This one time, Master Ānanda, Master Gotama was staying near Vesālī, at the Great Wood, in the hall with the peaked roof.
Ekamidāhaṁ, bho ānanda, samayaṁ so bhavaṁ gotamo vesāliyaṁ viharati mahāvane kūṭāgārasālāyaṁ.
So I went there to see him.
Atha khvāhaṁ, bho ānanda, yena mahāvanaṁ kūṭāgārasālā yena so bhavaṁ gotamo tenupasaṅkamiṁ.
And there he spoke about meditation in many ways.
Tatra ca pana so bhavaṁ gotamo anekapariyāyena jhānakathaṁ kathesi.
He meditated, and made a habit of meditating.
Jhāyī ceva so bhavaṁ gotamo ahosi jhānasīlī ca.
And he praised all kinds of meditation.”
Sabbañca pana so bhavaṁ gotamo jhānaṁ vaṇṇesī”ti.
“No, brahmin, the Buddha did not praise all kinds of meditation, nor did he dispraise all kinds of meditation.
“Na ca kho, brāhmaṇa, so bhagavā sabbaṁ jhānaṁ vaṇṇesi, napi so bhagavā sabbaṁ jhānaṁ na vaṇṇesīti.
And what kind of meditation did he not praise?
Kathaṁ rūpañca, brāhmaṇa, so bhagavā jhānaṁ na vaṇṇesi?
It’s when someone’s heart is overcome and mired in sensual desire, and they don’t truly understand the escape from sensual desire that has arisen.
Idha, brāhmaṇa, ekacco kāmarāgapariyuṭṭhitena cetasā viharati kāmarāgaparetena, uppannassa ca kāmarāgassa nissaraṇaṁ yathābhūtaṁ nappajānāti;
Harboring sensual desire within they meditate and concentrate and contemplate and ruminate.
so kāmarāgaṁyeva antaraṁ karitvā jhāyati pajjhāyati nijjhāyati apajjhāyati.
Their heart is overcome and mired in ill will …
Byāpādapariyuṭṭhitena cetasā viharati byāpādaparetena, uppannassa ca byāpādassa nissaraṇaṁ yathābhūtaṁ nappajānāti;
so byāpādaṁyeva antaraṁ karitvā jhāyati pajjhāyati nijjhāyati apajjhāyati.
dullness and drowsiness …
Thinamiddhapariyuṭṭhitena cetasā viharati thinamiddhaparetena, uppannassa ca thinamiddhassa nissaraṇaṁ yathābhūtaṁ nappajānāti;
so thinamiddhaṁyeva antaraṁ karitvā jhāyati pajjhāyati nijjhāyati apajjhāyati.
restlessness and remorse …
Uddhaccakukkuccapariyuṭṭhitena cetasā viharati uddhaccakukkuccaparetena, uppannassa ca uddhaccakukkuccassa nissaraṇaṁ yathābhūtaṁ nappajānāti;
so uddhaccakukkuccaṁyeva antaraṁ karitvā jhāyati pajjhāyati nijjhāyati apajjhāyati.
doubt, and they don’t truly know and see the escape from doubt that has arisen.
Vicikicchāpariyuṭṭhitena cetasā viharati vicikicchāparetena, uppannāya ca vicikicchāya nissaraṇaṁ yathābhūtaṁ nappajānāti;
Harboring doubt within they meditate and concentrate and contemplate and ruminate.
so vicikicchaṁyeva antaraṁ karitvā jhāyati pajjhāyati nijjhāyati apajjhāyati.
The Buddha didn’t praise this kind of meditation.
Evarūpaṁ kho, brāhmaṇa, so bhagavā jhānaṁ na vaṇṇesi.
And what kind of meditation did he praise?
Kathaṁ rūpañca, brāhmaṇa, so bhagavā jhānaṁ vaṇṇesi?
It’s when a mendicant, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unskillful qualities, enters and remains in the first absorption, which has the rapture and bliss born of seclusion, while placing the mind and keeping it connected.
Idha, brāhmaṇa, bhikkhu vivicceva kāmehi vivicca akusalehi dhammehi savitakkaṁ savicāraṁ vivekajaṁ pītisukhaṁ paṭhamaṁ jhānaṁ upasampajja viharati.
As the placing of the mind and keeping it connected are stilled, they enter and remain in the second absorption, which has the rapture and bliss born of immersion, with internal clarity and confidence, and unified mind, without placing the mind and keeping it connected.
Vitakkavicārānaṁ vūpasamā ajjhattaṁ sampasādanaṁ cetaso ekodibhāvaṁ avitakkaṁ avicāraṁ samādhijaṁ pītisukhaṁ dutiyaṁ jhānaṁ …
And with the fading away of rapture, they enter and remain in the third absorption, where they meditate with equanimity, mindful and aware, personally experiencing the bliss of which the noble ones declare, ‘Equanimous and mindful, one meditates in bliss.’
tatiyaṁ jhānaṁ …
Giving up pleasure and pain, and ending former happiness and sadness, they enter and remain in the fourth absorption, without pleasure or pain, with pure equanimity and mindfulness.
catutthaṁ jhānaṁ upasampajja viharati.
The Buddha praised this kind of meditation.”
Evarūpaṁ kho, brāhmaṇa, so bhagavā jhānaṁ vaṇṇesī”ti.
“Well, Master Ānanda, it seems that Master Gotama criticized the kind of meditation that deserves criticism and praised that deserving of praise.
“Gārayhaṁ kira, bho ānanda, so bhavaṁ gotamo jhānaṁ garahi, pāsaṁsaṁ pasaṁsi.