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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 19

Mātu-Posaka Suttaɱ

The Mother-Maintainer




On one occasion at Sāvatthi
a brahmin who supported his mother[1]
came to see the Exalted One, and,
exchanging with him the greetings and compliments of courtesy,
took his seat at one side.

So seated, he said to the Exalted One:

"Of a truth, Master Gotama,
I seek my alms after the normal manner,[2]
and so seeking them I maintain my parents.

Am I not, sir, in so doing,
doing what ought to be done?"

"Yea, verily thou, brahmin,
in so doing
doest what ought to be done.

Whoso, brahmin, seeks alms after the normal manner,
and so seeking maintains his parents,
engenders much merit.

In normal fashion whoso doth maintain
His mother or his father, in this life
Him for that cherishing the wise commend,
And after death he wins the joys of heaven."[3]

When this had been spoken
the mother-maintaining 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] It was permissible, by the laws compiled in 'Manu,' for a brahmin to live by food given unasked or got by begging (IV, 4, 5), especially in times of scarcity (X, 120). Hence neither this brahmin, nor the mendicant (§ 10), was necessarily a recluse.

[2] Dhammena, as prescribed.

[3] This ṣloka occurs in Ang. ii, 69.

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