Anguttara Nikaya


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Sacred Books of the Buddhists
The Book of the Discipline,
Volume V Cullavagga
Khandhaka V. On Minor Matters

Chapter 6

Translated from the Pali by I.B. Horner, M.A.

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[1][wood][piya][than] Now at that time a certain monk, bitten by a snake, passed away.[1]

They told this matter to the lord.

He said: "Monks, this monk certainly did not suffuse with loving-kindness of mind the four royal snake families.

For if, monks, this monk had suffused with loving-kindness of mind the four royal snake families, then this monk, although bitten by a snake, would not have passed away.

What are the four royal snake families?

The royal snake family of Virüpakkha,[2] the royal snake family of Erāpatha, the royal snake family of Chabyāputta, the royal snake family of Kaṇhāgotamaka.

Monks, this monk certainly did not suffuse with loving-kindness of mind these four royal snake families.

For if, monks, this monk had suffused with loving-kindness of mind these four royal snake families, then this monk, although bitten by a snake, would not have passed away.

Monks, I allow you to suffuse with lovingkindness of mind these four royal snake families, (and) to make a charm[3] for the self for self-protection, for self-guarding.

And thus, monks, should it be made:

Love from me for the Virüpakkhas,[4]
Love from me for the Erapathas,
Love from me for the Chabyaputtas,
Love from me for the Kanhagotamakas.

Love from me for the footless,
Love for the two-footed from me,
Love from me for the four-footed,
Love for the many-footed from me.

Do not let the footless harm me,
Do not let the two-footed harm me,
Do not let the four-footed harm me,
Do not let the many-footed harm me.

May all beings, all breathers, all creatures every one,
See all lucky things;[5] may no evil whatever come.

Immeasurable is the Awakened One, immeasurable dhamma, immeasurable the Order.
Limited are creeping things: snakes, scorpions, centipedes, spinning spiders, lizards, mice.

A protection has been made by me, a charm made by me;
Let the creatures withdraw.
I, even I, honour the Lord,
I honour the seven fully self-awakened Ones.'

I allow you, monks, to let blood.[6]"2 || 6 ||

 


[1] Cf. A. ii. 72 (which lays the scene in Sāvatthī) and Jā. li. 144-7.

[2] Cf. G.S. ii. 82, 11. 1. Virūpakkha is also the name of one of the Four Great Kings, the regent of the western quarter and lord of the Nāgas.

[3] On parittā, charm, spell, rune, and mettā-bhāvanā, cf. Mrs. Rhys Davids, Dial. iii. 185 f., Sakya, 221 ff. Above reading is attaparitaṃ kātuṃ; at A. 11. 72 it is attaparittāya, "for self-warding."

[4] Loving-kindness or love, mettā, and the three other modes of the brahmavihāras are transferred from the mind of the suffuser to that of the being who is suffused or infused.

[5] sabbe bhadrāni passantu. Cf. D. ii. 89, sadā bhadrāni passati.

[6] Allowed also at Vin. i 205.


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