Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
XI. Ekā-Dasaka Nipāta
II. Anussati Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Elevens
II. Recollection

Sutta 17

Aṭṭhakanāgara Suttaɱ aka Dasama Suttaɱ

Dasama, the Housefather[1]

Translated from the Pali by F. L. Woodward, M.A.

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[219]

[1][than] On a certain occasion the venerable Ānanda was staying near Vesālī at Beluva hamlet.[2]

Now on that occasion the [220] housefather Dasama[3] of Aṭṭhaka-town
had come to Pāṭaliputta on some business or other.

Now the housefather Dasama
came up to a certain monk in Cock's Pleasaunce,[4]
and on reaching him
said this to that monk:

"Pray, sir, where is the venerable Ānanda now staying?

We are anxious to see the venerable Ānanda, sir."

"Housefather, the venerable Ānanda is staying here
near Vesālī, at Beluva hamlet."

So the housefather Dasama of Aṭṭhaka town,
having settled his business at Pāṭaliputta,
went to Beluva hamlet near Vesālī,
to see the venerable Ānanda,
and on coming to him
saluted him and sat down at one side.

So seated he said this to the venerable Ānanda:

[343] "Pray, Ānanda, sir,
is there any one condition
enunciated by that Exalted One who knows, who sees,
that arahant who is a perfectly enlightened one
— a condition whereby a monk
who lives in earnest, ardent,
with the self established,[5]
can get release for his heart yet unreleased;
or whereby the cankers not yet destroyed
will come to an end —
a condition whereby he wins
the unsurpassed peace from bondage[6] not yet won?"

"There is such a condition, housefather,
enunciated by that Exalted One who knows, who sees,
that arahant who is a perfectly enlightened one
— a condition whereby a monk
who lives in earnest, ardent,
with the self established,
can get release for his heart yet unreleased;
or whereby the cankers not yet destroyed
will come to an end —
a condition whereby he wins
the unsurpassed peace from bondage not yet won."

"And pray, sir, what is that one condition?"

"Herein, housefather, a monk
aloof from sense-desires,
aloof from unprofitable states,
enters upon the first musing,
which is accompanied by thought directed and sustained,
born of seclusion,
zestful and easeful,
and abides therein.

He thus ponders:

'This first musing is just a higher product,
[221] it is produced by higher thought.'

Then he comes to know:

'Now even that which is a higher product,
produced by higher thought,
is impermanent, of a nature to end.'

Fixed on that
he wins destruction of the cankers;
and, if not that,
yet by his passion for Dhamma,[7]
by his delight in Dhamma,
by utterly making an end
of the five fetters belonging to this world,
he is reborn spontaneously,[8]
and in that state passes utterly away,
never to return (hither) from that world.

This one condition, housefather,
has been clearly enunciated
by that Exalted One who knows, who sees,
that arahant who is a perfectly enlightened one
— a condition whereby a monk
who lives in earnest, ardent,
with the self established,
can get release for his heart yet unreleased;
or whereby the cankers not yet destroyed
will come to an end —
a condition whereby he wins
the unsurpassed peace from bondage not yet won.'

[344] Then again, housefather, a monk,
by the calming down of thought directed and sustained,
enters upon the second musing,
that calming of the inner self,
that one-pointedness of mind
apart from thought directed and sustained,
that is born of mental balance,
zestful and easeful,
and having attained it abides therein.[9]

He thus ponders:

'This second musing is just a higher product,
it is produced by higher thought.'

Then he comes to know:

'Now even that which is a higher product,
produced by higher thought,
is impermanent, of a nature to end.'

Fixed on that he wins destruction of the cankers;
and, if not that,
yet by his passion for Dhamma,
by his delight in Dhamma,
by utterly making an end
of the five fetters belonging to this world,
he is reborn spontaneously,
and in that state passes utterly away,
never to return (hither) from that world.

This one condition, housefather,
has been clearly enunciated
by that Exalted One who knows, who sees,
that arahant who is a perfectly enlightened one
— a condition whereby a monk
who lives in earnest, ardent,
with the self established,
can get release for his heart yet unreleased;
or whereby the cankers not yet destroyed
will come to an end —
a condition whereby he wins
the unsurpassed peace from bondage not yet won.

Then again, housefather, a monk, by the fading out of zest,
disinterested,
mindful and composed,
experiences in his own person
that ease of which the Ariyans declare:
'He who is disinterested and alert
dwells at ease,'
— thus he attains and abides in the third musing.

He thus ponders:

'This third musing is just a higher product,
it is produced by higher thought.'

Then he comes to know:

'Now even that which is a higher product,
produced by higher thought,
is impermanent, of a nature to end.'

Fixed on that he wins destruction of the cankers;
and, if not that,
yet by his passion for Dhamma,
by his delight in Dhamma,
by utterly making an end
of the five fetters belonging to this world,
he is reborn spontaneously,
and in that state passes utterly away,
never to return (hither) from that world.

This one condition, housefather,
has been clearly enunciated
by that Exalted One who knows, who sees,
that arahant who is a perfectly enlightened one
— a condition whereby a monk
who lives in earnest, ardent,
with the self established,
can get release for his heart yet unreleased;
or whereby the cankers not yet destroyed
will come to an end —
a condition whereby he wins
the unsurpassed peace from bondage not yet won.

Then again, housefather, a monk, by abandoning both ease and discomfort,
by the ending of both happiness and unhappiness felt before,
attains the fourth musing,
a state of neither ease nor discomfort,
an equanimity of utter purity,
and having attained it abides therein.

He thus ponders:

'This fourth musing is just a higher product,
it is produced by higher thought.'

Then he comes to know:

'Now even that which is a higher product,
produced by higher thought,
is impermanent, of a nature to end.'

Fixed on that he wins destruction of the cankers;
and, if not that,
yet by his passion for Dhamma,
by his delight in Dhamma,
by utterly making an end
of the five fetters belonging to this world,
he is reborn spontaneously,
and in that state passes utterly away,
never to return (hither) from that world.

This one condition, housefather,
has been clearly enunciated
by that Exalted One who knows, who sees,
that arahant who is a perfectly enlightened one
— a condition whereby a monk
who lives in earnest, ardent,
with the self established,
can get release for his heart yet unreleased;
or whereby the cankers not yet destroyed
will come to an end —
a condition whereby he wins
the unsurpassed peace from bondage not yet won.

Then again, housefather,
with a heart possessed by amity,
he abides irradiating one quarter of the world,
likewise the second,
third and fourth quarters of the world,
likewise above, below, across,
everywhere,
for all sorts and conditions
— he abides irradiating the whole world
with a heart possessed of amity
that is wide-spreading,
grown great and boundless,
free from enmity and untroubled.

[345] Then he thus ponders:

'This heart's release by amity is just a higher product,
it is produced by higher thought.'

Then he comes to know:

'Now even that which is a higher product,
produced by higher thought,
is impermanent, of a nature to end.'

Fixed on that he wins destruction of the cankers;
and, if not that,
yet by his passion for Dhamma,
by his delight in Dhamma,
by utterly making an end
of the five fetters belonging to this world,
he is reborn spontaneously,
and in that state passes utterly away,
never to return (hither) from that world.

This one condition, housefather,
has been clearly enunciated
by that Exalted One who knows, who sees,
that arahant who is a perfectly enlightened one
— a condition whereby a monk
who lives in earnest, ardent,
with the self established,
can get release for his heart yet unreleased;
or whereby the cankers not yet destroyed
will come to an end —
a condition whereby he wins
the unsurpassed peace from bondage not yet won.

Then again, housefather,
with a heart possessed by compassion
he abides irradiating one quarter of the world,
likewise the second,
third and fourth quarters of the world,
likewise above, below, across,
everywhere,
for all sorts and conditions
— he abides irradiating the whole world
with a heart possessed of compassion
that is wide-spreading,
grown great and boundless,
free from enmity and untroubled.

Then he thus ponders:

'This heart's release by compassion is just a higher product,
it is produced by higher thought.'

Then he comes to know:

'Now even that which is a higher product,
produced by higher thought,
is impermanent, of a nature to end.'

Fixed on that he wins destruction of the cankers;
and, if not that,
yet by his passion for Dhamma,
by his delight in Dhamma,
by utterly making an end
of the five fetters belonging to this world,
he is reborn spontaneously,
and in that state passes utterly away,
never to return (hither) from that world.

This one condition, housefather,
has been clearly enunciated
by that Exalted One who knows, who sees,
that arahant who is a perfectly enlightened one
— a condition whereby a monk
who lives in earnest, ardent,
with the self established,
can get release for his heart yet unreleased;
or whereby the cankers not yet destroyed
will come to an end —
a condition whereby he wins
the unsurpassed peace from bondage not yet won.

Then again, housefather,
with a heart possessed by sympathy
he abides irradiating one quarter of the world,
likewise the second,
third and fourth quarters of the world,
likewise above, below, across,
everywhere,
for all sorts and conditions
— he abides irradiating the whole world
with a heart possessed of sympathy
that is wide-spreading,
grown great and boundless,
free from enmity and untroubled.

Then he thus ponders:

'This heart's release by sympathy is just a higher product,
it is produced by higher thought.'

Then he comes to know:

'Now even that which is a higher product,
produced by higher thought,
is impermanent, of a nature to end.'

Fixed on that he wins destruction of the cankers;
and, if not that,
yet by his passion for Dhamma,
by his delight in Dhamma,
by utterly making an end
of the five fetters belonging to this world,
he is reborn spontaneously,
and in that state passes utterly away,
never to return (hither) from that world.

This one condition, housefather,
has been clearly enunciated
by that Exalted One who knows, who sees,
that arahant who is a perfectly enlightened one
— a condition whereby a monk
who lives in earnest, ardent,
with the self established,
can get release for his heart yet unreleased;
or whereby the cankers not yet destroyed
will come to an end —
a condition whereby he wins
the unsurpassed peace from bondage not yet won.

Then again, housefather,
with a heart possessed by equanimity
he abides irradiating one quarter of the world,
likewise the second,
third and fourth quarters of the world,
likewise above, below, across,
everywhere,
for all sorts and conditions
— he abides irradiating the whole world
with a heart possessed of equanimity
that is wide-spreading,
grown great and boundless,
free from enmity and untroubled.

[346] Then he thus ponders:

'This heart's release by equanimity is just a higher product,
it is produced by higher thought.'

Then he comes to know:

'Now even that which is a higher product,
produced by higher thought,
is impermanent, of a nature to end.'

Fixed on that he wins destruction of the cankers;
and, if not that,
yet by his passion for Dhamma,
by his delight in Dhamma,
by utterly making an end
of the five fetters belonging to this world,
he is reborn spontaneously,
and in that state passes utterly away,
never to return (hither) from that world.

This one condition, housefather,
has been clearly enunciated
by that Exalted One who knows, who sees,
that arahant who is a perfectly enlightened one
— a condition whereby a monk
who lives in earnest, ardent,
with the self established,
can get release for his heart yet unreleased;
or whereby the cankers not yet destroyed
will come to an end —
a condition whereby he wins
the unsurpassed peace from bondage not yet won.'

Then again, housefather, a monk,
by passing utterly beyond all perception of objective form,
by coming to an end of reaction to sense,
by paying no heed to the variety of perceptions,
with the idea:
'Infinite is space,'
attains and abides in the realm of infinity of space.

Then he thus ponders:

This attainment also of the realm of the infinity of space is just a higher product,
it is produced by higher thought.'

Then he comes to know:

'Now even that which is a higher product,
produced by higher thought,
is impermanent, of a nature to end.'

Fixed on that he wins destruction of the cankers;
and, if not that,
yet by his passion for Dhamma,
by his delight in Dhamma,
by utterly making an end
of the five fetters belonging to this world,
he is reborn spontaneously,
and in that state passes utterly away,
never to return (hither) from that world.

This one condition, housefather,
has been clearly enunciated
by that Exalted One who knows, who sees,
that arahant who is a perfectly enlightened one
— a condition whereby a monk
who lives in earnest, ardent,
with the self established,
can get release for his heart yet unreleased;
or whereby the cankers not yet destroyed
will come to an end —
a condition whereby he wins
the unsurpassed peace from bondage not yet won.

Yet again, housefather, a monk,
by passing utterly beyond the realm of the infinity of space,
with the idea:
'Infinite is consciousness,'
attains and abides in the realm of the infinity of consciousness.

Then he thus ponders:

'This attainment also of the realm of the infinity of consciousness is just a higher product,
it is produced by higher thought.'

Then he comes to know:

'Now even that which is a higher product,
produced by higher thought,
is impermanent, of a nature to end.'

Fixed on that he wins destruction of the cankers;
and, if not that,
yet by his passion for Dhamma,
by his delight in Dhamma,
by utterly making an end
of the five fetters belonging to this world,
he is reborn spontaneously,
and in that state passes utterly away,
never to return (hither) from that world.

This one condition, housefather,
has been clearly enunciated
by that Exalted One who knows, who sees,
that arahant who is a perfectly enlightened one
— a condition whereby a monk
who lives in earnest, ardent,
with the self established,
can get release for his heart yet unreleased;
or whereby the cankers not yet destroyed
will come to an end —
a condition whereby he wins
the unsurpassed peace from bondage not yet won.

Yet again, housefather, a monk,
passing utterly beyond the realm of the infinity of consciousness,
with the idea:
'Nothing at all exists,'
attains and abides in the realm of nothingness.

Then he thus ponders:

'This attainment also [223] of the realm of nothingness is just a higher product,
it is produced by higher thought.'

Then he comes to know:

'Now even that which is a higher product,
produced by higher thought,
is impermanent, of a nature to end.'

Fixed on that he wins destruction of the cankers;
and, if not that,
yet by his passion for Dhamma,
by his delight in Dhamma,
by utterly making an end
of the five fetters belonging to this world,
he is reborn spontaneously,
and in that state passes utterly away,
never to return (hither) from that world.

This one condition, housefather,
has been clearly enunciated
by that Exalted One who knows, who sees,
that arahant who is a perfectly enlightened one
— a condition whereby a monk
who lives in earnest, ardent,
with the self established,
can get release for his heart yet unreleased;
or whereby the cankers not yet destroyed
will come to an end —
a condition whereby he wins
the unsurpassed peace from bondage not yet won."

 

§

 

At these words Dasama, the housefather of Aṭṭhaka-town
said this to the venerable Ānanda:

"Just as if, Ānanda, your reverence,
a man searching for the entrance to a single hidden treasure[10]
should at one and the same time
come upon the entrance to eleven such treasures;
even so I, your reverence,
in my search for a single door to the deathless,
at one and the same time
have come to win eleven such doors
whereby to enter in.[11]

[347] Just as if, your reverence,
a man should own a house with eleven doors.

If that house were ablaze,
he could win safety for himself by any one door;
even so, your reverence,
shall I be able to make the self safe
hy any one of those eleven doors to the deathless.

Now, your reverence,
those who hold other views
will search for a fee for the teacher.[12]

Why then should not I do worship
to the venerable Ānanda?"

[224] So Dasama, the housefather of Aṭṭhaka-town,
assembled the Order of monks at Vesālī and Pāṭaliputta,
and with his own hands
served them with choice food
both hard and soft
till they had eaten their fill,
and clothed each one
with a separate set of cloth for robes;
but the venerable Ānanda
he clothed with three robes complete,
and in addition
caused a lodging[13] that cost five hundred pieces to be built.

 


[1] This sutta, here called Dasama by uddāna, is at M. i, 350 (Aṭṭhakanagarasutta) = F. Dialog. i, 257. Our Comy. = MA. iii, 12 ff.

[2] Beluva (vilva-tree) was, according to Comy., on the slope at the foot of a hill to the south of Vesālī. Cf. K.S. v, 130; DA. ii. 546. Pāṭaliputta, capital of Magadha, is some distance to the south-west of Vesālī, on the Ganges.

[3] 'The tenth.' He was so reckoned in his family relationship according to Comy.

[4] Kukkuṭārāma. I have so called it at K.S. v, 14. Comy., however, says it was made by Kukkuṭa, the rich man. Cf. G.S. iii, 48 n.

[5] Pahitatta. See Minor Anthologies xiii (Mrs. Rhys Davids) on the commentarial explanation as pesitatta ('who has the self sent away').

[6] Yoga-kkhema.

[7] Dhamma-rāgena, according to Comy. 'passionate desire for calm and insight.' (If he can master this passion he becomes arahant; if not, he is a non-returner.)

[8] Opapātiko.

[9] So abbreviated in text. For full version cf. G.S. ii, 130. [Ed.: full version included here.]

[10] Nidhi-mukhaŋ. Comy. has simply 'a treasure.' P. Dict. 'an excellent treasure.' But the parallel of dvāra in the simile points to the meaning 'opening,' or 'mouth' (of a cave or hole).

[11] Text sevanāya; but M. savanāya (for the hearing of).

[12] Comy. 'if such pupils have no gift, they will ask their relatives. Failing here, they go a-begging till they get it.'

[13] Vihāraŋ = 'a leaf-hut,' Comy.


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