Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara-Nikāya
III. Tika Nipāta
II. Rathakāra Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
or
More-Numbered Suttas

III. The Book of the Threes
II. The Wheelwright

Sutta 15

Rathakara (Pacetana) Suttaɱ

The Wheelwright or Pacetana

Translated from the Pali by
F.L. Woodward, M.A.

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[95]

[1][than][bodh][upal] Thus have I heard:

On a certain occasion the Exalted One was staying at Isipatana in the Deer Park.

Then the Exalted One addressed the monks, saying:

"Monks."

"Yes, lord," replied those monks to the Exalted One.

The Exalted One said:

"Once upon a time, monks,
there was a rajah named Pacetana.[1]

Now one day the rajah Pacetana said to his wheelwright:

'Master wheelwright, six months hence
there will be a battle.

Can you make me a new pair of wheels,
master wheelwright?'

'I can, your honour,'
replied the wheelwright to the rajah Pacetana.

Well, when six months,
less six days,
were gone,
he had finished but one wheel.

Then said the rajah to him:

'Master wheelwright,
six days hence there will be a battle.

Is the new pair of wheels complete?'

'Your honour, during these six months,
less six days,
one wheel is finished.'

'But can you finish the second wheel
in six days?'

[96] 'I can, your honour,'
rephed the wheelwright.

2. Well, monks, in six days
finishing the second wheel
he took the new pair of wheels
and went off to see the rajah Pacetana.

On getting there he said this to him:

'Here's the new pair of wheels finished, your honour.'

'Master wheelwright,
I see no difference,
no difference at all
between the two wheels,
the one you took six months,
less six days,
to make,
and the one you finished in six days.'

'But there is a difference, your honour.

Let your honour look!'

So saying, monks,
the wheelwright set rolling
the wheel he had finished in six days.

The wheel kept rolling
so long as the impulse that set it moving lasted.[2]

Then it circled round and round
and fell to the ground.

Then he set rolling
the wheel which he had finished in six months,
less six days.

It kept rollng
so long as the impulse that set it going lasted,
and then stood still, -
stuck to the axle,
you would have thought.

3. 'But, master wheelwright,' said the rajah,
'what is the reason,
what is the cause
why the wheel you made in six days
rolled on while the impulse lasted,
then circled round and round
and fell to the ground:
whereas the one you made in six months,
less six days,
stood still, -
stuck to the axle,
you would have thought?'

'Your honour, as to the wheel I finished in six days,
its rim was crooked,
full of faults and flaws:
so were the spokes and hub.

Owing to the crooked,
faulty,
flawed nature
of rim,
spokes
and hub,
when set rolling
it went on so long as the impulse that set it going lasted,
then circled and fell to the ground.

But, your honour, as to the wheel I took six months,
less six days,
to finish,
its rim was not crooked;
it was faultless,
flawless:
so were the spokes and hub.

Owing to the even,
faultless,
flawless nature
of rim,
spokes
and hub,
the wheel set rolling
rolled on so long as the impulse that set [97] it moving lasted,
then it stood still,-
stuck to the axle,
you would have thought.'

4. Now, monks, maybe you are thinking
that on that occasion
that wheelwright was someone else.

But you must not so think.

I myself was that wheelwright
on that occasion.

Then, monks, I was an expert in wood
that was crooked,
full of faults
and flaws.

Now, monks, I,
the Arahant,
who am a Fully Enlightened One,
am expert in the crooked ways,
the faults
and flaws
of body.

I am an expert in the crooked ways,
the faults
and flaws
of speech.

I am an expert in the crooked ways,
the faults
and flaws
of thought.

5. Monks, in whatsoever monk or nun
the crookedness of body,
speech
and thought
is not abandoned, -
such fall[3] away from this Dhamma-Discipline,
just like the wheel
that was finished in six days.

In whatsoever monk or nun
the crookedness of body,
speech
and thought
is abandoned, -
such are firm-set in this Dhamma-Discipline,
just like the wheel
that was finished in six months,
less six days.

Wherefore, monks,
thus must ye train yourselves:

'We will abandon the crookedness,
the faults
and flaws
of body.

We will abandon the crookedness,
the faults
and flaws
of speech.

We will abandon the crookedness,
the faults
and flaws
of thought.'

That is how ye must train yourselves, monks."

 


[1] This is one of the stories not in the Jātaka Book. On these cf. Rhys Davids, Buddhist India, 196. Cf. also M., Sutta 81; D. i, 143; K.S. v, 125, etc.

[2] Abhisankhārassa gati = payogassa gamanaɱ. Comy.

[3] Text papatitā. Comy. papatikā = guṇa-patanena patitā.


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