatedly reviewing thus

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

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