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Sanyutta Nikaya,
V: MahaVagga
51. Iddhipada Sanyutta
II. Pasadakampana-vaggo dutiyo

Kindred Sayings on the Bases of Psychic Power
V: The Great Chapter
Chapter II: The Shaking of the Terraced House

Sutta 14

Moggallana Suttam

Moggallana[1]

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

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[241]

[1][olds]THUS have I heard:

Once the Exalted One was staying near Savatthi
in East Park,
at the terraced house of Migara's mother.

Now on that occasion a number of monks
were lodging on the ground-floor
of the terraced house of Migara's mother,
and they were frivolous,[2]
empty-headed,[3]
busybodies,[4]
of harsh speech,[5]
loose in talk,[6]
lacking concentration,[7]
unsteady,
not composed,
of flighty minds,
with senses uncontrolled.[8]

So the Exalted One called to the venerable Moggallana the Great, saying:

"Moggallana,
methinks our fellows in the holy life
who are lodging on the ground-floor
of this terraced house
are frivolous,
empty-headed,
busybodies,
of harsh speech,
loose in talk,
lacking concentration,
unsteady,
not composed,
of flighty minds,
with senses uncontrolled.

Go you, Moggallana,
and give those monks a good stirring!"

"I will, lord,"
replied the venerable Moggallana
to the Exalted One;
and he contrived such a feat of magic powder[9]
that with his great toe
he shook
and rattled
and made the terraced house of Migara's mother
to quake
and quake again.

Thereat those monks were panic-stricken.

Their hair stood on end.

They stood aside exclaiming:

"A wonder indeed!

A miracle indeed!

This place is sheltered from the wind.

[242] This terraced bouse of Migara's mother
stands on deep-set foundations,[10]
it is deep-dug,
unshakable,
unquakable.

Yet it shook,
it rattled,
it quaked
and quaked again!"

Then the Exalted One went towards those monks,
and when he reached them
said:

"What is it, monks?

Why are ye panic-stricken,
with hair on end?

Why do ye stand thus aside?"

"A wonder, lord, indeed!

A miracle, lord, indeed!

This place is sheltered from the wind.

This terraced bouse of Migara's mother
stands on deep-set foundations,
it is deep-dug,
unshakable,
unquakable.

Yet it shook,
it rattled,
it quaked
and quaked again!"

'Yes, monks.

This terraced bouse of Migara's mother
was shaken,
it was rattled,
it quaked and quaked again.

It was done by the monk Moggallana,
with his big toe,
because he wished to give you a good stirring.

Now, monks, what think ye?

By cultivating
and making much
of what conditions
is the monk Moggallana
of such mighty magic power and majesty?"

"For us, lord, things have their root in the Exalted One
(they have the Exalted One for their guide and their resort.

Well indeed if the meaning of these words
should show itself in the Exalted One.

Hearing the meaning of them from the Exalted One
the monks will bear it in mind)."

"Then do ye listen, monks.

It is through cultivating
and making much
of four bases of psychic power
that the monk Moggallana
is of such mighty magic power
and majesty.

What are the four?

Herein (monks) the monk Moggallana cultivates the basis of psychic power
of which the features are desire,
together with the co-factors
of concentration and struggle,
(with this intent):

"Thus shall not my desire
be over-sluggish
nor overstrained.

It shall not be inwardly cramped
nor outwardly diffuse."

So he abides fully conscious
of what is behind and what is in front.

As (he is conscious of what is) in front, so behind:
as behind, so in front:
as below, so above:
as above, so below:
as by day, so by night:
as by night, so by day.

Thus with wits alert,
with wits unhampered,
he cultivates his mind to brilliancy.

The monk Moggallana cultivates the basis of psychic power
of which the features are energy,
together with the co-factors
of concentration and struggle,
(with this intent):

"Thus shall not my energy
be over-sluggish
nor yet overstrained.

It shall not be inwardly cramped
nor outwardly diffuse."

So he abides fully conscious
of what is behind and what is in front.

As (he is conscious of what is) in front, so behind:
as behind, so in front:
as below, so above:
as above, so below:
as by day, so by night:
as by night, so by day.

Thus with wits alert,
with wits unhampered,
he cultivates his mind to brilliancy.

The monk Moggallana cultivates the basis of psychic power
of which the features are thought,
together with the co-factors
of concentration and struggle,
(with this intent):

"Thus shall not my thought
be over-sluggish
nor yet overstrained.

It shall not be inwardly cramped
nor outwardly diffuse."

So he abides fully conscious
of what is behind and what is in front.

As (he is conscious of what is) in front, so behind:
as behind, so in front:
as below, so above:
as above, so below:
as by day, so by night:
as by night, so by day.

Thus with wits alert,
with wits unhampered,
he cultivates his mind to brilliancy.

The monk Moggallana cultivates the basis of psychic power
of which the features are investigation,
together with the co-factors
of concentration and struggle,
(with this intent):

"Thus shall not my thought
be over-sluggish
nor yet overstrained.

It shall not be inwardly cramped
nor outwardly diffuse."

So he abides fully conscious
of what is behind and what is in front.

As he is conscious of [243] what is in front, so behind:
as behind, so in front:
as below, so above:
as above, so below:
as by day, so by night:
as by night, so by day.

Thus with wits alert,
with wits unhampered,
he cultivates his mind to brilliancy.

 


 

Monks, it is by cultivating
and making much of
these four bases of psychic power
that the monk Moggallana enjoys manifold forms of psychic power, thus: -

From being one he becomes many,
from being many he becomes one.

Manifest or invisible
he goes unhindered through a wall,
through a rampart,
through a mountain,
as if it were through air.

He plunges into the earth
and shoots up again
as if in water.

He walks upon the water
without parting it,
as if on solid ground.

He travels sitting cross-legged through the air,
like a bird upon the wing.

Even this moon and sun,
though they be of such mighty power and majesty,
he handles and strokes them with his hand.

Even as far as the Brahma World
he has power with his body.

When the monk Moggallana has thus cultivated,
thus made much of,
the four bases of psychic power,
with deva-power of hearing,
purified and surpassing that of man,
he hears sounds
both of devas and of humans,
whether far or near.

When the monk Moggallana has thus cultivated,
thus made much of,
the four bases of psychic power,
he knows the minds of other beings,
of other persons,
with his own mind grasping them.

Of the mind that is lustful
he knows it to lustful.

Of the mind that is free from lust
he knows it to be a mind that is free from lust.

Of the mind that is full of hate
he knows it to be a mind that is full of hate.

Of the mind that is free from hate
he knows it to be a mind that is free from hate.

Of the mind that is deluded
he knows it to be a mind that is deluded.

Of the mind that is free from delusion
he knows it to be a mind that is free.

Of the mind that is cramped
he knows it to be a mind that is cramped.

Of the mind that is diffuse
he knows it to be a mind that is diffuse.

Of the mind that is lofty
he knows it to be a mind that is lofty,

Of the mind that is mean
he knows it to be a mind that is mean.

Of the mind which is inferior
he knows it to be a mind that is inferior.

Of the mind that is superior
he knows it to be a mind that is superior.

Of the mind that is uncontrolled
he knows it to be a mind that is uncontrolled.

Of the mind that is controlled
he knows it to be a mind that is controlled.

Of the mind that is in bondage
he knows it to be a mind that is in bondage:

Of the mind that is released
he knows it to be a mind that is released.

When the monk Moggallana has thus cultivated,
thus made much of,
the four bases of psychic power,
he calls to mind his former births in divers ways thus:

One birth,
two births,
three births,
four births,
five births,
even ten births,
twenty births,
thirty births,
forty births,
fifty births;
even a hundred births,
a thousand births,
a hundred thousand births.

He calls to mind divers aeons of involution
divers aeons of evolution,
diverse aeons of involution and evolution.

He knows:

"Such was I by name,
such was I by clan,
by caste.

Thus was I nourished,
thus did I undergo pleasure and pain,
such was my span of life."

He knows:

"Thence I deceased
and rose up so and so.

There I dwelt,
of such and such a name,
of such a clan,
of such a caste,
so nourished;
such and such pleasure and pain did I undergo,
such my span of life.

Thence deceased
I rose up in the present life."

That is how
in fact and detail
he calls to mind in divers ways
his former births.

When the monk Moggallana has thus cultivated,
thus made much of,
the four bases of psychic power,
with the deva-sight,
purified and surpassing that of man,
he beholds beings:
as they decease and rise up (elsewhere)
he knows them,
both mean and exalted,
of features fair and foul,
gone to weal
or gone to woe,
according to their deeds, thus:

"Alas! these good folk,
given to the practice of evil deeds,
of evil words,
of evil thoughts,
scoffing at the noble ones,
of perverted views
and reaping the fruit of their perverted views, -
these folk,
on the dissolution of body,
after death arose again in the Waste,
the Downfall
and the Constant Round.

Ah! and these good folk,
given to the practice of good deeds,
of good words,
of good thoughts,
not scoffing at the noble ones,
of sound views
and reaping the fruits of their sound views, -
these beings,
on the dissolution of body,
after death arose again in the Happy Way,
the Heaven World."

Thus with deva-sight,
purified and surpassing that of man,
does he behold beings
as they decease and rise up (elsewhere):
he knows them,
both mean and exalted,
of features fair and foul,
gone to weal
or gone to woe
according to their deeds.

Moreover, monks, it is by cultivating
and making much of
these four bases of psychic power
that the monk Moggallana,
by the destruction of the asavas,
in this very life,
by his own unaided powers
he attains the heart's release,
the release by insight,
that is free from the asavas,
realizes it
and dwells therein.'"

 


[1] This incident gives the name to the whole chapter, and is told with additional detail at SnA. i, 336-9.

[2] For these epithets see M. i, 32 (MA. 152); K.S. i, 84; PuggA. 217. Uddhata =viphandamana-citta. Comy. UdA. 238, avupasanta-citta.

[3] Unnala = uggata-nala, tuccha-mana; UdA. 'like a hollow empty reed.'

[4] Capala = 'busied with bowl and robe and finery UdA. bahukata.

[5] Mukhara = mukha-khara; UdA. pharusa-vacanaya.

[6] Vikinna-vaca = asanyata-vacana-palapino; UdA. 'given to animal-talk'; SnA. loc. cit. gives specimens of their supposed conversation.

[7] Muttha-ssatino = nattha sati etesan.

[8] Asampajana, asamahita, vibbhanta-citta, palatindriya.

[9] Comy. 'by concentrating on the element-of-water-device.'

Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, i.77: "He wandered the unmeasurable"

p.p. explains it all - p.p.

[10] Text gambhira-namo, misprint for -nemo (correct in next I), infra, text, 444. Comy. says g. avato, g. bhumi. (Cf. Lucretius, i, 77, atque alte terminus haerens.)


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