Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara-Nikāya
III. Tika Nipāta
VIII. Ānanda Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
or
More-Numbered Suttas

Part III
The Book of the Threes

Chapter VIII. Ānanda Vagga

Sutta 80

Cūḷanikā Suttaɱ

Abhibhu

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

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[206]

[1] Thus have I heard:[ed1]

Now the venerable Ānanda went to see the Exalted One
and on coming to him
salauted him
and sat down at one side.

As he sat at one side he said this:

In the presence of the Exalted One, lord,
in his very presence
I have received this saying:

"Ānanda, Abhibhu, the disciple of the Buddha Sikhin,[1]
standing in the Brahma world,
could make its thousand realms hear his voice."

Pray, lord, how far can the Arahant,
the Fully Enlightened One,
make his voice heard?'

'He was just a disciple,[2] Ānanda.

Immeasurable are the Tathāgatas.'

Then a second time the venerable Ānanda said::

In the presence of the Exalted One, lord,
in his very presence
I have received this saying:

"Ānanda, Abhibhu, the disciple of the Buddha Sikhin,
standing in the Brahma world,
could make its thousand realms hear his voice."

Pray, lord, how far can the Arahant,
the Fully Enlightened One,
make his voice heard?'

And a second time the Exalted one said:

'He was just a disciple,Ānanda.

Immeasurable are the Tathāgatas.'

Then a third time the venerable Ānanda said::

In the presence of the Exalted One, lord,
in his very presence
I have received this saying:

"Ānanda, Abhibhu, the disciple of the Buddha Sikhin,
standing in the Brahma world,
could make its thousand realms hear his voice."

Pray, lord, how far can the Arahant,
the Fully Enlightened One,
make his voice heard?'

Then answered the Exalted One:

2. 'Have you ever heard, Ānanda,
of the system of the thousand lesser[3] worlds?'

'Now is the time for this, O Exalted One!

Now is the time for this, O Well-farer, -
for the Exalted One to speak!

Hearing the Exalted One
the monks will bear it in mind.'

[207] 'Then, Ānanda,
do you listen.

Attend closely
and I will speak."

'I will, lord,' replied the venerable Ānanda
to the Exalted One,
who said:

3. 'As far as moon and sun move in their course
and light up all quarters with their radiance,
so far extends the thousandfold world-system.

Therein are a thousand moons,
a thousand suns,
a thousand Sinerus, lords of mountains:
a thousand Rose-Apple Lands,[4]
a thousand Western Ox-wainsa
thousand Northern Kurus,[5]
a thousand Eastern Videhas;[6]
four thousand mighty Oceans,
four thousand Mighty Ruler[7],
a thousand Four Great Rulers,[8]
a thousand heavens of the Thirty-Three,
a thousand Yama worlds,
a thousand heavens of the Devas of Delight,
a thousand heavens of the Devas that delight in creation,
the same of those Devas that delight in others' creations,
and a thousand Brahma worlds.

This, Ānanda,
is called

"The system of the thousand lesser worlds."

A system a thousandfold the size of this
is called

"The Twice-a-thousand Middling Thousandfold World-system."

A system a thousandfold the size of this is called

"The Thrice-a-thousand Mighty Thousandfold World-system."

Now, Ānanda, if he wished it,
the Tathāgata could make his voice heard
throughout this last-named world-system,
or[9] even further,
if he chose.'

4. 'Pray, lord, how could that be done?

'In this connexion, Ānanda,
the Tathāgata suffuses with [208] radiance the Thrice-a-thousand Mighty Thousandfold World-system.

When its inhabitants perceive this,
then the Tathāgata would give utterance
and make the sound heard.

That is how he would do it.'

5. At these words the venerable Ānanda exclaimed to the venerable Udāyin:[10]

'It is indeed a gain for me!

Well gotten indeed by me it is
that my teacher is of such mighty power and majesty!'

Whereupon the venerable Udayin said to the venerable Ānanda:

'What is it to you, friend Ānanda,
that your teacher should be of such mighty power and majesty?

At these words the Exalted One said to the venerable Udayin:

'Say not so, Udayin!

Say not so, Udayin!

If Ānanda were to make an end
without attaining perfect freedom from passion,[11]
yet by virtue of his heart of faith
he would seven times win rule among the Devas,
seven times would he win rule in this Rose-Apple Land.

Howbeit, Udayin, in this very life
Ānanda shall attain to final passing away.'[12]

 


[1] The second of the seven traditional Buddhas. The reference is to a sermon at Sāvatthi, Arunavatī-Sutta, S. i, 154 (to which Comy. refers). Cf. K.S. i, 194. Sikhin had a pair of disciples, chief, elect, named Abhibhu and Sambhava ... (and Abhibhu said) 'I profess, lord, that using just such speech as if I were speaking in the midst of our Order, I am able, as I stand in the Brahma world, to make its thousand realms hear my voice.'

[2] Padesa-ñāṇe ṭhito (of partial knowledge).

[3] Cūḷanilcā loka-dhātu. Comy. has cūḷanī-l.

[4] Jambu-dīpa, the southernmost of the four great continents, including India. The names following are those of continents, described at KhA. 123; SnA. ii, 443; Asḷ. 298 (Expos. ii, 392 ff.).

[5] Aparagoyāna, the western.

[6] Uttara-Kurū, the northern.

[7] Pubba-videhā, the eastern. These make up a cakkavāla with Mt. Meru in the midst, a flat-world-system. The list occurs again at A. v, 59. A map of a cakkavala will be found in Ceylon Buddhism, vol. ii, by D. J. Gogerly (Kegan Paul, 1908), described in vol. i, 19 ff.

[8] Mahārājā, the four world-guardians. These 'spiritual' worlds are above those previously mentioned, which are still subject to sense-desires, and are sixteen in number.

[9] Reading yāvatā vā pana for yāvatā pana of text.

[10] He is often with Ānanda in Saɱyutta Nikāya.

[11] Vīta-rāga.

[12] Parinibbāyiasati. This prophecy of A.'s winning Arahantship is fulfilled by the Commentators in describing the First Great Council after the Buddha's death.

 


[ed1] No Nidana is given. In the first sutta previously where the location is given it is for Ānanda, who is then residing in Vesālī, in the Great Grove, at the House with the Peaked Gable. The following suttas all begin with "There then ... ," So it is probably that Gotama was residing there or nearby. Sutta 73, however has him residing among the Saakyans near Kapilavatthu, in Banyan Park.


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