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Saŋyutta Nikāya
I. Sagātha Vagga
9. Vana-saŋyutta

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
I. Kindred Sayings with Verses
9. The Forest Suttas

Sutta 2

Upaṭṭhāna Suttaṃ

Ministry[1]

Translated by Mrs. Rhys Davids
Assisted by Sūriyagoḍa Sumangala Thera
Copyright The Pali Text Society. Public Domain.

 


 

[2.1] THUS HAVE I HEARD: —

A certain brother was once staying among the Kosalese in a certain forest tract.

And during that time, while he took siesta, he would fall asleep.

Then a deva who haunted that forest tract,
moved with compassion for that brother,
desiring his welfare,
and wishing to agitate him,
drew near and addressed him in the verses: —

Arise, good almsman, wherefore seek repose?
What benefit dost thou in slumber find?
Good for the sick is sleep, and for one pierced
With wounds, for one that suffereth from shock.[2]
The faith and trust that made thee leave the world
And give up home to live the homeless life —
That faith shouldst thou develop and expand.
But come not thou under the sway of sleep.

[The Brother: —][3]

Transient and fleeting are desires of sense
For which slow wits infatuated long.
Whoso is freed and leaneth not on bonds,
The world well lost[4] — why should you plague the man?

Whose insight is well cleansed and purified
By the suppression of desire and lust,
By the transcending of all ignorance,
The world well lost — why should you plague the man?

Where saving lore hath broken nescience,
And poisons of the mind are wholly purged,
A man who knows not sorrow or despair,
The world well lost — why should you plague the man?

He that hath summoned effort, put forth strength,
And ever maketh vigorous advance,[5]
Aspiring to Nibbana's [blessed peace],
The world well lost — why should you plague the man?

 


[1] Upaṭṭhānaṃ. The usual reference to the title does not occur in the Sutta. 'Ministry' probably refers to the fairy's well-meaning officiousness. The legend is that the bhikkhu who slept was an arahant, but that he had very far to go to procure himself any food and returned tired out.

[2] Ruppato. On this term cf. B.'s analysis given in my Buddhist Psychology, 1914, p. 43: 'disturbed, struck, hurt, broken,' namely by physical causes.

[3] B. confesses himself uncertain as to whether these lines belong to the brother, or the deva. 'It is not apparent in the commentary' (ayan pan'ettha anuttāna-pādavaṇṇanā). But if to the deva, the refrain implies 'why should he not plague himself, for he will [have to] do so?' namely, if he yield to somnolent habits.

[4] Free rendering of pabbajita — the religieux, recluse, who has 'gone forth' from 'the world.'

[5] See above, VII, 1, Ī 7.


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