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Saŋyutta Nikāya
I. Sagātha Vagga
3. Kosala Saŋyutta
3. [Untitled]-Vaggo

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
I. Kindred Sayings with Verses
3. Kosala
3. [Untitled]

Translated by Mrs. Rhys Davids
Assisted by Sūriyagoḍa Sumangala Thera
Public Domain

 


[118]

Sutta 21

Persons

 


 

[21.1] THUS HAVE I HEARD:

The Exalted One was once staying near Sāvatthī, at Jeta Grove, in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

2. Now the King, the Kosalan Pasenadi, came into the presence of the Exalted One, and after exchanging greetings with him and compliments of friendship and courtesy, sat down at one side.

So seated the Exalted One said this: —

'There are these four [classes of] persons, sire, to be found in the world — which four?[1]
(i) They that are joined[2] to darkness and fare to darkness,
(ii) They that are joined to darkness and fare to light,
(iii) They that are joined to light and fare to darkness,
(iv) They that are joined to light and fare to light.

'And who, sire, are they that are joined to darkness and fare to darkness?

This is the case of a man who is reborn in a family of low degree, be it of Chandalas, or of basket-weavcrs, or of trappers, or of leather-workers, or of flower-scavengers,[3] poor, ill-fed, in wretched circumstances, where victuals are hardly won, swarthy and ill-featured, a hunchback, diseased, or he is purblind, or has misshapen hands, or is halt, or a cripple; [119] one who receives neither food, nor drink, nor raiment, nor conveyances, nor wreaths, perfumes and unguents, nor bed, dwelling, and light.

He is an evil-doer in deed, word, and thought, the result whereof is that, when he dies, he is reborn after death in misery, to a woeful doom, to disaster.

Just as if a man, sire, were to go from blindness to blindness, from darkness to darkness, from one red[4] stain to another red stain: so do I illustrate this kind of person.

Such, sire, are the persons that are joined to darkness and fare to darkness. 'And who, sire, are they that are joined to darkness and fare to light?

This is the case of a man who, born to evil circum- stances as I have just described, is a well-doer in deed, word, and thought, the result whereof is that, when he dies, he is reborn after death to a happy destiny in the bright worlds.

Just as if a man, sire, were to mount a palanquin from the ground, or from a palanquin were to mount a horse, or from horseback were to mount an elephant's crupper, or from the elephant were to mount a terrace:
so do I illustrate this kind of person.

Such, sire, are the persons that are joined to darkness and fare to light.

'And who, sire, are they that are joined to light and fare to darkness?

This is the case where a man is reborn into a family of high degree, be it of an eminent noble, or brahmin, or burgess, having authority, having great treasures, great wealth, ample hoards of gold and silver, ample aids to enjoyment, ample stores of money and corn[5]; where also he is beautiful and fair to see, charming and endowed with an exquisite complexion[6]; where again he is the recipient of food, drink, raiment, means of transport, wreaths, perfumes and unguents, and residence.

This man is an evil-doer, working evil by deed and word and thought; the result whereof is that, when he dies, he is reborn after death in misery, to a woeful doom, to disaster.

Just as if a man, sire, were to descend from a terrace on to an elephant's crupper, or from an elephant were to descend to a horse's back, or thence to a [120] palanquin, or thence to the ground, or thence were to descend into the dark[7]; so do I illustrate this kind of person.

Such, sire, is the case of a person who is joined to light and fares to darkness.

'And who, sire, are the persons who are joined to light and fare to the light?

This is the case where a man is reborn among any of the aforesaid fortunate circumstances and who is a well-doer, working good in deed and word and thought, the result whereof is that, when he dies, he is reborn, after death, to a happy destiny in the bright worlds.

Just, sire, as if a man were to pass from one palanquin to another, from one seat on horseback to another, from one seat on elephant's crupper to another, from one terrace to another; so do I illustrate this kind of person.

Such, sire, is the case of a person who is joined to light and fares to the light.

'These, sire, are the four kinds of persons in the world.

(1)

A poor man, king, devoid of faith and mean,
Grudging of heart and planning evil aims,
Holding wrong views and without courtesy,
Who doth revile and scoff at the recluse,
The brahmin, or at any seeking alms,
Empty of hand[8] and seeking to annoy,
Who hindereth gifts to them that ask for food:
A man like this, 0 king, when cometh death,
Fares to an awful doom, 0 lord of folk,
In darkness born and for the darkness bound.

(2)

A poor man, king, of generous heart and faith.
Who giveth, planning high and noble aims,
[121] A man of intellect intent and clear,[9]
Who riseth to give greeting to recluse,
Or brahmin, or to any seeking alms,
Who trains himself in all the ways of peace,
Not hindering gifts to them that ask for food:
A man like this, 0 king, when cometh death,
Fares to the home of gods, 0 lord of folk,
In darkness born, but bound for bourne of light.

(3)

A rich man, king, devoid of faith and mean,
Grudging of heart and planning evil aims,
Holding wrong views and without courtesy,
Who doth revile and scoff at the recluse,
The brahmin, or at any seeking alms,
Empty of hand[10] and seeking to annoy,
Who hindereth gifts to them that ask for food:
A man like this, 0 king, when cometh death,
Fares to an awful doom, 0 lord of folk,
Born in the light, but for the darkness bound.

(4)

A rich man, king, of generous heart and faith,
Who giveth, planning high and noble aims,
A man of intellect intent and clear,
Who riseth to give greeting to recluse,
Or brahmin, or to any seeking alms,
Who trains himself in all the ways of peace,
Not hindering gifts to them that ask for food:
A man like this, 0 king, when cometh death,
Fares to the home of gods, 0 lord of folk,
Born in the light, and bound for bourne of light.

 


[122]

Sutta 22

Grandmother

 


 

[22.1] THUS HAVE I HEARD:

The Exalted One was once staying near Sāvatthī, at Jeta Grove, in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

2. Now the King, the Kosalan Pasenadi, came into the presence of the Exalted One, and after exchanging greetings with him and compliments of friendship and courtesy, sat down at one side.

So seated the Exalted One said this: —

'Well, sire, whence come you at this hour of the day?

'My grandmother, lord, is dead.

She was aged and full of years;
long her span of life,
long her life's faring.

She has passed away in her 120th year.

Now, my grandmother; lord, was dear to me and beloved.

If I had been offered the gift of a priceless elephant [or that her life might be preserved],
I should have chosen that my grandmother had not died;
nay, I would have given the elephant away to save her life.

I would have done no less had I been offered,
or did I possess a priceless horse,
or the choice of a village,
or a province.'

'All beings, sire, are mortal;
they finish with death;
they have death in prospect.'

'That is notably and impressively said, lord:

'All beings, sire, are mortal;
they finish with death;
they have death in prospect.'

'Even so, sire, even so::

'All beings, sire, are mortal;
they finish with death;
they have death in prospect.'

Even as all the vessels wrought by the potter,
whether they are unbaked or baked — all are breakable.

They finish broken,
they have breakage in prospect.

All creatures have to die. Life is but death.
And they shall fare according to their deeds,
Finding the fruit of merit and misdeeds: —
Infernal realms because of evil works;
Blissful rebirth for meritorious acts
Hence let him make good store for life elsewhere.
Sure platform in some other future world,
Rewards of virtue on good beings wait.[11]

 


 

Sutta 23

The World

 


 

[23.1][ati] THUS HAVE I HEARD:

The Exalted One was once staying near Sāvatthī, at Jeta Grove, in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

2. Now the King, the Kosalan Pasenadi, came into the presence of the Exalted One, and after exchanging greetings with him and compliments of friendship and courtesy, sat down at one side.

So seated he said this to the Exalted One: —

'How many kinds of things, lord, that [123] happen in the world, make for trouble, for suffering, for distress?

'Three things, sire, happen of that nature.

What are the three?

Greed, hate, and delusion: —
these three make for trouble, for suffering, for distress.

As plants o' the rush-tribe,[12] their own fruit become,
Do suffer, so a man of evil heart
Through greed and hate and error suffers scathe,
For these none other than himself become.

 


 

Sutta 24

Bowmanship

 


 

[24.1][ati] THUS HAVE I HEARD:

The Exalted One was once staying near Sāvatthī, at Jeta Grove, in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

2. Now the King, the Kosalan Pasenadi, came into the presence of the Exalted One, and after exchanging greetings with him and compliments of friendship and courtesy, sat down at one side.

So seated he said this to the Exalted One: —[13]

'To whom, lord, should gifts be given?

'There, sire, where the heart is pleased to give.'

'But to whom given, lord, does a gift bear much fruit?'

'This, sire, is a very different question from that which you first asked me.

A gift bears much fruitful result if given to a virtuous person,
not to a vicious person.

As to that, sire, I also will ask you a question.

Answer it as you think fit.

What think you, sire?

Suppose that you were at war, and that the contending armies were being mustered.

And there were to arrive a noble youth, untrained, unskilled, unpractised, undrilled, timid, trembling, affrighted, one who would run away — would you keep that man?

Would such a man be any good to you?

'No, lord, I should not keep that man, nor would such a man be any good to me.'

'And would you say the same, sire, if such a man were a brahmin, or a merchant's son, or the son of a labourer?

[124] 'Yes, lord.'

'But what would be your opinion, sire, if the youth in question, to whichever social class he belonged, were trained, skilled, expert, practised, drilled, bold, of steady nerve, un- dismayed, incapable of running away?

Would you keep that man?

Would such a man be any good to you?'

I should keep that man, lord, he would be useful to me.'

'Even so, sire, is the case of a man, no matter what his social class, who has left the world and exchanged the domestic for the homeless life.

He has abolished five qualities, and is possessed of five qualities.

Given to him, a gift bears much fruit.

Which five qualities has he abolished?

Desire for sensuous pleasures, ill-will, sloth and torpor, distraction and worry, doubt.[14]

Which five qualities does he possess?

The qualities of the adept — his morals, his proficiency in concentration, insight, emancipation, and the knowledge and vision belonging to the insight of the adept.

It is in such a man, with those qualities abolished and these acquired, that a gift bears much fruit.'

Thus spake the Exalted One, and the Master added: —

As prince engaged in war would keep that youth
In whom he saw good bowmanship displayed
And mobile energy,[15] and would not choose
Because of rank one craven and unfit,[16]
So would the wise do reverence to him
Who, though of lowly birth, led noble life
Of self-control and magnanimity.[17]
[125] Let givers pleasant hermitages make,
Therein let them for scholars find a home;
And make in arid jungle water-tanks,[18]
And where 'tis rough to go, clear passages.
Let them with candid trusting heart bestow
Victuals and water and dried meats and gear
And lodging on the men of upright mind.
For as the storm-cloud thunders muttering,
And wreathed with lightnings from its hundred crests.[19]
Pours its full bosom on the drenchèd earth,
Filling the uplands and the slanting vales,
E'en so the cultured faithful, gathering stores,[20]
Refreshes them that seek with food and drink.
Yea, wise, he scatters gladly what he hath
And bidding: Give ye! Give ye! doth he cry.
As thus he thunders, raining like the god,
His generous gifts upon the giver's self
As rich and copious showers of merit fall.

 


 

Sutta 25

The Parable of the Mountain

 


 

[25.1][ati][olen] THUS HAVE I HEARD:

The Exalted One was once staying near Sāvatthī, at Jeta Grove, in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

2. Now the King, the Kosalan Pasenadi, came into the presence of the Exalted One, and after exchanging greetings with him and compliments of friendship and courtesy, sat down at one side.

So seated the Exalted One said this: —

'Well, sire, whence come you?'

'I have been zealously busied, lord, with all such matters as occupy kings — kings who are of noble birth and anointed, who are drunk with the intoxication of authority, yield indulgence to[21] their greed for sensuous pleasures, who have won security in their kingdoms and live as conquerors of a wide area of land.'

'As to that what think you, sire?

Suppose a man were to come to you from the east, a man loyal and trustworthy, [126] and were to say:

May it please you to know, sire, that I have come from the eastern districts, and that I there saw a great mountain high as the sky moving along, crushing every living thing[22] as it came.

Whatever you can do, sire, do it."

And suppose other men came, from west, north, and south, all three loyal and trustworthy, and brought similar messages.

And you, sire, seized with mighty dread, the destruction of human life so terrible, rebirth as man so hard to obtain, what is there that you could do?'

'In such a mighty peril, lord, the destruction of human life so terrible, rebirth as man so hard to obtain, what else could I do save to live righteously and justly and work good and meritorious deeds?'

'I tell you, sire, I make known to you, sire: — old age and death come rolling in upon you, sire! Since old age and death are rolling in upon you, sire, what is there that you can do?'

'Since old age and death, lord, are rolling in upon me, what else can I do save to live righteously and justly, and to work good and meritorious deeds?

Yea, lord, such matters as battles with elephant or horse cavalry, with chariots, with infantry — the business of kings of noble birth and anointed, who are drunk with the intoxication of authority, yield indulgence to their greed for sensuous pleasures, who have won security in their kingdoms and live as conquerors of a wide area of land -
these cannot come to pass, there is no scope for these with old age and death rolling in upon me.

'There are mighty counsellors, lord, in my court, weavers of spells, able by their spells to arrest advancing foes.[23]

And there is, lord, at my court an immense gold supply, heaped in vaults and upper floors, enough to enable us to frustrate an attack by financial strategy.

These battles of spells and of finance cannot come to pass, there is no scope for them with old age and death rolling in upon me.

With old age and death [127] rolling in upon me, what is there that I can do save to live righteously and justly and to work good and meritorious deeds?

'Even so, sire, even so.

What else is there that you can do, save to live righteously and justly and to work good and meritorious deeds?

Thus spake the Exalted One, and the Master said: —

As when huge mountain crags, piercing the sky,
Advance in avalanches on all sides,
Crushing the plains east, west, and north and south,
So age and death come rolling over all.
Noble and brahmin, commoner and serf,
None can evade, or play the truant here.
Th' impending doom o'erwhelmeth one and all.
Here is no place for strife with elephants,
Or chariots of war, or infantry,
Nay, nor for war of woven spell or curse,
Nor may finance avail to win the day.
Wherefore let him that hath intelligence
And strength of mind, to his own good attend,
In Buddha, Norm, and Order place his trust.
Who doeth right in deed and word and thought
Here winneth praise, and bliss in life to come.[24]

 


[1] This category is given, but without the fourfold figure, in D. iii, 233; A. ii, 85 (iv, 200) and P.P. iv, 19; cf. its Comy. JPTS, 1914. This comments on the first class of persons in verbatim the same terms as our Comy., but adds useful details on the third class.

[2] So Comy.: tamena yutto.

[3] Cf. Dialogues i, 100. Both Commentaries render rathakāra- (kula) by chariot-makers, cammakāra- by hide makers, and paraphrase pukkusa- by pupphachaḍḍhakū-.

[4] Or 'bloody.'

[5] Cf. above, III, 1, Ī 3.

[6] 'As opposed to a swarthy skin, i.e. the colour of a burnt stake.' Comy.

[7] Andhakaraɱ oroheyya. Does this mean 'underground'?

[8] Natthiko; lit. a 'there's-not-fellow.' We find no parallel to the term, the parallel passages quoted above giving no verses after the prose. (Our Comy. is silent.) We infer it to mean one who refuses alms Natthi is equivalent to our 'No.'

[9] Avyagga-manaso.

[10] See note 2, p. 120.

[11] As in III, 1, Ī 4. According to the Comy., she had been as a mother to him. On her legacy to the Order, see Vinaya Texts, iii, 209.
The expressions hatthi-ratana, etc., may hint at the seven treasures of a Cakkavatti King. Cf. Dialogues ii, 13; 204 f. For maraṇantaɱ read maraṇaɱ taɱ. Cf. Netti-pakaraṇa, p. 94, quoting and paraphrasing the line. [Ed.: Mrs. Rhys Davids abbreviates what is expanded in full here.]

[12] See III, 1, Ī 2.

[13] The Comy. pictures this interview as a public one. Among the large audience are rival teachers, self-consciously 'scratching the ground with their feet.' They had suffered in popularity through Gotama's rising fame, and had represented him as exhorting the people to give to him and his followers only. The king summons the meeting to let him vindicate himself.

[14] Usually termed the Five Hindrances (Nīvaraṇāni). The next five show that only gifts to Arahants (adepts, asekhā) can become very fruitful.

[15] Balaviriyaɱ.

[16] He would not keep, or endure one who is a non-champion (na asūraɱ bhareyya).

[17] B. calls khanti a synonym for Arahantship, and soracca, adhivāsana-khanti; i.e. enduring graciously and patiently the things that befall. But cf. his comments on D. iii, 213 (xiv), and A. i.94.

[18] Reading of course papañ ca vivane. Vivana is called by the Comy. 'waterless woodland.' Cf. I, 5, Ī 7.

[19] Satakkaku.

[20] Abhisankhacca.

[21] Or are overmastered by (abhibhūtānaɱ, Comy.).

[22] Making them like pounded rape-seed. Comy.

[23] In the Taccha-sūkara Jātaka Comy. the king is recommended to procure war-mantras from bhikkhus. What he does get is a 'tip,' full of common sense.

[24] The Comy. relates, as the legend of this sutta, that bandits had laid an ambush for the king in the Andha Wood as he went, sometimes with but a small escort, to pay his respects to the Teacher. He was warned in time, and had the wood surrounded, capturing and impaling or crucifying the bandits on either side of the way leading through the wood. The Teacher judged that if the king, who came on red-handed to him, were taxed with the horrid deed, he would become sullen and not countermand anything. Hence the method adopted in this impressive dialogue.
It does not fit well, however, and the king would scarcely be referring to the gens d'arme work he had been doing in the wood by such expressions as 'battle* (hatihi-yuddhāni, etc.) and the rest. Nor does the Comy. tell of any repentant action at the end.


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