Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
II. Majjhima-Paṇṇāsa
4. Rāja Vagga

Sacred Books of the Buddhists
Volume VI
Dialogues of the Buddha
Part V

Further Dialogues of the Buddha
Volume II

Translated from the Pali
by Lord Chalmers, G.C.B.
Sometime Governor of Ceylon

London
Humphrey Milford
Oxford University Press
1927
Public Domain

Sutta 87

Piya-Jātika Suttaɱ

Nullius Rei Affectus

 


[100] [56]

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

Once while the Lord was staying at Sāvatthī in Jeta's grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's pleasaunce,
the darling only son of a certain householder died,
and the loss made the father neglect his business
and his meals;
he was always going to the charnel ground,
wailing aloud: -

Where are you, my son?

Where are you?

To this bereaved father,
when he had come
and taken his seat to one side
after due salutations,
the Lord said: -

You are not yourself;
your mind is all awry.

How could my mind not be awry, sir,
when I have lost my darling only son?

His death has made me neglect my business
and my meals;
time and again I go to the charnel ground,
wailing aloud: -

Where are you, my son?

Where are you?

Yes, householder;
our dear ones bring sorrow and lamentation,
pain,
suffering,
and tribulation.

Who, sir,
can entertain such a view?

Nay, our dear ones
are a joy and happiness to us!

And with these words
the householder, rejecting the Lord's pronouncement,
indignantly got up and departed.

Hard by,
there were a number of gamblers
having a game with the dice;
and to them came the house- [57] holder
with his story of [107] how he had related his sorrows to the recluse Gotama,
how he had been received,
and how he had indignantly departed.

You were quite right, said the gamblers;
for,
our dear ones are indeed a joy and happiness to us.

So the householder felt
he had got the gamblers on his side.

Now all this, in due course,
penetrated to the private apartments of the royal palace,
where the king told Queen Mallika
that 'her recluse Gotama'
had stated that our dear ones
bring sorrow and lamentation,
pain,
suffering,
and tribulation.

Well, sire, if the Lord said so,
so it is.

Just as a pupil accepts all his master tells him,
saying 'So it is, sir;
so it is,
- just in the same way, Mallika,
you accept all the recluse Gotama says,
with your [108] 'If the Lord said so,
so it is.'

Away with you and begone!

Then the queen told the brahmin Nāḷi-jangha to go to the Lord
and, in her name, to bow his head at the Lord's feet
and, after asking after his health,
to enquire whether he had really said
what was attributed to him.

And be careful, she added,
to tell me exactly what the Lord answers;
for, Truth-finders never tell an untruth.

In obedience to the queen's commands,
the brahmin went off
and duly asked the Lord whether he had really said so.

Yes, brahmin; - our dear ones do bring sorrow and lamentation,
pain,
suffering,
and tribulation.

Here is a proof.

Once on a time,
here in Sāvatthī,
a woman's mother died and the daughter,
crazed and beside herself,
went about from street to street
and from crossroads to cross-roads,
saying: -

Have you seen my mother?

Have you seen my mother?

[109] Another proof is a woman of Sāvatthī
who lost her father -
a brother -
a sister -
a son -
a daughter -
a husband.

Crazed and beside herself,
the woman went about from street to street
and from cross-roads to cross-roads,
asking if anyone had seen the dear one she had lost.

[58] Another proof is a man of Sāvatthī
who lost his mother -
his father -
a brother -
a sister -
a son -
a daughter -
a wife.

Crazed and beside himself
the man went about from street to street
and from cross-roads to cross-roads,
asking if anyone had seen the dear one he had lost.

Another proof is the Sāvatthī woman
who visited her own people's home;
and they wanted to take her from her husband
and marry her to someone else
whom she did not like.

She told her husband about this;
whereupon he cut her in two
[110] and then killed himself,
so that they might both die together.

All this the brahmin duly reported to the queen,
who went away to the king with the question: -

Are you fond, sire,
of your only daughter,
the princess Vajīrī?

Yes, I am.

If anything happened to your Vajīrī,
would you feel sorrow and lamentation,
pain,
suffering,
and tribulation?

If anything happened to her,
it would make a great difference to my life.

How could I escape feeling sorrow and lamentation,
pain,
suffering,
and tribulation?

Well, that is what was meant by the Lord
who knows and sees,
the Arabat all-enlightened,
when he declared that our dear ones
bring sorrow and lamentation,
pain,
suffering,
and tribulation.

Are you fond, sire,
of your queen Vāsabhā?

Yes, I am.

If anything happened to your Vāsabhā,
would you feel sorrow and lamentation,
pain,
suffering,
and tribulation?

If anything happened to her,
it would make a great difference to my life.

How could I escape feeling sorrow and lamentation,
pain,
suffering,
and tribulation?

Well, that is what was meant by the Lord
who knows and sees,
the Arabat all-enlightened,
when he declared that our dear ones
bring sorrow and lamentation,
pain,
suffering,
and tribulation.

Are you fond,
sire,
of Viḍūḍabha,
your general?

[111] Yes, I am.

If anything happened to your Viḍūḍabha,
would you feel sorrow and lamentation,
pain,
suffering,
and tribulation?

If anything happened to him,
it would make a great difference to my life.

How could I escape feeling sorrow and lamentation,
pain,
suffering,
and tribulation?

Well, that is what was meant by the Lord
who knows and sees,
the Arabat all-enlightened,
when he declared that our dear ones
bring sorrow and lamentation,
pain,
suffering,
and tribulation.

Are you fond, sire,
of me?

Yes, I am.

If anything happened to me,
would you feel sorrow and lamentation,
pain,
suffering,
and tribulation?

If anything happened to you,
it would make a great difference to my life.

How could I escape feeling sorrow and lamentation,
pain,
suffering,
and tribulation?

Well, that is what was meant by the Lord
who knows and sees,
the Arabat all-enlightened,
when he declared that our dear ones
bring sorrow and lamentation,
pain,
suffering,
and tribulation.

Are you fond, sire,
of the people of Kasi and Kosala?

Yes, I am.

It is my sovereignty over them
which clothes me in Benares muslins
and gives me my garlands,
perfumes and unguents.

If anything happened to them,
would you feel sorrow and lamentation,
pain,
suffering,
and tribulation?

If anything happened to them,
it would make a [59] great difference -
how could it be otherwise? -
to my own life.

Well, that, sire,
is what was meant by the Lord
who know and sees,
the arahat all-enlightened,
when he declared that our dear ones
bring sorrow and lamentation,
pain,
suffering,
and tribulation.

It is wonderful, Mallikā,
it is marvellous,
how [112] the Lord's insight
penetrates and discerns.

Bring me water for ablution, Mallikā.

Thereafter, Pasenadi, king of Kosala,
rose up,
reverently bared one shoulder,
and, with folded palms
stretched out to where the Lord was,
thrice burst forth with -

All honour to the Lord,
arahat all enlightened!


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