Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
I. Mūlapaṇṇāsa
2. Sīhanāda 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 15

Anumāna Suttaɱ[1]

Reflection

 


 

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

Once when the venerable Mahā-Moggallāna was staying in the Bhagga country
at Crocodile Peak
in the Bhesakala wood,
in the deer-park there,
he addressed the Almsmen as follows:

"If, despite his invitation to his seniors to teach him
and despite his professed anxiety to learn,
an Almsman proves unruly
and obstreperous in temper,
fractious and unreceptive of instruction, -
then his fellows in the higher life
deem him unfit to be taught
or instructed
or trusted.

 


 

Now what are the states of mind
that make a man obstreperous in temper?

Take the case of an Almsman
who is evilly inclined
and is the thrall of evil [70] inclinations; -

or who lauds himself
and runs down others; -

or who is wrathful
and the slave of wrath; -

or who is wrathful
and because of his wrath
bears grudges; -

or who is wrathful
and because of his wrath
takes offence; -

or who is wrathful
and because of his wrath
utters words of unbridled wrath; -

or who, being reproved,
argues with his reprover; -

or who, being reproved,
resents the reproof; -

or who, being reproved,
retorts with charges against his reprover; -

or who, being reproved,
wraps one thing up in another,
turns the talk off to something irrelevant,
displaying ill-temper,
malice,
and distrust; -

or who, being reproved,
fails to explain his proceedings; -

or who is a hypocrite
and impostor; -

or who harbours envy and jealousy; -

or who is full of guile and deceit; -

or who is stubborn and arrogant; -

or who hugs the temporal,
nor looses his grip and hold thereon; -

all these are states of mind
that make a man obstreperous in temper.

 


 

But if an Almsman who invites his seniors to teach him
and professes anxiety to learn,
proves humble and meek,
docile and receptive, -
then his fellows in the higher life
deem him fit to be taught
and instructed
and trusted.

Now, what are the states of mind
that make for meekness?

Almsmen, they are
[point for point the precise opposites of the foregoing list].

In connection with the foregoing states of mind,
an Almsman ought to argue about himself as follows: -

The man of evil inclinations
is displeasing and disagreeable to me;
and if I incline to evil,
others will regard me likewise
as displeasing and disagreeable.

Realizing this,
he must school his heart
never to give way to evil inclinations.

Similarly, realizing that,
just as he dislikes each of the other shortcomings in others,
so their presence in himself
will make him disliked likewise,
the Almsman must school his heart
never to give way to any single one of them.

He ought to reflect within himself
whether he is evilly inclined
and so forth.

If this reflection tells him
that he has got evil inclinations
and [71] so forth,
then he must strive to get rid of them.

But, if reflection tells him
he has not got evil inclinations
or the other evil states of mind,
then let his life be filled with zest and holy joy
as he trains himself
by day and by night
in right states of mind.

If his reflection tells him
that each and every one of these evil and wrong states of mind
persists within him,
he must strive to get rid of them all.

But, if reflection tells him
he has got rid of them all,
then let his life be filled with zest and holy joy
as he trains himself
by day and by night
in right states of mind.

Sirs, it is just like a woman or man
or lad young and dressy,
to whom the reflection of their features
in a bright clean mirror
or in a bowl of clear water
reveals a smut or pimple,
so that they strive to get rid of it;
but if the reflection revealed nothing of the kind,
they rejoice that all is right
and that their faces are clean and clear; -
even so is it with an Almsman;
if reflection tells him
that these evil and wrong states of mind
persist within him,
he must strive to get rid of them all;
but if he is conscious of having got rid of all of them,
then let his life be filled with zest and holy joy
as he trains himself
by day and by night
in right states of mind.

Thus spoke the reverend Mahā-Moggallāna.

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

 


[1] Bu. records that this Sutta was known to the Ancients as the Bhikkhu-pātimokkha, and adds that this self-examination should take place three times each day.


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