Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikāya
Sattaka Nipāta Chapter VI: The Unexplained

The Book of the
Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Sevens

Sutta 54

Sīha[1]

Translated from the Pali by E.M. Hare.

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[1] THUS have I heard:

Once, while the Exalted One dwelt near Vesālī,
at the Gabled Hall in Mahavana,
general Sīha visited him,
saluted
and sat down at one side.

So seated, he said to the Exalted One:

'Is it possible, lord, to show the visible result of giving?'

'Well, Sīha,
just on that I will question you in return;
explain the matter as it seems good to you.[2]

Now what think you, Sīha?

There might be two men:
one unbelieving,
mean,
miserly,[3]
cross-grained;[4]
the other a believer,
a master-giver,
delighting in constant giving.

What think you, Sīha,
on whom would compassionate arahants first have compassion;[5]
the unbelieving,
mean,
miserly,
cross-grained man
or the believer,
the master-giver[6]
who delights in constant alms-giving?

'The unbeliever,[7]
mean,
miserly,
cross-grained man, lord,
why should they first have compassion on him?

But the believer,
the master-giver
who delights in constant alms-giving,
on him surely they would first have compassion.'

 


 

[47] 'Then what think you, Sīha?

Which of the twain would visiting arahants first visit;
the unbelieving,
mean,
miserly,
cross-grained man
or the believer,
the master-giver
who delights in constant alms-giving?

'The unbeliever,
mean,
miserly,
cross-grained man, lord,
why should visiting arahants first visit him?

But the believer,
the master-giver
who delights in constant alms-giving,
surely visiting arahants would first visit him.'

 


 

'Then what think you, Sīha?

From whom would receiving arahants first receive alms;
the unbelieving,
mean,
miserly,
cross-grained man
or the believer,
the master-giver
who delights in constant alms-giving?

'The unbeliever,
mean,
miserly,
cross-grained man, lord,
why should receiving arahants first receive alms from him?

But the believer,
the master-giver
who delights in constant alms-giving,
surely receiving arahants would first receive alms from him.'

 


 

'Then what think you, Sīha?

To whom would teaching arahants first teach Dhamma;
the unbelieving,
mean,
miserly,
cross-grained man
or the believer,
the master-giver
who delights in constant alms-giving?

'The unbeliever,
mean,
miserly,
cross-grained man, lord,
why should teaching arahants first teach Dhamma to him?

But the believer,
the master-giver
who delights in constant alms-giving,
surely teaching arahants would first teach Dhamma to him.'

 


 

'Then what think you, Sīha?

Of whom would a fair report be noised abroad;
the unbelieving,
mean,
miserly,
cross-grained man
or the believer,
the master-giver
who delights in constant alms-giving?

'The unbeliever,
mean,
miserly,
cross-grained man, lord,
why would a fair report be noised abroad about him?

But the believer,
the master-giver
who delights in constant alms-giving,
surely a fair report would be noised abroad about him.'

 


 

'Then what think you, Sīha?

Who would approach any[8] gathering -
nobles,
brahmans,
householders,
recluses -
with confidence,
untroubled;[9]
the unbelieving,
mean,
miserly,
cross-grained man
or the believer,
the master-giver
who delights in constant alms-giving?

'The unbeliever,
mean,
miserly,
cross-grained man, lord,
how would would he approach any gathering -
nobles,
brahmans,
householders,
recluses -
with confidence,
untroubled?

But the believer,
the master-giver
who delights in constant alms-giving,
surely he would approach any gathering -
nobles,
brahmans,
householders,
recluses -
with confidence,
untroubled.'

 


 

'And what think you, Sīha,
who, on the breaking up of the body after death,
would arise in the happy heaven world:
the unbelieving,
mean,
miserly,
cross-grained man
or the believer,
the master-giver
who delights in constant almsgiving?

'The unbeliever,
mean,
miserly,
cross-grained man, lord,
why shall he,
on the breaking up of the body after death,
arise in the happy heaven world?

But the believer,
the master-giver
who delights in constant alms-giving,
surely he after death
may arise in the happy heaven world.

 


 

Lord, these six visible results of giving,
declared by the Exalted One -
I go not to the Exalted One for faith for that;
I just know them.

I, lord, am a giver,
a master-giver,
and on me compassionate arahants first have compassion.

I, lord, am a giver,
a master-giver,
and on me they first visit.

I, lord, am a giver,
a master-giver,
and from me they first receive.

I, lord, am a giver,
a master-giver,
and to me they first teach Dhamma.

I, lord, am a giver,
a master-giver,
and of me a fair report is noised abroad:

"General Sīha is a giver,
a worker,
the Order's servant,"
it is said.

I, lord, am a giver,
a master-giver,
and any gathering I approach -
nobles,
brahmans,
householders,
recluses -
I approach with confidence,
untroubled.

Lord, these six visible results of giving,
declared by the Exalted One -
I go not to the Exalted One for faith for that;
I just know them.

But when the Exalted One said:

"The giver, Sīha,[10] the master-giver,
on the breaking up of the body after death,
arises in the happy heaven world" -

that I know not;
and there I go to the Exalted One for faith.'

'Thus it is, Sīha,
thus it is;
the giver, Sīha,
the master-giver,
on the breaking up of the body after death,
arises in the happy heaven world.'

 


[1] See G.S. iii, 31; Dial. i, 198; Vin. i, 233; below, pp. 124 ff.

[2] This is stock; cf. D. i, 60; M. i, 487.

[3] Kadariya, 'how an Ariyan'; Comy. thaddhamacchariyo, as elsewhere.

[4] Paribhāsaka.

[5] Comy. explains: Being moved to compassion in thought, thus: Whom ought we to help today; of whom shall we receive a gift or to whom shall we teach Dhamma?

[6] Dānapati.

[7] The text repeats all throughout. [Ed. completed for this edition.]

[8] Yañ ñad eva. S.e. so (P.E.D. omits); cf. D. ii, 85, where the passage recurs, there: yaɱ yad eva.

[9] Amaŋkubhūto.

[10]

 


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