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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

 


II: The Quintuplet


 

Sutta 14

Aruṇavatī

 


 

[14.1] THUS HAVE I HEARD:

The Exalted One was once staying near Sāvatthī, at Jeta Grove, in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park and on that occasion the Exalted One addressed the brethren:

'Bhikkhus!'

'Lord!' they made reply.

And the Exalted One said:

'In days gone by, bhikkhus, I was a king named Aruṇavat.

Now this king had a royal residence named Aruṇavatī.

And near it was staying Sikhin,[1] the Exalted One, Arahant Buddha Supreme.

Now Sikhin had a pair of disciples, chief, elect, named Abhibhu[2] and Sambhava.

And Sikhin addressed Abhibhu, saying:

'Brahmin, let us go to one of the Brahmā-worlds till the time comes for a meal.'

'Even so, lord,' replied Abhibhu,
and like as a strong man would stretch forth his bent arm,
or bend his arm stretched forth,
so did they twain vanish from Aruṇavatī,
the king's residence,
and appear in that Brahmā-world.

Then said Sikhin, the Exalted One, Arahant Buddha Supreme to Abhibhu bhikkhu:

'Let there occur to thee, brahmin, a religious discourse for this Brahmā and his company and his attendants.'

'Even so, lord,' replied Abhibhu bhikkhu.

And he therewith instructed, enlightened, incited, and inspired the Brahmā, his company, and his attendants with a religious discourse.

But forsooth the Brahmā, his company, and his attendants were thereupon offended, annoyed, irritated, saying:

'0 but this is a wondrous thing!

0 but this is a strange thing!

How shall a disciple preach a religion in the presence of his Master?'

Then Sikhin told Abhibhu what they were feeling and thinking, and added:

'Wherefore now, do thou, brahmin, agitate them exceedingly.'

'Even so, lord,' replied Abhibhu, and continued to preach
now with a visible,
now with an invisible body,
now with a body, the lower half only of which was visible,
now with a body, the upper half only of which was visible.

Then the hearts of the Brahmā, his company, and his attendants, were filled with wonder and marvel:

'0 but this is a wondrous thing!

0 but this is a marvellous thing: —
the great magic power and might of the recluse!'

And Abhibhu bhikkhu said to Sikhin the Exalted One:

'I profess, lord, that using just such speech as if I were speaking in the midst of [a gathering of] our Order,
I am able as I stand in the Brahmā-world to make its thousand realms hear my voice.'

'This is the hour for it, brahmin,
this is the hour in which standing in the Brahmā-world
thou mayest make its thousand realms hear thy voice.'

'Even so, lord, replied Abhibhu bhikkhu.

And standing in the Brahmā-world he uttered these verses: —

Bestir yourselves, rise up, renounce and come,
And yield your hearts unto the Buddha's rule.
Shake off the armies of the king of death
As doth the elephant a reed-thatched shed.[3]
Whoso within this Norm and Discipline,
Shall ever strenuous and earnest live,
Rebirth's eternal round put far away,
All pain and suffering he shall end for aye.

Thereupon, bhikkhus, Sikhin the Exalted One, Arahant Buddha Supreme,
and Abhibhu bhikkhu,
having agitated the Brahmā, his company and his attendants,
like as a strong man would stretch forth his bent arm,
or bend his arm stretched forth,
vanished from that Brahmà-world
and appeared at Araṇavatī.

Then Sikhin the Exalted One addressed the brethren:

'Did ye hear, bhikkhus,
the verses uttered by Abhibhu bhikkhu
whiles he was standing in Brahmā-world?'

'We did hear, lord, the verses he so spoke.'

'And what, bhikkhus, were the verses that ye heard him utter?'

"Bestir yourselves, rise up, renounce and come,
And yield your hearts unto the Buddha's rule.
Shake off the armies of the king of death
As doth the elephant a reed-thatched shed.
Whoso within this Norm and Discipline,
Shall ever strenuous and earnest live,
Rebirth's eternal round put far away,
All pain and suffering he shall end for aye."

'These, lord, were the verses that we heard Abhibhu bhikkhu utter,
whiles he was standing in Brahmā-world.'

'Well done, bhikkhus, well done!

Well did ye hear the verses uttered by Abhibhu bhikkhu
whiles he was standing in Brahmā-world.'

Thus spake the Exalted One. And the gladdened bhikkhus were delighted by the sayings of the Exalted One.

 


[1] Cf. Pss. of the Sisters, p. 31, and the form Aruna for Aruṇavat.

[2] Cf. Dialogues, ii, p. 7. Sikhin was the second of those seven Buddhas of whom the oldest books take cognizance. Abhibhu's verses are ascribed, in the Theragāthā, to Abhibhūta (see Pss. of the Brethren, 170 f.). On Ānanda's query, how far his great powers bore relation to those of a Buddha, see A. i, 227 f. Our Comy. represents him as choosing for his theme human action and energy, because it would commend itself, as such, to all his hearers, gods and men.

[3] Cf. Pss. of the Brethren, ver. 1147.


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