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 42

Verañjaka Suttaɱ

Discourse to the People of Verañjā

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

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[1][chlm][ntbb][upal] THUS have I heard:

At one time the Lord was staying near Sāvatthī
in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery.

Now at that time brahman householders of Verañjā
entered Sāvatthī on some business or other.

The brahman householders of Verañjā 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 Verañjā, and that a lovely reputation has gone forth about the Lord Gotama thus:

'The Lord is perfected, wholly Self-awakened, endowed with (right) knowledge and conduct, well-farer, knower of the worlds, incomparable charioteer of men to be tamed, teacher of devas and men, the Awakened One, the Lord ... He teaches dhamma that is lovely at the beginning, lovely in the middle and lovely at the ending, with the spirit and the meaning, he proclaims the Brahma-faring, wholly purified, quite pure. It were good to see perfected ones like this.'"

Then the brahman householders of Verañjā 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 Verañjā 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, 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 Verañjā 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, householders, a certain one makes onslaught on creatures, he is cruel, bloody-handed, intent on injuring and killing, without mercy to living creatures.

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, 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, 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 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); 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.

Whatever speech is rough, 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, 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 world, there is not a world beyond; there is not a mother, there is not a father, there are no spontaneously uprising beings; 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.'

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, 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 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.

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, 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.'

And he is of right view, not of perverted outlook, thinking, 'There is (result of) gift, 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 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 Verañjā 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 Verañjā: the Second

 


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