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 48

Kosambiya Suttaɱ

Amity and Its Root

 


[230]

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

Once when the Lord was staying at Kosambī in the Ghosita pleasaunce,
disputes were rife in Kosambī among the Almsmen,
who were living in a state of uproar and contention,
hurling taunts at one another; -
they could not win one another over,
nor would they themselves be won over,
to accord and agreement.

This having been reported by an Almsman to the Lord,
he bade an Almsman summon those Almsmen
in his name
to his presence.

When they had duly come
and had taken their seats to one side
after due salutation,
he asked them whether the report of their disputes was true;
and, on their admitting it, he said:

While you are thus disputing,
are you instant -
both overtly and privily -
in acts and in words and in thoughts
of goodwill towards your fellows in the higher life?

No, sir.

So it comes to this:
that disputes are rife among you;
that you are living in a state of uproar and contention,
hurling taunts at one another;
and that, meanwhile,
you are not instant -
both overtly and privily -
in acts or words or thoughts
of goodwill towards your fellows in the higher life.

What, oh what,
can you know and see,
you foolish people,
that you dispute like [231] this
and never come to accord and agreement?

Long will this enure to your hurt and harm.[1]

Almsmen, there are six states of consciousness -
the Lord went on to say -
which, being in themselves endearing,
friendly,
and respectful,
conduce to accord,
harmony,
concord,
and unity.

(i) If an Almsman is instant in acts of goodwill -
both overtly and privily -
towards his fellows in the higher life, -
this is a state,
in itself endearing,
friendly,
and respectful,
which conduces to accord,
harmony,
concord
and unity.

(ii) If he is instant in words of goodwill ...
and unity.

(iii) If he is instant in thoughts of goodwill ...
and unity.

(iv) If he shares equally
and without favour
among all his virtuous fellows in the higher life
everything given him
that is lawful and lawfully received,
down to the last crumb in his bowl, -
this too is a state,
in itself endearing,
friendly,
and respectful,
which conduces to accord,
harmony,
concord,
and unity.

(v) If, both overtly and privily,
an Almsman lives among his fellows in the higher life
in the exercise of these virtues,
in their unbroken entirety,
and without flaw,
spot,
or blemish,
virtues which bestow freedom,
are lauded by sages,
are unmarred (by unworthy motives),
and conduce to rapt concentration, -
this too is a state,
in itself endearing,
friendly,
and respectful,
which conduces to accord,
harmony,
concord,
and unity.

(vi) If-both overtly and privily -
an Almsman lives,
among his fellows in the higher life,
seized of the noble and saving creed
which guides him who lives up to it
unto the utter destruction of all Ill, -
this too is a state,
in itself endearing,
friendly,
and respectful,
which conduces to accord,
harmony,
concord,
and unity.

[232] Such are the six states of consciousness
which, being in themselves endearing,
friendly,
and respectful,
conduce to accord,
harmony,
concord,
and unity;
and of the six
the roof-tie
which on high
knits the six together
is the possession of the noble and saving creed
which guides him who lives up to it
unto the utter destruction of all Ill.

Just as in a gabled palace
the gable is the roof-tie on high
which knits the whole structure together, -
so of these six states of consciousness
the roof-tie
which on high
knits them all together
is the possession of the noble and saving creed
which guides him who lives up to it
unto the utter destruction of all Ill.

How does that noble idea affect this?

Take the case of an Almsman
who - in jungle
or beneath a tree
or in a home of solitude -
examines himself to see
whether he harbours any still lurking predisposition
which can so predispose his heart
as to debar him from knowing and discerning
things as they really are.

His heart is so predisposed,
if he harbours a predisposition
to a passion for pleasure -
to malevolence -
to sloth and torpor -
to worry -
to doubt -
to centring his thoughts on this
or on other worlds -
or to living in a state of disputes and uproar,
contention
and the hurling of taunts.

He emerges convinced
not only that he harbours no such predisposition
as would debar him from knowing and discerning
things as they really are,
but also that his mind is on the right lines for enlightenment
in the (Four) Truths.

This is the first knowledge he wins, -
a knowledge noble and transcendental,
not shared by the vulgar.

Further, the disciple of the Noble
asks himself whether,
by fostering
and developing
and enlarging
this noble and saving creed,
he is gaining for himself calm
and gaining peace.

Yes, he answers;
I am.

This is the second knowledge ...
the vulgar.

Further, the disciple of the Noble
asks himself whether -
outside -
there is found any recluse or brahmin
who has got the noble and saving creed he [233] has.

No, he answers;
not one.

This is the third knowledge ...
the vulgar.

Further, the disciple of the Noble
asks himself whether he comports himself
like one who is seized of that noble creed.

Now, one seized thereof,
should he be guilty of an offence
which obviously has occurred,
straightway declares it
and lays it open and bare
to his master
or to sage comrades in the higher life;
and, having so confessed his offence,
keeps a watch on himself thereafter.

Just as a tiny babe
that lies helpless on its back
needs but to touch a live ember
with foot
or hand
in order straightway to draw back the limb, -
even so one seized of the noble and saving creed,
should he be guilty ...
watch on himself thereafter.

Thus he comes to know
that he does comport himself
like one who is seized of that noble creed.

This is the fourth knowledge ...
the vulgar.

Further, the disciple of the Noble
asks himself (anew) whether he comports himself
like one who is seized of the noble and saving creed.

Now, one seized thereof,
while zealous in the discharge of his several duties -
great and small -
towards his comrades in the higher life,
also has a keen yearning
to master the higher virtues,
the higher thinking,
and the higher love.

Just as a cow with a calf
always has her eye on her calf
as she browses, -
even so one seized of the noble creed,
while zealous ...
higher love.

Thus he comes to know
that he does comport himself
like one who is seized of that noble creed.

This is the fifth knowledge ...
the vulgar.

Further, the disciple of the Noble
asks himself whether his is the strength
of one seized of the noble creed.

Now the strength of one seized thereof
consists in recognizing and appreciating,
when the truth-finder's Doctrine and Law are being preached,
the import and the significance of the Doctrine,
with his whole heart and ears absorbed
in drinking in what he hears.

Thus he comes to know
that he has got the strength
of one seized of the noble creed.

This is the sixth knowledge ...
the vulgar.

[234] Again, the disciple of the Noble
asks himself whether his is the strength
of one seized of the noble creed.

Now the strength of one seized thereof
consists in this
that, when the truth-finder's Doctrine and Law are being preached,
he takes in knowledge of welfare and of the Doctrine
and gets the gladness which the Doctrine brings.

Thus he comes to know
that he has got the strength
of one seized of the noble creed.

This is the seventh knowledge ...
the vulgar.

In this way is due examination made
of the demeanour of a disciple of the Noble
with his sevenfold endowment,
for the realizing of conversion's fruits;
and those fruits appertain to a disciple of the Noble
with his sevenfold endowment.

Thus spoke the Lord.

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

 


[1] Cf. Sutta No. 128 (infra); and see Vinaya I, 341 and II, 1 (et seqq.) for sterner disciplinary measures against refractory Almsmen.


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