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Nissaraniya Sutta

Means of Escape

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
For free distribution only.

"Monks, these six properties are means of escape. Which six?

"There is the case where a monk might say, 'Although good will has been developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken by me as my awareness-release, still ill will keeps overpowering my mind.' He should be told, 'Don't say that. You shouldn't speak in that way. Don't misrepresent the Blessed One, for it's not right to misrepresent the Blessed One, and the Blessed One wouldn't say that. It's impossible, there is no way that -- when good will has been developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken as an awareness-release -- ill will would still keep overpowering the mind. That possibility doesn't exist, for this is the escape from ill will: good will as an awareness-release.'

"Furthermore, there is the case where a monk might say, 'Although compassion has been developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken by me as my awareness-release, still viciousness keeps overpowering my mind.' He should be told, 'Don't say that. You shouldn't speak in that way. Don't misrepresent the Blessed One, for it's not right to misrepresent the Blessed One, and the Blessed One wouldn't say that. It's impossible, there is no way that -- when compassion has been developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken as an awareness-release -- viciousness would still keep overpowering the mind. That possibility doesn't exist, for this is the escape from viciousness: compassion as an awareness-release.'

"Furthermore, there is the case where a monk might say, 'Although appreciation has been developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken by me as my awareness-release, still resentment keeps overpowering my mind.' He should be told, 'Don't say that. You shouldn't speak in that way. Don't misrepresent the Blessed One, for it's not right to misrepresent the Blessed One, and the Blessed One wouldn't say that. It's impossible, there is no way that -- when appreciation has been developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken as an awareness-release -- resentment would still keep overpowering the mind. That possibility doesn't exist, for this is the escape from resentment: appreciation as an awareness-release.'

"Furthermore, there is the case where a monk might say, 'Although equanimity has been developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken by me as my awareness-release, still passion keeps overpowering my mind.' He should be told, 'Don't say that. You shouldn't speak in that way. Don't misrepresent the Blessed One, for it's not right to misrepresent the Blessed One, and the Blessed One wouldn't say that. It's impossible, there is no way that -- when equanimity has been developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken as an awareness-release -- passion would still keep overpowering the mind. That possibility doesn't exist, for this is the escape from passion: equanimity as an awareness-release.'

"Furthermore, there is the case where a monk might say, 'Although the signless has been developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken by me as my awareness-release, still my consciousness follows the drift of signs.' He should be told, 'Don't say that. You shouldn't speak in that way. Don't misrepresent the Blessed One, for it's not right to misrepresent the Blessed One, and the Blessed One wouldn't say that. It's impossible, there is no way that -- when the signless has been developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken as an awareness-release -- consciousness would follow the drift of signs. That possibility doesn't exist, for this is the escape from all signs: the signless as an awareness-release.'

"Furthermore, there is the case where a monk might say, 'Although "I am" is gone, and I do not assume that "I am this," still the arrow of uncertainty & perplexity keeps overpowering my mind.' He should be told, 'Don't say that. You shouldn't speak in that way. Don't misrepresent the Blessed One, for it's not right to misrepresent the Blessed One, and the Blessed One wouldn't say that. It's impossible, there is no way that -- when "I am" is gone, and "I am this" is not assumed -- the arrow of uncertainty & perplexity would keep overpowering the mind. That possibility doesn't exist, for this is the escape from the arrow of uncertainty & perplexity: the uprooting of the conceit, "I am".'

"These, monks, are six properties that are means of escape."

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