Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
I. Mūlapaṇṇāsa
3. Tatiya 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 27

Cūḷa-Hatthi-Padopama Suttaɱ

The Short Trail

 


 

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

Once, when staying at Sāvatthī in Jeta's grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's pleasaunce,
the brahmin Jāṇussoṇi was coming out of the city early in the day
in a carriage which was all white
and was drawn by four white mares,
when at a distance he espied
the Wanderer Pilotika returning to the city
and asked:

Whence, pray, comes Vacchāyana so early in the day?

I am on my way back from the recluse Gotama.

And what is your view of him, Vacchāyana?

Has he got depth of thought?

Is he learned, do you think?

Who, who am I to comprehend
the depth of the recluse Gotama's thought?

Only his peer could comprehend that.

It is lofty praise indeed that you accord him.

Who, who am I to praise him?

Naught but praise upon praise is his,
that foremost among gods and men.

What rich blessing did you find in the recluse Gotama
to make you so ardent an adherent of his?

It is as if to an elephant forest
there came an expert elephant-tracker,
who should see there a long and broad footprint of an elephant
and should conclude it indicated a really big elephant.

Even so, when I saw the four footprints of the recluse Gotama,
I concluded that the Lord was all-enlightened,
that he had well and truly revealed his Doctrine,
and that his Confraternity walked aright.

What are his four footprints?

From the class of learned Nobles
there have come,
as I have seen,
keen and tried disputants,
verbal archers
skilled in hair-splitting,
and journeying about to split in twain by their lore, methinks,
any views propounded.

These, hearing that the recluse Gotama
would be at this or that village or township,
frame a question to ask him,
calculating to confute him one way
if his answer be in this sense,
and another way if [126] his answer be in that sense.

When they hear that he has come,
they go to him;
and then, he, by a discourse on his Doctrine,
so informs and enlightens them,
so cheers them forward
and helps them onwards,
that in the end
they never put their question at all,
much less do they confute him,
but actually become Gotama's disciples.

When I saw this first footprint of the recluse Gotama,
I concluded that the Lord was all-enlightened,
that he had well and truly revealed his Doctrine,
and that his Confraternity walked aright.

From the class too of learned brahmins
there have come ...
become Gotama's disciples.

When I saw this second footprint ...
walked aright.

From the class of learned heads of houses
there have come ...
become Gotama's disciples.

When I saw this third footprint ...
walked aright.

From the class of learned recluses
there have come ...
much less do they confute him,
but have actually begged him
to let them leave home for homelessness as Pilgrims;
and he has admitted them as such.

So admitted,
and dwelling alone and aloof,
strenuous,
ardent,
and purged of self,
they, after no great while,
come - of themselves,
here and now -
to discern and realize,
to enter on and abide in,
that supreme goal of the higher life,
for the sake of which young men go forth from home
to homelessness on Pilgrimage.

Say they:

We were near to being undone,
quite undone!

For, we that before were no true recluses,
now know we are recluses indeed;
we that before were no true brahmins,
now know we are brahmins indeed;
we that before were 'un-worthy'
(an-Arahants)
now know we have 'Worth'
indeed (are Arahats).

To-day we are in very truth
recluses and brahmins of real Worth.

When I saw this fourth footprint of the recluse Gotama,
I concluded that the Lord was all-enlightened,
that he had well and truly revealed his Doctrine,
and that his Confraternity walked aright.

Such were the four footprints of the recluse Gotama,
the sight of which led me to this conclusion.

[127] Thereupon, the brahmin Jāṇussoṇi alighted from his carriage so white,
and, with right shoulder reverently bared
and with clasped hands stretched out towards the Lord,
thrice burst forth with this utterance:

'Homage to the Lord,
the Arahat all-enlightened!

Homage to the Lord,
the Arahat all-enlightened!

Homage to the Lord,
the Arahat all-enlightened!

May it be mine some day and somewhere
to meet the reverend Gotama
and to have speech with him!'

Then the brahmin proceeded to the Lord
and, after friendly greetings,
related the talk he had had with the Wanderer Pilotika.

Said the Lord:

At this point, brahmin,
the allegory of the elephant's footprint
is not complete in all its details.

Give ear and hearken,
and I will tell you what will complete it.

Certainly, sir, said the brahmin in assent;
and the Lord spoke as follows:

It is as if to an elephant forest
there came an elephant-tracker,
who should see there
long and broad footprints of an elephant,
but, being an expert in tracking elephants,
should not conclude
that this indicated a really big elephant.

And why?

Because in an elephant forest
there are stunted cow-elephants
who have large feet;
and it might also be their footprints.

So on he goes till he comes on
long and broad footprints making a deep lane
through the underwood.|| ||

Still the expert tracker does not conclude
that this indicates a really big elephant.

And why?

Because in an elephant forest
there are cow-elephants with tushes,
who have large feet;
and it might be one of these.

So on he goes till he comes on
long and broad footprints making a deep lane through the underwood
and with marks of slashing tusks high up.

Still he does not conclude
that this indicates a really big elephant.

And why?

Because in an elephant forest
there are cow-elephants with stumpy tusks,
who have large feet;
and it might be one of these.

So on he goes till he comes on
long and broad footprints making a deep lane through the underwood
and with marks of [128] slashing tusks high up
and also with high branches torn off;
and there he espies that elephant
beneath a tree
or in the open,
walking or standing still,
couching or reclining.

Then at last he concludes
that here is his big elephant.

Even so, brahmin, there arises in the world here
a Truth-finder,
Arahat
all-enlightened,
walking by knowledge,
blessed,
understanding all worlds,
the matchless tamer of the human heart,
teacher of gods and men,
the Lord of Enlightenment.

This universe -
with its gods, Māras,
Brahmās,
recluses and brahmins,
embracing all gods and mankind, -
all this he has discerned
and realized for himself,
and makes known to others.

He preaches his Doctrine,
which is so fair in its outset,
its middle,
and its close,
with both text and import;
he propounds a higher life
that is wholly complete and pure.

This Doctrine is heard by the head of a house
or his son
or by one of other birth,
who hearing it
puts his trust in the Truth-finder,
and in this trust
bethinks him that -
A hole and corner life
is all a home can give,
whereas Pilgrimage is in the open;
it is hard for a home-keeping man
to live the higher life
in all its full completeness
and full purity and perfection;
what if I were to cut off hair and beard,
don the yellow robes,
and go forth from home to homelessness as a Pilgrim?

Later, parting from his substance,
be it small or great,
parting too from the circle of his kinsfolk,
be they few or many,
he cuts off hair and beard,
dons the yellow robes,
and goes forth from home to homelessness as a Pilgrim.

Pilgrim. "ME, fr. OF peligrin, fr. LL pelegrinus alter of L. peregrinus foreigner, fr. peregre abroad, fr. pereger being abroad, fr. per through + agr-, ager land, field. 1a. One who journies esp. in alien lands; traveler, wayferer. b. a person who passes through life as if in exile from a heavenly homeland or in search of it or of some lofty goal." — Websters.

Chalmers seems to be adding this as a gloss. It doesn't stand for any given Pali term.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

A Pilgrim now,
schooled in the Almsmens precepts
and way of life,
he puts from him all killing
and abstains from killing anything.

Laying aside cudgel and sword,
he lives a life of innocence and mercy,
full of kindliness and compassion
for everything that lives.

Theft he puts from him and eschews;
taking only what is given to him by others,
and waiting till it is given,
he lives an honest and clean life.

Putting from him
all that does not belong to the higher life,
he leads the higher life in virtue,
abstaining from low sensuality.

Leal. Scottish: Loyal, true.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[129] Putting from him
and abstaining from all lying,
he speaks the truth,
cleaves to the truth,
and is staunch and leal,
never deceiving the world with his lips.

Calumny he puts from him and eschews,
not repeating elsewhere
to the harm of people here
what he hears there,
nor repeating here
to the harm of people elsewhere
what he hears elsewhere;
thus he heals divisions
and cements friendship,
seeking peace
and ensuing it;
for in peace is his delight
and his words are ever the words of a peacemaker.

Reviling he puts from him,
and abstains from reviling people;
his words are without gall,
pleasant,
friendly,
going home to the heart,
courteous,
agreeable
and welcome to all.

Tattle he puts from him
and abstains therefrom,
he speaks, in season
and according to the facts,
words of help
concerning the Doctrine
and the Rule,
words to be stored in the heart,
words duly illustrated,
fraught with purpose,
and pithy.

He sedulously avoids hurting the seeds
or plants of a village.

He takes but one meal a day,
never eating at night
or after hours.

He refrains from looking on at shows of dancing,
singing,
and music.

He eschews all use and employment
of smart garlands,
scents
and perfumes.

He sleeps on no tall or broad beds.

He refuses to accept gold
or coins of silver, -
uncooked grain or meat, -
women or girls, -
bondwomen or bondmen, -
sheep or goats, -
fowls or swine, -
elephants or cattle or horses or mares, -
fields or land.

He refrains from the practice
of sending or going on messages.

He neither buys nor sells.

He never cheats with weights,
coins,
or measures.

He takes no part in bribery,
cozening,
cheating,
or other crooked ways.

He never joins in wounding,
murdering,
and manacling,
or in highway robbery,
brigandage,
and fraud.

Contented is he
with whatever robes are given him
as clothing,
and with whatever alms are given
for his belly's needs.

Wheresoever he goes,
he takes all his belongings with him.

Just as a winged bird,
wheresoever it goes,
carries with it its feathers and all, -
so, wheresoever he goes,
he takes all his belongings with him.

[130] A master of this noble code of virtue,
he enjoys unsullied well-being within.

When with his eye
he sees a visible shape,
he is not absorbed by either its general appearance
or its details;
but, since the eye uncontrolled
might lead to covetousness and discontent,
to evil and wrong states of mind,
he schools himself to control it,
to keep watch and ward over it,
and to establish control.

And he does the like
with his five other faculties of sense.

A master of this noble control over his faculties,
he enjoys unalloyed well-being within.

Purposeful is he in all his doings, -
whether in coming in or going out,
in looking ahead or around,
in stretching out his arm
or in drawing it back,
in wearing his clothes
or carrying his bowl,
in eating or drinking,
in chewing or savouring food,
in attending to the calls of nature,
in walking
or standing
or sitting,
in sleeping or waking,
in speech or in silence; -
he is always purposeful in all he does.

A master of this noble code of virtue,
a master of this noble code of control of his faculties of sense,
and a master of noble mindfulness and purpose in all he does,
he resorts to a lonely lodging, -
in the forest under a tree,
in the wilds in cave or grot,
in a charnel-ground,
in a thicket,
or on bracken in the open.

After his meal,
when he is back from his round for alms,
he seats himself cross-legged
and with body erect,
with his heart set on mindfulness.

His life is purged
(i.) of appetite for things of the world,
for he has put from him
all appetite therefor; -
(ii.) of all spiteful thoughts,
for he is filled only with loving-kindness
and compassion for all that lives; -
(iii.) of all torpor,
for all torpor has left him,
driven out by clarity of vision,
by mindfulness,
and by purpose in all he does; -
(iv.) of ail flurry and worry,
for he is serene,
and his heart within is at peace
and quit of all worries; - and
(v.) of all doubts,
for his life is unclouded by doubt,
he is troubled by no questionings,
right states of mind
have purged his heart of all doubting.

When he has put from him these Five Hindrances,
those defilements of [131] the heart
which weaken a man's insight,
then, divested of pleasures of sense
and divested of wrong states of consciousness,
he enters on,
and abides in,
the First Ecstasy
with all its zest and satisfaction,
a state bred of inward aloofness
but not divorced from observation and reflection.

This, brahmin, is known as the Truth-finders footprint,
the Truth-finder's track,
the Truth-finder's slash.

But it is not yet that the disciple of the Noble concludes
that the Lord is all-enlightened,
that he has well and truly revealed his Doctrine,
and that his Confraternity walks aright.

Nor does he so conclude
as he successively attains
to the three other Ecstasies, -
each of which is called the Truth-finder's footprint,
the Truth-finder's track,
the Truth-finder's slash.

With heart thus stedfast ...
(etc., as in Sutta No. 4) ...
divers existences of the past
in all their details and features.

This too is called the Truth-finder's footprint,
the Truth-fmder's track,
the Truth-finder's slash.

But not yet does he conclude
that the Lord is all-enlightened,
that he has well and truly revealed his Doctrine,
and that his Confraternity walks aright.

That same stedfast heart
he now applies ...
(etc., as in Sutta 4) ...
appeared after death
in states of bliss
and in heaven.

This too is called the Truth-finder's footprint ...
walks aright.

That same stedfast heart
he next applies to the knowledge of the eradication of the Cankers ...
(etc., as in Sutta 4) ...
course that leads to their cessation.

This too is called ... walks aright.

When he knows this and sees this,
his heart is delivered from the Canker of sensuous pleasure,
from the Canker of continuing existence,
and from the Canker of ignorance;
and to him thus delivered
comes the knowledge of his Deliverance
in the conviction -

Rebirth is no more;
I have lived the highest life;
my task is done;
and now for me there is no more of what I have been.

[132] This is known as the Truth-finder's footprint,
the Truth-finder's track,
the Truth-finder's slash.

And now at last
the disciple of the Noble concludes
that the Lord is all-enlightened,
that he has well and truly revealed his Doctrine,
and that his Confraternity walks aright.

And now at last, brahmin,
the allegory of the elephant's footprints
has been completed in all its details.

Thereupon, the brahmin Jāṇussoṇi said to the Lord:

Excellent, Gotama!
most excellent!

Just as if a man should set upright again
what had been cast down,
or reveal what was hidden away,
or tell a man who had gone astray
which was his way,
or bring a lamp into darkness
so that those with eyes to see
might see the things about them, -
even so, in many a figure,
has Gotama made his Doctrine clear.

I come to the reverend Gotama as my refuge,
and to his Doctrine,
and to his Confraternity.

May the reverend Gotama accept me
as a follower who has found an abiding refuge
from this day onward while life lasts.


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