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 129

Bālapaṇḍita Suttaɱ

Discourse on Fools and the Wise

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][upal] THUS HAVE I HEARD:

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

While he was there the Lord addressed the monks, saying:

"Monks."

"Revered One," these monks answered the Lord in assent.

The Lord spoke thus:

"Monks, these are the three marks of a fool,[1]
signs of a fool,
stamps of a fool.

What three?

As to this, monks, a fool is one thinking wrong thoughts,[2]
speaking wrong words,[3]
a doer of deeds wrongly done.[4]|| ||

If, monks, a fool were not one thinking wrong thoughts,
speaking wrong words,
and a doer of deeds wrongly done,
how could the wise know of him:

This fine fellow is a fool,
not a true man?

It is because, monks, a fool is one thinking wrong thoughts,
speaking wrong words,
and a doer of deeds wrongly done,
that the wise know of him:

This fine fellow is a fool,
not a true man.

 


 

Monks, he who is a fool
experiences a threefold anguish and dejection
here and now.

If, monks, a fool is sitting down
in an assembly room
or by a carriage-road
or at a cross-roads
and if the people there held appropriate suitable talk about him
and if, monks, the fool were one who made onslaught on creatures,
were a taker of what had not been given,
one who behaved wrongly in regard to sense-pleasures,
a liar,
and one given up to occasions for sloth
consequent upon (drinking) arrack,
toddy
and strong liquor,
and if, monks, it then occurs to that fool:

'These people are holding an appropriate suitable talk about me,
for these states exist in me
and I engage in[5] these states,'

this, monks, is the first (kind of) anguish and dejection
that the fool experiences
here and now.

And again, monks, a fool sees kings
who, having arrested a thief,
an evil-doer,
are meting out various punishments:[6]
they lash [210] him with whips,
and they lash him with canes,
and they lash him with (birch) rods,
and they cut off his hand,
and they cut off his foot,
and they cut off his hand and foot,
and they cut off his his ear,
and they cut off his his nose,
and they cut off his his ear and nose,
and they give him the 'gruel-pot' punishment,
and they give him the 'shell-tonsure' punishment,
and they give him the 'Rāhu's mouth' punishment,
and they give him the 'fire-garland' punishment,
and they give him the 'flaming hand' punishment,
and they give him the 'hay-twist' punishment,
and they give him the 'bark-dress' punishment,
and they give him the 'antelope' punishment,
and they give him the 'flesh-hooking' punishment,
and they give him the 'disc-slice' punishment,
and they give him the 'pickling process' punishment,
and they give him the 'circling the pin' punishment,
and they give him the 'straw-mattress,'
and they spray him with burning oil,
give him as food to the dogs,
impale him alive on stakes,
and they decapitate him with a sword.

Thereupon, monks, it occurs to the fool:

'Because of such and such evil deeds
kings, having arrested a thief,
an evil-doer,
mete out various punishments:
they lash him with whips,
and they lash him with canes,
and they lash him with (birch) rods,
and they cut off his hand,
and they cut off his foot,
and they cut off his hand and foot,
and they cut off his his ear,
and they cut off his his nose,
and they cut off his his ear and nose,
and they give him the 'gruel-pot' punishment,
and they give him the 'shell-tonsure' punishment,
and they give him the 'Rāhu's mouth' punishment,
and they give him the 'fire-garland' punishment,
and they give him the 'flaming hand' punishment,
and they give him the 'hay-twist' punishment,
and they give him the 'bark-dress' punishment,
and they give him the 'antelope' punishment,
and they give him the 'flesh-hooking' punishment,
and they give him the 'disc-slice' punishment,
and they give him the 'pickling process' punishment,
and they give him the 'circling the pin' punishment,
and they give him the 'straw-mattress,'
and they spray him with burning oil,
give him as food to the dogs,
impale him alive on stakes,
and they decapitate him with a sword.

But these states exist in me
and I engage in these states.

So if kings should know about me,
they might have me arrested too,
and mete out various punishments:
they might lash me with whips,
they might lash me with canes,
they might lash me with (birch) rods,
they might cut off my hand,
they might cut off my foot,
they might cut off my hand and foot,
they might cut off my my ear,
they might cut off my my nose,
they might cut off my his ear and nose,
they might give me the 'gruel-pot' punishment,
they might give me the 'shell-tonsure' punishment,
they might give me the 'Rāhu's mouth' punishment,
they might give me the 'fire-garland' punishment,
they might give me the 'flaming hand' punishment,
they might give me the 'hay-twist' punishment,
they might give me the 'bark-dress' punishment,
they might give me the 'antelope' punishment,
they might give me the 'flesh-hooking' punishment,
they might give me the 'disc-slice' punishment,
they might give me the 'pickling process' punishment,
they might give me the 'circling the pin' punishment,
they might give me the 'straw-mattress,'
they might spray me with burning oil,
give me as food to the dogs,
impale me alive on stakes,
and they decapitate me with a sword.'

This, monks, is the second (kind' of) anguish and dejection
that the fool experiences
here and now.

And again, monks,
while a fool is on a chair
or bed
or lying on the ground,
at such a time those evil deeds
that he has formerly wrongly done
by body,
speech
and thought
rest on him,
lie on him,
settle on him.[7]

Monks, as at eventide
the shadows of the great mountain peaks
rest,
lie
and settle on the earth,
so, monks, do these evil deeds
that the fool has formerly wrongly done
by body,
speech
and thought
rest,
lie
and settle on him
as he is on a chair
or bed
or lying on the ground.

Thereupon, monks, it occurs thus to the fool:

'Indeed what is lovely
has not been done by me,[8]
what is skilled
has not been done,
no refuge against fearful (consequences)[9]
has been made,
evil has been done,
cruelty has been done,
violence has been done.

Insofar as there is a bourn
for those who have not done what is lovely,
have not done what is skilled,
have not made a refuge against fearful (consequences),
who have done evil, cruelty and violence,
to that bourn I am going hereafter.'

He grieves,
mourns,
laments,
beats his breast,
wails
and falls into disillusionment.

This, [211] monks, is the third (kind of) anguish and dejection
that the fool experiences
here and now.

He, monks,[10] who is a fool,
having fared wrongly in body,
having fared wrongly in speech,
having fared wrongly in thought,
at the breaking up of the body after dying
arises in the sorrowful ways,
the bad bourn,
the Downfall,
Niraya Hell.

Anyone, monks, speaking rightly of him
would say he is thoroughly undesirable,
thoroughly disagreeable,
thoroughly unpleasant,
as in speaking rightly of Niraya Hell
he would say it is thoroughly undesirable,
thoroughly disagreeable,
thoroughly unpleasant.

As to this, monks,
even a simile is not easy,
so many are the anguishes of Niraya Hell."

When this had been said,
a certain monk spoke thus to the Lord:

"But is it possible
to make a simile for me, revered sir?"

"It is possible, monk,"
the Lord said.

"It is as though, monk,
men should arrest a thief,
an evil-doer,
and bring him before the king,
with the words:

'This, sire, is a thief,
an evil-doer to you.

Decree for him
whatever punishment you wish,'

and the king should speak thus concerning him:

'Go along, good sirs,
stab[11] this man early in the morning
with a hundred spears.'

And early in the morning
they would stab him with a hundred spears.

Then at midday the king would speak thus:

'My good fellows,
how is that man?'

'He is still alive, sire.'

Then the king would speak thus concerning him:

'Go along, good sirs,
stab this man at midday
with a hundred spears.'

And at midday they would stab him with a hundred spears.

Then towards evening
the king would speak thus:

'My good fellows,
how is that man?'

'He is still alive, sire.'

Then the king would speak thus concerning him:

'Go along, good sirs,
stab this man towards evening
with a hundred spears.'

And towards evening
they would stab him with a hundred spears.

What do you think about this, monks,
would not that man,
while he was being stabbed with three hundred spears,
from that source experience anguish and dejection?"

"That man, revered sir,
being stabbed with only one spear
from that source would experience anguish and dejection.

How much more then[12]
with three hundred spears?"

[212] Then the Lord,
having picked up a small stone the size of his hand,
addressed the monks,
saying:

"What do you think about this, monks?

Now, which is the greater,
this small stone,
the size of my hand,
that I have picked up,
or the Himalaya,[13] lord of mountains?"

"This small stone, revered sir,
that the Lord picked up,
the size of his hand,
is insignificant;
compared with the Himalaya, lord of mountains,
it does not count,
it does not amount even to an infinitesimal fraction (of it),
it cannot even be compared (with it)."[14]

"Even so, monks, that anguish and dejection
that that man experiences
while he is being stabbed with three hundred spears,
compared with the anguish of Niraya Hell
does not count,
it does not amount even to an infinitesimal fraction (of it),
it cannot even be compared (with it).

Monks, the guardians of Niraya Hell
subject him to what is called the fivefold pinion.[15]

They drive a red-hot iron stake
through each hand
and each foot
and a red-hot iron stake
through the middle of his breast.

Thereat he feels feelings that are painful,
sharp,
severe.

But he does not do his time[16]
until he makes an end of that evil deed.

Then the guardians of Niraya Hell
lay him down
and plane him with adzes.

Thereat he feels feelings that are painful,
sharp,
severe.

But he does not do his time
until he makes an end of that evil deed.

Then, monks, the guardians of Niraya Hell
place him feet up
and head down
and plane him with razors.

Thereat he feels feelings that are painful,
sharp,
severe.

But he does not do his time
until he makes an end of that evil deed.

Then, monks, the guardians of Niraya Hell
bind him to a chariot
and drive him up and down
over ground that is burning,
aflame,
ablaze.

Thereat he feels feelings that are painful,
sharp,
severe.

But he does not do his time
until he makes an end of that evil deed.

Then, monks, the guardians of Niraya Hell
push him up and down
a great mountain slope
of glowing cinders,
burning,
aflame,
ablaze.

Thereat he feels feelings that are painful,
sharp,
severe.

But he does not do his time
until he makes an end of that evil deed.

Then, monks, the guardians of Niraya Hell
take him,
feet up and head down,
and plunge him into a glowing brazen cauldron,
burning,
aflame,
ablaze.

There he is boiled
and rises to the surface with the [213] scum.

Boiling there
and rising to the surface with the scum,
he comes up once
and goes down once
and once he goes across.

Thereat he feels feelings that are painful,
sharp,
severe.

But he does not do his time
until he makes an end of that evil deed.

Then, monks, the guardians of Niraya Hell
toss him into the Great Niraya Hell.

Now, monks, this Great Niraya Hell[17]
(is so described):

Four-cornered and with four gates,[18]
It is divided into equal portions,
Encircled by an iron wall, with a roof of iron above;
Its incandescent floor is made of glowing iron;
All round it stands a hundred yojanas square.[19]

In many a disquisition could I, monks,
talk a talk about Niraya Hell,
but it is not easy to describe in full,[20] monks,
so many are the anguishes of Niraya Hell.

There are, monks, animals,
breathing creatures
that are grass-eaters.

These eat moist and dry grasses,
chewing them with their teeth.

And which, monks, are the animals,
the breathing creatures,
that are grass-eaters?

Horses,
cattle,
asses,
sheep,
deer,
and whatever other animals,
breathing creatures
there are that are grass-eaters.

Monks, that fool
who formerly enjoyed tastes here,
having done evil deeds here,
at the breaking up of the body after dying
arises in companionship
with those beings that are grass-eaters.

There are, monks, animals,
breathing creatures
that are dung-eaters.

Having smelt the smell of dung from afar
they run up,
thinking:

'We will eat here,
we will eat here.'

Monks, it is like brahmans
who run up at the smell of a sacrifice,
thinking:

'We will eat here,
we will eat here' -

even so, monks, there are animals,
breathing creatures
that are dung-eaters.

These having smelt the smell of dung from afar
run up,
thinking:

'We will eat here,
we will eat here.'

And which, monks arc the animals,
the breathing creatures
that are dung-eaters?

Cocks,
swine,
dogs,
jackals,
and whatever other animals,
breathing creatures
there are
that are dung-eaters.

Monks, that fool
who formerly enjoyed tastes here,
[214] having done evil deeds here,
at the breaking up of the body after dying
arises in companionship
with those beings that are dung-eaters.

There are, monks, animals,
breathing creatures
that are born in the dark,
grow old in the dark
and die in the dark.

And which, monks, are the animals,
the breathing creatures
that are born,
grow old
and die
in the dark?

Beetles,
maggots,
earth-worms
and whatever other animals,
breathing creatures there are
that are born,
grow old
and die
in the dark.

Monks, that fool
who formerly enjoyed tastes here
having done evil deeds here,
at the breaking up of the body after dying
arises in companionship
with those beings that are born,
grow old
and die in the dark.

There are, monks, animals,
breathing creatures
that are born in water,
grow old in water,
die in water.

And which, monks, are the animals,
the breathing creatures
that are born,
grow old
and die in water?

Fishes,
turtles,
crocodiles
and whatever other animals,
breathing creatures
there are
that are born,
grow old
and die
in water.

Monks, that fool
who formerly enjoyed tastes here
having done evil deeds here,
at the breaking up of the body after dying
arises in companionship
with those beings that are born,
grow old
and die
in water.

There are, monks, animals,
breathing creatures
that are born in filth,
grow old in filth,
die in filth.

And which, monks, are the animals,
the breathing creatures
that are born,
grow old
and die in filth?

Those beings, monks,
that are born in rotting fish
or that grow old in rotting fish
or that die in rotting fish;
that are born in rotting carcases
or that grow old in rotting carcases
or that die in rotting carcases;
that are born in rotting rice
or that grow old in rotting rice
or that die in rotting rice;
that are born in a pool at the entrance to a village
or that grow old in a pool at the entrance to a village
or that die in a pool at the entrance to a village;
that are born in a dirty pool near a village
or that grow old in a dirty pool near a village
or that die in a dirty pool near a village.

Monks, that fool who formerly enjoyed tastes here,
having done evil deeds here,
at the breaking up of the body after dying
arises in companionship
with those beings that are born in filth,
grow old in filth,
die in filth.

In many a disquisition could I, monks,
talk a talk about animal birth,
but it is not easy to describe in full, monks,
so many are the anguishes of animal birth.

Monks, it is like a man
who might throw a yoke with one hole[21]
into the sea.

An easterly wind might take it westwards,
a westerly wind might take it eastwards,
a northerly wind might take it southwards,
a southerly wind might take it northwards.

There might be [215] a blind turtle there
who came to the surface
once in a hundred years.

What do you think about this, monks?

Could that blind turtle
push his neck through that one hole in the yoke?"

"If at all,[22] revered sir,
then only once in a very long while."

"Sooner or later, monks,
could the blind turtle
push his neck through the one hole in the yoke;
more difficult than that,
do I say, monks,
is human status once again
for the fool who has gone to the Downfall.

What is the cause of that?

Monks, there is no dhamma-faring there,
no even-faring,
no doing of what is skilled,
no doing of what is good.

Monks, there is devouring of one another there
and feeding on the weak.[23]

Monks, if some time or other
once in a very long while
that fool came to human status (again),
he would be born into those families that are low;[24]
a family of low caste
or a family of hunters
or a family of bamboo-plaiters
or a family of cartwrights
or a family of refuse-scavengers,[25]
in such a family as is needy,
without enough to drink
or to eat,
where a covering for the back
is with difficulty obtained.

Moreover, he would be ill-favoured,
ugly,
dwarfish,
sickly,
blind
or deformed
or lame
or paralysed;
he would be unable to get food,
drink,
clothes,
vehicles,
garlands,
scents and perfumes,
bed,
dwelling,
and lights;
he would fare wrongly in body,
wrongly in speech,
wrongly in thought.

Because he had fared wrongly in body,
speech
and thought,
at the breaking up of the body after dying
he would arise in the sorrowful ways,
a bad bourn,
the Downfall,
Niraya Hell.

Monks, it is as though a gambler
at the very first losing throw (at dice)
were to lose his son,
his wife
and all his property
and, further,
were to undergo imprisonment himself.

Insignificant, monks,
is that losing throw
by which the gambler
at the very first losing throw
were to lose his son,
his wife
and all his property
and, further,
were to undergo imprisonment himself.

Greater than this
is the losing throw
by which the fool,
having fared wrongly in body,
wrongly in speech,
wrongly in thought,
at the breaking up of the body after dying
arises in the sorrowful ways,
the bad bourn,
the Downfall,
Niraya Hell.

This, monks, is the fool's condition,
completed in its entirety.[26]

 

§

 

[216] These, monks, are the three marks of a wise man,
signs of a wise man,
stamps of a wise man.

What three?

As to this, monks,
a wise man is one thinking right thoughts,
speaking right words,
and a doer of deeds rightly done.

If, monks, a wise man
were not one thinking right thoughts,
speaking right words,
a doer of deeds rightly done,
how could the wise know of him:

This worthy man is a wise man,
a true man?

It is because, monks, a wise man is one thinking right thoughts,
speaking right words,
a doer of deeds rightly done,
that the wise know of him:

This worthy man is a wise man,
a true man.

Monks, he who is a wise man
experiences a threefold happiness and joy
here and now.

If, monks, the wise man is sitting down
in an assembly room
or by a carriage road
or at a cross-roads
and the people there held appropriate suitable talk about him,
and if, monks, the wise man
abstained from onslaught on creatures,
from taking what had not been given,
from wrong behaviour in regard to the sense-pleasures,
from lying,
from occasions for sloth
consequent upon (drinking) arrack,
toddy
and strong liquor,
and if, monks, it thereupon occurred to the wise man:

'These people are holding an appropriate suitable talk about me;
these states exist in me
and I engage in these states' -
this, monks, is the first (kind of) happiness and joy
that the wise man experiences
here and now.

And again, monks, a wise man
sees kings who having arrested a thief,
an evil-doer,
are meting out various punishments:
they lash him with whips,
and they lash him with canes,
and they lash him with (birch) rods,
and they cut off his hand,
and they cut off his foot,
and they cut off his hand and foot,
and they cut off his his ear,
and they cut off his his nose,
and they cut off his his ear and nose,
and they give him the 'gruel-pot' punishment,
and they give him the 'shell-tonsure' punishment,
and they give him the 'Rāhu's mouth' punishment,
and they give him the 'fire-garland' punishment,
and they give him the 'flaming hand' punishment,
and they give him the 'hay-twist' punishment,
and they give him the 'bark-dress' punishment,
and they give him the 'antelope' punishment,
and they give him the 'flesh-hooking' punishment,
and they give him the 'disc-slice' punishment,
and they give him the 'pickling process' punishment,
and they give him the 'circling the pin' punishment,
and they give him the 'straw-mattress,'
and they spray him with burning oil,
give him as food to the dogs,
impale him alive on stakes,
and they decapitate him with a sword.

Thereupon, monks, it occurs to the wise man:

'Because of such and such evil deeds
kings, having arrested a thief,
an evil-doer,
mete out various punishments:
they lash him with whips,
and they lash him with canes,
and they lash him with (birch) rods,
and they cut off his hand,
and they cut off his foot,
and they cut off his hand and foot,
and they cut off his his ear,
and they cut off his his nose,
and they cut off his his ear and nose,
and they give him the 'gruel-pot' punishment,
and they give him the 'shell-tonsure' punishment,
and they give him the 'Rāhu's mouth' punishment,
and they give him the 'fire-garland' punishment,
and they give him the 'flaming hand' punishment,
and they give him the 'hay-twist' punishment,
and they give him the 'bark-dress' punishment,
and they give him the 'antelope' punishment,
and they give him the 'flesh-hooking' punishment,
and they give him the 'disc-slice' punishment,
and they give him the 'pickling process' punishment,
and they give him the 'circling the pin' punishment,
and they give him the 'straw-mattress,'
and they spray him with burning oil,
give him as food to the dogs,
impale him alive on stakes,
and they decapitate him with a sword.

But these states do not exist in me
and I do not engage in these states.'

This, monks, is the second (kind of) happiness and joy
that the wise man experiences
here and now.

And again, monks,
while a wise man is on a chair
or bed
or lying on the ground,
at such a time
those lovely deeds that he has formerly rightly done
by body,
speech
and thought
rest on him,
lie on him,
settle on him.

Monks, as at eventide the shadows of the great mountain peaks rest,
lie
and settle
on the earth,
so, monks, do those lovely deeds
that the wise man has formerly rightly done
by body,
[217] speech
and thought
rest,
lie
and settle on him
as he is on a chair
or bed
or lying on the ground.

Thereupon, monks, it occurs to the wise man:

'Indeed what is evil
has not been done by me,
cruelty has not been done,
violence has not been done,
what is lovely has been done,
what is skilled has been done,
a refuge against fearful (consequences) has been found.

Insofar as there is a bourn
for those who have not done evil,
cruelty
or violence,
who have done what is lovely,
what is skilled,
and who have found a refuge
against fearful (consequences),
to that bourn I am going hereafter.'

He does not grieve,
mourn,
lament,
beat his breast,
wail
or fall into disillusionment.

This, monks, is the third (kind of) happiness and joy
that the wise man experiences
here and now.

He, monks, who is a wise man,
having fared rightly in body,
speech
and thought,
at the breaking up of the body after dying
arises in a good bourn,
a heaven world.

Anyone, monks, speaking rightly of him
would say:

'Thoroughly desirable,
thoroughly agreeable,
thoroughly pleasant,'
as in speaking rightly of heaven
he would say:
'Thoroughly desirable,
thoroughly agreeable,
thoroughly pleasant.'

As to this, monks,
even a simile is not easy,
so many are the happinesses of heaven."

When this had been said,
a certain monk spoke thus to the Lord:

"But is it possible, revered sir,
to make a simile?"[27]

"It is possible, monk,"
the Lord said.

"It is as though, monk,
a wheel-rolling king,[28]
endowed with seven Treasures
and four efficacies,[29]
should experience happiness and joy
from that source.

From what seven?

As to this, monk,
when a noble anointed king
has bathed his head on an Observance day,
the fifteenth,
and has gone for the Observance
to an upper storey of his palace,
there then appears
the deva-like Treasure of the Wheel
with its nave,
its tyres
and all its thousand spokes complete.

On seeing it,
this occurs to the noble anointed king:

'I have heard this,
that if a noble anointed king
has bathed his head on an Observance day,
the fifteenth,
and has gone for the Observance
to an upper storey of his palace,
and there then appears [218] the deva-like Treasure of the Wheel
with its nave,
its tyres,
and all its thousand spokes complete,
he becomes a wheel-rolling king.

May I then be a wheel-rolling king.'

Then, monks,[30] the noble anointed king
rising from his seat,
taking a ceremonial water jar in his left hand,
with his right sprinkles (water) over[31] the Treasure of the Wheel,
saying:

'May the honoured Treasure of the Wheel roll on,
may the honoured Treasure of the Wheel be all-conquering.'

Then, monks, the Treasure of the Wheel
rolls on towards the eastern quarter
and after it (goes) the wheel-rolling king
together with a fourfold army.

And wherever, monks, the Treasure of the Wheel stops,
there the wheel-rolling king settles down
together with the fourfold army.

And, monks, rival kings in the eastern quarter,
having approached the wheel-rolling king,
speak thus:

'Come, sire,
you are welcome, sire,
(all is) yours, sire,
instruct (us), sire.'

The wheel-rolling king speaks thus:

'Breathing things should not be killed,
what has not been given
should not be taken,
wrong enjoyment of sense-pleasures
should not be indulged in,
lies should not be told,
strong drink should not be drunk,
and you should eat in moderation.'[32]

And, monks, those rival kings of the eastern quarter
become vassals of the wheel-rolling king.

And then, monks, the Treasure of the Wheel,
plunging into the eastern sea
and rising out (of it again),
rolls on to the southern quarter
and after it (goes) the wheel-rolling king
together with a fourfold army.

And wherever, monks, the Treasure of the Wheel stops,
there the wheel-rolling king settles down
together with the fourfold army.

And, monks, rival kings in the southern quarter,
having approached the wheel-rolling king,
speak thus:

'Come, sire,
you are welcome, sire,
(all is) yours, sire,
instruct (us), sire.'

The wheel-rolling king speaks thus:

'Breathing things should not be killed,
what has not been given
should not be taken,
wrong enjoyment of sense-pleasures
should not be indulged in,
lies should not be told,
strong drink should not be drunk,
and you should eat in moderation.'

And, monks, those rival kings of the southern quarter
become vassals of the wheel-rolling king.

And then, monks, the Treasure of the Wheel,
plunging into the southern sea
and rising out (of it again),
rolls on to the western quarter
and after it (goes) the wheel-rolling king
together with a fourfold army.

And wherever, monks, the Treasure of the Wheel stops,
there the wheel-rolling king settles down
together with the fourfold army.

And, monks, rival kings in the western quarter,
having approached the wheel-rolling king,
speak thus:

'Come, sire,
you are welcome, sire,
(all is) yours, sire,
instruct (us), sire.'

The wheel-rolling king speaks thus:

'Breathing things should not be killed,
what has not been given
should not be taken,
wrong enjoyment of sense-pleasures
should not be indulged in,
lies should not be told,
strong drink should not be drunk,
and you should eat in moderation.'

And, monks, those rival kings of the western quarter
become vassals of the wheel-rolling king.

And then, monks, the Treasure of the Wheel,
plunging into the western sea
and rising out (of it again),
rolls on to the northern quarter
and after it (goes) the wheel-rolling king
together with a fourfold army.

And wherever, monks, the Treasure of the Wheel stops,
there the wheel-rolling king settles down
together with the fourfold army.

And, monks, rival kings in the northern quarter,
having approached the wheel-rolling king,
speak thus:

'Come, sire,
you are welcome, sire,
(all is) yours, sire,
instruct (us), sire.'

The wheel-rolling king speaks thus:

'Breathing things should not be killed,
what has not been given
should not be taken,
wrong enjoyment of sense-pleasures
should not be indulged in,
lies should not be told,
strong drink should not be drunk,
and you should eat in moderation.'

And, monks, those rival kings of the northern quarter
become vassals of the wheel-rolling king.

And then, monks,
when the Treasure of the Wheel has conquered all the sea-girt earth,
returning to that royal city itself,
it stands as if fixed by the axle[33] to the gateway
of the wheel-rolling king's palace,
adorning the gateway
of the wheel- [219] rolling king's palace.

So, monks, does the Treasure of the Wheel
appear to the wheel-rolling king.

And again, monks,
the Treasure of the Elephant
appears to the wheel-rolling king;
it is all white,
seven-fold firm,
going through the sky by psychic potency,
an elephant-king named Uposatha.[34]

On seeing him
the wheel-rolling king is pleased at heart
and thinks:

'Glorious indeed is an elephant-vehicle,
if he will submit to taming.'

Then, monks, that Treasure of an Elephant,
like a fine thoroughbred elephant
long since well tamed,
submits to taming then and there.

Once upon a time, monks,
the wheel-rolling king,
while testing that very Treasure of an Elephant,
mounted it early one morning
and it passed over the sea-girt earth
and returned to that royal city itself
in time for the morning meal.

So, monks, does the Treasure of the Elephant
appear to the wheel-rolling king.

And again, monks,
the Treasure of the Horse
appears to the wheel-rolling king;
it is all white,
with a head (as black as) a crow's,
a dark mane,
going through the sky by psychic potency,
a king of horses named Valaha.[35]

On seeing him
the wheel-rolling king is pleased at heart
and thinks:

'Glorious indeed is a horse-vehicle,
if he will submit to taming.'

Then, monks, that Treasure of a Horse,
like a fine thoroughbred horse
long since well tamed,
submits to taming then and there.

Once upon a time, monks,
the wheel-rolling king,
while testing that very Treasure of a Horse,
mounted it early one morning
and it passed over the sea-girt earth
and returned to that royal city itself
in time for the morning meal.

So, monks, does the Treasure of the Horse
appear to the wheel-rolling king.

And again, monks,
the Treasure of the Jewel[36]
appears to the wheel-rolling king.

It is an emerald jewel,
of purest water,
well cut into eight facets.

And the light
of that Treasure of the Jewel, monks,
is shed all round for a yojana.

Once upon a time, monks,
the wheel-rolling king,
in order to test that very Treasure of the Jewel,
arrayed the fourfold army,
raised aloft the jewel
on the top of a standard
and went out into the dense darkness of the night.

And, monks, the villagers all around
set about their daily work
by its effulgence,
thinking it to be day.

So, monks, does the Treasure of the Jewel
appear to the wheel-rolling king.

And again, monks, the Treasure of the Woman
appears to the wheel-rolling king.

She is lovely,
good to look upon,
charming,
endowed with the greatest beauty of complexion;
not too tall,
not too short,
not too thin,
not too stout,
not too dark,
not too [220] fair;
surpassing human beauty,
though she has not attained deva-like beauty.

And the touch of the body
of this Treasure of the Woman
is such, monks,
that it is like that of a tuft of cotton
or a tuft of thistle-down.

And, monks, the limbs
of this Treasure of the Woman
are warm when (the weather) is cool
and cool when it is warm.

The perfume of sandal-wood
is wafted from the body
of this Treasure of the Woman, monks;
from her mouth is wafted the perfume of lotuses.

And this Treasure of the Woman, monks,
is one to get up earlier than the wheel-rolling king
and retire later to rest,
an obedient servant
carrying out his pleasure,
speaking affably.[37]

And, monks,
that Treasure of the Woman
is never unfaithful to the wheel-rolling king
even in thought,
how then could she be physically?

So, monks, does the Treasure of the Woman
appear to the wheel-rolling king.

And again, monks, the Treasure of the Householder[38]
appears to the wheel-rolling king.

As a result of kamma
he has deva-like vision
by which he sees treasure
whether it has an owner or not.

Approaching the wheel-rolling king,
he speaks thus:

'Be you untroubled, sire,
I will deal with your wealth
as wealth should be dealt with.'

Once upon a time, monks,
the wheel-rolling king,
in order to test this Treasure of the Householder,
embarked in a boat,
pushed out into the middle of the stream of the river Ganges,
and spoke thus to the Treasure of the Householder:

'I have need, householder,
of gold coins and gold.'

'Well then, your majesty,
let the boat come in to one of the banks.'

'It is just here, householder,
that I have need of gold coins and gold.'

Then, monks,
that Treasure of the Householder,
touching the water with both his hands,
drew up a jar
full of gold coins and gold
and spoke thus to the wheel-rolling king:

'Is this enough, your majesty,
have I done enough, your majesty,
is the service enough, your majesty?

The wheel-rolling king spoke thus:

It is enough, householder,
you have done enough, householder,
the service is enough, householder.'

So, monks, does the Treasure of the Householder
appear to the wheel-rolling king.

And again, monks, the Treasure of the Adviser[39] appears to the wheel-rolling king.

He is clever,
experienced,
wise;
he is pro- [221] ficient in procuring what should be procured
for the wheel-rolling king,
in removing what should be removed,
in retaining what should be retained.[40]

Having approached the wheel-rolling king,
he speaks thus:

'Be you untroubled, sire,
I will instruct (you).'

So, monks, does the Treasure of the Adviser
appear to the wheel-rolling king.

The wheel-rolling king, monks,
is endowed with these seven Treasures.

 


 

And with what four efficacies?[41]

As to this, monks,
a wheel-rolling king is lovely,
good to look upon,
charming,
endowed with the greatest beauty of complexion
surpassing other men's.

Monks, a wheel-rolling king
is endowed with this first efficacy.

And again, monks, a wheel-rolling king
is of long life,
living long,
surpassing other men.

Monks, a wheel-rolling king
is endowed with this second efficacy.

And again, monks,
a wheel-rolling king
has little illness,
does not ail,
is possessed of a good digestion
that is neither too cold nor too hot,[42]
surpassing other men's.

Monks, a wheel-rolling king
is endowed with this third efficacy.

And again, monks,
a wheel-rolling king
is dear to brahmans and householders
and beloved by them.

As, monks, fathers
are dear to and beloved by their children,
so, monks, is a wheel-rolling king
dear to and beloved by brahmans and householders.

And, monks, brahmans and householders
are dear to and beloved by the wheel-rolling king.

As, monks, children
are dear to and beloved by their father,
so, monks, are brahmans and householders
dear to and beloved by the wheel-rolling king.

Once upon a time, monks,
a wheel-rolling king
went out to a pleasure ground
with a fourfold army.

Then, monks, brahmans and householders,
approaching the wheel-rolling king,
spoke thus:

'Go on slowly, sire,
that we may look on you for longer.'

And, monks, the wheel-rolling king
addressed the charioteer,
saying:

'Drive on slowly, charioteer,
that I may look on the brahmans and householders for longer.'

Monks, a wheel-rolling king
is endowed with this fourth efficacy.

[222] Monks, a wheel-rolling king
is endowed with these four efficacies.

What do you think about this, monks?

Does not a wheel-rolling king,
endowed with these seven Treasures
and these four efficacies,
experience happiness and joy from that source?"

"A wheel-rolling king, revered sir,
if possessed of only one Treasure
would experience happiness and joy from that source.

How much more then
from seven Treasures
and four efficacies?"

Then the Lord,
having picked up a small stone
the size of his hand,
addressed the monks,
saying:

"What do you think about this, monks?

Now which is the greater,
this small stone,
the size of my hand,
that I have picked up,
or the Himalaya,
lord of mountains?"

"This small stone, revered sir,
that the Lord has picked up,
the size of his hand,
is insignificant;
compared with the Himalaya,
lord of mountains,
it does not count,
it does not amount even to an infinitesimal fraction (of it),
it cannot even be compared (with it)."

"Even so, monks,
that happiness and joy
that the wheel-rolling king experiences
from the seven Treasures
and the four efficacies,
compared with deva-like happiness
does not count,
it does not amount to an infinitesimal fraction (of it),
it cannot even be compared (with it).

Monks, if sometime or other
once in a very long while
that wise man came to human status,
he would be born into one of those families that are high:
a family of rich nobles
or a family of rich brahmans
or a family of rich householders,
in such a family as is well-to-do,
of great possessions,
of great resources,
with abundant gold and silver,
abundant means,
abundant wealth in grains.

Moreover, he would be lovely,
good to look upon,
charming,
endowed with the greatest beauty of complexion;
he would be able to get food,
drink,
clothes,
vehicles,
garlands,
scents and perfumes,
bed,
dwelling
and lights;
he would fare rightly in body,
rightly in speech,
rightly in thought.

Because he had fared rightly in body,
speech
and thought,
at the breaking up of the body after dying
he would arise in a good bourn,
a heaven world.

Monks, it is as though a gambler
at the very first winning throw (at dice)
were to win a great mass of possessions.

Insignificant, monks
is that winning throw
by which the gambler
at the very first winning throw
were to win a great mass of possessions.

Greater than this
is the winning throw
by which the wise man,
having fared rightly in body,
rightly in speech,
rightly in thought,
at the breaking up of the body after dying
arises in a good bourn,
the [223] heaven world.

This, monks, is the wise man's condition
completed in its entirety."

Thus spoke the Lord.

Delighted, these monks rejoiced in what the Lord had said.

Discourse on Fools and the Wise:
The Ninth

 


[1] This description of a fool also occurs at A. i. 102.

[2] Thoughts connected with covetousness, malevolence and wrong views, MA. iv. 210.

[3] Lying words and so on.

[4] Making onslaught on creatures and so on.

[5] sandissāmi, or to agree to, live conformably with, connive at.

[6] As at M. i, 87. See M.L.S. i. ll5 for further references.

[7] olambanti ajjholambanti abhippalambanti. The second of these words occurs at S. iii. 137 and is translated at K.S. iii. 110 by "overhangs" which suits the context there.

[8] With this passage cf. A. ii. 174, Iti. p. 25.

[9] bhīruttāṇa; cf. Iti. p. 25, Vin. iii. 72. See B.D. i. 124, n. 1; VinA. 436, AA. iii. 161.

[10] I think bhikkhu here should read bhikkhave as on text p. 171.

[11] hanatha cannot mean kill or destroy here, as in what follows, although they might stab or strike, haneyyuṁ, the thief, they do not manage to kill him at once. The idea of to stab or to thrust at is borne out at MA. iv. 211 which explains as "having pierced (where the spear) comes out, so that on each occasion two blows fall."

[12] ko pana vādo, who (can) say?

[13] Himavā.

[14] Cf. S. ii. 263, v. 467; Ud. 23.

[15] Mentioned at Jā. i. 174. The following description of Niraya is also found at M. iii. 183, A. i. 141-142.

[16] na ca tāva kālaṁ karoti yāva na taṁ pāpaṁ kammaṁ byantihoti. The meaning is that he must do enough karmic time to work off the evil effects of evil deeds. So long as kālaṁ karoti is translated as "dies" a wrong impression is created. One may die and die again and again (marati) before one finishes one's karmic time for the effects of a deed may still be active in the next or subsequent "births."

[17] At MA. iv. 234, AA. ii. 232 Mahāniraya is called Avīci.

[18] Cf. Vin. ii. 203: avīciniraya catudvāra.

[19] MA. iv. 234 says this Avīci is 100 yojanas in length and 100 in width. The ground and the roof are bronze, and each wall is 90 yojanas. Cf. Mhvu. i. 9. The last line is quoted at DhA. i. 127.

[20] Even if one talked for a hundred or a thousand years, MA. iv. 213.

Yoke with one hole. Gegh'l mit 'n ech'l.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[21] ekacchigaḷa yuga. This simile is referred to at Thīg. 500, where the device is called yugacchida. It is also to be found at S. v. 455 where the wording is not quite the same as above. Also referred to at Miln. 204, Asl. 60. Chiggaḷa is a perforated device for archers to shoot their arrows through. Cf. tāḷachiggaḷa at S. v. 453.

[22] yadi nūna.

[23] dubbalamārikā, with v.l. dubbalakhādikā.

[24] Cf. A. i. 107.

[25] These five kinds of low birth occur at M. ii. 152, 183, Vin. iv. 6, S. i. 93, A. i. 107, ii. 85, Pug. 51.

bālabhūmi Fool's earth. World. Condition. Story. The whole ball of wax. The whole kit and kaboodle.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[26] MA. iv. 214: the fool, having completed the three wrong ways (of acting, speaking and thinking), is reborn in Niraya. Because of "maturing" there he comes to human status, being reborn in one of the five low families; then having again completed the three wrong ways of behaving he is reborn in Niraya. This is the whole complete bālabhūmi stage, level, condition, position or situation of a fool.

[27] me, for me, as on text p. 165 is omitted here.

[28] From here to the top of text p. 177 occurs also at D. ii. 174-178. See notes at Dial. ii. pp. 202 ff.

[29] iddhi. As will be seen in the context below "there is nothing supernatural about these Iddhis" (Dial. ii. 208, n. 2). They are attributes or endowments, capabilities, competences or prerogatives adding to the efficacy, potency or dignity of a king.

[30] Notice the change from bhikkhu to bhikkhave.

[31] abbhukkirati. See P.E.D. s.v.

[32] yathābhuttañ ca bhuñjatha; see P.E.D. s.v. bhutta.

[33] Cf. A. i. 112.

[34] Cf. Jā. iv. 232. The Comys. name two tribes of elephants from which the Elephant Treasure comes to a wheel-rolling king; if from the Uposatha tribe he is the eldest of the tribe, if from the Chaddanta the youngest. See D.P.P.N.

[35] See Jā. iv. 232.

[36] This comes from Vepulla Mountain, Jā. iv. 232, etc.

[37] As at M. ii. 84.

[38] Dial. ii. 206, n. 3 gives interesting reasons for translating gahapati here as Treasurer but, while hoping I will not "convey a wrong impression" of his functions, I incline more to the usual rendering of "householder."

[39] He is as the king's eldest son, MA. iv. 229.

[40] The meaning of these three words in this passage: upaṭṭhapetuṁ (D. ii. 177 upayāpetuṁ), apayāpetuṁ and ṭhapetuṁ, is doubtful. In the absence of help from the Comys., they might also be rendered to appoint, dismiss and retain such a person as should be appointed to, dismissed from or retained in the king's service.

[41] There seems to be a sentence missing here, the equivalent of which occurs at D. ii. 177.

[42] Said of Raṭṭhapāla at M. ii. 67.


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