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Sa.myutta Nikaaya:
V. MahaaVagga
46. Bojjha'nga Sa'nyuttaa
Chapter VI: Bojjangasakaccam

Kindred Sayings on the Limbs of Wisdom
V. The Great Chapter
46. Kindred Sayings on the Limbs of Wisdom
VI. Perseverance in the Limbs of Wisdom

Sutta 53

Aggi Sutta.m

Fire

Translated by F. L. Woodward

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

Once the Exalted One was dwelling near Saavatthii.

Now a number of monks,
robing themselves in the forenoon,
and taking bowl and outer robe,
set off for Saavatthii to beg for food.

And it occurred to those monks:

'It is full early to go to Saavatthii to beg.

Suppose we pay a visit
to the Park of the Wanderers who hold other views.'

So those monks went there
and on coming to them
courteously greeted the Wanderers of other views,
and after the exchange of greetings and civilities,
sat down at one side.

As they thus sat
the Wanderers of other views said this
to those monks:

'Friends, Gotama the recluse
teaches his disciples doctrine
thus:

"Come ye, monks,
Abandoning the five hindrances,
the corruptions of the heart,
which cause weakening of insight,
do ye cultivate the seven limbs of wisdom."

Now, friends, we also thus teach doctrine
to our disciples, saying:

"Come ye, friends!

Abandoning the five hindrances,
the corruptions of the heart
which cause weakening of insight,
do ye cultivate the seven limbs of wisdom."

Now herein, friends,
what is the distinction,
what the peculiarity of,
what is the difference between
Gotama the recluse's teaching of doctrine
and our teaching,
between his instruction
and our instruction?

Thereupon those monks made no reply,
either of approval or of disapproval
to those Wanderers holding other views;
but, without expressing either approval or disapproval,
they rose up and went away,
saying:

'We will learn the meaning of this saying
from the Exalted One.'

 

 

So those monks, after wandering through Saavatthii for alms, on returning from their alms-round and eating their meal, went to visit the Exalted One, and on coming to him saluted him and sat down at one side.

So seated those monks said this to the Exalted One:

'Lord, here in the forenoon we robed, and taking bowl and outer robe we set off for Saavatthii to gather alms.

Then, lord, it occurred to us thus.

"It is full early to go to Saavatthii to beg.

Suppose we pay a visit
to the Park of the Wanderers who hold other views.'

So we went there
and on coming to them
courteously greeted the Wanderers of other views,
and after the exchange of greetings and civilities,
sat down at one side.

As they we sat
the Wanderers of other views said this
to us:

'Friends, Gotama the recluse
teaches his disciples doctrine
thus:

"Come ye, monks,
Abandoning the five hindrances,
the corruptions of the heart,
which cause weakening of insight,
do ye cultivate the seven limbs of wisdom."

Now, friends, we also thus teach doctrine
to our disciples, saying:

"Come ye, friends!

Abandoning the five hindrances,
the corruptions of the heart
which cause weakening of insight,
do ye cultivate the seven limbs of wisdom."

Now herein, friends,
what is the distinction,
what the peculiarity of,
what is the difference between
Gotama the recluse's teaching of doctrine
and our teaching,
between his instruction
and our instruction?

So, lord, we made no reply to those Wanderers holding other views, either of approval or of disapproval, but without expressing approval or disapproval, we rose up and came away, saying:

"We will learn the meaning of this saying from the Exalted One."'

 

 

"When the Wanderers of other views thus speak, monks, thus should they be answered:

'Whenever, friends, the mind is sluggish,[1]
at such time
which of the limbs of wisdom
is it unreasonable to cultivate?

To cultivate which limb of wisdom
is it reasonable?

Again, friends, when the mind is elated,[2]
at such time
which of the limbs of wisdom
is it unreasonable to cultivate?

To cultivate which is reasonable?'

Thus questioned, monks, the Wanderers of other views
will be unable to explain themselves,
and further
will come to an ill pass.

Why so?

Because, monks, it is beyond their scope.

For I behold not, monks,
anyone in the world,
with its devas and Maras,
its Brahmas,
with its host of recluses and brahmins,
with its devas and mankind,
who could satisfy the mind
with an answer to these questions,
save only a Tathaagata
or a Tathaagata's disciples,
or at any rate
only after hearing it of them."

I. Wrong Season

"At such time, monks,
as the mind is sluggish,[3]
then is the wrong season
for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is tranquillity,
then is the wrong season
for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is concentration,
then is the wrong season
for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is equanimity.

Why so?

When the mind is sluggish, monks,
it is hard to raise it up[4] by these conditions.

[96] Suppose, monks, a man wants to make a little fire blaze up.

If be heap thereon
wet grass,
wet cowdung
and wet sticks;
if he expose it to rain and wind
and[5] sprinkle it with dust,[6]
pray would that man be able
to make a little fire blaze up?"

"Surely not, lord."

"Just so, monks, at such time
as the mind is sluggish,
that is the wrong season
for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is tranquillity
that is the wrong season
for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is concentration,
that is the wrong season
for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is equanimity.

Why so?

Because, monks, when the mind is sluggish
it is hard to raise it up by these conditions.

II. Season

But at such time, monks,
as the mind is sluggish,
then is the season
for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is Norm-investigation,
then is the season
for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is energy,
then is the season
for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is zest.

Why so?

Because, monks, the sluggish mind
is easily raised by up such conditions.

Suppose, monks, a man wants to make a little fire blaze up.

If he heap thereon
dry grass,
dry cowdung
and dry sticks;
if he blow it up with his mouth,[7]
if he sprinkle it not with dust,
pray, would that man be able
to make a little fire blaze up?"

"Surely, lord."

"Just so, monks, at such time as the mind is sluggish,
then is the season
for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is Norm-investigation,
then is the season
for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is energy,
then is the season
for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is zest.

Why so?

Because, monks, the sluggish mind
is easily raised up by such conditions.

[97]

III. Wrong Season

At such time, monks, as the mind is elated,
then is the wrong season
for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is Norm-investigation,
then is the wrong season
for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is energy,
then is the wrong season
for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is zest.

Why so?

Because, monks, the elated mind
is hard to be calmed by such conditions.

Suppose, monks, a man should want to quench a great fire.

If he heap thereon
dry grass,
dry cowdung,
dry sticks;
if he blow it with his mouth
if he sprinkle no dust thereon,
would that man be able to quench a great fire?"

"Surely not, lord."

"Just so, monks, at such time as the mind is elated,
then is the wrong season
for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is Norm-investigation,
then is the wrong season
for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is energy,
then is the wrong season
for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is zest.

Why so?

Because, monks, the elated mind
is hard to be calmed by such conditions.

IV. Season

At such time, monks, as the mind is elated,
then is the season
for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is tranquillity,
then is the season
for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is concentration,
then is the season
for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is equanimity.

Why so?

Because, monks, the elated mind
is easily calmed up by such conditions.

Suppose, monks, a man should want to quench a great fire.

If he heap on it
wet grass,
wet cowdung,
wet sticks,
and expose it to rain and wind;
if he sprinkle dust thereon,
would that man be able to quench a great fire?"

"Surely, lord."

"Just so, monks, at such time as the mind is elated,
then is the season
for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is tranquillity,
then is the season
for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is concentration,
then is the season
for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is equanimity.

Why so?

Because, monks, the elated mind
is easily calmed up by such conditions.

[98] But as to mindfulness, monks,
that is profitable on all occasions,[8]
I declare."

 


[1] Liina, 'stuck fast,' adhering. Cf. infra, text 263.

[2] Uddhata, 'puffed up, inflated.'

[3] I.e. atisithila-viriyaadiihi liina'n.

[4] Dussamutthaapaya'n.

[5] Udaka-vaata'n (? read udaka-caa.ti'n);? wet wind as opposed to sukkha-vaata. Cf. infra; VM. i, 130, 248.

[6] Text pa'nsukaana (?). VM. pa'nsukena; but correct in next Ii.

[7] Mukha-vaata ('mouth wind'). VM. has v.l. sukka-v. (a bright, clear, not rainy wind), or should it be sukkha, dry? The balance of the two phrases suggests that one of these two is the right reading.

[8] Sabbatthika'n. Comy. 'like salt seasoning, is desirable on all occasions, just as an "all-round" royal minister can also fight or counsel or do special service equally well.'


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