Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
4. Catukka Nipāta
V. Rohitassa Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fours
V. Rohitassa

Sutta 45

Paṭhama Rohitassa Suttaṃ

Rohitassa (a)[1]

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

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[1][than] Thus have I heard:

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

Then Rohitassa, of the devas,[2]
when the night was waning,
came, [56] lighting up all Jeta Grove
with surpassing brilliance,
to see the Exalted One,
and saluting him
stood at one side.

So standing
Rohitassa of the devas said this
to the Exalted One:[3]

"Pray, lord, is it possible for us,
by going,
to know,
to see,
to reach world's end,[4]
where there is no more being born
or growing old,
no more dying,
no more falling (from one existence)
and rising up (in another)"?

"Your reverence, where there is no more being born
or growing old,
no more dying,
no more falling from one existence
and rising up in another, -
I declare that that end of the world
is not by going to be known,
seen,
or reached."

"It is wonderful, lord!

It is marvellous, lord,
how well it is said by the Exalted One:

'Where there is no more being born
or growing old,
no more dying,
no more falling from one existence
and rising up in another, -
I declare that that end of the world
is not by going to be known,
seen,
or reached.'!

Formerly, lord,
I was the hermit[5] called Rohitassa,
Bhoja's son,
one of psychic power,
a sky-walker.[6]

Such, lord, was my speed, -
just as if a stout bowman,[7] for instance,
a skilled archer,
a practised hand,
a trained man
could with a light shaft
shoot easily across a palm-tree's shadow, -
such was my speed.

The extent of my stride
was as the distance between the eastern
and the western ocean.

To me, lord, possessed of such speed
and of such a stride,[8]
there came a longing thus:

I will reach world's end
by going.

But, lord,
not to speak of (the time spent over)
food and [57] drink,
eating,
tasting[9]
and calls of nature,
not to speak of struggles
to banish sleep and weariness,
though my life-span was a hundred years,
though I lived a hundred years,
though I travelled a hundred years,
yet I reached not world's end
but died ere that.

Wonderful indeed, lord!

Marvellous it is, lord,
how well it has been said by the Exalted One:

'Your reverence,
where there is no more being born
or growing old,
no more dying,
no more falling from one existence
and rising up in another, -
I declare that that end of the world
is not by going to be known,
seen,
or reached.'!

"But,[10] your reverence,
I declare not
that there is any making an end of Ill
without reaching world's end.

Nay, your reverence,
in this very fathom-long body,
along with its perceptions and thoughts,
I proclaim the world to be,
likewise the origin of the world
and the making of the world to end,
likewise the practice going to the ending of the world.

Not to be reached by going is world's end.
Yet there is no release for man from Ill
Unless he reach world's end. Then let a man
Become[11] world-knower, wise, world-ender,
Let him be one who liveth the God-life.
Knowing the world's end by becoming calmed[12]
He longeth not for this world or another.'

 


[1] This sutta occurs at S. i, 61 = K.S. i, 85.

[2] Deva-putto, like kula-putto; putto means 'membership of a body.'

[3] Cf. Introduction.

[4] Lokass'antaṃ (cf. K.S. iv, 58) = sankhara-loka. Comy.

[5] Isi = Skt. .rishi, anchorite, bard, seer, sage.

[6] Iddhimā vehāsangamo. Comy. says nothing here or at S. i, 61. See VM. i, 382, quoting Pts. ii, 213; Path of Purity, ii, 443: 'Which is the psychic power inborn as the result of karma? (The traversing of the sky) by all birds, all devas, some men, and some denizens of purgatory ... some men at the beginning of the world-cycle ... by universal monarchs ... Jotika the householder has it. Jaṭilaka the householder ... Ghosita ... Meṇḍaka has it. The five persons of great merit have it. ... The fourth jhāna is the original stage for its attainment.'

[7] Cf. S. ii, 266; M. i, 82; A. iv, 429, for the simile. The text of S. i alone inserts katayoggo after katahattho.

[8] This phrase is omitted by S. i and inserted in the next sentence.

[9] Aaita-pīta-khāyita-sāyita. S. text has pita; A. text khayita. Trans. at K.S. i takes sāyita as 'resting,' and implies that he abstained from all these things for a hundred years (?).

[10] Here our text repeats the previous phrase Yattha kho ... vadāmi. I follow the more likely reading of S. i, Na kho pan'ahaṃ. At S. iv, 93 the two declarations are made by the Buddha and the solution reached by Ananda. Here 'world' is defined by him and his definition approved by the Buddha. Cf. Buddh. Psychology, 75; Dialog, i, 273; VM. i, 204.

[11] Reading bhave of S. text for have (verily) of A. and Sinh. texts. Perhaps have in the next sutta (gāthas) has influenced the reading here.

[12] Samitāvī (= samita-pāpo. Comy.) ñatvā. S. text reads samitāvi-ñatvā.


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