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Sa'nyutta Nikaaya,
V: MahaaVagga
47. Satipa.t.thana Sa'nyutta
1. Ambapaali-Vagga

Sutta 6

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
The Great Chapter,
47: Kindred Sayings on the Stations of Mindfulness
Chapter I: Ambapaalii

Saku.nagghi Sutta.m

The Falcon[1]

Translated by F. L. Woodward

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

Once the Exalted One was staying near Saavatthii, at Jeta Grove, in Anaathapi.n.dika's Park.

Then the Exalted One addressed the monks,
saying:

'Monks.'

'Yes, lord,' replied those monks to the Exalted One.

The Exalted One said:

Once upon a time, monks, a she-falcon suddenly swooped down upon and seized a quail.

Then, monks, the quail,
upon being seized by the falcon,
thus lamented:

'Just my bad luck,
and lack of merit!

(It serves me right) for trespassing outside my own pastures
into others' property.

If I had kept my own native beat today,
this she-falcon would have been no match for me,
if it came to a fight.'

'Why, quail,' said the falcon,
'what is your own native beat?'

'Tis a field turned up by the ploughshare,[2]
a place all covered with clods.'

Well, monks, the she-falcon relaxed her efforts,[3]
did not increase her grip,[4]
and let the quail go free.

So, monks, the quail went off to a ploughed field,
to a place all covered with clods,
perched on a great clod,
and stood challenging the falcon thus:

'Now come on, you falcon!

Now come on, you falcon!'[5]

Well, monks, the she-falcon,
putting forth her effort,[6]
not [126] relaxing her effort
and folding[7] both her wings,
swooped swiftly down upon the quail.

As soon as the quail saw this
he thought:

'Here comes the falcon
full tilt upon me;
and slipped inside the clod.

But the falcon, monks,
shattered her breast thereon.

So it is, monks,
with one who goes roaming out of his own range
in others' property.

Wherefore roam ye not outside your range
in others' property.

To those, monks, who so roam
Maara gets access,
Maara gets opportunity.

And what, monks, is not one's own range,
but belongs to others?

It is the five sensual elements.

What five?

There are, monks, objects cognizable by the eye,
objects desirable,
pleasant,
delightful
and dear,
passion-fraught,
inciting to lust.

There are sounds cognizable by the ear
sounds desirable,
pleasant,
delightful
and dear,
passion-fraught,
inciting to lust.

There are scents cognizable by the nose
scents desirable,
pleasant,
delightful
and dear,
passion-fraught,
inciting to lust.

There are savours cognizable by the tongue
savours desirable,
pleasant,
delightful
and dear,
passion-fraught,
inciting to lust.

There are tangibles cognizable by the body
tangibles desirable,
pleasant,
delightful
and dear,
passion-fraught,
inciting to lust.

This, monks, is not one's own range
but belongs to others.

Do ye range your own pasture-ground.

Keep to your own native beat.[8]

To those who range their own pasture-ground,
who keep their own native beat,
Maara gets no access,
Maara gets no opportunity of them.

And what is a monk's own pasture-ground?

What is his own native beat?[9]

It is the four stations of mindfulness.

What four?

Herein a monk dwells as regards body contemplating body
(as transient),
ardent,
composed
and mindful,
having restrained the dejection in the world
that arising from coveting.

He dwells as regards feelings contemplating feelings
(as transient),
ardent,
composed
and mindful,
having restrained the dejection in the world
arising from coveting.

He dwells as regards mind contemplating mind
(as transient),
ardent,
composed
and mindful,
having restrained the dejection in the world
arising from coveting.

He dwells as regards mind-states contemplating mind-states
(as transient),
ardent,
composed
and mindful,
having restrained the dejection in the world
arising from coveting.

This, monks, is a monk's own pasture-ground,
this is his native beat.

 


[1] Cf. JA. ii, p. 58, No. 168. Editor of text remarks (p. 192) that reference to this Sutta occurs frequently. See Milinda {Paali, p. 365); Julien's Avadanas, N. 9; Lane's Arabian Nights, ii, 58. Dialog. iii, 60 n. The Pali here is much corrupted, as in an oft-told tale, and I have had to emend the text by copying JA. and Comy.

[2] Text, na ngalena-ka.t.tha-kara.na'n. Comy. nangalena-kasika-kara.na'n

[3] Text apatthaddkaa (lit. 'not persisting in her strength'); v.l. apath'm; JA. atthaddhaa (same v.l.) as opposed to thaddhaa below of JA. Comy. does not notice it.

[4] Text asa'nvadamaanaa (for B. avadamaanaa, evidently by confusion with vadamaano in next Ii. JA. omits phrase. But Comy. has avaca-manaa-vadamaanaa, attano balassa su.t.thu-va.n.na-vadamaanaa ti (i.e., cajoled or flattered about her strength). I should read here ava.d.dhamaanaa. Apparently both text and Comy. are wrong, the passage being already corrupt, for the repetition below lacks point.

[5] Text adds me, omitted by JA.

[6] Reading with JA. thaddhaa for text's apatthaddhaa (which has no sense).

[7] Text sannaayha, v.l. JA. and Comy. Sandhaaya = sandhahitvaa, su.t.thu .thapetvaa.

[8] Pettiko visayo, 'one's ancestral range.'

[9] Quoted VM. i, 19.


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