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 127

Anuruddha Suttaɱ

As They Have Sown

 


[144] [239]

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

Once when the Lord was staying at Sāvatthī in Jeta's grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's pleasaunce,
the carpenter Pañcakanga sent a messenger
[145] - as he was himself busy
and engaged on the King's business -
respectfully to ask,
in his name,
the venerable Anuruddha to come with three others
to dinner the next day.

Anuruddha silently consented
and early next morning,
duly robed and bowl in hand,
betook him to the carpenter's abode
and sat down on the seat set for him.

Then the carpenter
with his [240] own hands
served up an excellent meal
and, when Anuruddha had had his fill,
sat himself on a lower seat to one side, saying: -

Some Elders have told me here
to develop the heart's Deliverance which is 'boundless,'
while others have told me
to develop the heart's Deliverance which is 'vast.'

Now are the two things distinct
[146] with differing attributes,
or are they the same
with only a difference in attributes?

Say what strikes you, sir;
it will clarify your ideas.

Wnat I think is
that the two are the same,
differing only in attributes.

They are two distinct things,
with differing attributes,
as I will now proceed to explain: -

What is boundless Deliverance? -

If an Almsman dwells
with radiant thoughts of love
pervading one quarter of the world -
a second quarter -
a third quarter -
the fourth quarter of the world-,
if he dwells with radiant thoughts of love
pervading the whole length and breadth of the world,
above,
below,
around,
everywhere,
with radiant thoughts of love
all-embracing and vast,
beyond measure,
untinged by hatred or malice;
and if, as with thoughts of love,
so he has radiant thoughts of pity,
of compassion,
of poised equanimity
all-embracing and abounding,
beyond measure,
untinged by hatred or malice; -
this is what is termed
the heart's Deliverance that is boundless.

And what is vast Deliverance of the heart? -

If an Almsman pervades and imbues a single tree
with the idea of vastness,
that is termed vast Deliverance of the heart.

If with the idea of vastness
he pervades and imbues two or three trees, -
or a field -
[147] or two or three fields -
or a kingdom -
or two or three kingdoms, -
that too is termed vast Deliverance of the heart.

If with the idea of vastness
he pervades and imbues the earth
right up to ocean's shores,
that too is termed vast Deliverance of the heart.

Thus you will understand
that the two things are distinct,
with differing attributes.

Here are four states of re-birth. -

If a man absorbs the idea of lesser brilliancy,
he at the body's dissolution [241] after death
is reborn (accordingly) among the Parittābhā gods.

If he absorbs the idea of boundless brilliancy,
he is reborn accordingly among the Appamāṇābha gods.

If he absorbs the idea of tarnished brilliancy,
he is reborn accordingly among the Sankiliṭṭhābha gods.

If, again, he absorbs the idea of pure brilliancy,
then at the body's dissolution after death he is reborn accordingly among the Parisuddhābha gods.

When those deities are assembled together,
they manifestly differ in hue
though not in brilliancy.

Just as there is a difference in flame
but not in brilliancy
among a number of oil-lamps brought into a house,
so, when those deities are assembled together,
[148] they manifestly differ
in hue though not in brilliancy.

It comes to pass,
when those deities are departing on their several ways,
that, as they depart,
a difference is manifest
both in their hue and in their brilliancy.

Just as when all those lamps
are being brought out of that_house,
they manifestly differ
both in flame and in brilliancy,
so, when those deities are departing on their several ways,
there is a difference manifest
both in their hue and in their brilliancy.

No thought have they
whether their lot to-day will continue always,
without change and everlastingly;
nay, wheresoever they find themselves,
there they are glad to be.

Just as flies
borne along in pingo or basket
have no thought whether their lot to-day
will continue always,
without change and everlastingly;
nay, wheresoever they find themselves,
there they are glad to be; -
just in the same way those deities
take no thought whether their lot of to-day
will continue always,
without change and everlastingly;
nay, wheresoever they find themselves,
there they are glad to be.

At this point the reverend Abhiya Kaccāna said to the reverend Anuruddha: -

Good indeed;
but I have one question further on this. -

Are the brilliant deities
all of lesser brilliancy?

Or are some of them of boundless brilliancy?

That is settled by their state of rebirth; -
some are of lesser
and some of boundless brilliancy.

[242] What is the cause and condition whereby,
though those deities have all alike been reborn into a single class of gods,
[149] some are of lesser
and some of boundless brilliancy?

Let me in reply ask you, Kaccāna,
a question to which you will give such answer as you see fit.

Which do you think gives the vaster scope of the two trains of meditation, -
the Almsman who pervades and imbues a single tree
with the idea of vastness,
or the Almsman who works from two or three trees?

The latter.

Which train of meditation gives the vaster scope, -
the Almsman's who works from two or three trees
or the Almsman's who works from a field?

The latter.

Which train gives the vaster scope, -
the Almsman's who works from a single field
or the Almsman's who works from two or three fields?

The latter.

Which train gives the vaster scope, -
the Almsman's who works from two or three fields
or [150] the Almsman's who works from a kingdom?

or from two or three kingdoms?

or from the whole earth
right up to ocean's shores?

In each case,
the latter of the two.

This, Kaccana, is the cause and condition whereby,
though these deities have all alike been reborn into a single class of gods,
some are of lesser and some of boundless brilliancy.

Good, indeed Anuruddha.

But I have yet another question to ask.

Are all brilliant deities tarnished in brilliancy?

or are some of them of pure brilliancy?

[151] Assuredly, the brilliancy of some is tarnished
and of others pure.

What, Anuruddha, is the cause and condition why,
though these deities have all alike been reborn into a single class of gods,
some are of tarnished and others of pure brilliancy?

I will give you an illustration,
Kaccāna; -
an illustration often aids a man of intelligence to comprehend.

[243] It is just like a burning oil-lamp
which has got foul oil
and a foul wick;
their combined foulness
make the lamp burn dimly.

Just in the same way,
if an Almsman absorbs the idea of tarnished brilliancy,
his carnal desires are not subdued,
his obduracy is not banished,
his flurry and worry are not educated out of him;
and these combined shortcomings
make the Almsman's light burn dimly,
so that at the body's dissolution after death
he is reborn among the gods of tarnished brilliancy.

Or, again, it is just like a burning oil-lamp
which has got pure oil
and a pure wick;
their combined purity
make the lamp burn without dimness.

Just in the same way,
if an Almsman absorbs the idea of pure brilliancy,
his carnal desires are subdued,
his obduracy is banished,
his flurry and worry are educated out of him;
and these combined refinings
make that Almsman's light burn without dimness,
so that at the body's dissolution after death
he is reborn among the gods of pure brilliancy,

[152] This,
Kaccāna,
is the cause and condition whereby,
though these deities have all alike been reborn into a single class of gods,
some are of tarnished and others of pure brilliancy.

Hereupon, Abhiya Kaccāna said:

-Good, indeed; Anuruddha.

You did not say -

Thus have I heard,
or thus ought it to come about;
you simply declared the facts about those deities.

Why, you must have lived long with those deities
and had talk and converse with them!

That is an offensive observation, Kaccāna;
but nevertheless I will give you your answer. -

I have lived long with those deities
and have had talk and converse with them.

Turning to the carpenter Pañcakanga,
the reverend Abhiya Kaccāna added: -

It is a great thing for you, householder,
a very great thing,
that you have got rid of your doubts
and been privileged to hear this exposition.


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