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Aṅguttara Nikāya - The Numerical Discourses

6: The Book of the Sixes

29. Udāyī

1Then the Blessed One addressed the Venerable Udāyī: "Udāyī, how many subjects of recollection are there?"

When this was said, the Venerable Udāyī was silent. A second time … A third time the Blessed One addressed the Venerable Udāyī: "Udāyī, how many subjects of recollection are there?" And a third time the Venerable Udāyī was silent.


2Then the Venerable Ānanda said to the Venerable Udāyī: "The Teacher is addressing you, friend Udāyī."

"I heard him, friend Ānanda.

"Here, Bhante, a bhikkhu recollects his manifold past abodes, that is, one birth, two births … as in 6:2 … Thus he recollects his manifold past abodes with their aspects and details. This, Bhante, is a subject of recollection."

3Then the Blessed One addressed the Venerable Ānanda: "I knew, Ānanda, that this hollow man Udāyī does not devote himself to the higher mind.[n.1299] Adhicittaṁ. Mp: "The mind of concentration and insight." The bhikkhu Udāyī (Lāḷudāyī) often blunders in his explanation of doctrinal points and is then reproached by the Buddha. How many subjects of recollection are there, Ānanda?"


4"There are, Bhante, five subjects of recollection. What five?

(1) "Here, Bhante, secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a bhikkhu enters and dwells in the first jhāna, which consists of rapture and pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by thought and examination. With the subsiding of thought and examination, he enters and dwells in the second jhāna, which has internal placidity and unification of mind and consists of rapture and pleasure born of concentration, without thought and examination. With the fading away as well of rapture, he dwells equanimous and, mindful and clearly comprehending, he experiences pleasure with the body; he enters and dwells in the third jhāna of which the noble ones declare: ‘He is equanimous, mindful, one who dwells happily.’ This subject of recollection, developed and cultivated in this way, leads to a happy dwelling in this very life.[n.1300] Ironically, this may be the only place in the Nikāyas where three jhānas are referred to as an anussatiṭṭhāna, "subject of recollection." Neither text nor Mp offers an explanation why the fourth jhāna is set off as a separate subject of recollection, the fifth here. In fact, the use of the designation anussatiṭṭhāna for the five contemplations mentioned by Ānanda, and the sixth added by the Buddha, seems unique to this sutta.


5(2) "Again, Bhante, a bhikkhu attends to the perception of light; he focuses on the perception of day thus: ‘As by day, so at night; as at night, so by day.’ Thus, with a mind that is open and uncovered, he develops a mind imbued with luminosity.[n.1301] Yathā divā tathā rattiṁ, yathā rattiṁ tathā divā. Also at AN4.41. Mp explains: "As by day he attends to the perception of light, just so does he attend to it at night. As at night he attends to the perception of light, just so does he attend to it during the day. Obtaining knowledge and vision: this is obtaining the divine eye, called knowledge and vision." This subject of recollection, developed and cultivated in this way, leads to obtaining knowledge and vision.


6(3) "Again, Bhante, a bhikkhu reviews this very body upward from the soles of the feet, downward from the tips of the hairs, enclosed in skin, as full of many kinds of impurities: ‘There are in this body head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, stomach, excrement, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, saliva, snot, fluid of the joints, urine.’ This subject of recollection, developed and cultivated in this way, leads to abandoning sensual lust.

7(4) "Again, Bhante, suppose a bhikkhu were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground, one, two, or three days dead, bloated, livid, and festering. He compares his own body with it thus: ‘This body, too, is of the same nature; it will be like that; it is not beyond that.’[n.1302] Here and below are the nine charnel ground contemplations, as in the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta, at DN 22.21–29, II 295–97; MN 10.13–27, I 58–59.

8Or suppose he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground, being devoured by crows, hawks, vultures, dogs, jackals, or various kinds of living beings. He compares his own body with it thus: ‘This body, too, is of the same nature; it will be like that; it is not beyond that.’

9Or suppose he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground, a skeleton with flesh and blood, held together with sinews … a fleshless skeleton smeared with blood, held together with sinews … a skeleton without flesh and blood, held together with sinews … disconnected bones scattered in all directions: here a handbone, there a footbone, here a shinbone, there a thighbone, here a hipbone, there a backbone, and there the skull. He compares his own body with it thus: ‘This body, too, is of the same nature; it will be like that; it is not beyond that.’ Or suppose he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground, bones bleached white, the color of shells … bones heaped up, more than a year old … bones rotted, crumbled to dust. He compares his own body with it thus: ‘This body, too, is of the same nature; it will be like that; it is not beyond that.’ This subject of recollection, developed and cultivated in this way, leads to the uprooting of the conceit ‘I am.’

10(5) "Again, Bhante, with the abandoning of pleasure and pain, and with the previous passing away of joy and dejection, a bhikkhu enters and dwells in the fourth jhāna, neither painful nor pleasant, which has purification of mindfulness by equanimity. This subject of recollection, developed and cultivated in this way, leads to the penetration of numerous elements.[n.1303] This must be referring to the fourth jhāna as the basis for the six kinds of direct knowledge.

"These, Bhante, are the five subjects of recollection."


11"Good, good, Ānanda! Therefore, Ānanda, remember this sixth subject of recollection, too.

(6) "Here, ever mindful a bhikkhu goes forward, ever mindful he returns, ever mindful he stands, ever mindful he sits, ever mindful he lies down to sleep, ever mindful he undertakes work. This subject of recollection, developed and cultivated in this way, leads to mindfulness and clear comprehension."

1Atha kho bhagavā āyasmantaṁ udāyiṁ āmantesi:  "kati nu kho, udāyi, anussatiṭṭhānānī"ti?

Evaṁ vutte, āyasmā udāyī tuṇhī ahosi. Dutiyampi kho bhagavā āyasmantaṁ udāyiṁ āmantesi:  "kati nu kho, udāyi, anussatiṭṭhānānī"ti? Dutiyampi kho āyasmā udāyī tuṇhī ahosi. Tatiyampi kho bhagavā āyasmantaṁ udāyiṁ āmantesi:  "kati nu kho, udāyi, anussatiṭṭhānānī"ti? Tatiyampi kho āyasmā udāyī tuṇhī ahosi.


2Atha kho āyasmā ānando āyasmantaṁ udāyiṁ etadavoca:  "satthā taṁ, āvuso udāyi, āmantesī"ti.

"Suṇomahaṁ, āvuso ānanda, bhagavato.

Idha, bhante, bhikkhu anekavihitaṁ pubbenivāsaṁ anussarati – seyyathidaṁ – ekampi jātiṁ dvepi jātiyo … pe …. Iti sākāraṁ sauddesaṁ anekavihitaṁ pubbenivāsaṁ anussarati. Idaṁ, bhante, anussatiṭṭhānan"ti.

3Atha kho bhagavā āyasmantaṁ ānandaṁ āmantesi:  "aññāsiṁ kho ahaṁ, ānanda:  ‘nevāyaṁ udāyī moghapuriso adhicittaṁ anuyutto viharatī’ti. Kati nu kho, ānanda, anussatiṭṭhānānī"ti?


4"Pañca, bhante, anussatiṭṭhānāni. Katamāni pañca?

Idha, bhante, bhikkhu vivicceva kāmehi … pe … tatiyaṁ jhānaṁ upasampajja viharati. Idaṁ, bhante, anussatiṭṭhānaṁ evaṁ bhāvitaṁ evaṁ bahulīkataṁ diṭṭhadhammasukhavihārāya saṁvattati. (1)


5"Puna caparaṁ, bhante, bhikkhu ālokasaññaṁ manasi karoti, divā saññaṁ adhiṭṭhāti, yathā divā tathā rattiṁ, yathā rattiṁ tathā divā; iti vivaṭena cetasā apariyonaddhena sappabhāsaṁ cittaṁ bhāveti. Idaṁ, bhante, anussatiṭṭhānaṁ evaṁ bhāvitaṁ evaṁ bahulīkataṁ ñāṇadassanappaṭilābhāya saṁvattati. (2)


6Puna caparaṁ, bhante, bhikkhu imameva kāyaṁ uddhaṁ pādatalā adho kesamatthakā tacapariyantaṁ pūraṁ nānappakārassa asucino paccavekkhati:  ‘atthi imasmiṁ kāye kesā lomā nakhā dantā taco, maṁsaṁ nhāru aṭṭhi aṭṭhimiñjaṁ vakkaṁ, hadayaṁ yakanaṁ kilomakaṁ pihakaṁ papphāsaṁ, antaṁ antaguṇaṁ udariyaṁ karīsaṁ, pittaṁ semhaṁ pubbo lohitaṁ sedo medo, assu vasā kheḷo siṅghāṇikā lasikā muttan’ti. Idaṁ, bhante, anussatiṭṭhānaṁ evaṁ bhāvitaṁ evaṁ bahulīkataṁ kāmarāgappahānāya saṁvattati. (3)

7Puna caparaṁ, bhante, bhikkhu seyyathāpi passeyya sarīraṁ sivathikāya chaṭṭitaṁ ekāhamataṁ vā dvīhamataṁ vā tīhamataṁ vā uddhumātakaṁ vinīlakaṁ vipubbakajātaṁ. So imameva kāyaṁ evaṁ upasaṁharati:  ‘ayampi kho kāyo evaṁdhammo evaṁbhāvī evaṁanatīto’ti. (4)

8Seyyathāpi vā pana passeyya sarīraṁ sīvathikāya chaṭṭitaṁ kākehi vā khajjamānaṁ kulalehi vā khajjamānaṁ gijjhehi vā khajjamānaṁ sunakhehi vā khajjamānaṁ siṅgālehi vā khajjamānaṁ vividhehi vā pāṇakajātehi khajjamānaṁ. So imameva kāyaṁ evaṁ upasaṁharati:  ‘ayampi kho kāyo evaṁdhammo evaṁbhāvī evaṁanatīto’ti.

9Seyyathāpi vā pana passeyya sarīraṁ sīvathikāya chaṭṭitaṁ aṭṭhikasaṅkhalikaṁ samaṁsalohitaṁ nhārusambandhaṁ … pe … aṭṭhikasaṅkhalikaṁ nimmaṁsalohitamakkhitaṁ nhārusambandhaṁ … aṭṭhikasaṅkhalikaṁ apagatamaṁsalohitaṁ nhārusambandhaṁ. Aṭṭhikāni apagatasambandhāni disāvidisāvikkhittāni, aññena hatthaṭṭhikaṁ aññena pādaṭṭhikaṁ aññena jaṅghaṭṭhikaṁ aññena ūruṭṭhikaṁ aññena kaṭiṭṭhikaṁ aññena phāsukaṭṭhikaṁ aññena piṭṭhikaṇṭakaṭṭhikaṁ aññena khandhaṭṭhikaṁ aññena gīvaṭṭhikaṁ aññena hanukaṭṭhikaṁ aññena dantakaṭṭhikaṁ aññena sīsakaṭāhaṁ, aṭṭhikāni setāni saṅkhavaṇṇappaṭibhāgāni aṭṭhikāni puñjakitāni terovassikāni aṭṭhikāni pūtīni cuṇṇakajātāni. So imameva kāyaṁ evaṁ upasaṁharati:  ‘ayampi kho kāyo evaṁdhammo evaṁbhāvī evaṁanatīto’ti. Idaṁ, bhante, anussatiṭṭhānaṁ evaṁ bhāvitaṁ evaṁ bahulīkataṁ asmimānasamugghātāya saṁvattati.

10Puna caparaṁ, bhante, bhikkhu sukhassa ca pahānā … pe … catutthaṁ jhānaṁ upasampajja viharati. Idaṁ, bhante, anussatiṭṭhānaṁ evaṁ bhāvitaṁ evaṁ bahulīkataṁ anekadhātupaṭivedhāya saṁvattati.

Imāni kho, bhante, pañca anussatiṭṭhānānī"ti. (5)


11"Sādhu sādhu, ānanda. Tena hi tvaṁ, ānanda, idampi chaṭṭhaṁ anussatiṭṭhānaṁ dhārehi.

Idhānanda, bhikkhu satova abhikkamati satova paṭikkamati satova tiṭṭhati satova nisīdati satova seyyaṁ kappeti satova kammaṁ adhiṭṭhāti. Idaṁ, ānanda, anussatiṭṭhānaṁ evaṁ bhāvitaṁ evaṁ bahulīkataṁ satisampajaññāya saṁvattatī"ti. (6)

Navamaṁ.