THE: BOOK OF THE KINDRED SAYINGS

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INTRODUCTORY NOTES

This is the second volume which Mr. Woodward has added to the two for which I am responsible. I welcome its completion and greatly appreciate the quality of the translation. I find it both accurate and alive. And discounting the somewhat greater space taken in the Pali text by footnotes, we have here a volume of 283 pages reproducing one of 403 pages without the omission of any of the subject-matter whatever, nor of a single characteristic phrase. Nothing has been omitted save repetitions. Where these occur is duly noted. I have met readers who demur to such omissions. They have found a certain aesthetic pleasure of repercussion in the Pali refrains, even in a modern translation. I would only point out that such omissions are often met with in palm-leaf manuscripts. Hence they are sanctioned by the Buddhist Sangha. And so far as I can gather, Buddhist monks no longer memorize many books, so as to be able, as they read or recite, to fill in these omissions without referring to the text. (The laity apparently does not read its scriptures.) The English reader is therefore not asked to do more than the Buddhist monk is prepared to do.

There are only two terms recurring in the book I should prefer to have seen changed. One is 'brother, brethren,' for 'bhikkhu, -ū.' I may seem captious; I am certainly recanting, since I led off with the rendering, herein following my husband's lead.[1] I have now learnt more. The rendering is historically misleading. No man at that time called his fellow-man 'brother.' Even a blood-brother was 'tata.' The word 'bhātar' was there, had the need been there. The monk called the laywoman 'sister' (bhaginī). But he called the nun (as nuns did inter se) 'ayyā' (lady). And he called his fellow-monks 'āvuso,' a contracted altered form of 'āyasmant,' [vi] 'venerable.'[2] So little was any modern sense of brotherhood worded in the Order! So little was that Order or Sangha, religious or lay, worded as a 'Confraternity'!

To render 'bhikkhu' by 'priest,' as is done in Ceylon, is also misleading. It is true that literally 'priest' and 'thera' mean 'elder.' But only some bhikkhus are theras, nor does bhikkhu mean for the Buddhist what priest means for the Christian. The priest could never be described as 'the supreme field of merit for the laity.'[3] Nor does the bhikkhu, with the priest, 'celebrate a sacrifice.' A bhikkhu comes nearest to the Christian friar, cleric, monk. A few Europeans object to calling him monk, albeit I have not found Asiatics siding with them. The one is as much 'under orders' as is the other. And the life-pledge is not of the essence of monkhood. Both have returned to 'the world,' under stress of circumstances or altered convictions. And whereas I know little about their present status, I find that in the past such bhikkhus were virtually proscribed as 'having turned towards the base,' or 'low' (hīna).[4] Morally they were judged to be as much life-pledged as any Christian monk, whatever they may be now.

But there is the word 'almsman,' which is etymologically much closer to bhikkhu than any other. Bhikkhu in its 'first intention' is 'scrapman,' 'broken-food-er.'[5] Exegetically he is also connected with spiritual breakages, to wit, of sinful hindrances, but the literal meaning will unquestionably have been the original designation of the world-forsaker:

Pleased with what scraps his bowl is filled
(so'jja bhaddo sātātiko 'uñchapattāgate rato').[6]

Hence there is no need to leave the word untranslated, or to use, forestalling man's growth, the word 'brother.' If I now use 'monk,' it is not because of etymological equivalence, for monk means the lone one, and the monk, and the bhikkhu too, for that matter, were for the most part cenobites. Only [vii] the minority have ever been true anchorets. It is because in all essentials the monk and the bhikkhu were and are the same. We, to whom Buddhism has meant and still means much, have not faced this fact squarely enough.

The other dubious rendering is 'rebirth' for 'bhava' literally 'becoming,' to which I am coming.

To come to the subject-matter of these ten sets of 'kindred sayings' now made accessible to the general reader, I here submit a brief comment on a few of the more striking features.

1. Monk-world and Lay-world. - It is worth the reader's while to note the contrast in the mandate addressed to each, in Part I on the one hand, and Parts VII and VIII on the other. Perhaps no section of the Pali scriptures is so markedly by and for the monk as Part I: Sayings on the five senses and mind as engaged with them. There is here no psychological interest, such as was glanced at in a preceding collection. Sense and mind are shown solely as being the chief factors in an all-encompassing world of Ill besetting not man only, but 'beings.' We are not told that this constitutes 'life' (jīvita), as we should word it. We here and there find it called 'faring on ' (saṃsāra).[7] We oftener find it called 'becoming,' that is, bhava - a truer translation than 'being.' 'The world,' we read, 'has the state of changing, is a becoming-being, delights in becoming '(aññathābhāvī bhavasatto loko bhavam ev'abhinandati).[8] Now this becoming, and the joy in it, is what the monk saw as ill, and is what he made it his business here and elsewhere to condemn. 'Becoming' he more usually called 'again-becoming' (puna-bbhava), and his aim professedly was so to become, in any one span of life, as to get rid of all subsequent becoming. 'Becoming' expressed itself through sense and mind; 'again-becoming' was the natural sequel to this self-expression. Hence the work of sense and mind was 'ill.'[9] The world, the 'all,' the everything that it implied [viii] was ill.[10] Not to work was better.[11] Nirvana was the stopping of becoming.[12]

In these terms is shown in this collection the sharp contrast between the man of the world, nay, of the worlds, and the Buddhist monk. And the man is proved to be right, the monk wrong. Mankind does not now look to the monk-world for help. Help came to it in Gotama, whose teaching about sense, if we may credit as more truly his the personal talk to Uttara,[13] was not the suppression, but the development, literally the making-to-become, of sense and mind by way of what we now can, as he could not, call 'will.' And the later new mandates to man, which we call gospels, were not revealed to monk-worlds. Man's salvation lies in his nature being a 'bhava,' a becoming. Sense and mind are the means thereto. The worlds beyond the grave of any one span of life are the means thereto. Not to his hope of ultimate perfect becoming belongs the shrivelled cosmic and human outlook superimposed upon the founder's teaching by the influence of its monastic vehicle. This was not, as is sometimes said, the ancient Indian outlook. That outlook too was a 'becoming' thing. When Buddhism arose, the sense of 'Ill' was darkening it already.

When we turn to the collections of the Chitta and Headmen Sayings[14] we are in a largely different atmosphere. Though we still see through a monastic medium, we are now contemplating the facts in the life of man-as-becoming - the facts of life with unsuppressed faculties, of death, of the hereafter, of the man as choosing, willing, working, growing. It is crudely, not too worthily, worded. There is no clear call anywhere that any one stage of life is but an opportunity for growth in the great Way of the worlds. But it is saner, and we are in the open air. Here we find not that body and mind are ill, and their ceasing to be devoutly hoped for. Here is the founder shown shepherding his fellow-men to believe: 'This world is. The world beyond is. ... Parents are, and [ix] beings of the next world, and teachers realizing both worlds ... and I, if I live wisely and well, shall be reborn in the happy beyond. ... But if I do not so live, then nothing that well wishers may say to or of me will bring me there.'[15]

Here do we feel near to Gotama! Here is his Magga,[16] the Way, and Man the wayfarer. How absurd, in face of such pages, appear the opinions of persons who will not carefully read them, that Buddhism was originally a system of ethics with no call for faith in the unseen, and a metaphysic centring in the unreality of man or self!

Conflating Consciousness (Viññāṇa) with 'Mind' or the 'man' himself is an incorrect understanding of this term. The word stands for 'individualized consciousness'.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

2. The Man, the Unrevealed, and Suicide. - But the Sangha not only decentralized the Way, but also dropped from it the wayfarer. Buddhaghosa very aptly said, when discussing Jhāna as way for access to the unseen, 'there is a way when there is a wayfarer.'[17] Yet it was he more than anyone who, for the Buddhism of today, drove the final nail into the coffin of 'the man.' In this volume's contribution to Buddhism's thesaurus of parables, some of them very notable, we may see both stages of teaching - that where the 'man' is not thrust out and that where he is. In the composite parable of the Snake,[18] the climax is when the man (purisa), toiling on the raft of the Way, leaves the hither shore of things bodily and mental and, as brāhmana, i.e. 'a worthy man,' reaches and stands upon the further shore of the Way to the Goal. Here is clearly explained 'man' surviving the loss of the body-cum-mind of the world he has left. But in the equally notable parable of the 'six-gated border-town,'[19] the mind (viññāṇa) sits as lord of the town at the four-ways, usurping the place of him whose instrument it is. The Pitaka editors did not discern that, in dethroning the worther and replacing [x] him by the process of worthing, they were virtually creating a new worther. They were making the 'minding' the 'mind-er'!

It is no fit retort to say this was parable-talk for the many, and that the unreality of the man, or attan, was philosophical truth. It is not the many, but a single monk who is being instructed, and there is nothing to show that he was without culture. And the distinction in teaching, referred to in the retort, does not appear till the later date of the Milinda Questions.[20] It is not in keeping with Gotama's repudiation of the closed fist[21] or esoteric teaching of the professional teacher, nor with his parable here of the three qualities of soil for the seed sown.[22] The teaching, he is made to say, is the same in each quality of hearer. The one may hear and grow much, another hardly at all.

The dethronement of the man (puggala, attan) and the enthronement in his place of his instrument, mind, appear to have been the joint work of (a) a protestant attitude against the brahmin's confounding the real with the unchanging, and (b) of the new fascination of the study of mind apart from the man, inaugurated by the so-called Sānkhya teaching of Kapila The latter affirmed 'the man' (purusa), but sharply severed him from his mind and body. And Gotama from the first warned men that these two were not the man, not the self, not 'of you,' not you.[23] And he brought in the pregnant, new idea, that the self changes, grows, can be made to become, that it is not eternally the same. But the anti-brahmin attitude and the new psychology combined distorted his warning into the curious position that the 'you' is nonexistent, that there is only body and mind, a position strangely akin to our own temporary 'man'-less outlook.

One of the sinister effects of this dropping of the 'man' was the condoning in certain cases of suicide. A third occurs in this volume.[24] There is no suggestion whatever that Channa was sacrificing himself to save others, as when a man [xi] drops off an overcrowded raft in shipwreck, or goes out ill into a deadly Arctic blizzard no more to imperil his comrades' advance. Channa judged that, being rid of desire for more 'becoming,' he could safely end his own sufferings. It did not occur to him or his world that, as 'man' (not body or mind) in a stage of wayfaring toward the inconceivable Consummation, it was his to use the opportunities of the Way in his stage of it, but not to cut them off at will. These Buddhist suicides are indications of man's orphaned state in India, orphaned in respect of knowledge of his own nature and any worthy conception of the Highest[25] and the Goal thereto. A man had come to it with the Dhamma of immanent Deity:

I lay no wood, brahmin, for fires on altars.
Only within burneth the fire I kindle.
Ever my fire burns; ever tense and ardent
I arahant live the life of God-faring.[26]

But men understood it not, and they make him sanction the unworthy act of the poor little sufferer.

It may well have been the little understanding he met with that made Gotama's teaching so notable for its silences. We saw this in the Lakkhaṇa Collection.[27] We see it here in the silence with Vacchagotta.[28] His message involved much that was new: the idea of man the wayfarer himself choosing the right way by heeding That Who was within him as prompting his will, his choice - the Dhamma of the 'ought-to-be,' the 'may-be,' the 'coming-to-be' - which called no less for faith to accept it than did any vision of the Unseen otherwise conceived. Words for the new were not always at hand; words that were might be misconstrued. The unwise reasons assigned for his silences are only convincing in the light of these difficulties. On the contrary, it would conduce greatly to better, wiser living[29] to have a truly inspired man, let alone an all-knower, reveal the mysteries of life. It has helped many, however [xii] deaf the majority has remained. But in Gotama's day the many were unfit to receive more than this: that the good life meant salvation hereafter, and was within the reach, from within, of every man and woman.

3. Gotama and Magic. - 'All-knower' Gotama will hardly have been to his world, even at his maximum vigour. 'Sabbaññu-Buddha' was a title of later date, and the attribute 'omniscient,' in Sutta verses[30] and in Abhidhamma,[31] the homage of idealizing after-worshippers. At Vesālī, for instance, the important centre, where most likely he first resorted on leaving home, to learn of and follow Jain austerities - the one town to which he turned to bid a last farewell[32] - it was a debatable opinion whether he had any mandate of a 'superhuman' kind.[33] But we not seldom find him described as iddhimā, i.e. having psychic power, and māyāvī, i.e. exercising conjurer's 'magic.'

It is fairly obvious that the latter ascription is the sceptical interpretation of the former attribute made by those who disbelieved in him, or who feared him.[34] No unprejudiced reader can fail to see, that even after discounting later tendencies to magnify and make more wonderful, we have in Gotama a man who was what is now called psychically sensitive. It is scarcely wise to describe him as a mystic, for the word is ambiguous. 'Union with God,' or 'with the Absolute,' is here no just definition. But if we are to cut out from the records of him, as implausible, all that may be called access to the unseen, to wit, clairvoyance, clairaudience, telepathy, iddhi (or superwill), hypnotism, we may, I grant, retain intact the centre of Gotama's mandate, but we shall lop off the entire Left wing. (I say 'Left wing' deliberately; our new terms above, far more apt with the one exception of [xiii] iddhi than any known to Buddhists, justify me.) Here I go no further into the matter.[35] For readers of these collections the historical interest involved lies in this: that psychic powers, once the monopoly perhaps of the Rishis, or ascetic seers, of a former day,[36] and also of some among the brahmins,[37] - nor should we omit the conjurer[38] - are in these volumes claimed to be known to, and practised by, some in the 'protestant, dissenting' world of the men[39] and women first called Sakya-sons, and among these by its founder.

4. Woman. - The little collection about Womankind, taken with its pendant, Collection No. V,[40] on Sisters, i.e. Nuns, lends to this third (or Saŋyutta-) Nikāya the special interest in this connection that attaches also to the Vinaya[41] and to the Anthology.[42] Had there been no forward movement among women in the day and also in the will of the founder, we should have found no distinct chapters on women, let alone by women, at all. To repeat a phrase just used, it was only a movement of the Left, hence the two sections are very small. And whereas the women in the Order, although technically juniors to all monks, reveal in these sections an ability to think, decide, and express themselves not inferior to the men, the lay-women of 'Mother-village,'[43] as in Pali they came to be called, are not allowed to speak for themselves. They are herded by the monastic editor, with or without the men with whom they fit,[44] in a few rough, not over-wise generalizations. The one notable Saying about the attitude of sex to sex in general - that monks should develop towards them the attitude as toward mother, sister, daughter[45] - is here omitted. [xiv] Nor is any woman admonished to develop the corresponding attitude towards men.

But the last Saying in this collection (p. 168) is notable enough to give distinction to all these collections: that on Ariyan Growth (Ariya-vaḍḍhi). We shall await with no small interest what the Commentary, which Mr. Woodward is editing for us, may tell us about the occasion for it. Vaḍḍhi and bhāvanā were the two words ready to hand,[46] had Buddhist monasticism really grasped the priceless New Word committed to it, namely, that man, the very man (not body and mind only) is in ceaseless process of change and becoming. Here in a very corner of its scriptures comes a sound -

0 hark! 0 hear! how thin and clear,
And thinner, clearer, farther going ...

"Why should Anicca ever be harnessed to ill?"
This is the argument of the sensualist: i.e. "We need the bad to experience the good." Why anicca is harnessed to ill is because we do not like to die (to give the extreme point in change). Death is change, Death is Ill (dukkha). That is the harness.
The argument that without change one could not grow is to be thinking that it is as human that one is to grow. That is not the case. One is to out-grow 'being.' The use of desire to escape desire is a mechanism that is well explained.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

of true teaching, showing what might have been made of Anicca and Bhava. Why should Anicca ever be harnessed to ill? Were man not at any given moment changing, he could not become, he could not grow. The new man is not always the better man, but the better man is always the new man. And here too we have not the very man, the man-in-man who is woman too, dethroned and mind, or 'aggregates' substituted; we have 'the woman' who grows, 'the woman' who wins the essential, the better! What lost opportunities does not the Saying reveal!

5. The Six Nidana Places. - A word more, in continuance of what I put forward in my introductory note to volume three, on Sayings beginning, not in the usual way, but with just Sāvatthī nidanaṃ. What I have to say would come better in the next, the last volume, but I would say it while I can.

The meaning is that when an honest repeater of the story sets down the fact hat it was heard in such a way by him, that it was delivered by a certain person at a certain place under certain circumstances, that is sufficient to carry a seer to that place in time such as to experience the story as if first hand. The word means 'Woven'; our 'Weaving a spell' or 'cast' as in 'casting a spell' and is literally 'down-bound' being adopted from the word for the first knot in the process of weaving a rug. It does not mean 'collected at' or 'from the repository of' or 'occasion' for that matter.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

Sāvatthī is not the only 'nidana' in the Kindred Sayings. There are in all six such institutions or repositories, and there are references to them at the beginning of eighty-five Sayings. They occur in this proportion:

Nidāna In
Vol.
# of times
Sāvatthī nidānaṃ i 25
Sāvatthī nidānaṃ ii 3
Sāvatthī nidānaṃ iii
Sāvatthī nidānaṃ iv 8
Sāvatthī nidānaṃ v 35 = 71 times
Rājagaha nidānaṃ i 1
Sāketa nidānaṃ v 2
Benares nidānaṃ ii 3
Kapilavatthu nidānaṃ v 6
Pāṭaliputta (Patna) nidānaṃ v 2 = 14 times

I give these places and numbers (without revising the latter), not to build upon them any premature theorizing, but to facilitate future research in the matter of how and where and when the Sayings were collected and edited. Mr. Woodward has here rendered nidāna by 'occasion' (p. 23). The more usual commentarial term is uppatti. But nidāna appears to be so used by Dhammapala in his Udana Commentary, edited recently by Mr. Woodward, and on the other hand I have no textual support for reading nidhāna. Let it lie awhile. I do not yet relinquish the belief that nidāna here refers to the source of the deposited[47] and transmitted record (whatever the form it bore when the Nikāya was finally compiled), and not to the original scene of the original utterance. Meanwhile it is of interest to note that Patna nidāna is found only in the fifth volume. In Dialogues ii, 92, we are shown Patna as a village with all its future as a metropolis before it.

I set out to be very brief, and lo! the many words. This one word more: - great is our debt to the labourer, gifted, genial, patient, accurate, trustworthy, who has here placed within our reach more knowledge about that old-world movement, concerning which many knowing very little, have written much. Great will one day prove to be his merit!

C. A. F. RHYS DAVIDS.
CHIPSTEAD,
September, 1927.

 


[1] The translator follows the lead in his independent selection: Some Sayings of Buddha, 1925.

[2] Translated in this work by 'friend.'

[3] E.g., i, 282 f.

[4] Below, pp. 63, 123, etc.

[5] E.g., Vibhanga, p. 245.

[6] Psalms of the Brethren, verse 843 ff.

[7] E.g., below, p. 98: 'round of rebirth.'

[8] Below, p. 12; cf. 174. It is to me a pitiful tragedy to see Sāriputta, Gotama's right hand, made to call the Founder's Way the means for abandoning becoming.

[9] Below, i, 1 passim.

[10] Below, p. 8.

[11] Ibid., p. 85; Kamma = work = action.

[12] K.S. ii, 82.

[13] Further Dialogues ii, Sutta 152.

[14] Beiow. Pts. VII, VIII.

[15] Pp. 253, 218-20; cf. Dialogues i, 309 f.

[16] P. 231. This is the only occurrence of the 'First Sermon,' except that in the Vinaya, and it is spoken to a layman.

[17] Commentary on Dhammasangani, p. 164; Expositor i, 218: 'paṭipada nām'esa, paṭipannake sati.' ('Progress arises when there is a person progressing.')

[18] Below, p. 107 f. The word 'brahmin' was often used in the Sayings to mean 'saint.' Cf. K.S. i, 2, 67, n. 2.

[19] Ibid., p. 126.

[20] Questions of Kg. Milinda (S.B.E.) i, 226.

[21] Dialogues ii, 107.

[22] P. 221 f.

[23] See below, pp. 48, 83, 271; vol. iii, 33.

[24] P. 30 f.; cf. K.S. i, 150; iii, 101 f.

[25] Cf. below, p. 269.

[26] Brahma-cariya (worsened in time to mean celibacy!) See vol.i, 212.

[27] Vol. ii, 170.

[28] P. 281; cf. p. 272.

[29] Further Dialogues i, 306 (Mālunkya Sutta).

[30] E.g., Vin. Texts i, 90; Further Dialogues i, 121; 340 (Gotama repudiates the attribute); Anguttara ii, 24 (trs. in my Buddhism, 225), etc.

[31] E.g., Designation of Human Types, pp. 21, 97.

[32] Dialogues ii, 131.

[33] E.g., Further Dialogues i, 45.

[34] Below, p. 244; Further Diahgues i, 269; 'cozening person' = literally an illusionist, the usual word for 'conjurer' (māyāvī).

[35] More in my Dhyāna in Early Buddhism, Ind. Hist. Quarterly, December, 1927, and more to come.

[36] Cf., e.g., Further Dialogues i, 271; here called 'sages.'

[37] Dialogues i, 15 ff.

[38] K.S. iii, 120.

[39] Cf. below, the unworthy exhibition by Mahaka and the experience of the worthy Citta (pp. 198, 210).

[40] Ibid. i, p. 160 ff.

[41] Bhikkhunī's, Duties of, and Pātimokkha.

[42] Psalms of the Sisters.

[43] Mātu-gāma (women-'kind,' or -'world'). It is not a derogatory term.

[44] George Eliot: 'God ... made'em to fit the men.' (Mill on the Floss.)

[45] Below, p. 68.

[46] Buddhaghosa equates them, Expositor i, 217.

[47] Cf. K.S. ii, 203: 'Nidāna is a kāraṇa in that it stores up (nideti) the result, then as if saying "here, take it!" makes it go.' Commentary on the Sutta 'Nidāna,' S. ii, XIV, 2, Ī 12.


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