Saṃyutta Nikāya 46

Connected Discourses on the Factors of Enlightenment

39. Trees

“Bhikkhus, there are huge trees with tiny seeds and huge bodies, encirclers of other trees, and the trees which they encircle become bent, twisted, and split. And what are those huge trees with tiny seeds and huge bodies? The assattha, the banyan, the pilakkha, the udumbara, the kacchaka, and the kapitthana: these are those huge trees with tiny seeds and huge bodies, encirclers of other trees, and the trees which they encircle become bent, twisted, and split. So too, bhikkhus, when some clansman here has left behind sensual pleasures and gone forth from the household life into homelessness, he becomes bent, twisted, and split because of those same sensual pleasures, or because of others worse than them.

“These five, bhikkhus, are obstructions, hindrances, encirclers of the mind, weakeners of wisdom. What five? Sensual desire is an obstruction, a hindrance encircling the mind, a weakener of wisdom. Ill will … Sloth and torpor … Restlessness and remorse … Doubt is an obstruction … a weakener of wisdom. These are the five obstructions, hindrances, encirclers of the mind, weakeners of wisdom.

“These seven factors of enlightenment, bhikkhus, are nonobstructions, nonhindrances, nonencirclers of the mind; when developed and cultivated they lead to the realization of the fruit of true knowledge and liberation. What seven? The enlightenment factor of mindfulness is a nonobstruction … The enlightenment factor of equanimity is a nonobstruction.… These seven factors of enlightenment are nonobstructions, nonhindrances, nonencirclers of the mind; when developed and cultivated they lead to the realization of the fruit of true knowledge and liberation.”