Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikaya
VIII. Atthaka Nipata
II: Maha Vagga

The Book of the
Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Eights
II. The Great Chapter

Sutta 11

Veranja Suttam

Near Veranja

Translated from the Pali by E.M. Hare.

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[172] [117]

[1][bodh] Thus[1] have I heard:

Once the Exalted One was dwelling near Veranja,[2]
at the foot of Naleru's Nimba tree.[3]

There came to him a brahman[4] of Veranja,
who, after exchanging the usual complimentary greetings,
sat down at one side.

So seated, the brahman spoke thus to the Exalted One:

'Master Gotama, I have heard that the recluse Gotama neither salutes,
nor rises up for,
nor offers a seat to venerable and aged brahmans
who are ripe in years,
old and have attained to seniority.[5]

And this is precisely the case, Master Gotama.

Master Gotama [118] does not salute,
nor rises up for,
nor offer a seat to venerable and aged brahmans
who are ripe in years,
old and have attained to seniority.

That is not right, Master Gotama.'[6]

'Brahman, I see no one in the world of gods,
with its Maras and Brahmas,
or in the world of mankind,
with its recluses and godly men,
devas and men,
whom I should salute,
rise up for
or to whom I should offer a seat.

Moreover, brahman,
whom the Tathagata should salute,
rise up for
or to whom he should offer a seat,
verily, his head would split in two.'[7]

 

§

 

'Master Gotama lacks taste.'

'This is the reason,[8] brahman,
by which one would be right in saying:

"The recluse Gotama lacks taste":[9]

Brahman, tastes for forms,
tastes for sounds,
tastes for perfumes,
tastes for savours,
and tastes for things that can be handled,
these are abandoned by the Tathagata,
cut off at the root,
made like palm-tree stumps,[10]
made things that have ceased to be,
so that they cannot grow up again in the future.

This is indeed the reason, brahman,
by which one would be right in saying:

"The recluse Gotama lacks taste,"

but not, forsooth, in the way you mean.'

 

§

 

'Master Gotama lacks property.'[11]

'This is the reason, brahman,
by which one would be right in saying:

"The recluse Gotama lacks property:"

Brahman, the property of forms,
the property of sounds,
the property of perfumes,
the property of savours
and the property of things that can be handled,
these by the Tathagata are abandoned,
cut off at the root,
made like palm-tree stumps,
made things that have ceased to be,
so that they cannot grow up again in the future.

This is indeed the reason, brahman,
by which one would be right in saying:

"The [119] recluse Gotama lacks property,"

but not, forsooth, in the way you mean.'

 

§

 

'Master Gotama affirms the theory of inaction.'[12]

'This is the reason, brahman,
by which one would be right in saying:

'Master Gotama affirms the theory of inaction.'

'Brahman, I declare abstinence from action
in respect to misconduct in deed, word and thought;
I proclaim inaction in respect to all evil and sinful conditions.

This is indeed the reason, brahman,
by which one would be right in saying:

'Master Gotama affirms the theory of inaction,'

but not, forsooth, in the way you mean.'

 

§

 

'Master Gotama is an annihilationist.'[13]

'This is the reason, brahman,
by which one would be right in saying:

'Master Gotama is an annihilationist:'

'Brahman, I declare the cutting off of lust, hatred and infatuation;
I proclaim the annihilation of all evil and sinful conditions.

This is indeed the reason, brahman,
by which one would be right in saying:

'Master Gotama is an annihilationist,'

but not, forsooth, in the way you mean.'

 

§

 

'Master Gotama feels abhorrence.'[14]

'This is the reason, brahman,
by which one would be right in saying:

'Master Gotama feels abhorrence:'

'Brahman, I abhor misconduct in deed, word and thought;
I abhor entertaining all evil and sinful conditions.

This is indeed the reason, brahman,
by which one would be right in saying:

"The recluse Gotama feels abhorrence,"

but not, forsooth, in the way you mean.'

 

§

 

'Master Gotama is an abolitionist.'[15]

'This is the reason, brahman,
by which one would be right in saying:

'Master Gotama is an abolitionist:'

'Brahman, I preach the doctrine of abolishing lust, hatred and infatuation;
I teach the Dhamma of abolishing all evil and sinful conditions.

This is indeed the reason, brahman,
by which one would be right in saying:

"The recluse Gotama is an abolitionist,"

but not, forsooth, in the way you mean.'

 

§

 

[120] "Master Gotama is given to mortification."[16]

'This is the reason, brahman,
by which one would be right in saying:

"Master Gotama is given to mortification:'

'Brahman, I proclaim that evil and sinful conditions should be mortified,
yea, misconduct in deed, word and thought.

Verily, whosoever has abandoned,
rooted out,
made like palm-etumps,
has caused not to be,
has so conditioned that they rise not again,
evil and sinful conditions,
which should be mortified -
he, I say, is given to mortification.

Brahman, the Tathagata has abandoned, rooted out
made like palm-etumps,
has caused not to be,
has so conditioned that they rise not again,
evil and sinful conditions,
which should be mortified.

This is indeed the reason, brahman,
by which one would be right in saying:

"The recluse Gotama is given to mortification,"

but not, forsooth, in the way you mean.'

 

§

 

'Master Gotama is against rebirth.'[17]

'This is the reason, brahman,
by which one would be right in saying:

'Master Gotama is against rebirth:'

Verily, whosoever has abandoned, cut off at the root
made like palm-etumps,
has caused not to be,
has so conditioned that they rise not again,
evil and sinful conditions,
for the future (descent) into the womb,
renewed becoming and rebirth -
he, I say, is against rebirth.

The Tathagata, brahman, has so done.

This is indeed the reason, brahman,
by which one would be right in saying:

"The recluse Gotama is against rebirth,"

but not, forsooth, in the way you mean.'

 

§

 

'Brahman, it is just as if a sitting[18]
of eight or ten or a dozen hen's eggs
were fully sat upon,
fully warmed
and fully made become;
and of those young chicks
the one which,
before all the rest,
broke the egg-shell with its spiked claws
or with its beak
and hatched out safely,
how would you term it,
the eldest or the youngest V

'One would say it was the eldest, Master Gotama.

Certainly, Master Gotama, it is the eldest of them.'

'Even so, brahman, when I,
for the sake of mankind,
enveloped in ignorance,[19]
(as it were) egg-born,[20]
had broken the egg-shell of ignorance,
I alone in the world was fully awake
[121] to unsurpassed and complete awakening.

Verily, brahman,
I was the eldest and the best in the world.[21]

Moreover, brahman, I was resolute,
full of energy,
active,
upright,
intent
and not forgetful,
tranquil within my being,
unperturbed,
collected
and composed in mind.[22]

'Verily, brahman,[23]
aloof from sense desires,
aloof from evil idea's
I entered and abode in the first musing,
wherein applied and sustained thought works,
which is born of solitude
and full of zest and ease.

Suppressing applied and sustained thought,
I entered and abode in the second musing,
which is self-evolved,
born of concentration,
full of zest and ease,
free from applied and sustained thought,
wherein the mind becomes calm and one-pointed.

Free from the fervour of zest,
I entered and abode in the third musing,
disinterested,
mindful and self-possessed;
and I experienced in my being
the ease whereof the Ariyans declare:

"The disinterested and mindful dwell at ease."

By putting away ease and by putting away ill,
by the passing away of the happiness and misery,
I was wont to feel,
I entered and abode in the fourth musing,
a state of utter purity of mindfulness and disinterestedness,
free of ill and ease.

[24]With heart thus serene,
purified,
cleansed,
without blemish,
devoid of defilement,
supple,
ready to act,
firm
and imperturbable,
I bent the mind so that I might know
and call to mind previous dwellings.

I called to mind divers former dwellings,
that is to say:
one birth, or two, or three, or four, or five,
or ten, or twenty, or thirty, or forty, or fifty,
or a hundred, or a thousand, or a hundred thousand,
or many an age of rolling on,
or many an age of rolling back,
or many an age of both rolling on and rolling back -
such an one I was by name,
of such a clan,
of such a caste,
such was my food,
such my experience of weal and woe,
such was the end of my life.

Passing away thence,
I arose in such a place.

There, such was my [122] name,
such my clan,
such my caste,
such my food,
such my experience of weal and woe,
such my end.

Passing away from there,
I arose here.

Thus many a previous dwelling
I called to mind
with its circumstances and details.

This, brahman, was the first knowledge[25] attained by me
in the first watch of the night -
ignorance being removed,
knowledge arose;
darkness being removed,
light arose -
as I abode strenuous,
earnest and resolute.

This, brahman, was my first hatching,[26]
like a young chicken's from the egg-shell.

'With heart thus serene,
purified,
cleansed,
without blemish,
devoid of defilement,
supple,
ready to act,
firm and imperturbable,
I bent the mind so that I might discern
the passing away
and the reappearance of beings.

With the deva-eye,
purified and surpassing the human eye,
I saw and knew beings
in course of faring on -
beings lowly and exalted,
beautiful and ugly,
happy and in woe,
according to their deeds.

And I thought:

"These worthies were given over to evil practices
in act, word and thought,
were revilers of the Ariyans,
holders of wrong views,
men who have acquired this karma
from wrong views;
and on the breaking up of the body after death,
have arisen in the untoward way,
the ill way,
the abyss,
hell.

But these good sirs behaved rightly
in act, word and thought,
were no revilers of the Ariyans,
held right views
and have acquired this karma therefrom;
and on the breaking up of the body after death,
have arisen in the blissful heaven world."

Thus with the deva-eye
purified and surpassing the human eye,
I saw and knew beings
in course of faring on -
beings lowly and exalted,
beautiful and ugly,
happy and in woe,
according to their deeds.

This, brahman, was the second knowledge attained by me
in the second watch of the night -
ignorance being removed,
knowledge arose;
darkness being removed,
light arose -
as I abode strenuous,
earnest and resolute.

This, brahman, was my second hatching,
like a young chicken's from the egg-shell.

'With heart thus serene,
purified,
cleansed,
spotless,
devoid of defilement,
supple,
ready to act,
firm and imperturbable,
[123] I bent the mind so that I might discern
the destruction of the cankers.

In its full essence,
I comprehended the thought:

"This is ill."

In its full essence,
I comprehended the thought:

"This is the origin of ill."

In its full essence,
I comprehended the thought:

"This is the ending of ill."

In its full essence,
I comprehended the thought:

"This is the way leading to the ending of ill."

In its full essence,
I comprehended the thought:

"These are the cankers."

In its full essence,
I comprehended the thought:

"This is the origin of the cankers."

In its full essence,
I comprehended the thought:

"This is the ending of the cankers."

In its full essence,
I comprehended the thought:

"This is the way leading to the ending of the cankers."

Knowing this,
seeing this,
my heart was freed from the canker of sensuality,
my heart was freed from the canker of becoming,
my heart was freed from the canker of ignorance.

In my release,[27]
there came the knowledge of that release;
I knew:

'Birth is destroyed;
lived is the godly life;
done is what must be done;
for me there is no more hereafter.'

"This, brahman, was the third knowledge attained by me
in the third watch of the night -
ignorance being removed,
knowledge arose;
darkness being removed,
light arose -
as I abode strenuous,
earnest
and resolute.

This, brahman, was my third hatching,
like a young chicken's from the egg-shell.'

When he had thus spoken,
the brahman of Veranja said to the Exalted One:

'Master Gotama is indeed the eldest;
Master Gotama is indeed the best!

Wonderful, wonderful, Master Gotama!

Just as one might set upright
that which has been overturned,
might reveal the concealed,
might point out the way
to the blind,
might bring an oil-lamp into the darkness,
so that those who had eyes
might see the forms about them;
even so has Dhamma been made clear in many a figure by Master Gotama.

To Master Gotama I go for refuge,
to Dhamma
and to the Order.

Let Master Gotama accept me as a lay-disciple,
as one who has found refuge,
from this day to life's end.'

 


[1] Cf. the whole sutta with Vin. iii, 1 ff.; the opening section with A. iii, 223.

[2] This place is mentioned below, p. 136; M. i, 290; G.S. ii, 66. Comy. is silent, but at A. we learn there was a highway between it and Madhura (or Mathura, later famous for its sculpture, A.D. 75-200) on the Jumna; see Buddh. India 36; C.H.I. i, 316.

[3] Nalerupucimanda. Comy. ad Vin. observes that Naleru was a yakkha's name.

[4] Ibid., Veranjo matapituhi katanamavasena panayam Udayo-ti vuccati.

[5] This stock passage recurs at D. i, 114; ii, 100; M. ii, 66; A. i, 155; Vin. ii, 188, and passim.

[6] Cf. G.S. i, 63.

[7] See D. i, 143; iii, 19; Dhp. 72; below, p. 252; S.B.E. xxi, 374 (Mahayana, seven pieces).

[8] Pariyayo. Comy. karanam; cf. below, p. 125.

[9] Arasarupa. Comy. 'Giving greetings is in good taste, thought the brahman.' But cf. Taittiriyaka-Upanishad, S.B.E. xv, 58: 'That which is self-made is a flavour (can be tasted), for only after perceiving a flavour can anyone perceive pleasure.'

[10] Cf. M. i, 488; S. ii, 62; above, p. 6.

[11] Nibbhoga - i.e., social status. Comy. greeting the aged is a social amenity.

[12] See Dial. i, 70.

[13] Ibid., 46, ucchedavada; Rhys Davids refers to the Katha-Upanishad i, 20 { S.B.E. xv, 5): 'There is that doubt, when a man is dead - some saying he is; others, he is not. This I would like to know, taught by thee (O Death).'

[14] Jegucchi, one who loathes. See Dial. i, 237; F. Dial. i, 53.

[15] Venayika; P.E.D. translates nihilist; Lord Chalmers (F. Dial. i, 99), annihilationist; but we have natthika and ucchedavada for these. The root idea is to put away; the Comy. observes that the brahman considered Gotama did away with paying respects to elders (lokajetthaka-), and glosses, Vinayati-ti, vinayo; vinaseti-ti vuttam hoti, vinayo eva venayiko. It may be noted that at D. i, 34 of ucchedavada we find the same phrase used at M. i, 140 of venayika, viz., sato sattassa ucchedam vinasam pannapeti. Cf. the use at A. v, 190; P.E.D. gives M. and A. references (wrongly) from vinaya, versed in V.

[16] Tapassi; see F. Dial. i, 53.

[17] Apagabbha. Comy. gabbhato apagato, adding, the brahman held that politeness leads to rebirth in the deva-world.

[18] Cf. above, p. 82.

[19] Cf. Buddha-carita xiv, 67; S.B.E. xlix, 155; cf. below, p. 208.

[20] Andabhuta. Comy. Born, begotten, produced from an egg. As beings born in eggs are called egg-born, so all men, born in the egg-shell of ignorance, are called egg-born.

[21] Cf. D. ii, 15; J. i, 43.

[22] This set recurs at It. 119; A. i, 148; M. i, 21.

[23] See F. Dial. i, 14, and note p. 15; below, p. 276.

[24] This stock passage recurs at D. i, 82; M. i, 22; S. ii, 122; A. i, 255; It. 99; Vin. iii, 4.

[25] But cf. Vin. i, 1, and Ud. I, where the Paticca-samuppada, 'the Causal-coming-to-be,' is stated to have been mastered during the first watch.

[26] Comy. reading abhinibbhida; glosses abhinibbatti, ariya jati.

[27] The text reads Vimuttasmim vimuttam iti nanam ahosi, v.l. vimutt'amhi-ti; cf. M. i, 23 and 528.


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