Aŋguttara Nikāya


[Home]  [Sutta Indexes]  [Glossology]  [Site Sub-Sections]


 

Aŋguttara Nikāya
Sattaka Nipāta
Mahā Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Sevens
The Great Chapter

Sutta 68

Aggi-k-Khandh'Opama Suttaɱ

The Fire[1]

Translated from the Pali by E.M. Hare.

Copyright The Pali Text Society
Commercial Rights Reserved
Creative Commons Licence
For details see Terms of Use.

 


[84]

[1][olds][yaho]Thus have I heard:

Once the Exalted One was on an almsround among the Kosalese,[2] with a great following of monks.

[85] And on reaching the high road, the Exalted One saw in a certain spot a great fiery mass, burning, blazing, flaming.

At the sight, he stepped down off the road and sat down at the foot of a tree,
on a seat which was ready.

 

§

 

So seated, he addressed the monks thus:

'See[3] ye, monks, that great burning,
blazing,
flaming,
fiery mass?'

'Yes, lord.'

'What think ye, monks, which of the twain were better:

That one should sit or lie beside that great burning, blazing, flaming, fiery mass
caressing it;
or, that one should sit
or lie beside
some maid,
whose hands and feet are soft and fair,[4]
of noble birth
or brāhman birth
or yeoman birth,[5]
caressing her?'

'Surely lord, it were better to sit or lie and caress
some maid of noble, brāhman or yeoman birth,
whose hands and feet are soft and fair.

Ill indeed, lord, were it
to sit or lie and caress
that great burning, blazing, flaming, fiery mass.'

"Monks, I declare unto you,
I protest unto you,
it were better for a wicked man[6]
of evil nature,
unclean and of suspicious[7] conduct,
full of secret actions,
no recluse though vowed thereto,
unchaste though vowed to chastity,
rotten to the core,
lustful and vile
— to sit or lie and caress that great burning, blazing, flaming, fiery mass.

And why?

On account of this, monks,
he may suffer death
or ill amounting to death;
but not for that reason,
on the breaking up of the body after death,
would he arise in the untoward way,
the ill way,
the abyss,
hell.

But when a wicked man of evil nature,
unclean and of suspicious conduct,
full of secret actions,
no recluse though vowed thereto,
unchaste though vowed to chastity,
rotten to the core,
lustful and vile,
sits or lies caressing some maid
of noble, brahman or yeoman birth,
whose feet and hands are soft and fair,
he does so to his harm and ill for many a day;
for, on the breaking up of the body after death,
he is reborn in the untoward way,
the ill way,
the abyss,
hell.

 

§

 

[86] What think ye, monks, which of the twain were better:

That a strong man,
with stout horse-hair rope,
should bind and crush both one's legs,
so that the rope cut the skin,
then the underskin,
then the flesh,
then the tendons,
then the bones
and stay touching the marrow;[8] or,
that one should enjoy the salutations
of wealthy nobles,
wealthy brahmans,
wealthy yeomen?'

'Surely, lord, it were better to enjoy the salutations of the wealthy,
wealthy brahmans,
wealthy yeomen.

Ill indeed were it, lord,
that a strong man should bind and crush both one's legs,
so that the rope cut the skin,
then the underskin,
then the flesh,
then the tendons,
then the bones
and stay touching the marrow.'

"Monks, I declare unto you,
I protest unto you,
it were better for a wicked man
of evil nature,
unclean and of suspicious conduct,
full of secret actions,
no recluse though vowed thereto,
unchaste though vowed to chastity,
rotten to the core,
lustful and vile
that a strong man should bind and crush both his legs with rope
so that the rope cut the skin,
then the underskin,
then the flesh,
then the tendons,
then the bones
and stay touching the marrow.

And why?

On account of this, monks,
he may suffer death
or ill amounting to death;
but not for that reason,
on the breaking up of the body after death,
would he arise in the untoward way,
the ill way,
the abyss,
hell.

But when a wicked man enjoys the salutations
of wealthy nobles,
wealthy brahmans,
wealthy yeomen,
he does so to his harm and ill for many a day;
for, on the breaking up of the body after death,
he is reborn in the untoward way,
the ill way,
the abyss,
hell.

 

§

 

What think ye, monks, which of the twain were better:

That a strong man,
with sharpened sword,
cleaned in oil,
should smite one on the rump;[9] or,
that one should enjoy the obeisance
of wealthy nobles,
wealthy brahmans,
wealthy yeomen?

'Surely, lord, it were better to enjoy the obeisance
of wealthy nobles,
wealthy brahmans,
wealthy yeomen.

Ill indeed were it that a strong man,
with sharpened sword,
cleaned in oil,
should smite one on the rump.'

"Monks, I declare unto you,
I protest unto you,
it were better for a wicked man
of evil nature,
unclean and of suspicious conduct,
full of secret actions,
no recluse though vowed thereto,
unchaste though vowed to chastity,
rotten to the core,
lustful and vile
that a strong man should,
with sharpened sword,
cleaned in oil,
smite him on the rump.

And why?

On account of this
he may suffer death
or ill amounting to death;
but not for that reason,
on the breaking up of the body after death,
would he arise in the untoward way,
the ill way,
the abyss,
hell.

But when a wicked man enjoys the obeisance
of wealthy nobles,
wealthy brahmans,
wealthy yeomen
[87] he does so to his harm and ill for many a day;
for, on the breaking up of the body after death,
he is reborn in the untoward way,
the ill way,
the abyss,
hell.

What think ye, monks, which of the twain were better:

That a strong man
should wrap one's body around
with redhot iron plates,
luminous,
glowing
and fiery; or,
that one should enjoy[10] the robe,
a gift of faith,[11]
of wealthy nobles,
wealthy brahmans,
wealthy yeomen?'

'Surely, lord, it were better
to enjoy the robe,
a gift of faith,
of wealthy nobles,
wealthy brahmans,
wealthy yeomen.

Ill indeed were it to be wrapt in red-hot iron plates,
luminous,
glowing
and fiery.'

"Monks, I declare unto you,
I protest unto you,
it were better for a wicked man
of evil nature,
unclean and of suspicious conduct,
full of secret actions,
no recluse though vowed thereto,
unchaste though vowed to chastity,
rotten to the core,
lustful and vile
that a strong man
should wrap his body around with red-hot iron plates,
luminous,
glowing and
fiery.

And why?

On account of this
he may suffer death
or ill amounting to death;
but not for that reason,
on the breaking up of the body after death,
would he arise in the untoward way,
the ill way,
the abyss,
hell.

But when a wicked man
of evil nature,
unclean and of suspicious conduct,
full of secret actions,
no recluse though vowed thereto,
unchaste though vowed to chastity,
rotten to the core,
lustful and vile
enjoys the robe,
a gift of faith,
of wealthy nobles,
wealthy brahmans,
wealthy yeomen
he does so to his harm and ill for many a day;
for, on the breaking up of the body after death,
he is reborn in the untoward way,
the ill way,
the abyss,
hell.

 

§

 

What think ye, monks, which of the twain were b~tter:

That a strong man
with a red-hot iron spike,[12]
luminous,
glowing and
fiery,
should open one's mouth
and should thrust therein
a red-hot copper ball,
luminous,
glowing and
fiery,
so that it burn the lips,
burn the tongue,
burn the throat,
burn the belly
and take along with it
the intestines and the bowels
and pass out through the anus;
or, that one should enjoy the alms,
a gift of faith,
of wealthy nobles,
wealthy brahmans,
wealthy yeomen?'

'Surely, lord, it were better to enjoy the alms, a gift of faith,
of wealthy nobles,
wealthy brahmans,
wealthy yeomen.

Ill indeed were it
that a strong man
with a red-hot iron spike,
luminous,
glowing and
fiery,
should open one's mouth
and should thrust therein
a red-hot copper ball,
luminous,
glowing and
fiery,
so that it burn the lips,
burn the tongue,
burn the throat,
burn the belly
and take along with it
the intestines and the bowels
and pass out through the anus.'

"Monks, I declare unto you,
I protest unto you,
it were better for a wicked man
of evil nature,
unclean and of suspicious conduct,
full of secret actions,
no recluse though vowed thereto,
unchaste though vowed to chastity,
rotten to the core,
lustful and vile
that a strong man
with a red-hot iron spike,
luminous,
glowing and
fiery,
should open one's mouth
and should thrust therein
a red-hot copper ball,
luminous,
glowing and
fiery,
so that it burn the lips,
burn the tongue,
burn the throat,
burn the belly
and take along with it
the intestines and the bowels
and pass out through the anus.

And why?

On this account
he may suffer death
or ill amounting to death;
but not for that reason,
on the breaking up of the body after death,
would he arise in the untoward way,
the ill way,
the abyss,
hell.

But when a wicked man
of evil nature,
unclean and of suspicious conduct,
full of secret actions,
no recluse though vowed thereto,
unchaste though vowed to chastity,
rotten to the core,
lustful and vile
enjoys [88] the alms,
a gift of faith,
of wealthy nobles,
wealthy brahmans,
wealthy yeomen
he does so to his harm and ill for many a day;
for, on the breaking up of the body after death,
he is reborn in the untoward way,
the ill way,
the abyss,
hell.

 

§

 

What think ye, monks, which of the twain were better:

That a strong man
should seize one by the head
or by the shoulders
and should force one
to sit or lie
on a red-hot iron couch
or red-hot iron bed,
luminous,
glowing and
fiery;
or, that one should enjoy the couch or bed,
a gift of faith,
of wealthy nobles,
wealthy brahmans,
wealthy yeomen?'

'Surely lord, it were better
to enjoy the couch or bed,
a gift of faith,
of wealthy nobles,
wealthy brahmans,
wealthy yeomen.

Ill indeed were itThat a strong man
should seize one by the head
or by the shoulders
and should force one
to sit or lie
on a red-hot iron couch
or red-hot iron bed,
luminous,
glowing and
fiery.'

"Monks, I declare unto you,
I protest unto you,
it were better for a wicked man
of evil nature,
unclean and of suspicious conduct,
full of secret actions,
no recluse though vowed thereto,
unchaste though vowed to chastity,
rotten to the core,
lustful and vile
that a strong man should seize him by the head
or by the shoulders
and should force one
to sit or lie
on a red-hot iron couch
or red-hot iron bed,
luminous,
glowing and
fiery.'

And why?

On account of this
he may suffer death
or ill amounting to death;
but not for that reason,
on the breaking up of the body after death,
would he arise in the untoward way,
the ill way,
the abyss,
hell.

But when a wicked man
of evil nature,
unclean and of suspicious conduct,
full of secret actions,
no recluse though vowed thereto,
unchaste though vowed to chastity,
rotten to the core,
lustful and vile
enjoys a couch or bed,
a gift of faith,
of wealthy nobles,
wealthy brahmans,
wealthy yeomen
he does so to his harm and ill for many a day;
for, on the breaking up of the body after death,
he is reborn in the untoward way,
the ill way,
the abyss,
hell.

 

§

 

What think ye, monks, which of the twain were better:

That a strong man
should seize one
feet upmost
and head down
and should hurl one
into a red-hot copper cauldron,
luminous,
glowing and
fiery,
and there,
being boiled,
to be whirled
now up,
now down,
now cross-ways,
like bubbling scum;[13] or,
that one should enjoy the lodging,
a gift of faith,
of wealthy nobles,
wealthy brāhmans
or wealthy yeomen?'

'Surely, lord, it were better
to enjoy the lodging,
a gift of faith,
of wealthy nobles,
wealthy brāhmans
or wealthy yeomen.

Ill indeed were it, lord,
that a strong man
should seize one
feet upmost
and head down
and should hurl one
into a red-hot copper cauldron,
luminous,
glowing and
fiery,
where, being boiled,
one would be whirled
now up,
now down,
now crossways,
like bubbling scum.'

[89] 'Monks, I declare unto you,
I protest unto you,
it were better for a wicked man
of evil nature,
unclean
and of suspicious conduct,
full of secret actions,
no recluse though vowed thereto,
unchaste though vowed to chastity,
rotten to the core,
lustful and vile
— to be seized
feet upmost
and head down
by a strong man
and hurled into a red-hot copper cauldron,
luminous,
glowing and
fiery,
where, being boiled,
he would be whirled
now up,
now down,
now cross-ways,
like bubbling scum.

And why?

On account of this
he may suffer death
or ill amounting to death;
but not for that reason,
on the breaking up of the body after death,
would he arise in the untoward way,
the ill way,
the abyss,
hell.

But when a wicked man
of evil nature,
unclean
and of suspicious conduct,
full of secret actions,
no recluse though vowed thereto,
unchaste though vowed to chastity,
rotten to the core,
lustful and vile,
enjoys the lodging,
a gift of faith,
of wealthy nobles,
wealthy brāhmans
or wealthy yeomen,
he does so to his harm and ill for many a day;
for, on the breaking up of the body after death,
he is reborn in the untoward way,
the ill way,
the abyss,
hell.

 

§

 

Wherefore, monks, train yourselves thuswise:

Of whomsoever we enjoy the requisites,
that is to say:
the robe,
alms,
lodging
and medicaments
— unto them such services
will become very fruitful,
very profitable;
and unto us also
this going forth
will not become a barren thing,
but fruitful,
with issue.[14]

Train yourselves in this way, monks!

 

§

 

Monks, for one who can see his own weal,
to strive earnestly[15]
is well worth while;
for one who can see another's weal,
to strive earnestly
is well worth while;
for one who can see the weal
both of self and others,
to strive earnestly
is well worth while.'

Thus. spake the Exalted One.

Now while this exposition was being delivered,
from the mouths of as many as sixty monks
hot blood gushed forth.[16]

[90] Sixty more gave up the training
and returned to the lower life, saying:
'Hard is the task of the Exalted One!
Very hard is the task of the Exalted One!'

But the hearts of sixty others
became without[17] attachment
and freed from the cankers.

 


[1] The Comy. observes that the meaning of this sutta is expanded in the comment on the cūḷa-c-charā-sanghāta-sutta; see A. i, 10; A.A. 1, 63.

[2] Above, p. 1 n.; Buddh. Ind. 327. [Index. Scroll down to 'Sāvatthi'.]

[3] Cf. Vism. 54; read there A. iv, 128 for 124.

[4] Taluna: taruṇa.

[5] This is a stock set; cf. A. ii. 205; M. i, 88.

[6] This stock phrase recurs at A. i, 108, 126; Vin. ii, 236; A. ii, 239: Ud. 52; cf. Ud.A. 297; below, p. 138.

[7] On sankassara, suspicious. see S.B.E. xx, 300 n.; K.S. i, 91 n.

[8] This phrase recurs at S. ii, 238 (K.S. ii, 161); Vin. i, 83.

[9] Paccorasmiŋ. Comy. uramajjhe, the middle of the breast. Vism. trs1. 62, pierce the breast. The context requires perhaps a stronger term than 'smite'; possibly Bu. visualized stabbing. Cf. Dhp.A. i. 189.

[10] Paribhuñjeyya.

[11] Saiddhā-deyyaŋ; see D. i. 5 f.; D.A. i, 81.

[12] Sanku, Vism. trsl. 62, tweezers.

[13] Phenuddehakaŋ; see M. iii, 167; cf. Mil. 357; A. i, 141. Comy. 'A bubble, having boiled up, appears.' Uddihitvā, this verbal dcrivative of \/Ḥdih is not noticed by P.E.D.

[14] This passage recurs at M. i, 271, 281; cf. i, 33; S. ii, 29 (K.S. ii, 24). The text reads parikhārānaŋ for -khāraŋ.

[15] Appamādena sumpādetuŋ, the last recorded words of the Buddha were appamādena sumpādetha; see D. ii. 156.

[16] In this way Nāṭaputta, the Jain leader, is reported as dying; see M. i, 387 (F. Dial. i, 278); see Mil. 164. where this sutta is referred to, and A. v, p. ix; cf. K.S. i, 157.

[17] Comy. observes that when the Master had preached this discourse, he preached the sutta called the Lesser Snap of the Fingers. AN 1.10.


Contact:
E-mail
Copyright Statement