Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
VIII. Aṭṭhaka Nipāta
III: Gahapati-Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Eights
III: On Householders

Sutta 25

Mahānāma Suttaɱ

Mahānamā, the Sakyan

Translated from the Pali by E.M. Hare.

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[220] [149]

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

Once the Exalted One dwelt among the Sakyas in Banyan Tree Park, at Kapilavatthu.

There Mahānamā,[1] the Sakyan, came and visited him and,
after saluting,
sat down at one side.

There, addressing the Exalted One, he said:

'Lord, how[2] becomes a man a lay-disciple?'

When, Mahānamā, he has found refuge in the Buddha
found refuge in Dhamma,
found refuge in the Order,
then he is a lay-disciple.'

'Lord, how is a lay-disciple virtuous?

'When, Mahānamā, a lay-disciple abstains from taking life;
abstains from taking what is not given him;
abstains from lustful and evil indulgences;
abstains from lying;
and abstains from spirituous intoxicants,
the cause of indolence -
then a lay-disciple is virtuous.'

'Lord, how does a lay-disciple help on his own welfare,
but not that of another?

'When, Mahānamā, he has achieved faith for self,
but strives not to compass faith in another;
has achieved virtue for self,
but strives not to compass virtue in another;
has achieved himself renunciation,
but strives not to compass renunciation in another;
longs himself to see the monks,
but strives not for this sight for another;
longs himself to hear Saddhamma,
but strives not for this hearing for another;
is mindful himself of Dhamma he has heard,
but strives not that another should be mindful of it;
reflects himself upon the meaning of Dhamma he is mindful of,
but strives not for another to reflect thereon;
when he knows himself both the letter and the spirit of Dhamma
and walks in comformity therewith,
but strives not for another [150] so to walk -
then a lay-disciple helps on his own welfare,
but not that of another.'

'And how, lord, does a lay-disciple help on
both his own welfare and the welfare of another?

'When indeed, Mahānamā, he has achieved faith for self,
and strives to compass faith in another;
has achieved virtue for self,
and strives to compass virtue in another;
has achieved himself renunciation,
and strives to compass renunciation in another;
longs himself to see the monks,
and strives for this sight for another;
longs himself to hear Saddhamma,
and strives for this hearing for another;
is mindful himself of Dhamma he has heard,
and strives that another should be mindful of it;
reflects himself upon the meaning of Dhamma he is mindful of,
and strives for another to reflect thereon;
when he knows himself both the letter and the spirit of Dhamma
and walks in comformity therewith,
and strives for another so to walk -
then, Mahānamā, a lay-disciple helps on his own welfare and the welfare of another.'[3]

 


[1] At A. i, 26 he is called 'the chief of those who lavish largess.' For his life see A.A. i, 393, where he is said to have fed the Order for a whole year at Kapilavatthu; see also F. Dial. i, 66, 255; Vinaya Texts, S.B.E. xx, 224. Kapilavatthu was the Sakyan clan's chief city; see C.H.I. i, 177; Buddh. India 19; Chwang ii, 1; Giles' Fa Hsien 36. It was there the Buddha was born, J. i, 52.

[2] Kittavata ... yato ... ettavata ... ; lit. to what extent ... when ... to this extent. ...

[3] Above, p. 77; below, p. 196.


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