Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
III. Upari Paṇṇāsa
5. Saḷāyatana 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 150

Nagara-Vindeyya Suttaɱ

Criticism of 'Wanderers'

 


[290] [320]

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

Once when the Lord was on an alms-pilgrimage among the Kosalans,
he came with a great company of Almsmen
to the brahmin [321] village of Nagara-Vinda.

Tidings reached the brahmin heads of houses in Nagara-Vinda that,
in the course of his alms-pilgrimage through Kosala,
the recluse Gotama of the Sakyan clan,
who had gone forth from a Sakyan family as a Pilgrim,
had arrived with a large train of Almsmen
[291] in Nagara-Vinda.

It came to the ears of the brahmin heads of families in Sālā
that the recluse Gotama,
a Sakyan who had gone forth as a Pilgrim from a Sakyan family,
had come to their village
in the course of an alms-pilgrimage in Kosala,
with a great train of Almsmen.

Such, they heard,
was the high repute noised abroad concerning the reverend Gotama
that he was said to be -
The Lord,
Arahat all-enlightened,
walking by knowledge,
blessed,
understanding all worlds,
the matchless tamer of the human heart,
teacher of gods and men,
the Lord of Enlightenment.

This universe -
with its gods,
Māras,
Brahmās,
recluses and brahmins,
embracing all gods and mankind -,
all this he has discerned
and realized for himself
and makes known to others.

He preaches a Doctrine,
which is so fair in its outset,
its middle,
and its close,
with both text and import;
he propounds a higher life
that is wholly complete and pure.

It is good to go and visit Arahats like him.

So the brahmins of Nagara-Vinda went to the Lord and,
after exchanging with him the friendly greetings of courtesy and civility,
took their seats to one side, -
some after salutations,
some after greetings,
some with palms conjoined in salutation,
some with mention of their name and surnames,
and others again in silence.

To them so seated,
the Lord spoke as follows: -

If, sirs, Wanderers of other schools
were to ask you what types of recluses and brahmins
ought not to receive honour,
reverence,
devotion
and worship,
you should make answer to them that:

Honour,
reverence,
devotion and worship ought not to be shown
to recluses and brahmins who,
in connection with visible forms
and the sense-objects of the other five senses,
have not shed all lust,
all hate
and all folly,
and, having hearts not yet tranquil,
walk sometimes righteously
but sometimes unrighteously
in body,
speech
and mind.

And why? -

Because, you will say,
we ourselves too behave just the same,
and fail to see
a higher righteousness in these men;
and therefore we ought not to show such recluses and brahmins
honour,
reverence,
devotion
and worship. -

[292] This should be your answer to this enquiry
from Wanderers of other schools.

But if Wanderers of other schools
ask you what types of recluses and brahmins
ought to receive honour,
reverence,
devotion
and worship,
you should make answer to them that:

Honour,
reverence,
devotion
and worship
ought to be shown to those recluses and brahmins
who, in connection with visible forms
and the sense objects of the other five senses,
have shed all lust,
all hate
and all folly,
and, with tranquil hearts,
walk always righteously in body,
speech
and [322] mind.

And why? -

Because, you will say,
we ourselves have not shed all this
lust, hate and folly, but,
having hearts not yet tranquil,
walk sometimes righteously
and sometimes unrighteously
in body,
speech
and mind;
but we see a higher righteousness
in these recluses and brahmins;
and therefore we ought to show them
honour,
reverence,
devotion
and worship. -

This should be your answer
to this enquiry from Wanderers of other schools.

If Wanderers of other schools
ask you what attributes and results
in such recluses and brahmins
lead you to say that they are
[298] either void of passion
and triumphant over passion,
or void of hate
and triumphant over hate,
or void of folly
and triumphant over folly, -
then you should make answer
to these Wanderers of other schools that:

These reverend men lodge in remote solitudes
where there are no forms to be seen
to excite their admiration
by familiar occurrence;
nor sounds,
nor odours,
nor savours,
nor things to touch.

Such are the attributes and results in their reverences
which lead us to say
they are void of passion or hate or folly
or triumphant over them. -

This should be your answer
to this enquiry from Wanderers of other schools.

At the close,
the brahmins of Nagara-Vinda said to the Lord: -

Excellent, Gotama, excellent!

Just as a man might set upright again what had been cast down,
or reveal what had been 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.

We come to the Lord as our refuge
and to his Doctrine
and to his Confraternity.

May the reverend Gotama accept us
as followers who have found an abiding refuge
from this day onward while life lasts.


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