Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara-Nikāya
III. Tika Nipāta
XVI. Acelaka Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
or
More-Numbered Suttas

Part III
The Book of the Threes

Chapter XVI. The Unclothed[1]

Sutta 151

Paṭhavi Paṭipadā Suttaɱ

Practices (a)

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

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[272]

[1] THUS HAVE I HEARD

Once the Exalted One was dwelling near Sāvatthī.

Then the Exalted One addressed the monks, saying:

'Monks!'

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

Tbe Exalted One said:

"Monks, there are these three practices.

What three?

The practice of the hardened[2] sensualist,
that of the selftormentor,[3]
and the midway practice.

[273] 2. Now what is the practice
of the hardened sensualist?

Herein, monks, a certain one
who thus speaks,
who holds this view:

"There is no fault in sensual desires,"
comes to utter ruin[4] thereby.

This practice, monks, is called
that of the hardened sensualist.

3. And of what sort is the practice
of the self-tormentor?

Herein a certain one goes naked,
he has unrestrained habits,[5]
he licks his hands clean,[6]
he will have none of your

"Come in, your reverence!"

or

"Stop a bit, your reverence!"[7]

He refuses food brought to him,
he refuses special food,
he refuses an invitation to a meal.

He refuses food straight from the pot
or straight from the pan,
or within the threshold of a door,
or among the firewood,[8]
or among the rice-pounders.[9]

He refuses food
when a couple[10] are eating,
or from a pregnant woman,
from one giving suck,
from one having intercourse with a man.

He refuses food
from a mixed collection,[11]
or where a dog stands by,
or where flies are swarming.

He eats no fish or flesh,
drinks no liquor or intoxicant,
not even rice gruel.

He is a beggar from one house only,
an eater of one mouthful,
or maybe begs from two houses,
eats two mouthfuls [274] only,
or maybe begs from three houses,
eats three mouthfuls only,
or maybe begs from four houses,
eats four mouthfuls only,
or maybe begs from five houses,
eats five mouthfuls only,
or maybe begs from six houses,
eats six mouthfuls only,
or maybe begs from seven houses,
eats seven mouthfuls only.

He exists on just one little dole[12] of food,
or on just two little doles,
or on just three little doles,
or on just four little doles,
or on just five little doles,
or on just six little doles,
or on just seven little doles.

He takes food only once a day
he takes food only once in two days
he takes food only once in three days
he takes food only once in four days
he takes food only once in five days
he takes food only once in six days
he takes food only once in seven days.

Thus he lives given to the practice
of taking food by rule,
even to the interval of half a month.

He feeds on vegetables,
on millet,
on raw rice,
on scraps of leather,[13]
on water-plants,[14]
rice-powder,
burnt scum of rice,
flour of oil-seeds,
on grass
and cowdung.

He just exists on forest roots
and on fruit that has fallen.

He wears coarse hempen clothes,
cloth of different fibres,
discarded corpse-cloths,
rags from a rubbish heap,
tree-bark fibre,
antelope skins,
strips of antelope skin,
clothes made of kusa grass,
made of wood shavings,
blankets made of human hair,
made of horsehair,
made of owls' wings.

He is a plucker out
of hair and beard
and given to this practice.

He remains standing
and refuses a seat.[15]

He squats down
and keeps a squatting posture.

He is a "bed-of-thorns" man,
he makes his bed on spikes.[16]

He lives given to the practice
of going down to the water to bathe
even a third time
in the evening also.

Thus in divers ways
he lives given to these practices
which torment the body.

This, monks, is called
"the practice of self-torment."

3. And of what sort, monks,
is the midway[17] practice?

Herein a monk lives in body contemplating body,
ardent, self-possessed[18] and mindful,
by restraining the coveting and dejection in the world.

He lives in thought contemplating thought,
ardent, self-possessed and mindful,
by restraining the coveting and dejection in the world.

He lives in feelings contemplating feelings,
ardent, self-possessed and mindful,
by restraining the coveting and dejection in the world.

He lives in mind-states contemplating mind-states ardent, self-possessed and mindful,
by restraining the coveting and dejection in the world.

[275] This is called "the midway practice."

These are the three practices.'

 


[1] Acelaka, a naked ascetic.

[2] Āgāḷha = gāḷhā, kakkhaḷā, lobha-vasena thira-gahaṇā. Comy.

[3] Nijjhāma = atta-kilamathānuyoga-vasena suṭṭhu jhāmā santatta-paritatta - i.e., of severe tapas or self-immolation. Comy.

[4] Cf. text 266, [GS 3.111 n.2] pātavyataɱ.

[5] Muttācāro = vissaṭṭhācaro. Comy. SA. on S. i. 43 calls this visaŋyama, and with Comy. on the other passages where it occurs (Pugg. 55; D. i, 166; M. i, 77; A. ii, 206) explains it as 'one who does just the opposite to what others do in daily life and habits' - in short, 'a crank.' See note to Dialog. i, 227, 232.

[6] Reading hatthāpalekhano (with the other passages quoted) for -āvalekhano of text.

[7] In the begging-round.

[8] Daṇḍa-m-antaraɱ, may be 'through the window bars.'

[9] Musala-m-antaraɱ. These are heavy sticks several feet long. With the firewood they stand in a corner of the verandah. It is not easy to decide the process. May it be the food was set out thus to keep it from prowling dogs?

[10] When offered by only one of the two.' Comy.

[11] Sankittisu, a word of doubtful origin. Comy. here and at the other places takes it as 'collected by the disciples of the unclothed.' Many trans. have been suggested. I incline to that of Dr. Dines Andersen (Words in S., J.P.T.S., 1909, p. 23).

[12] Datti is a little pot for titbits. (Many of these practices are described and illustrated in the case of moden ascetics by J. Campbell Oman, Mystics, Ascetics and Saints of India.)

[13] Daddula, cf. supra, text 240. Similar habits are ascribed to the Wanderers.

[14] Haṭa = silesa = sevāḷa.

[15] Ubbhaṭṭhaka. Text reads ubh-; Pugg. ubb-.

[16] Here D. inserts several other 'beds of torment.'

[17] Majjhima. Comy. refers to the First Sermon and the Middle Way.

[18] As at S. v, 9, 244. cf. K.S. v, 225 ff.


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