Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
II. Majjhima-Paṇṇāsa
4. Rāja Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
II. The Middle Fifty Discourses
4. The Royal Division

Sutta 87

Piya-Jātika Suttaɱ

Discourse on "Born of Affection"

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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[1][chlm][than][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
the dear and beloved
little only son of a certain householder
had passed away.

After he had passed away
he (the father) had no inclination for work
or for food.

Going constantly to the cemetery,
he wailed:

"Where are you, little only son?

Where are you, little only son?"

Then that householder approached the Lord;
having approached,
having greeted the Lord,
he sat down at a respectful distance.

The Lord spoke thus to that householder
as he was sitting down at a respectful distance:

"Have not you, householder, controlling faculties
for stilling your own mind?

There is a change in your faculties."

"But how could there be no change in my faculties, Lord?

For, Lord, my dear and beloved little only son
has passed away.

Since he passed away
I have no inclination for work
or food.

Going constantly to the cemetery,
I wail:
'Where are you, little only son?
Where are you, little only son?'"

"That is just it, householder.

For, householder, grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection."

"But for whom, Lord,
could this hold good in this way:

'Grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection?'

For, Lord, bliss and happiness
are born of affection,
originate in affection."

[293] Then the householder,
not rejoicing in what the Lord had said,
repudiating it,
rising from his seat,
departed.

Now at that time
a number of gamblers were playing dice
not far from the Lord.

Then that householder
approached these gamblers;
having approached,
he spoke thus to these gamblers:

"Now, I, sirs, approached the recluse Gotama;
having approached,
having greeted the recluse Gotama,
I sat down at a respectful distance.

Then, sirs, the recluse Gotama spoke thus to me
as I was sitting down at a respectful distance:

'Have not you, householder, controlling faculties
for stilling your own mind?

There is a change in your faculties.'

'But how could there be no change in my faculties, Lord?

For, Lord, my dear and beloved little only son
has passed away.

Since he passed away
I have no inclination for work
or food.

Going constantly to the cemetery,
I wail:
"Where are you, little only son?
Where are you, little only son?"'

'That is just it, householder.

For, householder, grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection.'

'But for whom, Lord,
could this hold good in this way:

"Grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection?"

For, Lord, bliss and happiness
are born of affection,
originate in affection.'

Then I, sirs, not rejoicing in what the Lord had said,
repudiating it,
rising from my seat,
departed."

"That is just it, householder,
that is just it, householder;
for, householder,
bliss and happiness are born of affection,
originate in affection."

Then the householder, thinking:

"There is agreement
between me and the gamblers,"
departed.

Then this subject of conversation[1]
gradually penetrated the royal palace.

And King Pasenadi of Kosala
spoke thus to Queen Mallikā:

"This was said to these, Mallikā, by the recluse Gotama:

'Grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection.'"

"If this, sire, was said by the Lord,
it is so."

"As the recluse Gotama speaks
so does Mallikā
because she is much delighted with him:

'If this, sire, was said by the Lord,
it is so.'

It is just as when a teacher speaks to his pupil
and the pupil is so much delighted with him
that he says
'It is just so, teacher,
it is just so, teacher.'

Even so do you, Mallikā,
because you are so much delighted
with what the recluse Gotama says,
say:
'If this, sire, was said by the Lord,
it is so.'

Be off, Mallikā, go away."

Then Queen Mallikā
summoned the brahman Nāḷijaŋgha,
and said:

"Come you, brahman,
approach the Lord;
having approached,
in my name salute the Lord's feet with your head
and ask whether he is well,
not indisposed,
of bodily vigour,
strong,
abiding in comfort;
and say:

'Lord, Queen Mallika salutes the Lord's feet with her head,
and asks whether he is well,
not indisposed,
of bodily vigour,
strong,
abiding in comfort.'

and then say:

'Revered sir,
were these words spoken by the Lord:

Grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection?'

And when you have mastered well
what the Lord [294] explains to you,
you must tell me.

For Tathāgatas do not speak against the truth."[2]

"Yes, madam,"
and the brahman Nāḷijaŋgha,,
having answered Queen Mallikā in assent,
approached the Lord;
having approached,
he exchanged greetings with the Lord;
having conversed in a courteous and friendly way,
he sat down at a respectful distance.

As he was sitting down at a respectful distance,
the brahman Nāḷijaŋgha, spoke thus to the Lord;

"Good Gotama, Queen Mallikā with her head
salutes the good Gotama's feet
and asks whether he is well,
not indisposed,
of bodily vigour,
strong,
abiding in comfort.

And she speaks thus:

'Revered sir, were these words spoken by the Lord:

Grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection?'

"It is just so, brahman,
it is just so, brahman.

For, brahman, grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection.

And this is a way, brahman,
in which it can be said
that grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection:

Once upon a time, brahman,
in this very Sāvatthī
a certain woman's mother had passed away.

Since her passing away,
she (the daughter), unbalanced and unhinged,
went from street to street,
from cross-road to cross-road,
saying:

'Have you not seen my mother?

Have you not seen my mother?'

This too is a way, brahman,
in which it can be said
that grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection:

Once upon a time, brahman,
in this very Sāvatthī
a certain woman's father had passed away.

Since his passing away,
she, unbalanced and unhinged,
went from street to street,
from cross-road to cross-road,
saying:

'Have you not seen my father?

Have you not seen my father?'

This too is a way, brahman,
in which it can be said
that grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection:

Once upon a time, brahman,
in this very Sāvatthī
a certain woman's brother had passed away.

Since his passing away,
she, unbalanced and unhinged,
went from street to street,
from cross-road to cross-road,
saying:

'Have you not seen my brother?

Have you not seen my brother?'

This too is a way, brahman,
in which it can be said
that grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection:

Once upon a time, brahman,
in this very Sāvatthī
a certain woman's sister had passed away.

Since her passing away,
she, unbalanced and unhinged,
went from street to street,
from cross-road to cross-road,
saying:

'Have you not seen my sister?

Have you not seen my sister?'

This too is a way, brahman,
in which it can be said
that grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection:

Once upon a time, brahman,
in this very Sāvatthī
a certain woman's son had passed away.

Since his passing away,
she, unbalanced and unhinged,
went from street to street,
from cross-road to cross-road,
saying:

'Have you not seen my son?

Have you not seen my son?'

This too is a way, brahman,
in which it can be said
that grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection:

Once upon a time, brahman,
in this very Sāvatthī
a certain woman's daughter had passed away.

Since her passing away,
she, unbalanced and unhinged,
went from street to street,
from cross-road to cross-road,
saying:

'Have you not seen my daughter?

Have you not seen my daughter?'

This too is a way, brahman,
in which it can be said
that grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection:

Once upon a time, brahman,
in this very Sāvatthī
a certain woman's husband had passed away.

Since his passing away,
she, unbalanced and unhinged,
went from street to street,
from cross-road to cross-road,
saying:

'Have you not seen my husband?

Have you not seen my husband?'

This too is a way, brahman,
in which it can be said
that grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection:

Once upon a time, brahman,
in this very Sāvatthī
a certain man's mother had passed away.

Since her passing away,
he, unbalanced and unhinged,
went from street to street,
from cross-road to cross-road,
saying:

'Have you not seen my mother?

Have you not seen my mother?'

This too is a way, brahman,
in which it can be said
that grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection:

Once upon a time, brahman,
in this very Sāvatthī
a certain man's father had passed away.

Since his passing away,
he, unbalanced and unhinged,
went from street to street,
from cross-road to cross-road,
saying:

'Have you not seen my father?

Have you not seen my father?'

This too is a way, brahman,
in which it can be said
that grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection:

Once upon a time, brahman,
in this very Sāvatthī
a certain man's brother had passed away.

Since his passing away,
he, unbalanced and unhinged,
went from street to street,
from cross-road to cross-road,
saying:

'Have you not seen my brother?

Have you not seen my brother?'

This too is a way, brahman,
in which it can be said
that grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection:

Once upon a time, brahman,
in this very Sāvatthī
a certain man's sister had passed away.

Since her passing away,
he, unbalanced and unhinged,
went from street to street,
from cross-road to cross-road,
saying:

'Have you not seen my sister?

Have you not seen my sister?'

This too is a way, brahman,
in which it can be said
that grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection:

Once upon a time, brahman,
in this very Sāvatthī
a certain man's son had passed away.

Since his passing away,
he, unbalanced and unhinged,
went from street to street,
from cross-road to cross-road,
saying:

'Have you not seen my son?

Have you not seen my son?'

This too is a way, brahman,
in which it can be said
that grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection:

Once upon a time, brahman,
in this very Sāvatthī
a certain man's daughter had passed away.

Since her passing away,
he, unbalanced and unhinged,
went from street to street,
from cross-road to cross-road,
saying:

'Have you not seen my daughter?

Have you not seen my daughter?'

This too is a way, brahman,
in which it can be said
that grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection:

Once upon a time, brahman,
in this very Sāvatthī
a certain man's wife had passed away.

Since her passing away,
he, unbalanced and unhinged,
went from street to street,
from cross-road to cross-road,
saying:

'Have you not seen my wife?

Have you not seen my wife?'

This too is a way, brahman,
in which it can be said
that grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection:

Once upon a time, brahman,
in this very Sāvatthī,
a certain woman went to her relation's family.

Those relations of hers,
having forcibly taken her from her husband,
desired to give her to another,
but she did not want him.

Then that woman spoke thus to her husband:

'These relations of mine, master,
having forcibly taken me from you,
want to give me to [295] another,
but I do not want him.'

Then that man,
having cut that woman in two,
destroyed himself,
thinking:

'We will both come to be hereafter.'

This too is a way, brahman,
in which grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection,"

Then the brahman Nāḷijaŋgha,,
having rejoiced in what the Lord had said,
having given thanks,
rising from his seat
approached Queen Mallikā;
having approached,
he recounted to her
the whole of the conversation he had had with the Lord.

Then Queen Mallikā approached King Pasenadi;
having approached,
she spoke thus to King Pasenadi:

"What do you think about this, sire?

Is your daughter Vajīrī dear to you?"

"Yes, Mallikā.

My daughter Vajīrī is dear to me."

"What do you think about this, sire?

From an alteration
and otherness
in your daughter Vajīrī
would there arise in you grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair?"

"From an alteration
and otherness, Mallikā,
in my daughter Vajīrī
there would be a change for me,
even for life.

How should there not arise in me grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair?"

"It was in reference to this, sire,
that it was said by the Lord,
who knows,
who sees,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One:

'Grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection.'

What do you think about this, sire?

Is the noble lady Vāsabhā[3] dear to you?"

"Yes, Mallikā, the noble lady Vāsabhā is dear to me."

"What do you think about this, sire?

From an alteration
and otherness
in the noble lady Vāsabhā
would there arise in you grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair?"

"From an alteration
and otherness, Mallikā,
in the noble lady Vāsabhā
there would be a change for me,
even for life.

How should there not arise in me grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair?"

"It was in reference to this, sire,
that it was said by the Lord,
who knows,
who sees,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One:

'Grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection.'

What do you think about this, sire?

Is the General Viḍūḍabha[4] dear to you?"

"Yes, Mallikā, the General Viḍūḍabha is dear to me."

"What do you think about this, sire?

From an alteration
and otherness
in the General Viḍūḍabha
would there arise in you grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair?"

"From an alteration
and otherness, Mallikā,
in the General Viḍūḍabha
there would be a change for me,
even for life.

How should there not arise in me grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair?"

"It was in reference to this, sire,
that it was said by the Lord,
who knows,
who sees,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One:

'Grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection.'

What do you think about this, sire?

Am I dear to you?"[5]

"Yes, Mallikā, you are dear to me."

"What do you think about this, sire?

From an alteration
and otherness in me
would there arise in you grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair?"

"From an alteration
and otherness in you, Mallikā,
there would be a change for me,
even for life.

How should there not arise in me grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair?"

"It was in reference to this, sire,
that it was said by the Lord,
who knows,
who sees,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One:

'Grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection.'

What do you think about this, sire?

Are the peoples of Kāsi and Kosala dear to you?"

"Yes, Mallikā, the peoples of Kāsi and Kosala are dear to me.

Because of their might
we obtain sandal wood from the country of Kāsi
and use sweet-smelling garlands and perfumes.""

"What do you think about this, sire?

From an alteration
and [296] otherness
in the peoples of Kāsi and Kosala
would there arise in you grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair?"

"From an alteration
and otherness, Mallikā,
in the peoples of Kāsi and Kosala
there would be a change for me,
even for life.

How should there not arise in me grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair?"

"It was in reference to this, sire,
that it was said by the Lord,
who knows,
who sees,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One:

'Grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair
are born of affection,
originate in affection.'

It is wonderful, Mallikā,
it is marvellous, Mallikā,
how much the Lord,
penetrating through wisdom,
sees by means of wisdom.[6]

Come, Mallikā,
let me wash (ceremonially)."[7]

Then King Pasenadi,
rising from his seat,
having arranged his upper garment over one shoulder,
having saluted the Lord with joined palms,
three times uttered this solemn utterance:

"Praise to the Lord,
the perfected one,
the fully Self-Awakened One.

"Praise to the Lord,
the perfected one,
the fully Self-Awakened One.

"Praise to the Lord,
the perfected one,
the fully Self-Awakened One."

Discourse on "Born of Affection":
The Seventh

 


[1] kathāvalthu, matter, topic of talk, as at M. ii. 127, 132. Also the name of one of the Abhidhamma books.

[2] vitathaṁ, as at D. ii. 73.

[3] According to MA. iii. 345 she was one of the King's consorts.

[4] Son of Pasenadi and Vāsabhā.

[5] The text repeats in full the whole conversation as in the case of Vajīrī

[6] Cf. M. i. 480, ii. 173; A. ii. 115-116.

[7] ācātmehi. The commentarial ācamehi is to be preferred, unless ācāmehi is a causative form; at Jā. vi. 8 we get ācamāpeti, which the sense of MA. iii. 346 seems to suggest, for it implies that although Pasenadi, and not Mallikā, was to perform the ceremonial ablution, she was enjoined to make this possible for her husband by providing him with rinsing water. His ablution would then consist in rinsing ceremonially, ācamitva, washing his hands and feet and rinsing out his mouth before he paid his respects to the Teacher.

 


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