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Pañcala Sutta

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Title: Pañcala Sutta: Pañcala's Verse

Summary: How jhana leads the meditator out from the confines of the mind.

AN 9.42

PTS: A iv 448

Pañcala Sutta: Pañcala's Verse

translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

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On one occasion Ven. Ananda was staying in Kosambi at Ghosita's Park. Then Ven. Udayin went to him and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to Ven. Ananda, “This has been said by Pañcalacanda the deva's son:

'In a confining place, he found an opening — the one of extensive wisdom, the awakened one who awakened to jhana,(1) the chief bull, withdrawn, the sage.'

“Now which, my friend, is the confining place? And which opening in the confining place is the Blessed One said to have attained?”

[Ven. Ananda:] “The five strings of sensuality, my friend, are described by the Blessed One as a confining place. Which five? Forms cognizable via the eye — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing; sounds cognizable via the ear… smells cognizable via the nose… tastes cognizable via the tongue… tactile sensations cognizable via the body — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing. These five strings of sensuality are described by the Blessed One as a confining place.

“Now there is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality,(2) withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. Even this much is described by the Blessed One as the attaining of an opening in a confining place, though followed by a sequel. For even there there's a confining place. What is the confining place there? Just that directed thought & evaluation have not ceased. This is the confining place there.

“Then there is the case where a monk, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. Even this much is described by the Blessed One as the attaining of an opening in a confining place, though followed by a sequel. For even there there's a confining place. What is the confining place there? Just that rapture has not ceased. This is the confining place there.

“Then there is the case where a monk, with the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' Even this much is described by the Blessed One as the attaining of an opening in a confining place, though followed by a sequel. For even there there's a confining place. What is the confining place there? Just that the pleasure of equanimity has not ceased. This is the confining place there.

“Then there is the case where a monk, with the abandoning of pleasure & stress — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither-pleasure-nor-pain. Even this much is described by the Blessed One as the attaining of an opening in a confining place, though followed by a sequel. For even there there's a confining place. What is the confining place there? Just that the perception of form has not ceased. This is the confining place there.

“Then there is the case where a monk, with the complete transcending of perceptions of form, with the disappearance of perceptions of resistance, and not heeding perceptions of diversity, [perceiving,] 'Infinite space,' enters & remains in the dimension of the infinitude of space. Even this much is described by the Blessed One as the attaining of an opening in a confining place, though followed by a sequel. For even there there's a confining place. What is the confining place there? Just that the perception of the dimension of the infinitude of space has not ceased. This is the confining place there.

“Then there is the case where a monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of space, [perceiving,] 'Infinite consciousness,' enters & remains in the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness. Even this much is described by the Blessed One as the attaining of an opening in a confining place, though followed by a sequel. For even there there's a confining place. What is the confining place there? Just that the perception of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness has not ceased. This is the confining place there.

“Then there is the case where a monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, [perceiving,] 'There is nothing,' enters & remains in the dimension of nothingness. Even this much is described by the Blessed One as the attaining of an opening in a confining place, though followed by a sequel. For even there there's a confining place. What is the confining place there? Just that the perception of the dimension of nothingness has not ceased. This is the confining place there.

“Then there is the case where a monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of nothingness, enters & remains in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. Even this much is described by the Blessed One as the attaining of an opening in a confining place, though followed by a sequel. For even there there's a confining place. What is the confining place there? Just that the perception of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception has not ceased. This is the confining place there.

“Then there is the case where a monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, enters & remains in the cessation of perception & feeling. And, having seen [that] with discernment, his mental fermentations are completely ended. Even this much is described by the Blessed One as the attaining of an opening in a confining place, without a sequel.”

Notes

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1.

In The Connected Discourses of the Buddha, this phrase is translated as “who discovered jhana,” but the verb is abuddhi: “awakened to.”

2.

AN 6.63 defines sensuality (kaama) as follows:

<a name=“strings5”></a>“There are these five strings of sensuality. Which five? Forms cognizable via the eye — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing; sounds cognizable via the ear… aromas cognizable via the nose… flavors cognizable via the tongue… tactile sensations cognizable via the body — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing. But these are not sensuality. They are called strings of sensuality in the discipline of the noble ones.

The passion for his resolves is a man's sensuality, not the beautiful sensual pleasures found in the world. The passion for his resolves is a man's sensuality. The beauties remain as they are in the world, while the wise, in this regard, subdue their desire.”

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See also: MN 121; AN 9.34; SN 2.7

en/tipitaka/sut/an/an09/an09.042.than.txt · Last modified: 2019/02/21 18:33 by Johann