Majjhima Nikaya

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Majjhima Nikāya
1. Mūla-Paṇṇāsa
1. Mūla-Pariyāya Vagga

Sacred Books of the Buddhists
Volume V
Dialogues of the Buddha
Part IV

Further Dialogues of the Buddha
Volume I

Translated from the Pali
by Lord Chalmers, G.C.B.
Sometime Governor of Ceylon

Humphrey Milford
Oxford University Press
Public Domain

Sutta 7

Vatth'Ūpama Suttaɱ

On Fulling



[1][pts][ntbb][nypo][upal][than] THUS have I heard:

Once when the Lord was staying at Sāvatthī in Jeta's grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's pleasaunce,
he addressed the Almsmen as follows:

Fulling. Perhaps the fuller also acts as the dyer, but fulling propper is the thickening of wool by various processes (heat, water, pressure) that make it felt-like.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

"Even as a foul and dirty piece of cloth,
if dipped by the fuller in blue,
or pink dye,
would take the dye badly
and not come out a good colour,
and that because of the cloth's impurity, -
even so, Brethren, when a man's heart is impure,
woe must be expected to ensue;
and, conversely,
just as cloth in the fuller's hands
takes the dye well
if it be pure and clean,
so, when a man's heart is pure,
bliss may be expected to ensue.

Now, what are the heart's impurities?

They are avarice and covetise,
and indolence.

Recognizing that each in turn of these is an impurity of the heart,
an Almsman puts them from him;
and when at last he has put them all from him,
he comes to full belief in the Enlightened One and to recognition of him as the Lord,
Arahat all enlightened,
walking by knowledge,
understanding all worlds,
the matchless tamer of the human heart,
teacher of gods and men,
the Lord of Enlightenment;
he comes to full belief in the Doctrine
and to recognition of it
as having been excellently expounded by the Lord,
as being here and now and immediate,
with a welcome to all
and with salvation for all,
to be comprehended of each man of understanding;
he comes to belief in the Lord's Confraternity
and to recognition of it
as schooled aright
and as walking uprightly,
trained in all propriety and in duty,
the Brotherhood of the conversion
with its four pairs
making up the eight classes of the converted,[1]
right [27] worthy to receive alms,
and reverence,
unrivalled throughout the world
as the field for garnering merit.

To the uttermost,
every form of self-seeking is renounced,
spewed out,
and abandoned.

Realizing that he has come to full belief in the Enlightened One -
and in his Doctrine -
and in his Confraternity, -
the Brother reaches fruition of spiritual welfare
and of its causes
together with the gladness attendant thereon;
from such gladness is born zest,
bringing tranquillity to the body;
with his body now tranquil,
he experiences satisfaction,
wherein he finds peace for his heart.

An Almsman who has reached this pitch in virtue,
and lore,
may, without harm or hurt,
indulge in the choicest rice
with all manner of sauces and curries.

Just as a foul and filthy cloth,
if plunged in clear water,
becomes pure and clean;
and just as silver,
if passed through the furnace,
becomes pure and clean; -
even so can such an Almsman eat as he will
without harm or hurt.

With radiant thoughts of love -
of compassion -
of sympathy -
and of poise -
his mind pervades each of the world's four quarters, -
the whole length and breadth of the wide world
is pervaded by the radiant thoughts
of a mind all-embracing,
and boundless,
in which no hate dwells
nor ill-will.

Thus much is so,
says he to himself;
there is a lower
and there is yet a higher stage;
Deliverance[2] lies beyond this realm of consciousness.

When he knows and sees this,
his heart is delivered from the Cankers of sensuous pleasure,
of continuing existence,
of ignorance;
and to him thus Delivered
comes knowledge of his Deliverance
in the conviction: -

Rebirth [28] is no more;
I have lived the highest life;
my task is done;
there is now no more of what I have been.

Inly. Inwardly.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

- Such an Almsman is said to be inly washen.

Now at this time there was sitting close by
the brahmin Sundarika-Bhāradvāja
who asked whether the Lord went to the river Bāhukā to bathe.

What boots the river Bāhukā, brahmin?

What can it do?

It is reputed to cleanse[3] and give merit;
many have their burthen of evil borne away in its waters.

Thereupon, the Lord addressed the brahmin in these lines:

In Bāhukā,[4] at Adhikākka's ghāt,
Gayā, Sundārikā, Sarāssatī,
Bāhumatī, Payāga, - there the fool
may bathe and bathe, yet never Cleanse his Heart.
Of what avail are all these ghats and streams?
- They cleanse not heart or hand of guilt.
For him whose heart is Cleansed, each day is blest,
each day is hallowed; pure of heart and mind,
he hallows each new day with vows renewed.
So hither, brahmin, come and Bathe as I:
Love all that lives, speak truth, slay not nor steal,
no niggard be but dwell in faith, and then -
why seek Gayā? - Your well at home's Gayā!"

Hereupon the brahmin said to the Lord:

"Excellent, Gotama; excellent!

It is just as if a man should set upright again what had been cast down,
or reveal what had been hidden away,
or tell a man who had gone astray which was his way,
or bring a lamp into darkness so that those with eyes to see might see the things about them, -
even so, in many a figure, has the reverend Gotama made his Doctrine clear.

I come to Gotama as my refuge
and to his Doctrine
and to his [29] Confraternity.

I ask him to admit me as a Pilgrim in his train and to confirm me therein!

Admitted and confirmed accordingly,
the reverend Bhāradvāja was not long before,
dwelling alone and aloof,
and purged of self,
he won the prize in quest of which young men[5] go forth from home to homelessness as Pilgrims,
that prize of prizes which crowns the highest life, -
even this did he think out and realize for himself,
enter on,
and abide in,
here and now;
and to him came the conviction that for him rebirth was now no more;
that he had lived the highest life;
that his task was done;
and that now for him there was no more of what he had been.

Thus the reverend Bhāradvāja too was numbered among the Arahats.


[1] The Confraternity - which, of course, does not include the laity - is here divided into eight classes, each of the Four Paths in conversion being subdivided into entrants and adepts (magga and phala).

[2] Bu. interprets these four stages as the recognition successively of the Four Noble Truths. In a separate category, extirpation of the Cankers - for the Arahat here, as for the Buddha himself in Sutta No. 4 - precedes triumphant Deliverance.

[3] Reading 1okhyas,° with Bu.

[4] Bu. remarks that, while Bāhukā, Sundārikā, Sarāssatī, and Bāhumatī are rivers, the rest are titthas only, or ghāts, on the Ganges.

The brahminical idea came second! First comes noble behavior and action, then comes the description of such as "nobility."

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[5] Kulaputtā (translated sts. as clansmen) are of two kinds, according to Bu. - scions of noble families and those who behave and act as such. The latter are doubtless grafted on to the earlier brahminical idea.

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