Part II: The Seven Sets
A. The Treasures of the Teaching
Nowhere in the Canon does the Buddha list the seven sets of teachings under the
name of Wings to Awakening. He mentions the seven sets as a group many times when
he is summarizing his main teachings, but there is no firm evidence as to whether
he ever actually gave a name to the group. In one passage he applies the term
"wings to self-Awakening" to the five faculties [§77]; and in two
passages [§§24-25] he makes reference to the seven Wings to Awakening,
which may or may not denote the seven sets. Nevertheless, given the fact that
the Buddha called the five faculties wings to self-Awakening, and all seven sets
are equivalent to the five faculties, the name "Wings to Awakening"
for all seven seems appropriate. This was the name that they definitely had in
early post-canonical texts, such as the Petakopadesa, and that they have maintained
The seven sets have played an important role throughout the history of Buddhism,
in all of its various branches. They provided the framework for the earliest Abhidhamma
texts, systematic presentations of the doctrine that were added to the early Canons
a few centuries after the Buddha's passing away. They were also part of the first
Buddhist text translated into Chinese, and later came to exemplify "Hinayana"
teachings in T'ien-t'ai and other Chinese doctrinal systems. Tantric Buddhism
features mandalas containing 37 deities, symbolic of the 37 factors making up
the seven sets. Tibetan architecture, probably following the treatises of the
medieval Indian universities, identifies the various parts of standard stupa design
as symbols of the seven sets. Thus the Wings provide one of the few common threads
that, in actual or symbolic form, run through all the traditions claiming descent
from the Buddha.
One of the peculiarities of the Wings, viewed as a whole, is that two sets are
duplicates: the five faculties and the five strengths contain the same five factors.
Several theories have been advanced as to why the Buddha included what is essentially
the same set twice. One is that he wanted to indicate that the five factors that
make up each set could exist in the mind in two distinct levels of intensity,
one sufficient for the path to stream-entry, the first level of Awakening, and
the other needed for Arahantship, the highest level. This may parallel the passage
[§106] where the Buddha makes a similar distinction between the noble eightfold
path of stream-entry and the tenfold path of Arahantship. There is some disagreement
among later writers as to which of the two sets, the faculties or the strengths,
should be considered the more intense, although there is one canonical passage
[§85] where the term "faculty" seems to rank on a higher level
Another hypothesis -- not necessarily at odds with the first -- is that the Buddha
wanted the number of factors to total 37 because the number had symbolic meaning.
In ancient times, before the development of the decimal system, multiplication
tables were arranged in hexagonal patterns. The complete table used to calculate
the ratios used in tuning musical instruments to reciprocal scales -- scales that
played the same notes going up as going down -- had one member in the middle surrounded
by three hexagonal rings containing, in ascending order, six, twelve, and eighteen
members, giving a total of 37 members. (See the diagram on the back cover of this
book.) The table of whole-number ratios that formed the basis for trigonometry,
and thus for the study of astronomy, contained 37 members. Thus the number 37
carried connotations of basic completeness. This principle is at work in Plato's
Laws, where the ideal city has 37 guardians, and it may also be at work here.
A related consideration may be that the number seven, in the seven sets, was symbolic
of treasure. The sea, in the time of the Buddha, was said to have seven treasures
[§18], and the universal monarch was said to have seven treasures that formed
his spontaneous regalia [M.129]. The Buddha explicitly borrows this number symbolism
when he states that the seven sets are the treasures of his teaching.
Another possibility, which we have already noted [I/A], is that musicians in the
Buddha's time recognized seven systems for tuning the musical scale -- all other
systems being rejected as discordant -- and the Buddha may have borrowed this
numerical symbolism to suggest that his teachings formed a complete guide to all
the possible ways in which a Samana -- a person in tune (sama) -- could tune his
or her mind to the truth.
From a less historical and more practical point of view, the important question
about the seven sets is how they fit into the general plan of Buddhist practice.
Their role is most succinctly stated in §25: the development of the seven
sets follows on the development of virtue and leads naturally into the development
of transcendent discernment, thus filling the role that other passages assign
to concentration practice. This suggests -- and again, the suggestion is borne
out by passages that deal with the issue in more detail -- that the seven sets
are to be developed in the course of a concentration practice based on a moral
life and aimed at the development of discernment. When §23 ends its list
of preconditions for the practice of the seven sets with four meditation practices
-- actually three, as the perception of inconstancy is an integral part of mindfulness
of in-and-out breathing -- it is simply listing the concentration practices most
frequently recommended in the texts as focal points for developing the skills
of the seven sets. Nevertheless, although the seven sets focus most specifically
on the practice of concentration, the close interconnections among virtue, concentration,
and discernment mean that the sets include the factors of virtue and discernment
as well, thus encompassing the entire path of Buddhist practice.
A virtuous and moral life as an absolute prerequisite for practicing the sets.
This is a point that cannot be overstated, a fact reflected in the large number
of canonical passages that hammer it home: far too many to include in this anthology.
Some of the sets -- the five faculties/strengths and the noble eightfold path
-- actually include the practice of a virtuous life in their factors, under the
faculty/strength of conviction, and under the factors of right speech, right action,
and right livelihood in the eightfold path. The remaining sets, the texts tell
us, are meant to follow on the development of personal virtue in the same way
that sunrise follows on the pre-dawn colors in the eastern sky.
The texts give the precepts that underline a virtuous life, not as rules imposed
by an outside authority, but as guidelines for action that a person would voluntarily
undertake when accepting the importance of the principles of kamma and skillful
action in shaping the course of one's experiences. Killing, for instance, is obviously
an unskillful action when viewed in the full light of its kammic consequences.
The same holds true with other actions forbidden by the precepts, such as drinking
alcohol, stealing, illicit sex, lying, and abusive language. [For a more complete
list, see §§103-104.] Passage §103 shows that the Buddha's teachings
on virtue consist not only of the "don't's" of the precepts, but also
of the "do's" of such positive standards as sympathy, reliability, and
genuine helpfulness. Skillfulness is not simply a matter of avoiding bad consequences;
it also actively cultivates the good.
In keeping with the teaching that kamma is essentially intention, the precepts
are designed to focus on the state of mind motivating the act. A precept is broken
only when one does so intentionally. Thus the practice of observing the precepts
requires constant attention to the factor of intention in one's actions; it also
requires that one develop the "sublime attitudes" (brahma-vihara) of
good will, compassion, appreciation, and equanimity [§98], which strengthen
one's ability to side with skillful intentions. In this way, the Buddha's approach
to morality is to use the realm of personal action as an arena for the comprehensive
training of the mind.
These three aspects of the Buddhist approach to morality -- the avoidance of bad
kamma, the development of skillful mental states, and the purification of intention
-- follow the pattern of the heart of the Buddha's teachings as presented in the
first verse of §7. They also explain why virtue is a necessary foundation
for the practice of concentration: A moral life brings about absence of remorse
[A.X.1]; people who, in all honesty, have no reason for remorse over their actions
or for anxiety over their consequences, feel a natural sense of inner joy. This
joy is intensified when they reflect on the positive acts of kindness and generosity
that they have performed for others. Thus intensified, this joy then provides
the basis for the inner pleasure that allows for concentration. In this way, a
healthy sense of self-worth is a necessary precondition for a stable mind [§238].
In addition, the practice of virtue forces one to develop a number of the "concentration"
factors in the sets themselves, on a preliminary level of skill, thus making them
strong and fit for formal concentration practice. To maintain a precept, one must
keep it constantly in mind: this strengthens mindfulness. One must stick to one's
determination to abide by one's principles: this strengthens persistence. One
must pay attention to the present moment, for that is where the decision to keep
or break a precept is made; and one must remain firm in one's cultivation of the
sublime attitudes: these factors strengthen concentration. One must be clear about
one's motives for acting, and at the same time be sensitive in knowing how to
apply a particular precept to one's present situation: e.g., being quick to see
how to avoid an issue in which telling the truth might be harmful, yet without
telling a lie. This strengthens one's ability to analyze the mind in the present
moment, intensifying one's powers of discernment in general. These four factors
-- mindfulness, effort, concentration, and discernment -- are the central elements
in all of the seven sets. Thus, the practice of virtue exercises, on a rudimentary
level, the qualities of mind needed for concentration practice.
A close look at the seven sets will show that a similar relationship exists between
these qualities, as they are developed in concentration practice, and the transcendent
discernment toward which they lead. On the one hand, concentration is needed as
a basis for discernment; on the other hand, discernment is exercised in developing
concentration, becoming more precise and penetrating as a result. To understand
how this happens, we must first note that the seven sets fall into two types.
The first type consists of the four frames of reference, the four right exertions,
and the four bases of power. Each of these sets focuses on a single factor in
the "concentration aggregate" [§105] of the noble eightfold path:
the frames of reference on mindfulness, the right exertions on effort, and the
bases of power on concentration. Their factors are defined in such a way that
the proper development of any one set involves the other two sets, together with
the factor of discernment. In this sense they point out the "holographic"
nature of the path: each part must include the whole, just as every piece of a
hologram can reproduce the entire holographic image.
The sets included in the second type are the five faculties, the five strengths,
the seven factors for Awakening, and the noble eightfold path. Each of these sets
lists its factors in a causal chain progressing through a spiraling loop. The
five faculties and strengths start with conviction, which then leads naturally
to persistence, mindfulness, concentration, and then discernment. Discernment,
in turn, provides a basis for even firmer conviction. Similarly, the seven factors
for Awakening start with mindfulness, which develops into an analysis of (present)
mental qualities, persistence, rapture, serenity, concentration, and finally equanimity.
Equanimity, in turn, provides a steady basis for the further development of mindfulness.
The noble eightfold path starts out with right view and right resolve, which together
constitute discernment, leading to right speech, right action, right livelihood,
right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. Concentration, in turn,
forms a basis for the clearer development of discernment. In this way the various
factors of the path are mutually reinforcing in an upward spiral that leads to
Comparing the sets in the second type with one another, however, we find a certain
complexity in their feedback loops. In terms of their most important factors,
we see that the faculties and strengths depict the causal sequence as:
effort » mindfulness » concentration » discernment;
the factors for Awakening give it as:
mindfulness » discernment » effort » concentration;
and the noble eightfold path:
discernment » effort » mindfulness » concentration.
Although the sequences differ, they have one pattern in common: concentration
always follows after right effort and mindfulness. This suggests not only that
concentration depends on these two factors, but also that effort and mindfulness,
when properly developed, are meant to lead to concentration. This suggestion is
borne out in the texts that deal with these factors in detail [§§1,
33-35, 58, 61].
The two factors with the most variegated roles in these lists are mindfulness
and discernment. Mindfulness is essential at every step along the way. There are
passages [§26] teaching that mindfulness is a prerequisite for virtue, which
-- together with right view -- is in turn a prerequisite for right mindfulness
[§27]. Similarly, mindfulness is necessary for concentration, which in turn
can be devoted to the development of greater mindfulness [§149], which can
lead further to discernment.
As for discernment: If we look at the lists placing discernment after the other
factors, we find that certain aspects of discernment are presumed by the earlier
factors. In the five faculties, for instance, conviction includes belief in the
principle of kamma, which is one of the elements of right discernment. In the
lists that place discernment toward the beginning of the process, we find transcendent
discernment added on to the end: the seven factors for Awakening, when fully developed,
lead to clear knowing (transcendent discernment) and release; when the noble eightfold
path reaches the point of full Awakening, it leads to right knowledge (transcendent
discernment again) and right release. The implication here is that discernment,
functioning on different levels, keeps adding feedback loops of ever greater sensitivity
every step along the way. This point is made explicit in §106.
For this reason, skillfulness -- as a constant, sensitive mindfulness and discernment
toward one's own actions -- lies at the essence of every moment in the continued
development of the path. On the one hand it creates the conditions necessary for
the path to develop: knowledge of what is skillful and unskillful must necessarily
precede right effort and mindfulness, and must help mindfulness lead to concentration.
On the other hand, the factors of mindfulness and concentration are necessary
for discernment to become even more sensitive to the present moment. Thus, as
the path spirals through its many feedback loops, it exercises discernment, making
it stronger in the same way that muscles are strengthened with exercise. At the
same time, the development of the path steadies the conditions that provide discernment
with the solid basis it needs to become more and more precise, just as a solid
foundation is necessary for sensitive measuring equipment. In this way discernment
develops from a knowledge of what is skillful and unskillful, first gained through
the advice and example of others, on through a more intuitive understanding of
skillfulness gained through repeated action and reflection on one's actions, to
a knowledge of the four noble truths and the duties appropriate to each, and finally
to the knowledge that those duties have been fulfilled [§195]. The Wings
thus put mundane discernment to use, and in so doing make it transcendent.
All of this explains why the Buddha said that of all the wings to self-Awakening,
discernment is chief [§77]. In its more rudimentary forms it provides the
conditions and feedback necessary for each step along the way; its transcendent
form, at the culmination of the path, leads directly to Awakening.
The experience of Awakening, according to the texts, can take any one of four
· stream-entry, i.e., entry into the stream leading to Unbinding -- which
cuts the fetters of self-identity views, uncertainty, and grasping at precepts
and practices -- ensuring that one will be reborn no more than seven more times;
· once-returning -- which further weakens passion, aversion, and delusion
-- ensuring that one will be reborn no more than one more time;
· non-returning -- which cuts the fetters of sensual passion and resistance
-- ensuring that one will be reborn in the highest heavens, called the Pure Abodes,
there to obtain Unbinding, never to return to this world; and
· Arahantship -- which cuts the fetters of passion for form, passion for
formlessness, conceit, restlessness, and ignorance -- bringing total freedom from
the cycle of rebirth.
In all four levels, the basic dynamic is the same: virtue, concentration, and
discernment bring the mind skillfully to a state of "non-fashioning"
(atammayata) [§179] where all present input into the cycle of kamma is suspended.
This state of non-fashioning then opens the way for the experience of the Unfabricated.
To put this in terms of the two knowledges that constitute Awakening, the skillful
mastery of the processes of kamma to the point of non-fashioning corresponds to
the knowledge of the regularity of the Dhamma, and the experience of the Unfabricated
corresponds to the knowledge of Unbinding.
Although all four levels require mature levels of the path factors of virtue,
concentration, and discernment to bring about the two knowledges that constitute
Awakening, they differ in the relative maturity of the path factors that lead
up to them. Stream-entry occurs at the full maturation of virtue; non-returning,
at the full maturation of concentration; and Arahantship, at the full maturation
of discernment [A.III.88; MFU, pp. 103]. Thus they also differ in the depth to
which they penetrate the two knowledges of Awakening and in their ability to cut
the fetters that perpetuate bondage to the cycle of kamma and rebirth. The texts
report a few cases where meditators go straight through all four levels to the
level of Arahantship, but in most cases the meditator will pass through the four
levels step-by-step, sometimes over course of many years or even several lifetimes.
In this book, except where otherwise noted, discussions of the Awakening experience
as described in the discourses focus on the level where virtue, concentration,
and discernment are all fully mature, the Awakening total, and the resulting freedom
absolutely unlimited. This is the point where all seven sets of the Wings to Awakening
Passages from the Pali Canon
§ 18. Paharada, just as the ocean has these many treasures of various kinds
-- pearls, sapphires, lapis lazuli, shells, quartz, coral, silver, gold, rubies,
& cat's eyes -- in the same way, this doctrine & discipline has these
many treasures of various kinds: the four frames of reference, the four right
exertions, the four bases of power, the five faculties, the five strengths,
the seven factors for Awakening, the noble eightfold path. This is the seventh
wonder & marvel... that the monks, having seen again & again in this
doctrine & discipline, delight in.
§ 19. Then [after relinquishing the will to continue fabricating his life
processes] the Blessed One went to the audience hall and on arrival sat down
on the seat prepared for him. When he was seated, he addressed the monks: 'The
qualities I have pointed out, having known them directly: You should grasp them
thoroughly, cultivate them, develop them, & pursue them so that this holy
life may long endure & remain steadfast for the benefit, welfare, &
happiness of the multitude, out of sympathy for the world, for the benefit,
welfare, & happiness of human & celestial beings. And what are those
qualities? The four frames of reference, the four right exertions, the four
bases of power, the five faculties, the five strengths, the seven factors for
Awakening, the noble eightfold path. These are the qualities I have pointed
out, having known them directly, that you should grasp thoroughly, cultivate,
develop, & pursue... for the benefit, welfare, & happiness of human
& celestial beings.' Then the Blessed One addressed the monks, 'I exhort
you, monks: All fabrications are subject to decay. Bring about completion by
means of heedfulness. It will not be long before the Tathagata's total Unbinding.
He will attain total Unbinding in three month's time.'
That is what the Blessed One said. Then... he said further:
Young & old
wise & foolish
rich & poor:
all end up dying.
As a potter's clay vessels
large & small
fired & unfired
all end up broken,
so too life
heads to death.
Then the Teacher said further:
Ripe my age, little the life
remaining to me.
Leaving you, I will go,
having made a refuge
Be heedful, monks,
With your resolves well-concentrated,
look after your minds.
He who, in this
doctrine & discipline,
leaving the round
will make an end
§ 20. Suppose a hen has eight, ten, or twelve eggs: If she doesn't cover
them rightly, warm them rightly, or incubate them rightly, then even though
this wish may occur to her -- 'O that my chicks might break through the egg
shells with their spiked claws or beaks and hatch out safely!' -- still it is
not possible that the chicks will break through the egg shells with their spiked
claws or beaks and hatch out safely. Why is that? Because the hen has not covered
them rightly, warmed them rightly, or incubated them rightly. In the same way,
even though this wish may occur to a monk who dwells without devoting himself
to development -- 'O that my mind might be released from effluents through lack
of clinging!' -- still his mind is not released from the effluents through lack
of clinging. Why is that? From lack of developing, it should be said. Lack of
developing what? The four frames of reference, the four right exertions, the
four bases of power, the five faculties, the five strengths, the seven factors
for Awakening, the noble eightfold path...
But suppose a hen has eight, ten, or twelve eggs that she covers rightly, warms
rightly, & incubates rightly: Even though this wish may not occur to her
-- 'O that my chicks might break through the egg shells with their spiked claws
or beaks and hatch out safely!' -- still it is possible that the chicks will
break through the egg shells with their spiked claws or beaks and hatch out
safely. Why is that? Because the hen has covered them, warmed them, & incubated
them rightly. In the same way, even though this wish may not occur to a monk
who dwells devoting himself to development -- 'O that my mind might be released
from effluents through lack of clinging!' -- still his mind is released from
the effluents through lack of clinging. Why is that? From developing, it should
be said. Developing what? The four frames of reference, the four right exertions,
the four bases of power, the five faculties, the five strengths, the seven factors
for Awakening, the noble eightfold path.
Just as when a carpenter or carpenter's apprentice sees the marks of his fingers
or thumb on the handle of his adze but does not know, 'Today my adze handle
wore down this much, or yesterday it wore down that much, or the day before
yesterday it wore down this much,' still he knows it is worn through when it
is worn through. In the same way, when a monk dwells devoting himself to development,
he does not know, 'Today my effluents wore down this much, or yesterday they
wore down that much, or the day before yesterday they wore down this much,'
still he knows they are worn through when they are worn through.
Just as when an ocean-going ship, rigged with masts & stays, after six months
on the water, is left on shore for the winter: Its stays, weathered by the heat
& wind, moistened by the clouds of the rainy season, easily wither &
rot away. In the same way, when a monk dwells devoting himself to development,
his fetters easily wither & rot away.
§ 21. A certain monk went to his preceptor and on arrival said to him,
'My body, sir, now feels like it's drugged. I've lost my bearings. Things are
unclear to me. Sloth & drowsiness surround my mind at all times. I am unhappy
in leading the holy life. I have doubts about mental qualities (or: things --
Then the preceptor, taking his student, went to see the Buddha (and told him
what his student had said. The Buddha replied:)
'That's the way it is for a person who does not guard the doors to his sense
faculties, who does not know moderation in eating, who is not devoted to wakefulness,
who does not clearly understand skillful qualities, and who is not devoted day
after day to the development of the wings to Awakening... Thus you should train
yourself, monk: "I will guard my senses, will know moderation in eating,
will devote myself to wakefulness, will clearly understand skillful qualities,
and will devote myself day after day to the development of the wings to Awakening."
That's how you should train yourself.
Then the monk, having received this instruction from the Blessed One, got up
from his seat, bowed down, circled the Blessed One, keeping him on his right,
and then went away. Dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute,
he in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the holy life,
for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing it
& realizing it for himself in the here & now. He knew: 'Birth is ended,
the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake
of this world.' And thus he became another one of the Arahants.
§ 22. Endowed with three qualities, a monk is one who follows the way that
cannot be faulted and he has aroused the basis for ending the effluents. Which
three? There is the case where a monk guards the doors to his sense faculties,
knows moderation in eating, & is devoted to wakefulness.
And how does a monk guard the doors to his sense faculties? There is the case
where a monk, on seeing a form with the eye, does not grasp at any theme or
variations by which -- if he were to dwell without restraint over the faculty
of the eye -- evil, unskillful qualities such as greed or distress might assail
him. He practices with restraint. He guards the faculty of the eye. He achieves
restraint with regard to the faculty of the eye. (Similarly with the ear, nose,
tongue, body & intellect.) This is how a monk guards the doors to his sense
And how does a monk know moderation in eating? There is the case where a monk,
considering it appropriately, takes his food not playfully, nor for intoxication,
nor for putting on bulk, nor for beautification, but simply for the survival
& continuance of this body, for ending its afflictions, for the support
of the holy life, thinking, 'I will destroy old feelings [of hunger] & not
create new feelings [from overeating]. Thus I will maintain myself, be blameless,
& live in comfort.' This is how a monk knows moderation in eating.
And how is a monk devoted to wakefulness? There is the case where a monk during
the day, sitting & pacing back & forth, cleanses his mind of any qualities
that would hold the mind in check. During the first watch of the night [dusk
to 10 p.m.], sitting & pacing back & forth, he cleanses his mind of
any qualities that would hold the mind in check. During the second watch of
the night [10 p.m. to 2 a.m.], reclining on his right side, he takes up the
lion's posture, one foot placed on top of the other, mindful, alert, with his
mind set on getting up [either as soon as he awakens or at a particular time].
During the last watch of the night [2 a.m. to dawn], sitting & pacing back
& forth, he cleanses his mind of any qualities that would hold the mind
in check. This is how a monk is devoted to wakefulness.
Endowed with these three qualities, a monk is one who follows the way that cannot
be faulted and he has aroused the basis for ending the effluents.
§ 23. Monks, if wanderers who are members of other sects should ask you,
'What, friend, are the prerequisites for the development of the wings to self-awakening?'...
you should answer, 'There is the case where a monk has admirable people as friends,
companions, colleagues. This is the first prerequisite for the development of
the wings to self-awakening.
'Furthermore, the monk is virtuous. He dwells restrained in accordance with
the Patimokkha, consummate in his behavior & sphere of activity. He trains
himself, having undertaken the training rules, seeing danger in the slightest
faults. This is the second prerequisite for the development of the wings to
'Furthermore, he gets to hear at will, easily & without difficulty, talk
that is truly sobering & conducive to the opening of awareness, i.e., talk
on having few wants, on contentment, on seclusion, on non-entanglement, on arousing
persistence, on virtue, on concentration, on discernment, on release, and on
the knowledge & vision of release. This is the third prerequisite for the
development of the wings to self-awakening.
'Furthermore, he keeps his persistence aroused for abandoning unskillful mental
qualities and for taking on skillful mental qualities. He is steadfast, solid
in his effort, not shirking his duties with regard to skillful mental qualities.
This is the fourth prerequisite for the development of the wings to self-awakening.
'Furthermore, he is discerning, endowed with the discernment of arising &
passing away -- noble, penetrating, leading to the right ending of stress. This
is the fifth prerequisite for the development of the wings to self-awakening.'
Monks, when a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, colleagues,
it is to be expected that he will be virtuous, will dwell restrained in accordance
with the Patimokkha, consummate in his behavior & sphere of activity, and
will train himself, having undertaken the training rules, seeing danger in the
When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, colleagues, it is to
be expected that he will get to hear at will, easily & without difficulty,
talk that is truly sobering and conducive to the opening of awareness, i.e.,
talk on having few wants, on contentment, on seclusion, on non-entanglement,
on arousing persistence, on virtue, on concentration, on discernment, on release,
and on the knowledge & vision of release... that he will keep his persistence
aroused for abandoning unskillful mental qualities, and for taking on skillful
mental qualities -- steadfast, solid in his effort, not shirking his duties
with regard to skillful mental qualities... that he will be discerning, endowed
with discernment of arising & passing away -- noble, penetrating, leading
to the right ending of stress.
And furthermore, monks, when the monk is established in these five qualities,
there are four additional qualities he should develop: He should develop [contemplation
of] the unattractive so as to abandon lust. He should develop good will so as
to abandon ill will. He should develop mindfulness of in-&-out breathing
so as to cut off distractive thinking. He should develop the perception of inconstancy
so as to uproot the conceit, 'I am.' For a monk perceiving inconstancy, the
perception of not-self is made firm. One perceiving not-self attains the uprooting
of the conceit, 'I am' -- Unbinding in the here & now.
§ 24. These three divine sounds sound forth among the devas on appropriate
occasions. Which three? When a disciple of the noble ones, shaving off his hair
& beard, clothing himself in the ochre robe, makes up his mind to go forth
from the home life into homelessness, on that occasion the divine sound sounds
forth among the devas: 'This disciple of the noble ones has made up his mind
to do battle with Mara'...
When a disciple of the noble ones lives engaged in developing the seven [sets
of] qualities that are wings to Awakening, on that occasion the divine sound
sounds forth among the devas: 'This disciple of the noble ones is doing battle
When a disciple of the noble ones, through the ending of effluents dwells in
the release of awareness & release of discernment that are free from effluent,
having known & made them manifest for himself in the here & now, on
that occasion the divine sound sounds forth among the devas: 'This disciple
of the noble ones has won the battle. Having been in the front lines of the
battle, he now dwells victorious'... These are the three divine sounds that
sound forth among the devas on appropriate occasions.
§ 25. A monk who has admirable virtue, admirable qualities, & admirable
discernment is called, in this doctrine & discipline, one who is complete,
fulfilled, supreme among men.
And how is a monk a person with admirable virtue? There is the case where a
monk is virtuous. He dwells restrained in accordance with the Patimokkha, consummate
in his behavior & sphere of activity. He trains himself, having undertaken
the training rules, seeing danger in the slightest faults. In this way a monk
is a person with admirable virtue. Thus he is of admirable virtue.
And how is a monk a person with admirable qualities? There is the case where
a monk lives engaged in developing of the seven [sets of] qualities that are
wings to Awakening. In this way a monk is a person with admirable qualities.
Thus he is of admirable virtue & admirable qualities.
And how is a monk a person with admirable discernment? There is the case where
a monk, through the ending of effluents dwells in the release of awareness &
release of discernment that are free from effluent, having known & made
them manifest for himself in the here & now. In this way a monk is a person
with admirable discernment. Thus he is of admirable virtue, admirable qualities,
admirable discernment. In this doctrine & discipline he is called one who
is complete, fulfilled, supreme among men.
One devoid of wrong-doing
in thought, word, or deed,
is called a person of admirable virtue:
the conscientious monk.
One well-developed in the qualities
that go to the attainment of self-awakening,
is called a person of admirable qualities:
the unassuming monk.
One discerning right here for himself
the ending of stress
is called a person of admirable discernment:
the monk without effluent.
One consummate in these things,
untroubled, with doubt cut away,
unattached in all the world,
is called one who has abandoned the All.