Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
VIII. Aṭṭhaka Nipāta
I: Mettā Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
VIII. The Book of the Eights
I. On Amity

Sutta 8

Uttara Suttaɱ

The Venerable Uttara

Translated from the Pali by E.M. Hare.

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[162] [110]

[1][than][bodh] Thus have I heard:

Once the venerable Uttara[1] dwelt near Mahisavatthu,
on the Sankheyyaka mountain,
in Dhavajalika.

There the venerable Uttara addressed the monks. saying:

'Reverend sirs, well it is for a monk to review,
from time to time,
his own faults;
well it is for him to review
the faults of another;
well it is to review his own attainments;
well it is to review another's.'

Now at that time the Royal deva, Vessavana,
was on his way from the northern region to the south,
on some business [111] or other,[2]
and he heard the venerable Uttara teaching the monks in Dhavajalika:

'Reverend sirs, well it is for a monk to review,
from time to time,
his own faults;
well it is for him to review
the faults of another;
well it is to review his own attainments;
well it is to review another's.'

Then just as a strong man might stretch forth his bended arm
or might bend his outstretched arm;
even so the Royal deva, Vessavana,
disappeared from Dhavajalika
and appeared among the devas of the Thirty.

And Vessavana approached Sakka, king of the devas, and said:

'Your[3] grace, I would have you know
that this venerable Uttara in Dhavajalika,
on the Sankheyyaka mountain,
near Mahisavatthu,
teaches this doctrine:

"Well it is, from time to time,
to review one's own faults;
well it is to review another's;
well it is to review one's own attainments;
well it is to review another's."'

Then as a strong man might bend
and stretch out his arm again,
Sakka, king of the devas, disappeared from among the devas of the Thirty
and appeared before the venerable Uttara in Dhavajalika,
on the Sankheyyaka mountain,
near Mahisavatthu.

Sakka did not 'sit' he stood. aṭṭhāsi. The Devas, we hear, find this world more than a little distasteful, and when they visit, do not 'sit in it'.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

And Sakka, the deva-king,
approached the venerable Uttara
and saluted him
and sat down at one side.

So seated, he said:

'Is it true, sir,[4] as they say,
that the venerable Uttara teaches this doctrine to the monks,
to wit:

"Well it is, from time to time,
to review one's own faults;
well it is to review another's;
well it is to review one's own attainments;
well it is to review another's."'

'Yes, certainly, Deva-king.'

'But pray, sir,
is this the venerable Uttara's own saying,
or is it the word of that Exalted One,
arahant,
the fully awakened One?

'Now, O Deva-king,
I will give you an analogy,
for it is by analogy
that men of intelligence
understand the meaning of what is said.[5]

Imagine, O King, a great heap of grain
near some village or market-town,
from which country folk carry away
corn on pingoes or in baskets,[6]
in lap or hand.[7]

And if one should [112] approach the folk
and question them saying:

"Whence bring you this corn?"

how would those folk,
in explaining,
best explain?'

'They would best explain the matter, sir,
by saying:

"We bring it from that great heap of grain."'

'Even so, O King,
[8]whatsoever be well spoken,
all that is the word of the Exalted One,
arahant,
the fully awakened One,
wholly based[9] thereon
is both what we and others say.'

'It is marvellous,
it is wonderful, sir,
how truly this has been said by the venerable Uttara:

"Whatsoever be well spoken,
all that is the word of the Exalted One,
arahant,
the fully awakened One,
wholly based thereon
is what we and others say"!

[10]Once, worthy Uttara not long after the departure of Devadatta,
the Exalted One was dwelling on Vulture's Peak,
near Rājagaha.

Then the Exalted One spoke thus to the monks concerning Devadatta:

"Monks, well it is for a monk to review,
from time to time,
his own faults;
well it is for a monk to review,
from time to time,
another's faults;
well it is for a monk to review,
from time to time,
his own attainments;
well it is for a monk to review,
from time to time,
another's attainments.

Monks, mastered by eight wrong states,
Devadatta, with his mind out of control,
became one doomed to suffer in hell,
in perdition,
dwelling there a kalpa,
irreprievable.

By what eight?

Mastered by gain,
Devadatta, with his mind out of control,
became one doomed to suffer in hell,
in perdition,
dwelling there a kalpa,
irreprievable.

Mastered by loss,
Devadatta, with his mind out of control,
became one doomed to suffer in hell,
in perdition,
dwelling there a kalpa,
irreprievable.

Mastered by fame,
Devadatta, with his mind out of control,
became one doomed to suffer in hell,
in perdition,
dwelling there a kalpa,
irreprievable.

Mastered by obscurity,
Devadatta, with his mind out of control,
became one doomed to suffer in hell,
in perdition,
dwelling there a kalpa,
irreprievable.

Mastered by honour,
Devadatta, with his mind out of control,
became one doomed to suffer in hell,
in perdition,
dwelling there a kalpa,
irreprievable.

Mastered by lack of honour,
Devadatta, with his mind out of control,
became one doomed to suffer in hell,
in perdition,
dwelling there a kalpa,
irreprievable.

Mastered by evil intentions,
Devadatta, with his mind out of control,
became one doomed to suffer in hell,
in perdition,
dwelling there a kalpa,
irreprievable.

Mastered by evil friendship,
Devadatta, with his mind out of control,
became one doomed to suffer in hell,
in perdition,
dwelling there a kalpa,
irreprievable.

Mastered by these eight,
Devadatta, with his mind out of control,
became one doomed to suffer in hell,
in perdition,
dwelling there a kalpa,
irreprievable.

Monks, well it is that a monk should live mastering gain,
loss,
fame,
obscurity,
honour,
lack of honour,
evil intentions
and evil friendship,
which arise.

And why, and for what good purpose should a monk live mastering gain,
loss,
fame,
obscurity,
honour,
lack of honour,
evil intentions
and evil friendship,
which arise?

Monks, when a monk lives with gain,
loss,
fame,
obscurity,
honour,
lack of honour,
evil intentions
and evil friendship,
which arise, unmastered,
there arise the cankers,
full of distress and anguish;
but when those states are mastered,
those cankers,
full of distress and anguish,
are not.

For this good purpose, monks,
a monk should master gain,
loss,
fame,
obscurity,
honour,
lack of honour,
evil intentions
and evil friendship,
which arise
and so abide.

Wherefore, monks, train yourselves thus:

We will live mastering gain,
loss,
fame,
obscurity,
honour,
lack of honour,
evil intentions
and evil friendship,
which arises.

Train yourselves thus, monks!'

'Worthy[11] Uttara, this is a Dhamma discourse nowhere honoured[12]
among the four companies, to wit:
monks, nuns, and lay-disciples, both men and women!

Sir, let the venerable Uttara learn by heart this Dhamma discourse;
let him master this Dhamma discourse;
let him bear it in mind!

This Dhamma discourse, sir,
is charged with good.

It is the first principle of godly living.'

 


[1] This monk may be the elder, whose verses are given at Th. i, 121. The name recurs of young brahmans at D. ii, 354; M. ii, 133; iii, 298. The monk of this name at Vin. ii, 302 lived, of course, a century later. I do not find these place-names mentioned elsewhere. Mahisavatthu means 'buffalo ground.' Of Dhavajālika, Comy. observes that this was the name of a monastery, and it was called so because it was built in a Dhava grove. This, according to Childers, is the Grislea Tomentosa.

[2] Above, p. 35.

[3] Mārisa.

[4] Bhante.

[5] This passage recurs at S. ii, 114; M. i, 148; D. ii, 324; also in Mahāyāna; see S.B.E. xxi, 129; see Milinda-questions, Mrs. Rhys Davids, 33 f.

[6] Pitakehi.

[7] Añjalīhi; see P.E.D.; G.S. iii, 138 n.

[8] Cf. the Bhābrā Edict, Smith's Asoka 142: 'Reverend sirs, all that has been said by the venerable Buddha has been well said. ...' The original is quoted by Trenckner in his P.M.. 75.

[9] Upādāy'upādāya.

[10] The text repeats nearly in full. [Ed.: Reconstructed for this edition.]

[11] Bhante.

[12] I have read the variant upatthito for patitthito of the text.


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