Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
VIII. Aṭṭhaka Nipāta
II: Mahā Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Eights
II. The Great Chapter

Sutta 19

Pahārāda Suttaɱ

Pahārāda, the Asura

Translated from the Pali by E.M. Hare.

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[197] [136]

[1][bodh] Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Exalted One was dwelling near Veranja, at the foot of Naleru's Nimba tree.[1]

There, Pahārāda,[2] the asura king
came and visited the Exalted One,
saluted him and stood at one side.

So standing, the Exalted One addressed him thus:

'I imagine, Pahārāda,
that the asuras find delight in the mighty ocean?'

'Yes, lord, they find pleasure therein.'

'But, Pahārāda,
how many wondrous marvels are there,
which the asuras delight to see and see?'

'Lord, there are these eight wondrous marvels,
which the asuras delight to see and see.

What eight?

Lord, the mighty ocean slopes away gradually,
falls away gradually,
shelves away gradually,
with no abruptness like a precipice.

Lord, that the mighty ocean slopes away gradually,
falls away gradually,
shelves away gradually,
with no abruptness like a precipice -
this is the first wondrous marvel,
which the asuras delight to see and see.

Lord, the ocean is fixed.

It does not overrun its bounds.

Lord, that the mighty ocean is fixed,
does not overrun its bounds -
this is the second marvel,
which the asuras delight to see and see.

Lord, the mighty ocean does not sort with a dead body,
a corpse.

Whatsoever dead body there be in the ocean,
it will quickly just force ashore
and pile up on the land.[3]

Lord, that the mighty ocean does not sort with a dead body,
a corpse.

That whatsoever dead body there be in the ocean,
it will quickly just force ashore
and pile up on the land -
this is the third marvel,
which the asuras delight to see and see.

Lord, all the great rivers:
the Gangā,
the Yamunā,
the Aciravatī,
the Sarabhū
and the Mahī,[4]
on reaching the mighty ocean,
lose their former names and identities[5]
and are reckoned simply as the ocean.

That all the great rivers:
the Gangā,
the Yamunā,
the Aciravatī,
the Sarabhū
and the Mahī,
on reaching the mighty ocean,
lose their former names and identities
and are reckoned simply as the ocean -
this is the fourth marvel,
which the asuras delight to see and see.

Lord, though all the streams in the world flow into the ocean
and the rains that fall from the sky,
yet by that neither the [137] emptiness
nor the fullness of the ocean is affected[6].

That all the streams in the world flow into the ocean
and the rains that fall from the sky,
yet by that neither the emptiness
nor the fullness of the ocean is affected -
this is the fifth marvel,
which the asuras delight to see and see.

Lord, the mighty ocean has one[7] taste,
the taste of salt.

That the mighty ocean has one taste,
the taste of salt -
this is the sixth marvel,
which the asuras delight to see and see.

Lord, the mighty ocean has many and diverse treasures[8];
there is the pearl,[9]
the crystal,[10]
the lapis lazuli,[11]
the shell,[12]
quartz,[13]
coral,[14]
silver,
gold,
the ruby
and the cat's eye[15].

That the mighty ocean has many and diverse treasures;
there is the pearl,
the crystal,
the lapis lazuli,
the shell,
quartz,
coral,
silver,
gold,
the ruby
and the cat's eye -
this is the seventh marvel,
which the asuras delight to see and see.

Lord, the mighty ocean is the home of vast beings.

There are the fabulous fishy monsters,
the timis,
the timingalas
and the timitimingalas[16];
there are the asuras,
the nagas[17]
and the gandharvas.[18]

There are in the mighty ocean creatures a hundred leagues (long),
two hundred,
three,
four
and five hundred leagues long.

Lord, that the mighty ocean is the abode of vast beings:
timis,
timingalas,
timitimingalas,
asuras,
nagas
and gandharvas
and creatures leagues long
two hundred,
three,
four
and five hundred leagues long -
this is the eighth wondrous marvel,
which asuras delight to see and see.

These, lord, are the eight wondrous marvels,
which asuras delight to see and see.

 

§

 

I suppose, lord, the monks find delight in this Dhamma?'

'Yes, Pahārāda, they do.'

[138] 'But, lord, how many wondrous marvels are there
in this discipline of Dhamma,
which the monks delight to see and see?'

'There are eight,[19] wondrous marvels, Pahārāda,
in this discipline of Dhamma,
which the monks delight to see and see.

What eight?

Pahārāda, just as the mighty ocean slopes away gradually,
falls away gradually,
shelves away gradually,
with no abruptness like a precipice;
even so in this discipline of Dhamma
there is a graduated training,[20]
a graduated practice,
a graduated mode of progress,
with no abruptness,
such as a penetration of gnosis.[21]

That in this discipline of Dhamma
there is a graduated training,
a graduated practice,
a graduated mode of progress,
with no abruptness,
such as a penetration of gnosis -
this is the first wondrous marvel
in this discipline of Dhamma,
which the monks delight to see and see.

Pahārāda, just as the ocean is fixed
and does not overpass its bounds;
even so, when the code of training
is made known by me to my disciples,[22]
they will not transgress it,
even for life's sake.

That in this discipline of Dhamma
when the code of training
is made known by me to my disciples,
they will not transgress it,
even for life's sake -
this is the second wondrous marvel
in this discipline of Dhamma,
which the monks delight to see and see.

Pahārāda, just as the ocean does not sort with a dead body,
a corpse,
but will quickly just force it ashore
and pile it on the land;
even so, whosoever is wicked,
of evil nature,
unclean,
of suspicious conduct,
full of secret actions,
no recluse though vowed thereto,
unchaste though vowed to chastity,
rotten to the core,
lustful and vile,[23]
not with him will the Order sort;
but quickly assembling,
it will cast him forth.[24]

Though he be seated
in the midst of the assembled monks,
yet is he far from the Order
and the Order is far from him.

That in this discipline of Dhamma
whosoever is wicked,
of evil nature,
unclean,
of suspicious conduct,
full of secret actions,
no recluse though vowed thereto,
unchaste though vowed to chastity,
rotten to the core,
lustful and vile,
not with him will the Order sort;
but quickly assembling,
it will cast him forth.

Though he be seated
in the midst of the assembled monks,
yet is he far from the Order
and the Order is far from him -
this is the third wondrous marvel
in this discipline of Dhamma,
which the monks delight to see and see.

[139] Pahārāda,[25] just as the great rivers:
the Gangā,
the Yamunā,
the Aciravatī,
the Sarabhū
and the Mahī,
entering the mighty ocean,
lose their former names and identities
and are termed simply ocean;
even so these four castes:
kshatriyas,
brāhmans,
vaishyas
and sudras,[26]
going forth from the world into the homeless life,
into the discipline of Dhamma
proclaimed by the Tathāgata,
lose their former names and lineages
and are reckoned simply recluses,
sons of the Sakya.[27]

That in this discipline of Dhamma
these four castes:
kshatriyas,
brāhmans,
vaishyas
and sudras,
going forth from the world into the homeless life,
into the discipline of Dhamma
proclaimed by the Tathāgata,
lose their former names and lineages
and are reckoned simply recluses,
sons of the Sakya -
this is the fourth wondrous marvel
in this discipline of Dhamma,
which the monks delight to see and see.

Pahārāda, just as all the streams that flow into the ocean,
all the rains that fall from the sky,
affect neither the emptiness
nor the fullness of the ocean;
even so, though many monks become completely cool
in the cool element to which naught attaches,
yet neither the emptiness
nor the fullness of that cool element[28] is affected.

That in this discipline of Dhamma
though many monks become completely cool
in the cool element to which naught attaches,
yet neither the emptiness
nor the fullness of that cool element is affected -
this is the fifth wondrous marvel
in this discipline of Dhamma,
which the monks delight to see and see.

Pahārāda, just as the ocean has but one taste,
the taste of salt;
even so this discipline of Dhamma
has but one flavour,
the flavour of release[29].

That in this discipline of Dhamma
this discipline of Dhamma
has but one flavour,
the flavour of release -
this is the sixth wondrous marvel
in this discipline of Dhamma,
which the monks delight to see and see.

Pahārāda, just as the ocean has many and diverse treasures:
the pearl,
the crystal,
the lapis lazuli,
the shell,
quartz,
coral,
silver,
gold,
the ruby
and the cat's eye -
even so this discipline of Dhamma
has many and diverse treasures,
that is to say:
the four arisings of mindfulness,
the four right efforts,
the four bases of psychic power,
the five faculties,
the five powers,
the [140] seven parts in awakening
and the eightfold Ariyan Way.[30]

That this discipline of Dhamma
has many and diverse treasures,
that is to say:
the four arisings of mindfulness,
the four right efforts,
the four bases of psychic power,
the five faculties,
the five powers,
the seven parts in awakening
and the eightfold Ariyan Way -
this is the seventh wondrous marvel
in this discipline of Dhamma,
which the monks delight to see and see.

Pahārāda, just as the mighty ocean is the home of vast beings:
the timi,
the timingala,
timitimingalas,
asuras,
nagas
and gandharvas
and creatures leagues long
two hundred,
three,
four
and five hundred leagues long;
even so this discipline of Dhamma
is the home of great beings,
that is to say:
the Streamwinner
and he who attains to the realization of the fruit of the Streamwinner,
the Once-retumer
and he who attains to the fruit thereof,
the Non-retumer
and he who attains to the fruit thereof,
the Arahant
and he who attains Arahantsbip.

Pahārāda, that this discipline of Dhamma
is the home of great beings:
the Streamwinner
and he who attains to the realization of the fruit of the Streamwinner,
the Once-retumer
and he who attains to the fruit thereof,
the Non-retumer
and he who attains to the fruit thereof,
the Arahant
and he who attains Arahantsbip -
this is the eighth wondrous marvel,
which the monks delight to see and see.

Verily, Pahārāda, these are the eight wondrous marvels,
which the monks delight to see and see.'

 


[1] Cf. above, p. 117.

[2] Comy. The elder of the asuras (see below). There were three such, viz., Vepacitti, Rāhu (who swallows the moon at eclipses), and Pahārāda. Cf. the whole sutta with Vin. ii, 237 (S.B.E. xx, 301), and Ud. 55. Dhammapāla's Comy. on Ud. is materially the same as Buddhaghosa's here. See Dr. B. M. Barua's Gayā, p. 42.

[3] Cf. Mil. 187, 250.

[4] Above, p. 65.

[5] Gotta, lit. lineage.

Ecclesiastes i, 7. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
— KJV

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[6] Cf. Ecclesiastes i, 7.

[7] Comy. An unmixed taste; see Q. of M. i, 131.

[8] Ratana; cf. Giles' Fa Hsien xvi, 'Preciosities.' For references see Vin. Cullavagga ix, 1; Ud.A. 103, 302; the Smaller Sukhāvatī-Vyūha, § 3; S.B.E. xlix, 92 n.

[9] Comy. 'Small, large, round or long.'

[10] 'Red, blue, etc.'

[11] 'The colour of bamboo, of the acacia flower'; see Mil. (trs.) i, 177.

[12] 'The right-handed spiral shell, the copper-coloured, the hollow, the trumpet shell, etc.'

[13] 'Coloured white or black or like a kidney-bean.'

[14] 'Small, large, pink and red.'

[15] 'The variegated crystal.'

[16] The text reads timitimingala timiramingala, but I have followed Vin. ii, 238 and Ud.A. 303, where Dh'pāla observes: There are three kinds of fish; the second can swallow the first, while the third can swallow the first two. Cf. Mil. 85.

[17] Comy. 'Dwelling on the crest of the wave'; see Buddh. Ind. 223. J. Ph. Vogel's Indian Serpent-Lore, 32.

[18] Cf. K.S. iii, 197 n.

[19] Comy. The Teacher could have given 16, 32, 64, or 1,000.

[20] M. iii, 1; Comy. 'the threefold training'; see K.S. iii, 69; Vism. 274. The words 'gradual' 'graduated,' are for anupubba, lit. 'after-(what-was-)before,' with the idea of a 'series.' The importance of religion as an advancing, becoming, growth is very vital to original Buddhism.

[21] Comy. Like the hop of a frog.

[22] Ud.A. 'Said of Stream winners, etc.'

[23] Above, p. 85.

[24] Ukkhipati, or suspend him; cf. below, p. 141, for an example.

Galatians iii: 28. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus;
Mark iii: 34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.
John xv: 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
— KJV

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[25] A. J. Edmunds in Buddhist and Christian Gospels compares this section with Galatians iii, 28; Mark iii, 34, 35; John xv, 14, 15.

[26] Cf. Vin. ii, 239; M. ii, 128. See Rhys Davids's remarks Dial. i,96ff.

[27] Gotama's clan.

[28] Rhys Davids, at S.B.E. xx, 304: ' ... yet does not (the Saŋgha) thereby seem to be more empty or more full.' But both B'ghosa and Dh'pāla refer the emptiness and fullness to Nibbāna. Cf. Mil. 70 (Q. of M. i, 110), where Nāgasena uses this simile; also the Bhagavad Gīta Discourse ii, 70. See below, note to Index V.

[29] Cf. the Maitrāyaṇa-Brāhrnaṇa-Upanishad vi, 35 (S.B.E. xv, 336): In that ocean the sacrificers are dissolved like salt, and that is oneness with Brahmān; also for this simile cf. the B.rhadāraṇyaka-Upanishad (op. cit. 111).

[30] These are the 37 bodhi-pakkhiyā dhammā; see Mrs. Rhys Davids remarks at K.S. v, p. vi. (By an oversight the powers are placed before the faculties, but at D. as at A. it is the converse.) It will be noted that A. follows the Dīgha order. Above, p. 82.


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