SN.48.53. Sekhasutta ("A Trainee")

Saṁyutta Nikāya ("The Linked Discourses")

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Kosambi, in Ghosita’s Monastery. There the Buddha addressed the mendicants: “Mendicants, is there a way that a mendicant who is a trainee, standing at the level of a trainee, can understand that they are a trainee? And that a mendicant who is an adept, standing at the level of an adept, can understand that they are an adept?”

“Our teachings are rooted in the Buddha. …”

“There is a way that a mendicant who is a trainee, standing at the level of a trainee, can understand that they are a trainee, and that a mendicant who is an adept, standing at the level of an adept, can understand that they are an adept.

And what is a way that a mendicant who is a trainee can understand that they are a trainee? It’s when a mendicant who is a trainee truly understands: ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the origin of suffering’ … ‘This is the cessation of suffering’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering’. This is a way that a mendicant who is a trainee can understand that they are a trainee.

Furthermore, a mendicant who is a trainee reflects: ‘Is there any other ascetic or brahmin elsewhere whose teaching is as true, as real, as accurate as that of the Buddha?’ They understand: ‘There is no other ascetic or brahmin elsewhere whose teaching is as true, as real, as accurate as that of the Buddha.’ This too is a way that a mendicant who is a trainee can understand that they are a trainee.

Furthermore, a mendicant who is a trainee understands the five faculties: faith, energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom. And although they don’t have direct meditative experience of their destination, apex, fruit, and culmination, they do see them with penetrating wisdom. This too is a way that a mendicant who is a trainee can understand that they are a trainee.

And what is the way that a mendicant who is an adept can understand that they are an adept? It’s when a mendicant who is an adept understands the five faculties: faith, energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom. They have direct meditative experience of their destination, apex, fruit, and culmination, and they see them with penetrating wisdom. This is a way that a mendicant who is an adept can understand that they are an adept.

Furthermore, a mendicant who is an adept understands the six faculties: eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind. They understand: ‘These six faculties will totally and utterly cease without anything left over. And no other six faculties will arise anywhere anyhow.’ This too is a way that a mendicant who is an adept can understand that they are an adept.”

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