Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
III. Upari-Paṇṇāsa
4. Vibhaŋga 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 135

Cūḷa Kamma-Vibhaŋga Suttaɱ

Our Heritage from Our Past I

 


[202] [268]

[1][pts][than][nymo][ntbb][olds][upal] THUS have I heard:

Once when the Lord was staying at Sāvatthī in Jeta's grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's pleasaunce,
the young brahmin Subha Todeyya-putta came to the Lord
and, seating himself to one side after greetings,
asked why and wherefore it was
that among human beings
there are the low and the high.

For, said he, we find in mankind
those of brief life and those of long life,
the hale and the ailing,
the good-looking and the ill-looking,
the poor and the rich,
the low and the high,
the ignorant and [203] the well informed.

Why and wherefore is it
that among human beings
there are high and low?

Their deeds are their possessions and heritage,
their parent,
their kindred
and their refuge.

It is their deeds
which divide people into high and low.

I do not follow this terse utterance of yours,
Gotama, [269] without the addition of an elucidating exposition,
which I should be glad to receive.

Inviting and receiving the young brahmin's attention
the Lord spoke as follows: -

Take the case of anyone - man or woman -
who slays,
is cruel,
dyes hands in blood,
is always killing and wounding,
never showing mercy to any living creature. -

Such deeds,
if persisted in of deliberate choice,
either bring that person
at the body's dissolution after death
to misery and woe or to purgatory;
or, if his rebirth is again among mankind,
then brief life is here his portion
in whatever station he is bom into. -

Such murderous courses
tend to brief life here.

Now take the case of anyone - man or woman -
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.

Such deeds,
if persisted in of deliberate choice,
either bring that person
at the body's dissolution after death
to bliss in heaven;
or, if his rebirth is again among mankind,
then length of days is his portion
in whatever station he is born into. -

Such merciful courses
tend to length of days here.

[204] Take the case of anyone - man or woman -
who is given to assaulting others
with fist or clod,
with cudgel or sword.

Such deeds,
if persisted in of deliberate choice,
either bring that person
at the body's dissolution after death
to misery and woe or purgatory;
or, if his rebirth is again among mankind,
he is always ailing
in whatever station he is born into.

Such assaults
tend to ailments here. -

But the person who eschews
such assaults on others
either passes at death to bliss in heaven;
or, if born a man again,
then good health is his portion. -

Such harmlessness
tends to ensure good health here.

Take the case of anyone - man or woman -
who is wrathful and turbulent,
who is moved by a trivial word
to cursing rage
enmity
and opposition,
who evinces indignation
ill-will
and resentment.

Such deeds,
if persisted in of deliberate choice,
either bring that [270] person
at the body's dissolution after death
to misery and woe, or purgatory;
or, if his rebirth is again among mankind,
his portion is to be ugly
in whatever station he is born into.

Such angry courses
tend to foul looks here. -

But the person wno is not of that turbulent spirit
and remains unmoved to rage
even by a torrent of abuse,
either passes at death
to bliss in heaven;
or, if his rebirth is again among mankind,
then good looks are his portion
in whatever station he is born into. -

Such good-tempered courses
tend to good looks here.

Take the case of anyone - man or woman -
who, being of a jealous nature,
is jealous and perverted
in the matter of presents
and marks of respect
and worship shown,
who stores up jealousy in his heart.

Such deeds,
if persisted in of deliberate choice,
either bring that person at death
to misery and woe or purgatory;
or, if his rebirth is again among mankind,
then, whatever station he is reborn into,
no notice is taken of him.

Such jealous courses
tend to no account being taken of a man here. -

[205] But the person who is of no such jealous disposition,
either passes at death
to bliss in heaven;
or if his rebirth is again among mankind,
then, great account of him is taken
in whatever station he is reborn into. -

Such un-jealous courses
tend to make a man of great account here.

Take the case of anyone - man or woman -
who never gives anything -
food,
drink,
clothes,
carriage,
garlands,
scents,
perfumes,
bed,
dwelling-place,
lamp and oil -
to recluse or brahmin.

Such deeds,
if persisted in of deliberate choice,
either bring that person at death
to misery and woe or purgatory;
or, if his rebirth is again among mankind,
then, whatever station he is reborn into,
he is a poor man.

Such refusals to give,
tend to entail poverty here.

But if a person is open-handed
to recluses or brahmins,
his destiny is either bliss in heaven
or wealth among men. -

Open-handedness tends to wealth here.

Take the case of anyone - man or woman -
who, being hard and arrogant,
refuses salutations
to one who ought to be saluted,
does not rise
for one who [271] should be so received,
does not give up his seat
or the road
to one more worthy,
shows no respect,
deference,
honour
or worship
to those who should be shown it.

Such deeds,
if persisted in of deliberate choice,
either bring that person at death
to misery and woe in purgatory;
or, if his rebirth is again among mankind,
then, whatever station he is reborn into,
he is of low and unimportant family.

Such arrogant courses
tend to lowliness here. -

But if a person is void of arrogance
and shows all due regard
to those who deserve it,
his destiny is either bliss in heaven
or high family among men. -

Such deference
tends to importance of family.

Take the case of anyone - man or woman -
who, when visiting recluse or brahmin,
does not question him
on what is right,
what is wrong,
what is faulty,
what is faultless,
what should be practised and what not,
what actions of his
will conduce to his lasting well-being
and welfare
and what to the reverse.

Such courses,
if persisted in of deliberate choice,
either bring that person at death
to misery and woe in purgatory;
or, if his rebirth is again among mankind,
then, whatever station he is reborn into,
he is ignorant.

Such failure to seek information
tends to ignorance here. -

[206] But if a person seeks information by such questionings,
his destiny is either to find bliss in heaven after death
or to be well-informed here,
whatever his station. -

An enquiring spirit
tends to make a man well-informed here.

Thus, young brahmin,
it is the courses
that respectively tend thereto,
which result in brief life
or length of days,
in health or ill-health,
in ugliness or good looks,
in being of no account or of great account,
in being poor or rich,
of low family or high,
ignorant or well-informed. -

Their deeds are their possessions and heritage,
their parent and their kindred and their refuge.

It is their deeds which divide people into high and low.

At the close,
the young brahmin Subha Todeyya-putta
said to the Lord:

Excellent, Gotama; excellent!

[272] Just as a man might set upright again
what had been cast down,
or reveal what was hidden away,
or tell a man who had gone astray
which was his way,
or bring a lamp into darkness
so that those with eyes to see
might see the things about them, -
even so, in many a figure, has the reverend Gotama made his Doctrine clear.

I come to Gotama as my refuge
and to his Doctrine
and to his Confraternity;
I ask him to accept me as a follower
who has found an abiding refuge
from this day onward while life shall last.


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