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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 8

Parosahassa Suttam

A Thousand and More

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




The Exalted One was once staying near Sāvatthī,
at the Jeta Vana,
in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park,
with a great company of twelve hundred and fifty brethren.[1]

Now on that occasion the Exalted One was instructing,
and inspiring the brethren by a sermon bearing on Nibbāna.

And those brethren, with their whole mind applied,
attentive and intent,
listened with rapt hearing to the Norm.

Then the venerable Vaṅgīsa,
arising from his seat,
and draping his outer robe over one shoulder,
bent his clasped hands saluting toward the Exalted One, and said:

"It is revealed to me, Exalted One!
it is revealed to me, Blessed One!"

And the Exalted One said:

"Be it revealed to thee, Vaṅgīsa." Then the venerable Vaṅgīsa extolled the Exalted One in his presence with suitable verses: —

"A thousand brethren, yea, and more than these
Attend around the Blessed One who here
Doth teach the Norm, the passionless, the pure,
Even Nibbāna, where can come no fear.[2]
They hearken to the Norm immaculate,
Taught by the Enlightened One Supreme.
0 wondrous fair the All-enlightened shines
'Mid all the Band of brethren as their chief.
Mysterious spirit[3] thou, Exalted One,
The seventh in the lineage of the Seers,
Like a great storm-cloud [in the summer sky]
On thy disciples pouring plenteous rain.
[245] And one of these from siesta-musing come,
Full fain his [gracious] Master to behold,
Thy true disciple, mighty Hero [see!],
Low at thy feet Vaṅgīsa worships thee."

"Say now, Vaṅgīsa,[4]
were these verses thought out by thee beforehand,
or have they been revealed to thee just on the spot."

"Nay, lord, these verses were not thought out by me beforehand;
they were revealed to me just on the spot."

"Wherefore, Vaṅgīsa,
let yet more verses,
not thought out beforehand,
be revealed to thee just on the spot."

"So be it, lord," replied Vaṅgīsa,
and in additional verses
not thought out beforehand
he extolled the Exalted One: —

"O'er Māra's devious ways faring triumphant.
Thou breakest up the fallows of our hearts.
Behold him from all bondage our deliverer,
Himself full fraught[5] the harvest he imparts.
Yea, thou hast shown a Way by many methods
For crossing o'er the torrent safe to land;
And that Ambrosial thus manifested,
Norm-seers[6] inexpugnable we stand.
Light-bringer, he hath pierced beyond, beholding
Past all those stations [where we end our flight],[7]
The topmost height knowing and realizing,
He showeth us that vantage-point of sight.
[246] Lo! now in truth so well revealed, for trifling
What place is there for those who learn his Lore?
Hence zealously within that Master's system
Train ye alway, and while ye train, adore."


[1] The legendary number of the seventh Buddha's (Gotama's) Arahants. See Dialogues, ii, 7.

[2] This striking compound a-kuto-bhayaɱ, 'the [having] no-whence-fear,' is applied either to Nibbāna, as here, cf. Pss. of the Sisters, vers. 135, 333, or to the Buddha, v. 512; Brethren, vers. 289, 510, 831, 912. Cf. above, I, 5, § 6.

[3] Nāga. Cf. above, 38, n. 4.

Afflatus. [Latin afflatus, lit. act of blowing or breathing on ...] a divine imparting of knowledge or power: supernatural or overmastering impulse: Inspiration. — Websters

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[4] Vaṅgīsa, thought the Master, does his work without hesitating, neither by developing a given statement, nor in reply to questioning, nor by pondering over it. He goes about tying gāthās together and making padas of aromatic powder. I must show the others how well he does it.' Comy. Vaṅgīsa, quickened in afflatus by the 'encore,' surpasses himself.

[5] See Pss. of the Brethren, p. 404, n. 2. 'Full fraught' (asitaɱ) fits better, I still think, than a-sitaɱ (for a-nissitaɱ); see Jātaka ii, p. 247 (Comy.).

[6] See above, 238, n. 4.

[7] Viññāṇa, or diṭṭhi. Comy. Cf. Dialogues, ii, 66 f.

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