Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
Sattaka Nipāta
3. Vajjī Vagga

Sutta 19

Sārandada Suttaɱ [An Adaptation][1]

Discourse on the Longevity of the State

 


 

[1][pts] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time, The Lucky Man, Vesāli-land revisiting.

There the Buddha gave the Vajjians a discourse on the factors contributing to the longevity of a country:

1. So long as the leading citizens[2] of the country often meet together
in discussion of the affairs of state,
growth in that country may be expected,
not decline.

2. So long as the leading citizens of the country sit down in agreement,
rise up in agreement,[3]
growth in that country may be expected,
not decline.

3. As long as the officials of the country
adhere to the ideals established
in the country's original constitution,
and formulate no new ideals,[4]
growth in that country may be expected,
not decline.

4. As long as the powerful
shall not sexually molest and abuse
the women and girls of the country,[5]
growth in that country may be expected,
not decline.

5. As long as the officials of the country
honor, respect, venerate and revere
the sacred places of the people of the country,[6]
growth in that country may be expected,
not decline.

6. As long as the country provides protection, refuge and shelter
for the worthy[7]
— both within and outside the boarders, —
growth in that country may be expected,
not decline.

7. As long as the people honor, respect, venerate, and revere
the Elder statesmen,[8]
growth in that country may be expected,
not decline.

 


[1] As well as bringing the terminology into alignment with our modern situation, the order of the rules has been changed to point to the fact that when the leaders of a nation act with nobility, the people will respect them.

[2] Leading citizens. This is both those in government service and private citizens with leadership qualifications. Influential people.

[3] This may seem impossible in this world as it is today, but the idea is sound: keep out of the discussion those topics which are a source of conflict. Arrive at consensus. Deal with devisive issues privately until agreement can be reached.

[4] With 40,000 + new laws being created every year in this country, the logic of this rule is obvious. What is needed is a basic set of rules such as is found in the original Constitution of the United States, and a system of judges that will wisely interpret those rules as they apply to individual cases. In other words in stead of laws, there should be presidents. The proliferation of laws has made virtually everyone in the world a criminal in one way or another. Such a state of things does not contribute to the respect for the rule of law.

[5] The idea is that with abusive behavior comes resentment and division of the people from within.

[6] Sacred places of all faiths! This was adapted to conform to the fact that there are multiple faiths practiced today in most nation-states.

[7] The original term used was 'Arahant'. This term means 'one who is worthy'. The definition of 'worthy' changes, but here means 'noble': Holy men and truth-seekers, the innocent, the generous, hard-working, enterprising, ethical, self-disciplined, and wise.

[8] A natural consequence of following the previous six rules.

 


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