Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
VIII. Atthaka Nipāta
IX. Sati-Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
VIII. The Book of the Eights
Chapter IX: Mindfulness

Sutta 86

Nāgita Suttaɱ

Homage

Translated from the Pali by E.M. Hare.

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[223]

[1][olds] THUS have I heard:

Once the Exalted One,
while wandering for alms
with a great company of monks
among the Kosalese,
came to the brāhman [224] village called Icchānaŋgala,[1]
belonging to them.

And there he dwelt in Icchānaŋgala, Wood.

Now the brahman householders of Icchānaŋgala heard the news:

"Tis said Master Gotama, the Sakya,
a wanderer from out the Sakyan clan,
has arrived at Icchānaŋgala,
and dwells in the Wood near by.

And of that same Master Gotama,
this good repute is noised abroad:

'He is the Exalted One,
arahant,
the perfect Buddha,
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.

Well indeed it is to see such arahants!'"

So at the end of that night,
the brahman householders of Icchānaŋgala,
taking with them much hard and soft food,
went to Icchānaŋgala, Wood
and waited outside the gateway,
making there a great din and uproar.

Now at that time the venerable Nāgita
was the personal attendant of the Exalted One.[2]

Then the Exalted One called the venerable Nāgita[3] and said:

"Who are these, Nāgita
that make this great din and uproar?

As fisher-folk, methinks,
with a great haul of fish!"[4]

"Lord, these are the Icchānaŋgala, brahman householders,
who wait outside the gateway.

They have brought much hard and soft food
for the use of the Exalted One
and the monks of the Order."

"I have naught to do with homage, Nāgita,
nor has homage aught to do with me.[5]

Whosoever cannot obtain at will,
easily and without difficulty
this happiness of renunciation,
this happiness of seclusion,
this happiness of calm,
[225] this happiness of awakening,
which I can obtain at will,
easily and without difficulty;
let him enjoy that midden[6] of happiness,
that dung-like happiness,
that happiness gotten of gains,
favours
and flattery."

"Lord, let the Exalted One accept (their offering);
let the Well-farer accept;
now, lord, is the time for the Blessed One to accept!

For wheresoever the Exalted One shall now go,
the brahman householders[7]
of town and country
will be just like inclined (to give).

Lord, just as when the sky-deva rains big drops,
the water flows with the slope (of the ground);[8]
even so, lord, wheresoever the Exalted One shall now go,
the brahman householders of town and country
will be bent on (making offerings).

And why is that?

It is, lord, because of the virtue,
wisdom
and knowledge[9] of the Exalted One."

"I have naught to do with homage, Nāgita,
nor has homage imght to do with me.

Whosoever cannot obtain at will,
easily and without difficulty
this happiness of renunciation,
this happiness of seclusion,
this happiness of calm,
this happiness of awakening,
which I can obtain at will,
easily and without difficulty;
let him enjoy that midden of happiness,
that dung-like happiness,
that happiness gotten of gains,
favours
and flattery.

Some devas, Nāgita,
cannot obtain at will,
easily and without difficulty
this happiness of renunciation,
this happiness of seclusion,
this happiness of calm,
this happiness of awakening,
which I can obtain at will,
easily and without difficulty.

Nāgita, when you are assembled and met together
and live enjoying company,
I think thus:[10]

'Surely, these worthies cannot obtain at will,
easily and without difficulty
this happiness of renunciation,
this happiness of seclusion,
this happiness of calm,
this happiness of awakening,
which I can obtain at will,
easily and without difficulty;
so these worthies meet and come together
and live enjoying company.'

Or else I see monks joking
and making merry by poking[11] one another with their fingers.

Then I think:

'Surely, these worthies cannot obtain at will,
easily and without difficulty
this happiness of renuncia- [226] tion,
this happiness of seclusion,
this happiness of calm,
this happiness of awakening,
which I can obtain at will,
easily and without difficulty;
since they joke and make merry
by poking one another with their fingers.'

Or else I see monks,
after eating as much as their bellies will hold,
giving themselves over to the delight of bed,
to the delight of languor[12]
and to the delight of torpor.

Then I think:

'Surely, these worthies cannot obtain at will,
easily and without difficulty
this happiness of renunciation,
this happiness of seclusion,
this happiness of calm,
this happiness of awakening,
which I can obtain at will,
easily and without difficulty;
so they cram their bellies to the uttermost
and give themselves over to the delight of bed,
languor
and torpor.'

Or I see a monk living on the outskirts of some village,
seated and composed,
and I think:

'Some park-servant or novice will presently disturb[13] this reverend sir
and will oust him from that concentration.'

So I am not pleased, Nāgita,
with that monk's abode,
lying on the outskirts of a village.

Then I see a forest-dwelling monk,
seated nodding[14] in a forest,
and then I think:

'Presently, when this reverend sir has got rid of this sleepiness,
this lethargy,
he will surely ponder on loneliness,
making the forest his mark.'[15]

So I am pleased, Nāgita,
by that monk's forest abode.

Or I see a forest-dwelling monk,
seated uncomposed in a forest,
and I think:

'Presently, this reverend sir
will compose his uncomposed mind,
or will preserve a composed state of mind.'

So I am pleased, Nāgita,
with that monk's forest abode.

Or I see, Nāgita,
a forest-dwelling monk,
seated composed in a forest,
and I think:

'Presently, this reverend sir
will free the unfreed mind,
or will preserve a state of mind,
[227] which is free.'

So I am pleased, Nāgita,
with that monk's forest abode.

What time, Nāgita,
I reach the high road
and see no one either in front or behind me,
I have leisure[16] even for calls of nature.'

 


[1] D.i, 87; D.A. i, 244; M. ii, 196; Sn. 116; Sn.A. 462; Ud. 13; Ud.A. 115 (correct Ang. reference to 340); Mp. ad A. iii, 30, 341 is silent. The name also occurs at S. v. 325.

[2] For the formal opening of this sutta cf. D. i, 87, 150; Sn. p. 116; S. v, 352; Ud. 78; A. i, 180; and the whole sutta with A. iii, 30, 341.

[3] See Dial. i, 198; D.A. i, 310. At Ud.A. 217 a list of the Buddha's personal attendants is given, omitting Ānanda; cf. J. iv, 95. See also the list at K.S. v, 140 n., which excludes Nāgita; S.A. i, 258 excludes him.

[4] Above, p. 56.

[5] Māhaɱ yasena samāgamaɱ, mā ca mayā yaso, on the second half, the Comy. observes: yaso ca mayā saddhiɱ mā gañchi. Ad A. iii, 342: mayā saddhiɱ yaso pi mā samāgacchatu. Yaso: homage; the Comy. is silent here. At Ud.A. 406, parivāra: followers.

[6] Mīḷhasukhaɱ; cf. M. i, 454; iii, 236.

[7] Brāhmaṇiagahapatikā, but see S.B.E xi, 258 n.: 'priests and laymen.'

[8] For this simile cf. Mil. 57; A. i, 243; ii, 140; v. 114; S. ii, 32.

[9] Paññāṇaɱ. Comy. ñāṇaɱ; see Dial. i, 156 n.

[10] The text has evaɱ hoti; two MSS., however, add me.

[11] See Dial. i, 113 n. Comy. By prodding with the fingers, put into the shape of a goad-stick; cf. D. i, 91; D.A. i, 256; Vin. iii, 84.

[12] Phassa-sukhaɱ, phassa: contact, I take here to mean the feeling resulting from contact with something soft; cf. M. i, 102; Th. i, 935; Vism. 33; below text 461, all reading passa; Vism. trsl. 39: the pleasure of sleeping on the side. There Bu. gives the following instances of immoderate eating: Till one has to be lifted by hand; till one's loincloth bursts; till one vomits.

[13] The text reads saccessati; S.e. paccessati; but at A. iii, 343 and Sinh. there: ghaṭṭessati, which I follow. See P.E.D. s.v. sacceti. The Sinhalese gh, s, and p, are somewhat similar, also p and c, which may account for the copyist's error.

[14] Above, p. 50.

[15] Saññā, or using it as his symbol for concentration.

[16] Phāsu me ... hoti. P.E.D. s.v. asserts that phāsu never occurs alone, but besides here and above text 301, see D. ii, 202; A. i, 68; and Childers.


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