Saṃyutta Nikāya 21

Connected Discourses with Bhikkhus

1. Kolita

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapiṇḍika’s Park. There the Venerable Mahamoggallana addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Friends, bhikkhus!”

“Friend!” those bhikkhus replied. The Venerable Mahamoggallana said this:

“Here, friends, while I was alone in seclusion, a reflection arose in my mind thus: ‘It is said, “noble silence, noble silence.” What now is noble silence?’

“Then, friends, it occurred to me: ‘Here, with the subsiding of thought and examination, a bhikkhu enters and dwells in the second jhana, which has internal confidence and unification of mind, is without thought and examination, and has rapture and happiness born of concentration. This is called noble silence.’

“Then, friends, with the subsiding of thought and examination, I entered and dwelt in the second jhana, which … has rapture and happiness born of concentration. While I dwelt therein, perception and attention accompanied by thought assailed me.

“Then, friends, the Blessed One came to me by means of spiritual power and said this: ‘Moggallana, Moggallana, do not be negligent regarding noble silence, brahmin. Steady your mind in noble silence, unify your mind in noble silence, concentrate your mind on noble silence.’ Then, friends, on a later occasion, with the subsiding of thought and examination, I entered and dwelt in the second jhana, which has internal confidence and unification of mind, is without thought and examination, and has rapture and happiness born of concentration.

“If, friends, one speaking rightly could say of anyone: ‘He is a disciple who attained to greatness of direct knowledge with the assistance of the Teacher,’ it is of me that one could rightly say this.”