Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara-Nikāya
III. Tika Nipāta
IV. Deva-Dūta Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
or
More-Numbered Suttas

III. The Book of the Threes
IV. Messengers of the Devas

Sutta 38

Sukhumāla Suttaɱ

Delicately Nurtured[1]

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

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[128]

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

On a certain occasion the Exalted One addressed the monks, saying:

"Monks."

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

The Exalted One said this:

"Monks, I was delicately nurtured,[2]
exceeding delicately nurtured,
delicately nurtured beyond measure.

For instance,[3]
in my father's house
lotus-pools were made thus:

one of blue lotuses,
one of red lotuses,
another of white lotuses,
just for my benefit.

No sandal-wood powder did I use
that was not from Kasi:
of Kasi cloth was my turban made:
of Kasi cloth was my jacket,
my tunic
and my cloak.

By night and day
a white canopy was held over me,
lest cold or heat,
dust or chaff
or dew,
should touch me.

Moreover, monks,
I had three palaces:
one for winter,
one for summer,
and one for the rainy season.[4]

In the four months of the rains
I was waited on by minstrels,
women all of them.[5]

I came not down from my palace
in those months.

Again, whereas in other men's homes
broken rice[6] together with sour gruel
is given as food to slave-servants,
in my father's home
they were given rice,
meat
and milk-rice
for their food.

To me, monks,
thus blest with much prosperity,
thus [129] nurtured with exceeding delicacy,
this thought occurred:

'Surely one of the uneducated manyfolk,
though himself subject to old age and decay,
not having passed beyond old age and decay,
when he sees another broken down with age,
is troubled,
ashamed,
disgusted,
forgetful that he himsejf is such an one.[7]

Now I too am subject to old age and decay,
not having passed beyond old age and decay.

Were I to see another broken down with old age,
I might be troubled,
ashamed
and disgusted.

That would not be seemly in me.'

Thus, monks, -
as I considered the matter,
all pride in my youth deserted me.

Again, monks, I thought:

'One of the uneducated many-folk,
though himself subject to disease,
not having passed beyond disease,
when he sees another person diseased,
is troubled,
ashamed
and disgusted,
forgetful that he himself is such an one.

Now I too am subject to disease.

I have not passed beyond disease.

Were I to see another diseased,
I might be troubled,
ashamed,
disgusted.

That would not be seemly in me.'

Thus, monks, as I considered the matter,
all pride in my health deserted me.

Again, monks, I thought:

'One of the uneducated manyfolk,
though himself subject to death,
not having passed beyond death,
when he sees another person subject to death
is troubled,
disgusted
and ashamed,
forgetful that he himself is such an one.

Now I too am subject to death.

I have not passed beyond death.

Were I to see another subject to death,
I might be troubled,
ashamed,
disgusted.

That would not be seemly in me.'

Thus, monks, as I considered the matter,
all pride in my life deserted me."

 


[1] Cf. M. i, 504; D. ii, 21 (Dialog. ii, 17); Mvastu ii, 115. The story is told of Yasa at Vin. i, 15.

[2] Sukkumālo = niddukkha. Comy.

[3] The particle sudaɱ.

[4] Cf. D. ii, 19.

[5] Nippurisehi, sometimes used of fairies or non-humans, like amanussehi or kimpurisā. Acc. to Comy. it is purisa-virahitehi, 'from whom males were excluded.' Cf. Dialog. ii, 18 n.

[6] Kaṇājaka = aakuṇḍalca-bhatta. Comy. (as at SA. i, 159 on S. i, 90). Our text has kaṇajaka.

[7] Attānaɱ yeva atisitvā = atikkamitvā. Comy. Cf. A. v, 226, 256.


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