Anguttara Nikaya


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A'nguttara-Nikaaya
III. Tikanipaata
VIII. Aananda Vagga

The Book of the
Gradual Sayings
or
More-Numbered Suttas

Part III
The Book of the Threes

Chapter VIII. Aananda Vagga

Sutta 80

Cuu.lanikaa Sutta.m

Abhibhu

Translated from the Pali by
F.L. Woodward, M.A.

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[206]

[1] Thus have I heard:[ed1]

Now the venerable Aananda went to see the Exalted One
and on coming to him
salauted him
and sat down at one side.

As he sat at one side he said this:

In the presence of the Exalted One, lord,
in his very presence
I have received this saying:

"Aananda, Abhibhu, the disciple of the Buddha Sikhin,[1]
standing in the Brahma world,
could make its thousand realms hear his voice."

Pray, lord, how far can the Arahant,
the Fully Enlightened One,
make his voice heard?'

'He was just a disciple,[2] Aananda.

Immeasurable are the Tathagatas.'

Then a second time the venerable Aananda said::

In the presence of the Exalted One, lord,
in his very presence
I have received this saying:

"Aananda, Abhibhu, the disciple of the Buddha Sikhin,
standing in the Brahma world,
could make its thousand realms hear his voice."

Pray, lord, how far can the Arahant,
the Fully Enlightened One,
make his voice heard?'

And a second time the Exalted one said:

'He was just a disciple,Aananda.

Immeasurable are the Tathagatas.'

Then a third time the venerable Aananda said::

In the presence of the Exalted One, lord,
in his very presence
I have received this saying:

"Aananda, Abhibhu, the disciple of the Buddha Sikhin,
standing in the Brahma world,
could make its thousand realms hear his voice."

Pray, lord, how far can the Arahant,
the Fully Enlightened One,
make his voice heard?'

Then answered the Exalted One:

2. 'Have you ever heard, Aananda,
of the system of the thousand lesser[3] worlds?'

'Now is the time for this, O Exalted One!

Now is the time for this, O Well-farer, -
for the Exalted One to speak!

Hearing the Exalted One
the monks will bear it in mind.'

[207] 'Then, Aananda,
do you listen.

Attend closely
and I will speak.'

'I will, lord,' replied the venerable Aananda
to the Exalted One,
who said:

3. 'As far as moon and sun move in their course
and light up all quarters with their radiance,
so far extends the thousandfold world-system.

Therein are a thousand moons,
a thousand suns,
a thousand Sinerus, lords of mountains:
a thousand Rose-Apple Lands,[4]
a thousand Western Ox-wainsa
thousand Northern Kurus,[5]
a thousand Eastern Videhas;[6]
four thousand mighty Oceans,
four thousand Mighty Ruler[7],
a thousand Four Great Rulers,[8]
a thousand heavens of the Thirty-Three,
a thousand Yama worlds,
a thousand heavens of the Devas of Delight,
a thousand heavens of the Devas that delight in creation,
the same of those Devas that delight in others' creations,
and a thousand Brahma worlds.

This, Aananda,
is called

"The system of the thousand lesser worlds."

A system a thousandfold the size of this
is called

"The Twice-a-thousand Middling Thousandfold World-system."

A system a thousandfold the size of this is called

"The Thrice-a-thousand Mighty Thousandfold World-system."

Now, Aananda, if he wished it,
the Tathagata could make his voice heard
throughout this last-named world-system,
or[9] even further,
if he chose.'

4. 'Pray, lord, how could that be done?

'In this connexion, Aananda,
the Tathagata suffuses with [208] radiance the Thrice-a-thousand Mighty Thousandfold World-system.

When its inhabitants perceive this,
then the Tathagata would give utterance
and make the sound heard.

That is how he would do it.'

5. At these words the venerable Aananda exclaimed to the venerable Udaayin:[10]

'It is indeed a gain for me!

Well gotten indeed by me it is
that my teacher is of such mighty power and majesty!'

Whereupon the venerable Udayin said to the venerable Aananda:

'What is it to you, friend Aananda,
that your teacher should be of such mighty power and majesty?

At these words the Exalted One said to the venerable Udayin:

'Say not so, Udayin!

Say not so, Udayin!

If Aananda were to make an end
without attaining perfect freedom from passion,[11]
yet by virtue of his heart of faith
he would seven times win rule among the Devas,
seven times would he win rule in this Rose-Apple Land.

Howbeit, Udayin, in this very life
Aananda shall attain to final passing away.'[12]

 


[1] The second of the seven traditional Buddhas. The reference is to a sermon at Savatthi, Arunavatii-Sutta, S. i, 154 (to which Comy. refers). Cf. K.S. i, 194. Sikhin had a pair of disciples, chief, elect, named Abhibhu and Sambhava ... (and Abhibhu said) 'I profess, lord, that using just such speech as if I were speaking in the midst of our Order, I am able, as I stand in the Brahma world, to make its thousand realms hear my voice.'

[2] Padesa-~naa.ne .thito (of partial knowledge).

[3] Cuu.lanilcaa loka-dhaatu. Comy. has cuu.lanii-l.

[4] Jambu-diipa, the southernmost of the four great continents, including India. The names following are those of continents, described at KhA. 123; SnA. ii, 443; As.l. 298 (Expos. ii, 392 ff.).

[5] Aparagoyaana, the western.

[6] Uttara-Kuruu, the northern.

[7] Pubba-videhaa, the eastern. These make up a cakkavaala with Mt. Meru in the midst, a flat-world-system. The list occurs again at A. v, 59. A map of a cakkavala will be found in Ceylon Buddhism, vol. ii, by D. J. Gogerly (Kegan Paul, 1908), described in vol. i, 19 ff.

[8] Mahaaraajaa, the four world-guardians. These 'spiritual' worlds are above those previously mentioned, which are still subject to sense-desires, and are sixteen in number.

[9] Reading yaavataa vaa pana for yaavataa pana of text.

[10] He is often with Aananda in Sa'nyutta Nikaaya.

[11] Viita-raaga.

[12] Parinibbaayiasati. This prophecy of A.'s winning Arahantship is fulfilled by the Commentators in describing the First Great Council after the Buddha's death.

 


[ed1] No Nidana is given. In the first sutta previously where the location is given it is for Aananda, who is then residing in Vesaalii, in the Great Grove, at the House with the Peaked Gable. The following suttas all begin with "There then ... ," So it is probably that Gotama was residing there or nearby. Sutta 73, however has him residing among the Saakyans near Kapilavatthu, in Banyan Park.


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