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Tutti gli asava*

(Riscrittura a partire dall'italiano di De Lorenzo, da Enrico Federici.


Per distribuzione gratuita esclusivamente.)

* Asava = contaminazioni mentali. Per la precisione:


kama = sensualita'
bhava = rinascita
dhitta = speculazioni
avijja = ignoranza
Chi estingue gli asava e' un Arahat

Una volta soggiornava il Sublime nella Selva del Vincitore, il parco di


Anathapindiko, e parlo' ai monaci cosi':
Voglio mostrarvi come ci si difenda da ogni asava; all'esperto io annunzio
l'estinzione degli asava, non all'inesperto, non all'ignaro. Per conoscere come
estinguere gli asava occorre riconoscere leggera attenzione e profonda
attenzione. Leggera attenzione fa germogliare nuovi asava e rinforza gli
antichi; profonda attenzione, o monaci, non fa sorgere nuovi asava e distrugge
gli antichi.
Gli asava devono essere superati: sapendo; difendendosi; curandosi;
pazientando; fuggendo; combattendo; operando.
Quale asava sara' superato sapendo? Supponiamo che vi sia un uomo
comune, che non ha conosciuto niente, senza intendimento per cio' che e'
santo, estraneo ed inaccessibile alla dottrina, a cio' che e' nobile, alla dottrina
dei nobili, e che non riconosce cio' che merita attenzione e non riconosce cio'
che non merita attenzione. Senza conoscenza delle cose degne e di quelle
indegne, egli fa attenzione all'indegno e non al degno.
Cos'e' l'indegno che egli reputa degno? Quello per la cui stima germoglia
nuova smania di desiderio, di esistenza, di errore, e l'antica si rinforza.
E cos'e' il degno che egli non reputa degno? Quello per la cui stima non puo'
sorgere nuova smania di desiderio, di esistenza, di errore e l'antica e'
distrutta. Cosi', mentre reputa degne cose indegne e indegne cose degne,
nuovi asava sorgono in lui e gli antichi si rinforzano.
E con leggera attenzione egli pensa cosi': sono mai esistito nelle epoche
passate? O non sono mai esistito? Che cosa sono stato o non sono stato nelle
epoche passate? E in che modo sono divenuto quel che allora sono stato?
Esistero' o non esistero' nelle epoche future? E in che modo? Anche il
presente lo riempie di dubbi: Esisto o non esisto? Che cosa e come sono, io?
Da dove sono venuto e dove andro'?
E con tali pensieri leggeri egli giunge ad una delle sei opinioni, diviene in lui
ferma persuasione: io ho un'anima; io non ho un'anima; animato prevedo
animazione; animato prevedo disanimazione; senz'anima prevedo
animazione; questo me stesso si trovera' qua e la', a godere la mercede delle
buone e delle cattive opere; e questo me stesso e' permanente, persistente,
eterno, immutabile, rimarra' quindi a se' eternamente eguale.
Questo si chiama, o monaci, vico delle opinioni, caverna delle opinioni, gola
delle opinioni, spina delle opinioni, roveto delle opinioni, rete delle opinioni.
Impigliatosi nella rete delle opinioni, o monaci, l'inesperto figlio della terra
non si libera dal nascere, dall'invecchiare e morire, da bisogno, miserie e
pene, da strazio e disperazione, non si libera, io dico, dal dolore.
Ma l'esperto, santo discepolo, che accede alla dottrina, riconosce cio' che
merita attenzione e riconosce cio' che non merita attenzione, stima cio' che e'
degno e non stima l'indegno, percio' in lui non sorgono nuovi asava e gli
antichi si estinguono.
Questo e' il dolore, pensa egli profondamente; questa e' l'origine del dolore;
questo e' l'annientamento del dolore; questa e' la via che conduce
all'annientamento del dolore. E con tale profondo pensiero gli si sciolgono i
tre irretimenti: la fede nella perduranza personale, la dubbiosa incertezza e
l'ascesi come scopo a se stessa.
Quale asava sara' superato difendendosi?
Ecco, o monaci, un monaco si munisce di riflessione quale arma ed efficace
difesa della vista, perche' se egli lasciasse inerme la sua vista, allora
scenderebbe su di lui turbante, dannosa smania; ma la vista munita di difesa
tiene lontana da lui la turbante, dannosa smania. Alla stessa stregua, egli si
munisce di riflessione quale arma di difesa dell'udito, dell'olfatto, del gusto,
del tatto, del pensiero.
Quale asava sara' superato curandosi?
Ecco, o monaci, un monaco ha cura dell'abito a ragion veduta, solo per
ripararsi dal freddo, dal caldo, dal vento e dalla tempesta, da zanzare e vespe e
fastidiosi animali striscianti, solo per coprire le sue pudende. A ragion veduta
egli ha cura del cibo elemosinato, non per godimento o diletto, non per essere
florido e bello, ma solo per conservare e sostentare questo corpo, per scansare
danni, per poter menare santa vita: "
Cosi' io estinguero' la sensazione di prima e non ne faro' sorgere una nuova, e
ne avro' abbastanza per immacolato benessere".
A ragion veduta egli ha cura del giaciglio, solo per ripararsi dal freddo, dal
caldo, dal vento e dalla tempesta, da zanzare e vespe e fastidiosi animali
striscianti, solo per evitare pericoli, per poter godere di tranquillita'.
A ragion veduta egli ha cura delle medicine nel caso di una malattia, solo per
sedare vive, dolorose sensazioni, per raggiungere il vero scopo: indipendenza.
Se egli fosse trascurato potrebbe essere colpito da turbante, dannosa smania.
Ma quale asava, o monaci, e' quello che deve essere superato pazientando?
Ecco, o monaci, un monaco sopporta a ragion veduta freddo e caldo, fame e
sete, vento e tempesta, zanzare e vespe e fastidiosi animali striscianti; ed ai
maligni, malevoli discorsi, alle corporali sensazioni di dolore che lo
colpiscono, violenti, taglienti, pungenti, sgradevoli, moleste, pericolose di
vita, egli pazientando non si cura. Perche' se egli divenisse impaziente, o
monaci, allora scenderebbe su di lui turbante, dannosa smania: percio' egli
rimane paziente e sfugge alla turbante, smaniosa smania.
Ma quale asava, o monaci, e' quello che deve essere superato fuggendo?
Ecco, o monaci, un monaco fugge a ragion veduta un elefante infuriato, un
cavallo infuriato, un cane infuriato, egli fugge i serpenti, evita il suolo
disboscato, gli spinosi sterpeti, le pozze e i fossi, i pantani e le paludi. Luoghi
che non sono adatti alla dimora, posti che non sono adatti al cammino, amici
che non sono adatti al consorzio e che ad esperti fratelli dell'Ordine non
sarebbero graditi: tali luoghi, tali posti, tali amici egli fugge a ragion veduta, e
cosi' sfugge alla turbante, dannosa smania.
Ma quale asava, o monaci, e' quello che deve essere superato combattendo?
Ecco, o monaci, un monaco a ragion veduta non da' campo a pensieri di
brama, di avversione, di furore che siano sorti in lui, li rinnega, li scaccia, li
estirpa, li soffoca in germe. Ma se egli cedesse, allora scenderebbe su di lui
turbante, dannosa smania: percio' egli li combatte e ne rimane libero.
Ma qual'e', o monaci, l'asava che deve essere superato operando?
Ecco, o monaci, un monaco opera a ragion veduta il risveglio del sapere, del
raccoglimento, della forza, della serenita', della calma, dell'approfondimento,
dell'equanimita'. Senza operare soggiacerebbe a turbante, dannosa smania,
ma se opera nessuna turbante, dannosa smania lo raggiunge.
Se ora, o monaci, un monaco ha superato gli asava sapendo, difendendosi,
curandosi, pazientando, fuggendo, combattendo, operando, allora lo si
chiama monaco che ha reciso la sete di vivere, ha infranto i vincoli, e con la
completa conquista degli asava ha messo fine al dolore.
All the Fermentations

(Translation by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.)

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Savatthi, in
Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. There he addressed the monks:
"Monks!"
"Yes, lord," the monks replied.
The Blessed One said, "Monks, the ending of the fermentations is for one who
knows & sees, I tell you, not for one who does not know & does not see. For
one who knows what & sees what? Appropriate attention & inappropriate
attention. When a monk attends inappropriately, unarisen fermentations
arise, and arisen fermentations increase. When a monk attends appropriately,
unarisen fermentations do not arise, and arisen fermentations are
abandoned. There are fermentations to be abandoned by seeing, those to be
abandoned by restraining, those to be abandoned by using, those to be
abandoned by tolerating, those to be abandoned by avoiding, those to be
abandoned by destroying, and those to be abandoned by developing.
"[1] And what are the fermentations to be abandoned by seeing? There is the
case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for
noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no
regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma
— does not discern what ideas are fit for attention or what ideas are unfit for
attention. This being so, he does not attend to ideas fit for attention and
attends [instead] to ideas unfit for attention.
"And what are the ideas unfit for attention that he attends to? Whatever ideas
such that, when he attends to them, the unarisen fermentation of sensuality
arises in him, and the arisen fermentation of sensuality increases; the
unarisen fermentation of becoming arises in him, and arisen fermentation of
becoming increases; the unarisen fermentation of ignorance arises in him,
and the arisen fermentation of ignorance increases. These are the ideas unfit
for attention that he attends to.
"And what are the ideas fit for attention that he does not attend to? Whatever
ideas such that, when he attends to them, the unarisen fermentation of
sensuality does not arise in him, and the arisen fermentation of sensuality is
abandoned; the unarisen fermentation of becoming does not arise in him, and
arisen fermentation of becoming is abandoned; the unarisen fermentation of
ignorance does not arise in him, and the arisen fermentation of ignorance is
abandoned. These are the ideas fit for attention that he does not attend to.
Through his attending to ideas unfit for attention and through his not
attending to ideas fit for attention, both unarisen fermentations arise in him,
and arisen fermentations increase.
"This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the
past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what
was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What
shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what
shall I be in the future?' Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate
present: 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come
from? Where is it bound?'
"As he attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view arises in
him: The view I have a self arises in him as true & established, or the view I
have no self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive self...
or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive not-self... or the
view It is precisely by means of not-self that I perceive self arises in him as
true & established, or else he has a view like this: This very self of mine — the
knower that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & bad actions —
is the self of mine that is constant, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change,
and will stay just as it is for eternity. This is called a thicket of views, a
wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of
views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is
not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress,
& despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.
"The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — who has regard for noble
ones, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma; who has regard for men
of integrity, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma — discerns what
ideas are fit for attention and what ideas are unfit for attention. This being so,
he does not attend to ideas unfit for attention and attends [instead] to ideas
fit for attention.
"And what are the ideas unfit for attention that he does not attend to?
Whatever ideas such that, when he attends to them, the unarisen
fermentation of sensuality arises in him, and the arisen fermentation of
sensuality increases; the unarisen fermentation of becoming arises in him,
and arisen fermentation of becoming increases; the unarisen fermentation of
ignorance arises in him, and the arisen fermentation of ignorance increases.
These are the ideas unfit for attention that he does not attend to.
"And what are the ideas fit for attention that he does attend to? Whatever
ideas such that, when he attends to them, the unarisen fermentation of
sensuality does not arise in him, and the arisen fermentation of sensuality is
abandoned; the unarisen fermentation of becoming does not arise in him, and
the arisen fermentation of becoming is abandoned; the unarisen fermentation
of ignorance does not arise in him, and the arisen fermentation of ignorance
is abandoned. These are the ideas fit for attention that he does attend to.
Through his not attending to ideas unfit for attention and through his
attending to ideas fit for attention, unarisen fermentations do not arise in
him, and arisen fermentations are abandoned.
"He attends appropriately, This is stress... This is the origination of stress...
This is the cessation of stress... This is the way leading to the cessation of
stress. As he attends appropriately in this way, three fetters are abandoned in
him: identity-view, doubt, and grasping at precepts & practices. These are
called the fermentations to be abandoned by seeing.
"[2] And what are the fermentations to be abandoned by restraining? There is
the case where a monk, reflecting appropriately, dwells restrained with the
restraint of the eye-faculty. The fermentations, vexation, or fever that would
arise if he were to dwell unrestrained with the restraint of the eye-faculty do
not arise for him when he dwells restrained with the restraint of the eye-
faculty.
Reflecting appropriately, he dwells restrained with the restraint of the ear-
faculty...
Reflecting appropriately, he dwells restrained with the restraint of the nose-
faculty...
Reflecting appropriately, he dwells restrained with the restraint of the tongue-
faculty...
Reflecting appropriately, he dwells restrained with the restraint of the body-
faculty...
Reflecting appropriately, he dwells restrained with the restraint of the
intellect-faculty. The fermentations, vexation, or fever that would arise if he
were to dwell unrestrained with the restraint of the intellect-faculty do not
arise for him when he dwells restrained with the restraint of the intellect-
faculty. These are called the fermentations to be abandoned by restraining.
"[3] And what are the fermentations to be abandoned by using? There is the
case where a monk, reflecting appropriately, uses the robe simply to
counteract cold, to counteract heat, to counteract the touch of flies,
mosquitoes, wind, sun, & reptiles; simply for the purpose of covering the
parts of the body that cause shame.
"Reflecting appropriately, he uses almsfood, not playfully, nor for
intoxication, nor for putting on bulk, nor for beautification; but simply for the
survival & continuance of this body, for ending its afflictions, for the support
of the holy life, thinking, 'Thus will I destroy old feelings [of hunger] and not
create new feelings [from overeating]. I will maintain myself, be blameless, &
live in comfort.'
"Reflecting appropriately, he uses lodging simply to counteract cold, to
counteract heat, to counteract the touch of flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, &
reptiles; simply for protection from the inclemencies of weather and for the
enjoyment of seclusion.
"Reflecting appropriately, he uses medicinal requisites that are used for
curing the sick simply to counteract any pains of illness that have arisen and
for maximum freedom from disease.
"The fermentations, vexation, or fever that would arise if he were not to use
these things [in this way] do not arise for him when he uses them [in this
way]. These are called the fermentations to be abandoned by using.
"[4] And what are the fermentations to be abandoned by tolerating? There is
the case where a monk, reflecting appropriately, endures. He tolerates cold,
heat, hunger, & thirst; the touch of flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, & reptiles; ill-
spoken, unwelcome words & bodily feelings that, when they arise, are painful,
racking, sharp, piercing, disagreeable, displeasing, & menacing to life. The
fermentations, vexation, or fever that would arise if he were not to tolerate
these things do not arise for him when he tolerates them. These are called the
fermentations to be abandoned by tolerating.
"[5] And what are the fermentations to be abandoned by avoiding? There is
the case where a monk, reflecting appropriately, avoids a wild elephant, a wild
horse, a wild bull, a wild dog, a snake, a stump, a bramble patch, a chasm, a
cliff, a cesspool, an open sewer. Reflecting appropriately, he avoids sitting in
the sorts of unsuitable seats, wandering to the sorts of unsuitable habitats,
and associating with the sorts of bad friends that would make his
knowledgeable friends in the holy life suspect him of evil conduct. The
fermentations, vexation, or fever that would arise if he were not to avoid these
things do not arise for him when he avoids them. These are called the
fermentations to be abandoned by avoiding.
"[6] And what are the fermentations to be abandoned by destroying? There is
the case where a monk, reflecting appropriately, does not tolerate an arisen
thought of sensuality. He abandons it, destroys it, dispels it, & wipes it out of
existence.
Reflecting appropriately, he does not tolerate an arisen thought of ill will...
Reflecting appropriately, he does not tolerate an arisen thought of cruelty...
Reflecting appropriately, he does not tolerate arisen evil, unskillful mental
qualities. He abandons them, destroys them, dispels them, & wipes them out
of existence. The fermentations, vexation, or fever that would arise if he were
not to destroy these things do not arise for him when he destroys them. These
are called the fermentations to be abandoned by destroying.
"[7] And what are the fermentations to be abandoned by developing? There is
the case where a monk, reflecting appropriately, develops mindfulness as a
factor for Awakening dependent on seclusion... dispassion... cessation,
resulting in letting go. He develops analysis of qualities as a factor for
Awakening... persistence as a factor for Awakening... rapture as a factor for
Awakening... serenity as a factor for Awakening... concentration as a factor
for Awakening... equanimity as a factor for Awakening dependent on
seclusion... dispassion... cessation, resulting in letting go. The fermentations,
vexation, or fever that would arise if he were not to develop these qualities do
not arise for him when he develops them. These are called the fermentations
to be abandoned by developing.
"When a monk's fermentations that should be abandoned by seeing have been
abandoned by seeing, his fermentations that should be abandoned by
restraining have been abandoned by restraining, his fermentations that
should be abandoned by using have been abandoned by using, his
fermentations that should be abandoned by tolerating have been abandoned
by tolerating, his fermentations that should be abandoned by avoiding have
been abandoned by avoiding, his fermentations that should be abandoned by
destroying have been abandoned by destroying, his fermentations that should
be abandoned by developing have been abandoned by developing, then he is
called a monk who dwells restrained with the restraint of all the
fermentations. He has severed craving, thrown off the fetters, and — through
the right penetration of conceit — has made an end of suffering & stress."
That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the
Blessed One's words.