Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
I. Mūlapaṇṇāsa
5. Cūḷa Yamaka Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
I. The First Fifty Discourses
5. The Lesser Division of the Pairs

Sutta 41

Sāleyyaka Suttaɱ

Discourse to the People of Sālā

Translated from the Pali by I.B. Horner, M.A.
Associate of Newham College, Cambridge
First Published in 1954

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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Scanned, digitized and proofread by Waiyin Chow.

 


[343]

[1][chlm][than][nymo][ntbb][upal] Thus have I heard:

At one time[1] the Lord,
walking on tour among the Kosalans
together with a large Order of monks,
arrived at the brahman village of the Kosalans named Sālā.

The brahman householders of Sālā heard:

"It is said that the recluse Gotama,
the son of the Sakyans,
gone forth from the Sakyan family,
and walking on tour among the Kosalans
together with a large Order of monks,
has reached Sālā,
and that a lovely reputation has gone forth about the Lord Gotama thus:

'He is indeed Lord,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One,
endowed with knowledge and (right) conduct,
Well-farer,
knower of the worlds,
the matchless charioteer of men to be tamed,
teacher of devas and mankind,
the Awakened One,
the Lord.[2]

Having realised through his own super-knowledge,
he makes known this world
together with devas
including the Māras and the Brahmās;
creatures
together with recluses and brahmans,
with devas and mankind.

He teaches dhamma
that is lovely at the beginning,
lovely in the middle
and lovely at the ending;
he explains with the spirit and the letter
the Brahma-faring
completely fulfilled
and wholly purified.

Good indeed is the sight
of perfected ones such as this."

Then the brahman householders of Sālā approached the Lord;
some, having approached, having greeted the Lord,
sat down at a respectful distance;
some exchanged greetings with the Lord;
having exchanged greetings of friendliness and courtesy,
they sat down at a respectful distance;
some, having saluted the Lord with joined palms,
sat down at a respectful distance;
some, having made known their names and clans in the Lord's presence,
sat down at a respectful distance;
some, becoming silent,
sat down at a respectful distance.

As they were sitting down at a respectful distance,
the brahman householders of Sālā spoke thus to the Lord:

"Now, what is the cause, good Gotama,
what is the reason why some beings here at the breaking up of the body after dying
arise in a sorrowful state,
a bad bourn,
the abyss,
Niraya Hell?

What is the cause,
what is the reason, good Gotama,
why some beings here at the breaking up of the body after dying
arise in a good bourn,
a heaven world?"

"Householders, some beings here at the breaking up of the body after dying
arise thus in a sorrowful state,
a bad bourn,
the abyss,
[344] Niraya Hell
because of faring by not-dhamma,
an uneven faring.

Householder, some beings here at the breaking up of the body after dying
arise thus in a good bourn,
a heaven-world,
because of faring by dhamma,
an even faring."

"We do not understand in full
the matter that has been spoken of in brief by the good Gotama,
and whose meaning was not explained in full.

It were good if the good Gotama were so to teach us dhamma
that we might understand in full
the matter spoken of in brief by the good Gotama,
and whose meaning was not explained in full."

"Well then, householders, listen,
pay careful attention,
and I will speak."

"Yes, sir," these brahman householders of Sālā answered the Lord in assent.

The Lord spoke thus:

"Threefold, householders,
is the faring by not-dhamma,
an uneven faring as to body;
fourfold is the faring by not-dhamma,
an uneven faring as to speech;
threefold is the faring by not-dhamma,
and uneven faring as to thought.

And what, householders, is the threefold faring by not dhamma,
the uneven faring as to body?

In this case,[3] householders,
a certain one makes onslaught on creatures,
he is cruel,
bloody-handed,
intent on injuring and killing,
without mercy to living creatures.[4]

He is a taker of what is not given;
whatever property of another
in village or jungle
is not given to him
he takes by theft.

He is a wrong-goer in regard to pleasures of the senses;
he has intercourse with (girls) protected by the mother,[5]
protected by the father,
protected by the parents,
protected by a brother,
protected by a sister,
protected by relations,
who have a husband,
whose use involves punishments,[6]
and even with those adorned with garlands of betrothal.

Even so, householders,
is the threefold faring by not-dhamma,
the uneven faring, in regard to the body.

And how, householders, does there come to be the fourfold faring by not-dhamma,
the uneven faring as to speech?

In this case, householders,
a certain one is of lying speech;
when he is cited and asked as a witness
before a council
or company
or amid [345] his relations
or amid a guild
or amid a royal family,
and is told:

'Now, good man, say what you know,'

although he does not know, he says,

'I know,'

although he knows, he says,

'I do not know';

although he has not seen, he says,

'I saw,'

although he has seen, he says,

'I did not see.'

Thus his speech becomes intentional lying
either for his own sake
or for the sake of another
or for the sake of some material gain or other.

And he is a slanderer;
having heard something at one place,
he makes it known elsewhere
for (causing) variance among those (people);[7]
or having heard something elsewhere
he makes it known among these people
for (causing) variance among these (people).

In this way he sows discord among those who are in harmony,
or is one who foments those who are at variance.

Discord is his pleasure,
discord his delight,
discord his joy,
discord is the motive of his speech.

And he is one of harsh speech.[8]

Whatever speech is rough,[9]
hard,
severe on others,
abusive of others,
bordering on wrath,
not conducive to concentration,
such speech does he utter.

And he is a frivolous chatterer,
one who speaks at a wrong time,
one who does not speak in accordance with fact,
one who speaks about what is not the goal,
one who speaks about not-dhamma,
one who speaks about not-discipline.

He utters speech that is not worth treasuring;
owing to its being at the wrong time
it is incongruous,
has no purpose,
is not connected with the goal.

Even so, householders, is the fourfold faring by not-dhamma,
the uneven faring in regard to speech.

And what, householders, is the threefold faring by not-dhamma,
the uneven faring as to thought?

In this case, householders, a certain one comes to be covetous;
he covets that which is the property of another, thinking,

'O that what is the other's might be mine';

he is malevolent in mind,
corrupt in thought and purpose,
and thinks,

'Let these beings be killed or slaughtered or annihilated or destroyed,
or may they not exist at all.'

And he is of wrong view,
of perverted outlook,
thinking,

'There is no (result of) gift,[10]
there is no (result of) offering,
no (result of) sacrifice;
there is no fruit or ripening of deeds well done or ill done;
there is not this [346] world,
there is not a world beyond;[11]
there is not a mother,
there is not a father,[12]
there are no spontaneously uprising beings;[13]
there are not in the world recluses and brahmans who are faring rightly,
proceeding rightly,
and who proclaim this world
and the world beyond,
having realised them by their own super-knowledge.'[14]

Even so, householders, is the threefold faring by not-dhamma,
the uneven faring in regard to thought.

Thus it is, householders, that as a result of faring by not-dhamma,
the uneven faring,
some beings here,
at the breaking up of the body after dying,
arise in a sorrowful state,
a bad bourn,
the abyss,
Niraya Hell.

 


 

And threefold, householders, is the faring by dhamma,
the even faring in regard to body,
fourfold is the faring by dhamma,
the even faring in regard to speech,
threefold is the faring by dhamma,
the even faring in regard to thought.

And what, householders, is the threefold faring by dhamma,
the even faring in regard to body?

In this case, householders, a certain one,
abandoning onslaught on creatures,[15]
is restrained from onslaught on creatures;
the stick laid aside,
the sword laid aside,
he lives scrupulous,
merciful,
kindly and compassionate to all living creatures.

Abandoning taking what is not given,
he is restrained from taking what is not given.

He does not take by theft
any property of another
in village or jungle
that is not given to him.

Abandoning wrong-doing in regard to pleasures of the senses,
he is restrained from wrong-doing in regard to pleasures of the senses;
he does not have intercourse with (girls) who are protected by the mother,
protected by the father,
protected by the parents,
protected by a brother,
protected by a sister,
protected by relations,
who have a husband,
whose use involves punishment,
nor even with those adorned with [347] the garlands of betrothal.

Even so, householders is the threefold faring by dhamma,
the even faring in regard to body.

And what, householders, is the fourfold faring by dhamma,
the even faring in regard to speech?

In this case, householders, a certain one,
abandoning lying speech
is restrained from lying speech.[16]

When he is cited and asked as a witness before a council
or company
or amid his relations
or amid a guild
or amid a royal family,
and is told:

'Now, good man, say what you know,'

if he does not know, he says,

'I do not know';

if he knows, he says,

'I know';

if he has not seen, he says,

'I did not see,'

if he has seen, he says,

'I saw.'

Thus his speech does not come to be intentional lying
either for his own sake
or for that of another
or for the sake of some material gain or other.

Abandoning slanderous speech,
he is restrained from slanderous speech.

Having heard something at one place,
he is not one for repeating it elsewhere
for (causing) variance among those people,
or having heard something elsewhere
he is not one to repeat it to these people
for (causing) variance among these people.

In this way he is a reconciler of those who are at variance
and one who combines those who are friends.

Concord is his pleasure,
concord his delight,
concord his joy,
concord is the motive of his speech.

Abandoning harsh speech,
he is restrained from harsh speech.

Whatever speech is gentle,
pleasing to the ear,
affectionate,
going to the heart,
urbane,
pleasant to the multitude -
such speech does he utter.

Abandoning frivolous chatter,
he is restrained from frivolous chatter.

He is one who speaks at a right time,
who speaks in accordance with fact,
who speaks about the goal,
who speaks about dhamma,
who speaks about discipline.

He utters speech that is worth treasuring,
with similes at a right time,
purposeful,
connected with the goal.

Even so, householders, is the fourfold faring by dhamma,
the even faring in regard to speech.

And what, householders, is the threefold faring by dhamma,
the even faring in regard to thought?

In this case, householders, a certain one comes to be not covetous,[17]
he does not covet the property of another,
thinking,

'O, might that be mine which is the other's.'

And he is not malevolent in mind,
not corrupt of thought and purpose,
but thinks,

'Let these beings, friendly, peaceful, secure, happy, look after self.'[18]

And he is of right view,
not of perverted outlook,
thinking,

'There is (result of) gift,
[348] there is (result of) offering,
there is (result of) sacrifice;
there is fruit and ripening of deeds well done and ill done;
there is this world,
there is a world beyond;
there is mother,
there is father,
there are spontaneously uprising beings;
there are in the world recluses and brahmans
who are faring rightly,
proceeding rightly
and who proclaim this world
and the world beyond
having realised them by their own super-knowledge.'

Even so, householders, is the threefold faring by dhamma,
the even faring in regard to thought.

Thus it is, householders, that as a result of faring by dhamma,
the even faring,
some beings here at the breaking up of the body after dying
arise in a good bourn,
a heaven world.

If, householders, a dhamma-farer,
an even-farer should wish:

'O that I at the breaking up of the body after dying
might arise in companionship with rich nobles,'

this situation occurs when he,
at the breaking up of the body after dying
might arise in companionship with rich nobles.

What is the cause of this?

It is that he is a dhamma-farer,
an even-farer.

If, householders, a dhamma-farer,
an even-farer should wish:

'O that I at the breaking up of the body after dying
should arise in companionship with rich brahmans ...

with rich householders,'

this situation occurs when he,
at the breaking up of the body after dying,
might arise in companionship with rich householders.

What is the cause of this?

It is that he is a dhamma-farer,
an even-farer.

If, householders, a dhamma-farer,
an even-farer, should wish:

'O that I, at the breaking up of the body after dying,
might arise in companionship
with the devas belonging to the four Great Regents ...
with the devas of the Thirty-Three ...
with the Yama's devas ...
with the Tusita devas ...
with the devas of creation ...
with the devas who have power over the creations of others ...
with the devas in the retinue of Brahmā ...
with the devas of light ...
with the devas of limited light ...
with the devas of boundless light ...
with the devas of brilliance ...
with the devas of splendour ..
with the devas of limited splendour ...
with the devas of boundless splendour ...
with the Subhakiṇṇa devas ...
Vehapphala devas ...
Aviha devas ...
Atappa devas ...
Sudassa devas ...
Sudassī devas ...
Akaniṭṭha devas ...
with the devas experiencing the plane of infinite ether ...
with the devas experiencing the plane of infinite consciousness ...
with the devas experiencing the plane of no-thing ...
with the devas experiencing the plane of neither-perception-nor-non-perception,
this situation occurs when he,
at the breaking up of the body after dying,
might arise in the companionship with the devas who experience the plane of [349] neither-perception-nor-non-perception.

What is the cause of this?

It is that he is a dhamma-farer,
an even-farer.

If, householders, a dhamma-farer,
an even-farer should wish:

'O that I, by the destruction of the cankers,
might enter on and abide in that freedom of mind,
that freedom through intuitive wisdom
that are cankerless,
having realised them here and now
through my own super-knowledge,'

this situation occurs when he,
by the destruction of the cankers,
might enter on and abide in the freedom of mind,
the freedom through intuitive wisdom
that are cankerless,
having realised them here and now
through his own super-knowledge.

What is the cause of this?

It is that he is a dhamma-farer,
an even-farer."

When this had been said,
the brahman householders of Sālā spoke thus to the Lord:

"It is wonderful good Gotama,
it is wonderful, good Gotama.

As if one might set upright what has been upset,
or might disclose what was covered,
or might show the way to one who had gone astray,
or bring an oil lamp into the darkness
so that those with vision might see material shapes -
even so in many a figure has dhamma been proclaimed by the revered Gotama.

We ourselves are going to the reverend Gotama for refuge,
to dhamma
and to the Order of monks.

Let the revered Gotama accept us as lay-followers
going for refuge from today forth
for as long as life lasts."

Discourse to the People of Sālā: the First

 


[1] As at M. i. 400-1.

[2] See above, p. 223. {scroll down a bit]

[3] As at M. iii. 46; A. v. 264 ff. Cf. Asl. 97 ff.

[4] M. ii. 97, iii. 203; A. v. 289.

[5] See the ten kinds of women at Vin. iii. 139, and notes at B.D. i. 237.

[6] saparidaṇḍa. MA. ii. 330 says: "Whoever goes to the woman so and so thinking 'such is the punishment for him,' if punishments are instituted with regard to a village or house or street, that is called saparidaṇḍa." Cf. Vin. iii. 139.

[7] Cf. opposite at D. i. 4 (of Gotama).

[8] Cf. opposite at D. i. 4; Dhs. 1343.

[9] aṇḍaka Cf. Bud. Psych. Ethics, p. 349, n. 4. MA. ii. agrees with Asl. (there quoted).

The safe course here with regards these commentarial explanations is to ignore them and to take the statements of the sutta literally.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[10] This is a "heretical" view; cf. M. i. 401, 515; D. i. 55; S. iii. 206. MA. ii. 332 = DA. 165 says n'atthi dinnaɱ means there is no existence of the fruit of giving.

[11] MA. ii. 332 = DA. i. 165: "when one is established in the world beyond, this world is not ('there is not this world'); when one is established in the world here, a world beyond is not ('there is not a world beyond'). All beings are cut off precisely here or there." Aparently there was no relation between the two worlds; in this deterministic view deeds done would not bring one to a world beyond — although this view apparetly conceded that there was such a world.

[12] MA. ii. 332 = DA. i. 165: "there is no existence of fruit of good or bad behavior" — towards parents.

[13] MA. ii. 332 = DA. i. 165: "having deceased, there are no arising beings" — meaning apparently there is no more birth for them, no more life.

[14] Here the "heretic" is speaking of the non-existence of omniscient Buddhas, MA. ii. 332.

[15] Cf. D. i. 4; A. v. 266

[16] Cf. M. i. 179; A. v. 267.

[17] Cf. A. v. 267 f.

[18] attānaɱ pariharantu; cf. A. ii. 3, 228, 253.


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