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Anguttara Nikaya

CHAPTER XX

Mahavaggo THE GREAT CHAPTER

(1) Blessings

BRETHREN, four blessings should be expected from listening to with the ear, constant recitation with the voice, careful consideration with the mind and penetration of the Norm through insight (1). What four ?

Herein, brethren, a brother masters the Norm consisting of the Suttas..... Vedalla (2). He thus listens to, constantly recites, carefully ponders over and penetrates the Norm. When he dies bewildered (3) in mind and is reborn in a certain assembly of devas, there the blissful ones recite to him the stanzas of the Norm. Brethren, the arising of mindfulness is slow, but such a being quickly achieves distinction therein.(4) Brethren, this is the first blessing that should be expected from listening to, constant recitation, careful consideration and penetration of the Norm through insight.

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1 Diiy,. Comy. says 'himself penetrates it by his wisdom both as regards sense and cause.'

2 See suppra, P. 8.

3 Comy. says 'he is still a puthujjana'' One dying without reaching the Paths is said to die with mindfulness not established.

4 Comy`. He becomes nibbna-gmin (bound for the goal).'

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Again, brethren, a brother masters the Norm consisting of the Suttas, etc. He thus listens to; [as above] and is reborn in an assembly of devas. There the blissful ones do not recite to him the stanzas of the Norm ; but a brother possessed of psychic powers, who has mastered his mind, proclaims the Norm to the assembly of devas. Then this thought occurs to him (the former) This is indeed that Norm and Discipline, according to which I lived the holy life in my previous existence.' Brethren, slow is the arising of mindfulness. Yet that being quickly achieves distinction therein.

Brethren, just as a person skilled in the sounds of drums, having entered a road, hears the sound of a drum, and has no doubt or uncertainty as to whether it is the sound of a drum or not. Then he concludes that it is surely the sound of a drum. Just so, brethren, a brother masters the Norm consisting of the Suttas, etc. Then he listens to [as above]. Then indeed that being quickly achieves distinction therein. Brethren, this is the second blessing that should be expected from listening to, constant recitation, careful consideration and penetration of the Norm through insight.

Again, brethren, a brother masters the Norm consisting of the Suttas (and so forth). There the blissful ones do not recite to him the stanzas of the Norm, nor does a brother possessed of psychic powers, who has mastered his mind, proclaim the Norm ; but some son of a deva proclaims the Norm to the assembly of devas. Then this thought occurs to him : `Whatever holy life I led in a former existence, this is indeed that same Norm and Discipline.'

Brethren, slow is the arising of mindfulness. But indeed that being quickly attains distinction therein.

Brethren, just as a person skilled in the sounds of conch-trumpets, having entered a road, hears the sound of a conch-trumpet and has indeed no doubt or uncertainty as to whether it is the sound of a conch-trumpet or not. Then he concludes that it is certainly the sound of a conch-trumpet. Just so, brethren, a brother masters the Norm consisting of the Sutias . . . Then he listens to [as above]. Then indeed that being quickly achieves distinction therein. Brethren, this is the third blessing that should be expected from listening to (the Norm).

And again, brethren, a brother masters the Norm consisting of the, Suttas, etc., and is reborn..... There the blissful ones do not recite..... nor does a brother possessed of psychic powers, who has mastered his mind, preach the Norm, nor does a deva proclaim the Norm. But a being of apparitional rebirth reminds another of a similar rebirth thus` Do you remember, Sir ? Do you remember, Sir, when we in a former existence led the holy life ?' Slow brethren, is the arising of mindfulness, but this being quickly achieves distinction therein.

Just as, brethren, two companions, who once played at mud-huts together, at some time or other meet and one of them asks the other thus : " Friend, do you remember this, do you remember that?' And the other replies: ` Friend, I do indeed remember ; friend, I do indeed remember.' So also, brethren, a brother masters the Norm consisting of Suttas (and so forth). Then indeed that being quickly achieves distinction therein. Brethren, this is them fourth blessing that should be expected from listening to, constant recitation, careful consideration and penetration of the Norm through insight.

Those four blessings, brethren, should be expected (as above).

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