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Pacalāyamāna Suttaṃ

(A.iv.85)

Falling Asleep

Thus have I heard — at one time the Blessed One was dwelling among the Bhaggā on crocodile mountain, at the Bhesakaḷā grove, in the deer park. Then at that time the Venerable Mahāmoggallāna was sitting and falling asleep while staying in Magadha depending on the village of Kallavāḷaputta for alms.¹ With the divine-eye, which is purified and surpasses the human eye, the Blessed One saw the Venerable Mahāmoggallāna sitting and falling asleep. Having seen him, as if a strong man would extend his bent arm, or bend his straightened arm, he disappeared from the Bhesakaḷā grove on crocodile mountain and appeared in front of Mahāmoggallāna at Kallavāḷaputta village.² The Blessed One sat on a seat that had been prepared. Sitting there, the Blessed One said to the Venerable Mahāmoggallāna: “Are you falling asleep, Moggallāna? Are you nodding off?”³

“Indeed, I am Venerable sir.”

  1. “Therefore, Moggallāna, you should not pay attention to that perception you were dwelling on when drowsiness arose, you should not cultivate that perception. [86] Then it is possible, Moggallāna, that abiding thus you will be able to expel the drowsiness.
  2. “If, by abiding thus, you are not able to expel the drowsiness, Moggallāna, then recollect, reflect on, and examine carefully the teaching as you have heard it and learnt it. Then it is possible, Moggallāna, that abiding thus you will be able to expel the drowsiness.
  3. “If, by abiding thus, you are not able to expel the drowsiness, Moggallāna, then recite in detail the teaching as you have heard it and learnt it. Then it is possible, Moggallāna, that abiding thus you will be able to expel the drowsiness.
  4. “If, by abiding thus, you are not able to expel the drowsiness, Moggallāna, then pull both ear-lobes and massage your limbs. Then it is possible, Moggallāna, that abiding thus you will be able to expel the drowsiness.
  5. “If, by abiding thus, you are not able to expel the drowsiness, Moggallāna, then get up from your seat, rinse your eyes with water, and look around, and gaze up at the stars in the night sky. Then it is possible, Moggallāna, that abiding thus you will be able to expel the drowsiness.
  6. “If, by abiding thus, you are not able to expel the drowsiness, Moggallāna, then pay attention to the perception of light, resolving on the perception of daytime —  as it is by day so it is by night; as it is by night, so it is by day. Thus with the mind awake and clear, develop a mind pervaded with light. Then it is possible, Moggallāna, that abiding thus you will be able to expel the drowsiness.[87]
  7. “If, by abiding thus, you are not able to expel the drowsiness, Moggallāna, then walking back and forth perceiving what is behind and in front, with the sense-faculties withdrawn and not roaming outside. Then it is possible, Moggallāna, that abiding thus you will be able to expel the drowsiness.⁷

“If, by abiding thus, you are not able to expel the drowsiness, Moggallāna, then lie down on the right side, placing one foot on the other, and mindful, clearly comprehending, establish in your mind the perception of getting up. On awakening, Moggallāna, you should get up quickly thinking, ‘I will not indulge in the pleasure of sleeping, the pleasure of reclining, the pleasure of drowsiness.’ Thus, Moggallāna, you should train yourself.

“Therefore, Moggallāna, you should train yourself thus: ‘I will not approach families [for alms] intoxicated with pride. Thus indeed, Moggallāna, you should train yourself. If, Moggallāna, a monk approaches families intoxicated with pride, they may be busy. They may not pay attention to a monk who has arrived, then that monk might think: ‘Who has turned this family against me, that they are now indifferent towards me?’ Thus, not getting anything he becomes disgruntled (maṅkubhāvo), being disgruntled he is restless, being restless he is unrestrained, being unrestrained his mind is far from concentration.

“Therefore, Moggallāna, you should train yourself thus: ‘I will not speak about contentious matters. Thus indeed, Moggallāna, you should train yourself. With contentious talk, Moggallāna, one can expect to talk a lot. When there is a lot of talking, one becomes restless, being restless he is unrestrained, being unrestrained his mind is far from concentration.

“Moggallāna, I do not praise all association, [88] nor do I not praise any association. I do not praise association with householders or with those gone forth. I do praise association with those quiet dwelling places with little noise, lonely and unpopulated, remote from human habitation, suitable for seclusion.

When this was said, the Venerable Moggallāna said to the Blessed One: “In what respect, Venerable sir, in brief, is a monk liberated by the destruction of craving, intent on the final release from bondage, the final goal of the holy life, the best among gods and mankind?”

“Herein, Moggallāna, a monk has heard: “All phenomena are not worth adhering to,’ he knows them by experience, having known them by direct knowledge he knows all phenomena accurately. Knowing all phenomena accurately, whatever feeling he feels, whether pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral, he dwells contemplating impermanence, he dwells contemplating dispassion, he dwells contemplating cessation, he dwells contemplating relinquishment, clinging to nothing in the world. Not clinging he is not anxious, not being anxious he personally realises cessation. He knows: ‘Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, what should be done has been done, there will be no more of this.’ Thus, Moggallāna, in brief, a monk is liberated by the destruction of craving, intent on the final release from bondage, the final goal of the holy life, the best among gods and mankind.”

Notes:

1. The Commentary notes that for seven days from his ordination, the Venerable Moggallāna had been practising walking meditation without a break, and being fatigued, had sat down to meditate. He would not have been staying literally in the village (Kallavāḷaputtagāme), but in a secluded place near enough to that village to walk for alms.

2. The text repeats the full addresses as an aid to oral recitation. The two kingdoms of Bhaggā and Magadha were adjacent in the south of the middle country of India (Majjhimadesa).

3. The Pāḷi text repeats the same phrase twice.

4. If none of these seven methods work, then one should lie down and sleep.

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