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Buddhist Suttas

Translated from Pāli by T. W. Rhys Davids

Oxford, the Clarendon Press
1881
Vol. XI of The Sacred Books of the East
translated by various Oriental scholars and edited by F. Max Müller

Public Domain
This work has been reformatted for presentation on BuddhaDust
Thanks to J.B. Hare's Internet Sacred Text Archives for originally posting this material
Digitized and formatted for Internet Sacred Text Archives by Cristopher M. Weimer

III
Tevigga-Suttanta
On Knowledge of the Vedas

 


 

[159]

Introduction
to the
Tevijja Sutta

This is the twelfth and last Sutta in the first division of the Dīgha Nikāya,[edfnIII.1] which is called the Sīlakkhandha Vaggo, because the whole of its twelve Dialogues deal, from one point of view or another, with Sīla, or Right Conduct.

There is another Sutta sometimes called by the same name, No. 21 in the Middle Fifty of the Majjhima Nikāya: but it has nothing, except the name, in common with the present. It is called Tevijja Sutta merely because Gotama is there described by the complimentary title of Tevijja, 'Wise in the Vedas;' and its full name is the Tevijja-vakkhagotta-sutta[1].

I have made the present translation from a text constituted from three MSS., — my own MS. of the Dīgha Nikāya, referred to as D; the Turnour MS. of the same in the Indian Office, referred to as T; both in Sinhalese characters: and the Phayre MS. in the same place, in Burmese characters, referred to as P.

 


 

In this book we have Right Conduct used as a sort of argumentum ad hominem for the conversion of two earnest young Brāhmans.

They ask which is the true path to a state of union (in the next birth) with God. After arguing, in a kind of Socratic dialogue, that on their own showing, on the [160] basis of facts they themselves admitted, the Brāhmans could have no real knowledge of their God, Gotama maintains that union with a God whom they admitted to be pure and holy must be unattainable by men impure and sinful and self-righteous, however great their knowledge of the Vedas. And he then lays down, not without occasional beauty of language, that system of Right Conduct, which must be the only direct way to a real union with God.

One would think perhaps that such a Sutta might be adapted, without very great difficulty, for use as a missionary tract, so closely does it remind us of the argument of many a sermon on the text, 'Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter the kingdom of heaven!' And it is true that the Tevijjā — the men of special knowledge in the three Vedas — correspond exactly in most essential particulars with the Scribes and Pharisees of the New Testament. They were the official preservers by repeating, as the Scribes were by copying, the sacred books; and they were the recognised interpreters, and the sole custodians of the traditional interpretation — which too often explained away the real meaning — of those books. It follows that as the law in both cases was included in the sacred books, it was they who, in both cases, were the real lawgivers, and practically the only lawyers. And as almost all learning was confined to, or in close connection with the sacred books, the Tevijjā were the chief Paṇḍits, as the Scribes were the 'Doctors of the Law.' Like the Pharisees, too, the Brāhmans laid claim to peculiar sanctity; and many of them in the pride of their education, their birth, and their wealth, looked down with self-righteous scorn on the masses of the people. And while, on the other hand, the Brāhmans further resembled the Scribes and Pharisees in that many of them were justly deserving of the respect in which they were held; it is only the undeserving who, in both cases, are intended to be condemned.

But whatever interpretation of the 'kingdom of heaven' [161] the reader may adopt, it must be very different from anything the Sutta can mean by 'a state of union with Brahmā.' It is not easy to say what opinion is really imputed to the young Brāhmans before their conversion. It is probably meant that they were seeking a way by which their Self should become identified, after death, with Brāhman; a way by which they could escape from the immortality of transmigration, from existence altogether as separate individuals[2]. And in holding out a hope of union with Brahmā as a result of the practice of universal love[3], the Buddha is most probably intended to mean 'a union with Brahmā' in the Buddhist sense — that is to say, a temporary companionship as a separate being with the Buddhist Brahmā, to be enjoyed by a new individual not consciously identical with its predecessor. It is just possible that the argumentum ad hominem should be extended to this part of the Sutta; and that the statement in III, 1 should be taken to mean, 'This (universal love) is the only way to that kind of union with your own Brahmā which you desire.' But such a yielding to heretical opinion at the close of his own exposition of the truth would scarcely be imputed to a Buddha.

Just as during the time of the early Christians, in the way which Archbishop Trench has so instructively pointed out, it was not men only who received a new birth and a new baptism, but old words and terms of common use were also infused with a new spirit; so the Indian reformer, while clothing his new system in the current phraseology, infused a different and in many cases a higher meaning into the old expressions.

Thus, for instance, Tevijja (Sanskrit Traividya) meant either knowledge of the Three Vedas, or as an adjective, a Brāhman possessed of that knowledge; and then, as a noun of multitude, such an assembly of those Brāhmans [162] as is described in the first sections of our Sutta. As there were many Brahmā who had not that knowledge, the word naturally came to imply a person worthy of the respect due to special learning, and was used as a complimentary title, not very different from our Doctor. It is preserved as an epithet of Arahats in the Buddhist writings, but as meaning one possessed of the knowledge of a fundamental threefold doctrine of Buddhism, the doctrine of the impermanency, the inherent pain, and the absence of any abiding principle (any Self) in the confections or component things[4]. That is to say, the knowledge of the Vedas was replaced by a knowledge of the real character of the deceptive and evanescent phenomena by which we are encircled, and of which we form a part.

So also with regard to Brahmā. The name was retained, but the idea was entirely changed. The course of religious belief had passed among the Indian section of the Aryan tribes through the usual stages of animism and polytheism to a kind of pantheism peculiar to India, in which Brahman was held to be a first cause, the highest self, emotionless, infinite, absolute. As the Buddhist system was constructed without any use of the previous idea of a separate soul, or self, or ghost, or spirit, supposed to exist inside the human body, this woven chain of previous speculation had as little importance for it as theological discussions have for positivism. But Buddhism fell into what to the positivist would be the unpardonable sin — perhaps inevitable at the time and place of its youth — of continuing to express a belief in the external spirits, big and little, of the then Hindu pantheon.

They were preserved very much in the previous order of precedence, and were all — except Māra, the Evil One, and his personal following, and a few others — supposed to be passably good Buddhists. They were not feared any more; they were patronized as a kind of fairies, usually beneficent, [163] though always more or less foolish and ignorant. They were of course not worshipped any more, for they were much less worthy of reverence than any wise and good man. And they were not eternal, — all of them, even the very best or highest, being liable, like all things and all other creatures, to dissolution. If they had behaved well they were then reborn under happy outward conditions, and might even look forward to being some day born as men, so that they could attain to the supreme goal of the Buddhist faith, to that bliss which passeth not away, — the Nirvāṇa of a perfect life in Arahatship.

The duty of a Buddhist who had entered the Noble Path towards these light and airy shapes — for to such vain things had the great gods fallen — was the same as his duty towards every fellow creature; pity for his ignorance, sympathy with his weakness, equanimity (the absence of fear or malice, or the sense of any differing or opposing interest), and the constant feeling of a deep and lasting love, all pervading, grown great, and beyond measure.

No exception was made in the case of Brahmā. He, like every other creature that had life, was evanescent, was bound by the chain of existence, the result of ignorance, and could only find salvation by walking along the Noble Eightfold Path. It must be remembered that the Brahmā of modern times, the God of the ardent theism of some of the best of the later Hindus, had not then come into existence: that conception was one effect of the influence of Mohammadan and Christian thought upon Hindu minds. And it would be useless to conjecture how the Buddhist theory might have been modified by contact with that ideal.

While regarded however as essentially of the same class as all other external spirits, Brahmā was still regarded as a superior spirit, as a very devout Buddhist, and as a kind of king among the angels. The Brahmā of this world system, who was living in Gotama's time, and who is living now, acquired his present exalted position from his virtue in a previous birth as a Bhikkhu named Sahaka [164] in the time when Kassapa Buddha's religion flourished upon earth[5]. According to the author of the Jātaka commentary, he assisted at the future Buddha's birth[6]; and twice afterwards he rendered service to the Bodisat just before the great conflict with Māra[7]. And when after the victory the Blessed One hesitated whether it would be of any use to tell to others the truth he had found, it was Brahmā who appeared and besought him to proclaim the truth[8]. Brahmā Sahampati was the first to give utterance to the universal sorrow which followed on the death of the Buddha[9]; and at a critical period in the later history of the Buddhist church he is represented to have descended from heaven, and to have appeared to the Thera Sā'ha, to confirm his wavering faith[10].

These instances will show the high character ascribed to the Brahmā of the world system in which we live; and in each of the infinite world systems which are scattered through space there is supposed to be a like finite, temporary, virtuous Brahmā sitting as king over the most exalted of the angel hosts.

It must be evident that it follows, without the possibility of question, that the early Buddhists cannot with any accuracy be described as 'monotheists,' and it is much to be regretted that even cultured and scholarly writers still speak of them as such, and can suggest that the independent monotheism of the later Jews can be paralleled by a supposed monotheism among the Buddhists[11].

And even if the idea of Brahmā were at all the same as the idea of God, a union with this Brahmā would mean a merely temporary life as an angel in the Brahmā heaven — such a life as is represented below to have been the result [165] of the noble life and noble thoughts of the Great King of Glory. But this was not the supreme goal of the Buddhist faith; and the angel, though the same person as the king, from the Buddhist point of view (as resulting from, and carrying on, the same Karma), would be a different person from the king, according to the Christian point of view; for there is no mention of the passage of a soul from the earth to heaven, no conscious identity, no continuing memory.

 


 

We may draw, from the above, two conclusions. Firstly, that the use of a word in Sanskrit authors is but very little guide to the meaning of the corresponding word in the Pāli Buddhist scriptures whenever the word has reference to an idea of a religious character.

And, secondly, that very little reliance can be placed, without careful investigation, on a resemblance — however close at first sight-between a passage in the Pāli Piṭakas and a passage in the New Testament.

It is true that many passages in these two literatures can be easily shown to have a similar tendency. But when some writers on the basis of such similarities proceed to argue that there must have been some historical connection between the two, and that the New Testament, as the later, must be the borrower, I venture to think that they are wrong. There does not seem to me to be the slightest evidence of any historical connection between them; and whenever the resemblance is a real one — and it often turns out to be really least when it first seems to be greatest, and really greatest when it first seems least — it is due, not to any borrowing on the one side or on the other, but solely to the similarity of the conditions under which the two movements grew.

This does not of course apply to the later literature of the two religions; and it ought not to detract from the very great value and interest of the parallels which may be adduced from the earlier books. If we wish to understand what it was that gave such life and force to the stupendous movement which is called Buddhism, we [166] cannot refrain from comparing it — not only in the points in which it agrees with it, but also in the points in which it differs from it — with our own faith. I trust I have not been wrong in making use occasionally of this method, though the absence of any historical connection between the New Testament and the Pāli Piṭakas has always seemed to me so clear, that it would be unnecessary to mention it. But when a reviewer who has been kind enough to appreciate, I am afraid too highly, what he calls my 'service in giving, for the first time, a thoroughly human, acceptable, and coherent' account of the 'life of Buddha,' and of the 'simple groundwork of his religion' has gone on to conclude that the parallels I had thus adduced are 'an unanswerable indication of the obligations of the New Testament to Buddhism,' I must ask to be allowed to enter a protest against an inference which seems to me to be against the rules of sound historical criticism.[edfnIII.2]

 


 

[167]

On Knowledge of the Vedas.
Tevijja Sutta

Chapter I

[1][pts] THUS HAVE I HEARD. At one time when the Blessed One was journeying through Kosala with a great company of the brethren, with about five hundred brethren, he came to the Brāhman village in Kosala which is called Manasākaṭa. And there at Manasākaṭa the Blessed One stayed in the mango grove, on the bank of the river Aciravatī, to the south of Manasākaṭa[12].

2. Now at that time many very distinguished and wealthy Brahmā were staying at Manasākaṭa — to wit, Caŋkī the Brāhman, Tārukkha the Brāhman, Pokkharasāti the Brāhman, Gāṇussoṇi the Brāhman, Todeyya the Brāhman, and other very distinguished and wealthy Brahmā[13].

[168] 3. Now a conversation sprung up between Vāseṭṭha and Bhāradvāja, when they were taking exercise (after their bath) and walking up and down in thoughtful mood, as to which was the true path, and which the false[14].

4. The young Brāhman Vāseṭṭha spake thus:

'This is the straight path, this the direct way which leads him, who acts according to it, into a state of union with Brahmā[15] — I mean that which has been announced by the Brāhman Pokkarasāti.'

5. The young Brāhman Bhāradvāja spake thus:

[169] 'This is the straight path, this the direct way which leads him, who acts according to it, into a state of union with Brahmā — I mean that which has been announced by the Brāhman Tārukkha.'

6. But neither was the young Brāhman Vāseṭṭha able to convince the young Brāhman Bhāradvāja, nor was the young Brāhman Bhāradvāga able to convince the young Brāhman Vāseṭṭha.

7. Then the young Brāhman Vāseṭṭha said to the young Brāhman Bhāradvāja:

'That Samaṇa Gotama, Bhāradvāja, of the Sakya clan, who left the Sakya tribe to adopt the religious life, is now staying at Manasākaṭa, in the mango grove, on the bank of the river Aciravatī, to the south of Manasākaṭa. Now regarding that venerable Gotama, such is the high reputation that has been noised abroad, that he is said to be "a fully enlightened one, blessed and worthy, abounding in wisdom and goodness, happy, with knowledge of the world, unsurpassed as a guide to erring mortals, a teacher of gods and men, a blessed Buddha[16]." Come, then, Bhāradvāga, let us go to the place where the Samaṇa Gotama is; and when we have come there, let us ask the Samaṇa Gotama touching this matter. What the Samaṇa Gotama shall declare unto us, that let us bear in mind.'

'Very well, my friend!' said the young Brāhman Bhāradvāja, in assent, to the young Brāhman Vāseṭṭha.

 


 

8. Then the young Brāhman Vāseṭṭha and the young Brāhman Bhāradvāja went on to the place where the Blessed One was.

[170] And when they had come there, they exchanged with the Blessed One the greetings and compliments of friendship and civility, and sat down beside him.

And while they were thus seated the young Brāhman Vāseṭṭha said to the Blessed One:

'As we, Gotama, were taking exercise and walking up and down, there sprung up a conversation between us on which was the true path and which the false. I said thus:

'"This is the straight path, this the direct way which leads him, who acts according to it, into a state of union with Brahmā — I mean that which has been announced by the Brāhman Pokkarasāti."

'Bhāradvāga said thus:

'"This is the straight path, this the direct way which leads him, who acts according to it, into a state of union with Brahmā — I mean that which has been announced by the Brāhman Tārukkha."

'Regarding this matter, Gotama, there is a strife, a dispute, a difference of opinion between us.'

 


 

9. 'So you say, Vāseṭṭha, that you said thus:

'"This is the straight path, this the direct way which leads him, who acts according to it, into a state of union with Brahmā — I mean that which has been announced by the Brāhman Pokkarasāti."

'While Bhāradvāja said thus:

'"This is the straight path, this the direct way which leads him, who acts according to it, into a state of union with Brahmā — I mean that which has been announced by the Brāhman Tārukkha."

[171]

'Wherein, then, O Vāseṭṭha, is there a strife, a dispute, a difference of opinion between you[17]?'

10. 'Concerning the true path and the false, Gotama. Various Brahmā, Gotama, teach various paths — the Addhariya Brahmā, the Tittiriya Brahmā, the Khandoka Brahmā, the Khandava Brahmā, the Brahmacariya Brahmā[18]. Are all those saving paths? Are they all paths which will lead him, who acts according to them, into a state of union with Brahmā?

'Just, Gotama, as near a village or a town there are many and various paths[19], yet they all meet together in the village — just in that way are all the various paths taught by various Brahmā — the Addhariya Brahmā, the Tittiriya Brahmā, the Khandoka Brahmā, the Khandava Brahmā, the Brahmacariya Brahmā. Are all these saving paths? Are they all paths which will lead him, who acts according to them, into a state of union with Brahmā?'

11. 'Do you say that they all lead aright, Vāseṭṭha?

'I say so, Gotama.'

'Do you really say that they all lead aright, Vāseṭṭha?'

'So I say, Gotama.'

[172] 12. 'But then, Vāseṭṭha, is there a single one of the Brahmā versed in the Three Vedas who has ever seen Brahmā face-to-face?'

'No, indeed, Gotama!'

'But is there then, Vāseṭṭha, a single one of the teachers of the Brahmā versed in the Three Vedas who has seen Brahmā face-to-face?'

'No, indeed, Gotama!'

'But is there then, Vāseṭṭha, a single one of the pupils of the teachers of the Brahmā versed in the Three Vedas who has seen Brahmā face-to-face?'

'No, indeed, Gotama!'

'But is there then, Vāseṭṭha, a single one of the Brahmā up to the seventh generation who has seen Brahmā face-to-face?'

'No, indeed, Gotama!'

13. 'Well then, Vāseṭṭha, those ancient Rishis of the Brahmā versed in the Three Vedas, the authors of the verses, the utterers of the verses, whose ancient form of words so chaunted, uttered, or composed, the Brahmā of to-day chaunt over again or repeat; intoning or reciting exactly as has been intoned or recited — to wit, Aṭṭhaka, Vāmaka, Vāmadeva, Vessāmitta, Yamataggi, Aŋgirasa, Bhāradvāja, Vāseṭṭha, Kassapa, and Bhagu[20] — did even they speak thus, saying: "We know it, we have seen it, where Brahmā is, whence Brahmā is, whither Brahmā is?"'

'Not so, Gotama!'

14. 'Then you say, Vāseṭṭha [that not one of the Brahmā, or of their teachers, or of their pupils, even up to the seventh generation, has ever seen Brahmā face-to-face. And that even the Rishis of [173] old, the authors and utterers of the verses, of the ancient form of words which the Brahmā of to-day so carefully intone and recite precisely as they have been handed down — even they did not pretend to know or to have seen where or whence or whither Brahmā is][21]. So that the Brahmā versed in the Three Vedas have forsooth said thus: "What we know not, what we have not seen, to a state of union with that we can show the way, and can say: 'This is the straight path, this is the direct way which leads him, who acts according to it, into a state of union with Brahmā!'"

'Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha? Does it not follow, this being so, that the talk of the Brahmā, versed though they be in the Three Vedas, is foolish talk?'

'In sooth, Gotama, that being so, it follows that the talk of the Brahmā versed in the Three Vedas is foolish talk!'

15. 'Verily, Vāseṭṭha, that Brahmā versed in the Three Vedas should be able to show the way to a state of union with that which they do not know, neither have seen — such a condition of things has no existence!

'Just, Vāseṭṭha, as when a string of blind men are clinging one to the other[22], neither can the foremost [174] see, nor can the middle one see, nor can the hindmost see — just even so, methinks, Vāseṭṭha, is the talk of the Brahmā versed in the Three Vedas but blind talk: the first sees not, the middle one sees not, nor can the latest see. The talk then of these Brahmā versed in the Three Vedas turns out to be ridiculous, mere words, a vain and empty thing!'

 


 

16. 'Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha? Can the Brahmā versed in the Three Vedas — like other, ordinary, folk — see the sun and the moon as they pray to, and praise, and worship them, turning round with clasped hands towards the place whence they rise and where they set?'

'Certainly, Gotama, they [can][23].'

17. 'Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha? The Brahmā versed in the Three Vedas, who can very well — like other, ordinary, folk — see the sun and the moon as they pray to, and praise, and worship them, turning round with clasped hands to the place whence they rise and where they set — are those Brahmā, versed in the Three Vedas, able to point out the way to a state of union with the sun or the moon, saying: "This is the straight path, this the direct way which leads him, who acts according to it, to a state of union with the sun or the moon?"'

'Certainly not, Gotama!'

18. 'So you say, Vāseṭṭha, that the Brahmā [are not able to point out the way to union with that [175] which they have seen], and you further say that [neither any one of them, nor of their pupils, nor of their predecessors even to the seventh generation has ever seen Brahmā]. And you further say that even the Rishis of old, [whose words they hold in such deep respect, did not pretend to know, or to have seen where, or whence, or whither Brahmā is. Yet these Brahmā versed in the Three Vedas say, forsooth, that they can point out the way to union with that which they know not, neither have seen!]' Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha? Does it not follow that, this being so, the talk of the Brahmā, versed though they be in the Three Vedas, is foolish talk?'

'In sooth, Gotama, that being so, it follows that the talk of the Brahmā versed in the Three Vedas is foolish talk!'

19. 'Very good, Vāseṭṭha. Verily then, Vāseṭṭha, that Brahmā versed in the Three Vedas should be able to show the way to a state of union with that which they do not know, neither have seen — such a condition of things has no existence.

 


 

'Just, Vāseṭṭha, as if a man should say, "How I long for, how I love the most beautiful woman in this land!"

'And people should ask him, "Well! good friend! this most beautiful woman in the land whom you thus love and long for, do you know whether that beautiful woman is a noble lady or a Brāhman woman, or of the trader class, or a Sūdra?"

'But when so asked he should answer "No."

'And when people should ask him, "Well! good [176] friend! this most beautiful woman in all the land, whom you so love and long for, do you know what the name of that most beautiful woman is, or what is her family name, whether she be tall or short, dark or of medium complexion, black or fair, or in what village or town or city she dwells?"

'But when so asked he should answer "No."

'And then people should say to him, "So then, good friend, whom you know not, neither have seen, her do you love and long for?"

'And then when so asked he should answer "Yes."'

'Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha? Would it not turn out, that being so, that the talk of that man was foolish talk?'

'In sooth, Gotama, it would turn out, that being so, that the talk of that man was foolish talk!'

20. 'And just even so, Vāseṭṭha, though you say that the Brahmans [are not able to point out the way to union with that which they have seen], and you further say that [neither any one of them, nor of their pupils, nor of their predecessors even to the seventh generation has ever seen Brahmā]. And you further say that even the Rishis of old, [whose words they hold in such deep respect, did not pretend to know, or to have seen where, or whence, or whither Brahmā is. Yet these Brahmā versed in the Three Vedas say, forsooth, that they can point out the way to union with that which they know not, neither have seen!] Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha? Does it not follow that, this being so, the talk of the Brahmā, versed though they be in the Three Vedas, is foolish talk?'

'In sooth, Gotama, that being so, it follows that [177] the talk of the Brahmā versed in the Three Vedas is foolish talk!'

'Very good, Vāseṭṭha. Verily then, Vāseṭṭha, that Brahmā versed in the Three Vedas should be able to show the way to a state of union with that which they do not know, neither have seen — such a condition of things has no existence.'

 


 

21. 'Just, Vāseṭṭha, as if a man should make a staircase in the place where four roads cross, to mount up into a mansion. And people should say to him, "Well, good friend, this mansion, to mount up into which you are making this staircase, do you know whether it is in the east, or in the south, or in the west, or in the north? whether it is high or low or of medium size?'

'And when so asked he should answer "No."'

'And people should say to him, "But then, good friend, you are making a staircase to mount up into something — taking it for a mansion — which, all the while, you know not, neither have seen!"

'And when so asked he should answer "Yes."'

'Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha? Would it not turn out, that being so, that the talk of that man was foolish talk?'

'In sooth, Gotama, it would turn out, that being so, that the talk of that man was foolish talk!'

22. 'And just even so, Vāseṭṭha, though you say that the Brahmā [are not able to point out the way to union with that which they have seen], and you further say that [neither any one of them, nor of their pupils, nor of their predecessors even to the seventh generation has ever seen Brahmā]. And you further say that even the Rishis of old, [whose [178] words they hold in such deep respect, did not pretend to know, or to have seen where, or whence, or whither Brahmā is. Yet these Brahmā versed in the Three Vedas say, forsooth, that they can point out the way to union with that which they know not, neither have seen!] Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha? Does it not follow that, this being so, the talk of the Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas is foolish talk?'

'In sooth, Gotama, that being so, it follows that the talk of the Brahmā versed in the Three Vedas is foolish talk!'

23. 'Very good, Vāseṭṭha. Verily then, Vāseṭṭha, that Brahmā versed in the Three Vedas should be able to show the way to a state of union with that which they do not know, neither have seen — such condition of things has no existence.'

24. 'Again, Vāseṭṭha, if this river Aciravatī were full of water even to the brim, and overflowing[24]. And a man with business on the other [179] side, bound for the other side, should come up, and want to cross over. And he, standing on this bank, should invoke the further bank, and say, "Come hither, O further bank! come over to this side!"

[180] 'Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha? Would the further bank of the river Aciravatī, by reason of that man's invoking and praying and hoping and praising, come over to this side?'

'Certainly not, Gotama!'

25. 'In just the same way, Vāseṭṭha, do the Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas — omitting the practice of those qualities which really make a man a Brāhman, and adopting the practice of those qualities which really make men not Brahmā — say thus: "Indra we call upon, Soma we call upon, Varuṇa we call upon, Īsāna we call upon, Pajāpati we call upon, Brahma we call upon, Mahiddhi we call upon, Yama we call upon[25]!" Verily, Vāseṭṭha, that those Brahmā versed in the Three Vedas, but omitting the practice of those qualities which really make a man a Brāhman, and adopting the practice of those qualities which really make men not Brahmā — that they, by reason of their invoking and praying and hoping and praising, should, after death and when the body is dissolved, become united with Brahmā — verily such a condition of things has no existence!'

 


 

26. 'Just, Vāseṭṭha, as if this river Aciravatī were full, even to the brim, and overflowing. And a man with business on the other side, bound for the other side, should come up, and want to cross over. And he, on this bank, were to be bound tightly, with his arms behind his back, by a strong [181] chain. Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha, would that man be able to get over from this bank of the river Aciravatī to the further bank?'

'Certainly not, Gotama!'

27. 'In the same way, Vāseṭṭha, there are five things leading to lust, which are called in the Discipline of the Noble One a "chain" and a "bond."'

'What are the five?'

'Forms perceptible to the eye; desirable, agreeable, pleasant, attractive forms, that are accompanied by lust and cause delight. Sounds of the same kind perceptible to the ear. Odours of the same kind perceptible to the nose. Tastes of the same kind perceptible to the tongue. Substances of the same kind perceptible to the body by touch. These five things predisposing to passion are called in the Discipline of the Noble One a "chain" and a "bond." And these five things predisposing to lust, Vāseṭṭha, do the Brahmā versed in the Three Vedas cling to, they are infatuated by them, guilty of them, see not the danger of them, know not how unreliable they are, and so enjoy them.

28. 'And verily, Vāseṭṭha, that Brahmā versed in the Three Vedas, but omitting the practice of those qualities which really make a man a Brāhman, and adopting the practice of those qualities which really make men non-Brahmā — clinging to these five things predisposing to passion, Infatuated by them, guilty of them, seeing not their danger, knowing not their unreliability, and so enjoying them-that these Brahmā should after death, on the dissolution of the body, become united to Brahmā — such a condition of things has no existence.'

[182] 29. 'Again, Vāseṭṭha, if this river Aciravatl were full of water even to the brim, and overflowing. And a man with business on the other side, bound for the other side, should come up, and want to cross over. And if he covering himself up, even to his head, were to lie down, on this bank, to sleep.

'Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha? Would that man be able to get over from this bank of the river Akiravatl to the further bank?'

'Certainly not, Gotama!'

30. 'And in the same way, Vāseṭṭha, there are these five hindrances, in the Discipline of the Noble One, which are called "veils[26]," and are called "hindrances[27]," and are called "obstacles[28]," and are called entanglements[29]."

'Which are the five?'

'The hindrance of lustful desire,
The hindrance of malice,
The hindrance of sloth and idleness,
The hindrance of pride and self-righteousness,
The hindrance of doubt.

These are the five hindrances, Vāseṭṭha, which, in the Discipline of the Noble One, are called veils, and are called hindrances, and are called obstacles, and are called entanglements.

31. 'Now with these five hindrances, Vāseṭṭha, the Brahmā versed in the Three Vedas are veiled, hindered, obstructed, and entangled.

32. 'And verily, Vāseṭṭha, that Brahmans versed [183] in the Three Vedas, but omitting the practice of those qualities which really make a man a Brāhman, and adopting the practice of those qualities which really make men non-Brahmā — veiled, hindered, obstructed, and entangled by these Five Hindrances — that these Brahmans should after death, on the dissolution of the body, become united to Brahmā — such a condition of things has no existence.'

 


 

33. 'Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha, and what have you heard from the Brahmā aged and well-stricken in years, when the learners and teachers are talking together? Is Brahmā in possession of wives and wealth, or is he not[30]?'

'He is not, Gotama.'

'Is his mind full of anger, or free from anger?'

'Free from anger, Gotama.'

'Is his mind full of malice, or free from malice?'

'Free from malice, Gotama.'

'Is his mind depraved, or pure?'

'It is pure, Gotama.'

'Has he self-mastery, or has he not[31]?'

'He has, Gotama.'

34. 'Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha, are the [184] Brahmans versed in the Vedas in the possession of wives and wealth, or are they not?'

'They are, Gotama.'

'Have they anger in their hearts, or have they not?'

'They have, Gotama.'

'Do they bear malice, or do they not?'

'They do, Gotama.'

'Are they pure in heart, or are they not?'

'They are not, Gotama.'

'Have they self-mastery, or have they not?'

'They have not, Gotama.'

35. 'Then you say, Vāseṭṭha, that the Brahmans are in possession of wives and wealth, and that Brahmā is not. Can there, then, be agreement and likeness between the Brahmā with their wives and property, and Brahmā, who has none of these things?'

'Certainly not, Gotama!'

36. 'Very good, Vāseṭṭha. But, verily, that these Brahmans versed in the Vedas, who live married and wealthy should after death, when the body is dissolved, become united with Brahmā, who has none of these things — such a condition of things has no existence.'

 


 

37. 'Then you say, too, Vāseṭṭha, that the Brahmā bear anger and malice in their hearts, and are sinful and uncontrolled, whilst Brahmā is free from anger and malice, and sinless, and has self-mastery. Now can there, then, be concord and likeness between the Brahmans and Brahmā?'

'Certainly not, Gotama!'

38. 'Very good, Vāseṭṭha. That these Brahmā versed in the Vedas and yet bearing anger and malice in their hearts, sinful, and uncontrolled, [185] should after death, when the body is dissolved, become united to Brahmā, who is free from anger and malice, sinless, and has self-mastery — such a condition of things has no existence.'

39. 'So that thus then, Vāseṭṭha, the Brahmā, versed though they be in the Three Vedas, while they sit down (in confidence), are sinking down (in the mire)[32]; and so sinking they are arriving only at despair, thinking the while that they are crossing over into some happier land.

'Therefore is it that the threefold wisdom of the Brahmā, wise in their Three Vedas, is called a waterless desert, their threefold wisdom is called a pathless jungle, their threefold wisdom is called destruction!'

 


 

40. When he had thus spoken, the young Brāhman Vāseṭṭha said to the Blessed One:

'It has been told me, Gotama, that the Samaṇa Gotama knows the way to the state of union with Brahmā.

41. 'What do you think, Vāseṭṭha, is not Manasākaṭa near to this spot, not distant from this spot?'

'Just so, Gotama. Manasākaṭa is near to, is not far from here.'

42. 'Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha, suppose there were a man born in Manasākaṭa, and people should [186] ask him, who never till that time had left Manasākaṭa, which was the way to Manasākaṭa. Would that man, born and brought up in Manasākaṭa, be in any doubt or difficulty?'

'Certainly not, Gotama! And why? If the man had been born and brought up in Manasākaṭa, every road that leads to Manasākaṭa would be perfectly familiar to him.'

43. 'That man, Vāseṭṭha, born and brought up at Manasākaṭa might, if he were asked the way to Manasākaṭa, fall into doubt and difficulty, but to the Tathāgata, when asked touching the path which leads to the world of Brahmā, there can be neither doubt nor difficulty. For Brahmā, I know, Vāseṭṭha, and the world of Brahmā, and the path which leadeth unto it. Yea, I know it even as one who has entered the Brahma world, and has been born within it!'

 


 

44. When he had thus spoken, Vāseṭṭha the young Brāhman said to the Blessed One:

'So has it been told me, Gotama, even that the Samaṇa Gotama knows the way to a state of union with Brahmā. It is well! Let the venerable Gotama be pleased to show us the way to a state of union with Brahma, let the venerable Gotama save the Brāhman race!'

45. 'Listen then, Vāseṭṭha, and give ear attentively, and I will speak!'

'So be it, Lord!' said the young Brāhman Vāseṭṭha, in assent, to the Blessed One.

46. Then the Blessed One spake, and said:

Know, Vāseṭṭha, that[33] (from time to time) a [187] Tathāgata is born into the world, a fully Enlightened One, blessed and worthy, abounding in wisdom and goodness, happy, with knowledge of the world, unsurpassed as a guide to erring mortals, a teacher of gods and men, a Blessed Buddha[34]. He, by himself, thoroughly understands, and sees, as it were, face-to-face this universe — the world below with all its spirits, and the worlds above, of Mara and of Brahma — and all creatures, Samaṇas and Brahmā, gods and men, and he then makes his knowledge known to others. The truth doth he proclaim both in its letter and in its spirit, lovely in its origin, lovely in its progress, lovely in its consummation: the higher life doth he make known, in all its purity and in all its perfectness.

47. 'A householder (gahapati), or one of his children, or a man of inferior birth in any class, listens to that truth[35]. On hearing the truth he has faith in the Tathāgata, and when he has acquired that faith he thus considers with himself:

'"Full of hindrances is household life, a path defiled by passion: free as the air is the life of him who has renounced all worldly things. How difficult is it for the man who dwells at home to live the higher life in all its fulness, in all its purity, in all its bright perfection! Let me then cut off my hair and beard, let me clothe myself in the [188] orange-coloured robes, and let me go forth from a household life into the homeless state!"

48. 'Then before long, forsaking his portion of wealth, be it great or be it small; forsaking his circle of relatives, be they many or be they few, he cuts off his hair and beard, he clothes himself in the orange-coloured robes, and he goes forth from the household life into the homeless state.

49. 'When he has thus become a recluse he passes a life self-restrained according to the rules of the Pātimokkha; uprightness is his delight, and he sees danger in the least of those things he should avoid; he adopts and trains himself in the precepts; he encompasses himself with holiness in word and deed; he sustains his life by means that are quite pure; good is his conduct, guarded the door of his senses; mindful and self-possessed, he is altogether happy[36]!'

[189]

Chapter II

The Short Paragraphs on Conduct
The Cūla Sīlaṃ[37].

1. 'Now wherein, Vāseṭṭha, is his conduct good?'

'Herein, O Vāseṭṭha, that putting away the murder of that which lives, he abstains from destroying life. The cudgel and the sword he lays aside; and, full of modesty and pity, he is compassionate and kind to all creatures that have life!

'This is the kind of goodness that he has.

2. 'Putting away the theft of that which is not his, he abstains from taking anything not given. He takes only what is given, therewith is he content, and he passes his life in honesty and in purity of heart!

'This, too, is the kind of goodness that he has.

3. 'Putting away inchastity, he lives a life of chastity and purity, averse to the low habit of sexual intercourse.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2.)[38]

[190] 4. 'Putting away lying, he abstains from speaking falsehood. He speaks truth, from the truth he never swerves; faithful and trustworthy, he injures not his fellow man by deceit.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2)

5. 'Putting away slander, he abstains from calumny. What he hears here he repeats not elsewhere to raise a quarrel against the people here: what he hears elsewhere he repeats not here to raise a quarrel against the people there. Thus he lives as a binder together of those who are divided, an encourager of those who are friends, a peacemaker, a lover of peace, impassioned for peace, a speaker of words that make for peace.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2)

6. 'Putting away bitterness of speech, he abstains from harsh language. Whatever word is humane, pleasant to the ear, lovely, reaching to the heart, urbane, pleasing to the people, beloved of the people — such are the words he speaks.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2)

7. 'Putting away foolish talk, he abstains from vain conversation. In season he speaks; he speaks that which is; he speaks fact; he utters good doctrine; he utters good discipline; he speaks, and at the right time, that which redounds to profit, is well-grounded, is well-defined, and is full of wisdom.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2)

8. 'He refrains from injuring any herb or any creature. He takes but one meal a day; abstaining

[191]

from food at night time, or at the wrong time. He abstains from dancing, singing, music, and theatrical shows. He abstains from wearing, using, or adorning himself with garlands, and scents, and unguents, and he abstains from lofty couches and large beds.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2)

9. 'He abstains from the getting of silver or gold. He abstains from the getting of grain uncooked. He abstains from the getting of flesh that is raw. He abstains from the getting of any woman or girl. He abstains from the getting of bondmen or bondwomen. He abstains from the getting of sheep or goats. He abstains from the getting of fowls or swine. He abstains from the getting of elephants, cattle, horses, and mares. He abstains from the getting of fields or lands.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2)

10. 'He refrains from carrying out those commissions on which messengers can be sent. He refrains from buying and selling. He abstains from tricks with false weights, alloyed metals, or false measures. He abstains from bribery, cheating, fraud, and crooked ways.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2)

11. 'He refrains from maiming, killing, imprisoning, highway robbery, plundering villages, or obtaining money by threats of violence.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2)'

 


 

[ End of the Short Paragraphs on Conduct ]

[192]

The Middle Paragraphs on Conduct
The Majjhima Sīlaṃ

1. 'Or whereas some Samaṇa-Brahmans, who live on the food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to injuring plants or vegetables: that is to say, the germs arising from roots, the germs arising from trunks of trees, the germs arising from joints, the germs arising from buds, or the germs arising, from seeds. He, on the other hand, refrains from injuring such plants or animals.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2)

2. 'Or whereas some Samaṇa-Brahmans, who live on the food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to storing up property: that is to say, meat, drink, clothes, equipages, beds, perfumes, and grain. He, on the other hand, refrains from storing up such property.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2.)

3. 'Or whereas some Samaṇa-Brahmans, who live on the food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to witnessing public spectacles: that is to say, dancing, singing, concerts, theatrical representations, recitations, instrumental music, funeral ceremonies, drummings, balls, gymnastics, tumblings, feasts in honour of the dead, combats between elephants, horses, buffaloes, bulls, goats, rams, cocks, and quails, cudgel playing, boxing, wrestling, fencing, musters, marching, and reviews of troops. He, on the other hand, refrains from such public spectacles.

[193] 'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2.)

4. 'Or whereas some Samaṇa-Brāhmans, who live on the food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to occupying their time with games detrimental to their progress in virtue: that is to say, with a board of sixty-four squares, or of one hundred squares; tossing up; hopping over diagrams formed on the ground; removing substances from a heap without shaking the remainder; dicing; trap-ball; sketching rude figures; tossing balls; blowing trumpets; ploughing matches; tumbling; forming mimic windmills; guessing at measures; chariot races; archery; shooting marbles from the fingers; guessing other people's thoughts; and mimicking other people's acts. He, on the other hand, refrains from such games detrimental to virtue.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2.)

5. 'Or whereas some Samaṇa-Brahmans, who live on the food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to the use of elevated and ornamented couches or things to recline upon: that is to say, of large couches; ornamented beds; coverlets with long fleece; embroidered counterpanes; woollen coverlets, plain or worked with thick flowers; cotton coverlets, worked with knots, or dyed with figures of animals; fleecy carpets; carpets inwrought with gold or with silk; far-spreading carpets; rich elephant housings, trappings, or harness; rugs for chariots; skins of the tiger or antelope; and pillows or cushions ornamented with gold lace or embroidery. He, on the other hand, refrains from the use of such elevated or ornamented couches or things to recline upon.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2.)

[194] 6. 'Or whereas some Samaṇa-Brahmans, who live on the food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to the use of articles for the adornment of their persons: that is to say, unguents; fragrant oils; perfumed baths; shampooings; mirrors; antimony for the eyebrows and eyelashes; flowers; cosmetics; dentifrices; bracelets; diadems; handsome walking-sticks; tiaras; swords; umbrellas; embroidered slippers; fillets; jewelry; fans of the buffalo tail; and long white garments. He, on the other hand, refrains from the use of such articles for the adornment of the person.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2)

7. 'Or whereas some Samaṇa-Brahmans, who live on the food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to mean talk: that is to say, tales of kings, of robbers, or of ministers of state; tales of arms, of war, of terror; conversation respecting meats, drinks, clothes, couches, garlands, perfumes, relationships, equipages, streets, villages, towns, cities, provinces, women, warriors, demigods; fortune-telling; hidden treasures in jars; ghost stories; empty tales; disasters by sea; accidents on shore; things which are, and things which are not. He, on the other hand, refrains from such mean conversation.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2)

8. 'Or whereas some Samaṇa-Brahmans, who live on the food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to wrangling: that is to say, to saying, "You are ignorant of this doctrine and discipline, but I understand them!" "What do you know of doctrine or discipline?" "You are heterodox, but I am orthodox!" "My discourse is profitable, but yours is worthless!" "That which you should speak [195] first you speak last, and that which you should speak last you speak first!" "What you have long studied I have completely overturned!" "Your errors are made quite plain!" "You are disgraced!" "Go away and escape from this disputation; or if not, extricate yourself from your difficulties!" He, on the other hand, refrains from such wrangling.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2)

9. 'Or whereas some Samaṇa-Brahmans, who live on the food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to performing the servile duties of a go-between: that is to say, between kings, ministers of state, soldiers, Brahmans, people of property, or young men, who say, "Come here!" "Go there!" "Take this to such a place!" "Bring that here!" But he refrains from such servile duties of a messenger.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2)

10. 'Or whereas some Samaṇa-Brahmans, who live on the food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to hypocrisy: that is to say, they speak much; they make high professions; they disparage others; and they are continually thirsting after gain. But he refrains from such hypocritical craft.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2.)'

 


 

[ End of the Middle Paragraphs on Conduct ]

[196]

The Long Paragraphs on Conduct
The Mahā Sīlaṃ.

1. 'Or whereas some Samaṇa-Brahmans, who live on the food provided by the faithful, continue to gain a livelihood by such low arts, by such lying practices as these: that is to say, by divination from marks on the body; by auguries; by the interpretation of prognostics, of dreams, and of omens, good or bad; by divinations from the manner in which cloth and other such things have been bitten by rats; by sacrifices to the god of fire, offerings of Dabba grass, offerings with a ladle, offerings of husks, of bran, of rice, of clarified butter, of oil, and of liquids ejected from the mouth; and by bloody sacrifices; by teaching spells for preserving the body, for determining lucky sites, for protecting fields, for luck in war, against ghosts and goblins, to secure good harvests, to cure snake bites, to serve as antidotes for poison, and to cure bites of scorpions or rats; by divination, by the flight of hawks, or by the croaking of ravens; by guessing at length of life; by teaching spells to ward off wounds; and by pretended knowledge of the language of beasts. —

'He, on the other hand, refrains from seeking a livelihood by such low arts, by such lying practices.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2.)

2. 'Or whereas some Samaṇa-Brahmans, who live on the food provided by the faithful, continue to gain a livelihood by such low arts, by such lying [197] practices as these: that is to say, by explaining the good and bad points in jewels, sticks, garments, swords, arrows, bows, weapons of war, women, men, youths, maidens, male and female slaves, elephants, horses, bulls, oxen, goats, sheep, fowl, snipe, iguanas, long-eared creatures, turtle, and deer. —

'He, on the other hand, refrains from seeking a livelihood by such low arts, by such lying practices.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2.)

3. 'Or whereas some Samaṇa-Brahmans, who live on the food provided by the faithful, continue to gain a livelihood by such low arts and such lying practices as these: that is to say, by foretelling future events, as these:

'"There will be a sortie by the king." "There will not be a sortie by the king." "The king within the city will attack." "The king outside the city will retreat." "The king within the city will gain the victory." "The king outside the city will be defeated." "The king outside the city will be the conqueror." "The king inside the city will be vanquished." Thus prophesying to this one victory and to that one defeat. —

'He, on the other hand, refrains from seeking a livelihood by such low arts, by such lying practices.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2.)

4. 'Or whereas some Samaṇa-Brahmans, who live on the food provided by the faithful, continue to gain a livelihood by such low arts and such lying practices as these: that is to say, by predicting —

'"There will be an eclipse of the moon." "There will be an eclipse of the sun." "There will be an eclipse of a planet." "The sun and the moon will be in conjunction." "The sun and the moon will be in [198] opposition." "The planets will be in conjunction." "The planets will be in opposition." "There will be falling meteors, and fiery coruscations in the atmosphere." "There will be earthquakes, thunderbolts, and forked lightnings." "The rising and setting of the sun, moon, or planets will be cloudy or clear." And then: "The eclipse of the moon will have such and such a result." "The eclipse of the sun will have such and such a result." "The eclipse of the moon will have such and such a result." "The sun and the moon being in conjunction will have such and such a result." "The sun and the moon being in opposition will have such and such a result." "The planets being in conjunction will have such and such a result." "The planets being in opposition will have such and such a result." "The falling meteors and fiery coruscations in the atmosphere will have such and such a result." "The earthquakes, thunderbolts, and forked lightnings will have such and such a result." "The rising and setting of the sun, moon, or planets, cloudy or clear, will have such and such a result."

'He, on the other hand, refrains from seeking a livelihood by such low arts, by such lying practices.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2.)

5. 'Or whereas some Samaṇa-Brahmans, who live on the food provided by the faithful, continue to gain a livelihood by such low arts and such lying practices as these: that is to say, by predicting —

'"There will be an abundant rainfall." "There will be a deficient rainfall." "There will be an abundant harvest." "There will be famine." "There will be tranquillity." "There will be disturbances." "The season will be sickly." "The season will be healthy." [199] Or by drawing deeds, making up accounts, giving pills, making verses, or arguing points of casuistry. —

'He, on the other hand, refrains from seeking a livelihood by such low arts, by such lying practices.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2)

6. 'Or whereas some Samaṇa-Brahmans, who live on the food provided by the faithful, continue to gain a livelihood by such low arts and such lying practices as these: that is to say, by giving advice touching the taking in marriage, or the giving in marriage; the forming of alliances, or the dissolution of connections; the calling in property, or the laying of it out. By teaching spells to procure prosperity, or to cause adversity to others; to remove sterility; to produce dumbness, locked-jaw, deformity, or deafness. By obtaining oracular responses by the aid of a mirror, or from a young girl, or from a god. By worshipping the sun, or by worshipping Brahmā; by spitting fire out of their mouths, or by laying hands on people's heads. —

'He, on the other hand, refrains from seeking a livelihood by such low arts, by such lying practices.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2)

7. 'Or whereas some Samaṇa-Brahmans, who live on the food provided by the faithful, continue to gain a livelihood by such low arts and such lying practices as these: that is to say, by teaching the ritual for making vows and performing them; for blessing fields; for imparting virility and rendering impotent; for choosing the site of a house; for performing a house-warming. By teaching forms of words to be used when cleansing the mouth, when bathing, and when making offerings to the god of [200] fire. By prescribing medicines to produce vomiting or purging, or to remove obstructions in the higher or lower intestines, or to relieve head-ache. By preparing oils for the ear, collyriums, catholicons, antimony, and cooling drinks. By practising cautery, midwifery, or the use of root decoctions or salves. —

'He, on the other hand, refrains from seeking a livelihood by such low arts, by such lying practices.

'This, too, (&c., see Ī II, 2.)'

 


 

[ End of the Long Paragraphs on Conduct ]

[201]

Chapter III

1. [39] 'And he lets his mind pervade one quarter of the world with thoughts of Love, and so the second, and so the third, and so the fourth. And thus the whole wide world, above, below, around, and everywhere, does he continue to pervade with heart of Love, far-reaching, grown great, and beyond measure.

2. 'Just, Vāseṭṭha, as a mighty trumpeter makes himself heard — and that without difficulty — in all the four directions; even so of all things that have shape or life, there is not one that he passes by or leaves aside, but regards them all with mind set free, and deep-felt love.

'Verily this, Vāseṭṭha, is the way to a state of union with Brahmā.

3. 'And he lets his mind pervade one quarter of the world with thoughts of pity, sympathy, and equanimity, and so the second, and so the third, and so the fourth. And thus the whole wide world, above, below, around, and everywhere, does he continue to pervade with heart of pity, sympathy, and equanimity, far-reaching, grown great, and beyond measure.

4. 'Just, Vāseṭṭha, as a mighty trumpeter makes himself heard — and that without difficulty — in all the four directions; even so of all things that have [202] shape or life, there is not one that he passes by or leaves aside, but regards them all with mind set free, and deep-felt pity, sympathy, and equanimity.

'Verily this, Vāseṭṭha, is the way to a state of union with Brahmā.'

5. 'Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha, will the Bhikkhu[40] who lives thus be in possession of women and of wealth, or will he not?'

'He will not, Gotama!'

'Will he be full of anger, or free from anger?'

'He will be free from anger, Gotama!'

'Will his mind be full of malice, or free from malice?'

'Free from malice, Gotama!'

'Will his mind be sinful, or pure?'

'It will be pure, Gotama!'

'Will he have self-mastery, or will he not?'

'Surely he will, Gotama!'

6. 'Then you say, Vāseṭṭha, that the Bhikkhu is free from household cares, and that Brahmā is free from household cares. Is there then agreement and likeness between the Bhikkhu and Brahmā?'

'There is, Gotama!'

7. 'Very good, Vāseṭṭha. Then in sooth, Vāseṭṭha, that the Bhikkhu who is free from household cares should after death, when the body is dissolved, become united with Brahmā, who is the same — such a condition of things is every way possible!

8. 'And so you say, Vāseṭṭha, that the Bhikkhu is free from anger, and free from malice, pure in mind, and master of himself; and that Brahmā is [203] free from anger, and free from malice, pure in mind, and master of himself. Then in sooth, Vāseṭṭha, that the Bhikkhu who is free from anger, free from malice, pure in mind, and master of himself should after death, when the body is dissolved, become united with Brahmā, who is the same-such a condition of things is every way possible!'

 


 

9. When he had thus spoken, the young Brahmans Vāseṭṭha and Bhāradvāga addressed the Blessed One, and said:

'Most excellent, Lord, are the words of thy mouth, most excellent! just as if a man were to set up that which is thrown down, or were to reveal that which is hidden away, or were to point out the right road to him who has gone astray, or were to bring a lamp into the darkness, so that those who have eyes can see external forms; — just even so, Lord, has the truth been made known to us, in many a figure, by the Blessed One. And we, even we, betake ourselves, Lord, to the Blessed One as our refuge, to the Truth, and to the Brotherhood. May the Blessed One accept us as disciples, as true believers, from this day forth, as long as life endures!'

 


 

END OF THE TEVIJJA SUTTANTA

 


 


[1]It may be noted, in passing, that the substance of it recurs as the Vacchagotta Saṃyutta in the Saṃyutta Nikāya.

[2]Compare Professor Max Müller's Preface to the Sacred Books of the East, vol. i. p. xxx.

[3]See Chapter III, ĪĪ 1, 2.

[4]See Culla Vagga VI, 6, 2, = Jātaka, vol. i. p. 217; Mahāvaṃsa, p. 79; Dīpavaṃsa XV, 80 (where the Arahats are women); and on 'confections' below, in the Introduction to the 'Book of the Great King of Glory.']

[5]Teste a comment quoted by Childers, Dict. p. 227.

[6]'Buddhist Birth Stories,' p. 66.

[7]Ibid. pp. 92, 97.

[8]Ibid. p. 111. Related already in the Mahā Vagga I, 2; 6, 7.

[9]Book of the Great Decease, Chapter VI, Ī 4.

[10]'Mahāvaṃsa, p. 17.

[11]'Their (the Jews') monotheism was perhaps independently evolved; but the Buddhists at least showed a contemporary monotheism.' Mr. Huth, in 'Life &c. of Buckle,' p. 238.

[12]Burnouf, in a long note at 'Lotus,' &c., p. 491, already attempted to show that the river Aciravatī is the same as the modern Rapti, which he supposed to be a corruption of the latter part of the longer name. Hiouen Thsang mentions a river A-chi-lo-fa-ti, which is doubtless the same. It is evidently the river on which stood the town of Sāvatthi, and near to which lay the Jetavana monastery (see 'Buddhist Birth Stories,' p. 331); and it must therefore, in accordance with Burnouf's conjecture, be the Rapti, which is the Sanskrit Irāvati. The Phayre Burmese MS. has almost always Acīravatī.

[13]Buddhaghosa says that

Caŋkī lived at Opasāda,
Tārukkha lived at Ikkhagala, {footnote p. 167}
Pokkharasādi (sic MS.) lived at Ukkaṭṭha,
Jānussoṇi lived at Sāvatthi, and
Todeyya lived at Tudigāma.

There is some difference in the MSS. as to the spelling of these names: T. reads Caŋkī; P. T. and D. Pokkharasāti (Sanskrit Paushkarasādi); P. Jānuyoni, T. Jāṇusoṇi, D. Jānusoni; P. Toreyya, and Burnouf Nodeyya (which is possibly merely a misreading). Gāṇusoṇi was converted by the Bhaya-bherava Sutta, and I think it very probable that the other names are also those of subsequent converts.
Buddhaghosa adds that because Manasākaṭa was a pleasant place the Brahmā had built huts there on the bank of the river and fenced them in, and used to go and stay there from time to time to repeat their mantras.]

[14]Jaŋghāvihāraṃ anucaŋkamantānaṃ anuvicarantānaṃ. On the first word see Jātaka II, 2 7 2 (and comp. I 1, 2 40). Cankamati is to walk up and down thinking. I have added 'after their bath' from Buddhaghosa, who says that this must be understood to have taken place when, after learning by heart and repeating all day, they went down in the evening to the river-side to bathe, and then walked up and down on the sand.

[15]Brahma-sahavyatāya. The first part of the compound is masculine (see below, Ī 12), but the Buddhists probably included under the name, when put into the mouth of Brahmā, all that the Brahmans included under both Brahmā and Brāhman. The Buddhist archangel or god Brahmā is different from both, being part of an entirely different system of thought.]

[16]See below, Ī 46.]

[17]This is either mildly sarcastic — as much as to say, 'that is six to one, and half a dozen to the other' — or is intended to lead on Vāseṭṭha to confess still more directly the fact that the different theologians held inconsistent opinions.

[18]P. here Atthariyā, but below Addhariyā (Sans. Adhvaryu); D. Titittiriyā, T. Tattiriyā, P. apparently Titthiriyā (Sans. Taittirīya); D. Khandāva, T. P. omit (? Sans. Khāndasa); all three MSS. Khandoka (Sans. Khandoga); p. Bavhadijā here and below Cavhadijā for Brahmacariyā (? Sans. Brahmacārī). See 'Lotus,' p. 493.

[19]Maggāni, which is noteworthy as a curious change of gender.

[20]See Mahā Vagga VI, 35, 2.]

[21]In the text ĪĪ 12, 13 are repeated word for word.

[22]Andhaveṇī paramparaṃ saṃsattā. The Phayre MS. has replaced veṇī by paveṇī, after the constant custom of the Burmese MSS. to improve away unusual or difficult expressions. Buddhaghosa explains andhaveṇi by andhapaveṇi, and tells a tale of a wicked wight, who meeting a company of blind men, told them of a certain village wherein plenty of good food was to be had. When they besought him for hire to lead them there, be took the money, made one blind man catch hold of his stick, the next of that one, and so on, and then led them on till they came to a wilderness. There he deserted them, and they all — still {footnote p. 174} holding each the other, and vainly, and with tears, seeking both their guide and the path — came to a miserable end!

[23]The words of the question are repeated in the text in this and the following answers. It must be remembered, for these sections, that the sun and moon were Gods just as much as Brahmā.]
The text repeats at length the words of ĪĪ 12, 13, 14.]

[24]Samatittikā kākapeyyā, a stock phrase used of a river in flood time. Buddhaghosa says, Samatittikā ti samaharitā (sic ? samāharitā): kākapeyyā ti yatthakatthaci tīre thitena kākena sakkā pātun ti kākapeyyā, which does not seem to me to solve the question as to the origin and history of these difficult terms. With respect to the right form of samatittikā it should be noticed that the northern Buddhist spelling is samatīrthakā (Sukhavatīvyūha, ed. Max Müller in J. R. A. S. for 1880, p. 182), and that both Childers and Oldenberg have read samatitthikā in the Burmese MSS. of Mahāparinibbāna Sutta I, 33 = Mahā Vagga VI, 28. Now the difference in Burmese letters between tt and tth (### and ###) is so very small that the copyists frequently write one for the other; and even in good MSS. where the two are not confounded, it is sometimes difficult to tell which is really meant. When talking of rivers the mention of titthas seems so appropriate {footnote p. 179} that a copyist, and especially a Burmese copyist, would naturally read a doubtful combination as tth; so that even if all Burmese MSS. spell this word with tth (which is by no means certain), very little reliance should be placed upon the fact. On the other hand, the distinction in Sinhalese between tt and tth is very marked (### and ###) and the Sinhalese MSS. all read tt. I think therefore that Childers was right in finally adopting samatittikā as the correct Pāli form. In the numerous words in which Buddhist Sanskrit has a form differing in a way which sets philological rules at defiance from the corresponding Pāli form, Childers thought (see Dict. p. xi, where the list of words might be greatly extended) that the Sanskrit was always derived from the Pāli, and the Sanskrit writers had merely blundered. I venture, with great diffidence, to doubt this. It seems more likely that, at least in many instances, both Pāli and Sanskrit were alike derived from a previous Prākrit form, and that in differently interpreting a difficult word, both Sanskrit and Pāli authors made mistakes. That may be the case here; and it is almost certain that the original word had nothing to do with tīrtha. How easily this idea could be adopted we see from the fact that Childers when first editing the MSS. (in the J. R. A. S. for 1874), and when he had only Sinhalese MSS. then before him, altered their reading into samatitthikā, and put this form into his Dictionary; though he afterwards (in the separate edition), and after noting that reading in the Phayre MS., chose the other. But what, after all, does 'having equal or level tīrthas or landing-places' mean, when spoken of a river? Comp. Samatittikaṃ bhuñgāmi (Mil. 213, 214); Sabbato tittaṃ pokkharaṇiṃ (Jāt. I, 339, text titthaṃ); and Samatittiko telapatto (ibid. 393, text ṅiyo, but see p. 400). The root perhaps is TRIP.
Kākapeyya, according to Buddhaghosa, would mean 'crow-drinkable.' Crows do not drink on the wing; and they could stand to drink either when a river actually overflowed its banks and formed shallows on the adjoining land; or when in the hot season it had formed shallows in its own bed. 'Crow-drinkable' might mean therefore just as well 'shallow' as 'overflowing.' Had the word originally anything to do with kāka after all?]

[25]The Sinhalese MSS. omit Mahiddhi and Yama, but repeat the verb 'we call upon' three times after Brahmā. It is possible that the Burmese copyist has wrongly inserted them to remove the strangeness of this repetition. The comment is silent.]

[26]ṭvaraṇā.

[27]Nīvaraṇā.

[28]All three MSS. onahā. S. V. reads onaddhaṃ in the text, and explains it by onahā.

[29]All three MSS. pariyonahā. S. V. reads pariyoddhaṃ in the text, and explains it by pariyonahā.

[30]Sapariggaho vā Brahmā apariggaho vā ti. Buddhaghosa says on Vāseṭṭha's reply, 'Kāmakkhandassa abhāvato itthipariggaheno apariggaho,' thus restricting the 'possession' to women, with especial reference to the first 'hindrance;' but the word in the text, though doubtless alluding to possession of women in particular, includes more. Compare, on the general idea of the passage, the English expression 'no encumbrances.'

[31]Asaŋkiliṭṭha-citto. That is, says Buddhaghosa, 'free from mental sloth and idleness, self-righteous ness, and pride.'

[32]Vasavattī vi avasavattī va. Buddhaghosa says, in explanation of the answer: 'By the absence of doubt he has his mind under control' (vase vatteti). Āsīditva saṃsīdanti. I have no doubt the commentator is right in his explanation of these figurative expressions. Confident in their knowledge of the Vedas, and in their practice of Vedic ceremonies, they neglect higher things; and so, sinking into sin and superstition, 'they are arriving only at despair, thinking the while that they are crossing over into some happier land.'

[33]From here down to the end of p. 200 is a repetition word for {footnote p. 187} word of Sāmañña Phala Sutta, pp. 133 and following; including the passages there parallel to those in Subha Sutta, p. 157, and in Brahma-jāla Sutta, pp. 5-16.]

[34]See above, Ī 7.

[35]The point is, that the acceptance of this 'Doctrine and Discipline' is open to all, not of course that Brahmā never accept it.

[36]The argument is resumed after the Three Sīlas, or Descriptions of Conduct — a text, doubtless older than the Suttas in which it occurs, setting forth the distinguishing moral characteristics of a member of the Order.
The First is an expansion of the Ten Precepts ('Buddhism,' p. 160), but omitting the fifth, against the use of intoxicating drinks. The Second is a further expansion of the first and then of the last four, and finally of the fourth Precept. The Third is directed against auguries, divinations, prophecies, astrology, quackery, ritualism, and the worship of Gods (including Brahmā).
These Three may perhaps have been inserted in the Sutta as a kind of counterpoise to the Three Vedas. Our Sutta really reads better without them; but they are interesting in themselves, and the third is especially valuable as evidence of ancient customs and beliefs.

[37]There is no division into actual chapters in the original, but it is convenient to arrange the following enumeration of moral precepts separately, as they occur in various suttas in the same order — and are always divided into the three divisions of Lower, Medium, and Higher Morality.

[38]The clause 'this, too, is the kind of goodness that he has' is repeated in the text after each section. The clause, which differs {footnote p. 190} in the different suttas in which this enumeration of Buddhist morality is found, is distinct from the enumeration itself, and, like the opening reference to Vāseṭṭha, characteristic only of the particular Sutta.]

[39]This paragraph occurs frequently; see, inter alia, below, Mahā-Sudassana Sutta II, 8. It will be seen from 'Buddhism,' pp. 170, 171, that these meditations play a great part in later Buddhism, and occupy very much the place that prayer takes in Christianity. A fifth, the meditation on Impurity, has been added, at what time I do not know, before the last. All five are practised in Siam (Alabaster, 'Wheel of the Law,' p. 168).]

[40]Or 'Member of our Order.' See the note on Mahāparinibbāna Sutta I, 6.]

 


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