5:13  Udaya’s Questions

To the one in jhāna—

seated, dustless,


his task done,


gone to the beyond

of all phenomena—

I’ve come with a desire for a question.

Tell me the gnosis of emancipation,

the breaking open

of ignorance.

The Buddha:

The abandoning

both of sensual desires,

& of unhappiness,

the dispelling of sloth,

the warding off of anxieties,

equanimity-&-mindfulness purified,

with inspection of mental qualities

swift in the forefront:

That I call the gnosis of emancipation,1

the breaking open

of ignorance.2


With what

is the world fettered?

With what

is it examined?

Through the abandoning of what

is there said to be


The Buddha:

With delight

the world’s fettered.

With directed thought

it’s examined.

Through the abandoning of craving

is there said to be



Living mindful in what way

does one bring consciousness

to a halt?

We’ve come to ask

the Blessed One.

Let us hear your words.

The Buddha:

Not relishing feeling,

inside or out:

One living mindful in this way

brings consciousness

to a halt.3

vv. 1105–1111


1. The state of mind described here corresponds to the five-factored noble right concentration described in AN 5:28, and analyzed more fully in AN 9:36. For further discussion, see section III/F in The Wings to Awakening and the essays, “Jhāna Not by the Numbers” and “Silence Isn’t Mandatory.”

2. AN 3:33 contains a discussion of this verse. The Buddha tells Ven. Sāriputta that one should train oneself such that “with regard to this conscious body, there will be no ‘I’-making or ‘mine’-making or obsession with conceit, such that with regard to all external themes [topics of concentration] there will be no ‘I’-making or ‘mine’-making or obsession with conceit, and that we will enter & remain in the awareness-release & discernment-release in which there is no ‘I’-making or ‘mine’-making or obsession with conceit.” When one has trained in this way, he says, one is called a person who has cut through craving, unraveled the fetter, who has, through the right penetration of conceit, put an end to suffering and stress. He then states that it was in connection to this state that he uttered this verse.

3. See DN 11, DN 15, MN 49, and SN 12:67. For a discussion of “bringing consciousness to a halt”—showing that it is not an annihilation of consciousness, but rather the ending of its proliferating activity—see SN 22:53. See also the image in SN 12:64.