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 45

Cūḷa Dhamma-Samādāna Suttaɱ

On Living Up to Professions (1)

 


[219]

[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:

There are four ways to profess a Doctrine.

The first is pleasant for the time being
but ripens to pain thereafter;
the second is unpleasant for the time being
and ripens to pain thereafter;
the third is unpleasant for the time being
but ripens to be pleasant thereafter;
and the fourth is not only pleasant for the time being
but ripens to be pleasant thereafter.

As touching the first of the four,
there are some recluses and brahmins
who maintain and hold that -

There is nothing wrong in pleasures of sense.

So they give way to indulgence in pleasures of sense;
they disport themselves with top-knotted girl-Wanderers;[1]
and they say: -

Why is it that recluses and brahmins,
detecting future peril from pleasures of sense,
call on people to eschew them,
and insist on their real nature?

Pleasant are the tender,
young,
downy arms of my girl-Wanderer!

So they give way to indulgence in pleasures of sense,
with the result that,
after death at the body's dissolution,
they pass to states of woe and suffering
or to purgatory,
where they experience anguish and torment.

Here they realize why recluses and brahmins,
detecting future peril from pleasures of sense,
called on people to eschew them,
and insisted on their real nature!

For, here they find themselves
experiencing feelings of anguish and torment, -
solely because, and by reason, of these pleasures of sense.

It is just as if,
in the last month of the hot season of [220] the year,
a creeper's seed-pod should burst open
and one of the seeds should fall
at the foot of a sāl-tree, -
to the great alarm and consternation
of the deity residing in the tree;
and just as if that deity's friends and kinsfolk -
deities resident in pleasaunce and grove,
in trees and medicinal herbs
and woodlands -
should gather together and assemble
to allay that deity's alarm
with cheerful hopes
that no doubt the creeper's seed
would be pecked up by a peacock,
or munched by a deer,
or consumed by a forest fire,
or be taken away by woodmen,
or eaten by white ants, -
or perhaps might never germinate.

Suppose now that none of these things happened to that seed,
and suppose that it did germinate,
and that the monsoon made it grow apace,
so that a creeper sprouted -
tender, young, downy, and clinging -
which fastened on to that sāl-tree.

Why, the resident deity might then think,
did my friends and kinsfolk assemble to allay my alarm
with cheerful ...
might never germinate?

Pleasant indeed are the embraces of this
tender, young, downy, and clinging creeper!

Suppose now that creeper should enfold the tree,
growing into a canopy over the top
and into a dense growth beneath,
till it had strangled every mighty branch and stem.

Well might that deity then think
that this was what prompted his friends and kinsfolk
to assemble to allay his alarm
with their cheerful hopes that ...
might never germinate.

For, here the tree
would find itself experiencing anguish and torment,
all because of that creeper's seed.

It is just the same
with those recluses and brahmins
who maintain and hold ...
because and by reason of these pleasures of sense.

This is the first way of professing a Doctrine, -
the way which is pleasant for the time being
but ripens unto Ill thereafter.

As touching the second way of professing a Doctrine,
the way which is unpleasant both now and hereafter,
take the case of a devotee,
naked, flouting the decencies of life ...
(etc., as in Sutta 12) ...
down to the water punctually thrice before night- [221] fall
to wash (away the evil within).

After this wise,
in divers fashions,
does the devotee live to torment and to torture his body;
and after death
at the body's dissolution
he passes to states of woe and suffering
or to purgatory,
where he experiences anguish and torment.

This is the second way of professing a Doctrine,
the way which is unpleasant for the time being
and ripens to pain thereafter.

As touching the third way,
take the case of a man
by nature prone to passion -
to wrath -
to delusion -,
who time after time
suffers the pains of body and mind
which each of these three things continually breeds,
but yet - albeit with pain of body and mind,
albeit with tears and wailing -
lives the higher life
in all its consummate purity.

Such a man, after death,
at the body's dissolution,
passes to a happy state in heaven.

This is the third way of professing a Doctrine,
the way which is unpleasant for the time being
but ripens to be pleasant thereafter.

Lastly, take a man who is by nature
not prone to passion
or wrath
or delusion
and who suffers therefrom
no pains of body or mind,
but, divested of pleasures of sense,
and divested of wrong states of consciousness,
enters on,
and abides in,
the First Ecstasy ...
(etc., as in Sutta 4)
... the Fourth Ecstasy,
the state that, knowing neither satisfaction nor dissatisfaction,
is the consummate purity
of poised equanimity and mindfulness.

Such a man, after death,
at the body's dissolution,
passes to a happy state in heaven.

This is the fourth way of professing a Doctrine,
the way which is both pleasant for the time being
and ripens to be pleasant thereafter.

These, Brethren, are the four ways to profess a Doctrine.

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

 


[1] Acc. to Bu., these were non-buddhist 'ascetic (tāpasa) women-paribbājikas who tied up their hair like the top-knot' (of brahmin ascetics).


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