Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikāya
Sattaka Nipāta
Dhana Vaggo

The Book of the
Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Sevens
Chapter II: Leanings

Sutta 15

The Water Simile[1]

Translated from the Pali by E.M. Hare.

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[1][ati] THUS have I heard:

Once the Exalted One was dwelling near Sāvatthī,
at Jeta Grove, in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park;
and there he addressed the monks, saying:

'Monks.'

'Yes, lord,' they replied;
and the Exalted One said:

'Monks, these seven persons,
like men in water,
are found living in the world.

What seven?

Monks, one person plunges once and drowns;
one comes up and plunges again;
one comes up and stays;
one comes up, looks, sees;
one comes up and crosses;
one comes up won to firm ground;
and one comes up crossed over,
gone to the beyond,
and stands on high ground,
a brahman.[2]

And how plunges a person once and drowns?

Consider the person whose ways are wholly black and evil;
it is thus, monks, he plunges once and drowns.

And how comes a person up and plunges again?

Consider him who comes up and thinks:

"Well is faith in right,
well is conscientiousness,
well is fear of blame,
well is energy,
well is wisdom as to right things!" -
and that faith of his,
that conscientiousness,
fear of blame,
energy,
that wisdom stays not,
waxes not,
but wanes;
it is thus, monks, he comes up and plunges again.

And how comes a person up and stays?

Consider him who comes up and thinks:

"Well is faith in right,
well is conscientiousness,
well is fear of blame,
well is energy,
well is wisdom as to right things!" -
and that faith of his,
that conscientiousness,
fear of blame,
energy,
that wisdom wanes not,
nor waxes,
but stays;
it is thus, monks, he comes up and stays.

And how comes a person up and looks, sees?

Consider him who comes up and thinks:

"Well is faith in right,
well is conscientiousness,
well is fear of blame,
well is energy,
well is wisdom as to right things!" -
and breaking the three fetters,[3] he becomes a Streamwinner,
not liable to fall,
sure,
certain for full awakening;[4]
it is thus, monks, he comes up, looks, sees.

And how comes a person up and crosses?

Consider him who comes up and thinks:

"Well is faith in right,
well is conscientiousness,
well is fear of blame,
well is energy,
well is wisdom as to right things!" -
and breaking the three fetters,
lessening passion,
hatred,
delusion,
he becomes a Once-retumer
who returns to this world once only
and makes an end of ill;[5]
it is thus, monks, he comes up and crosses.

And how comes a person up, won to firm ground?

Consider him who comes up and thinks:

"Well is faith in right,
well is conscientiousness,
well is fear of blame,
well is energy,
well is wisdom as to right things!" -
and breaking the five[6] lower fetters,
he is spontaneously born[7]
and in that state,
becoming completely cool,
there is no turning back from that world;
it is thus, monks, he comes up won to firm ground.

And how comes a person up,
crossed over,
gone to the beyond,
and stands on high ground,
a brahman?

Consider him who comes up and thinks:

"Well is faith in right,
well is conscientiousness,
well is fear of blame,
well is energy,
well is wisdom as to right things!" -
destroying the cankers,
he enters and abides in the cankerless mind-emancipation,
wisdom-emancipation,
here and now,
realizing it himself by knowledge;
it is thus, monks, he comes up,
crossed over,
gone to the beyond,
and stands on high ground,
a brahman.

Verily, monks, these seven persons,
like men in water,
are found living in the world.'

 


[1] Pug. 71; Pts. of C. 341.

[2] K.S. iv. 109 f.; G.S. ii, 5, n. 3.

[3] Viz., wrong views, doubt and belief in the adequacy of rule and rite, see G.S. iii, 305; M. i, 9; D. iii, 216; DhS. trsl. 257.

[4] D. i, 156; M. iii, 81; S. v, 193; A. i, 232, etc.

[5] D. ii, 200; M. i, 34; A. ii, 89, etc.

[6] The previous three with lust and ill-will, M. i, 432; A. v, 17.

[7] Opapātika, Dial. i, 39 in a note, 'they spring into existence either here or in another world'; Cpd. 165 n., 'with an appearance of fifteen or sixteen years of age '-but no authorities are quoted; Pts. of C., 'angelic rebirth,' but there is nothing in the text to show they cannot be reborn and 'become cool' - parinibbāyin - here. D.A. i, 313 says there is no return from the brahma-world. See also note to Dial. i, 201 and G.S. ii, 5.


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