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Ekakanipāta

Book of Ones

Introduction

I have translated selected chapters from among the twenty found in the Book of Ones. Two chapters can be found on Access to Insight.

Contents

1. Forms

2. Abandoning the Hindrances

11. Not Dhamma

14. Foremost

15. Impossible

#EkakanipātaTop#AbandoningtheHindrances1. Forms

(A.i.1)

Thus have I heard — at one time the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthi, in Prince Jeta’s grove, in the monastery of Anāthapiṇḍika. Then the Blessed One addressed the monks: ‘Monks.’ The monks replied, ‘Venerable sir,’ to the Blessed One, then the Blessed One said:–

‘Monks, I do not see a single form that takes hold of a man’s mind and possesses it more than the form of a woman. The form of a woman, monks, takes hold of a man’s mind and possesses it.

‘Monks, I do not see a single sound that takes hold of a man’s mind and possesses it more than the sound of a woman. The sound of a woman, monks, takes hold of a man’s mind and possesses it.

‘Monks, I do not see a single odour that takes hold of a man’s mind and possesses it more than the odour of a woman. The odour of a woman, monks, takes hold of a man’s mind and possesses it.

‘Monks, I do not see a single taste that takes hold of a man’s mind and possesses it more than the taste of a woman. The taste of a woman, monks, takes hold of a man’s mind and possesses it.

‘Monks, I do not see a single touch that takes hold of a man’s mind and possesses it more than the touch of a woman. The touch of a woman, monks, takes hold of a man’s mind and possesses it.

‘Monks, I do not see a single form that takes hold of a woman’s mind and possesses it more than the form of a man. The form of a man, monks, takes hold of a woman’s mind and possesses it.

‘Monks, I do not see a single sound that takes hold of a woman’s mind and possesses it more than the sound of a man. The sound of a man, monks, takes hold of a woman’s mind and possesses it.

‘Monks, I do not see a single odour that takes hold of a woman’s mind and possesses it more than the odour of a man. The odour of a man, monks, takes hold of a woman’s mind and possesses it.

‘Monks, I do not see a single taste that takes hold of a woman’s mind and possesses it more than the taste of a man. The taste of a man, monks, takes hold of a woman’s mind and possesses it.

‘Monks, I do not see a single touch that takes hold of a woman’s mind and possesses it more than the touch of a man. The touch of a man, monks, takes hold of a woman’s mind and possesses it.

#EkakanipātaTop#NotDhamma2. Abandoning the Hindrances

(A.i.2)

“Monks, I do not see a single thing that leads more to the arising of unarisen sensual desire (kāmacchando) or the growth and development of arisen sensual desire than the sign of beauty (subhanimittaṃ). The sign of beauty, monks, if given unsystematic attention leads to the arising of unarisen sensual desire and the growth and development of arisen sensual desire.

“Monks, I do not see a single thing that leads more to the arising of unarisen ill-will (byāpādo) or the growth and development of arisen ill-will than the sign of repugnance. The sign of repugnance (paṭighanimittaṃ), monks, if given unsystematic attention leads to the arising of unarisen ill-will and the growth and development of arisen ill-will.

“Monks, I do not see a single thing that leads more to the arising of unarisen sloth and torpor (thinamiddhaṃ) or the growth and development of arisen sloth and torpor than discontent (arati), laziness (tandī), sleepiness (vijambhitā), drowsiness after meals (bhattasammado), and mental reluctance (cetaso līnattaṃ). Mental reluctance, monks, leads to the arising of unarisen sloth and torpor and the growth and development of arisen sloth and torpor.

“Monks, I do not see a single thing that leads more to the arising of unarisen restlessness and remorse (uddhaccakukkuccaṃ) or the growth and development of arisen restlessness and remorse than mental agitation (cetaso avūpasamo). Mental agitation, monks, leads to the arising of unarisen restlessness and remorse and the growth and development of arisen restlessness and remorse.

“Monks, I do not see a single thing that leads more to the arising of unarisen doubt (vicikicchā) or the growth and development of arisen doubt than unsystematic attention (ayonisomanasikāro). Unsystematic attention, monks, leads to the arising of unarisen doubt and the growth and development of arisen doubt.

“Monks, I do not see a single thing that leads more to the non-arising of unarisen sensual desire or the abandoning of arisen sensual desire than the sign of repulsiveness (asubhanimittaṃ). The sign of repulsiveness, monks, if given systematic attention leads to the non-arising of unarisen sensual desire and the abandoning of arisen sensual desire.

“Monks, I do not see a single thing that leads more to the non-arising of unarisen ill-will or the abandoning of arisen ill-will than the liberation of the heart (cetovimutti) through loving-kindness (mettā). The liberation of the heart through loving-kindness, monks, if given systematic attention leads to the non-arising of unarisen ill-will and the abandoning of arisen ill-will.

“Monks, I do not see a single thing that leads more to the non-arising of unarisen sloth and torpor or the abandoning of arisen sloth and torpor than the element of arousing (ārambhadhātu), the element of persistence (nikkamadhātu), the element of exertion (parakkamadhātu). Strenuous effort (āraddha­vīriyassa), monks, leads to the non-arising of unarisen sloth and torpor and the abandoning of arisen sloth and torpor.

“Monks, I do not see a single thing that leads more to the non-arising of unarisen restlessness and remorse or the abandoning of arisen restlessness and remorse than mental calm (cetaso vūpasamo). Mental calm, monks, leads to the non-arising of unarisen restlessness and remorse and the abandoning of arisen restlessness and remorse.

“Monks, I do not see a single thing that leads more to the non-arising of unarisen doubt or the abandoning of arisen doubt than systematic attention (yonisomanasikāro). Systematic attention, monks, leads to the non-arising of unarisen doubt and the abandoning of arisen doubt.

#EkakanipātaTop#Foremost11. Not Dhamma

(A.i.19)

“Monks, those monks who explain what is not Dhamma as not Dhamma, work for the welfare, happiness, and benefit of gods and men. They make much merit and preserve the true Dhamma.

“Those monks who explain what is Dhamma as Dhamma, work for the welfare, happiness, and benefit of gods and men. They make much merit and preserve the true Dhamma.

“Those monks who explain not Vinaya as not Vinaya … Vinaya as Vinaya … what was not said by the Tathägata as not said by him … what was said by him as said by him … what was not practised by him as not practised by him … what was practised by him as practised by him … what was not laid down by him as not laid down by him … what was laid down by him as laid down by him, work for the welfare, happiness, and benefit of gods and men. They make much merit and preserve the true Dhamma.

#EkakanipātaTop#Impossible14. Foremost

(A.i.23)

Foremost,¹ monks, among my disciples  in seniority is Aññāsi Koṇḍañña.

… in great wisdom is Sāriputta.

… in psychic powers is Mahāmoggallāna.

… in expounding the ascetic practices is Mahākassapa.

… in the divine-eye is Anuruddha.

… in those from eminent families is Bhaddiya Kāḷigodhāyaputta.

… with a charming voice is Lakuṇḍaka Bhaddiya.

… making bold claims with a lion’s roar is Piṇḍola Bhāradvāja.

… in discoursing on the Dhamma is Puṇṇa Mantāṇiputta.

… in expounding the brief in detail is Mahākaccāna.

… in creating mind-made bodies is Cūḷapanthaka.

… skilled in mental transformations is Cūḷapanthaka.

… skilled in the transformation of perceptions is Mahāpanthaka.

… in remote dwelling is Subhūti.

… in being worthy of gifts is Subhūti.

… in being a forest-dweller is Revata Khadiravaniya.

… in being a constant meditator is Kaṅkhā Revata.

… in energetic striving is Soṇa Koḷivisa.

… in pleasant speakers is Soṇa Kuṭikaṇṇa.

… in receipt of gifts is Sīvali.

… in resolute faith is Vakkalī.

… in being desirous of training is Rāhula.

… in going forth through faith is Raṭṭhapāla.

… in taking meal tickets is Kuṇḍadhāna.

… in composing verses is Vaṅgīsa.

… in inspiring confidence is Vaṅgantaputta (Upasena).

… in assigning lodgings is Dabba Mallaputta.

… in delighting gods is Pilindavaccha.

… in swiftly gaining higher knowledge is Bāhiya Dārucīriya.²

… in eloquence is Kumārakassapa.

… in analytical knowledge is Mahākoṭṭhita.

… in great learning is Ānanda.

… in retentive memory is Ānanda.

… in being quick to grasp the meaning is Ānanda.

… in courage is Ānanda.

… who are personal attendants is Ānanda.

… in having a large following is Uruvela Kassapa.

… in inspire confidence among families is Kāḷudāyī.

… in health is Bākula.

… in recollecting previous lives is Sobhita.

… in learning of the Vinaya rules is Upāli.

… in exhorting the nuns is Nandaka.

… in guarding the sense doors is Nanda.

… in exhorting the monks is Mahākappina.

… in skill with the fire element is Sāgata.

… in inspiring eloquent discourses is Rādha.

… in wearing coarse robes is Mogharāja.

“Foremost, monks, among my female disciples in seniority is Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī.

… n great wisdom is Khemā.

… in psychic powers is Uppalavaṇṇā.

… in learning of the Vinaya rules is Paṭācārā.

… in discoursing on the Dhamma is Dhammadinnā.

… in being a constant meditator is Nandā.

… in energetic striving is Soṇā.

… in the divine-eye is Bakulā.³

… in swiftly gaining higher knowledge is Bhaddā Kuṇḍalakesā.

… in recollecting former lives is Bhaddā Kāpilānī.

… in gaining great direct knowledge is Bhadda Kaccānā (Rāhulamātā).

… in using coarse robes is Kisā Gotamī.

… in resolute faith is Siṅgālakamātā.

“Foremost, monks, among my lay disciples in taking refuge first are the merchants Tapussa and Bhallikā.

… among donors is Sudatta, Anāthapiṇḍika.

… in discoursing on the Dhamma is Citta of Macchikāsaṇḍika.

… using the four means of retaining a following is Hatthaka of Āḷavaka.

… who offer superior alms is the Sakyan Mahānāma.

… who offer what is pleasing is Ugga of Vesāli.

… who attend on the Saṅgha is Ugga of Hatthigāma.

… of unwavering faith is Sūra-Ambaṭṭha.

… of faith in individuals is Jīvaka Komārabhacca.

… with intimacy is Nakulapitā.

“Foremost, monks, among my female lay disciples in taking refuge first is Sujātā, daughter of Seniya.

… among donors is Visākhā, ‘Migāra’s mother.’

… of great learning is Khujjuttarā.

… abiding in loving-kindness is Sāmāvatī.

… who are constant meditators is Uttarā, mother of Nanda.

… who donates superior alms is Suppavāsā, the daughter of Koliya.

… who tends the sick is Suppiyā.

… of resolute faith is Kātiyānī.

… with intimacy is Nakulamātā.

… with faith based on hearsay is Kāḷī, Kulagharikā.”

#EkakanipātaTop#Notes15. Impossible

(A.i.26)

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that one endowed with right-view ⁵ could regard any formation as permanent. That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that an ordinary person could regard any formation as permanent. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that one endowed with right-view could regard any formation as blissful. That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that an ordinary person could regard any formation as blissful. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that one endowed with right-view could regard any formation as a self. That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that an ordinary person could regard any formation as a self. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that one endowed with right-view could deprive his or her mother of life. That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that an ordinary person could deprive his or her mother of life. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that one endowed with right-view could deprive his or her father of life. That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that an ordinary person could deprive his or her father of life. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that one endowed with right-view could deprive an Arahant of life. That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that an ordinary person could deprive an Arahant of life. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that one endowed with right-view could with a corrupted mind draw blood from a Tathāgata. That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that an ordinary person could draw blood from a Tathāgata with a corrupted mind. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that one endowed with right-view could cause a schism in the Saṅgha. That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that an ordinary person could cause a schism in the Saṅgha. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that one endowed with right-view could point out another as his or her teacher.⁶ That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that an ordinary person could point out another as his or her teacher. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that two Perfectly Enlightened Buddhas could appear in a single world system simultaneously. That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that one Perfectly Enlightened Buddha could arise in one world system. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that two Wheel-turning Monarchs could appear in a single world system simultaneously. That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that one Wheel-turning Monarch could arise in one world system. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that a woman ⁷ could be a Perfectly Enlightened Buddha. That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that a man could be a Perfectly Enlightened Buddha. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that a woman ⁷ could be a Wheel-turning Monarch. That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that a man could be a Wheel-turning Monarch. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that a woman could be Sakka … Māra … Brahmā. That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that a man could be Sakka … Māra … Brahmā. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that bodily misconduct could give a desirable, enjoyable, pleasing result . That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that bodily misconduct could give an undesirable, unenjoyable, displeasing result. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that verbal misconduct could give a desirable, enjoyable, pleasing result . That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that verbal misconduct could give an undesirable, unenjoyable, displeasing result. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that mental misconduct could give a desirable, enjoyable, pleasing result . That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that mental misconduct could give an undesirable, unenjoyable, displeasing result. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that bodily good conduct could give an undesirable, unenjoyable, displeasing result . That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that bodily good conduct could give a desirable, enjoyable, pleasing result. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that verbal good conduct could give an undesirable, unenjoyable, displeasing result . That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that verbal good conduct could give a desirable, enjoyable, pleasing result. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that mental good conduct could give an undesirable, unenjoyable, displeasing result . That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that mental good conduct could give a desirable, enjoyable, pleasing result. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that one engaging in bodily misconduct on that account, for that reason, on the break-up of the body after death, could arise in a fortunate destination, in heaven. That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that one engaging in bodily misconduct on that account, for that reason, on the break-up of the body after death, could arise in an unfortunate destination, in hell. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that one engaging in verbal misconduct on that account, for that reason, on the break-up of the body after death, could arise in a fortunate destination, in heaven. That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that one engaging in verbal misconduct on that account, for that reason, on the break-up of the body after death, could arise in an unfortunate destination, in hell. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that one engaging in mental misconduct on that account, for that reason, on the break-up of the body after death, could arise in a fortunate destination, in heaven. That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that one engaging in mental misconduct on that account, for that reason, on the break-up of the body after death, could arise in an unfortunate destination, in hell. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that one engaging in bodily good conduct on that account, for that reason, on the break-up of the body after death, could arise in an unfortunate destination, in hell. That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that one engaging in bodily good conduct on that account, for that reason, on the break-up of the body after death, could arise in a fortunate destination, in heaven. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that one engaging in verbal good conduct on that account, for that reason, on the break-up of the body after death, could arise in an unfortunate destination, in hell. That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that one engaging in verbal good conduct on that account, for that reason, on the break-up of the body after death, could arise in a fortunate destination, in heaven. That is possible.”

“It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen that one engaging in mental good conduct on that account, for that reason, on the break-up of the body after death, could arise in an unfortunate destination, in hell. That is not possible. However, it is possible, monks, that one engaging in mental good conduct on that account, for that reason, on the break-up of the body after death, could arise in a fortunate destination, in heaven. That is possible.”

#EkakanipātaTopNotes:

1. The commentary on this chapter is long, giving details for each disciple. How they aspired in a previous life to attain distinction in the time of the Buddha Gotama. I have given cross-references to the Dictionary of Pali Proper Names for these background stories wherever they exist. All of those in the group of bhikkhu disciples are included among the eighty great disciples (asītimahāsāvakā)

2. The only disciple in this group who was not a bhikkhu. After gaining Arahantship, he went in search of a bowl and robes, but was killed by a cow. The Buddha instructed that a pagoda (stūpa) be built over his remains.

3. Not mentioned in the Dictionary of Pali Proper Names, nor in any other place in the Canon apart from here.

4. Nakulapitā and Nakulamātā were the parents of the Bodhisatta for 500 lifetimes so when met him they treated him as intimately, addressing him as “son (putta).”

5. One endowed with right-view, a Stream-winner (sotāpanna).

6. In the Ratana Sutta it says: “Catūh’ apāyehi ca vippamutto, chaccābhiṭhānāni abhabbo kātuṃ.” That means that the Noble Ones are free from rebirth in the four lower realms of animals, jealous gods, hungry ghosts, and hell, They are also incapable of committing any of the six heinous crimes. The six from “Depriving one’s mother of life” to “Pointing out another as one’s teacher,” cannot be done by a Stream-winner because if they are done they inevitably lead to rebirth in hell in the next existence, with no chance of reprieve. The sixth of these is the offence of apostasy, i.e. repudiating the Buddha as one’s teacher, and converting to another religion. The source for my statement is the Mahāsīhanāda Sutta of the Majjhimanikāya, in which Sunakkhatta loses faith in the Buddha and declares that the Buddha has no superhuman attainments. Therein the Buddha states: “Taṃ vācaṃ appahāya taṃ cittaṃ appahāya taṃ diṭṭhiṃ appaṭinissajjitvā yathābhataṃ nikkhitto evaṃ niraye,” which means, “If he does not abandon that statement and give up that view he will be reborn in hell as surely as if taken and dragged there.” For an ordinary person, doubt is the norm, since only a Stream-winner has overcome doubt (this is also stated in the Ratana Sutta). Someone with doubt is unable to decide whether something is really true or not. The apostate has decided definitely that the Buddha was not enlightened, that his teaching is untrue, and that following the Noble Eightfold Path cannot lead to the end of suffering.

7. Buddhas and Wheel-turning Monarchs, Sakka, Māra, and Brahmā are always male. Women can become Arahants, and they can aspire to become Buddhas. However, before they can make the noblest aspiration they must take rebirth as a male, and continue accumulating the perfections (pāramī). In this infinite cycle of rebirths (saṃsāra), we have all been each other’s mother, father, brother, and sister countless times. However, the Bodhisatta was always reborn as a male during the 91 aeons since making the noblest aspiration (abhinīhāra).

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