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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 21

Saṅgārava Suttaɱ





On one occasion when the Exalted One was at Sāvatthi
the brahmin Sangārava[1] was living there,
and he was a Purity-by-Water man
believing[2] in purification by water;
evening and morning he made a religious practice
of going down into the water.[3]

[232] Now the venerable Ānanda[4] rising early and dressing himself,
took bowl and robe
and went into Sāvatthì for alms.

Making his tour he dined,
and on his return went to the Exalted One,
saluted him,
and took his seat at one side.

So seated, he told the Exalted One
of the views of Sangārava the brahmin,
and said:

"It would be well, lord,
if the Exalted One would visit the dwelling
of Sangārava the brahmin,
out of compassion for him."

The Exalted One silently consented.

And the next morning early
the Exalted One dressed himself,
and taking bowl and robe,
set out for the dwelling of Sangārava the brahmin
and, when there,
seated himself on a seat that stood ready.

Then Sangārava came up to the Exalted One,
and exchanging with him the greetings
and compliments of courtesy,
sat down at one side.

So seated, to him the Exalted One said:

"Is it indeed true, brahmin,
that thou art a water-purifier,
and believest in purification by water;
and dost thou make it a religious practice
to go down into the water both evening and morning?"

"That is so, Master Gotama."

"Now what advantage, brahmin,
art thou looking for,
in that thou believest and actest on this wise?"

"In this way, Master Gotama:

The evil deeds that I do during thè day,
these by my bathing
I cause to be borne away the same evening;
the evil deeds that I do at night,
these by my bathing
I cause to be borne away the next morning.

That is the advantage I look for,
in that I believe and act on this wise."

[The Exalted One: —]

"The Norm's a lake, virtue its strand for bathing,
Clear, undefiled, praised by the good to good men,
[233] Wherein in sooth masters of lore come bathing,
So, clean of limb, to the Beyond cross over."[5]

When this was spoken,
Sangarava said to the Exalted One:

"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] Not the same, probably, as the brahmin youth of that name of Caṇḍalakappa in Kosala, Majjhima-Nik. ii, 209 f.. with which cf above, VII, 1, § 1.

[2] Pacceti.

[3] Cf Pss. of the Sisters, LXV: dialogue between Puṇṇā, or Puṇṇikā, and a brahmin of similar views. The practice especially when practised three times daily, counted as a form of tapas, or self-mortification. See Dialogues, i, 232; Ang. i, 296; ii, 206.

[4] According to B., Ānanda and Sangārava had, as laymen, been friends, and the former was anxious to prevent 'this wretch who, for all our friendship, has contracted wrong views, from becoming a "hell-filler" moreover, he has a large circle and hundreds may follow, if he is converted.'

[5] Occurs VII, 1, § 9.

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