Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
VIII. Aṭṭhaka Nipāta
IV. Dāna Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Eights
IV: On Giving

Sutta 35

Dān'Ūpapatti Suttaɱ

Rebirths Due to Gifts

Translated from the Pali by E.M. Hare.

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[239] [163]

[1][bodh] Thus have I heard:

Once the Exalted One was dwelling near Sāvatthī,
at Jeta Grove,
in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

There the Exalted One addressed the monks, saying:

"Monks."

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

"Monks, there are these eight rebirths[1] due to making gifts.

What eight?

Herein, monks, a man makes a gift to a recluse or godly man
in the shape of food,
drink,
raiment,
a vehicle,
flowers,
scent,
ointment,
bedding,
dwelling
and lights.[2]

He gives hoping for a return.

He sees wealthy nobles,
brahmans
and householders
surrounded by,
attended by,
enjoying
the five strands of sensuous pleasure, and thinks:

"Ah! if only I can be reborn among wealthy nobles,
or brahmans
or householders,
on the breaking up of the body after death!"

And he fixes[3] his mind on this thought,
directs his attention to it
and makes the thought become.

His mind,
set on low things,
is not made-to-become for the beyond[4]
and he is reborn after death among wealthy nobles,
or brahmans
or householders.

And I say [164] this of the virtuous,
not of the vicious.

Monks, the mental aspiration of the virtuous prospers because of its purity.[5]

 

§

 

Then again, monks, a man makes a gift to a recluse or godly man
in the shape of food,
drink,
raiment,
a vehicle,
flowers,
scent,
ointment,
bedding,
dwelling
and lights.

He gives hoping for a return.

He hearing that the company of the Four Royal devas
are long lived,
beautiful
and very happy,
and thinks:

"Ah! if only I can be reborn among the company of the Four Royal devas,
on the breaking up of the body after death!"

And he fixes his mind on this thought,
directs his attention to it
and makes the thought become.

His mind,
set on low things,
is not made-to-become for the beyond
and he is reborn after death among the company of the Four Royal devas.

And I say this of the virtuous,
not of the vicious.

Monks, the mental aspiration of the virtuous
prospers because of its purity.

 

§

 

Then again, monks, a man makes a gift to a recluse or godly man
in the shape of food,
drink,
raiment,
a vehicle,
flowers,
scent,
ointment,
bedding,
dwelling
and lights.

He gives hoping for a return.

He hearing that the devas of the Thirty
are long lived,
beautiful
and very happy,
and thinks:

"Ah! if only I can be reborn among the devas of the Thirty,
on the breaking up of the body after death!"

And he fixes his mind on this thought,
directs his attention to it
and makes the thought become.

His mind,
set on low things,
is not made-to-become for the beyond
and he is reborn after death among devas of the Thirty.

And I say this of the virtuous,
not of the vicious.

Monks, the mental aspiration of the virtuous
prospers because of its purity.

 

§

 

Then again, monks, a man makes a gift to a recluse or godly man
in the shape of food,
drink,
raiment,
a vehicle,
flowers,
scent,
ointment,
bedding,
dwelling
and lights.

He gives hoping for a return.

He hearing that the Yama devas
are long lived,
beautiful
and very happy,
and thinks:

"Ah! if only I can be reborn among the Yama devas,
on the breaking up of the body after death!"

And he fixes his mind on this thought,
directs his attention to it
and makes the thought become.

His mind,
set on low things,
is not made-to-become for the beyond
and he is reborn after death among the Yama devas.

And I say this of the virtuous,
not of the vicious.

Monks, the mental aspiration of the virtuous
prospers because of its purity.

 

§

 

Then again, monks, a man makes a gift to a recluse or godly man
in the shape of food,
drink,
raiment,
a vehicle,
flowers,
scent,
ointment,
bedding,
dwelling
and lights.

He gives hoping for a return.

He hearing that the Tusita devas
are long lived,
beautiful
and very happy,
and thinks:

"Ah! if only I can be reborn among the Tusita devas,
on the breaking up of the body after death!"

And he fixes his mind on this thought,
directs his attention to it
and makes the thought become.

His mind,
set on low things,
is not made-to-become for the beyond
and he is reborn after death among the Tusita devas.

And I say this of the virtuous,
not of the vicious.

Monks, the mental aspiration of the virtuous
prospers because of its purity.

 

§

 

Then again, monks, a man makes a gift to a recluse or godly man
in the shape of food,
drink,
raiment,
a vehicle,
flowers,
scent,
ointment,
bedding,
dwelling
and lights.

He gives hoping for a return.

He hearing that the devas who delight in creating
are long lived,
beautiful
and very happy,
and thinks:

"Ah! if only I can be reborn among the devas who delight in creating,
on the breaking up of the body after death!"

And he fixes his mind on this thought,
directs his attention to it
and makes the thought become.

His mind,
set on low things,
is not made-to-become for the beyond
and he is reborn after death among the devas who delight in creating.

And I say this of the virtuous,
not of the vicious.

Monks, the mental aspiration of the virtuous
prospers because of its purity.

 

§

 

Then again, monks, a man makes a gift to a recluse or godly man
in the shape of food,
drink,
raiment,
a vehicle,
flowers,
scent,
ointment,
bedding,
dwelling
and lights.

He gives hoping for a return.

He hearing that the devas who have power over others' creations
are long lived,
beautiful
and very happy,
and thinks:

"Ah! if only I can be reborn among the devas who have power over others' creations,
on the breaking up of the body after death!"

And he fixes his mind on this thought,
directs his attention to it
and makes the thought become.

His mind,
set on low things,
is not made-to-become for the beyond
and he is reborn after death among the devas who have power over others' creations.

And I say this of the virtuous,
not of the vicious.

Monks, the mental aspiration of the virtuous
prospers because of its purity.

 

§

 

Then again, monks, a man makes a gift to a recluse or godly man
in the shape of food,
drink,
raiment,
a vehicle,
flowers,
scent,
ointment,
bedding,
dwelling
and lights.

He gives hoping for a return.

He hearing that the devas of Brahmā's retinue
are long lived,
beautiful
and very happy,
and thinks:

"Ah! if only I can be reborn among the devas of Brahmā's retinue,
on the breaking up of the body after death!"

And he fixes his mind on this thought,
directs his attention to it
and makes the thought become.

His mind,
set on low things,
is not made-to-become for the beyond
and he is reborn after death among the devas of Brahmā's retinue.

And I say this of the virtuous,
not of the vicious;
of him who is rid of lust,
not of him who lusts.

For the mental aspiration of the virtuous, monks,
prospers because of its lustlessness.[6]

Monks, these are the eight rebirths due to making gifts.'

 


[1] Dān'ūpapattiyo. Comy. dāna-paccaya upapattiyo; P.E.D. s.v. upa-patii: occasions or objects suitable for gifts; see also s.v. Dana, both refer to our text. But see to the contrary Dial. iii. 240, where the whole passage recurs.

[2] Cf. above, p. 34, where this stock passage recurs.

[3] Dahati. Comy. thapeti.

[4] The Comy. with D. iii, 256 and v.l. of this text inserts tatr'ūpapattiyā saŋvattati. So also S.e., Cittam uttarim abhāvitaɱ.

[5] Visuddhattā.

'Cannot by gifts alone'. Nowhere in this sutta does the Buddha indicate that any aspiation will prosper by gifts alone! There is an entire network of factors that go into even the first case. What the commentator is really doing is pushing the commentarial idea that it is by the first jhāna alone that one gets into the Brahma realms, and this too is not being said. This tells you that the commentators are willing to contradict the word of the Buddha to make their points.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[6] Vitarāgattā. The Comy. observes that a man cannot by gifts alone attain Brahmā's world, the possession of concentration and insight is also needed.


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