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Akankheyya Sutta

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1. Thus have I heard. The Blessed One was once staying at Sâvatthi in Anâtha Pindika's park.

There the Blessed One addressed the Brethren, and said, 'Bhikkhus.' 'Yea, Lord!' said the Brethren, in assent, to the Blessed One.

Then spake the Blessed One:

2. 'Continue, Brethren, in the practice of Right Conduct, adhering to the Rules of the Order; continue enclosed by the restraint of the Rules of the Order, devoted to uprightness in life; train yourselves according to the Precepts, taking them upon you in the sense of the danger in the least offence.

3. 'If a Bhikkhu should desire, Brethren, to become beloved, popular, respected among his fellow-disciples, let him then fulfil all righteousness, let him be devoted to that quietude of heart which springs from within, let him not drive back the ecstasy of contemplation, let him look through things, let him be much alone!'

4. 'If a Bhikkhu should desire, Brethren, to receive the requisites--clothing, food, lodging, and medicine, and other necessaries for the sick--let him then fulfil all righteousness, let him be devoted to that quietude of heart which springs from within, let him not drive back the ecstasy of contemplation, let him look through things, let him be much alone!'

5. 'If a Bhikkhu should desire, Brethren, that to those people among whom he receives the requisites--clothing, food, lodging, and medicine, and other necessaries for the sick--that charity of theirs should redound to great fruit and great advantage, let him then fulfil all righteousness, let him be devoted to that quietude of heart which springs from within, let him not drive back the ecstasy of contemplation, let him look through things, let him be much alone!'

6. 'If a Bhikkhu should desire, Brethren, that those relatives of his, of one blood with him, dead and gone, who think of him with believing heart should find therein great fruit and great advantage, let him then fulfil all righteousness, let him be devoted to that quietude of heart which springs from within, let him not drive back the ecstasy of contemplation, let him look through things, let him be much alone!'

7. 'If a Bhikkhu should desire, Brethren, that he should be victorious over discontent and lust, that discontent should never overpower him, that he should master and subdue any discontent that had sprung up within him, let him then fulfil all righteousness, let him be devoted to that quietude of heart which springs from within, let him not drive back the ecstasy of contemplation, let him look through things, let him be much alone!'

8. 'If a Bhikkhu should desire, Brethren, that he should be victorious over (spiritual) danger and dismay, that neither danger nor dismay should ever overcome him, that he should master and subdue every danger and dismay, let him then fulfil all righteousness, let him be devoted to that quietude of heart which springs from within, let him not drive back the ecstasy of contemplation, let him look through things, let him be much alone!'

9. 'If a Bhikkhu should desire, Brethren, to realise the hopes of those spiritual men who live in the bliss which comes, even in this present world, from the four Ghânas, should he desire not to fall into the pains and difficulties (which they avoid), let him then fulfil all righteousness, let him be devoted to that quietude of heart which springs from within, let him not drive back the ecstasy of contemplation, let him look through things, let him be much alone!'

10. 'If a Bhikkhu should desire, Brethren, to reach with his body and remain in those stages of deliverance which are incorporeal, and pass beyond phenomena, let him then fulfil all righteousness, let him be devoted to that quietude of heart which springs from within, let him not drive back the ecstasy of contemplation, let him look through things, let him be much alone!'

11. 'If a Bhikkhu should desire, Brethren, by the complete destruction of the three Bonds to become converted, to be no longer liable to be reborn in a state of suffering, and to be assured of final salvation, let him then fulfil all righteousness, let him be devoted to that quietude of heart which springs from within, let him not drive back the ecstasy of contemplation, let him look through things, let him be much alone!'

12. 'If a Bhikkhu should desire, Brethren, by the complete destruction of the three Bonds, and by the reduction to a minimum of lust, hatred, and delusion, to become a Sakadâgâmin, and (thus) on his first return to this world to make an end of sorrow, let him then fulfil all righteousness, let him be devoted to that quietude of heart which springs from within, let him not drive back the ecstasy of contemplation, let him look through things, let him be much alone!'

13. 'If a Bhikkhu should desire, Brethren, by the complete destruction of the five Bonds which bind people to this earth, to become an inheritor of the highest heavens, there to pass entirely away, thence never to return, let him then fulfil all righteousness, let him be devoted to that quietude of heart which springs from within, let him not drive back the ecstasy of contemplation, let him look through things, let him be much alone!'

14. 'If a Bhikkhu should desire, Brethren, to exercise one by one each of the different Iddhis, being one to become multiform, being multiform to become one; to become visible, or to become invisible; to go without being stopped to the further side of a wall, or a fence, or a mountain, as if through air; to penetrate up and down through solid ground, as if through water; to walk on the water without dividing it, as if on solid ground; to travel cross-legged through the sky, like the birds on wing; to touch and feel with the hand even the sun and the moon, mighty and powerful though they be; and to reach in the body even up to the heaven of Brahmâ; let him then fulfil all righteousness, let him be devoted to that quietude of heart which springs from within, let him not drive back the ecstasy of contemplation, let him look through things, let him be much alone!'

15. 'If a Bhikkhu should desire, Brethren, to hear with clear and heavenly ear, surpassing that of men, sounds both human and celestial, whether far or near, let him then fulfil all righteousness, let him be devoted to that quietude of heart which springs from within, let him not drive back the ecstasy of contemplation, let him look through things, let him be much alone!'

16. 'If a Bhikkhu should desire, Brethren, to comprehend by his own heart the hearts of other beings and of other men; to discern the passionate mind to be passionate, and the calm mind calm; the angry mind to be angry, and the peaceable peaceable; the deluded mind to be deluded, and the wise mind wise; the concentrated thoughts to be concentrated, and the scattered to be scattered; the lofty mind to be lofty, and the narrow mind narrow; the sublime thoughts to be sublime, and the mean to be mean; the steadfast mind to be steadfast, and the wavering to be wavering; the free mind to be free, and the enslaved mind to be enslaved; let him then fulfil all righteousness, let him be devoted to that quietude of heart which springs from within, let him not drive back the ecstasy of contemplation, let him look through things, let him be much alone!'

17. 'If a Bhikkhu should desire, Brethren, to be able to call to mind his various temporary states in days gone by; such as one birth, two births, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred or a thousand, or a hundred thousand births; his births in many an æon of destruction, in many an æon of renovation, in many an æon of both destruction and renovation; (so as to be able to say), "In that place such was my name, such my family, such my caste, such my subsistence, such my experience of comfort or of pain, and such the limit of my life; and when I passed from thence, I took form again in that other place where my name was so and so, such my family, such my caste, such my subsistence, such my experience of comfort or of joy, and such my term of life; and when I fell from thence, I took form in such and such a place;"--should he desire thus to call to mind his temporary states in days gone by in all their modes and all their details let him then fulfil all righteousness, let him be devoted to that quietude of heart which springs from within, let him not drive back the ecstasy of contemplation, let him look through things, let him be much alone!'

18. 'If a Bhikkhu should desire, Brethren, to see with pure and heavenly vision, surpassing that of men, beings as they pass from one state of existence and take form in others; beings base or noble, good-looking or ill-favoured, happy or miserable, according to the karma they inherit--(if he should desire to be able to say), "These beings, reverend sirs, by their bad conduct in action, by their bad conduct in word, by their bad conduct in thought, by their speaking evil of the Noble Ones, by their adhesion to false doctrine, or by their acquiring the karma of false doctrine, have been reborn, on the dissolution of the body after death, in some unhappy state of suffering or woe." "These beings, reverend sirs, by their good conduct in action, by their good conduct in word, by their good conduct in thought, by their not speaking evil of the Noble Ones, by their adhesion to right doctrine, by their acquiring the karma of right doctrine, have been reborn, on the dissolution of the body after death, into some happy state in heaven;"--should he desire thus to see with pure and heavenly vision, surpassing that of men, beings as they thus pass from one state of existence and take form in others; beings base or noble, good-looking or ill-favoured, happy or miserable, according to the karma they inherit; let him then fulfil all righteousness, let him be devoted to that quietude of heart which springs from within, let him not drive back the ecstasy of contemplation, let him look through things, let him be much alone!'

19. 'If a Bhikkhu should desire, Brethren, by the destruction of the great evils (Âsavas), by himself, and even in this very world, to know and realise and attain to Arahatship, to emancipation of heart, and emancipation of mind, let him then fulfil all righteousness, let him be devoted to that quietude of heart which springs from within, let him not drive back the ecstasy of contemplation, let him look through things, let him be much alone!'

20. 'Continue therefore, Brethren, in the practice of Right Conduct, adhering to the Rules of the Order; continue enclosed by the restraint of the Rules of the Order, devoted to uprightness in life; train yourselves according to the Precepts, taking them upon you in the sense of the danger in the least offence. For to this end alone has all, that has been said, been said!'

21. Thus spake the Blessed One. And those Brethren, delighted in heart, exalted the word of the Blessed One.

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