Saṃyutta Nikāya 46

Connected Discourses on the Factors of Enlightenment

3. Virtue

“Bhikkhus, those bhikkhus who are accomplished in virtue, accomplished in concentration, accomplished in wisdom, accomplished in liberation, accomplished in the knowledge and vision of liberation: even the sight of those bhikkhus is helpful, I say; even listening to them … even approaching them … even attending on them … even recollecting them … even going forth after them is helpful, I say. For what reason? Because when one has heard the Dhamma from such bhikkhus one dwells withdrawn by way of two kinds of withdrawal—withdrawal of body and withdrawal of mind.

“Dwelling thus withdrawn, one recollects that Dhamma and thinks it over. Whenever, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu dwelling thus withdrawn recollects that Dhamma and thinks it over, on that occasion the enlightenment factor of mindfulness is aroused by the bhikkhu; on that occasion the bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness; on that occasion the enlightenment factor of mindfulness comes to fulfilment by development in the bhikkhu.

“Dwelling thus mindfully, he discriminates that Dhamma with wisdom, examines it, makes an investigation of it. Whenever, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu dwelling thus mindfully discriminates that Dhamma with wisdom, examines it, makes an investigation of it, on that occasion the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states is aroused by the bhikkhu; on that occasion the bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states; on that occasion the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states comes to fulfilment by development in the bhikkhu.

“While he discriminates that Dhamma with wisdom, examines it, makes an investigation of it, his energy is aroused without slackening. Whenever, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu’s energy is aroused without slackening as he discriminates that Dhamma with wisdom, examines it, makes an investigation of it, on that occasion the enlightenment factor of energy is aroused by the bhikkhu; on that occasion the bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of energy; on that occasion the enlightenment factor of energy comes to fulfilment by development in the bhikkhu.

“When his energy is aroused, there arises in him spiritual rapture. Whenever, bhikkhus, spiritual rapture arises in a bhikkhu whose energy is aroused, on that occasion the enlightenment factor of rapture is aroused by the bhikkhu; on that occasion the bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of rapture; on that occasion the enlightenment factor of rapture comes to fulfilment by development in the bhikkhu.

“For one whose mind is uplifted by rapture the body becomes tranquil and the mind becomes tranquil. Whenever, bhikkhus, the body becomes tranquil and the mind becomes tranquil in a bhikkhu whose mind is uplifted by rapture, on that occasion the enlightenment factor of tranquillity is aroused by the bhikkhu; on that occasion the bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of tranquillity; on that occasion the enlightenment factor of tranquillity comes to fulfilment by development in the bhikkhu.

“For one whose body is tranquil and who is happy the mind becomes concentrated. Whenever, bhikkhus, the mind becomes concentrated in a bhikkhu whose body is tranquil and who is happy, on that occasion the enlightenment factor of concentration is aroused by the bhikkhu; on that occasion the bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of concentration; on that occasion the enlightenment factor of concentration comes to fulfilment by development in the bhikkhu.

“He closely looks on with equanimity at the mind thus concentrated. Whenever, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu closely looks on with equanimity at the mind thus concentrated, on that occasion the enlightenment factor of equanimity is aroused by the bhikkhu; on that occasion the bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of equanimity; on that occasion the enlightenment factor of equanimity comes to fulfilment by development in the bhikkhu.

“Bhikkhus, when these seven factors of enlightenment have been developed and cultivated in this way, seven fruits and benefits may be expected. What are the seven fruits and benefits?

“One attains final knowledge early in this very life.

“If one does not attain final knowledge early in this very life, then one attains final knowledge at the time of death.

“If one does not attain final knowledge early in this very life or at the time of death, then with the utter destruction of the five lower fetters one becomes an attainer of Nibbāna in the interval. “If one does not attain final knowledge early in this very life … or become an attainer of Nibbāna in the interval, then with the utter destruction of the five lower fetters one becomes an attainer of Nibbāna upon landing.

“If one does not attain final knowledge early in this very life … … or become an attainer of Nibbāna upon landing, then with the utter destruction of the five lower fetters one becomes an attainer of Nibbāna without exertion.

“If one does not attain final knowledge early in this very life … or become an attainer of Nibbāna without exertion, then with the utter destruction of the five lower fetters one becomes an attainer of Nibbāna with exertion.

“If one does not attain final knowledge early in this very life … or become an attainer of Nibbāna with exertion, then with the utter destruction of the five lower fetters one becomes one bound upstream, heading towards the Akaniṭṭha realm.

“When, bhikkhus, the seven factors of enlightenment have been developed and cultivated in this way, these seven fruits and benefits may be expected.”