Saṃyukta Āgama

803. Knowledge

Thus have I heard. At one time, the Buddha was abiding in Śrāvastī, in the Jeta Grove, in Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park.

At that time, the Bhagavān said to the bhikṣus, “You should cultivate mindfulness of breathing. If a bhikṣu cultivates mindfulness of breathing, and cultivates it much, he obtains rest in body and mind. With vitarka and vicāra, tranquility, purity, connected with knowledge cultivated to completion.

“How does one cultivate mindfulness of breathing, so that having cultivated it much, he obtains rest in body and mind, with vitarka and vicāra, extinction, purity, connected with knowledge cultivated to completion? This bhikṣu, if he depends upon a village or city, in the morning gets dressed, grabs his bowl, and enters the village to beg for food. Skillfully protecting his body guarding the doors of his faculties, he skillfully fixes and steadies the mind.

“After begging for food, he returns to his original place, puts away his robe and bowl, and washes his feet. He then goes to a forest, or an empty room, or below a tree, or perhaps an empty place outdoors. He then corrects his body, and sits down. Fixing his mindfulness before him, he severs worldly craving and affections, in purity apart from desires, severing hatred, sloth and torpor, restlessness and remorse, and doubt. crossing over doubts and confusions, with his mind obtaining resolve from skillful dharmas. Detached from the afflictions of the Five Hindrances of the mind which cause his wisdom-power to weaken, and act as obstructing factors, making one not go to Nirvāṇa.

“Mindful of the in-breath, he skillfully trains with focused mindfulness. Mindful of the out-breath, he skillfully trains with focused mindfulness... for long breaths... for short breaths... breathing in aware of the entire body, he skillfully trains breathing in aware of the entire body; breathing out aware of the entire body, he skillfully trains breathing out aware of the entire body. Breathing in aware of calming bodily formations, he skillfully trains in breathing in aware of calming bodily formations; breathing out aware of calming bodily formations, he skillfully trains in breathing out aware of calming bodily formations.

“... aware of joy... aware of bliss... aware of mental formations... breathing in aware of calming mental formations, he skillfully trains in breathing in aware of calming mental formations; breathing out aware of calming mental formations, he skillfully trains in breathing out aware of calming mental formations.

“... aware of the mind... aware of gladdening the mind... aware of steadying the mind... breathing in aware of releasing the mind, he skillfully trains breathing in aware of releasing the mind; breathing out aware of releasing the mind, he skillfully trains breathing out aware of releasing the mind.

“... contemplating impermanence... contemplating severance... contemplating desirelessness... breathing in contemplating cessation, he skillfully trains breathing in contemplating cessation; breathing out contemplating cessation, he skillfully trains breathing out contemplating cessation.

“This is called cultivating ānāpānasmṛti so the body is calm, the mind is calm, with vitarka and vicāra, with extinction and purity, connected with knowledge cultivated to completion.”

After the Buddha had spoken this sūtra, the bhikṣus heard what the Buddha had said, and joyfully practiced in accordance.

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