Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
I. Mūlapaṇṇāsa
4. Mahā Yamaka 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 33

Mahā-Gopālaka Suttaɱ

Pastoral Duties

 


 

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

Once when the Lord was staying at Sāvatthī in Jeta's grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's pleasaunce, the Lord addressed the Almsmen, saying:

Almsmen!

Lord, said they in answer.

Then the Lord spoke these words:

Eleven qualities disable a herdsman from looking after his herd and from promoting its increase;
and here are the eleven:

A herdsman
(i) is ignorant of form,
(ii) has no eye for marks,
(iii) does not get out ticks,
(iv) does not dress sores,
(v) does not smoke out (the lairs),
(vi) knows nothing either of fords or
(vii) watering-places or
(viii) roads or
(ix) pastures,
(x) milks dry, and
(xi) fails to tend with special attention the bulls that are the sires and leaders of the herd.

So too eleven qualities disable an Almsman from shewing growth,
increase,
and progress in this Doctrine and Rule;
and here are the eleven:|| ||

An Almsman
(i) is ignorant of form,
(ii) has no eye for marks,
(iii) does not get out ticks,
(iv) does not dress sores,
(v) does not smoke out (the lairs),
(vi) knows nothing either of fords or
(vii) watering-places or
(viii) roads or
(ix) pastures,
(x) milks dry, and
(xi) fails to tend with special attention those of the Brotherhood who are experienced and senior Elders,
the sires and leaders of the Confraternity.

How is an Almsman ignorant of form?

Why, by not really comprehending that each and every form consists of the four prime elements or is derivative therefrom.

How has an Almsman no eye for marks?

Why, by not really comprehending what marks the doings of the fool and the doings of the wise.

How does an Almsman not get out ticks?

Why, either by giving in to a thought that has arisen about sensuous pleasures -
or about hurt -
or about cruelty, -
or by giving in to evil and wrong states of mind as they arise from time to time,
instead of putting them from him,
instead of discarding and destroying them
so as to make them cease to exist.

How does an Almsman not dress sores?

Why, when, seeing with his eye a visible shape,
he is taken [158] up with its detailed characteristics and marks, and -
albeit, if he lives with eye uncontrolled,
appetite and depression,
together with evil and wrong states of mind,
might stream in upon him -
he yet lives not to control his faculty of sight,
keeps no watch and ward over it,
and fails to develop control over his faculty of sight.

[And so likewise with the other five senses.]

How does he not smoke out the lairs?

Why, by not expounding to others the Doctrine which he has himself heard and learned.

How does he know nothing of fords?

Why, by not going from time to time to learned Almsmen -
the channels of the word
and the repositories of the Doctrine and Rule and text -
to ask and enquire of them how this is,
or what that means.

In consequence, they do not open up what is closed to him,
do not clear up for him what was not clear,
nor remove his doubts in divers ideas of perplexity.

How does he know nothing of watering-places?

Why, by failing, when there is preaching of the Truth-finder's Doctrine and Rule,
to take in knowledge of welfare and of the Doctrine,
or to get the gladness which the Doctrine brings.

How does he know nothing of roads?

Why, by having no real comprehension of the Noble Eightfold Path.

How does he know nothing of pastures?

Why, by having no real comprehension of the fourfold mustering up of mindfulness.

How does he milk dry?

Why, when believing householders bring out and offer him robes and the other requisites,
he knows no bounds in what he takes.

How does he fail to tend with special attention those of the Brotherhood who are experienced and senior Elders,
the sires and leaders of the Confraternity?

Why, by not ministering to them -
both openly and in secret -
with acts of love,
with words of love,
and with thoughts of love.

Eleven qualities bring the herdsman success in [159] looking after his herd and in promoting its increase;
and here are the eleven:

A herdsman
(i) has knowledge of form
(ii) has an eye for marks,
(iii) gets out ticks,
(iv) dresses sores,
(v) smokes out the lairs,
(vi) knows about fords and
(vii) watering-places and
(viii) roads and
(ix) pastures,
(x) does not milk dry, and
(xi) tends with special attention
the bulls that are the sires and leaders of the herd.

So too eleven qualities enable an Almsman to shew growth,
increase,
and progress in the Doctrine and Rites;
and here are the eleven:

An Almsman
(i) has knowledge of form,
(ii) has an eye for marks,
(iii) gets out ticks,
(iv) dresses sores,
(v) smokes out the lairs,
(vi) knows about fords and
(vii) watering-places and
(viii) roads and
(ix) pastures,
(x) does not milk dry, and
(xi) tends with special attention those of the Brotherhood who are experienced and senior Elders,
the sires and leaders of the Confraternity.

[In each and every one of these respects he is,
and does, the precise opposite of the foregoing Brother.]

Thus spoke the Lord.

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


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