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Saŋyutta Nikāya,
V: MahāVagga
51. Iddhipāda Saŋyutta

Sutta 14

Moggallāna

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 


 

[1][pts] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time Bhagava, Savatthi-town revisiting,
Eastpark, Migara's Mother's Palace[1]

2. Additionally there were there then a great many beggars on the lower floor of Migara's Mother's Palace
living unstable, hollow, quavering, superficial, loose-lipped, talkative, absent-minded, scatter-brained, inattentive, distracted, faculties uncontrolled.[2]

3. There then The Lucky Man addressed the Elder Maha-Moggallana:

These of the Brahma life then, Moggallana
living on the lower floor of Migara's Mother's Palace
unstable, hollow, quavering, superficial, loose-lipped, talkative, absent-minded, scatter-brained, inattentive, distracted, faculties uncontrolled —
go Moggalana, self-concern[3] these beggars.

'Even so, Bhante,' the Elder Maha-Moggallana said to Bhagava in response.

And so super-conjuring sucha form of power-super-conjuring
he made, with his big toe, Migara's Mother's Palace
contort,
disproport,
discomport.[4]

4. Standing outside together[5] there then those beggars were filled with fear,
hair standing on end.

A work of sorcery has occurred, venerables!

An abnormality, venerables!

Sheltered from the wind is Migara's Mother's Palace,
deep-set, sturdy, firm,
yet even so
it contorted,
disproported,
discomported.

5. Then the Lucky Man drew near to those beggars.

Having drawn near those beggars, he said this to them:

"Why is it, beggars,
that you stand outside together,
filled with fear, hair standing on end?"

A work of sourcery has occurred, bhante!

An abnormality, bhante!

Sheltered from the wind is Migara's Mother's Palace,
deep-set, sturdy, firm,
yet even so
it contorted,
disproported,
discomported.

6. This is so, beggars.

A working up of self-concern in you, beggars,
has been worked by Moggallana —
contorting,
disproporting,
discomporting
Migara's Mother's Palace,
with his big toe.

What is it, do you think, begggars,
that was developed,
made a big thing of by bhikkhu Moggallano,
that he is such an advanced being of such great power?

For us bhante, things are best restsorted to rooted in the Lucky Man, channeled through Bhagava.

It would be good, bhante, if further explanation of this point were given by the Lucky Man.

That which is said by the Lucky Man will be held in memory by the beggars.

7. Listen up then beggars!

Four then, beggars,
are the power-paths that were developed,
made a big thing of by bhikkhu Moggallano,
that he is such an advanced being of such great power.

Which four?

8. Here beggars, the bhikkhu Moggallano
develops the power-path
that is wish-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making thus:

"Let my energy not be too sluggish,
not be too unrestrained,
not be inwardly cramped,
not be scattered abroad."

He lives after-before-perceiving:

As before so after
as as after so before.

As above, so below,
as below, so above.

As by day, so by night,
as by night, so by day.

Thus with clear thinking,
disentangled thinking,
his heart becomes radiant.

He develops the power-path
that is energy-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making thus:

"Let my energy not be too sluggish,
not be too unrestrained,
not be inwardly cramped,
not be scattered abroad."

He lives after-before-perceiving:

As before so after
as as after so before.

As above, so below,
as below, so above.

As by day, so by night,
as by night, so by day.

Thus with clear thinking,
disentangled thinking,
his heart becomes radiant.

He develops the power-path
that is heart-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making thus:

"Let my energy not be too sluggish,
not be too unrestrained,
not be inwardly cramped,
not be scattered abroad."

He lives after-before-perceiving:

As before so after
as as after so before.

As above, so below,
as below, so above.

As by day, so by night,
as by night, so by day.

Thus with clear thinking,
disentangled thinking,
his heart becomes radiant.

He develops the power-path
that is investigation-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making thus:

"Let my energy not be too sluggish,
not be too unrestrained,
not be inwardly cramped,
not be scattered abroad."

He lives after-before-perceiving:

As before so after
as as after so before.

As above, so below,
as below, so above.

As by day, so by night,
as by night, so by day.

Thus with clear thinking,
disentangled thinking,
his heart becomes radiant.

9. These then, beggars,
are the four power-paths that were developed,
made a big thing of by bhikkhu Moggallano,
that he is such an advanced being of such great power.

 


 

10. It is because he has thus developed, beggars,
thus made a big thing of,
the four power-paths,
that the beggar Moggalana
experiences not just one of the various sorts of power.

Being one he also becomes many,
being many he also becomes one.

Manifest here, transported beyond notice,
transported through walls,
transported through fortifications unsticking,
he goes whithersoever as if in space.

He jumps into and out of the earth
as though in water;
goes on water without parting it
as though on solid ground.

He goes through space cross-legged like a bird on the wing.

He touches and feels with the hand the Moon and Sun, as great and powerful as they are.

He turns up in the body even in the Brahma world.[6]

11. It is because he has thus developed, beggars,
thus made a big thing of,
the four power-paths,
that the beggar Moggalana
with purified godlike hearing,
beyond that of ordinary men,
hears both sounds:
godly and man-made,
far or near.

12. It is because he has thus developed, beggars,
thus made a big thing of,
the four power-paths,
that the beggar Moggalana —
of other beings,
of other men,
heart encompassing heart,
he knows:

Of a lustful heart: "This is a lustful heart."

Of a lust-free heart: "This is a lust-free heart."

Of a hateful heart: "This is a hateful heart."

Of a hate-free heart: "This is a hate-free heart."

Of a clogged up heart: "This is a clogged up heart."

Of an unclogged heart: "This is an unclogged heart."

Of an deranged heart: "This is a deranged heart."

Of a balanced heart: "This is a balanced heart"

Of a constricted heart: "This is a constricted heart."

Of an unconstricted heart: "This is an unconstricted heart."

Of a state of heart that is less than superior: "This is a state of heart that is less than superior."

Of a state of heart that is superior: "This state of heart is nothing less than superior."

Of useless heart: "This is a useless heart."

Of a beneficial heart: "This is a beneficial heart."

Of a heart that is not free: "This is a heart that is not free."

Of a heart that is freed: "This is a heart that is freed."

13. It is because he has thus developed, beggars,
thus made a big thing of,
the four power-paths,
that the beggar Moggalana
recollects not just one arrangement of previous inhabitations.

For example:

Just one birth,
just two births,
just three births,
just four births,
just five births,
just ten births,
just twenty births,
just thirty births,
just fourty births,
just fifty births,
one hundred births in all,
a thousand births in all,
a hundred-thousand births in all,
not just one evolution of a kappa,
not just one devolution of a kappa,
not just one evolution and devolution of a kappa.

That there:

Of such a name
of such a clan
of such color
of such food
of such experience of pleasure and pain,
of such coming to life's end.

Shifting away from that, re-appearing elsewhere.

In that habitation:

Of such a name
of such a clan
of such color
of such food
of such experience of pleasure and pain,
of such coming to life's end.

Shifting away from that reborn here."

Thus with it's makeup in detail,
he recollects not just one arrangement of previous inhabitations.

14. It is because he has thus developed, beggars,
thus made a big thing of,
the four power-paths,
that the beggar Moggalana
sees beings with purified godlike sight
surpassing that of mankind.

He knows of beings
their shifting away, re-appearance,
being left behind, advancing,
their beauty, their uglyness,
their experiencing of pleasure, experiencing of pain,
according to their intentional deeds:

For sure these good beings were
committed to injurious bodily conduct,
committed to injurious verbal conduct,
committed to injurious mental conduct,
denegrated Aristocrats,
held low views,
were committed to behavior in accordance with low views,
for upon the break up of the body after death
they have arisen in states of woe,
pain,
punishment,
Niraya Hell.

For sure these good beings were
committed to beneficial bodily conduct,
committed to beneficial verbal conduct,
committed to beneficial mental conduct,
spoke well of Aristocrats,
were of high view,
were committed to behavior in accordance with high view,
for upon the break up of the body after death
they have arisen in worlds of heavonly pleasures.

Thus he sees beings with purified godlike sight
surpassing that of mankind.

And he knows of beings
their shifting away, re-appearance,
being left behind, advancing,
their beauty, their uglyness,
their experiencing of pleasure, experiencing of pain,
according to their intentional deeds.

15. And further, beggars, it is because he has thus developed,
thus made a big thing of the four power-paths,
that through his own higher knowledge bhikkhu Moggallana experienced
the destruction of the corrupting influences,
and without corrupting influences,
in this seen thing,
enters into and lives
in freedom of heart,
freedom of wisdom.

 


[1] Migāramātupāsāde. For the story of 'Migara's Mother', see Biographies, Visakha. Pāsāde could mean built on a platform (on stilts) or 'palace', or terraced house. A recent archiological dig claims to have found the foundations of this house, so it appears it was not on stilts. This is also supported by the statement of the bhikkhus in this sutta that the house was built on a deeply placed foundation. That, however is not conclusive as there are stories at the time of houses being built on large pillers placed deeply in the ground. The story is that it was multi-leveled and was completely covered in precious cloth.

[2] Uddhatā unna'ā capalā mukharā vikiṇṇavācā muṭṭhassatino asampajānā asamāhitā vibbhantacittā pākatindriyā. Make up your own list. Woodward has: 'frivolous, empty-headed, busybodies, of harsh speech, loose in talk, lacking concentration, unsteady, not composed, of flighty minds, with senses uncontrolled;' Bhk. Bodhi has: 'restless, puffed up, personally vain, rough-tongued, rambling in their talk, muddle-minded, without clear comprehension, unconcentrated, scatter-brained, loose in their faculties.

[3] Saŋvejehī. Woodward: 'a good stirring!' Bhk. Bodhi: 'stir up a sense of urgency.' The whole sentence: Gaccha Moggallāna, te bhikkhu saŋvejehī. Go Moggallana, these beggars saŋvejehī. PED has to agetate, move, or stirr. I think this goes to saṃ + vindati, self-knowledge or self-awareness, or self-seeing.

[4] Saŋkampesi, sampakampesi, sampacālesi.Con-tremble shake quivver tremble, com-re-all-arouna-tremble ..., com-re-all-arouna-quake. Woodward: shook and rattled and made to quake and quake again; Bhk. Bodhi: shake, quake, and tremble.

[5] Ekam antaṃ. Inconsistant with the usual 'to one side' but still, I believe, a fair translation. I see them huddled together having fled the house.

[6] The text skips what is here § 11-14, and numbers what is here § 15 as § 11, and states, after that: The Six Higher Powers are to be dealt with in the same way. This would put them out of the usual and more logical and instructive order that is found in SN 5.51.11, and which has been used here.


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