Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttara-Nikāya
Pañcaka-Nipāta
IV. Sumanā Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fives
IV: Sumanā

Sutta 32

Cundī, the Rajah's Daughter

Translated by E. M. Hare

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[35] [26]

[1][bodh] Thus have I heard:

Once the Exalted One was dwelling near Rājagaha, at the Squirrels' Feeding Ground[1] in the Bamboo Grove;
and there Cundī,[2] the rajah's daughter,
attended by five hundred maidens
in a like number of chariots,
came and visited him and,
after saluting,
sat down at one side.

Thus seated, Cundī, the rajah's daughter, spoke to the Exalted One thus:

'Lord, our royal brother, Cunda, says this:

'When a woman or man has taken refuge in the Buddha,
has taken refuge in Dhamma,
has taken refuge in the Order,
abstains from taking life,
from taking what is not given,
from carnal lusts,
from lying
and from indulging in spirituous liquor, causing idleness;
he will surely arise,
on the breaking up of the body alter death,
to a fair course,
not to an ill one.

But I, lord, would ask the Exalted One:

With one's trust in what sort of teacher will one surely arise,
on the breaking up of the body after death,
to a fair course
and not to an ill one?

With one's trust in what sort of Dhamma will one surely arise,
on the breaking up of the body after death,
to a fair course
and not to an ill one?

With one's trust in what sort of Order will one surely arise,
on the breaking up of the body after death,
to a fair course
and not to an ill one?

And what sorts of virtuous practices must one perform
to arise, after death,
to a fair course and not to an ill one?'

[3] 'Whatsoever beings there are, Cundī, whether footless, two-footed, four-footed or many-footed,
whether with bodies or without,
conscious or unconscious or neither conscious nor unconscious,
of them the Tathāgata,
arahant,
the perfectly enlightened One,[4] is declared the best;[5]
whosoever put their trust in the Buddha,
put their trust in the best,
and unto them is the best reward.

Whatsoever Dhammas are formulated
or not formulated,[6] Cundī,
of them (the Dhamma of) dispassion is declared the best.

I mean: the crushing of pride,
the quenching of thirst,
the rooting out of lust,
the cutting off of rebirth,
the destruction of craving,
dispassion,
making an end,
Nibbana;
whosoever put their trust in (this) Dhamma,
put their trust in the best,
and unto them is the best reward.[7]

Whatsoever orders or communities there are, Cundī,
of them the Order of the Tathagata's disciples is declared the best,
that is to say,
the four pairs of men,[8] the eight persons,
that Order of disciples of the Exalted One,
which is worthy of offerings,
worthy of gifts,
worthy of oblations,
meet to be reverently saluted,
the world's peerless field for merit;
whosoever put their trust in the Order,
put their trust in the best,
and unto them is the best reward.

Whatsoever virtuous practices there are, Cundī,
of them those[9] loved by the Ariyans are declared the best,
that is to say,
those unbroken and without a rent,
untarnished and without blemish,
bringing freedom,
praised by the wise,
incorrupt
and conducive to concentration;
whosoever perform the virtues,
loved by the Ariyans,
perform the best,
and unto them is the best reward.

For pious men who truly in the best
Distinguish best;[10] who in the Buddha see
The gift-worthy, the unsurpassed, the best;
In Dhamma best the ease of passion's calm;
And in the Order best th' unrivalled field
For merit - yea, for those who alms bestow
In the best place best merit doth increase,
And life and beauty, honour, fame and power,
Best happiness. Who gives unto the best,
Wise man, in Dhamma best composed, as man
Or deva, with the best attained, finds joy.'

 


[1] This 'park' was given to the Older by the rajah Bimbisāra of Magadha (Vin. i, 39); for the legend of its name see Rockhill's Life, 43; Watter's Yuan Chwang, ii, 157; it was the first of its kind.

[2] Except at A. iv, 347 in a list and here she does not seem to be mentioned; Comy. on A. iv: rajakumdri, merely; here we have no comment. She and her brother (not mentioned elsewhere) may have been the children of Bimbisāra, who had at least three wives; see C.H.I. i, 183. Pron. Choondee.

[3] Omitting the fourth clause, what follows recurs at A. ii. 34; It. 87, including the gāthā. See G.S. ii. 38.

[4] This clause also recurs at A. v, 21; Mil. 217.

[5] Agga: tip, top, first, chief, illustrious.

[6] This clause is dealt with exegetically at Vism. trsl. 337, whore dhammā is said to mean states, conditions; sankhatā, conditioned, compounded; see also P.E.D. s.v. yavatā. But it is inconceivable that the B. should talk about 'things definite and indefinite' (P.E.D.) to a young woman who asks him: 'What is truth?' but with Marcus Aurelius he might well say: 'First and foremost, keep unperturbed!' (To himself, viii, 5; Rendall's trsl., 1910); cf. Vin. iii, 20: bhagavatā anekapariyāyena rāgavirāgāya dhammo desito, madanimmadanāya, etc., as here.

[7] For these last three clauses cf. D. ii, 94; iii, 227; S. iv, 272, and Vism. trsl. 252 ff.

[8] Those on the four stages of the Way; see Vism. trsl. 253.

[9] Comy. inserts sīlāni, with two MSS., and observes: magga-phala-sampayuttakāni sīlāni, D.A. ii, 544: pañca sīlani. I suppose it is because these five are mentioned that this sutta is included in the 'Fives.'

[10] Aggaɱ dhammaɱ: the best thing.


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