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The Unconditioned—Bhikkhu Bodhi

Saṃyutta Nikāya 43

Connected Discourses on the Unconditioned

12. The Unconditioned

i. Serenity

“Bhikkhus, I will teach you the unconditioned and the path leading to the unconditioned. Listen to that….

“And what, bhikkhus, is the unconditioned? The destruction of lust, the destruction of hatred, the destruction of delusion: this is called the unconditioned.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Serenity: this is called the path leading to the unconditioned….

“Thus, bhikkhus, I have taught you the unconditioned and the path leading to the unconditioned…. This is our instruction to you.”

ii. Insight

… “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Insight: this is called the path leading to the unconditioned….”

iii–viii. Concentration

iii … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Concentration with thought and examination: this is called the path leading to the unconditioned….”

iv … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Concentration without thought, with examination only….”

v … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Concentration without thought and examination….”

vi … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Emptiness concentration….”

vii … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Signless concentration….”

viii … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Undirected concentration: this is called the path leading to the unconditioned….”

ix–xii. The four establishments of mindfulness

ix … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu dwells contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world: this is called the path leading to the unconditioned….”

x … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu dwells contemplating feelings in feelings, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world….”

xi … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu dwells contemplating mind in mind, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world….”

xii … “And what, bhikkhus is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world: this is called the path leading to the unconditioned….”

xiii–xvi. The four right strivings

xiii … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu generates desire for the nonarising of unarisen evil unwholesome states; he makes an effort, arouses energy, applies his mind, and strives: this is called the path leading to the unconditioned….”

xiv … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu generates desire for the abandoning of arisen evil unwholesome states; he makes an effort, arouses energy, applies his mind, and strives….”

xv … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu generates desire for the arising of unarisen wholesome states; he makes an effort, arouses energy, applies his mind, and strives….”

xvi … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu generates desire for the continuance of arisen wholesome states, for their nondecay, increase, expansion, and fulfilment by development; he makes an effort, arouses energy, applies his mind, and strives: this is called the path leading to the unconditioned….”

xvii–xx. The four bases for spiritual power

xvii … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the basis for spiritual power that possesses concentration due to desire and volitional formations of striving: this is called the path leading to the unconditioned….”

xviii … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the basis for spiritual power that possesses concentration due to energy and volitional formations of striving….”

xix … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the basis for spiritual power that possesses concentration due to mind and volitional formations of striving….”

xx … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the basis for spiritual power that possesses concentration due to investigation and volitional formations of striving: this is called the path leading to the unconditioned….”

xxi–xxv. The five spiritual faculties

xxi … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the faculty of faith, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release: this is called the path leading to the unconditioned….”

xxii–xxv … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the faculty of energy … the faculty of mindfulness … the faculty of concentration … the faculty of wisdom, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release: this is called the path leading to the unconditioned….”

xxvi–xxx. The five powers

xxvi … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the power of faith, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release: this is called the path leading to the unconditioned….”

xxvii–xxx … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the power of energy … the power of mindfulness … … the power of concentration … the power of wisdom, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release: this is called the path leading to the unconditioned….”

xxxi–xxxvii. The seven factors of enlightenment

xxxi … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release: this is called the path leading to the unconditioned….”

xxxii–xxxvii … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states … the enlightenment factor of energy … the enlightenment factor of rapture … the enlightenment factor of tranquillity … the enlightenment factor of concentration … the enlightenment factor of equanimity, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release: this is called the path leading to the unconditioned….”

xxxviii–xlv. The Noble Eightfold Path

xxxviii … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops right view, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release: this is called the path leading to the unconditioned….”

xxxix–xlv … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops right intention … right speech … right action … right livelihood … right effort … right mindfulness … right concentration, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release: this is called the path leading to the unconditioned.

“Thus, bhikkhus, I have taught you the unconditioned and the path leading to the unconditioned. Whatever should be done, bhikkhus, by a compassionate teacher out of compassion for his disciples, desiring their welfare, that I have done for you. These are the feet of trees, bhikkhus, these are empty huts. Meditate, bhikkhus, do not be negligent, lest you regret it later. This is our instruction to you.”