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Part 10: Sermon on saṃvara

When Śakra had become silent after this hymn of praise, the Blessed Lord Śītala delivered a sermon in a voice sweet as nectar.

“In saṃsāra everything is transient, the cause of various pains. Therefore one must strive for mokṣa. Moreover, mokṣa would come from saṃvara. The obstruction of all channels (āsrava) is called saṃvara. It again is divided into dravya and bhāva. That which cuts off the acquisition of karmic matter is dravyasaṃvara. The abandonment of occupation with the causes of existence is bhāvasaṃvara. Whatever means can block any channel must be used by intelligent persons for its obstruction. One should block anger, conceit, deceit, and greed by forbearance, humility, sincerity, and lack of desire, respectively. By means of complete self-control the wise man should destroy objects of the senses which create arrogance from lack of self-control and which resemble poison.

One should subdue activities by the three controls, negligence[1] by vigilance, and should gain complete self-control by destruction of censurable activity. One who is eager for saṃvara should overcome wrong belief by right belief, and painful and evil meditation by pure firmness of mind. Just as dust certainly enters the open doors of a many-doored house located at a cross-roads and, when it has entered, is stuck by contact with oil by absorption with it, but it would not enter nor would it be stuck if the doors were closed; or, just as water would enter a tank by all its openings, but would not enter at all if these were closed; or, just as water would enter a boat by cracks, but not even a little would enter if the crack had been stopped up; so, when doors of the channels, activity, etc., are blocked up everywhere, there is no entrance of karmic matter into a soul possessing abundance of saṃvara. From saṃvara there is blocking up of the doors of the channels. Furthermore, saṃvara is known to have many divisions, likewise, from forbearance, etc. Whatever saṃvara there is in the gnṇasthānas, it is called blocking of wrong belief from the non-rising of wrong belief in those in the higher stages.[2] Also in partial-control (deśavirati), etc.,[3] there is blocking of lack of self-control. In apramatta, saṃyata, etc.,[4] it is considered blocking of negligence. In praśāntamoba and kṣīṇamoha, etc.,[5] there would be blocking of the passions, and a complete blocking of activity would exist in the ayogikevalaguṇasthāna.[6] The wise man should go to the end of existence thus shut up by saṃvara, like a sea-trader across the ocean in a boat free from cracks.”

Many people were enlightened by the Lord’s sermon. Some took the vow of mendicancy and some the lay-vows. The Lord had eighty-one gaṇabhṛts, Ānanda, etc. At the end of the Lord’s sermon Ānanda delivered a sermon. The lords of gods, asuras, and men bowed to the Lord of the World and went to their respective abodes at the end of Ānanda’s sermon.

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Footnotes and references:

1.

Pramāda is generally considered to be of 5 kinds: pride, enjoyment of the senses, the passions, sleep, and idle talk. See PE, s.v. pamāda. But the first is given—with just as good authority—as madya (wine) instead of mada. See Rājendra, s.v. pamāya. The Rājendra quotes also 6 kinds from the Sthānāṅga: madya, nidrā, viṣaya, kaṣāya, dyūta, and pratyupekṣaṇā.

2.

Parastheṣu (?). This is a little perplexing, but seems to refer to those who are in the guṇasthānas above the first.

3.

The fifth and the sixth guṇasthānas.

4.

From the seventh through the tenth.

5.

The eleventh through thirteenth.

6.

The fourteenth.

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