Anguttara Nikaya


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A'nguttara-Nikaaya
Pa~ncaka-Nipaata
IV. Sumanaa Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fives
IV: Sumanaa

Sutta 34

Siihasenaapati Sutta.m

Siiha, the General[1]

Translated by E. M. Hare

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[38] [31]

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

Once the Exalted One dwelt near Vesaalii,
at the Gabled Hall, in Mahaavana;
and there general Siiha paid him a visit,
saluted him,
and sat down at one side.

So seated, the general said to the Exalted One:

"Is it possible, lord,
to show the visible result of giving?"

"It is possible, Siiha," and the Exalted One said:

"The almsgiver, Siiha,
the liberal man,
is good and dear to many folk;
since he is so, Siiha,
this is the visible result of giving.

Again, the good and wise follow him;
since they do so, Siiha
this is the visible result of giving.

Again, a good report concerning him goes about;
since such occurs, Siiha,
this is the visible result of giving.

Again, whatever company he enters,
be it of nobles,
brahmans,
householders
or recluses,
he enters with confidence
and untroubled;[2]
since he does so, Siiha,
this is the visible result of giving.

Again, the almsgiver,
the liberal man,
on the breaking up of the body after death,
is reborn in the happy heaven world;
since that is so, Siiha,
it is hereafter the result of giving."

When he had thus spoken,
general Siiha said to the Exalted One:

"Lord, those four visible results of giving
declared by the Exalted One -
not as to them go I by faith in the Exalted One;
I just know those things.

Lord, I am a giver,
a liberal man,
and am good and dear to many folk;
many good and wise men follow me;
a good report concerning me goes about.

People say:

'General Siiha is an almsgiver,
a worker and a servant of the Order;
whatever company of nobles,
brahmans,
householders
or recluses,
I eater,
I do so with confidence
and untroubled.

I do not go by faith in the Exalted One
in regard to these things,
I just know them.

But when the Exalted One says to me:

'Siiha, a giver,
a liberal man,
on the breaking up of the body after death,
is reborn in the happy heaven-world -
it is this that I do not know,
and it is herein
that I go by faith in the Exalted One.'"

"It is even so, Siha, it is verily just as you say:

A giver, Siiha,
a liberal man,
on the breaking up of the body after death,
is reborn in the happy heaven-world.

Good is the giver, folk will follow him,
Fame he attains and honours grow; 'mong men
He walks untroubled, being liberal
And confident. Wherefore the wise give gifts;
They put aside the stain of stinginess
And, seeking bliss, long in the Thrice-Ten[3] stay,
Finding delight in deva-fellowship.

Th' occasion made, the good deed done, hence fare
They on, self-radiant devas, wandering
In Nandana,[4] glad, happy and content
Amid the fivefold pleasures of the sense,
Joyed in the teachings of the Unattached,[5]
In heaven disciples of the Man Well-gone.'

 


[1] He was general of the Licchavis, whose capital was Vesalii, and who built this hall for the Buddha; they belonged to a confederacy; see Buddh. India. Siiha was much given to questions like these; Cf. A. iv, 79ff. He was originally a supporter of the Jains.

[2] Ama'nkubhuuto.

[3] Tidive; in Theragaatha, ver. 534, tidivasmi, one of the names for the next world.

[4] A grove in the heaven of the Thirty Devas; see K.S. i, 8 n., v, 296, where such joy is said to be the lot of a raajaa-cakka-vattii; or it may be a grove in another group of devas, for sabba-devalokesu hi Nandana-vana.m atthi yeva (J. i, 49). In the Tusita grove of this name the Bodhisatta waited prior to rebirth.

[5] Asita: the quotation from the Comy. in the text note should read ani-, not ati-; see Brethren, 404 n. 2 on this word.


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