Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
VIII. Aṭṭhaka Nipāta
II: Mahā Vagga

The Book of the
Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Eights
II. The Great Chapter

Sutta 12

Sīhasenāpati Suttaɱ

Sīha, the General

Translated from the Pali by E.M. Hare.

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[179][124]

[1][bodh] Thus have I heard:

[1]Once the Exalted One was dwelling in tbe Gabled Hall in Mahāvana, near Vesālī.

Now at that time a great many Licchavi notables were seated assembled in the Mote Hall;
and in many a figure they were speaking in praise of the Buddha,
in praise of Dhamma,
in praise of the Order.

And Sīha, the general, the disciple of the Nigaṇṭhas,[2] was seated in that assembly.

Thought he:

'Surely that Exalted One must be arahant,
fully awakened!

Thus indeed these many notable Licchavis,
assembled and seated in their Mote Hall,
in many a figure praise the Buddha,
praise Dhamma,
praise the Order.

Now suppose I were to go and see him,
the Exalted One,
arahant,
fully awakened.'

Then Sīha approached the Nigaṇṭha, Nāṭaputa and said to him:

'Sir,[3] I wish to go and see the recluse Gotama.'

'Sīha, how can you,
who believe in action,
go and see the recluse Gotama,
who affirms the theory of inaction?

The recluse Gotama professes the theory of inaction,
he teaches the doctrine of inaction
and in that he trains his disciples.'

Then whatever inclination[4] Sīha had to go and see the Exalted One subsided.

On a second occasion the Licchavi notables were seated assembled in the Mote Hall;
and in many a figure they were speaking in praise of the Buddha,
in praise of Dhamma,
in praise of the Order.

And Sīha, the general, the disciple of the Nigaṇṭhas, was seated in that assembly.

Thought he:

'Surely that Exalted One must be arahant,
fully awakened!

Thus indeed these many notable Licchavis,
assembled and seated in their Mote Hall,
in many a figure praise the Buddha,
praise Dhamma,
praise the Order.

Now suppose I were to go and see him,
the Exalted One,
arahant,
fully awakened.'

Then Sīha approached the Nigaṇṭha, Nāṭaputa and said to him:

'Sir, I wish to go and see the recluse Gotama.'

'Sīha, how can you,
who believe in action,
go and see the recluse Gotama,
who affirms the theory of inaction?

The recluse Gotama professes the theory of inaction,
he teaches the doctrine of inaction
and in that he trains his disciples.'

On a third occasion occasion the Licchavi notables were seated assembled in the Mote Hall;
and in many a figure they were speaking in praise of the Buddha,
in praise of Dhamma,
in praise of the Order.

And Sīha, the general, the disciple of the Nigaṇṭhas, was seated in that assembly.

Thought he:

'Surely that [125] Exalted One must be arahant,
fully awakened!

Thus indeed these many notable Licchavis,
assembled and seated in their Mote Hall,
in many a figure praise the Buddha,
praise Dhamma,
praise the Order.

Now suppose I were to go and see him,
the Exalted One,
arahant,
fully awakened.'

Then Sīha approached the Nigaṇṭha, Nāṭaputa and said to him:

'Sir, I wish to go and see the recluse Gotama.'

'Sīha, how can you,
who believe in action,
go and see the recluse Gotama,
who affirms the theory of inaction?

The recluse Gotama professes the theory of inaction,
he teaches the doctrine of inaction
and in that he trains his disciples.'

Thought Sīha:

'Undoubtedly that Exalted One is arahant,
fully awakened,
and so these Licchavis assembled and seated in their Mote Hall,
in many a figure praise the Buddha,
praise Dhamma,
praise the Order.

What can the Nigaṇṭhas do to me,[5] whether they are consulted or not?

What if I go without the Nigaṇṭhas' leave and see that Exalted One,
arahant,
fully awakened?

So at noon, Sīha set out from Vesālī
with some five hundred chariots
to see the Exalted One,
going by carriage as far as the ground permitted,
and then descending therefrom,
entered the Park on foot.[6]

Approaching the Exalted One, he saluted him and sat down at one side.

So seated, he said to the Exalted One:

'Lord, I have heard this:

"The recluse Gotama affirms the theory of inaction,
he teaches the doctrine of inaction
and in that he trains his disciples."

'Lord, those who speak thus:

"The recluse Gotama affirms the theory of inaction,
he teaches the doctrine of inaction
and in that he trains his disciples"

I presume they report what the Exalted One has said
and do not misrepresent the Exalted One by lying.

I presume they set forth a doctrine
which conforms to Dhamma,
and no one, who is a follower of his Dhamma,
would incur blame for saying this.

Lord, I have no wish to accuse the Exalted One.'[7]

'There is one way,[8] Sīha,
in which one might say,
if he would speak rightly of me:

"The recluse Gotama affirms the theory of inaction,
he teaches the doctrine of inaction
and in that he trains his disciples."

There is one way, Sīha,
in which one might say,
if he would speak rightly of me:

"The recluse Gotama affirms the theory of action,
he teaches the doctrine of action
and in that he trains his disciples."[9]

There is one way, Sīha,
in which one might say,
if he would speak rightly of me:

"The recluse Gotama is an annihilationist,
he teaches the doctrine of annihilation
and in that he trains his disciples."

There is one way, Sīha,
in which one might say,
if he would speak rightly of me:

"The recluse Gotama feels abhorrence,
he teaches the doctrine of abhorrence
and in that he trains his disciples."

There is one way, Sīha,
in which one might say,
if he would speak rightly of me:

"The recluse Gotama is an abolitionist,
he teaches the doctrine of abolition
and in that he trains his disciples."

There is one way, Sīha,
in which one might say,
if he would speak rightly of me:

"The recluse Gotama is given to mortification,
he teaches the doctrine of mortification
and in that he trains his disciples."

There is one way, Sīha,
in which one might say,
if he would speak rightly of me:

"The recluse Gotama is against rebirth,
he teaches the doctrine of preventing [126] rebirth
and in that he trains his disciples."

There is one way, Sīha,
in which one might say,
if he would speak rightly of me:

"The recluse Gotama has found consolation,[10]
he teaches the doctrine of consolation
and in that he trains his disciples."

 


 

And what, Sīha, is the way in which speaking rightly of me, one would say:

"The recluse Gotama affirms the theory of inaction
he teaches the doctrine of inaction,
and in that he trains his disciples."

I declare inaction as to misconduct in deed, word and thought;
I proclaim inaction as to all evil and sinful conditions.

This is the way, Sīha,
in which speaking rightly of me, one would say:

"The recluse Gotama affirms the theory of inaction
he teaches the doctrine of inaction,
and in that he trains his disciples."

 


 

In what waySīha, is the way in which speaking rightly of me, one would say:

"The recluse Gotama affirms the theory of action,
he teaches the doctrine of action
and in that he trains his disciples."

I declare action as to good conduct in deed, word and thought;
I proclaim action as to all righteous conditions.

This is the way, Sīha,
in which speaking rightly of me, one would say:

"The recluse Gotama affirms the theory of action,
he teaches the doctrine of action
and in that he trains his disciples."

 


 

In what waySīha, is the way in which speaking rightly of me, one would say:

"The recluse Gotama is an annihilationist,
he teaches the doctrine of annihilation
and in that he trains his disciples."

I declare the annihilation of lust, hatred and infatuation;
I proclaim the annihilation of all evil and sinful conditions.

This is the way, Sīha,
in which speaking rightly of me, one would say:

"The recluse Gotama is an annihilationist,
he teaches the doctrine of annihilation
and in that he trains his disciples."

 


 

In what waySīha, is the way in which speaking rightly of me, one would say:

"The recluse Gotama feels abhorrence,
he teaches the doctrine of abhorrence
and in that he trains his disciples."

I abhor misconduct in deed, word and thought;
I abhor entertaining all evil and sinful conditions.

This is the way, Sīha,
in which speaking rightly of me, one would say:

"The recluse Gotama feels abhorrence,
he teaches the doctrine of abhorrence
and in that he trains his disciples."

 


 

In what waySīha, is the way in which speaking rightly of me, one would say:

"The recluse Gotama is an abolitionist,
he teaches the doctrine of abolition
and in that he trains his disciples."

I preach the doctrine of abolish ing lust, hatred and infatuation;
I teach the Dhamma of abolishing all evil and sinful conditions.

This is the way, Sīha,
in which speaking rightly of me, one would say:

"The recluse Gotama is an abolitionist,
he teaches the doctrine of abolition
and in that he trains his disciples."

 


 

In what waySīha, is the way in which speaking rightly of me, one would say:

"The recluse Gotama is given to mortification,
he teaches the doctrine of mortification
and in that he trains his disciples."

I declare all evil and sinful conditions should be mortified,
yea, misconduct in deed, word and thought.

Moreover, whosoever has abandoned,
rooted out,
made like palm-stumps,
caused not to be,
so conditioned that they rise not again,
evil and sinful conditions,
he, I say, is given to mortification.

The Tathāgata has so done. . . .

This is the way, Sīha,
in which speaking rightly of me, one would say:

"The recluse Gotama is given to mortification,
he teaches the doctrine of mortification
and in that he trains his disciples."

 


 

In what waySīha, is the way in which speaking rightly of me, one would say:

"The recluse Gotama is against rebirth,
he teaches the doctrine of preventing rebirth
and in that he trains his disciples."

Whosoever has abandoned, cut [127] off at the root,
made like palm-stumps,
caused not to be,
so conditioned that they rise not again,
evil and sinful conditions,
(descent) into the womb,
renewed becoming and rebirth,
he, I say, is against rebirth.

The Tathāgata has, cut off at the root,
made like palm-stumps,
caused not to be,
so conditioned that they rise not again,
evil and sinful conditions,
(descent) into the womb,
renewed becoming and rebirth.

This is the way, Sīha,
in which speaking rightly of me, one would say:

"The recluse Gotama is against rebirth,
he teaches the doctrine of preventing rebirth
and in that he trains his disciples."

 


 

And what, Sīha, is the way in which speaking rightly of me, one would say:

"The recluse Gotama has found consolation,
he teaches Dhamma for consolation
and with that he trains his disciples"?

I, Sīha, have found consolation by the supreme consolation,[11]
I teach Dhamma for consolation
and in that I train my disciples.

This is the way, Sīha,
in which speaking rightly of me,
one would say:

"The recluse Gotama has found consolation,
he teaches Dhamma for consolation
and in that he trains bis disciples."'

 


 

[12]And when he had finished speaking,
Sīha, the general, said:

'Wonderful, wonderful, lord!

Just as one might set upright
that which has been overturned,
might reveal the concealed,
might point out the way to the blind,
might bring an oil-lamp into the darkness,
so that those who had eyes might see the forms abut them;
even so has Dhamma been made clear
in many a figure by Master Gotama.

To Master Gotama I go for refuge,
to Dhamma
and to the Order.

Lord, let the Exalted One accept me as a lay-disciple,
as one who has found refuge,
from this day to life's end!'

'Make a thorough examination of the matter, Sīha.

Investigation is profitable to well-known men like yourself.'

'Lord, I am even better pleased,
better gratified by this remark of the Exalted One.

Had I been won over as a disciple
by some other sect,
they would have paraded through the whole of Vesālī with banners, shouting:

"Sīha, the general,
has joined our discipleship."

But the Exalted One merely advises me thus:

"Examine the matter, Sīha,
for investigation is profitable to well-known men[13] like yourself."

For a second time, lord,
I go to the Exalted One for refuge,
to Dhamma
and to the Order of the monks.

Let the Exalted One accept me as a lay-disciple,
as one who has found a refuge,
from this day to life's end!'

'Your family, Sīha,
for many a day
has been as a well-spring[14] to the Nigaṇṭhas,
wherefore deem it right to give alms
to those who approach you.'

[128] 'Lord,, I am still better pleased,
better gratified by this last remark.

Lord, I have heard it said:

"The recluse Gkrtama asserts thus:

'Not unto others,
but unto me alone
should alms be given;
not unto the disciples of others,
but unto mine alone
should alms be given.

For alms given unto me alone
are very fruitful
and not so
are those given unto others;
alms given unto my disciples alone
are very fruitful
and not so
are those given unto the disciples of others.'

But now the Exalted One incites me to give alms among the Nigaṇṭhas;
we shall know (what to do) when the time arrives.

For a third time, lord,
I go the Exalted One for refuge,
to Dhamma
and to the Order of the monks.

Let the Exalted One accept me as a lay-disciple,
as one who has found a refuge,
from this day to life's end!'

Then the Exalted One[15] preached a graduated discourse
to Sīha, the general,
that is to say:

on almsgiving,
the precepts
and on heaven.

He set forth the peril,
the folly
and the depravity
of lusts
and the blessedness
of renunciation.

And when the Exalted One knew that the heart of Sīha, the general,
was clear,
malleable,
free from hindrance,
uplifted
and lucid,
then he revealed that teaching of Dhamma
which Buddhas alone have won,
that is to say:

ill,
its coming-to-be,
its ending
and the Way.

dhammacakkhuɱ udapādi 'yaɱ kiñci samudayadhammaɱ sabbantaɱ nirodhadhammman'
The Eye of Dhamma arose: 'Whatsoever things arise
all those things end.'
no 'conditioned by'; 'coming-to-be' is Hare's translation of 'samudaya', the second truth.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

Just as a clean cloth,
free of all stain,
will take dye perfectly;
even so in Sīha, the general,
seated there,
there arose the spotless,
stainless vision of Dhamma:
that whatsoever be conditioned by coming-to-be
all that is subject to ending.

Then Sīha, perceiving Dhamma,
in possession of Dhamma,
discovering Dhamma,
penetrating Dhamma,
with doubt overcome
and uncertainty surpassed,
possessed without another's aid
of perfect confidence in the word of the Teacher,
said to the Exalted One:

'Lord, let the Exalted One
with his Order of monks
accept a meal from me on the morrow.'

The Exalted One accepted by silence.[16]

Then Sīha, seeing that the Exalted One had accepted,
got [129] up from his seat,
saluted the Exalted One
and departed by the right.

And Sīha called a man and said:

'Go, sirrah, and find some fresh meat.'[17]

And when that night was over,
having had plenty of hard and soft food prepared in his house,
he sent word to the Exalted One
that it was time to come:

'Lord, the time has come,
the meal is ready in Sīha's house.'

So the Exalted One, robing himself early in the morning,
taking bowl and cloak,
went to Sīha's house
with the Order of the monks
and sat down on the appointed seat.

Then many Nigaṇṭhas went about Vesālī,
through the highways and byways,
from cross-road to cross-road,[18] waving their arms and crying:

'Today a huge beast[19] has been slain by Sīha, the general,
and a meal has been prepared for the recluse Gotama;
and the recluse Gotama is going to eat the meat,
knowing that it was meant for him,
that the deed was done on his account!'[20]

Then a man went and whispered in Sīha's ear, saying:

'I say, sir, are you aware
that a great many Nigaṇṭhas
go about the streets and cross-roads of Vesālī,
waving their arms,
crying in such a manner?'

'Enough, sirrah!

Read the Birth Story that was prompted by this insident: Telovāda Jātaka #246

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

For a long time these worthies have longed to disparage the Buddha,
have longed to disparage Dhamma,
have longed to disparage the Order;
but they do no harm to the Exalted One by their wicked,
vain,
lying,
untruthful slanders.

Not for the sake of sustaining life
would we intentionally deprive any being of life.'

Then Sīha, the general,
with his own hands
served and [130] satisfied the Order of monks
with the Buddha at their head
with plenty of food,
both hard and soft;
and when the Exalted One had finished eating
and had withdrawn his hand from the bowl,
Sīha sat down at one side.

So seated, the Exalted One instructed Sīha
with Dhamma discourse,
stimulated him,
roused him
and gladdened him.

Then the Exalted One arose from his seat and departed.[21]

 


[1] Cf. Vin. i, 233-8, where this sutta recurs.

[2] The Jain Order. Comy. He was the follower, the giver of the requisites to Nāṭaputa of the Nigaṇṭha Order. In India, at that time, there were three chief followers of the Nigaṇṭhas: in Nālandā, the householder Upāli (M. i, 373); in Kapilavatthu, Vappa, the Sakyan (A. ii, 196); in Vesālī, Sīha, the Licchavi. Nāṭaputa (or Mahāvīra) was chief of the sect; see C.H.I. i, 150 ff. See also D. i, 57; M. i, 371; below, p. 288. For Sīha above, p. 46.

[3] Bhante.

[4] Gamiyābhisankhāro, v.l. gamikā-; P.E.D. 'heathenish practice' (?); Comy. pavatto, payogo; see Professor Keith's Buddh. Philosophy 51.

[5] The text reads 'me (ime); Comy. glosses mayhaɱ.

[6] This is a stock passage; see D. i, 89; ii, 73, 95; A. v, 65.

[7] This recurs at D. i, 161; iii, 115; M. i, 368, 482; A. i, l6l; iii, 57; S. ii, 33; iii, 6.

[8] Pariyāyo, above, p. 118, n. 3, from √ to go.

[9] See E. J. Thomas' Life of B., p. 207.

[10] Assattho; cf. K.S. ii, 38, 'found comfort see below.

[11] Cf. Dialogues iii, 36 ff.

[12] From here to the bottom of page 187 of the text recurs at M. i, 378 f. where Upāli, the householder, deserts the Jain cause at Nālandā.

[13] Ñātamanussānaɱ. Cf. Abhiññāta of leading Licchavis, Dial. iii, 18: 'the most distinguished.'

[14] Opānabhūtaɱ; see Dial. i, 177, n. 3. Comy. As an ever-ready cistern. Cf. D.A. i, 298. Here the text reads Nigaṇṭhanaɱ for -ānaɱ.

[15] This passage recurs at D. i, 110; ii, 41; M. ii, 145; Vin. i, 15; ii, 156; Ud. 49; below, p. 143; for Comy. see D.A. i, 277; Ud.A. 281.

[16] This stock phrase recurs at D. i. 109; ii. 126; Ud. 81, and passim.

Pavattamaɱsaɱ. Pavatta: PA = passed VATTA = rolling on. maɱsaɱ: limbs, meat. The general has been careful to define the sort of meat to get, that is, from a dead animal. I think Hare's 'fresh' is a stretch. The man is naturally going to look for the freshest he can find. On the other hand for a general to state that he would not kill a living being ('pāṇa'; that includes 'men') seems a little suspect.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[17] Pavattamaɱsaɱ jānāhi. Comy. Search in the bazaars for some proper (kappiya) meat in its original condition. Cf. Chwang 53 f.; Vin. i, 217.

[18] Cf. K.S. i, 274.

[19] Comy. A fat beast with a large body, such as an elk or buffalo or pig. Cf. J. ii, 262.

[20] Comy. This dootrine obtained among them. This attaches to (eating) this flesh, and on account of whom this work of destroying has been done: half that evil is to the giver and half to the receiver. Or there is another meaning, viz., This is a term for karmic cause (nimittakamma), so it is said: There is resulting karma from this action; or, flesh (eating) has resulting karma (demeritorious).

[21] Vin. i, 238 adds: It is not permitted to eat flesh which has purposely been killed for one. It is permitted to eat the flesh of flesh (the killing of which) is not seen, nor heard, nor suspected (of having been done on one's account).


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