Majjhima Nikaya


[Site Map]  [Home]  [Sutta Indexes]  [Glossology]  [Site Sub-Sections]

The Pali is transliterated as Velthuis (aaiiuu.m'n~n.t.d.n.l). Alternatives:
[ ASCII (aiumnntdnl) | IAST Unicode (āīūṃṅñṭḍṇḷ) ]

 

Majjhima Nikaaya
II. Majjhima-Pa.n.naasa
4. Raaja Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
II. The Middle Fifty Discourses
4. The Royal Division

Sutta 88

Baahitika Sutta.m

Discourse on the Foreign Cloth

Translated from the Pali by I.B. Horner, M.A.
Associate of Newham College, Cambridge
First Published in 1954

Copyright The Pali Text Society
Commercial Rights Reserved
Creative Commons Licence
For details see Terms of Use.

 


 

[1][chlm][upal] THUS have I heard:

At one time the Lord was staying near Saavatthii
in the Jeta Grove in Anaathapi.n.dika's monastery.

Then the venerable Aananda,
having dressed in the morning,
taking his bowl and robe
entered Saavatthii for almsfood.

When he had walked for almsfood in Saavatthii,
returning from the alms-gathering after the meal,
he approached the palace of Migaara's mother
and the Eastern [297] monastery
for the day-sojourn.

At that time King Pasenadi of Kosala,
having mounted the bull-elephant Ekapu.n.darika
(One-Lotus),
set forth from Saavatthii
in the early morning.

King Pasenadi saw the venerable Aananda
coming in the distance;
seeing him,
he addressed the chief minister, Siriva.d.dha, saying:

"Dear Siriva.d.dha, is not this the venerable Aananda?"

"Yes, sire, this is the venerable Aananda."

Then King Pasenadi addressed another man, saying:

"Come you, my good man,
approach the venerable Aananda;
in my name salute the venerable Aananda's feet with your head,
saying:

'Revered sir, King Pasenadi salutes the venerable Aananda's feet with his head,'

and then say:

'If, revered sir,
there is really nothing urgent to be done
by the venerable Aananda,
please, revered sir,
let the venerable Aananda wait for a moment
out of compassion.'"

"Yes, sire,"
and this man having answered King Pasenadi in assent,
approached the venerable Aananda;
having approached
and having greeted the venerable Aananda,
he stood at a respectful distance.

As this man was standing at a respectful distance,
he spoke thus to the venerable Aananda:

"Revered sir,
King Pasenadi of Kosala salutes the venerable Aananda's feet with his head,
and speaks thus:

'If, revered sir,
there is really nothing urgent to be done
by the venerable Aananda,
please, revered sir,
let the venerable Aananda wait for a moment
out of compassion.'"

The venerable Aananda consented
by becoming silent.

Then King Pasenadi,
having gone by the bull-elephant
as far as the ground was possible for the elephant,
having dismounted,
approached the venerable Aananda on foot;
having approached,
having greeted the venerable Aananda,
he stood at a respectful distance.

As he was standing at a respectful distance,
King Pasenadi spoke thus to the venerable Aananda:

"If, revered sir,
there is nothing urgent to be done
by the venerable Aananda,
it were good, revered sir,
that the venerable Aananda
should approach the bank of the river Aciravatii
out of compassion."

And the venerable Aananda consented
by becoming silent.

Then the venerable Aananda
approached the bank of the river Aciravatii;
having approached,
he sat down on a seat made ready
at the root of a tree.

Then King Pasenadi,
having gone by bull-elephant
as far as the ground was possible for the elephant,
having dismounted,
approached the venerable Aananda on foot;
having approached,
having greeted the venerable Aananda,
he stood at a respectful distance.

As he was standing at a respectful distance,
King Pasenadi spoke thus to the venerable Aananda:

"Now, revered sir,
let the venerable Aananda sit down on this elephant-rug."[1]

[298] "No, sire; you sit down,
I am sitting on a seat of my own."

King Pasenadi sat down on the prepared seat.

As King Pasenadi was sitting down,
he spoke thus to the venerable Aananda:

"Revered Aananda,
would the Lord engage not
in such bodily conduct[2]
as was offensive to[3] intelligent recluses and brahmans?"

"No, sire,
the Lord would not engage in such bodily conduct
as was offensive to intelligent recluses and brahmans."

"But, revered Aananda,
would the Lord engage not
in such conduct of speech
as was offensive to intelligent recluses and brahmans."

"No, sire,
the Lord would not engage in such conduct of speech
as was offensive to intelligent recluses and brahmans."

"But, revered Aananda,
would the Lord engage not
in such conduct of thought
as was offensive to intelligent recluses and brahmans."

"No, sire,
the Lord would not engage in such conduct of thought
as was offensive to intelligent recluses and brahmans."

"It is wonderful, revered sir,
it is marvellous, revered sir -
what I was not able to convey fully in a question
has been, revered sir, fully conveyed by the venerable Aananda
in answer to the question.

Revered sir, when those who are ignorant and inexperienced
speak in praise or dispraise of others
without test or scrutiny,[4]
we do not fall back on that
as the pith (of the matter).

But, revered sir,
when those who are wise,
experienced,
clever,
speak in praise or dispraise of others
after test and scrutiny,
we fall back on that
as the pith (of the matter).

But what, revered Aananda, is the bodily conduct
that is offensive
to intelligent recluses and brahmans?"

"Whatever the bodily conduct, sire,
that is unskilled."

"But what, revered sir,
is unskilled bodily conduct?"

"Whatever the bodily conduct, sire,
that has a blemish."

"But what, revered sir,
is the bodily conduct that has a blemish?"

"Whatever the bodily conduct, sire,
that is injurious."

"And what, revered sir,
is the bodily conduct that is injurious?'

"Whatever the bodily conduct, sire,
that is ill in result."

"And what, revered sir,
is the bodily conduct that is ill in result?"

"Whatever bodily conduct, sire,
conduces to torment of self
and conduces to torment of others
and conduces to torment of both,
and of which the unskilled states increase much,
the skilled states dwindle away -
bodily conduct such as this, sire,
is offensive to intelligent recluses and brahmans."

But what, revered Aananda, is the conduct of speech
that is offensive
to intelligent recluses and brahmans?"

"Whatever conduct of speech, sire,
that is unskilled."

"But what, revered sir,
is unskilled conduct of speech?"

"Whatever conduct of speech, sire,
that has a blemish."

"But what, revered sir,
is conduct of speech that has a blemish?"

"Whatever conduct of speech, sire,
that is injurious."

"And what, revered sir,
is conduct of speech that is injurious?'

"Whatever conduct of speech, sire,
that is ill in result."

"And what, revered sir,
is conduct of speech that is ill in result?"

"Whatever conduct of speech, sire,
conduces to torment of self
and conduces to torment of others
and conduces to torment of both,
and of which the unskilled states increase much,
the skilled states dwindle away -
conduct of speech such as this, sire,
is offensive to intelligent recluses and brahmans."

But what, revered Aananda, is the conduct of thought
that is offensive
to intelligent recluses and brahmans?"

"Whatever conduct of thought, sire,
that is unskilled."

"But what, revered sir,
is unskilled conduct of thought?"

"Whatever conduct of thought, sire,
that has a blemish."

"But what, revered sir,
is conduct of thought that has a blemish?"

"Whatever conduct of thought, sire,
that is injurious."

"And what, revered sir,
is conduct of thought that is injurious?'

"Whatever conduct of thought, sire,
that is ill in result."

"And what, revered sir,
is conduct of thought that is ill in result?"

"Whatever conduct of thought, sire,
conduces to torment of self
and conduces to torment of others
and conduces to torment of both,
and of which the unskilled states increase much,
the skilled states dwindle away -
conduct of thought such as this, sire,
is offensive to intelligent recluses and brahmans."

"Revered Aananda, does not the Lord praise
the getting rid of precisely all unskilled states?"

"The Tathaagata, sire,
has got rid of all unskilled states
and is endowed with skilled states."[5]

 


 

"But which, revered Aananda,
is the bodily conduct
that is not offensive to intelligent recluses and brahmans?"

"Whatever the bodily conduct, sire,
that is skilled."

"But what, revered sir,
is skilled bodily conduct?"

"Whatever the bodily conduct, sire,
that has no blemish."

"But what, revered sir,
is the bodily conduct that has no blemish?"

"Whatever the bodily conduct, sire,
that is non-injurious."

"And what, revered sir,
is the bodily conduct that is non-injurious?"

"Whatever the bodily conduct, sire,
that is joyous in result."

"And what, revered sir,
is the bodily conduct that is joyous in result?"

"Whatever bodily conduct, sire,
does not conduce to the torment of self
and does not conduce to the torment of others
and does not conduce to the torment of both,
and of which the unskilled states dwindle away,
the skilled states increase much -
bodily conduct such as this, sire,
is not offensive to intelligent recluses and brahmans."

"But which, revered Aananda,
is the conduct of speech
that is not offensive to intelligent recluses and brahmans?"

"Whatever conduct of speech, sire,
that is skilled."

"But what, revered sir,
is skilled conduct of speech?"

"Whatever conduct of speech, sire,
that has no blemish."

"But what, revered sir,
is conduct of speech that has no blemish?"

"Whatever conduct of speech, sire,
that is non-injurious."

"And what, revered sir,
is conduct of speech that is non-injurious?"

"Whatever conduct of speech, sire,
that is joyous in result."

"And what, revered sir,
is conduct of speech that is joyous in result?"

"Whatever conduct of speech, sire,
does not conduce to the torment of self
and does not conduce to the torment of others
and does not conduce to the torment of both,
and of which the unskilled states dwindle away,
the skilled states increase much -
conduct of speech such as this, sire,
is not offensive to intelligent recluses and brahmans."

"But which, revered Aananda,
is the conduct of thought
that is not offensive to intelligent recluses and brahmans?"

"Whatever conduct of thought, sire,
that is skilled."

"But what, revered sir,
is skilled conduct of thought?"

"Whatever conduct of thought, sire,
that has no blemish."

"But what, revered sir,
is conduct of thought that has no blemish?"

"Whatever conduct of thought, sire,
that is non-injurious."

"And what, revered sir,
is conduct of thought that is non-injurious?"

"Whatever conduct of thought, sire,
that is joyous in result."

"And what, revered sir,
is conduct of thought that is joyous in result?"

"Whatever conduct of thought, sire,
does not conduce to the torment of self
and does not conduce to the torment of others
and does not conduce to the torment of both,
and of which the unskilled states dwindle away,
the skilled states increase much -
conduct of thought such as this, sire,
is not offensive to intelligent recluses and brahmans."

"But, revered Aananda,
does the Lord praise the acquiring
of precisely all skilled states?"

"The Tathaagata, sire,
has got rid of all unskilled states
and is endowed with skilled states."

"It is wonderful, revered sir,
it is marvellous, revered sir,
how well spoken is this, revered sir,
by the venerable Aananda;
and we, revered sir,
are delighted and satisfied with the venerable Aananda's well spoken words.

Being thus delighted and satisfied, revered sir,
with the venerable Aananda's well spoken words,
we would give a [300] valuable elephant
to the venerable Aananda
if this, revered sir, were allowable
to the venerable Aananda,
we would give a valuable horse
if this, revered sir, were allowable
to the venerable Aananda,
we would give the boon of a village
if tis, revered sir, were allowable
to the venerable Aananda.

But then we know this, revered sir:

This is not allowable
to the venerable Aananda.

This piece of foreign cloth,[6] revered sir,
inserted into the shaft of a sunshade,
has been sent to me
by King Ajaatasattu of Magadha, the son of (the lady) Videhii
in length it is equal to sixteen (hands[7]),
in breadth to eight (hands).

Revered sir,
let the venerable Aananda accept it
out of compassion."

"No, sire,
I am complete as to the three robes."

"Revered sir, after a great storm
has rained down on the high mountain slopes,
both you and I have seen
how at such a time
the river Aciravati rushes along
overflowing both its banks[8] -
even so, revered sir, the venerable Aananda
can make a set of three robes for himself
from this piece of foreign cloth;
and the venerable Aananda can distribute
his old set of three robes
among his fellow Brahma-farers.

So will this gift of faith of ours
go on with an overflow, methinks.

Revered sir, let the venerable Aananda
accept this piece of foreign doth."

And the venerable Aananda
accepted the piece of foreign cloth.

Then King Pasenadi spoke thus to the venerable Aananda:

"If it please you,
we are going now, revered sir,
we are very busy,
there is much to be done."

"You must do now, sire,
that for which you deem it the right time."

Then King Pasenadi,
having rejoiced in what the venerable Aananda had said,
giving thanks,
rising from his seat
and greeting the venerable Aananda,
departed
keeping his right side towards him.

Then not long after King Pasenadi had departed,
the venerable Aananda approached the Lord;
having approached,
having greeted the Lord,
he sat down at a respectful distance.

As he was sitting down at a respectful distance
the venerable Aananda told the Lord
the whole of the conversation
he had had with King Pasenadi,
and he handed that piece of foreign cloth to the Lord.

Then the Lord addressed the monks, saying:

"Monks, it is a gain for King Pasenadi,
[301] it is well gotten by King Pasenadi
that he achieved a sight of Aananda,
that he achieved a paying of homage to him."

Thus spoke the Lord;
delighted, these monks rejoiced in what the Lord had said.

Discourse on the Foreign Cloth:
The Eighth

 


[1] See above, p. 259, n. 3.

[2] As at Vin. ii. 248.

[3] Or, a slur on, opaarambha. MA. iii. 346, explaining as uparambha'm dosam aaropanaraho, refers to the story of the murderous wanderers at Ud. IV. 8.

[4] Cf. A. i. 89, ii. 3, 84.

[5] A reference is intended here to: yathaakaari tathaavaadi, as he does so he speaks (D. iii. 135).

[6] baahitikaa. MA. iii. 347 says it is the name of a cloth or garment, vattha, produced outside the kingdom.

Hattha = Hasta = cubit. Being 'hand' it would not be of sufficient measure to make up the three robes. 16 X 8 hands = @ 11X5.5 feet; the one outer robe needing 6X4 cubits = @ 9X6 feet. 16X8 cubits = 24X12 feet. But that is an unusually large piece of cloth. On the other hand the whole idea is that the value of the cloth is in it's uniqueness. Such a large measure of cloth fitting into the shaft of an umbrella. Plus we don't know the diamater of the shaft, but this sort of skilled craftsmanship was practiced at the time. e.g., a needle case that was as fine as a fine needle and strong enough to be driven through a sheet of iron.

p.p. explains it all - p.p.

[7] So MA. iii. 347 and cf. Miln.. 317. Hattha ia more correctly hand and forearm.

[8] Cf. Miln. 36.

 


Contact:
E-mail
Copyright Statement