HeartDhamma

SN IV 36.19 To Pañcakaṅga

Pañcakaṅga Sutta

 

At that time, 

The Carpenter Pañcakaṅga went to visit the Elder Udāyī;

Approached, paid loving respects 

            and sat down beside him.

 

Then the carpenter Paṇcakaṅga asked the Elder Udāyī:

 

“Bhante,

how many feelings were explained 

by the Awakened One?”

 

[Udāyī]

 “The Awakened One explained three kinds of feelings carpenter:

 

(1) Plaisant feelings, 

(2) Unplaisant feelings and 

(3) Neutral feelings.

 

These are the three kinds of feelings 

explained by the Awakened One.”

 

When this was said, the carpenter Paṇcakaṅga said this to the Elder Udāyī:

 

[Pañcakaṅga]

“But Bhante Udāyī, 

The Awakened One did not speak about three kinds of feelings,

He spoke about two kinds of feelings:

 

(1) Pleasant and 

(2) Unpleasant.”

 

“Bhante, the Awakened One said that

these neutral feelings are delightful happiness partaking of peace.”

 

 

For a second time: … [Abridged]

For a third time the Elder Udāyī said [the same] to Paṇcakaṅga: … [Abridged]

 

 

But Bhante Udāyī, 

the Awakened One did not speak about three kinds of feelings… 

 

[Abridged]

 

Never could the Elder Udāyī’s explanation

be received by Paṇcakaṅga,

 

Nor could Paṇcakaṅga’s explanation

be received by the Elder Udāyī.

 

 

The Elder Ānanda, overheard this friendly discussion 

between the Elder Udāyī and Paṇcakaṅga.

 

Then the Elder Ānanda went to the Awakened One,

Sat down beside him and reported the friendly discussion 

and informed the Awakened One of all that happened.

 

[The Buddha]

 

“The statement of the Elder Udāyī,

Which the carpenter Paṇcakaṅga would not accept was true,

And the statement of the carpenter Paṇcakaṅga,

Which the Elder Udāyī would not accept was also true.“

 

Ānanda, 

I spoke of two kinds of feelings in one exposition.

I spoke of three kinds of feelings in another exposition.

I spoke of five kinds of feelings in another exposition.

I spoke of six kinds of feelings in another exposition.

I spoke of eighteen kinds of feelings in another exposition.

I spoke of thirty-six kinds of feelings in another exposition.

And I spoke of a hundred and eight kinds of feelings 

                  In yet another exposition.

 

I have taught the Dhamma 

in all of these different ways Ānanda. [1]

 

When the Dhamma has been taught by me 

in all of these different ways,

Even if it was well-spoken 

            and clearly expressed each time;

 

It is to be expected that:

Some will not approve,

Some will not concede,

Some will not appreciate;

 

These people will be living at strife, disputing and arguing,

Continually attacking each other with piercing of words.

 

 

I have taught the Dhamma 

in all of these different ways Ānanda.

 

When the Dhamma has been taught by me 

in all of these different ways,

Well-spoken and clearly expressed each time;

 

It is to be expected that,

Some will approve,

Some will concede,

Some will appreciate.

 

These people will be living in unity,

In mutual joy, without disputes,

Blending together like milk and water,

Continually looking upon one another with caring eyes. [2]

 

 

[The Happiness of Craving]

 

Ānanda, there are these five qualities of outward attraction.

 

What five?

 

(1) Forms perceived by the eye which are 

Desired and loved, 

Seductive and enticing, 

Mingled with desire and exciting. [3]

 

(2) Sounds perceived by the ear which are 

Desired and loved, 

Seductive and enticing, 

Mingled with desire and exciting.

 

(3) Odors perceived by the nose which are 

Desired and loved, 

Seductive and enticing, 

mingled with desire and exciting.

 

(4) Flavors perceived by the tongue which are 

Desired and loved, 

Seductive and enticing, 

Mingled with desire and exciting.

 

(5) Tangibles perceived by the body which are 

Desired and loved, 

Seductive and enticing, 

Mingled with desire and exciting.

 

These are the five qualities of outward attraction Ānanda.

 

Ānanda,

The happiness and delight that arises

Rooted upon these five qualities of outward attraction;

 

This is called the happiness of craving.

 

Ānanda, those who say:

“This is the highest peace, 

happiness 

and delight 

that can be experienced.” [4]

 

I do not agree with them. 

 

Why is that?

Because Ānanda,

There is another kind of happiness, 

Beyond this, more exalted than this. 

 

And what is this other kind of happiness?

 

[1. First Jhāna]

 

Here Ānanda,

Disengaged from the outward desire,

And detached from unwholesome mental states,

Still attended by thinking and reflection,

With the blissful happiness born of letting go,

 

One understands and abides in the first level of meditation.

 

This is that other kind of happiness,

Which is beyond and more exalted.

 

Ānanda, those who say:

“This is the highest peace, 

happiness 

and delight 

that can be experienced.”

 

I do not agree with them.

 

Why is that?

 

Because Ānanda,

There is another kind of happiness, 

Beyond this, more exalted than this.

 

What is this other kind of happiness?

 

[2. Second Jhāna]

 

Here Ānanda,

With the calming of thinking and reflection,

With inner tranquilization,

His mind becoming unified,

Without thinking and reflection,

With the blissful happiness born of mental collectedness,

 

One understands and abides in the second level of meditation.

 

This is that other kind of happiness,

Which is beyond this and more exalted.

 

Ānanda, those who say:

“This is the highest peace, 

happiness 

and delight 

that can be experienced.”

 

I do not agree with them.

 

Why is that?

Because Ānanda,

There is another kind of happiness, 

Beyond this, more exalted than this.

 

What is this other kind of happiness?

 

[3. Third Jhāna]

 

Here Ānanda,

With the calming of [coarser] joy,

Abiding in mental steadiness,

Present and fully aware,

Experiencing happiness within his body

That state, which the righteous ones describe as such:

“Steady presence of mind:

This is a pleasant abiding.”

 

One understands and abides 

in the third level of meditation.

 

This is that other kind of happiness,

Which is beyond this and more exalted.

 

Ānanda, those who say:

“This is the highest peace, 

happiness 

and delight 

that can be experienced.”

 

I do not agree with them.

 

Why is that?

Because Ānanda,

There is another kind of happiness, 

Beyond this, more exalted than this.

 

What is this other kind of happiness?

 

[4. Fourth Jhāna]

 

Here Ānanda,

Unattached to blissful feelings,

Unstirred by unpleasant feelings

With the settling of excitement and disturbances,

One is balanced in mind,

Purified by unmoving presence,

 

One understands and abides 

in the fourth level of meditation.

 

This is that other kind of happiness,

Which is beyond this and more exalted.

 

Ānanda, those who say:

“This is the highest peace, 

happiness 

and delight 

that can be experienced.”

 

I do not agree with them.

 

Why is that?

Because Ānanda,

There is another kind of happiness, 

Beyond this, more exalted than this.

 

What is this other kind of happiness?

 

[5. The Plane of Endless Space]

 

Here Ānanda,

Passing beyond all perception of form, [5]

With the fading away of sensory awareness, [6]

Turning away from the awareness plurality, [7]

Aware of Endless Spaciousness; [8]

 

One understands and abides 

in the plane of endless spaciousness.

 

This is that other kind of happiness,

Which is beyond this and more exalted.

 

Ānanda, those who say:

“This is the highest peace, 

happiness 

and delight 

that can be experienced.”    

 

I do not agree with them.

 

Why is that?

Because Ānanda,

There is another kind of happiness, 

Beyond this, more exalted than this.

 

What is this other kind of happiness?

 

[6. Plane of Endless Consciousness]

 

Here Ānanda,

Passing beyond the plane of endless space,

Aware of endless consciousness’[9]

 

One understands and abides 

in the plane of endless consciousness.

 

This is that other kind of happiness,

Which is beyond this and more exalted.

 

Ānanda, those who say:

“This is the highest peace,

happiness 

and delight 

that can be experienced.”

 

 I do not agree with them.

 

Why is that?

Because Ānanda,

There is another kind of happiness, 

Beyond this, more exalted than this.

 

What is this other kind of happiness?

 

[7. Plane of Bare Awareness]

 

Here Ānanda,

Passing beyond the plane of endless consciousness,

Aware of nothing [in particular]; [10]

 

One understands and abides 

in the plane of bare awareness.

 

This is that other kind of happiness,

Which is beyond this and more exalted.

 

Ānanda, those who say:

“This is the highest peace, 

happiness 

and delight 

that can be experienced.”

 

I do not agree with them.

 

Why is that?

Because Ānanda,

There is another kind of happiness, 

Beyond this, more exalted than this.

 

What is this other kind of happiness?

 

[8. The Limit of Awareness]

 

Here Ānanda,

Passing beyond the plane of bare awareness,

 

One understands and abides 

in the plane between awareness and its limit. [11]

 

This is that other kind of happiness,

Which is beyond this and more exalted.

 

Ānanda, those who say:

“This is the highest peace, 

happiness 

and delight 

that can be experienced.”

 

I do not agree with them.

 

Why is that?

Because Ānanda,

There is another kind of happiness, 

Beyond this, more exalted than this.

 

What is this other kind of happiness?

 

 

[9. The Release from Experiential Awareness]

 

Here Ānanda,

Passing beyond the plane between awareness and its limit,

 

One understands and abides 

in the Release from experiential awareness. [12]

 

This is that other kind of happiness,

Which is beyond this and more exalted.

 

 

Because of this Ānanda, 

Those practitioners established in other teachings might ask:

 

“The sage Gotama speaks of 

The Release from experiential awareness,

And declares it as partaking of Happiness.” [13]

 

“How can this be?”

“How can this be said?”

 

When this is asked Ānanda,

The wanderers established in other teachings should be answered in this way:

 

Friend, 

The Awakened One does not declare 

Only pleasant feelings 

As partaking of happiness. [14]

 

Friend, 

I this way, wherever one goes,

Happiness is found, whether here or there,

This the Truth-Finder declares as [True] happiness. [15]

 

 


[1] Evaṃ pariyāyadesito kho, ānanda, mayā dhammo.

[2] Samaggā sammodamānā avivadamānā khīrodakībhūtā aññamaññaṃ piyacakkhūhi sampassantā viharissantīti.

[3] Iṭṭhā kantā manāpā piyarūpā kāmūpasaṃhitā rajanīyā.

[4] ‘Etapparamaṃ santaṃ sukhaṃ somanassaṃ paṭisaṃvedentī’ti

[5] Bhikkhu sabbaso rūpasaññānaṃ samatikkamā

[6] Paṭighasaññānaṃ atthaṅgamā: Contact at the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body fade away.

[7] Nānattasaññānaṃ amanasikārā… Very still, oneness of mind.

[8] ‘Ananto ākāso’ti

[9] ‘Anantaṃ viññāṇan’ti

[10] ‘Natthi kiñcī’ti

[11] Nevasaññānāsaññāyatanaṃ: Lit. Neither-Awareness-Nor-Unawareness. One here might pause in wonder. Since the Buddha’s Teaching is usually understood as “mindfulness”, here and in the next plane, there is question of the release from Awareness. An essential notion which has curiously remained widely unrevealed to the bulk of practitioners today. And that this release from awareness and feeling is the culmination of the Buddha’s Teaching: Nibbāna. This might appear baffling to some, that “mindfulness” is not the actual goal of the practice, nor is it even “a practice”. Mindfulness is a result from the practice, which is to abandon craving: Greed, hatred and Delusion. Craving is non-mindfulness; Mindfulness is non-craving. Mindfulness or presence arises when the mind is not latching upon or bend upon any object. This also beautifully demonstrate that in fact, even “mindfulness” needs to be let go of. This shows the depth of the practice of letting go and relaxing. This cannot be experienced by absorption concentration since the mind is then trained to latch on very strongly to one object or the other. This kind of absorption “mindfulness” is not about letting go, it is about forcing and controlling the mind.

[12] Saññāvedayitanirodhaṃ. Vedayita [pp. of vedeti] felt, experienced.

[13] The wise meditators who experience this stage of meditation, know by direct knowledge the veracity of this statement. No happiness can equal the Release of the mind from perception and feeling, Nibbāna. 

‘Etaṃ santaṃ etaṃ paṇītaṃ, yadidaṃ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho Sabbūpadhipaṭinissaggo, taṇhākkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānan’ti. This is peaceful, this is sublime, that is, the appeasement of all mental activity. The giving up of all mental limitations, the destruction of craving, unclenching, release, Nibbāna. -AN III 32 Ānanda Sutta

[14] ‘na kho, āvuso, bhagavā sukhaññeva vedanaṃ sandhāya sukhasmiṃ paññapeti.

[15] Yattha yattha, āvuso, sukhaṃ upalabbhati, yahiṃ yahiṃ, taṃ taṃ tathāgato sukhasmiṃ paññapetī’”ti.

The noblest source of happiness. The happiness of Nibbāna. Bliss, so subtle and exquisite, to be experienced by the wise, for oneself, by oneself, throught direct meditative experience, through the practice of the Ariya Dhamma of the Awakened One.

 

This is a gift of Dhamma

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