Dwellings of the Noble Ones
Ariyāvāsa Sutta  (AN 10:20)

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying among the Kurus. Now there is a town of the Kurus called Kammāsadhamma. There the Blessed One addressed the monks: “Monks.”

“Yes, lord,” the monks responded to him.

The Blessed One said: “Monks, there are these ten noble dwellings in which noble ones have dwelled (in the past), dwell (in the present), and will dwell (in the future). Which ten? There is the case where a monk has abandoned five factors, is endowed with six, guards one, is supported in four, has shaken off idiosyncratic truths, has thoroughly given up searching, is undisturbed in his resolves, is calmed in his bodily-fabrication, is well released in mind, is well released in discernment. These are the ten noble dwellings in which noble ones have dwelled, dwell, and will dwell.

“And how has a monk abandoned five factors? There is the case where a monk’s sensual desire is abandoned. His ill will… His sloth & torpor… His restlessness & anxiety… His uncertainty is abandoned. This is how a monk has abandoned five factors.

“And how is a monk endowed with six (factors)? There is the case where a monk, on seeing a form via the eye, is not gladdened, not saddened, but remains equanimous, mindful, & alert. On hearing a sound via the ear… On smelling an aroma via the nose… On tasting a flavor via the tongue… On touching a tactile sensation via the body… On cognizing an idea via the intellect, he is not gladdened, not saddened, but remains equanimous, mindful, & alert. This is how a monk is endowed with six (factors).

“And how does a monk guard one (factor)? There is the case where a monk is endowed with an awareness guarded by mindfulness. This is how a monk guards one (factor).

“And how is a monk supported in four (ways)? There is the case where a monk, carefully reflecting, follows one thing, tolerates another, avoids another, and destroys another. This is how a monk is supported in four (ways).1

“And how has a monk shaken off idiosyncratic truths [pacceka-sacca]?2 There is the case where a monk has shaken off the run-of-the-mill idiosyncratic truths of run-of-the-mill contemplatives & brahmans—in other words, ‘The cosmos is eternal,’ ‘The cosmos is not eternal,’ ‘The cosmos is finite,’ ‘The cosmos is infinite,’ ‘The soul & the body are the same,‘ ‘The soul is one thing and the body another,‘ ‘After death a Tathāgata exists,‘ ‘After death a Tathāgata does not exist,’ ‘After death a Tathāgata both does & does not exist,’ ‘After death a Tathāgata neither does nor does not exist.’ All of these he has thrown off, shaken off, renounced, vomited up, let go, abandoned, relinquished. This is how a monk has shaken off idiosyncratic truths.

“And how has a monk thoroughly given up searching? There is the case where a monk has abandoned his search for sensuality… his search for becoming… his search for a holy life.3 This is how a monk has thoroughly given up searching.

“And how is a monk undisturbed in his resolves? There is the case where a monk has abandoned his resolve for sensuality… his resolve for ill-will… his resolve for harmfulness. This is how a monk is undisturbed in his resolves.

“And how is a monk calmed in his bodily fabrication?4 There is the case where a monk, with the abandoning of pleasure & pain—as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress—enters & remains in the fourth jhāna: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is how a monk is calmed in his bodily fabrication.

“And how is a monk well released in mind? There is the case where a monk’s mind is released from passion, released from aversion, released from delusion. This is how a monk is well released in mind.

“And how is a monk well released in discernment? There is the case where a monk discerns, ‘Passion is abandoned in me, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising.’ He discerns, ‘Aversion is abandoned in me, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising.’ He discerns, ‘Delusion is abandoned in me, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising.’ This is how a monk is well released in discernment.

“Monks, all those in the past who have dwelled in noble dwellings have dwelled in these same ten noble dwellings. All those in the future who will dwell in noble dwellings will dwell in these same ten noble dwellings. All those in the present who dwell in noble dwellings dwell in these same ten noble dwellings.

“These are the ten noble dwellings in which noble ones have dwelled, dwell, and will dwell.”

Notes

1. For a discussion of the things to be tolerated, avoided, and destroyed, see MN 2.

2. Pacceka can also mean “singular” or “personal.” Idiosyncratic truths are the opposite of noble truths, which are universal. See Sn 4:8 and Sn 4:12.

3. On these three searches, see Iti 54–55.

4. “Bodily fabrication” (kāya-saṅkhāra) is a technical term for the in-and-out breath. See MN 118, note 3. On the stilling of the in-and-out breath as a defining feature of the fourth jhāna, see SN 36:11, AN 9:31, and AN 10:72.

See also: MN 45; SN 36:11; AN 4:28