Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikāya
Sattaka Nipāta
Mahā Vaggo

Sutta 61

Hirottappa Suttaṃ

Shame'n blame[1]

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 


 

[1][pts] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time Bhavaga, Savatthi-town revisiting,
the Lucky Man said this to the Beggars there:

2. There being no shame n' blame, beggars,
one's failure to produce[2] shame n' blame
cuts off the basis of[3] restraint of one's forces.[4]

There being no restraint of the forces, beggars,
one's failure to produce restraint of the forces
cuts off the basis of one's ethical conduct.

There being no ethical conduct, beggars,
one's failure to produce ethical conduct
cuts off the basis of one's consummate serenity.

There being no consummate serenity, beggars,
one's failure to produce consummate serinity
cuts off the basis of one's knowing and seeing life such as it is.[5]

There being no knowing and seeing life such as it is, beggars,
one's failure to produce knowing and seeing life such as it is
cuts off the basis of one's weariness[6] and dispassion.

There being no weariness and dispassion, beggars,
one's failure to produce weariness and dispassion
cuts off the basis of one's knowing and seeing freedom.

In just the same way, beggars, as when a tree
fails to produce branch and foliage
even it's young shoots do not reach fulfillment,
let alone it's bark
let alone it's soft wood
and so it's heart wood does not reach fulfillment.

Even so there being no shame n' blame, beggars,
one's failure to produce shame n' blame
cuts off the basis of restraint of one's forces;
there being no restraint of the forces, beggars,
one's failure to produce restraint of the forces
cuts off the basis of one's ethical conduct;
there being no ethical conduct, beggars,
the failure to produce ethical conduct
cuts off the basis of one's consummate serenity;
there being no consummate serenity, beggars,
one's failure to produce consummate serinity
cuts off the basis of one's knowing and seeing life such as it is;
there being no knowing and seeing life such as it is, beggars,
one's failure to produce knowing and seeing life such as it is
cuts off the basis of one's weariness and dispassion;
there being no weariness and dispassion, beggars,
one's failure to produce weariness and dispassion
cuts off the basis of one's knowing and seeing freedom.

 


 

3. There being shame n' blame, beggars,
one's successful production of shame n' blame
supplies the basis for restraint of one's forces.

There being restraint of the forces, beggars,
one's successful production of restraint of the forces
supplies the basis for one's ethical conduct.

There being ethical conduct, beggars,
one's successful production of ethical conduct
supplies the basis for one's consummate serenity.

There being consummate serenity, beggars,
one's successful production of consummate serinity
supplies the basis for one's knowing and seeing life such as it is.

There being knowing and seeing life such as it is, beggars,
one's successful production of knowing and seeing life such as it is
supplies the basis for one's weariness and dispassion.

There being weariness and dispassion, beggars,
one's successful production of weariness and dispassion
supplies the basis for one's knowing and seeing freedom.

In just the same way, beggars, as when a tree
succeeds in producing branch and foliage
it's young shoots reach fulfillment,
and so also it's bark
and so also it's soft wood
and so even it's heart wood too reaches fulfillment.

Even so there being shame n' blame, beggars,
one's successful production of shame n' blame
supplies the basis for restraint of one's forces;
there being restraint of the forces, beggars,
one's successful production of restraint of the forces
supplies the basis for one's ethical conduct;
there being ethical conduct, beggars,
one's successful production of ethical conduct
supplies the basis for one's consummate serenity;
there being consummate serenity, beggars,
one's successful production of consummate serinity
supplies the basis for one's knowing and seeing life such as it is;
there being knowing and seeing life such as it is, beggars,
one's successful production of knowing and seeing life such as it is
supplies the basis for one's weariness and dispassion;
there being weariness and dispassion, beggars,
one's successful production of weariness and dispassion
supplies the basis for one's knowing and seeing freedom.

 


[1] Hirottappe. A contraction of the more frequent Hiri ca ottappañ ca which makes awkward the usual translation 'sense of shame and fear of blame' or Bhk. Bodhi's 'moral shame and moral dread'. Shame stands alone well enough for 'sense of shame', but what do we have for fear of blame such that we could make a single word of the both? Shame-blame-aversion? I think this needs to be rethought as just the fact that there is 'shame' and there is 'blame' in the world being sufficient basis for self control. We are adding to the terms 'the sense of' or 'the fear of' without real justification in the words themselves.

[2] Vipanna. I would like to have found one word for this. Failure works for the simile: 'failure to leaf and branch' but not for a person failing to develop shame. Hare's 'lack' and Bhk. Bodhi's 'deficient in' work for both but miss the idea that it is a matter of failure to develop, not just the non-existence of the things that is the lesson.

[3] Hatūpaniso. Hata + Upanisā. Hata = destroy. UPA = up-passed; NI = down; to set up by setting down on. So 'destroy the basis of'.

[4] Indriyani. Usually translated 'Faculties' or 'Sense Faculties' or 'controlling faculties' or just 'the senses'; it indicates the senses but also much more such as: faith, energy, mind, serenity, wisdom, knowing, and omniscience — so: forces, or energy flows, hence 'Indra'. PED: "belonging to Indra"; nt. strength, might, but in specific Pali sense "belonging to the ruler", i.e. governing, ruling, nt. governing, ruling or controlling principle. A. on term: Indriya is one of the most comprehensive and important categories of Buddhist psychological philosophy and ethics, meaning "controlling principle, directive force,

[5] Yathābhūta-. Others including myself have usually translated as 'things as they really are', but bhūta is not 'things', it is 'living' things; Yathābhūta: Such is life. 'As it really is' which is again the usual rendering, may be going farther than is the intended scope. The point is not to see life as it 'really is' but to see it's essence (which is not it's entire reality) as pain, which is to see it 'such as it is'.

[6] Nibbidā. Literally 'down-out-knowing'. World-weariness. Tired of knowing.

 


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