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

Sutta 9

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

Gilaana Sutta.m

Sick

Translated by F. L. Woodward

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[1][bodh] THUS have I heard:

Once the Exalted One was staying near Vesaalii, at Beluva village.[1]

Then the Exalted One addressed the monks, saying:

"Come ye, monks!

Go ye and spend the rainy season
round about Vesaalii,
where are your friends,
acquaintances
and bosom friends.[2]

I myself will spend the rainy season just here."[3]

[131] "Very well, lord," replied those monks to the Exalted One,
and went to spend the ramy season
round about Vesaalii,,
where dwelt their friends,
acquaintances
and bosom friends.

But the Exalted One passed the rainy season
at Beluva village.

Now when the Exalted One had begun to spend the rainy season,
there arose in him a sore sickness.

Strong pains came upon him,
like to end in death.

Thereupon the Exalted One endured them,
mindful and composed,
without complaint.

Now it occurred thus to the Exalted One:

It is not fitting that,
without addressing my supporters,
without taking leave of the Order of monks,
I pass finally away.

What if I should by effort
bend down this sickness
and remain holding fast to my sum of life.[4]

So the Exalted One bent down that sickness,
and remained holding fast
to the sum of his life.

And the Exalted One rose up from that sickness;
and not long after he had arisen therefrom
he went forth from his lodging,
and sat down in the shade behind the lodging
on a seat made ready.

Then the venerable Aananda came to the Exalted One,
and on reaching him
saluted and sat down at one side.

So seated,
the venerable Aananda said this to the Exalted One:

I saw,[5] lord,
what the Exalted One had to endure.

I saw how he bore up.

Indeed, lord, my body became as if drugged.[6]

Indeed my bearings were confused.

Indeed the doctrines[7] were no longer clear to me
because of the sickness of the Exalted One.

Yet, lord, I had thus much of comfort in thinking:

'Surely the Exalted One will not pass utterly away [132] until[8]he has made some pronouncement concerning the Order of monks.'

"What is it, Aananda,
that the Order of monks expects of me now?

I have taught the Norm, Aananda,
making no inner and no outer[9]

There is no "teacher's" fist, Aananda,
in the Tathaagata's teachings.[10]

If, Aananda, anyone thinks:

'I will carry on[11] the Order of monks',

or:

'The Order of monks is under my direction',[12] -

let such an one make some pronouncement
concerning the Order of monks.

It never occurs thus to the Tathaagata, Aananda:
'I will carry on the Order of monks',
or:
'The Order of monks is under my direction'.

What,[13] Aananda?

Shall the Tathaagata make any pronouncement
concerning the Order of monks?

As for me, Aananda,
I am now a broken-down old man,
aged,
far gone in years.

I have reached the journey's end.

I am come to life's limit.

My age is now turning eighty years.

Just as, Aananda,
a worn-out cart
is kept going
by being tied together with helps,[14]
even so, Aananda, the Tathaagata's body
is kept going by helps.

[133] Only at times when the Tathaagata,
by not attending to any features (of things),
by the cessation of feelings one and all,
attains and abides in that mental concentration
which is featureless,
only at such times, Aananda,
is the Tathaagata more at ease.[15]

Wherefore, Aananda, do ye abide grounded on self,
self-refuged.

Taking refuge in none other.

Do ye abide with the Norm for your ground,[16]
taking refuge in the Norm,
having none other refuge.

Whoso, Aananda, either now
or when I have passed away,
shall abide with self for their ground,
self-refuged,
taking refuge in none other;
with the Norm for their ground,
taking refuge in the Norm,
having none other refuge, -
they, Aananda, shall be my monks,
they shall be atop of the gloom[17]
[that is, they who are anxious to learn].[18]

 


[1] Cf. D. ii, 98. 'A village on a slope at the foot of a hill near Vesaalii.' Comy. Cf. Dialog. ii,106; Buddhist Suttas, p. 34. Beluva is the vilva tree.

[2] Texts, both here and at D., read mitta'n, etc., but Comy. MSS. mittaa, sandi.t.thaa, sambhattaa.

[3] Comy. says there was poor accommodation at Beluva, and the Master said this for their comfort; also that they might be at hand when he was to pass away, ten months later.

[4] Jiivita-, like aayu-sa~nkhaaraa.

[5] Here D. has a different reading ditthaa me phaasu, ... khamanaaya'n ... yaapaniiya'n Bhagavato.

[6] Madhuraka-jaato, Cf. K.S. iii, 90 n. (where I have discussed the word). Comy. sanjaata-sarubhaavo, sanjaata-thaddha-bhaavo, suule uttaasita-sadiso viya (he became heavy and lumpish, like one impaled on a stake); and below on text 162; Aananda was all of a tremble like a cock escaping from the month of a cat.

[7] Dhammaa = satipa.t.thaana-dhammaa mayha'n paaka.taa na honti; tanti-dhammaa pana therassa suppagu.naa. At S. iii, loc. cit. Comy. says pariyatti-dhammaa Cf. Thag. 1034 = Brethren, 356, and infra II, iii (Cunda).

[8] Text taava, but D. yaava.

[9] Anantara'n abaahira'n katvaa It is worth while quoting Comy. on the much disputed question of exoteric and esoteric in Buddhism. Comy. (reading anantara-sa-baahira'n) 'It refers either to the teaching or the person taught With the thought: I will not teach thus much to another, one makes doctrine inner (antara'n). With the thought: I will teach thus much to another, one makes doctrine outer (baahira'n). With the thought: I will teach this particular person, he admits another person (abbhantara'n karoti). With the thought: I will not teach this particular person, he bars out a person (baahira'n karoti). Here the meaning is that he did neither of these.' Cf. JA. ii, 221, Bodhisattaa naama sippa'n vaacentaa aacariya-mu.t.thi'n na karonti; Mil. P. 144.

[10] Comy. 'Teachers on their deathbed confide to a favourite private disciple things they had kept back in youth, untold to any. Not so the Tathaagata.'

[11] Cf. DhpA. i, 139 (of Devadatta).

[12] Mam-uddesiko, 'indicating me as giving directions what to do and what not to do.' Comy.

[13] Text has sakim, but D. kim?

[14] Text vedha-missakena. Comy. vega-m. Cf. UdA. 330 n. The v.ll. are numerous. Buddhist Suttas, 37, 'with much additional care' (where see note, quoting DA. Comy. arahatta-phala-veghanena (?); our Comy. has -va.d.dhanena); Dialog. ii, 107, 'with the help of thongs, by bandaging up,' where see note. Our Comy. baa.lha[v.l. baahaa]-bandha(? baddha)-cakka-bandhanaadi-pa.tisa~nkhaarena vega-missakena, and adds that the Buddha was supported by the fruits of Arahantship (as at DA.).

[15] Text phaasutara'n but D. phaasukato ... kaayo.

[16] Diipa = 'lamp' and 'solid ground' (island). This latter meaning seems preferable. Comy. 'by Norm, the ninefold transcendental Norm is meant (i.e., the four paths, four fruits and Nibbaana).'

[17] Tamatagge. This somewhat obscure phrase is thus explained by Comy.: tam'agge. Majjhe ta kaaro padasandhi-vasena vutto (the t in the middle is euphonic). ... Ime agga-tamaa, eva'n sabba'n tama-sota'n {DA. yoga'n) chinditvaa, ativiya agge uttama-bhave ... sabbe te catu-viisati satipa.t.thaana-gocaraa va bhikkhuu agge bhavissanti. 'On the peak of darkness ... these are on top of the darkness; thus having cut off every stream of darkness they shall be "on the summit (of it)"' Our Comy. is nearly the same as DA., quoted by Professor Rhys Davids ad loc. I quote these parts of it as all may not have access to Buddhist Suttas, the note to which is later condemned in Dialog. loc. cit. Following Comy. (uttama-bhaave) he translated: 'They shall reach the topmost height,' but as is evident, and as Paali Diet. s.v. has shown, the word refers to darkness. Agge = arahantship. Comy.

[18] This phrase in brackets, Professor Rhys Davids remarks, seems to have been added afterwards. Comy. however, has it in the paraphrase.


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