Aṅguttara Nikāya

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I. Ekanipāta

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
More-Numbered Suttas

Part I
The Book of the Ones

Suttas 248-257

Translated from the Pali by
F.L. Woodward, M.A.

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(f) Lay-followers, men.

[248][olds] 'Monks, chief among my disciples,
lay-followers of those who first took refuge (in my teaching),
are the merchants Tapassu and Bhalluka.[107]

[249][olds] [23] 'Monks, chief among my disciples,
lay-followers who are alms-givers,
is Sudatta, the housefather Anāthapiṇḍika.[108]

[250][olds] 'Monks, chief among my disciples,
lay-followers who are Dhamma-teachers,
is Citta, the housefather of Macchikāsaṇḍa.[109]

[251][olds] 'Monks, chief among my disciples,
lay-followers who gather a following
by the four bases of sympathy,
is Hatthaka of Āḷavī.[110]

[252][olds] 'Monks, chief among my disciples,
lay-followers who give choice alms-food,
is Mahānāma the Sakyan.[111]

[253][olds] 'Monks, chief among my disciples,
lay-followers who give pleasant gifts,
is Ugga, the housefather of Vesālī.[112]

[254][olds] 'Monks, chief among my disciples,
lay-followers who wait on the Order,
is Uggata the housefather.[113]

[255][olds] 'Monks, chief among my disciples,
lay-followers of unwavering loyalty,
is Sūra Ambaṭṭha.[114]

[256][olds] [24] 'Monks, chief among my disciples,
lay-followers who are liked by people,
is Jīvaka the Prince-fed.[115]

[257][olds] 'Monks, chief among my disciples,
lay-followers who converse intimately,
is Nakulapitar the housefather.[116]


[107] For their story Cf. UdA. 54. Comy. spells Tapassa-Bhallika; Burmese MSS. Taphusso, Tapussa. At A. iv, 438, Tapussa.

[108] 'Feeder of the destitute.' Cf. Vin. ii, 6, 4; Vin. Texts, iii, 179; S. i, 211. His story is well known. He bought Jeta Grove at the price of its own surface covered with gold pieces from Prince Jeta, its owner, and presented it to the Buddha for the use of the Order. For his death and subsequent apparition Cf. M. iii, 262; S. i, 55.

[109]This layman, eminent for his knowledge of Dhamma, is fully described in the Citta-Saɱyutta, S. iv (K.S. iv, 190 ff.). Text has Macchika-; A. iii, 451, Macchikā-.

[110]Exposed in childhood as food for a yakkha, whom the Master converted, he was handed by the former to the latter, who returned him. Then, delivered over to the king's messenger (hatthato hatthaṅ gahetvā), being thus 'handed from hand to hand,' he was given this nickname. When he grew up he entered the Paths and gathered a large following by the four vatthū of liberality, kind speech, a useful life and equal treatment to all alike. Cf. SA. on S. i, 213; SnA. 217; infra, text 88, 136, 278.

[111]Cf. infra, text 277, etc.; S. v, 327, 371, 375, 395, 408.

[112]So called because he was tall and his morals were lofty (uggatā). Cf. K.S. iv, 67; A. iii, 49 ff. (Ugga-sutta).

[113]Comy. calls him Hatthigāmaka because of his house in Elephant Town. Cf. K.S. iv, 67. Burmese MSS. Uggatā.

[114]Acc. to Burmese MSS. Sūrabuddho and Sūrabandho. The only other mention of him in the Nikāyas appears to be at A. iii, 451 (B. Sūro Kammaṭho), where the same list of laymen occurs. After hearing a sermon of the Master on the impermanence of all skandhas he was at first deceived by Māra, the 'Evil One,' who personated the Buddha and said: 'Some skandhas are permanent.' His loyalty made him see through the deception.'

[115]Exposed at birth on a rubbish-heap at Rājagaha, he was found by the prince Abhaya, who brought him up: hence the name. In his sixteenth year he went to Takkasilā, the famous-university, to study medicine, was honoured by the rājah Bimbisāra, and cured the rājah Candapajjota. He lived on Vulture's Peak and also cured the Master of a sickness. Cf. Vin. i, 268 ff.

[116]Cf. K.S. iii, 1; iv, 73; A. ii, 61; iii, 295-7. On first seeing the Master he is said to have greeted him as his son. According to the legend he had been the Buddha's father or other relative in 500 births, while Nakulamātā had been his mother, etc. The couple attained the Paths together.
(The list referred to at A. iii 451 contains ten other laymen — viz., Tavakaṇṇika, Pūraṇa, Isidatta, Sandhāna, Vijaya, Vajjiyamahita, Meṇḍaka, the housefathers; and Vāseṭṭha, Ariṭṭha, Sāragga, lay followers; who realized the Deathless through unwavering loyalty to the Buddha, Dhamma and Order, and through Ariyan morality, knowledge and release.)

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