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 114

Nāga Suttaɱ

The Elephant[1]

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

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[1] 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, possessed of four qualities a rajah's elephant
is worthy of the rajah,
a possession of the rajah,
is reckoned an attribute of a rajah.

What are the four qualities?

Herein, monks, a rajah's elephant is a listener,
a destroyer,
a bearer,
a goer.

And how, monks, is a rajah's elephant a listener?

[121] In this case, monks, whatever task
the trainer of elephants to be driven
imposes on him,
whether he has performed it before or not,
the rajah's elephant makes that his object,[2]
gives attention to it,
considers it with all his mind,
with ready ear listens thereto.

Thus, monks, is a rajah's elephant a listener.

And how, monks, is a rajah's elephant a destroyer?

In this case, monks,
a rajah's elephant entering battle
destroys elephant and mahout,
horse and rider,
chariot and driver and footman.

Thus is he a destroyer.

And how, monks, is a rajah's elephant a bearer?

In this case, monks,
a rajah's elephant entering battle
bears the blows of spear,
sword,
arrow
and axe,
also the din of drum and kettledrum,
of conch,
tam-tam
and other noise.

Thus he is a bearer.

And how, monks, is a rajah's elephant a goer?

In this case, monks, a rajah's elephant,
in whatever direction the trainer of elephants to be driven turns him,
whether he has gone there before or not,
thither he quickly goes.

Thus he is a goer.

So possessed of these four qualities, monks,
a rajah's elephant is worthy of the rajah,
a possession of the rajah,
is reckoned an attribute of a rajah.

In like manner, monks, possessed of four qualities a monk is worshipful,
worthy of gifts and offerings,
of salutations with clasped hands,
a field of merit unsurpassed for the world.

What four?

Herein, monks, a monk is a listener,
a destroyer,
a bearer
and a goer.

And how is a monk a listener?

In this case, when Dhamma-discipline is set forth by a Tathāgata,
a monk makes that his object,
gives attention to it,
considers it with all his mind,
with ready ear listens to Dhamma.

Thus is a monk a listener.

And how is a monk a destroyer?

In this case a monk does not admit sensual thinking that has arisen,
he abandons,
restrains,
makes an end of it,
forces it not to recur.

So also a monk does not admit malicious thinking that has arisen,
he abandons,
restrains,
makes an end of it,
forces it not to recur.

So also a monk does not admit harmful thinking that has arisen,
he abandons,
restrains,
makes an end of it,
forces it not to recur.

He does not admit evil, unprofitable states
that occur from time to time;
he abandons them,
restrains,
makes an end of them,
forces them not to recur.

Thus he is a destroyer.

And how is a monk a bearer?

In this case a monk bears heat,
cold,
hunger,
thirst,
contact of flies,
mosquitoes,
wind and sun
and creeping things.

He bears abusive, pain-causing ways[3] of speech.

He submits to painful bodily feelings,
grievous,
sharp,
racking,
distracting
and discomforting,
that drain the life away.

Thus a monk is a bearer.

And how is a monk a goer?

In this case a monk quickly goes thither,
whither in this long journey
he has never gone before,
to wit:
to the calming of all the activities,
to the forsaking of every basis of rebirth,
to the destruction of craving,
to passionlessness,
to ending,
to Nibbana.

Thus a monk is a goer.

Possessed of these four qualities a monk is worshipful,
worthy of gifts and offerings,
of salutations with clasped hands,
a field of merit unsurpassed for the world.'[4]

 


[1] At A. iii, 161 (in the Fives, with rakkhitā added).

[2] Aṭṭhikatvā. Cf. D. ii, 204; S. i, 141, v, 95. Comy. aṭṭhiko huṭvā.

[3] Duruttānaɱ (du-v-utta). Comy. has no remark here, but on A. iii, 163 says: duṭṭhu vuttānaɱ, dosa-vasena pavattitānaɱ, phrusa-vacanānaɱ; and for durāgatānaɱ says: dukkh'uppādākarena sotadvāraɱ agatānaɱ. See Dhp. ch. xxiii (Nāga).

[4] I.e., for others to make meritorious gifts.


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