Anguttara Nikaya


 

A'nguttara Nikaaya
VIII. A.t.thaka Nipaata
V. Uposatha Vagga

The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha
VIII. The Book of the Eights
V. Uposatha

Sutta 42

Vitthata A.t.tha'ng'uposatha Sutta.m

In Detail

Translated from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi.

© 2012 Bhikkhu Bodhi
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[251] [1178]

[1][pts] "Bhikkhus, observed complete in eight factors, the uposatha is of great fruit and benefit, extraordinarily brilliant and pervasive.

And how is the uposatha observed complete in eight factors, so that it is of great fruit and benefit, extraordinarily brilliant and pervasive?

(1) "Here, bhikkhus, a noble disciple reflects thus:

'As long as they live the arahants abandon and abstain from the destruction of life; with the rod and weapon laid aside, conscientious and kindly, they dwell compassionate toward all living beings.

Today, for this night and day, I too shall abandon and abstain from the destruction of life; with the rod and weapon laid aside, conscientious and kindly, I too shall dwell compassionate toward all living beings.

I shall imitate the arahants in this respect and the uposatha will be observed by me.'

This is the first factor it possesses ... [as in 8:41 down to] ...

(8) "'As long as they live the arahants abandon and abstain from the use of high and luxurious beds; they lie down on a low resting place, either a small bed or a straw mat.

Today, for this night and day, I too shall abandon and abstain from the use of high and luxurious beds; I shall lie down on a low resting place, either a small bed or a straw mat.

I shall imitate the arahants in this respect and the uposatha will be observed by me.'

This is the eighth factor it possesses.

"It is in this way, bhikkhus, that the uposatha is observed complete in eight factors, so that it is of great fruit and benefit, extraordinarily brilliant and pervasive."

[252] "To what extent is it of great fruit and benefit?

To what extent is it extraordinarily brilliant and pervasive?

Suppose one were to exercise sovereignty and kingship over these sixteen great countries abounding in the seven precious substances, that is, [the countries of] the A'ngas, Magadhas, Kaasis, Kosalas, Vajjiis, Mallas, Cetiis, Va.msas, Pa~ncaalas, Macchas, Suurasenas, Assakas, Avantiis, Gandharas and the Kambojas, this would not be worth a sixteenth part of the uposatha observance complete in those eight factors.

For what reason?

Because human kingship is poor compared to celestial happiness.

"For the devas [ruled by] the four great kings, a single night and day is equivalent to fifty human years; thirty such days make up a month, and twelve such months make up a year.

The life span of those devas is five hundred such celestial years.

It is possible, bhikkhus, for a woman or man who observes the uposatha complete in these eight factors, with the breakup of the body, after death, to be reborn in companionship with the devas [ruled by] the four great kings.

It was with reference to this that I said human kingship is poor compared to celestial happiness.

"For the Taavati.msa devas, a single night and day is equivalent to a hundred human years; thirty such days make up a month, and twelve such months make up a year.

The life span of those devas is a thousand such celestial years.

[253] It is possible, bhikkhus, for a woman or man who observes the uposatha complete in these eight factors, with the breakup of the body, after death, to be reborn in companionship with the Taavati.msa devas.

It was with reference to this that I said human kingship is poor compared to celestial happiness.

"For the Yaama devas, a single night and day is equivalent to two hundred human years; thirty such days make up a month, and twelve such months make up a year.

The life span of those devas is two thousand such celestial years.

It is possible, bhikkhus, for a woman or man who observes the uposatha complete in these eight factors, with the breakup of the body, after death, to be reborn in companionship with the Yaama devas. It was with reference to this that I said human kingship is poor compared to celestial happiness.

"For the Tusita devas, a single night and day is equivalent to four hundred human years; thirty such days make up a month, and twelve such months make up a year.

The life span of those devas is four thousand such celestial years.

It is possible, bhikkhus, for a woman or man who observes the uposatha complete in these eight factors, with the breakup of the body, after death, to be reborn in companionship with the Tusita devas.

It was with reference to this that I said human kingship is poor compared to celestial happiness.

"For the devas who delight in creation, a single night and day is equivalent to eight hundred human years; thirty such days make up a month, and twelve such months make up a year.

The life span of those devas is eight thousand such celestial years.

It is possible, bhikkhus, for a woman or man [254] who observes the uposatha complete in these eight factors, with the breakup of the body, after death, to be reborn in companionship with the devas who delight in creation.

It was with reference to this that I said human kingship is poor compared to celestial happiness.

"For the devas who control what is created by others, a single night and day is equivalent to sixteen hundred human years; thirty such days make up a month, and twelve such months make up a year.

The life span of those devas is sixteen thousand such celestial years.

It is possible, bhikkhus, for a woman or man who observes the uposatha complete in these eight factors, with the breakup of the body, after death, to be reborn in companionship with the devas who control what is created by others.

It was with reference to this that I said human kingship is poor compared to celestial happiness."

One should not kill living beings or take what is not given;
one should not speak falsehood or drink intoxicants;
one should refrain from sexual activity, from unchastity;
one should not eat at night or outside the prescribed time.

One should not wear garlands or apply scents;
one should sleep on a [low] bed or a mat on the ground;
this, they say, is the eight-factored uposatha
proclaimed by the Buddha,
who reached the end of suffering.

As far as the sun and moon revolve,
shedding light, so beautiful to gaze upon,
dispellers of darkness, moving through the firmament,
they shine in the sky, brightening up the quarters.

[255] Whatever wealth exists within this sphere -
pearls, gems, and beryl, an excellent stone,
si'ngii gold or [natural mountain] gold,
and the gold called ha.taka -
those are not worth a sixteenth part
of an uposatha complete in the eight factors,
just as all the hosts of stars
[do not match] the moon's radiance.

Therefore a virtuous woman or man,
having observed the uposatha complete in eight factors
and having made merit productive of happiness,
blameless goes to a heavenly state.


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