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Anguttara Nikāya - The Numerical Discourses

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3: The Book of the Threes

X. A Lump of Salt — AN 3.102: Foundations

1“Mendicants, a mendicant committed to the higher mind should focus on three foundations from time to time: the foundation of immersion, the foundation of exertion, and the foundation of equanimity.

If a mendicant dedicated to the higher mind focuses solely on the foundation of immersion, it’s likely their mind will incline to laziness.

If they focus solely on the foundation of exertion, it’s likely their mind will incline to restlessness.

If they focus solely on the foundation of equanimity, it’s likely their mind won’t properly become immersed in samādhi for the ending of defilements.

But when a mendicant dedicated to the higher mind focuses from time to time on the foundation of immersion, the foundation of exertion, and the foundation of equanimity, their mind becomes pliable, workable, and radiant, not brittle, and has properly entered immersion for the ending of defilements.

2It’s like when a goldsmith or a goldsmith’s apprentice prepares a forge, fires the crucible, picks up some gold with tongs and puts it in the crucible. From time to time they fan it, from time to time they sprinkle water on it, and from time to time they just watch over it. If they solely fanned it, the gold would likely be scorched. If they solely sprinkled water on it, the gold would likely cool down. If they solely watched over it, the gold would likely not be properly processed. But when that goldsmith fans it from time to time, sprinkles water on it from time to time, and watches over it from time to time, that gold becomes pliable, workable, and radiant, not brittle, and is ready to be worked. Then the goldsmith can successfully create any kind of ornament they want, whether a bracelet, earrings, a necklace, or a golden garland.


3In the same way, a mendicant committed to the higher mind should focus on three foundations from time to time: the foundation of immersion, the foundation of exertion, and the foundation of equanimity. …

When a mendicant dedicated to the higher mind focuses from time to time on the foundation of immersion, the foundation of exertion, and the foundation of equanimity, their mind becomes pliable, workable, and radiant, not brittle, and has properly entered immersion for the ending of defilements. They become capable of realizing anything that can be realized by turning their mind toward insight, in each and every case.


4If they wish: ‘May I wield the many kinds of psychic power’ … ‘With clairaudience that is purified and superhuman, may I hear both kinds of sounds, human and divine, whether near or far.’ … ‘May I recollect many kinds of past lives.’ … ‘With clairvoyance that is purified and superhuman, may I see sentient beings passing away and being reborn.’ … ‘May I realize the undefiled freedom of heart and freedom by wisdom in this very life, and live having realized it with my own insight due to the ending of defilements.’ They are capable of realizing it, in each and every case.”

1"Adhicitta­manuyuttena, bhikkhave, bhikkhunā tīṇi nimittāni kālena kālaṁ manasi kātabbāni – kālena kālaṁ samādhinimittaṁ manasi kātabbaṁ, kālena kālaṁ paggaha­nimittaṁ manasi kātabbaṁ, kālena kālaṁ upekkhānimittaṁ manasi kātabbaṁ.

Sace, bhikkhave, adhicitta­manuyutto bhikkhu ekantaṁ samādhinimittaṁyeva manasi kareyya, ṭhānaṁ taṁ cittaṁ kosajjāya saṁvatteyya.

Sace, bhikkhave, adhicitta­manuyutto bhikkhu ekantaṁ paggaha­nimittaṁyeva manasi kareyya, ṭhānaṁ taṁ cittaṁ uddhaccāya saṁvatteyya.

Sace, bhikkhave, adhicitta­manuyutto bhikkhu ekantaṁ upekkhānimittaṁyeva manasi kareyya, ṭhānaṁ taṁ cittaṁ na sammā samādhiyeyya āsavānaṁ khayāya.

Yato ca kho, bhikkhave, adhicitta­manuyutto bhikkhu kālena kālaṁ samādhinimittaṁ manasi karoti, kālena kālaṁ paggaha­nimittaṁ manasi karoti, kālena kālaṁ upekkhānimittaṁ manasi karoti, taṁ hoti cittaṁ muduñca kammaniyañca pabhassarañca, na ca pabhangu, sammā samādhiyati āsavānaṁ khayāya.

2Seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, suvaṇṇakāro vā suvaṇṇakārantevāsī vā ukkaṁ bandheyya, ukkaṁ bandhitvā ukkāmukhaṁ ālimpeyya, ukkāmukhaṁ ālimpetvā saṇḍāsena jātarūpaṁ gahetvā ukkāmukhe pakkhipeyya, ukkāmukhe pakkhipitvā kālena kālaṁ abhidhamati, kālena kālaṁ udakena paripphoseti, kālena kālaṁ ajjhupekkhati. Sace, bhikkhave, suvaṇṇakāro vā suvaṇṇakārantevāsī vā taṁ jātarūpaṁ ekantaṁ abhidhameyya, ṭhānaṁ taṁ jātarūpaṁ ḍaheyya. Sace, bhikkhave, suvaṇṇakāro vā suvaṇṇakārantevāsī vā taṁ jātarūpaṁ ekantaṁ udakena paripphoseyya, ṭhānaṁ taṁ jātarūpaṁ nibbāpeyya. Sace, bhikkhave, suvaṇṇakāro vā suvaṇṇakārantevāsī vā taṁ jātarūpaṁ ekantaṁ ajjhupekkheyya, ṭhānaṁ taṁ jātarūpaṁ na sammā paripākaṁ gaccheyya. Yato ca kho, bhikkhave, suvaṇṇakāro vā suvaṇṇakārantevāsī vā taṁ jātarūpaṁ kālena kālaṁ abhidhamati, kālena kālaṁ udakena paripphoseti, kālena kālaṁ ajjhupekkhati, taṁ hoti jātarūpaṁ muduñca kammaniyañca pabhassarañca, na ca pabhangu, sammā upeti kammāya. Yassā yassā ca pilandhanavikatiyā ākankhati – yadi paṭṭikāya, yadi kuṇḍalāya, yadi gīveyyake, yadi suvaṇṇamālāya – tañcassa atthaṁ anubhoti.


3Evamevaṁ kho, bhikkhave, adhicitta­manuyuttena bhikkhunā tīṇi nimittāni kālena kālaṁ manasi kātabbāni – kālena kālaṁ samādhinimittaṁ manasi kātabbaṁ, kālena kālaṁ paggaha­nimittaṁ manasi kātabbaṁ, kālena kālaṁ upekkhānimittaṁ manasi kātabbaṁ.

Sace, bhikkhave, adhicitta­manuyutto bhikkhu ekantaṁ samādhinimittaṁyeva manasi kareyya, ṭhānaṁ taṁ cittaṁ kosajjāya saṁvatteyya. Sace, bhikkhave, adhicitta­manuyutto bhikkhu ekantaṁ paggaha­nimittaṁyeva manasi kareyya, ṭhānaṁ taṁ cittaṁ uddhaccāya saṁvatteyya. Sace, bhikkhave, adhicitta­manuyutto bhikkhu ekantaṁ upekkhānimittaṁyeva manasi kareyya, ṭhānaṁ taṁ cittaṁ na sammā samādhiyeyya āsavānaṁ khayāya. Yato ca kho, bhikkhave, adhicitta­manuyutto bhikkhu kālena kālaṁ samādhinimittaṁ manasi karoti, kālena kālaṁ paggaha­nimittaṁ manasi karoti, kālena kālaṁ upekkhānimittaṁ manasi karoti, taṁ hoti cittaṁ muduñca kammaniyañca pabhassarañca, na ca pabhangu, sammā samādhiyati āsavānaṁ khayāya. Yassa yassa ca abhiññā­sacchikaraṇīyassa dhammassa cittaṁ abhininnāmeti abhiññā­sacchikiriyāya, tatra tatreva sakkhibhabbataṁ pāpuṇāti sati satiāyatane.


4So sace ākankhati:  ‘anekavihitaṁ iddhividhaṁ paccanu­bhaveyyaṁ … pe … (cha abhiññā vitthāretabbā.) Āsavānaṁ khayā … pe … sacchikatvā upasampajja vihareyyan’ti, tatra tatreva sakkhibhabbataṁ pāpuṇāti sati satiāyatane"ti.

Ekādasamaṁ.

Loṇakapallavaggo pañcamo.

5Accāyikaṁ pavivekaṁ,
Sarado parisā tayo;
Ājānīyā potthako ca,
Loṇaṁ dhovati nimittānīti.

Dutiyo paṇṇāsako samatto.