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 128

Upakkilesa Suttaɱ

Strife and Blemishes

 


[152] [244]

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

Once when the Lord was staying at Kosambī
in the Ghosita pleasaunce,
disputes were rife there among the Almsmen,
who were living in a state
of uproar and contention,
darting taunts at one another.

This was [153] reported by an Almsman to the Lord,
with the prayer that
he would vouchsafe to go to these Almsmen;
and the Lord, giving consent by silence,
went thither and said:

Enough, Almsmen!

No altercations,
no contentions,
no strife,
no disputes!

Said an Almsman to the Lord:

Let be, o author of the Doctrine!

Let the Lord dwell in the enjoyment
of his bliss here and now!

Ours will be the notoriety
for these altercations,
contentions,
strife and disputes.

A second and a third time
did the Lord say this to these Almsmen;
and a second and a third time
did that Almsman beg him not to interfere.

In the morning early,
duly robed and bowl in hand,
the Lord went into Kosambī for alms.

After his meal,
on his return from his round,
the Lord packed up his bedding and,
still standing,
uttered the following verses:[1]

[154] When all in chorus bawl, none feels a fool;
nor, though the Order fall, thinks otherwise;
misunderstanding wisdom's words, they bawl,
these loud word-mongers, for - they know not what.
Me he reviled; he beat, robbed, plunder'd me!
- such thoughts, if harbour'd, ne'er let hatred die;
but hatred dies, when these no harbour find.
[245] Hate ne'er stopped hate; the ancient law holds good, -
when hate no longer answers hate, hate dies.
Some cannot see their broils will bring them low;
- others perceive the danger and stop strife.
Ruffians who maim and kill, steal cattle steeds
and pelf, who plunder realms, - in concord dwell.
- Why should not you?
If fortune grant a trusty, staunch, true friend,
with him face dangers gladly, mindfully.
If fortune grant you no such trusty friend,
go forth alone, - as monarchs go whose realms
are lost, as elephant in lonely glade;
go forth alone, iniquity eschew,
carefree as elephant in lonely glade.

When the Lord, still standing,
had uttered these verses,
he departed for the village of Bālaka-loṇaka
where at the time [155] the reverend Bhagu was sojourning.

Seeing the Lord coming some way off
Bhagu set out a seat
and got water for the feet.

When, with due salutations,
Bhagu had sat down to one side,
the Lord, after asking him
whether all was going well with him
and after learning that all went well,
proceeded by homily to instruct,
inform,
enlighten
and hearten Bhagu.

Then he rose up and departed to Pācīna-vaɱsa-dāya, where at the time
the reverend Anuruddha, Nandiya, and Kimbila were living.

The forest-guard who, at a distance,
had seen the Lord coming,
said to the Lord:|| ||

Don't go in there,
recluse ... (etc. as in Sutta No. 31, down to)
... [156-7] to ask the three whether,
in leading such a life,
they reached any other state of pure well-being,
quite out of the ordinary
and beyond the scope of man.

Leading a life that is strenuous,
ardent and purged of self,
we get, sir (in our Ecstasy exercises),
the aura (obhāsa)
and the apperception (dassana) of Form;
but they soon fade away;
and we cannot get the mental reflex (nimitta).

But you must, said the. Lord.

I myself too, in [246] the days before Enlightenment,
when I was only a Bodhisatta
without full Enlightenment,
got the aura and the apperception of Form;
but they [158] soon faded away,
and I asked myself why they did.

Then thought I: -

Doubts have arisen within me
and consequently mental concentration has passed away
and with it the aura and the apperception;
I will take measures
to stop such doubts from arising in future.

Leading the strenuous and ardent life
purged of self,
I recovered the phenomena;
but soon they left me again,
and, on asking myself why they left me,
I concluded that it was because
intellectual shortcomings had occurred
and consequently mental concentration had passed away
and the phenomena with it,
and that I must take measures
to stop such doubts and such intellectual shortcomings
from arising in future.

And as with (1) doubts and
(2) intellectual shortcomings,
so, successively and cumulatively,
I dealt with -
(3) flurry and worry,
(4) palsied fear, -

Just as palsy would arise
in a traveller on a long journey
if on either side murderers appeared,
so that palsy came on him
from right and from left, -
so did palsy arise within me.

[159] (5) elation, -

Just as elation would arise
in a man hunting for a buried hoard
if he came on five hoards all at once,
so did elation arise within me.

(6) lewdness,
(7) excessive effort, -

Just as a man grasping a quail
with might and main in both hands
would kill the bird,
such was the excessive effort
which arose within me.

(8) slackness [160], -

Just as a quail would slip from the hand
of a man who held it in a loose and slack grasp,
such was the slackness which arose within me.

(9) aspirations, and
(10) multiplicity in sensory perception. (11) Leading a life that was strenuous
ardent
and purged of self,
I got the aura and the apperception of Form,
but they soon faded away,
and I asked myself [247] why they did.

Then thought I: -

Meticulous analysis of the phenomena has arisen within me
and consequently concentration has passed away
and with it the aura and apperception;
I will take measures
to stop this meticulosity of analysis too
from occurring in future.

Realizing that each and every one
of these eleven things was a blemish,
I got rid of them all.

[161] Continuing a life that was strenuous
ardent
and purged of self,
I got the aura
but could not see Forms,
or I could see Forms
but did not get the aura,
during the whole of the night
or day
or both.

Thinking it over, I concluded that,
when my mind was engaged
on the mental reflex of the one,
it neglected the other.

Continuing the life that was strenuous
ardent
and purged of self,
I succeeded in getting aura and apperception of Form,
now in a lesser degree
now in a boundless degree.

Thinking it over,
I concluded that this turned on
the degree of my mental concentration; -
when my mental concentration was less,
my eye was less,
and with that lesser eye
I could only discern a lesser aura and lesser Forms;
whereas, when my mental concentration was boundess,
boundless too was my discernment
of these things
by night
or day
or both.

As soon as [162] I had got rid of each and every one
of the foregoing eleven things
which I perceived to be blemishes,
then, realizing that they were all gone from me,
I resolved to develop mental concentration
along three lines: -

I developed it with the accompaniment of observation and reflection;
I developed it with the accompaniment of observation
but not of reflection;
I developed it with the accompaniment of neither.

I developed mental concentration
with zest
and without it;

I developed mental concentration in association with a sense of satisfaction;

I developed it in association with poised equanimity.

As soon as I had developed mental concentration
in these several modes,
there arose in me
the knowledge and the vision
that my Deliverance was assured,
that this was my last exist- [248] ence,
and that there was now no more
of what I had been.

Thus spoke the Lord.

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

 


[1] For these Kosambī disputes, see supra I 230; and see Vin. I 341 et seqq. (SBE XVII,' 292) for a fuller version, - including all these verses and including Gotama's reflection that - 'Truly these fools are infatuate; it is no easy task to administer instruction to them.' Some of our verses occur in the Sutta Nipāta, and more in the Dhammapada compilation.


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