Kevatta Sutta (Selection: Abandoning the Hindrances)

DN 11
PTS: D i 211
Kevatta Sutta
(On Miracles and Conversations
with Heavenly Beings)

Selection:
Abandoning the Hindrances

“Endowed with the noble aggregate of virtue, with noble restraint over the sense faculties, with noble mindfulness and full awareness, and with noble contentment, a bhikkhu seeks out a secluded dwelling – a forest, the root of a tree, a mountain cave or hillside gorge, a charnel ground, either deep in the jungle or out in the open air on a heap of straw. Then, after returning from his alms round and having eaten his meal, he sits down, crosses his legs, holds his body erect, and concentrates on keeping mindfulness established all around him.

“Abandoning sensual desires, he dwells with an awareness freed from sensual desires, and his mind is purified of sensual desires. Abandoning ill-will and hatred, he dwells with an awareness freed from ill-will and hatred, suffused with compassionate love for the welfare of all living beings, and his mind is purified of ill-will and hatred. Abandoning dullness and drowsiness, he dwells with an awareness freed from dullness and drowsiness, mindful and fully aware, perceiving light, and his mind is purified of dullness and drowsiness. Abandoning restlessness and worry, he dwells undisturbed, his mind inwardly stilled, and his heart is purified of restlessness and worry. Abandoning doubt, he dwells having crossed over from doubt, freed from uncertainty as to which mental qualities are wholesome and skillful, and his mind is purified of doubt.

“Just as a man who had taken a loan to invest in his business, and after a time his business prospers so that he can pay off his old debts and, with what is left over, he can support a family, might think: ‘Before this I borrowed in order to invest in my business, but now my business has prospered, I have repaid my old debts and, with what is left over, I can support a family’—because of that he would rejoice and be glad;

“Just as a man who was ill, suffering, terribly sick, with no appetite and no strength in his body, and after a time recovers, regaining his appetite and bodily strength, might think: ‘Before this I was sick, but now I am recovered from that sickness, and I have regained my appetite and bodily strength’—because of that he would rejoice and be glad;

“Just as a man who was bound in prison, and after a time is freed from his bonds, safe and sound, with no loss of property, might think: ‘Before this I was in prison, but now I am freed from that bondage, safe and sound, with no loss of property’—because of that he would rejoice and be glad;

“Just as a man who was a slave, subject to others, not his own master, unable to go where he liked, and after a time is freed from slavery, might think: ‘Before this I was a slave, subject to others, not my own master, unable to go where I liked, but now I am freed from that slavery, subject to myself, not subject to others, able to go where I like’—because of that he would rejoice and be glad;

“Just as a man who, carrying money and goods, traveled by a road through desolate country, where food was scarce and danger abounded, and after a time emerges from that road through desolate country, safe and sound, with no loss of property, arriving at the edge of a village, might think: ‘Before this I was in danger, but now I am safe at the edge of a village’—because of that he would rejoice and be glad:

“In the same way, so long as a bhikkhu has not abandoned these five hindrances, he feels as if were in debt, suffering from an illness, bound in a prison, enslaved, on a road through desolate country. But when he has abandoned these five hindrances, it is as if he were freed from debt, freed from illness, freed from imprisonment, freed from slavery, delivered from the dangers of traveling by a road through desolate country. Seeing that they have been abandoned within him, he experiences gladness (pamojja). Glad, he experiences rapture (pīti). Enraptured, he experiences tranquility (passaddhi). Tranquil, he experiences happiness (sukha). Happy, achieves concentration (samādhi).

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