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4👑☸👑8☸ 2💭 Sammā-saṅkappo: right resolve    🔗📝   🔝
 

Sammā-saṅkappo

STED sammā-saṅkappo

And what is right resolve? (SN 45.8)

Nekkhamma-saṅkappo,
Renunciation-resolve,
A-byāpāda-saṅkappo,
Non-ill-will-resolve,
A-vihiṃsā-saṅkappo —
Non-harmfulness-resolve

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chapter four
Right Resolve
Books/On the Path/Right Resolve

Right resolve is the second of the discernment factors in the path.
The Pāli term for resolve—saṅkappa—can also mean plan of action.
It is the aspect of discernment related to the will, although its connotations are stronger and more organized than “intention,” its near synonym.
If right view is like a map for the path, right resolve is the plan of action based on the information contained in the map.
At the same time, however, a plan of action can also determine what kind of information is going to be desired in the map:
Right resolve—which on all its levels and in all its manifestations is the resolve not to cause affliction (§45;
§§141–146)—plays a role in shaping the focus and purpose of right view in just the same way.

Given that right resolve is largely a matter of the will, it is also closely associated with the other factors of the path dealing with the will, such as right effort and the sub-factor of ardency in right mindfulness.
In addition, the transcendent level of right resolve is actually identical with the sub-factors of directed thought and evaluation in right concentration.
And, of course, it supplies direction to the virtue factors of the path as well.
This means that it informs—and, as we will see, is informed by—all the other factors of the path.

Mundane right resolve.
MN 117 (§48) defines wrong resolve as the resolve for sensuality, the resolve for ill will, and the resolve for harmfulness.
In contrast, it defines the mundane level of right resolve as the resolve for renunciation, the resolve for non-ill will, and the resolve for harmlessness.
In pairing mundane right resolve against its opposites, MN 117 helps to clarify the meaning of the first terms in each set:
“Sensuality” here has the same meaning as it has in the graduated discourse and in the first type of craving:
It’s the passion for resolves and plans focused on sensual pleasures.
“Renunciation” means specifically the renouncing of that passion.

However, to clarify the meanings of the other two pairs of right and wrong resolve, we have to look elsewhere in the Canon.
AN 10.165 (§165) helps with the second pair—ill will and non-ill will—by showing how ill will and non-ill will are expressed.
First, ill will:

“‘May these beings be killed or cut apart or crushed or destroyed, or may they not exist at all!’


Then, non-ill will:

“‘May these beings be free from animosity, free from oppression, free from trouble, and may they look after themselves with ease!’


AN 6.13 (§369) helps to clarify the third pair in stating that compassion is the escape from harmfulness.

Given these definitions, it’s clear that resolve for non-ill will is a resolve to develop an attitude of goodwill, and that resolve for harmlessness is a resolve to develop an attitude of compassion.
These two attitudes are closely related.
When developed in an immeasurable way—i.
e., extended to all living beings everywhere—they are two of the four brahma-vihāras, or sublime attitudes.
Goodwill is a general wish for happiness;
compassion is what goodwill feels on seeing that beings are suffering:
It wants that suffering to end.

The question arises:
Why did the Buddha include in the three forms of right resolve two qualities that are so closely related?
The Canon provides no answer, but a possible answer can be derived by examining how the three forms of wrong resolve relate to the three types of craving that lead to suffering.
The resolve for sensuality is obviously related to craving for sensuality.
The expression for ill will is an especially unskillful expression of craving for non-becoming:
hoping to see that beings will be injured or wiped out of existence.
Harmfulness, as the opposite of compassion, would be an unskillful expression of the craving for becoming:
hoping that beings who are already in a state of suffering will continue in that state.

The fact that these two last expressions of wrong resolve are not entirely separate illustrates the Buddha’s statement, in connection with the second noble truth, that there is becoming in the craving for non-becoming (§127). To crave the becoming of one state involves non-becoming for another state;
to crave the non-becoming of a state brings about the becoming of the state of one who craves.
In the same way, to crave for the destruction of happiness brings about the becoming of a state of suffering.
To crave for the becoming of a state of suffering brings about the non-becoming of well-being.

When we examine the three types of right resolve that counteract the three types of craving, we can see that resolve for renunciation is clearly a resolve to abandon craving for sensuality.
Resolve for non-ill will is a relatively skillful craving for becoming:
the desire that all living beings—oneself included—can develop states of becoming where they can live in ease and without animosity, oppression, or trouble.
Resolve for harmlessness is a relatively skillful craving for non-becoming:
the desire that sufferings be destroyed.

The reason why the Buddha didn’t simply list the resolve to abandon becoming and non-becoming as mundane forms of right resolve is because the factors of the path—both on the mundane and transcendent levels—require the use both of skillful becoming and skillful non-becoming if they are to develop at all.
Only on the final level of the path, beyond the transcendent, can both becoming and non-becoming be entirely dropped.
So on the mundane level, the Buddha focuses right resolve on skillful levels of becoming and non-becoming that are helpful to the path:
the resolve to abandon sensuality, and the resolve to live—and to help others to live—in ease and without animosity, oppression, trouble, or suffering.

In this way, mundane right resolve focuses on the beginning stages of eliminating suffering and its causes.
MN 19 (§161) makes this point especially clear in noting that the determining factor separating mundane right resolve from wrong resolve is that right resolve does not lead to affliction, whereas wrong resolve does.
Seeing that suffering comes from unskillful actions, and that actions come from intentions, mundane right resolve aims at ridding the mind of unskillful intentions that would lead to the affliction caused by unskillful actions.
This is one of the ways in which mundane right resolve is shaped by the analysis of action and the problem of suffering provided both by mundane and by transcendent right view.

Another way that mundane and transcendent right view give guidance to the desire for non-affliction lies in their analysis of what exactly counts as affliction.
In light of the teaching on kamma and rebirth, §144 notes that loss in terms of view and virtue is much more serious than loss of relatives, wealth, or health.
In a similar light, §145 notes that you benefit yourself by avoiding unskillful behavior, and you benefit others by getting them to avoid unskillful behavior, too.
The converse is also true:
You afflict yourself by behaving unskillfully, and you afflict others by getting them to behave unskillfully.
You would do more long-term harm to people by getting them to lose right view and virtue than you would by damaging their health or wealth, or by harming their relatives.
After all, behavior is what determines whether a person will be happy or not—in this life and in lives to come—so the real roots of affliction and non-affliction lie, not in what’s done to a person, but what views a person holds about skillful and unskillful action, and what that person does as a result.
This understanding of affliction and non-affliction governs not only this aspect of right resolve, but also all the virtue factors of the path.

As you begin to act on mundane right resolve, the guidance it receives from right view becomes even more detailed.
For instance, with renunciation:
Right view provides a twofold analysis that helps you see sensuality as a problem and understand how to overcome it.

• First, the understanding of kamma provided by right view shows the harmful kammic consequences that come from acting on sensuality:
Families get into quarrels, people commit robbery, and nations get into wars, all because of sensuality (§149). It’s because of sensuality that people suffer over the death of a loved one (MN 87;
Ud 2.7;
Ud 8.8). It’s also because of sensuality that people fear death—in that they’re afraid of losing the sensual pleasures of the human realm—so they do the many unskillful things based on that fear (§§153–154). In this way, sensuality leads to suffering not only in this lifetime, but also after death.

• Second, the teachings on the three forms of fabrication—bodily, verbal, and mental—show how thoughts and moods are constructed, information that is useful in deconstructing sensual thoughts and in constructing resolves for renunciation in their place.

For instance, you can analyze a sensual mood in terms of how it relates to (1) the way you breathe, (2) the way you are talking to yourself about your sensual desire, and (3) the way in which the mood is inflamed both by (a) unpleasant feelings of irritation at not getting the object of your desire and by (b) perceptions of the attractiveness of the object of your desire, of the desire itself, or of both.
Having analyzed the sensual mood into these terms, you can pull yourself out of that mood by altering all of those fabrications:
breathing in a more calming way that helps to disperse the feelings of irritation, talking to yourself about the drawbacks of the desire and of acting on it, and altering your perceptions to show that neither the desire nor its object are as attractive as you thought them to be.
To help in this last step, the Canon provides many recommendations for how to perceive the body as unattractive—such as imagining it divided into its various parts, or imagining what it will be like when it dies (§258)—along with many analogies and reflections that give you a fund of perceptions to remind yourself of how sensual desire disturbs the mind and blinds you to the real nature of things (§151), at the same time exposing you to dangers and disappointment (§§149–150).

Right view provides similar guidance for developing the second and third forms of mundane right resolve:
a heart of goodwill and its corollary, compassion.

• To begin with, the teachings on kamma show why your own well-being requires that you maintain goodwill and compassion for all.
If your goodwill is only partial, you can’t trust yourself to act skillfully when faced with difficult people for whom you feel ill will.
For this reason, when you extend goodwill and compassion to others, you do it not because they deserve it, but because you need it as a form of protection against your own unskillful urges.
This is why §156 states that you should protect your goodwill as a mother would protect her only child even with her life, and why §157 recommends developing goodwill even for bandits who have pinned you down and are trying to saw off your limbs.
In other words, don’t let anyone’s actions damage your goodwill, and hold your goodwill as more worthy of protection than even your life.

SN 10.4 (§159) also states that mere mindfulness is not enough to overcome enmity with others.
For that, you need to develop an attitude of harmlessness—compassion—as well.

• Second, the teaching on kamma also explains what it means to have goodwill and compassion for others.
Because their well-being will depend on their actions, true goodwill and compassion mean wishing that they will know the causes for true happiness and be willing and able to act on them.
To whatever extent you can help them in this direction, you are happy to help, but you can’t take ultimate responsibility for their happiness.
The Canon’s expressions of goodwill illustrate this point by going beyond the mere wish that others be happy to the wish that they be capable of creating happiness in themselves through their own skillful efforts:

“May these beings… look after themselves with ease!”
AN 10.176

“Let no one deceive another or despise anyone anywhere, or through anger or irritation wish for another to suffer.”
— Khp 9

Because the happiness of others is ultimately outside of your control, the brahma-vihāras also include the practice of developing immeasurable equanimity, to cover cases where you would like to see suffering end but, for reasons of kamma, it can’t.
Equanimity in these cases allows you to preserve your energy to focus on areas where it will be more productive.

• Third, the teaching on the three forms of fabrication reminds you that goodwill, like ill will, is a fabricated state of mind.
Universal goodwill is no more innate to the mind than is universal ill will.
This is why §156 states that the development of goodwill is both a determination—something you have to will to happen—and a form of mindfulness:
something you have to keep in mind.

More specifically, the teaching on the three forms of fabrication give precise instructions on how to replace ill will with non-ill will.
First, you have to look at how the way you breathe, the way you talk to yourself, and the feelings and perceptions you focus on are aggravating ill will.
Then you see how you can change each of these fabrications to foster a felt sense of goodwill.
Here, as under sensuality, the Canon provides many useful analogies that can be used as perceptions to remind yourself of the drawbacks of ill will and of the fact that goodwill is not a sentimental weakness of mind, but actually a strength (§157)—and a strength that you need to foster for your own well-being (§159).

Lessons for right view.
In response to the guidance that right resolve receives from right view, right resolve also gives focus and direction to right view.
We have already seen how resolve for renunciation, as part of the graduated discourse, puts the mind in a position where it is prepared to accept and adopt transcendent right view.
The resolve for renunciation also makes it easier to abandon sensual craving, in line with the duty of the second noble truth.
At the same time, the contemplation of the body that is one of the tactics used to overcome sensuality gives hands-on experience in dealing with the power of perception as a mental fabrication.
It also alerts right view to the way in which the mind can choose its perceptions to foster unskillful mind-states, even when it should know better.
This alerts you to deeper undercurrents that have to be dealt with if you want to put a genuine end to the craving that causes suffering and stress.

As for resolves for non-ill will and harmlessness, they are factors that focus knowledge of the principle of kamma onto the problem of suffering.
It’s one thing to know about the principle of kamma;
it’s something else to see that the best use of that knowledge is to eliminate suffering.
If it were not for the Buddha’s own goodwill and compassion, he wouldn’t have made the solution of the problem of suffering the centerpiece of his teaching.

Transcendent right resolve.
MN 117 defines transcendent right resolve as “the thinking, directed thinking, resolve, (mental) fixity, transfixion, focused awareness, & verbal fabrications of one developing the noble path whose mind is noble.”
These terms appear to correspond to the sub-factors of directed thought and evaluation in the first jhāna, under right concentration.
This observation is supported by the statement in MN 78 (§164) that the first jhāna counts as the highest skillful resolve.
This jhāna is directly related to right resolve in that it’s a state of mind secluded from sensuality, and it embodies your resolve for your own well-being.

This last point is shown in three suttas describing how right resolve develops from the mundane to the transcendent level.
MN 19 (§161) shows how, once mundane right resolves are strong, you realize that there would be no danger in thinking thoughts based on right resolve for long periods of time, aside from the fact that constant thinking tires the mind.
Out of goodwill for yourself, you then incline the mind to discontinue that thinking and to find rest in the first jhāna.

MN 14 (§295), however, shows another way in which goodwill for yourself can incline you to foster the first jhāna:
You realize that, no matter how well you see the drawbacks of sensuality, if you don’t have a level of non-sensual pleasure such as can be found in the first jhāna—or something higher—your mind can still hunger to return to sensual thoughts.
For your own safety and well-being, you need at least the first jhāna to carry through with your right resolves.

Finally, AN 8.63 (§163) shows that contemplation of goodwill and compassion, along with the other two brahma-vihāras—empathetic joy and equanimity—if done with enough focus, can in and of itself lead to states of concentration that correspond to the jhānas.

Beyond transcendent right resolve.
MN 78 states that all resolves, skillful and not, are transcended in the second jhāna, which is devoid of directed thought and evaluation.
However, when you leave jhāna, the mind’s resolves will return, and so they are not totally transcended.
Also, when the mind moves from one level of jhāna to another, and when it analyzes the states of jhāna to master them and eventually get beyond them, it still has to use directed thought and evaluation in a focused way:
This, too, would count as transcendent right resolve.
Only when right view gains the insight that allows it to abandon all the factors of the path, on the threshold of awakening, can right resolve of every sort be abandoned as well.

Readings
Mundane Right Resolve

§ 141. The principle of non-affliction.
“This is the way leading to discernment:
when visiting a contemplative or brahman, to ask:
‘What is skillful, venerable sir?
What is unskillful?
What is blameworthy?
What is blameless?
What should be cultivated?
What should not be cultivated?
What, having been done by me, will be for my long-term harm & suffering?
Or what, having been done by me, will be for my long-term welfare & happiness?’
” — MN 135

§ 142. “Just as a firebrand from a funeral pyre—burning at both ends, covered with excrement in the middle—is used as fuel neither in a village nor in the wilderness:
I tell you that this is a simile for the individual who practices neither for his/her own benefit nor for that of others.
The individual who practices for the benefit of others but not for his/her own is the higher & more refined of these two.
The individual who practices for his/her own benefit but not for that of others is the highest & most refined of these three.
The individual who practices for his/her own benefit and for that of others is, of these four, the foremost, the chief, the most outstanding, the highest, & supreme.
Just as from a cow comes milk;
from milk, curds;
from curds, butter;
from butter, ghee;
from ghee, the skimmings of ghee;
and of these, the skimmings of ghee are reckoned the foremost—in the same way, of these four, the individual who practices for his/her own benefit and for that of others is the foremost, the chief, the most outstanding, the highest, & supreme.”
AN 4.95

§ 143. “And how is one an individual who practices for his own benefit but not for that of others?
There is the case where a certain individual himself abstains from the taking of life but doesn’t encourage others in undertaking abstinence from the taking of life.
He himself abstains from stealing but doesn’t encourage others in undertaking abstinence from stealing.
He himself abstains from sexual misconduct but doesn’t encourage others in undertaking abstinence from sexual misconduct.
He himself abstains from lying but doesn’t encourage others in undertaking abstinence from lying.
He himself abstains from intoxicants that cause heedlessness but doesn’t encourage others in undertaking abstinence from intoxicants that cause heedlessness.
That’s how one is an individual who practices for his own benefit but not for that of others.

“And how is one an individual who practices for the benefit of others but not for his own?
There is the case where a certain individual himself doesn’t abstain from the taking of life but encourages others in undertaking abstinence from the taking of life.
[Similarly with abstaining from stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, & intoxicants that cause heedlessness.
] That’s how one is an individual who practices for the benefit of others but not for his own.

“And how is one an individual who practices neither for his own benefit nor for that of others?
There is the case where a certain individual himself doesn’t abstain from the taking of life and doesn’t encourage others in undertaking abstinence from the taking of life.
[Similarly with abstaining from stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, & intoxicants that cause heedlessness.
] That’s how one is an individual who practices neither for his own benefit nor for that of others.

“And how is one an individual who practices for his own benefit and for that of others?
There is the case where a certain individual himself abstains from the taking of life and encourages others in undertaking abstinence from the taking of life.
He himself abstains from stealing and encourages others in undertaking abstinence from stealing.
He himself abstains from sexual misconduct and encourages others in undertaking abstinence from sexual misconduct.
He himself abstains from lying and encourages others in undertaking abstinence from lying.
He himself abstains from intoxicants that cause heedlessness and encourages others in undertaking abstinence from intoxicants that cause heedlessness.
That’s how one is an individual who practices for his own benefit and for that of others.”
AN 4.99

§ 144. “Monks, there are these five kinds of loss.
Which five?
Loss of relatives, loss of wealth, loss through disease, loss in terms of virtue, loss in terms of views.
It’s not by reason of loss of relatives, loss of wealth, or loss through disease that beings—with the break-up of the body, after death—reappear in a plane of deprivation, a bad destination, a lower realm, hell.
It’s by reason of loss in terms of virtue and loss in terms of views that beings—with the break-up of the body, after death—reappear in a plane of deprivation, a bad destination, a lower realm, hell.”
AN 5.130

§ 145. “And how is one an individual who practices for his/her own benefit but not for that of others?
There is the case where a certain individual practices for the subduing of passion within him/herself but doesn’t encourage others in the subduing of passion;
practices for the subduing of aversion within him/herself but doesn’t encourage others in the subduing of aversion;
practices for the subduing of delusion within him/herself but doesn’t encourage others in the subduing of delusion.
That’s how one is an individual who practices for his/her own benefit but not for that of others.

“And how is one an individual who practices for the benefit of others but not for his/her own?
There is the case where a certain individual doesn’t practice for the subduing of passion within him/herself but encourages others in the subduing of passion;
he/she doesn’t practice for the subduing of aversion within him/herself but encourages others in the subduing of aversion;
he/she doesn’t practice for the subduing of delusion within him/herself but encourages others in the subduing of delusion.
That’s how one is an individual who practices for the benefit of others but not for his/her own.

“And how is one an individual who practices neither for his/her own benefit nor for that of others?
There is the case where a certain individual doesn’t practice for the subduing of passion within him/herself and doesn’t encourage others in the subduing of passion;
he/she doesn’t practice for the subduing of aversion within him/herself and doesn’t encourage others in the subduing of aversion;
he/she doesn’t practice for the subduing of delusion within him/herself and doesn’t encourage others in the subduing of delusion.
That’s how one is an individual who practices neither for his/her own benefit nor for that of others.

“And how is one an individual who practices for his/her own benefit and for that of others?
There is the case where a certain individual practices for the subduing of passion within him/herself and encourages others in the subduing of passion;
practices for the subduing of aversion within him/herself and encourages others in the subduing of aversion;
practices for the subduing of delusion within him/herself and encourages others in the subduing of delusion.
That’s how one is an individual who practices for his/her own benefit and for that of others.”
AN 4.96

§ 146. Channa the wanderer:
“But, friend Ānanda, seeing what drawbacks in passion do you advocate the abandoning of passion?
Seeing what drawbacks in aversion do you advocate the abandoning of aversion?
Seeing what drawbacks in delusion do you advocate the abandoning of delusion?”

Ven.
Ānanda:
“A person impassioned, his mind bound up, overcome with passion, wills for his own detriment, wills for the detriment of others, wills for the detriment of both.
He also experiences mental stress & sorrow.
But having abandoned passion, he doesn’t will for his own detriment, doesn’t will for the detriment of others, doesn’t will for the detriment of both.
He doesn’t experience mental stress or sorrow.

“A person impassioned, his mind bound up, overcome with passion, engages in bodily misconduct, in verbal misconduct, in mental misconduct.
But having abandoned passion, he doesn’t engage in bodily misconduct, in verbal misconduct, or in mental misconduct.

“A person impassioned, his mind bound up, overcome with passion, doesn’t discern, as it has come to be, what is of profit to himself, what is of profit to others, what is of profit to both.
But having abandoned passion, he discerns, as it has come to be, what is of profit to himself, what is of profit to others, what is of profit to both.

“Passion, my friend, makes you blind, makes you sightless, makes you ignorant.
It brings about the cessation of discernment, is conducive to trouble, and does not lead to unbinding.
[Similarly with aversion & delusion.
]” …

“Seeing these drawbacks in passion we advocate the abandoning of passion.
Seeing these drawbacks in aversion we advocate the abandoning of aversion.
Seeing these drawbacks in delusion we advocate the abandoning of delusion.”

Channa:
“But is there, my friend, a path, is there a way to the abandoning of that passion, aversion, & delusion?”

Ven.
Ānanda:
“Yes, my friend, there is a path, there is a way to the abandoning of that passion, aversion, & delusion.”

Channa:
“And what is that path, my friend, what is that way to the abandoning of that passion, aversion, & delusion?”

Ven.
Ānanda:
“Just this noble eightfold path:
right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.
This is the path, my friend, this is the way to the abandoning of that passion, aversion, & delusion.”

Channa:
“It’s an auspicious path, my friend, it’s an auspicious way to the abandoning of that passion, aversion, & delusion—enough, friend Ānanda, for the sake of heedfulness.”
AN 3.72

§ 147. Renunciation of sensuality.
“There are these five strings of sensuality.
Which five?
Forms cognizable via the eye—agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, enticing, linked to sensual desire;
sounds cognizable via the ear… aromas cognizable via the nose… flavors cognizable via the tongue… tactile sensations cognizable via the body—agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, enticing, linked to sensual desire.
But these are not sensuality.
They are called strings of sensuality in the discipline of the noble ones.

The passion for his resolves is a man’s sensuality,

not the beautiful sensual pleasures

found in the world.

The passion for his resolves is a man’s sensuality.

The beauties remain as they are in the world,

while, in this regard,

the enlightened

subdue their desire.
AN 6.63

§ 148. If one, longing for sensual pleasure,

achieves it, yes,

he’s enraptured at heart.

The mortal gets what he wants.

But if for that person

—longing, desiring—

the pleasures diminish,

he’s afflicted,

as if shot with an arrow.

Whoever avoids sensual desires

—as he would, with his foot,

the head of a snake—

goes beyond, mindful,

this attachment in the world.

A man who is greedy

for fields, land, gold,

cattle, horses,

servants, employees,

women, relatives,

many sensual pleasures,

is overpowered with weakness

and trampled by trouble,

for pain invades him

as water, a cracked boat.

So one, always mindful,

should avoid sensual desires.

Letting them go,

he’d cross over the flood

like one who, having bailed out the boat,

has reached the far shore.
— Sn 4.1

§ 149. “Now what, monks, is the allure of sensuality?
These five strings of sensuality.
Which five?
Forms cognizable via the eye—agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, enticing, linked to sensual desire.
Sounds cognizable via the ear… Aromas cognizable via the nose… Flavors cognizable via the tongue… Tactile sensations cognizable via the body—agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, enticing, linked to sensual desire.
Now, whatever pleasure or happiness arises in dependence on these five strings of sensuality, that is the allure of sensuality.

“And what is the drawback of sensuality?
There is the case where, on account of the occupation by which a clansman makes a living—whether checking or accounting or calculating or plowing or trading or cattle-tending or archery or as a king’s man, or whatever the occupation may be—he faces cold, he faces heat, being harassed by mosquitoes & flies, wind & sun & creeping things, dying from hunger & thirst.

“Now, this drawback in the case of sensuality, this mass of stress visible here-&-now, has sensuality for its reason, sensuality for its source, sensuality for its cause, the reason being simply sensuality.

“If the clansman gains no wealth while thus working & striving & making effort, he sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught:
‘My work is in vain, my efforts are fruitless!’
.


“If the clansman gains wealth while thus working & striving & making effort, he experiences pain & distress in protecting it:
‘How will neither kings nor thieves make off with my property, nor fire burn it, nor water sweep it away, nor hateful heirs make off with it?’
And as he thus guards and watches over his property, kings or thieves make off with it, or fire burns it, or water sweeps it away, or hateful heirs make off with it.
And he sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught:
‘What was mine is no more!’
.


“Again, it is with sensuality for the reason, sensuality for the source, sensuality for the cause, the reason being simply sensuality, that kings quarrel with kings, nobles with nobles, brahmans with brahmans, householders with householders, mother with child, child with mother, father with child, child with father, brother with brother, sister with sister, brother with sister, sister with brother, friend with friend.
And then in their quarrels, brawls, & disputes, they attack one another with fists or with clods or with sticks or with knives, so that they incur death or deadly pain.


“Again, it is with sensuality for the reason, sensuality for the source… that (men), taking swords & shields and buckling on bows & quivers, charge into battle massed in double array while arrows & spears are flying and swords are flashing;
and there they are wounded by arrows & spears, and their heads are cut off by swords, so that they incur death or deadly pain.


“Again, it is with sensuality for the reason, sensuality for the source… that (men), taking swords & shields and buckling on bows & quivers, charge slippery bastions while arrows & spears are flying and swords are flashing;
and there they are splashed with boiling cow dung and crushed under heavy weights, and their heads are cut off by swords, so that they incur death or deadly pain.


“Again, it is with sensuality for the reason, sensuality for the source… that (men) break into windows, seize plunder, commit burglary, ambush highways, commit adultery, and when they are captured, kings have them tortured in many ways.
They flog them with whips, beat them with canes, beat them with clubs.
They cut off their hands, cut off their feet, cut off their hands & feet.
They cut off their ears, cut off their noses, cut off their ears & noses.
They subject them to [many graphic tortures].
They have them splashed with boiling oil, devoured by dogs, impaled alive on stakes.
They have their heads cut off with swords, so that they incur death or deadly pain.
Now, this drawback too in the case of sensuality, this mass of stress visible here-&-now, has sensuality for its reason, sensuality for its source, sensuality for its cause, the reason being simply sensuality.

“Again, it is with sensuality for the reason, sensuality for the source… that (people) engage in bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, mental misconduct.
Having engaged in bodily, verbal, and mental misconduct, they—on the break-up of the body, after death—re-appear in a plane of deprivation, a bad destination, a lower realm, hell.
Now, this drawback too in the case of sensuality, this mass of stress in the future life, has sensuality for its reason, sensuality for its source, sensuality for its cause, the reason being simply sensuality.”
MN 13

§ 150. “Householder, suppose a dog, overcome with weakness & hunger, were to come across a slaughterhouse, and there a dexterous butcher or butcher’s apprentice were to fling him a chain of bones—thoroughly scraped, without any flesh, smeared with blood.
What do you think?
Would the dog, gnawing on that chain of bones—thoroughly scraped, without any flesh, smeared with blood—appease its weakness & hunger?”

“No, lord.
And why is that?
Because the chain of bones is thoroughly scraped, without any flesh, & smeared with blood.
The dog would get nothing but its share of weariness & vexation.”

“In the same way, householder, a disciple of the noble ones considers this point:
‘The Blessed One has compared sensuality to a chain of bones, of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks.’
Seeing this with right discernment, as it actually is, then avoiding the equanimity coming from multiplicity, dependent on multiplicity, he develops the equanimity coming from singleness, dependent on singleness, [according to MN 137, this means equanimity based on the four formless attainments] where sustenance/clinging for the baits of the world ceases without trace.

“Now, suppose a vulture, a kite, or a hawk, seizing a lump of flesh, were to take off, and other vultures, kites, or hawks—following right after it—were to tear at it with their beaks & pull at it with their claws.
What do you think?
If that vulture, kite, or hawk were not quickly to drop that lump of flesh, would it meet with death from that cause, or with death-like pain?”

“Yes, lord.”

“In the same way, householder, a disciple of the noble ones considers this point:
‘The Blessed One has compared sensuality to a lump of flesh, of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks.’
Seeing this with right discernment, as it actually is, then avoiding the equanimity coming from multiplicity, dependent on multiplicity, he develops the equanimity coming from singleness, dependent on singleness, where sustenance/clinging for the baits of the world ceases without trace.

“Now, suppose a man were to come against the wind, carrying a burning grass torch.
What do you think?
If he were not quickly to drop that grass torch, would he burn his hand or his arm or some other part of his body, so that he would meet with death from that cause, or with death-like pain?”

“Yes, lord.”

“In the same way, householder, a disciple of the noble ones considers this point:
‘The Blessed One has compared sensuality to a grass torch, of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks.’
Seeing this with right discernment, as it actually is, then avoiding the equanimity coming from multiplicity, dependent on multiplicity, he develops the equanimity coming from singleness, dependent on singleness, where sustenance/clinging for the baits of the world ceases without trace.

“Now, suppose there were a pit of glowing embers, deeper than a man’s height, full of embers that were neither flaming nor smoking, and a man were to come along—loving life, hating death, loving pleasure, abhorring pain—and two strong men, grabbing him with their arms, were to drag him to the pit of embers.
What do you think?
Wouldn’t the man twist his body this way & that?”

“Yes, lord.
And why is that?
Because he would realize, ‘If I fall into this pit of glowing embers, I will meet with death from that cause, or with death-like pain.’


“In the same way, householder, a disciple of the noble ones considers this point:
‘The Blessed One has compared sensuality to a pit of glowing embers, of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks.’
Seeing this with right discernment, as it actually is, then avoiding the equanimity coming from multiplicity, dependent on multiplicity, he develops the equanimity coming from singleness, dependent on singleness, where sustenance/clinging for the baits of the world ceases without trace.

“Now, suppose a man, when dreaming, were to see delightful parks, delightful forests, delightful stretches of land, & delightful lakes, and on awakening were to see nothing.
In the same way, householder, a disciple of the noble ones considers this point:
‘The Blessed One has compared sensuality to a dream, of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks.’
Seeing this with right discernment, as it actually is, then avoiding the equanimity coming from multiplicity, dependent on multiplicity, he develops the equanimity coming from singleness, dependent on singleness, where sustenance/clinging for the baits of the world ceases without trace.

“Now, suppose a man having borrowed some goods—a manly carriage, fine jewels, & ear ornaments—were to go into the market preceded & surrounded by his borrowed goods, and people seeing him would say, ‘How wealthy this man is, for this is how the wealthy enjoy their possessions,’ but the actual owners, wherever they might see him, would strip him then & there of what is theirs.
What do you think?
Would the man justifiably be upset?”

“No, lord.
And why is that?
Because the owners are stripping him of what is theirs.”

“In the same way, householder, a disciple of the noble ones considers this point:
‘The Blessed One has compared sensuality to borrowed goods, of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks.’
Seeing this with right discernment, as it actually is, then avoiding the equanimity coming from multiplicity, dependent on multiplicity, he develops the equanimity coming from singleness, dependent on singleness, where sustenance/clinging for the baits of the world ceases without trace.

“Now, suppose that, not far from a village or town, there were a dense forest grove, and there in the grove was a tree with delicious fruit, abundant fruit, but with no fruit fallen to the ground.
A man would come along, desiring fruit, looking for fruit, searching for fruit.
Plunging into the forest grove, he would see the tree… and the thought would occur to him, ‘This is a tree with delicious fruit, abundant fruit, and there is no fruit fallen to the ground, but I know how to climb a tree.
Why don’t I climb the tree, eat what I like, and fill my clothes with the fruit?’
So, having climbed the tree, he would eat what he liked and fill his clothes with the fruit.
Then a second man would come along, desiring fruit, looking for fruit, searching for fruit and carrying a sharp ax.
Plunging into the forest grove, he would see the tree… and the thought would occur to him, ‘This is a tree with delicious fruit, abundant fruit, and there is no fruit fallen to the ground, and I don’t know how to climb a tree.
Why don’t I chop down this tree at the root, eat what I like, and fill my clothes with the fruit?’
So he would chop the tree at the root.
What do you think?
If the first man who climbed the tree didn’t quickly come down, wouldn’t the falling tree crush his hand or foot or some other part of his body, so that he would meet with death from that cause, or with death-like pain?”

“Yes, lord.”

“In the same way, householder, a disciple of the noble ones considers this point:
‘The Blessed One has compared sensuality to the fruits of a tree, of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks.’
Seeing this with right discernment, as it actually is present, then avoiding the equanimity coming from multiplicity, dependent on multiplicity, he develops the equanimity coming from singleness, dependent on singleness, where sustenance/clinging for the baits of the world ceases without trace.”
MN 54

§ 151. “Māgaṇḍiya, suppose that there was a leper covered with sores and infections, devoured by worms, picking the scabs off the openings of his wounds with his nails, cauterizing his body over a pit of glowing embers.
His friends, companions, & relatives would take him to a doctor.
The doctor would concoct medicine for him, and thanks to the medicine he would be cured of his leprosy:
well & happy, free, master of himself, going wherever he liked.
Then suppose two strong men, having seized hold of him by both arms, were to drag him to a pit of glowing embers.
What do you think?
Wouldn’t he twist his body this way & that?”

“Yes, Master Gotama.
Why is that?
The fire is painful to the touch, very hot & scorching.”

“Now, what do you think, Māgaṇḍiya?
Is the fire painful to the touch, very hot & scorching, only now, or was it also that way before?”

“Both now & before is it painful to the touch, very hot & scorching, Master Gotama.
It’s just that when the man was a leper covered with sores and infections, devoured by worms, picking the scabs off the openings of his wounds with his nails, his faculties were impaired, which was why, even though the fire was actually painful to the touch, he had the skewed perception of ‘pleasant.’


“In the same way, Māgaṇḍiya, sensual pleasures in the past were painful to the touch, very hot & scorching;
sensual pleasures in the future will be painful to the touch, very hot & scorching;
sensual pleasures at present are painful to the touch, very hot & scorching;
but when beings are not free from passion for sensual pleasures—devoured by sensual craving, burning with sensual fever—their faculties are impaired, which is why, even though sensual pleasures are actually painful to the touch, they have the skewed perception of ‘pleasant.’

“Now, suppose that there was a leper covered with sores & infections, devoured by worms, picking the scabs off the openings of his wounds with his nails, cauterizing his body over a pit of glowing embers.
The more he cauterized his body over the pit of glowing embers, the more disgusting, foul-smelling, & putrid the openings of his wounds would become, and yet he would feel a modicum of enjoyment & satisfaction because of the itchiness of his wounds.
In the same way, beings not free from passion for sensual pleasures—devoured by sensual craving, burning with sensual fever—indulge in sensual pleasures.
The more they indulge in sensual pleasures, the more their sensual craving increases and the more they burn with sensual fever, and yet they feel a modicum of enjoyment & satisfaction dependent on the five strings of sensuality.

“Now, what do you think, Māgaṇḍiya?
Have you ever seen or heard of a king or king’s minister—enjoying himself, provided & endowed with the five strings of sensuality, without abandoning sensual craving, without removing sensual fever—who has dwelt or will dwell or is dwelling free from thirst, his mind inwardly at peace?”

“No, Master Gotama.”

“Very good, Māgaṇḍiya.
Neither have I ever seen or heard of a king or king’s minister—enjoying himself, provided & endowed with the five strings of sensuality, without abandoning sensual craving, without removing sensual fever—who has dwelt or will dwell or is dwelling free from thirst, his mind inwardly at peace.
But whatever contemplatives or brahmans who have dwelt or will dwell or are dwelling free from thirst, their minds inwardly at peace, all have done so having realized—as it has come to be—the origination & disappearance, the allure, the danger, & the escape from sensual pleasures, having abandoned sensual craving and removed sensual fever.”
MN 75

§ 152. Sister Subhā:

“I was a child, with clean clothes,

when I first heard the Dhamma.

And within me, heedful,

was a break-through to the truth.

Then I arrived

at an enormous dissatisfaction

with all sensuality.

Seeing the danger

in self-identity,

I longed only

for renunciation.

Leaving my circle of relatives,

slaves, workers,

prosperous villages & fields,

delightful, enticing possessions,

I went forth,

abandoning not-insignificant wealth.

Having gone out through conviction

in the well-taught true Dhamma,

it wouldn’t be proper for me—

aspiring to nothingness—

having cast off gold & silver

to take them back.

Gold & silver

don’t buy awakening,

don’t buy peace.

This [gold] isn’t proper for contemplatives.

This isn’t noble wealth.

This is

greediness, intoxication,

delusion, bondage to dust,

suspicion, many troubles.

There’s no lasting stability here.

It’s to this extent that many, many men

—heedless, their hearts defiled—

opposing one another, create

conflicts, murder, bondage,

calamity, loss, grief, & lamentation.

Many misfortunes are seen

for those head-over-heels in sensuality.

So, my relatives:

Why do you, like enemies,

try to bind me to sensuality?

You know I’ve gone forth,

seeing the danger in sensuality.

Gold coin & bullion

can’t put an end to effluents.

Sensuality is an enemy,

a murderer,

hostile, arrows & bonds.

So, my relatives:

Why do you, like enemies,

try to bind me to sensuality?

You know I’ve gone forth

with shaven head, wrapped in a patchwork cloak.

Leftover alms-scraps, gleanings,

a robe made from cast-off cloth:

That’s what’s proper for me—

the requisites of one with no home.

The great seers have rejected sensuality,

both human & divine.

Released are they,

in the place of security.

Arrived are they,

in unshaken ease.

So may I not come into union

with sensuality, in which no shelter is found.

It’s an enemy, a murderer

—sensuality—

painful, like a mass of flame.

Greed:

an obstacle, fearful, threatened,

full of thorns,

very discordant,

a great cause of delusion.

Sensuality:

a frightening attack,

like a snake’s head

in which fools delight—

blinded, run-of-the-mill.

Because many people in the world

are stuck in the mud of sensuality,

unknowing,

they don’t realize the ending of birth & death.

Many people follow the path

to bad destinations

because of sensuality,

bringing disease on themselves.

Thus sensuality creates enemies.

It burns, is defiled.

It’s the bait of the world,

constraining, the bondage of death,

maddening, deceptive, agitating the mind.

It’s a net cast by Māra

for the defilement of living beings:

with endless drawbacks, much pain,

great poison,

giving little enjoyment, creating conflict,

drying up the good side [of the mind].

I, having cast off much trouble like this

caused by sensuality,

will not return to it,

as I always delight in unbinding.

Doing battle with sensuality

in hopes of the cool state,

I will stay heedful, finding delight>

in the ending of fetters.

I follow the path—

eightfold, straight,

griefless, stainless, secure—

over which great seers

have crossed.”
— Thig 13.5

§ 153. “And who is the person who, subject to death, is afraid & in terror of death?
There is the case of the person who has not abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever, & craving for sensuality.
Then he comes down with a serious disease.
As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, ‘O, those beloved sensual pleasures will be taken from me, and I will be taken from them!’
He grieves & is tormented, weeps, beats his breast, & grows delirious.
This is a person who, subject to death, is afraid & in terror of death.”
AN 4.184

§ 154. “In dependence on the property of sensuality there occurs the perception of sensuality.
In dependence on the perception of sensuality there occurs the resolve for sensuality… the desire for sensuality… the fever for sensuality… the quest for sensuality.
Questing for sensuality, monks, an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person conducts himself wrongly through three means:
through body, through speech, & through mind.


“Just as if a man were to throw a burning firebrand into a dry, grassy wilderness and not quickly stamp it out with his hands & feet, and thus whatever animals inhabiting the grass & timber would come to ruin & loss;
in the same way, monks, any contemplative or brahman who doesn’t quickly abandon, dispel, demolish, & wipe out of existence an out-of-tune, unskillful perception once it has arisen, will dwell in stress in the present life—threatened, despairing, & feverish—and on the break-up of the body, after death, can expect a bad destination.”
SN 14.12

§ 155. Non-ill will.
“When you give birth to hatred for an individual, you should develop goodwill for that individual.
Thus the hatred for that individual should be subdued.

“When you give birth to hatred for an individual, you should develop compassion for that individual.
Thus the hatred for that individual should be subdued.

“When you give birth to hatred for an individual, you should develop equanimity toward that individual.
Thus the hatred for that individual should be subdued.

“When you give birth to hatred for an individual, you should pay him no mind & pay him no attention.
Thus the hatred for that individual should be subdued.

“When you give birth to hatred for an individual, you should direct your thoughts to the fact of his being the product of his actions:
‘This venerable one is the doer of his actions, heir of his actions, born of his actions, related by his actions, and has his actions as his arbitrator.
Whatever action he does, for good or for evil, to that will he fall heir.’
Thus the hatred for that individual should be subdued.”
AN 5.161

§ 156. Think:
Happy, at rest,

may all beings be happy at heart.

Whatever beings there may be,

weak or strong, without exception,

long, large,

middling, short,

subtle, gross,

seen & unseen,

living near & far away,

born or seeking birth:

May all beings be happy at heart.

Let no one deceive another

or despise anyone anywhere,

or, through anger or resistance-perception,

wish for another to suffer.

As a mother would risk her life

to protect her child, her only child,

even so should one cultivate the heart limitlessly

with regard to all beings.

With goodwill for the entire cosmos,

cultivate the heart limitlessly:

above, below, & all around,

unobstructed, without hostility or hate.

Whether standing, walking,

sitting, or lying down,

as long as one has banished torpor,

one should be resolved on this mindfulness.

This is called a Brahmā abiding

here.
— Sn 1.8

§ 157. “Suppose that a man were to come along carrying a hoe & a basket, saying, ‘I will make this great earth be without earth.’
He would dig here & there, scatter soil here & there, spit here & there, urinate here & there, saying, ‘Be without earth.
Be without earth.’
Now, what do you think?
Would he make this great earth be without earth?”

“No, lord.
Why is that?
Because this great earth is deep & enormous.
It can’t easily be made to be without earth.
The man would reap only a share of weariness & disappointment.”

“In the same way, monks, there are these five aspects of speech by which others may address you:
timely or untimely, true or false, affectionate or harsh, beneficial or unbeneficial, with a mind of goodwill or with inner hate.
Others may address you in a timely way or an untimely way.
They may address you with what is true or what is false.
They may address you in an affectionate way or a harsh way.
They may address you in a beneficial way or an unbeneficial way.
They may address you with a mind of goodwill or with inner hate.
In any event, you should train yourselves:
‘Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words.
We will remain sympathetic to that person’s welfare, with a mind of goodwill, and with no inner hate.
We will keep pervading him with an awareness imbued with goodwill and, beginning with him, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with goodwill equal to the great earth—abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.’
That’s how you should train yourselves.


“Even if bandits were to carve you up savagely, limb by limb, with a two-handled saw, he among you who let his heart get angered even at that would not be doing my bidding.
Even then you should train yourselves:
‘Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words.
We will remain sympathetic, with a mind of goodwill, and with no inner hate.
We will keep pervading these people with an awareness imbued with goodwill and, beginning with them, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with goodwill—abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.’
That’s how you should train yourselves.”
MN 21

§ 158. Harmlessness.
“This is the escape from ill will:
goodwill as an awareness-release.


“This is the escape from harmfulness:
compassion as an awareness-release.


”This is the escape from resentment:
empathetic joy as an awareness-release.’

”This is the escape from passion:
equanimity as an awareness-release.’
” — AN 6.13

§ 159. Maṇibhadda the yakkha-spirit:

“It’s always auspicious for one who is mindful.

The mindful one prospers happily—always.

The mindful one grows better each day

and is totally freed from animosity.”

The Buddha:

“It’s always auspicious for one who is mindful.

The mindful one prospers happily always.

The mindful one grows better each day

but isn’t totally freed from animosity.

Whoever’s heart, all day, all night,

delights in harmlessness

with goodwill for all beings

has no animosity with anyone at all.
SN 10.4

§ 160. “When a person is impure in his bodily behavior & verbal behavior, and does not periodically experience mental clarity & calm, how should one subdue hatred for him?
Just as when there is a sick man—in pain, seriously ill—traveling along a road, far from the next village & far from the last, unable to get the food he needs, unable to get the medicine he needs, unable to get a suitable assistant, unable to get anyone to take him to human habitation.
Now, suppose another person were to see him coming along the road.
He would do what he could out of compassion, pity, & sympathy for the man, thinking, ‘O that this man should get the food he needs, the medicine he needs, a suitable assistant, someone to take him to human habitation.
Why is that?
So that he won’t fall into ruin right here.’
In the same way, when a person is impure in his bodily behavior & verbal behavior, and who does not periodically experience mental clarity & calm, one should do what one can out of compassion, pity, & sympathy for him, thinking, ‘O that this man should abandon wrong bodily conduct and develop right bodily conduct, abandon wrong verbal conduct and develop right verbal conduct, abandon wrong mental conduct and develop right mental conduct.
Why is that?
So that, on the break-up of the body, after death, he won’t fall into a plane of deprivation, a bad destination, a lower realm, hell.’
Thus the hatred for him should be subdued.”
AN 5.162
From Mundane to Transcendent Right Resolve

§ 161. The Blessed One said, “Monks, before my self-awakening, when I was still just an unawakened Bodhisatta, the thought occurred to me, ‘Why don’t I keep dividing my thinking into two sorts?’
So I made thinking imbued with sensuality, thinking imbued with ill will, & thinking imbued with harmfulness one sort, and thinking imbued with renunciation, thinking imbued with non-ill will, & thinking imbued with harmlessness another sort.
[Compare this passage with the description of food for the arising of analysis of dhammas as a factor of awakening, in §105, above.
]

“And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with sensuality arose.
I discerned that ‘Thinking imbued with sensuality has arisen in me;
and that leads to my own affliction or to the affliction of others or to the affliction of both.
It obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to unbinding.’

“As I noticed that it leads to my own affliction, it subsided.
As I noticed that it leads to the affliction of others… to the affliction of both… it obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to unbinding, it subsided.
Whenever thinking imbued with sensuality had arisen, I simply abandoned it, destroyed it, dispelled it, wiped it out of existence.

“And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with ill will arose.
I discerned that ‘Thinking imbued with ill will has arisen in me;
and that leads to my own affliction or to the affliction of others or to the affliction of both.
It obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to unbinding.’

“As I noticed that it leads to my own affliction, it subsided.
As I noticed that it leads to the affliction of others… to the affliction of both… it obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to unbinding, it subsided.
Whenever thinking imbued with ill will had arisen, I simply abandoned it, destroyed it, dispelled it, wiped it out of existence.

“And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with harmfulness arose.
I discerned that ‘Thinking imbued with harmfulness has arisen in me;
and that leads to my own affliction or to the affliction of others or to the affliction of both.
It obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to unbinding.’

“As I noticed that it leads to my own affliction, it subsided.
As I noticed that it leads to the affliction of others… to the affliction of both… it obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to unbinding, it subsided.
Whenever thinking imbued with harmfulness had arisen, I simply abandoned it, destroyed it, dispelled it, wiped it out of existence.

“Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking & pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness.
If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with sensuality, abandoning thinking imbued with renunciation, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with sensuality.
If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with ill will, abandoning thinking imbued with non-ill will, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with ill will.
If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with harmfulness, abandoning thinking imbued with harmlessness, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with harmfulness.

“Just as in the last month of the Rains, in the autumn season when the crops are ripening, a cowherd would look after his cows:
He would tap & poke & check & curb them with a stick on this side & that.
Why is that?
Because he foresees flogging or imprisonment or a fine or public censure arising from that [if he let his cows wander into the crops].
In the same way I foresaw in unskillful dhammas drawbacks, degradation, & defilement, and I foresaw in skillful dhammas rewards related to renunciation & promoting cleansing.

“And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with renunciation arose.
I discerned that ‘Thinking imbued with renunciation has arisen in me;
and that leads neither to my own affliction, nor to the affliction of others, nor to the affliction of both.
It fosters discernment, promotes lack of vexation, & leads to unbinding.
If I were to think & ponder in line with that even for a night… even for a day… even for a day & night, I do not envision any danger that would come from it, except that thinking & pondering a long time would tire the body.
When the body is tired, the mind is disturbed;
and a disturbed mind is far from concentration.’
So I steadied my mind right within, settled, unified, & concentrated it.
Why is that?
So that my mind would not be disturbed.

“And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with non-ill will arose.
I discerned that ‘Thinking imbued with non-ill will has arisen in me;
and that leads neither to my own affliction, nor to the affliction of others, nor to the affliction of both.
It fosters discernment, promotes lack of vexation, & leads to unbinding.
If I were to think & ponder in line with that even for a night… even for a day… even for a day & night, I do not envision any danger that would come from it, except that thinking & pondering a long time would tire the body.
When the body is tired, the mind is disturbed;
and a disturbed mind is far from concentration.’
So I steadied my mind right within, settled, unified, & concentrated it.
Why is that?
So that my mind would not be disturbed.

“And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with harmlessness arose.
I discerned that ‘Thinking imbued with harmlessness has arisen in me;
and that leads neither to my own affliction, nor to the affliction of others, nor to the affliction of both.
It fosters discernment, promotes lack of vexation, & leads to unbinding.
If I were to think & ponder in line with that even for a night… even for a day… even for a day & night, I do not envision any danger that would come from it, except that thinking & pondering a long time would tire the body.
When the body is tired, the mind is disturbed;
and a disturbed mind is far from concentration.’
So I steadied my mind right within, settled, unified, & concentrated it.
Why is that?
So that my mind would not be disturbed.

“Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking & pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness.
If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with renunciation, abandoning thinking imbued with sensuality, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with renunciation.
If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with non-ill will, abandoning thinking imbued with ill will, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with non-ill will.
If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with harmlessness, abandoning thinking imbued with harmfulness, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with harmlessness.

“Just as in the last month of the hot season, when all the crops have been gathered into the village, a cowherd would look after his cows:
While resting under the shade of a tree or out in the open, he simply keeps himself mindful of ‘those cows.’
In the same way, I simply kept myself mindful of ‘those dhammas.’

“Unflagging persistence was aroused in me, and unmuddled mindfulness established.
My body was calm & unaroused, my mind concentrated & single.
Quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful dhammas, I entered & remained in the first jhāna:
rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation.
With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, I entered & remained in the second jhāna:
rapture & pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation—internal assurance.
With the fading of rapture I remained equanimous, mindful, & alert, and sensed pleasure with the body.
I entered & remained in the third jhāna, of which the noble ones declare, ‘Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.’
With the abandoning of pleasure & pain—as with the earlier disappearance of joy & distress—I entered & remained in the fourth jhāna:
purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain.”
MN 19

§ 162. Then Ven.
Ānanda, together with Tapussa the householder, went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side.
As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One:
“Tapussa the householder, here, has said to me, ‘Venerable Ānanda, sir, we are householders who indulge in sensuality, delight in sensuality, enjoy sensuality, rejoice in sensuality.
For us—indulging in sensuality, delighting in sensuality, enjoying sensuality, rejoicing in sensuality—renunciation seems like a sheer drop-off.
Yet I’ve heard that in this Dhamma & Vinaya the hearts of the very young monks leap up at renunciation, grow confident, steadfast, & firm, seeing it as peace.
So right here is where this Dhamma & Vinaya is contrary to the great mass of people:
i.
e., [this issue of] renunciation.’


“So it is, Ānanda.
So it is.
Even I myself—before my self-awakening, when I was still just an unawakened Bodhisatta—thought, ‘Renunciation is good;
seclusion is good,’ but my heart didn’t leap up at renunciation, didn’t grow confident, steadfast, or firm, seeing, ‘That is peace.’
The thought occurred to me, ‘What is the cause, what is the reason, why my heart doesn’t leap up at renunciation, doesn’t grow confident, steadfast, or firm, seeing, “That is peace”?’
Then the thought occurred to me, ‘I haven’t seen the drawback of sensuality;
I haven’t pursued [that theme].
I haven’t understood the reward of renunciation;
I haven’t familiarized myself with it.
That’s why my heart doesn’t leap up at renunciation, doesn’t grow confident, steadfast, or firm, seeing, “That is peace.”


“Then the thought occurred to me, ‘If, having seen the drawback of sensuality, I were to pursue that theme;
and if, having understood the reward of renunciation, I were to familiarize myself with it, there’s the possibility that my heart would leap up at renunciation, grow confident, steadfast, & firm, seeing, “That is peace.”


“So at a later time, having seen the drawback of sensuality, I pursued that theme;
having understood the reward of renunciation, I familiarized myself with it.
My heart leaped up at renunciation, grew confident, steadfast, & firm, seeing, ‘That is peace.’
Then, quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful dhammas, I entered & remained in the first jhāna.”
AN 9.41

§ 163. “Then you should train yourself thus:
‘Goodwill, as my awareness-release, will be developed, pursued, given a means of transport, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, & well-undertaken.’
That’s how you should train yourself.
When you have developed this concentration in this way, you should develop this concentration with directed thought & evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & a modicum of evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & no evaluation, you should develop it accompanied by rapture… not accompanied by rapture… endowed with a sense of enjoyment;
you should develop it endowed with equanimity.

“When this concentration is thus developed, thus well-developed by you, you should then train yourself thus:
‘Compassion, as my awareness-release.
… Empathetic joy, as my awareness-release.
… Equanimity, as my awareness-release, will be developed, pursued, given a means of transport, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, & well-undertaken.’
That’s how you should train yourself.
When you have developed this concentration in this way, you should develop this concentration with directed thought & evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & a modicum of evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & no evaluation, you should develop it accompanied by rapture… not accompanied by rapture… endowed with a sense of enjoyment;
you should develop it endowed with equanimity.”
AN 8.63 [See the remainder of this passage at §254.]
Transcendent Right Resolve & Beyond

§ 164. “And what are unskillful resolves?
Being resolved on sensuality, on ill will, on harmfulness.
These are called unskillful resolves.
What is the cause of unskillful resolves?
Their cause, too, has been stated, and they are said to be perception-caused.
Which perception?
—for perception has many modes & permutations.
Any sensuality-perception, ill will-perception, or harmfulness-perception:
That is the cause of unskillful resolves.
Now, where do unskillful resolves cease without trace?
Their cessation, too, has been stated:
There is the case where a monk, quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful dhammas, enters & remains in the first jhāna:
rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation.
This is where unskillful resolves cease without trace.
And what sort of practice is the practice leading to the cessation of unskillful resolves?
There is the case where a monk generates desire… for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful dhammas that have not yet arisen… for the sake of the abandoning of evil, unskillful dhammas that have arisen… for the sake of the arising of skillful dhammas that have not yet arisen… (and) for the… development & culmination of skillful dhammas that have arisen.
This sort of practice is the practice leading to the cessation of unskillful resolves.

“And what are skillful resolves?
Being resolved on renunciation (freedom from sensuality), on non-ill will, on harmlessness.
These are called skillful resolves.
What is the cause of skillful resolves?
Their cause, too, has been stated, and they are said to be perception-caused.
Which perception?
—for perception has many modes & permutations.
Any renunciation-perception, non-ill will-perception, or harmlessness-perception:
That is the cause of skillful resolves.
Now, where do skillful resolves cease without trace?
Their cessation, too, has been stated:
There is the case where a monk, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, enters & remains in the second jhāna:
rapture & pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation—internal assurance.
This is where skillful resolves cease without trace.
And what sort of practice is the practice leading to the cessation of skillful resolves?
There is the case where a monk generates desire… for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful dhammas that have not yet arisen… for the sake of the abandoning of evil, unskillful dhammas that have arisen… for the sake of the arising of skillful dhammas that have not yet arisen… (and) for the… development & culmination of skillful dhammas that have arisen.
This sort of practice is the practice leading to the cessation of skillful resolves.”
MN 78


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