GIRIMANANDA SUTTA – TEN UNDERSTANDINGS

ANGUTTARA NIKAYA 10.6

On one occasion the Buddha was staying in Savatthi, in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapindika’s monestary.

Venerable Girimananda was sick and distressed. Ananda went to the Buddha and asked if he would visit Girimananda out of sympathy for him.

“Ananda, if you would go to Girimananda and tell him of the Ten Understandings it is possible that upon hearing your words his distress will be relieved.

“These are the Ten Understandings you should teach Girimananda:

(1) The understanding of impermanence. This Dhamma practitioner, well-secluded while establishing jhana, knows that the Five Clinging-Aggregates – form, feelings, perceptions, mental fabrications, and ongoing thinking rooted in ignorance of Four Noble Truths – are all impermanent. This is called “understanding impermanence.”

(2) The understanding of not-self. This Dhamma practitioner, well-secluded while establishing jhana, does not self-identify with what is seen, or what is heard, or what is smelled, or what is touched, or what is tasted, or what is thought. They have developed restraint at the six-sense-base. This is called “understanding not-self.”  [6]

(3) The understanding of unattractiveness. This Dhamma practitioner, well-secluded while establishing jhana, knows the entire body surrounded by skin and filled with decay and unclean things. They know ‘there is this body of hair, nails, teeth, skin, muscle, tendons, bone, marrow, organs, feces, urine, phlegm, sweat, tears. Understanding thus, they are always mindful of the unattractiveness of the body. This is understanding unattractiveness.

(4) The understanding of drawbacks. This Dhamma practitioner, well-secluded while establishing jhana, reflects on the drawbacks of the body. They understand the various pains of the body, such as disease of the senses, disease of the organs, disease of the mind, disease of the body, dis- ease from changing weather. (External worldly events) This is understanding drawbacks.

(5) The understanding of abandoning. This Dhamma practitioner, well-secluded while establishing jhana, abandons all thoughts of sensuality, all thoughts of ill-will, all thoughts of harmfulness, all unskillful mental qualities. This is understanding abandoning.

(6) The understanding of dispassion. This Dhamma practitioner, well-secluded while establishing jhana, understands ‘this is peace, this is the exquisite stilling of fabrications, this is the relinquishment of all clinging, this is the cessation of craving, this is the full development of dispassion, this is complete unbinding. This is understanding dispassion.

(7) The understanding of cessation. This Dhamma practitioner, well-secluded while establishing jhana, understands ‘this is peace, this is the exquisite stilling of fabrications, this is the relinquishment of all clinging, this is the cessation of craving, this is the full development of dispassion, this is complete unbinding.

(8) The understanding of distaste for every world.This Dhamma practitioner, well-secluded while establishing jhana, refrains from all worldly entanglements, attachments, compulsions, and conditioned thinking. This is understanding distaste for every world.

(9) The understanding of the undesirability of all fabrications. This Dhamma practitioner, well-secluded while establishing jhana, is horrified, humbled, and repulsed with fabrications. This is understanding fabrications.

(10) The understanding of mindfulness of in-&-out breathing. This Dhamma practitioner, well-secluded, sits comfortably, legs folded, their body erect, settings mindfulness to the fore:

  • Remaining mindful of the breath-in-the-body, they breathe in.
  • Remaining mindful of the breath-in-the-body, they breathe out.

“While breathing with long breaths they know they are breathing with long breaths. While breathing with short breaths they know they are breathing with short breaths.

“This Dhamma practitioner trains themselves: ‘I will breathe in and breathe out sensitive to the body. (While) breathing in, bodily fabrications calm. (While) breathing out, bodily fabrications calm.

“This Dhamma practitioner trains themselves to breathe in and breathe out sensitive to joy, sensitive to pleasure, and sensitive to mental processes.

“This Dhamma practitioner trains themselves to breathe in and breathe out sensitive to the calming of mental processes.

“This Dhamma practitioner trains themselves to breathe in and breathe out sensitive to thoughts arising and passing away. This Dhamma practitioner trains themselves to breathe in and breathe out sensitive to satisfying the mind.

“This Dhamma practitioner trains themselves breathe in and breathe out sensitive releasing the mind.

“This Dhamma practitioner trains themselves to:

  • Breathe in and breathe out sensitive to impermanence.
  • Breathe in and breathe out sensitive to dispassion.
  • Breathe in and breathe out sensitive to cessation.
  • Breathe in and breathe out sensitive to relinquishment.

“This is called mindfulness of in-and-out-breathing.

“Ananda, go to the ill Girimananda and tell him of these Ten Understandings. If Girimananda develops these understandings his dis-ease may be relieved.

Ananda, having learned these ten understandings from the Buddha, went to Girimananda. Girimananda, hearing Ananda, was relieved. His dis-ease abandoned.

End Of Sutta