Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttaranikāyo
Catukkanipāto
XII: Kesi Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fours Chapter XII: Kesi

Sutta 111

Kesi Suttaɱ

Kesi[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.

Now Kesi the horse-trainer came to visit the Exalted One,
and on coming to him he saluted the Exalted One
and sat down at one side.

As he sat thus
the Exalted One said this
to Kesi the horse-trainer:

'You yourself, Kesi, are a trained man,[2]
a trainer of horses for driving.

Now, Kesi, pray how do you train
a tameable horse?'

'As for me, your honour,||
I train a tameable horse by mildness,||
also by harshness,||
also by both mildness and harshness."[3]

"But suppose, Kesi, a tameable horse
does not submit to your training by mildness
nor to the training by harshness
nor yet to the training by both methods,
what do you do?'

"In such a case, your honour,
I destroy him.

Why so?

With the idea:

'Let him not be a discredit to my teacher's clan.'

However, your honour, the Exalted One is unsurpassed
as a trainer of men for driving.

Pray, your honour,
how does the Exalted One train a tameable man?"

"For my part, Kesi,
I too train a tameable man by mild- [117] ness,
also by harshness,
also by both together.

This, Kesi, is the way by mildness:

Thus is good conduct in body;
thus is the result of good conduct in body.

Thus is good conduct in speech;
thus is the result of good conduct in speech.

Thus is good conduct in thought;
thus is the result of good conduct in thought.

Thus are devas and thus are men.

And this, Kesi, is the way by harshness:

Thus is bad conduct in body;
thus is the result of bad conduct in body.

Thus is bad conduct in speech;
thus is the result of bad conduct in speech.

Thus is bad conduct in thought;
thus is the result of bad conduct in thought.

Thus is rebirth as an animal;
thus is the realm of petas.

And this, Kesi, is the way
by both mildness and harshness:

Thus is good conduct in body;
thus is the result of good conduct in body.

Thus is bad conduct in body;
thus is the result of bad conduct in body.

Thus is good conduct in speech;
thus is the result of good conduct in speech.

Thus is bad conduct in speech;
thus is the result of bad conduct in speech.

Thus is good conduct in thought;
thus is the result of good conduct in thought.

Thus is bad conduct in thought;
thus is the result of bad conduct in thought.

Thus are devas and thus are men.

Thus is rebirth as an animal;[4]||
thus is the realm of petas.

"But, your honour, if the man for training
won't submit to the training by mildness,
by harshness,
nor to the two together,
pray what does the Exalted One do?"

"In such case, Kesi, I destroy him."

"But surely the Exalted One does not take life!

And yet the Exalted One spoke thus:

'I destroy him, Kesi!'"

"True it is, Kesi, that taking life does not become a Tathāgata.

Yet if the man to be trained
submits not to the training by mildness,
by harshness
or both together,
then the Tathāgata thinks it not worth while
to admonish that man,
nor do his wise fellows in the God-life
think it worth while
to admonish that man.

This, Kesi, is destruction for a man in the discipline of the Ariyan,[5] -
when both the Tathāgata and his fellows in the God-life think it not worth while to admonish him."

'Destroyed indeed,[6] your honour,
is a man by the Wellfarer,
[118] when both the Tathāgata and his fellows in the God-life
think it not worth while to admonish him!

It is wonderful, your honour!

It is marvellous!

May the Exalted One accept me as a follower from this time forth,
so long as life lasts,
as one who has taken refuge with him.'

 


[1] The word means 'with a mane.' Cf. K.S. iv, 216-18. Assa-damma-sārathī = 'a driver of trainable horses.'

[2] Text saŋyato; A. sa-saññato.

[3] Comy. gives as examples of the one: 'proper regard, good food, sweet water, gentle speech'; of the other, 'hobbling, bridling, goading, whipping, harsh speech.'

[4] Tiracchāna (gāmin). S.A. i, 221 on the idea, says: 'merely illustrative = vinipāta.'

[5] Whereas growth (vuḍḍhi) is willingness to attend to dhamma. Cf. K.S. v, 97.

[6] Text so hi nūna yo (?) sugatāhato (v.l. suhato); Sinh. text so hi nuna suvadho. Comy. has nothing to say.


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