Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttaranikāyo
Catukkanipāto
X: Asura Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fours Chapter X: Asuras

Sutta 95

Chavālāta Suttaṃ

The Firebrand

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.

Then the Exalted One addressed the monks, saying:

"Monks."

"Yes, lord," they replied, and the Exalted One said:

"Monks, these four persons are found existing in the world.

What four?

He who is bent neither on his own profit
nor on the profit of another;
he who is bent on another's profit,
but not on his own;
he who is bent on his own profit,
not another's,
and he who is bent[1] on the profit
both of himself and of another.

Just as, monks, a firebrand from a funeral pyre,
blazing at both ends
and in the middle smeared with dung,[2]
serves no purpose[3]
as fuel in village
or as timber in forest, -
using such a figure
do I speak of this person
who is bent neither on his own profit
nor on another's.

Then, monks, this person
who is bent on another's profit
but not his own
is the more excellent and exalted
of[ed1] these two persons.

Again, monks, this person
who is bent on his own profit,
not another's,
is the more excellent and exalted
of these three persons.[ed1]

Whereas he who is bent on the profit
both of self
and of another
is of these four persons
chief and best,
topmost,[4]
highest
and supreme.

Just as, monks, from a cow comes milk,
from milk cream,
from cream butter,
from butter ghee,
from ghee the skimmings of ghee,
and that is reckoned[5] the best, -
even so this person,
[105] who is bent on his own profit
as well as on the profit of another,
is of these four persons
chief and best,
topmost,
highest
and supreme.

These four persons, monks, are found existing in the world.'

 


[1] Paṭipanno = our phrase, 'is out for'; cf. SnA. ii, 486; Pts. of Contr. 16. But cf. above II, 5 and 6.

[2] Gūthāgata; so Comy., but P.Dict. 'turned to dung (?).' It refers to the smearing of torches with the (sacred) cowdung at the cremation. Cf, S. iii, 93; K.S. iii, 79 (where my trans. is not quite correct); SA. ii, 303 n.; Itv. 90; JA. i, 482 (said of Devadatta, who is called in the gathas ubhato paduṭṭho).

[3] Pharati = sādheti. Comy.

[4] Mohkho (mukha).

[5] Cf. S. iii, 264 = A. iii, 219, v, 182.

 


[ed1] In this and the next Woodward has '...is more excellent and exalted than these two persons.' For the fourth he has it correctly.


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