AN 3.101 Paṃsudhovaka Sutta. The Dirt-washer.

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AN 3.101 Paṃsudhovaka Sutta. The Dirt-washer.

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AN 3.101 Paṃsudhovaka Sutta. The Dirt-washer.
Translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


https://suttacentral.net/en/an3.101


“There are these gross impurities in gold: dirty sand, gravel, & grit. The dirt-washer or his apprentice, having placed [the gold] in a vat, washes it again & again until he has washed them away.

“When he is rid of them, there remain the moderate impurities in the gold: coarse sand & fine grit. He washes the gold again & again until he has washed them away.

“When he is rid of them, there remain the fine impurities in the gold: fine sand & black dust. The dirt-washer or his apprentice washes the gold again & again until he has washed them away.

“When he is rid of them, there remains just the gold dust. The goldsmith or his apprentice, having placed it in a crucible, blows on it again & again to blow away the dross. The gold, as long as it has not been blown on again & again to the point where the impurities are blown away, as long as it is not refined & free from dross, is not pliant, malleable, or luminous. It is brittle and not ready to be worked. But there comes a time when the goldsmith or his apprentice has blown on the gold again & again until the dross is blown away. The gold, having been blown on again & again to the point where the impurities are blown away, is then refined, free from dross, pliant, malleable, & luminous. It is not brittle, and is ready to be worked. Then whatever sort of ornament he has in mind—whether a belt, an earring, a necklace, or a gold chain—the gold would serve his purpose.

“In the same way, there are these gross impurities in a monk intent on heightened mind: misconduct in body, speech, & mind. These the monk—aware & able by nature—abandons, dispels, wipes out of existence. When he is rid of them, there remain in him the moderate impurities: thoughts of sensuality, ill will, & harmfulness. These he abandons, dispels, wipes out of existence. When he is rid of them there remain in him the fine impurities: thoughts of his caste, thoughts of his home district, thoughts related to not wanting to be despised. These he abandons, dispels, wipes out of existence.

“When he is rid of them, there remain only thoughts of the Dhamma. His concentration is neither calm nor refined, it has not yet attained serenity or unity, and is kept in place by the fabrication of forceful restraint. But there comes a time when his mind grows steady inwardly, settles down, grows unified & concentrated. His concentration is calm & refined, has attained serenity & unity, and is no longer kept in place by the fabrication of forceful restraint.

“And then whichever of the higher knowledges he turns his mind to know & realize, he can witness them for himself whenever there is an opening.

“If he wants, he wields manifold supranormal powers. Having been one he becomes many; having been many he becomes one. He appears. He vanishes. He goes unimpeded through walls, ramparts, and mountains as if through space. He dives in and out of the earth as if it were water. He walks on water without sinking as if it were dry land. Sitting crosslegged he flies through the air like a winged bird. With his hand he touches and strokes even the sun and moon, so mighty and powerful. He exercises influence with his body even as far as the Brahma worlds. He can witness this for himself whenever there is an opening.

“If he wants, he hears—by means of the divine ear-element, purified and surpassing the human—both kinds of sounds: divine and human, whether near or far. He can witness this for himself whenever there is an opening.

“If he wants, he knows the awareness of other beings, other individuals, having encompassed it with his own awareness. He discerns a mind with passion as a mind with passion, and a mind without passion as a mind without passion. He discerns a mind with aversion as a mind with aversion, and a mind without aversion as a mind without aversion. He discerns a mind with delusion as a mind with delusion, and a mind without delusion as a mind without delusion. He discerns a restricted mind as a restricted mind, and a scattered mind as a scattered mind. He discerns an enlarged mind as an enlarged mind, and an unenlarged mind as an unenlarged mind. He discerns an excelled mind [one that is not at the most excellent level] as an excelled mind, and an unexcelled mind as an unexcelled mind. He discerns a concentrated mind as a concentrated mind, and an unconcentrated mind as an unconcentrated mind. He discerns a released mind as a released mind, and an unreleased mind as an unreleased mind. He can witness this for himself whenever there is an opening.

“If he wants, he recollects his manifold past lives (lit: previous homes), i.e., one birth, two births, three births, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, one hundred, one thousand, one hundred thousand, many aeons of cosmic contraction, many aeons of cosmic expansion, many aeons of cosmic contraction and expansion, [recollecting], ‘There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose there. There too I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose here.’ Thus he remembers his manifold past lives in their modes and details. He can witness this for himself whenever there is an opening.

“If he wants, he sees—by means of the divine eye, purified and surpassing the human—beings passing away and re-appearing, and he discerns how they are inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate in accordance with their kamma: ‘These beings—who were endowed with bad conduct of body, speech, and mind, who reviled the noble ones, held wrong views and undertook actions under the influence of wrong views—with the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell. But these beings—who were endowed with good conduct of body, speech, and mind, who did not revile the noble ones, who held right views and undertook actions under the influence of right views—with the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in the good destinations, in the heavenly world.’ Thus—by means of the divine eye, purified and surpassing the human—he sees beings passing away and re-appearing, and he discerns how they are inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate in accordance with their kamma. He can witness this for himself whenever there is an opening.

“If he wants, then through the ending of the mental effluents, he remains in the effluent-free awareness-release and discernment-release, having known and made them manifest for himself right in the here and now. He can witness this for himself whenever there is an opening.”
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Re: AN 3.101 Paṃsudhovaka Sutta. The Dirt-washer.

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Notes from Bhikku Bodhi.

“So too, bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu is devoted to the higher
mind, (1) there are in him gross defilements: bodily, verbal, and
mental misconduct. An earnest, capable bhikkhu abandons,
dispels, terminates, and obliterates them. When this has been
done, (2) there remain in him middling defilements: sensual
thoughts, thoughts of ill will, and thoughts of harming. An
earnest, capable bhikkhu abandons, dispels, terminates, and
obliterates them. When this has been done, (3) there remain in
him subtle defilements: thoughts about his relations, [556] thoughts
about his country, and thoughts about his reputation. [557] An
earnest, capable bhikkhu abandons, dispels, terminates, and
obliterates them. When this has been done, then there remain
thoughts connected with the Dhamma. [558] That concentration is
not peaceful and sublime, not gained by full tranquilization, [559]
not attained to unification, but is reined in and checked by
forcefully suppressing [the defilements]. [560]
  • [556] I read with Ce and Be ñātivitakko, as against Ee jātivitakko,
    “thoughts about [social] class.”

    [557] Anavaññattipaṭisaṃyutto vitakko. Lit. “thought connected with not
    being looked down upon.” The Chinese parallel, SĀ 1246 (at T
    II 341c 12–13 ), has “thought about rebirth in heaven” ( 生天覺 ).

    [558] Dhammavitakkā. Mp glosses this as thoughts connected with the
    ten corruptions of insight (dasa vipassan’upakkilesavitakkā), but it
    seems this could just as well mean reflections on the teaching or
    on the meditation subject.

    [559] Readings differ between nappaṭipassaddhaladdho and nappaṭi­
    passaddhiladdho. Discrepancies are found even within the
    same text. Ee is consistent, reading nappaṭi­ppassaddhaladdho in
    the negative sentence and paṭippassaddhaladdho in the positive
    counterpart. Be, however, has nappaṭi­ppassaddhaladdho and paṭi­
    ppassaddhiladdho in the respective sentences. To make matters
    more confusing, Mp (Be) inverts the forms, reading nappaṭip­
    passaddhiladdho in the lemma of the comment on the negative
    term, but paṭi­ppassaddhaladdho in the lemma of the comment on
    the positive term. Mp (Be), commenting on this sutta, explains
    nappaṭi­ppassaddhiladdho as “not gained by the full tranquil-
    izing of defilements” (na kilesa­paṭi­ppassaddhiyā laddho) and
    paṭi­ppassaddhaladdho as “gained by the full tranquilizing of defile-
    ments” (kilesapaṭippassaddhiyā laddho).


    Ce reads na paṭippassaddhiladdho and paṭippassaddhiladdho in
    the sutta, but Mp (Ce) has na paṭippassaddhaladdho and paṭip­
    passaddhaladdho in the respective lemmas. Moreover, in 5:27
    (where only the positive term occurs), Ce and Be have paṭip­
    passaddhaladdho, as against Ee paṭi­ppassaddhiladdho. Mp (Ce)
    here reads paṭi­ppassaddhiladdho in the lemma, as against Mp (Be)
    paṭi­ppassaddhaladdho. Mp says that paṭi­ppassaddhaṃ and paṭip­
    passaddhi are one in meaning (idaṃ atthato ekaṃ), proposing
    two resolutions: “It is gained by the full tranquilizing of defile-
    ments, or it has gained the full tranquilization of defilements
    (kilesapaṭippassaddhiyā laddhattā kilesapaṭippassaddhibhāvaṃ vā
    laddhattā), thus it is paṭippassaddhiladdho.”

    Ce and Ee sasaṅkhāraniggayhavāritavato; in place of –vato Be reads
    the termination as –gato. I interpret sasaṅkhāra as “forceful” (lit.
    “with exertion”); niggayha as “having suppressed”; vārita as
    “reined in”; and (following Ce) –vato as “checked.” A render-
    ing based on the Be variant might be: “but is reached when [the
    defilements] are reined in by forcefully suppressing [them].”
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Re: AN 3.101 Paṃsudhovaka Sutta. The Dirt-washer.

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More from Bhikkhu Bodi.

“But, bhikkhus, there comes a time when his mind becomes
internally steady, composed, unified, and concentrated. That
concentration is peaceful and sublime, gained by full tran-
quilization, and attained to unification; it is not reined in and
checked by forcefully suppressing [the defilements]. [561] Then,
there being a suitable basis, he is capable of realizing any state
realizable by direct knowledge toward which he might incline
his mind. [562]
  • [561] Ce and Ee na sasaṅkhāraniggayhavāritavato; Be –gato. SĀ 1246 (atT
    II 341c 21–22 ) has: “The bhikkhu attains concentration that is not
    maintained by exertion; he attains the peaceful and sublime, the
    quiescent happy state, the unified mind, in which all the taints
    are destroyed” (比丘得諸三昧。不為有行所持。得寂靜勝妙。得息樂
    道。一心一意。盡諸有漏 ).

    [562] Yassa yassa ca abhiññā sacchikaraṇīyassa dhammassa cittaṃ
    abhininnāmeti abhiññā sacchikiriyāya tatra tatreva sakkhibhabbataṃ
    pāpuṇāti sati sati āyatane. Mp explains the “suitable basis” as “past
    causes and the presently obtainable jhāna, and other things,
    which are the basis for the direct knowledges” (pubbahetusaṅkhāte
    ceva idāni ca paṭiladdhabbe abhiññāpādakajjhānādibhede ca sati sati
    kāraṇe). The expression occurs at Vism 371, 26–33 , Ppn 11.122, and
    is commented upon at Vism-mhṭ (VRI ed. I 429). Vism 376, 28 –
    378, 2 , Ppn 12.14–19, explains the basis for the direct knowledges
    to be the concentrated mind that has acquired eight qualities:
    namely, it is (1) purified, (2) cleansed, (3) unblemished, (4) rid of
    defilement, (5) malleable, (6) wieldy, (7) steady, and (8) attained
    to imperturbability. Alternatively, it says, “concentrated” may
    be considered the first quality and “steady and attained to imper-
    turbability” jointly constitute the eighth.

    Here are the Visuddhimagga extracts referred to:
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... on2011.pdf

    XX.122 But when they have already produced the eight attainments and then,
    aspiring to the kinds of direct-knowledge described in the way beginning,
    “Having been one, he becomes many” (XII.2), they produce them by entering
    upon jhána as the basis for direct-knowledge and emerging from it, then the
    development of absorption concentration provides for them the benefit of the
    kinds of direct-knowledge, since it becomes the proximate cause for the kinds of
    direct-knowledge whenever there is an occasion. Hence the Blessed One said:
    “He attains the ability to be a witness, through realization by direct-knowledge,
    of any state realizable by direct-knowledge to which his mind inclines, whenever
    there is an occasion” (M III 96; MN 119 A I 254 [i.e. AN 3.101]).

    XII.14-19
    14. But as to the words “purified,” etc., it is purified by means of the state of
    mindfulness purified by equanimity. [377] It is bright precisely because it is
    purified; it is limpid (see A I 10), is what is meant. It is unblemished since the
    blemishes consisting of greed, etc., are eliminated by the removal of their
    conditions consisting of bliss, and the rest. It is rid of defilement precisely because
    it is unblemished; for it is by the blemish that the consciousness becomes defiled.
    It has become malleable because it is well developed; it suffers mastery, is what is
    meant, for consciousness that suffers mastery is called “malleable.” It is wieldy
    (kammanìya) precisely because it is malleable; it suffers being worked
    (kammakkhama), is fit to be worked (kammayogga), is what is meant.
    15. For a malleable consciousness is wieldy, like well-smelted gold; and it is
    both of these because it is well developed, according as it is said: “Bhikkhus, I do
    not see anyone thing that, when developed and cultivated, becomes so malleable
    and wieldy as does the mind” (A I 9).
    16. It is steady because it is steadied in this purifiedness, and the rest. It is
    attained to imperturbability (áneñjappatta) precisely because it is steady; it is
    motionless, without perturbation (niriñjana), is what is meant. Or alternatively, it
    is steady because steady in its own masterability through malleability and
    wieldiness, and it is attained to imperturbability because it is reinforced by faith,
    and so on.
    17. For consciousness reinforced by faith is not perturbed by faithlessness;
    when reinforced by energy, it is not perturbed by idleness; when reinforced by
    mindfulness, it is not perturbed by negligence; when reinforced by concentration,
    it is not perturbed by agitation; when reinforced by understanding, it is not
    perturbed by ignorance; and when illuminated, it is not perturbed by the
    darkness of defilement. So when it is reinforced by these six states, it is attained
    to imperturbability.
    18. Consciousness possessing these eight factors in this way is susceptible
    of being directed to the realization by direct-knowledge of states realizable by
    direct-knowledge.
    19. Another method: It is concentrated by means of fourth-jhána concentration.
    It is purified by separation from the hindrances. It is bright owing to the
    surmounting of applied thought and the rest. It is unblemished owing to absence
    of evil wishes based on the obtainment of jhána.4 It is rid of defilement owing to
    the disappearance of the defilements of the mind consisting in covetousness,
    etc.; and both of these should be understood according to the Anaògaóa Sutta
    (MN 5) and the Vattha Sutta (MN 7). It is become malleable by masterability. It is
    wieldy by reaching the state of a road to power (§50). It is steady and attained to
    imperturbability by reaching the refinement of completed development; the
    meaning is that according as it has attained imperturbability so it is steady.
    And the consciousness possessing these eight factors in this way [378] is
    susceptible of being directed to the realization by direct-knowledge of states
    realizable by direct-knowledge, since it is the basis, the proximate cause, for
    them.
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Re: AN 3.101 Paṃsudhovaka Sutta. The Dirt-washer.

Post by mikenz66 »

More from Bhikkhu Bodhi:

“If he wishes: [563] ‘May I wield the various kinds of psychic
potency: having been one, may I become many; having been
many, may I become one; may I appear and vanish; may I go
unhindered through a wall, through a rampart, through a
mountain as though through space; may I dive in and out of
the earth as though it were water; may I walk on water with-
out sinking as though it were earth; seated cross-legged, may I
travel in space like a bird; with my hand may I touch and stroke
the moon and sun so powerful and mighty; may I exercise mas-
tery with the body as far as the brahmā world,’ he is capable of
realizing it, there being a suitable basis.
  • 563 This begins the standard canonical passage on the six kinds of
    direct knowledge (abhiññā). The first five are commented on in
    detail in Visuddhimagga chaps. 12 and 13.
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Re: AN 3.101 Paṃsudhovaka Sutta. The Dirt-washer.

Post by mikenz66 »

More from Bhikkhu Bodhi:

“If he wishes: ‘May I understand the minds of other beings
and persons, having encompassed them with my own mind.
May I understand a mind with lust as a mind with lust and a
mind without lust as a mind without lust; a mind with hatred
as a mind with hatred and a mind without hatred as a mind
without hatred; a mind with delusion as a mind with delusion
and a mind without delusion as a mind without delusion; a con-
tracted mind as contracted and a distracted mind as distracted;
an exalted mind as exalted and an unexalted mind as unexalted;
a surpassable mind as surpassable and an unsurpassable mind
as unsurpassable; a concentrated mind as concentrated and
an unconcentrated mind as unconcentrated; a liberated mind
as liberated and an unliberated mind as unliberated,’ [564] he is
capable of realizing it, there being a suitable basis.
  • [564] I here follow Ce and Be, which put the liberated mind before the
    unliberated mind, as against Ee, which inverts them.
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L.N.
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Re: AN 3.101 Paṃsudhovaka Sutta. The Dirt-washer.

Post by L.N. »

Interesting that the gold is always there to begin with.
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Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


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Re: AN 3.101 Paṃsudhovaka Sutta. The Dirt-washer.

Post by Buddha Vacana »

AN 3.101 wrote:there remain in him the fine impurities: thoughts of his caste, thoughts of his home district, thoughts related to not wanting to be despised. These he abandons, dispels, wipes out of existence. When he is rid of them, there remain only thoughts of the Dhamma.

His concentration is neither calm nor refined, it has not yet attained serenity or unity
, and is kept in place by the fabrication of forceful restraint. But there comes a time when his mind grows steady inwardly, settles down, grows unified & concentrated. His concentration is calm & refined, has attained serenity & unity, and is no longer kept in place by the fabrication of forceful restraint.
Does the "concentration [which] is neither calm nor refined, [which] has not yet attained serenity or unity" refer to the first jhana?
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Re: AN 3.101 Paṃsudhovaka Sutta. The Dirt-washer.

Post by L.N. »

Buddha Vacana wrote:Does the "concentration [which] is neither calm nor refined, [which] has not yet attained serenity or unity" refer to the first jhana?
No, I think it refers to some earlier effort.
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。
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Re: AN 3.101 Paṃsudhovaka Sutta. The Dirt-washer.

Post by Buddha Vacana »

L.N. wrote:No, I think it refers to some earlier effort.
Please elaborate and provide references.
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Re: AN 3.101 Paṃsudhovaka Sutta. The Dirt-washer.

Post by L.N. »

Buddha Vacana wrote:Please elaborate and provide references.
If concentration is "neither calm nor refined" and "has not yet attained serenity or unity," then it seems this would not be jhana.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/stud ... tream.html
"And what is right concentration? There is the case where a monk — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. With the fading of rapture he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' With the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is called right concentration."
— SN 45.8
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。
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