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— UNABBREVIATED

Saŋyutta Nikāya
I. Sagātha Vagga
6. Brahmā Saŋyutta

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
I. Kindred Sayings with Verses
6. The Brahmā Suttas

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

 


I


 

Sutta 5

Another False Opinion

 


 

[5.1] THUS HAVE I HEARD:

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

Now at that time the evil and erroneous notion had occurred to a certain Brahmā:

'No recluse or brahmin can come here.'

Then the Exalted One,
learning by thought the thoughts of that Brahmā,
like as a strong man might stretch forth his bent arm,
or draw in his arm stretched out,
vanished from Jeta's Grove,
and appeared in the Brahmā world.

And the Exalted One seated himself cross-legged in the air above that Brahmā,
flames radiating from his body.[1]

Now it occurred to the venerable Moggallāna the Great:

Where is the Exalted One now abiding?

And with the heavenly eye,
purified, passing the sight of men,
he saw the Exalted One,
seated above that Brahmā,
flames radiating from his body.

Then, seeing him there,
the venerable Moggallāna,
like as a strong man might stretch forth his bent arm,
or draw in his arm stretched out,
vanished from Jeta's Grove,
and appeared in the Brahmā world,
and seated himself cross-legged in the air
eastward of and lower than the Exalted One,
flames radiating from his body.

And it occurred to the venerable Kassapa the Great:[ed1]

Where is the Exalted One now abiding?

And with the heavenly eye,
purified, passing the sight of men,
he saw the Exalted One,
seated above that Brahmā,
flames radiating from his body.

Then, seeing him there,
the venerable Kassapa the Great,
like as a strong man might stretch forth his bent arm,
or draw in his arm stretched out,
vanished from Jeta's Grove,
and appeared in the Brahmā world,
and seated himself cross-legged in the air
southward of and lower than the Exalted One,
flames radiating from his body.

And it occurred to the venerable Kappina the Great:

Where is the Exalted One now abiding?

And with the heavenly eye,
purified, passing the sight of men,
he saw the Exalted One,
seated above that Brahmā,
flames radiating from his body.

Then, seeing him there,
the venerable Kappina the Great,
like as a strong man might stretch forth his bent arm,
or draw in his arm stretched out,
vanished from Jeta's Grove,
and appeared in the Brahmā world,
and seated himself cross-legged in the air
westward of and lower than the Exalted One,
flames radiating from his body.

And it occurred to the venerable Anuruddha,[2]:

Where is the Exalted One now abiding?

And with the heavenly eye,
purified, passing the sight of men,
he saw the Exalted One,
seated above that Brahmā,
flames radiating from his body.

Then, seeing him there,
the venerable Anuruddha,
like as a strong man might stretch forth his bent arm,
or draw in his arm stretched out,
vanished from Jeta's Grove,
and appeared in the Brahmā world,
and seated himself cross-legged in the air
northward of and lower than the Exalted One,
flames radiating from his body.

Then the venerable Moggallāna addressed that Brahmā in a verse:[3]

Dost hold even to-day, my friend, the views
Which heretofore are views that thou hast held?

Dost thou behold, in this thy Brahmā-world,
The dazzling sheen whereby't is all excelled?

[The Brahmā:—]

My lord, no longer do I hold the views
Which heretofore are views that I have held.
I do behold, in this my Brahmā world,
The dazzling sheen whereby't is all excelled.
How were it possible for me to-day
'I am eternal! I am permanent!' to say?

Then the Exalted One,
having agitated that Brahmā,
like a strong man might stretch out his bent arm,
or draw in his arm stretched out,
vanished from the Brahmin world and appeared in Jeta's Grove.

Then the Brahmā admonished one of his retinue, saying:

Come, dear sir, do thou approach the venerable Moggallāna the Great, and say unto him:

"Are there, my lord Moggallāna, yet other disciples of that Exalted One as gifted and as mighty as the lords Moggallāna, Kassapa, Kappina, and Anuruddha?"'

'Even so, dear sir.' did that attendant Brahmā make response.

And he fulfilled the behest.

18. To him thus asking, the venerable Moggallāna the Great addressed this verse: —

Disciples of the Buddha many they
Who threefold lore have won and magic sway;
Are skilled the thoughts of other minds to read,
Are Arahants, in whom the Drugs are dead.[4]

19. Then that Brahmā,
delighted and grateful that these words were spoken,
repaired to the great Brahmā and said:

'My lord, thus did the venerable Moggallāna the Great reply:[ed1]

Disciples of the Buddha many they
Who threefold lore have won and magic sway;
Are skilled the thoughts of other minds to read,
Are Arahants, in whom the Drugs are dead.

And the great Brahmā was delighted at that which the attendant Brahmā told him.

 


[1] Tejodhātuṃ samāpajjitvā: 'having attained to the sphere, or elemental condition, of heat.' By this technical phrase it is implied that, making the self-hypnotizing preamble (parikamma) of fixing sense and mind on fire, Jhāna was induced and, with it, 'the power at will to emit fire from the whole body' Comy. Cf. Pss. of the Sisters, p. 112.

[2] These four great Brethren were by their leader declared foremost, respectively, in magic power, asceticism, preaching to the Order and the 'celestial eye.' A. i, 23.

[3] This context was overlooked in Pss. of the Brethren, p. 392 F.; hence the verses are slightly inaccurate, the 'views' in question being held up to the moment when the splendid visitors proved them false.

[4] Enumerating the six 'super-knowledges' (abhiññā). But it is curious that the sixth and last should be mentioned twice, and the 'celestial ear' (supernormal hearing) be left out. For B. confirms the fact (commenting on A. i, 163-5), that 'threefold lore' —a brahminic idiom annexed by Buddhism — meant super-memory, celestial eye, and destruction of Āsavas ('drugs'). Nevertheless he does not note the omission here. The detailed order followed in the Saŋyutta-Nikdya (see ii, 121; 212) is 'magic power (iddhi), the 'ear,' telepathy, super-memory, the 'eye,' drug-immunity — the same as that followed in Dialogues, i, 88 f.; cf. D. iii, 281.

 


[ed1] Mrs. Rhys Davids abbreviates.


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