Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikñya
Satta Nipñta
5. Mahāyaññavaggo

Sutta 50

Nandamātā Suttaṃ

The Female Lay Disciple Nanda[ed1]

Translated from the Pali
by Sister Upalavanna

 


 

[1][pts] I heard thus.

At one time venerable Sāriputta and venerable MahāMoggallāna were touring the southern hilly region with a large community of bhikkhus.

At that time the female lay disciple Veḷukaṇḍa, Nanda having got up in the last watch of the night was reciting loudly the Parayana Vagga.

At that time Vessavaṇa the great king of gods heard the female lay disciple Nanda reciting the Pārāyana Vagga loudly and waited till it finished.

The female lay disciple Nanda finished reciting the Pārāyana Vagga and became silent.

Knowing that the female lay disciple Nanda had finished reciting, applauded her saying 'Good sister!'

Then she asked.

'Who is this good one?'

'Sister I am Vessavaṇa the great king of gods.'

'thievishly' = 'Ātitheyya,.' See Hare's translation and note

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

'Good one, you have thievishly listened to my recitation.'

'Good! Sister, then this will be another theft.

Tomorrow the Community of bhikkhus headed by Sāriputta and Moggallāna without taking the morning meal are coming to Veḷukaṇḍa, offering food to that Community of bhikkhus, make it my offering.

May that also be a theft of mine.'

The female lay disciple Nanda at the end of that night prepared nourishing eatables and drinks in her home.

Then the Community of bhikkhus headed by Sāriputta and Moggallāna without having the morning meal entered Veḷukaṇḍa. The female lay disciple Nanda addressed a certain man and said: Good one, go to the monastery and tell the Community of bhikkhus that the meal is ready at the female lay disciple Nanda's home.'

He agreed and going to the monastery informed the Community of bhikkhus: Venerable sirs, the meal is ready at the female lay disciple Nanda's home. The Community of bhikkhus headed by Sāriputta and Moggallāna putting on robes in the morning and taking bowl and robes approached the house of the female lay disciple Nanda and sat on the prepared seats.

Then the female lay disciple Nanda with her own hands offered nourishing eatables and drinks to the community of bhikkhus headed by Sāriputta and Moggallāna and satisfied them.

Then knowing venerable Sāriputta had finished taking the meal and had put aside the bowl, the female lay disciple Nanda sat on a side and venerable Sāriputta said: 'Nandamātā, who informed you about the arrival of the Community of bhikkhus?'

'Here, venerable sir, I got up in the last watch of the night and reciting loudly the Pārāyana Vagga became silent.

Then Vessavaṇa the great king of gods knowing that I had finished reciting the Pārāyana Vagga applauded me, saying

'Good! Sister!'

Then I asked.

'Who is this good one?'

and he said:

'Sister I am Vessavaṇa the great king of gods'

'Good one, you have thievishly listened to my recitation'

'Good! Sister, then this will be another theft. Tomorrow the Community of bhikkhus headed by Sāriputta and Moggallāna without taking the morning meal are coming to Veḷukaṇḍa, offering food to that Community of bhikkhus, make it my offering. May that also be a theft of mine.'

'Venerable sir, whatever merit be the outcome of this gift may it be for the pleasantness of Vessavaṇa the great king of gods.'

'It is wonderful and surprising Nandamātā, that you have spoken face to face with such a powerful majestic son of gods!'

'Venerable sir, that is not all, there is another wonderful and surprising thing. Venerable sir, I had a single loved son Nanda, for some reason or other the king pulled him away, oppressed him and killed him. Venerable sir, when my child was pulled away, oppressed, and killed, I do not recall of the least change in my mind".

'It is wonderful and surprising Nandamātā, your development and purity of mind.'

'Venerable sir, that is not all, there is another wonderful and surprising thing. Venerable sir, my husband died and was born with a certain clan of demons. Now he appears to me as he was in his last birth. On account of that, I do not recall of the least change in my mind".

'It is wonderful and surprising Nandamātā, your development and purity of mind.'

'Venerable sir, that is not all, there is another wonderful and surprising thing. Venerable sir, from the day I was brought by my husband as a child, I do not recall of an instance of going beyond his mental state, I have never searched outside bodily pleasures".

'It is wonderful and surprising Nandamātā, your development and purity of mind.'

'Venerable sir, that is not all, there is another wonderful and surprising thing. Venerable sir, from the day I confessed to be a female lay disciple I do not recall of trespessing the least of the precepts.

'It is wonderful and surprising Nandamātā, your development and purity of mind.'

'Venerable sir, that is not all, there is another wonderful and surprising thing. Venerable sir, when I desire, secluding my mind from sensual desires and demeritorious things, with thoughts and discursive thoughts and with joy and pleasantness born of seclusion I abide in the first higher state of mind. Overcoming thoughts and discursive thoughts, the mind in one point, internally appeased with joy and pleasantness born of concentration I abide in the second higher state of mind. With equanimity to joy and disenchantment, I experience pleasantness and mindful awareness with the body and attain to the third higher state of mind, to this the noble ones say, mindfully abiding in pleasantness with equanimity. Dispelling pleasantness and unpleasantness and earlier having dispelled pleasure and displeasure, cleaning the mind so that it is without unpleasantness and pleasāntness I attain to the fourth higher state of mind'

'It is wonderful and surprising Nandamātā, your development and purity of mind.'

'Venerable sir, that is not all, there is another wonderful and surprising thing. Venerable sir, I do not see a single of these bonds binding to the sensual world in me, according to the way declared by The Blessed One."

'It is wonderful and surprising Nandamātā, your development and purity of mind.'

Then venerable Sāriputta advising, inciting and making the heart light of the female lay disciple Nanda with a talk got up and went away.

 


[ed1] Nandamātā: Nanda's mother,


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