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Samyutta Nikaya
IV. Salayatana Vagga
35: Salayatana Samyutta
Pannasa Catuttham
4. Asivisa Vagga

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
IV. Kindred Sayings on the 'Six-Fold Sphere' of Sense and Other Subjects
35: Kindred Sayings the Sixfold Sphere of Sense The 'Fourth Fifty' Suttas
4. The Chapter on the Snake

Sutta 204

Kimsukopama Suttam

The Judas Tree[1]

Translated by F. L. Woodward
Edited by Mrs. Rhys Davids

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[191] [124]

butea.frondosa

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

Now a certain brother went to visit another brother,
and on coming to him said: -

"Pray, friend, how far is a brother's insight fully purified?"

"Friend, when a brother understands,
as they really are,
the arising and the destruction
of the sixfold sense-sphere,
to that extent is his insight fully developed."

[125] But that brother was dissatisfied
with the other's answer to his question,
and went away to another brother,
and on coming to him said: -

"Pray, friend, how far is a brother's insight fully purified?"

He replied: -

"Friend, when a brother understands,
as they really are,
the arising and the destruction
of the five factors of grasping,[2]
to that extent his insight is fully purified."

But again that brother,
dissatisfied
with the other's answer to his question,
and went away to another brother,
and on coming to him said: -

"Pray, friend, how far is a brother's insight fully purified?"

He replied: -

"Friend, when a brother understands,
as they really are,
the arising and the destruction
of the four great essentials,[3]
to that extent is his insight fully purified."

Again that brother
was dissatisfied
with the other's answer to his question,
and went away to another brother,
and on coming to him said: -

"Pray, friend, how far is a brother's insight fully purified?"

He replied: -

"Friend, when a brother understands,
as it really is,
that whatsoever is of a nature to arise,
all that is of a nature to cease,
to that extent his insight is fully purified."

Thereupon that brother,
being dissatisfied,
went to see the Exalted One,
and on coming to him,
saluted him
and sat down at one side.

So seated
that brother said to the Exalted One: -

"Lord, I went to a certain brother
and asked this question of him:

"Pray, friend, how far is a brother's insight fully purified?"

At these words, lord,
that brother replied:

"Friend, when a brother understands,
as they really are,
the arising and the destruction
of the sixfold sense-sphere,
to that extent is his insight fully developed."

But I was dissatisfied
with that brother's answer to his question,
and went away to another brother
and asked this question of him:

"Pray, friend, how far is a brother's insight fully purified?"

At these words, lord,
that brother replied:

"Friend, when a brother understands,
as they really are,
the arising and the destruction
of the five factors of grasping,
to that extent his insight is fully purified."

But I was dissatisfied
with that brother's answer,
went away to another brother
and asked this question of him:

"Pray, friend, how far is a brother's insight fully purified?"

At these words, lord,
that brother replied:

"Friend, when a brother understands,
as they really are,
the arising and the destruction
of the four great essentials,
to that extent is his insight fully purified."

Again I was dissatisfied
with that brother's reply
and went away to another brother
and asked this question of him:

"Pray, friend, how far is a brother's insight fully purified?"

At these words, lord,
that brother replied:

"Friend, when a brother understands,
as it really is,
that whatsoever is of a nature to arise,
all that is of a nature to cease,
to that extent his insight is fully purified."

So, lord, being dissatisfied
with these answers to my question
I am come to the Exalted One
(and now I ask):

Pray, lord, how far is a brother's insight fully purified?"

 


 

"Suppose, brother, a man who had never seen a Judas tree.

So he went to a certain man
who had seen one,[4]
and on coming to him asked him:

'What sort of thing is a Judas tree, master?'

The other replies:

'Well, my man, the Judas [126] tree is blackish,
something like a charred stump.'

So, brother, for the time being,
the Judas tree is to him as that other man sees it.

Well, the man is not satisfied
with the answer to his question,
so he goes away to another man who had seen one
and on coming to him asked him:

'What sort of thing is a Judas tree, master?'

The other replies:

'Well, my man, the Judas tree is reddish,
something like a lump of flesh.'

So, brother, for the time being
the Judas tree is to him as that other man sees it.

Still dissatisfied
with the reply to his question,
he goes away to another man who had seen one
and on coming to him asked him:

'What sort of thing is a Judas tree, master?'

The other replies:

'Why, my man, a Judas tree is stripped of its bark.[5]

It has its pods burst,[6]
something like an acacia tree.'

So, brother, for the time being
the Judas tree is to him as that other man sees it.

Well, the man is not satisfied
with the reply to his question,
so he goes away to see yet another man who had seen a Judas tree,
and on coming to him asked him:

'What sort of thing is a Judas tree, master?'

The other replies:

'Well, my man, the Judas tree is very thick-leaved.[7]

It gives a close shade,
just like a banyan tree.'

So, brother, for the time being a Judas tree is to him as that other sees it.

Just so, brother, according as the insight
of those good folk
is fully purified,
in accordance with that
they give their explanation of it.

In the same way, brother,
the insight of these worthies
is fully purified
according to their several bents,[8]
and they give their explanation accordingly.

It is even as some rajah's border-town,[9] brother,
strongly built
with walls and towers,
and having six gates to it.

This town hath a wise and watchful
warden of the gates,
who keeps out enemies
and welcomes friends.

From the east there comes a pair of swift messengers,
and they say unto the [127] warden of the gates:

'Good fellow, where is the lord of this town?'

And he replies:

'Yonder he sits in the midst where the four ways meet.'

Then those twin messengers
deliver unto the lord of the town
the message of the Truth,
and go their ways
by the path by which they came.

From the west there comes a pair of swift messengers,
and they say unto the warden of the gates:

'Good fellow, where is the lord of this town?'

And he replies:

'Yonder he sits in the midst where the four ways meet.'

Then those twin messengers
deliver unto the lord of the town
the message of the Truth,
and go their ways
by the path by which they came.

From the north there comes a pair of swift messengers,
and they say unto the warden of the gates:

'Good fellow, where is the lord of this town?'

And he replies:

'Yonder he sits in the midst where the four ways meet.'

Then those twin messengers
deliver unto the lord of the town
the message of the Truth,
and go their ways
by the path by which they came.

From the south there comes a pair of swift messengers,
and they say unto the warden of the gates:

'Good fellow, where is the lord of this town?'

And he replies:

'Yonder he sits in the midst where the four ways meet.'

Then those twin messengers
deliver unto the lord of the town
the message of the Truth,
and go their ways
by the path by which they came.

Now, brother, have I made you a parable,||
and for your understanding of it
this is the explanation: -

'The town,' brother,||
is a name for the body,||
of the four great essentials compounded,||
of mother and father sprung,[10]||
on rice and gruel fed,||
impermanent,||
of a nature to be worn away,||
pounded away,||
broken and scattered.|| ||

'Having six gates,' brother, -||
this is a name for the personal sixfold sense-sphere.|| ||

'Warden of the gates,' brother, -||
this is a name for mindfulness.|| ||

'Pair of swift messengers,' brother, -||
this is a name for calm and insight.|| ||

'Lord of the town,' brother,[11] -||
this is a name for consciousness.|| ||

'In the midst,||
where four ways meet,' brother, -||
this is a name for the four great essentials,||
the elements of earth, water, fire and air.

'Message of the Truth,'[12] brother, -||
this is a name for Nibbana.

'By the way they came,'[13] brother, -||
this is a name for the Ariyan Eightfold Path,||
to wit

Right view,
right speech,
right action,
right living,
right effort,
right mindfulness,
right concentration.[ed1]

 


[1] Kinsuka (What d'ye call it?), butea frondosa. Cf. Jat. ii, No. 248, where the Master is asked by four brethren to explain jhana, which they understand in four several ways. He explains to them by the parable of the Judas tree, seen differently at four several seasons by these four brethren. The parable here given is told of Brahmadatta, rajah of Benares. Cf. The Jataka, vol. ii. (Rouse), p. 184; Jataka Tales, p. 197.

[2] Panc'upadana-kkandha. Cf. K.S. iii, passim.

[3] Mahabhutani.

[4] Dassavi (usually means 'far-sighted'). Comy. yena kinsuko dittha-pubbo.

[5] Text odiraka-jato, v.l. ociraka-. Comy. ojirika-, ocirika-. Pali Dict. ociraka ('with the bark off ').

[6] Adinna-sipatiko. Cf. M. i, 306.

[7] Bahala-patta-palaso. Comy. has phala-patta-. JA. bala palasa.

[8] Yatha yatha adhimuttanan.

[9] Cf. Mrs. Rhys Davids' Buddhism, p. 181; Buddh. Psych., 72.

[10] Cf. supra. I 103.

[11] In Comy.'s story, he is a dissolute young fellow, forced to reform by the two messengers.

[12] Yathabhuta-vacanan, 'telling how it really is.'

[13] Cf. Expos., I 204.

 


[ed1] From SN 5.45.1 - Woodward


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