Introduction to 1.4.6: Ānāpānassatisuttaṃ (Free from Prattle and Chatter is this Assembly)
This Ānāpānassatisutta is selected from the Majjhimanikāye, the selection of middle length discourses, the last part: Uparipaṇṇāsapāḷi. It starts by describing how a number of new Bhikkhus received training in the eastern park and palace donated by Migāramāta - pubbārāme migāramātupāsāde - at Sāvatthi under the Venerable Sāriputta, the Venerable Mahāmoggallāna, the Venerable Mahākassapa and many other Venerable Elders and receive encouragement by the Buddha to proceed further with their attainments during the rainy season. At the end of the rainy season the Buddha then describes the different practises of the Bhikkhus and then explains in detail the practise of Ānāpānassati. The Buddha surveyed the assembly of the Saṅha and expressed his contentment with the different results and achievements in their practice of meditation. Truly such a congregation is a limitless field of merit: -anuttaraṃ puññakkhettaṃ lokassa –
This endless field of merit is explained in the Visuddhimaggo. When a meditator recollects the qualities of the Saṅgha his mind departs from greed, aversion and delusion, develops respectfulness, conquers fear, instigates faith and gets filled with joy. He acquires a feeling as he were to live in the presence of the Saṅgha: - Saṅghaguṇānussatiyā ajjhāvutthañcassa sarīraṃ sannipatitasaṅghamiva uposathāgāraṃ pūjārahaṃ hoti, saṅghaguṇādhigamāya cittaṃ namati, vītikkamitabbavatthusamāyoge cassa sammukhā saṅghaṃ passato viya hirottappaṃ paccupaṭṭhāti, uttari appaṭivijjhanto pana sugatiparāyano hoti. ‘- His mind worships the attainment of the qualities of the Saṅgha, whenever he encounters an opportunity for transgression he feels a sense of shame as he would stand face to face with the Saṅgha and he is bound for a happy destiny if he not penetrates even further’.
Tasmā have appamādaṃ, kayirātha sumedhaso; evaṃ mahānubhāvāya, saṅghānussatiyā sadāti.
Indeed, without negligence and ardently, A man of truly great wisdom will Always recollect the Saṅgha`s qualities Blessed thus with great potency.
Pāli lesson (with audio) 1.4.6
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