Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
III. Upari Paṇṇāsa
5. Saḷāyatana Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
III. The Final Fifty Discourses
5. The Division of the Sixfold Sense(-field)

Sutta 150

Nagara-Vindeyya Suttaɱ

Discourse to the People of Nagaravinda

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

At one time, the Lord,
walking on tour among the Kosalans
together with a large Order of monks,
arrived at the brahman village of the Kosalans called Nagaravinda.

The brahman householders of Nagaravinda heard it said that

"Indeed, the recluse Gotama,
gone forth from the Sakyan clan,
and walking on tour among the Kosalans
together with a large Order of monks,
has arrived at the brahman village of the Kosalans called Nagaravinda.

A lovely reputation concerning the recluse Gotama has gone abroad thus::

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

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

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

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

Then the brahman householders of Nagaravinda
approached the Lord;
having approached him,
some exchanged greetings with the Lord
and having conversed in a friendly and courteous way,
they sat down at a respectful distance;
some, having saluted the Lord with joined palms,
sat down at a respectful distance;
some, having informed [340] the Lord of their names and clans,
sat down at a respectful distance;
some, becoming silent,
sat down at a respectful distance.

The Lord spoke thus
to the brahman householders of Nagaravinda
as they were sitting down at a respectful distance:

"If, householders,
wanderers belonging to other sects
should question you thus:

'Householders,
what kind of recluses and brahmans
should not be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
or honoured?'

you, householders,
being questioned thus,
could answer thus:

'Those recluses and brahmans
who are not devoid of attachment,
not devoid of aversion,
not devoid of confusion
in regard to material shapes cognisable by the eye,
whose minds are not inwardly tranquillised,
who fare along now evenly,
now unevenly[1]
in body,
speech
and thought -
recluses and brahmans such as these
are not to be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
or honoured.

What is the reason for this?

It is that while[2] we,
who are not devoid of attachment,
not devoid of aversion,
not devoid of confusion
in regard to material shapes cognisable by the eye,
our minds not inwardly tranquillised,
fare along now evenly,
now unevenly in body,
speech
and thought,
it is yet not seen by them
that this even-faring of ours
is the higher.

Therefore these worthy recluses and brahmans
are not to be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
or honoured.

'Those recluses and brahmans
who are not devoid of attachment,
not devoid of aversion,
not devoid of confusion
in regard to sounds cognisable by the ear,
whose minds are not inwardly tranquillised,
who fare along now evenly,
now unevenly
in body,
speech
and thought -
recluses and brahmans such as these
are not to be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
or honoured.

What is the reason for this?

It is that while we,
who are not devoid of attachment,
not devoid of aversion,
not devoid of confusion
in regard to sounds cognisable by the ear,
our minds not inwardly tranquillised,
fare along now evenly,
now unevenly in body,
speech
and thought,
it is yet not seen by them
that this even-faring of ours
is the higher.

Therefore these worthy recluses and brahmans
are not to be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
or honoured.

'Those recluses and brahmans
who are not devoid of attachment,
not devoid of aversion,
not devoid of confusion
in regard to smells cognisable by the nose,
whose minds are not inwardly tranquillised,
who fare along now evenly,
now unevenly
in body,
speech
and thought -
recluses and brahmans such as these
are not to be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
or honoured.

What is the reason for this?

It is that while we,
who are not devoid of attachment,
not devoid of aversion,
not devoid of confusion
in regard to smells cognisable by the nose,
our minds not inwardly tranquillised,
fare along now evenly,
now unevenly in body,
speech
and thought,
it is yet not seen by them
that this even-faring of ours
is the higher.

Therefore these worthy recluses and brahmans
are not to be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
or honoured.

'Those recluses and brahmans
who are not devoid of attachment,
not devoid of aversion,
not devoid of confusion
in regard to tastes cognisable by the tongue,
whose minds are not inwardly tranquillised,
who fare along now evenly,
now unevenly
in body,
speech
and thought -
recluses and brahmans such as these
are not to be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
or honoured.

What is the reason for this?

It is that while we,
who are not devoid of attachment,
not devoid of aversion,
not devoid of confusion
in regard to tastes cognisable by the tongue,
our minds not inwardly tranquillised,
fare along now evenly,
now unevenly in body,
speech
and thought,
it is yet not seen by them
that this even-faring of ours
is the higher.

Therefore these worthy recluses and brahmans
are not to be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
or honoured.

'Those recluses and brahmans
who are not devoid of attachment,
not devoid of aversion,
not devoid of confusion
in regard to touches cognisable by the body,
whose minds are not inwardly tranquillised,
who fare along now evenly,
now unevenly
in body,
speech
and thought -
recluses and brahmans such as these
are not to be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
or honoured.

What is the reason for this?

It is that while we,
who are not devoid of attachment,
not devoid of aversion,
not devoid of confusion
in regard to touches cognisable by the body,
our minds not inwardly tranquillised,
fare along now evenly,
now unevenly in body,
speech
and thought,
it is yet not seen by them
that this even-faring of ours
is the higher.

Therefore these worthy recluses and brahmans
are not to be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
or honoured.

'Those recluses and brahmans
who are not devoid of attachment,
not devoid of aversion,
not devoid of confusion
in regard to mental states cognisable by the mind,
whose minds are not inwardly tranquillised,
who fare along now evenly,
now unevenly
in body,
speech
and thought -
recluses and brahmans such as these
are not to be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
or honoured.

What is the reason for this?

It is that while we,
who are not devoid of attachment,
not devoid of aversion,
not devoid of confusion
in regard to mental states cognisable by the mind,
our minds not inwardly tranquillised,
fare along now evenly,
now unevenly in body,
speech
and thought,
it is yet not seen by them
that this even-faring of ours
is the higher.

Therefore these worthy recluses and brahmans
are not to be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
or honoured.

If you, householders, are questioned thus,
you could answer those wanderers belonging to other sects thus.

But if, householders,
wanderers belonging to other sects
should question you thus:

'Householders,
what kind of recluses and [341] brahmans should be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
and honoured?'

you, householders,
being questioned thus,
could answer thus:

'Those recluses and brahmans
who are devoid of attachment,
aversion
and confusion
in regard to material shapes cognisable by the eye,
whose minds are inwardly tranquillised,
who fare the even-faring[3]
in body,
speech
and thought -
recluses and brahmans such as these
are to be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
and honoured.

What is the reason for this?

It is that while we,
who are not devoid of attachment,
aversion
and confusion
in regard to material shapes cognisable by the eye,
our minds not inwardly tranquillised,
fare along now evenly,
now unevenly
in body,
speech
and thought,
it is yet seen by them
that this even-faring of ours
is the higher.

Therefore these worthy recluses and brahmans
are to be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
and honoured.

'Those recluses and brahmans
who are devoid of attachment,
aversion
and confusion
in regard to sounds cognisable by the ear,
whose minds are inwardly tranquillised,
who fare the even-faring
in body,
speech
and thought -
recluses and brahmans such as these
are to be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
and honoured.

What is the reason for this?

It is that while we,
who are not devoid of attachment,
aversion
and confusion
in regard to sounds cognisable by the ear,
our minds not inwardly tranquillised,
fare along now evenly,
now unevenly
in body,
speech
and thought,
it is yet seen by them
that this even-faring of ours
is the higher.

Therefore these worthy recluses and brahmans
are to be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
and honoured.

'Those recluses and brahmans
who are devoid of attachment,
aversion
and confusion
in regard to smells cognisable by the nose,
whose minds are inwardly tranquillised,
who fare the even-faring
in body,
speech
and thought -
recluses and brahmans such as these
are to be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
and honoured.

What is the reason for this?

It is that while we,
who are not devoid of attachment,
aversion
and confusion
in regard to smells cognisable by the nose,
our minds not inwardly tranquillised,
fare along now evenly,
now unevenly
in body,
speech
and thought,
it is yet seen by them
that this even-faring of ours
is the higher.

Therefore these worthy recluses and brahmans
are to be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
and honoured.

'Those recluses and brahmans
who are devoid of attachment,
aversion
and confusion
in regard to tastes cognisable by the tongue,
whose minds are inwardly tranquillised,
who fare the even-faring
in body,
speech
and thought -
recluses and brahmans such as these
are to be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
and honoured.

What is the reason for this?

It is that while we,
who are not devoid of attachment,
aversion
and confusion
in regard to tastes cognisable by the tongue,
our minds not inwardly tranquillised,
fare along now evenly,
now unevenly
in body,
speech
and thought,
it is yet seen by them
that this even-faring of ours
is the higher.

Therefore these worthy recluses and brahmans
are to be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
and honoured.

'Those recluses and brahmans
who are devoid of attachment,
aversion
and confusion
in regard to touches cognisable by the body,
whose minds are inwardly tranquillised,
who fare the even-faring
in body,
speech
and thought -
recluses and brahmans such as these
are to be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
and honoured.

What is the reason for this?

It is that while we,
who are not devoid of attachment,
aversion
and confusion
in regard to touches cognisable by the body,
our minds not inwardly tranquillised,
fare along now evenly,
now unevenly
in body,
speech
and thought,
it is yet seen by them
that this even-faring of ours
is the higher.

Therefore these worthy recluses and brahmans
are to be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
and honoured.

'Those recluses and brahmans
who are devoid of attachment,
aversion
and confusion
in regard to mental states cognisable by the mind,
whose minds are inwardly tranquillised,
who fare the even-faring
in body,
speech
and thought -
recluses and brahmans such as these
are to be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
and honoured.

What is the reason for this?

It is that while we,
who are not devoid of attachment,
aversion
and confusion
in regard to mental states cognisable by the mind,
our minds not inwardly tranquillised,
fare along now evenly,
now unevenly
in body,
speech
and thought,
it is yet seen by them
that this even-faring of ours
is the higher.

Therefore these worthy recluses and brahmans
are to be revered,
reverenced,
esteemed
and honoured.

If you, householders, are questioned thus,
you could answer those wanderers belonging to other sects thus.

If, householders, wanderers belonging to other sects
should question you thus:

'But what grounds do the venerable ones[4] have,
what is the authority
by which you, venerable ones, should speak thus:

Certainly, those venerable ones
are either devoid of attachment
or are practising for the driving out of attachment,
they are either devoid of aversion
or are practising for the driving [342] out of aversion;
they are either devoid of confusion
or are practising for the driving out of confusion.'

If you are questioned thus, householders,
you could answer these wanderers belonging to other sects thus:

'Those venerable ones
frequent remote lodgings in lonely forest glades.

But there are not there
material shapes cognisable by the eye,
sounds cognisable by the ear,
smells cognisable by the nose,
tastes cognisable by the tongue,
touches cognisable by the body[5]
such as having been seen,
heard,
smelt,
tasted
or touched
over and over again,
could delight them.

These, your reverences, are the grounds,
this is the authority
by which we, venerable ones, speak thus:

Certainly, those venerable ones
are either devoid of attachment
or are practising for the driving out of attachment,
they are either devoid of aversion
or are practising for the driving out of aversion;
they are either devoid of confusion
or are practising for the driving out of confusion.'

If you, householders, are questioned thus,
you could answer those wanderers belonging to other sects thus."

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

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

It is as if, good Gotama,
one might set upright what had been upset,
or might disclose what was covered,
or point out the way
to one who had gone astray,
or might bring an oil-lamp into the darkness
so that those with vision might see material shapes -
even so is dhamma made clear
in many a figure by the good Gotama.

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

May the revered Gotama accept us
as a lay-follower,
going for refuge from this day forth
for as long as life lasts."

Discourse to the People of Nagaravinda:
The Eighth

 


[1] samavisama; MA. v. 105 says that at times they fare along evenly, at times unevenly.

[2] pi hi, though.

[3] samacariyaṁ caranti.

[4] ke pan'āyasmantānaṁ ākārā, lit.: What are the venerable ones' grounds? Here too, in the same sentence, the wanderers appear to address the householders as āyasmanto, although this form is both nom. and voc. pl. The householders, on the other hand, appear to address the wanderers both as āvuso, "your reverences" (a few lines lower down) and as āyasmanto. The question: What grounds do the venerable ones have ... by which you, venerable ones, should speak thus; yena tumhe āyasmanto evaṁ vadetha, is balanced by the answer: These, your reverences, are the grounds ... by which we, venerable ones, speak thus, yena mayaṁ āyasmanto evaṁ vadema.

[5] MA. v. 105 says the five strands of sense-pleasures as such are not meant here, but women; and it quotes A. i. 1, "I behold no other single thing that more obsesses a man's mind than a woman."


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