Develop the meditation that is love, for by so doing, hatred will be got rid of. Develop the meditation that is compassion, for by doing so, harming will be got rid of. Develop the meditation that is sympathetic joy, for by doing so, dislike will be got rid of. Develop the meditation that is equanimity, for by doing so, sensory reaction will be got rid of. Develop the meditation on the impure, for by doing so, attachment will be got rid of. Develop the meditation that is the perception of impermanence, for by doing so, the conceit ‘I am’ will be got rid of.
When there is quarrelsome talk much talk may be expected, when there is much talk one is excited, being excited one is uncontrolled, and when one is uncontrolled the mind is far from concentrated.
There are these six dangers of being addicted to drink; decrease in wealth, increase in quarrels, ill health, loss of reputation, indecent exposure and impaired intelligence.
Giving up worldly desires, one dwells with a mind purified and free from worldly desires. Giving up ill-will and hatred, one dwells with a mind filled with compassion and love for the welfare of all beings, and purifies the mind of ill-will and hatred. Giving up sloth and laziness, one perceives the light, and mindful and clearly comprehending, purifies the mind of sloth and laziness. Giving up restlessness and worry and remaining inwardly calm, one purifies the mind of restlessness and worry. Giving up doubt, one dwells having crossed over doubt, and without uncertainty as to what is skillful, purifies the mind of doubt.
Just as a man who had borrowed money to develop his business, and whose business had prospered, might repay the money and have enough left over to support a wife, and would think: ‘Before I was in debt, but now I am free from debt,’ and would be glad and happy because of that; just as a man who was sick and suffering, without appetite and weak, might in time regain his health, appetite and strength, and would think: ‘Before I was sick, but now I am healthy,’ and would be glad and happy because of that; just as a man who is imprisoned might, after a time, be freed without any confiscation of his property, and would think: ‘Before I was imprisoned, but now I am free,’ and would be glad and happy because of that; just as a man who is enslaved, not his own master, controlled by another and unable to do as he desired, and who in time would be emancipated, would think: ‘I was a slave, but now I am emancipated,’ and would be glad and happy because of that; just as a traveller carrying goods and wealth might find himself in a wilderness with little food and much danger, and after a time, might arrive safe and sound at the edge of a village, and would think: ‘Before I was in danger, but now I am safe,’ and would be glad and happy because of that.
In the same way, as long as the five hindrances are not given up, one feels indebted, sick, imprisoned, enslaved, lost in the wilderness. But when the five hindrances are given up, one feels free from debt, healthy, free, emancipated and safe. And when one knows that these five hindrances are given up, gladness arises, from gladness comes joy, because of joy the body is tranquil, with a tranquil body one is happy, and the mind of one who is happy becomes concentrated.
Possessed of two things in this very life, one lives in much ease and happiness, firmly directed towards the ending of the defilements. What two? Being moved by a sense of urgency when it is appropriate and having a clear goal.
What is friendship with the good? It is to follow after, to frequent the company of and associate with believers, with the virtuous, the learned, the generous and those who are wise; to resort to and consort with them, to be devoted to them, to be enthusiastic about them and to be in unity with them.
Detached from sense pleasures and unskilled states of mind, one enters and abides in the first jhana, in which logical and wandering thought are present, and which is filled with a joy and happiness that is born of detachment. And with that joy and happiness born of detachment, one suffuses, drenches, fills and permeates the whole body so that there is no spot in the entire body that is untouched by that joy and happiness born of detachment. Just as a skilled bath-attendant or his apprentice, kneading bath powder which has been sprinkled with water, forms from it in a metal bowl a ball of foam from which no moisture escapes; in the same way, one suffuses, drenches, fills and permeates the whole body so that no spot is untouched.
The fool thinks he has won a battle
When he bullies with harsh speech,
But it is knowing how to be forbearing
That makes one victorious.
The worse of the two
Is one who retaliates when abused.
One who does not retaliate
Wins a battle hard to win.
Knowing that the other person is angry,
One who remain mindful and calm
Acts in their own best interest
And in the interest of the other too.
He is a healer of both himself
And the other person also.
But those who do not understand the Dhamma
Think he is a fool.
Once while Venerable Ananda was dwelling near Kosambi in Ghosita Park, Bhaddaji approached and him and Ananda asked him: “Good Bhaddaji, what is the highest of sights, the highest of sounds, the highest of joys, the highest of conscious states, the highest state of being?”
“There is Brahma who is all-powerful, none are more powerful, all seeing, with great power and dominion. To see Brahma is the highest of sights. There are the gods of radiant splendor in whom joy flows and overflows and who utter a cry of ‘Joy! Oh joy!’ To hear this is the highest of sounds. There are the all-lustrous gods who feel joy but who rejoice in silence, and this is the highest of joys. There are the gods who go to the sphere of nothingness, and this is the highest of conscious states. Then there are the gods who go to the sphere of neither-consciousness-nor-unconsciousness, and this is the highest state of being.”
Then Ananda replied: “But Bhaddaji, what you say is just the talk of the common crowd. Listen, pay attention, and I will speak. If, while one looks, the defilements are destroyed, this is the highest of sights. If, while one listens, the defilements are destroyed, this is the highest of sounds. If, while one rejoices, the defilements are destroyed, this is the highest of joy. If, while one is conscious, the defilements are destroyed, this is the highest of conscious states. And if, while one is, the defilements are destroyed, this is the highest state of being.”
One should not blame another
Or despise anyone for any reason anywhere.
Do not wish pain upon another
Out of either anger or rivalry.
Just as a mother protects her only child
Even at the risk of her own life,
Even so, cultivate unbounded love
Towards all beings in the world.
Now, it may be that some of you think: ‘The Teacher’s instructions have ceased. We have no teacher anymore.’ But it should not be seen like this. That which I have proclaimed, the Dhamma and the discipline, let that be your teacher after I am gone.
Compassion is that which makes the heart of the good move at the pain of others. It crushes and destroys the pain of others; thus, it is called compassion. It is called compassion because it shelters and embraces the distressed.
From the day the Lord said that in four months time he would pass into final Nirvana thousands of people came to wait upon him. Those who had not yet attained the fruits of Stream-Winning could not restrain their tears and those who had not attained enlightenment felt a deep sorrow and walked around in small groups saying: “What will we do?” But one monk named Dhammarama kept separate from the other and when asked what was the matter with him he gave no reply. He had thought to himself: “The Lord has said that in four months time he will attain final Nirvana and I am still not free from desire. Thus, while the Lord lives I will strive to attain enlightenment.” Accordingly, Dhammarama kept to himself, recollecting, pondering and calling to mind the Lord’s Dhamma. The monks went to the Tathagata and said: “Reverend sir, Dhammarama has no affection for you. Since you announced the time of your final Nirvana he has nothing to do with us.” The Lord had Dhammarama called to him and asked: “Is it true what they say, that you have nothing to do with the other monks?”
“Yes, reverend sir, it is true.”
“Why do you do this?”
“I do it thinking thus: ‘The Lord has said that in four months time he will attain final Nirvana, and I am still not free from desire. Thus, while the Lord lives I will strive to attain enlightenment.’ Accordingly, I keep to myself, recollecting, pondering and calling to mind the Lord’s Dhamma.”
“Excellent, monk, excellent,” said the Lord.
Then the Lord addressed the other monks, saying: “Every monk should show his affection for me in the way Dhammarama has done. They who honour me with garlands, perfume and so on honour me not. But they who practice the Dhamma in all its parts, they honour me in the best way.”
Only within will one find peace.
Develop the meditation that is like water, for in so doing, pleasant and unpleasant sensory impressions that have arisen and taken hold of the mind will not persist. Just as people wash away faeces and urine, spittle, pus and blood, and yet the water is not troubled, worried or disgusted, even so, develop the meditation that is like water.
There are these four powers. What four? The power of mindfulness, the power of concentration, the power of innocence and the power of unity.
Do not be afraid of doing good deeds. They are another name for happiness, for the desirable, the wished for, the dear and the agreeable. I know well that for a long time I have experienced desirable, wished for, dear and agreeable results because of doing good deeds.
These five advantages come to the virtuous person because of his practice of virtue. What five? Concerning this, the virtuous person, possessed of virtue, because of his earnestness, accumulates great wealth. The virtuous person, possessed of virtue, gains a good reputation. Again, into whatever company the virtuous person enters, whether nobles, brahmins, householders or monks, he does so confidently and unconfused, because of his virtue. Further, the virtuous person, possessed of virtue, dies without bewilderment. And finally, the virtuous person, possessed of virtue, is reborn in heaven after his death.
In this way one should draw this inference from oneself: ‘That person who has evil desires and is in the grip of evil desires; he is unpleasant and disagreeable to me. Similarly, if I were of evil desire and in the grip of evil desire, I would be unpleasant and disagreeable to others.’ When you see this, you should make up your mind to have no evil desires.
The wanderer Uttiya asked the Lord: “If, with full comprehension, the good Gotama teaches Dhamma to his disciples for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and despair, for the ending of grief and dejection, for reaching the method, for the attaining of Nirvana, then will the whole world attain it, or half of it, or a third?” At these words, the Lord was silent.
Then Ananda thought: “Uttiya must not be allowed to think that the Lord cannot answer this all-important question.” So Ananda said: “I will give you a simile Uttiya. Imagine a walled town with strong foundation and towers and a single gate. At the gate a watcher who is clever and alert lets in known people and keeps out strangers. As he patrols the walls he would not see a hole in the wall big enough for even a cat to slip through. And therefore he would know that whatever creatures big or small enter or leave the town, they all do so by the gate. It is the same with the answer to your question, a question that is not important to the Lord. What the Lord says is this. Whoever has escaped, is escaping or will escape from the world, they will do it by abandoning the five hindrances, those defilements of the mind that weaken wisdom; they will do it with mind well-established in the four foundations of mindfulness, and by developing the seven factors of enlightenment.”
Whoever mindfully develops a boundless love,
Will see the ending of craving
And his fetters will be worn thin.
If with an uncorrupted mind
One pervades even a single being with love
He can be said to be skillful.
But if one relates to all living beings
With a mind of compassion
Great merit is created.
While on tour, the Lord arrived eventually at Parileyya, and there he stayed at the Guarded Forest Grove at the foot of a beautiful sal tree. And as he meditated alone, this thought arose in his mind: “Before, when I was disturbed by those monks at Kosambi, those contentious, quarrelsome, argumentative monks, fighting and making accusations against other monks, I did not live in comfort. But now that I am alone, without another, removed from those contentious monks, I do live in comfort.”
Now, at that time, a certain large bull elephant was disturbed by other elephants, she-elephants, calves and babes. And it occurred to that elephant: “Now I am disturbed by these other elephants. I eat grass already cropped by them, I break off branches but they eat them, I drink the water they have muddied and when I cross over at the ford they push against my body. What if I were to live alone, secluded from the herd.” So, that elephant left the herd and went to Parileyya, to the Guarded Forest Grove and the beautiful sal tree where the Lord was.
Using his trunk, he provided the Lord with water for drinking and washing, and he kept the grass down. Then that elephant thought: “Before, when I was disturbed by those elephants, I did not live in comfort. But now that I am alone, without another, removed from the herd, I do live in comfort.” Then, having considered his own seclusion and the mind of the elephant, the Lord uttered this verse:
“In this matter both mighty beings agree,
The enlightened sage and the elephant,
With tusks resembling the poles of ploughs –
Both love the solitude of the forest.”
I do not say that the attainment of profound knowledge comes straight away. On the contrary, it comes by a gradual training, a gradual doing, a gradual practice.
In the Himalayas, the monarch of the mountains, there are tracts of land which are inaccessible, where neither monkeys nor humans live. But there are other tracts of land, beautiful places, where both monkeys and human do live. In these places, hunters set pitch traps to catch the monkeys. Now, the monkeys who are free from foolishness and greed keep away from the traps. But a foolish and greedy monkey comes along, touches it, and gets his hand stuck. Then, thinking to free his hand, he uses the other hand, but that gets stuck too. To free both hands, he uses a foot which gets stuck, and then the other foot which gets stuck too. Hoping to free both hands and feet, he uses his nose but that gets stuck. And so, trapped in five ways, he lies down and wails, knowing that he is now prey to the hunter who will do what he wants with him.
This is what happens to one who roams in the domain of another. Therefore, do not roam in another’s domain, for by so doing, Mara will gain access, Mara will get an opportunity. And what is not your domain but the domain of another? It is the five sensual elements, objects cognizable with the eye, sounds with the ear, smells with the nose, tastes with the tongue, and touches cognizable with the body – all of them desirable, pleasant, delightful, wanted, inciting passion and lust. And what is your domain, your natural territory? It is the four foundations of mindfulness.
By the stopping of logical and wandering thoughts, by gaining inner tranquility and one-pointedness of mind, one enters and abides in the second jhana, which is without logical and wandering thought, and is filled with a joy and happiness born of concentration. And with that joy and happiness born of concentration, one suffuses, drenches, fills and permeates the whole body so that there is no spot in the entire body that is untouched by that joy and happiness born of concentration. Just as in a pool fed by a spring, with no inlets in any direction, where the rain god sends down light showers from time to time, the cool water welling up from a spring below would suffuse, fill and permeate that pool with cool water so that no part would remain untouched by it in the same way, one suffuses, drenches, fills and permeates the whole body so that no spot is untouched.
Good health is the most precious gain,
And contentment is the greatest wealth.
Trust is the best of kinsmen,
And Nirvana is the highest happiness.
The Lord approached the hermitage of the brahmin Rammaka where a large number of monks happened to be sitting, talking about Dhamma. He stood outside the porch waiting for the talk to finish, and when it had, he coughed, knocked at the bar and the monks opened the door. He sat down on the appointed seat and asked: “What were you talking about monks? What was the talk that has just stopped?”
“We were talking about you, Lord.”
“Good, monks! It is proper for you who are young men from good families, who have gone forth from home into homelessness, that when you meet together you speak either about Dhamma or observe noble silence.”
One who would give up wealth to save a limb, or sacrifice a limb to save his life, should be prepared to give up wealth, limb, life, indeed everything for the Truth.
In what way could one say: ‘The monk Gotama is an annihilationist, he teaches the doctrine of annihilation,’ and be speaking correctly? I teach the annihilation of greed, hatred and delusion. I proclaim the annihilation of evil unskilled states. It is in this way that one could say: ‘The monk Gotama is an annihilationist, he teaches the doctrine of annihilation,’ and be speaking correctly.
The brahmin Unnabha asked Venerable Ananda: “What is the aim of living the holy life under the monk Gotama?”
“It is for the sake of abandoning desire.”
“Is there a way, a practice by which to abandon this desire?”
“There is a way. It is by means of the psychic powers of desire, of energy, of thought and of consideration together with concentration and effort.”
“If that is so, Venerable Ananda, then it is a task without end. Because to get rid of one desire by means of another is impossible.”
“Then I will ask you a question Unnabha. Answer as you like. Before, did you not have the desire, the energy, the thought and consideration to come to this park? And having arrived, did not that desire, that energy, that thought and that consideration cease?”
“Yes, it did.”
“Well, for one who has destroyed the defilements, once he has won enlightenment, that desire, that energy, that thought and that consideration he had for enlightenment ceases.”