Saṃyutta Nikāya 47

Connected Discourses on the Establishments of Mindfulness

43. The Path

At Savatthi. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus:

“Bhikkhus, on one occasion I was dwelling at Uruvela on the bank of the river Nerañjara under the Goatherd’s Banyan Tree just after I became fully enlightened. Then, while I was alone in seclusion, a reflection arose in my mind thus: ‘This is the one-way path for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation … as in §18 … that is, the four establishments of mindfulness.’

“Then, bhikkhus, Brahma Sahampati, having known with his own mind the reflection in my mind, just as quickly as a strong man might extend his drawn-in arm or draw in his extended arm, disappeared from the brahma world and reappeared before me. He arranged his upper robe over one shoulder, extended his joined hands towards me in reverential salutation, and said to me: ‘So it is, Blessed One! So it is, Fortunate One! Venerable sir, this is the one-way path for the purification of beings … … that is, the four establishments of mindfulness.’

“This, bhikkhus, is what Brahma Sahampati said. Having said this, he further said this:

“‘The seer of the destruction of birth,
Compassionate, knows the one-way path
By which in the past they crossed the flood,
By which they will cross and cross over now.’”