Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikāya
Sattaka Nipāta
Mahāyañña-Vagga

The Book of the
Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Sevens
Chapter V: The Great Sacrifice

Sutta 44

The Same, or Fire (2)

Translated from the Pali by E.M. Hare.

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[1][upal] THUS have I heard:

Once when the Exalted One was dwelling near Sāvatthī,
in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park at Jeta Grove,
a great sacrifice was being prepared for brahman Uggatasarīra;[1]
five hundred bulls,
five hundred steers
and as many heifers,
goats
and rams
were brought to the post for sacrifice.[2]

Now brahman Uggatasarīra went and visited the Exalted One,
greeted him,
exchanged the usual polite talk
and sat down at one side.

So seated, he said:

'Master Gotama, I've heard this:

The laying of the fire
and the setting up of the pillar
are very fruitful,
very advantageous.'

'By me, too, brahman, has that been heard:

The laying of the fire
and the setting up of the pillar
are very fruitful,
very advantageous.'

And a second time brahman Uggatasarīra said:[ed1]

'Master Gotama, I've heard this:

The laying of the fire
and the setting up of the pillar
are very fruitful,
very advantageous.'

And a second time the Exalted One responded:

'By me, too, brahman, has that been heard:

The laying of the fire
and the setting up of the pillar
are very fruitful,
very advantageous.'

And a third time brahman

'Master Gotama, I've heard this:

The laying of the fire
and the setting up of the pillar
are very fruitful,
very advantageous.'

And a third time the Exalted One responded:

'By me, too, brahman, has that been heard:

The laying of the fire
and the setting up of the pillar
are very fruitful,
very advantageous.'

This unites us, Master Gotama,
even Master Gotama and ourselves;
yes, all in all!'

Now when he had spoken the venerable Ānanda said this:

'Forsooth, brahman, Tathāgatas ought not to be questioned thus:

"I've heard that the fire and pillar of sacrifice are very advantageous" -

it is thus they ought to be questioned:

"I am indeed anxious, lord, to lay the fire,
to set up the pillar.

Lord, let the Exalted One counsel me;
let the Blessed One instruct me,
so that it may be for my happiness,
my welfare for many a day!"'

Then brahman Uggatasarīra said to the Exalted One:

'I am indeed anxious, Master Gotama,
to lay the fire,
to set up the pillar;
let Master Gotama counsel and instruct me
for my happiness and welfare for many a day.'

'Brahman, even before the sacrifice,
a man who lays the fire,
who sets up the pillar,
sets up three swords,
evil,
ill in yield,
ill in fruit.

What three?

The deed-sword,
the word-sword,
the thought-sword.[3]

Even before the sacrifice, brahman,
a man laying the fire,
setting up the pillar,
causes to rise to such thoughts as:

"Let there be slain for the sacrifice
so many bulls,
steers,
heifers,
goats,
rams!"

Thinking to make merit,
he makes demerit;
thinking to do good,
he does evil;
thinking he seeks the way of happy going,
he seeks the way of ill-going.

Brahman, even before the sacrifice,
a man laying the fire,
setting up the pillar,
sets up firstly this thought-sword,
which is evil,
ill in yield,
ill in fruit.

Again, brahman, even before sacrifice, brahman,
a man laying the fire,
setting up the pillar,
speaks such words as:

"Let there be slain so many bulls,
steers,
heifers,
goats,
rams!"

Thinking to make merit,
he makes demerit;
thinking to do good,
he does evil;
thinking he seeks the way of happy going,
he seeks the way of ill-going.

Brahman, even before the sacrifice,
a man laying the fire,
setting up the pillar,
sets up secondly this word-sword,
which is evil,
ill in yield,
ill in fruit.

Moreover, brahman, even before the sacrificea man laying the fire,
setting up the pillar,
he himself first sets[4] on foot the business, saying:

"Let them slay bulls,
steers,
heifers,
goats
and rams."

Thinking to make merit,
he makes demerit;
thinking to do good,
he does evil;
thinking he seeks the way of happy going,
he seeks the way of ill-going.

Brahman, even before the sacrifice,
a man laying the fire,
setting up the pillar,
sets up thirdly this deed-sword,
which is evil,
ill in yield,
ill in fruit.

Even before the sacrifice, brahman,
a man laying the fire,
setting up the pillar,
sets up these three evil swords,
ill in yield,
ill in fruit.

Brahman, these three fires
ought to be forsaken,
shunned,
avoided.

What three?

The fires of passion,
hatred,
delusion.

And why ought the fire of passion to be forsaken,
shunned,
avoided?

With mind impassioned,
mastered,
obsessed by passion
he takes a course ill in deed,
ill in word,
ill in thought;
so doing,
on the breaking up of the body after death,
he arises in the untoward way,
the ill way,
the abyss,
hell.

Therefore, brahman,
this fire of passion is to be forsaken,
shunned,
avoided.

And why ought the fire of hatred to be forsaken,
shunned,
avoided?

With mind perverted,
mastered,
obsessed by hatred he takes a course
ill in deed,
word
and thought;
and so doing;
so doing,
on the breaking up of the body after death,
he arises in the untoward way,
the ill way,
the abyss,
hell.

Therefore, brahman, this fire of hatred is to be forsaken,
shunned,
avoided.

And why ought the fire of delusion to be forsaken,
shunned,
avoided?

With mind deluded,
mastered,
obsessed by delusion
he takes a course ill in deed,
word
and thought;
and so doing;
so doing,
on the breaking up of the body after death,
he arises in the untoward way,
the ill way,
the abyss,
hell.

Therefore, brahman, this fire of delusion is to be forsaken,
shunned,
avoided.

Verily, brahman, these three fires ought to be forsaken,
shunned,
avoided.

Brahman, these three fires,
when esteemed,
revered,
venerated,
respected,
must bring[5] best happiness.

What three?

The fires of the venerable,
the householder,
the giftworthy.

And what is the fire of the venerable?

Consider, brahman, the man who honoureth his mother and his father[6] -
this is called the fire of the venerable.

And why?

From it this veneration has become.[7]

Therefore, brahman, this fire of the venerable,
when esteemed,
revered,
venerated,
respected,
must bring best happiness.

And what is the fire of the householder?

Consider, brahman, the man who honoureth his sons,
womenfolk,
slaves,
messengers,
workmen[8]-
this is called the fire of the householder.

Therefore, brahman, this fire of the householder,
when esteemed,
revered,
venerated,
respected,
must bring best happiness.

And what is the fire of the gift-worthy?

Consider, brahman, those recluses and godly men
who abstain from pride and indolence,
who bear things patiently and meekly,
each taming self,
each calming[9] self, each cooling[10] self -
this is called the fire of the gift-worthy.

Therefore, brahman, this fire of the gift-worthy,
when esteemed,
revered,
venerated,
respected,
must bring best happiness.

Verily, brahman, these three fires,
when esteemed,
revered,
venerated,
respected,
must bring best happiness.

Now this wood-fire, brahman,
has to be kindled from time to time,
has to be tended from time to time,
has to be quenched[11] from time to time,
has to be laid from time to time.'

And when he had thus spoken, brahman Uggatasarīra said to the Exalted One:

'It's amazing, Master Gotama,
it's wonderful, Master Grotama;
let Master Gotama accept me as a lay-disciple
from this day forth
as long as I live
as one to refuge gone!

I set free these five hundred bulls, Master Gotama,
I give them life;
I set free these steers,
heifers,
goats
and rams,
I give them life;
let them eat green grass,
let them drink cold water,
let the fresh breeze blow upon them!'[12]

 


[1] He does not seem to be mentioned elsewhere.

[2] This is stock; D. i, 127; S. i, 75; cf. A. ii, 207.

[3] For sword-similes, cf. Sn. 819; Therag. vv. 1094-95; Proverbs xxv, 18; Buddha-carita, xi, 31 (S.B.E. xlix, 116).

[4] Samārabbhati; see P.E.D. s.v. ārabhati; Comy. attanā paṭhamataraɱ ārabhati.

[5] Parihātabbā. Comy. pariharitabbā.

[6] Cf. Dial. iii, 211; G.S. ii, 79; Dhp. 332 and Comy. thereon.

[7] Ato'yaɱ āhuto sambhūto; Comy. ato h'āyaɱ ...; glossing: ato hi mātapitito ayaɱ; āhuto-ti, āgato. Āhuto is not noticed in P.E.D., Tr. Cr. P.D. accepts this reading s.v. ato; but perhaps we should read, āhuna = āhuti, but I do not understand the comment, āgato.

[8] The set is stock; D. i, 141; S. i, 76; A. ii, 208; Comy. gekasāmiko viya, aggati, vicarati, tasmā gahapataggī-ti vuccati. Aggati is not in P.E.D., but see Crit. P.D. s.v. and aggi.

[9] This is stock; D. iii, 61; A. ii, 68, iii, 46; attānaɱ samenti; Comy. rāgādi samanena samenti, from \/Ḥ.sam.

[10] Parinibbāpenti.

[11] Nibbāpetabbo. Cf above, p. 2, n. 3.

[12] Comy. He became as a well-spring for those abiding in the Master's word. Cf. D. i, 148.

 


[ed1] Hare abbreviates saying: (And the brahman spoke a second and a third time in like manner and the Exalted One replied as before.)


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