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AN VI 10 To Mahānāma: Ariya Samādhi

Mahānāma Sutta

 

Once, 

The Awakened One was living with the Sakyans,

In Kapilavatthu, at the banyan tree Hermitage.

 

Then, Mahānāma the Sakyan went to him,

Paid Loving respects, sat down to the side and asked:

 

[Mahānāma]

“Bhante, one who is an Ariya, a wise meditator, [1]

One who has arrived to the fruit, [2]

and understands the teaching, [3]

How does that person live?

How does that person frequently meditate?” [4]

 

[The Buddha]

“Mahānāma, this is how one who has arrived to the fruit,

who understands the teaching,

Lives and frequently meditates.”

 

 

[1. Remembering the Buddha]

 

Here, an Ariya, a wise meditator 

often recalls [5] the Truth-Finder [6] in this way:

 

‘The Exalted One is an Arahant, 

Perfectly All-Awakened

Endowed with knowledge and conduct, 

Happy, Knower of the worlds

Unsurpassed guide for those who seek self-mastery

Teacher of Devas and humans, 

Awakened and Blessed.’

 

[Not Overwhelmed]

 

In this way, 

Whenever this Ariya and wise meditator recalls the Truth-Finder,

For that time, [that meditator’s] mind 

is not overwhelmed by outward desires, [7]

it is not overwhelmed by anger,

and is not overwhelmed by confusion;

 

[Straight and Uplifted Mind]

 

For that time, 

Because of his consideration for the Truth-Finder,

his mind is straight and uplifted.

 

With a straight and uplifted mind, [8]

This Ariya and wise meditator

Knows and experiences the meaning, [9]

Knows and experiences the Dhamma, [10]

Knows and experiences the natural gladness of Dhamma [11]

 

[Natural Samādhi] [12]

 

From that gladness, bliss arises in the mind;

From that blissful mind, the body becomes calm;

Calm in body, one experiences happiness;

With a happy mind comes Samādhi.[13]

 

[Living in the Stream]

 

This Ariya and wise meditator is one who lives

Harmoniously amongst the agitated,[14]

Friendly amongst the hostile. [15]

Having come upon the stream of the Dhamma,

He cultivates remembering the Buddha. [16]

 

 

[2. Remembering the Dhamma]

 

At other times, 

This Ariya and wise meditator 

often recalls the Dhamma in this way:

 

‘Well explained is the Blessed One’s Teaching,

Directly visible, Immediate,

Inviting, Leading upwards,

To be experienced by the wise for oneself.

 

[Not Overwhelmed]

 

In this way, 

Whenever this Ariya and wise meditator recalls the Dhamma,

For that time, [that meditator’s] mind 

is not overwhelmed by outward desires,

it is not overwhelmed by anger,

and is not overwhelmed by confusion;

 

[Straight and Uplifted Mind]

 

For that time, 

Because of his consideration for the Dhamma,

his mind is straight and uplifted.

 

With a straight and uplifted mind,

This Ariya and wise meditator

Knows and experiences the meaning,

Knows and experiences the Dhamma,

Knows and experiences the natural gladness of Dhamma

 

[Natural Samādhi]

 

From that gladness, bliss arises in the mind;

From that blissful mind, the body becomes calm;

Calm in body, one experiences happiness;

With a happy mind comes Samādhi.

 

[Living in the Stream]

 

This Ariya and wise meditator is one who lives

Harmoniously amongst the agitated,

Friendly amongst the hostile.

 

Having come upon the stream of the Dhamma,

[The Ariya] cultivates remembering the Dhamma.

 

 

[3. Remembering the Saṅgha]

 

At other times, 

This Ariya and wise meditator 

often recalls the saṅgha in this way:

 

‘Good is the practice of the Awakened One’s disciples,

Straight is the practice of the Awakened One’s saṅgha,

Wise is the practice of the Awakened One’s saṅgha,

Meaningful is the practice of the Awakened One’s saṅgha.

That is, the four pairs of people,

The eight kinds of persons.

 

The saṅgha of the Awakened One is

worthy support, worthy of hospitality,

worthy of generosity, worthy of respect,

An unsurpassed field of goodness for the universe.’

 

[Not Overwhelmed]

 

In this way, 

Whenever this Ariya and wise meditator recalls the Saṅgha,

For that time, [that meditator’s] mind 

is not overwhelmed by outward desires,

it is not overwhelmed by anger,

and is not overwhelmed by confusion;

 

[Straight and Uplifted Mind]

 

For that time, 

Because of his consideration for the Saṅgha,

his mind is straight and uplifted.

 

With a straight and uplifted mind,

This Ariya and wise meditator

Knows and experiences the meaning,

Knows and experiences the Dhamma,

Knows and experiences the natural gladness of Dhamma

 

[Natural Samādhi]

 

From that gladness, bliss arises in the mind;

From that blissful mind, the body becomes calm;

Calm in body, one experiences happiness;

With a happy mind comes Samādhi.

 

[Living in the Stream]

 

This Ariya and wise meditator is one who lives

Harmoniously amongst the agitated,

Friendly amongst the hostile.

 

Having come upon the stream of the Dhamma,

He cultivates remembering the Saṅgha.

 

 

[4. Remembering Virtuous Behavior]

 

At other times, 

This Ariya and wise meditator, 

often recalls their own good conduct [17] which is

 

‘Unbroken, unbreeched

constant, flawless,

liberating, recommended by the wise,

unspoiled and leading directly to samādhi.’ [18]

 

[Not Overwhelmed]

 

In this way, 

Whenever this Ariya and wise meditator recalls their own good conduct,

For that time, [that meditator’s] mind 

is not overwhelmed by outward desires,

it is not overwhelmed by anger,

and is not overwhelmed by confusion;

 

[Straight and Uplifted Mind]

 

For that time, 

Because of his consideration their own good conduct,

their mind is straight and uplifted.

 

With a straight and uplifted mind,

This Ariya and wise meditator

Knows and experiences the meaning,

Knows and experiences the Dhamma,

Knows and experiences the natural gladness of Dhamma

 

[Natural Samādhi]

 

From that gladness, bliss arises in the mind;

From that blissful mind, the body becomes calm;

Calm in body, one experiences happiness;

With a happy mind comes Samādhi.

 

[Living in the Stream]

 

This Ariya and wise meditator is one who lives

Harmoniously amongst the agitated,

Friendly amongst the hostile.

 

Having come upon the stream of the Dhamma,

[This Ariya] cultivates remembering their own good conduct.

 

 

[5. Remembering Charity]

 

At other times, 

This Ariya, wise meditator 

often recalls one’s own charity in this way:

 

‘Such a delight it is for me, 

Such a wonderful gain it is for me.  [19]

 

That amongst beings overwhelmed by sticky selfish desires[20]

I live the house life with a heart free from sticky selfish desires[21]

Giving liberally, openhandedly,

Delighting in letting go, 

Always ready to help, 

And taking delight in sharing.’ [22]

 

[Not Overwhelmed]

In this way, 

Whenever this Ariya and wise meditator recalls their own charity,

For that time, [that meditator’s] mind 

is not overwhelmed by outward desires,

it is not overwhelmed by anger,

and is not overwhelmed by confusion;

 

[Straight and Uplifted Mind]

 

For that time, 

Because of their consideration their own charity,

their mind is straight and uplifted.

 

With a straight and uplifted mind,

This Ariya and wise meditator

Knows and experiences the meaning,

Knows and experiences the Dhamma,

Knows and experiences the natural gladness of Dhamma

 

[Natural Samādhi]

 

From that gladness, bliss arises in the mind;

From that blissful mind, the body becomes calm;

Calm in body, one experiences happiness;

With a happy mind comes Samādhi.

 

[Living in the Stream]

 

This Ariya and wise meditator is one who lives

Harmoniously amongst the agitated,

Friendly amongst the hostile.

 

Having come upon the stream of the Dhamma,

[This Ariya] cultivates remembering their own charity.

 

 

[6. Remembering the Devas]

 

At other times, 

This Ariya and wise meditator

often recalls the Devas in this way:

 

(1) There are the Devas of the Four Great Directions

(2) There are the Thirty-three Devas

(3) There are the Devas of the Underworld

(4) There are Contented Devas

(5) There are Devas who delight in creation

(6) There are Devas beyond the power of creation

(7) There are Devas of Radiant Bodies

(8) There are Devas beyond this, [23]

 

It is because of their faith

That those Devas transmigrated and took birth here

Such faith is also experienced by me.

 

It is because of their virtue

That those Devas transmigrated and took birth here

Such virtue is also experienced by me.

 

It is because of their learning

That those Devas transmigrated and took birth here

Such learning is also experienced by me.

 

It is because of their generosity

That those Devas transmigrated and took birth here

Such generosity is also experienced by me.

 

It is because of their discernment

That those Devas transmigrated and took birth here

Such discernment is also experienced by me.

 

[Not Overwhelmed]

 

In this way, 

Whenever this Ariya and wise meditator recalls one’s own,

faith, virtue, learning, generosity and discernment [24]

which are comparable to the Devas.

 

For that time, [that meditator’s] mind 

is not overwhelmed by outward desires,

it is not overwhelmed by anger,

and is not overwhelmed by confusion;

 

[Straight and Uplifted Mind]

 

For that time, 

Because of his consideration for the Devas,

their mind is straight and uplifted.

 

With a straight and uplifted mind,

This Ariya and wise meditator

Knows and experiences the meaning,

Knows and experiences the Dhamma,

Knows and experiences the natural gladness of Dhamma

 

[Natural Samādhi]

 

From that gladness, bliss arises in the mind;

From that blissful mind, the body becomes calm;

Calm in body, one experiences happiness;

With a happy mind comes Samādhi.

 

[Living in the Stream]

 

This Ariya and wise meditator is one who lives

Harmoniously amongst the agitated,

Friendly amongst the hostile.

 

Having come upon the stream of the Dhamma,

[This Ariya] cultivates remembering the Devas.

 

 

 

This is how one who has arrived to the fruit, 

Who understands the teaching,

Lives and frequently meditates.

 

 

 


[1] Ariyasāvako: Usually translated as “noble disciple,” though this term seems to lack in the true beauty and meaning as an Ariyasāvaka is someone who has entered any of the 3 lower stages of awakening.

[2] Āgataphalo: The fruit of stream-entry, the first stage of Ariya puggala or Awakened person or “Sainthood”.

[3] Viññātasāsano

[4] So katamena vihārena bahulaṃ viharatī.”

[5] Anussarati

[6] Tathāgatha

[7] rāgapariyuṭṭhitaṃ, dosapariyuṭṭhitaṃ, mohapariyuṭṭhitaṃ: Pariyuṭṭhitaṃ: Taken up, enveloped, obsessed.

[8] Ujugatacitto

[9] Labhati atthavedaṃ: Gets a feel of the goal or meaning, the purpose. Gets to know…

[10] Labhati dhammavedaṃ

[11] Labhati dhammūpasaṃhitaṃ pāmojjaṃ.

[12] Dhamma Samādhi

[13] sukhino cittaṃ samādhiyati.

[14] ‘Ariyasāvako visamagatāya pajāya samappatto viharati’

[15] ‘Sabyāpajjāya pajāya abyāpajjo viharati,’

[16] ‘Dhammasotaṃ  samāpanno  buddhānussatiṃ bhāveti’

[17] Attano sīlāni anussarati

[18] Akhaṇḍāni, acchiddāni, asabalāni, akammāsāni, bhujissāni, viññuppasatthāni, aparāmaṭṭhāni, samādhisaṃvattanikāni. An Ariya who has entered the stream does not consciously break his virtue.

[19] ‘lābhā vata  me, suladdhaṃ vata me.

[20] Yohaṃ maccheramalapariyuṭṭhitāya pajāya

[21] vigatamalamaccherena  cetasā agāraṃ  ajjhāvasāmi

[22] muttacāgo  payatapāṇi vosaggarato  yācayogo   dānasaṃvibhāgarato’ti.  

[23] Cātumahārājikā, tāvatiṃsā, yāmā, tusitā, nimmānaratino, paranimmitavasavattino, brahmakāyikā, tatuttari.

[24] Faith, virtue, learning, generosity and discernment.

 

 

 

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All Sutta Translations by Ānanda are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.