Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
VIII. Aṭṭhaka Nipāta
VIII. Yamaka-Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
VIII. The Book of the Eights
Chapter VIII: The Pairs

Sutta 76

Dutiya Sampadā Suttaɱ

The Achievements (b)

Translated from the Pali by E.M. Hare.

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[1] Thus have I heard:

Once the Exalted One was dwelling near Sāvatthī.

There the Exalted One addressed the monks, saying:

"Monks."

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

"Monks, there are these eight achievements.

What eight?

Achievement in alertness,
in wariness,
good company,
an even life,
achievement in faith,
in virtue,
in charity
and in wisdom.

 

§

 

And what, Monks, is achievement in alertness?

Herein, by whatsoever activity a clansman make his living,
whether by the plough,
by trading
or by cattle-herding,
by archery
or as a rajah's man,
or by any of the crafts -
he is deft and tireless;
gifted with an inquiring turn of mind
into ways and means,
he is able to arrange and carry out his job.

This is called achievement in alertness.

And what, Monks, is achievement in wariness?

Herein, whatsoever wealth a clansman get together by work and zeal,
collect by the strength of his arm,
earn by the sweat of his brow
and justly obtain in a lawful manner -
such he husbands by watch and ward, thinking:

"Now how can I arrange
so that rajahs may not get this wealth out of me,
nor thieves filch it,
nor fire consume it,
nor water carry it off,
nor ill-disposed heirs make off with it?"

This is called achievement in wariness.

And what, Monks, is good company?

Herein, in whatsoever village or market-town a clansman dwell,
he consorts,
converses,
engages in talk
with householders or householders' sons,
young men reared in virtue,
old men old in virtue,
full of faith,
virtue,
charity
and wisdom.

He emulates the fullness of faith
in such as are full of faith;
he emulates the fullness of virtue
in such as are full of virtue;
he emulates the fullness of charity
in such as are full of charity;
he emulates the fullness of wisdom
in such as are full of wisdom.

This is called good company.

And what, Monks, is the even life?

Herein a clansman
while experiencing both gain and loss in wealth,
continues his business serenely,
not unduly elated or depressed.

Thinks he:

"Thus my income,
after deducting the loss,
will stand (at so much)
and my outgoings will not exceed my income."

Just as one who carries scales,
or his apprentice,
knows, on holding up the balance,
that either by so much it has dipped down
or by so much it has tilted up;
even so, Monks,
a clansman experiencing both gain and loss
continues his business serenely,
neither unduly elated
nor unduly depressed,
but realizes that
after allowing for the loss
his income will stand at so much
and that his outgoings will not exceed his income.

If, Monks, this clansman have but small earnings
and live on a grand scale,
it will be rumoured of him:

"This clansman eats his wealth
like a fig-tree glutton."

And if his earnings be great
and he live meanly,
rumour will say of him:

"This clansman will die like a starveling.

Wherefore this clansman while experiencing both gain and loss in wealth,
continues his business serenely,
not unduly elated or depressed,
but realizes that
after allowing for the loss
his income will stand at so much
and that his outgoings will not exceed his income.

This is called the even life.

And what is achievement in faith?

Herein a clansman has faith and believes in the awakening of the Tathāgata, thinking:

Of a truth he is the Exalted One,
arahant,
fully awakened,
adept in knowledge and conduct,
well going,
a world-knower,
incomparable,
a tamer of tamable men,
among devas and men the teacher,
Buddha,
Exalted One.

This is called achievement in faith.

And what is achievement in virtue?

Herein a clansman abstains from taking life
from taking what is not given,
from carnal lusts,
from lying,
abstains from taking sloth-causing liquors, spirits, wines.

This is called achievement in virtue.

And what is achievement in charity?

Herein a clansman dwells at home
with mind free of the stain of meanness;
freely bounteous,
open-handed,
gladly giving,
yoke-mate to asking,
he is a cheerful giver.

This is called achievement in charity.

And what is achievement in wisdom?

Herein a clansman is wise;
he is wise as to the way of growth and decay,
possessing Ariyan penetration of the way
to the utter destruction of ill.

This is called achievement in wisdom.

Monks, these are the eight achievements.'

 


 

Up and alert about his task and toil,
A careful man, he minds his wealth and lives
The even life; and he is virtuous,
Believing, kind and bountiful; he clears
The onward Way to faring well hereafter.
Thus for the believing home-seeker eight states
Have been declared by him whose name is Truth'
As leading unto happiness both here and then,
To bliss hereafter and to welfare now.
This is the standard for a householder,
For merit grows by generosity.'[1]

 


Hare has abridged this entire sutta with the note: "(§75 is repeated and then follows the explanation as given in § 54, together with the gāthā.)" and footnoting as here. However there is another possibility which allows for the sutta to have been an original creation of Gotama and that is that he wished the bhikkhus to have knowledge of things that are to the advantage of laymen. The snooty attitude of the bhikkhu here (which is found in some bhikkhus even today) is short-sighted: such knowledge imparted to the lay community would incline laymen to greater generosity to the bhikkhus.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[1] This seems to show that the compilers were not satisfied in merely having the teaching of this sutta, which is obviously for the layman, but must have it specially taught to the monks. I quote Mrs. Rhys Davids' Gotama 204: 'The talks with Visakha, with the Kosala king, with Sigala and a few more - the repeaters and editors did not care for these. As a rule they did not go on repeating these sayings. ... They said: "But these persons are not of our world. They are only laymen. They have not the right wisdom ...'


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