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Saɱyutta Nikāya
I. Sagātha Vagga
7. Brāhmana Saɱyutta

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
I. Kindred Sayings with Verses
7. The Brāhmana Suttas

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



I: Arahants


Sutta 5

Ahiɱsaka Suttaɱ





When The Exalted One was once staying near Sāvatthī,
Innocens (Ahiṅsaka) of the Bhāradvāja brahmins
came to [visit] the Exalted One and,
exchanging with him the compliments of amity and courtesy,
took his 'seat at one side.

So seated, he said to the Exalted One:

"I am Innocens, Master Gotama,
I am Innocens."[2]

[The Exalted One:—]

"As is the name so should its bearer be.
Wouldst thou be Innocens [as thou art named]?
Whoso in deed, word, thought ne'er noxious is,
Who on another worketh never harm: —
He verily is [well named] Innocens."

When he had thus spoken, Innocens said:

"Most excellent, lord, most excellent!

Just as if a man were to set up
that which had been thrown down,
or were to reveal
that which was hidden away,
or were to point out the right road
to him who had gone astray,
or were to bring a lamp into the darkness
so that those who had eyes could see external objects
— even so, lord, has the lord Gotama shown me his doctrine in various ways.

I even I, lord, betake myself
to the Exalted One as my refuge,
to the Norm
and to the Order.

I would leave the world
under [the Rule of] Gotama;
I would take orders."

So the Bhāradvāja brahmin left the world under the Exalted One, and was ordained.

And not long after his ordination the venerable Bhāradvāja,
remaining alone and separate,
ardent and strenuous,
attained [ere long] to that supreme goal of the higher life,
for the sake of which the clansmen rightly go forth from home into the homeless;
yea, that supreme goal did he by himself,
even in this present life,
come to understand and realize.

He came to understand that rebirth was destroyed,
that the holy life was being lived,
that his task was done,
that for life as we conceive it there was no hereafter.

And the venerable Bhāradvāja became one of the Arahants.


[1] Comy.: The Recensionists called him so either because of his remark (called technically 'question': pañha), or because he was actually so named.
It was as necessary to translate the name here as it was in the form ascribed to the converted bandit Angulimāla, Pss. of the Brethren, ver. 879:

Innocens! such the name I bear,
While Noxious in the past was I.
To-day most truly am I named,
For now I hurt not any man.

And since 'innocent,' meaning literally harmless, has the most dominant meaning now, of pure, guiltless or guileless, it was deemed here, too, better to retain the Latin form, where the dominant meaning is 'innocuous.' Cf. Cicero's: innocens is dicitur, non qui leviter nocet, sed qui nihil nocet. (Tusc. 5, 14, 41). So little, unfortunately, has 'harmlessness' been held up as an ideal, in spite of its Christianity, by the aggressive and intolerant culture of Europe, that it is impossible to take that word as an equivalent of the term, so lofty in Buddhist ethics, of ahiṅsā.

[2] This was apparently no protest, or professing, but the ancient Indian formula of respectful loyalty and devotion. Cf. above where King Pasenadi uses it, III, 2, § 1, and in M. ii, 120.

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