Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
Chakkanipata
VI. Mahā Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Sixes
Chapter VI: The Great Chapter

Sutta 56

Phagguṇa Suttaṃ

Phagguna[1]

Translated from the Pali by E.M. Hare.

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[1] Thus have I heard:

Once the Exalted One was dwelling near Sāvatthī.

Now[2] at that time
the venerable Phagguna was sick,
ailing,
very ill;
and the venerable Ānanda
went to the Exalted One,
saluted,
and sat down at one side.

So seated,
he said to the Exalted One:

'Lord, the venerable Phagguna is sick,
ailing,
very ill.|| ||

Good were it, lord,
if the Exalted One
were to go and see the venerable Phagguna
out of compassion.'

And the Exalted One consented by silence.

Then in the evening,
after he had come from solitude,
the Exalted One visited the venerable Phagguna.

And the venerable Phagguna saw him coming,
when he was some way off,
and stirred[3] on his bed;
but the Exalted One spoke to him and said:

'Enough, Phagguna!

Stir not on your bed.

Are there not these seats
here prepared already?

I will sit here.'

And he sat down
on the seat prepared.

So seated,
the Exalted One said:

'I hope, Phagguna, you're bearing up,
keeping going;
that vour aches and pains grow less,
not more;
that there are signs of their growing less,[4]
not more?

'Lord, I can neither bear up
nor keep going;
my aches and pains grow grievously more,
not less;
and there are signs of their growing more,
not less.

Lord,[5] the violent ache
that racks my head
is just as though some lusty fellow
chopped at it with a sharp-edged sword;
[271] lord, I can neither bear up
nor keep going;
my pains grow more,
not less;
and there are signs of their growing more,
not less.

Lord, the violent pain in my head
is just as though some lusty fellow
clapped a stout leather strap about it;
lord, I cannot bear up
nor keep going;
my pains grow more,
not less;
and there are signs of their growing more,
not less.

Lord, the violent stab
that shoots through my stomach
is just as though a skilful butcher
or his apprentice
gutted it with a carving knife;
lord, I cannot bear up
nor keep going;
my pains grow more,
not less;
and there are signs of their growing more,
not less.

Lord, the fever of my body
is just as though a couple of lusty fellows
had seized a weakling by his limbs
and toasted him
and roasted him
over a fire-pit;
lord, I cannot bear bear up
nor keep going;
my pains grow more,
not less;
and there are signs of their growing more,
not less.'

So the Exalted One instructed him,
roused him,
gladdened him
and comforted him
with Dhamma-talk,
then rose from his seat
and departed.

Now not long after the Exalted One's departure,
the venerable Phagguna died;
and at the time of his death
his faculties were completely purified.

Then went the venerable Ānanda
to the Exalted One,
saluted him,
and sat down at one side.

So seated, he said:

'Lord, not long after the Exalted One left,
the venerable Phagguna died;
and at that time
his faculties were completely purified.'

'But why, Ānanda,
should not the faculties of the monk, Phagguna,
have been completely purified?

The monk's mind, Ānanda,
had[6] not been wholly freed
from the five lower fetters;
but, when he heard that Dhamma teaching,
his mind was wholly freed.

There are these six advantages, Ānanda,
in hearing Dhamma in time,
in testing its goodness in time.

What six?

Consider, Ānanda, the monk
whose mind is not wholly freed
from the five lower fetters,
but, when dying,
is able to see the Tathāgata:
the Tathāgata teaches him Dhamma,
lovely in the beginning,
lovely in the middle,
lovely in the end,
its goodness,
its significance;
and makes known the godly life,
[272] wholly fulfilled,
perfectly pure.

When he has heard that Dhamma teaching,
his mind is wholly freed
from the five lower fetters.

This, Ānanda,
is the first advantage
in hearing Dhamma in time,
in testing its goodness in time.

Consider, Ānanda, the monk
whose mind is not wholly freed
from the five lower fetters,
but, when dying,
though not just able to see the Tathāgata,
sees his disciple,
who teaches him Dhamma,
lovely in the beginning,
lovely in the middle,
lovely in the end,
its goodness,
its significance;
and makes known the godly life,
wholly fulfilled,
perfectly pure.

When he has heard that Dhamma teaching,
his mind is wholly freed
from the five lower fetters.

This, Ānanda,
is the second advantage
in hearing Dhamma in time,
in testing its goodness in time.

Consider, Ānanda, the monk
whose mind is not wholly freed
from the five lower fetters,
but, when dying,
though not able to see the Tathāgata
or his disciple,
continues to reflect in mind on Dhamma,
as heard,
as learnt,
ponders on it,
pores over it.

Then is his mind wholly freed
from the five lower fetters.

This, Ānanda,
is the third advantage
in hearing Dhamma in time,
in testing its goodness in time.

Consider, Ānanda,
the monk whose mind is wholly freed
from the five lower fetters,
whose mind is not wholly freed[7]
in respect of the complete destruction
of the root (of becoming);
who, when dying,
is able to see the Tathāgata:
the Tathāgata teaches him Dhamma,
lovely in the beginning,
lovely in the middle,
lovely in the end,
its goodness,
its significance;
and makes known the godly life,
wholly fulfilled,
perfectly pure.

When he has heard that Dhamma teaching,
his mind is wholly freed
in respect of the complete destruction
of the root of becoming.

This, Ānanda,
is the fourth advantage
in hearing Dhamma in time,
in testing its goodness in time.

Consider, Ānanda,
the monk whose mind is wholly freed
from the five lower fetters,
whose mind is not wholly freed
in respect of the complete destruction
of the root (of becoming);
who, when dying,
though not just able to see the Tathāgata,
sees his disciple,
who teaches him Dhamma,
lovely in the beginning,
lovely in the middle,
lovely in the end,
its goodness,
its significance;
and makes known the godly life,
wholly fulfilled,
perfectly pure.

When he has heard that Dhamma teaching,
his mind is wholly freed
in respect of the complete destruction
of the root of becoming.

This, Ānanda,
is the fifth advantage
in hearing Dhamma in time,
in testing its goodness in time.

Consider, Ānanda,
the monk whose mind is wholly freed
from the five lower fetters,
whose mind is not wholly freed
in respect of the complete destruction
of the root (of becoming);
who, when dying,
though not just able to see the Tathāgata,
or his disciple,
ever reflects in mind on Dhamma,
as heard,
as learnt,
ponders on it,
pores over it.

And as he does so,
his mind is wholly freed
as to the complete destruction
of the root of becoming.

This, Ānanda,
is the sixth advantage

in hearing Dhamma in time,
in testing its goodness in time.

Verily, Ānanda,
these are the six advantages
in hearing Dhamma in time,
in testing its goodness in time.'

 


[1] S. iv, 52.

[2] S. iii, 119; iv, 46; M. ii, 192.

[3] We should read samañcopi. Comy. utthānākāraṃ dassesi.

[4] Paṭikkamosānaṃ, finality of receding, viz. health; see K.S. iii, 102 n.

[5] These similes recur at M. ii, 193; S. iv, 56; cf. also M. i, 243 ff.

[6] Cittaṃ avimuttaṃ ahosi, pluperfect.

[7] 1 Cittaṃ avimuttaṃ hoti. S.e. so, but Comy. with v.l. adhi-, observing: arahatta-phalena adhimuttaṃ hoti. At Sn. 1140 we have adhimutta-cittaṃ; at A. iv, 239, [pg 240] cittaṃ hīne'dhimuttaṃ but I think the comment makes better sense if we read avimuttaṃ.


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