Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
4. Catukka Nipāta
VI. Puññābhisanda Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fours
VI: Flood of Merit

Paṭhama Saɱvāsa Suttaɱ

Sutta 53

Living Together (a)

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

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[57] [66]

[1][bodh] THUS have I heard:

On a certain occasion
the Exalted One was journeying along the highroad
between Madhurā[1] and Verañja,
and a large number of housefathers and housewives
were also journeying along that road.

Now the Exalted One,
stepping off the highroad,
sat down at the root of a certain tree
upon a seat made ready.

When they saw the Exalted One so doing
the housefathers and housewives
came up to him,
and on reaching the Exalted One saluted him
and sat down at one side.

As they sat thus
the Exalted One said this
to those housefathers and housewives:

'Housefathers, there are these four ways
of living together.

What four?

A vile[2] man
lives along with a vile woman;
a vile man
lives [67] along with a devi;[3]
a deva
lives along with a vile woman;
a deva
lives along with a devi.

And in what way, housefathers,
does a vile man
live along with a vile woman?

In this case, housefathers,
a husband is one who takes life,
steals,
is a wrong-doer in sense-desires,
a liar,
one given to the use of liquor
fermented and distilled
which causes sloth;
he is a wicked man,
an evil-doer,
he lives at home
with a heart soiled
by the taint of stinginess,[4]
he abuses and reviles
recluses and brahmins.

His wife also is one who takes life
steals,
is a wrong-doer in sense-desires,
a liar,
one given to the use of liquor
fermented and distilled
which causes sloth;
she is a wicked woman,
an evil-doer,
she lives at home
with a heart soiled
by the taint of stinginess,
she abuses and reviles
recluses and brahmins.

Thus it is, housefathers,
that a vile man
lives with a vile woman.

And how, housefathers,
does a vile man
live along with a devi?

In this case the husband is one who takes life,
steals,
is a wrong-doer in sense-desires,
a liar,
one given to the use of liquor
fermented and distilled
which causes sloth;
he is a wicked man,
an evil-doer,
he lives at home
with a heart soiled
by the taint of stinginess,
he abuses and reviles
recluses and brahmins.

But the wife is one who abstains from taking life,
stealing,
wrong-doing in sense-desires,
lying,
she is not given to the use of liquor
fermented and distilled
which causes sloth;
she is virtuous,
of a lovely nature,
she lives at home with a heart
freed from the taint of stinginess,
she is no abuser or reviler
of recluses and brahmins.

Thus, housefathers,
does a vile man
live along with a devi.

And how does a deva
live along with a vile woman?

In this case the husband is one who abstains from taking life,
stealing,
wrong-doing in sense-desires,
lying,
he is not given to the use of liquor
fermented and distilled
which causes sloth;
he is virtuous,
of a lovely nature,
he lives at home with a heart
freed from the taint of stinginess,
he is no abuser or reviler
of recluses and brahmins.

But the wife is one who takes life
steals,
is a wrong-doer in sense-desires,
a liar,
one given to the use of liquor
fermented and distilled
which causes sloth;
she is a wicked woman,
an evil-doer,
she lives at home
with a heart soiled
by the taint of stinginess,
she abuses and reviles
recluses and brahmins.

Thus does a deva
live along with a vile woman.

And how does a deva
live along with a devi?

In this case both husband and wife
are abstainers from,
stealing,
wrong-doing in sense-desires,
lying,
they are not given to the use of liquor
fermented and distilled
which causes sloth;
they are virtuous,
of a lovely nature,
living at home with a heart
freed from the taint of stinginess,
not abuseing or reviling
recluses and brahmins.

Thus it is, housefathers,
that a deva
lives along with a devi.

These are the four ways of living together.

Both vicious, mean, abusing others, these -
Husband and wife, a vile pair linked together.

A vicious husband, mean, abusing others;
A virtuous wife, not stingy, but well-spoken -
A devi she, paired with a partner vile.

[68] A husband good, not stingy, but well-spoken,
A vicious wife, stingy, abusing others -
A woman vile is partnered with a deva.

If both, believers, self-controlled, well-spoken,
Living as dhamma bids, use loving words
One to the other, - manifold the blessings[5]
That come to wife and husband, and to them
The blessing of a pleasant life[6] is born;
Dejected are their foes, for both are good.
So in this world living as dhamma bids,
The pair, in goodness match'd, i' the deva-world
Rejoicing win the bliss that they desire.'

 


[1] For Madhurā on the Jumna see Buddhist India, 36; but another is mentioned at A. iii, 256, noted for its ruggedness, dust, mad dogs, malicious yakshas, and it was hard to beg in; also at A. iv, 172. Suttas are named after these places at M. i, 290, ii, 83. Our text reads Verañji. At the former (Veranjaka-sutta) the Buddha also talks to householders and in a similar strain.

[2] Chavo, a corpse, or vile thing. Cf. supra I, Ī 3, 'a lifeless uprooted thing.'

[3] These are of course honorific terms, and are titles given to a king and queen.

[4] Cf.. G.S. i, 260.

[5] Atthā sampacurā honti. Cf. S. i, 110; SA. i (sampacurā = bahavo. Comy.). Here vaḍḍhi-sankhātā atthā etesaɱ bahū honti. Comy. Cf. also A. iii, 172, pacur'attha; iv, 94; UdA. 165, 363, pacura-jana = puthujjana.

[6] Text has vās'atthaɱ, but Sinh. text and Comy. and MSS. phās'atthaɱ (explained by Comy. as phāsu-vihāra-atihaɱ).


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