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Saɱyutta Nikāya
I. Sagātha Vagga
8. Vaṅgīsa-Thera-Saɱyutta

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
I. Kindred Sayings with Verses
8. The Vaṅgisa Suttas

Sutta 2

Arati Suttaɱ


Translated by Mrs. Rhys Davids
Assisted by Sūriyagoḍa Sumangala Thera
Copyright The Pali Text Society. Public Domain.




On another occasion,
when the venerable Vaṅgīsa was staying near Āḷavī,
at the chief temple there,
together with his tutor,
the venerable Nigrodha-Kappa,
the latter would enter his cell
on returning from his alms-round
and not leave it again till evening or the next day.[1]

Now on one such occasion
disaffection arose in the venerable Vaṅgīsa,
and lust harassed his heart.

And blaming and composing himself by himself he thought:

"Alas! the loss to me!
Alas! no gain to me!
Alas! how hard for me to gain!
Alas! no easy thing for me to gain!
in whom disaffection has arisen,
and lust harasses the heart.

How were it possible here and now
that another should cause me to get rid of this disaffection
and produce loyal love?

What if I were now by myself
to get rid of my disaffection
and cause loyal love to arise?"

And the venerable Vaṅgīsa by himself
got rid of his disaffection
and caused loyal love to arise within him.

In that hour he uttered these verses: —

"I[2] who had given up dislikes and dotings
In all that stirs the lay imagination,
May not make anywhere a haunt for lusting.
He who from jungly vice[3] hath gained the open,
From lusting free,[4] 't is he is truly bhikkhu.
All things material here on earth dwelling,
Or in the upper air that's based on land,
Transient is all and all away is wearing: —
They thus discerning live who understand.[5]
To all that makes for life[6] the folk cleave ever,
[237] To things they touch, perceive[7] and see, and hear.
Herein his will suppressing, unaffected,
Adhering nowhere, him the wise call Seer.
Of basis sixty-fold those wrongful notions[8]
Fixed in the nature of the multitude,
A bhikkhu he, who ne'er gives his adhesion
To groups of these[9]; whose speech is never lewd.[10]
Richly endowed, long since of self the master,
Candid yet wise, and free from craving's power,
The seer hath won the state of peace, and therefore[11]
Perfect and cool awaits his final hour."


[1] He was vihāra-garuko (attached importance to keeping to the cell). Comy.

[2] See Pss. of the Brethren, 1214-18. The metre in the text

image of metre

has not occurred above, nor can I find a Pali name for it. The readings differ here and there from those in the parallel passage; the discrepancies are indicated below.

[3] See above, VII, 2, § 7. The whole line amplifies the word nibbanatho.

[4] The Comy. reads arato = taṇhā-rahito. The PTS. has a-nato, without inclination (nati), lit., as with us, 'unbent,' a far better reading, and according well with the metaphor used: 'Unbending walks, 't is he ...'

[5] Muttatā; Theragāthā mut[t]antā; explained as 'having understood.'

[6] 'The devices of the khandhas and kilesas.' Comy.

[7] See Pss. of the Brethren, 398, n. 9. Here Dhammapāla quotes our Comy. by name, as taking pāṭighe to mean 'smelt and tasted,' and mute to mean 'touched' — a forcing the words to give the regulation list of the 5 senses. I have followed the more usual rendering, with Dhammapāla (altering the order for rhyme).

[8] Another discrepancy. The PTS. ed. gives a line that does not scan, albeit tasita (trṣita) is good, if rare and (?) late Pali (Dāṭhavaṅsa, III, 44). The Comy. reads atha saṭṭhi-nissitā sa-vitakkā, the sa- being merely met caus, and refers to six, not sixty, objects of sense.

[9] Kilesa-vaggato. Comy.

[10] See Pss. 398, n. 3. [Ed.: ?]

[11] The curiously inserted paṭicca is referred by B. to the 'state of peace': nibbānaɱ paṭicca.

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