Majjhima Nikāya I
2. 10. Vitakkasanthānasuttaṃ
(20) The Discursively Thinking Mind

I heard thus.

At one time the Blessed One lived in the monastery offered by Anāthapinddika in Jeta's grove in Sāvatthi. The Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus from there.

“Bhikkhus, by the bhikkhu developing the mind five things should be attended to from time to time. What five:The bhikkhu attending to a certain sign if evil demeritorious thoughts arise conductive to interest, anger and delusion, he should change that sign and attend to some other sign conductive to merit, then those signs conductive to interest, anger and delusion fade, and the mind settles and comes to a single point. Like a clever carpenter or his apprentice would get rid of a coarse peg with the help of a fine peg. In the same manner the bhikkhu attending to a certain sign, if evil demeritorious thoughts arise conductive to interest, anger and delusion, he should change that sign and attend to some other sign conductive to merit, then those signs conductive to interest, anger and delusion fade, the mind settles and comes to a single point.

“Even when the bhikkhu has changed the sign and attended some other sign, if evil demeritorious thoughts arise conductive to interest, anger and delusion, the bhikkhu should examine the dangers of those thoughts. These thoughts of mine are evil, faulty and bring unpleasant results. When the dangers of those thoughts are examined those evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion fade. With their fading the mind settles and comes to a sigle point. Like a woman, a man, a child or youth fond of adornment would loathe and would be disgusted when the carcase of a snake, dog or a human corpse was wrapped round the neck. In the same manner when the bhikkhu has changed the sign and attended some other sign, if evil demeritorious thoughts arise conductive to interest, anger and delusion, the bhikkhu should examine the dangers of those thoughts. These thoughts of mine are evil, loathesome, faulty and bring unpleasant results. When the dangers of those thoughts are examined, those evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion fade. With their fading the mind settles and comes to a single point.

“Even when the bhikkhu has examined the dangers of those evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion, if those evil demeritorious thoughts conducive to interest, anger and delusion arise, he should not attend to them. When those evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion are not attended, they fade. With their fading the mind settles and comes to a single point. Like a man who would not like to see forms, that come to the purview would either close his eyes or look away. In the same manner when the bhikkhu has examined the dangers of those evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion, if evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion arise, he should not attend to them. When those evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion are not attended, they fade. With their fading the mind settles and comes to a single point.

“Even when the bhikkhu did not attend to those evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion, if these evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion arise, he should attend to appeasing the whole intentional thought process. When attending to appeassing the whole intentional thought process, those evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion fade. With their fading the mind settles and comes to a single point. Like it would occur to a man walking fast: why should I walk fast, what if I stand. Then he would stand. Standing it would occur to him: Why should I stand, what if I sit. Then he would sit. Sitting it would occur to him: Why should I sit, what if I lie. Thus abandoning the more coarse posture, would maintain the finer posture. In the same manner when attending to appeasing the whole intentional thought process, those evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion fade. With their fading the mind settles and comes to a single point.

“Even when attending to appeasing the whole intentional thought process, those evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion arise, the bhikkhu should press the upper jaw on the lower jaw and pushing the tongue on the palate should subdue and burn out those evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion. Then those evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion fade. With their fading the mind settles and comes to a single point. Like a strong man taking a weaker one by the head or body would press him and trouble him. In the same manner the bhikkhu should press the upper jaw on the lower jaw and pushing the tongue on the palate should subdue and burn out those evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion. Then those evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion fade. With their fading the mind settles and comes to one point.

“Bhikkhus, the bhikkhu attending to a certain sign, if evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion arise, he attends to another sign conductive to merit, those evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion fade. With their fading the mind settles and comes to one point.

“When attending to the danger of those evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion, those evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion fade. With their fading the mind settles and comes to one point. When not attending to those evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion, those evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion fade. With their fading the mind settles and comes to one point: When attending to appeasing the whole intentional thought process, these evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion fade. With their fading the mind settles and comes to one point, The bhikkhu pressing the lower jaw with the upper jaw and pushing the tongue on the palate would subdue and burn out those evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion. Then those evil demeritorious thoughts conductive to interest, anger and delusion fade. With their fading the mind settles and comes to one point. Bhikkhus, this is called the bhikkhu is master over thought processes. Whatever thought he wants to think, that he thinks, whatever thought he does not want to think, that he does not think He puts an end to craving, dispels the bonds and rightfully overcoming measuring makes an end of unpleasantness.”

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

[End of the Sīhanādavagga]