Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
Chakkanipata
IV. Devatā Vagga

Sutta 37

Attakārī Sutta

Alms

Translated from the Pali by E.M. Hare.

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[1][than] Thus have I heard:

Once when the Exalted One was dwelling near Sāvatthī,
at Jeta Grove,
in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park,
Nanda's mother, the Veḷukaṇḍakan[1] lay-diseiple,
founded an offering,
sixfold-endowed,
for the Order of monks with Sāriputta and Mahā Moggllāna at the head.

Now the Exalted One, with the deva-eye,
surpassing in clarity the eye of man,
saw that Nanda's mother, the Veḷukaṇḍakan lay-diseiple,
had founded an offering,
sixfold-endowed,
for the Order of monks with Sāriputtaand Mahā Moggllāna at the head, and addressed the monks thus:

Monks, this lay-disciple of Veḷukaṇḍakan, Nanda's mother,
has founded an offering,
sixfold-endowed,
for the Order of monks with Sāriputtaand Mahā Moggllāna at the head.

And how, monks, is the offering[2] sixfold-endowed?

Monks, the giver's part is threefold
and the receivers' part is threefold.

And what is the giver's threefold part?

Herein, monks, before the gift[3]
he is glad at heart[4]
in giving the heart[4] is satisfied;
and uplifted is the heart when he has given.

This is the giver's threefold part.

And what is the receivers' threefold part?

Herein, monks, they are lust-freed
or stepping to cast lust out;
are hate-freed or stepping to cast hate out;
are delusion-freed or stepping to become so.

This is the receivers' threefold part.

Thus the giver's part is threefold
and the receivers' part is threefold;
thus verily, monks, the offering is sixfold-endowed.

Monks, not easy is it to grasp the measure of merit of such a sixfold-endowed offering,
and to say:

"Thus much is the yield in merit,
the yield in goodliness,
making for a lucky hereafter,
ripening to happiness,
leading heavenward,
leading [237] to weal and happiness,
longed for,
loved
and lovely."

Verily, the great mass of merit is reckoned just unreckonable,
immeasurable.

Monks, just[5] as it is not easy to grasp the measure of water
in the great ocean, and to say:

"There are so many pailfuls,
so many hundreds of pailfuls,
so many thousands of pailfuls,
so many hundreds of thousands of pailfuls" -

for that great mass of water is reckoned unreckonable,
immeasurable;
even so, monks, it is not easy to grasp the measure of merit
in a sixfold-endowed offering,
and to say:

"Thus much is the yield in merit,
the yield in goodliness,
making for a lucky hereafter,
ripening to happiness,
leading heavenward,
leading to weal and happiness,
longed for,
loved
and lovely."

Gladsome before the gift, giving satisfied,
Uplifted having given-that's bounty's[6] fulness.[7]
Lust-freed, hate-freed, delusion-freed, stainless,
Controlled Brahma-wayfarers[8]- that's the best field for bounty.
If one but cleanse[9] himself and give by hand,
For self hereafter, [10]too, great is the fruit.
So giving-faithful, wise, heart-free, discreet -
In the sorrowless, happy world he'll rise.'[11]

 


[1] See G.S. i, 24; Brethr. 41; A. iv, 63; K.S. ii, 160 (there -kaṇṭkī).

[2] Dakkhiṇā.

[3] Dāna.

[4] Mano, then cititaṃ.

[5] See above, p. 43, n. 2.

[6] Yañña.

[7] Sampadā. Comy. paripuṇṇatā, fulfilment.

[8] Saññatā brahmacārayo, restrained god-way-ers.

[9] The Comy. takes this literally: washing his feet and hands, rinsing his/mouth.

[10] Parato ca. Comy. is silent.

[11] The last line of the text recurs at It. 16 and 52.


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