The Seven Factors of Awakening

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Once the Blessed One was staying at Saketa, in the Añjana Forest Game Refuge. Then Kundaliya the Wanderer came to where the Blessed One was staying and on arrival greeted him courteously and, after engaging in pleasant conversation, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, 'Ven. Gotama, I like to frequent gatherings in parks. It is my habit at midday, after my morning meal, to go from park to park, from garden to garden. There I encounter various priests and contemplatives discoursing on the rewards of defending their own tenets in debate, and the rewards of condemning those of others. Now in the experience of what reward does Ven. Gotama dwell?'

'The Tathagata dwells experiencing the reward of the fruits of clear knowing and release.'

'But what are the qualities that, when developed and pursued, lead to the culmination of clear knowing and release?'

'The seven factors of Awakening....'

'And what are the qualities that...lead to the culmination of the seven factors of Awakening?'

'The four frames of reference....'

'And what are the qualities that...lead to the culmination of the four frames of reference?'

'The three courses of right conduct....'

'And what are the qualities that...lead to the culmination of the three courses of right conduct?'

'Restraint of the senses....And how does restraint of the senses, when developed and pursued, lead to the culmination of the three courses of right conduct? There is the case where a monk, on seeing a pleasant form with the eye, does not hanker after it, does not delight in it, does not give rise to passion for it. Unmoved in body and unmoved in mind, he is inwardly well composed and well released.

On seeing an unpleasant form with the eye, he is not upset, his mind is not unsettled, his feelings are not wounded, his mind does not become resentful. Unmoved in body and unmoved in mind, he is inwardly well composed and well released.

On hearing a pleasant...unpleasant sound with the ear...On smelling a pleasant...unpleasant smell with the nose...On tasting a pleasant...unpleasant taste with the tongue...On feeling a pleasant...unpleasant tactile sensation with the body...

On cognizing a pleasant idea with the intellect, he does not hanker after it, does not delight in it, does not give rise to passion for it.

Unmoved in body and unmoved in mind, he is inwardly well composed and well released. On cognizing an unpleasant idea with the intellect, he is not upset, his mind is not unsettled, his feelings are not wounded, his mind does not become resentful. Unmoved in body and unmoved in mind, he is inwardly well composed and well released. This is how, Kundaliya, restraint of the senses, when developed and pursued, leads to the culmination of the three courses of right conduct.

And how are the three courses of right conduct developed and pursued so as to lead to the culmination of the four frames of reference? There is the case where a monk abandons wrong conduct in terms of his deeds and develops right conduct in terms of his deeds; abandons wrong conduct in terms of his speech and develops right conduct in terms of his speech; abandons wrong conduct in terms of his thoughts and develops right conduct in terms of his thoughts. This is how, Kundaliya, the three courses of right conduct, when developed and pursued, lead to the culmination of the four frames of reference.

And how are the four frames of reference developed and pursued so that the seven factors of Awakening come to completion?

[1] On whatever occasion the monk remains focused on the body in and of itself-ardent, alert, and mindful-putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world, on that occasion his mindfulness is steady and without lapse. When his mindfulness is steady and without lapse, then mindfulness as a factor of Awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

[2] Remaining mindful in this way, he examines, analyzes, and comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment. When he remains mindful in this way, examining, analyzing, and coming to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, then analysis of qualities as a factor of Awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

[3] In one who examines, analyzes, and comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, unflagging persistence is aroused. When unflagging persistence is aroused in one who examines, analyzes, and comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, then persistence as a factor of Awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

[4] In one whose persistence is aroused, a rapture not-of-the-flesh arises. When a rapture not-of-the-flesh arises in one whose persistence is aroused, then rapture as a factor of Awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

[5] For one who is enraptured, the body grows calm and the mind grows calm. When the body and mind of an enraptured monk grow calm, then serenity as a factor of Awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

[6] For one who is at ease-his body calmed-the mind becomes concentrated. When the mind of one who is at ease-his body calmed-becomes concentrated, then concentration as a factor of Awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

[7] He oversees the mind thus concentrated with equanimity. When he oversees the mind thus concentrated with equanimity, equanimity as a factor of Awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.
(Similarly with the other three frames of reference: feelings, mind, and mental qualities.)

This is how, Kundaliya, the four frames of reference, when developed and pursued, lead to the culmination of the seven factors of Awakening.

And how are the seven factors of Awakening developed and pursued so as to lead to the culmination of clear knowing and release? There is the case where a monk develops mindfulness as a factor of Awakening dependent on seclusion...dispassion...cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops analysis of qualities as a factor of Awakening...persistence as a factor of Awakening...rapture as a factor of Awakening...serenity as a factor of Awakening...concentration as a factor of Awakening...equanimity as a factor of Awakening dependent on seclusion...dispassion...cessation, resulting in letting go. This is how, Kundaliya, the seven factors of Awakening, when developed and pursued, lead to the culmination of clear knowing and release.'

When this had been said, Kundaliya the Wanderer said to the Blessed One: 'Magnificent, Ven. Gotama, magnificent. In many ways has Ven. Gotama made the Dhamma clear-just as if one were to place upright what has been overturned, to reveal what has been hidden, to point out the way to one who is lost, or to set out a lamp in the darkness so that those with eyes might see forms. I go to Ven. Gotama for refuge, to the Dhamma, and to the community of monks. May Ven. Gotama regard me as a lay follower gone for refuge from this day forth as long as life shall last.'

Now in what way does a monk develop and pursue mindfulness of in-and-out breathing so that it bears great fruit and great benefits?

There is the case where a monk develops mindfulness as a factor of Awakening accompanied by mindfulness of in-and-out breathing-dependent on seclusion...dispassion...cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops analysis of qualities as a factor of Awakening... persistence as a factor of Awakening...rapture as a factor of Awakening...serenity as a factor of Awakening...concentration as a factor of Awakening...equanimity as a factor of Awakening dependent on seclusion...dispassion...cessation, resulting in letting go. This is how mindfulness of in-and-out breathing is developed and pursued so that it bears great fruit and great benefits.

Now what is the manner of reckoning by which the seven factors of Awakening are fourteen?

[1] Any mindfulness with regard to internal qualities is mindfulness as a factor of Awakening. And any mindfulness with regard to external qualities is also mindfulness as a factor of Awakening. Thus this forms the definition of 'mindfulness as a factor of Awakening,' and it is in this manner that it is two.

[2] Any time one examines, investigates, and scrutinizes internal qualities with discernment, that is analysis of qualities as a factor of Awakening. And any time one examines, investigates, and scrutinizes external qualities with discernment, that too is analysis of qualities as a factor of Awakening. Thus this forms the definition of 'analysis of qualities as a factor of Awakening,' and it is in this manner that it is two.

[3] Any bodily persistence is persistence as a factor of Awakening. And any mental persistence is also persistence as a factor of Awakening. Thus this forms the definition of 'persistence as a factor of Awakening,' and it is in this manner that it is two.

[4] Any rapture accompanied by directed thought and evaluation is rapture as a factor of Awakening. And any rapture unaccompanied by directed thought and evaluation is also rapture as a factor of Awakening. Thus this forms the definition of 'rapture as a factor of Awakening,' and it is in this manner that it is two.

[5] Any bodily serenity is serenity as a factor of Awakening. And any mental serenity is also serenity as a factor of Awakening. Thus this forms the definition of 'serenity as a factor of Awakening,' and it is in this manner that it is two.

[6] Any concentration accompanied by directed thought and evaluation is concentration as a factor of Awakening. And any concentration unaccompanied by directed thought and evaluation is also concentration as a factor of Awakening. Thus this forms the definition of 'concentration as a factor of Awakening,' and it is in this manner that it is two.

[7] Any equanimity with regard to internal qualities is equanimity as a factor of Awakening. And any equanimity with regard to external qualities is also equanimity as a factor of Awakening. Thus this forms the definition of 'equanimity as a factor of Awakening,' and it is in this manner that it is two.

This is the manner of reckoning by which the seven factors of Awakening are fourteen.

Whose minds are well-developed
in the factors of self-awakening,
who delight in non-clinging,
relinquishing grasping:
resplendent,
their effluents ended,
they, in the world,
are Unbound.