Aṅguttara Nikāya

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


IV. Sumanā Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fives
IV: Sumanā

Sutta 33

Uggaho Meṇḍakanattā Suttaɱ

Uggaha, a Householder[1]

Translated by E. M. Hare

Copyright The Pali Text Society
Commercial Rights Reserved
Creative Commons Licence
For details see Terms of Use.


[36] [28]

[1][bodh] Thus have I heard:

Once the Exalted One dwelt near Bhaddiya
in Jātiya Wood;
and there Uggaha, Meṇḍaka's grandson,
paid him a visit and,
after saluting,
sat down at one side.

So seated, he said to the Exalted One:

'Lord, let the Exalted One accept a meal at my house tomorrow,
he as fourth (with us three).'[2]

[29] The Exalted One accepted by his silence.

Then Uggaha, Meṇḍaka's grandson,
seeing the Exalted One had accepted,
rose from his seat,
and took his leave;
keeping the Exalted One on his right.

Now when the night was over,
the Exalted One, robing himself in the morning,
took bowl and cloak
and went to Uggaha's house,
and there sat down on the seat made ready.

And Uggaha, Meṇḍaka's grandson,
served and satisfied the Exalted One by hand
with plenty of hard and soft food
and when the Exalted One had removed his hand from his bowl,
he sat down at one side.

Thus seated, he said:

'Lord, these girls of mine
will be going to their husbands' families;
lord, let the Exalted One counsel them,
let the Exalted One advise them,
for their good and happiness
for many a day!'

Then the Exalted One spoke to them and said:

[3]Wherefore, girls, train yourselves in this way:

To whatsoever husband our parents shall give us —
wishing our weal,
seeking our happiness,
because of compassion —
for him we will rise up early,
be the last to retire,
be willing workers,
order all things sweetly
and be gentle voiced.[4]

Train yourselves thus, girls.

And in this way also, girls:

We will honour,
and respect
all whom our husband reveres,
whether mother or father,
recluse or godly man,
and on their arrival
will offer them a seat and water.

Train yourselves thus, girls.

And in this way also, girls:

We will be deft and nimble
at our husband's home-crafts,
whether they be of wool or [30] cotton,[5]
making it our business to understand the work,
so as to do and get it done.

Train yourselves thus, girls.

And in this way also, girls:

Whatever our husband's household consist of —
slaves, messengers and workfolk —
we will know the work of each
by what has been done,
their remissness
by what has not been done;
we will know the strength and the weakness of the sick;
we will divide the hard and soft food,
each[6] according to his share.

Train yourselves thus, girls.

And in this way also, girls:

The money,
and gold
that our husband brings home,
we will keep safe watch and ward over it,
and act as no robber,

Train yourselves thus, girls.

Indeed, girls,
possessed of these five qualities,
women, on the breaking up of the body after death,
are reborn among the devas of lovely form.

Active,[7] alert to cherish him alway,
Not to that man who brings[8] her every joy
She offers slight; nor will a good wife[9] move
To wrath her husband by some spiteful word;
And she reveres all whom her husband honours,
For she is wise. Deft, nimble, up betimes,
She minds his wealth amid his folk[10] at work
And sweetly orders all. A wife like this,
Who with her husband's wish and will complies,
Is born again where lovely devas dwell.'


[1] Mendaka (the ram) was a fabulously rich man with magic powers, which his household were also supposed to possess (see Vin. i, 240; Warren, B. in T. 448); he fed the B. and Order on a journey, after which travelling rations were allowed. Reference is made to him and his family at Vism. trsl. 443 (see note 1, p. 444; the stories, with less exaggeration, are told at Vin. loc. cit.); UdA. 158; DhpA.: Visākhāyā vatthu (Warren, op. cit., 451). His granddaughter was Visākhā (Sisters, p. 16). The family lived at Bhaddiya (our Comy. -ike) — according to Warren, in Bengal, but probably Magadha, since Bimbisāra sent his minister to witness M.'s magic (Vin.). I cannot trace Uggaha elsewhere, our Comy. is silent. Of Jātiyāvana, Comy. observes that the forest was one continuous stretch up the slope of the Himālayas.

[2] Atta-catuttho; Cf. M. I, 393, Comy. says he did so fearing his girls would be nervous (olīnamānā) among the monks and not able to take in the Buddha's words.

[3] These five and the gāthā recur at A. iv, 265.

[4] At D. ii, 175 these terms are applied to the ideal woman, itthiratana; at D. i, 60, [DN 17 § 35] M. ii, 84, [MN 84] S. iii, 113 [SN.22.85] to a servant or a slave; see D.A. i, 168. Cf. Brihaspati Smriti, xxiv, 6 (S.B.E. xxxiii, 368); 'Rising before others, paying reverence to the elders of the family, preparing food and condiments and using a low seat and bed — thus have the duties of women been declared.' Also Proverbs xxxi: 'She riseth while it is yet night ... she seeketh wool and flax and worketh willingly with her hands ... she looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.'

[5] Of the former Comy. observes: Combing, washing, dyeing, plaiting, working, etc., goat's hair; of the latter: ginning (vaṭṭana); piñjana, ?carding, lit.: painting, in Sk. also to bleach; phoṭana, ? spinning, lit. either to boil or shake; kantana, weaving, more generally spinning.

[6] Comy. with v.l. reads c'assa, as at A. iv.

[7] I take yo to refer to mātugāmo.

[8] With A. iv and Comy. reading -haraɱ for arahaɱ. Comy. -dadaɱ.

[9] Sotthi, Comy. su-itthi.

[10] Parijjanā: doubling the 'j' is no doubt for the sake of the metre, and this spelling has crept into the prose version at A. iv, 269; see P.E.D. s.v.

Copyright Statement