[i]‘Thus have I heard.
At one time the Buddha was staying in Śrāvastī, at Jetṛ’s Grove, in Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park. Then the Exalted One said to the bhikṣus:
A bhikṣus who lives in the forest (āraṇyaka) should cultivate two things. Which two? Tranquility (śamatha) and penetrating insight (vipaśyanā).[ii]
If a bhikṣu, living in the forest in serenity, realises tranquility, he perfects the discipline (vinaya) with [all] its rules of moral training (śikṣāpada), without deviating from the [proper] way of deportment (īryāpatha), without breaking the vows and by developing all virtues (guṇa).
If, furthermore, a bhikṣu who is fond of solitude has realised penetrating insight, he exactly knows in accordance with fact:[iii] This is unsatisfactoriness (duḥkha), the origin (samudaya)[iv] of unsatisfactoriness, its final cessation (duḥkhanirodha) and what has necessarily to be done (avaśyakārya) in order to overcome unsatisfactoriness.[v] - By dint of such penetrating insight, his mind is freed from the malign influences of desire (kāmāsrava), of becoming (bhava-) and of ignorance (avidyā-); consequently he gains the [insight] knowledge of [this] freedom, knowing in accordance with fact: Birth and death have come to an end, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, and there will be no more coming into existence.
Also in the past, so many beings [became] foremost arhats,16 Fully and Completely Enlightened Ones precisely on account of these two things [enabling them] to achieve perfection (niṣpatti); and thus also the Bodhisattva when sitting under the King of Trees (the Bodhi Tree), he first concentrated on these [two] things, viz. tranquility and penetrating insight. After realising tranquility, the Bodhisattva, the Great Being (mahāsattva), succeeded in subjugating Māra, the Fiend (śatru); and furthermore, after realising penetrating insight, the Bodhisattva duly gained the state of possessing the three knowledges (traividyatā)[vi] and obtained the Highest, Complete and Full Enlightenment.
Therefore, O bhikṣus, a monk, living in the forest, should be intent on skill in means in order to practise these two things. Thus, bhikṣus, you should train.
After listening to the Buddha’s words, the bhikṣus were pleased and respectfully applied themselves to practice.’[vii]
[i] CBETA, T02, no. 125, p. 600, a29-b16. This translation originally published as Ekottarāgama XXVIII, Buddhist Studies Review 18.2, 2001, p 224-225. Translated from the Chinese version by Thích Huyên-Vi and Bhikkhu Pāsādika in collaboration with Sara Boin-Webb.
[ii] Cf. BSR 13, 1 (1996), P. 65.
[iii] Cf. Hirakawa, p.371: ## = yathābhūtaparijñāna
[iv] Cf. BSR 10, 2 (1993), p.220, n. 16
[v] Cf. ibid., n. 17 (to be corrected to: duḥkhanirodhagāminī)
[vi] See BHSD, p. 260a; Soothill, pp. 79a, 66b; Nyanatiloka, s.v. tevijjā
[vii] Cf. A I, p. 61 (at Hayashi, p.183, n. 14, ‘A, II.3.15’ should be corrected to ‘A, II.3.10’): Dve’me bhikkhave dhammā vijjābhāgiyā. Katame dve? Samatho ca vipassanā ca… Cf. the English transl. at Woodward, Gradual Sayings I, p.55 f.: ‘Monks, these two conditions have part in knowledge …’