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

Sutta 57

Suppavāsā Suttaɱ

Suppavāsā[1]

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

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[62] [71]

[1][bodh] THUS have I heard:

On a certain occasion the Exalted One was staying among the Koliyans
at a township of the Koliyans called Sajjanela.

Then the Exalted One in the forenoon,
robing himself
and taking outer robe and bowl,
approached the dwelling of Suppavasa of the Koliyans,
and on reaching it
sat down on a seat made ready.

Then Suppavasa of the Koliyans
with her own hand
satisfied and served the Exalted One
with choice food,
both hard and soft.

And seeing that[2] the Exalted One had eaten his fill
and had washed both hand and bowl,[3]
Suppavasa of the Koliyans sat down at one side.

As she sat thus
the Exalted One said this
to Suppavasa of the Koliyans:

'Suppavasa,
the Ariyan woman-disciple who gives food
gives four things[4]
to the receiver thereof.

What four?

She gives life,
she gives beauty,
she gives happiness,
she gives strength.

Moreover, giving life
she is a partaker of life,[5]
be it as deva or human:
giving beauty
she is a partaker of beauty,
be it as deva or human:
giving happiness,
she is a partaker of happiness,
be it as deva or human:
giving strength
she is a partaker of strength,
be it as deva or human.

Yes, Suppavasa,
the Ariyan woman-disciple
who gives food
gives these four things
to the receiver thereof.

If she give food well prepared, pure, choice, possessing flavour,
She by her offering made to those who walk upright, [72]
Who are well practised in the Way and lofty are,
On merit heaping merit, hath great fruit, and she
Is praised by that World-knower. They who bear in mind
An offering such as this and gladsome[6] roam the world,
By tearing up the weed of meanness, root and branch,
Such are not blamed and come to reach the heaven-place.'

 


[1] Cf. G.S. i, 25, where she is reckoned 'best of those who give choice alms-food,' and is called 'mother of Sīvali'; but she is not named in Apadāna or Therigāthā. At Thag. 60 she is called daughter of the Koliyan rājah. Cf. Ud. II, 8 for the account of her seven meals given to the Buddha.

[2] The construction is elliptical and requires the use of 'seeing' or 'knowing' to explain the acc. case. DA. i, 272 expl. evaɱ bhūtaɱ Bhagavantaɱ ñatvā.

[3] Oṇīta-patta-pāṇiɱ. This common phrase is expl. by Comy. at DA., UdA. 242, etc., as 'withdrawn-bowl-hand' (Skt. oṇ.); or 'washed-bowl-hand' (onitta, Skt. avanij.). Both incline to the latter interpretation. The right hand only is used in eating.

[4] Ṭhānāni, occasions.

[5] Bhāginī. There may be a word-play here on bhaginī (sister).

[6] Vedajātā-. Comy. tuṭṭhi-jātā. At SA. i, 120 equal to hāsa-bahulo, pāmojja-bahulo.


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