WARREN: BUDDHISM IN TRANSLATIONS

228

 

 


 

 

Ī 43. How to Obtain Wealth, Beauty, and Social Position

Translated from the Anguttara-Nikāya (iv.197.1.)

[1][pts] On a certain occasion The Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthi, in Jetavana monastery in Anāthapindika's Park. Then drew near Mallikā the queen to where the Blessed One was; and having drawn near and greeted The Blessed One, she sat down respectfully at one side. And seated respectfully at one side, Mallikā the queen spoke to The Blessed One as follows:

"Reverend Sir, what is the reason, and what is the cause, when a woman is ugly, of a bad figure, and horrible to look at, and indigent, poor, needy, and low in the social scale?

"Reverend Sir, what is the reason, and what is the cause, when a woman is ugly, of a bad figure, and horrible to look at, and rich, wealthy, affluent, and high in the social scale?

"Reverend Sir, what is the reason, and what is the cause, [229] when a woman is beautiful, attractive, pleasing, and possessed of surpassing loveliness, and indigent, poor, needy, and low in the social scale?

"Reverend Sir, what is the reason, and what is the cause, when a woman is beautiful, attractive, pleasing, and possessed of surpassing loveliness, and rich, wealthy, affluent, and high in the social scale?"

"Mallikā, when a woman has been irascible and violent, and at every little thing said against her has felt spiteful, angry, enraged, and sulky, and manifested anger, hatred, and heart-burning; when she has given no alms to monk or Brahman, of food, drink, building-sites, carriages, garlands, scents, ointments, bedding, dwelling-houses, and lamps, but has been of an envious disposition, and felt envy at the gains, honor, reverence, respect, homage, and worship that came to others, and been furious and envious thereat; then, when she leaves that existence and comes to this one, wherever she may be born, she is ugly, of a bad figure, and horrible to look at, and indigent, poor, needy, and low in the social scale.

"And, again, Mallikā, when a woman has been irascible and violent, and at every little thing said against her has felt spiteful, angry, enraged, and sulky, and manifested anger, hatred, and heart-burning; but has given alms to monks and Brahmans, of food, drink, building-sites, carriages, garlands, scents, ointments, bedding, dwelling-houses, and lamps, and has not been of an envious disposition, nor felt envy at the gains, honor, reverence, respect, homage, and worship that came to others, nor been furious and envious thereat; then, when she leaves that existence and comes to this one, wherever she may be born, she is ugly, of a bad figure, and horrible to look at, and rich, wealthy, affluent, and high in the social scale.

"And, again, Mallikā, when a woman has not been irascible or violent, and though much had been said against her, has not felt spiteful, angry, enraged, or sulky, nor manifested anger, hatred, and heart-burning; when she has given no alms to monk or Brahman, of food, drink, building-sites, carriages, garlands, scents, ointments, bedding, dwelling-houses, [230] and lamps, but has been of an envious disposition, and felt envy at the gains, honor, reverence, respect, homage, and worship that came to others, and been furious and envious thereat; then, when she leaves that existence and comes to this one wherever she may be born, she is beautiful, attractive, pleasing, and possessed of surpassing loveliness, and indigent, poor, needy, and low in the social scale.

"And, again, Mallikā., when a woman has not been irascible or violent, and though much had been said against her, has not felt spiteful, angry, enraged, or sulky, nor manifested anger, hatred, and heart-burning; when she has given alms to monks and Brahmans, of food, drink, building-sites, carriages, garlands, scents, ointments, bedding, dwelling-houses, and lamps, and has not been of an envious disposition, nor felt envy at the gains, honor, reverence, respect, homage, and worship that came to others, nor been furious and envious thereat; then, when she leaves that existence and comes to this one, wherever she may be born, she is beautiful, attractive, pleasing, and possessed of surpassing loveliness, and rich, wealthy, affluent, and high in the social scale.

"This, Mallikā, is the reason, this is the cause, when a woman is ugly, of a bad figure, and horrible to look at, and indigent, poor, needy, and low in the social scale.

"This, Mallikā, is the reason, this is the cause, when a woman is ugly, of a bad figure, and horrible to look at, and rich, wealthy, affluent, and high in the social scale.

"This, Mallikā, is the reason, this is the cause, when a woman is beautiful, attractive, pleasing, and possessed of surpassing loveliness, and indigent, poor, needy, and low in the social scale.

"This, Mallikā, is the reason, this is the cause, when a woman is beautiful, attractive, pleasing, and possessed of surpassing loveliness, and rich, wealthy, affluent, and high in the social scale."

When he had thus spoken, Mallikā the queen replied to The Blessed One as follows:

"Since, now, Reverend Sir, in a former existence I was irascible and violent, and at every little thing said against [231] me felt spiteful, angry, enraged, and sulky, and manifested anger, hatred, and heart-burning, therefore am I now ugly, of a bad figure, and horrible to look at. Since, now, Reverend Sir, in a former existence I gave alms to monks and Brahmans, of food, drink, building-sites, carriages, garlands, scents, ointments, bedding, dwelling-houses, and lamps, therefore am I now rich, wealthy, and affluent. Since, now, Reverend Sir, in a former existence I was not of an envious disposition, nor felt envy at the gains, honor, reverence, respect, homage, and worship that came to others, nor was furious and envious thereat, therefore am I now high in the social scale.

"Now, in this royal family, Reverend Sir, there are maidens of the warrior caste, maidens of the Brahman caste, and maidens of the householder caste, and I bear rule over them. From this day forth I will not be irascible nor violent, and, though much be said against me, I will not feel spiteful, angry, enraged, or sulky, nor manifest anger, hatred, and heart-burning; I will give alms to monks and Brahmans, of food, drink, building-sites, carriages, garlands, scents, ointments, bedding, dwelling-houses, and lamps; and I will not be of an envious disposition, nor feel envy at the gains, honor, reverence, respect, homage, and worship that shall come to others, nor be furious and envious thereat.

"O wonderful is it, Reverend Sir! O wonderful is it, Reverend Sir! It is as if, Reverend Sir, one were to set up that which was overturned; or were to disclose that which was hidden; or were to point out the way to a lost traveller; or were to carry a lamp into a dark place that they who had eyes might see forms. Even so has The Blessed One expounded the Doctrine in many different ways. I betake myself to The Blessed One for refuge, to the Doctrine, and to the Congregation of the priests. Let The Blessed One receive me, who have come to him for refuge, and accept me as a disciple from this day forth as long as life shall last."

 


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