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Anguttara Nikaya IX.1

Sambodhi Sutta

Self-awakening


I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. There he said to the monks: "Monks, if wanderers who are members of other sects should ask you, 'What, friend, are the prerequisites for the development of the wings to self-awakening?' how would you answer them?"

"For us, lord, the teachings have the Blessed One as their root, their guide, & their refuge. It would be good if the Blessed One himself would explicate the meaning of this statement. Having heard it from the Blessed One, the monks will remember it."

"In that case, monks, listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "If wanderers who are members of other sects should ask you, 'What, friend, are the prerequisites for the development of the wings to self-awakening?' you should answer, 'There is the case where a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & colleagues. This is the first prerequisite for the development of the wings to self-awakening.

"'Furthermore, the 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 faults. This is the second prerequisite for the development of the wings to self-awakening.

"'Furthermore, he gets to hear at will, easily & without difficulty, talk that is truly sobering & conducive to the opening of awareness, i.e., talk on having few wants, on contentment, on seclusion, on non-entanglement, on arousing persistence, on virtue, on concentration, on discernment, on release, and on the knowledge & vision of release. This is the third prerequisite for the development of the wings to self-awakening.

"'Furthermore, he keeps his persistence aroused for abandoning unskillful mental qualities and for taking on skillful mental qualities. He is steadfast, solid in his effort, not shirking his duties with regard to skillful mental qualities. This is the fourth prerequisite for the development of the wings to self-awakening.

"'Furthermore, he is discerning, endowed with the discernment of arising & passing away -- noble, penetrating, leading to the right ending of stress. This is the fifth prerequisite for the development of the wings to self-awakening.'

"Monks, when a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & colleagues, it is to be expected that he will be virtuous, will dwell restrained in accordance with the Patimokkha, consummate in his behavior & sphere of activity, and will train himself, having undertaken the training rules, seeing danger in the slightest faults.

"When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & colleagues, it is to be expected that he will get to hear at will, easily & without difficulty, talk that is truly sobering and conducive to the opening of awareness, i.e., talk on having few wants, on contentment, on seclusion, on non-entanglement, on arousing persistence, on virtue, on concentration, on discernment, on release, and on the knowledge & vision of release.

"When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & colleagues, it is to be expected that he will keep his persistence aroused for abandoning unskillful mental qualities, and for taking on skillful mental qualities -- steadfast, solid in his effort, not shirking his duties with regard to skillful mental qualities.

"When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & colleagues, it is to be expected that he will be discerning, endowed with discernment of arising & passing away -- noble, penetrating, leading to the right ending of stress.

"And furthermore, monks, when the monk is established in these five qualities, there are four additional qualities he should develop: He should develop [contemplation of] the unattractive so as to abandon lust. He should develop good will so as to abandon ill will. He should develop mindfulness of in-&-out breathing so as to cut off distractive thinking. He should develop the perception of inconstancy so as to uproot the conceit, 'I am.' For a monk perceiving inconstancy, the perception of not-self is made firm. One perceiving not-self attains the uprooting of the conceit, 'I am' -- Unbinding in the here & now."


See also: AN X.69.
Source: ATI - For Free Distribution Only, as a Gift of Dhamma.

Dhamma Essay:
Two Faces of the Dhamma by Bhikkhu Bodhi


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