Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
I. Mūlapaṇṇāsa
5. Cūḷa 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 42

Verañjaka Suttaɱ

Our Weird[ed1]

 


[202]

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

Once when the Lord was staying at Sāvatthī in Jeta's grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's pleasaunce,
there were brahmins from Verañja who were stopping in Sāvatthī on some business or other; and it came to their ears that the recluse Gotama, a Sakyan who had gone forth as a Pilgrim from a Sakyan family,
was staying at Sāvatthī in Jeta's grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's pleasaunce

Such, they heard,
was the high repute noised abroad concerning the reverend Gotama
that he was said to be -
The Lord,
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 a 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.

It is good to go and visit Arahats like him.

So the brahmins of Verañja
went to the Lord and,
after exchanging civil greetings,
took their seats to one side, -
some after salutations,
some after greetings,
some with joined palms respectfully outstretched,
some after mention of their names and family,
and others again in silence.

Being seated,
they put this question to the Lord:

Why and wherefore is it that,
after death,
at the body's dissolution,
some creatures come to re-birth in states of suffering
or woe
or purgatory,
while others are reborn in some happy state
or heaven?

Because, householders, they walk not in righteousness
but in wickedness,
some creatures pass to states of suffering;
Others because they walk in righteousness and in goodness,
are reborn in happy states in heaven.

This utterance is too condensed
for us to take it in without explanation.

Would the reverend Gotama be so good as to expand his utterance
and bring Out its meaning for us?

Listen then, sirs,
and pay attention;
I will speak.

So to the attentive brahmins the Lord began:

There are three forms of unrighteousness and wickedness for the body;
four for speech;
and three for thoughts.

As regards bodily unrighteousness, a man
(i) may take life, -
as a hunter with hands bathed in blood,
given to killing and slaying,
merciless to living creatures; or
(ii) may take what is not his, -
by appropriating to himself
in thievish fashion
the belongings of other people
in village and jungle; or
(iii) may be a fornicator,
having intercourse with girls under the charge
of mother
or father
or brother
or sister
or relations,
yes, with girls affianced and plighted,
and even wearing the very garlands of betrothal.

As regards unrighteousness of speech, a man
(i) may be a liar; -
when cited to give testimony before assembly
or village-meeting
or family council
or royal household
or his guild,
he may say that he knows
when he does not know,
or that he does not know
when he does know,
or that he saw
when he did not see,
or that he did not see
when he did see, -
deliberately lying
in the interests either of himself
or of other people
or for some trifling gain.

Or (ii) he may be a slanderer; -
repeating here
what he has heard elsewhere
so as to set one set of people by the ears,
and repeating elsewhere
what he has heard here
so as to set another set of people by the ears;
he is a dissolver of harmony
and a fomenter of strife;
discord prompts his utterances,
discord being his pleasure,
his joy,
and his delight.

Or (iii) he may be bitter of tongue; -
what he says is rough and harsh,
hurtful and wounding to others,
provocative of anger,
and leading to distraction.

Or (iv) he may be a tattler, -
talking out of season,
without heed to fact,
always talking of the unprofitable,
never of the Doctrine,
never of the Rule,
but ever of the trivial,
of the ill-timed,
of the frivolous,
of things leading nowhere,
and unprofitable.

As regards unrighteousness of thought, a man
(i) may be covetous,
coveting other people's gear
with the yearning that it were all his own.

Or (ii) he may be malevolent
and wicked of heart, -
wishing that creatures around him
might be killed,
destroyed,
annihilated,
or cease to be.

Or (iii) he may be wrong in outlook
and erroneous in his conceptions, -
holding that there are no such things as alms
or sacrifice
or oblations,
that there is no such thing
as the fruit and harvest
of deeds good and bad,
that there is no such thing
as this world
or any other,
that there are no such things
as either parents
or translation elsewhere,
that there are no such things in the world
as recluses and brahmins who,
having trodden the right path
and walked aright,
have, of and by themselves,
comprehended and realized this and other worlds
and made it all known to others too.

Yes, it is because some creatures walk thus
not in righteousness
but in wickedness
that they pass after death
at the body's dissolution
to re-birth in states of suffering
or woe
or purgatory.

 


 

Contrariwise, there are three forms of. righteousness and goodness for the body;
four for speech;
and three for thoughts.

As regards bodily righteousness, a man
(i) 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,
(ii) Theft he puts from him and eschews;
taking from others
only what is given to him by them,
he lives an honest life,
(iii) Putting from him all sensual misconduct,
he abstains from fornication;
he has no intercourse with girls under the charge
of mother
or father
or brother
or sister
or relations,
no intercourse with girls affianced and plighted
and with the garlands of betrothal upon them.

As regards righteousness in speech,
(i) a man puts lying from him
and abstains from lies;
when cited to give testimony before assembly
or village-meeting
or family council
or royal household
or his guild
he says that he does not know
when he does not,
and that he does know
when he does,
says that he did not see
when he did not see
and that he saw
when he did see, -
never deliberately lying in the interests of himself
or of other people
or for some trifling gain,
(ii) All slander he puts from him
and from slandering he abstains;
what he hears here
he does not repeat elsewhere
so as to set one set of people by the ears,
nor does he repeat here
what he hears elsewhere
so as to set another set of people by the ears;
he is a promoter of harmony
and a restorer of amity,
for concord is his pleasure,
his joy,
and his delight,
(iii) There is no bitterness in his tongue
and he abstains from bitter speech;
what he says is without gall,
pleasant,
friendly,
hearty,
urbane,
agreeable,
and welcome to all.

(iv) No tattler,
he abstains from tattle,
speaking in season,
according to fact,
always of the profitable,
of the Doctrine and Rule,
in speech which is seasonable and memorable,
illuminating,
well-marshalled,
and of great profit.

As regards righteousness in thoughts,
(i) a man is devoid of covetousness,
never coveting other peoples gear
with the yearning that it were all his own.

(ii) He harbours no malevolence
or wickedness of thought;
his wish is that creatures around him
may live on in peace and happiness,
safe from all enmity and oppression.

(iii) He is right in outlook
and correct in his conceptions;
he affirms that there are indeed such things as alms,
sacrifice,
and oblations, -
as the fruit and harvest of deeds
good and bad, -
as this and other worlds, -
as parents
and translation elsewhere -
as recluses and brahmins who,
having trodden the right path
and walked aright,
have, of and by themselves,
comprehended and realized this and other worlds
and made it all known to others too.

It is because some creatures
walk thus in righteousness and goodness
that they pass after death
at the body's dissolution
to re-birth in some happy state in heaven.

 


 

If the desire of a righteous and good man
be to be reborn after death
at the body's dissolution
as a great noble,
this may very well come to pass, -
because of his righteousness and goodness here.

Or, if such be his desire,
he might become a magnate among brahmins or heads of houses, -
because of his righteousness and goodness here.

Or, again, if such be his desire,
he might be reborn among the Four Regents,
or the Thirty-three gods,
or the Yamas,
or the Tusitas,
or the Nimmānaratis,
or the Paranimmita-vasavattis,
the Corporeal Brahmās,
the Ābhās,
the Paritt-ābhās,
the Appamāṇa-subhas,
the Subha-kiṇṇas,
the Vehapphalas,
the Avihas,
the Atappas,
the Sudassas,
the Sudassis,
the Akanitthas,
the gods of Infinity of Space,
the gods of Infinity of Mind,
the gods of the Realm of Naught,
the gods of the Realm of Neither Perception nor Non-perception.

Or, again, if it be the righteous and good man's desire,
by extirpating the Cankers,
here and now to enter on,
and abide in,
Deliverance of heart and mind
where no Cankers are,
a Deliverance which he,
of and by himself,
has comprehended and realized, -
then it may well be
that to such Deliverance
he will come;
and all because of his righteousness and goodness here.

At the close of this discourse,
the brahmin householders of Verañja said to the Lord:

Excellent, Gotama;
most excellent!

It is just as if a man should set upright again
what had been cast down,
or reveal what had been 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 discern the things about them; -
even so, in many a figure,
has the reverend Gotama made his Doctrine clear.

We come to him as our refuge,
and to his Doctrine,
and to his Confraternity.

We ask the reverend Gotama to accept us
as followers who have found an abiding refuge
from this day onward while life lasts.

 


[ed1] Weird = fate, destiny.


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