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Saɱyutta Nikāya
I. Sagātha Vagga
9. Vana-Saɱyutta

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
I. Kindred Sayings with Verses
9. The Forest Suttas

Sutta 1

Viveka Suttaɱ


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




A certain brother was once staying among the Kosalese,
in a certain forest tract.

Now on that occasion,
while taking siesta,
he indulged in wrong and evil thoughts
connected with worldly matters.[2]

Then a deva who haunted that forest,
moved with compassion for that brother,
desiring his welfare,
and wishing to agitate him,
drew nigh to him and addressed him in the verses: —

"Into the wood fain for detachment come,
Lo! how thy vagrant mind wanders without.
As man for men, suppress all purposes[3];
Thereby shalt thou be happy, rid of lusts.
Thrust out[4] thy disaffection! heedful thou!
Become[5] one of the good! that we approve.[6]
For hard is it to outstrip the reek of hell.[7]
[251] Be not swept down with reek of sense-desires.
Just as a bird sand-flecked, shaking itself
Throws off the dust adhering [to its plumes],
So the good brother, heedful, strenuous,
Shaking himself, throws off the adhering dust."

Then that brother agitated by the deva, was greatly moved.


[1] The schoolmen distinguish three forms of viveka: (1) of the body, or physical solitude, (2) of the mind, (3) of Nibbāna, or severance from all aims connected with worldly, or any other form of life.

[2] Geha-: lit. domestic life, and life in the world generally (geha = house).

[3] Chanda, desire-to-do. Unparticularized, the term often implies irreligious, worldly desire or intention, and dhamma- is sometimes prefixed in the opposite connection.

[4] Pajahāsi.

[5] Bhavāsi.

[6] A very obscure line. The Comy. reads saddāyamāmase, and has: 'him who is mindful, wise, we too are pleased. Or the meaning is "the norm of the good, that we approve."' The text has sarāyamdmase — 'we bear in mind.'

[7] On pāṭāla see I, 5, § 4; IV, 3, § 5. 'Reek' and 'dust' are in the Pali rajo, on which see p. 5, n. 2. I have not anywhere else met either the compound pāṭāla-rajo, or dur-uttamaɱ, here rendered 'hard to outstrip'.

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