Khuddaka Nikaya


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Theragatha
Chapter XVI — The Twenties

255

Angulimala

[Pali] [pts] [olen]

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

 


 

[Angulimala:]
"While walking, contemplative,
you say, 'I have stopped.'
But when I have stopped
you say I haven't.
I ask you the meaning of this:
How have you stopped?
How haven't I?"

[The Buddha:]
"I have stopped, Angulimala,
once & for all,
having cast off violence
toward all living beings.
You, though,
are unrestrained toward beings.
That's how I've stopped
and you haven't."

[Angulimala:]
"At long last a greatly revered great seer
   for my sake
has come to the great forest.
Having heard your verse
in line with the Dhamma,
I will go about
having abandoned evil."

So saying, the bandit
hurled his sword & weapons
   over a cliff
   into a chasm,
      a pit.
Then the bandit paid homage
to the feet of the One Well-gone,
and right there requested the Going-forth.
The Awakened One,
the compassionate great seer,
the teacher of the world, along with its devas,
said to him then:
   "Come, bhikkhu."
That in itself
was bhikkhuhood for him.

 

§

 

Who once was heedless,[1]
but later is not,
   brightens the world
   like the moon set free from a cloud.

His evil-done deed[2]
is replaced with skillfulness:
   he brightens the world
   like the moon set free from a cloud.

Whatever young monk
devotes himself
to the Buddha's bidding:
   he brightens the world
   like the moon set free from a cloud.

May even my enemies
   hear talk of the Dhamma.
May even my enemies
   devote themselves
   to the Buddha's bidding.
May even my enemies
   associate with those people
   who — peaceful, good —
   get others to accept the Dhamma.
May even my enemies
   hear the Dhamma time & again
   from those who advise   endurance,
      forbearance,
   who praise non-opposition,
and may they follow it.

For surely he wouldn't harm me,
or anyone else;
he would attain   the foremost peace,
would protect   the feeble & firm.

Irrigators guide   the water.[3]
Fletchers shape   the arrow shaft.
Carpenters shape   the wood.
The wise control
   themselves.

Some tame with a blunt stick,
with hooks, & with whipsv But without blunt or bladed weapons
I was tamed by the one who is Such.

"Doer of No Harm" is my name,
but I used to be a doer of harm.
Today I am true to my name,
for I harm no one at all.

A bandit
   I used to be,
renowned as Angulimala.
Swept along by a great flood,
I went to the Buddha as refuge.

Bloody-handed
   I used to be,
renowned as Angulimala.
See my going for refuge!
Uprooted is [craving],
the guide to becoming.

Having done the type of kamma
that would lead to many
bad destinations,
touched by the fruit of [that] kamma,
unindebted, I eat my food.[4]

They're addicted to heedlessness[5]
— dullards, fools —
while one who is wise
cherishes heedfulness
as his highest wealth.

Don't give way to heedlessness[6]
   or to intimacy
   with sensual delight —
for a heedful person,
absorbed in jhana,
attains an abundant bliss.

This[7] has come well & not gone away,
it was not badly thought through for me.
From among well-analyzed qualities,
I have obtained
the best.

This has come well & not gone away,
it was not badly thought through for me.

The three knowledges
have been attained;
the Awakened One's bidding,
   done.[8]

Where once I stayed here & there
with shuddering mind —
   in the wilderness,
   at the foot of a tree,
   in mountains, caves —
with ease I now lie down, I stand,
with ease I live my life.
O, the Teacher has shown me sympathy!

Before, I was of brahman stock,
on either side high-born.
Today I'm the son
of the One Well-gone,
the Dhamma-king,
the Teacher.

Rid of craving, devoid of clinging,
sense-doors guarded, well-restrained,
having killed the root of evil,
I've reached fermentations' end.

The Teacher has been served by me;
the Awakened One's bidding,
   done;
the guide to becoming,   uprooted;
the heavy load,   laid down.

 


[1] This verse = Dhp 172.

[2] This verse = Dhp 173.

[3] This verse = Dhp 80.

[4] This verse illustrates the principle explained in AN 3.99: that one's experience of the results of past kamma is tempered by one's present state of mind.

[5] This verse = Dhp 26.

[6] This verse = Dhp 27.

[7] "This" apparently refers to the abundant bliss mentioned in the previous verse.

[8] The verses in MN 86 end here.

 


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