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Udāna

Udāna
4.1 Meghiya Sutta
The Monk Meghiya

The Blessed One explained to Monk Meghiya about five qualities that help to bring an immature mind to maturity.

This is as I heard from the Blessed One. Those days, the Blessed One was living in the province of Vālika, at Vālikā Mountain. Those days, Venerable Meghiya was his attendant. Then Venerable Meghiya went to the Blessed One and, having bowed down to him, stood to one side. As he was standing there he said to the Blessed One, “Bhante, I would like to go into Jantu Village for alms.”

“Then do, Meghiya, what you think is suitable.”

Then in the early morning, Venerable Meghiya wore his robe and carrying his bowl and double-layered robe, went into Jantu Village for alms. Having gone for alms in Jantu Village, after the meal, returning from his alms round, he went to the bank of the Kimikālā River. As he was walking up and down along the bank of the river to exercise his legs, he saw a pleasing, charming mango forest. Seeing it, the thought occurred to him: “How pleasing and charming this mango forest is! This place is excellent for a monk intent on meditation to meditate in. If the Blessed One gives me permission, I would like to meditate in this mango forest.”

So Venerable Meghiya went to the Blessed One and, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, “Bhante, just now, in the early morning, I wore my robe and carrying my bowl and double-layered robe, went into Jantu Village for alms. Having gone for alms in Jantu Village, after the meal, returning from my alms round, I went to the bank of the Kimikālā River. As I was walking up and down along the bank of the river to exercise my legs, I saw a pleasing, charming mango forest. Seeing it, the thought occurred to me: ‘How pleasing and charming this mango forest is! This place is excellent for a monk intent on meditation to meditate in. If the Blessed One gives me permission, I would like to meditate in this mango forest.’ If the Blessed One gives me permission, I would like to go to the mango forest to meditate.”

When this was said, the Blessed One responded to Venerable Meghiya, “Meghiya, since I am alone here, stay here until another monk comes.”

A second time, Venerable Meghiya said to the Blessed One, “Bhante, the Blessed One has nothing further to do, and nothing further to add to attain Nibbāna. I, however, have a lot to do, and a lot to add to attain Nibbāna. If the Blessed One gives me permission, I would like to go to the mango forest to meditate.”

A second time, the Blessed One responded to Venerable Meghiya, “Meghiya, since I am alone here, stay here until another monk comes.”

A third time, Venerable Meghiya said to the Blessed One, “Bhante, the Blessed One has nothing further to do, and nothing further to add to attain Nibbāna. I, however, have a lot to do, and a lot to add to attain Nibbāna. If the Blessed One gives me permission, I would like to go to the mango forest to meditate.”

“Meghiya, as you are talking about meditation, what can I say? Do what you think is suitable.”

Then Venerable Meghiya, rising from his seat, bowing down to the Blessed One and, circling him to the right, went to the mango forest. On arrival, having gone deep into the forest, he sat down at the root of a certain tree for the day’s abiding and began to meditate.

While Venerable Meghiya was staying in the mango forest, he was for the most part distrubed by three kinds of unwholesome thoughts: thoughts of sensual desires, thoughts of anger, and thoughts of doing harm. The thought occurred to him, “How amazing! How astounding! Even though it was through faith that I became a monk, still I am overpowered by these three kinds of unwholesome thoughts: thoughts of sensual desires, thoughts of anger, and thoughts of doing harm.”

Emerging from his meditation in the late afternoon, he went to the Blessed One and, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, “Bhante, just now, while I was staying in the mango forest, I was for the most part disturbed by three kinds of unwholesome thoughts: thoughts of sensual desires, thoughts of anger, and thoughts of doing harm. The thought occurred to me: ‘How amazing! How astounding! Even though it was through faith that I became a monk, still I am overpowered by these three kinds of unwholesome thoughts: thoughts of sensual desires, thoughts of anger, and thoughts of doing harm.’”

“Meghiya, there are five qualities that help to bring an immature mind to maturity. Which five?

1. The monk has noble friends, companions, and colleagues. This is the first quality that helps to bring an immature mind to maturity.

2. The monk is virtuous. He lives restrained in accordance with the Code of Discipline and practices courteous behaviour and rituals. He trains himself, having undertaken the precepts, sees danger in the slightest faults. This is the second quality that helps to bring an immature mind to maturity.

3. The monk gets to hear, easily, the talks that break off defilements, that are conducive to meditation, that lead to detachment, that lead to dispassion, that lead to cessation, that lead to peace and that lead to Nibbāna. What are they? Talks on the benefit of having few wants, contentment, seclusion, not socializing, arousing energy, virtue, concentration, wisdom, liberation, and the knowledge and vision of liberation. This is the third quality that helps to bring an immature mind to maturity.

4. The monk  keeps his energy aroused for abandoning unwholesome qualities and for developing wholesome qualities. He is determined, solid in his effort, not lowering his energy with regard to developing wholesome qualities. This is the fourth quality that helps to bring an immature mind to maturity.

5. The monk is wise, endowed with the wisdom related to arising and passing away of formations. His wisdom is noble, penetrating, leading to the ending of suffering. This is the fifth quality that helps to bring an immature mind to maturity.

“Meghiya, these are the five qualities that help to bring an immature mind to maturity.”

“Meghiya, when a monk has noble friends, companions and colleagues, it is to be expected that he will be virtuous, will live restrained in accordance with the Code of Discipline and practice courteous behaviour and rituals. He will train himself, having undertaken the precepts, seeing danger in the slightest faults.

“When a monk has noble friends and colleagues, it is to be expected that he will get to hear, easily, the talks that break off defilements, that are conducive to meditation, that lead to detachment, that lead to dispassion, that lead to cessation, that lead to peace and that lead to Nibbāna. What are they? Talks on the benefit of having few wants, contentment, seclusion, not socializing, arousing energy, virtue, concentration, wisdom, liberation, and the knowledge and vision of liberation. 

“When a monk has noble friends, companions and colleagues, it is to be expected that he will keep his energy aroused for abandoning unwholesome qualities and for developing wholesome qualities. He will be determined, solid in his effort, not lowering his energy with regard to developing wholesome qualities.

“When a monk has noble friends, companions and colleagues, it is to be expected that he will be wise, endowed with the wisdom related to arising and passing away of formations. His wisdom is noble, penetrating, leading to the ending of suffering.

“Meghiya, when the monk is established in these five qualities, there are four additional qualities he should develop: He should develop meditation on impurities of the body to abandon lust. He should develop loving kindness meditation to abandon hatred. He should develop mindfulness of in-and-out breathing to cut off distracting thoughts. He should develop the perception of impermanence to uproot the conceit, ‘I am.’ In the monk perceiving impermanence, the perception of non-self is well established. One perceiving non-self attains the uprooting of the conceit, ‘I am’. He attains Nibbāna in this very life.”

Then, on realizing the benefit of liberation, the Blessed One spoke the following inspired verses:

“Even though some thoughts are small and subtle, when followed they stir up the mind. The ignorant person gets scared by these thoughts. The result is that he will run here and there from life to life in this cycle of rebirth.

“The wise person with true knowledge comprehends these thoughts ardently. He restrains them mindfully. The enlightened person uproots all the stirring thoughts.”

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Udāna 4.1 Meghiya Sutta: The Monk Meghiya

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