Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
III. Upari Paṇṇāsa
3. Suññata Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
III. The Final Fifty Discourses
3. The Division on Emptiness

Sutta 126

Bhūmija Suttaɱ

Discourse to Bhūmija

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

Copyright The Pali Text Society
Commercial Rights Reserved
Creative Commons Licence
For details see Terms of Use.

 


 

[1][chlm][than][upal] THUS HAVE I HEARD:

At one time the Lord was staying near Rājagaha
in the Bamboo Grove at the squirrels' feeding place.

Then the venerable Bhūmija,[1] having dressed early in the morning,
taking his bowl and robe,
approached Prince Jayasena's abode;
[184] having approached,
he sat down on the appointed seat.

And Prince Jayasena approached the venerable Bhūmija;
having approached,
he exchanged greetings with the venerable Bhūmija;
having conversed in a friendly and courteous way,
he sat down at a respectful distance.

As he was sitting down at a respectful distance,
Prince Jayasena spoke thus to the venerable Bhūmija:

"There are, good Bhūmija, some recluses and brahmans
who speak thus
and are of these views:

'If one fares the Brahma-faring
with an expectation,[2]
one is incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if one fares the Brahma-faring
without an expectation,
one is incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if one fares the Brahma-faring
both with an expectation and without,[3]
one is incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if one fares the Brahma-faring
neither with an expectation nor without,
one is incapable of obtaining the fruit.'

What does the good Bhūmija's teacher say about this,
what does he point out?"

"I have not heard this face to face with the Lord, Prince,
nor have I learnt it face to face.

But the situation exists
that the Lord might explain it thus:

If, with an expectation,
one fares the Brahma-faring inattentively,
one is incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if, without an expectation,
one fares the Brahma-faring inattentively,
one is incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if, both with an expectation and without an expectation,
one fares the Brahma-faring inattentively,
one is incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if, neither with an expectation nor without an expectation,
one fares the Brahma-faring inattentively,
one is incapable of obtaining the fruit.

But if, with an expectation,
one fares the Brahma-faring attentively,
one is capable of obtaining the fruit.

But if, without an expectation,
one fares the Brahma-faring attentively,
one is capable of obtaining the fruit.

But if, both with an expectation and without,
one fares the Brahma-faring attentively,
one is capable of obtaining the fruit.

But if, neither with an expectation nor without,
one fares the Brahma-faring attentively,
one is capable of obtaining the fruit.

I have not heard this face to face with the Lord, Prince,
I have not learnt it face to face.

But the situation exists
that the Lord might explain it thus."

"If the good Bhūmija's teacher speaks thus,
points out thus,
it seems to me that the good Bhūmija's teacher
stands head and shoulders above[4]
all ordinary recluses and brahmans."

Then Prince Jayasena offered the venerable Bhūmija
his own (dish of) rice cooked in milk.

 


 

Then the venerable Bhūmija,
returning from alms-gathering after [185] the meal,
approached the Lord;
having approached and greeted the Lord,
he sat down at a respectful distance.

As he was sitting down at a respectful distance,
the venerable Bhūmija spoke thus to the Lord:

"Now, revered sir, I,
having dressed early in the morning[5],
taking bowl and robe,
approached Prince Jayasena's abode;
having approached,
I sat down on the appointed seat.

And Prince Jayasena approached me;
having approached,
he exchanged greetings with me;
having conversed in a friendly and courteous way,
he sat down at a respectful distance.

As he was sitting down at a respectful distance,
Prince Jayasena spoke thus to me:

"There are, good Bhūmija, some recluses and brahmans
who speak thus
and are of these views:

'If one fares the Brahma-faring
with an expectation,
one is incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if one fares the Brahma-faring
without an expectation,
one is incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if one fares the Brahma-faring
both with an expectation and without,
one is incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if one fares the Brahma-faring
neither with an expectation nor without,
one is incapable of obtaining the fruit.'

What does the good Bhūmija's teacher say about this,
what does he point out?"

"I have not heard this face to face with the Lord, Prince,
nor have I learnt it face to face.

But the situation exists
that the Lord might explain it thus:

If, with an expectation,
one fares the Brahma-faring inattentively,
one is incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if, without an expectation,
one fares the Brahma-faring inattentively,
one is incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if, both with an expectation and without an expectation,
one fares the Brahma-faring inattentively,
one is incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if, neither with an expectation nor without an expectation,
one fares the Brahma-faring inattentively,
one is incapable of obtaining the fruit.

But if, with an expectation,
one fares the Brahma-faring attentively,
one is capable of obtaining the fruit.

But if, without an expectation,
one fares the Brahma-faring attentively,
one is capable of obtaining the fruit.

But if, both with an expectation and without,
one fares the Brahma-faring attentively,
one is capable of obtaining the fruit.

But if, neither with an expectation nor without,
one fares the Brahma-faring attentively,
one is capable of obtaining the fruit.

I have not heard this face to face with the Lord, Prince,
I have not learnt it face to face.

But the situation exists
that the Lord might explain it thus."

"If the good Bhūmija's teacher speaks thus,
points out thus,
it seems to me that the good Bhūmija's teacher
stands head and shoulders above
all ordinary recluses and brahmans."

I hope, revered sir,
that when questioned thus
and answering thus,
I was asserting (fairly) what the Lord affirms,
that I was not misrepresenting the Lord
with what is not fact,
but was explaining a dhamma
that conforms to dhamma
and that no fellow dhamma-man,
a holder of (my) views,
comes to a position incurring blame?"[6]

"Indeed, Bhūmija, when questioned thus
and answering thus,
you were asserting (fairly) what I[7] affirm,
you were not misrepresenting me
with what is not fact,
you were explaining a dhamma
that conforms to dhamma
and no fellow dhamma-man,
a holder of (your) views,
comes to a position incurring blame.

If, Bhūmija, those recluses or brahmans
who are of wrong view,
wrong aspiration,
wrong speech,
wrong action,
wrong mode of livelihood,
wrong endeavour,
wrong mindfulness,
wrong concentration,
fare the Brahma-faring with an expectation,
they are incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring without an expectation
they are incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring both with an expectation and without
they are incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring neither with an expectation nor without,
they are incapable of obtaining the fruit.

What is the reason for this?

This is not the method,[8] Bhūmija,
for obtaining the fruit.

Bhūmija, it is like a man walking about in need of oil,
seeking for oil,
looking about for oil
who, having heaped sand into a trough,
should press it
while sprinkling it continuously with water.

Even though he had an expectation,
he would be incapable of obtaining oil
by heaping sand into a trough
and pressing it
while sprinkling it continuously with water.

And even though he were without an expectation,
he would be incapable of obtaining oil
by heaping sand into a trough
and pressing it
while sprinkling it continuously with water.

And even though he were both with an expectation and without,
he would be incapable of obtaining oil
by heaping sand into a trough
and pressing it
while sprinkling it continuously with water.

And even though he were neither with an expectation nor without,
he would be incapable of obtaining oil
by heaping sand into a trough
and pressing it
while sprinkling it continuously with water.

What is the reason for this?

[186] This is not the method, Bhūmija,
for obtaining oil.

In the same way, Bhūmija,
if those recluses or brahmans
who are of wrong view,
wrong aspiration,
wrong speech,
wrong action,
wrong mode of livelihood,
wrong endeavour,
wrong mindfulness,
wrong concentration,
fare the Brahma-faring with an expectation,
they are incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring without an expectation
they are incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring both with an expectation and without
they are incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring neither with an expectation nor without,
they are incapable of obtaining the fruit.

What is the reason for this?

This is not the method,Bhūmija,
for obtaining the fruit.

Bhūmija, it is like a man walking about in need of milk,
seeking for milk,
looking about for milk,
who should pull a young cow by the horn.

Even though he had an expectation,
he would be incapable of obtaining milk
by pulling the young cow by the horn.

And even though he were without an expectation,
he would be incapable of obtaining milk
by pulling the young cow by the horn.

And even though he were both with an expectation and without,
he would be incapable of obtaining milk
by pulling the young cow by the horn.

And even though he were neither with an expectation nor without,
he would be incapable of obtaining milk
by pulling the young cow by the horn.

What is the reason for this?

This is not the method, Bhūmija, for obtaining milk.

In the same way, Bhūmija,
if those recluses or brahmans
who are of wrong view,
wrong aspiration,
wrong speech,
wrong action,
wrong mode of livelihood,
wrong endeavour,
wrong mindfulness,
wrong concentration,
fare the Brahma-faring with an expectation,
they are incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring without an expectation
they are incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring both with an expectation and without
they are incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring neither with an expectation nor without,
they are incapable of obtaining the fruit.

What is the reason for this?

This is not the method,Bhūmija,
for obtaining the fruit.

Bhūmija, it is like a man walking about in need of butter,
seeking for butter,
looking about for butter
who, having sprinkled water into a jar,
should swirl it round with a churning-stick.[9]

Even though he had an expectation,
he would be incapable of obtaining butter
by sprinkling water into a jar
and swirling it round with a churning-stick.

And even though he were without an expectation,
he would be incapable of obtaining butter
by sprinkling water into a jar
and swirling it round with a churning-stick.

And even though he were both with an expectation and without,
he would be incapable of obtaining butter
by sprinkling water into a jar
and swirling it round with a churning-stick.

And even though he were neither with an expectation nor without,
he would be incapable of obtaining butter
by sprinkling water into a jar
and swirling it round with a churning-stick.

What is the reason for this?

This is not the method, Bhūmija, for obtaining butter.

In the same way, Bhūmija,
if those recluses or brahmans
who are of wrong view,
wrong aspiration,
wrong speech,
wrong action,
wrong mode of livelihood,
wrong endeavour,
wrong mindfulness,
wrong concentration,
fare the Brahma-faring with an expectation,
they are incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring without an expectation
they are incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring both with an expectation and without
they are incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring neither with an expectation nor without,
they are incapable of obtaining the fruit.

What is the reason for this?

This is not the method,Bhūmija,
for obtaining the fruit.

[187] Bhūmija, it is like a man walking about in need of fire,
seeking for fire,
looking about for fire
who, bringing an upper piece of fire-stick,
should rub a wet sappy stick (with it).[10]

Even though he had an expectation,
he would be incapable of obtaining fire
by bringing an upper piece of fire-stick
and rubbing a wet sappy stick (with it).

And even though he were without an expectation,
he would be incapable of obtaining fire
by bringing an upper piece of fire-stick
and rubbing a wet sappy stick (with it).

And even though he were both with an expectation and without,
he would be incapable of obtaining fire
by bringing an upper piece of fire-stick
and rubbing a wet sappy stick (with it).

And even though he were neither with an expectation nor without,
he would be incapable of obtaining fire
by bringing an upper piece of fire-stick
and rubbing a wet sappy stick (with it).

What is the reason for this?

This is not the method, Bhūmija,
for obtaining fire.

In the same way, Bhūmija,
if those recluses or brahmans
who are of wrong view,
wrong aspiration,
wrong speech,
wrong action,
wrong mode of livelihood,
wrong endeavour,
wrong mindfulness,
wrong concentration,
fare the Brahma-faring with an expectation,
they are incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring without an expectation
they are incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring both with an expectation and without
they are incapable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring neither with an expectation nor without,
they are incapable of obtaining the fruit.

What is the reason for this?

This is not the method,Bhūmija,
for obtaining the fruit.

 


 

But if, Bhūmija, those recluses or brahmans
who are of right view,
right aspiration,
right speech,
right action,
right mode of livelihood,
right endeavour,
right mindfulness,
right concentration,
fare the Brahma-faring with an expectation,
they are capable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring without an expectation,
they are capable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring both with an expectation and without,
they are capable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring neither with an expectation nor without,
they are capable of obtaining the fruit.

What is the reason for this?

This is the method, Bhūmija,
for obtaining the fruit.

Bhūmija, it is like a man walking about in need of oil,
seeking for oil,
looking about for oil
who, having heaped oil-seeds into a trough,
should press them
while sprinkling them continuously with water.

If he had an expectation,
he would be capable of obtaining oil
by heaping oil-seeds into a trough
and pressing them
while sprinkling them continuously with water.

What is the reason for this?

This is the method, Bhūmija, for obtaining oil.

And if he were without an expectation,
he would be capable of obtaining oil
by heaping oil-seeds into a trough
and pressing them
while sprinkling them continuously with water.

What is the reason for this?

This is the method, Bhūmija, for obtaining oil.

And if he were both with an expectation and without,
he would be capable of obtaining oil
by heaping oil-seeds into a trough
and pressing them
while sprinkling them continuously with water.

What is the reason for this?

This is the method, Bhūmija, for obtaining oil.

And if he were neither with an expectation nor without,
he would be capable of obtaining oil
by heaping oil-seeds into a trough
and pressing them
while sprinkling them continuously with water.

What is the reason for this?

This is the method, Bhūmija, for obtaining oil.

In the same way, Bhūmija, those recluses or brahmans
who are of right view,
right aspiration,
right speech,
right action,
right mode of livelihood,
right endeavour,
right mindfulness,
right concentration,
fare the Brahma-faring with an expectation,
they are capable of [188] obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring without an expectation,
they are capable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring both with an expectation and without,
they are capable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring neither with an expectation nor without,
they are capable of obtaining the fruit.

What is the reason for this?

This is the method, Bhūmija,
for obtaining the fruit.

Bhūmija, it is like a man walking about in need of milk,
seeking for milk,
looking about for milk,
who should pull a young cow by the teat.

If he had an expectation
he would be capable of obtaining milk
by pulling the young cow by the teat.

And if he were without an expectation
he would be capable of obtaining milk
by pulling the young cow by the teat.

And if he were both with an expectation and without
he would be capable of obtaining milk
by pulling the young cow by the teat.

And if he were neither with an expectation nor without
he would be capable of obtaining milk
by pulling the young cow by the teat.

What is the reason for this?

This is the method, Bhūmija,
for obtaining milk.

In the same way, Bhūmija, those recluses or brahmans
who are of right view,
right aspiration,
right speech,
right action,
right mode of livelihood,
right endeavour,
right mindfulness,
right concentration,
fare the Brahma-faring with an expectation,
they are capable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring without an expectation,
they are capable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring both with an expectation and without,
they are capable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring neither with an expectation nor without,
they are capable of obtaining the fruit.

What is the reason for this?

This is the method, Bhūmija,
for obtaining the fruit.

Bhūmija, it is like a man walking about in need of butter,
seeking for butter,
looking about for butter
who, having sprinkled curds into a jar,
should swirl them around with a churning-stick.

If he had an expectation
he would be capable of obtaining butter
by sprinkling curds into a jar
and swirling them around with a churning-stick.

And if he were without an expectation
he would be capable of obtaining butter
by sprinkling curds into a jar
and swirling them around with a churning-stick.

And if he were both with an expectation and without
he would be capable of obtaining butter
by sprinkling curds into a jar
and swirling them around with a churning-stick.

And if he were neither with an expectation nor without
he would be capable of obtaining butter
by sprinkling curds into a jar
and swirling them around with a churning-stick.

What is the reason for this?

This is the method, Bhūmija,
for obtaining butter.

In the same way, Bhūmija, those recluses or brahmans
who are of right view,
right aspiration,
right speech,
right action,
right mode of livelihood,
right endeavour,
right mindfulness,
right concentration,
fare the Brahma-faring with an expectation,
they are capable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring without an expectation,
they are capable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring both with an expectation and without,
they are capable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring neither with an expectation nor without,
they are capable of obtaining the fruit.

What is the reason for this?

This is the method, Bhūmija,
for obtaining the fruit.

Bhūmija, it is like a man walking about in need of fire,
seeking for fire,
looking about for fire
who, bringing an upper piece of fire-stick,
should rub a dry sapless stick (with it).[11]

And if he had an expectation
he would be capable of obtaining fire
by bringing an upper piece [189] of fire-stick
and rubbing a dry sapless stick (with it).[12]

And if he were without an expectation,
he would be capable of obtaining fire
by bringing an upper piece of fire-stick
and rubbing a dry sapless stick (with it).

And if he were both with an expectation and without,
he would be capable of obtaining fire
by bringing an upper piece of fire-stick
and rubbing a dry sapless stick (with it).

And if he were neither with an expectation nor without,
he would be capable of obtaining fire
by bringing an upper piece of fire-stick
and rubbing a dry sapless stick (with it).

What is the reason for this?

This is the method, Bhūmija,
for obtaining fire.

In the same way, Bhūmija, those recluses or brahmans
who are of right view,
right aspiration,
right speech,
right action,
right mode of livelihood,
right endeavour,
right mindfulness,
right concentration,
fare the Brahma-faring with an expectation,
they are capable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring without an expectation,
they are capable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring both with an expectation and without,
they are capable of obtaining the fruit.

And if they fare the Brahma-faring neither with an expectation nor without,
they are capable of obtaining the fruit.

What is the reason for this?

This is the method, Bhūmija,
for obtaining the fruit.

If, Bhūmija, these four similes[13] had occurred to you for Prince Jayasena,
Prince Jayasena would naturally have trusted you
and, having trust,
would have acted in the manner
of one having trust in you."

"But how could these four similes for Prince Jayasena have occurred to me, revered sir,
seeing that they are spontaneous,
that is to say to the Lord,
and had never been heard before?"[14]

Thus spoke the Lord.

Delighted, the venerable Bhūmija rejoiced in what the Lord had said.

Discourse to Bhūmija:
The Sixth

 


[1] Uncle of Jayasena, MA. iv. 199. He entered the Order with his friends Sambhūta (Sītavaniya), Jeyyasena and Abhirādhana, ThagA. i. 47.

[2] āsañ ce pi karitvāā, having made a longing, hope or expectation. The word asd occurs at e.g. Vin. i. 260.

[3] At times the one, at times the other, MA. iv. 199.

[4] muddhānam āhacca tiṭṭhati, stands striking the head, or pressing it down, therefore above it.

[5] Bhūmija repeats the whole of his conversation with Jayasena. [Ed.: included in this edition]

[6] As at Vin. i. 234.

[7] I follow the v.l. me instead of text's Bhagavato.

[8] ayoni h'esā. Cf. S. i. 203, ayonim patinissajja.

[9] matthena āviñjeyya. In the simile of pulling the young cow by the horn we get visāṇato āviñjeyya. But the precise meaning of āviñjati in these similes is obscure. In this one it seems to mean to twirl, to churn. Matthena should perhaps read matthakena, top, summit. Or has some confusion with the verb mathati, to stir, crept in (cf. abhimattheyya in the next simile)? Or should the reading be manthena, with a churning-stick? I have adopted tentatively this last alternative as it makes here, and in the "favourable" simile below, the greater amount of sense.

[10] Cf. M. i. 240.

[11] Cf. M. i. 242.

[12] This phrase, from "And if," missed out in the text, is needed both for the balance of these expectation clauses and for that of this favourable fire-simile with the unfavourable one, no less than for that of the construction of all the simile-paragraphs.

[13] Cf. M. iii. 131 (two similes).

[14] This is a very curious ending to a Discourse, and seems little more than an absent-minded repetition of M. iii. 131.


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