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 46

Mahā Dhamma-Samādāna Suttaɱ

On Living Up to Professions (2)

 


[219]

[1][pts][ntbb][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:

In general, peoples wishes and desires and aims
are for a decrease in what is undesirable,
disagreeable,
and unpleasant,
and for an increase in what is desirable,
agreeable,
and pleasant.

In people with such aims
that which is undesirable,
disagreeable,
and unpleasant
waxes apace,
while that which is desirable,
agreeable
and pleasant
wanes.

What do you take to be the cause of this?

The Lord is the root
and the guide
and the basis
of all our ideas.

We beg that the Lord may be moved
to expound the meaning of his utterance,
so that we may treasure up
what we hear from him.

Then listen
and pay attention,
and I will speak,
said the Lord,
who then went on to address the listening Almsmen as follows:

Take the case of an uninstructed everyday man,
who takes no count of the Noble
and is unversed and untrained in Noble doctrine;
who takes no count of the Excellent
and is unversed and untrained in Excellent doctrine; -
such a one does not know what to cultivate
and what not to cultivate;
he does not know what to foster
and what not to foster;
he cultivates and fosters
what he should not,
and fails to cultivate and foster
what he ought to cultivate and foster, -
with the result that,
within him,
that which is undesirable,
disagreeable,
and unpleasant waxes apace,
while that which is desirable,
agreeable,
and pleasant [223] wanes.

And why?

Because this is what happens
to one who comprehends not.

 


 

Take now an instructed disciple of the Noble,
who does take count of the Noble
and is trained and versed in Noble doctrine,
who does take count of the Excellent
and is trained and versed in Excellent doctrine; -
such a one knows what to cultivate
and what not to cultivate;
he knows what to foster
and what not to foster;
and so he does not cultivate and foster
what he should not,
but cultivates and fosters
what he ought to cultivate and foster, -
with the result that, within him,
that which is undesirable,
disagreeable,
and unpleasant
wanes,
while that which is desirable,
agreeable,
and pleasant
waxes apace.

And why?

Because this is what happens
to one who comprehends.

 


 

There are four ways of professing a Doctrine.

The first is unpleasant for the time being
and also ripens to pain thereafter;
the second is pleasant for the time being
but ripens to pain thereafter;
the third is unpleasant for the time being
but ripens to be pleasant thereafter;
and the fourth both is pleasant for the time being
and also ripens to be pleasant thereafter.

In the first case, a man knows it not,
has no knowledge of it,
and fails to discern its real nature
as unpleasant for the time being
and ripening to pain thereafter;
he cultivates it,
and does not shun it.

The result is that what is undesirable,
disagreeable,
and unpleasant
waxes apace,
while what is desirable,
agreeable,
and pleasant
wanes.

And why?

Because this is what happens
to one who comprehends not.

[And the like is the case too with regard to the second profession, where what is pleasant for the time being ripens to pain thereafter.]

And why?

Because this is what happens
to one who comprehends not.

In the third case,
the man knows it not,
has no knowledge of it,
and fails to discern its real nature as unpleasant for the time being
but ripening to be pleasant thereafter;
he does not cultivate it
but shuns it.
The result is that what is undesirable,
disagreeable,
and [224] unpleasant
waxes apace,
while what is desirable,
agreeable,
and pleasant
wanes.

And why?

Because this is what happens
to one who comprehends not.

[And the like happens with regard to the fourth profession, where what is pleasant for the time being also ripens to be pleasant thereafter.]

And why?

Because this is what happens
to one who comprehends not.

To return to the first profession.

If a man knows it,
has knowledge of it,
and discerns its real nature
as being unpleasant for the time being
and ripening to pain thereafter;
and if he accordingly does not cultivate it
but shuns it; -
the result is that what is desirable,
agreeable,
and pleasant
waxes apace,
while what is undesirable,
disagreeable,
and unpleasant
wanes.

And why?

Because this is what happens
to one who comprehends.

[And the foregoing is the case too with regard to the second profession, where what is pleasant for the time being ripens to pain thereafter.]

And why?

Because this is what happens
to one who comprehends.

As regards the third profession,
if a man knows it,
has knowledge of it,
and discerns its real nature
as being unpleasant for the time being
but ripening to be pleasant thereafter;
and if he cultivates it
and does not shun it; -
the result is that what is desirable,
agreeable,
and pleasant
waxes apace,
while what is undesirable,
disagreeable,
and unpleasant
wanes.

And why?

Because this is what happens
to one who comprehends.

[And the foregoing is the case too with regard to the fourth profession, where what is pleasant for the time being also ripens to be pleasant thereafter.]

And why?

Because this is what happens
to one who comprehends.

What is the nature of the first profession?

Take the case of a man who,
to the accompaniment of pain
alike of body and of mind,
slays, and,
as a consequence of slaying,
experiences pain
alike of body and of mind;
or who steals -
or fornicates -
or lies -
or slanders -
or reviles -
or tattles -
or covets -
or is [225] malignant of heart -
or who, to the accompaniment of pain
alike of body and of mind,
has a wrong outlook,
and, as a consequence of his wrong outlook,
experiences pain
alike of body and mind.

Such a man, after death at the body's dissolution,
passes to a state of woe and misery
or to purgatory.

Such is what is called
the profession of the Doctrine
which is unpleasant for the time being
and ripens to pain thereafter.

What is the nature of the second profession?

Take the case of a man who,
to the accompaniment of pleasure
alike of body and of mind,
slays,
and, as a consequence of his slaughter,
experiences pleasure
alike of body and mind;
or who steals ...
(etc., as in the preceding paragraph) ...
purgatory.

Such is what is called
the profession of the Doctrine
where what is pleasant for the time being
ripens to pain thereafter.

What is the nature of the third profession?

Take a man who,
to the accompaniment of pain
alike of body and of mind,
refrains from slaying
and, as a result of his abstinence,
experiences pain
alike of body and of mind;
or who refrains from stealing ...
or who, to the accompaniment of pain
alike of body and of mind,
gets a right outlook,
and, as a consequence of that right outlook,
experiences pain
alike of body and of mind.

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

Such is what is called
the profession of the Doctrine
which is unpleasant for the time being
but ripens to be pleasant thereafter.

What is the nature of the fourth profession?

Take the case of a man who,
to the accompaniment of pleasure of body and of mind,
refrains from slaying ...
(etc., as in the preceding paragraph) ...
a happy state
or to heaven.

Such is what is called
the profession of the Doctrine
which is both pleasant for the time being
and also ripens to be pleasant thereafter.

Such, Almsmen, are the four ways of professing the Doctrine.

It is just as if there were a bitter gourd
with poison [226] in it,
and a man came along who wanted to live
and not to die,
who wanted to be comfortable
and disliked pain;
and if people were to say to him: -

There is poison in this bitter gourd, my good man.

Drink it if you will;
but, in drinking it,
you won't like its colour and odour and taste,
and, when you have drunk it,
you will come by your death
or deadly pain.

Suppose now that heedlessly he drank it
and did not turn away from it,
disliking its colour, odour, and taste
while he was drinking it,
and coming by his death
or deadly pain
when he had drunk it down.

Unto this do I liken the first profession,
which is unpleasant for the time being
and ripens to pain thereafter.

Again, it is just as if there were a goblet of liquor,
all right in colour, odour, and taste,
but with poison in it,
and a man should come along
who wanted to live
and not to die,
who wanted to be comfortable
and disliked pain;
and if people were to say to him:

This goblet of liquor
is all right in colour, odour, and taste,
but has poison in it.

Drink it if you will ...
or deadly pain.

Suppose now that heedlessly he drank it
and did not turn away from it,
liking its colour, odour, and taste
while he was drinking it,
but coming by his death
or deadly pain
when he had drunk it down.

Unto this do I liken the second profession,
which is pleasant for the time being
but ripens to pain thereafter.

Again, it is just as if there were decomposing urine[1]
with divers medicaments in it,
and a man with jaundice
should come along;
and if people were to say to him:

This is decomposing urine
with divers medicaments in it.

Drink it if you will;
but, in drinking it,
you won't like its colour or odour or taste,
but, when you have drunk it,
you will get well.

Suppose now that,
heedfully and without turning away from it,
he were to drink it,
disliking its colour and odour and taste
while he was drinking it,
but getting well after he [227] had drunk it down.

Unto this do I liken the third profession,
which is unpleasant for the time being
but ripens to be pleasant thereafter.

Lastly, it is just as if there were a mixture of curds and honey and ghee,
and a man with dysentery should come along,
and people were to say to him:

Here is a mixture of curds and honey and ghee.

Drink it if you will;
and, in drinking it,
you will like its colour and odour and taste,
and, when you have drunk it,
you will get well.

Unto this do I liken the fourth profession,
which both is pleasant for the time being
and also ripens to be pleasant thereafter.

Just as, at harvest time
at the close of the rainy season,
the sun shines forth
and blazes in full glory,
scattering and putting to flight
the clouds of the air
as he rises high in the heavens
and drives before him
all murk and gloom from the skies, -
even so, Almsmen, does this last profession of the Doctrine,
which blesses both the present and the future,
shine forth
and blaze in full glory
as it overpowers the wrangles
of the warring hosts of recluses and brahmins.

Thus spoke the Lord.

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

 


S.B.E. XIII, 174: '... the four Resources.

'The religious life has morsels of food given in alms for its resource. Thus you must endeavour to live all your life. Meals given to the Samgha, to certain persons, invitations, food distributed by ticket, meals given each fortnight, each uposatha day (i.e. the last day of each fortnight), or the first day of each fortnight, are extra allowances.

'The religious life has the robe made of rags taken from a dust heap for its resource. Thus you must endeavour to live all your life. Linen, cotton, silk, woollen garments, coarse cloth, hempen cloth are extra allowances.

'The religious life has dwelling at the foot of a tree for its resource. Thus you must endeavour to live all your life. Vihâras, addhayogas, storied dwellings, attics, caves1 are extra allowances.

[p. 174] 'The religious life has decomposing urine as medicine for its resource. Thus you must endeavour to live all your life. Ghee, butter, oil, honey, and molasses are extra allowances.'

This is cow-urine. Amonia. And decomposing is, I believe, 'fermentation.' I wonder if there have been any modern studies as to the effectiveness of this medicine in cases of juandace, relief in yellow-fever, etc.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[1] Cf. Vinaya Texts (S.B.E: XIII, 174), and see Introduction supra, p. xvii.


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