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 88

Bāhitika Suttaɱ

On Demeanour

 


[112] [59]

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

Once when the Lord was staying at Sāvatthī in Jeta's grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's pleasaunce, the reverendĀnanda,
duly robed and bowl in hand,
went in the morning early
into the city for alms
and was on his way from his round
after his meal when,
for rest during the noontide,
he turned into the Old Pleasaunce
at the palace of Migāra's Mother.

Just then, Pasenadi, king of Kosala,
was riding betimes out of town
on his elephant, Lotus
when he saw Ānanda coming.

First assuring himself that it was indeed Ānanda,
by asking the noble lord Sirivadāḍḍha,
the king sent a messenger
with orders to bow down in his name
atĀnanda's feet
and to ask him, if he had nothing particular to do,
to [118] be so good as to join him for a while.

The message was duly delivered
and Ānanda by silence gave consent.

Then the king rode on
as far as there was good going for an elephant,
proceeding thence on foot
till he came up to Ānanda,
whom he saluted,
standing to one side as he said: -

If you have nothing particular to do, [60] reverendĀnanda,
be so good as to come to the bank of the river Aciravatī.

By silence Ānanda gave consent and,
proceeding thither,
sat down on the seat awaiting him under a tree.

The king rode on
as far as there was good going for an elephant,
proceeding thence on foot to Ānanda,
whom he saluted,
standing the while as he said: -

Be seated on this clump of flowers, your reverence.

Nay, sire;
be you seated;
I have got a seat of my own already.

Seating himself on the seat awaiting him,
the king asked Ānanda
whether the Lord would ever do
what sage recluses and brahmins would condemn.

[114] Would he ever say what they would condemn?

No, sire.

Would he ever think what they would condemn?

No, sire.

It is wonderful, sir;
it is marvellous!

What I could not settle in a question,
you have settled by your answer.

When uninstructed fools
praise or dispraise others
without testing the evidence
and without weighing their judgment,
we do not hark back to that as final;
but we do,
when the wise and instructed
praise or dispraise others,
after testing the evidence
and weighing their judgment.

Tell me now what behaviour -
in act -
or in word -
or in thought -
is condemned by sage recluses and brahmins?

The behaviour which is wrong, sire.

What behaviour is wrong?

That which is blameworthy.

What behaviour is blameworthy?

That which is malevolent.

What behaviour is malevolent?

That which ripens into Ill.

And what behaviour ripens into Ill?

That behaviour, sire,
which conduces to the harm
either of one's self
or of others
or of both together,
wherein wrong states of consciousness wax apace
while right states wane;
this is the kind of behaviour -
[61] whether of act or of word or of thought -
which is condemned by sage recluses and brahmins.

[115] Does the Lord commend
the discarding of each and every wrong state of consciousness,
without reserve?

The Truth-finder, sire,
has shed all wrong states
and possesses every right one.

Tell me now what behaviour -
in act -
or in word -
or in thought -
escapes condemnation by sage recluses and brahmins?

The behaviour which is right, sire.

What behaviour is right?

That which is blameless.

What behaviour is blameless?

That which is benevolent.

What behaviour is benevolent?

That which ripens unto weal.

What behaviour ripens unto weal?

That behaviour, sire,
which conduces to the harm
neither of one's self
nor of others
nor of both together,
wherein wrong states of consciousness wane
while right states wax apace;
this is the kind of behaviour -
whether of act or of word or of thought -
which escapes condemnation
by sage recluses and brahmins.

[116] Does the Lord commend the acquisition
of each and every right state of consciousness,
without reserve?

The Truth-finder, sire,
has shed every wrong state of consciousness
and possesses every right one.

It is wonderful, sir,
it is marvellous,
how well you have put it,
gratifying and delighting me so greatly that,
if only it befitted your reverence
to have my peerless elephant,
you should have him, -
or my peerless charger -
or a choice village.

Yet, I know none of these things would befit you.

But here is a piece of foreign fabric,
sixteen cubits long and eight broad,
which was sent to me,
mounted on a pole as a royal canopy,
by the king of Magadha,
Ajātasattu Videhi-putta.

Be so good, I beg,
as to accept this.

Nay, sire; I have my full set of three robes.

Spate. A flood or sudden outburst. Fit.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[62] [117] You and I have seen
how, when a storm has burst on the heights,
this river Aciravatī overflows in spate
both its banks.

In like manner,
you will use this foreign fabric
to make yourself a new set of robes,
dividing up your old ones
among your fellows in the higher life,
so that my gift, methinks,
will have an overflow.

Be so good, I beg,
as to accept this.

Ānanda having taken the fabric,
the king said he must now be going,
as he had much to do
and attend to.

At your majesty's pleasure, saidĀnanda.

After expressing his satisfaction and thanks,
the king rose up and
with salutations took a reverential departure.

The king had not been gone long
before Ānanda went his way to the Lord,
to whom in due course
he related all that had passed
and handed over the foreign fabric.

Said the Lord to the Almsmen: -

It was a good thing,
a very good thing,
for King Pasenadi of Kosala
to be privileged to seeĀnanda
and commune with him.

Thus spoke the Lord.

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


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