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Saɱyutta Nikāya
V. Mahā Vagga
55. Sot'āpatti Saɱyutta
III. Saraṇāni Vagga

Subject-Related Sayings
V. The Great Chapter
55. Subject-Related Sayings on Streamwinning
III. Sarakāni

Sutta 21

Paṭhama Mahānāma Suttaɱ

Mahānāma (1)

Translated from the Pali
by
Michael M. Olds

 


 

[1][pts][than] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time the Lucky Man,
among the Sakkas residing,
Kapilavatthu, Nigrodha's Woods.

There then Mahānāma the Sakkian approached The Lucky Man,
and drew near.

Having drawn near,
and exchanged greetings,
he took a seat to one side.

Seated to one side, then, Mahānāma the Sakkian said this to The Lucky Man:

"This Kaplivatthu, bhante, is thriving,
prosperous,
and densely populous
filled with humanity
stacked in oppressive heaps.

And when, bhante, at eventide,
after sitting in worshipful attendence on the Lucky Man,
or on the beggars developing mind,
I enter Kapilavatthu,
I might encounter an out-of-control elephant,
I might encounter an out-of-control horse,
I might encounter an out-of-control chariot,
I might encounter an out-of-control cart,
I might encounter an out-of-control person.

Then, at such a time bhante,
I become forgetful of the Lucky Man
forgetful of the Dhamma
forgetful of the Saŋgha.

At such a time, bhante,
I have this thought:

'If, at this time,
my time were up,
what would be my getting?
what would be the follow-up for me?'"

 

§

 

"Never fear, Mahānāma!

Never fear, Mahānāma!

Not bad will your becoming be after death,
not bad your time's end.

In anyone whoever, Mahānāma,
who has for many a long day
thoroughly developed a heart of faith,
thoroughly developed an ethically practiced heart,
thoroughly developed a learnèd heart,
thoroughly developed a generous heart,
thoroughly developed a wise heart —
such a one, though of a body
formed of the four-great-life-elements,
raised by mother and father,
fueled by rice-gruel;
a changeable-wearisome-crumbling-breakable-disintegrating-thing
which is then
eaten by crows,
or eaten by vultures,
or eaten by raptors,
or eaten by dogs,
or eaten by jackals,
or eaten by various small creatures —
the heart of such a one, Mahānāma,
having for many a long day
been thoroughly developed in faith,
been thoroughly developed in ethical practice,
been thoroughly developed in learning,
been thoroughly developed in generosity,
been thoroughly developed in wisdom —
goes on to the higher,
goes on to attainment.

In just the same way, Mahānāma,
as if a powerful man were to throw
a crock of butter,
or a crock of sesame oil,
into a fathomless water-hole —
plunging to the bottom
it cracks open
smashed to bits and pieces,
and that butter,
or that sesame oil
is such that goes up to the higher,
goes on to the surface.[1]

In just the same way, Mahānāma,
in anyone whoever,
who has for many a long day
thoroughly developed a heart of faith,
thoroughly developed an ethically practiced heart,
thoroughly developed a learnèd heart,
thoroughly developed a generous heart,
thoroughly developed a wise heart —
such a one, though of a body
formed of the four-great-life-components,
raised by mother and father,
fueled by rice-gruel;
a changeable-wearisome-crumbling-breakable-disintegrating-thing
which is then
eaten by crows,
or eaten by vultures,
or eaten by raptors,
or eaten by dogs,
or eaten by jackals,
or eaten by various small creatures —
the heart of such a one, Mahānāma,
having for many a long day
been thoroughly developed in faith,
been thoroughly developed in ethical practice,
been thoroughly developed in learning,
been thoroughly developed in generosity,
been thoroughly developed in wisdom —
goes on to the higher,
goes on to attainment.

Now then you, Mahānāma
have for many a long day
thoroughly developed faith,
thoroughly developed ethical practice,
thoroughly developed learning,
thoroughly developed generosity,
thoroughly developed wisdom.

"Never fear, Mahānāma!

Never fear, Mahānāma!

Not bad will your becoming be after death,
not bad your time's end."

 


[1] taɱ uddhaɱ-gāmī hoti visesa-gāmī which is the same phrasiology as is used in the description of what happens with the body. The idea is clear enough, but I am unable to come up with identically translated terms that work for both.

 


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