Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara-Nikāya
III. Tika Nipāta
V. Cūḷa Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
or
More-Numbered Suttas

III. The Book of the Threes
V. The Minor Section

Sutta 50

Mahā Cora Suttaɱ

Robber Chief

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

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[137]

[1][bodh] Thus have I heard:

On a certain occasion the Exalted One was staying near Sāvatthī.

Then he addressed the monks, saying:

"Monks."

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

The Exalted One said this:

1. 'Monks, owing to three facts
a robber chief is enabled
to break into houses,
carry off plunder,
play the burglar
and lurk in ambush.[1]

What three?

In this case, monks,
a robber chief relies
on the inaccessible,[2]
the impenetrable
and the powerful.

 

§

 

How does he rely on the inaccessible?

In this case, monks,
a robber chief relies
on impassable rivers
and mountains not to be scaled.

That is how a robber chief relies
on the inaccessible.

How does he rely on the impenetrable?

In this case, monks,
a robber chief relies
on a jungle of grass or trees,
a thicket,[3]
or a great forest.

That is how a robber chief relies
on the inaccessible.

How does he rely on the powerful?

In this case, monks,
a robber chief relies
on rajahs
or rajahs' great ministers.

He thinks:

'If any one accuses me,
these rajahs
or rajahs' great ministers
will give an explanation in my defence.'[4]

And they do so.

Thus, monks, he relies on the powerful.

Owing to these three facts
a robber chief is enabled
to break into houses,
carry off plunder,
play the burglar
and lurk in ambush.

 

§

 

2. In the same way, monks,
a depraved monk of three characteristics
goes about like a lifeless,
uprooted thing;[5]
he is blameworthy,
is censured by the intelligent
and begets much demerit.

What are the three?

Herein, monks, a depraved monk
relies on the crooked,
the impenetrable
and the powerful.

 

§

 

And how does he rely on the crooked?

[138] In this case a depraved monk
is crooked in bodily action,
in speech
and in thought.

That is how he relies on the crooked.

And how does the depraved monk
rely on the impenetrable?

In this case the depraved monk
has wrong view,
holds a view which goes to extremes.[6]

That is how he relies
on the impenetrable (jungle of view).

And how does he rely on the powerful?

In this case the depraved monk
relies on the help
of rajahs or
rajahs' powerful ministers.

He thinks thus:

'If any accuse me,
the rajahs
or rajahs' powerful ministers
will give an explanation in my defence.'

And they do so.

Thus the depraved monk
relies on the powerful.

Having these three characteristics
a depraved monk
goes about like a lifeless,
uprooted thing
is blameworthy,
is censured by the intelligent
and begets much demerit."

 


[1] Cf. D. i, 52; S. iii, 208; K.S. 4, 251 n.

[2] Visama, 'the crooked or uneven path.' I vary the trans. in the comparison below.

[3] Gedha, cf. A. iii, 128 (which reads rodhaɱ), but here Comy. has gedhaɱ = ghanaɱ araññaɱ saŋsatta-sākhaɱ ekābaddhaɱ mahā-vana-sandaɱ; not 'cave' as in Pali Dict.

[4] Pariyodhāya atthaɱ bhaṇissanti = pariyodahitvā taɱ taɱ kāraṇaɱ pakkhipitvā atthaɱ kathayissanti. Comy.

[5] Cf. supra, text 89, 105.

[6] Antaggāhikā. Comy. dasa-vatthukāya antaɱ gahetvā ṭhita-diṭṭhiyo (the ten extremist doctrines of the annihilationists).


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