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Anguttara Nikaya III.91

Sikkha Sutta

Trainings (2)


"There are these three trainings. Which three? The training in heightened virtue, the training in heightened mind, the training in heightened discernment.

"And what is the training in heightened virtue? There is the case where a monk is virtuous. He dwells restrained in accordance with the Patimokkha, consummate in his behavior & sphere of activity. He trains himself, having undertaken the training rules, seeing danger in the slightest fault. This is called the training in heightened virtue.

"And what is the training in heightened mind? There is the case where a monk -- quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful [mental] qualities -- enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thought & evaluation, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation -- internal assurance. With the fading of rapture he remains in equanimity, mindful & alert, and physically sensitive of pleasure. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasurable abiding.' With the abandoning of pleasure & pain -- as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress -- he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is called the training in heightened mind.

"And what is the training in heightened discernment? There is the case where a monk, through the ending of the mental fermentations, enters & remains in the fermentation-free release of awareness & release of discernment, having known & made them manifest for himself right in the here & now. This is called the training in heightened discernment.

"These are the three trainings."

Heightened virtue,
heightened mind,
heightened discernment:
        persistent,
        firm,
        steadfast,
        absorbed in jhana,
        mindful,
        with guarded faculties
you should practice them --

    as in front,
        so behind;
    as behind,
        so in front;
    as below,
        so above;
    as above,
        so below;
    as by day,
        so by night;
    as by night,
        so by day;

conquering all the directions
with limitless concentration.

This is called
the practice of training,
as well as the pure way of life.
[Following it,] you're called
self-awakened in the world,
enlightened,
one who's taken the path
            to its end.

With the cessation of sensory consciousness
of one released in the stopping of craving,
    the liberation of awareness
of one released in the stopping of craving,
is like the unbinding
                of a flame.[1]


Notes

1. For a discussion of this image, see The Mind Like Fire Unbound. [Go back]

2. See also: AN III.90.

Source: ATI - For Free Distribution Only, as a Gift of Dhamma.

Dhamma Essay:
Making the Most of Each Day by Ayya Khema


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