Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikāya
Sattaka Nipāta
Devatā vaggo

The Book of the
Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Sevens
Chapter IV: Devas

Sutta 40

Grounds for Praise (2)

Translated from the Pali by E.M. Hare.

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[1] THUS have I heard:

Once, when the Exalted One was staying near Kosambī in Ghosita Park,
the venerable Ānanda dressed early one morning
and with bowl and robe entered Kosambī for alms.[1]

Now the venerable Ānanda thought thus:

'Too soon still is it to visit Kosambī for alms;
what if I go to the park of the wanderers of other views!'

And he approached their park;
and, having come,
greeted them,
exchanged the usual polite talk with them
and sat down at one side.

Now at that time this remark
by chance arose among them
as they sat assembled:

'Reverend sirs, whosoever lives the godly life in its fulness and purity for twelve years,
it is right to say of him:

"The monk is praiseworthy."'

And the venerable Ānanda neither belauded nor decried their words,
but got up and departed, thinking:

'I shall learn the truth of this talk from the Exalted One.'

Then when he had gone his round for alms in Kosambī
and returned and eaten his meal,
he approached the Exalted One,
saluted
and sat down at one side;
and so seated,
he told the Exalted One:

This morning, lord, I robed early and, taking cloak and bowl, entered Kosambī for alms.

Then I thought thus:

'Too soon still is it to visit Kosambī for alms;
what if I go to the park of the wanderers of other views!'

And I approached their park;
and, having come,
greeted them,
exchanged the usual polite talk with them
and sat down at one side.

Now at that time this remark
by chance arose among them
as they sat assembled:

'Reverend sirs, whosoever lives the godly life in its fulness and purity for twelve years,
it is right to say of him:

"The monk is praiseworthy."'

And I neither belauded nor decried their words,
but got up and departed, thinking:

'I shall learn the truth of this talk from the Exalted One.'

'Is it possible, lord,
in this Dhamma-discipline
to declare a monk praiseworthy
just merely on the score of years?

'No, Ānanda,
it is not possible in this Dhamma-discipline
to declare a monk praiseworthy
just merely on the score of years;
these seven grounds for praise
have been taught by me,
who have realized the matter by personal knowledge.

What seven?

Herein, Ānanda, a monk has faith,
is conscientious,
afraid of blame,
has heard much,
is energetic,
mindful
and wise.

Verily, Ānanda,
these are the seven grounds for praise taught by me,
who have realized the matter by personal knowledge.

Indeed, Ānanda,
if a monk, possessed of these seven grounds,
live the godly life in its fulness and purity for twelve years,
it is right to say of him:

"The monk is praiseworthy;"

if he live the godly life for twefity-four years
it is right to say of him:

"The monk is praiseworthy;"

for thirty-six years
it is right to say of him:

"The monk is praiseworthy;"

for forty-eight years,
it is right to say of him:

"The monk is praiseworthy;"'

 


[1] The text repeats in full. [Reconstructed here.]


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