Majjhima Nikāya I

1. 2. Sabbāsavasuttaṃ
(2) All Desires

I heard thus:

At one time the Blessed One lived in the monasatery offered by Anāthapiṇḍika in Jeta's grove in Sāvatthi.

There, the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus: “Monks, I will teach the method of restraining the mind from all desires, listen and attend carefully.

“Bhikkhus, I declare the restraining of the mind from all desires, knowing and seeing, not without knowing and seeing. Knowing and seeing, what is it? `Knowing and seeing with wise attention and with unwise attention.' When attending unwisely non-arisen desires arise, and arisen desires grow. When attending wisely non-arisen desires do not arise, and arisen desires fade. Bhikkhus, there are desires to be turned out reflecting wisely, there are desires to be turned out with restraint, there are desires to be turned out by indulging, there are desires to be turned out by enduring, there are desires to be turned out by avoiding, and there are desires to be turned out by dispelling, and there are desires to be turned out by development.

“Bhikkhus, what desires should be turned out reflecting wisely? Here, bhikkhus, the ordinary man has not seen Noble Ones and Great Men, not clever and not tamed in their teaching, does not know the thoughts that should be thought and should not be thought. So he thinks thoughts that should not be thought and does not think thoughts that should be thought. Bhikkhus, what thoughts that should not be thought are thought? Those thoughts that arouse non-arisen sensual desires, and thoughts that develop arisen sensual desires. Those thoughts that arouse non-arisen desires `to be' and thoughts that develop arisen desires `to be'. Those thoughts that arouse non-arisen desires of ignorance and thoughts that develop arisen desires of ignorance. These thoughts that should not be thought are thought.

“Bhikkhus, what thoughts that should be thought are not thought? They are those thoughts that do not arouse non-arisen sensual desires and thoughts that diminish arisen sensual desires, those thoughts that do not arouse non-arisen desires `to be' and thoughts that diminish arisen desires `to be', and those thoughts that do not arouse non-arisen desires of ignorance and thoughts that diminish arisen desires of ignorance. These thoughts that should be thought are not thought. Thinking thoughts that should not be thought, and not thinking thoughts that should be thought, non-arisen desires arise and arisen desires develop.

“He thinks unwisely in this manner:`Was I in the past or wasn't I in the past? Who was I in the past? How was I in the past? Become who and who was I in the past? Will I be in the future, or will I not be in the future? What will I be in the future? How will I be in the future? Who will I become and who will I be in the future?'

“Or doubts arise about the self in the present : “Am I, or am I not? What am I? How am I ? From where did this being come, where will it go?' To whoever thinking unwisely in this manner, one of these six views arises: To him a view arises perfect and clear, `I have a self.' Or, `I have no self.' Or, `with the self I know the self.' Or, `with the self I know the no-self.' Or, `with no-self I know the no-self.' Or this view arises to him: `This my self which speaks and feels and experiences the results of good and bad actions done here and there; it is permanent and eternal and would not change.' Bhikkhus, this is called the soul view, the thicket of speculations, the wilderness of speculations, the bond of views. O! Bhikkhus, the ordinary man bound by these views is not released from birth, decay, death, sorrow, lament, unpleasantness, displeasure, and distress. He is not released from unpleasantness, I say.

“Bhikkhus, the learned disciple who has seen Noble Ones and Great Men, clever and trained in their Teaching, knows the thoughts that should be thought and knows the thoughts that should not be thought. He does not think thoughts that should not be thought, and he thinks thoughts that should be thought.

“What are the thoughts that should not be thought? Those thoughts that arouse non-arisen sensual desires and develop arisen sensual desires. Those thoughts that arouse non-arisen desires `to be' and develop arisen desires `to be' Those thoughts that arouse non-arisen desires of ignorance and develop arisen desires of ignorance. These thoughts should not be thought.

“What are the thoughts that should be thought? Those thoughts that do not arouse non-arisen sensual desires and diminish arisen sensual desires. Those thoughts that do not arouse non-arisen desires to `to be' and diminish arisen desires `to be'. Those thoughts that do not arouse non-arisen desires of ignorance and diminish arisen desires of ignorance. These thoughts should be thought.

“When he does not think thoughts that should not be thought and thinks those that should be thought, non-arisen desires do not arise and arisen desires fade. Then he wisely thinks, `This is unpleasant,' wisely thinks, This is the arising of unpleasantness,' wisely thinks, `This is the cessation of unpleasantness,' and wisely thinks, `This is the path to the cessation of unpleasantness'. When he thinks in this manner three bonds fade away: the view about a self, doubts, and the bindings of virtues. Bhikkhus, these are the desires that should be dispelled by wise thinking.

“Bhikkhus, what desires should be turned out through restraint? Here, the bhikkhu wisely reflecting abides restrained in the mental faculty of the eye. To one abiding unrestrained in the mental faculty of the eye would arise desires of distress and burning; to one restrained they do not arise. The bhikkhu wisely reflecting abides restrained in the mental faculty of the ear. To one abiding unrestrained in the mental faculty of the ear would arise desires of distress and burning, to one restrained they do not arise. The bhikkhu wisely reflecting abides restrained in the mental faculty of the nose. To one abiding unrestrained in the mental faculty of the nose would arise desires of distress and burning, to one restrained they do not arise. The bhikkhu wisely reflecting abides restrained in the mental faculty of the tongue. To one abiding unrestrained in the mental faculty of the tongue would arise desires of distress and burning, to one restrained they do not arise. The bhikkhu wisely reflecting abides restrained in the mental faculty of the body. To one abiding unrestrained in the mental faculty of the body would arise desires of distress and burning, to one restrained they do not arise. The bhikkhu wisely reflecting abides restrained in the mental faculty of the mind. To one abiding unrestrained in the mental faculty of the mind would arise desires of distress and burning, to one restrained they do not arise. Bhikkhus, to one abiding restrained, desires of distress and burning do not arise. These are the desires that should be turned out through restraint.

“Bhikkhus, what desires should be turned out through indulging? Here, the bhikkhu wisely reflecting uses the robe to ward off cold, heat, the stings of gadflies and yellow flies, to ward off the heat of the air and the touch of creeping things and for the purpose of covering the loins out of shame. Wisely reflcting, partakes of the morsel food, not for play, for intoxication or to look beautiful, [but] to support the body, without greed for tastes, as support to lead the holy life. While partaking the food reflects `Giving up the earlier feelings would not arouse new, may it be for a faultless light living'. Wisely reflecting, partakes the dwelling to ward off the cold, heat, the sting of gadflies and yellow flies, to ward off the burning air, creeping things, and to end the troubles from the seasons, and for seclusion. Wisely reflecting, partakes requisites when ill to ward off oppressive feelings. When not using them may arise desires of distress and burning, using them they would not arise. Bhikkhus, these are the desires that should be turned out by indulging.

“Bhikkhus, what desires should be turned out by enduring? Here, the bhikkhu wisely reflecting endures cold, heat, hunger, thirst, the sting of gadflies, yellow flies, heat of the air, the touch of creeping things, the piercing touch of badly enunciated words, sharp rough piercing bodily feelings and unwelcome, disagreeable feelings that end life. To one not enduring these may arise desires of burning and distress, to one enduring them desires do not arise. These are the desires that should be turned out by enduring.

“Bhikkhus, what desires should be turned out by avoiding? Here the bhikkhu, wisely reflecting avoids rough elephants, horses, bulls, dogs, serpents, uneven thorny roads, pits, depresssions, pools, and village pools. And sitting on unsuitable seats, pasturing on unsuitable pastures and associating evil friends, these which the wise co-associates in the holy life denounce, he wisely reflecting should avoid. Bhikkhus, to one not avoiding these may arise desires of burning and distress, to one avoiding them desires do not arise. These desires should be turned out by avoiding.

`Bhikkhus, what desires should be turned out by dispelling? Here, the bhikkhu reflecting wisely does not entertain arisen sensual thoughts, dispels them, does not let them rise again; reflecting wisely does not entertain arisen angry thoughts, dispels them, does not let them rise again; reflecting wisely, does not entertain arisen hurting thoughts, dispels them, does not let them rise again; and reflecting wisely does not entertain whatever arisen demeritorious evil thoughts, dispels them, does not let them rise again. Bhikkhus, to one not dispelling these may arise desires and burning, [but] to one dispelling them desires do not arise. These desires should be turned out by dispelling.

“Bhikkhus, what desires should be turned out by development? Here, the bhikkhu wisely reflecting develops the enlightenment factor mindfulness based on seclusion, detachment and cessation and ending in surrender Wisely reflecting, he develops the enlightenment factor investigation of the Teaching based on seclusion, detachment, and cessation, and ending in surrender; Wisely reflecting, he develops the enlightenment factor effort based on seclusion, detachment and cessation and ending in surrender. Wisely reflecting, he develops develops the enlightenment factor joy based on seclusion, detachment and ending in surrender. Wisely reflecting, he develops the enlightenment factor tranquillity based on seclusion, detachment and cessation and ending in surrender. Wisely reflecting, he develops the enlightenment factor concentration based on seclusion, detachment and cessation and ending in surrender. And Wisely reflecting, he develops the enlightenment factor equanimity based on seclusion, detachment and cessation and ending in surrender. Bhikkhus, to one not developing these may arise desires of burning and distress, to one developing them these desires do not arise. These desires should be turned out by development.

“Bhikkhus, when the bhikkhu turns out those desires which should be turned out by wise reflection, turns out those desires that should be turned out by restraint, turns out those desires that should be turned out by indulging, turns out those desires that should be turned out by enduring, turns out those desires that should be turned out by avoiding, turns out those desires that should be turned out by dispelling and turns out those desires that should be turned out by development, it is said that the bhikkhu, abiding restrained in all desires, has overcome craving, dispensed the bonds, and rightfully ending measuring made an end of unpleasantness.”

The Blessed One said thus and those bhikkhus delighted in the words of the Blessed One.