Anguttara Nikaya


[Site Map]  [Home]  [Sutta Indexes]  [Glossology]  [Site Sub-Sections]

The Pali is transliterated as IAST Unicode (āīūṃṅñṭḍṇḷ). Alternatives:
[ ASCII (aiumnntdnl) | Mobile (āīūŋńñţđņļ) | Velthuis (aaiiuu.m'n~n.t.d.n.l) ]

 

Aŋguttaranikāyo
Catukkanipāto

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fours

Sutta 159
Bhikkhunī Sutta

The Nun[1]

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

Copyright The Pali Text Society
Commercial Rights Reserved
Creative Commons Licence
For details see Terms of Use.

 


 

[1][than] Thus have I heard:

On a certain occasion the venerable Ānanda was staying at Kosambī, in Ghosita Park.

Now on that occasion a certain nun addressed a certain man, saying:[2]

'Come, thou good fellow!

Go to master Ānanda, and on coming to him in my name worship with thy head the feet of the worthy Ānanda and say:

"Sir, a nun named so and so is sick, in pain, stricken with a sore disease.

She worships with her head the feet of the worthy Ānanda.'

'And do you say this:

"It would be a good thing, sir, if the worthy Ānanda would visit the nuns' lodging where that nun is, out of compassion for her."'

'Yes, lady,'replied that man, and went to the venerable Ānanda (and did as he was told).

Then the venerable Ānanda, robing himself and taking bowl and outer robe, went to visit that nun.

Now that nun saw the venerable Ānanda from afar as he was coming,
and on seeing him she covered her head[3] and lay down on a couch.

Then the venerable Ānanda came to where she was,
and on reaching her sat down on a seat made ready.

As he sat there the venerable Ānanda said this to that nun:[4]

[3][than][olds]'Sister, this body has come into being through food, is dependent on food.

The food must be abandoned.

Sister, this body has come into being through craving, is dependent on craving.

Craving must be abandoned.

Sister, this body has come into being through pride, is dependent on pride.

Pride must be abandoned.

Sister, this body has come into being through sexual intercourse.

Sexual intercourse must be abandoned.

The breaking down of the bridge[5] which is in sexual intercourse has been spoken of by the Exalted One.

Sister, as to this saying:

"This body has come into being through food,
is dependent on food;
the food must be abandoned," -
it was said in this connexion:

Herein, sister, a monk takes food with reflection and judgment,[6]
not for sport,
not for indulgence,
not for personal charm,
not for beautifying,
but just enough for the support,
for the upkeep of body,
for its resting unharmed,
for helping the living of the God-life.

(He takes food with the thought:)

Thus do I check my former feeling
and set going no new feeling;
thus maintenance shall be mine,[7]
blamelessness and comfort in life.

Then some time later,
though dependent on food,
he abandons food.

As to the saying that body has come into being through food,
whatever was thus said was said in this connexion.

Sister, as to the saying:

"This body has come into being through craving,
is dependent on craving;
craving must be abandoned," -
it was said in this connexion:

Herein, sister, a monk hears it said:

"They say that such and such a monk,
destroying the āsavas,
himself in this very life
thoroughly comprehending it,
realizes the heart's release,
the release by wisdom,
that is free from the asavas,
and having attained it abides therein."

To him it occurs:

Surely[8] I too,
by destroying the āsavas
myself in this very life
thoroughly comprehending it,
will realize the heart's release,
the release by wisdom,
that is free from the āsavas,
and having attained it shall abide therein.

Then some time later, though dependent on craving, he abandons craving.

As to the saying, sister, that body has come into being through craving,
is dependent on craving,
craving must be abandoned, -
whatever was said thus was said in this connexion.

Sister, as to the saying:

"This body has come into being through pride,
is dependent on pride;
pride must be abandoned," -
it was said in this connexion:

In this case, sister, a monk hears it said:

"They say that such and such a monk,
by destroying the āsavas
himself in this very life
thoroughly comprehending it,
realizes the heart's release,
the release by wisdom,
that is free from the āsavas,
having attained the release by wisdom abides therein."

To him it thus occurs:

That one by destroying the asavas himself in this very life
thoroughly comprehending it,
realizing the heart's release,
the release by wisdom,
that is free from the āsavas,
can realize and attain and abide in the release by wisdom.

Then why not I?[9]

Then some time later,
though dependent on pride,
he abandons pride.

Sister, as to the saying:

"This body has come into being through pride,
is dependent on pride;
pride must be abandoned," -
it was said in this connexion.

Sister, as to the saying:

"This body has come into being through sexual intercourse,
(is dependent on sexual intercourse;
sexual intercourse must be abandoned);[10]
the breaking down of the bridge
which is in sexual intercourse
has been spoken of by the Exalted One" ...'

Thereupon the nun rose from the couch,
put her upper robe on one shoulder,
fell with her head at the feet of the venerable Ānanda and said:

'0, sir, my fault overcame me,
who am so foolish,
so stupid,
so wrong,
that I acted thus!

0, sir, let master Ānanda acknowledge my fault as such,
for my restraint in future time!'

'Verily, sister, your fault overcame you,
thus foolish,
thus stupid,
thus wrong,
that you acted thus.

But inasmuch as you, sister,
have seen your fault as such
and have confessed it as is right,
we do acknowledge it of you.

This indeed, sister,
is growth in the discipline of the Ariyan,
when, seeing his fault as such,
one makes confession as is right
and comes to restraint in future time.'[11]

 


[1] For visiting nuns cf. K.S. v, 134.

[2] Comy. asserts that she was enamoured of Ānanda.

[3] It is contrary to Vinaya rules for a nun or female devotee (Pāṭimokkha, Sekhiya) to hear Dhamma with head covered or reclining or wearing sandals. Strangely Comy. does not notice it. But cf. K.S. iv, 78 f., where a brahmin lady is rebuked by Udāyin for so doing.

[4] Comy. remarks that in order to disillusion her of her passion he spoke of the 'foul things '(asubha-kathaɱ).

[5] Setu-ghāto = pada-ghāto, paccaya-ghato. Comy. Cf. A. i, 261; Buddh. Psych. Eth., p. 87. Our text reads methuno ca setughāto vutto (which would mean 'sexual intercourse and bridge-breaking'); while the Siamese text reads methune pahātabbo, methune setu-ghāto, which is preferable. Sinh. text has methune only (the proper construction acc. to other passages where the phrase occurs). Here I follow the Siamese text. The saying is not recorded, as far as I know.

[6] Cf. S. ii, 98 (Maŋsaputta), iv, 104; Expos, ii, 511; VM. 31; supra, Ī 37. Comy. says nothing here nor at S. ii loc. cit., but refers to VM. loc. cit, which equals Expositor loc. cit.

[7] Text omits me.

[8] Kudassa nāma. Cf. A. i, 107. For another word, kudāssu see SA. i, 124; S. ii, 5; SA. ii, 21 (katarasmin nu kāle?).

[9] Kimanga panāhaɱ.

[10] Here out of delicacy, it seems, Ānanda does not expound further as in the case of the other failings. I bracket the words.

[11] The usual formula of repentance. Cf. Vin. i, 315; S. ii, 127 = K.S. ii, 91; Manual of a Mystic, 7, etc. For accaya (fault) cf. A. i, 59, 103, where he who refuses such an apology is reckoned a fool; iv, 377.


Contact:
E-mail
Copyright Statement   Webmaster's Page