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Saŋyutta Nikāya
I. Sagātha Vagga
7. Brāhmana Saŋyutta

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
I. Kindred Sayings with Verses
7. The Brāhmana Suttas

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


II: The Lay Adherents


Sutta 15





On one occasion, at Sāvatthi, there was a brahmin living there called Pridestiff.[1]

He showed respect neither to his mother,
nor to his father,
nor to his teacher,[2]
nor to his eldest brother.

Now on that occasion the Exalted One,
surrounded by a large congregation,
was teaching the Norm.

And it occurred to the brahmin, Pridestiff:

'This Samana Gotama,
surrounded by a large congregation,
is teaching the Norm.

What if I were to go near?

If he will talk to me,
I will talk to him;
if not, I will not speak to him.'

And he drew near and stood at one side.

And the Exalted One did not speak to him.

And Pridestiff thinking:

'This Samana Gotama does not know anything,'[3] was fain to turn back again.

Then the Exalted One discerning intuitively the thoughts of the brahmin,
addressed him in the verse: —

Not well is it to foster pride![4]
If there be any here,
Brahmin, for sake of whom thou'rt come,
Give him thy fostering care.

Then Pridestiff thought:

'The Samana Gotama knows my thoughts!' and there and then he fell on his face at the Exalted One's feet and kissed those feet and stroked them,
telling his name:

'Pridestiff am I, Master Gotama,
Pridestiff am I, Master Gotama!'[5] Then the congregation was astonished, saying:

'0 wonderful, sir!

0 astonishing, sir, is it!

For this Pridestiff shows respect to neither mother,
nor father,
nor teacher,
nor eldest brother,
and yet he utterly prostrates himself in this manner before the Samana Gotama.'

Then the Exalted One said to Pridestiff:

'Enough, brahmin, stand up and sit down in thine own place,
whence belief in me arose in thy heart.'

So Pridestiff sat down in his own place and addressed the Exalted One in the verse: —

To whom should one show due humility,[6]
Whom treat with reverence?
Whom should ojne offer honour and respect!
To worship whom is well?

[The Exalted One: —]

To mother and to father shouldst thou show
Humility, to eldest brother too,
And fourthly to thy teacher: these shouldst thou
With reverence treat, these honour and respect,
These worshipfully to entreat is well.
The Arahants, the Saintly Cool,[7] whose work
Is perfected, and they sane and immune,[8]
These peerless ones, docile,[9] thy pride subdued,
In veneration hold.

When he had thus spoken, Pridestiff, the brahmin, said:

'Most excellent, Master Gotama, most excellent!

As if one raised up that which had been overthrown,
or revealed that which had been hidden,
or declared the way to one who was bewildered,
or carried an oil-lamp into the dark,
so that they that had eyes could see,
even so is the Norm in many ways made manifest by Master Gotama.

Lo! I go for refuge to Gotama the Exalted One,
to the Norm,
and to the Order.

May Master Gotama suffer me as a lay-adherent,
who from this day forth
as long as life endures
has taken in him refuge!'


[1] Cf. above, VII, 1, Ī 5. Evidently either a nickname: Māna-thaddka, or a mere nom d'occasion. Cf. a similar character in Jenta (Pss. of the Brethren, CCXVIII), the son of Pasenadi's chaplain, and with whom this Pridestiff should have been identified. Dhammapāla describes him as mānthaddo, and gives a similar narrative.

[2] Unsaluted an ācariya (teacher) refused instruction, and, if the discourtesy proceeded from an ex-pupil, recognition. Comy.

[3] 'In that he takes no notice of a high-bred person like me.' Comy.

[4] The Burmese MS. of Dhammapāla's Comy. used in op cit. reads:

'Na mānabrūhanaṃ sādhu. Atthāṃ karīyatha, brāhmaṇa,' which is simpler than the reading in Feer's edition, and avoids the doubled brāhmaṇa. But it is otherwise awkward, and is less courteous in tone.

[5] Cf. VII, 1, Ī 5, n, 2.

[6] The Pali idiom is '(not) make pride.' Cf. Jāt. iv, 388.

[7] Cf. Pss. of the Brethren, references in Index under 'cool.' Bud* dhism (1912), p. 175; and below, VIII, Ī 4.

[8] Cf. Pss. of the Brethren, references in Index under 'sane.'

[9] Lit. not-stiff, supple-minded. The Br. MS. is here perhaps the corrupter reading: nihacca mānaṃ atthadvāre, so we follow Feer, and let the pada refer to the brahmin.

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