Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
X. Dasaka-Nipāta
V. Akkosa Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
X. The Book of the Tens
V: Reviling

Sutta 45

Rāj'antepura-p-Pavesana Suttaɱ

Entering the Royal Court

Translated from the Pali by F. L. Woodward, M.A.

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[57]

[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 ten disadvantages of entering the royal court.

What ten?

In this connexion, monks,
suppose the rāgā is seated with his favourite wife.

Then in comes a monk.

The wife, on seeing the monk,
smiles,
or else the monk smiles
on seeing her.

Then the rāgā thinks:

'Surely these two are guilty
or will be guilty.'

This is the first disadvantage of entering the royal court.

Then again, suppose the rāgā,
his mind being much occupied with business,
has intercourse with a certain woman and for- [58] gets about it.

Thereby she becomes pregnant.

Then the rāgā thinks:

'No one but a home-leaver[1] enters here.

Maybe it is the work of a home-leaver.'

This is the second disadvantage of entering the royal court.

Again, perhaps some gem is missing in the royal court.

Then the rāgā thinks:

'No one but a home-leaver enters here.

Maybe it is the work of a home-leaver.'

This is the third disadvantage of entering the royal court.

Again, the secret plans[2] within the royal court,
by being divulged abroad,
are spoiled.

Then the rāgā thinks:

'No one but a home-leaver enters here.

Maybe it is the work of a home-leaver.'

This is the fourth disadvantage of entering the royal court.

Again, in the royal court
a father aspires for a son[3]
or a son aspires for a father.

Then they think:

'No one but a home-leaver enters here.

It must be the work of a home-leaver.'

This is the fifth disadvantage of entering the royal court.

Again, monks, a rāgā sets up a man of low estate
in a high place.

Those to whom this is displeasing think thus:

'The rajā is intimate with the home-leaver.

This must be the work of the home-leaver.'

This is the sixth disadvantage of entering the royal court.

Again, the rāgā puts a man of high estate
in a low place.

Those to whom this is displeasing think think thus:

'The rajā is intimate with the home-leaver.

This must be the work of the home-leaver.'

This is the seventh disadvantage of entering the royal court.

Again, the rāgā musters the host unseasonably.

Those to whom this is displeasing think thus:

'The rāgā is intimate with the home-leaver.

This must be the work of the home-leaver.'

This is the eighth disadvantage of entering the royal court.

Again, the rāgā,
after mustering the host at the proper time,
[59] sends it back from the highroad.

Those to whom this is displeasing think thus:

'The rāgā is intimate with the home-leaver.

This must be the work of the home-leaver.'

This is the ninth disadvantage of entering the royal court.

Once more, monks,
the rāgā's court is crowded[4] with elephants, horses and chariots;
objects,
sounds,
scents
and savours
that are defiling
have to be encountered,
such as are not suited to one
who has given up (the world).[5]

This, monks, is the tenth disadvantage of entering the rāgā's court.

So, monks, these are the ten disadvantages of entering the rāgā's court.'

 


[1] Pabbajita, 'gone-forth' is not necessarily a monk or bkikkhu of the Order.

[2] Antepure guyha-mantā (Comy. guyhitabba-mantā) bahiddhā sambhedaɱ gacchanti. Cf. A. iii, 129 (G.S. iii, 99), where in a similar phrase Mr. Hare seems to take mantā as equal to manta(r). Mantā here is 'secret,' formulas, charms, or decisions.

[3] Pitā vā puttaɱ pattheti, putto vā pitaraɱ pattheti. As far as I can see, this can only refer to the uncertainty of parentage in a royal harem. Comy. merely has the strange comment māretuɱ icchati (longs to kill)! The mendicant friar is suspected of causing the confusion.

[4] Text quite unsuitably reads sammada (drowsiness), but with v.l. sammadda: so also Comy., which explains as equal to sambādha. Cf. the passage at K.S. v, 303 ff., where the chamberlains Isidatta and Purāṇa complain of the difficulties of official life at court.

[5] Here I take pabbajitena to mean a bhikkhu.


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