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Saɱyutta Nikāya,
V: Mahā-Vagga
47. Satipaṭṭhana Saɱyutta
2. Nālandā Vagga

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
The Great Chapter,
47: Kindred Sayings on the Stations of Mindfulness
Chapter II: Nālandā

Sutta 12

Nālandā Suttaɱ

Nālandā

Translated by F. L. Woodward

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[1][bodh] THUS have I heard:

Once the Exalted One was staying at Nālandā,[1] in Clothseller's Mango Grove.[2]

Now the venerable Sāriputta came to visit the Exalted One,
and on coming to him
saluted him
and sat down at one side.

So seated the venerable Sāriputta said this to the Exalted One:

"Lord, I have such faith in the Exalted One!

There never was, methinks,
nor shall be,
nor is there now existing
anyone, whether recluse or brahmin,
who is greater
or more accomplished,[3]
that is, in the higher wisdom!"[4]

Splendid,[5] indeed, Sāriputta,
is your bull-like utterance,[6]

You have laid hold of certainty.[7]

You have uttered a lion's roar,
in saying as you do,

'Lord I have such faith in the Exalted One!

There never was, methinks,
nor shall be,
nor is there now existing
anyone, whether recluse or brahmin,
who is greater
or more accomplished;
that is, in the higher wisdom!'

Come now, Sāriputta.

Those who in past time were Arahants,
fully Enlightened Ones, -
pray, have you seen
mind to mind[8]
with all those Exalted Ones
(so as to say of them):

'Such was the virtue of those Exalted Ones,
such the teachings of those Exalted Ones,
such their wisdom.

Thus they dwelt
and thus those Exalted Ones were released'?"

"Surely not, lord."

[139] Then again, Sāriputta,
those who shall be Arahants,
fully Enlightened Ones
in future times, -
pray, have you seen
mind to mind
with all those Exalted Ones,
so as to say of them:

'Such was the virtue of those Exalted Ones,
such the teachings of those Exalted Ones,
such their wisdom.

Thus they dwelt
and thus those Exalted Ones were released'?"

"Surely not, lord."

"Again, Sāriputta,
he who is now Arahant,
a fully Enlightened One, -
pray, is he seen
mind to mind
by you (so that you can say of him):

'Such is the virtue of the Exalted One,
such his teaching,
such his wisdom.

Thus and thus he dwells,
thus is that Exalted One released'?"

"Surely not, lord."

"So then, Sāriputta,
in this matter
you have no power of seeing
mind to mind
with these Arahants,
these fully Enlightened Ones,
whether in past or future or present time.

What then, Sāriputta,
is the meaning of your splendid bulllike utterance,
your laying hold of certainty,
your uttering of the lion's roar,
in saying:

'Lord, I have such faith in the Exalted One!

There never was, methinks,
nor shall be,
nor is there now existing
anyone, whether recluse or brahmin,
who is greater
or more accomplished;
that is, in the higher wisdom'?"

"True it is, lord,
as to those Arahants,
those fully Enlightened Ones,
whether in time past or future or present,
I have no power of seeing
mind to mind with them.

I only infer
from my knowledge
which is in accordance with the Norm.[9]

Suppose, lord, there is a border town[10]
with strong foundations,
strong walls and towers,
but a single gate,
and over that is set a warden,
wise,
shrewd
and watchful,
who keeps out strangers
and welcomes friends.

As he patrols all round that town
in order due
he might not mark a crevice in the [140] wall
or a hole just big enough for a cat to slip through,
but he would think:

'Whatsoever creatures of any size
enter this town
or go out therefrom,
all of them must enter
or go out
by this same gate.

Just so, lord, is my inference
from knowledge in accordance with the Norm.

Those, lord, who in time past were Arahants,
fully Enlightened Ones, -
all of those Exalted Ones,
by abandoning the five hindrances,
those corruptions of the heart
that weaken insight,
being well established
in the four stations of mindfulness,
by cultivating in very truth
the seven limbs of wisdom,
did attain enlightenment
in the unsurpassed perfect wisdom.

They, lord, who in future time,
will be fully Enlightened Ones, -
all of those Exalted Ones,
by abandoning the five hindrances,
those corruptions of the heart
that weaken insight,
being well established
in the four stations of mindfulness,
by cultivating in very truth
the seven limbs of wisdom,
will attain enlightenment
in the unsurpassed perfect wisdom.

The Exalted One, lord,
who even now is Arahant,
a fully Enlightened One,
by abandoning the five hindrances,
those corruptions of the heart
which weaken insight,
he, well established
in the four stations of mindfulness,
by cultivating in very truth
the seven limbs of wisdom,
is enlightened with the unsurpassed perfect wisdom."[11]

Well said, Sāriputta!

Well said, Sāriputta!

Wherefore, Sāriputta,
you should repeat this Norm-teaching
again and again
to monks and nuns,
to disciples,
both men and women;
and whatsoever silly fellows
have any doubt or perplexity about the Tathāgata,
when they hear my method of Norm-teaching,
all such doubt and perplexity
shall be abandoned.'

 


[1] In Magadha, once the seat of the famous university.

[2] Cf. K.S. iv, 67, etc. Comy. says the garden belonged to a rich seller of cloth (dussa-pāvārika-seṭṭhi). On hearing the Master teach he was delighted and, after fitting up the garden with hut-shelters and a pavihon, presented it. Like Jīvaka's Mango Grove it was thus called. This Sutta repeats that at D. ii, 81 = Dialog. 11, 87, iii, 95.

[3] Bhiyyo'bhiññataro.

[4] Sambodhi = arahatta-ñāṇaŋ. Comy.

[5] Uḷāraŋ = paṇītaŋ, seṭṭhaŋ, mahantaŋ Cf. VvA. 10, 11.

[6] Here āsabhi = usabhavācāya sadisā, acalā, asampavedhi. Comy.

[7] Ekaŋso gahito.

[8] Ceto-p'iriyāya-ñāṇaŋ.

[9] Dhammanvayo vidito. Comy. 'inferential knowledge (anumāna-ñāṇaŋ) proceeding in accordance with Norm-knowledge = naya-ggāho'

[10] Cf. D. ii, 33.

[11] The passage at D. is much longer and embraces the whole method of Norm-teaching.


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