Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
4. Catukka Nipāta
III. Uruvelā Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fours
Chapter III: Uruvelā

Sutta 21

Paṭhama Uruvelā Suttaɱ

At Uruvelā (a).[1]

Translated from the Pali by F. L. Woodward, M.A.

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[20] [20]

[1][bodh] Thus have I heard:

On a certain occasion the Exalted One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

There the Exalted One addressed the monks, saying:

'Monks.'

'Yes, lord,' replied those monks to the Exalted One.

The Exalted One said:

'On a certain occasion, monks, I myself was staying at Uruvelā on the bank of the river Nerañjarā,
under the Goatherds' Banyan,[2]
just after I had become perfectly enlightened.

To me then occurred this thought as I was meditating alone:

"Ill at ease dwells the man who reverences not, obeys not.

What if[3] I were to dwell
doing honour
and paying reverence
to some recluse or brahmin,
and serving him?"

Then, monks, it was I who had this thought:

"For the perfection
of the sum total of virtues[4] still imperfect
I would dwell so doing honour,
obeying,
reverencing
and serving a recluse or brahmin:
but not in this world
with devas,
Maras,
Brahmas,
not in the host of recluses and brahmins,
not in the world of devas and mankind
do I behold any other recluse or brahmin
more perfect in virtue than myself,
whom honouring
I could dwell reverencing,
obeying
and serving him.

For the perfection of the sum total of concentration still imperfect
I would dwell so doing honour,
obeying,
reverencing
and serving a recluse or brahmin:
but not in this world
with devas,
Maras,
Brahmas,
not in the host of recluses and brahmins,
not in the world of devas and mankind
do I behold any other recluse or brahmin
more perfect in concentration than myself,
whom honouring
I could dwell reverencing,
obeying
and serving him.

For the perfection of the sum total of wisdom still imperfect
I would dwell so doing honour,
obeying,
reverencing
and serving a recluse or brahmin:
but not in this world
with devas,
Maras,
Brahmas,
not in the host of recluses and brahmins,
not in the world of devas and mankind
do I behold any other recluse or brahmin
more perfect in wisdom than myself,
whom honouring
I could dwell reverencing,
obeying
and serving him.

For the perfection of the sum total of release still imperfect
I would dwell so doing honour,
obeying,
reverencing
and serving a recluse or brahmin:
but not in this world
with devas,
Maras,
Brahmas,
not in the host of recluses and brahmins,
not in the world of devas and mankind
do I behold any other recluse or brahmin
more perfect in release than myself,
whom honouring
I could dwell reverencing,
obeying
and serving him.

[21] Then, monks, it was I who had this thought:

"Suppose this Dhamma
in which I have been perfectly enlightened, -
suppose I were to dwell honouring,
reverencing,
obeying
and serving this Dhamma?"

Thereupon, monks, Brahmā Sahampati,
knowing the thought that was in my mind,
just as a strong man might straighten out his bent arm
or bend in his outstretched arm,
just so did he vanish from the Brahma
world and appear in front of me.

Then, monks, Brahmā Sahampati,
placing his outer robe over one shoulder
and with his right knee pressing the ground,[5]
stretched out his joined palms towards me and said this:

"Even so, Exalted One!

Even so, Wellfarer!

Whosoever were in time past arahants,
perfectly enlightened ones, lord,
those reverend ones also dwelt honouring,
reverencing,
obeying
and serving Dhamma.

Whosoever, lord, in future time shall be arahants,
perfectly enlightened ones, lord,
those reverend ones shall also dwell honouring,
reverencing,
obeying
and serving Dhamma.

So also now, lord,
let the Exalted One who is arahant,
a perfectly enlightened one,
dwell honouring,
reverencing,
obeying
and serving Dhamma."

Thus spake Brahmā Sahampati.

So saying he added this further:

"The Perfect Buddhas who have passed,
The Perfect Buddhas yet to come,
The Perfect Buddha who is now,
And hath for many banished woe, -
All dwelt their dhamma[6] honouring,
Do dwell[7] and shall dwell: 'tis their way.[8]
So he to whom the self is dear,[9]
[22] Who longeth for the great Self[10] - he
Should homage unto Dhamma pay,
Remembering the Buddha-word."[11]

Thus spake Brahmā Sahampati, monks.

So saying he saluted me
and keeping me on his right side
vanished there and then.

Then, monks, seeing that it was the wish of the Brahmā
and proper for myself,
I dwelt honouring,
reverencing,
obeying
and serving that very Dhamma
which had been well comprehended by me.

Moreover, monks,
since the Order has become possessed of greatness,
I hold the Order also in strict regard.'[12]

 


[1] In Magadha. Cf. Asḷ. 219; Expos. ii, 296; UdA. 26, where the name is said to mean 'sand-heap.' The well-known incidents here repeated occur at S. i, 138; K.S. i, 174.

[2] See K.S. i, 128 n.

[3] Text kinnu kho; Sinh. text kannu kho.

[4] Sīla(-samādhi-paññā-vimutti)-khandha. Cf. A. i, 125; G.S. i, 107, where it is said that one should worship, revere, follow, serve and honour one superior to oneself in these qualities.

[5] In the S. version the Editor has read attha-kāmo, 'welfare is dear.'

[6] Saddhamma. See below, Ch. V, 3, 4, where occur both saddhamma and dhamma. It may mean saka-dhamma, the standard each one follows ('the voice of conscience,' Ī 246 n.).

[7] Comy. pointing out that there is only one Buddha at a time quotes:

Na me ācariyo atthi, sadiso me na vijjati.||
Sadevakasmiɱ lokasmiɱ n'atthi me paṭipuggalo.
    (Vin. i, 8 = M. i, 171.)|| ||

[8] Esa Buddhāna-dhammatā. Cf. M. iii, 121.

[9] Attakāma. Cf. S. 1, 75 = Ud. v, 1 (but VM. 297 quoting it prefers the reading attha-k.). The reading at S. is attha (weal).

[10] Mahattaɱ; text mahantaɱ; v.l. mahattiɱ = mahanta-bhāvaɱ. Comy. But cf. G.S. i, 227.

[11] Saraɱ (part. nom. by poetic licence) Buddhāha-sāsanaɱ.

[12] Tibba-gāravo. This last Ī is not in S. i. It has the appearance of having been added to make up the 'Triple Gem' (Buddha - dhamma - sangha), a later conception. Comy. remarks: 'When was the Order honoured? It was when Mahāpajāpatī offered the set of robes to the Master (M. iii, 2S3), who then said: "Give them to the Order, Gotamid. If you do so, both I myself and the Order will be honoured."'


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