Samyutta Nikaya Masthead


[Site Map]  [Home]  [Sutta Indexes]  [Glossology]  [Site Sub-Sections]

The Pali is transliterated as IAST Unicode (āīūṃṅñṭḍṇḷ). Alternatives:
[ ASCII (aiumnntdnl) | Mobile (āīūŋńñţđņļ) | Velthuis (aaiiuu.m'n~n.t.d.n.l) ]

 

Saɱyutta Nikāya
II. Nidāna Vagga
XII. Nidāna Saɱyutta
VII. Mahā Vagga

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
Part II. The Book Called the Nidāna-Vagga
Containing Kindred sayings on Cause
and Other Subjects
12. The Kindred Sayings on Cause
7. The Great Chapter

Sutta 63

Puttamansa Sutta

Child's Flesh

Translated by Mrs. Rhys Davids
Assisted by F. L. Woodward

Originally Published by
The Pali Text Society
Public Domain

 


 

[1][wp][ati][bd] While at Sāvatthī the Exalted One said: —

There are these four foods,[1] brethren,
for the maintenance [68] of beings
that have come to birth,
or for the forwarding of those
who seek to come to be.

Which are the four?

Material food, coarse or fine;
contact is the second,
willing of mind is the third,
consciousness is the fourth.

These are the four foods
for the maintenance of beings
that have come to birth,
or for the forwarding of those
who seek to come to be.

And how, brethren,
is material food to be considered?

It is as if two parents
who had taken slender provisions
were on their way in the path through the jungle,
and theirs was an only child dear and sweet.

Now suppose that the scanty provisions
of those parents in the jungle
came to an end, used up.
And suppose that there was yet a portion of the jungle untraversed.

Then those parents might say:
What scanty provisions we had
are come to an end, are used up,
and there is this remainder of the jungle to traverse.
What if we were to slay
this our only child, sweet and dear,
and make both dried pieces and juicy pieces,
and so eating flesh of child,
might traverse that remainder of the jungle.
Let us not all three perish!

And so those two parents
slew that only child sweet and dear,
and made both dried pieces and juicy pieces,
and so, eating flesh of child
they could traverse that remainder of the jungle.

They would both eat child-flesh
and smite on their breasts crying;
Where is our only child?
Where is our only child?

Now what think you, brethren?
Would they take the food for sport?
or would they take the food from indulgence?
or would they take the food for personal charm?
or would they take the food for plumpness?[2]

Not so; lord.

Would they not take the food, brethren,
in order that they might last
till the jungle was crossed?

Even so, lord.

Even so, brethren,
I declare should solid food be regarded.

When such food is well understood,
the passions of the five senses are well understood.

When the passions of the five [69] senses are well understood,
the fetters do not exist
bound by which the Ariyan disciple
could come again to this world.

And how, brethren,
is the food that is contact to be regarded?

It is as if, brethren,
a cow with a sore hide
should stand leaning against a wall,
the creatures that live on the wall would bite her;
If she stood leaning against a tree,
the creatures that live on the tree would bite her;
yea, whatever she stood leaning against,
whatever creatures lived thereon would bite her.

If she stood buoyed up by water,
the creatures that live in the water would bite her;
if she stood buoyed up by the air,
the creatures that live in dependence on the air would bite her,
yea, whatever she stood up against,
whatsoever creatures that lived in dependence thereon would bite her.

Even so do I declare
that the food which is contact should be regarded.

When such food is well understood,
the three feelings[3] are well understood.

When the three feelings are well understood,
I declare that there is nothing further
which the Ariyan disciple has to do.

And how, brethren,
is the food that is will of mind to be regarded?

It is as if, brethren, there were a pit of charcoal,
deeper than a man is high,
filled with clear, glowing, smokeless charcoal.
And a man were to come by,
loving his life,
not loving death,
loving happiness,
and loathing pain.
And two strong men
seizing him by each arm
were to drag him up to the pit.

Now to be far from that, brethren,
would be the will of that man,
to be far would be his wish,
to be far would be his aspiration.

Why so?

Verily the man would think:
— I shall fall on that heap of charcoal;
through that I shall come in for death,
or for mortal pain.

Even so, brethren, I declare
that the food which is will of mind should be regarded.

When that food is well understood,
the three cravings[4] are well understood.

When these are well understood, I declare
that there is nothing further
that the Ariyan disciple has to do.

[70] And how, brethren,
is the food that is consciousness to be regarded?

It is as if, brethren,
they were to seize a robber, an evildoer,
and were to show him to the king, saying:
— 'This man, sire, is a robber, an evildoer.
Inflict on him such punishment as is desired.'

And the king should pronounce this concerning him:
— Go, masters, smite this man at dawn
with a hundred darts.[5]

And they were to do so.

Then at noon the king should declare this:
— 'Ho, masters, how is that man?

At this moment, sire, he is alive.

And the king should pronounce this concerning him:
— 'Go, masters, smite this man at noon
with a hundred darts.

And they were to do so.

Then at eventide the king should declare this:
— 'Ho, masters, how is that man?

At this moment, sire, he is alive.

And the king should pronounce this concerning him:
— 'Go, masters, smite this man at eventide
with a hundred darts.

And they were to do so.

What think you, brethren?
Would that man,
smitten during the day by three hundred darts,
suffer therefrom pain and sorrow?

Were he smitten, lord,
by but one dart,
he would therefrom suffer pain and sorrow;
what need to speak of being smitten by three hundred?

Even so, brethren, do I declare
that the food called consciousness should be regarded.

When consciousness, brethren, is well understood,
name-and-shape is well understood.

When name-and-shape is well understood, I declare
there is nothing further that the Ariyan disciple has to do.

 


[1] Cf. above ĪĪ 11, 12. The grim parable that follows is referred to in Psalms of the Brethren, verse 445.

[2] On these four terms, in the formula for 'moderation in eating," see Expositor, 511; Visuddhi Magga, p. 31 f.

[3] Pleasant, painful and neutral feeling.

[4] S. iii, 26, 158.

[5] Satti. Or lances, or spears, or javelins.


Contact:
E-mail
Copyright Statement   Webmaster's Page