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Saṁyutta Nikāya — The Connected Discourses

SN41: Connected Discourses with Citta

SN41:7 Godatta

1On one occasion the Venerable Godatta was dwelling at Macchikasaṇḍa in the Wild Mango Grove. sn.iv.296 Then Citta the householder approached the Venerable Godatta, paid homage to him, and sat down to one side. The Venerable Godatta then said to him as he was sitting to one side:[n.308] Godatta's verses are at Th 659–72. The conversation that follows is also at MN I 297,9–298,27, with Sāriputta and Mahakoṭṭhita as the speakers.

"Householder, the measureless liberation of mind, the liberation of mind by nothingness, the liberation of mind by emptiness, and the signless liberation of mind: are these things different in meaning and also different in phrasing, or are they one in meaning and different only in phrasing?"

"There is a method, venerable sir, by which these things are different in meaning and also different in phrasing, and there is a method by which they are one in meaning and different only in phrasing.

2"And what, venerable sir, is the method by which these things are different in meaning and also different in phrasing? Here a bhikkhu dwells pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with lovingkindness, likewise the second quarter, the third quarter, and the fourth quarter. Thus above, below, across, and everywhere, and to all as to himself, he dwells pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with lovingkindness, vast, exalted, measureless, without hostility, without ill will. He dwells pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with compassion … with a mind imbued with altruistic joy … with a mind imbued with equanimity, likewise the second quarter, the third quarter, and the fourth quarter. Thus above, below, across, and everywhere, and to all as to himself, he dwells pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with equanimity, vast, exalted, measureless, without hostility, without ill will. This is called the measureless liberation of mind.[n.309] Spk: There are twelve kinds of measureless liberation of mind (appamāṇā cetovimutti): the four divine abodes, the four paths, and the four fruits. The divine abodes are called "measureless" because of their measureless radiation (towards countless beings), the paths and fruits because they remove the defilements, the causes of measurement.

3"And what, venerable sir, is the liberation of mind by nothingness? Here, by completely transcending the base of the infinity of consciousness, aware that ‘there is nothing,’ a bhikkhu enters and dwells in the base of nothingness. This is called the liberation of mind by nothingness.[n.310] Spk: There are nine kinds of liberation of mind by nothingness (ākiñcaññ̄ā cetovimutti): the base of nothingness, and the four paths and fruits. The first is called "nothingness" because it does not have any "something" (impediment; see n. 315 just below) as object, the paths and fruits because of the nonexistence in them of the excruciating and obstructive defilements.

4"And what, venerable sir, is the liberation of mind by emptiness? Here a bhikkhu, gone to the forest or to the foot of a tree or to an empty hut, reflects thus: ‘Empty is this of self sn.iv.297 or of what belongs to self.’ This is called the liberation of mind by emptiness.[n.311] Spk does not gloss this, but it seems the expression "liberation of mind by emptiness" (suññatā cetovimutti) is used to signify concentration based on insight into the selfless nature of phenomena and also the supramundane paths and fruits.

5"And what, venerable sir, is the signless liberation of mind? Here, with nonattention to all signs, a bhikkhu enters and dwells in the signless concentration of mind. This is called the signless liberation of mind.[n.312] Spk: There are thirteen kinds of signless liberation of mind (animittā cetovimutti): insight—because it removes the "signs" of permanence, happiness, and self; the four formless attainments—because the sign of form is absent in them; and the four paths and fruits—because the defilements, the "makers of signs," are absent in them.

"This, venerable sir, is the method by which these things are different in meaning and also different in phrasing.[n.313] On this interpretation, the measureless liberation of mind is the four divine abodes; the liberation of mind by nothingness, the third formless attainment; and the liberation of mind by emptiness, concentration based on insight into the selfless nature of phenomena. The signless liberation of mind is hard to pinpoint in terms of a familiar doctrinal category. Spk takes it here as supramundane with Nibbāna as object.

6And what, venerable sir, is the method by which these things are one in meaning and different only in phrasing?

"Lust, venerable sir, is a maker of measurement, hatred is a maker of measurement, delusion is a maker of measurement. For a bhikkhu whose taints are destroyed, these have been abandoned, cut off at the root, made like palm stumps, obliterated so that they are no more subject to future arising. To whatever extent there are measureless liberations of mind, the unshakable liberation of mind is declared the chief among them.[n.314] Akuppā cetovimutti. Spk: The liberation of mind consisting in the fruition of arahantship. Now that unshakable liberation of mind is empty of lust, empty of hatred, empty of delusion.

"Lust, venerable sir, is a something, hatred is a something, delusion is a something.[n.315] Spk explains kiñcana as if it were derived from a verb kiñcati glossed maddati palibundhati ("crushes, impedes"), thus as meaning obstruction or impediment. The true derivation, however, is from kiṁ + cana—meaning simply "something"; see MW, s.v. (2) ka, kas, ka, kim. The word is used idiomatically in Pali to mean a possession considered as an impediment; see MN II 263,34–264,1. This acquired meaning seems to have been devised for a didactic purpose. See PED for other references where this sense is evident. For a bhikkhu whose taints are destroyed, these have been abandoned, cut off at the root, made like palm stumps, obliterated so that they are no more subject to future arising. To whatever extent there are liberations of mind by nothingness, the unshakable liberation of mind is declared the chief among them. Now that unshakable liberation of mind is empty of lust, empty of hatred, empty of delusion.

"Lust, venerable sir, is a maker of signs, hatred is a maker of signs, delusion is a maker of signs.[n.316] Spk explains that lust, etc., are called sign-makers (nimittakaraṇa) because they mark a person as lustful, hating, or deluded. Perhaps, though, the statement means that lust causes the "sign of beauty" (subhanimitta) to appear, hatred the "sign of the repulsive" (paṭighanimitta), and delusion the signs of permanence, pleasure, and self. For a bhikkhu whose taints are destroyed, these have been abandoned, cut off at the root, made like palm stumps, obliterated so that they are no more subject to future arising. To whatever extent there are signless liberations of mind, the unshakable liberation of mind is declared the chief among them. Now that unshakable liberation of mind is empty of lust, empty of hatred, empty of delusion.

"This, venerable sir, is the method by which these things are one in meaning and different only in phrasing."[n.317] Spk: Though the emptiness liberation of mind is not mentioned separately, it is included throughout by the phrase "empty of lust," etc.

"It is a gain for you, householder, it is well gained by you, householder, in that you have the eye of wisdom that ranges over the deep Word of the Buddha."

1Ekaṁ samayaṁ āyasmā godatto macchikāsaṇḍe vihārati ambāṭakavane. Atha kho citto gahapati yenāyasmā godatto tenupasaṅkami; upasaṅkamitvā āyasmantaṁ godattaṁ abhivādetvā ekamantaṁ nisīdi. Ekamantaṁ nisinnaṁ kho cittaṁ gahapatiṁ āyasmā godatto etadavoca:

"yā cāyaṁ, gahapati, appamāṇā cetovimutti, yā ca ākiñcaññā cetovimutti, yā ca suññatā cetovimutti, yā ca animittā cetovimutti, ime dhammā nānatthā nānābyañjanā udāhu ekatthā byañjanameva nānan"ti?

"Atthi, bhante, pariyāyo yaṁ pariyāyaṁ āgamma ime dhammā nānatthā ceva nānābyañjanā ca. Atthi pana, bhante, pariyāyo yaṁ pariyāyaṁ āgamma ime dhammā ekatthā byañjanameva nānan"ti.

2"Katamo ca, bhante, pariyāyo yaṁ pariyāyaṁ āgamma ime dhammā nānatthā ceva nānābyañjanā ca? Idha, bhante, bhikkhu mettāsahagatena cetasā ekaṁ disaṁ pharitvā vihārati, tathā dutiyaṁ, tathā tatiyaṁ, tathā catutthaṁ. Iti uddhamadho tiriyaṁ sabbadhi sabbattatāya sabbāvantaṁ lokaṁ mettāsahagatena cetasā vipulena mahaggatena appamāṇena averena abyāpajjena pharitvā vihārati. Karuṇāsahagatena cetasā … pe … muditāsahagatena cetasā … pe … upekkhāsahagatena cetasā ekaṁ disaṁ pharitvā vihārati, tathā dutiyaṁ, tathā tatiyaṁ, tathā catutthaṁ. Iti uddhamadho tiriyaṁ sabbadhi sabbattatāya sabbāvantaṁ lokaṁ upekkhāsahagatena cetasā vipulena mahaggatena appamāṇena averena abyāpajjena pharitvā vihārati. Ayaṁ vuccati, bhante, appamāṇā cetovimutti.

3Katamā ca, bhante, ākiñcaññā cetovimutti? Idha, bhante, bhikkhu sabbaso viññāṇañcāyatanaṁ samatikkamma, ‘Natthi kiñcī’ti ākiñcaññāyatanaṁ upasampajja vihārati. Ayaṁ vuccati, bhante, ākiñcaññā cetovimutti.

4Katamā ca, bhante, suññatā cetovimutti? Idha, bhante, bhikkhu araññagato vā rukkhamūlagato vā suññāgāragato vā iti paṭisañcikkhati: ‘suññamidaṁ attena vā attaniyena vā’ti. Ayaṁ vuccati, bhante, suññatā cetovimutti.

5Katamā ca, bhante, animittā cetovimutti? Idha, bhante, bhikkhu sabbanimittānaṁ amanasikārā animittaṁ cetosamādhiṁ upasampajja vihārati. Ayaṁ vuccati, bhante, animittā cetovimutti.

Ayaṁ kho, bhante, pariyāyo yaṁ pariyāyaṁ āgamma ime dhammā nānatthā ceva nānābyañjanā ca.

6Katamo ca, bhante, pariyāyo yaṁ pariyāyaṁ āgamma ime dhammā ekatthā byañjanameva nānaṁ?

Rāgo, bhante, pamāṇākārāṇo, doso pamāṇākārāṇo, moho pamāṇākārāṇo. Te khīṇāsavassa bhikkhuno pahīnā ucchinnamūlā tālāvatthukatā anabhāvaṅkatā āyatiṁ anup pāda dhammā. Yāvatā kho, bhante, appamāṇā cetovimuttiyo, akuppā tāsaṁ cetovimutti aggamakkhāyati. Sā kho pana akuppā cetovimutti suññā rāgena, suññā dosena, suññā mohena.

Rāgo kho, bhante, kiñcanaṁ, doso kiñcanaṁ, moho kiñcanaṁ. Te khīṇāsavassa bhikkhuno pahīnā ucchinnamūlā tālāvatthukatā anabhāvaṅkatā āyatiṁ anup pāda dhammā. Yāvatā kho, bhante, ākiñcaññā cetovimuttiyo, akuppā tāsaṁ cetovimutti aggamakkhāyati. Sā kho pana akuppā cetovimutti suññā rāgena, suññā dosena, suññā mohena.

Rāgo kho, bhante, nimittakaraṇo, doso nimittakaraṇo, moho nimittakaraṇo. Te khīṇāsavassa bhikkhuno pahīnā ucchinnamūlā tālāvatthukatā anabhāvaṅkatā āyatiṁ anup pāda dhammā. Yāvatā kho, bhante, animittā cetovimuttiyo, akuppā tāsaṁ cetovimutti aggamakkhāyati. Sā kho pana akuppā cetovimutti suññā rāgena, suññā dosena, suññā mohena.

Ayaṁ kho, bhante, pariyāyo yaṁ pariyāyaṁ āgamma ime dhammā ekatthā byañjanameva nānan"ti.

"Lābhā te, gahapati, suladdhaṁ te, gahapati. Yassa te gambhīre buddhavacane paññācakkhu kamatī"ti.

Sattamaṁ.