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 113

Assājānīya-patoda Suttaɱ

The Goad

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

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[1][ati] 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 goodly thoroughbred steeds
are found existing in the world.
What four?

"In this case, monks,
we may have a certain goodly thoroughbred steed
which at the very sight
of the shadow of the goad-stick
is stirred,[1] feels agitation (thinking):
What[2] task, I wonder,
will the trainer set me today?
What return[3] can I make him?

Here, monks, we may have such a steed,
and this is the first sort
of goodly thoroughbred steed
found existing in the world.

[2][ati] "Then again, monks,
we may have a certain goodly thoroughbred steed
which is not stirred
at the mere sight of the goad-stick,
feels no agitation,
but when his coat is pricked with [119] the goad,
he is stirred, feels agitation (thinking):
What task, I wonder,
will the trainer set me today?
What return can I make him?

Here, monks, we may have such a steed,
and this is the second sort
of goodly thoroughbred steed
found existing in the world.

[3][ati] "Then again, monks,
we may have a certain goodly thoroughbred steed
which is not stirred
at the sight of the goad-stick,
nor yet when his coat is pricked with the goad,
but when his flesh is pierced,
he is stirred, he feels agitation (thinking):
What task, I wonder,
will the trainer set me today?
What return can I make him?

Here, monks, we may have such a steed,
and this is the third sort
of goodly thoroughbred steed
found existing in the world.

[4][ati] "Once more, monks,
we may have a goodly thoroughbred steed
which is stirred neither at the sight of the goad-stick
nor when his coat is pricked,
nor yet when his flesh is pierced by the goad-stick;
but when he is pierced to the very bone,
he is stirred, feels agitation (thinking):
What task, I wonder,
will the trainer set me today?
What return can I make him?

Here we have such a goodly thoroughbred steed,
and this is the fourth sort
of goodly thoroughbred steed
found existing in the world.

"Thus, monks, these four goodly thoroughbred steeds
are found existing in the world.

[5][ati] "Just in the same way, monks,
these four goodly thoroughbred men
are found existing in the world.
What four?

"In this case, monks,
we may have a certain goodly thoroughbred man
who hears is said
that in such and such a village or township
is a woman or man afflicted or dead.
Thereat he is stirred, he feels agitation.
Thus agitated he strictly applies himself.
Thus applied he both realizes in his own person[4]
the supreme truth[5],
and sees it by penetrating it with wisdom.

Just as, monks,
that goodly thoroughbred steed
on seeing the shadow of the goad-stick
is stirred, feels agitation,
even so using this figure do I speak of this goodly thoroughbred man.

Such in this case is the goodly thoroughbred man.
This is the first sort
of goodly thoroughbred man
found existing in the world.

[6][ati] "Again, monks,
here we may have a goodly thoroughbred man
who does not hear it said
that in such a village or township
is a woman or a man afflicted or dead,
but with his own eyes beholds such.
Thereupon he is stirred, he feels agitation.
Thus agitated he strictly applies himself.
Thus applied he both realizes in his own person the supreme truth,
and sees it by penetrating it with wisdom.

Just as, monks, that goodly [120] thoroughbred steed
on having his coat pricked (with the goad stick)
is stirred, feels agitation,
even so using this figure
do I speak of this goodly thoroughbred man.

Such in this case is the goodly thoroughbred man.
This is the second sort
of goodly thoroughbred man
found existing in the world.

[7][ati] "Then again, monks,
here we may have a goodly thoroughbred man
who does not hear it said
that in such a village or township
is a woman or a man afflicted or dead,
nor yet with his own eyes
beholds a woman or a man afflicted or dead,
but his own kinsman or blood-relation
is afflicted or dead.
Thereupon he is stirred, he feels agitation.
Thus agitated he strictly applies himself.
Thus applied he both realizes in his own person the supreme truth,
and sees it by penetrating it with wisdom.

Just as, monks, that goodly thoroughbred steed
on having his flesh pierced
is stirred, feels agitation,
even so using this figure
do I speak of this goodly thoroughbred man.

Such in this case is the goodly thoroughbred man.
This is the third sort
of goodly thoroughbred man
found existing in the world.

[8][ati] "Once more, monks,
here we may have a goodly thoroughbred man
who neither hears it said
that in such a village or township
is a woman or a man afflicted or dead,
nor yet with his own eyes
beholds a woman or a man afflicted or dead,
nor is his own kinsman or blood-relation
afflicted or dead,
but he himself is stricken with painful bodily feelings,
grievous, sharp, racking,
distracting, discomforting,
that drain the life away.
Thereat he is stirred, he feels agitation.
Being so stirred he strictly applied himself.
Thus applied he both realizes in his own person the supreme truth,
and sees it by penetrating it with wisdom.

Just as, monks,
that goodly thoroughbred steed
on being pierced to the very bone
is stirred, feels agitation,
even so using this figure
do I speak of this goodly thoroughbred man.

Of such a sort, monks,
is the goodly thoroughbred man in this case.
This is the fourth sort.

"These, monks,
are the four sorts of thoroughbreds among men
found existing in the world."

 


[1] Cf. K.S. i, 13; Dhammapada, ver. 143

[2] Text kathaŋ; Sinh. text and Comy. kiŋ

[3] Kiŋ paṭikaromi seems to mean that the horse intends to do his best in return for the training.

[4] Kāyena (as at § 87 above) = nāma-kāyena. Comy.

[5] Nibbāna. Comy.


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