Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikaaya
II. Majjhima-Pa.n.naasa
5. Braahma.na Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
II. The Middle Fifty Discourses
5. The Division on Brahmans

Sutta 91

Brahmaayu Sutta.m

Discourse with Brahmaayu

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

At one time the Lord was walking on tour in Videha
together with a large Order of monks,
with as many as five hundred monks.

Now at that time the brahman Brahmaayu was living in Mithilaa.

He was worn,
old,
full of years,
he had lived his span
and was at the close of his life,
a hundred and twenty years of age;
he was master[1] of the three Vedas,[2]
versed in the vocabularies and rituals
together with the phonology and exegesis[3]
and the legendary tradition as the fifth;
he was learned in idioms,
a grammarian,
proficient in popular philosophy
and the marks of a Great Man.[4]

The brahman Brahmaayu heard:

"Verily the recluse Gotama,[5]
son of the Sakyans,
having gone forth from the Sakyan clan,
is walking on tour in Videha
together with a large Order of monks,
with as many as five hundred monks.

The most lovely report has gone abroad thus
concerning this revered[6] Gotama:

'He is indeed Lord,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One,
endowed with knowledge and (right) conduct,
Well-farer,
knower of the worlds,
the matchless charioteer of men to be tamed,
teacher of devas and mankind,
the Awakened One,
the Lord.

Having realised through his own super-knowledge,
he makes known this world
together with devas
including the Maaras and the Brahmaas;
creatures
together with recluses and brahmans,
with devas and mankind.

He teaches [318] dhamma
that is lovely at the beginning,
lovely in the middle
and lovely at the ending;
he explains with the spirit and the letter
the Brahma-faring
completely fulfilled
and wholly purified.

Good indeed is the sight
of perfected ones such as this."

Now at that time
the brahman Brahmaayu had the brahman youth Uttara as pupil;
he was master of the three Vedas,
versed in the vocabularies and rituals
together with the phonology and exegesis
and the legendary tradition as the fifth;
he was learned in idioms,
a grammarian,
proficient in popular philosophy
and the marks of a Great Man.

Then the brahman Brahmaayu
addressed the brahman youth Uttara,
saying:

"Dear Uttara, this recluse Gotama,
son of the Sakyans,
having gone forth from the Sakyan clan,
is walking on tour in Videha
together with a large Order of monks,
with as many as five hundred monks.

The most lovely report has gone abroad thus
concerning this revered Gotama:

'He is indeed Lord,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One,
endowed with knowledge and (right) conduct,
Well-farer,
knower of the worlds,
the matchless charioteer of men to be tamed,
teacher of devas and mankind,
the Awakened One,
the Lord.

Having realised through his own super-knowledge,
he makes known this world
together with devas
including the Maaras and the Brahmaas;
creatures
together with recluses and brahmans,
with devas and mankind.

He teaches dhamma
that is lovely at the beginning,
lovely in the middle
and lovely at the ending;
he explains with the spirit and the letter
the Brahma-faring
completely fulfilled
and wholly purified.

Good indeed is the sight
of perfected ones such as this."

Come you, dear Uttara,
approach the recluse Gotama;
having approached,
find out whether the recluse Gotama is in fact
that revered Gotama of whom the report has gone abroad
or whether he is not,
and whether the revered Gotama is such a one
or not such a one.

Through you
will we know that revered Gotama.

So will I,
in virtue of what you say,
find out whether that revered Gotama is in fact
the revered Gotama of whom the report has gone abroad
or whether he is not,
and whether the revered Gotama
is such a one
or not such a one.

Dear Uttara, in our mantras[7]
the thirty-two marks of the Great Man are traditional.[8]

For a Great Man
possessed of these
only two courses[9] are open,
not another:
If he settles in the household state
he becomes a king[10] who is a wheel-turner,[11]
a dhamma-man,[12]
a king under dhamma,[13]
the ruler of the whole world,
one who [319] brings stability to his realm;
and he is possessed of the seven Treasures.

These seven Treasures of his are
the wheel-treasure,
the elephant-treasure,
the horse-treasure,
the jewel-treasure,
the woman-treasure,
the householder-treasure,
the adviser-treasure as the seventh.

He will have more than a thousand sons,
valiant,
built on heroic lines,[14]
able to crush opposing armies.

He dwells conquering this sea-girt land
by dhamma,[15]
not by stick,
not by sword.

But, if he goes forth from home
into homelessness
he becomes a perfected one,
a fully Self-Awakened One,
a lifter of the world's veil.[16]

Now I, dear Uttara,
am an imparter[17] of mantras,
you are a recipient[17] of mantras."

"Very well, sir,"
and the brahman youth Uttara,
having answered the brahman Brahmaayu in assent,
rising from his seat,
having greeted the brahman Brahmaayu,
keeping his right side towards him,
set out on tour (to find) the Lord in Videha.

Walking on tour,
he gradually approached the Lord;
having approached,
he exchanged greetings with the Lord;
having conversed in a friendly and courteous way,
he sat down at a respectful distance.

As he was sitting down at a respectful distance
the brahman youth Uttara
looked for the thirty-two marks of a Great Man
on the Lord's body.

And the brahman youth Uttara
saw all the thirty-two marks of a Great Man
on the Lord's body
except two.

About these two marks of a great man
he was in doubt,
perplexed,
uncertain,
not satisfied -
whether what was cloth-hid was sheath-cased
and whether the tongue was large.

Then it occurred to the Lord:

"This brahman youth Uttara sees on me
all the thirty-two marks of a Great Man
except two.

About these two marks of a Great Man
he is in doubt,
perplexed,
uncertain,
not satisfied:
whether what is cloth-hid is sheath-cased
[320] and whether my tongue is large."

Then the Lord contrived such a contrivance of psychic power[18]
that the brahman youth Uttara saw
that that which the Lord had cloth-hid was sheath-cased.

Then the Lord,
having put out his tongue,
stroked it backwards and forwards
over both his ears
and he stroked it backwards and forwards
over both his nostrils
and he covered the whole dome of his forehead
with his tongue.[19]

Then it occurred to the brahman youth Uttara:

"The recluse Gotama is possessed of the thirty-two marks of a Great Man.

Suppose I were to follow the recluse Gotama closely
so as to watch his conduct?"

Then for seven months the brahman youth Uttara,
like a constant shadow,[20]
followed the Lord closely.

After the lapse of the seven months
the brahman youth Uttara set out on tour for Mithilaa in Videha;
walking on tour
he gradually approached Mithilaa
and the brahman Brahmaayu;
having approached
and having greeted the brahman Brahmaayu,
he sat down at a respectful distance.

Brahmaayu the brahman spoke thus to the brahman youth Uttara
as he was sitting down at a respectful distance:

"I suppose, dear Uttara,
that the report spread abroad about the revered Gotama
was truly so
and not otherwise?

I suppose that the revered Gotama
is such a one
and not of another kind?"

"Sir, the report spread abroad about the revered Gotama
was truly so
and not otherwise;
this revered Gotama is such a one
and not of another kind.

And this revered Gotama is possessed of the thirty-two marks of a Great Man:[21]

The revered Gotama
has feet with a level tread[22] -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

On the soles of the good Gotama's feet
wheels appear
with a thousand spokes,
with rims and hubs,
in every way complete -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

[321] The revered Gotama has projecting heels -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama has long fingers (and toes)[23] -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama has soft and tender hands and feet -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama has (the fingers and toes) of his hands and feet evenly spaced[24] -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama has ankles that are midway in the leg[25] -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama has legs like (those of) antelopes[26] -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama, while standing erect
and not bending,
can stroke and rub his knees
with the palms of both hands -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama has sheath-cased
what is cloth-hid -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama is the colour of gold[27] -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama has a golden[28] coloured skin,
a smooth complexion -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

Because of his smooth complexion
no dust or dirt adheres to his body -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama has hairs that are separate -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The separate hairs grow (one) to each pore -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama has hairs that grow upward -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The upward growing hairs are dark blue,
the colour of collyrium,
curling in rings,
curling to the right -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama has a divinely straight body[29] -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama has the seven convex surfaces[30] -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

[322] The revered Gotama has a body
the front part of which is like a lion's[31] -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama has no hollow between his shoulders[32] -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama has the symmetrical proportions of a banyan tree -
as is the height of his body
so is the length of his arms when stretched out;
as is the length of his arms when stretched out
so is the height of his body -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama has a bust that is evenly rounded -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama has an exquisite sense of taste -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama has jaws like a lion's -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama has forty teeth.[33]

The revered Gotama has even teeth -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama has teeth without spaces between them -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama has very lustrous eye-teeth -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama has a long tongue -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama has a voice like Brahmaa's;[34]
he speaks like a karamka bird[35] -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama has eyes of an intense blue -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama has eyelashes like a cow's -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The hair that the revered Gotama has growing between the eyebrows
is white and soft like cotton-down -
the good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has this mark of a Great Man.

The revered Gotama has a head shaped like a (royal) turban.[36]

The good Gotama,
a Great Man,
has also this mark of a Great Man.[37]

The revered Gotama is possessed of these thirty-two marks of a Great Man.

If the revered Gotama is walking
he leads off with his right foot;
he does not put the foot too far (forward),
he does not place the foot too short;
he does not walk too quickly;
he does not walk too slowly;
he does not walk
knocking knee against knee
or ankle against ankle;
[323] while he is walking
he does not bend his thighs up,
he does not bend his thighs down,
he does not bend his thighs in,
he does not bend his thighs out.[38]

As the revered Gotama walks
he moves only with the lower part of his body
and does not walk with his (full) bodily strength.[39]

knowledge and insight = ~naa.na-dassana'm knowing and seeing. Not vipassana.

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

When he is looking around,
the revered Gotama looks round with his whole body,[40]
he does not look up,
he does not look down,
and he does not walk without observing,[41]
for he looks (ahead) a plough's length;[42]
further than that
his knowledge and insight become unobstructed.[43]

On entering into a house[44]
he does not bend his body up,
he does not bend his body down,
he does not bend his body in,
he does not bend his body out.

He turns round
not too far from hie seat,
not too near it,
and he does not sit down on the seat
clutching hold of it with his hand,
nor does he fling his body
(in a slovenly way[45])
on to the seat.[46]

When he is seated in a house
he does not fall into unseemly behaviour with his hands,[47]
he does not fall into unseemly [324] behaviour with his feet;[48]
he does not sit down
crossing knee over knee
or ankle over ankle,
nor does he sit down
holding his jaw in his hand.

When he is seated in a house
he is not afraid,
does not tremble,
shake
or quiver -
and so is the revered Gotama
when he is sitting in a house
unafraid,
untrembling,
not shaking,
not quivering,
unruffled,
intent on aloofness.

When he is receiving water for the bowl
he does not turn the bowl up,
he does not turn the bowl down,
he does not turn the bowl inwards,
he does not turn the bowl outwards;
he receives neither too little
nor too much water for the bowl.

If he doesn't wash his hands until he puts down the bowl then his hands are not washed when his bowl is washed. "Not before he has washed his hands does he put down the bowl."

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

He washes the bowl
without making it clatter,[49]
he washes the bowl without twirling it round;
not until he has put the bowl down on the ground
does he wash his hands;
by the time the hands are washed
the bowl is washed;
by the time the bowl is washed
the hands are washed.

He throws away the water for the bowl
not too far,
not too near,
and without scattering it.

When he is receiving boiled rice,
he does not turn the bowl up,
he does not turn the bowl down,
he does not turn the bowl inwards,
he does not turn the bowl outwards;
he receives neither too little
nor too much boiled rice.

The revered Gotama eats the proper proportion of curry (to rice[50])
and he does not neglect (the rice)
with each mouthful of curry.

The revered Gotama swallows each mouthful
only after having turned it round
two or three times in his mouth;
there is not a single grain of boiled rice
that enters his body
without having been broken up,
and not a single grain of boiled rice
remains in his mouth
before he proceeds to the (next) mouthful.

The revered Gotama eats food
experiencing its flavour
but not experiencing greed for the flavour.

The revered Gotama eats food
that is possessed of the eight characteristics[51]
but not for fun
or indulgence
or personal charm
or beautification,
but just enough for the support of his body
and keeping it going,
for keeping it unharmed,
for furthering the Brahma-faring,
thinking:

'Thus will I crush out an old feeling
and not allow a new feeling to arise,
and then there will be subsistence for me
and blamelessness
and abiding in comfort.'[52]|| ||

When he has eaten
and is accepting water for the bowl,
he does not [325] , turn the bowl up,
he does not turn the bowl down,
he does not turn the bowl inwards,
he does not turn the bowl outwards.

He receives neither too little
nor too much water for the bowl.

He washes the bowl
without making it clatter,
he washes the bowl without twirling it round;
not until he has put the bowl down on the ground
does he wash his hands;
by the time the hands are washed
the bowl is washed;
by the time the bowl is washed
the hands are washed.

He throws away the water for the bowl
not too far,
not too near,
and without scattering it.

When he has eaten,
he places the bowl on the ground,
not too far,
not too near,
for he is not without concern for the bowl[53]
yet he is not over-protective of the bowl.

When he has eaten,
he sits silent for a moment,
but he does not let pass
the time for giving thanks.

When he has eaten,
he gives thanks.

He does not decry that meal,
he does not hope for another meal;
on the contrary he delights,
rouses,
inspires,
gladdens that assembly
with talk on dhamma.

When he has delighted,
roused,
inspired,
gladdened that assembly
with talk on dhamma,
rising from his seat,
he departs.

He does not walk too quickly,
he does not walk too slowly,
he does not walk (as if) anxious
to get free (of that assembly).[54]

The revered Gotama's robe
is not pulled up too high on his body,
it is not pulled down too low;[55]
and neither does it stick to his body,[56]
nor is it drawn away from his body,[57]
and neither does the wind
blow the revered Gotama's robe about on his body,[58]
nor do dust and dirt
cling to the revered Gotama's body.

When he has gone to a monastery
he sits down on an appointed seat
and while sitting down
he cleanses his feet[59] -
but the revered Gotama does not live
intent on the practice of beautifying his feet.

When he has cleansed his feet
he sits down cross-legged,
holding the body erect
and arousing mindfulness in front of him.

He does not strive after hurt of self,
he does not strive after hurt of others,
he does not strive after hurt of both.[60]

The revered Gotama sits down
striving only after weal of self,
weal of others,
weal of both,
weal of the whole world.

When, in a monastery, he is teaching dhamma in an assembly,
he does not exalt that assembly,
he does not disparage that assembly;
on the contrary he delights,
rouses,
inspires, [326] gladdens that assembly
with talk on dhamma.

The sound that issues from the revered Gotama's mouth[61]
is possessed of eight characteristics:
it is distinct
and intelligible
and sweet
and audible
and fluent[62]
and clear
and deep
and resonant.

Wherefore when the revered Gotama
instructs an assembly by voice
the sound does not carry beyond that assembly.

These, after being delighted,
roused,
inspired,
gladdened by the revered Gotama
with talk on dhamma,
rising from their seats,
depart reluctantly,
keeping their gaze on him.

We, sir, have seen that revered Gotama walking,
we have seen him standing still,
we have seen him sitting silent within a house,
we have seen him eating in a house,
we have seen him sitting silent after he has eaten,
we have seen him giving thanks after he has eaten,
we have seen him going to a monastery,
we have seen him sitting silent in a monastery,
we have seen him in a monastery
teaching dhamma in an assembly.

This revered Gotama is like this
and like that
and even more so."[63]

When this had been said, Brahmaayu the brahman,
rising from his seat,
having arranged his upper robe over one shoulder,
having saluted the Lord with joined palms,
three times uttered this solemn utterance:

"Praise to that Lord,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One.

"Praise to that Lord,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One.

"Praise to that Lord,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One.

Perhaps somewhere,
sometime
we might meet this revered Gotama,
perhaps there might be some conversation between us."

Then the Lord, walking on tour in Videha,
in due course arrived at Mithilaa.

While he was there
the Lord stayed near Mithilaa in Makhaadeva's Mango Grove.

Brahmans and householders of Mithilaa heard:

"Verily the recluse Gotama,
son of the Sakyans,
having gone forth from the Sakyan clan,
is walking on tour in Videha
together with a large Order of monks,
with as many as five hundred monks.

The most lovely report has gone abroad thus
concerning the revered Gotama::

'He is indeed Lord,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One,
endowed with knowledge and (right) conduct,
Well-farer,
knower of the worlds,
the matchless charioteer of men to be tamed,
teacher of devas and mankind,
the Awakened One,
the Lord.

Having realised through his own super-knowledge,
he makes known this world
together with devas
including the Maaras and the Brahmaas;
creatures
together with recluses and brahmans,
with devas and mankind.

He teaches dhamma
that is lovely at the beginning,
lovely in the middle
and lovely at the ending;
he explains with the spirit and the letter
the Brahma-faring
completely fulfilled
and wholly purified.

Good indeed is the sight
of perfected ones such as this."

Then the brahmans and householders of Mithilaa
approached the Lord:
some, having approached
and having greeted the Lord,
sat down at a respectful distance;
some, after they had exchanged greetings with the Lord
and had conversed in a friendly and courteous way,
sat down at a [327] respectful distance;
some, after saluting the Lord with joined palms,
sat down at a respectful distance;
some, having made known to the Lord the name of their clan,
sat down at a respectful distance;
some, becoming silent,
sat down at a respectful distance.

The brahman Brahmaayu heard:

"Verily the recluse Gotama,
son of the Sakyans,
gone forth from the Sakyan clan,
has arrived at Mithilaa
and is staying near Mithilaa
in Makhadeva's Mango Grove."

Then Brahmaayu the brahman
together with a number of brahman youths
approached Makhaadeva's Mango Grove.

When Brahmaayu the brahman was near the Mango Grove
it occurred to him:

"It is not suitable in me
that I should approach to see the recluse Gotama
without being announced first."

So Brahmaayu the brahman addressed a certain brahman youth,
saying:

"Come you, brahman youth,
approach the recluse Gotama;
having approached,
in my name ask the recluse Gotama whether he is well,
not indisposed,
of bodily vigour,
strong,
abiding in comfort,
saying:

'Good Gotama, Brahmaayu the brahman
is asking whether the revered Gotama is well,
not indisposed,
of bodily vigour,
strong,
abiding in comfort';
and then speak thus:

"Good Gotama, Brahmaayu the brahman is worn,
old,
full of years,
he has lived his span
and is at the close of his life,
a hundred and twenty years of age;
he was master of the three Vedas,
versed in the vocabularies and rituals
together with the phonology and exegesis
and the legendary tradition as the fifth;
he was learned in idioms,
a grammarian,
proficient in popular philosophy
and the marks of a Great Man.

Of all the brahmans and householders, sir,
who live in Mithilaa,
Brahmaayu the brahman is pointed to
as chief in respect of wealth,
Brahmaayu the brahman is pointed to
as chief in respect of mantras,
Brahmaayu the brahman is pointed to
as chief in respect of longevity
as well as of renown.

He is anxious to see the good Gotama."

"Very well, sir,"
and the brahman youth, having answered the brahman Brahmaayu in assent,
approached the Lord;
having approached,
he exchanged greetings with the Lord,
and having conversed in a friendly and courteous way,
he Stood at a respectful distance.

As he was standing at a respectful distance,
the brahman youth spoke thus to the Lord:

"Good Gotama, the brahman Brahmaayu is asking whether the revered Gotama is well,
not indisposed,
of bodily vigour,
strong,
abiding in comfort.

The brahman Brahmaayu, good Gotama, is worn, old,
full of years,
he has lived his span
and is at the close of his life,
a hundred and twenty years of age;
he was master of the three Vedas,
versed in the vocabularies and rituals
together with the phonology and exegesis
and the legendary tradition as the fifth;
he was learned in idioms,
a grammarian,
proficient in popular philosophy
and the marks of a Great Man.

Of all the brahmans and householders, sir,
who live in Mithilaa,
Brahmaayu the [328] brahman is pointed to
as chief in respect of wealth,
Brahmaayu the brahman is pointed to
as chief in respect of mantras,
Brahmaayu the brahman is pointed to
as chief in respect of longevity
as well as of renown.

He is anxious to see the good Gotama."

"Brahmaayu the brahman must now do
that for which he deems it the right time,
brahman youth."

Then that brahman youth
approached Brahmaayu the brahman;
having approached,
he spoke thus to Brahmaayu the brahman:

"Permission has been given[64] revered sir,
by the recluse Gotama.

Revered sir, you may now do
that for which you deem it the right time."

Then Brahmaayu the brahman approached the Lord.

His assembly saw the brahman Brahmaayu coming in the distance.

Having seen him,
they, standing each at his own side,[65]
made room for him
because he was well known and renowned.

Then Brahmaayu the brahman spoke thus to that assembly:

"No, good sirs,
you sit down each on your own seat,
I will sit here
near the recluse Gotama."

Then Brahmaayu the brahman approached the Lord;
having approached,
he exchanged greetings with the Lord;
having conversed in a friendly and courteous way,
he sat down at a respectful distance.

As he was sitting down at a respectful distance,
Brahmaayu the brahman looked for
the thirty-two marks of a Great Man
on the Lord's body.

And Brahmaayu the brahman saw
all the thirty-two marks of a Great Man
on the Lord's body
except two.

About these two marks of a Great Man
he was in doubt,
perplexed,
uncertain,
not satisfied -
whether what was cloth-hid was sheath-cased
and whether the tongue was large.

Then Brahmaayu the brahman addressed the Lord in verses:

"Of these thirty-two marks of a Great Man of which I have heard
There are two that I do not see on your body, Gotama.
I wonder whether what is cloth-hid is sheath-cased, Supreme of men?
Or is it female? I wonder whether the tongue is not short?
I wonder whether you have a long tongue. So that I might know this,
Put forth this tongue, dispel our doubt, Seer.
For welfare here and now, and for bliss in a future state
We ask for permission (to see) that which we long (to know)."

[329] Then it occurred to the Lord:

"This brahman Brahmaayu sees on me
all the thirty-two marks of a Great Man except two.

About these two marks of a Great Man
he is in doubt,
perplexed,
uncertain,
not satisfied -
whether what is cloth-hid is sheath-cased
and whether my tongue is large."

Then the Lord contrived such a contrivance of psychic power
that the brahman Brahmaayu saw
that that which the Lord had cloth-hid was sheath-cased.

Then the Lord, having put out his tongue,
stroked it backwards and forwards
over both his ears
and he stroked it backwards and forwards
over both his nostrils
and he covered the whole dome of his forehead
with his tongue.

Then the Lord responded in verses
to the brahman Brahmaayu:

"Those thirty-two marks of a Great Man of which you have heard
Are all on my body. Do not you doubt them, brahman.
What[66] is to be known is known by me, and to be developed is developed,
What is to be got rid of has been got rid of - therefore, brahman, am I Awake.[67]
For welfare here and now and for bliss in a future state
Do ask for permission (to see) that which you long (to know)."

Then it occurred to the brahman Brahmaayu:

"Permission has been given me by the recluse Gotama.

Suppose I were to ask the recluse Gotama
about the goal either of the here and now
or of a future state?"

But then it occurred to the brahman Brahmaayu:

"I myself am skilled in the goals of the here and now,
and others ask me about the goal of the here and now.

Suppose I were to ask the recluse Gotama
simply about the goal of a future state?"

Then Brahmaayu the brahman addressed the Lord in verses:

"How is one a brahman? How does one become master of knowledge?
How is one a threefold knowledge-man? Who is called learned?
How is one perfected? How does one become whole?
And how is one a sage? Who is called Awake?"

Then the Lord responded in verses
to the brahman Brahmaayu:

[330] "Who knows his former habitations and sees heaven and the sorrowful ways,
Who has attained destruction of births,[68] accomplished by super-knowledge, a Sage is he.
Who knows his mind is quite pure, freed from every attachment,
Who has got rid of birth and dying, in the Brahma-faring Whole is he.[69]
Who is master of all states of mind,[70] such a one Awake is called."

When this had been said,
Brahmaayu the brahman,
rising from his seat,
arranging his upper robe over one shoulder,
having inclined his head to the Lord's feet,
kissed the Lord's feet on all sides
with his mouth
and stroked them on all sides
with his hands,
and he made known his (own) name:[71]

"I, good Gotama, am Brahmaayu, the brahman."

Then that company was filled with wonder and marvel,
and said:

"Indeed it is wonderful,
indeed it is marvellous
how great is the psychic power
and the majesty
of the recluse
in virtue of which
this Brahmaayu the brahman,
well known and renowned,
pays such deep respect."

Then the Lord spoke thus
to Brahmaayu the brahman:

"Enough, brahman, rise up;
do sit down on your own seat
since your mind was pleased with me."

Then the brahman Brahmaayu,
having risen up,
sat down on his own seat.

Then the Lord gave a talk to Brahmaayu the brahman
on various topics:[72]
talk on giving,
talk on moral habit,
talk on heaven;
he explained the peril,
the vanity,
the depravity of the pleasures of the senses,
the advantage in renouncing them.

When the Lord knew
that the mind of Brahmaayu the brahman was ready,
malleable,
devoid of the hindrances,
uplifted,
pleased,
then he explained to him
that teaching on dhamma
that the Awakened Ones have themselves discovered:
anguish,
uprising,
stopping,
the Way.

And as a clean cloth
without black specks
will easily take dye,
even so as Brahmaayu the brahman was (sitting) on that very seat
did dhamma-vision,
dustless and stainless,
arise in him:
that

"whatever is liable to origination
all that is liable to stopping."

Then Brahmaayu the brahman,
having seen dhamma,
attained dhamma,
known dhamma,
plunged into dhamma,
having crossed over doubt,
[331] put away uncertainty
and attained without another's help
to full confidence in the Teacher's instruction,
spoke thus to the Lord:

"It is excellent, good Gotama;
it is excellent, good Gotama.

Even, good Gotama,
as one might set upright
what had been upset,
or disclose what was covered,
or show the way
to one who had gone astray,
or bring an oil-lamp into the darkness
thinking that those with vision might see material shapes,
even so is dhamma made clear
in many a figure
by the good Gotama.

So I am going to the revered Gotama (for refuge)[73]
and to dhamma
and to the Order of monks.

May the revered Gotama accept me
as a lay-diseiple
going for refuge
from this day forth
for as long as life lasts.

And may the revered Gotama
consent to a meal with me
on the morrow
together with the Order of monks."

The Lord consented by becoming silent.

Then Brahmaayu the brahman,
having understood the Lord's consent,
rising up from his seat,
having greeted the Lord,
departed keeping his right side towards him.

Then the brahman Brahmaayu
having had sumptuous foods,
solid and soft,
prepared in his own dwelling
towards the end of that night,
had the time announced to the Lord,
saying:

"It is time, good Gotama,
the meal is ready."

Then the Lord,
having dressed in the morning,
taking his bowl and robe,
approached the dwelling of Brahmaayu the brahman;
having approached,
he sat down on the appointed seat
together with the Order of monks.

Then did Brahmaayu the brahman
for seven days
with his own hand
serve and satisfy the Order of monks
with the Awakened One at its head
with sumptuous foods,
solid and soft.

Then at the end of the seven days
the Lord set out on tour in Videha.

Not long after the Lord had set out
Brahmaayu the brahman passed away.

Then a number of monks approached the Lord;
having approached,
having greeted the Lord,
they sat down at a respectful distance.

As they were sitting down at a respectful distance,
these monks spoke thus to the Lord:

"Revered sir,
Brahmaayu the brahman has passed away.

What is his bourn,
what his future state?"

"Clever,[74] monks,
was the brahman Brahmaayu;
he followed after dhamma
according to various parts of dhamma,[75]
and he did not [332] annoy me[76]
with questionings about dhamma.

Monks, Brahmaayu the brahman,
by the complete destruction of the five fetters
binding to this lower (shore),
is of spontaneous uprising,
one who attains nibbaana there,
not liable to return from that world."

Thus spoke the Lord.

Delighted, these monks rejoiced in what the Lord had said.

Discourse with Brahmaayu:
The First

 


[1] This is a stock description of a learned brahman. "Master," paaraguu, is a goer to the beyond in, and so one who has come to finality or culmination. Cf. M. ii. 210; D. i. 88; A. i. 163, 166; Sn. p. 105, ver. 1019 f.

[2] MA. iii. 362, DA. 247, AA. ii. 261 and SnA. 447 all give Iru, Yaju and Saama Vedas (Rig, Yajur and Saaman Vedas).

[3] See Dial. i. 109, n. 2, where it is said: "It is quite unnecessary to suppose a silent referenee to it (the Atharva Veda) here," as DA. 247 = MA, iii. 362 = AA. ii. 261 = SnA. 447 suggest.

[4] See Amba.t.tha Suttanta (D. i. 87, and see Dial. i. 110, n. 2 and 131, n. 2). Also the Lakkha.na Suttanta (D. iii. 142), Mahaapadaana Sta. (D. ii. 1 ff.), Mahaapurisa Sta. (S. v. 158) and Vassakaara Sta. (A. ii. 35f.)'m The last two give the Buddhist, as against the pre-Buddhist interpretation of the Great Man. See also Mhvu. Transln. i. 180 f.

[5] This too is a stock clause.

[6] bhavanta'm.

[7] manta. MA. iii. 364 explains by veda. Cf. Sn. 1000 ff. On the word mantra, as "prayer" (for the classes of poets, priests and warriors) and as "magical formula or incantation" (for the masses), see R.N. Dandekar, "Cultural Background of the Veda," Univ. of Ceylon Review, vol. XI, Nos. 3 and 4, 1953, p. 141 ff. Whatever a mantra is it is not necessarily a Rig-Vedic hymn as such. There are 1,028 of these while, according to Dandekar, there are "about 10,660 (Rig-Vedie) mantras."

[8] aagataani, have come down, been handed down.

[9] gati, bourn, going, procedure. MA. iii. 364 explains by ni.t.thaa, goal or conclusion.

[10] MA. iii. 365, he is a king delighting the world with the four wonderful aspects of protection (given at D. iii. 232, A. ii. 32).

[11] MA. iii. 365, he tolls on the wheel-treasure; if he govern with the four wheels of prosperity, sampatti (cf. A. ii. 32), and if he govern others with these, he is doing his duty, vatta, for the good of others.

[12] dhammika, he walks by dhamma.

[13] dhammaraajaa. Having succeeded to the throne through dhamma (i.e. legitimately, rightly), he is the 'natural,' jaata, king. Or, he is dhammika because of his 'rightness,' dhamma, in regard to the good of others, just as he is dhammaraajaa because of his 'rightness' in regard to his own good, attahita.

[14] MA. iii. 360: their bodies are like devas; they are called 'heroes' because of their uttermost valour, as though their bodies were made of energy.

[15] MA. iii. 367 identifies dhamma with siiia here, the moral conduct of keeping the five precepts.

[16] MA. iii. 367 shows that these three attainments follow one from another. Vivattaccchadda, the lifter of the veil, refers to removing the seven darknesses of the defilements: attachment, hatred, confusion, pride, false views, ignorance and wrong-doing.

[17] daataa ... pa.tiggahetaa, as at D. i. 89. For the following note I am in debted to Mr. P. Mehta: "The guru conveys or imparts a new mantra when he sees the pupil is ready for it. When the pupil sounds (pronounces) it correctly then the guru teaches him the meaning. Correct sounding influences the mental receptivity of the pupil and induces a state of consciousness which is most appropriate for learning the meaning. The 'mantra' as sound is imparted or conveyed; the 'mantra' as meaning or significance is taught."

[18] Cf. Miln.. 167-169.

[19] Cf. Sn. 1022.

[20] As at Dhp. 2, Thag. 1041-1043, etc.

[21] For more notes on the thirty-two marks or signs, see Dial. ii. 13 ff. and Mhvu. Translation, i. 180 ff., where the order in which the marks are given differs now and again from the M. version. See also Lamotte, Mppś i. 285-288, notes, where it is said that these 32 marks ornament the bodies both of Buddhas and of wheel-turning kings, and again, either all or some of the marks adorn the bodies of some other persons besides. Some of these men and women are known to the Pali Canon, for example the brahman Baavarin, who had three of the marks (Sn. 1022). Like Brahmaayu he was 120 years old (Sn. 1019). Cf. also Kvu. 283 where the point of controversy is whether a bodhisatta is fuUy or partially possessed of the 32 marks.

[22] He puts the whole foot down on the ground with a single movement- neither the big toe first nor the heel.

[23] diigha'nguli. A'nguli usually mean only the fingers. MA. iii. 376 includes the toes as well, and says that the a'nguli are thick at the roots and taper off gradually to slender points.

[24] jaalahatthapaado. See "The Webbed Finger of the Buddha," by A.K. Coomaraswamy, IHQ. VII, 1931, p. 20. It is better to take this as does Buddhaghosa at MA. iii. 376, etc., as: "the four fingers of the Tathaagata's hands and the five toes of his feet are of an equal measure" - spaced as evenly apart (with no swellings) as is the "netting" or network, jaala, of a particular kind of latticed window when made by a skilled carpenter. A person whose fingers are "webbed" (i.e. grown together) like a snake's hood is not even fit to go forth (Vin. i. 71, quoted MA. iii. 376). So how could a "webbed finger" be a mark of a Great Man? "With hands and feet like a net" (Dial. ii. 14) explains nothing.

[25] Not towards the heels as in other people, MA. iii. 377. The Pali word is ussa'nkhapaado. Cf. also BHSD. s.v. uccha'nkha.

[26] I.e. with flesh all round, not in a lump at one side. The notion is "straight-limbed." Cf. Sn. 165; S. i. 16.

[27] The traditional colour-symbol for immortality; suva.n.na.

[28] ka~ncana here; bright, shining.

[29] A straight tall body, like Brahmaa's. Most creatures bend at the shoulders, hips and knees; but the Tathaagata, rising up tall, is like a high golden gateway in a city of the devas, MA. iii. 378.

[30] sattussada, omitted in Chalmers' text, but referred to in this textual position at MA. iii. 378 as meaning that on the four limbs, on both shoulders and on the back there is a protuberance of flesh.

[31] I.e. curving, paripu.n.na. Although the back portion of a lion's body does not curve, the whole of the Tathagata's body curves, MA. iii. 379.

[32] From the small of the back up to the shoulders, the fleshy covering is like a smooth golden slab.

[33] twenty in each jaw, MA. iii. 381.

[34] brahmassara, a sublime voice. It is like a Great Brahma's, MA. iii. 382. See Kvu. 467.

[35] Famed for its sweet note, the Indian cuckoo.

[36] I.e., absolutely symmetrical.

[37] No doubt this refrain should occur after the naming of each mark; while omitted in our text it occurs in D. ii. 17-19. [Ed.: included in this edition.

[38] These words for "bending up, down, in, out," unnaameti, onaameti, sannaameti, vinaameti, occur several times later in this Discourse. Cf. also Miln.. 117.

[39] MA. iii. 388, sweat pours from the body if one keeps on flinging out one's arms.

[40] This is called the "elephant look," M. i. 337. See MA. ii. 420, iii 133 (the latter referred to at MA. iii. 388).

[41] na ca vipekkhamaano gacchati. The passage is somewhat corrupt. MA. iii. 388: he walks without looking from this side to that as though not seeing the elephants, horses, etc. So this phrase may mean: "he walks without staring (about)," On the other hand, the next phrase: yugamatta~n ca pekkhati, seems to develop the idea of "not without observing." In walking as in the other "postures," there is to be not only mindfulness but also clear consciousness.

[42] Cf. Sn. 410. MA. iii. 388 says he fixes his eyes as little as nine vidatthi (ahead) when he is walking.

[43] anaava.ta'm, as at S. I. 62. "Irresistible" at K.S. i, 76. MA. iii, 388: "It could not be said that he does not see beyond a plough's length, since no wall or door or bush or creeper is able to obstruct him. Thus because of his unobstructed (all-pervading, anaavara.na) knowledge, various thousands of groups of worid-systems are reckoned as one," i.e. he can see and know them all together and all at once, with 'open,' unhindered, anaava.ta, insights.

[44] Here, according to MA. iii. 388 antaraghara means from the threshold, ummaara, of a house, in distinction to the indakhila which, at Vin. iv. 160, is identified with the ummaara,. The indakhila is a (village) post.

[45] pakkhipati. MA. iii. 389, he does not first settle either his lower or upper limbs, but sits down sa.nika'm, slowly, gently or gradually.

[46] See the Sekhiyas on walking and sitting "amid houses,"Vin. iv. 186 ff., 199.

Twiddle his thumbs, clean his fingernails, chew his fingernails, drum his fingers, crack his nuckles, clean his ear with his little finger, pick his nose ...

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

[47] He does not twirl round his bowl or throw out a drop of water or split the leaf cover of a fly-whisk or fan.

[48] He does not grind them on the ground.

[49] na khulukhulukaaraka, not commented upon in MA. Chalmers translates: "he does not swish the water about" Neumann: "ohne zu plaatschen." See P.E.D. s.v. gala, and cf. BHSD. s.v. khurukhuru-.

[50] Three portions of rice to one of cuny.

[51] MA. iii. 392 refers to M. Sta. 2 and Vism. 31.

[52] As at M. i. 355, ii. 10, and also at e.g. S. iv. 104, A. iii. 388, iv. 167; and see Vism. 31.

[53] Not indifferent to it and taking care of it - not like someone who once he has put his bowl on a stand (for bowls) does not pour water into it but watches indifferently while dust falls into it.

[54] He does not hurry away, MA. iii. 393.

[55] Not as high as his jaw or as low as his ankles, MA. iii. 393.

[56] Because he does not sweat as other people do.

[57] It does not stand free like a khali cloak.

[58] Reading kaayasmi'm with Siamese instead of text's kaayamhaa. The wind cannot make his robe stir, MA. iii. 393.

[59] As at Vin. i. 9.

[60] Cf. M. i. 414, iii. 23; A. i. 157; S. iv. 339.

[61] Cf. D. ii. 211, 227 of Brahmaa Sana'mkumaara'a voice.

[62] bindu. MA. iii. 394 gives sampi.n.dita, brought together, connected.

[63] "His excellent virtues that I have not spoken of are more than those I have spoken of - like the great earth, the great ocean, unending, boundless, wide as the sky," MA. iii. 395.

[64] kataamkaasa.

? oramati "to leave off ease". If this is indeed the word, it would seem to mean here 'rose up from their seats.'

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

[65] oram atha or oram attha. MA. iii. 396 says: "getting up quickly, having divided into two, they made room for him." See JPTS., 1887, p. 154 ff.

[66] Sn. 558; and below, p. 337. This and the next line are quoted at VinA. i. 115; ItA. 149; UdA. 84; P.tsA. i. 215; Vism. 201.

[67] tasmaa buddho'ami; also below, p. 337 = Sn. 558, A. ii. 39; cf. M. i. 171, Vin. i. 8.

[68] Iti. p. 100; A. i. 165; S. i. 167; Thig. 63 f. Cf. Dhp. 423; Sn. 647, of a brahman.

[69] This line also occurs at A. ii. 23.

[70] See also A. ii. 23.

[71] As at M. ii. 120. cf. S. i. 178, 193. See Intr. p. xxv. above.

[72] Cf. Vin. i. 15, ii. 155 ff.; D. i. 110; M. i 379, etc.

[73] sara.na'm not in Chalmers' text; probably omitted by an oversight.

[74] For this paragraph cf. M. iii. 247, 270; S. iv. 63, v. 346; Ud. 8, 50. In all these passages other men are concerned, and other bourns.

[75] paccapaadi dhammassaanudhammam. MA. iii. 398 says: "In this Discourse dhamma means the Way of perfection (arahattamagga); anudhamma means the three lower Ways and the fruits of recluseship. The meaning is that he acquired these in successive order."

[76] M. text reads navama'm vihesesi, instead of na ca ma'm, as in two variant readings of the text, in tbe parallel contexts, and at MA. iii. 398. This navama'm has misled Chalmers, although it might be argued that his "difficulty with the ninth stage" (of meditation?) is borne out to some extent by the fact that Brahmayu is not said to have achieved arahantship, being spoken of in words descriptive only of a non-returner. But this is far-fetched, and nothing is said in this Discourse about Brahmayu attempting any of the "stages" in meditation or of becoming proficient in them.

 


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