Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikāya
Atthaka Nipāta

Sutta 83

What is the Root?

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 


 

[1][pts] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time The Lucky Man, Savatthi Town, Anathapindika Park, Jeta Grove came-a revisiting.

There, to the Beggars gathered round he said:

Beggars!

And, Broke Tooth! they responded.

2. If, beggars, wanderers of other positions thus ask:

What roots,[1] friend, all things,
what conceives[2] all things,
what self-supports all things,
what merges into all things,
what surfaces all things,
what controls[3] all things,
what delivers[4] all things,
what excells all things?

Thus asked of you beggars,
by wandrers of other positions;
how then would you approach this?

3. We, bhante, rooted in The Lucy Man
guided in things by the Lucky Man,
take the Lucky Man as refuge.

Well-gained, bhante, would be The Lucy Man's response to this saying.

Hearing the Lucky Man the bhikkhus bear it in memory.

In that case, beggars, listen up!

Listen up,
Well examine in mind,
I will speak!

Even so, bhante! the beggars then said to the Lucky Man in response.

The Lucky man said this:

4. If, beggars, wanderers of other positions thus ask:

What roots, friend, all things,
what conceives all things,
what self-supports all things,
what merges into all things,
what surfaces all things,
what controls all things,
what delivers all things,
what excells all things?

Thus asked of you beggars,
by wandrers of other positions;
thus should you approach this:

'Wishing, friends, roots all things,
mental study conceives all things,
touch self-supports all things,
sensation merges into all things,
serenity surfaces all things,
memory controls all things,
wisdom delivers all things,
freedom excells all things.

Thus asked of you beggars,
by wandrers of other positions;
thus should you approach this.

 


 

Pali Olds Hare Bhk. Bhodi
Kiṃ-Mūlaka/Chanda- What roots ~/wishing Wherein are ~ rooted/in desire in what are ~ rooted/in desire
Kiṃ-Sambhavā/Manasikāra- What conceives ~/mental study What is their origin/have their origin in come into being/through attention
Kiṃ-Samudayā/Phassa- What self-supports ~/touch What gives rise to ~/contact originate/from contact
Kiṃ-Samosaraṇā/Vedanā- What merges into ~/sensation What is their confluence/is feeling converge/upon feeling
Kiṃ-Pamukhā/Samādhi- What surfaces ~/serenity What is their chief state/is concentration headed/by concentration
Kiṃ-Ādhipateyyā/Sata- What controls ~/memory What is their master state/mindfulness exercises authority over them/Mindfulness
Kiṃ-Uttarā/Pañña- What delivers ~/wisdom what their further state/wisdom supervisor/Wisdom is their
Kiṃ-Sārā/Vimutti- What excells ~/freedom of ~ what is most precious/emancipation core/Liberation is their

 


[1] Mūlakā Literally root; foot, basis, foundation, remuneration (pay = support). Here of sabbe dhammā (all things), compare with MN 1.

[2] Sambhavā This may be the point of origin, but the word does not mean origin. Literally it is 'com-becoming', or 'com-existing', or 'com-living'. It means the coming together of what is one's own with that which is other that makes a living being, an individual, or that which is personal existence, or owned. Hint: the word also means 'semen viril'. And that is a good illustration of the meaning. But here we are talking about 'all things', not just living beings, and that which is the co-becoming of all things is work of mind.

[3] Adhipateyya. PED has: "probably misreading for ādhipateyya." [Ādhipacca: supreme rule, lordship, sovereignty, power] Childers: Influence, rule, supremacy. There are three adhipatteyyas or influences that induce men to follow virtue: Attādhipateyyaṃ, "the influence of self," that is, self-respect orride; Lokādhipateyyaṃ, "the influence of the world,' that is, dread of censure, and Dhammādhipateyyaḍṃ, "the influence of religion," or thelove of virtue for its own sake.]

[4] Uttarā2. PED: [from uttarati] crossing over, to be crossed. > Uttaraṇa (nt.) [from uttarati] bringing or moving out, saving, delivery.

 


 

References:

See also: AN 10.58 where I translate some terms differently. I think my previous choices are not incorrect, but I think the better choice, and coming closer to the Pali, is with this sutta. I think it is incorrect to say 'Rooted in Bhagava'. The Bhikkhus are saying 'we are rooted in Bhagava', not 'things' or 'all things' are rooted in Bhagava.


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