Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
Catukka Nipāta
XXV: Āppatti-bhaya Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fours
Chapter XXV: Fear of Offence

Sutta 242

Āpatti-Bhaya Suttaɱ

Offence (b)

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

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[245]

[1] Thus have I heard:

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

"Monks."

"Yes, lord," they replied, and the Exalted One said:

"Monks, there are these four fears of offence.

What four?

Just as if men were to seize a bandit,
a malefactor,
and show him to the rajah,
saying:

"Sire, this is a bandit,
a malefactor.

Let your honour visit him with punishment."

Then says the rajah to them:

"Go ye, strongly bind this fellow's arms behind him with a stout cord,
shave him bald,
and with a harsh-sounding tamtam
parade him from street to street,
from crossroads to crossroads.

Then lead him forth
by the southern gate
and at the south of the town
chop off his head."

Thereupon those rajah's men
strongly bind this fellow's arms behind him with a stout cord,
shave him bald,
and with a harsh-sounding tamtam
parade him from street to street,
from crossroads to crossroads.

Then lead him forth
by the southern gate
and at the south of the town
chop off his head.[1]

Thereupon to some bystander[2] it occurs thus:

"Truly a wicked deed
has this fellow done,
worthy of execration,
for which he deserves to lose his head;
inasmuch as the rajah's men must
bind his arms behind him with a stout cord,
shave him bald
and with a harsh-sounding tamtam
parade him from street to street,
from crossroads to crossroads,
then lead him forth by the southern gate
and at the south of the town
chop off his head.

Let me see to it[3]
that I do no such wicked deed,
[246] worthy of execration,
for which I may deserve to lose my head."

Just in the same way, monks,
in whatsoever monk or nun
such lively consciousness of fear presents itself,
in matters of grave offence[4]
it must be expected
that either he or she,
being guiltless,
will not fall into a grave transgression,
or that if guilty
he or she will make amends for the guilt
as is fit and proper.

Just as if, monks,
a man should don a black garment,
let down his hair,[5]
put a club on his shoulder,
come before the public council[6]
and say:

"Sirs, I have done a wicked deed,
one worthy of execration
and cudgelling.[7]

I submit to your worships' pleasure."

Thereupon it occurs thus to some bystander:

"Truly a wicked deed
has this fellow done,
worthy of execration
and cudgelling;
inasmuch as he dons a black garment,
lets down his hair,
puts a club on his shoulder,
comes before the public council and says:

'Sirs, I have done a wicked deed,
one worthy of execration
and cudgelling.'

Let me see to it that I do no such wicked deed, worthy of execration and cudgelling."

Just in the same way, monks,
in whatsoever monk or nun
such lively consciousness of fear presents itself,
in matters calling for a decision of the Order[8]
it must be expected
that either,
being guiltless,
he or she will not come within the jurisdiction of the Order,
or being guilty
will make amends to the Order
for guilt
as is fit and proper.

Just as if, monks,
a man should don a black garment,
let down his hair,
put a provision-bag[9] on his shoulder,
come before [247] the public council and say thus:

"Sirs, I have done a wicked deed,
surely one deserving execration.

I submit to your worships' pleasure."

Thereupon it occurs thus to some bystander:

"Truly a wicked deed has this fellow done!

Indeed it is worthy of execration;
inasmuch as he dons a black garment,
lets down his hair,
puts a provision-bag on his shoulder,
comes before the public council and says:

'Sirs, I have done a wicked deed,
surely one deserving execration.

I submit to your worships' pleasure.'

Let me see to it
that I do no such wicked deed,
one worthy of execration.

Just in the same way, monks,
in whatsoever monk or nun
such lively consciousness of fear presents itself,
in matters calling for expiation[10]
it is to be expected that either,
being guiltless,
he or she will not fall into a state requiring expiation,
or, if guilty,
will make amends for guilt
as is fit and proper.

Just as if, monks,
a man should don a back garment,
let down his hair,[11]
come before the public council
and say thus:

"Sirs, I have done a wicked deed, worthy of execration, worthy of blame.

I submit to your worships'pleasure."

Thereupon it occurs to some bystander:

"Truly a wicked deed has this fellow done,
one worthy of execration,
worthy of blame,
inasmuch as he dons a back garment,
lets down his hair,
comes before the public council
and says:

'Sirs, I have done a wicked deed, worthy of execration, worthy of blame.

I submit to your worships'pleasure.'

Let me see to it
that I do no such wicked deed,
one worthy of execration,
worthy of blame."

Just in the same way, monks,
in whatsoever monk or nun
such lively consciousness of fear presents itself,
in matters requiring [248] confession[12] of guilt
it is to be expected that either,
being guiltless,
he or she will not fall into a state requiring confession
or, if guilty,
will make confession of guilt
as is fit and proper.

So these, monks, are the four fears of offence.'

 


[1] The simile is at S. ii, 100, 128, iv, 343.

[2] Thalaṭṭhassa = ekamante ṭhitassa. Comy.

[3] Assāhaɱ for assu (strong particle) ahaɱ; see note below on assa-puṭaɱ.

[4] Parājika-dhamma (see below, sanghādisesa-dh.), an offence of the first class.

[5] Generally worn in a top-knot or 'bun' (as in Ceylon).

[6] Mahājana-kāya.

[7] Mosallaɱ (only here), from musala, Skt. musalya, 'deserving a cudgelling.'

[8] Sanghādisesa-dhamma, an offence of the second class, a matter for a decision of the Order. Cf. Vin. ii, 38; VM. 22. Acc. to Childers, one to be dealt with by the Saŋgha ādi, in the beginning, and sesa, in the remaining stages.

[9] Text asea-putaɱ. Cf. D. i, 98, assa-puṭena vadhitvā (trans. at Dial. ii 'killing him with the ash-bag!' acc. to DA. ad loc.); but we should read at hoth places (as above, § 190) aŋsa-puṭaɱ - i.e., punishing him by banishment; in which case he would take his food on his back. Comy. takes it as 'ash-bag'! and Burmese texts even alter to bhasma-puṭaɱ (see P.Dict. s.v.). There is evidently a vowel-confusion here in the repetition below, where I propose to read assu pi taɱ (see on assu above), and so translate. Could the original reading have been assa puṭaɱ, 'his cloth' (Skt. puṭaɱ has this meaning)? To put the cloth over the shoulder is a mark of humility.

[10] Pācittiya-dhamma is a minor offence compared with the two above.

[11] It is to be noticed that the grievousness of each offence is marked by the demeanour of the culprit. The first offence is clubbable, the second requires banishment, the third does not go beyond requiring the letting down of the hair.

[12] Pāṭidesanīyaka-dhamma. A fourth class of offence requiring merely confession.


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