Digha Nikaya


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Digha Nikaya

Sutta 6

Mahāli Sutta

The Aim of the Brethren

Reprinted from

Sacred Books of the Buddhists
Volume II

Dialogues of the Buddha
Part I

Translated from the Pali
by
T.W. Rhys Davids

In the Public Domain
Reproduced with the agreement of The Pali Text Society

 


 

Introduction
to the
Mahāli Sutta

.

The form of this Sutta is remarkable We have two distinct subjects discussed. First the question of the ability to see heavenly sights and hear heavenly sounds being raised, the Buddha says that it is not for the sake of acquiring such powers that people join the Order under him. And being asked what their object then is, he gradually leads the questioner on to Arahatship, as the aim, along the Eightfold Path. There the Sutta might appropriately have ended. But the Buddha himself then raises a totally different question — whether the soul and the body are the same. And though, for the reason stated below, he gives no answer, he leads the discourse again up to Arahatship along the series of mental states set out in the Sāmaññaphala.

This second part of our Dialogue might form a separate Sutta, and it is in fact added, as a Sutta by itself, to the present division of the Dialogues. Why then is it also included here? Buddhaghosa's answer is that the young noble Mahāli, who raises the first point, was known to harbour the heresy that there is a soul, and that it has form. (The words the commentator uses are very short, and the context must, I think, be supplied from the passage translated above, § 10 on p. 46.) It was to clear his mind of this notion that the Buddha specially raised the second point.

However this may be, the Sutta must have been already a double one, must have had its present form, before it received a place in that division of the Buddhist scriptures where it now stands. Each Sutta in that division incorporates the whole of the very ancient tract called the Sīlas. The division is therefore called the Sīla Vagga. And no Sutta not containing the Sīlas can belong to it. Our Sutta only contains the Sīlas in the second part. That part, therefore, must have belonged to it when the dialogues were arranged as they now stand.

The question raised in that second part is one of a group of questions on which primitive Buddhism expresses no [187] opinion. They are called the Ten Avyākatāni, the Indeterminates, points not determined. Besides being often mentioned in the Dialogues translated in the present work and elsewhere, they form the subject of the Avyākata Saŋyutta (No. 44 in vol. iv of the Saŋyutta Nikāya), and they are as follows[1]: —

1,2. Whether the world is eternal or not.
3,4. Whether the world is infinite or not.
5,6. Whether the soul is the same as the body, or distinct from it[2].
7-10. Whether a man who has attained to the truth (a Tathāgata) exists, or
not, and in any way, after death.

There are others mentioned occasionally by themselves; but these form the usual group. Of them, those numbered 1-4 and 7-10 are speculations already condemned in the Brahma-jāla (above, pp. 27 foll., pp. 35 foll., and p. 40 respectively). The remaining two, those numbered 5 and 6, form the subject of the Jāliya, incorporated in our present Sutta.

The position taken by the primitive Buddhists as to these Indeterminates is so often referred to that it undoubtedly was an important item in the Buddha's actual belief. It is rendered very clear by the old legend put into the Buddha's mouth in the Udāna just quoted. There the various non-Buddhist teachers of the time are represented as expressing strong opinions one way or the other on these questions; and as getting so excited about them that they came to blows. Gotama thereupon tells a story how, in ancient days, a similar riot having taken place, the king had all the blind men in the city brought together, and had an elephant brought in. Each of the blind men touches a different part of the elephant. The king then asks them to explain what an elephant is like. He who had felt the head said it was like a water-pot. He who had felt the ear said it was like a winnowing basket. He who had felt the tusk said it was like a plough-share. He who had felt the trunk said it was like a plough-handle. He who had felt the body said it was like a granary. He who had felt its legs said it was like a pillar. He who had felt its back said it [188] was like a mortar. He who had felt its tail said it was like a pestle. He who had felt its bristles said it was like a broom. And each one was so sure he was right that they clamoured one against the other, and came to blows, to the amusement of the king. Then comes the moral:—

'In such points Brahmans and recluses stick
Wrangling on them, they violently discuss —
Poor folk! they see but one side of the shield!'

The inference is obvious. To discuss such questions is mere speculation, useless, because it is based on insufficient evidence. This is the philosophic position; and it resembles very closely the position taken up, in the West, many centuries afterwards, by Hume and his followers. And, as usual in primitive Buddhism, the ethical corollary is very emphatically insisted upon. It is several times pointed out in the Dialogues[3] of these ten speculations that they — 'The jungle, the desert, the puppet show, the writhing, the entanglement, of speculation — are accompanied by sorrow, by wrangling, by resentment, by the fever of excitement; they conduce neither to detachment of heart, nor to freedom from lusts, nor to tranquillity, nor to peace, nor to wisdom, nor to the insight of the higher stages of the Path, nor to Arahatship.'

In other words the speculations, being based on insufficient evidence, are not only useless — they are also, therefore, wrong; that is, from the Buddhist point of view, a disadvantage in the struggle towards the only aim worth striving for — the perfection and emancipation of Arahatship.

As for the special point of our Sutta — the lesson that no wise man will condescend to discuss the question whether the soul is, or is not, the same as the body — it must be remembered that the negative is the view now known to be so widely, indeed universally prevalent among unthinking people throughout the world that it was almost certainly held also in India. The general opinion about the soul in the pre-Buddhistic Upanishads is somewhat different. There (to judge by the passages set out in my article in the J.R.A.S. for January 1899) it is looked upon as being, at least during life, smaller than the body, though after death, when it flies away from the body through an aperture in the top of the head, it was apparently regarded as a subtle and very impalpable, but still material, double of the body of the deceased.

It was the refusal to allow any place for this universal [189] belief in a semi-material soul in his own system that is the most striking, and perhaps the most original, feature in Gotama's teaching. No other religion of which we have sufficient records to enable us to form an opinion on the point has been constructed without the soul. Where the others said soul, Gotama said usually 'Action,' which comes to much the same as character.

In this respect he came very near to our modern use of the word in such expressions as 'a high-souled man' or 'a soul for music.' And it is worth calling attention to the fact that even in Shakspere more than half the times the word is used it is in this secondary, ethical, emotional sense. Even in the old authorised translation of our Bible, in which the word occurs altogether 449 times, it is used 55 times merely in the sense of person[4], only 85 times in the animistic sense, and 306 times in the sense of emotional or intellectual qualities or disposition[5].

This will make Gotama's position, which is really very simple, more clear. He rejected entirely the use of the word in the old animistic sense. He retained it in a personal sense, in the meaning of 'oneself, himself,' etc.[6] And though, of course, he acknowledged the reality of the emotional and intellectual dispositions, he refused absolutely to look upon them as a unity.

The position is so absolute, so often insisted on, so fundamental to the right understanding of primitive Buddhism, that it is essential there should be no mistake about it. Yet the position is also so original, so fundamentally opposed to what is usually understood as religious belief, both in India and elsewhere, that there is great temptation to attempt to find a loophole through which at least a covert or esoteric belief in the soul, and in future life (that is of course of a soul), can be recognised. in some sort of way, as part of so widely accepted a religious system. There is no loophole, and the efforts to find one have always met with unswerving opposition, both in the Piṭakas themselves and in extra-canonical works[7].

[190] Our available records are not at present sufficient to enable us to judge either of the numbers, or of the importance, of those Buddhists who made such attempts. But it is clear from the tone of the first chapter of the Kathā Vatthu, and from the express statements of the commentary on it, that there were such Buddhists as early as the time of Asoka. They belonged to two out of the eighteen schools of thought which had then arisen. The names of these schools are the Sammitiyā and the Vajji-puttakā[8]'. We may yet hope to recover a work which will contain their arguments in their own words. But if the opinion condemned at pp. 14-19 of the Kathā Vatthu be really theirs, as the commentator declares it is, then it would seem that they held a view practically the same as that opinion of Mahāli, which the Buddha, in our Sutta, goes out of his way to raise in the form of a question, and to put aside as unworthy of discussion.

The expression sambodhi-parāyano used in this Sutta, § i.3, has been hitherto misunderstood.

The Buddhist ideal is a subjective state to be reached, in this world, by going along an eightfold path, so called because of the eight good qualities or characteristics which make up its eight parts. Progress along this path is divided into four stages in which certain evil dispositions, the ten so-called Bonds, are got rid of. The Sambodhi is the insight, wisdom, intelligence, awakening, which, is essential to the three higher stages of this state of Arahatship. And what is connoted by the term can best, perhaps, be understood by bearing in mind its seven constituent parts, the Sambojjhangā-self-possession, investigation into the truth, energy, calm, joy, concentration, and magnanimity.

In describing the first and lowest of the four stages of the Path, it is always stated (Dīgha I, 156; M. P. S. II , 27 ; A. II, 238, etc.) of the disciple — not that he has then attained the sambodhi, he has only attained abhisamaya but that he is sambodhi-parāyano. Childers (sub voice parāyano) explains this as "having the Four Truths as his support.' But Buddhaghosa (Sum. I, 31.3) says: 'He has the sambodhi — by which is meant that of the three higher stages — as his furthermost aim; in other words, he will attain to that.'

Buddhaghosa's explanation is the only one possible in [191] the context, and is confirmed by every other passage in the Pāli Piṭakas where the word sambodhi has been traced. It never means the wisdom of a Buddha, but always the insight of the higher stages of the path to Arahatship. But it is necessary to point this out because the distinction is of the first importance for the history of Buddhism; and also because the erroneous rendering of Burnouf has been followed by Childers in the Dictionary, sub voce sambodhi ('attainment of Buddhaship, Buddhahood'), and has not been corrected by any of the distinguished scholars who have discussed the meaning of Asoka's eighth edict in which the word occurs[9]. The king there says that he 'set out for the sambodhi.' If this means that he had started, in his own opinion, along the line of the pārāmitās, towards the attainment, in some future birth, of Buddhahood, then it is most interesting and important as giving us the earliest mention of a doctrine not found in the Pāli Piṭakas, and entirely opposed to their view of Buddhism. But the word does not necessarily imply this, nor does the context require it. The doctrine spoken of with contempt, by the Mahāyānist doctors, as the 'Lesser Vehicle' is quite possible here, and more in accordance with all the rest of the Asoka expressions. There would seem to be no sufficient reason why we should not understand Asoka to mean that he had started, in his own opinion, along the Eightfold Path, towards the attainment, doubtless in some future birth, of Arahatship. Whether this be so or not, this is the only meaning of the word so far found in the Piṭakas.

And further, this entering on the Path — the Eightfold Path to the wisdom of the Arahat — is a quite different thing from becoming a Buddhist. There are numerous passages where the very nature of the discourse held not only to laymen (upāsakas), but even to members of the Order (bhikkhus), shows that they were not supposed to have attained as yet to the state of mind described as 'entering upon the Path.' Both the rules of the Order, and the precepts laid down for laymen, are, from the Piṭaka point of view, on a different plane altogether, lower than, apart from, that of the Path. Acting up to those rules, carrying out those precepts, can never even result in 'conversion' without the awakening of the new life. It is therefore very doubtful whether the word 'conversion' should be used, in English translations of Buddhist texts, to express a man's [192] becoming an upāsaka or a bhikkhu. For though the word 'conversion' is used in English in two senses — either that of joining the outward organisation of a new faith, or that of having one's eyes opened to the higher life — the second is the more accurate use of the word, and ought always to be implied in the first.

The word sambodhi-parāyano occurs in the passage first above quoted (Dīgha I, 156) in the answer to the question, 'What is the aim of the life of the recluse (that is, of the member of the Buddhist Order)?' Opponents and controversialists are fond of asking this question, and it is interesting to notice how it is answered. It is never the attainment of Buddhahood, but always (though the phraseology differs) the attainment of Arahatship. Thus, in the standing phrase used to state that so and so has become an Arahat (M. P. S., p. 6o, at the end of Chapter V, and often elsewhere), it is said he has realised the aim of the higher life (brahmacariya-pariyosānaṃ). The Ratha-vinīta and the Kulla Sakuludāyi Dialogues (Nos. 24 and 79 of the Majjhima Collection) lead up to the same conclusion. In the Saŋyutta IV, 51, the aim is !laid to be the complete understanding of sorrow (dukkhassa pariññā) and the same reply is expanded further on in the same book (IV, 233) by the explanation that the way of gaining this understanding is to follow out the whole of the Eightfold Path to Arahatship. And this is repeated further on (S. V, 6: compare Mil. 49, 101). In the Aŋguttara (IV, 7) the object is said to be the destruction of the seven bonds, the destruction of which is precisely Arahatship.

So sambodhi-patto is used in the Sutta Nipāta, 478, 503, to describe the Arahat, of whom it is said (Itivuttaka, No 47, p. 42: compare ibid. p. 117 = A. II, 14, and also A. II, 200, 202; S. N. 765) that even here, in this world, he will reach up to the sambodhi, the way to which is said to be the Eightfold Path (M. I, 431 and the Dhamma-cakka-ppavattana Sutta, etc.). And sambodhi-parāyano, with which we started, is only another way of stating what is expressed by amata-parāyano ('having the ambrosia of Arahatship as his aim') in a Sutta, not yet traced, but quoted by Moggallīputta Tissa at Kathā Vatthu XXII, 7[10].

Of course the above is not intended to imply that the Buddha had not attained the sambodhi. He was an Arahat, and, as such, had all the graces an Arahat should have[11].

[193] On the same page of this Sutta we have two instances of a curious manner of address not infrequent in the Piṭakas, but as yet very imperfectly understood, After being told that Nāgita was the name of the Buddha's personal attendant, we find him suddenly, and without any explanation, addressed as Kassapa. And the young Licchavi, introduced to us at the beginning of the Sutta by the name 'Hare-lip '(Oṭṭhaddha), is addressed both by Nāgita and by the Buddha, neither by his name Oṭṭhaddha, nor as Licchavi, but (and again without any explanation) as Mahāli.

There are several points in this question of address which cannot yet be solved, but several others are already pretty clear. There are at least eight different modes of speaking of or to a person: —

1. A nickname arising out of some personal peculiarity. Such are Lambakaṇṇa (Hanging-eared), Kūṭadanta (with a protruding tooth), Oṭṭhaddha (Hare-lipped), Anāthapiṇḍika (the beggars' friend), Dārupattika (the man with the wooden bowl). All these are used in a quite friendly, but familiar way. And such names occur so often that it would seem as if nearly everybody was known by a nickname.

2. A personal name, called in Pāli the mūla-nāma. This, like our own so-called Christian names, is not connected with any personal peculiarity. Some of these names (like similar ones among ourselves) are of very obscure derivation, but others are clear enough as adjectives with a good or lucky meaning. Such are Tissa (after the lucky star of that name), Devadatta (our Theodore), Bhaddiya (nearly the same as our Frederick), Nanda or Ānanda (Joy), Abhaya (Fearless), and many others.

3. The name of the Gotta or gens, what we should call a surname or family name. These are usually patronymic in form; such as Opamañña, Kaṇhāyana, Moggallāna, Kassapa, Kaṇḍāyana, Kondañña, Vāseṭṭha, Vessāyana, Bhāradvāja, Vacchāyana.

4. The name of the clan, called in Pāli Kula-nāma, such as Sakka, Kālāma, Buli, Koliya, Licchavi, Vajji, Malla, etc.

5. The name of the mother, with putta (son) added to it; such as Sāri-putta (the more usual name by which the famous disciple Upatissa is called), Vedehi-putta (a name of Ajātasattu king of Magadhā), Maṇḍikā-putta (= Upaka),

As the former is only found as yet in one ambiguous phrase (M. I, 17; II, 211 ; S. IV, 6, 8, 97, 233, etc.), the discussion of its meaning would be premature.

[194] Mantāṇi-putta (= Puṇṇa), Godhi-putta (= Devadatta), Moggali-putta (= Tissa, author of the Kathā Vatthu). Less frequently the reverse is the case, and a mother or father, whose child has become famous, is simply referred to as the mother, or father, of so and so.

It is noteworthy that the name of the father is never used in this way, and that the mother's name is never a personal name; but always taken either from the clan, or from the family, to which she belonged. Occasionally the root-form of the name of the clan, or of the trade, has -putto added to it in a similar way (Vanganta-putto, Todeyya-putto[12], rathakāraputto). But these cases, which are rare, should rather be classified under the next division.

6. The name of the position in society, or the occupation, of the person addressed. Such are brāhmaṇa, gahapati, mahārāja, thapati, etc.

7. A mere general term of courtesy or respect, not containing any special application to the person addressed-such as bhante, āvuso, ayye, etc.

8. Lastly there is the local name, never used in addressing a person, but prefixed or added to the mūla or gotta name, in narrative sentences, to distinguish between two or more people of the same name. Thus of the eighteen different Kassapas mentioned in the books, three are distinguished, in narrative, as Uruvela-Nadi- and Gayā-Kassapa respectively; of the eight different Kittas one is distinguished as Macchikāsandika; of the seventeen different Bhāradvājas one is distinguished as Kāpaṭhika. Other instances are probably Hatthako ālavako, Bāhiyo Dārucīriyo, Pokkharasādi SuBhagavaniko, etc.

On the rules regulating the choice as to which one of these various sorts of names should, under the circumstances, be used in any particular case, the following observations may be made.

It is not considered courteous among equals, except in the case of close familiarity, to use either of the two sorts of personal names, that is, either the nickname or the mūla-nāma.

The Buddha addresses Brahmansas Brāhmaṇa (for instance Soṇadaṇḍa and Kūñadanta, above in the Suttas so called; Jāṇussoṇi at M. I, I6, 178; A. I, 56, 159, 166; II, 173; IV, 54; Sañjaya at M. II, 127, 132, though his gotta name is [195] given ākāsa-gotta; Sikha at A. II, 232, though his gotta name is given, Moggallāna). But we have had one instance above where he addresses a young Brahman as Ambaṭṭha, apparently a clan name (his gotta was Kaṇhāyaṇa). This solitary exception may be because of his youth.

On the other hand the Buddha usually addresses ascetics, not as paribbājaka, but by their gotta name. Thus at M. I, 228-250 he calls Saccako, the Nigaṇṭha, by his gotta name Aggi-vessāyana. At M. I, 497-500 he calls Dīgha-nakho (so called, no doubt, because he kept his nails long) by his gotta name, which is again Aggi-vessāyana. And at M. II, 4o he calls Vekhaṇaso by his gotta name of Kaccāna. This is only in accord with the usage followed by others besides the Buddha. Thus Jāṇussoṇi, a Brahman, at M. I, 175, addresses the ascetic Pilotika by his gotta name of Vacchāyana, and Assaji, a member of the Buddhist order, also calls Saccako by his gotta name (loc. cit.), and everybody, not a Buddhist, addresses the Buddha by his gotta name, as Gotama. When therefore we find other ascetics addressed by the Buddha by the same name as has been used in the introductory narrative (as, for instance, in the case of Sarabha, A. I, 186; Potaliya, A. II, 100; Poṭṭhapāda, D. I, 178 foll.), one may conclude that these also are probably gotta names. This custom of addressing people by their gotta name, no doubt a common one in certain cases, was expressly forbidden to Nigaṇṭhas (Jacobi, 'Jaina-Sūtras,' II, 305). They called their own Order a gotra (ibid. 321, 327), and apparently thought it worldly to recognise the existence of any other.

The Buddha addresses members of his own clan, whether members of his Order or not, by their personal names (so of Vappa, A. II, 197; of Mahānāma, M. I, 91, 354; A. I, 220; III, 284). The same holds good of the junior members of the Order, but some at least of the more distinguished among them are always addressed by him either by their gotta, or by their mother's, name (compare Moggallāna, Kaccāna, Kassapa, Gotamī, Sāriputta). Nāgita, for instance, though he is addressed as Kassapa by his nephew, the novice Sīha, is addressed by the Buddha simply as Nāgita.

Probably every Brahman, and every member of each, of the free clans, had a gotta name. We have no certain instance of such a name in any other case. The gotta names used in the clans are the same as those given in Brahman books to Brahmans. It has been concluded that they are Brahman names, and that the clans must have adopted them from the Brahmans, each family or gens taking the gotta name of [196] their private chaplain, their purohita priest. But in that case we should surely expect to find some evidence that such priests were usually maintained in such clans. There is no evidence of the kind. All that we can fairly conclude is that the clans claimed, by the very use of these names, to be descended from the same ancestors as the Brahmans, who also bore the names: and that the claim was admitted to be well founded. As shown above, even Brahmans use these gotta names of non-Brahmans. It would seem that the nickname, when once generally known, tended, in speaking of a person, to drive the others out of use. But it is never used in speaking to the person referred to by it.

From the usage referred, to, as followed by the Buddha and others, it would seem that the gotta name was considered as more honourable than either of the personal names, and also than the descriptive general name or title of paribbājaka (wandering mendicant, recluse). Even the title Brāhmaṇa was dropped for the gotta name in the case of a recluse.

There are a number of problems, both as to general principles and as to details, that still remain, in this matter of names, unsolved. Is ālāra, for instance, a nickname or a mūla-nāma; is Kālāmo a gotta name or a clan name[13]? To what classes of the people was the use of gotta names limited, and what is the historical explanation of this limitation? Were there as many as a dozen clan names in Magadhā and Kosalā combined? What was exactly implied by the clan-name, the Kula-nāma? The word gotta probably had the same meaning, when the Piṭakas were composed, as gotra has in the later law books written by the priests. How comes it then that the number of gottas referred to is so very small? Are there much more than a score altogether? What light does the meaning of the mūla and gotta names throw on the religious conceptions and social customs of the people?

I hope to return to these and similar questions when I can find time to publish my Pāli Ontomasticon, of the names in the Piṭakas and in the older inscriptions. What has here been said is probably sufficient to make the use of the names in this Sutta clear[14].

 


[197]

VI. Mahāli Sutta

The Aim of the Brethren

[1][bd] THUS HAVE I HEARD.

The Blessed One was once staying at Vesālī at the Gabled Hall in the Great Wood[15]. Now at that time a number of Brahmans, who had been sent on pressing business of one kind or another from Kosalā and Magadhā, were lodging at Vesālī.

And they heard the news:

'They say that the Samaṇa Gotama of the Sākya clan,
who went out from a Sākya family to adopt the religious life,
is now staying at Vesālī at the Gabled Hall in the Great Wood.

Now regarding that venerable Gotama,
such is the high reputation that has been noised abroad:

"That Blessed One is an Arahat,
a fully awakened one,
abounding in wisdom and goodness,
happy,
who knows all worlds,
unsurpassed as a guide to mortals willing to be led,
a teacher for gods and men,
a Blessed One,
a Buddha.

He, by himself, thoroughly knows and sees,
as it were, face-to-face this universe,
— including the worlds above of the gods,
the Brahmās,
and the Māras,
and the world below
with its recluses and Brahmans,
its princes and peoples,
— and having known it,
he makes his knowledge known to others.

The truth,
lovely in its origin,
lovely in its progress,
lovely in its [198] consummation,
doth he proclaim,
both in the spirit and in the letter,
the higher life doth he make known,
in all its fullness and in all its purity.

And good is it to pay visits to Arahats like that."'

[2.][bd] So those Brahmans from Kosalā and Magadhā went out to the Great Wood,
and to the Gabled-Hall.

Now at that time the venerable Nāgita was acting as the personal attendant on the Blessed One.

And they went to him, and said:

'Where is it, Nāgita,
that that venerable Gotama is lodging now,
for we wish to see him.'

'It is not a fitting time, Sirs,
to call upon the Blessed One.

He has retired into solitude.'

Then they sat down round about, saying,
'We will not go away without seeing the venerable Gotama.'

[3.][bd] And Hare-lip the Licchavi, too,
came to the Great Wood,
and to the Gabled Hall,
with a retinue of his clan;
and going up to the venerable Nāgita,
he saluted him,
and reverently standing apart,
he said to him:

'Where, venerable Nāgita,
is the Blessed One now lodging,
the Arahat,
the Buddha;
for we wish to see him?'

And on receiving a similar reply
he, too, sat down apart, saying:

'I will not go till I have seen the August One,
the Arahat,
the Buddha.'

[4.][bd] But Sīha, a novice[16],
came up to the venerable Nāgita,
and saluted him,
and standing reverently apart,
he said to him:

'These envoys of the Brahmans from Kosalā and Magadhā,
many of them,
have come, O Kassapa[17],
to call upon the Blessed One;
and Harelip the Licchavi, too,
with a retinue of his clan,
has come to do the same.

'Twere best, O Kassapa,
that all this folk
should be allowed to see the Blessed One.'

[199] 'Very well, then, Sīha,
tell the Blessed One yourself.'

'Very good, Sir,'
said Sīha the novice
in assent to the venerable Nāgita.

And he went where the Blessed One was,
and saluted him,
and standing reverently apart,
he said to him even as he had said to Nāgita.

'Very well, Sīha.

Spread out a mat for me
in the shade in front of the house.'

[5.][bd] And Sīha did so.

And the Blessed One came out from the house,
and sat down.

And the Brahmans from Kosalā and Magadhā,
exchanged with him
the greetings and compliments of politeness and courtesy,
and took their seats on one side.

And Hare-lip the Licchavi also,
with the retinue of his clan,
bowed down to the Blessed One,
and seated himself on one side.

And when he was thus seated
he addressed the Blessed One, and said:

'Some few days ago, Sir,
Sunakkhatta of the Licchavis[18] came to me, and said:

"It is only three years, Mahāli[19],
since I first came under the Blessed One,
and I can see heavenly forms,
pleasant to behold,
fitted to satisfy all one's desires,
exciting longing in one's heart.

But I cannot hear heavenly sounds like that."

Now, Sir, are there such heavenly sounds,
which he could not hear,
or have they no existence?'

'They are real,
those heavenly sounds,
pleasant,
fitted to satisfy one's desires,
exciting longing in one's heart,
which he could not hear.

They are not things of nought.'

[200] [6.][bd] 'But what then is the proximate,
and what the ultimate cause,
why he could not hear them,
they being thus real
and not things of nought?'

[7-][bd] 'Suppose a recluse, Mahāli,
to have practised one-sided concentration of mind
with the object of seeing such heavenly forms
in any one direction,
— in the East,
or the South,
or the West,
or the North,
or above,
or below,
or across,
— and not with the object of hearing such heavenly sounds.

Then since he has practised one-sided concentration,
with the one object only in view,
he only sees the sights,
he hears not the sounds.

And why not?

Because of the nature of his self concentration [samādhi].

[8-][bd][9.][bd] 'And so also, Mahāli,
if he have practised one-sided concentration
with the object of hearing,
in any one direction,
the heavenly sounds,
then, and for the same reason,
he hears the sounds,
but he sees not the sights.

[10-][bd][11.][bd] 'But suppose, Mahāli,
he has practised self-concentration
with the double object in view
of seeing and hearing,
in any one direction,
those heavenly sights and those heavenly sounds.

Then since he has practised self-concentration
with the double object in view,
he both sees the sights and hears the sounds.

And why so?

Because of the nature of his self-concentration.'

[12.][bd] 'Then, Sir, is it for the sake of attaining to the practice of such self-concentration that the brethren lead the religious life under the Blessed One?'

'No, Mahāli. There are things, higher and sweeter than that, for the sake of which they do so.'

[13.][bd] 'And what, Sir, may those other things be?'

'In the first place, Mahāli, a brother by the complete destruction of the Three Bonds (the Delusions of self, Doubt, and Trust in the efficacy of good works and ceremonies)[20] becomes a converted man, one who cannot be reborn in any state of woe, and is assured of [201] attaining to the Insight (of the stages higher still)[21] That, Mahāli, is a condition, higher and sweeter, for the sake of which the brethren lead the religious life under me.

'And then further, Mahāli, a brother by the complete destruction of those Three Bonds, and by reducing to a minimum lust, illwill, and dullness, becomes a Once-returner, one who on his first return to this world shall make an end of pain. That, Mahāli, is a condition higher still and sweeter, for the sake of which the brethren lead the religious life under me.

'And then further, Mahāli, a brother by the complete destruction of the Five Bonds that bind people to this world[22] becomes an inheritor of the highest heavens[23], there to pass away, thence never to return[24]. That, Mahāli, is a condition higher still and sweeter, for the sake of which the brethren lead the religious life under me.

'And then further, Mahāli, when a brother by the destruction of the Deadly Floods (or Intoxications Lusts, Becomings, Delusion, and Ignorance) has, by himself, known and realised and continues to abide here, in this visible world, in that emancipation of mind, that emancipation of heart, which is Arahatship that, Mahāli, is a condition higher still and sweeter still, for the sake of which the brethren lead the religious life under me.

'Such, Mahāli, are the conditions higher and sweeter [202] (than seeing heavenly sights and hearing heavenly sounds), for the sake of which the brethren lead the religious life under me.'

 


 

[14.][bd] 'But is there, Sir, a path, is there a method, for the realisation of these conditions

'Yes, Mahāli, there is.'

[157] 'And what, Sir, may be that path, what that method?'

'Verily it is this Noble Eightfold Path, that is to say: Right views, right aspirations, right speech, right action, a right means of livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right ecstasy in self-concentration[25]. This, Mahāli, is the path, and this the method, for the realisation of these conditions.

[15.][bd] 'One day, Mahāli, I was staying at Kosambī, in the Ghosita pleasaunce. There two recluses, Maṇḍissa the wandering mendicant, and Jāliya the pupil of Dārupattika (the man with the wooden bowl), came to me, and exchanged, with me the greetings and compliments of politeness and courtesy, and stood reverently apart. And so standing they said to me:

'How is it then, O venerable Gotama,
is the soul the same thing as the body?
Or is the soul one thing and the body, another?'

'Listen then, Sirs, and give heed attentively, and I will speak.'

'Very good, Sir,' said those two mendicants in assent, and I spake as follows: —

[16.][bd] 'Suppose, friend, there appears in the world
one who has won the truth, an Arahat,
a fully awakened one,
abounding in wisdom and goodness, happy,
who knows all worlds,
unsurpassed as a guide
to mortals willing to be led,
a teacher for gods and men,
a Blessed One, a Buddha.

He, by himself, thoroughly knows and sees,
as it were, face-to-face this universe,
— including the worlds above of the gods,
the Brahmas, and the Māras,
and the world below with its recluses and Brahmans,
its princes and peoples, —
and having known it,
he makes his knowledge known to others.

The truth, lovely in its origin,
lovely in its progress,
lovely in its consummation,
doth he proclaim,
both in the spirit and in the letter,
the higher life doth he make known,
in all its fullness and in all its purity.

[17.][bd] 'A householder or one of his children,
or a man of inferior birth in any class
listens to that truth;
and on hearing it he has faith in the Tathāgata (the one who has found the truth);
and when he is possessed of that faith,
he considers thus within himself:

Full of hindrances is household life,
a path for the dust of passion.
Free as the air is the life
of him who has renounced all worldly things.
How difficult is it for the man who dwells at home
to live the higher life in all its fullness,
in all its purity,
in all its bright perfection!
Let me then cut off my hair and beard,
let me clothe myself in the orange-coloured robes,
and let me go forth
from the household life
into the homeless state."

'Then, before long,
forsaking his portion of wealth,
be it great or small,
forsaking his circle of relatives,
be they many or be they few,
he cuts off his hair and beard,
he clothes himself in the orange-coloured robes,
and he goes forth from the household life
into the homeless state.

[18.][bd] 'When he has thus become a recluse
he lives self-restrained by that restraint that should be binding on a recluse.
Uprightness is his delight,
and he sees danger
in the least of those things he should avoid.
He adopts, and trains himself in, the precepts.
He encompasses himself with good deeds in act and word.
Pure are his means of livelihood,
good is his conduct,
guarded the doors of his senses.
Mindful and self-possessed
he is altogether happy.

[19.][bd] 'And how, friend, is his conduct good?

'In this, friend, that the Bhikshu,
putting away the killing of living things,
holds aloof from the destruction of life.
The cudgel and the sword he has laid aside,
and ashamed of roughness,
and full of mercy,
he dwells compassionate and kind
to all creatures that have life.

'"Putting away the taking of what has not been given, he lives aloof from grasping what is not his own. He takes only what is given, and expecting that gifts will come, he passes his life in honesty and purity of heart."

"Putting away unchastity, he is chaste. He holds himself aloof, far off, from the vulgar practice, from the sexual act."

'This is part of the goodness that he has.

[20.][bd] '"Putting away lying words, he holds himself aloof from falsehood. He speaks truth, from the truth he never swerves; faithful and trustworthy, he breaks not his word to the world."

'"Putting away slander, he holds himself aloof from calumny. What he hears here he repeats not elsewhere to raise a quarrel against the people here; what he hears elsewhere he repeats not here to raise a quarrel against the people there. Thus does he live as a binder together of those who are divided, an encourager of those who are friends, a peacemaker, a lover of peace, impassioned for peace, a speaker of words that make for peace."

'"Putting away rudeness of speech, he holds himself aloof from harsh language. Whatsoever word is blameless, pleasant to the car, lovely, reaching to the heart, urbane, pleasing to the people, beloved of the people-such are words he speaks."

'"Putting away frivolous talk,he holds himself aloof from vain conversation. In season he speaks, in accordance with the facts, words full of meaning, on religion, on the discipline of the Order. He speaks, and at the right time, words worthy to be laid up in one's heart, fitly illustrated, clearly divided, to the point."

[21.][bd] '"He holds himself aloof from causing injury to seeds or plants.

He takes but one meal a day, not eating at night, refraining from food after hours (after midday).

He refrains from being a spectator at shows at fairs, with nautch dances, singing, and music.

He abstains from wearing, adorning, or ornamenting himself with garlands, scents, and unguents.

He abstains from the use of large and lofty beds.

He abstains from accepting silver or gold.

He abstains from accepting uncooked grain.

He abstains from accepting raw meat.

He abstains from accepting women or girls.

He abstains from accepting bondmen or bondwomen.

He abstains from accepting sheep or goats.

He abstains from accepting fowls or swine.

He abstains from accepting elephants, cattle. horses, and mares.

He abstains from accepting cultivated fields or waste.

He abstains from the acting as a, go-between or messenger.

He abstains from buying and selling.

He abstains from cheating with scales or bronzes or measures.

He abstains from the crooked ways of bribery, cheating, and fraud.

He abstains from maiming, murder, putting in bonds, highway robbery, dacoity, and violence."

 


 

[22.][bd] '"Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to the injury of seedlings and growing plants whether propagated from roots or cuttings or joints or buddings or seeds - he holds aloof from such injury to seedlings and growing plants."

[23.][bd] '"Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to the use of things stored up; stores, to wit, of foods, drinks, clothing, equipages, bedding, perfumes, and curry-stuffs — he holds aloof from such use of things stored up."

[24.][bd] '"Whereas some recluses and Brahmans while living on food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to visiting shows; that is to say,

(1) Nautch dances (naccaṃ)

(2) Singing of songs (gītaṃ).

(3) Instrumental music (vāditaṃ).

(4) Shows at fairs (pekkhaṃ).

(5) Ballad recitations (akkhānaṃ).

(6) Hand music (pāṇissaraṃ ).

(7) The chanting of bards (vetālaṃ).

(8) Tam - tam playing (kumbhathūnaṃ).

(9) Fairy scenes (Sobhanagarakaṃ).

(10) Acrobatic feats by Kaṇḍālas (Kaṇḍāla-vaṃsa-dhopanaṃ).

(11) Combats of elephants, horses, buffaloes, bulls, goats, rams, cocks, and quails.

(12) Bouts at quarter- staff, boxing, wrestling.

(13-16) Sham-fights, roll-calls, manoeuvres, re- views —

he holds aloof from visiting such shows"

[25.][bd]'"Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to games and recreations; that is to say,

(1) Games on boards with eight, or with ten, rows of squares.

(2) The same games played by imagining such boards in the air.

(3) Keeping going over diagrams drawn on the ground so that one steps only where one ought to go.

(4) Either removing the pieces or men from a heap with one's nail, or putting them into a heap, in each case without shaking it. He who shakes the heap, loses.

(5) Throwing dice.

(6) Hitting a short stick with a long one.

(7) Dipping the hand with the fingers stretched out in lac, or red dye, or flower-water, and striking the wet hand on the ground or on a wall, 'calling out 'What shell it be?' and showing the form required -elephants, horses, etc.

(8) Games with balls.

(9) Blowing through toy pipes made of leaves.

(10) Ploughing with toy ploughs.

(11) Turning summersaults.

(12) Playing with toy windmills made of palm-leaves.

(13) Playing with toy measures made of palm-leaves.

(14, 15) Playing with toy carts or toy bows.

(16) Guessing at letters traced in the air, or on a. playfellow's back.

(17) Guessing the play fellow's thoughts.

(18) Mimicry of deformities.

— he holds aloof from such games and recreations."

[26.][bd]'"Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to the use of high and large couches; that is to say,

(1) 'Moveable settees, high, and six feet long (āsandi).

(2) Divans with animal figures carved on the sup-ports (Pallanko).

(3) Goats' hair coverlets with very long fleece (Gonako).

(4) Patchwork counterpanes of many colours (Cittakā).

(5) White blankets (Paṭikā).

(6) Woollen coverlets embroidered with flowers (Paṭalikā).

(7) Quilts stuffed with cotton wool (Tūlikā).

(8) Coverlets embroidered with figures of lions, tigers, etc. (Vikatikā).

(9) Rugs with fur on both sides (Uddalomī).

(10) Rugs with fur on one side (Ekantalomī).

(11) Coverlets embroidered with gems (Kaṭṭhissaṃ).

(12) Silk coverlets (Koseyyaṃ).

(13) Carpets large enough for sixteen dancers (Kuttakaṃ).

(14-16) Elephant, horse, and chariot rugs.

(17) Rugs of antelope skins sewn together (Ajina-paveṇi).

(18) Rugs of skins of the plantain antelope.

(19) Carpets with awnings above them (Sauttara-cchadaṃ).

(20) Sofas with red pillows for the head and feet."

— he holds aloof from the use of high and large couches."

[27.][bd] '"Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to the use of means for adorning and beautifying themselves; that is to say,

Rubbing in scented powders on one's body, shampooing it, and bathing it.
Patting the limbs with clubs after the manner of wrestlers.
The use of mirrors, eye-ointments, garlands, rouge, cosmetics, bracelets, necklaces, walking-sticks, reed cases for drugs, rapiers, sunshades, embroidered slippers, turbans, diadems, whisks of the yak's tail, and long-fringed white robes.

— he holds aloof from such means of adorning and beautifying the person."

[28.][bd] '"Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to such low conversation as these:

Tales of kings, of robbers, of ministers of state tales of war, of terrors, of battles;
talk about foods and drinks, clothes, beds, garlands, perfumes;
talks about relationships, equipages, villages, town, cities, and countries;
tales about women, and about heroes;
gossip at street corners, or places whence water is fetched;
ghost stories;
desultory talk;
speculations about the creation of the land or sea, or about existence and non-existence.

— he holds aloof from such low conversation."

[29.][bd] '"Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to the use of wrangling phrases such as

"You don't understand this doctrine and discipline, I do.

How should you know about this doctrine and discipline?

"You have fallen into wrong views. It is I who am in the right."

"I am speaking to the point, you are not."

"You are putting last what ought to come first, first what ought to come last."

"What you've excogitated so long, that's all quite upset."

"Your challenge has been taken up."

"You are proved to be wrong."

"Set to work to clear your views."

"Disentangle yourself if you can."

— he holds aloof from such wrangling phrases."

[30.][bd] '"Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to taking messages, going on errands, and acting as go-betweens; to wit, on kings, ministers of state, Kshatriyas, Brahmans, or young men, saying: 'Go there, come hither, take this with you, bring that from thence'

— he abstains from such servile duties."

[31.][bd] '"Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, are tricksters, droners out (of holy words for pay), diviners, and exorcists, ever hungering to add gain to gain
— he holds aloof from such deception and patter."'

 


 

[32.][bd] 'Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, earn their living by wrong means of livelihood, by low arts, such as these:

(1) Palmistry — prophesying long life, prosperity, etc.from marks on child's hands, feet. etc.

(2) Divining by means of omens and signs.

(3) Auguries drawn from thunderbolts and other celestial portents.

(4) Prognostication by interpreting dreams.

(5) Fortune-telling from marks on the body.

(6) Auguries from the marks on cloth gnawed by mice.

(7) Sacrificing to Agni.

(8) Offering oblations from a spoon.

(9-13) Making offerings to gods of husks, of the red powder between the grain and the husk, of husked grain ready for boiling, of ghee, and of oil.

(14) Sacrificing by spewing mustard seeds, etc., into the fire out of one's mouth.

(15) Drawing blood from one's right knee as a sacrifice to the gods.

(16) Looking at the knuckles, etc., and, after muttering a charm, divining whether a man is well born or lucky or not.

(17) Determining whether the site, for a proposed house or pleasance, is lucky or not.

(18) Advising on customary law.

(19) Laying demons in a cemetery.

(20) Laying ghosts.

(21) Knowledge of the charms to be used when lodging in an earth house.

(22) Snake charming.

(23) The poison craft.

(24) The scorpion craft.

(25) The mouse craft.

(26) The bird craft.

(27) The crow craft.

(28) Fore telling the number of years that a man has yet to live.

(29) Giving charms to ward off arrows.

(30) The animal wheel.

— he holds aloof from such low arts."

[33.][bd] '"Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, earn their living by wrong means of livelihood, by low arts, such as these:

Knowledge of the signs of good and bad qualities in the following things and of the marks in them denoting the health or luck of their owners: — to wit,
gems, staves, garments, swords, arrows, bows, other weapons, women, men, boys, girls, slaves, slave-girls, elephants, horses, buffaloes, bulls, oxen, goats, sheep, fowls, quails, iguanas, earrings, tortoises, and other animals.

— he holds aloof from such low arts."

[34.][bd] '"Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, earn their living by wrong means of livelihood, by low arts, such as soothsaying, to the effect that

The chiefs will march out.

The chiefs will march back.

The home chiefs will attack, and the enemies' retreat.

The enemies' chiefs will attack, and ours will retreat.

The home chiefs will gain the victory, and the foreign chiefs suffer defeat.

The foreign chiefs will gain the victory, and ours will suffer defeat.

Thus will there be victory on this side, defeat on that.

— he holds aloof from such low arts.

[35.][bd] '"Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, earn their living by wrong means of livelihood, by such low arts as foretelling

(1) There will be an eclipse of the moon.

(2) There will be en eclipse of the sun.

(3) There will be en eclipse of a star (Nakshatra).

(4) There will be aberration of the sun or the moon.

(5) The sun or the moon will return to its usual path.

(6) There will be aberrations of the stars.

(7) The stars will return to their usual course.

(8) There will be a fall of meteors.

(9) There will be a jungle fire.

(10) There will be an earthquake.

(11) The god will thunder.

(12-15) There will be rising and setting, clearness and dimness, of the sun or the moon or the stars, or foretelling of each of these fifteen phenomena that they will betoken such and such a result

— he holds aloof from such low arts."

[36.][bd] '"Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, earn their living by wrong means of livelihood, by low arts, such as these

Foretelling an abundant rainfall.

Foretelling a deficient rainfall.

Foretelling a good harvest

Foretelling scarcity of food.

Foretelling tranquillity.

Foretelling disturbances.

Foretelling a pestilence.

Foretelling a healthy season.

Counting on the fingers.

Counting without using the fingers.

Summing up large totals.

Composing ballads, poetising.

Casuistry, sophistry.

— he holds aloof from such low arts."

[37.][bd] '"Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, earn their living by wrong means of livelihood, by low arts, such as

(1) Arranging a lucky day for marriages in which the bride or bridegroom is brought home.

(2) Arranging a lucky day for marriages in which the bride or bridegroom is sent forth.

(3) Fixing a lucky time for the conclusion of treaties of peace [or using charms to procure harmony.

(4) Fixing a lucky time for the outbreak of hostilities [or using charms to make discord].

(5) Fixing-a lucky time for the calling in of debts [or charms for success in throwing dice].

(6) Fixing a lucky time for the expenditure of money [or charms to bring ill luck to an opponent throwing dice].

(7) Using charms to make people lucky.

(8) Using charms to make people unlucky.

(9) Using charms to procure abortion.

(10) Incantations to bring on dumbness.

(11) Incantations to keep a man's jaws fixed.

(12) Incantations to make a man throw up his hands.

(13) Incantations to bring on deafness,.

(14) Obtaining oracular answers by means of the magic mirror.

(15) Obtaining oracular answers through a girl possessed.

(16) Obtaining oracular answers from a god.

(17) The worship of the Sun.

(18) The worship of the Great One.

(19) Bringing forth flames from one's mouth.

(20) Invoking Siri, the goddess of Luck —

— he holds aloof from such low arts."

[38.][bd] 'Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by, the faithful, earn their living by wrong means of livelihood, by low arts, such as these:

(1) Vowing gifts to a god if a certain benefit be granted.

(2) Paying such vows.

(3) Repeating charms while lodging in an earth house.

(4) Causing virility.

(5) Making a man impotent.

(6) Fixing on lucky sites for dwelling.

(7) Consecrating sites.

(8) Ceremonial rinsings of the month.

(9) Ceremonial bathings.

(10) Offering sacrifices.

(11-14) Administering emetics and purgatives.

(15) Purging people to relieve the head (that is by giving drugs to make people sneeze).

(16) Oiling people's ears (either to make them grow or to heal sores on them).

(17) Satisfying people's eyes (soothing them by dropping medicinal oils into them).

(18) Administering drugs through the nose.

(19) Applying collyrium to the eyes.

(20) Giving medical ointment for the eyes.

(21) Practising as an oculist.

(22) Practising as a surgeon.

(23) Practising as a doctor for children.

(24) Administering roots and drugs.

(25) Administering medicines in rotation.

— he holds aloof from such low arts."

 


 

[39.][bd] 'And then that Bhikshu, friend,
being thus master of the minor moralities,
sees no danger from any side,
that is, so far as concerns his self-restraint in conduct.

Just, friend, as a sovereign, duly crowned,
whose enemies have been beaten down,
sees no danger from any side;
that is, so far as enemies are concerned,
so is the Bhikshu confident.

And endowed with this body of morals,
so worthy of honour,
he experiences, within himself,
a sense of ease without alloy.

Thus is it, friend, that the Bhikshu becomes righteous.

[203] [40.][bd] 'And how, friend, is the Bhikshu guarded as to the doors of his senses?

'When, friend, he sees an object with his eye
he is not entranced in the general appearance or the details of it.
He sets himself to restrain
that which might give occasion for evil states,
covetousness and dejection,
to flow in over him
so long as he dwells unrestrained
as to his sense of sight.
He keeps watch upon his faculty of sight,
and he attains to mastery over it.

And so, in like manner,
when he hears a sound with his ear,
or smells an odour with his nose,
or tastes a flavour with his tongue,
or feels a touch with his body,
or when he cognises a phenomenon with his mind
he is not entranced in the general appearance or the details of it.
He sets himself to restrain
that which might give occasion for evil states,
covetousness and dejection,
to flow in over him
so long as he dwells unrestrained
as to his mental (representative) faculty.
He keeps watch upon his representative faculty,
and he attains to mastery over it.

And endowed with this self-restraint,
so worthy of honour,
as regards the senses,
he experiences, within himself, a sense of ease
into which no evil state can enter.

Thus is it, friend,
that the Bhikshu becomes guarded
as to the doors of his senses.

[Note: Missing here is a section on eating in moderation as would follow from the list in § 18.]

[41.][bd] 'And how, friend, is the Bhikshu mindful and self-possessed?

'In this matter, friend, the Bhikshu
in going forth or in coming back
keeps clearly before his mind's eye
(all that is wrapt up therein — the immediate object of the act itself, its ethical significance, whether or not it is conducive to the high aim set before him, and the real facts underlying the mere phenomenon of the outward act).
And so also in looking forward,
or in looking round;
in stretching forth his arm,
or in drawing it in again;
in eating or drinking,
in masticating or swallowing,
in obeying the calls of nature,
in going or standing or sitting,
in sleeping or waking,
in speaking or in being still,
he keeps himself aware
of all it really means.

Thus is it, friend,
that the Bhikshu becomes mindful and self-possessed.

[42.][bd] 'And how, friend, is the Bhikshu content?

'In this matter, friend,
the Bhikshu is satisfied with sufficient robes
to cherish his body,
with sufficient food
to keep his stomach going.
Whithersoever he may go forth,
these he takes with him as he goes
- just as a bird with his wings, friend,
whithersoever he may fly,
carries his wings with him as he flies.
Thus is it, friend,
that the Bhikshu becomes content.

[43.][bd] 'Then, master of this so excellent body of moral precepts,
gifted with this so excellent self-restraint as to the senses,
endowed with this so excellent mindfulness and self-possession,
filled with this so excellent content,
he chooses some lonely spot
to rest at on his way
— in the woods,
at the foot of a tree,
on a hill side,
in a mountain glen,
in a rocky cave,
in a charnel place,
or on a heap of straw in the open field.
And returning thither after his round for alms
he seats himself, when his meal is done,
cross-legged,
keeping his body erect,
and his intelligence alert, intent.

[44.][bd] 'Putting away the hankering after the world,
he remains with a heart that hankers not,
and purifies his mind of lusts.

Putting away the corruption of the wish to injure,
he remains with a heart free from ill temper,
and purifies his mind of malevolence.

Putting away torpor of heart and mind,
keeping his ideas alight,
mindful and self-possessed,
he purifies his mind of weakness and of sloth.

Putting away flurry and worry,
he remains free from fretfulness,
and with heart serene within,
he purifies himself of irritability and vexation of spirit.

Putting away wavering,
he remains as one passed beyond perplexity;
and no longer in suspense as to what is good,
he purifies his mind of doubt.

[45.][bd] 'Then just, friend,
as when a man, after contracting a loan,
should set a business on foot,
and his business should succeed,
and he should not only be able
to pay off the old debt he had incurred,
but there should be a surplus over
to maintain a wife.
Then would he realise:
"I used to have to carry on my business
by getting into debt,
but it has gone so well with me
that I have paid off what I owed,
and have a surplus over
to maintain a wife."
And he would be of good cheer at that,
would be glad of heart at that: —

[46.][bd] 'Then just, friend,
as if a man were a prey to disease,
in pain, and very ill,
and his food would not digest,
and there were no strength left in him;
and after a time
he were to recover from that disease,
and his food should digest,
and his strength come back to him;
then, when he realised his former and his present state,
he would be of good cheer at that,
he would be glad of heart at that: —

[47.][bd] 'Then just, friend,
as if a man were bound in a prison house,
and after a time
he should be set free from his bonds,
safe and sound,
and without any confiscation of his goods;
when he realised his former and his present state,
he would be of good cheer at that,
he would be glad of heart at that: —

[48.][bd] 'Then just, friend,
as if a man were a slave,
not his own master,
subject to another,
unable to go whither he would;
and after a time
he should be emancipated from that slavery,
become his own master,
not subject to others,
a free man,
free to go whither he would;
then, on realising his former and his present state,
he would be of good cheer at that,
he would be glad of heart at that: —

[49.][bd] 'Then just, friend,
as if a man, rich and prosperous,
were to find himself on a long road,
in a desert, where no food was,
but much danger;
and after a time
were to find himself out of the desert,
arrived safe,
on the borders of his village,
in security and peace;
then, on realising his former and his present state,
he would be of good cheer at that,
he would be glad of heart at that: —

[50.][bd] 'Just so, friend, the Bhikshu,
so long as these five hindrances
are not put away within him
looks upon himself as in debt,
diseased,
in prison,
in slavery,
lost on a desert road.
But when these five hindrances
have been put away within him,
he looks upon himself as freed from debt,
rid of disease,
out of jail,
a free man,
and secure.

'And gladness springs up within him
on his realising that,
and joy arises to him thus gladdened,
and so rejoicing
all his frame becomes at ease,
and being thus at ease
he is filled with a sense of peace,
and in that peace his heart is stayed.

[51.][bd] 'Then estranged from lusts,
aloof from evil dispositions,
he enters into and remains in the First Rapture
— a state of joy and ease born of detachment,
reasoning and investigation going on the while.

'His very body does he so pervade,
drench,
permeate,
and suffuse
with the joy and ease born of detachment,
that there is no spot in his whole frame
not suffused therewith.

'Just, friend, as a skilful bathman
or his apprentice
will scatter perfumed soap powder
in a metal basin,
and then besprinkling it with water,
drop by drop,
will so knead it together
that the ball of lather,
taking up the unctuous moisture,
is drenched with it,
pervaded by it,
permeated by it within and without,
and there is no leakage possible.

Now, Sirs, when a Bhikshu knows thus and sees thus, would that make him ready to take up the subject:

"Is the soul the same thing as the body,
or is the soul one thing and the body another?"'

'Yes, it would, Sir[26]

But I, Sirs, know thus and see thus.

And nevertheless I do not say either the one or the other.'

[52.][bd] 'Then further, friend,
the Bhikshu suppressing all reasoning and investigation
enters into and abides in the Second Jhāna,
a state of joy and ease,
born of the serenity of concentration,
when no reasoning or investigation goes on,
— a state of elevation of mind,
a tranquillisation of the heart within.

'And his very body does he so pervade,
drench,
permeate,
and suffuse with the joy and ease born of concentration,
that there is no spot in his whole frame
not suffused therewith.

'Just, friend,
as if there were a deep pool,
with water welling up into it
from a spring beneath,
and with no inlet from the east or west,
from the north or south,
and the god should not
from time to time
send down showers of rain upon it.
Still the current of cool waters
rising up from that spring
would pervade,
fill,
permeate,
and suffuse the pool
with cool waters,
and there would be no part or portion of the pool
unsuffused therewith.

Now, Sirs, when a Bhikshu knows thus and sees thus, would that make him ready to take up the subject:

"Is the soul the same thing as the body,
or is the soul one thing and the body another?"'

'Yes, it would, Sir

But I, Sirs, know thus and see thus.

And nevertheless I do not say either the one or the other.'

[53.][bd] 'Then further, friend, the Bhikshu,
holding aloof from joy,
becomes equable;
and mindful and self-possessed
he experiences in his body
that ease which the Arahats talk of when they say:
"The man serene and self-possessed
is well at ease,"
and so he enters into
and abides in the Third Jhāna.

'And his very body
does he so pervade,
drench,
permeate,
and suffuse with that ease
that has no joy with it,
that there is no spot in his whole frame
not suffused therewith.

'Just, friend,
as when in a lotus tank
the several lotus flowers,
red or white or blue,
born in the water,
grown up in the water,
not rising up above the surface of the water,
drawing up nourishment from the depths of the water,
are so pervaded,
drenched,
permeated,
and suffused
from their very tips
down to their roots
with the cool moisture thereof,
that there is no spot in the whole plant,
whether of the red lotus,
or of the white,
or of the blue,
not suffused therewith.

Now, Sirs, when a Bhikshu knows thus and sees thus, would that make him ready to take up the subject:

"Is the soul the same thing as the body,
or is the soul one thing and the body another?"'

'Yes, it would, Sir

But I, Sirs, know thus and see thus.

And nevertheless I do not say either the one or the other.'

[54.][bd] 'Then further, friend, the Bhikshu,
by the putting away alike of ease and of pain,
by the passing away alike of any elation,
any dejection,
he had previously felt,
enters into and abides in the Fourth Jhāna,
a state of pure self-possession and equanimity,
without pain and without ease.

'And he sits there
so suffusing even his body
with that sense of purification,
of translucence of heart,
that there is no spot in his whole frame
not suffused therewith.

'Just, friend,
as if a man were sitting
so wrapt from head to foot in a clean white robe,
that there were no spot in his whole frame
not in contact with the clean white robe
— just so, friend, does the Bhikshu sit there,
so suffusing even his body
with that sense of purification,
of translucence of heart,
that there is no spot in his whole frame
not suffused therewith.

Now, Sirs, when a Bhikshu knows thus and sees thus, would that make him ready to take up the subject:

"Is the soul the same thing as the body,
or is the soul one thing and the body another?"'

'Yes, it would, Sir

But I, Sirs, know thus and see thus.

And nevertheless I do not say either the one or the other.'

 


 

[55.][bd] 'With his heart thus serene,
made pure, translucent,
cultured, devoid of evil,
supple, ready to act,
firm, and imperturbable,
he applies and bends down his mind
to that insight that comes from knowledge.

He grasps the fact:
"This body of mine has form,
it is built up of the four elements,
it springs from father and mother,
it is continually renewed
by so much boiled rice and juicy foods,
its very nature is impermanence,
it is subject to erasion,
abrasion,
dissolution,
and disintegration;
and therein is this consciousness of mine, too, bound up,
on that does it depend."

[56.][bd] 'Just, friend,
as if there were a veluriya gem,
bright, of the purest water,
with eight facets,
excellently cut,
clear, translucent,
without a flaw,
excellent in every way.
And through it a string,
blue, or orange-coloured,
or red, or white, or yellow
should be threaded.
If a man, who had eyes to see,
were to take it into his hand,
he would clearly perceive
how the one is bound up with the other.

Now, Sirs, when a Bhikshu knows thus and sees thus, would that make him ready to take up the subject:

"Is the soul the same thing as the body,
or is the soul one thing and the body another?"'

'Yes, it would, Sir

But I, Sirs, know thus and see thus.

And nevertheless I do not say either the one or the other.'

[57.][bd] 'With his heart thus serene,
made pure, translucent,
cultured, devoid of evil,
supple, ready to act,
firm, and imperturbable,
he applies and bends down his mind
to the calling up of a mental image.

He calls up from this body
another body,
having form,
made of mind,
having all (his own body's) limbs and parts,
not deprived of any organ.

[58.][bd] 'Just, friend,
as if a man were to pull out a reed from its sheath.
He would know:
"This is the reed,
this the sheath.
The reed is one thing,
the sheath another.
It is from the sheath
that the reed has been drawn forth."

And similarly were he to take a snake out of its slough,
or draw a sword from its scabbard.

Now, Sirs, when a Bhikshu knows thus and sees thus, would that make him ready to take up the subject:

"Is the soul the same thing as the body,
or is the soul one thing and the body another?"'

'Yes, it would, Sir

But I, Sirs, know thus and see thus.

And nevertheless I do not say either the one or the other.'

[59.][bd] 'With his heart thus serene,
made pure, translucent,
cultured, devoid of evil,
supple, ready to act,
firm, and imperturbable,
he applies and bends down his mind
to the modes of the Wondrous Gift.

He enjoys the Wondrous Gift in its various modes
— being one he becomes many,
or having become many becomes one again;
he becomes visible or invisible;
he goes, feeling no obstruction,
to the further side of a wall or rampart or hill,
as if through air;
he penetrates up and down through solid ground,
as if through water;
he walks on water without breaking through,
as if on solid ground;
he travels cross-legged in the sky,
like the birds on wing;
even the Moon and the Sun,
so potent, so mighty though they be,
does he touch and feel with his hand;
he reaches in the body
even up to the heaven of Brahmā.

[60.][bd] 'Just, friend,
as a clever potter or his apprentice
could make,
could succeed in getting out of properly prepared clay
any shape of vessel he wanted to have
— or an ivory carver out of ivory,
or a goldsmith out of gold.

Now, Sirs, when a Bhikshu knows thus and sees thus, would that make him ready to take up the subject:

"Is the soul the same thing as the body,
or is the soul one thing and the body another?"'

'Yes, it would, Sir

But I, Sirs, know thus and see thus.

And nevertheless I do not say either the one or the other.'

[61.][bd] 'With his heart thus serene,
made pure, translucent,
cultured, devoid of evil,
supple, ready to act,
firm, and imperturbable,
he applies and bends down his mind
to the Heavenly Ear.

With that clear Heavenly Ear
surpassing the ear of men
he hears sounds both human and celestial,
whether far or near.

[62.][bd] 'Just, friend,
as if a man were on the high road
and were to hear the sound of a kettledrum
or a tabor or the sound of chank horns and small drums
he would know:
"This is the sound of a kettledrum,
this is the sound of a tabor,
this of chank horns, and of drums."

Now, Sirs, when a Bhikshu knows thus and sees thus, would that make him ready to take up the subject:

"Is the soul the same thing as the body,
or is the soul one thing and the body another?"'

'Yes, it would, Sir

But I, Sirs, know thus and see thus.

And nevertheless I do not say either the one or the other.'

[63.][bd] 'With his heart thus serene,
made pure, translucent,
cultured, devoid of evil,
supple, ready to act,
firm, and imperturbable,
he directs and bends down his mind
to the knowledge which penetrates the heart.

Penetrating with his own heart
the hearts of other beings, of other men,
he knows them.
He discerns —

The passionate mind to be passionate,
and the calm mind calm;
the angry mind to be angry,
and the peaceful mind peaceful;
the dull mind to be dull,
and the alert mind alert;
the attentive mind to be attentive,
and the wandering mind wandering;
the broad mind to be broad,
and the narrow mind narrow;
the mean mind to be mean,
and the lofty mind lofty;
the stedfast mind to be stedfast,
and the wavering mind to be wavering;
the free mind to be free,
and the enslaved mind enslaved.

[64.][bd] 'Just, friend,
as a woman or a man or a lad,
young and smart,
on considering attentively
the image of his own face
in a bright and brilliant mirror
or in a vessel of clear water
would, if it had a mole on it,
know that it had,
and if not,
would know it had not.

Now, Sirs, when a Bhikshu knows thus and sees thus, would that make him ready to take up the subject:

"Is the soul the same thing as the body,
or is the soul one thing and the body another?"'

'Yes, it would, Sir

But I, Sirs, know thus and see thus.

And nevertheless I do not say either the one or the other.'

[65.][bd] 'With his heart thus serene,
made pure, translucent,
cultured, devoid of evil,
supple, ready to act,
firm, and imperturbable,
he directs and bends down his mind
to the knowledge of the memory
of his previous temporary states.

He recalls to mind
his various temporary states in days gone by
— one birth,
or two or three or four or five births,
or ten or twenty or thirty or forty or fifty
or a hundred or a thousand
or a hundred thousand births,
through many an aeon of dissolution,
many an aeon of evolution,
many an aeon of both dissolution and evolution.
"In such a place such was my name,
such my family,
such my caste,
such my food,
such my experience of discomfort or of ease,
and such the limits of my life.

When I passed away from that state,
I took form again in such a place.
There I had such and such a name
and family
and caste
and food
and experience of discomfort or of ease,
such was the limit of my life.

When I passed away from that state
I took form again here."
— thus does he call to mind
his temporary states in days gone by
in all their details,
and in all their modes.

[66.][bd] 'Just, friend,
as if a man were to go from his own to another village,
and from that one to another,
and from that one should return home.
Then he would know:
"From my own village I came to that other one.
There I stood in such and such a way,
sat thus, spake thus, and held my peace thus.
Thence I came to that other village;
and there I stood in such and such a way,
sat thus, spake thus, and held my peace thus.
And now, from that other village,
I have returned back again home."

Now, Sirs, when a Bhikshu knows thus and sees thus, would that make him ready to take up the subject:

"Is the soul the same thing as the body,
or is the soul one thing and the body another?"'

'Yes, it would, Sir

But I, Sirs, know thus and see thus.

And nevertheless I do not say either the one or the other.'

[67.][bd]'With his heart thus serene,
made pure, translucent,
cultured, devoid of evil,
supple, ready to act,
firm, and imperturbable,
he directs and bends down his mind
to the knowledge of the fall and rise of beings.

With the pure Heavenly Eye,
surpassing that of men,
he sees beings as they pass away
from one form of existence
and take shape in another;
he recognises the mean and the noble,
the well favoured and the ill favoured,
the happy and the wretched,
passing away according to their deeds:

"Such and such beings, my brethren,
evil-doers in act and word and thought,
revilers of the noble ones,
holding to wrong views,
acquiring for themselves that Karma
which results from wrong views,
they, on the dissolution of the body, after death,
are reborn in some unhappy state of suffering or woe.

But such and such beings, my brethren,
well-doers in act and word and thought,
not revilers of the noble ones,
holding to right views,
acquiring for themselves that Karma
that results from right views,
they, on the dissolution of the body, after death,
are reborn in some happy state in heaven."

Thus with the pure Heavenly Eye,
surpassing that of men,
he sees beings as they pass away from one state of existence,
and take form in another;
he recognises the mean and the noble,
the well favoured and the ill favoured,
the happy and the wretched,
passing away according to their deeds.

[68.][bd] Just, friend,
as if there were a house with an upper terrace on it
in the midst of a place where four roads meet,
and a man standing thereon,
and with eyes to see,
should watch men entering a house,
and coming forth out of it,
and walking hither and thither along the street,
and seated in the square in the midst.

Then he would know:
"Those men are entering a house,
and those are leaving it,
and those are walking to and fro in the street,
and those are seated in the square in the midst."

Now, Sirs, when a Bhikshu knows thus and sees thus, would that make him ready to take up the subject:

"Is the soul the same thing as the body,
or is the soul one thing and the body another?"'

'Yes, it would, Sir

But I, Sirs, know thus and see thus.

And nevertheless I do not say either the one or the other.'

[69.][bd] 'With his heart thus serene,
made pure, translucent,
cultured, devoid of evil,
supple, ready to act,
firm, and imperturbable,
he directs and bends down his mind
to the knowledge of the destruction of the Deadly Floods.

He knows as it really is:
"This is pain."
He knows as it really is:
"This is the origin of pain."
He knows as it really is:
"This is the cessation of pain."
He knows as it really is:
"This is the Path that leads to the cessation of pain."

He knows as they really are:
"These are the Deadly Floods."
He knows as it really is:
"This is the origin of the Deadly Floods."
He knows as it really is:
"This is the cessation of the Deadly Floods."
He knows as it really is:
"This is the Path [204] that leads to the cessation of the Deadly Floods."

To him, thus knowing, thus seeing,
the heart is set free
from the Deadly Taint of Lusts,
is set free from the Deadly Taint of Becomings,
is set free from the Deadly Taint of Ignorance.

In him, thus set free,
there arises the knowledge of his emancipation,
and he knows:
"Rebirth has been destroyed.
The higher life has been fulfilled.
What had to be done has been accomplished.
After this present life there will be no beyond!

[70.][bd] 'Just, friend,
as if in a mountain fastness
there were a pool of water,
clear, translucent, and serene;
and a man, standing on the bank,
and with eyes to see,
should perceive the oysters and the shells,
the gravel and the pebbles
and the shoals of fish
as they move about or lie within it:
he would know:
"This pool is clear, transparent, and serene,
and there within it
are the oysters and the shells,
and the sand and gravel,
and the shoals of fish are moving about or lying still."

Now, Sirs, when a Bhikshu knows thus and sees thus, would that make him ready to take up the subject:

"Is the soul the same thing as the body,
or is the soul one thing and the body another?"'

'No, Sir, it would not.[27]

And I, Sirs, know thus and see thus.

And nevertheless I do not say either the one or the other.'

[71.][bd] Thus spake the Blessed One; and Hare-lip the Licchavi, pleased at heart, exalted the word of the Blessed One.

HERE ENDS THE MAHĀLI SUTTA


[1] Poṭṭhapāda sutta(translated below) Saŋyutta IV, 393; Udāna VI, 4 ;M. I 484,etc.

[2] Taṃ jīvaṃ tam sarīraṃ. Childers (sub voce pañho) renders this: 'Is this the life? Is this the body? But that must be wrong See Sum I, 319.

[3] For instance, M. I 455.

[4] 'We were in the ship two hundred and seventy-six souls, 'Acts xxvii. 37.

[5] There are about a score of ambiguous passages; but a different decision as to them would not change the proportion to any substantial extent.

[6] Attano, attanā, etc., in all the oblique cases. But for the nominative attā, the use of which might have misunderstood, sayaṃ is almost always, substituted.

[7] See the quotations in my 'American Lectures' (London, 1896), pp 39-42, and the notes above, pp. 81, 87.

[8] Kathā-vatthu-ppakaraṇa-aṭṭhakathā, p. 8(in the Journal of the Pāli Text Society for 1889).

[9] See Senarat, 'Inscription de Piyadasi,' I, 186, and the other authorities referred to at I, 182 and, 223.

[10] Compare brahma-parāyano at Mil. 234, brahmacariya-parāyano at A. III, 75, and daṇḍa-parāyano at M. I, 88.

[11] Childers thinks sambodho is merely another form of sambodhi.

[12] Todeyya-putto may be rendered either 'son of the man of Tudi' or 'of the son of the dwellers in Tudi'(a well-known village), or lastly 'of the Todeyya clan,' 'the Todeyyan.'

[13] See my note at 'Buddhist Suttas,' p. 75, and compare contra A. I, 188, 278.

[14] Evaṃ-namo evaṃ-gotto at M. II, 33; S, III, 25; D. I, 242 is followed at D I, 13 by evaṃ-vaṇṇo; but evidence of any effect of social distinction on names is at present very slight.

[15] The great wood stretched from Vesālī northwards to the Himālaya range. In it they had laid out a pleasaunce for the order, and made there a storied house, with a hall below surrounded by pillars only, and facing the west, and above it the gabled apartments in which the Buddha so often stayed.

[16] He was the son of Nāgita's sister. He had joined the Order as a novice when only seven years old, and shown so much intelligence as learner that he was a favourite with the Buddha himself. He must therefore be different from the other Sīha, also a Licchavi, who is the hero of the story told at Vin I, 233-238 = A. IV, 179-188, as the latter is not a member of the order at all. Professor Edward Müller (J.P.T.S., 1888, p.97) confounds the two.

[17] This is the gotta, the gens, to which Nāgita belonged.

[18] This young man became the Buddha's personal attendant; but afterwards, when the Buddha was in extreme old age(M. I, 82), he went over to the creed of Kora the Kshatriya and left the Buddhist order. Kora's doctrine was the efficacy of asceticism, of rigid self-mortification. And it was to show how wrong this doctrine, as put forth by Sunakkhatta, was, that the Buddha told the story (Jāt. I, 398) of the uselessness of the efforts he himself has made when

'Now scorched, now frozen, lone in fearsome woods,
Naked, without a fire, a fire within,
He as a hermit, sought the crown of faith.'

But we do not hear that Sunakkhatta ever came back to the fold.

[19] This is again the name of the gotta, the gens. Buddhaghosa(p.316)calls him a rāja.

[20] See my 'American Lectures' (London, 1896, pp. 142-149) for the full meaning of these three, and of the following Bonds.

[21] Sambodhi-parāyano. So Buddhaghosa on this (p. 313) and my Introduction to the Sutta.

[22] The above three, and Sensuality and Ill-will.

[23] Opapātiko, literally 'accidental'; but the use of such a word would only mislead the reader, the real connotation of the world being that of the words I have chosen. Those who gain the highest heavens are so called because there is no birth there in the ordinary way. Each being, who is there, has appeared there suddenly, accidentally as it were, without generation, conception, gestation or any of the other means attending the birth of beings in the world.

[24] It is impossible to ignore a reference here to the view expressed in the B.rīhad ¡raṇyaka Upanishad (VI, 2, 15). 'There do they dwell far away, beyond, in the Brahmā-worlds. And for them there is no return.'

[25] See my 'American Lectures,' pp. 136-141; and Sum. I, 314-316.

[26] The Siamese edition reads: 'No, it would not, Sir.' On the idiom kallaṃ etaṃ vacanāya compare A. I, 144; M. 211

[27] So three Sinhalese and two Burmese MSS. And the Siamese edition. Two Sinhalese MSS. Read: 'Yes, Sir, it would.' But Buddhaghosa had clearly, both here and above, § 16, the reading we have followed. And he gives a characteristic explanation-that whereas the Arahat(in § 190) would have too much wisdom to be led astray, following the false trail of the soul theory, the Bhikshu who had only reached up to the Jhānas might, being still a puthujjana, an unconverted man, have leanings that way.

To hold that the soul is the same as the body is the heresy referred to in the Brahma-jāla (above, p. 46). See also the Introduction to the Kūṭadanta (above, p.167).


 [Contents ]   [Preface ]   [#1. Brahma-gāla Suttanta: ]   [#2. Sāmañña-phala Suttanta: ]   [#3. The Ambaṭṭha Suttanta: ]   [#4. The Soṇadaṇḍa Suttanta: ]   [#5. The Kūṭadanta Suttanta: ]   [#6. The Mahāli Suttanta: ]   [#7. Gāliva Suttanta: ]   [#8. Kassapa-Sīhanāda Suttanta: ]   [#9. The Poṭṭhapāda Suttanta: ]   [#10. Subha Suttanta: ]   [#11. Kevaddha Suttanta: ]   [#12. Lohikka Suttanta: ]   [#13. Tevigga Suttanta:


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