Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikaya
Pañcaka-Nipāta
XVIII. Upāsaka Vaggo

Sutta 179

Gihi Sutta

The Householder

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
For free distribution only.

 


 

[1][pts] Then Anathapindika the householder,
surrounded by about 500 lay followers,
went to the Blessed One and, on arrival,
having bowed down to him,
sat to one side.

So the Blessed One said to Ven. Sariputta:

"Sariputta, when you know of a householder clothed in white,
that he is restrained
in terms of the five training rules
and that he obtains at will,
without difficulty,
without hardship,
four pleasant mental abidings
in the here and now,
then if he wants
he may state about himself:
'Hell is ended;
animal wombs are ended;
the state of the hungry shades is ended;
states of deprivation,
destitution,
the bad bourns are ended!
I am a stream-winner,
steadfast,
never again destined for states of woe,
headed for self-awakening!'

"Now, in terms of which five training rules
is he restrained?

"There is the case
where a disciple of the noble ones
abstains from taking life,
abstains from taking what is not given,
abstains from illicit sex,
abstains from lying,
abstains from distilled and fermented drinks
that cause heedlessness.

"These are the five training rules
in terms of which
he is restrained.

"And which four pleasant mental abidings
in the here and now
does he obtain at will,
without difficulty,
without hardship?

"There is the case
where the disciple of the noble ones
is endowed with unwavering faith in the Awakened One:
'Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy
and rightly self-awakened,
consummate in knowledge and conduct,
well-gone,
an expert with regard to the world,
unexcelled as a trainer
for those people fit to be tamed,
the Teacher of divine and human beings,
awakened, blessed.'

This is the first pleasant mental abiding
in the here and now
that he has attained,
for the purification of the mind that is impure,
for the cleansing of the mind that is unclean.

"Furthermore,
he is endowed with unwavering faith in the Dhamma:
'The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
to be seen here and now,
timeless,
inviting verification,
pertinent,
to be realized by the wise for themselves.'

This is the second pleasant mental abiding
in the here and now
that he has attained,
for the purification of the mind that is impure,
for the cleansing of the mind that is unclean.

"Furthermore,
he is endowed with unwavering faith in the Sangha:
'The Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples
who have practiced well...
who have practiced straight-forwardly...
who have practiced methodically...
who have practiced masterfully
— in other words,
the four pairs,
the eight individuals[1]
they are the Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples:
worthy of gifts,
worthy of hospitality,
worthy of offerings,
worthy of respect,
the incomparable field of merit
for the world.'

This is the third pleasant mental abiding
in the here and now
that he has attained,
for the purification of the mind that is impure,
for the cleansing of the mind that is unclean.

"Furthermore,
he is endowed with virtues
that are appealing to the noble ones:
untorn, unbroken, unspotted,
unsplattered, liberating, praised by the wise,
untarnished,
leading to concentration.

This is the fourth pleasant mental abiding
in the here and now
that he has attained,
for the purification of the mind that is impure,
for the cleansing of the mind that is unclean.

"These are the four pleasant mental abidings
in the here and now
that he obtains at will,
without difficulty,
without hardship.

"Sariputta, when you know of a householder clothed in white,
that he is restrained
in terms of the five training rules
and that he obtains at will,
without difficulty,
without hardship,
four pleasant mental abidings
in the here and now,
then if he wants
he may state about himself:
'Hell is ended;
animal wombs are ended;
the state of the hungry shades is ended;
states of deprivation, destitution, the bad bourns are ended!
I am a stream-winner,
steadfast,
never again destined for states of woe,
headed for self-awakening!'

"Seeing the danger in hells,
    the wise would shun evils,
    would shun them,
taking on the noble Dhamma.
You shouldn't kill living beings
    existing, striving;
shouldn't grasp what isn't given.
Content with your own wife,
don't delight in the wives of others.
You shouldn't drink drinks,
distilled, fermented,
that confuse the mind.
Recollect
the self-awakened one.
Think often
of the Dhamma.
Develop a mind
useful, devoid of ill will,
for the sake of the heavenly world.
When hoping for merit,
provide gifts first
to those peaceful ones, ideal,
to whom what is offered, given,
becomes abundant [in fruit].

I will tell you of those peaceful ones,
    Sariputta.
Listen to me.
In a herd of cattle,
whether black, white,
ruddy, brown,
dappled, uniform,
or pigeon gray:
if a bull is born —
    tame, enduring,
consummate in strength,
and swift —
people yoke him to burdens,
regardless of his color.
In the same way,
wherever one is born
among human beings —
    noble warriors, priests,
    merchants, workers,
    outcastes, or scavengers —
if one is tame, with good practices,
righteous, consummate in virtue,
a speaker of truth, with conscience at heart,
    one
who's abandoned     birth and death,
completed         the holy life
put down         the burden,
done             the task
    fermentation-free,
gone beyond            all dhammas,
through lack of clinging    unbound:

    offerings to this spotless field
    bear an abundance of fruit.

But fools,     unknowing,
dull,         uninformed,
give gifts outside
and don't come near the good.
While those who do    come near the good
    — regarded as enlightened,
        wise —
whose trust in the One Well-gone
    has taken root,
    is established and firm:
they go to the world of the devas
or are reborn here in good family.
    Step by step
    they reach
    Unbinding
        : they
        who are wise."

 


[1] The four pairs are (1) the person on the path to stream-entry, the person experiencing the fruit of stream-entry; (2) the person on the path to once-returning, the person experiencing the fruit of once-returning; (3) the person on the path to non-returning, the person experiencing the fruit of non-returning; (4) the person on the path to arahantship, the person experiencing the fruit of arahantship. The eight individuals are the eight types forming these four pairs.

 


 

References:

See also:
AN III.57;
AN X.92;
"Stream Entry" (Study Guide).

 


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