Aṅguttara Nikāya

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Aṅguttara Nikāya
VIII. Aṭṭhaka Nipāta
II: Mahā Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Eights
II. The Great Chapter

Sutta 13

Ājāñña Suttaɱ

The Thoroughbred

Translated from the Pali by E.M. Hare.

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[188] [130]

[1][bodh][than] Thus have I heard:

Once the Exalted One was dwelling near Sāvatthī,
at Jeta Grove,
in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

There the Exalted One addressed the monks, saying:


"Yes, lord," they replied, and the Exalted One said:

"Monks, a goodly thoroughbred steed[1]
belonging to a rajah,
when possessed of eight points,
is worthy of a rajah,
is an acquisition to a rajah,
is reckoned a rajah's asset.

Of what eight?

Monks, herein a rajah's goodly thoroughbred steed
is of good breed on both sides;
in whatever part[2] other good horses are bred,
there he is bred.

When given his feed,
green or dried,[3] he eats it carefully,
without scattering it about.

He feels abhorrence
at lying or sitting
in dung or urine.

Pleasing is he
and easy to live with;
he does not cause other horses to stampede.

Whatever are his vices,
or wiles,[4]
he shows them to the driver,
as they really are,
and his driver tries to correct them.

When in harness,[5] he thinks:

"Well, let other horses pull as they please,
I'll pull this way!"

In going, he goes the straight way.

He is steadfast,
showing steadfastness till life end in death.

Monks, possessed of these eight points,
a thoroughbred steed
is worthy of a rajah,
is an acquisition,
is reckoned a rajah's asset.




[131] Even so, monks,
possessed, of eight points
a monk is worthy of offerings,
worthy of gifts,
worthy of oblations,
the world's peerless field for merit.

Of what eight?

Monks, herein a monk is virtuous,
abiding restrained by the restraint of the Obligations,
perfect in behaviour and conduct,
seeing danger in the smallest fault;
he accepts the precepts
and trains himself accordantly.

When they give him food,
mean or choice,
he eats it carefully without a murmur.

He feels abhorrence;
he abhors misconduct in deed,
and thought;
he abhors entertaining
evil and unrighteous ideas.

He is pleasing and easy to live with,
he does not trouble the other monks.

Whatever are his vices,
or wiles,
he shows them as they really are
to the teacher
or to some learned fellow-monk
in the godly life;
and his teacher or fellow-monk
tries to correct them.

As a learner he thinks:

"Well, let other monks train as they please.

I'll train in this way."

In going,
he goes the straight way,[6] and herein is that way:

Right view,
right aim[ed1]
right speech,
right action,
right livelihood,
right effort,
right mindfulness,
and right concentration.

Strenuous in endeavour he abides, thinking:

"Come what may,[7]
let skin and bone and sinew but remain,
let flesh and blood dry up within my body;[8]
until is won,
what may be won by strength of man,
by toil of man,
by pains of man,
there will become no stay[9] in energy!"

Monks, possessed of these eight points
a monk is worthy of offerings,
worthy of gifts,
worthy of oblations,
the world's peerless field for merit.


[1] Cf. G.S. i, 223; ii, 118, 255.

[2] Comy. On the banks of the Sindhu river (a tributary of the Jumna, C.H.I. i, 520); cf. Dhp. 322.

[3] Allaɱ vā sukkaɱ vā (v.l. sukkhaɱ, so Comy. adding tiṇaɱ).

[4] Cf. M. i, 340; A. v, 167.

[5] Vāhī. Comy. vahanabhāvo dinn'ovāda-paṭikaro.

[6] Ujumagga.

[7] Kāmaɱ, lit. willingly. [Ed. 'with pleasure']

[8] This passage recurs at M. i, 481; S. ii, 28; G.S. i, 45; cf. J. i, 70, where avasussatu for avasissatu, so Mrs. Rhys Davids at K.S. ii, 24; cf. Tr. at M. i, 569. [Ed.: -(avasissatu AMZZ, only AN. has -sussatu occasionally. In several later texts, as Jāt. i, pp. 71, 110, this phrase is quoted, invariably with the reading upasussatu sarīre, and generally with avasussatu for -sissatu, cf. Bālāv. p. 5. (Comp. Lal. Vist. p. 326: Saɱçushka (for -aɱ) Māɱsa-rudhira(ɱ) carmasnāyvasthikāç ca avaçishṭā:).]

[9] Saṇṭhānay. Comy. glosses osakkanaɱ, drawing back.


[ed1] Hare abbreviates this list. In this Volume he has previously used "resolve" for saṅkappa (p 28, AN 7 42), which is commented on by Mrs. Rhys Davids: "...is to waste a strong word on a weaker. I have gone into this makeshift for 'will' elsewhere ... 'To fit' (kḷp) is here the root-idea. In it we have the man as India saw him, 600 BC., thinking, then adapting, fitting act to thought. But 'resolve' is a very synergy of the whole man; will to act with coefficient of thought and desire." This editor has suggested in his own translations the use of the word 'principles', for what is fit and proper. In Volume III, p 292 [AN 6.63] Hare gives 'right purpose'.

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