Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara-Nikāya
III. Tika Nipāta
VI. Brāhmaṇa Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
or
More-Numbered Suttas

III. The Book of the Threes
VI. The Brāhmins

Sutta 59

Jāṇussoṇi Suttaɱ

Jāṇussoṇi

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

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[150]

[1][bodh] Thus have I heard:

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

Now Jāṇussoṇi,[1] the brahmin, came to see the Exalted One..

On coming to him he greeted him courteously
and sat down at one side.

As he sat at one side
that brahmin said this to the Exalted One:

"Master Gotama, he who has a sacrifice to make,
or an offering to the dead,[2]
or a gift of barley in milk,
or a gift fit for mendicants,
should give it to those brahmins
who are possessors of the threefold lore."

"But, brahmin,
how do brahmins describe one
who has the threefold lore?"

"In this case, master Gotama,
a brahmin is well born on both sides,
of pure descent from mother and father
as far back as seven generations,
unsmirched,
without reproach in respect of birth,
one given to study,
one who knows the charms by heart,
a past master in the three Vedas,
the indexes together with the ritual,
the treatise on phonology (as fourth)
and the legendary sayings (as fifth):
he is a man learned in the idioms
and the grammar,
one perfect in the science of world-speculation
and the signs of the great being.

That, master Gotama,
is how the brahmins describe
a brahmin who has the threefold lore."

"Well, brahmin, this description
of a brahmin who has the threefold lore is one thing.

The description of him who has the threefold lore
in the discipline of the Ariyan
is quite another thing."

"But how, master Gotama,
is one the possessor of the threefold lore
in the discipline of the Ariyan?

Well for me if the worthy Gotama would teach me
according to what method he is so possessed!"

"Then, brahmin, do you listen.

Apply your mind attentively.

I will speak."

"Very well, master,"
replied Jāṇussoṇi the brahmin to the Exalted One.

The Exalted One said:

"Herein a monk, aloof from sensuality,
aloof from evil states,
enters on the first musing
which is accompanied by thought directed and sustained,
born of solitude,
zestful
and easeful,
and abides therein.

Then, by the calming down of thought directed and sustained,
he enters on that inward calm,
that one-pointedness of mind,
apart from thought directed and sustained,
that is born of mental balance,
zestful
and easeful,
which is the second musing,
and abides therein.

Then, by the fading out of zest,
he abides indifferent,
mindful and composed,
and experiences ease through the body.

Having entered on the third musing,
which the Ariyans describe in these terms:

'He who is indifferent and mindful dwells happily,' -

he abides therein.

Then, by the abandoning of ease,
by the abandoning of discomfort,
by the ending of the happiness and unhappiness
that he had before,
entering on that state
which is neither pleasant nor painful,
that utter purity of mindfulness
reached by indifference,
which is the fourth musing,
he abides therein.

He then, with mind thus composed,
made pure and translucent,
stainless and with its taints vanished away,
made pliant and workable,
fixed and unperturbed,
(applies and) bends down his mind
to acquiring knowledge of his former births.

In divers ways he recalls his former births, thus:

One birth,
two births,
three, four, five,
ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty,
a hundred,
a thousand,
a hundred thousand births:
the various destructions of aeons,
the various renewals of aeons,
both the destructions and renewals of eons, thus:

'I lived there,
was named thus,
was of such a clan,
of such a caste,
was thus supported,
had such and such pleasant and painful experiences,
had such length of days,
disappeared thence
and arose elsewhere:
there too I lived,
was named thus,
was of such a clan,
of such a caste,
was thus supported,
had such and such pleasant and painful experiences,
had such length of days,
disappeared thence
and arose elsewhere.'

Thus he calls to mind
in all their specific details,
in all their characteristics,
in many various ways,
his previous states of existence.

This is tbe first knowledge be attains.

Ignorance has vanished,
knowledge arises.

Gone is the darkness,
arisen is the light,
as it does for one who abides earnest,
ardent
and composed in the self.

He then, with mind thus composed,
made pure and translucent,
stainless and with its taints vanished away,
made pliant and workable,
fixed and unperturbed,
(applies and) bends down his mind
to acquiring knowledge of the fall and rise of beings
from one existence to another.

With the deva-sight,
purified and surpassing that of men,
he beholds beings deceasing
and rising up again,
beings both mean and excellent,
fair and foul,
gone to a happy state,
gone to a woeful state
according to their deeds
(so as to say):

'Alas! these worthies,
given to the practice of evil deeds,
of evil words,
of evil thoughts,
scoffing at the Noble Ones,
of perverted views
and reaping the fruits of their perverted views, -
these beings,
on the dissolution of body after death
arose again in the Waste,
the Woeful Way,
the Downfall,
in Purgatory!'

Or:

'Ah, these worthies,
given to the practice of good deeds,
of good words,
of good thoughts,
not scoffing at the Noble Ones,
but of sound views
and reaping the fruits of their sound views, -
these beings,
on the dissolution of the body after death
arose again in the Happy Lot,
in the Heaven World.'

Thus with the deva-sight,
purified and surpassing that of men,
he beholds beings deceasing
and rising up again,
beings both mean and excellent,
fair and foul,
gone to a happy state,
gone to a woeful state
according to their deeds.

This is the second knowledge he attains.

Ignorance has vanished,
knowledge arises.

Gone is the darkness,
arisen is the light,
as it does for one who abides earnest,
ardent
and composed in the self.

He then, with mind thus composed,
made pure and translucent,
stainless and with its taints vanished away,
made pliant and workable,
fixed and unperturbed,
(applies and) bends down his mind
to acquiring knowledge of the destruction of the asavas.

He recognizes, as it really is, the truth that:

'This is ill.'

He recognizes, as it really is, the truth that:

'This is the arising of ill.'

He recognizes, as it really is, the truth that:

'This is the ending of ill.'

He recognizes, as it really is, the truth that:

'This is the practice that leads to the ending of ill.'

He recognizes, as it really is:

'These are āsavas.'

He recognizes, as it really is:

'This is the arising of the āsavas.'

He recognizes, as it really is:

'This is the practice that leads to the destruction of the āsavas.'

In him, thus knowing,
thus seeing,
his mind is released from the asava of sensuality:
his mind is released from the asava of becoming,
from the asava of nescience.

By release comes the knowledge that he is released,
so that he understands:

'Destroyed is rebirth,
lived is the righteous life,
done is what I had to do,
there is no more for me of this state of things.'

This is the third knowledge he attains.

Ignorance has vanished,
knowledge arises.

Gone is the darkness,
arisen is the light,
as it does for one who abides earnest,
ardent
and composed in the self.

'This man with morals and religion blest,
Who has the self composed, is tranquillized,
With mind subdued, one-pointed, fully calmed.
Who knows his former birth, sees heaven and hell,
Who hath attained destruction of rebirth,
Master of supernormal power, a sage, -
If any brahmin hath this threefold lore,
That is the one I call "Tevijja-brahmin,"
Not one so called by men in empty words.'

That, brahmin,
is how one possesses the threefold lore
in the discipline of the Ariyan."

"Indeed, master Gotama,
this one is quite different from the other.

Why! master Gotama,
he who has the threefold lore of the brahmins
is not worth one-sixteenth part
of him who has it in the discipline of the Ariyan.

Excellent it is, [151] master Gotama!
Excellent it is, master Gotama!

Even as one raises what is overthrown,
or shows forth what is hidden,
or points out the way to him that wanders astray,
or holds up a light in the darkness,
that they who have eyes ay see objects, —
even so in divers ways
hath the Norm been set forth by the worthy Gotama.

I myself, master Gotama,
do go for refuge to the worthy Gotama,
to Dhamma
and to the Order of monks.

May the worthy Gotama
accept me as a lay-follower
from this day forth
so long as life shall last,
as one who has taken refuge in him."

 


[1] Supra, text 158, § 55.

[2] Saddha = Skt. śhrāddha.


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