English Translation 3.7.3

3.7.3 Avoiding Unwholesome and Maintaining the Wholesome1

 

“There are, O’ Bhikkhus, four exertions. What four? These are the exertion to restrain, the exertion to reject, the exertion to develop and the exertion to preserve.

And what, Bhikkhus, is the exertion to restrain?

Here, Bhikkhus, a Bhikkhu, perceiving a visual object through the eyes neither adheres to that object nor does he dwell in the details. He works on warding off those states which with unrestrained eye-faculty would result in evil and unwholesome states, such as greed and aversion; he guards his eye doors and increases restraint on the faculties of vision.

In hearing a sound through the ears neither adheres to that object nor does he dwell in the details. He works on warding off those states which with unrestrained ear-faculty would result in evil and unwholesome states, such as greed and aversion; he guards his ear doors and increases restraint on the hearing faculties.

In encountering a fragrance through the nose neither adheres to that object nor does he dwell in the details. He works on warding off those states which with unrestrained nose-faculty would result in evil and unwholesome states, such as greed and aversion; he guards his nose doors and increases restraint on the smelling faculties.

In savouring a taste through the tongue neither adheres to that object nor does he dwell in the details. He works on warding off those states which with unrestrained eye-faculty with unrestrained tongue-faculty would result in evil and unwholesome states, such as greed and aversion; he guards the doors of taste and increases restraint on the savouring faculties.

In encountering a touch through the body neither adheres to that object nor does he dwell in the details. He works on warding off those states which with unrestrained body-faculty would result in evil and unwholesome states, such as greed and aversion; he guards his body doors and increases restraint on the sensible faculties.

In apprehending a thought through the mind he neither adheres to that thought nor does he dwell in the details. He works on warding off those states which with unrestrained mind-faculty would result in evil and unwholesome things such as greed and aversion; he guards his mind doors and increases restraint on the mental faculties.

This, Bhikkhus, is the exertion to restrain?

 

And what, Bhikkhus, is the exertion to reject?

Here, Bhikkhus, a Bhikkhu, does not hold on to arisen thoughts of sensual pleasures, rejects and dispels them, makes an end of them and causes them to perish. He does not hold on to arisen thoughts of aversion, rejects and dispels them, makes an end of them and causes them to perish. He does not hold on to arisen thoughts of violence, rejects and dispels them, makes an end of them and causes them to perish. He does not hold on to evil and unwholesome states that may have arisen, rejects and dispels them, makes an end of them and causes them to perish.

This, Bhikkhus, is the exertion to reject.

 

And what, Bhikkhus, is the exertion to develop?

Here, Bhikkhus, a Bhikkhu, develops the factor of enlightenment of awareness dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment. He develops the factor of enlightenment of investigation of Dhamma dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment.

He develops the factor of enlightenment of effort dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment. He develops factor of enlightenment of rapture dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment.

He develops factor of enlightenment of tranquillity dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment. He develops the factor of enlightenment of concentration dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment. He develops the factor of enlightenment of equanimity dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment.

This, Bhikkhus, is the exertion to develop.

 

And what, Bhikkhus, is the exertion to preserve?

Here, Bhikkhus, a Bhikkhu, guards a chosen auspicious object of meditation such as the contemplation of a skeleton, the contemplation of a worm infested body, the contemplation of a discoloured corpse, the contemplation of a corpse having holes all over or the contemplation of a corpse swollen up. This, Bhikkhus, is the exertion to preserve.

These are, O’ Bhikkhus, the four exertions.

“Avoiding, rejecting, developing and preserving;

These are the four exertions, as taught by the dispeller of darkness;

The Bhikkhu who works thus vigorously, attains the destruction of misery.”

 

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1 - Saṃvarasuttaṃ: Saṃvara + suttaṃ: restraint + sutta


Last modified: Wednesday, 25 March 2020, 2:03 AM