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Saŋyutta-Nikāya
Nidāna-Vagga

17. Lābhasakkāra Saŋyuttaṃ

The Book of the
Kindred Sayings
The Nidana Book

Kindred Sayings on Gain and Favours

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

Originally Published by
The Pali Text Society
Public Domain

 


 

Sutta 1

Dire!

 

[1][wp][bd] THUS have I heard: —

The Exalted One was once staying at Sāvatthī at the Jeta Grove, in the Anāthapiṇḍika Park and there he addressed the brethren: —

Dire,[1] brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

Sutta 2

The hook

 

[2][wp][bd] At Sāvatthī: —

Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

If a fisherman were to cast a flesh-baited hook into a deep pool
and a fish with an eye to flesh should swallow it.
Verily, brethren, that fish
swallowing the fisherman's hook
falls into misfortune,
falls into disaster,
is treated according to the fisherman's good pleasure.

'Fisherman' — this, brethren, means Māra, the evil one.
'Hook' — this, brethren, means gains, favours, and flattery.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

Sutta 3

The Tortoise

 

[3][wp][bd] At Sāvatthī: —

Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

In times gone by, brethren,
in a certain pool of water,
there had long been living a great family of tortoises.
Now one tortoise said to another tortoise: —
'Dear tortoise, go not thou into that place.'
But the tortoise went into that place and a hunter shot him with a corded harpoon.[2]
He got back again, and that other tortoise saw him coming a way off, and, seeing him, said:
'What, dear tortoise, thou didst never get to that place?'
'Nay, I did go, dear tortoise, to that place.'
'What, dear tortoise, thou'rt never not speared, not hit?'
'Nay, not speared am I, dear tortoise, not hit, but there's this cord that keeps ever trailing at my back.'
'Why then for sure, dear tortoise, thou'rt speared, for sure thou'rt hit.
It was by this trap[3] that thy father and thy grandfather fell into misfortune and disaster.
Go thou now, dear tortoise, ours art thou no longer!'

'Hunter': — this, brethren, means Māra the evil one.
'Harpoon': — this, brethren, means gains, favour, and flattery.
'Cord': — this, brethren, means lustful enjoyment.

Verily, any brother, brethren, who delights in,
who longs for gains, favour, and flattery,
him we call 'greedy for the harpoon,
fallen into misfortune and disaster,
to be treated according to Māra's good pleasure.'

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

Sutta 4

Longfleece

 

[4][wp][bd] At Sāvatthī: —

Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Just as if a long-fleeced she-goat[4]
entered a thicket of briars [155]
and should now here, now there
sink down, get caught;
get bound, fall into misfortune and disaster,
even so, when a brother is overcome by gains, favours, and flattery,
and his mind possessed therewith,
he, when he rises betimes,
takes bowl and robe
and goes for alms to village and township,
now here now there sinks down, gets caught,
gets bound, falls into misfortune and disaster.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

Sutta 5

Dungbeetle

 

[5][wp][bd] At Sāvatthī: —

Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Just as if a beetle, dung-eating, dung-filled, stuffed with dung,
and in front of her a great dunghill.
And she, because of all that
were to despise other beetles and think: —
Surely am I a dungeater, dung-filled, stuffed with dung
and in front of me is this great dunghill,
even so, when a brother is overcome by gains, favours, and flattery,
and his mind possessed therewith,
he, when he rises betimes,
takes bowl and robe and goes for alms to village and township,
there eats his fill,
is invited for the morrow,
and his bowl is full.
He goes to the park and
in the midst of the group of brethren
boasts: — 'I have dined my fill,
I am invited for to-morrow.
My bowl is full.
I have gained a robe, alms,
a lodging, medical requisites.
But these other brethren are of little merit,
of little influence,
they do not gain the requisites like me.'
He, overcome and his heart possessed by gains, favours, and flattery,
despises other pious brethren.
Verily, brethren, that will bring harm and ill for many a day
to that futile person.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

Sutta 6

Thunderbolt

 

[6][wp][bd] At Sāvatthī: —

Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

What, brethren, is the falling of a thunderbolt
compared [156] with the assailing of a learner
whose mind has not attained,
by gains, favours, and flattery?[5]

'Falling of a thunderbolt': — that, brethren, means gains, favours, and flattery.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

Sutta 7

Poisoned

 

[7][wp][bd] At Sāvatthī: —

Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

A man whom they wound with a poisoned dart,[6] such is one whose mind has not attained, who is assailed with gains, favours, and flattery.

'Dart': — that, brethren, means gains, favours, flattery ..

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

Sutta 8

The Jackal

 

[8][wp][bd] At Sāvatthī: —

Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

'Have ye heard the jackal howling in the night, at dawn?'

'Even so, lord.'

'That is an old jackal, brethren,
afflicted by mange.[7]
He finds no pleasure in lonely places,
nor in the woods,
nor in the open air.
Wherever he goes,
wherever he stays,
wherever he sits down,
wherever he lies down,
there he falls into misfortune and disaster.
Even so is a brother who is overcome,
and whose heart is possessed
by gains, favours, and flattery.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

[157]

Sutta 9

Hurricanes

 

[9][wp][bd] At Sāvatthī: —

Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

In the upper air there blow winds that are hurricanes.
If a bird goes thither,
the hurricanes toss him about;
feet, wings, head, body are scattered in all directions.
Even so here also a brother who is overcome,
and whose heart is possessed by gains, favours, and flattery,
when he rises betimes,
takes bowl and robe and enters village or township for alms,
his acts unguarded,
his speech unguarded,
his mind unguarded,
mindfulness not set up,
senses unrestrained,
he there sees womenfolk lightly clad, ill shrouded.
Seeing them thus,
lust assails his thoughts.
He thus assailed,
rejects the training
and turns toward low things.
And one takes his robe,
another his bowl,
another his sitting-mat,
another his needle-case,
just as the bird hurled in pieces by the hurricane.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

Sutta 10

Sutta with Verse

 

[10][wp][bd] At Sāvatthī: —

Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Concerning this matter,
I see one person overcome,
and whose mind is possessed by favours,
another who is overcome
and possessed by lack of favours,
yet another who is overcome
and possessed by both favours and the lack of them
— I see one and all,
at the separation of the body after death
reborn in the Waste,
the Woeful Way,
the Downfall,
Purgatory.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

In whom, when favours fall upon him, or
When none are shown, the mind steadfast, intent,
Sways not at all, for earnest is his life,
Him of rapt thought, [of will] unfaltering,
Of fine perception, of the vision seer,
Rejoicing that to grasp is his no nwre: —
Him let the people call in truth Good Man.

[158]

 


II


 

Sutta 11

The Bowl (1)

 

[11][wp][bd] At Sāvatthī: —

Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

As to that I have known a certain man,
reading his will by mine,
who, even for the sake of a golden bowl filled with silver dust,
would not deliberately tell a lie.
That man have I seen at another time,
overcome and his heart possessed by gains, favours, and flattery,
deliberately telling lies.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

Sutta 12

The Bowl (2)

 

[12][wp][bd] At Sāvatthī: —

Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

As to that, I have known a certain man, reading his will by mine, who, even for the sake of a silver bowl filled full with gold dust, would not deliberately tell a lie. That man have I seen at another time, overcome and his heart possessed by gains, favours, and flattery, deliberately telling lies.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

Sutta 13

Untitled

 

[13][wp][bd] At Sāvatthī: —

Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

As to that, I have known a certain man, reading his will by mine, who, even for the sake of even for the sake of a gold nikkha,[8], would not deliberately tell a lie. That man have I seen at another time, overcome and his heart possessed by gains, favours, and flattery, deliberately telling lies.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

Sutta 14

Untitled

 

[14][bd] At Sāvatthī: —

Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

As to that, I have known a certain man, reading his will by mine, who, even for the sake of a hundred gold nikkhas, would not deliberately tell a lie. That man have I seen at another time, overcome and his heart possessed by gains, favours, and flattery, deliberately telling lies.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

§

 

Sutta 15

Untitled

 

[15][bd] At Sāvatthī: —

Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

As to that, I have known a certain man, reading his will by mine, who, even for the sake of a nikkha of gold nuggets, would not deliberately tell a lie. That man have I seen at another time, overcome and his heart possessed by gains, favours, and flattery, deliberately telling lies.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

§

 

Sutta 16

Untitled

 

[16][bd] At Sāvatthī: —

Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

As to that, I have known a certain man, reading his will by mine, who, even for a hundred nikkha of gold nuggets, would not deliberately tell a lie. That man have I seen at another time, overcome and his heart possessed by gains, favours, and flattery, deliberately telling lies.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

§

 

Sutta 17

Untitled

 

[17][bd] At Sāvatthī: —

Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

As to that, I have known a certain man, reading his will by mine, who, even for a world of gold, would not deliberately tell a lie. That man have I seen at another time, overcome and his heart possessed by gains, favours, and flattery, deliberately telling lies.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

§

 

Sutta 18

Untitled

 

[18][bd] At Sāvatthī: —

Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

As to that, I have known a certain man, reading his will by mine, who, even for the sake of for nothing worldly whatever, would not deliberately tell a lie. That man have I seen at another time, overcome and his heart possessed by gains, favours, and flattery, deliberately telling lies.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

§

 

Sutta 19

Untitled

 

[19][bd] At Sāvatthī: —

Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

As to that, I have known a certain man, reading his will by mine, who, even to save his life, would not deliberately tell a lie. That man have I seen at another time, overcome and his heart possessed by gains, favours, and flattery, deliberately telling lies.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

§

 

Sutta 20

Untitled

 

[20][bd] At Sāvatthī: —

Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

As to that, I have known a certain man, reading his will by mine, who, even [to win] the belle of the countryside, would not deliberately tell a lie. That man have I seen at another time, overcome and his heart possessed by gains, favours, and flattery, deliberately telling lies.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 


III


 

Sutta 21

Woman

 

[21][wp][bd] At Sāvatthī: — [9]

Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Of him whose heart gains, favours, and flattery persistently possess, no woman, she alone of him alone, can persistently possess the heart.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

§

 

Sutta 22

The Belle

 

[22][wp][bd] Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Of him whose heart gains, favours, and flattery persistently possess, not even the belle of the countryside, she alone of him alone, can persistently possess the heart.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

§

 

Sutta 23

Son

 

[23][wp][bd] Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

The believing lay-sister when rightly admonishing her only son, dear and beloved, would thus admonish him: — See, my dear, that thou become like Citta housefather, and Hatthaka of Āḷava.[10]

These, brethren, are the standard,[11] these are the measure of my lay disciples, even Citta and Hatthaka.

If thou, my dear, go forth from home to the homeless, see that thou become like Sāriputta and Moggallāna.

These, brethren, are the standard, these are the measure of my ordained disciples, even Sāriputta and Moggallāna.

[160] Let not gains, favours, and flattery assail thee, dear, a learner with diligent mind.

Brethren, should this happen, it will be to his peril.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

§

 

Sutta 24

The Only Daughter

 

[24][wp][bd] The believing lay-sister, brethren, when rightly admonishing her only daughter, dear and beloved, would thus admonish her: — See, my dear, that thou become like Khujjuttarā the lay-sister and Ve'ukaṇṭakiyā, Nanda's mother.

These, brethren, are the standard and measure of my lay-sister disciples, even Khujjuttarā and Ve'ukaṇṭakiyā.

If thou, my dear, go forth from home to the homeless, see that thou become like sister Khemā and Uppa1avaññā.[12]

These, brethren, are the standard, these are the measure of my sister disciples, even Khemā and Uppa1avaññā..

Let not gains, favours, and flattery assail thee, my dear, a learner diligent in mind. Therein lies danger for thee.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

§

 

Sutta 25

Recluses and Brahmins (1)

 

[25][wp][bd] Verily any recluses or brahmins whatever, brethren, who do not understand, even as it really is, the satisfaction, the danger,[13] the escape with regard to gains, favours, and flattery, they for me are not approved of among recluses as recluses, nor among brahmins as brahmins, nor have those venerable ones come even in this life fully to know of themselves, to realize, to live in the attainment of, the good of being recluse or brahmin.

But any recluses or brahmins whatever who do understand, even as it really is, the satisfaction, the danger, the escape with regard to gains, favours, and flattery, they for me are approved of among recluses as recluses, or among brahmins as brah- [161] mins; and those venerable ones have come even in this life fully to know of themselves, to realize, to live in the attainment of, the good of being recluse or brahmin.

 

§

 

Sutta 26

Recluses and Brahmins (2)

 

[26][wp][bd] Verily any recluses or brahmins whatever, brethren, who do not understand, even as it really is, the coming to pass and the going away of gains, favours, and flattery, they for me are not approved of among recluses as recluses, nor among brahmins as brahmins, nor have those venerable ones come even in this life fully to know of themselves, to realize, to live in the attainment of, the good of being recluse or brahmin.

But any recluses or brahmins whatever who do understand, even as it really is, the coming to pass and the going away of gains, favours, and flattery, they for me are approved of among recluses as recluses, or among brahmins as brahmins; and those venerable ones have come even in this life fully to know of themselves, to realize, to live in the attainment of, the good of being recluse or brahmin.

 

§

 

Sutta 27

Recluses and Brahmins (3)

 

[27][wp][bd] Verily any recluses or brahmins whatever, brethren, who do not understand, even as it really is, the nature, the coming to pass, the ceasing, the way going to the ceasing of gains, favours, and flattery, they for me are not approved of among recluses as recluses, nor among brahmins as brahmins, nor have those venerable ones come even in this life fully to know of themselves, to realize, to live in the attainment of, the good of being recluse or brahmin.

But any recluses or brahmins whatever who do understand, even as it really is, the nature, the coming to pass, the ceasing, the way going to the ceasing of gains, favours, and flattery, they for me are approved of among recluses as recluses, or among brahmins as brah- [161] mins; and those venerable ones have come even in this life fully to know of themselves, to realize, to live in the attainment of, the good of being recluse or brahmin.

 

§

 

Sutta 28

The Skin

 

[28][wp][bd] Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

They cut the skin, then they cut the underskin, then they cut the flesh, then they cut the tendons, then they cut the bones, then they press right on to the marrow.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

§

 

Sutta 29

The Cord

 

[29][wp][bd] Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

They cut the skin, then they cut the underskin, then they cut the flesh, then they cut the tendons, then they cut the bones, then they press right on to the marrow.

Just as if a strong man were to bind a stout horsehair cord about his leg and saw his leg with it till he cut the skin, cut the underskin, cut the flesh, cut the tendons, cut the bones, and press right on to the marrow.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

§

 

Sutta 30

The Brother

 

[30][wp][bd] He, brethren, who is Arahant, sane and immune, even for that brother I say that gains, favours, and flattery are a danger.

When this was said, the venerable Ānanda said this to the Exalted One: — 'But to which sane and immune brother, lord, are they a danger?'

[162] 'I say not that they are a danger, Ānanda, for him the freedom of whose will is unshakeable. But to one who lives earnestly, ardently, strenuously, if he come among such as have attained to happiness in this present life, there I say that gains, favours, and flattery might be for him a danger.'[14]

So dire, Ānanda, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, Ānanda, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 


IV


 

Sutta 31

He Cut[15]

 

[31][wp][bd] Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Devadatta brought schism into the Order because he was overcome and his heart was possessed by them.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

§

 

Sutta 32

The Root

 

[32][wp][bd] ... And in him thus overcome, ... the root of good (karma) came to be extirpated.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

§

 

Sutta 33

Conditions

 

[33][wp][bd] ... Yea, the conditions of good (karma)[16] came to be extirpated ...

 

§

 

Sutta 34

Bright (conditions)

 

[34][wp][bd] ... Yea, even the bright conditions came to be extirpated ...

 

§

 

Sutta 35

Seceding

 

[35][wp][bd] The Exalted One was once staying at Rājagaha on Vulture's Peak hill not long after Devadatta had seceded. There the Exalted One addressed the brethren touching Devadatta: —

To his own destruction, gains, favours, and flattery befel Devadatta, yea, to his decline. Just as a plantain yields fruit to its own destruction, to its decline, ... just as a bamboo yields fruit to its own destruction, to its decline ... just as a rush yields fruit to its own destruction, to its decline ... just as a mule bears young to her own destruction,[17] to her decline, even so to his own destruction, to his decline did gains, favours, and flattery befall Devadatta.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

The Exalted One spake this: the Wellfarer speaking this, the

Teacher spake thus further: —

As is the plantain, bamboo, and the rush
Each by the fruit it bears undone,
So is the foolish man by favours slain,
As by her embryo the mule.[18]

 

§

 

Sutta 36

The Car

 

[36][wp][bd] The Exalted One was once staying at Rājagaha in the Bamboo Grove at the Squirrels' Feeding-ground.

Now at that time prince Ajātasattu was ministering to Devadatta late and early by five hundred cars, and was providing food conveying it in five hundred cooking pans.[19] Thereupon many brethren came into the presence of the Exalted One, saluting and taking their seat beside him, and told him of this.

'Do not ye desire gains, favours, and flattery for Devadatta, brethren. So long as prince Ajātasattu ministers to [164] Devadatta in this way, it is only falling away that is to be expected from him, not growth in good conditions. Just as if they were to crumble [dried] liver[20] on the nose of a fierce dog, — the dog would thereby become fiercer, even so, so long as prince Ajātasattu ministers to Devadatta in this way, it is only falling away that is to be expected from him, not growth in good conditions.'

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

§

 

Sutta 37

For Mother's Sake

 

[37][wp][bd] Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery, a bitter harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

I have known a certain man, reading his will by mine, who, even for his mother's sake[21] would not deliberately tell a lie. Him have I seen thereafter overcome and his heart possessed by gains, favours, and flattery deliberately telling lies.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

§

 

Sutta 38

For Father's Sake

 

[38][bd] Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery, a bitter harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

I have known a certain man, reading his will by mine, who, even for his father's sake would not deliberately tell a lie. Him have I seen thereafter overcome and his heart possessed by gains, favours, and flattery deliberately telling lies.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

§

 

Sutta 39

For Brother's Sake

 

[39][bd] Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery, a bitter harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

I have known a certain man, reading his will by mine, who, even for his brother's sake would not deliberately tell a lie. Him have I seen thereafter overcome and his heart possessed by gains, favours, and flattery deliberately telling lies.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

§

 

Sutta 40

For Sister's Sake

 

[40][bd] Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery, a bitter harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

I have known a certain man, reading his will by mine, who, even for his sister's sake would not deliberately tell a lie. Him have I seen thereafter overcome and his heart possessed by gains, favours, and flattery deliberately telling lies.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

§

 

Sutta 41

For Son's Sake

 

[41][bd] Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery, a bitter harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

I have known a certain man, reading his will by mine, who, even for his son's sake would not deliberately tell a lie. Him have I seen thereafter overcome and his heart possessed by gains, favours, and flattery deliberately telling lies.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

§

 

Sutta 42

For Daughter's Sake

 

[42][bd] Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery, a bitter harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

I have known a certain man, reading his will by mine, who, even for his daughter's sake would not deliberately tell a lie. Him have I seen thereafter overcome and his heart possessed by gains, favours, and flattery deliberately telling lies.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 

§

 

Sutta 43

For Wife's Sake

 

[43][bd] Dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

I have known a certain man, reading his will by mine, who, even for his wife's sake would not deliberately tell a lie. Him have I seen thereafter overcome and his heart possessed by gains, favours, and flattery deliberately telling lies.

So dire, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery,
a bitter, harsh obstacle in the way of arriving at uttermost safety.

Wherefore, brethren, thus should ye train yourselves: —

When gains, favours, and flattery come to us,
we will put them aside,
nor when they come
shall they take lasting hold on our hearts.'

 


[1] Dāruṇo.

[2] The Comy. explains papatā as a dart encased in a coiled sheath of twine, to be hurled by hand.

[3] Luddakena, lit. 'hunter-ish (thing).' The Burmese read suttakena, 'by this cord': — easier, but not therefore more plausible.

[4] Eḷakā, not as in Childers eḷikā.

[5] The Comy. gives, as clue to the elliptical Pali, that a thunderbolt destroys one life-span only, but gains, etc., bring a man to infinitely prolonged misery hereafter.

[6] The title should read diddhaŋ, with the Comy. This accepts the inclusion of visallena: — visamakkhitena sallena, sattiyā. But it should surely read visa-sallena?

[7] A disease, says B., arising during the winter. The fur falls off; he shivers; sores produced by cold winds pain him; he reels about seeking respite like a man bitten by a mad dog.

[8] On nikkha and singi (nugget), cf. my 'Early Economic Conditions of North India' JRAS, 1901, p. 877 f.; Gooneratne's Anguttara Nikāya, p. 235, n. 1 f. (Galle, 1913).

[9] The following ten are all referred to Sāvatthī.

[10] This and the following three pairs of followers are also grouped for similar admonition in Anguttara i, 88f.; cf. also ib. i, 23-6; Nanda's mother is there called Uttarā. Kindred Sayings XLI is devoted to Citta. (pron. Chitta). Nanda may be the half-brother of Gotama who became a Thera. (Vin. Texts, i, 210; Pss. of the Brethren, p. 126; Buddhist Birth Stories, p. 128).

[11] Lit. scales (talā), or weights.

[12] Cf. Pss. of the Sisters, pp. 81 f. and 111 f.; S. iv. 374f.

[13] Trans. 'misery' in Chapter XIV. See ib., ĪĪ 37-39.

[14] The syntax of this sentence seems to me corrupt, even if the drift of it be clear. According to the Comy. 'happiness in this present life' applies to the religious circle of whom the earnest man is a member.

[15] The following four Suttas are of Sāvatthī.

[16] Namely, alobha, adosa, amoha. Comy.

[17] The mule is not able to bring forth, and has to be slain to effect parturition. Comy.

[18] = above, i, 192.

[19] One such pan containing food for ten men. Comy.

[20] Pittaŋ: — acchapittaŋ vā macchapittaŋ vā (of a bear or a fish). Comy.

[21] E.g., to make brigands set his mother at liberty. Comy.


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