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Saɱyutta Nikāya
II. Nidāna Vagga

17. Lābha-Sakkāra Saɱyuttaɱ

Suttas 1-43

Fame, Favors and Gains

Translated from the Pali
by
Michael M. Olds

 


 

Note: This is not a translation that adheres closely to the original Pali. I have told the story according to how I hear it and think it would be best told today. This is not a sutta that depends heavily on technical knowledge of the Dhamma. It pounds home one idea that is not too difficult to grasp: the danger in Fame, Favors and Gains. In the case of these three key concepts, I believe the terms are translated here more closely to the Pali than are the terms used by the other translators. I happen to like this sutta as it demonstrates the point I am making about the suttas being "spells". Had the point of this sutta simply been to describe the mechanics of the dangers of gains, it could have been done in one paragraph and perhaps a simile. Instead this goes on for 10 pages in the highly abbreviated Pali, and was delivered over a period of several days. Whatever the reader's understanding of what a "spell" is supposed to be like, this sutta is an example of a spell. The importance of this sutta first came to my attention in New York City round about 1980 when one of my friends began to attain some fame; I wrote out this sutta for him in bold black ink on paper with the edges singed off all round. Hopefully it has served it's purpose in keeping him somewhat level-headed in his career.

 


 

I. Dāruṇa Vagga

I. A Hard Row

Sutta 1

A Hard Row

 

Evam me Sutam

[1][pts][bodh] I Hear Tell,

Ekam Samayam,

Once Upon a Time The Lucky Man, Sāvatthi-town, Anāthapiṇḍika Park, Jeta Grove came-a revisiting.

There to the Beggars gathered round he said:

Hard,[1] Beggars, are Fame[2], Favors and Gains;
cutting,[3] rough,[4] obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,[5]
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 2

The Hook

 

[2][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

If The Fisherman, Beggars,
were to Cast a Flesh-baited Hook
into a Deep Pool
and Some Hungry Fish there
with eyes in his head that could see
were to Swallow that Bait;
I say, Beggars,
that for sure that fish,
swallowing that Fisherman's Bait,
has been waylaid,
has come upon hard luck,
is subject to being treated
in any way that Fisherman wishes.

'The Fisherman', Beggars,
is another word for Māra, The Evil One.

'Flesh-Baited Hook', Beggars,
is another word for Fame, Favors and Gains.

Any Beggar, Beggars who,
set on enjoying pleasure,
tastes Fame, Favors and Gains;
I say, Beggars, that for sure
that Beggar has swallowed the Fisherman's Bait,
has been waylaid,
has come upon hard luck,
is subject to being treated
in any way Māra wishes.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 3

The Turtle

 

[3][pts][than][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Once Upon A Time,
a Long Long Time Ago, Beggars,
a great family of turtles,
used to live in a Certain Deep Pool.

And there, the number one turtle
says to another turtle:

'Friend Turtle, such and such a place here
should never be visited.'

But that turtle went to that place anyway,
and there was pierced by The Hunter's harpoon.

Then that turtle tried to return to the family
and the number one turtle saw him coming from way off
and said:

'Hello there, friend turtle, long-time-no-see, I hope you have not been visiting that place that should never be visited?'

'Well, yes, sir, I have visited that place,'
he said in reply.

'Well then, friend turtle,
I hope you were not pierced
by The Hunter's harpoon?'

And the turtle responded:

'Na, I wasn't pierced,
but there is this Twine[6]
that keeps trailing behind me.'

'Then for sure you have been pierced, friend turtle.

Know that for sure you have been pierced
in just such a way as your father
and grandfather before you
were pierced
and were waylaid
and came upon hard luck
because of this Twine.

It is time, now, for you to depart, friend turtle,
for you now belong to someone else.'

'The Hunter', Beggars,
is another word for Māra, The Evil One.

'The Harpoon', Beggars,
is another word for Fame, Favors and Gains.

'Twine,' Beggars,
is another word for being ensnared
by the enjoyment of pleasure.

Any Beggar, Beggars who,
set on enjoying pleasure,
becomes entwined in Fame, Favors and Gains;
I say, Beggars, that for sure
that Beggar has been pierced
by the Hunter's Harpoon,
has been waylaid,
has come upon hard luck,
is subject to being treated
in any way Māra wishes.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 4

The Long-Fleeced Nanny Goat

[4][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi,
The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

In the same way, Beggars,
as if a long-haired nanny goat
were to be tossed into the Briar Patch:
she would trip, stumble and fall
with her long hair
getting caught going this way,
getting caught going that way.

For sure that Nanny Goat
has been waylaid,
has come upon hard luck.

In the same way, Beggars,
some Beggar here,
rising up in the morning,
attending to his bowl and robes,
with his mind obsessed
by Fame, Favors and Gains,
enters town on his Beggars rounds
and asked about Dhamma or Vinaya
he trips, stumbles and falls,
and he gets caught going this way,
gets caught going that way.

For sure that Beggar
has been waylaid,
has come upon hard luck.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 5

The DungBeetle

 

[5][than][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Imagine, Beggars, a DungBeetle,
a Dung-Eating,
Dung-Filled,
Dung-full-up-Stuffed DungBeetle
just come across a Great Mess of Dung,
and because of that
she becomes Dung-proud,
and looks down upon the other DungBeetles,
thinking:

'It is I that am the Great DungBeetle,
the Great Dung-Eating,
Dung-Filled,
Dung-full-up-Stuffed DungBeetle
who has this Great Mess of Dung before me!'

In the same way, Beggars,
some Beggar here,
rising up in the morning,
attending to his bowl and robes,
with his mind obsessed and overpowered
by Fame, Favors and Gains,
enters town on his Beggars rounds
and being invited to a meal
he eats his fill,
is given a bowl full to take with him,
and is invited back for the next day.

When he returns to the residence
he boasts and brags to the other Beggars there saying:

'I have just returned from a fine meal
where I ate my fill,
was given a bowl full to take with me
and was invited back for tomorrow.'

And he looks down on the other Beggars, thinking

'It is I, and not these Beggars,
that Gains Food,
Clothing,
Medicine and Shelter,
of such Mighty Power and Majesty
is my Good Kamma."

For sure that foolish Beggar
has been waylaid,
has come upon hard luck
and will suffer the unhappy consequences
for many a long day.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 6

The Thunderbolt

 

[6][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi,
The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

It would be better, Beggars
for a Thunderbolt to strike a seeker in training
than that he should come upon
Fame, Favors and Gains
before having attained The Goal.

'Thunderbolt', Beggars,
is another word for Fame, Favors and Gains.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 7

The Poisoned Dart

 

[7][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

It would be better, Beggars,
for a Poisoned Dart[7]
to pierce a seeker in training
than that he should come upon
Fame, Favors and Gains
before having attained The Goal.

'Poisoned Dart', Beggars,
is another word for Fame, Favors and Gains.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 8

The Old Jackal

 

[8][than][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi,
The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Did you hear, Beggars,
that Old Jackal
that was howling through the night?"

"We did, Broke-Tooth!"

"That Old Jackal is Afflicted with Mange.

He is never at ease
whether he has found some place to be alone,
or at the root of some tree,
out in an open field
or in some empty cave.

Whether he is walking
or standing still
or sitting down
or lying down,
there is where he finds
hard luck and discomfort.

In the same way, Beggars,
some Beggar here,
rising up in the morning,
attending to his bowl and robes,
with his mind obsessed and overpowered
by Fame, Favors and Gains,
is never at ease.

Whether he is in his place to be alone
or at the root of some tree,
out in an open field
or in some empty hut;
whether he is walking,
standing still,
sitting,
or lying down,
there is where he finds
hard luck and discomfort.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 9

The Hurricane-Like Winds
of
the Upper Atmosphere

 

[9][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

There are Winds in the Upper Atmosphere, Beggars,
that will tear some Small Bird that wanders there
limb from limb
in the same way as a hurricane can . . .
so that here is a wing,
here the breast bones,
there a foot,
there the tail feathers
and there also,
the head.

In the same way, Beggars,
some Beggar here,
rising up in the morning,
attending to his bowl and robes,
with his mind obsessed and overpowered
by Fame, Favors and Gains,
setting out on his beggar's rounds,
not having enveloped himself in Satisfaction,
without having set a guard
at the doors of the senses,
wanders into town,
and there he comes upon women folk,
having dressed recklessly in the morning,
with their blouses incompletely protecting
their charms from view.

And that Beggar, Beggars,
not having enveloped himself in Satisfaction,
not having set a guard at the door of the senses,
is torn apart with lust there and then,
and returning to his hut,
he renounces the training
and returns to the lower life. . .
and one here gets his kit bag,
and one gets his strainer,
and one his robes,
and he also, his bowl.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 10

I See A Certain Beggar

 

[10][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi,
The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Right here, Beggars,
I see a certain Beggar
whose mind,
obsessed and overpowered by Favors,
at the breakup of the elements at death,
finding consciousness relocated down the drain,
in The Way of Woe,
The Second Fall,
or Where the Sun Don't shine,
Hell,
Niraya.

Right here, Beggars,
I see a certain Beggar
whose mind,
obsessed and overpowered by the lack of Favors,
at the breakup of the elements at death
finding consciousness relocated down the drain,
The Way of Woe,
The Second Fall,
or Where the Sun Don't shine,
Hell,
Niraya.

Right here, Beggars,
I see a certain Beggar
whose mind,
obsessed and overpowered at one moment by Favors
and at another moment by the lack of Favors,
at the breakup of the elements at death,
finding consciousness relocated down the drain,
The Way of Woe,
The Second Fall,
or Where the Sun Don't shine,
Hell,
Niraya.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."[8].

Honored with Favors,
Disfavored, or Both;
High Minded, Unshakable,
Living Carefully,
A Steady Flame,
He overlooks the view
Unbounded:
A Good Man

 

§

Sutta 11

Not for a Golden Bowl
Filled with Silver

 

[11][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:[9]

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

As far as that goes, Beggars,
I have seen a man,
encompassing his heart with my heart,
who would not for the sake
of a golden bowl
filled with silver flakes
deliberately tell a lie,
telling lies for the sake
of Fame, Favors and Gains.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 12

Not for a Silver Bowl
Filled with Gold

 

[12][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

As far as that goes, Beggars,
I have seen a man,
encompassing his heart with my heart,
who would not for the sake
of a silver bowl
filled with gold flakes
deliberately tell a lie,
telling lies for the sake
of Fame, Favors and Gains.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 13

Not for a Golden Hundredweight

 

[13][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

As far as that goes, Beggars,
I have seen a man,
encompassing his heart with my heart,
who would not for the sake
of a gold hundred-weight
deliberately tell a lie,
telling lies for the sake
of Fame, Favors and Gains.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 14

Not for a Hundred Gold Hundred-Weights

 

[14][pts] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

As far as that goes, Beggars,
I have seen a man,
encompassing his heart with my heart,
who would not for the sake
of a hundred gold hundred-weights
deliberately tell a lie,
telling lies for the sake
of Fame, Favors and Gains.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 15

Not for a Hundred Hundred-Counts
of Gold Hundred-Weights

 

[15][pts] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

As far as that goes, Beggars,
I have seen a man,
encompassing his heart with my heart,
who would not for the sake
of a hundred hundred-counts
of gold hundred-weights
deliberately tell a lie,
telling lies for the sake
of Fame, Favors and Gains.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 16

Not for a Hundred Hundred
Hundred-Counts
of Gold Hundred-Weights

 

[16][pts] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

As far as that goes, Beggars,
I have seen a man,
encompassing his heart with my heart,
who would not for the sake
of a hundred hundred hundred-counts
of gold hundred-weights
deliberately tell a lie,
telling lies for the sake
of Fame, Favors and Gains.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 17

Not for All The Gold in the World

 

[17][pts] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

As far as that goes, Beggars,
I have seen a man,
encompassing his heart with my heart,
who would not for the sake
of all the gold in the world
deliberately tell a lie,
telling lies for the sake
of Fame, Favors and Gains.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 18

Not for Any Material Thing

 

[18][pts] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

As far as that goes, Beggars,
I have seen a man,
encompassing his heart with my heart,
who would not for the sake
of any material thing in the world
deliberately tell a lie,
telling lies for the sake
of Fame, Favors and Gains.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 19

Not for the Sake of His Life

 

[19][pts] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

As far as that goes, Beggars,
I have seen a man,
encompassing his heart with my heart,
who would not for the sake
of his life
deliberately tell a lie,
telling lies for the sake
of Fame, Favors and Gains.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 20

Not for the Sake
of The Fairest Lass in the Land

 

[20][pts] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

As far as that goes, Beggars,
I have seen a man,
encompassing his heart with my heart,
who would not for the sake
of The Fairest Lass in the Land
deliberately tell a lie,
telling lies for the sake
of Fame, Favors and Gains.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 21

A Man Might Escape a Woman

 

[21][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Even alone by himself with a woman, Beggars,
a Beggar might escape
from obsessing in mind about her,
yet be unable to escape
obsessing in mind
about Fame, Favors and Gains.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 22

A Man Might Escape
The Fairest Lass in the Land

 

[22][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Even alone by himself
with The Most Beautiful Lass in the Land, Beggars,
a Beggar might escape
obsessing in mind about her,
yet be unable to escape
obsessing in mind
about Fame, Favors and Gains.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 23

A Mother's Advice
To Her Beloved Son

 

[23][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

A loving mother, Beggars,
a devoted lay disciple,
speaking to her only son,
might say:

'Grow up to be like Housefather Citta
or Hatthaka of Alavaka, my dear,
for these set the standard
for householders who are followers of the Teacher. . .
but if you should give up the world
for the homeless life,
become like Sāriputta or Moggallāna
for these set the standard
for those who have given up the world for the homeless life ... but whatever the case, my dear,
while you are still in training
and have not yet reached the goal
you have set in your mind for yourself,
may Fame, Favors and Gains not come to you!'

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 24

A Mother's Advice
To Her Beloved Daughter

 

[24][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

A loving mother, Beggars,
a devoted lay disciple,
speaking to her only daughter, might say:

'Grow up to be like Khujjuttara or Velukantakiya[10], my dear,
for these set the standard for householders
who are followers of the Teacher . . .
but if you should give up the world
for the homeless life,
become like Khema or Uppalavanna
for these set the standard
for those who have given up the world
for the homeless life . . .
but whatever the case, my dear,
while you are still in training
and have not yet reached the goal
you have set in your mind for yourself,
may Fame, Favors and Gains not come to you!'

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 25

The Attraction, The Danger
And The Escape

 

[25][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Whatsoever Shaman or Brahman, Beggars,
does not know the attraction,
the danger,
and the escape
from Fame, Favors and Gains,
for me such a one is no Shaman among Shaman
or Brahman among Brahman
and furthermore
such do not live having attained
or know for themselves here and now
the purpose of Shamanship or Brahmanship.

But whatsoever Shaman or Brahman, Beggars,
who does know the attraction,
the danger,
and the escape
from Fame, Favors and Gains,
for me such a one is a Shaman of Shaman
or Brahman of Brahman
and furthermore
such live having attained,
knowing for themselves here and now
the purpose of Shamanship and Brahmanship."

 

§

Sutta 26

The Origin and Conclusion

 

[26][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Whatsoever Shaman or Brahman, Beggars,
does not know the origin
and the conclusion,
the attraction,
the danger,
and the escape
from Fame, Favors and Gains,
for me such a one is no Shaman among Shaman
or Brahman among Brahman
and furthermore
such do not live having attained
or know for themselves here and now
the purpose of Shamanship or Brahmanship.

But whatsoever Shaman or Brahman, Beggars,
who does know the origin
and the conclusion,
the attraction,
the danger,
and the escape
from Fame, Favors and Gains,
for me such a one is a Shaman of Shaman
or Brahman of Brahman
and furthermore
such live having attained,
knowing for themselves here and now
the purpose of Shamanship and Brahmanship."

 

§

Sutta 27

The Origin and Conclusion
And
The Attraction, the Danger, and the Escape

 

[27][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Whatsoever Shaman or Brahman, Beggars,
does not know the origin
and the conclusion,
the attraction,
the danger,
the escape
and The Way leading to the Escape
from Fame, Favors and Gains,
for me such a one is no Shaman among Shaman
or Brahman among Brahman
and furthermore
such do not live having attained
or know for themselves here and now
the purpose of Shamanship or Brahmanship.

But whatsoever Shaman or Brahman, Beggars,
who does know the origin
and the conclusion,
the attraction,
the danger,
the escape
and The Way leading to the Escape
from Fame, Favors and Gains,
for me such a one is a Shaman of Shaman
or Brahman of Brahman
and furthermore
such live having attained,
knowing for themselves here and now
the purpose of Shamanship and Brahmanship."

 

§

Sutta 28

Cutting Right Through
to the Marrow

 

[28][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Fame, Favors and Gains, Beggars!

They cut through the skin,
they cut through the sub-durra,
they cut through the muscle,
they cut through the tendons,
they cut through the bones
and press right on into the marrow!

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 29

Like the Rope-Binding Torture

 

[29][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Fame, Favors and Gains, Beggars!

They cut through the skin,
they cut through the sub-durra,
they cut through the muscle,
they cut through the tendons,
they cut through the bones
and press right on into the marrow!

In the same way as the Torturer, Beggars,
takes a strong rope
and ties it tightly round the leg
and putting a stick in the loop
twists it even tighter
'til it cuts through the skin,
it cuts through the sub durra,
it cuts through the muscle,
it cuts through the tendons,
it cuts through the bones
and presses right on into the marrow!

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 30

Even for the Arahant

 

[30][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"I say, Beggars, that even for a Beggar who is Arahant,
free from the No-Goods
Fame, Favors and Gains are an entanglement."

At this, Ānanda spoke up and asked:

"But sir, to what sort of Arahant
would Fame, Favors and Gains
be an entanglement?"

"pleasant living in the here and now" is an expression used to denote the purpose of attaining the jhanas for an arahant.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

"Well, Ānanda, I do not say
that there would be any sort of entanglement
to such a Beggar's Freedom of Mind,
but in so far as Fame, Favors and Gains
interfered with the pleasant living in the here and now[11]
that was a result of his careful living,
strenuous effort
and firm resolution,
then would Fame, Favors and Gains be an entanglement.

Even this hard, Ānanda,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Ānanda, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 31

Devadatta

 

[31][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

It was because his mind
was obsessed and overpowered
by Fame, Favors and Gains, Beggars,
that Devadatta[12] caused a schism in the Order.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 32

The Root of Skill Dried Up
in Devadatta

 

[32][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi,
The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

It was because his mind
was obsessed and overpowered
by Fame, Favors and Gains, Beggars,
that the root (mula) of skill
dried up in Devadatta.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 33

Skill in Dhamma Dried Up
in Devadatta

 

[33][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

It was because his mind
was obsessed and overpowered
by Fame, Favors and Gains, Beggars,
that skill in Dhamma dried out in Devadatta.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 34

The Light of Dhamma Died Out
in Devadatta

 

[34][pts][bodh] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

It was because his mind
was obsessed and overpowered
by Fame, Favors and Gains, Beggars,
that the Light of Dhamma died out in Devadatta.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 35

The Ruination of Devadatta

 

[35][pts][bodh] Once Upon A Time
the Lucky Man, Rājagaha,
Vulture's Peak came-a revisiting,
this being at a time
only shortly after Devadatta
had caused a schism in the Order.

There, to the Beggars gathered round he said:

"It was to the ruination of himself,[13] Beggars,
that Fame, Favors and Gains
came to Devadatta.

It was to his utter undoing, Beggars,
that Fame, Favors and Gains
came to Devadatta.

In the same way, Beggars,
as the kadali[14]
bears fruit to the ruination of itself,
to it's utter undoing,
in the same way, Beggars,
it was to the ruination of himself
that Fame, Favors and Gains
came to Devadatta,
it was to his utter undoing
that Fame, Favors and Gains
came to Devadatta.

In the same way, Beggars,
as the bamboo
bears fruit to the ruination of itself,
to it's utter undoing,
in the same way, Beggars,
it was to the ruination of himself
that Fame Favors and Gains
came to Devadatta,
it was to his utter undoing
that Fame, Favors and Gains
came to Devadatta.

In the same way, Beggars,
as the reed
bears fruit to the ruination of itself,
to it's utter undoing,
in the same way, Beggars,
it was to the ruination of himself
that Fame Favors and Gains
came to Devadatta,
it was to his utter undoing
that Fame, Favors and Gains
came to Devadatta.

In the same way, Beggars,
as a mule[15]
is conceived in the womb of a Donkey,
it is so conceived to the ruination of the Donkey,
to it's utter undoing,
in the same way, Beggars,
it was to the ruination of himself
that Fame Favors and Gains
came to Devadatta,
it was to his utter undoing
that Fame, Favors and Gains
came to Devadatta.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 


 

It's fruit the banana slays
It's fruit the bamboo, it's fruit the reed
Honors the bad man slays
Just as mule in womb of ass.

 

§

Sutta 36

Five Hundred Cartloads

 

[36][pts][bodh] Once Upon A Time,
The Lucky Man, Rājagaha, Bamboo Grove, the Squirrel' Feeding Ground came-a revisiting.

At that time Prince Ajātasattu[16] was acting as Patron of Devadatta,
calling on him morning and evening
and daily having conveyed to him
five hundred carts
with five hundred bowls
each capable of feeding five hundred Bhikkhus.

Seeing this
a number of Bhikkhus came into the presence of the Buddha,
sat down to one side
and said:

"At this time, Sir,
Prince Ajātasattu is acting as Patron of Devadatta
calling on him morning and evening
and daily having conveyed to him
five hundred carts
with five hundred bowls
each capable of feeding five hundred Bhikkhus."

And, at that, The Lucky man said:

"Do not pine[17] after such
Fame Favors and Gains as are Devadatta's, Beggars,
for as long as Prince Ajātasattu acts as Patron of Devadatta,
calling on him morning and evening
and daily having conveyed to him
five hundred carts
with five hundred bowls
each capable of feeding five hundred Bhikkhus,
there is but decrease in skill in Dhamma
to be expected for Devadatta,
not increase.

In the same way, Beggars,
as a fierce dog is roused to fury
when they place the scent of bile
in front of his nose.

In the same way, Beggars,
as long as Prince Ajātasattu acts as Patron of Devadatta,
calling on him morning and evening
and daily having conveyed to him
five hundred carts
with five hundred bowls
each capable of feeding five hundred Bhikkhus,
there is but decrease in skill in Dhamma
to be expected for Devadatta,
not increase.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 37

Not for the Sake of His Mother's Life

 

[37][pts][bodh] On another occasion, again at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

As far as that goes, Beggars,
I have seen a man,
encompassing his heart with my heart,
who would not for the sake
of saving his Mother's life
deliberately tell a lie,
telling lies for the sake
of Fame, Favors and Gains.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 38

Not for the Sake of His Father's Life

 

[38][pts] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

As far as that goes, Beggars,
I have seen a man,
encompassing his heart with my heart,
who would not for the sake
of saving his Father's life
deliberately tell a lie,
telling lies for the sake
of Fame, Favors and Gains.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 39

Not for the Sake of His Brother's Life

 

[39][pts] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

As far as that goes, Beggars,
I have seen a man,
encompassing his heart with my heart,
who would not for the sake
of saving his Brother's life
deliberately tell a lie,
telling lies for the sake
of Fame, Favors and Gains.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 40

Not for the Sake of His Sister's Life

 

[40][pts] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

As far as that goes, Beggars,
I have seen a man,
encompassing his heart with my heart,
who would not for the sake
of saving his Sister's life
deliberately tell a lie,
telling lies for the sake
of Fame, Favors and Gains.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 41

Not for the Sake of His Son's Life

 

[41][pts] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

As far as that goes, Beggars,
I have seen a man,
encompassing his heart with my heart,
who would not for the sake
of saving his Son's life
deliberately tell a lie,
telling lies for the sake
of Fame, Favors and Gains.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 42

Not for the Sake of His Daughter's Life

 

[42][pts] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

As far as that goes, Beggars,
I have seen a man,
encompassing his heart with my heart,
who would not for the sake
of saving his Daughter's life
deliberately tell a lie,
telling lies for the sake
of Fame, Favors and Gains.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 

§

Sutta 43

Not for the Sake of His Wife's Life

 

[43][pts] On another occasion, also at Sāvatthi, The Lucky Man said this:

"Hard, Beggars, are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

As far as that goes, Beggars,
I have seen a man,
encompassing his heart with my heart,
who would not for the sake
of saving his Wife's life
deliberately tell a lie,
telling lies for the sake
of Fame, Favors and Gains.

Even this hard, Beggars,
are Fame, Favors and Gains;
cutting, rough obstructions
to securing the ultimate refuge from bondage.

Wherefore, Beggars, train yourselves this way:

'When Fame, Favors and Gains come to us,
we will let them go,
and not let them take lasting hold on our heart.'

This is the way you must train yourselves."

 


[1] Daaruna: >Daru: Oak, hard. >Anglo Saxon: treo = English Tree; > durable, duress; strong, firm, severe, harsh, cruel, pitiless; PTS/Woodward [PTS/W] trans for this sutta: Dire; WP/Bhodi [WP/B]: Dreadful

[2] lābha-sakkāra-siloko: I have reversed the order, PTS/Woodward: Gains, Favours and Flattery; WP/Bhodi: Gain, honour, and praise. Personally I have experienced the debilitating effects of flattery and I would have preferred to see that word used, except for the fact that it isn't a good translation.

[3] Kaṭuko: > to cut; PTS/W: bitter; WP/B: bitter

[4] Pharuso: PTS/W: harsh; WP/B: vile

[5] Pajahati: PED: to give up, renounce, forsake, abandon, eliminate, let go, get rid of; PTS/W: put aside.

[6] Suttakanti: > sutta; a line, yarn, twine > sutra, a discourse "yarn" > that which entwines or "lust".

[7] In the text: diṭṭha-gatena; (for diddhagadena?) which to my eyes would read "practice wrong views"; I suspect a pun which those who wrote the material down did not know how to convey other than by putting in the incorrect spelling.

[8] Yassa sakkariyamānassa
Asakkārena cubhayam
Samādhi na vikampati
Appamādaviharino
Tam jhāyinam sātatikam
Sukhumam diṭṭhivipassakaɱ
Upādānakkhayārāmam
Āhu sappuriso itti

(Mrs.)Rhys Davids:
In whom, when favors fall upon him, or
When non are shown, the mind steadfast, intent,
Sways not at all, for earnest is his life,
Him of rapt thought [of will] unfaltering
Of fine perception, of the vision seer,
Rejoicing that to grasp is his no more: --
Him let the people call in truth Good Man.

Bhk. Bhodi:
Whether he is showered with honor,
Shown dishonor, or offered both,
His concentration does not vacillate
As he dwells in the measureless state.
When he meditates with perseverance,
An insight-seer of subtle view
Delighting in the destruction of clinging.
They call him truly a superior man.

[9] This next sequence is classic "Magic Spell" material; it is, of course, totally obscured by the abbreviations in both the Woodward and Bhodi translations.

[10] Not mentioned in the list of eminent female lay disciples in the Book of Ones, she appears to have been a very powerful individual. She is said to have kept the "one-meal-man" practice, to have known the Pitakas by memory, to have been given a gift of perpetual abundance of stores by The god Vessavana, to have been a Non-Returner, and to have made, on one occasion, a spectacular feast for Sāriputta and Moggallāna.)

[11] This is usually a reference to the purpose of the Jhanas for an Arahant.

[12] Son of the Sakyan SuppaBuddha (maternal uncle of the Buddha) and his wife Amita. He had a sister Baddakaccana, who married Prince Siddhattha. [i.e., he was the Buddha's brother-in-law and cousin].
For more on this famous Buddhist bad guy, see Personalities: Devadatta.

[13] "Attavadhaaya". I believe the choice of words here was a consequence of knowing how Devadatta would hear the word "soul": not as a Buddhist, but as a common man.

[14] plantain, banana no got Nibbāna, PED: musa sapientium, Owing to the softness and unsubstantiality of its trunk it is used a a frequent symbol of unsubstantiality, transitoriness and worthlessness. As the plantain or banana plant always dies down after producing fruit, is destroyed as it were by its own fruit, it is used as a simile for a bad man destroyed by the fruit of his own deeds.

[15] As I understand it, the mule is the offspring of the mating of a Donkey (an Ass) and a Horse (in either direction) and is sterile, so I am of the opinion that what is intended here is as I have it, and not as with Hare: ". .. just as a mule bears young to her own destruction" or as Bodhi: "Just as a mule becomes pregnant to its own downfall . . . "

[16] Son of Bimbisara, King of Magadha. . . he succeeded his father to the throne.
For more on this individual, see: Personalities: Ajātasattu

[17] pihayati, PED: 1. to desire, long for, 2. to envy

 


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