Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttara-Nikāya
II. Dukanipāta

The Numbers Bag
The Book of Twos

I. I. Kammakāraṇa Vagga

Doing Deeds

In the Name of the Potter
Aristocrat
Number One High Awakened One

Sutta 9

Carrying On

Translated from the Pali By Michael Olds

 


 

Translator's Introducttion:

Previously I have translated this sutta hearing "nayidha paññāyetha mātā ti vā mātucchā ti vā mātulānī ... " as does Woodward, as "then there would be seen no mother or mother's sister ..." [emphasis, mine]. And, since in the case of what is seen, it would not be that 'mothers' would not be seen, but that fathers would not be seen [known for certain], I reversed the genders. In this translation I have looked more closely and see that what is intended is the notion of women who are [to be or] not to be considered as elegible for casual sexual indulgence. So I believe what I have here is closer to the Pali.
The paragraph describing the consequences to the world of being without the protections of sense of shame and fear of blame has also taken a turn here that is, I believe, more closely aligned with the Pali. Woodward and Ireland, in a most reasonable way, take "aje'akā kukkuṭa-sūkarā sona-sigālā" as a list of promiscuous animals; Bhk. Thanissaro, in what looks like an attempt to come more closely into line with the Pali, indicates pairs just slightly, in my opinion, missing the humor.
The Pali gives us three compounds: sheeprams, pigroosters, jackaldogs. The PTS Pali inserts hyphens. Bhk. Thanissaro reads that as pairings, linking the pairs with the word "with": "roosters with pigs," etc. I am taking them at their face value: pig-roosters, etc. pointing not to the state of promiscuity, but to the consequences.

 


 

[9][pts][ati][jdir] Two good things, me beggars, protect the world.
What two?

Sense of shame and fear of blame.

If, beggars, these two good things
did not protect the world,
there would be no notion here
of 'this is a mother',
'this is a maternal aunt',
'this is a maternal uncle's wife',
'this is a teacher's wife',
'these are the women of a powerful man'.

The world would become confusion
giving us such as sheep-rams,
pig-roosters,
jackal-dogs.

But since, beggars, there are these two good things
protectting the world
there is the notion here
of 'this is a mother',
'this is a maternal aunt',
'this is a maternal uncle's wife',
'this is a teacher's wife',
'these are the women of a powerful man'.

 


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