Ten Things

Last night after evening chanting, the other bhikkhu and I were discussing how meaningful some Pāḷi chants are, particularly the one we chant on Monday evenings – AN 10.48 Dasadhammasuttaṁ, The Discourse on the Ten Dhammas. To keep this post short, I’ll only list the reflections themselves. Each verse begins or ends, depending on the translator, with something like “One who has gone forth should reflect often… 1“.

1. “I have become one who has no caste,” 2

2. “I am bound to others for my livelihood,” 3

3. “I should comport myself differently,” 4

4. “Can I myself find no fault with my virtue?” 5

5. “Will my wise companions in the spiritual life, after testing me, find no fault with my virtue?” 6

6. “There is alteration in, and separation from, all that is dear and appealing to me.” 7

7. “I am the owner of my kamma, the heir of my kamma; I have kamma as my origin, kamma as my relative, kamma as my resort; I will be the heir of whatever kamma, good or bad, that I do.” 8

8. “In what way do the nights and days pass for me?” 9

9. “Do I delight in empty places?” 10

10. “Has a state beyond (ordinary) human beings, the distinction of what is truly noble knowledge and seeing been attained by me? Will I at the end, when questioned by my companions in the spiritual life, not be embarassed?” 11

 While this admonition was directed to the bhikkhus, no reason a layperson couldn’t consider these as well.

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Notes:

  1. “..pabbajitena abhiṇhaṁ paccavekkhitabbaṁ.”
  2. “Vevaṇṇiyamhi ajjhupagato’ti”
  3. “Parapaṭibaddhā me jīvikā’ti”
  4. “Añño me ākappo karaṇīyo’ti”
  5. “Kacci nu kho me attā sīlato na upavadatī’ti”
  6. “Kacci nu kho maṁ anuvicca viññū sabrahmacārī sīlato na upavadantī’ti”
  7. “Sabbehi me piyehi manāpehi nānābhāvo vinābhāvo’ti”
  8. “Kammassakomhi, kammadāyādo, kammayoni, kammabandhu, kamma­paṭi­saraṇo, yaṁ kammaṁ karissāmi kalyāṇaṁ vā pāpakaṁ vā tassa dāyādo bhavissāmī’ti”
  9. “Kathaṁ bhūtassa me rattiṁdivā vītipatantī’ti”
  10. “Kacci nu kho ahaṁ suññāgāre abhiramāmī’ti”
  11. “Atthi nu kho me uttari manussadhammo ala­mariya­ñāṇadas­sana­viseso adhigato, pacchime kāle sabrahmacārīhi puṭṭho na maṅku bhavissāmī’ti”