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Saɱyutta-Nikāya
Nidāna-vaggo

20. Opammasamyutta
Sutta 6

The Bowman

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 


 

[1][wp][ati]I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time, Savatthi-town residing.

[2][pts][wp][ati]There, to the beggars gathered round, Bhaggava said:

4 Archers Squared to the Compass

Imagine, beggars, the situation
in which there were four bowmen
of surpassing strength, training, and experience
standing together squared to the compass
with their backs to each other.

[3][pts][wp][ati]And here comes some beggar saying:

'I will catch and bring back
the shafts released into the four directions
by these bowmen
of surpassing strength, training, and experience
even before they are able to reach the ground'.

[4][pts][wp][ati]What do you think, beggars?

Could we say the speed of this man
was exceedingly fast?

[5][pts][wp][ati]"Catching and bringing back even just one shaft
released by a bowman
of such surpassing strength, training, and experience
would be sufficient, broke tooth,
to say that the speed of this man
was exceedingly fast!
There is no need to speak of
the shafts released by four bowmen
of such surpassing strength, training and experience",
said the beggars in response.

[6][pts][wp][ati]In the same way, beggars, he said,
as fast as is that man,
swifter still is the speed of moon and sun;
as much faster as is the speed of moon and sun
than is the speed of that man,
swifter still is the speed of the gods that race the sun;
as much faster as is the speed of the gods that race the moon and sun
than the speed of the moon and sun,
swifter still do the confounded things of this world
up and fly away.

[7][pts][wp][ati]Therefore, beggars, train yourselves This Way:

'We will live carefully!'

This is how you must train yourselves!

 


 

References:

See also: Jataka 476


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