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Nibbedhika Sutta

Penetrative

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
For free distribution only

"I will teach you the penetrative explanation that is a Dhamma explanation. Listen and pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said: "And which penetrative explanation is a Dhamma explanation?

"Sensuality should be known. The cause by which sensuality comes into play should be known. The diversity in sensuality should be known. The result of sensuality should be known. The cessation of sensuality should be known. The path of practice for the cessation of sensuality should be known.

"Feeling should be known. The cause by which feeling comes into play should be known. The diversity in feeling should be known. The result of feeling should be known. The cessation of feeling should be known. The path of practice for the cessation of feeling should be known.

"Perception should be known. The cause by which perception comes into play should be known. The diversity in perception should be known. The result of perception should be known. The cessation of perception should be known. The path of practice for the cessation of perception should be known.

"Fermentations (asava) should be known. The cause by which fermentations come into play should be known. The diversity in fermentations should be known. The result of fermentations should be known. The cessation of fermentations should be known. The path of practice for the cessation of fermentations should be known

"Kamma should be known. The cause by which kamma comes into play should be known. The diversity in kamma should be known. The result of kamma should be known. The cessation of kamma should be known. The path of practice for the cessation of kamma should be known.

"Stress should be known. The cause by which stress comes into play should be known. The diversity in stress should be known. The result of stress should be known. The cessation of stress should be known. The path of practice for the cessation of stress should be known.

(1) "'Sensuality should be known. The cause by which sensuality comes into play... The diversity in sensuality... The result of sensuality... The cessation of sensuality... The path of practice for the cessation of sensuality should be known.' Thus it has been said. In reference to what was it said?

"There are these five strings of sensuality. Which five? Forms cognizable via the eye -- agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing; sounds cognizable via the ear... aromas cognizable via the nose... flavors cognizable via the tongue... tactile sensations cognizable via the body -- agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing. But these are not sensuality. They are called strings of sensuality in the discipline of the noble ones.

The passion for his resolves is a man's sensuality,
not the beautiful sensual pleasures
 found in the world.
The passion for his resolves is a man's sensuality.

The beauties remain as they are in the world,
while the wise, in this regard,
 subdue their desire.

"And what is the cause by which sensuality comes into play? Contact is the cause by which sensuality comes into play.

"And what is the diversity in sensuality? Sensuality with regard to forms is one thing, sensuality with regard to sounds is another, sensuality with regard to aromas is another, sensuality with regard to flavors is another, sensuality with regard to tactile sensations is another. This is called the diversity in sensuality.

"And what is the result of sensuality? One who wants sensuality produces a corresponding state of existence, on the side of merit or demerit. This is called the result of sensuality.

"And what is the cessation of sensuality? From the cessation of contact is the cessation of sensuality; and just this noble eightfold path -- right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration -- is the way leading to the cessation of sensuality.

"Now when a disciple of the noble ones discerns sensuality in this way, the cause by which sensuality comes into play in this way, the diversity of sensuality in this way, the result of sensuality in this way, the cessation of sensuality in this way, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of sensuality in this way, then he discerns this penetrative holy life as the cessation of sensuality.

"'Sensuality should be known. The cause by which sensuality comes into play... The diversity in sensuality... The result of sensuality... The cessation of sensuality... The path of practice for the cessation of sensuality should be known.' Thus it has been said, and in reference to this was it said.

(2) "'Feeling should be known. The cause by which feeling comes into play... The diversity in feeling... The result of feeling... The cessation of feeling... The path of practice for the cessation of feeling should be known.' Thus it has been said. In reference to what was it said?

"There are these three kinds of feeling: a feeling of pleasure, a feeling of pain, and feeling of neither pleasure nor pain.

"And what is the cause by which feeling comes into play? Contact is the cause by which feeling comes into play.

"And what is the diversity in feeling? There is the feeling of pleasure connected with the baits of the world. There is the feeling of pleasure not connected with the baits of the world. There is the feeling of pain connected with the baits of the world. There is the feeling of pain not connected with the baits of the world. There is the feeling of neither pleasure nor pain connected with the baits of the world. There is the feeling of neither pleasure nor pain not connected with the baits of the world. This is called the diversity in feeling.

"And what is the result of feeling? One who feels a feeling produces a corresponding state of existence, on the side of merit or demerit. This is called the result of feeling.

"And what is the cessation of feeling? From the cessation of contact is the cessation of feeling; and just this noble eightfold path -- right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration -- is the way leading to the cessation of feeling.

"Now when a disciple of the noble ones discerns feeling in this way, the cause by which feeling comes into play in this way, the diversity of feeling in this way, the result of feeling in this way, the cessation of feeling in this way, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of feeling in this way, then he discerns this penetrative holy life as the cessation of feeling.

"'Feeling should be known. The cause by which feeling comes into play... The diversity in feeling... The result of feeling... The cessation of feeling... The path of practice for the cessation of feeling should be known.' Thus it has been said, and in reference to this was it said.

(3) "'Perception should be known. The cause by which perception comes into play... The diversity in perception... The result of perception... The cessation of perception... The path of practice for the cessation of perception should be known.' Thus it has been said. In reference to what was it said?

"There are these six kinds of perception (mental labels): the perception of form, the perception of sound, the perception of aroma, the perception of flavor, the perception of tactile sensation, the perception of ideas.

"And what is the cause by which perception comes into play? Contact is the cause by which perception comes into play.

"And what is the diversity in perception? Perception with regard to forms is one thing, perception with regard to sounds is another, perception with regard to aromas is another, perception with regard to flavors is another, perception with regard to tactile sensations is another, perception with regard to ideas is another. This is called the diversity in perception.

"And what is the result of perception? Perception has expression as its result, I tell you. However a person perceives something that is how he expresses it: 'I have this sort of perception.' This is called the result of perception.

"And what is the cessation of perception? From the cessation of contact is the cessation of perception; and just this noble eightfold path -- right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration -- is the way leading to the cessation of perception.

"Now when a disciple of the noble ones discerns perception in this way, the cause by which perception comes into play in this way, the diversity of perception in this way, the result of perception in this way, the cessation of perception in this way, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of perception in this way, then he discerns this penetrative holy life as the cessation of perception.

"'Perception should be known. The cause by which perception comes into play... The diversity in perception... The result of perception... The cessation of perception... The path of practice for the cessation of perception should be known.' Thus it has been said, and in reference to this was it said.

(4) "'Fermentations should be known. The cause by which fermentations come into play... The diversity in fermentations... The result of fermentations... The cessation of fermentations... The path of practice for the cessation of fermentations should be known.' Thus it has been said. In reference to what was it said?

"There are these three kinds of fermentations: the fermentation of sensuality, the fermentation of becoming, the fermentation of ignorance.

"And what is the cause by which fermentations comes into play? Ignorance is the cause by which fermentations comes into play.

"And what is the diversity in fermentations? There are fermentations that lead to hell, those that lead to the animal womb, those that lead to the realm of the hungry shades, those that lead to the human world, those that lead to the world of the devas. This is called the diversity in fermentations.

"And what is the result of fermentations? One who is immersed in ignorance produces a corresponding state of existence, on the side of merit or demerit. This is called the result of fermentations.

"And what is the cessation of fermentations? From the cessation of ignorance is the cessation of fermentations; and just this noble eightfold path -- right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration -- is the way leading to the cessation of fermentations.

"Now when a disciple of the noble ones discerns fermentations in this way, the cause by which fermentations comes into play in this way, the diversity of fermentations in this way, the result of fermentations in this way, the cessation of fermentations in this way, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of fermentations in this way, then he discerns this penetrative holy life as the cessation of fermentations.

"'Fermentations should be known. The cause by which fermentations come into play... The diversity in fermentations... The result of fermentations... The cessation of fermentations... The path of practice for the cessation of fermentations should be known.' Thus it has been said, and in reference to this was it said.

(5) "'Kamma should be known. The cause by which kamma comes into play should be known. The diversity in kamma should be known. The result of kamma should be known. The cessation of kamma should be known. The path of practice for the cessation of kamma should be known.' Thus it has been said. In reference to what was it said?

"Intention, I tell you, is kamma. Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech, and intellect.

"And what is the cause by which kamma comes into play? Contact is the cause by which kamma comes into play.

"And what is the diversity in kamma? There is kamma to be experienced in hell, kamma to be experienced in the realm of common animals, kamma to be experienced in the realm of the hungry shades, kamma to be experienced in the human world, kamma to be experienced in the world of the devas. This is called the diversity in kamma.

"And what is the result of kamma? The result of kamma is of three sorts, I tell you: that which arises right here and now, that which arises later in this lifetime, and that which arises following that. This is called the result of kamma.

"And what is the cessation of kamma? From the cessation of contact is the cessation of kamma; and just this noble eightfold path -- right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration -- is the path of practice leading to the cessation of kamma.

"Now when a disciple of the noble ones discerns kamma in this way, the cause by which kamma comes into play in this way, the diversity of kamma in this way, the result of kamma in this way, the cessation of kamma in this way, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of kamma in this way, then he discerns this penetrative holy life as the cessation of kamma.

"'Kamma should be known. The cause by which kamma comes into play... The diversity in kamma... The result of kamma... The cessation of kamma... The path of practice for the cessation of kamma should be known.' Thus it has been said, and in reference to this was it said.

(6) "'Stress should be known. The cause by which stress comes into play should be known. The diversity in stress should be known. The result of stress should be known. The cessation of stress should be known. The path of practice for the cessation of stress should be known.' Thus it has been said. In reference to what was it said?

"Birth is stress, aging is stress, death is stress; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair are stress; association with what is not loved is stress, separation from what is loved is stress, not getting what is wanted is stress. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stress.

"And what is the cause by which stress comes into play? Craving is the cause by which stress comes into play.

"And what is the diversity in stress? There is major stress and minor, slowly fading and quickly fading. This is called the diversity in stress.

"And what is the result of stress? There are some cases in which a person overcome with pain, his mind exhausted, grieves, mourns, laments, beats his breast, and becomes bewildered. Or one overcome with pain, his mind exhausted, comes to search outside, 'Who knows a way or two to stop this pain?' I tell you, monks that stress results either in bewilderment or in search. This is called the result of stress.

"And what is the cessation of stress? From the cessation of craving is the cessation of stress; and just this noble eightfold path -- right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration -- is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.

"Now when a disciple of the noble ones discerns stress in this way, the cause by which stress comes into play in this way, the diversity of stress in this way, the result of stress in this way, the cessation of stress in this way, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress in this way, then he discerns this penetrative holy life as the cessation of stress.

"'Stress should be known. The cause by which stress comes into play... The diversity in stress... The result of stress... The cessation of stress... The path of practice for the cessation of stress should be known.' Thus it has been said, and in reference to this was it said.

"And this is the penetrative explanation that is a Dhamma explanation."

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