AN 9.32 Vihāra Sutta:

AN 9.32
PTS: A iv 410
Vihāra Sutta: Dwellings (1)
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
"Monks, there are these nine step-by-step dwellings. Which nine? The first jhāna, the second jhāna, the third jhāna, the fourth jhāna, the dimension of the infinitude of space, the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, the dimension of nothingness, the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, the cessation of perception & feeling. These are the nine step-by-step dwellings." [1]

Note

1.
This translation follows the Thai edition of the Pali Canon, which is identical with the Burmese edition here. The PTS edition, following the Sri Lankan edition, includes the standard formulae for the nine dwellings, as follows:
"Monks, there are these nine step-by-step dwellings. Which nine?
"There is the case where a monk, quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful mental qualities, enters & remains in the first jhāna: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation.
"With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhāna: rapture & pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance.
"With the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhāna, of which the noble ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.'
"With the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of joy & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhāna: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither-pleasure-nor-pain.
"With the complete transcending of perceptions of form, with the disappearance of perceptions of resistance, and not heeding perceptions of diversity, (perceiving,) 'Infinite space,' he enters & remains in the dimension of the infinitude of space.
"With the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of space, (perceiving,) 'Infinite consciousness,' he enters & remains in the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness.
"With the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, (perceiving,) 'There is nothing,' he enters & remains in the dimension of nothingness.
"With the complete transcending of the dimension of nothingness, he enters & remains in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception.
"With the complete transcending of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, he enters & remains in the cessation of perception & feeling.
"These are the nine step-by-step dwellings."
This longer version has the advantage of being more informative than the shorter version, but the shorter version fits better into the pattern of questions that frame this discourse and the following one, AN 9.33. The question there is, "And what, monks, are the nine step-by-step dwelling-attainments?" whereas the question here can be paraphrased as, "Which are the nine step-by-step dwellings?" In line with the fact that AN 9.33 focuses on the attainment of these dwellings — including the formulae for how they are attained — it makes sense that this discourse would simply list the dwellings without describing how they are attained.
See also: AN 9.33
Provenance:
©2011 Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
Transcribed from a file provided by the translator.
This Access to Insight edition is ©2011.
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How to cite this document (one suggested style): "Vihāra Sutta: Dwellings (1)" (AN 9.32), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, 21 April 2011, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an09/an09.032.than.html . Retrieved on 26 December 2011.





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