Saṃyutta Nikāya 47

Connected Discourses on the Establishments of Mindfulness

3. A Bhikkhu

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapiṇḍika’s Park. Then a certain bhikkhu approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“Venerable sir, it would be good if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief, so that, having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I might dwell alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent, and resolute.”

“It is in just such a way that some foolish persons here make requests of me, but when the Dhamma has been spoken to them, they think only of following me around.”

“Let the Blessed One teach me the Dhamma in brief! Let the Fortunate One teach me the Dhamma in brief! Perhaps I may understand the meaning of the Blessed One’s statement; perhaps I may become an heir of the Blessed One’s statement.”

“Well then, bhikkhu, purify the very starting point of wholesome states. And what is the starting point of wholesome states? Virtue that is well purified and view that is straight. Then, bhikkhu, when your virtue is well purified and your view straight, based upon virtue, established upon virtue, you should develop the four establishments of mindfulness in a threefold way.

“What four? Here, bhikkhu, dwell contemplating the body in the body internally, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. Dwell contemplating the body in the body externally, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. Dwell contemplating the body in the body internally and externally, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world.

“Dwell contemplating feelings in feelings internally … externally … internally and externally, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. Dwell contemplating mind in mind internally … externally … internally and externally, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. Dwell contemplating phenomena in phenomena, internally … externally … internally and externally, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world.

“When, bhikkhu, based upon virtue, established upon virtue, you develop these four establishments of mindfulness thus in a threefold way, then, whether night or day comes, you may expect only growth in wholesome states, not decline.”

Then that bhikkhu, having delighted and rejoiced in the Blessed One’s statement, rose from his seat and, after paying homage to the Blessed One, he departed keeping him on his right.

Then, dwelling alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent, and resolute, that bhikkhu, by realizing it for himself with direct knowledge, in this very life entered and dwelt in that unsurpassed goal of the holy life for the sake of which clansmen rightly go forth from the household life into homelessness. He directly knew: “Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.” And that bhikkhu became one of the arahants.