Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
I. Mūlapaṇṇāsa
3. Tatiya Vagga

Sutta 24

Ratha-Vināta Suttaɱ

The Simile of the Relay of Chariots

Translated from the Pali by Sister Upalavanna

 


 

[1][chlm][pts][than] I heard thus:

At one time the Blessed One lived in the squirrels' sanctuary in the bamboo grove in Rajagaha. Then many bhikkhus, who had come to spend the rains in the home town having observed and spent the rains in the home town, approached the Blessed One worshipped the Blessed One and sat on a side. Then the Blessed One said thus:

'Bhikkhus, out of the bhikkhus of the home town, which one is esteemed in this manner by the co-associates in the holy life? He with few desires, praises few desires; satisfied, praises satisfaction; practising seclusion, praises seclusion; withdrawing from the crowd, praises withdrawal from the crowd; with aroused effort, praises aroused effort; endowed with virtues, praises endowment of virtues; concentrated, praises concentration; wise, praises wisdom; released, praises release; endowed with knowledge of release, praises the endowment of knowledge of release.

'He is an adviser, a giver of wisdom, an instructor, an incitor, and he is one who makes the hearts of the co-associates glad and light.'

'Venerable sir, venerable Punna Mantāniputta of the home town is praised by the co-associates of the holy life as 'He with few desires, praises few desires; satisfied, praises satisfaction; practising seclusion, praises seclusion" withdrawing from the crowd, praises withdrawal from the crowd; with aroused effort, praises aroused effort; endowed with virtues, praises endowment of virtues; concentrated, praises concentration; wise, praises wisdom; released, praises release; endowed with knowledge of release, praises the endowment of knowledge of release. He is an adviser, giver of wisdom, an instructor, incitor and he is one who makes the hearts of the co-associates glad and light'.'

At that time venerable Sariputta was seated close to the Blessed One, and it occured to him, 'It is gain to venerable Punna Mantāniputta, that the wise co-associates in the holy life praise him in such a superior manner, and the Teacher too agrees and praises in a superior and superior manner. Someday or other we will meet venerable Punna Mantāniputta and have a conversation on this.'

The Blessed One having lived as long as he liked in Rājagaha, left on a tour to arrive in Savatthi, and gradually arrived in Savatthi, and lived in the monastery offered by Anathapindika in Jeta's grove. Punna Mantāniputta, hearing that the Blessed One has arrived in Savatthi, arranged his dwelling and, taking bowl and robes, left on a tour to arrive at the monastery offered by Anathapindika in Jeta's grove to the presence of the Blessed One. Having come to the presence of the Blessed One worshipped and sat on side. Then the Blessed One advised and insttructed venerable Punna Mantāniputta who was seated on a side and made his heart light. Venerable Punna Mantāniputta delighted and the heart light with the advice given by the Blessed One got up from his seat, worshipped and circumbulated the Blessed One and went to the Dark forest to spend the day.

'Then a certain bhikkhu approached venerable Sariputta and said, friend, venerable Punna Mantāniputta of whom you praise again and again, was advised, instructed and made the heart light by the Blessed One, got up from his seat, worshipped and circumbulated the Blessed One and has just gone to the Dark forest to spend the day. Then venerable Sariputta hurriedly taking a small seat followed after venerable Punna Mantāniputta, keeping an eye on his top. Venerable Punna Mantāniputta entered the Dark forest and sat at the root of a tree, to spend the day. Venerable Sariputta too entered the Dark forest and sat at the root of a certain tree to spend the day. Venerable Sariputta got up from his seclusion in the evening and approached venerable Punna Mantāniputta, the two exchanged friendly greetings and venerable Sariputta sat on a side, and said, Friend, do you lead the holy life in the dispensation of the Blessed One--Yes, friend. --Friend, do you lead the holy life for purity of virtues. --No, friend. --Friend, do you lead the holy life for purity of mind. --No, friend. -- Friend, do you lead the holy life for the purity of view--No, friend. --Friend, do you lead the holy life for purity through dispelled doubts. --No, friend. --Friend, do you lead the holy life for the purity of knowledge and vision of the path and non path --No, friend. --Friend, do you lead the holy life for the purity of knowledge and vision--No, friend. --What friend, when asked is it for the purity of virtues, that you lead the holy life, you say no; When asked is it for the purity of mind, that you lead the holy life, you say no When asked is it for the purity of view, that you lead the holy life, you say no. When asked is it for the purity through dispelled doubts that you lead the holy life, you say no. When asked is it for purity of knowledge and vision of the path and the non-path that you lead the holy life, you say no. When asked is it for knowledge and vision that you lead the holy life you say no - Then indeed for what purpose do you lead the holy life--The holy life is lead in the dispensation of the Blessed One for the purpose of extinction without a hold. What friend, is purity of virtues extinction without a hold--No, friend. --Friend, is purity of mind, extinction without a hold. -No, friend. - Friend, is purity of view, extinction without a hold. --No, friend. --Friend, is purity through dispelled doubts, extinction without a hold. --No, friend. -- Friend, is purity of knowledge and vision of path and non-path, extinction without a hold. --No, friend. --Friend, is purity of knowledge and vision, extinction without a hold. --No, friend. - Friend, is there a non-holding extinction without these things. --No, friend. -- What friend, when asked, is purity of virtues extinction without a hold, you say no. When asked, is purity of mind extinction without a hold, you say no. When asked is purity of view extinction without a hold, you say no. When asked is purity through dispelled doubts extinction without a hold, you say no. When asked is purity of knowledge and vision of path and non-path, extinction without a hold, you say no. When asked is purity of knowledge and vision extinction without a hold, you say no. Friend, how should we know the meaning of these words.

'Friend, if the Blessed One pointed non-holding extinction in the purity of virtues, he points out the non-holding extinction with holdings. If the Blessed One pointed non-holding extinction in the purity of mind, he points out the non-holding extinction, with holdings. If the Blessed One pointed non-holding extinction in the purity of view he points out the non-holding extinction, with holdings. If the Blessed One pointed non-holding extinction in the purity of dispelled doubts he points out the non-holding extinction, with holdings. If the Blessed One pointed non-holding extinction in the purity of knowledge and vision of path and non-path he points out the non-holding extinction, with holdings. If the Blessed One pointed non-holding extinction in the purity of knowledge and vision he points out the non-holding extinction with holdings. Friend, if there was non-holding extinction without these things, the ordinary one[1] would extinguish, for the ordinary one is without these things. Friend, I will give you a comparison, for some wise ones understand with a comparison. Just as king Pasenadi of Kosala, living in Savatthi had some urgent work to do in Sāketa, and between Savatthi and Sāketa seven chariots were prepared. Then king Pasenadi of Kosala got into the first chariot at the palace gate and arrived at the second chariot. Abandoning the first chariot there, got into the second chariot and arrived at the third chariot. Abandoning the second chariot there, got into the third chariot and arrived at the fourth chariot. Abandoning the third chariot there, got into the fourth chariot and arrived at the fifth chariot. Abandoning the fourth chariot there, got into the fifth chariot and arrived at the sixth chariot. Abandoning the fifth chariot there, got into the sixth chariot and arrived at the seventh chariot. Abandoning the sixth chariot got into the seventh chariot and arrived at the palace gate at Sāketa. At the palace gate friends and blood relations would ask did the great king come to Sāketa, from Savatthi in this chariot How explaining would the king do it correctly, I living in Savatthi had some urgent work to do in Sāketa, and between Savatthi and Sāketa seven chariots were prepared. Then I got into the first chariot at the palace gate and arrived at the second chariot. Abandoning the first chariot there, got into the second chariot and arrived at the third chariot. Abandoning the second chariot there, got into the third chariot and arrived at the fourth chariot. Abandoning the third chariot there, got into the fourth chariot and arrived at the fifth chariot. Abandoning the fourth chariot there, got into the fifth chariot and arrived at the sixth chariot. Abandoning the fifth chariot there, got into the sixth chariot and arrived at the seventh chariot. Abandoning the sixth chariot got into the seventh chariot and arrived at the palace gate at Sāketa --Explaining it in this manner king Pasenadi of Kosala would explain it correctly. In the same manner purity of virtues is for the purpose of purity of mind, purity of mind is for the purpose of view, purity of view is for the purpose of purity through dispelled doubts, purity through dispelled doubts is for the purpose of purity of knowledge and vision of path and non-path and purity of knowledge and vision of path and non-path is for the purpose of purity of knowledge and vision. Purity of knowledge and vision is for the purpose of extinction without holding. It is for extinction without holding that the holy life is lived in the dispensation of the Blessed One.

'Then venerable Sariputta said thus to venerable Punna Mantāniputta: How do the co-associates of the holy life address the venerable one. Friend, my name is Punna, and the co-associates in the holy life know me as Mantāniputta. Friend, it is wonderful, how a learned disciple like you should reply those questions leading to deeper and deeper depths in the dispensation of the Teacher. You are a gain to the co-associāts in the holy life, even the sight and association is invaluable. Should be honoured even if found in the loin cloth, by the co-associates in the holy life. It is gain to me too, that I got an opportunity to meet and associate venerable Punna Mantāniputta.

'When this was said venerable Punna Mantāniputta said thus to venerable Sariputta. What is the venerable one's name and how do the co-associates in the holy life address the venerable one. Friend, my name is Upatissa and the co-associates in the holy life call me Sariputta. We without knowing had spoken to a highly esteemed disciple of the Teacher. If we knew it was venerable Sariputta we would not have spoken so much. Friend, it is wonderful how we were led on asking deep and more deep questions in the dispensation of the Teacher. You are a gain to the co-associates in the holy life, even the sight and association is invaluable. Should be honoured even if found in the loin cloth, by the co-associates in the holy life. It is a gain to me too, that I got an opportunity to meet and associate venerable Sariputta.

Thus the two Great Men delighted hearing each others words.

 


[1] Ordinary one (puthujjano) has not attained any of the eight attainments of the Great Men. These attainments are the stream entry and its fruits, once returner and its fruits, non-returner and its fruit, and the one extinguished and the one reaping the results.


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