Agantuka Sutta: For All Who Reside In The Dhamma

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Introduction

In the Agantuka Sutta, the Buddha uses the metaphor of a common residence to show that the Eightfold Path is a true refuge for anyone seeking to develop the profound understanding of the nature of stress and suffering, gain insight into There Marks Of Existence, and abandon all views rooted in ignorance of Four Noble Truths.

Notice here the relationship between the requisite condition for stress and suffering – ignorance of Four Noble Truths – and the requisite condition for release from stress and suffering – direct knowledge and profound wisdom developed through the Eightfold Path.

My comments below are in italics.

Agantuka Sutta: For All Who Reside In The Dhamma

Samyutta Nikaya 45:159

“Friends, I will teach the value of developing direct knowledge and profound wisdom. Listen carefully. Suppose there is a guest house where people from all directions and all professions and positions take residence.

“In this same way, anyone who cultivates and methodically practices the Noble Eightfold Path will comprehend with direct knowledge and profound wisdom whatever phenomena are to be comprehended with direct knowledge and profound wisdom. [1]

“Furthermore, they will abandon whatever phenomena are to be abandoned through direct knowledge and profound wisdom.

“Furthermore, they will experience whatever phenomena are to be experienced through direct knowledge and profound wisdom.

“Furthermore, they will develop whatever phenomena are to be developed through direct knowledge and profound wisdom.

“And which phenomena are to be comprehended with direct knowledge and profound wisdom? The form aggregate, the feeling aggregate, the perception aggregate, the mental fabrication aggregate, and the consciousness aggregate. These Five Clinging-Aggregates are the phenomena to be comprehended with direct knowledge and profound wisdom. [2]

“And which phenomena are to be abandoned with direct knowledge and profound wisdom? Ignorance and craving for becoming (further ignorant) are the phenomena to be abandoned with direct knowledge and profound wisdom.

“And which phenomena are to be experienced with direct knowledge and profound wisdom? Knowledge with regard to stress and release from ignorance (of Four Noble Truths) are the phenomena to be experienced with direct knowledge and profound wisdom. [3]

This relates directly to Dependent Origination. The Buddha awakened to the profound wisdom and understanding that it is ignorance of Four Noble Truths that is the requisite condition for “all manner of confusion, deluded thinking, m and stress and suffering.”  [4]

“And which phenomena are to be developed with direct knowledge and profound wisdom? A calm mind and insight (into Three Marks Of Existence) are the phenomena to be developed with direct knowledge and profound wisdom. [5]

“And how does anyone who cultivates and methodically practices the Noble Eightfold Path, through direct knowledge and profound wisdom, comprehend appropriate phenomena, abandon appropriate phenomena, experience appropriate phenomena,  and develop appropriate phenomena?

“Anyone who develops Right View dependent on seclusion and on dispassion and on cessation (of ignorance) that results in release (from wrong views). Through direct knowledge and profound wisdom, they develop Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Meditation that is dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation that results in release (from clinging to wrong views).

“In this way, anyone who cultivates and methodically practices the Noble Eightfold Path will, with direct knowledge and profound wisdom, comprehend phenomena to be comprehended, abandon phenomena to be abandoned, experience phenomena to be experienced, and develop phenomena to be developed.

End Of Sutta

 

  1. Eightfold Path – The Magga-Vibhanga Sutta
  2. Five Clinging-Aggregates
  3. Four Noble Truths – The Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta
  4. Dependent Origination – The Paticca Samuppada Sutta
  5. Three Marks Of Existence – Anicca, Anatta, Dukkha

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My Dhamma articles and talks are based on the Buddha's teachings  (suttas) as preserved in the Sutta Pitaka, the second book of the Pali Canon. I have relied primarily on Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s excellent and insightful translation of the Pali generously made freely available at his website Dhammatalks.org, as well as the works of Nyanaponika Thera, John Ireland, Maurice Walsh, Hellmuth Hecker, and Sister Khema, among others, as preserved at Access To Insight.

Also, I have found Bhikkhu Bodhi's translations from Wisdom Publications Pali Canon Anthologies to be most informative and an excellent resource.

I have made contextual edits to the suttas from these sources for further clarity, to modernize language, to minimize repetition, and maintain relevance to Dependent Origination and Four Noble Truths.

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