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Maha-Malunkya Sutta

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Translation by Sister Upalavanna


I heard thus.

At one time the Blessed One was living in the monastery offered by Anàthapiõóika in Jeta's grove in Sàvatthi. From there the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus: Bhikkhus, do you remember the five lower bonds of the sensual world preached by me. When this was said, venerable Malunkhyaputta said to the Blessed One. Venerable sir, I remember the five lower bonds of the sensual world preached by the Blessed One. Malunkhyaputta, what do you remember of the five lower bonds of the sensual world preached by me? Venerable sir, I remember self view, doubts holding to virtues as the highest aim, sensual interest and anger as lower bonds of the sensual world preached by the Blessed One. I remember these five lower bonds of the sensual world preached by the Blessed One.

Malunkhyaputta, to whom do you know me preaching, the lower bonds of the sensual world in this manner. Wouldn't the ascetics of other sects find fault with this foolish example. To a toddler, who moves about with difficulty, there is not even a self. How could a view arise about a self? The latent tendencies of a self view filter to him [1] Màlunkhyaputta, to a toddler who moves about with difficulty, there are not even thoughts. How could doubts arise to him about thoughts? The latent tendency to doubt, filter to him. To a toddler who moves about with difficulty there are not even virtues. How could there be a holding to virtues as high? The latent tendency to hold to virtues as high filter to him. Malunkhyaputta, to a toddler there is not even sensual desires. How could there be interest for sensual desires? The latent tendencies to greed for sensual interest filter to him. Malunkhyaputta, to a toddler beings don't matter. How could he have anger towards beings? The latent tendencies to get angry filter to him. Malunkhyaputta, wouldn't the ascetics of other sects find fault with this foolish example. Then venerable ânanda, said to the Blessed One. Venerable sir, this is the time to teach the five lower bonds of the sensual world. The bhikkhus hearing it from the Blessed One will bear it in mind. Then ânanda, listen I will teach said the Blessed One and venerable ânanda agreed.

ânanda, the ordinary man who hasn't seen noble ones, and Great Men not clever in their Teaching and not trained in their Teaching abides with a mind overcome with a view of a self. He does not know the escape from that arisen view of a self, as it really is. That view of self stands firm and untamed, as a lower bond of the sensual world. He abides with a mind, overcome with doubts. Not knowing the escape from arisen doubts as it really is. Those doubts stand firm and untamed, as a lower bond of the sensual world. Abiding with a mind that has taken virtues as high, not knowing the escape from the arisen esteem for virtues as it really is. The high esteem for virtues becomes firm and untamed, as a lower bond of the sensual world. Abiding with a mind overcome by sensual greed, does not know the escape from arisen sensual greed, as it really is. That sensual greed stands firm and untamed, as a bond of the lower sensual world. Abiding with a mind overcome with anger. Does not know the escape from arisen anger as it really is. That anger stands firm and untamed, as a lower bond of the sensual world.

ânanda, the learned noble disciple who has seen noble ones, and Great Men, clever in their Teaching and trained in their Teaching abides with a mind not overcome with the view of a self. He knows the escape from the arisen view of a self, as it really is. His view of the self, fades together with the latent tendencies. Not abiding with a mind, overcome with doubts, knows the escape from arisen doubts as it really is. His doubts fade together with the latent tendencies. Not thinking that virtues are of high esteem, knows the escape from the arisen high esteem of virtues as it really is and the high esteem for virtues fades, together with the latent tendencies. Abiding with a mind not overcome by sensual greed knows the escape from arisen sensual greed as it really is. That sensual greed fades from him together with the latent tendencies. Abiding with a mind, not overcome by anger, knows the escape from arisen anger as it really is, and that anger fades together with the latendencies.

ânanda, this is the path and method, to overcome the lower bonds of the sensual world. It is not possible that one could, knowing and seeing overcome the lower bonds of the sensual world without coming to this path and method. It is like one come to a huge standing tree with heartwood, would cut the heartwood without removing the bark and sapwood. That is not possible, in the same manner, it is not possible that one could know, see and overcome the lower bonds of the sensual world, without coming to this path and method. ânanda, this is the path and method to overcome the lower bonds of the sensual world. It is possible that one would know, see and overcome the lower bonds of the sensual world coming to this path and method. It is like someone come to a huge standing tree with heartwood, would cut the bark and sapwood and then take the heartwood. That is possible. In the same manner, come to this path and method, it is possible that one would know, see and overcome the lower bonds of the sensual world. Like a weak man come to the bank of river Ganges, full to the brim with over flowing banks would say I will cut the stream of the river, with my hands and safely cross the river. It is not posssible that he would cross the river. In the same manner, when the Teaching is given for the cessation of the view, of self, the mind does not spring, delight and settle to be released. It should be known as the nature of that weak man. Like a strong man come to the bank of river Ganges, full to the brim with over flowing banks would say I will cut the stream of the river, with my hands and safely cross the river. It is posssible that he would cross the river. In the same manner, ânanda, when the Teaching is given for the cessation of the view, of self, the mind springs, delights and settles to be released, it should be known as the nature of the strong man. .

ânanda, what is the path and method, to dispel the lower bonds of the sensual world? ânanda, the bhikkhu secluding the mind thoroughly, by dispelling things of demerit, removes all bodily transgressions that bring remorse. Then secluding the mind, from sensual thoughts and thoughts of demerit, with thoughts and discursive thoughts and with joy and pleasantness born of seclusion abides in the first jhana. Established in it he reflects all things that matter, all feelings, all perceptive things, all intentions, all conscious signs are impermanent, unpleasant, an illness, an abscess, an arrow, a misfortune, an ailment, foreign, destined for destruction, is void, and devoid of a self. Then he turns the mind to the deathless element: This is peaceful, this is exalted, such as the appeasement of all determinations, the giving up of all endearments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation and extinction*1). With that mind he comes to the destruction of desires. If he does not destroy desires on account of greed and interest for those same things. He arises spontaneously, with the destruction of the five lower bonds, of the sensual world, not to proceed. ânanda, this too is a method for overcoming the five lower bonds of the sensual world.

Again, ânanda, the bhikkhu overcoming thoughts and thought processes, the mind internally appeased, in one point, without thoughts and thought processes and with joy and pleasantness born of concentration, abides in the second jhana--- in the third jhana-in the fourth jhana. Attained to it, he reflects all things that matter, all feelings, all perceptive things, all intentions, all conscious signs are impermanent, unpleasant, an illness, an abscess, an arrow, a misfortune, an ailment, foreign, destined for destruction, is void, and devoid of a self. Then he turns the mind to the deathless element.: This is peaceful, this is exalted, such as the appeasement of all determinations, the giving up of all endearments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation and extinction. With that mind he comes to the destruction of desires. If he does not destroy desires on account of greed and interest for those same things he arises spontaneously, with the destruction of the five lower bonds of the sensual world, not to proceed. ânanda, this too is a method for overcoming the five lower bonds for the sensual world.

Again, ânanda, the bhikkhu overcoming all perceptions of matter and anger, not attending to various perceptions, with space is boundless abides in the sphere of space. Attained to it, he reflects all things that matter, all feelings, all perceptive things, all intentions, all conscious signs, are impermanent, unpleasant, an illness, an abscess, an arrow, a misfortune, an ailment, foreign, destined for destruction, void, devoid of a self. Then he turns the mind to the deathless element: This is peaceful, this is exalted, such as the appeasement of all determinations, the giving up of all endearments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation and extinction. With that mind he comes to the destruction of desires. If he does not come to the destruction of desires on account of greed and interest for those same things, he arises spontaneously with the destruction of the five lower bonds not to proceed. ânanda, this too is a method for overcoming the five lower bonds for the sensual world.

Again, ânanda, the bhikkhu overcoming all peceptions of space, with consciousness is boundless, abides in the sphere of consciousness. --overcoming all the sphere of conscioussness, with there is nothing, abides in the sphere of no-thingness Attained to it he reflects all things that matter, all feelings, all perceptive things, all intentions, all conscious signs::are impermanent, unpleasant, an illness, an abscess, an arrow, a misfortune, an ailment, foreign, destined for destruction, void, devoid of a self. Then he turns the mind to the deathless element: This is peaceful, this is exalted, such as the appeasement of all determinations, the giving up of all endearments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation and extinction. With that mind he comes to the destruction of desires. If he does not destroy desires on account of greed and interest for those same things, he arises spontaneously with the destruction of the five lower bonds not to proceed. ânanda, this too is a method for the dispelling of the five lower bonds for the sensual world.

Venerable sir, when this is the path and the method for the destruction of the five lower bonds for the sensual world, why does a certain bhikkhu talk of a release of mind and a release through wisdom? ânanda, that is the difference in the maturity of the mental faculties.

The Blessed One said that and venerable ânanda delighted in the words of the Blessed One.

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