Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
III. Upari-Paṇṇāsa
3. Suññata 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 126

Bhūmija Suttaɱ

Right Outlook Essential

 


[138] [236]

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

Once while the Lord was staying at Rājagaha
in the Bamboo grove
where the squirrels were fed,
the reverend Bhūmija,
duly robed and bowl in hand,
went to the abode of (his nephew) Prince Jayasena
and sat down on the seat set for him.

To him came the prince
who after greetings
took a seat to one side,
saying: -

There are some recluses and brahmins, Bhūmija,
who affirm and hold that,
if a man conceives longings
while leading the higher life,
he cannot win the fruits of the higher life,
nor can he
if he conceives non-longings,
or both (alternately),
or neither.

What herein does the reverend Bhūmija's Master affirm and teach?

I have never heard or received
the Lord's utterance on this
from his own lips;
but he might possibly take the following line: -

It all depends on whether
with the longing or non-longing,
or neither or both,
there goes a true and causal
leading of the higher life; -
if it does not,
he can win no fruit;
if it does,
[139] he can.

This might be the Lord's view;
but I never heard him say so.

Well, Bhūmija,
if this be what your master affirms and teaches,
assuredly your master stands ahead
of all recluses and brahmins there be.

And, so saying, the prince entertained the reverend Bhūmija with his own dish of rice.

Returning after his meal,
Bhūmija related to the Lord,
word for word,
what had passed,
asking at the end
whether he had conveyed the Lord's views without misrepresentation,
and had expounded the Doctrine's [237] gist
and what flows from it,
without going wrong in his doctrinal exposition.

[140] Indeed you have faithfully represented my views, Bhūmija;
and there is nothing wrong in your exposition.

If recluses or brahmins
have a wrong outlook
and are wrong in thoughts words and deeds, -
wrong in their mode of livelihood,
wrong in their endeavour,
in their mindfulness
and in their concentration, -
then, if, while leading the higher life,
they conceive a longing -
or a non-longing -
or both (alternately) -
or neither, -
they cannot win the fruits of that higher life.

And why not? -

Because this is no source from which fruit-winning can come.

It is just like a man
hunting about for oil,
in his need and quest of oil,
who should heap up sand in a trough
and crush it up thoroughly with water,
yet for all his pains
cannot get oil therefrom, -
whatever may be his longing,
or non-longing,
or both,
or neither.

And why not? -

Because this is no source from which oil can be got.

Just in the same way
if recluses or brahmins have a wrong outlook [141] ... no source from which fruit-winning can come.

It is just like a man hunting about for milk,
in his need and quest of milk,
who should milk a young cow
from her horn,
yet for all his pains
cannot draw milk therefrom, -
whatever may be his longing,
or non-longing,
or both,
or neither.

And why not? -

Because this is no source
from which milk can come.

Just in the same way,
if recluses or brahmins have a wrong outlook
... no source from which fruit-winning can come.

It is just like a man hunting about for butter,
in his need and quest for butter,
who should churn water in a jar,
yet for all his pains
cannot get butter to come, -
whatever may be his longing,
or non-longing,
or both,
or neither.

And why not? -

Because this is no source
from which butter can come.

Just in the same way,
if recluses or brahmins have a wrong outlook
... no source from which fruit-winning can come.

[238] It is just like a man hunting about for fire
in his need and quest for fire,
who should take a wet stick
with the sap still in it
for his [142] kindling-wood
and rub away at it,
yet for all his pains
cannot get fire to come, -
whatever may be his longing,
or non-longing,
or both,
or neither.

And why not? -

Because this is no source
from which fire can come.

Just in the same way,
if recluses or brahmins have a wrong outlook
... no source from which fruit-winning can come.

If recluses or brahmins have the right outlook
and are right in thoughts words and deeds,
- right in their livelihood,
in their endeavour,
in their mindfulness
and in their concentration,-
then if, while leading the higher life,
they conceive a longing -
or a non-longing -
or both -
or neither, -
they can win the fruits of that higher life.

And why? -

Because here is a source
from which fruit-winning can come.

It is just like a man hunting about for oil,
in his need and quest of oil,
who should heap up oil-seeds in a trough
and crush them up thoroughly with water,
then, whatever may be his longing,
or non-longing,
or both,
or neither,
he can get oil.

And why? -

Because here is a source
from which oil can be got.

Just in the same way,
if recluses or brahmins have the right outlook
... [143] fruit-winning can come.

It is just like a man hunting about for milk,
in need and quest for milk,
who should milk a young cow from the teat,
then, whatever may be his longing,
or nonlonging,
or both,
or neither,
he can get milk.

And why? -

Because here is a source
from which milk can be got.

Just in the same way,
if recluses or brahmins have the right outlook
... fruit-winning can come.

It is just like a man hunting about for butter,
in his need and quest for butter,
wno should churn in a jar milk that has set,
then, whatever may be his longing,
or non-longing,
or both,
or neither,
he can get butter.

And why? -

Because here is a source
from which butter can be got.

Just in the same way,
if recluses or brahmins have the right outlook
... fruit-winning can come.

[239] It is just like a man hunting about for fire,
in his need and quest for fire,
who should take a dry sapless stick for his kindling wood
and rub away at it,
then, whatever may be his longing
or non-longing,
or both,
or neither,
he can get fire

[144]. And why? -

Because here is a source
from which fire can be got.

Just in the same way,
if recluses or brahmins have the right outlook
and are right in thoughts words and deeds,-
right in their livelihood,
right in their endeavour,
in their mindfulness
and in their concentration, -
then, if, while leading the higher life,
they conceive a longing -
or a non-longing -
or both -
or neither -,
they can win the fruits of that higher life.

And why? -
Because here is a source
from which fruit-winning can come.

Now, if, Bhūmija,
these four illustrations had occurred to you for Prince Jayasena,
straightaway he would have been converted
and, being converted,
would have acted accordingly.

How, sir, could these illustrations occur to my mind for the prince,
as they have to the Lord,
seeing that they are spontaneous
and never before heard by man?

Thus spoke the Lord.

Glad at heart,
the reverend Bhūmija rejoiced in what the Lord had said.


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