Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
Catukka Nipāta
XXVI: Abhiññā Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fours
Chapter XXVI: Higher Knowledge

Sutta 256

Paṭhama Ājānīya Suttaɱ

The Thoroughbred (a)[1]

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

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[255]

[1] Thus have I heard:

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

Then the Exalted One addressed the monks, saying:

"Monks."

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

'Possessed of four qualities, monks,
a rajah's noble, thoroughbred steed
is worthy of the rajah,
is the rajah's possession,
is reckoned an asset of the rajah.

What four?

Herein a rajah's noble, thoroughbred steed
is possessed of beauty,
strength,
speed
and good proportions.[2]

Possessed of these four qualities
a rajah's noble, thoroughbred steed
is worthy of the rajah,
is the rajah's possession,
is reckoned an asset of the rajah.

Just in the same way, monks,
possessed of four qualities
a monk is worthy of offerings,
worthy of hospitality,
worthy of gifts,
of salutations with clasped hands,
a field of merit unsurpassed for the world.

What four?

In this case a monk has beauty (of life),
strength (of characteɱ,
speed (of insight)
and good proportions (of necessaries).

 

§

 

And how is a monk possessed of beauty?

In this case a monk is virtuous,
he lives restrained with the restraint of the obligations,
is proficient in the practice of good conduct,
seeing danger in the slightest faults
he trains himself in the precepts
by undertaking them.

In this way he has beauty (of life).

And how is a monk possessed of strength?

In this case a monk lives ardent in energy,
ever striving to abandon bad qualities,
to acquire good qualities,
strenuously [256] exerting himself,
not throwing off the burden in good qualities.

In this way he has strength (of character).

And how is a monk possessed of speed?

In this case a monk understands,
as it really is,
the meaning of:

This is Ill.

This is the arising of Ill.

This is the ending of Ill.

This is the practice going to the ending of Ill.

In this way a monk is possessed of speed (of insight).

And how is a monk possessed of good proportions?

In this case a monk is one
who gets robe and alms-food,
lodging,
extras and necessary medicines
for use in sickness.

In this way a monk is possessed of good proportions (of necessaries).

Possessed of these four qualities
a monk is worthy of offerings,
worthy of hospitality,
worthy of gifts,
of salutations with clasped hands,
a field of merit unsurpassed for the world.'

 


[1] As at A. i, § 95, with three qualities.

[2] Āroha-pariṇāha. cf. A. i, 288, lit. 'length of body and girth.'


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