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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



II: The Lay Adherents


Sutta 18

Kaṭṭhahāra Suttaɱ




[18.1][than] THUS HAVE I HEARD:

The Exalted One was once staying among the Kosalese
in a certain forest.

Now on that occasion
the numerous pupils of one of the Bharadvaja brahmins,
lads gathering sticks,
came into that forest.

And so coming, they saw the Exalted One
seated there cross-legged,
the body fixed erect,
and mindfulness set up before his face.[1]

And so seeing
they sought out the Bharadvaja brahmin and said:

"An it please you, sir,
know that in the forest yonder
a recluse is seated cross-legged,
the body fixed erect,
and mindfulness set up before his face."

Then the brahmin together with the lads
repaired to the forest
and beheld the Exalted One
seated as they had told him.

And seeing him,
the brahmin drew near
and addressed the Exalted One in the verse[2]

"Thou who hast plunged in forest lone and void,
In jungle depths, fearsome and perilous,
With frame[3] impassive, steadfast, beautiful,
[229] 0 almsman, wondrous fair thine ecstasy.[4]
Not where they sing, nor even where is speech
Thou bidest, but alone within the wood,
A seer to whom the forest is a home.
That thou thus dwellest lone and rapture-filled
Reveals itself as wondrous strange to me
For, sir, meseems if thou art fain to taste
Communion with the Lord of all the world,[5]
In threefold[6] heavenly sphere most high reborn,
Why then dost not, abandoning the woods,
Untrod by man, work among us severe
Austerities that lift to Brahmā-world?"

[The Exalted One: —]

"All longing[7] or obsession of the heart,
In divers things deeply for aye engrossed,
The promptings of desires[8] sprung from the root
Of nesciënce: — together with their root,
All these have I brought to an utter end.
I [sit] unswayed, unhankering and aloof;
With vision clarified all things I see.
The goal supreme of blest enlightenment
Is won, 0 brahmin, and I contemplate
In secret places with a heart serene."

When this was spoken, the Bharadvaja brahmin said:

"Most excellent, Master Gotama, most excellent!

As if one raised up
that which had been overthrown,
or revealed
that which had been hidden,
or declared the way
to one who was bewildered,
or carried an oil-lamp into the dark,
so that they that had eyes could see,
even so is the Norm in many ways made manifest by Master Gotama.

Lo! I go for refuge to Gotama the Exalted One,
to the Norm,
and to the Order.

May Master Gotama suffer me as a lay-adherent,
who from this day forth
as long as life endures
has taken in him refuge!"


[1] Cf. VII, 1, § 10.

[2] These gāthās are in Jagatī metre, not used in this work till now, and the diction, spoilt alas! in translation, is very beautiful.

[3] B. here supplies this word (kāya-visesanāni).

[4] The Comy. reads, with the Burmese, sundararūpaɱ, but su-cāru* scans better, and gives the intensive su: ati-sundaraɱ jhānaɱ jhāyasi.

[5] Lokādhipati, i.e. Great Brahmā. Comy.

[6] The Brahmā-heaven is catalogued as threefold with respect to inmates: retinue, ministers, great Brahmās. Cf. Vibhanga, 424.

[7] Kankhā, and below a-kankho, usually meaning 'doubt' (cf. Dīgha Nik. iii, 217), the prefix converting it into 'desire,' ā-kankhā, being dropped probably for metrical reasons. But in Sanskrit kānkhā is only 'longing.'

[8] Pajappitā. Jappa, lit. muttering, with its prefixes, is a synonym of lobha or taṇhā. See Bud. Psy. Eth., 279 f., n. 6. B. echoes here the comment he makes there. Cf. above p. 180, n. 2; 207, l. 1.

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