Digha Nikāya


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Sacred Books of the Buddhists
Volume IV

Dīgha Nikāya

Dialogues of the Buddha
Part III

Sutta 24

Pāṭika Suttantaɱ

Mystic Wonders and the Origin of Things

Translated from the Pali by T.W. Rhys Davids and
C.A.F. Rhys Davids

Public Domain

Originally published under the patronage of
His Majesty King Chulālankarana,
King of Siam
by The Pali Text Society, Oxford

 


 

Introduction
to the
Pāṭika Suttanta

This Suttanta is concerned really with only two topics, firstly that of mystic wonders, and secondly that of the origin of things. The former has been dealt with much better and more fully in the Kevaddha;[1] the latter, here treated quite curtly and by way of appendix only, is fully discussed below in the Aggamia.

Argumentum ad homiuem. 1. Directed at or appealing to one's hearer's or reader's personal feelings or prejudices rather than his intellect and reason; 2. marked by attack on an opponent's character rather than by answer to his contentions

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

The treatment here is clumsy. It is no doubt intended to be both humorous and edifying. But the humour is far removed from the delicate irony of the Kevaddha and the Aggamia. The fun is of the pantomime variety; loud, and rather stupid. It is funny perhaps to hear how a corpse gets slapped on the back, wakes up just long enough to let the cat out of the bag, and then falls back dead again; or how an incompetent medicine-man gets stuck fast to his seat, and wriggles about in his vain endeavours to rise. But this sort of fun would appeal more strongly to a music-hall audience, or to schoolboys out for a holiday, than to those who are likely to read it in this volume. And the supposed edification is of the same order. As an argumentum ad homiuem, as propounded for the enlightenment of the very foolish Sunakkhatta (and this is just, after all, what it purports to be), it may pass muster. Whether it can have appealed to (or was even meant to appeal to) wiser folk is very questionable. One gets rather bored with the unwearied patience with which the Tathāgata is here represented as suffering fools gladly. And it is difficult to bear with an author who tells stories so foolish merely to prove that the Tathāgata is as good a magician as the best, and who has the bad taste to put them into the mouth of the Tathāgata himself. Not only in style and taste does this Suttanta differ from the others. In doctrine also it is opposed to them. The wonders in which the peoples of India, in the sixth century B.C., believed were not very different from those so easily, at the same period, [2] believed in Europe. The mental attitude regarding them was, I venture to think, not at all the same. In the West, though the other view was also found, the prevailing belief was that such wonders were the result of the interference of some deity suspending, or changing, the general law, the sequence of things that generally happened. In India, though this view was sometimes held by some, the prevailing belief was that such wonders (whether worked by humans, gods, or animals) were in accordance with law. In a word, they were not miracles. There is a tendency to make little of this distinction, but it is really of vital importance. It is the difference between Animism and what I have ventured to call Normalism, the exact contrary of Animism.[2]

The early Buddhists did not deny the occurrence of such marvels; on the contrary, they accepted them in the Normalistic sense held by most of their more cultured compatriots. But they held them in low esteem. The Kevaddha makes the Master say:

It is because I see danger in the practice of such mystic wonders that I loathe, and abhor, and am ashamed thereof.[3]

And he is there represented as maintaining that the real wonder, the one he advocates, is the wonder of education — a thesis then set out in detail, and set out, in all probability, for the first time in the history of the world.

So at Dīgha III, 112, 113 (translated below), a distinction is made between such wonders as are ignoble and those that are noble (Ariyan). The former are all the wonders worked by the unconverted, or the worldly. The latter is the wonder of self-mastery.

Then again there is a special rule in the canon law:

This is a misunderstanding of the way the rules were applied. It is nowhere stated that the rules apply to The Buddha himself. This is not hypocracy, but the special role of a Buddha. Where for example the display of magic power by anyone other than the Buddha could subject the individual to both scorn and danger and subject him to the charge that he was and more importantly could be disbelieved by the people and become a source of distrust in the order and doctrine, when perfomed by the Buddha it becomes a challenge to the mind to accept it. The rationalization is that in his case alone being the path-finder, a skeptic can trust (that is, allow for the possibility that he knew more than one's self) the action to have been properly motivated. There are two other related considerations: The acclaim an individual might gain from performing feats of magic could result in that individual becoming seduced by fame, and that fame might detract others from attention to the deeper message of the Dhamma. These two dangers do not exist in the case of the Buddha performing feats of magic power.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

You are not, O Bhikkhus, to display before the laity the wonders of Iddhi, surpassing the power of ordinary men. Whosoever does so shall be guilty of a wrong act (dukkaṭa).[4]

Yet in this Suttanta we have the Master, who is said in the Vinaya to have laid down this rule, represented as doing the very thing he denounces in the Rule as a wrong act. We have before us then a case, not only of divergence in doctrine, but of complete contradiction. What does it mean? It is partly a question of time, partly a question of individual eccentricity, and partly a question of toleration. Our Suttanta can scarcely have grown up in the community [3] after the period in which the Rule just quoted became acknowledged in the community as valid. Now the occurrence in the Rule of the technical term dukkata (wrong act), a term not found in the Patimokkha, shows (for the reasons given by Oldenberg in the Introduction to his edition of the text) that the Rule in question belongs to the third and latest stage in the evolution of the Canon Law. We must allow, at least, two or three generations after the death of the Buddha for this evolution. During that interval different individuals in the community held different views as to the powers of magic. No one believed in miracles in the European sense of that word. But there were a number of individuals who thought it edifying to ascribe the power of magic, and to ascribe it in ever increasing degree, to the Buddha and his most famous disciples. The view of the more intelligent; the view that ultimately, in great measure, prevailed; and so far as we can judge, the view of the Buddha himself, was the view put forward in the Kevaddha and allied passages. But the other view was also held by weaker vessels. And when the anthology called the Dīgha was put together, its editor, or editors, included not only both old and new, but also stories, legends or paragraphs embodying views divergent and even opposed. We are not entitled on these facts to suppose that the Patika Suttanta was either later or earlier than the Kevaddha. Both may have been already current in the community when the Dīgha was edited, and the editors may have been tolerant of whichever of the opposing views they did not share; or they may have thought the story should go in, as it clearly implied how very silly Sunakkhatta was, and how deplorably weak were the views he held.

 


 

The word Arahant is, in this Suttanta, applied by Sunakkhatta to three persons — religieux of the baser sort, devoid, in all that we are told about them, of the essential qualities of the Arahant as laid down in the Nikāyas. He is simply not using the word in the Buddhist sense at all. The expression is pre-Buddhistic. It is used, for instance, in the Brāhmaṇa of the Hundred Paths of kings and priests, not apparently with any ethical connotation, but simply as people entitled to receive gifts and respect, and who are apt to be very angry if these be not forthcoming.[5] It is here an honorific title, used of worldly people of distinguished position. It might be freely rendered Right Honourable, but [4] really means worthy or entitled to receive gifts. In our Suttanta it is applied by Sunakkhatta, who rejects the new movement of reform, to ascetics as such merely on account of their self-mortification (tapas).[6] It might be rendered His Worship (that is, worth-ship) or His Reverence. In this he has the devas on his side. They are represented as saying of one become emaciated by voluntary starvation that he is like in appearance to an Arahant[7]. Now the dear devas were not considered as very bright, except in their outward form. They were intellectually on a level with the chorus in a Greek play, or with the man in the street of the modern journalist, but they talk, no doubt, the language of men, and we may take it that at the time of the rise of Buddhism the word Arahant had come to be popularly applied, not only to priests and kings, but also to ascetics.[8]

As in so many other cases, the leaders of the new movement adopted the current term, but poured, as it were, new wine into the old bottle by using it with a new connotation. They tried the same plan also with the old term Brahmin, and then they failed; vested interests were too strong for them.[9]

In this particular case they succeeded. Seldom or never in later writings do we find the word in its old sense. It has the reformed meaning only — viz., that of a man who has reached the end of the Ariyan Path and has the consequent knowledge and sense of emancipation.[10] And as a consequence of this we find alongside of the old derivation (from arahati, to be worthy of) all sorts of fanciful and purely exegetical explanations. So at Majjhima I, 280 the word is connected with āraka, distant, because all evil dispositions are far from the Arahant, and the Visuddhi Magga[11] and the Abhidhāna Padīpikā Sūcī (s.v.) give a number of others of the same kind.

Arahant, in the new sense, thus differs from the ancient usage in connoting not worldly position or the outward signs of asceticism, but a radical change of heart, and an alertness of intellect so ingrained that it amounts, at times, to intuition. There are many passages in the oldest texts [5] giving the details of this ideal state.[12] The post-canonical history of the word is a striking testimony to the decline of the faith. The later writers, whether in Pali or Sanskrit, do not know any contemporary Arahants. For them Arahants, whether laymen or not, existed only in the good old times. We have seen above[13] how the Buddha, just before his death, in the talk with his last convert, gives utterance to the hope: May the brethren live the perfect life, that the world be not bereft of Arahants!

According to the view of Buddhist writers, the world has been bereft of Arahants for more than two thousand years. But the Buddhist Messiah is to come and then there will be Arahants again.[14]

There arises out of this a further question: Who, in the oldest period, could be an Arahant? The answer is: Anyone — men or women, old or young, lay or religieux.[15] There is a statement in the Milinda (p. 264) that Whoever has attained, as a layman, to Arahantship, one of two courses is posible to him, and no other — either that very day he enters the Order, or he dies, for beyond that day he cannot last.

No confirmation of this has so far been found in the Nikāyas. But there is an adumbration to such a doctrine in the Kathā Vatthu (IV. i) when the objector has decidedly the best of the argument against the Thera-vādin. The latter depends on a statement put into the Master's mouth in the Majjhima:

' There is no layman who, without putting away the bonds that bind laymen, obtains after death the end of ills.'[16]

But this is a very different matter and is no answer, as pointed out by the objector, to the fact that examples are given of laymen who become Arahants. When laymen had experienced the mental change called becoming an Arahant, the natural result, under the conditions prevailing in North India in the sixth or fifth centuries B.C., would be that he [6] would become a religieux. And this may have been sufficient reason for such opinions as those expressed in the Kathā Vatthu and the Milinda having, in the course of centuries, grown up.

We talk now of the Buddha, and have scarcely begun to be familiar with the term Arahant. In the old days these were so closely allied that they really gave expression to two facets of the same jewel. Every Buddha (awakened one) was an Arahant. Every Arahant was buddha (awakened).[17]

T. W. R. D.

 


 

XXIV. PĀṬIKA SUTTANTA[18]

Mystic Wonders and the Origin of Things

[1] THUS HAVE I HEARD.

The Exalted One was once staying among the Mallas,
at Anupiya, one of their towns.[19]

Now the Exalted One, having robed himself in the early morning,
put on his cloak and took his bowl,
and entered the town for alms.

And he thought:

"It is too early for me now
to go through Anupiya for alms.

I might go to the pleasaunce
where Bhaggava the Wanderer dwells,[20]
and call upon Bhaggava."

So the Exalted One went to the pleasaunce
and to the place where Bhaggava the Wanderer was.

Then Bhaggava spake thus to the Exalted One:

"Let my Lord the Exalted One come near.

Welcome to the Exalted One!

It is long since the Exalted One
has taken the opportunity[21]
to come our way.

May it please you, Sir,
to be seated;
here is a seat made ready."

The Exalted One sat down thereon,
and Bhaggava, taking a certain low stool,
sat down beside him.

So [8] seated,
Bhaggava the Wanderer spake thus
to the Exalted One:

"Some days ago, Lord,
a good many days ago,
Sunakkhatta of the Licchavis[22] called on me
and spake thus:

'I have now given up the Exalted One, Bhaggava.

I am remaining no longer
under him (as my teacher).'

Is the fact really so,
just as he said?"

"It is just so, Bhaggava,
as Sunakkhatta of the Licchavis said.

Some days ago, Bhaggava,
a good many days ago,
Sunakkhatta, the Licchavi, came to call on me,
and spake thus:

'Sir, I now give up the Exalted One.

I will henceforth remain no longer
under him (as my teacher).'

When he told me this, I said to him:

'But now, Sunakkhatta,
have I ever said to you:

"Come, Sunakkhatta,
live under me (as my pupil)?"'

'No, Sir, you have not.'

'Or have you ever said to me:

"Sir, I would fain dwell
under the Exalted One (as my teacher)?"'

'No, Sir, I have not.'

'But if I said not the one,
and you said not the other,
what are you
and what am I
that you talk of giving up?[23]

See, foolish one,
in how far the fault here is your own.'[24]

'Well, but Sir,
the Exalted One works me no mystic wonders
surpassing the power of ordinary men.'[25]

'Why, now, Sunakkhatta,
have I ever said to you:

"Come, take me as your teacher, Sunakkhatta,
and I will work for you
mystic wonders
surpassing the power of ordinary men?"'

'You have not, Sir.'

'Or have you ever said to me:

"Sir, I would fain take the Exalted One
as my teacher,
for he will work for [9] me
mystic wonders
beyond the powers of ordinary men"?'

'I have not, Sir.'

'But if I said not the one,
and you said not the other,
what are you
and what am I,
foolish man,
that you talk of giving up?

What think you, Sunakkhatta?

Whether mystic wonders
beyond the power of ordinary man
are wrought,
or whether they are not,
is the object for which I teach the Norm this:
that it leads to the thorough destruction of ill
for the doer thereof?'

'Whether, Sir, they are so wrought
or not,
that is indeed the object
for which the Norm is taught
by the Exalted One.'

'If then, Sunakkhatta,
it matters not to that object
whether mystic wonders are wrought
or not,
of what use to you
would be the working of them?

See, foolish one,
in how far the fault here is your own.'

'But, Sir, the Exalted One does not reveal to me
the beginning of things.'[26]

'Why now, Sunakkhatta,
have I ever said to you:

"Come, Sunakkhatta,
be my disciple
and I will reveal to you
the beginning of things?"'

'Sir, you have not.'

'Or have you ever said to me:

"I will become the Exalted One's pupil,
for he will reveal to me
the beginning of things"?'

'Sir, I have not.'

'But if I have not said the one
and you have not said the other,
what are you
and what am I,
foolish man,
that you talk of giving up on that account?

What think you, Sunakkhatta?

Whether the beginning of things be revealed,
or whether it be not,
is the object for which I teach the Norm this:
that it leads to the thorough destruction of ill
for the doer thereof?'

[10] 'Whether, Sir, they are revealed or not,
that is indeed the object
for which the Norm is taught
by the Exalted one.'

'If then, Sunakkhatta, it matters not
to that object
whether the beginning of things be revealed,
or whether it be not,
of what use to you would it be
to have the beginning of things revealed?

See, foolish one,
in how far the fault here is your own.

In many ways have you, Sunakkhatta,
spoken my praises
among the Vajjians,[27]
saying:[28]

"Thus is the Exalted One;
he is an Arahant
fully awakened;
wisdom he has
and righteousness;
he is the Well-Farer;[29]
he has knowledge of the worlds;
he is the supreme driver
of men willing to be tamed;
the teacher of devas[30] and men;
the Awakened
and Exalted One."

In such wise have you been wont,
among the Vajjians,
to utter praise of me.

In many ways have you, Sunakkhatta,
spoken the praises of the Dhamma
among the Vajjians:

"Well proclaimed by the Exalted One
is the Dhamma
as bearing on this present life,
not involving time,[31]
in- [11] viting all to come and see,[32]
to be understood by every wise man for himself."

In such wise have you been wont,
among the Vajjians,
to utter praise of the Dhamma.

In many ways have you, Sunakkhatta,
spoken the praises of the Order
among the Vajjians:

"Well are they trained,
the Order of the Exalted One's disciples,
even the four branches thereof.

The eight classes of individuals[33]
well trained in uprightness,
in principles
and in courtesy.

This Order should be respected
and revered;
gifts should be given it,
and homage;
for it is the world's unsurpassed field
(for sowing) merit."

In such wise have you been wont,
among the Vajjians,
to utter praise of the Order.

I tell you Sunakkhatta,
I make known to you Sunakkhatta,
that there will be those that shall say concerning you
thus:

"Sunakkhatta of the Licchavis
was not able to live the holy life
under Gotama the recluse.

And he, not being able to adhere to it,
hath renounced the discipline
and turned to lower things."'

Thus, Bhaggava, did Sunakkhatta of the Licchavis,
addressed by me,
depart from this Doctrine and Discipline,
as one doomed to disaster and purgatory."

 

§

 

"At one time, Bhaggava,
I was staying among the Bumu's.

Uttarakā is a village of theirs,
and having dressed early one morning,
I afterwards took my bowl,
put on my robe,
and went into Uttarakā for alms.

Now, at that time, a cynic there,
Bandylegs the Khattiya,[34]
was wont to behave like a dog,
walking on all fours,[35]
[12] or sprawling on the ground
and taking up food,
whether hard or soft,
with his mouth only
(without using his hands).

Sunakkhatta, seeing him act thus, thought:

'How truly admirable does he look,
the holy man,
the recluse creeping on all fours,
or sprawling on the ground,
taking up food,
whether hard or soft,
with his mouth only.'

Then I, Bhaggava,
knowing what was in his mind,
said to him:

'Do you, O foolish man,
confess yourself
as following the son of the Sakiyas?'

'What does the Exalted One mean, Sir,
in saying this to me?'

'Did you not think, Sunakkhatta,
as you looked at that naked Cynic, Kora the Khattiya,
on all fours,
sprawling on the earth,
taking up his food,
whether hard or soft,
with his mouth only:

"How admirable were it to be a holy man like that"?'

'Yes, lord, I did.

What then!

Does the Exalted One begrudge Arahantship in others?'[36]

'Nay, foolish man.

I begrudge in no one Arahantship.

It is only in you
that this vicious opinion has arisen.

Put it away.

Let it not become a lasting source
of harm and ill to you.

This naked cynic, Kora the Khattiya,
whom you, Sunakkhatta, fancy so admirable an arahant,
will die seven days hence
of an epilepsy,[37]
and dying he will be reborn
as one of the Kālakañjas,[38]
the very lowest of the Asura groups.

As dead,
he will be laid out
on a heap of birana grass
in the charnel field.

You might go up to him,
if you wish,
and ask him:

"Do you know your own destiny, friend Kora?"

Perchance he will reply:

"I know my own [13] destiny, friend Sunakkhatta.

There are Asuras called Kalakanjas, the very lowest of the Asura groups — 'tis among them I am reborn."'

Thereat, Bhaggava, Sunakkhatta of the Licchavis,
went up to the cynic, Kora the Khattiya,
and spake thus to him:

'Friend Kora the Khattiya,
the Samaṇa Gotama has declared that on the seventh day hence,
the naked ascetic, Kora the Khattiya, will die,
and dying
he will be reborn as one of the Kalakanjas,
the very lowest of the Asura groups.'

As dead,
he will be laid on a heap of birana grass
in the charnel field.

Wherefore, friend Kora the Khattiya,
you should partake of food with great moderation;
you should drink liquids with great moderation;
so that the word of the Samaṇa Gotama
may prove wrong.'

Then Sunakkhatta, so firmly did he disbelieve the Tathāgata,
counted up the seven days one after another;
but, Bhaggava, on the seventh day,
Kora the Khattiya died of an epilepsy,
and dying
was reborn as one of the Kalakanjas,
the very lowest of the Asura groups;
and as dead,
was laid out on a heap of birana grass
in the charnel field.

Now Sunakkhatta heard, Bhaggava,
that Kora the Khattiya lay dead in the charnel field
on a heap of birana grass.

And he went thither
where the corpse was lying,
and thrice he smote the naked ascetic
with his hand, saying:

'Do you know, friend Kora the Khattiya,
what has been your destiny?'

Then Bhaggava, Kora the Khattiya,
rubbing his back with his hand,
raised himself up and said:

'I know, friend Sunakkhatta,
what is my destiny.

Among the Kalakanjas,
the very lowest of the Asura groups —
there am I reborn.'

So saying, he fell back supine.[39]

Thereupon, Bhaggava, Sunakkhatta the Licchavi came to me,
and saluting me,
sat down beside me.

So [14] sitting,
I spake to him thus:

'What think you, Sunakkhatta?

Has it happened to the cynic, Kora the Khattiya,
even as I declared to you,
or otherwise?'

'It has happened to him
even as the Exalted One declared to me,
not otherwise.'

'What think you, Sunakkhatta?

This being so,
has a mystic wonder
by power beyond that of ordinary men
been wrought,
or has it not?'

'Surely, sir, this being so,
such a mystic wonder has been wrought.'[40]

'And is it then to me, you foolish man,
who have thus
by power beyond that of ordinary men,
wrought a mystic wonder,
that you say:

"Sir, the Exalted one works me no miracles
with his superhuman gifts?"

See, foolish man,
how far you have committed yourself.'

Thus, Bhaggava, did Sunakkhatta of the Licchavis,
addressed by me,
depart from this Doctrine and Discipline,
as one doomed to disaster and to purgatory."

 

§

 

"At one time, Bhaggava, I was staying at Vesalī
in the Great Wood,
at the Gable Hall.

Now at that time
there was a naked ascetic residing at Vesalī, named Kandara-masuka,[41]
and great was his gain
and his fame
in the Vajjian home.

He had vowed
and taken upon himself
seven rules of life,
to wit:

'So long as I live
I will be of the Naked Ascetics,
I will put on no garment;

so long as I live,
I will be a devotee,
devoted to a life of chastity;

so long as I live,
I will maintain myself
by spirituous drink and by flesh,
eating no rice-broth or gruel;

I will never go beyond the Udena shrine
on the east of Vesall;

the Gotamaka shrine
on the south;

the Sattamba shrine
on the west,

and the Bahuputta shrine
on the north.'

It was because of his having laid [15] upon himself
these seven rules of life
that he had gain and fame
beyond all others
in the Vajjian home.

Now, Bhaggava, Sunakkhatta of the Licchavis
went to call on Kandara-masuka
and asked him a question.

Kandara-masuka did not follow the question,
and not following,
manifested resentment,
dislike,
and anger.

Then it occurred to Sunakkhatta:

'We might come into conflict
with[42] the admirable arahant recluse.

Let nothing happen
that would make for lasting harm and ill to us.'

Thereupon, Bhaggava, Sunakkhatta the Licchavi
came to call upon me,
and saluting me,
he sat down beside me
and thus I spake to him:

'Do you, O foolish man,
still confess yourself
as following the son of the Sakiyas?'

'What does the Exalted One mean
in saying that?'

'Why, Sunakkhatta, did you not go up to the naked ascetic, Kandara-masuka
and ask him a question which he did not follow,
and over which he manifested anger,
dislike,
and resentment?

And did it not occur to you:

"We might come into conflict
with the admirable arahant and recluse."

Let nothing happen
that would make for lasting harm and ill to us?"'

'It was even so, Sir.

Does the Exalted One begrudge arahantship in anyone?'

'Nay, foolish man,
I begrudge in no one Arahantship.

To you only
has this vicious opinion arisen.

Get rid of it.

Let that not make
for lasting harm and ill to you.

This naked ascetic Kandara-masuka,
whom you think so admirable an arahant recluse,
will ere long end his days clothed and married,
his diet rice-broth and rice-gruel;
his range past all shrines in Vesalī,
and he will die fallen from his fame.'

And ere long, Bhaggava,
that ascetic ended his days clothed and married,
his diet rice-broth and rice-gruel;
his range past all shrines in Vesalī,
and died fallen from his fame.

[16] Now Sunakkhatta heard that Kandara-masuka, the ascetic,
had ended his days clothed and married,
his diet rice-broth and rice-gruel;
his range past all shrines in Vesalī,
and died fallen from his fame.

Thereupon he came to call upon me,
and saluting me,
he sat down beside me,
and I spake to him thus:

'What think you, Sunakkhatta?

Has it happened to the naked ascetic, Kandara-masuka,
even as I declared to you,
or otherwise?'

'It has happened to him
even as the Exalted One declared to me,
not otherwise.'

'What think you, Sunakkhatta?

This being so,
has a mystic wonder
by power surpassing that of ordinary men
been wrought,
or has none been wrought?'

'Surely, Sir, this being so,
such a mystic wonder has been wrought.'[43]

'And is it then to me, you foolish man,
who have thus by power surpassing that of ordinary men,
wrought a mystic wonder,
that you say:

"Sir, the Exalted One works no such mystic wonder."

See, foolish man, how far you have committed yourself.'

Thus, Bhaggava, did Sunakkhatta the Licchavi,
addressed by me,
depart from this Doctrine and Discipline,
as one doomed to disaster
and to purgatory."

 

§

 

"At one time, Bhaggava,
I was staying there at Vesalī,
in the Great Wood, at the Gable Hall.

Now at that time,
the naked ascetic, Pāṭika's son,[44]
was residing at Vesalī,
and great was his gain
and his fame
in the Vajjian home.

He held forth thus
in the Vesalī assemblies:

'Both the Samaṇa Gotama and I
affirm that we have insight.

Now it becomes one
who affirms this
to show, in virtue of his insight,
mystic wonders,
by his extraordinary gifts.

If the Samaṇa Gotama would come half-way,
I would meet him half-way.

Then we could both work a mystic wonder
by our extraordinary gifts.

If the Samaṇa Gotama work one such mystic wonder,
[17] I will work two.

If he work two,
I will work four.

If he will work four,
I will work eight.

Thus, to whatever extent he may perform,
I will perform double.'

Then, Bhaggava, Sunakkhatta the Licchavi
came to call on me,
and saluting me,
sat down beside me.

And so seated, he said this:

'The naked ascetic, Pāṭika's son, sir,
held forth thus
in the Vesalī assemblies:

"Both the Samaṇa Gotama and I
affirm that we have insight.

Now it becomes one
who affirms this
to show, in virtue of his insight,
mystic wonders,
by his extraordinary gifts.

If the Samaṇa Gotama would come half-way,
I would meet him half-way.

Then we could both work a mystic wonder
by our extraordinary gifts.

If the Samaṇa Gotama work one such mystic wonder,
I will work two.

If he work two,
I will work four.

If he will work four,
I will work eight.

Thus, to whatever extent he may perform,
I will perform double."'

And when he had thus spoken, Bhaggava,
I said to Sunakkhatta:

'Incompetent, Sunakkhatta,
is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika's son,
to meet me face to face,
if he withdraw not those words,
if he put not away that idea,
if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that,
holding to those words,
to that idea,
maintaining that opinion,
he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama,
his head would split asunder.'

'Let the Exalted One
take heed to what he says.

Let the Wellfarer
take heed to what he says.'

'What mean you, Sunakkhatta,
that you say this to me?'

"Let the Exalted One
take heed to what he says.

Let the Wellfarer
take heed to what he says."

'It may be, sir,
that the Exalted One's words
convey an absolute statement
respecting what would happen,
in any case,
to Pāṭika's son,
should he,
as such,
come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama.

But Pāṭika's son might come
in an altered shape[45]
to meet the Exalted One,
and that would render the Exalted One's words false.'

'Now, Sunakkhatta,
would a Tathāgata utter any speech
that was ambiguous?'

'Well now, Sir,
is it by the Exalted One's own discernment
that he knows:

"Incompetent is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika's son,
to meet me face to face,
if he withdraw not those words,
if he put not away that idea,
if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that,
holding to those words,
to that idea,
maintaining that opinion,
he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama,
his head would split asunder,"

or has some deva announced:

"Incompetent is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika's son,
to meet me face to face,
if he withdraw not those words,
if he put not away that idea,
if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that,
holding to those words,
to that idea,
maintaining that opinion,
he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama,
his head would split asunder,"

to the Tathāgata?'

'I have both discerned in my mind, Sunakkhatta:

"Incompetent is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika's son,
to meet me face to face,
if he withdraw not those words,
if he put not away that idea,
if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that,
holding to those words,
to that idea,
maintaining that opinion,
he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama,
his head would split asunder,"

and a deva has also announced to me:

"Incompetent is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika's son,
to meet me face to face,
if he withdraw not those words,
if he put not away that idea,
if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that,
holding to those words,
to that idea,
maintaining that opinion,
he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama,
his head would split asunder,"

for Ajita, general of the Licchavis,
who died the other day,
has been reborn in the realm of the Three-and-Thirty.

He came to me
and declared this to me:

"Shameless, Sir, is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika's son;
a liar, Sir, is Pāṭika's [18] son.

He made this statement
concerning me among the Vajjians:

'Ajita, the general of the Licchavis,
is reborn in the Great Purgatory.'

But I am not reborn there, sir;
I am reborn in the realm of the Thirty-and-Three.

Shameless is Pāṭika's son, Sir,
and a liar;
incompetent is he to meet Samaṇa Gotama face to face,
if he withdraw not those words,
if he put not away that idea,
if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that, holding to those words, to that idea, maintaining that opinion, he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama, his head would split asunder."

Thus, Sunakkhatta, have I both discerned in my mind:

"Incompetent is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika's son,
to meet me face to face,
if he withdraw not those words,
if he put not away that idea,
if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that,
holding to those words,
to that idea,
maintaining that opinion,
he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama,
his head would split asunder,"

and a deva has also announced to me:

"Incompetent is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika's son,
to meet me face to face,
if he withdraw not those words,
if he put not away that idea,
if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that,
holding to those words,
to that idea,
maintaining that opinion,
he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama,
his head would split asunder."

Now Sunakkhatta, when I have gone to Vesalī
on my round for alms,
and have dined,
and am on the way back,
I will go to Pāṭika's son's Park.

Tell him, then, Sunakkhatta, whatever you think right.'

Then I, Bhaggava, having dressed early,
and taken my bowl and robe,
entered Vesalī for alms.

And after my meal,
as I returned,
I went into Pāṭika's son's park for siesta.

Then, Bhaggava, Sunakkhatta the Licchavi,
in a great hurry,
went into Vesalī,
and went to all the most distinguished of the Licchavis
and told them saying:

'Friends, that Exalted One,
on returning from his round for alms,
and after dining,
has gone to Pāṭika's son's park for siesta.

Come forth, sirs, come forth.

There is going to be wonder-working
by the superhuman gifts
of admirable recluses.'

Then those most distinguished among the Licchavis thought:

'There is going to be wonder-working
by the superhuman gifts
of admirable recluses.

Come then, let's go.'

And wherever there were eminent brahmins
and wealthy householders of position,[46]
who had become Wanderers
or brahmins of different sects,
there he went and told them saying:

'Friends, that Exalted One,
on returning from his round for alms,
and after dining,
has gone to Pāṭika's son's park for siesta.

Come forth, sirs, come forth.

There is going to be wonder-working
by the superhuman gifts
of admirable recluses.'

And those most eminent brahmins
and wealthy householders of position,
who had become Wanderers
or brahmins of different sects thought:

'There is going to be wonder-working
by the superhuman gifts
of admirable recluses.

Come then, let's go.'

So, Bhaggava, those eminent Licchavis
and distinguished brahmins
and wealthy householders of position,
now Wanderers or brahmins of different sects,
all repaired to the park of the naked ascetic, Pāṭika's son.

And [19] they formed an assembly of several hundred,
nay, of several thousand persons.

Now Pāṭika's son heard that all these people were come out
and that the Samaṇa Gotama himself
was sitting,
during siesta,
in his park,
and hearing of it,
fear came upon him
and trembling
and creeping of the flesh.

And thus afeared,
agitated,
and in dread,
he went away to the Tinduka Pollards,
the Wanderers' Park.

Then that company, Bhaggava,
heard that he had gone thither in a panic,
and they charged a certain man, saying:

'Come, my man,
go to the Tinduka Pollards
and find Pāṭika's son, the naked ascetic
and say this to him:

"We have come out, friend Pāṭika's son;
there are come out many distinguished Licchavis
and brahmins
and wealthy householders,
and various teachers among brahmins and recluses.

And the Samaṇa Gotama himself is sitting,
during siesta,
in your reverence's park.

You, friend Pāṭika's son,
have delivered this speech in the assembly at Vesalī:

'Both the Samaṇa Gotama and I
affirm that we have insight.

Now it becomes one
who affirms this
to show, in virtue of his insight,
mystic wonders,
by his extraordinary gifts.

If the Samaṇa Gotama would come half-way,
I would meet him half-way.

Then we could both work a mystic wonder
by our extraordinary gifts.

If the Samaṇa Gotama work one such mystic wonder,
I will work two.

If he work two,
I will work four.

If he will work four,
I will work eight.

Thus, to whatever extent he may perform,
I will perform double.'

Come forth then half-way, friend Pāṭika's son;
the Samaṇa Gotama has come all the first half
and is seated in your reverence's park for siesta."'

'Very good', said that man,
consenting,
and he went to the Tinduka Pollards,
the Wanderers' Park,
found Pāṭika's son,
and said this:

'We have come out, friend Pāṭika's son;
there are come out many distinguished Licchavis
and brahmins
and wealthy householders,
and various teachers among brahmins and recluses.

And the Samaṇa Gotama himself is sitting,
during siesta,
in your reverence's park.

You, friend Pāṭika's son,
have delivered this speech in the assembly at Vesalī:

"Both the Samaṇa Gotama and I
affirm that we have insight.

Now it becomes one
who affirms this
to show, in virtue of his insight,
mystic wonders,
by his extraordinary gifts.

If the Samaṇa Gotama would come half-way,
I would meet him half-way.

Then we could both work a mystic wonder
by our extraordinary gifts.

If the Samaṇa Gotama work one such mystic wonder,
I will work two.

If he work two,
I will work four.

If he will work four,
I will work eight.

Thus, to whatever extent he may perform,
I will perform double."

Come forth then half-way, friend Pāṭika's son;
the Samaṇa Gotama has come all the first half
and is seated in your reverence's park for siesta.'

When this was told him, Bhaggava,
the naked ascetic, Pāṭika's son, saying:

'I am coming, friend, I am coming,'
writhed about then and there
and was unable to rise from his seat.

Then said the man to him:

'How now, friend Pāṭika's son?

Are your hams stuck to your seat,
or is your seat stuck to your hams?

You [20] say:

"I am coming, friend, I am coming", yet you writhe about
and are not able to rise from your seat.'

And though this was said to him, Pāṭika's son repeated:

'I am coming, friend, I am coming,'
but only writhed about,
unable to rise.

Now when the man recognized Pāṭika's son's discomfiture,
hearing his words
and seeing his incapacity,
he went to the assembly
and told them, saying:

'The naked ascetic Pāṭika's son seems discomfited.

He says:

"I am coming, friend, I am coming,"
but he only writhes about as he sits
and is unable to get up.

At these words, Bhaggava,
I said to the assembly:

'Incompetent, friends, is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika's son,
to meet me face to face,
if he withdraw not those words,
if he put not away that idea,
if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that,
holding to those words,
to that idea,
maintaining that opinion,
he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama,
his head would split asunder.'

Thereupon, Bhaggava, a certain councillor of the Licchavis
rose from his seat
and addressed the meeting:

'Well then, gentlemen,
wait a while till I go and see
whether I am able to bring the naked ascetic, Pāṭika's son,
to this assembly.'

Then that councillor went to the Tinduka Pollards,
the Wanderers' Park,
found Pāṭika's son
and summoned him to attend, saying:

'We have come out, friend Pāṭika's son;
there are come out many distinguished Licchavis
and brahmins
and wealthy householders,
and various teachers among brahmins and recluses.

And the Samaṇa Gotama himself is sitting,
during siesta,
in your reverence's park.

You, friend Pāṭika's son,
have delivered this speech in the assembly at Vesalī:

"Both the Samaṇa Gotama and I
affirm that we have insight.

Now it becomes one
who affirms this
to show, in virtue of his insight,
mystic wonders,
by his extraordinary gifts.

If the Samaṇa Gotama would come half-way,
I would meet him half-way.

Then we could both work a mystic wonder
by our extraordinary gifts.

If the Samaṇa Gotama work one such mystic wonder,
I will work two.

If he work two,
I will work four.

If he will work four,
I will work eight.

Thus, to whatever extent he may perform,
I will perform double."

Come forth then half-way, friend Pāṭika's son;
the Samaṇa Gotama has come all the first half
and is seated in your reverence's park for siesta.'

If you come
we will make you the victor,
and cause the Samaṇa Gotama to lose.'

When this was told him, Bhaggava,
the naked ascetic, Pāṭika's son, saying:

'I am coming, friend, I am coming,'
writhed about then and there
and was unable to rise from his seat.

Now when the councillor recognized the ascetic's discomfiture,
hearing his words
and seeing his incapacity,
he came to the meeting
and told them, saying:

'The naked ascetic, Pāṭika's son, seems discomfited.

[21] He says:

"I am coming, friend, I am coming,"
but he writhes about as he sits
and is unable to get up.'

And when he had thus said, Bhaggava,
I spake to the meeting
and told them again:

'Incompetent, friends, is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika's son,
to meet me face to face,
if he withdraw not those words,
if he put not away that idea,
if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that,
holding to those words,
to that idea,
maintaining that opinion,
he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama,
his head would split asunder.

Even if it occurred to my noble friends the Licchavis:

"Let us bind Pāṭika's son with thongs and drag him hither with ox-yokes,"
Pāṭika's son would break those thongs.

Incompetent, friends, is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika's son,
to meet me face to face,
if he withdraw not those words,
if he put not away that idea,
if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that,
holding to those words,
to that idea,
maintaining that opinion,
he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama,
his head would split asunder.'

Thereupon, Bhaggava, Jaliya,
pupil of Wooden-Bowl[47]
rose from his seat
and spoke thus to the meeting:

'Well then, gentlemen,
wait awhile till I go and see whether I am able
to bring the naked ascetic, Pāṭika's son,
to this assembly.'

Then Bhaggava, Jaliya, Wooden-Bowl's pupil,
went to the Tinduka Pollards,
the Wanderers' Park,
found Pāṭika's son,
and summoned him to attend, saying:

'We have come out, friend Pāṭika's son;
there are come out many distinguished Licchavis
and brahmins
and wealthy householders,
and various teachers among brahmins and recluses.

And the Samaṇa Gotama himself is sitting,
during siesta,
in your reverence's park.

You, friend Pāṭika's son,
have delivered this speech in the assembly at Vesalī:

"Both the Samaṇa Gotama and I
affirm that we have insight.

Now it becomes one
who affirms this
to show, in virtue of his insight,
mystic wonders,
by his extraordinary gifts.

If the Samaṇa Gotama would come half-way,
I would meet him half-way.

Then we could both work a mystic wonder
by our extraordinary gifts.

If the Samaṇa Gotama work one such mystic wonder,
I will work two.

If he work two,
I will work four.

If he will work four,
I will work eight.

Thus, to whatever extent he may perform,
I will perform double."

Come forth then half-way, friend Pāṭika's son;
the Samaṇa Gotama has come all the first half
and is seated in your reverence's park for siesta.'

If you come
we will make you the victor,
and cause the Samaṇa Gotama to lose.'

When this was told him, Bhaggava,
the naked ascetic, Pāṭika's son, saying:

'I am coming, friend, I am coming,'
writhed about then and there
and was unable to rise from his seat.

Now when Jaliya, Wooden-Bowl's pupil,
recognized the ascetic's discomfiture,
he spake to him thus:

Long ago, friend Pāṭika's son,
this idea occurred to the lion,
king of the beasts:[48]

"What if I were to make my lair near a certain jungle,
so that in the evening I could issue from my lair,
and stretch myself and survey the landscape,
and thrice roar a lion's roar,
and go forth towards the cattle pastures.

I could slay the pick of the herd of beasts,
feast on a continual diet of tender flesh,
and get me back to that same lair."

Then the lion, friend, made his lair near a certain jungle,
so that in the evening he could issue from his lair,
and stretch himself and survey the landscape,
and thrice roar a lion's roar,
and go forth towards the cattle pastures.

And he would slay the pick of the herd of beasts,
feast on a continual diet of tender flesh,
and get him back to that same lair.

Now, friend Pāṭika's son,
there was an old jackal
who had continually thriven
on the remains of that lion's food,
and was stout and strong,
and it occurred [22] to him:[49]

"Who am I,
and who is Lion,
king of the beasts?

What if I were to choose my lair near a certain jungle,
so that in the evening I could issue from my lair,
and stretch myself and survey the landscape,
and thrice roar a lion's roar,
and go forth towards the cattle pastures?

I could slay the pick of the herd of beasts,
feast on a continual diet of tender flesh,
and get me back to that same lair."

Now, friend, that old jackal chose his lair
near a certain jungle,
and coming forth in the evening and stretching himself,
and surveying the landscape, he thought:

"Thrice will I roar a lion's roar",
and thereat he roared a jackal's howl,
a vulpine howl.

Would you compare a vile jackal's howl
with a lion's roar?[50]

Even so, you, friend Pāṭika's son,
living among the exploits[51] of the Wellfarer,
feeding on food left over after the Wellfarer has been served,
fancy you can reach up to those
who are[52] Tathāgatas, Arahants, Buddhas Supreme!

Why, what have wretched Pāṭika's sons in common
with Tathāgatas, Arahants, Buddhas Supreme?'

Now since Jaliya, Bhaggava, was unable,
even by this parable,
to make the ascetic leave his seat,
he went on:

'The jackal on himself reflecting deemed:
"The lion I! I am the king of beasts!"
And so he roared — a puny jackal's whine.
For what is there in common 'twixt the twain —
The scurvy jackal and the lion's roar?

Even so do you, friend Pāṭika's son,
living among [23] the exploits of the Wellfarer,
feeding on the offerings set aside for the Wellfarer,
you fancy things that are to be set up
against Tathāgatas, Arahants, Buddhas Supreme.

Why, what have wretched Pāṭika's sons in common
with Tathāgatas, Arahants, Buddhas Supreme?'

Now, Bhaggava, since Jaliya was unable,
even by this parable,
to make the ascetic leave his seat,
he said this to him:

'Roaming the pleasant woods, seeing himself
Grown fat on scraps, until he sees himself no more,[53]
"A tiger I!" the jackal deems himself.
But lo! he roars — a puny jackal's howl.
For what is there in common 'twixt the twain:
The scurvy jackal and the lion's roar?

Even so do you, friend Pāṭika's son,
living among the exploits of the Wellfarer,
feeding on food set aside for the Wellfarer,
fancy you can set yourself up
against Tathāgatas, Arahants, Buddhas Supreme!

Why, what have wretched Pāṭika's sons in common
with the Tathāgatas, Arahants, Buddhas Supreme?'

Now, Bhaggava, since Jaliya was unable,
even by this parable,
to make the ascetic leave his seat,
he went on thus:

'Feeding on frogs, on barnfloor mice, and on
The corpses laid apart in charnel-field,
In the great forest, in the lonely wood
The jackal throve and fancied vain conceits:
"The lion, King of all the beasts am I!"
But when he roared — a puny jackal's whine.
For what is there in common 'twixt the twain —
The scurvy jackal and the lion's roar?

Even so you, friend Pāṭika's son,
living among the exploits of the Wellfarer,
feeding on food set aside for the Wellfarer,
fancy things that are to be set up
against Tathāgatas, Arahants, Buddhas [24] Supreme.

What have wretched Pāṭika's sons in common
with rivals of Tathāgatas, Arahants, Buddhas Supreme?'

Now, Bhaggava, since Jaliya was unable,
even by this parable,
to make the ascetic leave his seat,
he went back to the meeting and told them, saying:

'The naked ascetic, Pāṭika's son, seems discomfited.

He says:

"I am coming, friend, I am coming,"
but he writhes about as he sits,
and is unable to get up.'

And when he had thus said, Bhaggava,
I spake to the meeting as before:

'Incompetent, friends, is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika's son,
to meet me face to face,
if he withdraw not those words,
if he put not away that idea,
if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that,
holding to those words,
to that idea,
maintaining that opinion,
he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama,
his head would split asunder.

If it occurred to my noble friends, the Licchavis:
"Let us bind Pāṭika's son with thongs
and drag him hither with ox-yokes,"
Pāṭika's son would break those thongs.

Incompetent, friends, is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika's son,
to meet me face to face,
if he withdraw not those words,
if he put not away that idea,
if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that,
holding to those words,
to that idea,
maintaining that opinion,
he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama,
his head would split asunder.'

Thereupon, Bhaggava, I taught,
and incited,
and aroused,
and gladdened[54] that company
with religious discourse.

And when I had so done,
and had set them at liberty from the great bondage,[55]
had drawn forth eighty-four thousand creatures from the great abyss,[56]
I entered on jhāna
by the method of flame,
rose into the air to the height of seven palm trees,
projected a flame the height of another seven palm trees,
so that it blazed and glowed;
and then I reappeared in the Great Wood,
at the Gabled Hall.

 

§

 

Then, Bhaggava, Sunakkhatta, the Licchavi, came to call on me,
and saluting,
he sat down beside me.

To him, so sitting, I said:

'What think you of it, Sunakkhatta?

Has it fared with Pāṭika's son
as I declared unto you,
and not otherwise?'

'It has fared with him even as the lord, the Exalted One,
declared unto me,
and not otherwise.'

[25] 'What think you of it, Sunakkhatta?

If it be even so,
has a mystic wonder through superhuman gifts
been wrought,
or has none been wrought?'

'Verily, Sir, it being even so,
a mystic wonder through superhuman gifts
has been wrought indeed.'

'Even so do you,
you foolish man
say of me working mystic wonders by superhuman gifts:

"The lord, the Exalted One, works no mystic wonder
with his superhuman gifts."

Behold, O foolish man,
how far you have committed yourself.'

Thus, Bhaggava, did Sunakkhatta the Licchavi,
addressed by me,
depart from this Doctrine and Discipline,
as one doomed to disaster and to purgatory.

 


 

The ultimate beginning of things,[57] I know, Bhaggava,
and I know not only that,
but more than that.[58]

And while I know that,
I do not pervert it.[59]

And as one not perverting it,
I even of myself have understood that Peace,[60]
the which realizing,
a Tathāgata can fall into no error.

There are, Bhaggava, certain recluses and brahmins
who declare it as their traditional doctrine,
that the beginning of things
was the work of an overlord,
of Brahmā.

To them have I gone and said:

'Is it indeed true
that the reverend teachers declare it as their traditional doctrine,
that the beginning of things
was the work of an overlord,
of Brahmā?'

And they, so questioned, have answered:

'Ay.'

And then I have said:

'But how do the reverend teachers declare
in their traditional opinion,
that the beginning of things
as the work of an overlord,
of Brahmā
was appointed?'

They, so asked by me,
were unable to go any further into that matter,
and in their confusion
they [26] asked it of me
as a counter-question.

To whom I, being asked,
have made answer:

'There comes a time,[61] friends,
when, sooner or later,
after the lapse of a long epoch,
the world is dissolved and evolved.

When this takes place,
beings have mostly been reborn in the World of Radiance.

There they dwell,
made of mind,
feeding on rapture,
radiating light from themselves,
traversing space,
continuing in beauty,
and thus they remain —
for a long, long period of time.

Now there comes also a time, friends,
when, sooner or later,
this world-system begins to re-evolve.

When this happens,
the abode of the Brahmfis appears,
but it is empty.

And some being or other,
either because his span of years has passed,
or because his merit is exhausted,
deceases from that world of Radiance,[62]
and comes to life in the abode of the Brahmins.

And there also he lives,
made of mind,
feeding on rapture,
radiating light from himself,
traversing space,
continuing in beauty;
and thus does he remain
for a long, long period of time.

Now there arises in him,
from his dwelling there so long alone,
a dissatisfaction and a longing:

"Oh, would that other beings too
might come to join me in this place!"

And just then,
either because their span of years had passed,
or because their merit was exhausted,
other beings fall from the world of Radiance
and appear in the abode of the Brahmas
as companions to him;
and in all respects,
they lead a life like his.

On this, friends,
that being who was first reborn
thinks thus:

"I am Brahmā,
the great Brahmā,
the Vanquisher,
the Unvanquished,
the All-Seeing,
the Disposer,
the Lord,
the Maker,
the Creator,
the Chief,
the Assigner,
Master of myself,
the Father of all that are
and are to be.[63]

By me are these beings created.

[27] And why is that so?

A while ago I thought:

Would that other beings too
mioht come to this state of being!

Such was the aspiration of my mind,
and lo!
these beings did come."

And those beings themselves
who arose after him,
they too think thus:

"This worthy must be Brahmā,
the great Brahmā,
the Vanquisher,
the Unvanquished,
the All-Seeing,
the Disposer,
the Lord,
the Maker,
the Creator,
the Chief,
the Assigner,
Master of myself,
the Father of all that are
and are to be.

By this Brahmā have we,
good sirs, been created.

And why is that so?

Because he, as we see,
arose here first,
but we arose after him.

On this, friends,
that being who first arose
becomes longer lived,
handsomer,
and more powerful,
but those who appeared after him become shorter lived,
less comely,
less powerful.

And it might well be, friends,
that some other being,
on deceasing from that state,
should come to this state [on earth].

So come,
he might go forth
from the household life
into the homeless state.

And having thus gone forth,
by reason of ardour,
effort,
devotion,
earnestness,
perfected intellection,[64]
he reaches up to such rapt concentration,
that with rapt mind
he calls to mind his former dwelling-place,
but remembers not what went before.

He says thus:

"That worshipful Brahmā, that great Brahmā,
the Vanquisher,
the Unvanquished,
the All-Seeing,
the Disposer,
the Lord,
the Maker,
the Creator,
the Chief,
the Assigner,
Master of myself,
the Father of all that are
and are to be,
he by whom we were created,
he is permanent,
constant,
eternal,
unchanging,
and he will remain so for ever and ever.

But we who were created by that Brahmā,
we have come hither
all impermanent,
transient,
unstable,
short-lived,
destined to pass away."

Thus was appointed the beginning of things
which ye, sirs, declare
as your traditional doctrine;
to wit,
that it has been wrought by an overlord,
by Brahmā.' [28]

And they have said:

'Even so have we heard, friend Gotama,
as the reverend Gotama has told us.'

But I, Bhaggava,
know the beginning of things
and I know not only that,
but more than that.

And while I know that,
I do not pervert it.

And as one not perverting it,
I even of myself have understood that Peace,
the which realizing,
a Tathāgata can fall into no error.

 

§

 

There are, Bhaggava, certain recluses and brahmins
who declare it as their doctrine,
that the beginning of things
was owing to a debauch of pleasure.[65]

To them have I gone and said:

'Is it indeed true that the reverend teachers
declare it as their doctrine,
that the beginning of things
was owing to a debauch of pleasure?'

And they, so questioned, have answered,

'Ay.'

And then have I said:

'But how do the reverend teachers
declare in their traditional opinion,
that the beginning of things
as being due to a debauch of pleasure
was appointed?'

They, so asked by me,
were unable to go any further into that matter,
and in their confusion
they asked it of me instead
as a counter-question.

To them, I, on being asked,
have made reply:

'There are, friends,
certain spirits called the Debauched-by-Pleasure.

For ages they pass their time
in mirth and sport of sensual lusts.

In consequence thereof
their self-control is corrupted,
and thereby those devas
decease from that state.

Now it might well be, friends,
that some being or other,
on deceasing from that state,
should come hither,
and that, having come hither,
he should go forth from the household life
into the homeless state.

As a recluse he might,
by reason of ardour,
effort,
devotion,
earnestness,
perfected intellection,
he reach up to such rapt concentration,
that with rapt mind
he acquire the power of recollecting his previous birth,
but not what preceded it.[66]

And he would say to himself:

"Those worshipful spirits
who are not debauched-by-pleasure,
they have not,
for ages, passed their time
in the mirth and sport of sensual lusts.

Hence is their self-control not corrupted.

Hence they decease not from their estate,
but are [29] permanent,
constant,
eternal,
unchanging,
and will so remain for ever and ever.

But we who were pleasure-debauched,
we did pass our time for ages
in the mirth and sport of sensual lusts,
whereby our self-control became corrupted,
so that we deceased from that estate,
and are come to this form of life
impermanent,
transient,
unstable,
short-lived,
deciduous."

Thus was appointed the beginning of things
which ye declare
as being due to a debauch of pleasure.

And they have said:

'Even so have we heard, friend Gotama,
as the reverend Gotama has told us.'

But I, Bhaggava, know the beginning of things
and I know not only that,
but more than that.

And while I know that,
I do not pervert it.

And as one not perverting it,
I even of myself have understood that Peace,
the which realizing,
a Tathāgata can fall into no error.

 

§

 

There are, Bhaggava, certain recluses and brahmins,
who declare as their traditional doctrine,
that the beginninor of things
was owing to a debauch of mind.

To these have I gone and said:

'Is it indeed true
that the reverend teachers declare it as their traditional doctrine,
that the beginning of things
was owing to a debauch of mind?'

And they, so questioned, have answered:

'Ay.'

And then have I said:

'But how do the reverend teachers declare,
in their opinion,
that the beginning of things
as being due to a debauch of mind
was appointed?'

They, so asked by me,
were unable to go any further into that matter,
and in their confusion
they asked it of me instead
as a counter-question.

To whom I, being asked,
have made answer:

'There are, friends,
certain spirits called the Debauched-in-Mind.[67]

For ages they burn with mutual envy;
hence their thoughts regarding each other
become depraved.

Hence their bodies become feeble
and their minds imbecile.

They decease from that estate.

Now it might well be, friends,
that some being or other,
deceasing from that estate,
should come hither,
and being hither come,
should go forth from the household life
into the homeless state.

As a recluse [30] he might,
by reason of ardour,
effort,
devotion,
earnestness,
perfected intellection,
reach up to such rapt concentration,
that with rapt mind
he acquire the power of recollecting his previous birth,
but not what preceded it.

And he would say to himself:

"Those worshipful devas
who are not debauched in mind,
they have not for ages
been burning with mutual envy.

Hence their thoughts regarding each other
have not become depraved.

Hence have their bodies not become feeble,
nor their minds imbecile.

Those devas decease not from that estate,
but are permanent,
constant,
eternal,
unchanging
and will so remain for ever and ever.

But we who were debauched in mind,
we did pass the time for ages
burning with mutual envy,
whereby our thoughts about each other became depraved,
our bodies feeble,
our minds imbecile.

And we have deceased from that estate
and are come hither,
impermanent,
transient,
unstable,
short-lived,
deciduous."

Thus was appointed the beginning of things
which ye declare
as being due to debauch of mind.'

And they have said:

'Even so have we heard, friend Gotama,
as the reverend Gotama has told us.'

But I, Bhaggava, know the beginnings of things
and I know not only that,
but more than that.

And while I know that,
I do not pervert it.

And as one not perverting it,
I even of myself have understood that Peace,
the which realizing,
a Tathāgata can fall into no error.

 

§

 

There are, Bhaggava, certain recluses and brahmins,
who declare it as their doctrine,
that the beginning of things was by chance.[68]

To them have I gone and said:

'Is it indeed true that the reverend teachers
declare it as their traditional doctrine,
that the beginning of things was by chance?

And they, so questioned, have answered:

"Ay."'

Then have I said to them:

'But how do the reverend teachers declare
that the beginning of things by chance,
which you teach,
was appointed?'

They, so asked by me,
were unable to go any further into that matter,
and in their confusion
they asked it of me instead
as a counter-question.

To whom, I, being asked,
have made answer:

'There are, friends,
certain spirits called Unconscious [31] Beings.[69]

As soon as an idea occurs to them
they decease from that estate.

Now it may well be, friends,
that some being or other
having so deceased,
comes to this form of life,
and so come,
goes forth from the household life
into the homeless state.

As a recluse he,
by reason of ardour,
effort,
devotion,
earnestness,
perfected intellection,
he reach up to such rapt concentration,
that with rapt mind
he acquire the power of recollecting his previous birth,
but not what preceded it.

And he would say to himself:

"Fortuitous in origin
are the soul and the world.

And why so?

Because formerly I was not,
now, having non-existed,
I am changed into being."

Thus was appointed the beginning of things
as being due to chance,
which you venerable teachers declare as your doctrine.'

And they have said:

'Even so have we heard, friend Gotama,
as the reverend Gotama has told us.'

But I, Bhaggava, know the beginning of things,
and I know not only that,
but more than that.

And knowing it,
I do not pervert it

And not perverting it,
I, even of myself,
have understood that Peace
which, realizing,
a Tathāgata can fall into no error.

 


 

Now I, Bhaggava, being of such an opinion,
certain recluses and brahmins have falsely,
emptily,
mendaciously
and unfairly accused me, saying:

'Gotama, the recluse, is all wrong,[70]
and so are his bhikkhus.

He has said:

"Whenever one has attained to the stage of deliverance,[71]
entitled the Beautiful,
one then considers all things as repulsive."

[32] But this, Bhaggava, I have not said.

What I do say is this:

'Whenever one attains to the stage of deliverance,
entitled the Beautiful,
one is then aware
'Tis lovely!'

"But it is they, lord,
that are all wrong,
who impute to the Exalted One
and to his bhikkhus,
that they err.

So delighted am I with the Exalted One
that I believe he is able so to teach me
that I may attain to
and remain in
the stage of deliverance,
entitled the Beautiful."

"Hard is it, Bhaggava, for you,
holding, as you do, different views,
other things approving themselves to you,
you setting different aims before yourself,
striving after a different aim,
trained in a different system,[72]
to attain to
and abide in
the deliverance that is beautiful.

Look therefore to it, Bhaggava,
that you foster well
this faith of yours in me."

"If, Sir, it be hard for me,
holding different views,
other things approving themselves to me,
I setting different aims before myself,
striving after a different aim,
trained in a different system,
to attain to
and abide in
the deliverance that is beautiful,
then will I, at least,
foster well my faith in the Exalted One."

These things spake the Exalted One.

And Bhaggavagotta, the Wanderer,
pleased in heart,
took delight in his words.[73]

The Pāṭika Suttanta is ended.

 


[1] Above, I, 272-279.

[2] Journal of the Manchester Oriental Society, 191 5.

[3] Above, I, 278.

[4] Vinaya II, 112; translated in Vinaya Texts III, 81.

[5] Sat. Br. (S.B.E.) III, 4, i, 3, 6, 8.

[6] See the passages referred to above, II, 208-311.

[7] Majjhima I, 245. Cf. Pss. of the Sisters, p. 130.

[8] Ye 1oke arahanto. See Saŋyutta II, 220.

[9] See above, Vol. I, p. 141.

[10] Majjhima III, 76. Comp. Saŋyutta III, 161; I, 175- 252.

[11] P. 198 f.

[12] See R.O. Franke in Appendix II to his Dīgha Nikāya (Leipzig, 1913), a translation into German of selected portions of the Dīgha.

[13] Vol. II, p. 167.

[14] Dīgha III, 76.

[15] For examples of lay Arahants see Vinaya, I, 17; Saŋyutta V, 94; Anguttara III, 451; Kathā Vatthu 267. Compare the Comy. on Theragāthā (Pss. of the Brethren, 234, a boy seven years old), and on Therī-Gāthā 64 (a girl seven years old); Dhp. Comy. I, 308; Jāt. II, 229; Milinda II, 57, 96, 245.

[16] Majjhima I, 483.

[17] Saŋyutta I, 169, 200; III, 83 f.; Sutta-Nipāta 186, 590; Udāna I, 5; Sum. Vil. I, 43; and the passages quoted above, II, 1-3.

[18] It appears from the passages quoted above (Vol. I, p. 199) that this dialogue was supposed to have taken place only shortly before the Buddha's death. The Burmese MSS. spell the name Pāṭhika, apparently holding this man to be identical with the Ājivaka ascetic named Pāṭhika of Dhp. Comy. I, 376.

[19] Cf. Vin Texts III, 224; Ud. II, Ī 10; Dhp. Comy. I, 133.

[20] Literally, the wanderer who belonged to the Bhaggava gotta, or gens, a wider term than family. His personal name was Channa (Cf. Sum. Vil. 35?). He should not be confounded with another Wanderer of the same gotta settled in Magadha who is said, in the Therīgāthā Comy. (p. 2), Pss. of the Sisters (p. 4), to have been Gotama's first teacher. It will be seen that in accordance with the rule of courtesy explained above (I, 195), Gotama addresses the Wanderer by his gotta, not by his mū1a-nāma.

[21] Pariyāyam akāsi. The exact meaning of this idiom is uncertain. See the note above, I, 245.

[22] His story is sketched above (I, 199).

[23] Literally, being who, whom do you give up? that is, considering your want of position in the matter, how can you so talk? So also atM., I, 428.

[24] Yāvañ ca te idaṃ aparaddhaṃ. See D. II, 198; M. III, 169.

[25] Iddhi-pāṭihāriya. See above, I, 272-9, for a statement of the doctrine on mystic wonders.

[26] Na ... aggaññan paññapeti. Aggañña, meaning priority in time, space or merit, is by the Comy. defined here as loka-paññatti, revelation of the world, and, in the Aggañña Suttanta below, as lokuppatti, the genesis of the world.

[27] Vajji-gāme, literally, in the village — i.e., says the Comy. of the Vajjian-rājas (free men) at Vesālī.

[28] The following three paragraphs are the stock passages for the description of a Buddha, his Dhamma, and his Sangha respectively. See A. VI, 57; S. IV, 41 etc.

[29] Sugata. It is curious that this, after Buddha, the awakened, should be the epithet most frequently used as a name of the founder of Buddhism. That is so, both in the ancient texts and in the more modern commentaries. See above, II, 242-5, 265. See also below, Chap. II, Ī 7 f.; Suttanta XXXI, Ī 6 etc.; Sutta-Nipāta Comy. I, 43.

[30] We judge that while the word deva is applicable also to conceptions of divinity, its essential meaning, in Indian literature, is rather that of other-world nature than of superhuman nature. We in the next world are deva's. Spirit alone can roughly and inadequately parallel this wide denotation. See I, 115, n 1.

[31] The definitions of akālika by Buddhaghosa elsewhere and Dhammapāla hardly justify our previous renderings of this word. See Kindred Sayings, I, 15, n. 2; Pss. of the Brethren, 314, n. 1.

[32] Ehi-passiko: come-see-ish.

[33] The branches are brethren and sisters, laymen and lay-women. The eight classes refer to the four Paths and four stages of Fruition — i.e., the spiritual condition of the four branches.

[34] Kora-khattiyo kukkura-vatiko. Buddhaghosa explains kora as a nickname, having the feet turned in. See M. I, 387; Netti 99; Jāt. I, 389, and compare Rh. D.'s Buddhist India, 245.

[35] Catukuṇṭiko as in M. I, 79. The Comy. reads catu-konṭḥiko, which it paraphrases by catusanghaṭhito, and explains by walks, resting the knees and elbows on the earth.

[36] The Comy. paraphrases by mā aññassa arahattan hotūti — May no one else (except me and mine) be Arahants. Arahant in common non-Buddhist usage was simply holy man. (Dhp. A. 1. 400; Psalms of the Sisters, 130).

[37] Alasakena: is this a negative of lasikā, the synovial fluid (p. 100)?

[38] On these see Vol. II, p. 289:

The Kalakanjas all
Of fearsome shape. ...

[39] It may be interesting to mention the Commentator's suspended judgment on this weird occurrence: A corpse is not capable of rising up and speaking. It spoke by the power of the Buddha, The Exahed One either brought back Kora the Khattiya from the Asura- womb (or form of birth, yoni), or he made the body speak. For the range of a Buddha is incalculable.

[40] Five miracles, reckons the Comy.: The date of death foretold; the illness; the rebirth; the birana-bier indicated; the speaking corpse.

[41] The MSS. give the name also as Ka1āra - and Kaḷāra-maṭṭaka and -maṭṭhaka and -maṭṭhuka and -masukha, but it has not, so far, been met with elsewhere.

[42] Āsādimhase. Comy. āsādiyimhase, āsādiyimha, ghaṭṭayimha Dhammapāla paraphrases the word āhari with this verb. See Psalms of the Brethren, pp. 387, n. 3, 419.

[43] Seven mystic wonders, says the Comy. — viz., of prophecy: one for each of the seven rules broken by the ascetic, as predicted.

[44] In Jāt. I, 389, the Buddha is said to have been staying in Pāṭika's Park, during the Kora episode. Cf. also Jāt. 1, 77.

[45] He might, explains the Comy., assume an invisible or the shape of a lion, or tiger, etc.

[46] Necayikā; nicaya, storing up. Ang. v, 149, 364. Neither at D. I, 136, nor here does Buddhaghosa give any help.

[47] See Dialogues I, 202.

[48] Not without interest is the commentator's remark: There are four kinds of Lions — the grass lion, the black, the tawny, and the hairy (kesava) lion. The last is the greatest and is the kind here meant.

[49] Because of his asnii-māno is the comment — his I-am conceit.

[50] On the idiom ke ca ... ke ca (Cf.M. Ill, 209) the Comy. has ko ca ... ko pana ... sigālassa ca sihanādassa ko sambandho ti adhippāyo. The Papañca Sūdani has no corresponding comment.

[51] Comy.i.e. on the lakkhaṇa's, on the religious achievements of the Sugata in the threefold training.

[52] Āsādetabban. Comy.: This term covering many things is spoken as if there were but one.

[53] The reading is here very uncertain.

[54] On this formula Cf. Kindred Sayings I, 140, n. 4.

[55] Of the Kilesa's. Comy.: Cf. Bud. Psych. Ethics, p. 327.

[56] Mahāviduggai.e. of the four Floods. Comy. Cf. A. I, 35, nadī-vidugga.

[57] Aggaññai.e. according to the Comy., lokuppatticariyavaṃsa: the history of the genesis and course of the world. See above p. 9, n. 1.

[58] Uttaritara — i.e. starting from virtue and concentration, I know even up to omniscient insight. Comy.

[59] By way of craving, opinion and conceit. Comy.

[60] Nibbuti, which Buddhaghosa explains by ki1esa-nibbāna.

[61] Cf. Vol. I, p. 30.

[62] This, the Abhassara-devaloka, ranked, in the cosmogony adopted (or put forth) by Buddhism, as the third celestial stage above that of the Great Brahmā devaloka.

[63] See Vol. I, pp. 31, 281.

[64] Sammā-manasikāran — a rare compound of two familiar terms.

[65] Khiḍḍā-padūsika-mūlakan. Comy.: Cf. Part I, p. 32; Part II, p. 291.

[66] This is told verbatim as the preceding episode, Ī 17. Compare also above Vol. I, pp. 32, 33.

[67] Cf. Vol. I, p. 33, n. 1.

[68] Cf. Vol. I, p. 41: Fortuitous Originists.

[69] To these Asaññasattā were assigned a celestial realm in the Rūpaloka only below the highest (Akaniṭṭha) and the next below that (the Pure Abodes). See Compendium of Philosophy (Pali Text Soc, 1910), pp. 136, 142, 167. The exceptional nature of these beings, figuring in the Rūpaloka, where, at least, sight, hearing, and mind were ascribed to the variously staged denizens, affords a fertile field for the quasilogical exercises of the Yamaka catechisms — e.g. the Khandha, Āyatana, Yamakas, etc. — q.v. (P.T.S., 1911); below, 244, n. 1.

[70] Viparīta, literally who has gone the wrong way.

[71] The third stage, see p. 119 of Part II, where subhan ti is rendered 'It is well.' We have no word exactly rendering subha, lit. that which is pleasing to the eye; asubha being anything repulsive or ugly. Buddhaghosa calls this stage the colour- (or beauty-) artifice — vaṇṇakasiṇaṃ.

[72] Cf. Vol. I, 254. The Comy. refers also to this parallel in the Potthapada Suttanta.

[73] Buddhaghosa judges that this was merely affected appreciation. But we are not told anything of the later history of this man.


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