Majjhima Nikaya


[Site Map]  [Home]  [Sutta Indexes]  [Glossology]  [Site Sub-Sections]

The Pali is transliterated as IAST Unicode (āīūṃṅñṭḍṇḷ). Alternatives:
[ ASCII (aiumnntdnl) | Mobile (āīūŋńñţđņļ) | Velthuis (aaiiuu.m'n~n.t.d.n.l) ]

 

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 89

Dhamma-Cetiya Suttaɱ

Monuments of the Doctrine

 


[118] [62]

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

Once when the Lord was staying in the Sakyan country, -
Medataḷumpa is a township of theirs -,
Pasenadi, king of Kosala,
who was at Nangaraka on some business or other,
bade Dīgha Kārāyana get the carriages ready
and drove out in royal state
to see the beauties of the pleasaunce,
riding as far as a carriage could go
and proceeding thence on foot to the pleasaunce.

As he walked up and down in the woods,
the king observed delightful and attractive nooks
at the foot of trees,
peaceful and quiet,
sheltered from winds,
very haunts of solitude
[63] and homes of meditation.

The sight reminded him of the Lord
and inspired the thought
that this was the spot to commune with the Lord,
arahat all-enlightened.

Imparting his thoughts to Dīgha Kārāyana,
the king asked where [119] the Lord was then staying.

Being told that he was at Medataḷumpa,
the Sakyan township,
the king asked how far away it was
and was told that it was not far -
only some three leagues -
and that he had time enough left
to get there that same day.

Ordering the carriages to be got ready,
the king drove out to Medataḷumpa that same day,
riding as far as the carriage could go
and proceeding thence on foot to the pleasaunce.

From a number of Almsmen,
who were pacing to and fro in ihe open air,
the king enquired the whereabouts of the Lord,
whom he wished to see.

Yonder, sire, is his cell,
with the door shut.

If you will go silendy and gently to the fore-court,
and there cough and tap on the bolt,
the Lord will open the door for you.

Then and there the king handed his sword and turban to Dīgha, -
who realized that the king did not want company,
and that he ought to stop behind.

The king approached as directed
and tapped on the bolt,
whereupon the Lord opened the door,
and the king, entering his cell,
[120] bowed his head at the Lord's feet,
which he covered with kisses and stroked,
as he gave his name: -

Pasenadi, king of Kosala.

Why and wherefore, sire,
do you pay such respect to this body of mine
and show me such marks of affection?

The conclusion with regard to the Lord which I have reached
is that he is the all-enlightened Lord,
that he has well and truly preached his Doctrine,
and that his Confraternity walks aright.

Punctilio. From 'a fine point' to 'a minute detail of action or conduct; a nice point of behavior, ceremony or honour; a small or petty formality' to 'Strict observance of or insistance upon minutia of acion or coduct; petty formality in behavior.' -O.E.D. Since the Buddha frequently insistes on scrupulously avoiding even minute transgressions, the intent here is to emphasize where this sort of thing has got out of hand and is not based on what conduces to the good. e.g. bathing the body in the Ganges three times a day in the belief that this will cleans one of one's bad kamma.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

On one side,
I see some recluses and brahmins
walking in a restricted higher life
for anything from ten to forty years on end,
who, with all their punctilio
in bathing and anointing and braiding of hair,
indulge in the fivefold pleasures of sense
to which they are [64] addicted.

On the other side, I see Almsmen
who all their lives long live the higher life
in all its fulness and purity
till their last breath is drawn;
nor do I find any higher life outside
so full and pure. -

This leads me to my conclusion
with regard to the Lord
that he is the all-enlightened Lord,
that he has well and truly preached his Doctrine,
and that his Confraternity walks aright.

Moreover, there is always strife going on
between kings,
between nobles,
between brahmins,
between householders,
between mother and son,
between son and mother,
between father and son,
between son and father,
between brother and brother,
between brother and sister,
between sister and brother,
between companion and companion.

But, here, I see Almsmen living in peace and concord,
without strife,
blending together like water and milk,
and [121] gazing on one another
with eyes of affection;[ed1]
nor do I find such concord
in any other body.

This too leads me to my conclusion
with regard to the Lord
that he is the all-enlightened Lord,
that he has well and truly preached his Doctrine,
and that his Confraternity walks aright.

Close. Enclosure. The precinct of any sacred place; cloister. - O.E.D.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

Again, as I move from one pleasaunce to another
and from one close to another,
I see there recluses and brahmins
who are lean miserable creatures,
ill-looking and jaundiced,
with their veins standing out like whipcord,
by no means attractive to view, me-thinks.

I wondered whether their vocation was irksome to them
or whether they had privily committed some crime,
that they should look like that.

But when I asked them the reason,
their only reply was
that it ran in the family.

But, here, I see Almsmen joyous and joyful,
elated and exultant,
buoyant and cheerful of mind,
without a care or a worry,
tranquil,
subsisting on what others bestow,
with hearts as free as wild creatures.

Surely, thought I,
it is because they find in the Lord's teachings
a high excellence
not elsewhere discerned by them before,
that they live a life so joyous and joyfull,
elated and exultant,
buoyant and cheerful of mind,
without a care or a worry,
tranquil,
subsisting on what others bestow,
with hearts as free as wild creatures.

This too leads me to my conclusion
with regard to the Lord
that he is the all-enlightened Lord,
that he has well and truly preached his Doctrine,
and that his Confraternity walks aright.

Mulct. To fine, to impose a compulsory payment. - O.E.D.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

Further, as a Noble anointed king,
[122] I have power to execute,
or mulct,
or banish the guilty [65] according to their deserts;
but while I am hearing a case,
people interrupt the proceedings.

To stop them
I have to forbid interruptions while a case is on,
and to tell them to wait till it is settled.

Yes, I have interruptions while hearing a case;
but, when I survey the Almsmen
while the Lord is preaching
to hundreds of his followers at a time,
not a voice is raised
nor a cough heard.

Once, while the Lord was so preaching,
an Almsman who coughed
was jogged by his neighbour's knee
and told to keep quiet
and not make a noise
while their master the Lord was preaching the Doctrine.

It is wonderful and marvellous,
thought I to myself,
how any body of men
can be disciplined to such a pitch
without constraint of cudgel or sword!

I know no such discipline anywhere outside.

This too leads me to my conclusion
with regard to the Lord
that he is the all-enlightened Lord,
that he has well and truly preached his Doctrine,
and that his Confraternity walks aright.

Further, from the class of Nobles -
or brahmins -
or householders -
or recluses and brahmins -
there have come keen and tried disputants -
verbal archers
skilled in hair-splitting,
and journeying about to split in twain by their lore, methinks,
any views propounded.

These, hearing that the recluse Gotama
would be at this or that village or township,
frame a question to ask him,
calculating to confute him one way
if his answer be in this sense,
and another way if his answer be in that sense.

When they hear that he has come,
they go to him;
and then, he, by a discourse on his Doctrine,
so informs and enlightens them,
so cheers them forward
and helps them onwards,
that in the end
they never put their question at all,
much less do they confute him,
[128] but actually become Gotama's disciples.

And those who come to confront him
from among recluses and brahmins actually beg him
to let them leave home for homelessness as Pilgrims;
and he has admitted them as such.

So admitted,
and dwelling alone and aloof,
strenuous,
ardent,
and purged of self,
they, after no great while,
come - of themselves,
here and now -
to discern and realize,
to enter on and abide in,
that supreme goal of the higher life,
for the sake of which young men go forth from home
to homelessness on Pilgrimage.

Say they:

We were near to being undone,
quite undone!

For, we that before were no true recluses,
now know we are recluses indeed;
we that before were no true brahmins,
now know we are brahmins indeed;
we that before were 'un-worthy'
(an-Arahants)
now know we have 'Worth'
indeed (are Arahats).

Now are we recluses,
brahmins and saintly men indeed!

This too leads me to my conclusion
with regard to the Lord
that he is the all-enlightened Lord,
that he has well and truly preached his Doctrine,
and that his Confraternity walks aright.

Further, there are the carriage-builders Isldatta and Purina
whom I support,
who make my carriages,
who owe to me their livelihood
and the honours they enjoy.

Withal, these men do not [124] serve me as wholeheartedly as they do the Lord.

Time was when,
being out with my troops on active service,
I, to test these two,
took up my quarters in a cramped little house, -
where Isldatta and Puraria,
after spending the best part of the night
in discussing the Doctrine,
lay down to rest
with their heads in the direction
where they heard the Lord was,
and only with their feet towards me.

It is wonderful and marvellous,
thought I to [66] myself,
that these two men
who owe everything in the world to me,
yet do not serve me as they serve the Lord.

Surely, thought I,
it is because these reverend men
find in the Lord's teachings
a high excellence not elsewhere discerned by them before.

This too leads me to my conclusion
with regard to the Lord
that he is the all-enlightened Lord,
that he has well and truly preached his Doctrine,
and that his Confraternity walks aright.

Further, the Lord is a Noble like me,
a Kosalan like me,
and eighty years old like me;
and this in itself prompts me
to pay such respect to the Lord
and show him such marks of affection.

But now I must be going;
I have much to do and attend to.

At your pleasure, sire.

Rising up, Pasenadi, king of Kosala,
saluted the Lord
and with deep reverence withdrew.

He had not been gone long when the Lord,
addressing the Almsmen,
said: -

Before leaving,
the king commended the Doctrine
in monumental words.

Learn and master those words, Almsmen;
[125] treasure them in your memories;
they are words of profit,
fundamental to the higher life.

Thus spoke the Lord.

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

 


[ed1] Piya-cakkhūhi. The King has not read MN 87!


Contact:
E-mail
Copyright Statement   Webmaster's Page