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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 3

Pesalā-Atimaññanā Suttaɱ

Disdaining the Kindly

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




The venerable Vaṅgīsa was once staying near Ālāvi
at the chief temple of that place,
together with his tutor,
the venerable Nigrodha-kappa.

On this occasion the venerable Vaṅgīsa[ed1] was despising amiable brethren
because of his skill in improvisation.[1]

And he thought:

"Alas! the loss to me!

Alas! no gain to me!

Alas! how hard for me to gain!

In that I have been despising amiable brethren
because of my skill in improvisation."

Then blaming himself for such conduct,
he of himself repented
and in that hour uttered the verses[2]: —

[238] "Renounce conceit, thou Gotama's disciple![3]
Wholly[4] from path of pride remove thy foot,
Since with that path some time infatuated
Long ere to-day thou truly didst repent.[5]
By self-deceit deceived this generation.
Destroyed by vanity, is doomed to woe.
For many an age in purgatory
Will folk eaten by pride lament their doom.

He weepeth not at any time, that brother,
Path-victor, who the highest hath achieved.
Both fame and happy conscience he enjoyeth.
With truth they call him Seer of the Norm.[6]
Hence in this life, strenuous, unimpeded,
Dispelled all hindrances, and purified,
Renouncing pride and vanity entirely,
Calm and with knowledge, doth he make an end."


[ed1] Mrs. Rhys Davids has: "On another occasion, at the same place, the venerable ..." See: SN 1 8 1.

[1] Paṭibhāna. In popular usage, as here, that swift facility in adapting knowledge and expressing it, which is so marked by Vaṅgisa's chief talent, and for which he stood foremost (A. i, 24). Cf. this usage in the laymen's remarks: Dialogues, ii, 370; M. i, 378. Paṭbhāna is a department in the philosophy of paṭisambhidā (cf. Points of Controversy, pp. 377 f.), and the Commentators as schoolmen naturally refer to it explicitly, or by exegesis. But they are here unnecessarily academic. B. pictures him scorning 'these old fellows'' want of skill in text, commentary, or methods of 'exposition.'

[2] Pss. of the Brethren, vers. 1219-22, and notes. The metre differs from that of § 2 only in 2st and 3rd padas.

[3] B. and Dh. agree.

[4] Asesaṅ (sabbaṅ) belongs to the preceeding pada. See Theragāthā

[5] Therag.: Oldenberg selects dhamma-daso: Norm-seer, as the Singhalese MSS. read. Rato is well in keeping with the foregoing Suttas. On tathattaṅ (an adverbial accusative?) cf. Sn. ver. 520; pavuccate tathatā.

[6] Dh. paraphrases vijjāy' by viddhāya: of pride end-maker. B. has only vijjāya: by knowledge.

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