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Tipitaka >> Sutta Pitaka >> Anguttara Nikaya >> Five Routes of Escape

AN 5:200 Five Routes of Escape

Translated from the Pali by Nyanaponika Thera and Bhikkhu Bodhi


There are, O monks, five routes of escape. What five?

There is one monk who, when attending to sensuality, feels no urge towards sensuality, is not pleased with it, does not dwell on it, and has no inclination for sensuality. But when attending to renunciation he feels an urge towards renunciation, is pleased with it, dwells on it mentally, and inclines to it. His mind is well directed and well developed, has risen above sensuality, is free of it, untrammelled; and as to those disturbing and tormenting passions caused by sensuality, he is rid of them and has no such feelings. This is called the escape from sensuality.

Again, there is one monk who, when attending to ill will, feels no urge towards ill will, is not pleased with it, does not dwell on it and has no inclination for ill will. But when attending to non-ill will, he feels an urge towards it, he is pleased with it, dwells on it and inclines to it. His mind is well directed and well developed, has risen above ill will, is free of it, untrammelled; and as to those disturbing and tormenting passions caused by ill will, he is rid of them and has no such feelings. This is called the escape from ill will.

Again, there is one monk who, when attending to cruelty, feels no urge towards cruelty, is not pleased with it, does not dwell on it, has no inclination for cruelty. But when attending to non-cruelty, he feels an urge towards it, is pleased with it, dwells on it and inclines to it. His mind is well directed and well developed, has risen above cruelty, is free of it, untrammelled; and as to those disturbing and tormenting passions caused by cruelty, he is rid of them and has no such feelings. This is called the escape from cruelty.

Again, there is one monk who, when attending to form, feels no urge towards form, is not pleased with it, does not dwell on it, has no inclination for it. But when attending to the formless, he feels an urge towards it, is pleased with it, dwells on it mentally, and inclines to it. His mind is well directed and well developed, has risen above form, is free of it, untrammelled; and as to those disturbing and tormenting passions caused by form, he is rid of them and has no such feelings. This is called the escape from form.

Again, there is one monk who, when attending to personality, feels no urge towards personality, is not pleased with it, does not dwell on it, has no inclination for it. But when attending to the cessation of personality, he feels an urge towards that cessation, is pleased with it, dwells on it mentally, and inclines to it. His mind is well directed and well developed, has risen above personality, is free of it, untrammelled; and as to those disturbing and tormenting passions caused by personality, he is rid of them and has no such feelings. This is called the escape from personality.

For such a one no relishing of sensuality lies within, no relishing of ill will lies within, no relishing of violence lies within, no relishing of form lies within, no relishing of personality lies within. Therefore such a monk is called “one without underlying tendencies.”He has cut off craving, has discarded the fetter, and by completely breaking through conceit, he has made an end to suffering.

These, monks, are the five basic routes of escape.

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