Majjhima Nikàya I.
1. 8. Sallekhasuttaü
(8) Purity

I heard thus.

At one time the Blessed One lived in the monastery offered by Anàthapiõóika in Jeta's grove in Sàvatthi. Then venerable Mahàcunda getting up from his seclusion in the evening approached the Blessed One, worshipped, sat on a side and said to the Blessed One: ßVenerable sir, there are various views in the world centred around the self and the world; would the bhikkhu attending to them from the beginning turn them out and dispel them?û

ßCunda, there are various views in the world centred around the self and the world, from whatever these views arise, from whatever these views trickle, from whatever these views behave, they are not mine, that is not I, they are not my self, to one who looks at them, as they really are, in this manner with right wisdom, these views get turned out, get dispelled.

ßCunda, it may happen, that a bhikkhu secluded from sensual desires, secluded from evil thoughts, with thoughts and thought processes, with joy and pleasantness born of seclusion, would abide in the first jhàna.

ßThen it would occur to him, `I abide in purity.' Cunda, in the dispensation of the noble ones that is not purity; ßIt is called `a pleasant abiding here and now.'

ßCunda, it may happen that a bhikkhu, overcoming thoughts and thought processes, the mind internally appeased in one point, without thoughts and thought processes, with joy and pleasantness born of concentration, would abide in the second jhàna. It would occur to him, `I abide in purity.' Cunda, in the dispensation of the noble ones that is not purity, it is a pleasant abiding here and now.

ßCunda, it may happen that a bhikkhu, with joy and with equanimity to detachment, would abide mindful and aware, experiencing pleasantness with the body, to this the noble ones say, `abiding mindfully in pleasantness.' The bhikkhu would abide in this third jhàna and it would occur to him, `I abide in purity.' In the dispensation of the noble ones, that is not purity, it is a pleasànt abiding here and now.

ßCunda, it may happen, that a bhikkhu, dispelling pleasantness and unpleasantness, and earlier overcoming pleasure and displeasure, without unpleasantness and pleasantness and with equanimity, and mindfulness purified, would attain and abide in the fourth jhàna. It might occur to him, `I abide in purity.' In the dispensation of the noble ones that is not purity, it is a pleasant abiding here and now.

ßCunda, it may happen that a bhikkhu overcoming all perceptions of matter, overcoming perceptions of anger, not attending to various perceptions, with space is limitless, attained to abides in the sphere of space. It might occur to him, `I abide in purity.' In the dispensation of the noble ones, that is not purity, it is a pleasant abiding here and now.

ßCunda, it may happen that a bhikkhu, ovecoming all the sphere of space with consciousness is limitless, attained to abides in the sphere of conscioussness. It might occur to him, `I abide in purity.' In the dispensation of the noble ones, that is not purity, it is a pleasant abiding here and now.

ßCunda, it may happen that a bhikkhu, overcoming all the sphere of consciousness, with there is nothing attained to abides in the sphere of no-thingness. It might occur to him, `I abide in purity.' In the dispensation of the noble ones, that is not purity, it is a pleasant abiding here and now.

ßCunda, it may happen that a bhikkhu, overcoming all the sphere of nothingness, would attain and abide in the sphere of neither perception nor non-perception. It might occur to him, `I abide in purity.' In the dispensation of the noble ones, that is not purity, it is a pleasant abiding here and now.

ßCunda, purifying should be done thus: Others will be hurters, we will be non-hurters. Others will be destroyers of life, we will not destroy life. Others will be taking what is not given , we will abstain from taking what is not given. Others will lead an unholy life, we will lead a life of celibacy. Others will tell lies, we will abstain from telling lies. Others will talk maliciously, we will abstain from malicious talk. Others will talk roughly, we will abstain from rough talk. Others will talk frivolously, we will abstain from frivolous talk. Others will be coveting, we will abstain from coveting. Others will be with an angry mind, we will not be angry. Others will be with wrong view, we will be with right view. Others will speak wrong words, we will speak right words. Others will be with wrong actions, we will be with right actions. Others will be with wrong livelihood, we will be with right livelihood. Others will be with wrong effort, we will be with right effort. Others will be with wrong mindfulness, we will be with right mindfulness. Others will be with wrong concentration, we will be with right concentration. Others will be with wrong knowledge, we will be with right knowledge. Others will be released wrong, we will be rightfully released. Others will be overcome by sloth and torpor, we will throw out sloth and torpor. Others will be excited, we will not be excited. Others will be doubting, we will overcome doubts. Others will be angry, we will not be angry. Others will bear a grudge, we will have no grudge. Others will be hypocritical, we will be free from hypocrisy. Others will be merciless, we will be merciful. Others will be jealous, we will not be jealous. Others will be selfish, we will not be selfish. Others will be crafty, we will not be crafty. Others will be deceitful, we will not be deceitful. Others will be stuborn, we will not be stuborn. Others will be conceited, we will not be conceited. Others will be unruly, we will be gentle. Others will have evil friends, we will have good friends. Others will be negligent, we will be diligent. Others will be without faith, we will be with faith. Others will be shameless, we will be shameful. Others will be remorseless, we will be remorseful. Others will have little learrning, we will learn much. Others will be lazy, we will be with aroused effort. Others will be confused, we will be with minfulness established. Others will be not wise, we will be wise. Others will hold to views tenaciously, we will give up views quite easily. Cunda, purifying should be done in this manner.

ßCunda, I say, that even the arousing of thoughts for meritorious things is of much help, so what if they are followed up by words and actions? So the thought should be aroused, `Others will be hurters, we will be non-hurters.' The thought should be aroused, `Others will be destroyers of life, we will not be.' And the thought should be aroused, `Others will be tenaciously holding to views, we will be giving up views easily.'

ßCunda, just as for the uneven path, there is an alternative even path, for the uneven ford there is an alternative even ford. In the same manner, for the hurter there is an alternative, non-hurting. For the destroyer of life, an alternative is not to destroy life. For the taker of things not given, an alternative is to abstain from it.

ßFor not leading the holy life, the alternative is leading the holy life. For telling lies the alternative is abstaining from it. For speaking maliciously, the alternative is abstaining from it. For rough talk, the alternative is abstaining from it. For frivolous talk, the alternative is abstaining from it. For coveting, the alternative is not coveting. For the angry mind, the alternative is a not angry mind. For wrong view, the alternative is right view. For wrong thoughts, the alternative is right thoughts. For wrong words, the alternative is right words. For wrong actions the alternative is right actions. For wrong livelihood, the alternative is right livelihood. For wrong effort, the alternative is right effort. For wrong mindfulness, the alternative is right mindfulness. For wrong concentration, the alternative is right concentration. For wrong knowledge, the alternative is right knowledge. For wrong release, the alternative is right release. For sloth and tor por and alternàte is freedom from sloth and torpor. For excitement the alternative is non-excitement. For doubts the alternative is freedom from doubts. For uncontrolled anager, the alternative is freedom from it. For grudge the alternative is to give up the grudge. For hypocrsy, the alternative is non-hypocrisy. For mercilessness the alternative is mercy. For jealousy the alternative is non-jealousy. For selfishness the alternative is freedom from selfishness. For craftiness, the alternative is non-craftiness. For deceit the alternative is non-deceit. For stuborness the alternative is non-stuborness. For conceit the alternative is non-conceit. For the unruly the alternative is gentleness. For evil friendship the alternative is good friendship. For negligence the alternative is diligence. For lack of faith the alternative is gain of faith. For the shameless the alternative is shame. For the remorseless the alternative is remorse. For the not learned the alternative is learnedness. For the lazy the alternative is aroused effort. For the confused the alternative is established mindfulness. For the not wise the alternative is wisdom. For holding to views tenaciously, the alternative is giving up views with ease.

ßCunda, just as merit could rise up stepping down all demerit, in the same manner the hurter could rise up, not hurting. The destroyer of life, could rise up abstaining from it. The taker of what is not given, could rise up abstaining from it. And the one holdling to his views tenaciously could rise up by giving up views easily.

ßCunda, for one submerged in mud to pull out another submerged in mud is not possible. One not submerged in mud could pull out another submerged in mud is possible. Cunda, one not tamed, not trained, and not extinguished could tame and train others and help to extinguish is not possible. One tamed, trained, and extinguisshed could tame and train others and help to extinguish is possible. In the same manner for the hurter, there is non-hurting for extinguisshing. For the destroyer of life, abstaining from it for extinguishing. For the taker of what is not given, abstaining from it for extinguishing For the unholy life the holy life for extinguishing. For telling lies, abstaining from it for extinguishing. For malicious talk, abstaining from it for extinguishing. For rough talk abstaining from it for extinguishing. For frivolous talk, abstaining from it for extinguishing. For the coveting, not coveting for extinguishing. For the angry mind the not angry mind for extinguishing. For wrong view there is right view for extinguishing. For wrong thoughts there are right thoughts for extinguishing. For wrong words there are right words for extinguishing. For wrong actions there are right actions for extinguishing. For wrong livelihood, there is right livelihood for extinguishing. For wrong effort there is right effort for extinguishing. For wrong mindfulness, there is right mindfulness for extinguishing. For wrong concentration there is right concentration for extinguishing. For wrong knowledge there is right knowledge for extinguishing. For wrong release, there is right release for extinguishing. For the overcome with sloth and torpor, there is the dispelling of sloth and torpor, for extinguishing. For the excited there is non-excitement for extinguishing. For the doubtful there is dispelled doubts for extinguishing. For the angry, freedom from anger for extinguishing. For having a grudge, throwing out the grudge for extinguishing. For the hypocrite, there is throwing out hypcrisy for extinguishing. For the merciless, there is mercy for extinguishing. For the jealous, there is putting an end to jealousy for extinguishing. For the selfish, giving it up for extinguishing. For the crafty, giving it up for extinguishing. For the stuborn, giving it up for extinguishing. For the conceited, giving it up for extinguishing. For the unruly becoming gentle for extinguishing. For evil friendship, right friendship for extinguishing. For the negligent, diligence for extinguisshing. For the faithless, faith for extinguishing. For the shameless, shame for extinguishing. For the remorseless, remorse for extinguishing. For the not learned, learnedness for extinguishing. For the lazy, aroused effort for extinguishing. For the confused, established mindfulness for extinguishing. For the not wise, wisdom for extinguishing. For the holding fast to views, there is easily giving up views for extinguishing. .

ßCunda, I have taught the method of purifying, the method of arousing thoughts for it, the method of finding an alternative, the method of rising up, and the method of extinguishing. I have done, what should be done out of compassion, by a Teacher to his disciples, Cunda, there are roots of trees and absorptions without thoughts, [1] Concentrate, do not be negligent and be remorseful later. This is our advice to you.

ßThe Blessed One said thus, and venerable Cunda delighted in the words of the Blessed One.


[1] Absorptions without thoughts (sunàgàrànaü) are the three jhànas above the first and all other absorptions without thoughts. Thoughts are a mental entertainment, peculiar to the ordinary, without them they are lost and would not know what to do, while one who knows enjoys the absorptions without thoughts.