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Saɱyutta Nikāya
II. Nidāna Vagga
20. Opamma-Saɱuttaɱ

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
II. The Book Called the Nidāna-Vagga
Containing Kindred sayings on Cause
and Other Subjects
20. Kindred Sayings on Parables

Sutta 6

Dhanu-g-Gaha Suttaɱ

The Archer

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

Originally Published by
The Pali Text Society
Public Domain

 


[178]

[2][bodh][than][olds] Thus have I heard:

The Exalted One was once staying near Sāvatthi
at the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

There the Exalted One addressed the brethren: —

"Suppose, brethren, there were four archers
mighty with the bow,
well trained,
expert,
past masters in their art[1]
standing one at each quarter,
[3][pts][bodh][than] and a man were to come saying:

'I will catch and bring
the shafts let fly by these four archers
mighty with the bow,
well trained,
expert,
past masters in their art
standing one at each quarter
or ever they reach the ground.'

[4][pts][bodh][than] As to that what think ye, brethren?

Were this enough for him to be called
a swift man
possessed of supreme speed?"

[5][pts][bodh][than] "Even, lord, if he caught and brought
the shafts let fly
by only one of the four archers
mighty with the bow,
well trained,
expert,
past masters in their art
standing one at each quarter
or ever they reached the ground,
it were enough for him to be called
a swift man
possessed of supreme speed.

What need to speak of four such bowmen?"

[6][pts][bodh][than] "Brethren, as is the speed of that man,
as is the speed of moon and sun,
swifter than he,
as is the speed of those spirits
who run ahead[2] of moon and sun
swifter than he,
swifter than them both,
so swifter than even these
is the passing away of the things of this life.[3]

[7][pts][bodh][than] Wherefore, brethren, thus must ye train yourselves:

'We will live earnestly'" — even thus."

 


[1] Cf. above, i, 86. One adjective in the formula is here missing.

[2] Aerial devatā's now preceding, now falling behind when they stay to bathe ... In the Expositor i, 80, the spirits are called Yama's. Comy.

[3] Āyusankhāra, — things of physical life, for the incorporeal things pass away too quick for any reckoning. Comy.


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