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 48

Visākha Suttaɱ

Visākha[1]

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

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[1] Thus have I heard:

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

Now on that occasion the venerable Visākha of the Pañcālas[2]
was in the assembly-hall[3]
instructing,
inciting,
enlightening
and inspiring the monks
with a dhamma-talk
in language polished,
distinct
and free from hoarseness,
unfolding the meaning,
comprehensive
and unbiassed.[4]

Now at eventide the Exalted One,
rising from his solitary meditation,
approached the assembly-hall,
and on coming [60] there
sat down on a seat made ready.

On sitting down
he addressed the monks,
saying:

"Pray, monks, who was it
that was in the assembly-hall
instructing,
inciting,
enlightening
and inspiring the monks
with a dhamma-talk
in language polished,
distinct
and free from hoarseness,
unfolding the meaning,
comprehensive
and unbiassed.?"

"Lord, it was the venerable Visākha of the Pañcālas."

Then the Exalted One said this
to the venerable of the Pañcālas:

"Well said, well said, Visākha!

Well have you instructed,
incited,
enlightened
and inspired the monks
with a dhamma-talk
in language polished,
distinct
and free from hoarseness,
unfolding the meaning,
comprehensive
and unbiassed.'

(So said the Exalted One.
The Wellfarer, having thus spoken,
as Teacher added this further:)[5]

'If he utter no word men know him not-[6]
A wise man mixed up with fools.
If he open his mouth men know him
When he teaches the Deathless Way.
Let him speak out,[7] light up Dhamma;
Let him hoist the banner of seers;
Seers have bright speech for their banner,
Dhamma's the banner of seers.'

 


[1] Cf. Brethr. 152; K.S. ii, 190, where the Buddha praises his manner of speaking and pronounces the gāthas bere following.

[2] East of the Kurus. Cf. Buddhist India, 27, 203. Comy. 'son of Pañcālī, a brāhmanī.'

[3] Upaṭṭhāna-sālā, def. at UdA. 102 as 'a preaching-pavilion ... hall of service ... where monks determine discipline, speak Dhamma, engage in discussion, and gather for general purposes.'

[4] Cf. S. i, 189 (of Sāriputta's way of speech), where the last term, anissitāya, is omitted. This means, acc. to Comy., 'unattached to saŋsāra, wheel of involution or devolution,' but more probably it means 'unhesitating.'

[5] This passage is not in our text, but at S. ii. Gāthas at JA. v, 609.

[6] At K.S. ii, 280, and in my verses at p. 71 of Mr. Jayasundara's trans. of A. ii, the first couplet is taken wrongly. Na abhāsamānaɱ jānanti (as Comy. remarks) means 'if he speak not, they know him not'; not 'though he speak not they know him.' All texts read nābh., not na bh.

[7] Bhāsati = 'speak' and 'illuminate.'


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