Majjhima Nikaya

[Home]  [Sutta Indexes]  [Glossology]  [Site Sub-Sections]


Majjhima Nikāya
III. Upari Paṇṇāsa
5. Saḷāyatana Vagga

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

Further Dialogues of the Buddha
Volume II

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

Humphrey Milford
Oxford University Press
Public Domain

Sutta 143

Anāthapiṇḍik'Ovāda Suttaɱ

Anāthapiṇḍika's End


[257] [302]

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

Once when the Lord was staying at Sāvatthī in Jeta's grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's pleasaunce,
the householder Anāthapiṇḍika,
being ill and in pain and in grave danger,
sent a man [303] to go in his name to the Lord
and, bowing his head at the Lord's feet,
to say how ill he was
and how be bowed his head at the feet of the Lord;
and further to carry the same message
to the reverend Sāriputta,
with the added request to the latter
to be so good as to come to the house.

The two messages having been duly delivered,
Sāriputta -
with Ānanda in attendance -
came to Anāthapiṇḍika's house
and, [259] seating himself on the seat set for him,
asked the householder whether he was getting better
and able to hold on,
whether his pains were leaving him
and not coming on,
and whether he found himself progressing
and not losing ground with his pain.

Not at all, Sāriputta;
I am not getting better
but worse;
... (etc. as in Sutta No. 97) ...
I am losing ground;
my pains grow on me.

You must, therefore, train yourself
not to be the creature of sight
nor ever to let your consciousness hang on sight, -
or hearing -
or smell -
or taste -
or touch -
or mind,
or upon form
and the other objects of these six senses.

You must train yourself
not to be the creature of consciousness
nor of any particular mode of consciousness,
whether ocular,
or auditory,
or olfactory,
or gustatory,
or tactile
or mental.

You must train yourself
not to be the creature of ocular Contact
or of the other five Contacts,
[260] or of feelings bred of such Contacts.

You must train yourself
not to be the creature of the earth element
or of the water-element
or of the fire-element
or of the wind-element
or of the space-element
or of the consciousness-element.

You must train yourself
not to be the creature of form
or any consciousness of form, -
or of feeling -
or of perception -
or of the plastic forces -
or of consciousness.

You must train yourself
not to be the creature of the Realm of Infinite Space -
or of the Realm of Naught -
[261] or of the Realm of Neither-perception-nor-Non-perception.

You must train yourself
not to be the creature of this world
or of any other world.

You must train yourself
not to be the creature of,
or to let your consciousness hang on,
any- [304] thing seen,
sought or explored by the mind.

As Sāriputta ended,
the householder Anāthapiṇḍika cried aloud and shed tears.

To him the reverend Ānanda said: -

Are you in the toils, householder?

Are you sinking?

Not at all, Ānanda.

Though I have long been round the Master
and Almsmen of great intellect,
never yet heard I such a homily.

Such homilies, householder,
are not vouchsafed to the white-robed laity,
but reserved for Pilgrims.

But let them be vouchsafed to the laity,
reverend Sāriputta; -
young men there are
whose vision is but little dimmed,
who are perishing because they do not hear the Doctrine,
and these will understand it.

The exhortation over,
Sāriputta and Ānanda rose up and departed;
nor had they been gone long
when the householder Anāthapiṇḍika, [262] at his body's dissolution after death,
passed to the Tusita heavens.

As night waned,
the deified Anāthapiṇḍika
in surpassing beauty
came to the Lord,
illumining the whole of Jetas grove.

Aṭṭhāsi. Stood. The gods do not sit when visiting here on earth. To them it would be like sitting in a pile of dung.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

Seating himself after salutations,
the deity addressed the Lord
in the following verses:

Dear grove of Jeta, haunt of sages, home
of Truth's sole monarch! Bliss to thee I owe.
Here toil wins knowledge and Truths mysteries;
here virtue still inspires the highest life
and hallows mortals not by rank or wealth.
Alive to their true welfare, let the wise
still search the Doctrine till they hallowed are.
Oh, Sāriputtta's wisdom, virtue, peace!
- No Sainted Almsman can yet higher go.

Thus spoke the deified Anāthapiṇḍika,
and the Master approved.

Marking the approval of the Master,
the deity saluted the Lord with deep reverence
and vanished away.

When night was passed the Lord narrated to the Almsmen
how he had been visited by a deity
and detailed all that had passed.

[268] Thereupon the [305] reverend Ānanda said to the Lord
that this deity must have been Anāthapiṇḍika, the householder,
who had such perfect trust in the reverend Sāriputta.

Quite right, Ānanda.

All that inference can bestow, is yours.

The deity was indeed no other than Anāthapiṇḍika.

Thus spoke the Lord.

Glad at heart,
the reverend Ānanda rejoiced in what the Lord had said.

Copyright Statement