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Saɱyutta Nikāya
5. Mahā-Vagga
47. Sati-Paṭṭhāna Saɱyutta
2. Nālandā Vagga

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
5. The Great Chapter
47. Kindred Sayings on the Stations of Mindfulness
2. Nālandā

Sutta 20

Janapada-Kalyāṇī Suttaɱ

The Countryside

Translated by F. L. Woodward

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[1][than][bodh] THUS have I heard:

On a certain occasion the Exalted One was staying among the Sumbhā,
at Desakā, a district of the Sumbhā.

On that occasion the Exalted One addressed the monks, saying:

"Suppose, monks, the multitude flock together, crying:

'The fairest lass in all the country-side!

The fairest lass in all the country-side!'[1]

Then that girl,
displaying all her charms,[2]
dances for them,
sings for them,
and a still greater multitude
would flock together crying:

'The fairest lass in all the countryside
is dancing,
she is singing!'

Then comes a man,
fond of his life,
not in love with death,
fond of ease,
averse from pain,
and they say to him:

'See here, my man!

Holding the Bowl

Here's a bowl brimful of oil.

You must carry it round[3]
between the crowd
and the fairest lass in all the countryside.

Behind you
in your tracks
comes a man with uplifted sword.

If you spill a drop,
off goes your head!'

Now what think ye, monks?

Would that fellow,
neglecting that bowl of oil,
turn away his attention
to outside things[4]
and grow slack?"

"Surely not, lord."

"Well, monks, this is a parable I have made
for your understanding.

This is the meaning of it.

'The bowl brimful of oil,' monks,
is a term for mindfulness relating to body.[5]

Wherefore, monks, thus must ye train yourselves:

'Mindfulness relating to body
shall be cultivated by us,
shall be made much of,
made a vehicle,[6]
made effective.

It shall be increased and well applied.'

Thus, monks, must ye train yourselves."


[1] Janapada-kalyāṇi. Cf. D. 1, 193; K.S. ii, 159; JA. i, 394 (the comment on which our Comy. repeats or (?) vice versa); vol. i, p. 232, of Lord Chalmers' translation in the Cambridge University series. (For the points of beauty in a woman, cf. also UdA. 170.)

[2] Parama-pasāvī.

[3] Reading v.l. of text, pariharitabbo (JA. hāretabbo).

[4] Badhiddha pamādam āhareyya.

[5] Kāya-gata-sati. Cf. K.S. iv, 76, etc.

[6] Cf. K.S. 1, 146.

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