Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttara-Nikāya
III. Tikanipāta
VII. Mahā Vagga

The Book of the
Gradual Sayings

The Book of the Threes

Sutta 62

Bhaya Suttaṃ

Terrors

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 


 

[1][pts][than] I HEAR TELL

Once upon a time The Lucky Man, Savatthi-town residing, Jeta-Woods, Anathapindika's Park.

There he said words to this effect:

The unread commoner, beggars, speaks of three
mother/son-disuniting[1] terrors.

What three?

2. There comes a time, beggars,
when a great fire rises up,
and this great fire rising up, beggars,
consumes even villages,
consumes even market-towns,
consumes even cities.

With even villages being consumed,
even market towns being consumed,
even cities being consumed,
there for sure a mother does not regain[2] her son,
for sure a son does not regain his mother.

This, beggars is the first
mother/son-disuniting terror
spoken of by the unread commoner.

3. Again, beggars, there comes a time
when a great storm-cloud rises up,
and this great storm-cloud rising up, beggars,
produces a great flood
and this great flood being produced, beggars,
consumes even villages,
consumes even market-towns,
consumes even cities.

With even villages being consumed,
even market towns being consumed,
even cities being consumed
there for sure a mother does not regain her son,
for sure a son does not regain his mother.

This, beggars is the second
mother/son-disuniting terror
spoken of by the unread commoner.

4. Again, beggars, there comes a time
when in terror of forest-savages,[3]
having mounted their wheels,[4]
the country-folk scatter,
and when in terror of forest-savages,
having munted their wheels
the country-folk scatter,
there for sure a mother does not regain her son
for sure a son does not regain his mother.

This, beggars is the third
mother/son-disuniting terror
spoken of by the unread commoner.

These, beggars are the three
mother/son-disuniting terrors
spoken of by the unread commoner.

 


 

5. But,[5] beggars, the unread commoner
speaks thus of these three mother/son-re-uniting terrors
as mother/son-disuniting terrors.

What three?

6. There comes a time, beggars,
when a great fire rises up,
and this great fire rising up, beggars,
consumes even villages,
consumes even market-towns,
consumes even cities.

With even villages being consumed,
even market towns being consumed,
even cities being consumed,
there sometimes it does happen
that a mother regains her son,
a son regains his mother.

This, beggars is the first
mother/son-re-uniting terror
spoken of by the unread commoner as a mother/son-disuniting terror.

7. Again, beggars, there comes a time
when a great storm-cloud rises up,
and this great storm-cloud rising up, beggars,
produces a great flood
and this great flood being produced, beggars,
consumes even villages,
consumes even market-towns,
consumes even cities.

With even villages being consumed,
even market towns being consumed,
even cities being consumed
there sometimes it does happen
that a mother regains her son,
a son regains his mother.

This, beggars is the second
mother/son-re-uniting terror
spoken of by the unread commoner
as a mother/son-disuniting terror.

8. Again, beggars, there comes a time
when in terror of forest-savages,
having mounted their wheels,
the country-folk scatter,
and when in terror of forest-savages,
having munted their wheels
the country-folk scatter,
there sometimes it does happen
that a mother regains her son,
a son regains his mother.

This, beggars is the third
mother/son-re-uniting terror
spoken of by the unread commoner
as a mother/son-disuniting terror.

These, beggars are the three
mother/son-re-uniting terror
spoken of by the unread commoner
as a mother/son-disuniting terror.

 


 

9. There are, beggars, these three
mother/son-disuniting terrors.

What three?

The terror of aging,
the terror of sickness,
the terror of death.

"I am aging,
let not my son age."

Such is not to be got, beggars,
by a mother for her aging son.

"I am aging,
let not my mother age."

Such is not to be got, beggars,
by a son for his aging mother.

"I am sick,
let not my son sicken."

Such is not to be got, beggars,
by a mother for her sick son.

"I am sick,
let not my mother sicken."

Such is not to be got, beggars,
by a son for his sick mother.

"I am dying,
let not my son die."

Such is not to be got, beggars,
by a mother for her dying son.

"I am dying,
let not my mother die."

Such is not to be got, beggars,
by a son for his dying mother.

These beggars, are the three
mother/son-disuniting terrors.

 


 

There is, beggars, a way,
there is a path-following
leading on to letting go of,
overcoming,
these three mother/son-uniting terrors,
these three mother/son-disuniting terrors.

And what, beggars, is that way?

And what, beggars is that path-following?

That leads on to letting go of,
overcoming
these three mother/son-uniting terrors,
these three mother/son-disuniting terrors?

It is even this Aristocratic Eight-Dimensional High Way, that is to say:

High view,
high principles,
high talk,
high works,
high lifestyle,
high self-control,
high memory,
high serenity.

This, beggars, is that way,
this, beggars is that path-following,
that leads on to letting go of, overcoming
these three mother/son-uniting terrors,
these three mother/son-disuniting terrors.

 


[1] Amātāputtikāni and below samātāputtikāni. Woodward notes: "lit. 'not-mother-son-ish'; Bhk. Bodhi notes: lit. 'without-mother-and-son'. I don't really make any sense of these terms and am using what I think fits best from the context.

[2] Na paṭilabhati. not reflex-gain.

[3] Aṭavi-saŋkopo. Possibly an early term for the dacoits: large gangs of fierce robbers who did not hesitate to attack even forts and whole towns and who took pride in murdering or mutilating their victims. Not likely Thugs who were more inclined to stealth and whose origins likely did not go back this far.

[4] Cakkasamārūḷhā. A slang phrase used to this day!

[5] Pan'imāni.

 


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