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Saɱyutta Nikāya
IV. Saḷāyatana Vagga
35: Saḷāyatana Saɱyutta
Paññāsa Catutthaɱ
4. Āsīvisa Vagga

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
IV. Kindred Sayings on the 'Six-Fold Sphere' of Sense and Other Subjects
35: Kindred Sayings the Sixfold Sphere of Sense The 'Fourth Fifty' Suttas
4. The Chapter on the Snake

Sutta 207

Yavakalāpi Suttaṃ

The Sheaf of Corn[ed1]

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

Copyright The Pali Text Society
Commercial Rights Reserved
Creative Commons Licence
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[201] [132]

[1][than][bodh] Thus have I heard:

The Exalted One once addressed the brethren, saying:

"Brethren."

"Lord," responded those brethren to the Exalted One.

The Exalted One thus spake:

"Suppose, Brethren, a sheaf of corn
thrown down at the four crossways.

Then six men come up
armed with flails,
and with their six flails
beat out that sheaf of corn.

Thus, Brethren, [133] would that sheaf of corn
be threshed thoroughly,
thus beaten with six flails.

Then suppose a seventh man comes up,
armed with a flail,
and threshes that sheaf of corn
with his seventh flail.

Thus would that sheaf of corn
be still more thoroughly threshed
by that seventh flail.

Even so, Brethren, the untaught manyfolk
is threshed by the eye
with objects that charm,
is threshed by the ear,
with sounds that charm,
is threshed by the nose,
with scents that charm,
is threshed by the tongue,
with savours that charm,
is threshed by the body,
with tangibles that charm,
is threshed by mind,
with mmd-states that charm.

If that untaught manyfolk, Brethren,
thinks of a future becoming,
still more thoroughly is it threshed,
just as that sheaf of corn
is still more thoroughly threshed
by the seventh flail.

Once upon a time, Brethren,
the Devas and Asuras were massed for battle.[1]

Then Vepacitti, lord of the Asuras,
addressed the Asuras thus:

'Good sirs,[2] if in the battle now set between the Devas and the Asuras
the Asuras win the day
and the Devas be worsted,
then do ye bind Sakka, lord of the Devas,
neck,
hand
and foot,
and bring him into my presence in Asura Town.'

And in like manner Sakka, lord of the Devas,
thus addressed the Devas of the Thirty Three:

'Good sirs, if in the battle now set between the Devas and the Asuras
the Asuras be worsted
and the Devas win the day,
do ye bind Vepacitti, lord of the Asuras,
neck,
hand
and foot,
and bring him into my presence
at the Devas' Court of Righteousness.'[3]

Well, Brethren, in that fight
the Devas won the day,
and the Asuras were worsted.

Then the Devas of the Thirty-Three
bound Vepacitti, lord of the Asuras,
neck,
hand
and foot,
and brought him into the presence of Sakka, lord of the Devas,
to the Devas' Court of Righteousness.

So there, Brethren, was Vepacitti, lord of the Asuras,
bound neck,
hand
and foot.

Now when it occurred to Vepacitti, lord of the Asuras, thus:

'Righteous in good sooth are the Devas,[4]
unrighteous the Asuras.

Now go I to Deva Town,'

[134] straightway he beheld himself freed
from that fivefold bondage
and possessed
of the five pleasures of the senses,
and so endowed
had great delight.

But, Brethren, when Vepacitti, lord of the Asuras, thought:|| ||

'Righteous forsooth are the Asuras,
unrighteous are the Devas.[5]

Now go I to Asura Town,'

thereupon he beheld himself bound
with that fivefold bondage
and robbed
of the five pleasures of the senses.

Thus subtle, Brethren, is the bondage of Vepacitti,
but more subtle still
the bondage of Māra.

He who hath conceits, Brethren,
is Māra's bondsman.

He who hath no conceits[6]
is freed from the Evil One.

'I am,' -
that is a conceit.

'This am I,' -
that is a conceit.

'I shall be,' -
that is a conceit.

'I shall not be,' -
that is a conceit.

'Embodied shall I be,' -
that is a conceit.

'Disembodied shall I be,' -
that is a conceit.

'I shall be conscious,' -
that is a conceit.

'Unconscious shall I be,' -
that is a conceit.

'Neither conscious nor unconscious shall I be,' -
that is a conceit.

A conceit, Brethren, is lust.

A conceit is an imposthume.

A conceit is a barb.

Wherefore, Brethren, ye must say:

'With heart free from conceits
will we abide.'

Thus must ye train yourselves.

'I am,' -
that is something moved.[7]

'This am I,' -
that is something moved.

'I shall be,' -
that is something moved.

'I shall not be,' -
that is something moved.

'Embodied shall I be,' -
that is something moved.

'Disembodied shall I be,' -
that is something moved.

'I shall be conscious,' -
that is something moved.

'Unconscious shall I be,' -
that is something moved.

'Neither conscious nor unconscious shall I be,' -
that is something moved.

What is moved, Brethren, is lust.

What is moved is an imposthume.

What is moved is a barb.

Wherefore, Brethren, let your thought be:

'With heart immovable
will we abide.'

Thus must ye train yourselves.

'I am,' -
is something wavering.

'This am I,' -
is something wavering.

'I shall be,' -
is something wavering.

'I shall not be,' -
is something wavering.

'Embodied shall I be,' -
is something wavering.

'Disembodied shall I be,' -
is something wavering.

'I shall be conscious,' -
is something wavering.

'Unconscious shall I be,' -
is something wavering.

'Neither conscious nor unconscious shall I be,' -
is something wavering.

What wavers, Brethren, is lust.

What wavers is an imposthume.

What wavers is a barb.

Wherefore let your thought be:

'With heart unwavering
will we abide.'

Thus must ye train yourselves.

'I am,' -
is an obsession.[8]

'This am I,' -
is an obsession.

'I shall be,' -
is an obsession.

'I shall not be,' -
is an obsession.

'Embodied shall I be,' -
is an obsession.

'Disembodied shall I be,' -
is an obsession.

'I shall be conscious,' -
is an obsession.

'Unconscious shall I be,' -
is an obsession.

'Neither conscious nor unconscious shall I be,' -
is an obsession.

An obsession, Brethren, is lust.

An obsession is an imposthume.

An obsession is a barb.

Wherefore let your thought be:

'With heart unobsessed
will we abide.'

Thus must ye train yourselves.

'I am,' -
is vain imagining.[9]

'This am I,' -
is vain imagining.

'I shall be,' -
is vain imagining.

'I shall not be,' -
is vain imagining.

'Embodied shall I be,' -
is vain imagining.

'Disembodied shall I be,' -
is vain imagining.

'I shall be conscious,' -
is vain imagining.

'Unconscious shall I be,' -
is vain imagining.

'Neither conscious nor unconscious shall I be,' -
is vain imagining.

Vain imaginings, Brethren, are lust.

Vain imaginings are an imposthume.

Vain imaginings are a barb.

Wherefore let your thought be:

'With heart that has slain conceit
will we abide.'

Thus, Brethren, must ye train yourselves.

 


[1] Cf. K.S. i, 283 The sutta is there entitled 'Forbearance.'

[2] Mārisā. Comy., at S. i, 2 explains as 'they who are free from dukkha.'

[3] Sudhammaŋ devasabhaŋ

[4] Comy. 'In that they do not give me cause to weep.'

[5] Comy. 'In that they bind me like a jungle-hog with fivefold bondage, and make me sit here.'

[6] Comy. Taṇhā-diṭṭhi-māna. The first conceit here refers to taṇhā; the second to diṭṭhi; the third to sassata-diṭṭhi (etcrnalist view); the fourth to uccheda-diṭṭhi (the annihilationist view).

[7] Iñjitaŋ.

[8] Papañcitaŋ For papañca see Brethren, p. 343 n.

[9] Cf. K.S. i, 18 n Māna-gataŋ- = māna-pavatti. Comy.

 


[ed1] American English readers should understand that this means 'wheat'. Properly, as in English English, what Americans call 'corn' should be called 'maize'. Maize was not introduced into India (or so they say) until after it's discovery in America. (However that may have been as early as 300 A.D., by the Chinese who appear to have had active trade with the indians of Mexico as early or earlier than this date and they, in turn, also had active commerse with India at that time.)


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