Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikāya
Sattaka Nipāta
Mahā Vaggo

Sutta 65

Pāricchattaka Suttaɱ

The Celestial Coral Tree

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, 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, what time the Celestial Coral Tree,
the Koviḷāra Pāricchattaka,[1] of the devas of the Thirty is sere in leaf,
those devas greatly rejoice:

"The Celestial Coral Tree is sere in leaf!

Ere long now there will be leaf-fall!"

What time the leaves are falling,
they greatly rejoice:

"Falling are now the leaves!

Shortly, now, will burgeon every bud."[2]

What time the buds appear,
they greatly rejoice:

"Now the buds appear!

Soon the shoots will set!"

What time the shoots are set,
they greatly rejoice:

"Now the shoots are set!

Soon will the blossoms form!"

What time the blossoms form,
they greatly rejoice:

"Now the blossoms form!

Soon like the red lotus will the flowers be shaped!"[3]

What time the flowers are shaped like the red lotus,
they greatly rejoice:

"Shaped like the red lotus are the flowers!

Soon the flowers will be in full bloom!"

What time the Koviḷāra Pāricchattaka, Tree of the devas of the Thirty
is in full bloom,
those devas sport for four divine months
at the foot of the Celestial Tree,
dallying and indulging in the five pleasures of the senses.[4]

When the Celestial Tree is in full bloom,
its effulgence pervades full fifty leagues.

The perfume is blown before the wind a hundred leagues.

This is the power of the Koviḷāra Pāricchattaka, Tree.

In just the same way, monks,
what time the Ariyan disciple
minds him to go forth from the home
into the homeless life,
the Ariyan disciple is sere in leaf,[5]
like the Celestial Coral Tree
of the devas of the Thirty.[6]

What time the Ariyan disciple
has his hair and beard shaved off
and donned the yellow robe
and gone forth from home into the homeless life[7]
is his fall of leaf,
like the Celestial Coral Tree
of the devas of the Thirty.

What time, aloof from sense desires,
aloof from evil ideas,
he enters and abides in the first musing,
wherein applied and sustained thought works,
which is born of solitude
and is full of zest and ease
his buds appear,
like the Celestial Coral Tree
of the devas of the Thirty.

What time, suppressing applied and sustained thought,
he enters and abides in the second musing,
which is self-evolved,
born of concentration,
full of zest and ease,
free from applied and sustained thought,
wherein the mind becomes calm and one-pointed
his shoots set, like the Celestial Coral Tree. . . . What time, dwelling free from the fervour of zest,
mindful and self-possessed,
he enters and abides in the third musing,
and experiences in his being
that ease whereof the Ariyans declare:

"He that is tranquil and mindful dwells at ease."

his blossoms form, like the Celestial Coral Tree
of the devas of the Thirty.

What time, by putting away ease and by putting away ill,
by the passing away of happiness and misery he was wont to feel,
he enters and abides in the fourth musing,
which is utter purity of mindfulness and poise
and is free of ease and ill
his flowers are of the red lotus shape,
like the Celestial Coral Tree
of the devas of the Thirty.

What time the Ariyan disciple,
by destroying the cankers
enters and abides in the cankerless mind-emancipation,
wisdom-emancipation,
here and now,
realizing it himself by knowledge
his flowers are in full bloom,
like the Celestial Coral Tree
of the devas of the Thirty.

Then the earth devas utter a shout:

"This reverend sir called so and so,
living the life of faith
of such a reverend one,
gone forth from such a village or market-town,
has destroyed the cankers
enters and abides in the cankerless mind-emancipation,
wisdom-emancipation,
here and now,
realizing it himself by knowledge!"

Hearing the shout of the earth devas,
the company of the Four Royal devas utter a shout:

"This reverend sir called so and so,
living the life of faith
of such a reverend one,
gone forth from such a village or market-town,
has destroyed the cankers
enters and abides in the cankerless mind-emancipation,
wisdom-emancipation,
here and now,
realizing it himself by knowledge!"

Hearing the shout of the Four Royal devas
the devas of the Thirty utter a shout:

"This reverend sir called so and so,
living the life of faith
of such a reverend one,
gone forth from such a village or market-town,
has destroyed the cankers
enters and abides in the cankerless mind-emancipation,
wisdom-emancipation,
here and now,
realizing it himself by knowledge!"

Hearing the shout of the devas of the Thirty the Yama devas utter a shout:

"This reverend sir called so and so,
living the life of faith
of such a reverend one,
gone forth from such a village or market-town,
has destroyed the cankers
enters and abides in the cankerless mind-emancipation,
wisdom-emancipation,
here and now,
realizing it himself by knowledge!"

Hearing the shout of the Yama devas the Tusita devas utter a shout:

"This reverend sir called so and so,
living the life of faith
of such a reverend one,
gone forth from such a village or market-town,
has destroyed the cankers
enters and abides in the cankerless mind-emancipation,
wisdom-emancipation,
here and now,
realizing it himself by knowledge!"

Hearing the shout of the Tusita devas the devas who delight in creating utter a shout:

"This reverend sir called so and so,
living the life of faith
of such a reverend one,
gone forth from such a village or market-town,
has destroyed the cankers
enters and abides in the cankerless mind-emancipation,
wisdom-emancipation,
here and now,
realizing it himself by knowledge!"

Hearing the shout of the devas who delight in creating the devas who have power over others' creations utter a shout:

"This reverend sir called so and so,
living the life of faith
of such a reverend one,
gone forth from such a village or market-town,
has destroyed the cankers
enters and abides in the cankerless mind-emancipation,
wisdom-emancipation,
here and now,
realizing it himself by knowledge!"

And hearing the shout of the devas who have power over others' creations the devas of Brahmā's retinue roll back the cry:[8]:

"This reverend sir,
living the life of faith,
gone forth from such a village or from such a market-town
into the homeless life,
has, by the destruction of the cankers,
entered and there abides
in that state of emancipation of the mind and wisdom
which is free of the cankers,
having come to know and realize this state fully for himself,
even in this present life."[9][ed1]

Thus in an instant,
thus in a moment,
the sound soars up to Brahmā's heaven.

This is the progressive power[10] of a monk who has destroyed the cankers. *

 


[1] This is the tree which shed its flowers on the death-bed of the Buddha, D. ii, 137. It is sometimes called 'the Umbrella Tree.' See D.A. ii, 649.

[2] The Comy. observes that the leaves and flowers come out at the same time.

[3] Which, as the Commentator remarks, has its heart closed but its outer petals wide open.

A hundred years of human life are but a single night and day to the Devas of the Thirty-Three. Thirty such nights and days make a month. 100X30X4. See: AN 3.70

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[4] Cf. K.S. i, 9. Comy. adds that this period is equal to twelve thousand human years.

[5] The text reads devānaɱ, but lower down, v.l., devānaɱ va. Comy. devānaɱ vā-ti, devānaɱ viya.

[6] Cf. It. 75.

[7] This is a stock passage, D. i, 60; M. ii, 67; A. i, 107; ii, 208 and passim.

[8] Cf. above, p. 68; also Vin. 1, 12; iii, 18.

[9] Cf. above, p. 8.

[10] Anubhāva.

 


[ed1] The Pali is the same in each case.


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