Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikāya
Chakkanipata
V. Dhammika vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Sixes
Chapter V: Dhammika

Migasālā Suttaɱ

Sutta 44

Migasālā[1]

Translated from the Pali by E.M. Hare.

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[1]Thus have I heard:

One morning the venerable Ānanda,
robing early,
took bowl and cloak
and went to the house of the lay-diseiple, Migasālā,
and there sat down on seat made ready.

And Migasālā came
and saluted him
and sat down at one side.

So seated, she said to the venerable Ānanda:

'Pray, reverend sir,
how ought one to understand this Dhamma
taught by the Exalted One:
that both he who lives the godly life
and he who does not
shall become like-wayfarers
in the world to come?

My father, sir, Purāṇa,[2]
lived the godly life,
dwelling apart,
abstaining from common,
carnal things;
and when he died,
the Exalted One explained:

He's a Once-returner,
dwelling in Tusita.

My unde,[3] sir, Isidatta,
did not live the godly life
but rejoiced with a wife;
and of him also,
when dead,
the Exalted One said:

He's a Once-returaer,
dwelling in Tusita.

Reverend Ānanda, how ought one to understand this Dhamma
taught by the Exalted One:
that both he who lives the godly life
and he who does not
shall become like-wayfarers
in the world to come?

'Even, sister, as the Exalted One has said.'[4]

 


 

'And when the venerable Ānanda had received alms in Migasālā's house,
he rose from his seat and departed.

Now on his return from alms-gathering,
after his meal,
the venerable Ānanda visited the Exalted One,
saluted him
[247] and sat down at one side;
and so seated,
he said this to the Exalted One:

This morning, lord, robing early,
I took bowl and cloak
and went to the house of the lay-diseiple, Migasālā,
and there sat down on seat made ready.

And Migasālā came
and saluted me
and sat down at one side.

So seated, she said to me:

'Pray, reverend sir,
how ought one to understand this Dhamma
taught by the Exalted One:
that both he who lives the godly life
and he who does not
shall become like-wayfarers
in the world to come?

My father, sir,
lived the godly life,
dwelling apart,
abstaining from common,
carnal things;
and when he died,
the Exalted One explained:

He's a Once-returner,
dwelling in Tusita.

My unde, sir, Isidatta,
did not live the godly life
but rejoiced with a wife;
and of him also,
when dead,
the Exalted One said:

He's a Once-returaer,
dwelling in Tusita.

Reverend Ānanda, how ought one to understand this Dhamma
taught by the Exalted One:
that both he who lives the godly life
and he who does not
shall become like-wayfarers
in the world to come?

'I told her, lord,
to understand the matter
even as the Exalted One had explained.'

 


 

'But, Ānanda, who is the lay-disciple, Migasālā -
a foolish,
frail,
motherly body
with but mother-wit -
to understand the diversity in the person of man?[5]

These six persons, Ānanda, are found in the world.

What six?

Consider, Ānanda, one
well restrained,
a comely person,
in whose company
his fellows in the godly life
take pleasure;
yet in whom hearing (Dhamma) is of none effect,
much learning is of none effect,[6]
in whom there is no view-penetration,
who wins not temporary release[7] -
he, on the breaking up of the body after death,
sets out to fall,
not to excel;
fares to a fall,
fares not to excellence.

Consider another
well restrained,
a comely person,
in whose company
his fellows in the godly life
take pleasure;
but in whom hearing (Dhamma) has effect,
much learning has effect,
in whom there is view-penetration,
who wins temporary release -
he, on the breaking up of the body after death,
sets out to excel,
not to fall;
fares to excellence,
not to a fall.

And the measurers measure them, saying:

"His stature[8] is just this,
the other's just that;
in what way is[9] one wanting,
one exalted?"

And that measuring, Ānanda,
is to the measurers' harm and hurt
for many a day.

Now the one
well restrained,
a comely person,
in whose company
his fellows in the godly life
take pleasure;
but in whom hearing (Dhamma) has effect,
much learning has effect,
in whom there is view-penetration,
who wins temporary release -
that person, Ānanda,
has marched further forward,
is more exalted than the former.

And why [248] is that?

The stream of Dhamma carries him forward,[10] Ānanda.

But who save the Tathāgata
can judge that difference?[11]

Wherefore, Ānanda,
be no measurer of persons;
measure not the measure of persons;
verily, Ānanda,
he digs[12] a pit for himself
who measures the measure of persons.

I alone, Ānanda,
can measure their measure -
or one like me.

 


 

Consider, Ānanda, a person
in whom wrath and pride are conquered,
but in whom greed
from time to time surges;
yet in whom hearing (Dhamma) is of none effect,
much learning is of none effect,
in whom there is no view-penetration,
who wins not temporary release -
he, on the breaking up of the body after death,
sets out to fall,
not to excel;
fares to a fall,
fares not to excellence.

Consider another person
in whom wrath and pride are conquered,
but in whom greed
from time to time surges;
but in whom hearing (Dhamma) has effect,
much learning has effect,
in whom there is view-penetration,
who wins temporary release -
he, on the breaking up of the body after death,
sets out to excel,
not to fall;
fares to excellence,
not to a fall.

And the measurers measure them, saying:

"His stature is just this,
the other's just that;
in what way is one wanting,
one exalted?"

And that measuring, Ānanda,
is to the measurers' harm and hurt
for many a day.

Now the one
in whom wrath and pride are conquered,
but in whom greed
from time to time surges;
but in whom hearing (Dhamma) has effect,
much learning has effect,
in whom there is view-penetration,
who wins temporary release -
that person has marched further forward,
is more exalted than the former.

And why is that?

The stream of Dhamma carries him forward, Ānanda.

But who save the Tathāgata
can judge that difference?

Wherefore, Ānanda,
be no measurer of persons;
measure not the measure of persons;
verily, Ānanda,
he digs a pit for himself
who measures the measure of persons.

I alone, Ānanda,
can measure their measure -
or one like me.

 


 

Consider one
in whom wrath and pride are conquered,
but in whom the whirl[13] of words
from time to time surges;
yet in whom hearing (Dhamma) is of none effect,
much learning is of none effect,
in whom there is no view-penetration,
who wins not temporary release -
he, on the breaking up of the body after death,
sets out to fall,
not to excel;
fares to a fall,
fares not to excellence.

Consider another and another
in whom wrath and pride are conquered,
but in whom the whirl of words
from time to time surges;
but in whom hearing (Dhamma) has effect,
much learning has effect,
in whom there is view-penetration,
who wins temporary release -
he, on the breaking up of the body after death,
sets out to excel,
not to fall;
fares to excellence,
not to a fall.

And the measurers measure them, saying:

"His stature is just this,
the other's just that;
in what way is one wanting,
one exalted?"

And that measuring, Ānanda,
is to the measurers' harm and hurt
for many a day.

Now the one
in whom wrath and pride are conquered,
but in whom the whirl of words
from time to time surges;
but in whom hearing (Dhamma) has effect,
much learning has effect,
in whom there is view-penetration,
who wins temporary release -,
is more exalted than the former.

And why is that?

The stream of Dhamma carries him forward, Ānanda.

But who save the Tathāgata
can judge that difference?

Wherefore, Ānanda,
be no measurer of persons;
measure not the measure of persons;
verily, Ānanda,
he digs a pit for himself
who measures the measure of persons.

I alone, Ānanda,
can measure their measure -
or one like me.

 


 

And who is the lay-diseiple, Migasālā -
a foolish,
frail,
motherly body
with but mother-wit -
to understand the diversity
in the person of man?

Verily, Ānanda,
these six persons are found in the world.

Bhk. Bodhi [here and in AN 10.75] has made better sense of this this than either Woodward or Hare:
"...if Isidatta had possessed the same kind of virtuous behavior that Purāṇa had, Purāṇa could not have even known his destination. And if Purāṇa had possessed the same kind of wisdom that Isidatta had, Isidatta could not have even known his destination. In this way, Ānanda, these two persons were each deficient in one respect."
by "not even known his destination" is meant that had the deficient quality been present, that one would have become Arahant.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

Ānanda, with such virtue as Purāṇa was endowed,
Isidatta may become endowed;
herein Purāṇa fares not Isidatta's way but another's:
with such insight as Isidatta was endowed,
Purāṇa may become endowed;
herein Isidatta fares not Purāṇa's way but another's.

Thus verily, Ānanda,
both these men are wanting in one thing.

 


[1] Cf. the whole sutta with A. v, 137 ff.

[2] These two brothers were the rajah Pasenadi's chamberlains or chariot makers; see K.S. v, 303 ff.

[3] Text petteyyo piyo with S.e., see Childers; but at A. v, pettāpiyo with Tr. P.M. 62,16.

[4] Comy. observes that Ānanda did not know the answer.

[5] The construction is peculiar (cf. A. iii, 237) Kā ca Migasālā ... ambakā, ambakapaññā (Comy., S.e. and A. v, so for saññā) ke ca purisapuggala-paropariyañāṇe (Cf. K.S. v, 270, § 10) Purisa-puggala is possibly a transition from the more honourable purisa to the puggala, male, adopted by the Sangha when 'the man' concept was worsening.

[6] Comy. ettha bahusaccaɱ vuccatī viriyaɱ viriyena kattabba-yuttakaɱ akataɱ hoti. (Cf. Locke's definition of 'effect': the substance produced into any subject by the exerting of power. - Webster's Eng. Dict.)

[7] Cf. above, p. 131, n. 1.

[8] Dhammā.

[9] Kasmā.

[10] Dhamma-soto nibbahati. Comy. Sūraɱ hutvā pavattamānaɱ vipassanāñāṇaɱ nibbhati, ariya-bhūmiɱ sampāpeti. Nibbahati is either from \/Ḥbarh, to increaae, or \/Ḥvah, to carry, with nis, 'out,' 'to completion.'

[11] Reading tadantaraɱ, with S.e. and Comy. taɱ antaraɱ, taɱ kāraṇaɱ.

[12] Khaññati. Comy. guṇa-khaṇanaɱ pāpuṇāti.

[13] Vacī-sanhhārā, speech activities; see Vism. 531, trsl. 633.


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