Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikāya
Navaka Nipāta
Sīhanāda Vagga

Sutta 19

Velāma Suttaṃ

The Brahmin Velama

Translated from the Pali
by Sister Upalavanna

 


 

[1][pts][than] I heard thus.

At one time The Blessed One was abiding in the monastery offered by Anāthapiṇḍika in Jeta's grove in Sāvatthī.

The householder Anāthapiṇḍika approached The Blessed One, worshipped and sat on a side. Then The Blessed One said to him:

'Householder, are gifts given in your family yet?'

'Venerable sir, my family gives gifts of coarse nature such as porridge prepared out of broken rice with sour gruel and seed cakes accompanied with sour gruel.'

'Householder, gifts of coarse or exalted food may be given, that too carelessly, without prior thinking, not giving with one's own hand, as though throwing away, not appreciating the results of giving, and whenever the results of those actions follow, the mind does not tend to enjoy noble food, noble wealth, noble conveyances, the noble enjoyment of the five strands of sensuality.

His wife, children, slaves, messengers and workmen, too are not obident to him, do not lend ear to develop the mind.

What is the reason?

Householder, they are the results of actions done carelessly.

Householder, gifts of coarse or exalted food may be given, that too carefully, with prior thinking, giving with one's own hand, not as though throwing away, appreciating the results of giving, and whenever the results of those actions follow, the mind tends to enjoy noble food, noble wealth, noble conveyances, the noble enjoyment of the five strands of sensuality.

His wife, children, slaves, messengers and workmen, too are obident to him, lend ear to develop the mind.

What is the reason?

Householder, they are the results of actions done carefully.

Householder, in the past there was a Brahmin by the name Velama.

He gave great gifts like this.

He gave eightyfour thousand golden bowls with dipicted pictures filled with rupees, eightyfour thousand bowls with depicted pictures filled with gold, eightyfour thousand bronze bowls filled with gold.

He gave eightyfour thousand elephants, decorated in gold and golden flags and covered with a golden net, eightyfour thousand chariots with the accessory lion skins, tiger skins, deer skins, orange blankets decorated in gold, and golden flags and covered with golden nets.

He gave eightyfour thousand cows dressing them up in fine cloth with bronze pails to milk them.

Gave eightyfour thousand maidens decorated with jewelled ear-rings.

Gave eightyfour thousand cushions, deer skin rugs for covering and spreading, deer skin carpets, cannopies, red cushions for the two sides.

He gave eighty four thousand crores of clothes, of dainty linen cloth, of dainty silk coth, of dainty woollen cloth, of daintily spun cloth.

There is nothing to speak about eatables, drinks, hard food and nourishments, he distributed them like the flowing river.

Householder, it might occur to you:

'The Brahmin Velama was someone else, who gave great gifts at that time.

It should not be known like that.

I was the Brahmin Velama at that time.

I gave those great gifts.

Householder, at that time there was no one suitable to offer gifts.

None to purify gifts.

Householder, if the Brahmin Velama when giving those gifts satisfied a single one, who had come to righteousness of view, the benefits would have been very much more ... If the Brahmin Velama when giving those gifts satisfied one hundred, who had come to righteousness of view or a once returner, the benefits would have been very much more. If the Brahmin Velama when giving those gifts satisfied one hundred once returners, or a non-returner ... re ... one hundred non-returners or a worthy one, ... re ... a hundred worthy ones or one self enlightened, ... re ... a hundred self enlightened ones or the Thus Gone One, worthy and rightfully enlightened ... re ... or the Community of bhikkhus headed by the Enlightened One ... re ... or constructed a monastery for the Community of bhikkhus coming from the four directions ... re ... or with a pleasant mind took refuge in the Enlightened One, the Teaching and the Community of bhikkhus, ... re ... or with a pleasant mind observed the precepts - to abstain from, destroying living things, taking the not given, wrong sexual behaviour, telling lies, intoxicating and brewed drinks, or if the thought of loving kindness was developed as long as a smell was prevailing, its benefits would have been very much more ...

Householder, if the Brahmin Velama when giving those gifts satisfied a single one, who had come to righteousness of view, ... re ... one hundred, who had come to righteousness of view, a single once returner, ... re ... satisfied one hundred once returners, a single non-returner ... re ... one hundred non-returners, a single worthy one, ... re ... a hundred worthy ones, a single self enlightened one, ... re ... a hundred self enlightened ones, the Thus Gone One, worthy and rightfully enlightened ... re ... the Community of bhikkhus headed by the Enlightened One ... re ... constructed a monastery for the Community of bhikkhus coming from the four directions ... re ... with a pleasant mind took refuge in the Enlightened One, the Teaching and the Community of bhikkhus, ... re ... with a pleasant mind observed the precepts - to abstain from, destroying living things, taking the not given, wrong sexual behaviour, telling lies, intoxicating and brewed drinks, developed the thought of loving kindness as long as a smell was prevailing, developed the perception of impermanence so long as snapping the fingers, its benefits would have been very much more.'


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