MN 85. Bodhirājakumārasuttaṁ
The Discourse to Prince Bodhi

[6. Suppressing Thought and Breath]



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Tassa mayhaṁ, Rājakumāra, etad-ahosi:
Then, Prince, this occurred to me:

‘Yaṁ nūnāhaṁ dantebhi dantam-ādhāya, jivhāya tāluṁ āhacca,
‘What if I, with teeth clenched against teeth, with the tongue pressing on the palate,

cetasā cittaṁ Comm: cetasā cittan-ti kusalacittena akusalacittaṁ; one thought with (another) thought means one unwholesome thought with (another), wholesome thought.01 abhiniggaṇheyyaṁ, abhinippīḷeyyaṁ abhisantāpeyyan.’-ti
were to completely restrain, constrain and suppress one thought with (another) thought.’

So kho ahaṁ, Rājakumāra, dantebhi dantam-ādhāya, jivhāya tāluṁ āhacca,
Then I, Prince, with teeth clenched against teeth, with the tongue pressing on the palate,

cetasā cittaṁ abhiniggaṇhāmi abhinippīḷemi abhisantāpemi.
did completely restrain, constrain and suppress one thought with (another) thought.

Tassa mayhaṁ, Rājakumāra, dantebhi dantam-ādhāya, jivhāya tāluṁ āhacca,
Then to me, Prince, with teeth clenched against teeth, with the tongue pressing on the palate,

cetasā cittaṁ abhiniggaṇhato BJT: abhiniggaṇhayato, similarly below.02 abhinippīḷayato abhisantāpayato,
with complete restraint, constraint and suppression of one thought with (another) thought,

kacchehi sedā muccanti.
sweat flowed from my armpits.

seyyathā pi, Rājakumāra, balavā puriso
Just as a strong man, Prince,

dubbalataraṁ purisaṁ sīse vā gahetvā, khandhe vā gahetvā,
after seizing a very weak man by the head, or seizing him by the body,

abhiniggaṇheyya abhinippīḷeyya abhisantāpeyya,
would restrain, constrain and suppress him,

evam-eva kho me, Rājakumāra, dantebhi dantam-ādhāya, jivhāya tāluṁ āhacca,
just so to me, Prince, with teeth clenched against teeth, with the tongue pressing on the palate,

cetasā cittaṁ abhiniggaṇhato abhinippīḷayato abhisantāpayato
with complete restraint, constraint and suppression of one thought with (another) thought,

kacchehi sedā muccanti.
sweat flowed from my armpits.

Āraddhaṁ kho pana me, Rājakumāra, viriyaṁ hoti asallīnaṁ,
But although, Prince, my energy was strenuous and unshaken,

upaṭṭhitā sati asammuṭṭhā, BJT: apammuṭṭhā; RTE: appamuṭṭhā, and similarly throughout.03
and mindfulness was attended to and unconfused,

sāraddho ca pana me kāyo hoti, appaṭippassaddho,
my body was overstressed, not quietened,

teneva dukkhappadhānena padhānābhitunnassa sato.
and therefore the effort I made was overwhelmed by the strain of exertion.

 

Tassa mayhaṁ, Rājakumāra, etad-ahosi:
Then, Prince, this occurred to me:

‘Yaṁ nūnāhaṁ appāṇakaṁ yeva jhānaṁ jhāyeyyan?’-ti
‘What if I were to meditate on the breathless meditation?’

So kho ahaṁ, Rājakumāra, mukhato ca nāsato ca assāsapassāse uparundhiṁ.
Then, Prince, I blocked the in-breath and out-breath at the mouth and at the nose.

Tassa mayhaṁ, Rājakumāra, mukhato ca nāsato ca assāsapassāsesu uparuddhesu,
Then to me, Prince, with the in-breath and out-breath blocked at the mouth and at the nose,

kaṇṇasotehi vātānaṁ nikkhamantānaṁ RTE: nikkhantānaṁ, similarly below.04 adhimatto saddo hoti.
there was an excessive noise of wind escaping through the ears.

seyyathā pi nāma kammāragaggariyā dhamamānāya adhimatto saddo hoti,
Just as there is an excessive noise from blowing on a smith’s bellows,

evam-eva kho me, BJT omits: me here and in similar positions throughout.05 Rājakumāra,
just so to me, Prince,

mukhato ca nāsato ca assāsapassāsesu uparuddhesu,
with the in-breath and out-breath blocked at the mouth and at the nose,

kaṇṇasotehi vātānaṁ nikkhamantānaṁ adhimatto saddo hoti.
there was an excessive noise of wind escaping through the ears.

Āraddhaṁ kho pana me, Rājakumāra, viriyaṁ hoti asallīnaṁ,
But although for me, Prince, energy was strenuous and unshaken,

upaṭṭhitā sati asammuṭṭhā,
and mindfulness was attended to and unconfused,

sāraddho ca pana me kāyo hoti, appaṭippassaddho,
my body was overstressed, not quietened,

teneva dukkhappadhānena padhānābhitunnassa sato.
and therefore the effort I made was overwhelmed by the strain of exertion.

 

Tassa mayhaṁ, Rājakumāra, etad-ahosi:
Then, Prince, this occurred to me:

‘Yaṁ nūnāhaṁ appāṇakaṁ yeva jhānaṁ jhāyeyyan?’-ti
‘What if I were to meditate on the breathless meditation?’

So kho ahaṁ, Rājakumāra,
Then, Prince,

mukhato ca nāsato ca kaṇṇato RTE: kaṇṇasotato, similarly below.06 ca assāsapassāse uparundhiṁ.
I blocked the in-breath and out-breath at the mouth and at the nose and at the ears.

Tassa mayhaṁ, Rājakumāra,
Then to me, Prince,

mukhato ca nāsato ca kaṇṇato ca assāsapassāsesu uparuddhesu,
with the in-breath and out-breath blocked at the mouth and at the nose and at the ears,

adhimattā vātā muddhani BJT, RTE: muddhānaṁ, similarly below.07 ūhananti. RTE: ohananti, similarly below.08
excessive winds raged inside my head.

seyyathā pi, Rājakumāra, balavā puriso
Just as though a strong man, Prince,

tiṇhena sikharena muddhani abhimattheyya,
were to cleave inside my head with a sharp pointed sword,

evam-eva kho me, Rājakumāra,
just so to me, Prince,

mukhato ca nāsato ca kaṇṇato ca assāsapassāsesu uparuddhesu,
with the in-breath and out-breath blocked at the mouth and at the nose and at the ears,

adhimattā vātā muddhani ūhananti.
excessive winds raged inside my head.

Āraddhaṁ kho pana me, Rājakumāra, viriyaṁ hoti asallīnaṁ,
But although for me, Prince, energy was strenuous and unshaken,

upaṭṭhitā sati asammuṭṭhā,
and mindfulness was attended to and unconfused,

sāraddho ca pana me kāyo hoti, appaṭippassaddho,
my body was overstressed, not quietened,

teneva dukkhappadhānena padhānābhitunnassa sato.
and therefore the effort I made was overwhelmed by the strain of exertion.

 

Tassa mayhaṁ, Rājakumāra, etad-ahosi:
Then, Prince, this occurred to me:

‘Yaṁ nūnāhaṁ appāṇakaṁ yeva jhānaṁ jhāyeyyan?’-ti
‘What if I were to meditate on the breathless meditation?’

So kho ahaṁ, Rājakumāra,
Then, Prince,

mukhato ca nāsato ca kaṇṇato ca assāsapassāse uparundhiṁ.
I blocked the in-breath and out-breath at the mouth and at the nose and at the ears.

Tassa mayhaṁ, Rājakumāra,
Then to me, Prince,

mukhato ca nāsato ca kaṇṇato ca assāsapassāsesu uparuddhesu,
with the in-breath and out-breath blocked at the mouth and at the nose and at the ears,

adhimattā sīse sīsavedanā honti.
there was an excessive headache in my head.

seyyathā pi, Rājakumāra, balavā puriso
Just as though a strong man, Prince,

daḷhena varattakkhaṇḍena sīse sīsaveṭhaṁ RTE: sīsaveṭṭhanaṁ.09 dadeyya,
were to tie a turban on my head with a strong thong of leather,

evam-eva kho me, Rājakumāra,
just so to me, Prince,

mukhato ca nāsato ca kaṇṇato ca assāsapassāsesu uparuddhesu,
with the in-breath and out-breath blocked at the mouth and at the nose and at the ears,

adhimattā sīse sīsavedanā honti.
there was an excessive headache in my head.

Āraddhaṁ kho pana me, Rājakumāra, viriyaṁ hoti asallīnaṁ,
But, Prince, although for me energy was strenuous and unshaken,

upaṭṭhitā sati asammuṭṭhā,
and mindfulness was attended to and unconfused,

sāraddho ca pana me kāyo hoti, appaṭippassaddho,
my body was overstressed, not quietened,

teneva dukkhappadhānena padhānābhitunnassa sato.
and therefore the effort I made was overwhelmed by the strain of exertion.

 

Tassa mayhaṁ, Rājakumāra, etad-ahosi:
Then, Prince, this occurred to me:

‘Yaṁ nūnāhaṁ appāṇakaṁ yeva jhānaṁ jhāyeyyan?’-ti
‘What if I were to meditate on the breathless meditation?’

So kho ahaṁ, Rājakumāra,
Then, Prince,

mukhato ca nāsato ca kaṇṇato ca assāsapassāse uparundhiṁ.
I blocked the in-breath and out-breath at the mouth and at the nose and at the ears.

Tassa mayhaṁ, Rājakumāra,
Then to me, Prince,

mukhato ca nāsato ca kaṇṇato ca assāsapassāsesu uparuddhesu,
with the in-breath and out-breath blocked at the mouth and at the nose and at the ears,

adhimattā vātā kucchiṁ parikantanti.
excessive winds cut through my stomach.

seyyathā pi, Rājakumāra, dakkho goghātako vā goghātakantevāsī vā
Just as though, Prince, a butcher or a butcher’s apprentice

tiṇhena govikantanena kucchiṁ parikanteyya,
were to cut through the stomach with a sharp butcher’s knife, Lit: Cow-knife.10

evam-eva kho me, RTE omits: me.11 Rājakumāra,
just so to me, Prince,

mukhato ca nāsato ca kaṇṇato ca assāsapassāsesu uparuddhesu,
with the in-breath and out-breath blocked at the mouth and at the nose and at the ears,

adhimattā vātā kucchiṁ parikantanti.
excessive winds cut through my stomach.

Āraddhaṁ kho pana me, Rājakumāra, viriyaṁ hoti asallīnaṁ,
But although for me, Prince, energy was strenuous and unshaken,

upaṭṭhitā sati asammuṭṭhā,
and mindfulness was attended to and unconfused,

sāraddho ca pana me kāyo hoti, appaṭippassaddho,
my body was overstressed, not quietened,

teneva dukkhappadhānena padhānābhitunnassa sato.
and therefore the effort I made was overwhelmed by the strain of exertion.

 

Tassa mayhaṁ, Rājakumāra, etad-ahosi:
Then, Prince, this occurred to me:

‘Yaṁ nūnāhaṁ appāṇakaṁ BJT: appaṇakaṁ; but appāṇakaṁ elsewhere, printer’s error. 12 yeva jhānaṁ jhāyeyyan?’-ti
‘What if I were to meditate on the breathless meditation?’

So kho ahaṁ, Rājakumāra,
Then, Prince,

mukhato ca nāsato ca kaṇṇato ca assāsapassāse uparundhiṁ.
I blocked the in-breath and out-breath at the mouth and at the nose and at the ears.

Tassa mayhaṁ, Rājakumāra,
Then to me, Prince,

mukhato ca nāsato ca kaṇṇato ca assāsapassāsesu uparuddhesu,
with the in-breath and out-breath blocked at the mouth and at the nose and at the ears,

adhimatto kāyasmiṁ ḍāho hoti.
there was an excessive fever inside the body.

seyyathā pi, Rājakumāra, dve balavanto purisā
Just as though two strong men, Prince,

dubbalataraṁ purisaṁ nānābāhāsu gahetvā,
after seizing a very weak man with their arms,

aṅgārakāsuyā santāpeyyuṁ samparitāpeyyuṁ,
were to burn and scorch him with embers,

evam-eva kho me, Rājakumāra,
so for me, Prince,

mukhato ca nāsato ca kaṇṇato ca assāsapassāsesu uparuddhesu,
with the in-breath and out-breath blocked at the mouth and at the nose and at the ears,

adhimatto kāyasmiṁ ḍāho hoti.
there was an excessive fever inside the body.

Āraddhaṁ kho pana me, Rājakumāra, viriyaṁ hoti asallīnaṁ,
But although for me, Prince, energy was strenuous and unshaken,

upaṭṭhitā sati asammuṭṭhā,
and mindfulness was attended to and unconfused,

sāraddho ca pana me kāyo hoti, appaṭippassaddho,
my body was overstressed, not quietened,

teneva dukkhappadhānena padhānābhitunnassa sato.
and therefore the effort I made was overwhelmed by the strain of exertion.

Apissu maṁ, Rājakumāra, devatā disvā, evam-āhaṁsu:
Further, Prince, this occurred to the gods after seeing me:

‘Kālaṅkato BJT, RTE: Kālakato, and similarly below, but they both write kālaṅkaroti. 13 samaṇo Gotamo,’ ti
‘The ascetic Gotama has died,’ Lit: made (his) time.14

ekaccā devatā evam-āhaṁsu:
this occurred to some gods:

‘Na kālaṅkato samaṇo Gotamo, api ca kālaṅkarotī,’ ti
‘The ascetic Gotama has not died, he is dying,’

ekaccā devatā evam-āhaṁsu:
this occurred to some gods:

‘Na kālaṅkato samaṇo Gotamo, na pi ca RTE, ChS omit: ca.15 kālaṅkaroti,
‘The ascetic Gotama has not died, he is not dying,

Arahaṁ samaṇo Gotamo,
the ascetic Gotama is Worthy,

vihāro tveva so Arahato evarūpo hotī.’ ti
it is in this way that the Worthy One lives.’