Aŋguttara Nikāya


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


 

Aŋguttara Nikāya
VIII. Aṭṭhaka Nipāta
VII. Bhūmi-Cāla Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
VIII. The Book of the Eights
Chapter VII: On Earthquakes

Sutta 64

Adhideva-Ñāṇa-Dassana Suttaɱ

At Gayā[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.

 


[201]

[1] Thus have I heard:

Once the Exalted One was staying on Gaya Head at Gaya;
and there he addressed the monks, saying:

"Monks."

'Lord,' they replied.

And the Exalted One said:

"Monks, before my awakening,
while I was not yet completely awakened
and but a being awakening,[2]
I perceived auras,[3] but I saw no forms.

Monks, to me there came the thought:

"If I were both to perceive auras
and to see forms,
knowledge and vision[4] within me
would thus be better purified."

Monks, later on,
living zealous,
earnest,
resolute,
I both perceived the auras
and saw the forms,
but I did not stand with,
talk to
or engage in conversation
any of those devas.

Monks, to me came the thought:

"If I were to perceive the auras,
see the forms,
stand with,
talk to
and engage those devas in conversation,
knowledge and vision within me
would thus be better purified."[ed1]

Monks, later on,
living zealous,
earnest,
resolute,
I perceived the auras,
saw the forms,
stood with,
talked to
and engaged those devas in conversation,
but I knew not of those devas:

These devas are from such and such a deva community.

Monks, to me came the thought:

"If I were to perceive the auras,
see the forms,
stand with,
talk to
and engage those devas in conversation,
and know that these devas are from such and such a community,
knowledge and vision within me
would thus be better purified."

Monks, later on,
living zealous,
earnest,
resolute,
I perceived the auras,
saw the forms,
stood with,
talked to
and engaged those devas in conversation,
and knew that these devas were from such and such a community,
but I knew not of those devas:

These devas as the result of their deeds
passed away from here
and arose there;
those devas as the result of their deeds
passed away from here
and arose there.

Monks, to me came the thought:

"If I were to perceive the auras,
see the forms,
stand with,
talk to
and engage those devas in conversation,
and to know that these devas are from such and such a community,
these devas as the result of their deeds
passed away from here
and arose there;
those devas as the result of their deeds
passed away from here
and arose there
knowledge and vision within me
would thus be better purified."

Monks, later on,
living zealous,
earnest,
resolute,
I perceived the auras,
saw the forms,
stood with,
talked to
and engaged those devas in conversation,
and knew that these devas were from such and such a community,
these devas as the result of their deeds
passed away from here
and arose there;
those devas as the result of their deeds
passed away from here
and arose there
but I knew not of those devas:

Such is the food of these devas,
such their experiences,
such their weal and woe;
of those devas such is the food,
such their experiences,
such their weal and woe.

Monks, to me came the thought:

"If I were to perceive the auras,
see the forms,
stand with,
talk to
and engage those devas in conversation,
and to know that these devas are from such and such a community,
these devas as the result of their deeds
passed away from here
and arose there;
those devas as the result of their deeds
passed away from here
and arose there
such is the food of these devas,
such their experiences,
such their weal and woe;
of those devas such is the food,
such their experiences,
such their weal and woe
knowledge and vision within me
would thus be better purified."

Monks, later on,
living zealous,
earnest,
resolute,
I perceived the auras,
saw the forms,
stood with,
talked to
and engaged those devas in conversation,
and knew that these devas were from such and such a community,
these devas as the result of their deeds
passed away from here
and arose there;
those devas as the result of their deeds
passed away from here
and arose there
such is the food of these devas,
such their experiences,
such their weal and woe;
of those devas such is the food,
such their experiences,
such their weal and woe
but I knew not of those devas:

These devas live so long,
they have a life-span of such length
[202] those devas live so long,
they have a life-span of such length.

Monks, to me came the thought:

"If I were to perceive the auras,
see the forms,
stand with,
talk to
and engage those devas in conversation,
and to know that these devas are from such and such a community,
these devas as the result of their deeds
passed away from here
and arose there;
those devas as the result of their deeds
passed away from here
and arose there
such is the food of these devas,
such their experiences,
such their weal and woe;
of those devas such is the food,
such their experiences,
such their weal and woe
these devas live so long,
they have a life-span of such length
those devas live so long,
they have a life-span of such length knowledge and vision within me
would thus be better purified."

Monks, later on,
living zealous,
earnest,
resolute,
I perceived the auras,
saw the forms,
stood with,
talked to
and engaged those devas in conversation,
and knew that these devas were from such and such a community,
these devas as the result of their deeds
passed away from here
and arose there;
those devas as the result of their deeds
passed away from here
and arose there
such is the food of these devas,
such their experiences,
such their weal and woe;
of those devas such is the food,
such their experiences,
such their weal and woe
these devas live so long,
they have a life-span of such length those devas live so long,
they have a life-span of such length
but I knew not of those devas
whether I had dwelt[5] with those devas formerly or not.

Monks, to me came the thought:

"If I were to perceive the auras,
see the forms,
stand with,
talk to
and engage those devas in conversation,
and to know that these devas are from such and such a community,
these devas as the result of their deeds
passed away from here
and arose there;
those devas as the result of their deeds
passed away from here
and arose there
such is the food of these devas,
such their experiences,
such their weal and woe;
of those devas such is the food,
such their experiences,
such their weal and woe
these devas live so long,
they have a life-span of such length
those devas live so long,
they have a life-span of such length
and whether I had dwelt with those devas formerly or not
knowledge and vision within me
would thus be better purified."

Monks, later on,
living zealous,
earnest,
resolute,
I perceived the auras,
saw the forms,
stood with,
talked to
and engaged those devas in conversation,
and knew that these devas were from such and such a community,
these devas as the result of their deeds
passed away from here
and arose there;
those devas as the result of their deeds
passed away from here
and arose there
such is the food of these devas,
such their experiences,
such their weal and woe;
of those devas such is the food,
such their experiences,
such their weal and woe
these devas live so long,
those devas live so long,
they have a life-span of such length they have a life-span of such length
and whether I had dwelt with those devas formerly or not.

Monks, so long as this eightfold series[6]
of knowledge and vision of the higher[7] devas
was not fully purified in me,
I did not realize
as one wholly awakened to the highest awakening,
unsurpassed in the world of devas,
with its Māras and its Brahmās,
or in the world of mankind
with its recluses and godly men,
devas and men.

But when the eightfold series
of knowledge and vision of the higher devas
was fully purified in me,
then, monks, I realized
as one wholly awakened to the highest awakening,
unsurpassed in the world of devas,
with its Māras and its Brahmās,
or in the world of mankind
with its recluses and godly men,
devas and men.

Then knowledge and vision arose in me,
and I knew:

Sure is my heart's release;
this is my last birth;
there is now no more becoming for me.'

 


[1] In Magadha, see Chwang ii, 111 f; Fa Hsien 53; C.H.I. i, 182; Sisters 132.

[2] This is a stock phrase; see M. i, 17; S. ii, 5; A. iii, 240; below, p. 294, and passim.

[3] Obhasaɱ sañjānāmi. Comy. Rays known to the clairvoyant; see M. iii, 157. Four other obhāsa are given at A. ii, 139.

[4] Ñāṇa-dassanaɱ. Comy. ñāṇa-sankhātaɱ dassanaɱ. At Vin. iii, 91 thus: 'yaɱ ñāṇaɱ taɱ dassanaɱ, yaɱ dassanaɱ taɱ ñāṇaɱ'; so perhaps we could translate: vision, which is knowledge.

GS iii, pg.x, on nivāsa: It is good to have a term from one of those abhiññās used at last in its literal meaning. This is 'dwelling(s),' replacing themore usual 'births' or 'lives' in the reminiscence of one's past previous to this life: - pubbe-nivās'ānussati (p. 13, etc.). This apparently curious choice made by the Buddhist teachers has a significance which will not strike a European. What is that?
Why the choice of 'dwelling,' when in Pāli we have 'birth,' 'rebirth,' 'live,' 'world'? I see it thus: Consider first the formula (p.13), or its more formal, more usual wording (p. 296): - 'he remembers manifoldly appointed dwellings in thepast.' This is followed by an exposition, careful as to the 'dwelling' being as inmate of a body, a society, a world, extravagant as to length and number, in which 'births' (jātiyo) is freely used. But the very usual word (in later years) for 'lives' and 'worlds,' bhavā, is not used. What may be the explanation? I suggest the following:
(i) The formula 'he ... the past' is the original fixed wording, or 'text.'
(ii) The exposition, long left to the exponent, became appended, in its odd medley, later.
(iii) When (i) was first listed, the word rendered 'dwellings' meant, not merely a house, but a 'nest,' a 'settlement,' an 'ingress' on the other hand, the word jāti did not fit [xi] for 'life.' It meant (a) birth on earth, (6) rank in the brahman, (c) happening, (d) a producing or source. Later on, the plural in the sense of 'new lives' became permissible.
(iv) The word for 'life' (jīvita) was never used in the plural; the word for 'world' (loka) in the plural is very hard to find till in later Pali. [note: There is one plural in this volume: lokāsu.]
(v) The word that came to be used for both 'lives' and 'worlds,' 'becomings' (bhavā), had not so come into use when the exposition (ii) was finally worded.
(vi) Original Buddhism taught that man was a wayfarer in many worlds.
Hence I come to this: - recollection of the past was of former homes, stations, rests, stages, rather than of 'births' or of 'lives'; hence nivāsā.
- C.A.F. Rhys Davids, Chipstead, Surrey, September, 1933.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[5] Sanni-vuttha-pubbaɱ; see G.S. iii, p. x, on nivāsa.

[6] Aṭṭha-parivaṭṭaɱ; cf. K.S. iii, 50 n.

[7] Adhideva.

 


[ed1] The Hare translation made the best of a confused PTS Pali which was, as we have it, abridged without so indicating and was a mess, the BJT Pali was similarly messed up. I have put the Pali into the form I believe was originally intended and have reconstructed Hare's translation accordingly.


Contact:
E-mail
Copyright Statement