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Saɱyutta Nikāya
I. Sagātha Vagga
6. Brahmā Saɱyutta

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
I. Kindred Sayings with Verses
6. The Brahmā Suttas

Translated by Mrs. Rhys Davids
Assisted by Sūriyagoḍa Sumangala Thera
Public Domain





Sutta 10

Dutiya Kokālika Suttaɱ

The Kokālikan




The Exalted One was once staying near Sāvatthī,
at Jeta Grove,
in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

On this occasion the Kokālikan bhikkhu[1]
coming into the presence of the Exalted One,
saluted him and took his seat at one side.

And so seated said thus [189] to the Exalted One:

"Wicked, lord, in their desires
are Sāriputta and Moggallāna!

They are ruled by wicked desires!"

Then said the Exalted One to the Kokālikan bhikkhu:

"Say not so,[2] Kokālikan,
say not so!

Put thy heart's trust[3]
in Sāriputta and Moggallāna!.

Lovely[4] are Sāriputta and Moggallāna!"

But the Kokālikan bhikkhu spoke a second time thus to the Exalted One:

"Even though, lord, the Exalted One be trustworthy
and his word reliable,[5]
yet wicked, I say, in their desires
are Sāriputta and Moggallāna!,
and ruled by wicked desires!"

The Exalted One spoke a second time thus
to the Kokālikan bhikkhu:

"Say not so, Kokālikan,
say not so!

Put thy heart's trust
in Sāriputta and Moggallāna!

Lovely are Sāriputta and Moggallāna!"

But the Kokālikan bhikkhu spoke the same words yet once again,
and the Exalted One answered him in the same words.

Then the Kokālikan bhikkhu,
rising from his seat,
saluted the Exalted One by the right
and departed.[6]

And soon after,
the Kokālikan's entire frame
was covered with pustules
like mustard seed.

From the size of mustard seed
they increased to that of small beans,
to that of chick-peas,
to that of kolaṭṭhi's,
to that of jujube-fruit,
[190] to that of myrobalan,
to that of unripe vilva fruit,
to that of billa fruit.

Whereupon they broke
and discharged pus and blood.

Then the Kokalikan bhikkhu died of that disease,
and being dead
he was reborn in the White Lotus Purgatory
for that he had hardened his heart
against Sāriputta and Moggallāna!

Thereupon Brahmā Sahampati,
when the night was far spent,
shedding radiance with his effulgent beauty
over the entire Jeta Grove,
drew near to the Exalted One,
and saluting, stood at one side and said:

"The Kokālikan bhikkhu, lord, is dead,
and being dead
he is reborn in the White Lotus Purgatory,
for that he did harden his heart
against Sāriputta and Moggallāna."

And having so said,
Brahmā saluted,
and passing round to left,
vanished there and then.

Then the Exalted One,
when the night had passed,
addressed the brethren,
telling them of the visit of Brahmā Sahampati
and of what he had announced.

And when he had thus spoken,
a certain brother asked the Exalted One:

"How long, lord, is the measure of life
in the White Lotus Purgatory?"

"Long indeed, bhikkhu, is the measure of life
in the White Lotus Purgatory.

Not easy is it to reckon
how many years,
or centuries,
or tens or thousands of centuries."

"Can we reckon it by means of a figure, lord?"

"We can, bhikkhu," said the Exalted One.

"Suppose there were a load of twenty kharis[7]
as we reckon them here in Kosala,
of sesamum seed.

And suppose at the end of every century
a man were to take out one seed at a time.

Sooner, bhikkhu, would that same load
be used up and finished
than [a term in] the Abbuda Purgatory.[8]

Now one term in the Nirabbuda Purgatory
is equal to twenty in Abbuda Purgatory;

one term [191] in Ababa Purgatory
is equal to twenty in Nirabbuda Purgatory;

one term in Aṭaṭa Purgatory
is equal to twenty in Ababa Purgatory;

one term in Ahaha Purgatory
is equal to twenty in Aṭaṭa Purgatory;

one term in Water-lily Purgatory
is equal to twenty in Ahaha Purgatory;[ed1]

one term in the Sogandhika Purgatory
is equal to twenty in the Water-lily Purgatory;

one term in the Blue Lotus Purgatory
is equal to twenty in the Sogandhika Purgatory;

one term in the White Lotus Purgatory
is equal to twenty in the Blue Lotus Purgatory.

And one term in Red Lotus Purgatory
is equal to twenty in White Lotus Purgatory.

But it is in White Lotus Purgatory, bhikkhu,
that the Kokālikan bhikkhu has been reborn,
for that he hardened his heart against Sāriputta and Moggallāna."

Thus spake the Exalted One.

And thereupon the Blessed Master spake thus: —

"In sooth to every man that's born
A hatchet grows within his mouth,
Wherewith the fool, whene'er he speaks
And speaks amiss, doth cut himself.
He who the blameworthy doth praise.[ed1]
Or who the praiseworthy doth blame,
Builds by his mouth his evil doom,
And by that doom he finds no weal.
Trifling the evil luck of one
Who by the dice doth lose his wealth.
But greater far his evil luck,
Taking his all and eke himself,
Who 'gainst the Blessed Saints on earth
Doth set his heart at enmity.
For vaster epochs doth he go —
A hundred thousand years and eke
Thirty and six, and yet five more —
To life in purgatory, who,
In thought and word on wrong intent,
Utters abuse of Ariyans."


[1] This popular story is also told in Sn.: — Kokāliya sutta, Mahāvagga, 10, in A. v, 170, and in Jāt. iv, No. 481, as the Takkariya Jātaka. B. states that the Kokālikan bhikkhu was a native of a kingdom and city called Kokālī, and the son of a setthi (leading citizen) also so-called! Also that he was not the pupil of Devadatta (see Vin. Texts, iii, 251), but was known as Culla-Kokālika, to distinguish him from Maha-Kokāllka, the former, who was of the brahmin class. He then gives a concise account of the Kokālikan's grievance, more fully told in the Jātaka Comy.

[2] I.e. mā āhā, evaɱ. Comy.: mā evaɱ abhani. Fausböll (SBE. X, p. 118) evidently read: mā hi evaɱ.

[3] 'Charity,' in the Jātaka translation is scarcely correct. The verb pa-sad is constantly used to express 'faith, trust, confidence in.'

[4] Pesalā, not 'amiable' (Fausböll, op. cit.), but 'sweetly virtuous' (piya-sīlā). Comy.

[5] So our text and Comy. The Jātaka Comy. has: 'Thou, Lord, believest in thy chief disciples.'

[6] 'Why? Through the mighty power of Karma. When once Karma gets "room," no one can thrust it off. It gave him no longer there to remain.' Comy.

Twenty Kharis = 1 Karika. The Magadha Karika = approximately: 103,959,025 sesame seeds, so the Kosalan Karika would be approximately 415,836,100 sesame seeds or 415,836,100,000 years in Abbida.
X 20 = 8,316,722,000,000 years in Nirabbuda;
X 20 = 166,334,440,000,000 years in Ababa;
X 20 = 3,326,688,800,000,000 years in Aṭaṭa;
X 20 = 66,533,776,000,000,000 years in Ahaha;
X 20 = 1,330,675,520,000,000,000 years in Water-Lilly;
X 20 = 532,270,208,000,000,000,000 years in Sogandhika;
X 20 = 10,645,404,160,000,000,000,000 years in Blue-Lotus;
X 20 = 212,908,083,200,000,000,000,000 years in White-Lotus;
X 20 = 4,258,161,664,000,000,000,000,000 years in Red-Lotus.

That's four undecillion, two-hundred-and-fifty-eight decillion, one hundred-sixty-one nonillion, six-hundred-sixty-four octillion years.

See: Weights and Measures

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[7] According to the Comy., the Kosalan measure, from a pattha upwards, were four times the bulk of those used in Magadha. 'Twenty khāri's = 1 kharika, or cartload of tila-seeds of the small Magadhese variety.' Cf. Rhys Davids: Ancient Coins, etc., § 32.

[8] These names do not represent separate hells (paṭiyekko nirayo natthi), but only periods of time in Avīchi (the general term for the informal regions; cf. Bud. Psy. Eth., p. 334) apportioned to each entrant by the automatic working of Karma. Comy.


[ed1] Mrs. Rhys Davids abbreviates.

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