Dharma Pearls

Translating Classical Buddhism to Modern English

The Medium Discourses

43. Don’t Think

1. Thus I have heard:[1] One time, the Buddha traveled to the country of Śrāvastī and stayed at Anāthapiṇḍada Park in Jeta Grove.

2. It was then that the Bhagavān said, “Ānanda, you shouldn’t think this about observing precepts, ‘It will cause me to have no regrets.’ Ānanda, it’s simply natural that someone who observes precepts readily attains having no regrets.

3. “Ānanda, you shouldn’t think this about having no regrets, ‘It will cause me to be glad.’ Ānanda, it’s simply natural that someone who has no regrets readily attains gladness.

4. “Ānanda, you shouldn’t think this about having gladness, ‘It will cause me to be joyous.’ Ānanda, it’s simply natural that someone who has gladness will readily attain joy.

5. “Ānanda, you shouldn’t think this about having joy, ‘It will cause me to be calm.’ Ānanda, it’s simply natural that someone who has joy will readily attain a calm body.

6. “Ānanda, you shouldn’t think this about having calm, ‘It will cause me to be happy.’ Ānanda, it’s simply natural that someone who has calm [485c] will readily attain the feeling of happiness.

7. “Ānanda, you shouldn’t think this about having happiness, ‘It will cause me to be concentrated.’ Ānanda, it’s simply natural that someone who has happiness will readily attain a concentrated state of mind.

8. “Ānanda, you shouldn’t think this about having concentration, ‘It will cause me to see as it really is and know as it truly is.’ Ānanda, it’s simply natural that someone who has concentration will see as it really is and know as it truly is.

9. “Ānanda, you shouldn’t think this about seeing as it really is and knowing as it truly is, ‘It will cause me to be disenchanted.’ Ānanda, it’s simply natural that someone who sees as it really is and knows as it truly is will readily attain disenchantment.

10. “Ānanda, you shouldn’t think this about having disenchantment, ‘It will cause me to lack desire.’ Ānanda, it’s simply natural that someone who has disenchantment will readily attain lack of desire.

11. “Ānanda, you shouldn’t think this about having a lack of desire, ‘It will cause me to be liberated.’ Ānanda, it’s simply natural that someone who has a lack of desire will readily attain liberation from all desire, hatred, and delusion.

12. “Ānanda, one readily attains having no regrets because of observing precepts. One readily attains gladness because of having no regrets. One readily attains joy because of gladness. One readily attains calm because of joy. One readily attains happiness because of calm. One readily attains a concentrated state of mind because of happiness.

13. “Ānanda, the well-versed noble disciple who has a concentrated state of mind readily sees as it really is and knows as it truly is. He readily attains disenchantment because of seeing as it really is and knowing as it truly is. He readily attains lack of desire because of disenchantment. He readily attains liberation because of lack of desire. It’s because of liberation that he readily knows liberation: ‘Birth has ended, the religious practice has been established, and the task has been accomplished.’ He’s no longer subject to existence and knows it as it really is.

14. “Ānanda, these are the mutual advantages from one thing to another and the mutual causes from one thing to another. Thus, these precepts lead to what’s supreme, which is to cross from this shore over to the other shore.”

15. The Buddha spoke thus. Venerable Ānanda and the monks who heard what the Buddha taught rejoiced and approved.

Notes

  1. Parallels include AN 11.2. [Back]

Translator: Charles Patton

Last Revised: 14 September 2020