Anguttara Nikaya


 

A'nguttara-Nikaaya
III. Tikanipaata
VII. Mahaa Vagga

The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha
III. The Book of the Threes
The Second Fifty
II. The Great Chapter

Sutta 63

Venaagapura Sutta.m

Venaaga

Translated from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi.

© 2012 Bhikkhu Bodhi
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[180] [272]

[1][pts] On one occasion the Blessed One was wandering on tour among the Kosalans together with a large Sa'ngha of bhikkhus when he reached the Kosalan brahmin village named Venaagapura.

The brahmin householders of Venaagapura heard:

"It is said that the ascetic Gotama, the son of the Sakyans who went forth from a [273] Sakyan family, has arrived at Venaagapura.

Now a good report about that Master Gotama has circulated thus:

'That Blessed One is an arahant, perfectly enlightened, accomplished in true knowledge and conduct, fortunate, knower of the world, unsurpassed leader of persons to be tamed, teacher of devas and humans, the Enlightened One, the Blessed One.

Having realized by his own direct knowledge this world with its devas, Maara, and Brahmaa, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans, he makes it known to others.

He teaches a Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing; he reveals a spiritual life that is perfectly complete and pure.'

Now it is good to see such arahants."

Then the brahmin householders of Venaagapura approached the Blessed One.

Some paid homage to the Blessed One and sat down to one side; some exchanged greetings with him, [181] and when they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, sat down to one side; some reverentially saluted him and sat down to one side; some pronounced their name and clan and sat down to one side; some kept silent and sat down to one side.

The brahmin Vacchagotta of Venaagapura then said to the Blessed One:

"It is astounding and amazing, Master Gotama, how Master Gotama's faculties are tranquil and the color of his skin is pure and bright.

Just as a yellow jujube fruit in the autumn is pure and bright, so Master Gotama's faculties are tranquil and the color of his skin is pure and bright.

Just as a palm fruit that has just been removed from its stalk is pure and bright, so Master Gotama's faculties are tranquil and the color of his skin is pure and bright.

Just as an ornament of finest gold, well prepared by a skilled goldsmith and very skillfully wrought in the furnace, placed on red brocade, shines and beams and radiates, so Master Gotama's faculties are tranquil and the color of his skin is pure and bright.

"Whatever high and luxurious kinds of bedding there are - that is, a sofa, a divan, a long-haired coverlet, a coverlet of diverse colors, a white coverlet, a woolen coverlet with floral designs, a quilt of cotton wool, a woolen coverlet ornamented with animal figures, a woolen coverlet with double borders, a woolen coverlet with a single border, a silken sheet studded [274] with gems, a sheet made with silk threads and studded with gems, a dancer's rug, an elephant rug, a horse rug, a chariot rug, a rug of antelope hide, a spread made of the hide of the /kadali/-deer, [a bed] with a canopy above and red bolsters at both ends - Master Gotama surely gains them at will, without trouble or difficulty."

"Brahmin, those high and luxurious kinds of bedding are rarely obtained by those who have gone forth, and if they are obtained, they are not allowed.

"But, brahmin, there are three kinds of high and luxurious beds that at present I gain at will, without trouble or difficulty.

What three?

[182] The celestial high and luxurious bed, the divine high and luxurious bed, and the noble high and luxurious bed.

These are the three kinds of high and luxurious beds that at present I gain at will, without trouble or difficulty."

(1) "But, Master Gotama, what is the celestial high and luxurious bed that at present you gain at will, without trouble or difficulty?"

"Here, brahmin, when I am dwelling in dependence on a village or town, in the morning I dress, take my bowl and robe, and enter that village or town for alms.

After the meal, when I have returned from the alms round, I enter a grove.

I collect some grass or leaves that I find there into a pile and then sit down.

Having folded my legs crosswise and straightened my body, I establish mindfulness in front of me.

Then, secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, I enter and dwell in the first jhaana, which consists of rapture and pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by thought and examination.

With the subsiding of thought and examination, I enter and dwell in the second jhaana, which has internal placidity and unification of mind and consists of rapture and pleasure born of concentration, without thought and examination.

With the fading away as well of rapture, I dwell equanimous and, mindful and clearly comprehending, I experience pleasure with the body; I enter and dwell in the third jhaana of which the noble ones declare: 'He is equanimous, mindful, one who dwells happily.'

With the abandoning of pleasure and pain, and with the previous passing away of joy and dejection, I enter and dwell in the fourth jhaana, neither painful nor pleasant, which has purification of mindfulness by equanimity.

[275] "Then, brahmin, when I am in such a state, if I walk back and forth, on that occasion my walking back and forth is celestial.

If I am standing, on that occasion my standing is celestial.

If I am sitting, on that occasion my sitting is celestial.

If I lie down, on that occasion this is my celestial high and luxurious bed.

This is that [183] celestial high and luxurious bed that at present I can gain at will, without trouble or difficulty.

"It is astounding and amazing, Master Gotama!

Who else, apart from Master Gotama, can gain at will, without trouble or difficulty, such a celestial high and luxurious bed?

(2) "But, Master Gotama, what is the divine high and luxurious bed that at present you gain at will, without trouble or difficulty?"

"Here, brahmin, when I am dwelling in dependence on a village or town, in the morning I dress, take my bowl and robe, and enter that village or town for alms.

After the meal, when I have returned from the alms round, I enter a grove.

I collect some grass or leaves that I find there into a pile and then sit down.

Having folded my legs crosswise and straightened my body, I establish mindfulness in front of me.

Then I dwell pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, likewise the second quarter, the third quarter, and the fourth quarter.

Thus above, below, across, and everywhere, and to all as to myself, I dwell pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, vast, exalted, measureless, without enmity, without ill will.

I dwell pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with compassion ...

with a mind imbued with altruistic joy ...

with a mind imbued with equanimity, likewise the second quarter, the third quarter, and the fourth quarter.

Thus above, below, across, and everywhere, and to all as to myself, I dwell pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with equanimity, vast, exalted, measureless, without enmity, without ill will.

"Then, brahmin, when I am in such a state, if I walk back and forth, on that occasion my walking back and forth is divine.

If I am standing, on that occasion my standing is divine.

If I am sitting, on that occasion my sitting is divine.

If I lie down, on that occasion this is my divine high and luxurious bed.

This is that divine high and luxurious bed that at present I can gain at will, without trouble or difficulty.

[184] [276] "It is astounding and amazing, Master Gotama!

Who else, apart from Master Gotama, can gain at will, without trouble or difficulty, such a high and luxurious bed?

(3) "But, Master Gotama, what is the noble high and luxurious bed that at present you gain at will, without trouble or difficulty?"

"Here, brahmin, when I am dwelling in dependence on a village or town, in the morning I dress, take my bowl and robe, and enter that village or town for alms.

After the meal, when I have returned from the alms round, I enter a grove.

I collect some grass or leaves that I find there into a pile and then sit down.

Having folded my legs crosswise and straightened my body, I establish mindfulness in front of me.

Then I understand thus:

'I have abandoned greed, cut it off at the root, made it like a palm stump, obliterated it so that it is no more subject to future arising.

I have abandoned hatred, cut it off at the root, made it like a palm stump, obliterated it so that it is no more subject to future arising.

I have abandoned delusion, cut it off at the root, made it like a palm stump, obliterated it so that it is no more subject to future arising.'

"Then, brahmin, when I am in such a state, if I walk back and forth, on that occasion my walking back and forth is noble.

If I am standing, on that occasion my standing is noble.

If I am sitting, on that occasion my sitting is noble.

If I lie down, on that occasion this is my noble high and luxurious bed.

This is that noble high and luxurious bed that at present I can gain at will, without trouble or difficulty.

"It is astounding and amazing, Master Gotama!

Who else, apart from Master Gotama, can gain at will, without trouble or difficulty, such a noble high and luxurious bed?

"Excellent, Master Gotama!

Excellent, Master Gotama!

Master Gotama has made the Dhamma clear in many ways, as though he were turning upright what had been overthrown, revealing what was hidden, showing the way to one who was lost, or holding up a lamp in the darkness so those with good eyesight can see forms.

We now go for refuge to Master Gotama, [185] to the Dhamma, and to the Sa'ngha of bhikkhus.

Let Master Gotama consider us lay followers who from today have gone for refuge for life."


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