Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
I. Mūlapaṇṇāsa
1. Mūlapariyāya Vagga

Sacred Books of the Buddhists
Volume V
Dialogues of the Buddha
Part IV

Further Dialogues of the Buddha
Volume I

Translated from the Pali
by Lord Chalmers
G.C.B.
Sometime Governor of Ceylon

London
Humphrey Milford
Oxford University Press
1926
Public Domain

Sutta 3

Dhamma-Dāyāda Sutta

Unworldly Goods

 


 

[1][pts][upal] THUS have I heard:

Once when the Lord was staying at Sāvatthī in Jeta's grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's pleasaunce, he addressed the attentive Almsmen as follows:

"Seek to be partakers, Almsmen,
not of the world's goods
but of my Doctrine;
in my compassion for you,
I am anxious to ensure this.

Should you be partakers of the world's goods
and not of my Doctrine,
then not only will you, my disciples,
be blamed for so doing,
but also I, as your teacher,
shall be blamed on your account.

If, on the other hand,
you partake of my Doctrine
and not of the worlds goods,
then not only will you, my disciples,
escape blame for so doing,
but also I, as your teacher,
shall escape blame too.

Therefore, be partakers of my Doctrine
and not of the worlds goods;
out of compassion for them,
I would have all my disciples
partake of my Doctrine
and not of the world's goods.

Suppose my meal is over
and that I have finished and ended,
after having had my fill and enough;
and assume that of my alms
there is some over,
to be thrown away,
when there arrive two Almsmen,
half dead with hunger and exhaustion,
to whom I say that I have finished my own meal
and do not want any more,
but that of my alms there is some over,
to be thrown away;
that they can eat it if they like,
but that, if they do not,
I shall either throw it away
where no grass grows
or fling it into water
where no living things dwell.[1]

Suppose now one Almsman thinks:

The Lord has finished eating all he wants
but has left some food
which, if we do not eat it,
he will now throw away.

Now the Lord has told us to partake of his Doctrine
and not of the world's goods -
of which alms [10] is one;
and I had better not eat
but fast on till the morrow,
notwithstanding my hunger and exhaustion.

Suppose then that,
not partaking of the alms over,
this first Almsman patiently fasts on till the morrow comes.

But suppose the second Almsman thinks:

The Lord has had his own meal
but there remains food over
which he will only throw away if we do not eat it.

Why should not I,
by eating thereof,
pass the night and next morning
in relief from my hunger and exhaustion?

Assume, now, that this second Almsman does eat,
and so relieves his hunger and exhaustion before the morrow comes.

Albeit he does so
and relieves his necessity,
yet I should hold the first Almsman in greater honour and esteem.

And why?

Because the first Almsman's abstention
will long conduce to curtailment of wants,
to contentment,
to purgation of evil,
to virtuous satisfaction
and to the strenuous life.

Therefore, Almsmen,
be ye partakers not of the world's goods
but of my Doctrine;
in my compassion for you all,
I am anxious to ensure this."

Thus spoke the Lord,
who thereupon rose and passed to his own cell.

The Lord had not long been gone
when the reverend Sāriputta addressed the Almsmen, saying:

"Your reverences."

"Reverend sir," said they in response.

Then said Sāriputta:

"In what respects,
while their teacher leads the Life Apart,
do his disciples either cultivate,
or not cultivate,
the same detachment of the inner life?"

"We would have travelled from afar to learn the meaning of this from Sāriputta's lips.

Pray, vouchsafe to explain it,
and we will treasure up your words."

"Then, reverend sirs,
hearken
and pay attention
and I will speak."

"Yes, reverend sir,"
said they in response to Sāriputta,
who went on to speak as follows:

Take the case that,
while their teacher leads the life apart,
his disciples fail to cultivate the same aloofness of the inner life,
do not put from them
those states of mind which their teacher has bidden them put [11] from them,
but are luxurious
and have but a loose grip of the truth,
are foremost in backsliding,
and intolerant of Renunciation's yoke.

Herein, first the seniors are trebly blameworthy, -
first, that, while their teacher leads the life apart,
his disciples do not cultivate the same detachment in the inner life;
secondly, that they do not put from them
those states of mind which their teacher has bidden them put from them;
and thirdly, that they are luxurious
and have only a loose grip of truth,
are to the forefront in backsliding
and intolerant of Renunciation's yoke.

Blame attaches to the seniors in these three ways.

And the like threefold blame
attaches also to those of middle standing
and to the juniors.

These are the respects in which,
while their teacher leads the life apart,
his disciples do not cultivate the same aloofness of the inner life.

Next, what are the respects in which,
while their teacher leads the life apart,
his disciples cultivate the like aloofness of the inner life?

Take the case that,
while their teacher leads the life apart,
his disciples also cultivate aloofness in the inner life,
put from them those states of mind which their teacher bids them put from them,
are not luxurious,
have no loose grip of the truth,
are intolerant only of backsliding
and are foremost in Renunciation.

Herein, first the seniors are trebly praiseworthy, -
firstly, that while their teacher leads the life apart,
they cultivate the same aloofness in the inner life;
secondly, that they put from them
those states of mind which their teacher has bidden them put from them;
and thirdly, that they are not luxurious,
have no looseness of grip on the truth,
are intolerant only of backsliding,
but are to the forefront in Renunciation.

Praise attaches to the seniors in these three ways.

And the like threefold praise
attaches also to those of middle standing
and to the juniors.

These are the respects in which,
while their teacher leads the life apart,
his disciples cultivate the like aloofness of the inner life.

Yes, sirs, greed is vile,
and vile is resentment.

To shed this greed
and this resentment,
there is [12] the Middle Way
which gives us eyes to see
and makes us know,
leading us on to peace,
insight,
enlightenment
and Nirvana.

What is this Middle Way?

Why, it is naught but the Noble Eightfold Path of
right outlook,
right aims,
right speech,
right action,
right means of livelihood,
right effort,
right mindfulness,
and right concentration;
this, Almsmen, is the Middle Way.

Yes, sirs;
anger is vile
and malevolence is vile,
enyy and jealousy are vile,
niggardliness and avarice are vile,
hypocrisy and deceit are vile,
imperviousness and temper are vile,
pride and arrogance are vile,
inflation is vile,
and indolence is vile;
for the shedding of inflation and indolence
there is the Middle Way -
giving us eyes to see,
making us know,
and leading us on to peace,
insight,
enlightenment
and Nirvana -
which is naught but that Noble Eightfold Path.

Thus spoke the reverend Sāriputta.

Glad at heart, those Almsmen rejoiced in what he had said.

 


[1] I.e. so as not to harm life in any form. See S.B.E. XX, 219, and cf. Jainism.


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