Aṅguttara Nikāya

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Aṅguttara Nikāya
4. Catukka Nipāta
IV. Cakka Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fours
IV: The Wheel

Sutta 40

Udāyī Suttaɱ


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

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[43] [50]

[1][bodh] Thus have I heard:

On a certain occasion the Exalted One was staying near Sāvatthī.

Now the brahmin Udāyin came to visit the Exalted One,
and on coming to him
greeted him courteously,
and after the exchange of greetings and courtesies
sat down at one side.

So seated
the brahmin Udāyin said this to the Exalted One:

[51] 'Pray, does the worthy Gotama praise sacrifice?

'No, brahmin,
I do not praise every sacrifice.

Yet I would not withhold praise
from every sacrifice.

In whatever sacrifice, brahmin,
cows are slaughtered,
goats and sheep are slaughtered,
poultry and pigs are slaughtered
and divers living creatures
come to destruction, -
such sacrifice, brahmin,
which involves butchery
I do not praise.

Why so?

To such a sacrifice, brahmin,
involving butchery
neither the worthy ones
nor those who have entered on the worthy way
draw near.

But in whatever sacrifice, brahmin,
cows are not slaughtered
goats and sheep are not slaughtered,
poultry and pigs are not slaughtered
and divers living creatures
come not to destruction,
such sacrifice
not involving butchery
I do praise;
such as, for instance,
a long-established charity,
an oblation for the welfare of the family.

Why so?

Because, brahmin, the worthy ones,
those who have entered on the worthy way,
do draw near to such a sacrifice
which involves not butchery.

Fit sacrifice performed in season due
And free from cruelty,[2] - to such draw near
Those well trained in the God-life, even those
Who have the veil rolled back while (yet) on earth,[3]
Who have transcended time and going.[4] Such
Do the enlightened praise, those skilled in merit.[5]

Whether in sacrifice or act of faith,[6]
Oblation[7] fitly made with heart devout
To that good field of merit, - those who live
The God-life, they who offerings most deserve -
Well offered, sacrificed, conferred, - so given
Lavish the offering; devas therewith are pleased.
Thus offering, the thoughtful, faithful one[8]
With heart released, thereby becoming wise.
Wins to the blissful world from suffering free.'[9]


[1] Cf. K.S. v, 72; G.S. i, 208.

[2] Nirārambhaɱ = pāṇa-samārambha-rahitaɱ. Comy.

[3] Vivatta-cchadā. Cf. D. i, 89 (­chadda). Comy. does not notice.

[4] Kālaɱ gatiɱ (text gatī) = vatta-kāle c'eva vatta-gatiñ ca atikkantā. Comy. Some MSS. read -kathaɱ-kathī. Sinh. text vītivatta-kālaɱ-gatiɱ.

[5] Text should read kovidā.

[6] The brahmin shraddhā ceremony, like the Buddhist Peta-dāna = mataka-dāna. Comy.

[7] Havyan. So Comy. and Sinh. text, but our text bhavyaɱ = bhabbaɱ. Cf. Sn. 464; S. i, 169, Hunitabbaɱ (from juhati). Comy.

[8] There seems to be a play on the words, contrasting medha, medhāvī; saddha, shraddha.

[9] Avyāpajjhaɱ, here a noun, as at Itiv. 16, 52 = 'non-injury' (ahiṅsa)

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