Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
IX. Navaka Nipāta
II. Sīhanāda Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
IX. The Book of the Nines
Chapter II: The Lion Roar

Sutta 19

Devatā Suttaɱ

The Deva Host

Translated from the Pali by E.M. Hare.

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[260]

[1][upal] Thus have I heard:

At Savatthī the Exalted One said:

"This night, monks,
when night was nearly spent,
there visited me a host of devas of surpassing beauty,
shedding their rays over almost the whole of Jeta Grove.

And they saluted me and stood at one side.

So standing, they spoke thus to me:

'Lord, when we dwelt among men,
in times gone by,
homeless wanderers visited us;
and though we arose (out of respect),
we did not salute them (with raised hands).

Lord, by not fulfilling this duty,
we have suffered remorse
and have been sorry since;
for we have been reborn in a mean[1] body.'

Monks, then another host of devas approached me and said:

'Lord, when we dwelt among men,
in times gone by,
homeless wanderers visited us;
and though we arose and saluted them,
we did not offer them seats.

Lord, by not fulfilling this duty,
we have suffered remorse
and have been sorry since;
for we have been reborn in a mean body.'

And another came and said:[ed1]

'Lord, when we dwelt among men,
in times gone by,
homeless wanderers visited us;
and though we arose and saluted them
and offered them seats,
we did not share (our food)
in accordance with out ability and power[2] ...

Lord, by not fulfilling this duty,
we have suffered remorse
and have been sorry since;
for we have been reborn in a mean body.'

Monks, yet another host of devas approached me, and said:

'Lord, when we dwelt among men,
in times gone by,
homeless wanderers visited us;
and though we arose and saluted them
and offered them seats
and shared our food,
we did not sit round to hear Dhamma.[3]

Lord, by not fulfilling this duty,
we have suffered remorse
and have been sorry since;
for we have been reborn in a mean body.'

Monks, yet another host of devas approached me, and said:

'Lord, when we dwelt among men,
in times gone by,
homeless wanderers visited us;
and though we arose and saluted them
and offered them seats
and shared our food
and we sat round to hear Dhamma,
we did not lend an ear and hearken to Dhamma.

Lord, by not fulfilling this duty,
we have suffered remorse
and have been sorry since;
for we have been reborn in a mean body.'

Monks, yet another host of devas approached me, and said:

'Lord, when we dwelt among men,
in times gone by,
homeless wanderers visited us;
and though we arose and saluted them
and offered them seats
and shared our food
and we sat round to hear Dhamma
and we lent an ear and hearkened to Dhamma,
we did not bear in mind what we heard.

Lord, by not fulfilling this duty,
we have suffered remorse
and have been sorry since;
for we have been reborn in a mean body.'

Monks, yet another host of devas approached me, and said:

'Lord, when we dwelt among men,
in times gone by,
homeless wanderers visited us;
and though we arose and saluted them
and offered them seats
and shared our food
and we sat round to hear Dhamma
and we lent an ear and hearkened to Dhamma
and we bore in mind what we heard,
we did not investigate the meaning of what we had learnt.

Lord, by not fulfilling this duty,
we have suffered remorse
and have been sorry since;
for we have been reborn in a mean body.'

Monks, yet another host of devas approached me, and said:

'Lord, when we dwelt among men,
in times gone by,
homeless wanderers visited us;
and though we arose and saluted them
and offered them seats
and shared our food
and we sat round to hear Dhamma
and we lent an ear and hearkened to Dhamma
and we bore in mind what we heard
and we investigated the meaning of Dhamma we had learnt;
knowing both the spirit and the letter,
we did not walk in conformity with Dhamma.

Lord, by not fulfilling this duty,
we have suffered remorse
and have been sorry since;
for we have been reborn in a mean body.'

Monks, yet another host of devas approached me, and said:

'When we dwelt among men,
in times gone by,
homeless wanderers visited us; lord,
we arose and saluted them;
offered them seats;
shared our food in accordance with our ability and power;
sat round to hear Dhamma;
lent an ear and hearkened to Dhamma;
bore in mind Dhamma we had heard;
investigated the meaning of Dhamma we had learnt;
and knowing both the spirit and the letter of Dhamma,
we walked in conformity therewith.

Lord, by fulfilling these duties,
we have suffered no remorse,
nor have we been sorry since;
for we have been born in an excellent body.'

Monks,[4] (behold) these tree-roots,
these empty places!

Muse, monks, and be not idle!

Suffer not remorse afterwards,
as did those first (eight hosts of) devas!"

 


[1] Comy. observes that compared with the highest deva world, the lowest may be termed mean.

[2] Yathā-sattiɱ yathā-balaɱ. Cf. D. i, 102; Cp. i, 10; i. 6. Our Comy. reads satti-yathā - with v.l.; S.e. omits in the first case, but reads -sattiɱ in the second.

[3] From here to the end are the usual terms of righteous conduct; cf. above, p. 77; M. i, 480.

[4] Cf. above, p. 94.

 


[ed1] From here down Hare includes only the new condition. The sutta has been expanded using his constructions.

 


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