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Anguttara Nikaya

Aṅguttara Nikāya 9.2 Meghiya Sutta
Monk Meghiya

What should we do to prepare the mind for wisdom?

At one time the Buddha was living in the city of Cālikā, on the Cālikā mountain.

Those days, the monk Meghiya was the Buddha’s attendant. Then monk Meghiya went up to the Buddha, bowed respectfully, stood to one side, and said to the Buddha, “Bhante, I’d like to go to Jantu village for alms.”

“Meghiya, I give permission to you.”

Then, the monk Meghiya wore his robe in the morning, took his bowl and double layered robe, and went to Jantu village for alms. After the meal, on his return from alms-round in Jantu village, he went to the shore of Kimikālā river. As he was going for a walk along the shore of the river he saw a lovely and delightful mango forest.

It occurred to him, “O, this mango forest is lovely and delightful! It’s perfect for meditation for a serious Dhamma practitioner. If the Buddha allows me, I’ll come back to this mango forest to meditate.”

Then, the monk Meghiya went up to the Buddha, bowed respectfully, sat down to one side, and told the Buddha what had happened, adding, “If the Buddha allows me, I’ll go back to that mango forest to meditate.”

“Meghiya, wait until another attendant monk comes.”

For a second time, the monk Meghiya said to the Buddha, “Bhante, the Buddha has nothing more to do for his liberation, and nothing that needs improvement. But I have. Bhante, if you allow me, I’ll go back to that mango forest to meditate.”

“Meghiya, wait until another attendant monk comes.”

For a third time, the monk Meghiya said to the Buddha, “Bhante, the Buddha has nothing more to do for liberation, and nothing that needs improvement. But I have. Bhante, if you allow me, I’ll go back to that mango forest to meditate.”

“Meghiya, since you speak of meditating, what can I say? Please, Meghiya, go as you wish.”

Then, the monk Meghiya got up from his seat, bowed respectfully, and circled the Buddha, keeping him on his right. Then he went to that mango forest, and, having gone deep into it, sat at the root of a certain tree for the day’s meditation. But while he was meditating in that mango forest he was overcome mostly by three kinds of bad, unwholesome thoughts, namely, worldly thoughts, angry thoughts, and harming thoughts.

Then he thought, “It’s unusual, it’s strange! I’ve become a monk out of faith, but I’m still harassed by these three kinds of bad, unwholesome thoughts: worldly, angry, and harming thoughts.”

Then, monk Meghiya went up to the Buddha, bowed respectfully, sat down to one side, and told the Buddha what had happened.

“Meghiya, when the mind is not yet matured for liberation , five things help it mature. What five?

Firstly, a monk has noble friends, companions, and associates. This is the first thing …

Furthermore, a monk is virtuous, restrained in the precepts, conducting himself well in ethics. Seeing danger in the slightest fault, he keeps the precepts he has undertaken. This is the second thing …

Furthermore, a monk gets to hear Dhamma talks about abandoning defilements and talks that help develop the mind, when he wants, without trouble or difficulty. That is, talk about fewness of wishes, contentment, seclusion, meditating alone, arousing energy, virtue, concentration, wisdom, liberation, and the knowledge and vision of liberation. This is the third thing …

Furthermore, a monk lives with energy roused up for giving up unwholesome qualities and developing wholesome qualities. He is energetic, determined, not slacking off when it comes to developing wholesome qualities. This is the fourth thing …

Furthermore, a monk is wise. He has the wisdom of arising and passing away which is noble, penetrative, and leads to the complete ending of suffering. This is the fifth thing that, when the mind is not yet matured for liberation, helps it mature.

Meghiya, a monk with noble friends, companions, and associates can expect to be virtues …

A monk with noble friends, companions, and associates can expect to get to hear Dhamma talks about abandoning defilements and talks that help develop the mind …

A monk with noble friends, companions, and associates can expect to be energetic …

A monk with noble friends, companions, and associates can expect to be wise …

Meghiya, a monk grounded on these five things should develop four further things. He should develop the perception of unattractiveness of body to give up lust, loving kindness to give up anger, mindfulness of breathing to cut off scattered thoughts, and perception of impermanence to uproot the conceit ‘I am’. Meghiya, When the monk develops the perception of impermanence, the perception of non-self becomes well established in him. The mind that is well developed with the Perception of non-self, abandons the conceit ‘I am’. He attains liberation in this very life.”

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Aṅguttara Nikāya 9.2 Meghiya Sutta: Monk Meghiya

Questions for Reflection:

The Supreme Buddha said, They should develop the perception of ugliness to give up greed, love to give up hate, mindfulness of breathing to cut off unwanted thinking, and perception of impermanence to uproot the conceit "I am."

What have you done when your mind was overcome with gree, hate, unwanted thinking, and conceit?

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