Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
II. Majjhima-Paṇṇāsa
5. Brāhmaṇa 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 94

Ghotamukha Suttaɱ

Against Torturing

 


[157] [89]

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

Once when the reverend Udena was staying at Benares
in the mango-grove called Tranquillity,
the brahmin Ghoṭamukha,
who had come to Benares on some business or other,
[358] came, in the course of his walks abroad, to this grove,
in which Udena was pacing up and down in the open.

Having approached Udena and exchanged greetings,
the brahmin walked by his side,
saying: -

Recluse, that there is no Pilgrimage for Doctrine' sake,
is my idea;
[90] but it is an idea informed by no acquaintance
either with men like yourself
or with Doctrine.

At this point,
Udena cut short his walk
and went into his cell,
where he sat down on the seat awaiting him.

Likewise, the brahmin cut short his walk
and also went into the cell,
where he remained standing,
till Udena said:

Here are seats,
sit down if you will.

Said the brahmin:

I did not sit down till I was bidden.

For, how could a man of my position
sit down unbidden?

So the brahmin took a low seat to one side
and repeated his remark
that there was no Pilgrimage for Doctrine's sake,
but that this idea of his
was informed by no acquaintance either with men like Udena
or with Doctrine.

Could we arrange our talk, brahmin,
on the basis that you will assent to what you admit,
will reject what you object to,
and will question me further,
for reasons or explanations,
when you do not take my meaning?

Certainly.

[159] Brahmin, there are four types of individuals
to be found in the world.

First, there is he who tortures himself
and is set on self-torture.

Then there is he who tortures others
and is set on torturing them.

Next, there is he who tortures both himself and others
and is set on torturing both.

Lastly, there is he who tortures neither himself nor others
and is set on torturing neither.

And this last individual,
who tortures neither himself nor others,
dwells - here and now - beyond appetites,
consummate,
unfevered,
blissful
and inwardly at his best.

Which of the four, brahmin,
commends himself most to you?

I am not drawn, sir,
to either the self-torturer
or the torturer of others;
nor do I approve him who tortures both himself and others.

The one who commends himself most to me
is the last individual,
- who tortures neither himself nor others
and dwells - here and now -
in the felicity you describe.

Why do not the first three commend themselves to you?

[91] He, sir, who is set on torturing himself,
tortures his own natural desires for happiness
and his own natural repugnance to pain;
and so he does not commend himself to me.

[160] He, again, who is set on torturing others
tortures others' natural desires for happiness
and their natural repugnance to pain;
and so he does not commend himself to me.

And he who is set on torturing both himself and others,
tortures both his own and other people's natural desires for happiness
and natural repugnance to pain;
and so he does not commend himself to me.

But he who is set on torturing neither himself nor other people,
and dwells - here and now -
in the felicity you describe,
he it is who commends himself to me.

There are two categories of men.

The first, inflamed with a passion for gems and jewelry,
wants sons and wives,
wants men and women slaves,
wants fields and lands,
wants coins of silver and gold bullion.

The second category wants none of these things
but discards them all
to go forth from home to homelessness as a Pilgrim.

Now in which category
do you expect to find the man
who tortures neither himself nor others
but dwells - here and now - beyond appetites,
consummate,
unfevered,
blissful
and inwardly at his best?

[161] Why, in the category which wants none of these things
but discards them all
to go forth from home to homelessness as a Pilgrim.

But, brahmin, just now you expressed your belief
that there was no such thing as Pilgrimage for Doctrine's sake, -
without acquaintance either with men like me
or with Doctrine!

Clearly, Udena, what I said
has served a useful purpose.

I now see,
and you may take me as holding,
that there is such a thing as Pilgrimage for Doctrine's sake;
and I should be glad if you would be so good
as to set out in detail
what you have indicated in outline
concerning the four types of individuals.

Hearken then, brahmin,
and give me your attention;
I will tell you.

Then to the listening brahmin
[92] the reverend Udena spoke as follows: -

What manner of man is he
who tortures himself
and is set on self-torture?

Take the case of an individual
who, naked,
flouting the decencies of life,
licking his hands after meals,
never heeding when folk called to him to come or to stop,
never accepting food brought to him before his rounds
or cooked expressly for him,
never accepting an invitation,
never receiving food direct from pot or pan
or within the threshold
or among the faggots or pestles,
never from (one only of) two people messing together,
never from a pregnant woman
or a nursing mother
or a woman in coitu,
never from gleanings (in time of famine)
nor from where a dog is ready at hand
or where (hungry) flies congregate,
never touching flesh
or fish
or spirits
or strong drink
or brews of grain.

He visits only one house a day
and there takes only one morsel;
or he visits but two
or (up to not more than) seven houses a day
and takes at each only two
or (up to not more than) seven morsels;
he lives on a single saucer of food a day,
or on two,
or (up to) seven saucers;
he has but one meal a day,
or one every two days,
or (so on, up to) every seven days,
or only once a fortnight,
on a rigid scale of rationing.

His sole diet is herbs gathered green,
or the grain of wild millets and paddy,
or snippets of hide,
or water-plants,
or the red powder round rice-grains within the husk,
or the discarded scum of rice on the boil,
or the flour of oilseeds,
or grass,
or cow-dung.

He lives on wild roots and fruit,
or on windfalls only.

His raiment is of hemp
or of hempen mixture,
of cerements,
of rags from the dust-heap,
of bark,
of the black antelope's pelt
either whole or split down the middle,
of grass,
of strips of bark or wood,
of hair of men or animals woven into a blanket,
or of owls' wings.

In fulfilment of his vows,
he plucks out the hair of his head
and the hair of his beard,
he never quits the upright for the sitting posture,
squats and never rises up,
moves only a-squat,
couches on thorns,
goes down to the water punctually
thrice before nightfall
to wash (away the evil within).

Such are the divers ways
in which he is given to tormenting his body.

Such a man is said to torment himself
and to be given to self-torment.

 


 

What kind of individual
is he who torments others
and is given to tormenting others?

Take the case of the individual
who butchers sheep
or sticks pigs,
or is a fowler,
deer-stalker,
hunter,
fisherman,
robber,
cut-throat,
or gaoler,
or who follows any other cruel trade.

Such a man is said to torment others
and to be given to tormenting others.

 


 

What kind of individual
is he who torments himself and others too?

Take the case of an individual
who becomes an anointed king of Noble race,
or a brahmin magnate.

East of the town,
he orders the building of a new sacrificial hall,
into which - after first cutting off his hair and beard
and donning the rough pelt of a black antelope -
he goes with his queen-consort
and his brahmin chaplain,
with his body anointed with ghee and oil,
and scratching his itching back with an antler.

His bed is grass and leaves
strewn on the bare ground.

For the whole party,
there is only one solitary cow,
with a calf by her side,
which must be coloured precisely like its mother;
and on this solitary cow's milk
the king has the first call,
the queen-consort takes the second turn,
the brahmin the third,
the fourth makes the fire-oblation,
while the calf has to get along on what is left.

Says the king:

Let there be slain for the sacrifice
so many bulls,
so many steers,
heifers,
goats,
and rams.

Let there be felled
so many trees for sacrificial posts.

Let so much kusa grass be cut
to strew round the sacrificial spot.

And all persons known as slaves,
messengers,
and servants,
harried by stripes and fear,
then set about the preparations
with tearful faces
and voices of lamentation.

Such a man is said to torment himself and others,
and to be given to tormenting both.

 


 

Lastly, what kind of individual
is he who, tormenting neither himself nor others,
dwells, here and now, beyond appetites,
consummate,
unfevered,
in bliss,
and in holiness?

Take the case
that there appears here in the world
a truth-finder,
Arahat
all-enlightened,
walking by knowledge,
blessed,
understanding all worlds,
the matchless tamer of the human heart,
teacher of gods and men,
the Lord of Enlightenment.

This universe -
with its gods, Māras,
Brahmās,
recluses and brahmins,
embracing all gods and mankind, -
all this he has discerned
and realized for himself,
and makes known to others.

He preaches his Doctrine,
which is so fair in its outset,
its middle,
and its close,
with both text and import;
he propounds a higher life
that is wholly complete and pure.

This Doctrine is heard by the head of a house
or his son
or by one of other birth,
who hearing it
puts his trust in the Truth-finder,
and in this trust
bethinks him that -
A hole and corner life
is all a home can give,
whereas Pilgrimage is in the open;
it is hard for a home-keeping man
to live the higher life
in all its full completeness
and full purity and perfection;
what if I were to cut off hair and beard,
don the yellow robes,
and go forth from home to homelessness as a Pilgrim?

Later, parting from his substance,
be it small or great,
parting too from the circle of his kinsfolk,
be they few or many,
he cuts off hair and beard,
dons the yellow robes,
and goes forth from home to homelessness as a Pilgrim.

A Pilgrim now,
schooled in the Almsmens precepts
and way of life,
he puts from him all killing
and abstains from killing anything.

Laying aside cudgel and sword,
he lives a life of innocence and mercy,
full of kindliness and compassion
for everything that lives.

Theft he puts from him and eschews;
taking only what is given to him by others,
and waiting till it is given,
he lives an honest and clean life.

Putting from him
all that does not belong to the higher life,
he leads the higher life in virtue,
abstaining from low sensuality.

Putting from him
and abstaining from all lying,
he speaks the truth,
cleaves to the truth,
and is staunch and leal,
never deceiving the world with his lips.

Calumny he puts from him and eschews,
not repeating elsewhere
to the harm of people here
what he hears there,
nor repeating here
to the harm of people elsewhere
what he hears elsewhere;
thus he heals divisions
and cements friendship,
seeking peace
and ensuing it;
for in peace is his delight
and his words are ever the words of a peacemaker.

Reviling he puts from him,
and abstains from reviling people;
his words are without gall,
pleasant,
friendly,
going home to the heart,
courteous,
agreeable
and welcome to all.

Tattle he puts from him
and abstains therefrom,
he speaks, in season
and according to the facts,
words of help
concerning the Doctrine
and the Rule,
words to be stored in the heart,
words duly illustrated,
fraught with purpose,
and pithy.

He sedulously avoids hurting the seeds
or plants of a village.

He takes but one meal a day,
never eating at night
or after hours.

He refrains from looking on at shows of dancing,
singing,
and music.

He eschews all use and employment
of smart garlands,
scents
and perfumes.

He sleeps on no tall or broad beds.

He refuses to accept gold
or coins of silver, -
uncooked grain or meat, -
women or girls, -
bondwomen or bondmen, -
sheep or goats, -
fowls or swine, -
elephants or cattle or horses or mares, -
fields or land.

He refrains from the practice
of sending or going on messages.

He neither buys nor sells.

He never cheats with weights,
coins,
or measures.

He takes no part in bribery,
cozening,
cheating,
or other crooked ways.

He never joins in wounding,
murdering,
and manacling,
or in highway robbery,
brigandage,
and fraud.

Contented is he
with whatever robes are given him
as clothing,
and with whatever alms are given
for his belly's needs.

Wheresoever he goes,
he takes all his belongings with him.

Just as a winged bird,
wheresoever it goes,
carries with it its feathers and all, -
so, wheresoever he goes,
he takes all his belongings with him.

A master of this noble code of virtue,
he enjoys unsullied well-being within.

When with his eye
he sees a visible shape,
he is not absorbed by either its general appearance
or its details;
but, since the eye uncontrolled
might lead to covetousness and discontent,
to evil and wrong states of mind,
he schools himself to control it,
to keep watch and ward over it,
and to establish control.

And he does the like
with his five other faculties of sense.

A master of this noble control over his faculties,
he enjoys unalloyed well-being within.

Purposeful is he in all his doings, -
whether in coming in or going out,
in looking ahead or around,
in stretching out his arm
or in drawing it back,
in wearing his clothes
or carrying his bowl,
in eating or drinking,
in chewing or savouring food,
in attending to the calls of nature,
in walking
or standing
or sitting,
in sleeping or waking,
in speech or in silence; -
he is always purposeful in all he does.

A master of this noble code of virtue,
a master of this noble code of control of his faculties of sense,
and a master of noble mindfulness and purpose in all he does,
he resorts to a lonely lodging, -
in the forest under a tree,
in the wilds in cave or grot,
in a charnel-ground,
in a thicket,
or on bracken in the open.

After his meal,
when he is back from his round for alms,
he seats himself cross-legged
and with body erect,
with his heart set on mindfulness.

His life is purged
(i.) of appetite for things of the world,
for he has put from him
all appetite therefor; -
(ii.) of all spiteful thoughts,
for he is filled only with loving-kindness
and compassion for all that lives; -
(iii.) of all torpor,
for all torpor has left him,
driven out by clarity of vision,
by mindfulness,
and by purpose in all he does; -
(iv.) of ail flurry and worry,
for he is serene,
and his heart within is at peace
and quit of all worries; - and
(v.) of all doubts,
for his life is unclouded by doubt,
he is troubled by no questionings,
right states of mind
have purged his heart of all doubting.

When he has put from him these Five Hindrances,
those defilements of the heart
which weaken a man's insight,
then, divested of pleasures of sense
and divested of wrong states of consciousness,
he enters on,
and abides in,
the First Ecstasy
with all its zest and satisfaction,
a state bred of inward aloofness
but not divorced from observation and reflection.

Rising above reasoning and reflection,
he enteres on,
and abides in,
the Second Ecstasy
with all its zest and satisfaction, -
a state bred of rapt concentration,
above all observation and reflection,
a state whereby the heart is focussed
and tranquillity reigns within.

By shedding the emotion of zest,
he enters on,
and abides in,
the Third Ecstasy,
with its poised equanimity,
mindful and self-possessed,
feeling in his frame
the satisfaction of which the Noble say
that poise and mindfulness bring abiding satisfaction.

By putting from him both satisfaction and dissatisfaction,
and by shedding the joys and sorrows he used to feel,
he enters on,
and abides in,
the Fourth Ecstasy, -
the state that,
knowing neither satisfaction nor dissatisfaction,
is the consummate purity
of poised equanimity and mindfulness.

With heart thus stedfast,
thus clarified and purified,
clean and cleansed of things impure,
tempered and apt to serve,
stablished and immutable, -
it is thus that he applies his heart
to the knowledge which recalls his own earlier existences.

He calls to mind his divers existences in the past, -
a single birth,
and then two ...
(and so on to) a hundred thousand births,
many an aeon of disintegration of the world,
many an aeon of its reintegration,
and again many an aeon both of its disintegration
and of its redintegration.

In this or that existence, he remembers,
such and such was his name,
his clan,
his class,
his diet,
his joys and sorrows,
and his term of life.

When he passed thence,
he came by such and such subsequent existence,
wherein such and such was his name and so forth;
and thence he passed to his life here.

Thus does he call to mind
his divers existences of the past
in all their details and features.

That same stedfast heart
he now applies to knowledge of the passage hence,
and re-appearance elsewhere,
of other beings.

With the Eye Celestial,
which is pure
and far surpasses the human eye,
he sees beings in the act of passing hence
and of re-appearing elsewhere, -
beings high and low,
fair or foul to view,
in bliss or woe;
he sees them all faring according to their past.

Here were beings given over to evil
in act, word and thought,
who decried the Noble
and had a wrong outlook
and became what results from such wrong outlook -
these, at the body's dissolution after death,
made their appearance in states of suffering,
misery
and tribulation
and in purgatory.

Here again were beings given to good
in act, word and thought,
who did not decry the Noble,
who had the right outlook
and became what results from right outlook; -
these, at the body's dissolution after death,
made their appearance in states of bliss in heaven.

That same stedfast heart
he next applies to knowledge of the eradication of Cankers.

He comprehends,
aright and to the full,
I11,
the origin of Ill,
the cessation of Ill,
and the course that leads to the cessation of Ill.

He comprehends,
aright and to the full,
what the Cankers were,
with their origin,
cessation,
and the course that leads to their cessation.

When he knows this
and when he sees this,
then his heart is delivered
from the Canker of sensuous pleasure,
from the Canker of continuing existence,
and from the Canker of ignorance;
and to him thus delivered
comes the knowledge of his Deliverance
in the conviction -
Rebirth is no more;
I have lived the highest life;
my task is done;
and now for me
there is no more of what I have been.

Such a man is said to torment neither himself nor others,
and not to be given to tormenting either himself or others,
but to dwell, here and now,
beyond appetites,
consummate,
[162] unfevered,
blissful and inwardly at his best.

At the close of these words,
the brahmin Ghoṭamukha exclaimed to the reverend Udena:Wonderful,
Udena:

Wonderful, Udena, wonderful!

It is just as if a man should set upright again
what had been cast down,
or reveal what was hidden away,
or tell a man who had gone astray
which was his way,
or bring a lamp into darkness
so that those with eyes to see
might see the things about them, -
even so, in many a figure, has the reverend Udena expounded his doctrine.

To him I come as my refuge
and to his Doctrine
and to his Confraternity;
and I ask him to accept me as a follower
who has found an abiding refuge
from this day onward while life shall last.

Come not to me, brahmin,
as your refuge.

Find your refuge,
as I have found mine,
in none but the Lord.

Where is the present dwelling-place of that Lord,
the arahat all-enlightened?

He has now passed away.

If I could but listen to him
within ten leagues from here,
ten leagues would I travel to visit him;
nay,
I would travd twenty,
thirty,
forty,
fifty or a hundred leagues [163] to visit Gotama,
the arahat all-enlightened.

But though he has passed away,
still it is to Gotama
that I come as my refuge,
to him
and to his Doctrine
and to his Confraternity;
and I ask you to receive me as a follower
who has found an abiding refuge
from this day onward while life shall last. Moreover, Udena, the king of the Anga country
gives me a regular daily allowance, -
out of which I will give you a regular allowance.

How much is your daily allowance from the king?

Five hundred pence.

We may not take money.

If you may not,
then I will have a cell built for you.

If you want to do that,
you might build an assembly-hall
for the Confratemity at Pāṭaliputta.

It makes me still more pleased and delighted with [93] you,
Udena,
that you urge me to bestow my benefaction
on the Confraternity as a whole;
and I will do so
out of this and further allowances.

Accordingly, the brahmin Ghoṭamukha
built the assembly-hall at Pāṭaliputta
which bears his name to-day.


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