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 120

Saŋkhār'uppatti Suttaɱ

Plastic Forces

 


[99] [205]

[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 announced to the Almsmen
that he would expound
how plastic forces arose;
and thus began:

Take the case of an Almsman
who possesses faith and virtue,
instruction,
munificence,
and understanding.

The wish comes to him
that, at the body's dissolution after death,
he may be reborn a wealthy noble.

On this he fixes
and sets his heart,
to this [100] he trains his heart.

Lord Chalmers here has both reverted to his previous translation of Sankhārā as 'plastic forces' and taken on to that the definition of it as being faith, virtue, instruction, munificence and understanding. This is not supported by the Pali. There is no 'these five Sankhārā' there. The 'wherever are these Sankhārā' refers back to the previous set (fixing his heart, setting his heart, training his heart in this translation). He confirms his error in the following case.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

The possession of the foregoing
five plastic forces,
coupled with this wish of his,
conduce,
with [212] cultivation and development,
to his being reborn accordingly. -

This is the road and way to such rebirth.

Again, possessing the same five plastic forces,
the Almsman forms the wish
to be reborn a wealthy brahmin -
etc. -
or householder.

On this he fixes
and sets his heart,
to this he trains his heart.

The possession of the foregoing
five plastic forces,
coupled with this wish of his,
conduce,
with cultivation and development,
to his being reborn accordingly. -

This is the road and way to such rebirth.

Or possessing these same five plastic forces,
the Almsman, hearing that the Four Regents -
the Thirty-three gods -
the Yāma gods -
the Tusita gods -
the Nimmanārati gods -
the Paranimmita-vasavatti gods -
enjoy long life and beauty
and abound in well-being,
forms the wish that he may be reborn one of them.

On this he fixes
and sets his heart,
to this he trains his heart.

The possession of the foregoing
five plastic forces,
coupled with this wish of his,
conduce,
with cultivation and development,
to his being reborn accordingly. -

This is the road and way to such rebirth.

Or, possessing those [101] same five plastic forces,
the Almsman, hearing that the Brahmā of a Thousand worlds
enjoys long life and beauty
and abounds in well-being,
forms the wish that he may be reborn
in communion with that Brahmā.

Now, that Brahmā
dwells illumining and pervading
the frame-work of a thousand worlds
and also all the creatures that are reborn there.

Just as a man with eyes to see
might take in his hand
and gaze upon emblic myrobalan,
even so does this Brahmā
illumine and pervade
his thousand worlds
and all the creatures that are reborn there.

On this he fixes
and sets his heart,
to this he trains his heart.

The possession of the foregoing
five plastic forces,
coupled with this wish of his,
conduce,
with cultivation and development,
to his being reborn accordingly. -

This is the road and way to such rebirth.

Or, in like manner,
he forms the wish
that he may be reborn
in communion with the Brahmā of two -
three -
four -
or five thousand worlds.

Now, the Brahmā of Five thousand worlds
illumines and pervades
five thousand worlds
and also all the creatures that are reborn there.

Just as a man with eyes to see
might take in his hand
and gaze upon five emblic myrobalans,
even so does the Brahmā of Five thousand worlds
illumine and pervade
his five thousand worlds
and all the creatures that are reborn there.

On this he fixes
and sets his heart,
to this he trains his heart.

The possession of the foregoing
five plastic forces,
coupled with this wish of his,
conduce,
with cultivation and development,
to his being reborn accordingly. -

This is the road and way to such rebirth.

Or, possessing those same five qualities,
the Almsman, hearing that the Brahmā of Ten thousand worlds
enjoys long life and beauty
and abounds in well-being,
forms the wish that he may be reborn in communion [213] with that Brahmā.

Now that Brahmā illumines and pervades
ten thousand worlds
[102] and all the creatures that are reborn there.

Just as a rare Veluriya gem
of finest water,
that has been cut with eight facets
and marvellously wrought,
when laid on a yellow cloth,
diffuses its sparkling radiance around, -
even so does the Brahmā of ten thousand worlds
illumine and pervade
his ten thousand worlds
and all the creatures that are reborn there.

On this he fixes
and sets his heart,
to this he trains his heart.

The possession of the foregoing
five plastic forces,
coupled with this wish of his,
conduce,
with cultivation and development,
to his being reborn accordingly. -

This is the road and way to such rebirth.

Or, possessing these same five qualities,
the Almsman, hearing that the Brahmā of a Hundred thousand worlds
enjoys long life and beauty
and abounds in well-being,
forms the wish that he may be reborn in communion with that Brahmā.

Now that Brahmā illumines and pervades
a hundred thousand worlds
and all the creatures that are reborn there.

Just as gold from the river Jambu's bed
that has been refined in the crucible
of a skilled goldsmith,
worked to a brilliant polish by his art,
and then, when laid on a yellow cloth,
diffuses its sparkling radiance around, -
even so does the Brahmā of a Hundred thousand worlds
illumine and pervade
his hundred thousand worlds
and all the creatures that are reborn there.

On this he fixes
and sets his heart,
to this he trains his heart.

The possession of the foregoing
five plastic forces,
coupled with this wish of his,
conduce,
with cultivation and development,
to his being reborn accordingly. -

This is the road and way to such rebirth.

Or, again,
possessing those same five qualities,
the Almsman, hearing of their long life,
beauty and abounding well-being,
forms the wish that he may be reborn in the heaven of the Ābha gods,
among either the Paritt-ābhas
or the Appamāṇ-ābhās, -
or of the Subha gods,
among either the Paritta-subhas
or the Appa-māṇa-subhas
or the Subha-kiṇṇas,-[103] or of the Vehapphala gods, -
or of the Aviha gods, -
or of the Atappa gods, -
or of the Sudassin gods, -
or of the Akanittha gods, -
or of the Infinite Space gods, -
or of the Infinite Mind gods, -
or the gods of the Realm of Naught, -
or of the gods of the Realm where there is Neither-perception-nor-Non-perception.

On this he fixes
and sets his heart,
to this he trains his heart.

The possession of the foregoing
five plastic forces,
[214] coupled with this wish of his,
conduce,
with cultivation and development,
to his being reborn accordingly. -

This is the road and way to such rebirth.

Again,
possessing these same five qualities,
the Almsman forms the wish that,
by the extinction of the Cankers,
he may here and now
develop and dwell in
the Deliverance of heart and mind without Cankers
which he has discerned
and realized of and by himself.

And by the extinction of the Cankers
he wins this goal. -

This Almsman, sirs,
is reborn nowhere,
passes no-whither to rebirth

Thus spoke the Lord.

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


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