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Aŋguttaranikāyo
Catukkanipāto
XX: Mahā Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fours
Chapter XX: The Great Chapter

Sutta 196

Sāḷaha Suttaṃ

Sāḷha

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

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[1] Thus have I heard:

On a certain occasion the Exalted One was staying near Vesālī
in Great Wood,
at Peak-roofed House.

Now Saḷha the Licchavī
and Abhaya the Licchavī[1]
came to visit the Exalted One,
and on coming to him saluted him
and sat down at one side.

So seated Saḷha the Licchavī said this
to the Exalted One:

'There are some recluses and brahmins, lord,
who proclaim a twofold crossing of the flood,
namely,
the way made by purity of morals
and that made by self-mortification.[2]

What says the Exalted One about this, lord?'

'I do indeed say, Saḷha,
that purity of morals
is a factor of recluseship.

Those recluses and brahmins
who uphold selfmortification,
who make self-mortification essential,
who remain clinging to self-mortification, -
they are incapable of crossing the flood.

Moreover, Saḷha, those recluses and [212] brahmins
who practise impurity of body,
speech
and thought,
who live in impurity, -
they are incapable of knowledge and insight,
of the enlightenment that is unsurpassed.

Suppose a man, Saḷha, desirous of crossing a river,
takes a sharp axe and enters the jungle.

There he sees a mighty sal-tree,
straight up,
young,
not of crooked growth.[3]

He cuts it down at the root.

Having done so
he lops it at the top,
and having lopped it at the top
clears off branches and twigs
and makes it clean.

Having done so
he chips it roughly with axes.

Having chipped it with axes
he does so with knives.

Having done that
he smooths it with a scraper.[4]

After that he smooths it with rock-ball[5]
and then brings it down to the river.

Now what think you, Saḷha?

Is that man capable of crossing the river?'

'Not so, lord.'

'What is the cause of that?

'Why, lord, that sal-tree log,
though well worked outside,
is not cleaned out inside.

This is to be expected of it, -
the log will sink,
the man comes to misfortune and destruction.'

'Well, Saḷha, just in the same way
those recluses and brahmins who uphold self-mortification,
who make self-mortification essential,
who cling to self-mortification,
are incapable of crossing the flood.

Moreover, Saḷha, those recluses and brahmins
who practise impurity of body,
speech
and thought,
who live in impurity, -
they are incapable of knowledge and insight,
of the enlightenment which is unsurpassed.

 

§

 

But on the other hand those recluses and brahmins
who do not uphold selfmortification,
who do not make self-mortification essential,
who do not cling to self-mortification,
[213] are capable of crossing the flood.

Moreover, Saḷha those recluses and brahmins
who practise purity of body,
speech
and thought,
who live in purity, -
they are capable of knowledge and insight,
of the enlightenment that is unsurpassed.

But suppose a man, Saḷha, desirous of crossing a river
takes a sharp axe and enters the jungle.

There he sees a mighty sal-tree trunk,
straight up,
young,
not of crooked growth.

He cuts it down at the root.

Having done so
he lops it at the top,
and having lopped it at the top
clears off branches and twigs
and makes it clean.

Having done so
he chips it roughly with axes.

Having chipped it with axes
he does so with knives.

After chipping it with knives
he takes a chisel and cleans out the inside
till it is thoroughly hollowed out.

Then he takes a scraper
and scrapes it
and smooths it with rock-ball.

Wñen he has done this
he makes a boat of it,
fastens on oars and rudder
and finally brings down the boat to the river.

Now what think you, Saḷha?|| ||

Is that man capable of crossing the river?'

'Yes, he is, lord.'

'What is the cause of that?

'Why, lord, that sal-tree log
is well worked outside
and thoroughly cleaned out inside,
made into a boat
and fitted with oars and rudder.

This is to be expected of it:
the boat will not sink
and the man will reach the shore in safety.'[6]

'Well, Saḷha, just in the same way
those recluses and brahmins
who do not uphold self-mortification,
who do not make self-mortification essential,
who do not cling to self-mortification,
are capable of crossing the flood.

Moreover, Saḷha those recluses and brahmins
who practise purity of body,
speech
and thought,
who live in purity, -
they are capable of knowledge and insight,
of the enlightenment that is unsurpassed.

Just as, Saḷha, a fighting-man,
though he knows many cunning feats of archery,[7]
is worthy of a rajah,
is a pos- [214] session of a rajah,
is reckoned an asset to a rajah in three ways.[8]

What are the three?

He is a far-shooter,
a shooter like lightning,
a piercer[9] of a huge object.

Just as, Saḷha, a fighting-man
is a far-shooter,
even so is the Ariyan disciple
possessed of right concentration.

The Ariyan disciple, Saḷha,
who possesses right concentration,
whatsoever object,
be it past, future or present,
personal or external to self,
be it gross or subtle,
mean or exalted,
far or near;
every object in short
that he beholds -
he looks upon it, as it really is,
with right wisdom,
thus:

"This is not of me."

"Not this am I."

"Not for me is this the self."

Whatsoever feeling[ed1],
be it past, future or present,
personal or external to self,
be it gross or subtle,
mean or exalted,
far or near;
every feeling in short
that he beholds -
he looks upon it, as it really is,
with right wisdom,
thus:

"This is not of me."

"Not this am I."

"Not for me is this the self."

Whatsoever perception,,
be it past, future or present,
personal or external to self,
be it gross or subtle,
mean or exalted,
far or near;
every perception in short
that he beholds -
he looks upon it, as it really is,
with right wisdom,
thus:

"This is not of me."

"Not this am I."

"Not for me is this the self."

Whatsoever activity,
be it past, future or present,
personal or external to self,
be it gross or subtle,
mean or exalted,
far or near;
every activity in short
that he beholds -
he looks upon it, as it really is,
with right wisdom,
thus:

"This is not of me."

"Not this am I."

"Not for me is this the self."

Whatsoever consciousness he has,
be it past, future or present,
personal or external to self,
be it gross or subtle,
mean or exalted,
far or near;
every consciousness in short
that he beholds -
he looks upon it, as it really is,
with right wisdom,
thus:

"This is not of me."

"Not this am I."

"Not for me is this the self."

Just as, Saḷha, a fighting-man is a shooter like lightning, even so is the Ariyan disciple possessed of right view.

The Ariyan disciple, Saḷha, who possesses right view understands, as it really is:

This is Ill.

This is the arising of Ill.

This is the ending of Ill.

This is the practice going to the ending of Ill.

Just as, Saḷha, a fighting-man
is a piercer of a huge object,
even so the Ariyan disciple
is possessed of right release.

The Ariyan disciple who possesses right release
pierces through the huge mass of nescience.'

 


[1] For Abhaya see M. i, 392; A. i, 220; K.S. v, 107. Sāḷha; for a monk of this name see D. ii, 91; K.S. v, 312.

[2] Tapo-jiguccha, described in full at Dial. iii, 36, and below, Ī 198.

[3] Akukkncca-jātaṃ. Comy. Bhaveyya nu kho na bhaveyya ti, ajanetabba-kukkztccaṃ, 'not causing doubt or worry as to its suitability.' But Sinh. text akukkuka, 'immeasurable by the kukka.' Cf. M. i, 233 = S. iii, 141 (where Comy. has akkusa-). Kukku is a measure of length. So I trans. 'of towering height' at K.S. iii, 119, iv, 104 (with Pāli Dict.), but Trenckner-Andersen (P.D.) has 'without fault or defect.' I now trans. according to the idea of Mr. E.H. Johnston (J.R.A.S., July, 1931), who considers the word to be akujjaka-, a doublet of uju, or perhaps 'without bosses growing on it.'

[4] Lekhanī (not a pencil, as P.Dict.). Comy. avalekhana-satthaka (a scraping-knife with handle, probably our 'spoke-shave').

[5] This must be a sort of pumice-stone.

[6] Comy. explains the parable thus: (a) The log is the personality; the river-stream, the stream of saŋsāra; the man wishing to cross, one who holds heretical views; the outside of the log is self-mortification (cf. the Pharisees who clean the outside only); the log previous to being hollowed out is the time of the man's immoral life; the sinking of the log is his return to the round of rebirth. (6) The man wishing to cross is the practiser of yoga (yogāvacara); the outside of the log is the time of his self-restraint; the hollowing of it out is his purity of life; oars and rudder are the energetic striving in body and mind; crossing over is Nibbāna.

[7] Kaṇḍa-cittakāni (gen.'varied, various, variegated,' but not 'wonderful arrows,' as Pāli Dict.). Cittaka or ciṭraka is a mode of fighting or manoeuvres. (Benfey, Skt. Dict., refers to Harivaṃsa 15, 979, and there are refs, in Mahābharata [Adi Parvd]). Comy. gives a list of six - viz., sara-laṭṭhi, -rajju-, -pāsāda, -sāṇi, -pokkharaṇī, -padumāni citrāni, which I render tentatively, taking sara as 'manoeuvre,' 'with staves, with a noose, from a platform, from a screen, from a dug-out, and in lotus-formation.' The last word is so used at JA. ii, 406, etc.

[8] Four qualities are given above, Ī 181. Cf. G.S. i, 263.

[9] Or 'smasher.'

 


[ed1] Omitted by Woodward.


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