read‎ > ‎related documents‎ > ‎

Maha Rahulovada Suttanta (MN 62)

posted Jul 10, 2013, 9:31 AM by Sung Yang   [ updated Jul 11, 2013, 4:07 PM ]
Maha Rahulovada Suttanta (The Great Exhortation to Rahula)

Thus have I heard:

‘Once the Blessed One was staying at the monastery of Anathapindika, in the Jeta Grove, near Savatthi. Then the Blessed One, having robed himself in the forenoon, took bowl and robe, and entered Savatthi for alms; and the venerable Rahula also, having robed in the forenoon, took bowl and robe, and followed close behind [15] the Blessed One. Thereupon the Blessed One looked back and addressed the venerable Rahula:

“Whatsoever form [16] there be, O Rahula, whether past, future or present, personal [17] or external, [18] coarse or fine, mean or noble, far or near,—all form, in accordance with fact and with perfect knowledge [19] should be regarded thus: ‘This is not mine; this am I not; this is soulless’.” “Verily, form alone, Blessed One; form alone: Exalted One?”

“Form, Rahula, and sensation, Rahula, and perception, Rahula, and the mental concomitants, Rahula, and consciousness, [20] Rahula.”

Then the venerable Rahula (reflected): ‘What individual, having been edified today with an exhortation from the Blessed One himself, would enter the village for alms? [21] Thereupon he turned back and sat down at the foot of a certain tree, with legs crossed, the body held erect, intent on mindfulness.

Now the venerable Sariputta [22] saw him seated thus, and addressed him:

“Cultivate, Rahula, the meditation of mindfulness on inhaling and exhaling! [23] Inhaling and exhaling with mindfulness, Rahula, cultivated, and frequently practised, is productive of much fruit and manifold advantages.”

And, at eventide the venerable Rahula rose from solitary meditation and proceeded to the presence of the Blessed One.” Saluting him respectfully, he sat on one side. Seated thus, the venerable Rahula said to the Blessed One:

“How, Lord, is mindfulness on inhaling and exhaling cultivated; how frequently practised, to produce much fruit and manifold advantages?” [24]

“Whatever, [25] Rahula, pertains to oneself as an individual, is hard, of a solid nature, and a product of grasping—as for example; hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs, stomach, intestines, mesentery, excrement: or anything else whatsoever pertaining to oneself as an individual, that is hard, of a solid nature, and a product of grasping: this, Rahula, is called the personal ‘element of earth.’ [26] But even this personal earthy element, as well as the external earthy element, is merely the element of solidity. This, in accordance with fact and with perfect knowledge, should be regarded thus: ‘This is not mine; this am I not; this is soulless’; Having seen with perfect knowledge that such is the case, one becomes disgusted with he element of earth, and one’s mind is detached from the element of solidity.

“What now, Rahula, is the element of water? The element of water may be internal, may be external. “And what, Rahula, is the internal watery element? Whatever pertains to oneself as an individual, is liquid, of a fluid nature, and a product of grasping—as for example: bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, lymph, tears, serum, saliva, nasal mucus, synovial fluid, urine, or anything else whatsoever pertaining to oneself as an individual, that is liquid, of a fluid nature, and a product of grasping: this, Rahula, is called ‘the internal element of water.’ But even this internal watery element, as well as the external watery element, is merely the element of fluidity. This, in accordance with fact and with perfect knowledge, should be regarded thus: ‘This is not mine; this am I not; this is soulless.’ Having seen with perfect knowledge that such is the case, one becomes disgusted with the element of water,—and one’s mind is detached from the element of fluidity.

“What now, Rahula, is the element of fire? The element of fire may be internal, may be external.

“And what, Rahula, is the internal fiery element? Whatever pertains to oneself as an individual, is hot, of a fiery nature, and a product of grasping—as for example: that whereby there is deterioration, [27] whereby there is intense burning, [28] whereby what is eaten, drunk, chewed and tasted, is well-digested, or anything else whatsoever pertaining to oneself as an individual, that is hot, of a fiery nature, and a product of grasping: this, Rahula, is called ‘the internal element of fire.’ But even this internal fiery element, as well as the external fiery element, is merely the element of heat:—This, in accordance with fact and with perfect knowledge, should be regarded thus: ‘This is not mine; this am I not; this is soulless.’ Having seen with perfect knowledge that such is the case, one becomes disgusted with the element of fire, and one’s mind is detached from the element of heat.

“What now, Rahula, is the element of air? The element of air may be internal, may be external.

“And what, Rahula, is the internal gaseous element? Whatever pertains to oneself as an individual, is gaseous, of an airy nature, and a product of grasping—as for example: ascending and descending flatus, the vapours in the abdomen and bowels, the air passing through the various parts of the body, such as inhalation and exhalation, or anything else whatsoever pertaining to oneself as an individual, that is gaseous, of an airy nature, and a product of grasping: this, Rahula, is called ‘the internal element of air.’ But even this internal gaseous element, as well as the external gaseous element, is merely the element of air. This, in accordance with fact and with perfect knowledge, should be regarded thus: ‘This is not mine; this am I not; this is soulless.,’ Having seen with perfect knowledge that such is the case one becomes disgusted with the gaseous element, and one’s mind is detached from the element of air.

“What now, Rahula, is the element of space? The element of space may be internal, may be external. “And what, Rahula, is the internal element of space? Whatever pertains to oneself as an individual, is void, of an empty nature, and a product of grasping as for example: the cavities of the ear and nose, the mouth aperture, that whereby one swallows what is eaten, drunk, chewed and tasted; where such nourishment accumulates, that whereby such nourishment passes from the lower part (of the body), or anything else whatsoever pertaining to oneself as an individual, that is void, of an empty nature, and a product of grasping: this, Rahula, is called ‘the internal element of space.’ But even this internal void element, as well as the external void element, is merely the element of space. This, in accordance with fact and with perfect knowledge, should be regarded thus: ‘This is not mine; this am I not; this is soulless.’ Having seen with perfect knowledge that such is the case, one becomes disgusted with the void element, and one’s mind is detached from the element of space.

“Like unto earth, [29] Rahula, practise meditation. For, O Rahula, by practising meditation like the earth, the contacts that have arisen—agreeable and disagreeable—will not continue to obsess your mind. Just as pure and impure things, Rahula,—excrement, urine, saliva, pus and blood—are cast upon the earth, and yet the earth neither abhors, nor loathes, nor dislikes such things; even so yourself, Rahula, earth-wise, practise meditation. For, Rahula, by practising meditation like the earth, the contacts that have arisen—agreeable and disagreeable—will not continue to obsess your mind.

“Like unto water, Rahula, practise meditation. For, O Rahula, by practising meditation water-wise, the contacts that have arisen—agreeable and disagreeable—will not continue to obsess your mind. Just as pure and impure things, Rahula,—excrement, urine, saliva, pus and blood—are washed (away) in water, and yet water neither abhors, nor loathes, nor dislikes such things; even so yourself, Rahula, like water, practise meditation, and the contacts that have arisen will not continue to obsess your mind.

“Like unto fire, Rahula, practise meditation. For, O Rahula, by practising meditation fire-wise, the contacts that have arisen—agreeable and disagreeable—will not continue to obsess your mind. Just as fire, Rahula, burns pure and impure things—excrement, urine, saliva, pus and blood—and yet fire neither abhors, nor loathes, nor dislikes such things; even so yourself, Rahula, like fire, practise meditation, and the contacts that have arisen will not continue to obsess your mind.

“Like unto air, Rahula, practise meditation. For, O Rahula, by practising meditation air-wise, the contacts that have arisen—agreeable and disagreeable—will not continue to obsess your mind. Just as air, Rahula, blows upon pure and impure things—excrement, urine, saliva, pus and blood—and yet air neither abhors, nor loathes, nor dislikes such things; even so yourself, Rahula, like air, practise meditation, and the contacts that have arisen will not continue to obsess your mind.

“Like unto space, Rahula, practise meditation. For, O Rahula, by practising meditation space-wise, the contacts that have arisen—agreeable and disagreeable—will not continue to obsess your mind. Just as the vault of heaven, Rahula, is not attached to any place; even so yourself, Rahula, like the vault of heaven, practise meditation. For, Rahula, by practising meditation like space, the contacts that have arisen—agreeable and disagreeable—will not continue to obsess your mind.

“Develop the meditation on loving-kindness (metta), [30] Rahula. For, Rahula, by developing loving-kindness, ill-will is abandoned.

“Develop the meditation on compassion, Rahula. For, Rahula, by developing compassion, cruelty is abandoned.

“Develop the meditation on sympathetic joy, Rahula. For, Rahula, by developing sympathetic joy, aversion is abandoned.

“Develop the meditation on equanimity, Rahula. For, Rahula, by developing equanimity, hatred is abandoned.

“Develop the meditation on impurity, [31] Rahula. For, Rahula, by meditating on impurity, lust is abandoned.

“Develop the meditation on the concept of transience, Rahula. For, Rahula, by meditating on the concept of transience, pride of self is abandoned.

“Cultivate the concentration of mindfulness on inhaling and exhaling, Rahula. Inhaling and exhaling with mindfulness, Rahula, cultivated and frequently practised, is productive of much fruit and manifold advantages. And how, Rahula, is inhaling and exhaling with mindfulness cultivated; how frequently practised, to produce much fruit and manifold advantages?

“Here, Rahula, a Bhikkhu having retired to the forest, or to the foot of a tree, or to a lonely place; sits with legs crossed, the body held erect, intent on mindfulness. Consciously he inhales; consciously he exhales. When taking a long inspiration, he knows ‘I am taking a long inspiration’; when making a long expiration, he knows ‘I am making a long expiration.’ When taking a short inspiration, he knows ‘I am taking a short inspiration’; when making a short expiration, he knows ‘I am making a short expiration.’

Conscious of the entire body (-process) [32] I will inhale,’ thus he trains himself; ‘Conscious of the entire body (-process) will I exhale’, thus he trains himself. ‘Calming the bodily process I will inhale’, thus he trains himself; ‘Calming the bodily process will I exhale,’ thus he trains himself. ‘Experiencing pleasure I will inhale,’ thus he trains himself; ‘Experiencing pleasure will I exhale,’ thus he trains himself. ‘Experiencing happiness I will inhale,’ thus he trains himself; ‘Experiencing happiness will I exhale’, thus he trains himself. ‘Conscious of the mental process [33] I will inhale,’ thus he trains himself; ‘Conscious of the mental process will I exhale,’ thus he trains himself: ‘Calming the mental process I will inhale,’ thus he trains himself; ‘Calming the mental process will I exhale,’ thus he trains himself. ‘Perfectly conscious I will inhale,’ thus he trains himself; ‘Perfectly conscious will I exhale,’ thus he trains himself. ‘With enraptured mind I will inhale,’ thus he trains himself; ‘With enraptured mind will I exhale,’ thus he trains himself. ‘Thoroughly composing the mind I will inhale,’ thus he trains himself; ‘Thoroughly composing the mind will I exhale,’ thus he trains himself. ‘Emancipating the mind I will inhale,’ thus he trains himself; ‘Emancipating the mind will I exhale,’ thus he trains himself. ‘Reflecting on transience I will inhale’, thus he trains himself; ‘Reflecting on transience will I exhale’, thus he trains himself. Reflecting on freedom from lust I will inhale,’ thus he trains himself; ‘Reflecting on freedom from lust will I exhale,’ thus he trains himself. ‘Reflecting on Cessation I will inhale,’ thus he trains himself; Reflecting on Cessation will I exhale,’ thus he trains himself. Reflecting on complete emancipation I will inhale,’ thus he trains himself; ‘Reflecting on complete emancipation will I exhale,’ thus he trains himself. [34]

“Mindfulness on inhaling and exhaling, Rahula, thus cultivated and frequently practised, is productive of much fruit and manifold advantage. When, Rahula, inhaling and exhaling with mindfulness is thus cultivated and frequently-practised, even the last inspiration and expiration ceases consciously, not unconsciously.”

This was spoken by the Blessed One. The venerable Rahula, delighted, rejoiced at his words.


Translation by Nyanaponika Thera, Buddhist Publication Society

Comments