Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
III. Upari-Paṇṇāsa
2. Anupada 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 114

Sevitabba-Asevitabba Suttaɱ

What Does It Lead To?

 


[45] [180]

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

Once when the Lord was staying at Sāvatthī in Jeta's grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's pleasaunce, the Lord addressed the Almsmen as follows: -

Ensue. A word of many shades of meaning. We do not encounter this use today. From L. insequi = in + sequí in sequence. Mimic, to follow, to follow-up, to persue, succeed, result.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

I will expound what should be ensued
and what should not be ensued.

Hearken and pay attention,
and I will speak.

Then to the listening Almsmen the Lord began: -

Behaviour in act -
or in speech -
or in thought -
is twofold,
that to be ensued
and that not to be ensued,
each being alternative to the other.

And the same applies
to mental arisings,
to [46] the admission of perceptions,
as also to the acquisition of views
and the entertainment of personality.

Said the venerable Sāriputta to the Lord: -

I understand as follows
the expanded meaning of the Lord's succinct
and unexpanded utterance: -

i. Behaviour in act is twofold,
that to be ensued
and that not to be ensued,
each being alternative to the other; -
these were the Lord's words
and they proceed from the following: -

Behaviour in act is
(a) not to be ensued
if thereby wrong dispositions wax apace
while right dispositions wane,
but (b) to be ensued
if thereby wrong dispositions wane
while right dispositions wax apace.

Now, first,
what kind of behaviour in act leads, if ensued,
to wrong dispositions waxing apace
while right dispositions wane? -

Take a man who destroys life, -
he is a hunter,
with hands dyed in blood,
given to killing and slaying,
merciless to living creatures.

Or he takes what has not been given to him, -
he appropriates in thievish fashion
other people's belongings
in village and jungle.

Or he is a fornicator, -
he has intercourse with women
under the care of mother
or father
or brother
or sister
or relations,
with women married
or affianced,
or even with women
wearing the very garlands of betrothal. -

This is the kind of behaviour [47] in act
which, if ensued,
makes wrong dispositions wax apace
while right dispositions wane.

Next, what kind of behaviour in act
leads to wrong dispositions waning
while right dispositions wax apace? -

Take a man who,
putting all killing from him
and abstaining from killing anything,
laying aside cudgel and sword,
lives a life of innocence and mercy,
full of pity and compassion
for everything that lives.

He puts theft from him
and abstains from theft,
taking only what is given to him
and never appropriating to himself in thievish fashion
other people's belongings
in village and jungle,
that have not been given to him.

In the matter of fornication,
he is no wrongdoer
but abstains from all such wrongdoing;
he has no intercourse
with women under the care of mother
or father
or brother
or sister
or relations,
or with women affianced
pledged
or betrothed. -

This is the kind of [182] behaviour in act
which makes wrong dispositions wane
while good dispositions wax apace.

Hence proceeded the Lord's utterance: -

Behaviour in act is twofold,
that to be ensued
and that not to be ensued,
each being alternative to the other.

ii. Behaviour in speech is twofold,
that to be ensued
and that not to be ensued,
each being alternative to the other; -
these were the Lord's words
and they proceed from the following: -

Behaviour in speech is
(a) not to be ensued
if thereby wrong dispositions wax apace
while right dispositions wane,
but (b) to be ensued
if thereby wrong dispositions wane
while right dispositions wax apace.

Now, first,
what kind of behaviour in speech leads, if ensued,
to wrong dispositions waxing apace
while right dispositions wane? -

Take a man who is a liar,
who, when cited to give his testimony [48] before assembly
or village-meeting
or among his kindred
or his guild
or the king's officers,
says he knows
when he does not know,
or says he does not know
when he does know,
or says he saw
when he did not see,
or says he did not see
when he did see,
'deliberately lying
in the interests either of himself
or of other people
or for some trifling gain.

Or he is a slanderer; -
what he has heard here
he tells elsewhere
to split up one set of people;
what he hears elsewhere
he tells here
to split up another set;
so that he is a dissolver of harmony
and no reconciler of them that are at variance;
discord is the pleasure
and delight
and joy
and motive of his speech.

Or he is a reviler; -
what he says is rough and harsh,
hurtful and wounding to others,
fraught with anger and discord.

Or he is a tattler; -
he speaks out of season,
without regard to the facts,
of what is unprofitable;
never speaks of the Doctrine and Rule;
his talk is trivial and ill-timed,
frivolous,
leading nowhere
and void of profit -

This is the kind of behaviour in speech
which if ensued,
makes wrong dispositions wax apace
while right dispositions wane.

Next, what kind of behaviour in speech
leads, if ensued,
to wrong dispositions waning
while good dispositions wax apace? -

Take a man who has put lying [183] from him
and abstains from lies.

When cited to give his testimony before assembly
or village-meeting
or among his kindred
or his guild
or the king's officers,
he is careful not to say he knows
when he does not,
or to say he does not know
when he does,
or to say [49] he saw
when he did not,
or to say he did not see
when he did, -
never deliberately lying
in the interests either of himself
or of other people
or for some trifling gain.

All slander he has put from him
and from slander he abstains;
what he hears here
he does not repeat elsewhere,
to split up one set of people,
nor does he repeat here
what he has heard elsewhere,
so as to split up another set.

He is a promoter of harmony
and a restorer of amity.

Concord is the pleasure
and delight
and joy
and motive of his speech.

He reviles not;
he abstains from reviling.

What he says is without gall,
pleasant,
friendly,
hearty,
urbane,
agreeable
and welcome to all.

No tattler,
he abstains from all tattle; -
he speaks in season
and according to the facts;
he is profitable in his speech,
ever of the Doctrine and Rule;
seasonable and memorable are his words,
illuminating,
well-marshalled
and of great profit. -

This is the kind of behaviour in speech
which, if ensued,
makes wrong dispositions wane
while right dispositions wax apace.

Hence proceeded the Lord's utterance: -

Behaviour in speech is twofold,
that to be ensued
and that not to be ensued,
each being alternative to the other.

iii. Behaviour in thought is twofold,
that to be ensued
and that not to be ensued,
each being alternative to the other; -
these were the Lord's words
and they proceed from the following: -

Behaviour in thought is
(a) not to be ensued
if thereby wrong dispositions wax apace
while right dispositions wane,
but (b) to be ensued
if thereby wrong dispositions wane
while right dispositions wax apace.

Now, first, what kind of behaviour in thought
leads, if ensued,
to wrong dispositions waxing apace
while right dispositions wane? -

Take a man who is covetous
and covets other people's gear, -
in the yearning they were his.

Or he is rancorous
and corrupt of intent; - [184] [50] he wishes that creatures round him
may be killed
or destroyed
or disappear
or perish
or not exist. -

This is the kind of behaviour in thoughts
which, if ensued,
makes wrong dispositions wax apace
while right dispositions wane.

Next, what kind of behaviour in thoughts
leads, if ensued,
to wrong dispositions waning
while right dispositions wax apace? -

Take a man who is not covetous
and does not covet other people's gear,
in the yearning they were his.

He harbours no rancour,
nor is he corrupt of intent; -
his wish is that the creatures round him
may live on in peace and happiness,
safe from all enmity and oppression.

Hence proceeded the Lord's utterance: -

Behaviour in thoughts is twofold,
that to be ensued
and that not to be ensued,
each being alternative to the other

iv. Mental arisings are twofold,
that to be ensued
and that not to be ensued,
each being alternative to the other; -
these were the Lord's words
and they proceed from the following: -

Mental arisings are
(a) not to be ensued
if thereby wrong dispositions wax apace
while right dispositions wane,
but (b) to be ensued
if thereby wrong dispositions wane
while right dispositions wax apace.

Now, first, what kind of mental arisings
lead, if ensued,
to wrong dispositions waxing apace
while good dispositions wane? -

Take a man who is covetous
and lives with a heart filled with covetousness,
who is rancorous
and lives with a heart filled with rancour,
who is resentful
and lives with a heart filled with resentment -

This is the kind of mental arising
which, if ensued,
makes wrong dispositions wax apace
while right dispositions wane.

Next, what kind of development of heart
leads, if ensued,
to wrong dispositions waning
[51] while right dispositions wax apace? -

Take a man who is not covetous
and lives with an uncoveting heart,
who knows not rancour
and lives with an unrancorous heart,
who knows not resentment
and lives with an unresentful heart. -

This is the kind of development of heart
which, if ensued,
makes wrong dispositions wane
and right dispositions wax apace.

Hence proceeded the Lord's utterance: -

Mental arisings are twofold,
that to be ensued
and that not to be ensued,
each being alternative to the other.

v. The admission of perceptions is twofold,
that to be ensued
and that not to be ensued,
each being alternative to the other; -
these were the Lord's words
and they proceed from the following: -

Admission of perceptions is
(a) not to be ensued
if thereby wrong dispositions wax apace
while right dispositions wane,
but (b) to be ensued
if thereby wrong dispositions wane
while right dispositions wax apace.

Now, first, what kind of admission of perceptions
leads, if ensued,
to wrong dispositions waxing apace
while good dispositions wane? -

Take a man who is covetous
and lives with a heart filled with covetousness,
who is rancorous
and lives with a heart filled with rancour,
who is resentful
and lives with a heart filled with resentment -

This is the kind of admission of perceptions
which, if ensued,
makes wrong dispositions wax apace
while right dispositions wane.

Next, what kind of admission of perceptions
leads, if ensued,
to wrong dispositions waning
while right dispositions wax apace? -

Take a man who is not covetous
and lives with an uncoveting heart,
who knows not rancour
and lives with an unrancorous heart,
who knows not resentment
and lives with an unresentful heart. -

This is the kind of admission of perceptions
which, if ensued,
makes wrong dispositions wane
and right dispositions wax apace.

Hence proceeded the Lord's utterance: -

Admission of perceptions is twofold,
that to be ensued
and that not to be ensued,
each being alternative to the other.

[52] vi. The acquisition of views is twofold,
that to be ensued
and that not to be ensued,
each being alternative to the other; -
these were the Lord's words
and they proceed from the following: -

The acquisition of views is
(a) not to be ensued
if thereby wrong dispositions wax apace
while right dispositions wane,
but (b) to be ensued
if thereby wrong dispositions wane
while right dispositions wax apace.

Now, first,
what kind of acquisition of views
leads, if ensued,
to wrong dispositions waxing apace
while right dispositions wane? -

Take a man whose view is
that there is no such thing as alms
or sacrifice
or oblations;
that there is no such thing
as the fruit and harvest
of deeds good and bad;
that there is no such thing
as this world or the next;
that there are no such things
as either parents
or a spontaneous generation elsewhere;
that there is no such thing
as recluses and brahmins who tread the right path
and walk aright,
who have, of and by themselves,
comprehended and realized this and other worlds
and made it all known to others. -

This is the kind of acquisition of views
which, if practised,
makes wrong dispositions wax apace
while right dispositions wane.

Next, what kind of acquisition of views
leads, if ensued,
to wrong dispositions waning
while right dispositions wax apace? -

Take a man whose view is
that there are such things as alms
sacrifice
and oblations;
that there is indeed such a thing
as the fruit and harvest
of deeds good and bad;
that there are really such things
as this world and the next;
that there are really such things
as parents
and a spontaneous generation elsewhere;
and that there are really such things
as recluses and brahmins who tread the right path
and [186] walk aright,
who have, of and by themselves,
comprehended and realized this and other worlds
and made it all known to others. -

This is the kind of acquisition of views
which leads, if practised,
to wrong dispositions waning
while right dispositions wax apace.

Hence proceeds the Lord's utterance: -

The acquisition of views is twofold,
that to be ensued
and that not to be ensued,
each being alternative to the other.

vii. The entertainment of Personality is twofold,
that to be ensued
and that not to be ensued,
each being alternative to the other; -
these were the Lord's views
and they proceed from the following: -

Entertainment of Personality is
(a) not to be ensued
if thereby wrong dispositions wax apace
while right dispositions wane,
but (b) to be ensued
if thereby wrong dispositions wane
while right dispositions wax apace.

Now, first, what kind of [58] Entertainment of Personality
leads, if ensued,
to wrong dispositions waxing apace
while right dispositions wane? -

If Ill attends the Entertainment of Personality
and if there is no final term
to the round of the man's rebirths,
then wrong dispositions wax apace
while right dispositions wane.

If, however, Ill does not attend the Entertainment of Personality
and if therefore there is a final term
to the round of the man's rebirths,
then wrong dispositions wane
while right dispositions wax apace.

Hence proceeds the Lord's utterance: -

The entertainment of Personality is twofold,
that to be ensued
and that not to be ensued,
each being alternative to the other.

Such, sir, - concluded Sāriputta -
is how I understand the expanded meaning
of the Lord's succinct and unexpanded utterance.

Quite right, Sāriputta,
quite right;
you have quite rightly understood the expanded meaning
of my succinct and unexpanded utterance.

I endorse and repeat [54-55] each word you have said;
and the meaning of my utterance
is thus to be explained.

Furthermore, Sāriputta, I lay it down
that there is a twofold manner
for practising
and not practising
the employment of eye [sic. eye and visible objects],
and ear [sic. ear and sounds],
smell [sic. nose and smells],
and taste [sic. tongue and tastes],,
touch [sic. body and touch],
and mentality [sic. mind and things],
in their respective spheres.

Hereupon, Sāriputta said to the Lord
that he understood the expanded meaning
of the Lord's succinct and unexpanded utterance to be ... (what he then proceeded [56-58] to set forth for each of the six senses,
showing how in each case
the practice or non-practice
should respectively depend
on whether or not the result
was to make wrong dispositions wane
and right dispositions wax apace.)

Quite right, Sāriputta,
quite right;
you have quite rightly understood
the expanded meaning
of my succinct and unexpanded utterance.

I endorse and repeat
every word you have said;
and the meaning of my utterance
is thus to be explained.

Furthermore, Sāriputta,
I lay it down that there is a twofold manner
for practising and not practising the use,
severally,
of robes,
alms,
lodging,
villages,
townships,
cities,
countries
and individuals.

[59] Hereupon, Sāriputta said to the Lord
that he understood the expanded meaning
of the Lord's succinct and unexpanded utterance
to be (what he then proceeded to set forth
for each of the foregoing eight categories,
showing how in each case
the practice or non-practice
should respectively depend
on whether or not the result
was to make wrong dispositions wane
and right dispositions wax apace).

Quite right, Sāriputta,
... [60] quite right;
you have quite rightly understood
the expanded meaning
of my succinct and unexpanded utterance.

I endorse and repeat
every word you have said;
and the meaning of my utterance
is thus to be explained.

If the expanded meaning
of my succinct utterance
were thus understood
by every noble,
every brahmin,
every middle-class man,
every peasant,
long would it redound to their good and well-being.

If the meaning were thus understood
by the whole universe
with its gods its Māras
and Brahmās,
with its recluses and brahmins
and gods and men,
long would it redound to their good and well-being.

[61] Thus spoke the Lord.

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


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