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 34

Sīhasenāpati Suttaɱ

Sīha, the General[1]

Translated by E. M. Hare

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[38] [31]

[1][than][olds][bodh] Thus have I heard:

Once the Exalted One dwelt near Vesālī,
at the Gabled Hall, in Mahāvana;
and there general Sīha paid him a visit,
saluted him,
and sat down at one side.

So seated, the general said to the Exalted One:

"Is it possible, lord,
to show the visible result of giving?"

"It is possible, Sīha," and the Exalted One said:

"The almsgiver, Sīha,
the liberal man,
is good and dear to many folk;
since he is so, Sīha,
this is the visible result of giving.

Again, the good and wise follow him;
since they do so, Sīha
this is the visible result of giving.

Again, a good report concerning him goes about;
since such occurs, Sīha,
this is the visible result of giving.

Again, whatever company he enters,
be it of nobles,
brahmans,
householders
or recluses,
he enters with confidence
and untroubled;[2]
since he does so, Sīha,
this is the visible result of giving.

Again, the almsgiver,
the liberal man,
on the breaking up of the body after death,
is reborn in the happy heaven world;
since that is so, Sīha,
it is hereafter the result of giving."

When he had thus spoken,
general Sīha said to the Exalted One:

"Lord, those four visible results of giving
declared by the Exalted One —
not as to them go I by faith in the Exalted One;
I just know those things.

Lord, I am a giver,
a liberal man,
and am good and dear to many folk;
many good and wise men follow me;
a good report concerning me goes about.

People say:

'General Sīha is an almsgiver,
a worker and a servant of the Order;
whatever company of nobles,
brahmans,
householders
or recluses,
I eater,
I do so with confidence
and untroubled.

I do not go by faith in the Exalted One
in regard to these things,
I just know them.

But when the Exalted One says to me:

'Sīha, a giver,
a liberal man,
on the breaking up of the body after death,
is reborn in the happy heaven-world —
it is this that I do not know,
and it is herein
that I go by faith in the Exalted One.'"

"It is even so, Siha, it is verily just as you say:

A giver, Sīha,
a liberal man,
on the breaking up of the body after death,
is reborn in the happy heaven-world.

Good is the giver, folk will follow him,
Fame he attains and honours grow; 'mong men
He walks untroubled, being liberal
And confident. Wherefore the wise give gifts;
They put aside the stain of stinginess
And, seeking bliss, long in the Thrice-Ten[3] stay,
Finding delight in deva-fellowship.

Th' occasion made, the good deed done, hence fare
They on, self-radiant devas, wandering
In Nandana,[4] glad, happy and content
Amid the fivefold pleasures of the sense,
Joyed in the teachings of the Unattached,[5]
In heaven disciples of the Man Well-gone.'

 


[1] He was general of the Licchavis, whose capital was Vesalī, and who built this hall for the Buddha; they belonged to a confederacy; see Buddh. India. Sīha was much given to questions like these; Cf. A. iv, 79ff. He was originally a supporter of the Jains.

[2] Amaŋkubhūto.

[3] Tidive; in Theragātha, ver. 534, tidivasmi, one of the names for the next world.

[4] A grove in the heaven of the Thirty Devas; see K.S. i, 8 n., v, 296, where such joy is said to be the lot of a rājā-cakka-vattī; or it may be a grove in another group of devas, for sabba-devalokesu hi Nandana-vanaɱ atthi yeva (J. i, 49). In the Tusita grove of this name the Bodhisatta waited prior to rebirth.

[5] Asita: the quotation from the Comy. in the text note should read ani-, not ati-; see Brethren, 404 n. 2 on this word.


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