Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
Pañcaka Nipāta
V: Muṇḍarāja Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fives
V. Rajah Muṇḍa

Sutta 50

Nārada Suttaɱ

The Venerable Nārada

Translated by E. M. Hare

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[57] [48]

[1][bodh] Thus have I heard:

One time the venerable Nārada[1] dwelt near Pāṭaliputta,[2]
in the Cock's Park.[3]

Now at that time Bhaddā, the dear and beloved ranee of rajah Muṇḍa,[4] died;
and because of the loss of his dear ranee, Bhaddā,
he neither bathed,
nor anointed himself,
nor partook of any food,
nor concerned himself with any affairs,
but day and night
clung in grief to her body
as though a-swoon.

After a while he summoned his treasurer, Piyaka,
and said to him:

'Prythee, friend Piyaka,
place the body of the ranee, Bhaddā,
in an oil vessel made of iron
and cover it over with another iron vessel,[5]
so that we shall see her body longer.'

'Yes, sire,' Hyaka replied,
and he placed the body of the ranee, Bhaddā,
in an oil vessel made of iron
and covered it over with another iron vessel.

Now Piyaka, the treasurer, thought to himself:

Bhaddā,
the dear, beloved ranee of rajah Muṇḍa, is dead;
and because of this [49] loss,
the rajah not even bathes
or anoints himself,
nor eats food,
nor concerns himself with hia affairs,
but clings in grief to her body
as though a-swoon.[6]

What if rajah Muṇḍa go
and wait upon some recluse or godly man!

When he had learnt Dhamma,
he would pluck out the dart of sorrow.

And again he thought:

'Near Pāṭaliputta,
in the Cock's Park,
dwells this venerable Nārada;
and of that same reverend sir
this fair report is gone abroad:

"A sage is he,
accomplished,
wise,
learned,
an able speaker,
of ready, gracious wit,
both venerable
and arahant.[7]

Methinks, if rajah Muṇḍa were to go and wait upon the venerable Nārada,
perhaps, after listening to the venerable one's Dhamma,
he would pluck out the dart of sorrow.

So Piyaka, the treasurer,
approached the rajah afid said to him:

'Sire, this venerable Nārada dwells hard by Pāṭaliputta,
in the Cock's Park;
now of him a fair report has gone abroad,
that he is a sage,
accomplished,
wise,
learned,
an able speaker,
of ready, gracious wit,
both venerable
and arahant.

Maybe, if my lord were to go and wait upon the venerable one,
he could,
after listening to the venerable Nārada's Dhamma,
pluck out the dart of sorrow.'

'Very well, friend Piyaka,
announce (my coming) to the venerable Nārada.'

And he thought:

How, I wonder,
ought one like me
to approach a recluse or godly man,
previously unknown,
dwelling in the kingdom?

'Yes, sire,' he replied;
and Piyaka, the treasurer,
went and visited the venerable Nārada
and saluted him
and sat down at one side.

So seated,
he spoke thus to the venerable one:

'Reverend sir, Bhaddā, the dear and beloved ranee of rajah has died;
and because of his loss
the rajah neither bathes
nor anoints himself,
,
nor eats food,
nor concerns himself with hia affairs,
but [50] clings in grief to her body
as though a-swoon.

Good it were, reverend sir,
if the venerable Nārada were to teach such Dhamma
that rajah Muṇḍa, having heard,
might pluck out the dart of sorrow.'

'Now is the time, Piyaka,
for the rajah Muṇḍa to do as he thinks fit.'

Then Piyaka, the treasurer, got up from his seat,
saluted the venerable Nārada
and took his leave,
keeping the venerable one on his right;
and approaching the rajah,
he said to him:

'Sire, I have made occasion with the venefable Nārada;
sire, now is the time to do as you think fit.'

'Then, friend Piyaka,
have our state carriages got ready.'

'Yes, sire,' he replied;
and when he had done so,
he told the rajah:

'Sire, the state carriages await you.'

Then rajah Muṇḍa got up into a state carriage
and with many others
went off in royal pomp and power
to see the venerable Nārada
at the Cock's Park.

And having gone by carriage as far as the ground allowed,
he got down and entered the Park on foot.[8]

And the rajah Muṇḍa approached the venerable Nārada,
saluted him
and sat down at one side;
and the venerable Nārada spoke thus to him,
so seated:

'Maharajah, there are these five states
not to be got to
by recluse or godly man,
by deva,
Māra or Brahmā,
nor by anyone in the world.

What five?

Where ageing brings no old age —
that state is not to be got to
by recluse or godly man,
by deva,
Māra
or Brahmā,
nor by anyone in the world.

Where sickening brings no sickness —
that state is not to be got to
by recluse or godly man,
by deva,
Māra
or Brahmā,
nor by anyone in the world.

Where dying death —
that state is not to be got to
by recluse or godly man,
by deva,
Māra
or Brahmā,
nor by anyone in the world.

Where wasting destruction —
that state is not to be got to
by recluse or godly man,
by deva,
Māra
or Brahmā,
nor by anyone in the world.

Where ending brings the end —
that state is not to be got to
by recluse or godly man,
by deva,
Māra
or Brahmā,
nor by anyone in the world.

Maharajah, to the unlearned,
average man,
ageing brings old age;
and when he is old,
he reflects not thus:

"Not to me only
does ageing bring old age,
but wheresoever there is a coming and going,
a passing on
and an arising of creatures,
to all,
ageing brings old age:
and if, when old age comes,
I should mourn and pine,
weep and wail
and beat the breast
and fall into distraction;
food would not please me,
ugliness would come upon my body,
affairs would be neglected,
enemies would rejoice,
while friends would grieve."

And when old age comes,
he mourns,
pines,
weeps,
wails,
beats his breast
and falls into distraction.

Maharajah, this man is called
an unlearned average man;
pierced by the poisoned dart of sorrow,
he just torments himself.

Again, Maharajah, to the unlearned, average man, sickening brings sickness;
and when he is sick,
he reflects not thus:

"Not to me only
does sickening brings sickness,
but wheresoever there is a coming and going,
a passing on
and an arising of creatures,
to all,
sickening brings sickness:
and if, when sickness comes,
I should mourn and pine,
weep and wail
and beat the breast
and fall into distraction;
food would not please me,
ugliness would come upon my body,
affairs would be neglected,
enemies would rejoice,
while friends would grieve."

And when sickness comes,
he mourns,
pines,
weeps,
wails,
beats his breast
and falls into distraction.

Maharajah, this man is called
an unlearned average man;
pierced by the poisoned dart of sorrow,
he just torments himself.

Again, Maharajah, to the unlearned, average man,
dying brings death;
and when he is dying,
he reflects not thus:

"Not to me only
does dying bring death,
but wheresoever there is a coming and going,
a passing on
and an arising of creatures,
to all,
dying brings death:
and if, when dying comes,
I should mourn and pine,
weep and wail
and beat the breast
and fall into distraction;
food would not please me,
ugliness would come upon my body,
affairs would be neglected,
enemies would rejoice,
while friends would grieve."

And when dying comes,
he mourns,
pines,
weeps,
wails,
beats his breast
and falls into distraction.

Maharajah, this man is called
an unlearned average man;
pierced by the poisoned dart of sorrow,
he just torments himself.

Again, Maharajah, to the unlearned, average man,
wasting brings destruction;
and when he is wasting,
he reflects not thus:

"Not to me only
does wasting bring destruction,
but wheresoever there is a coming and going,
a passing on
and an arising of creatures,
to all,
wasting brings destruction:
and if, when wasting comes,
I should mourn and pine,
weep and wail
and beat the breast
and fall into distraction;
food would not please me,
ugliness would come upon my body,
affairs would be neglected,
enemies would rejoice,
while friends would grieve."

And when wasting comes,
he mourns,
pines,
weeps,
wails,
beats his breast
and falls into distraction.

Maharajah, this man is called
an unlearned average man;
pierced by the poisoned dart of sorrow,
he just torments himself.

Again, Maharajah, to the unlearned, average man,
ending brings the end;
and when the end is near,
he reflects not thus:

"Not to me only
does ending bring the end,
but wheresoever there is a coming and going of creatures,
a passing on
and an arising,
to all, ending brings the end;
and if, when the end is near,
I should mourn and pine,
weep and wail
and beat the breast
and fall into distraction;
food would not please me,
ugliness would come upon my body,
affairs would be neglected,
enemies would rejoice,
while friends would grieve."

And when the end is near,
he mourns,
pines,
weeps,
wails,
beats his breast
and falls into distraction.

Maharajah, this man is called
an unlearned average man;
pierced by the poisoned dart of sorrow,
he just torments himself.

So also, to the learned Ariyan disciple also, Maharajah,
ageing brings old age;
but when he is old,
he does reflect:

"Not to me only
does ageing bring old age,
but wheresoever there is a coming and going,
a passing on
and an arising of creatures,
to all,
ageing brings old age:
and if, when old age comes,
I should mourn and pine,
weep and wail
and beat the breast
and fall into distraction;
food would not please me,
ugliness would come upon my body,
affairs would be neglected,
enemies would rejoice,
while friends would grieve."

And when age comes,
he does not mourn
nor pine
nor weep
nor wail
nör beat his breast
nor fall into distraction.

Maharajah, this man is called
a learned Ariyan disciple;
drawn out
is the poisoned dart of sorrow
with which the unlearned average man
torments himself;
the sorrowless,
dart-free,
Ariyan disciple
has cooled the self entirely.

Again, Maharajah, to the learned Ariyan disciple
sickening brings sickness;
but when he is sick,
he does reflect:

"Not to me only
does sickening brings sickness,
but wheresoever there is a coming and going,
a passing on
and an arising of creatures,
to all,
sickening brings sickness:
and if, when sickness comes,
I should mourn and pine,
weep and wail
and beat the breast
and fall into distraction;
food would not please me,
ugliness would come upon my body,
affairs would be neglected,
enemies would rejoice,
while friends would grieve."

And when sickness comes,
he does not mourn
nor pine
nor weep
nor wail
nör beat his breast
nor fall into distraction.

Maharajah, this man is called
a learned Ariyan disciple;
drawn out
is the poisoned dart of sorrow
with which the unlearned average man
torments himself;
the sorrowless,
dart-free,
Ariyan disciple
has cooled the self entirely.

Again, Maharajah, to the learned Ariyan disciple
dying brings death;
but when he is dying,
he does reflect:

"Not to me only
does dying brings death,
but wheresoever there is a coming and going,
a passing on
and an arising of creatures,
to all,
dying brings death:
and if, when dying comes,
I should mourn and pine,
weep and wail
and beat the breast
and fall into distraction;
food would not please me,
ugliness would come upon my body,
affairs would be neglected,
enemies would rejoice,
while friends would grieve."

And when dying comes,
he does not mourn
nor pine
nor weep
nor wail
nör beat his breast
nor fall into distraction.

Maharajah, this man is called
a learned Ariyan disciple;
drawn out
is the poisoned dart of sorrow
with which the unlearned average man
torments himself;
the sorrowless,
dart-free,
Ariyan disciple
has cooled the self entirely.

Again, Maharajah, to the learned Ariyan disciple
wasting brings destruction;
but when wasting comes,
he does reflect:

"Not to me only
does wasting brings destruction,
but wheresoever there is a coming and going,
a passing on
and an arising of creatures,
to all,
wasting brings destruction:
and if, when wasting comes,
I should mourn and pine,
weep and wail
and beat the breast
and fall into distraction;
food would not please me,
ugliness would come upon my body,
affairs would be neglected,
enemies would rejoice,
while friends would grieve."

And when wasting comes,
he does not mourn
nor pine
nor weep
nor wail
nör beat his breast
nor fall into distraction.

Maharajah, this man is called
a learned Ariyan disciple;
drawn out
is the poisoned dart of sorrow
with which the unlearned average man
torments himself;
the sorrowless,
dart-free,
Ariyan disciple
has cooled the self entirely.

Again, Maharajah, to the learned Ariyan disciple
ending brings the end; and when the end is near, he reflects:

"Not to me only
does ending bring the end,
but wheresoever there is a coming and going of creatures,
a passing on
and an arising,
to all, ending brings the end;
and if, when the end is near,
I should mourn and pine,
weep and wail
and beat the breast
and fall into distraction;
food would not please me,
ugliness would come upon my body,
affairs would be neglected,
enemies would rejoice,
while friends would grieve."

Maharajah, this man is called
a learned Ariyan disciple;
drawn out
is the poisoned dart of sorrow
with which the unlearned average man
torments himself;
the sorrowless,
dart-free,
Ariyan disciple
has cooled the self entirely.

Maharajah, these are the five states
not to be got to
by recluse or godly man,
by deva,
Māra
or Brahmā,
nor by anyone in the world.

Grieve not, nor weep! It profits not, e'en not a whit.
And enemies rejoice to see one's grief and pain;
But when the sage, skilled in the quest of good, ne'er quakes
Beneath misfortune's blows, his enemies are pained,
[51] Seeing his face of old unchanged. By chant and charm,
Well-worded speech, gifts and by customs rightly kept,
Where and whatever good may gotten be, just there
Let him exert himself for that. And when he knows:
Neither by me nor other may this good be won —
Ungrieving, bearing all things, let him think: How now,
How shall I best apply my strength to what's at hand?'

And when he had thus spoken,
rajah Muṇḍa said to the venerable Nārada:

'What, reverend sir, is this discourse of Dhamma called?'

'It is called, Maharajah,
the Plucker Out of Sorrow's Dart.'

In sooth, reverend sir,
it is a very plucker out of sorrow's dart;
in very sooth, reverend sir,
it is a plucker out of sorrow's dart;
for by me, who have heard this discourse of Dhamma,
is sorrow's dart plucked out.'

Then rajah Muṇḍa summoned Piyaka, the treasurer,
and said:

'Burn now, friend Piyaka,
the body of the ranee, Bhadda,
and build a cairn[9] for it;
henceforth now we will bathe
and anoint ourselves,
eat food
and go about our business.'

 


[1] Except here and at K.S. ii, 81 f., where he declares himself not arahant, I find no mention of him. Our Comy. is silent.

[2] Or Patna, the capital of Magadha; see Buddh. India, 262; D. ii, 87.

[3] See K.S. v, 14; F.Dial. i, 251. Here later Asoka built a monastery for 1,000 monks, C.H.I. i, 518; Watters, Chwang, ii, 98; Beals' Records, ii, 94.

[4] C.H.I. i, 189; Mhvs. trsl. 19: great-grandson of Ajātasattq, rājā of Magadha, a parricide; he does not seem to be mentioned elsewhere.

[5] Similarly for a cakkavattin and the Buddha see D. ii, 142 and 162; see Dial. ii, 155 n.

[6] Ajjhomucchito. Comy. swallowing and ending (in a faint)—(but I do not think the sense warrants such a literal interpretation; see Tr. Dict.; surely we should read -niṭṭhāpetvā) — possessed by ravening, excessive infatuation and craving.

[7] Vuddho c'eva arahā ca, aged aṆd worthy; see note 3, p. 48; [n.1 here] omitting these last two terms, the phraae recurs at S. iv, 375.

[8] These expressions are stock; Cf. D. ii, 73; A. iv. 181; v. 05.

[9] Thūpa, dāgoba.


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