Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
X. Dasaka-Nipāta
VIII: Ākaŋkha-Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
X. The Book of the Tens
VIII: On Wishes

Sutta 72

Kaṇṭaka Suttaɱ

The Thorn (in the Flesh)

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

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[91] [133]

[1][than] THUS have I heard:

Once the Exalted One was staying near Vesāli in Great Grove,
at the House with the Peaked Roof,
together with a number of senior monks who were his disciples-namely,
the venerable Cāla,
Upacāla,
Kakkaṭa,
Kaḷimbha,
Nikaṭa,
and Kaṭissaha
and other notable monks.[1]

Now on that occasion a crowd of notable Licchavites,
riding in their splendid cars
in rivalry[2] with din and uproar,
were dashing into Great Wood
to see the Exalted One.

Then those venerable ones thought:

"Here is a crowd of notable Licchavites,
riding in their splendid cars
in rivalry with din and uproar,
were dashing into Great Wood
to see the Exalted One.

Now it has been said by the Exalted One
that noise is a thorn to musing.

Suppose we retreat to Gosinga Wood
where is the sal grove;[3]
[134]there we can stay pleasantly,
free from noise and crowds."

So those venerable ones retreated to Gosinga Wood,
where is the sal grove,
and there they stayed pleasantly,
free from noise and crowds.

Later on the Exalted One called to the monks,
saying:

"Monks, where is Cāla,
Upacāla,
Kakkaṭa,
Kaḷimbha,
Nikaṭa,
and Kaṭissaha?

Where are those monks,
my senior disciples,
gone?"

[92] "As to that, sir, it occurred to those venerable ones:

'Here is a crowd of notable Licchavites,
riding in their splendid cars
in rivalry with din and uproar,
dashing into Great Wood
to see the Exalted One.

Now it has been said by the Exalted One
that noise is a thorn to musing.

Suppose we retreat to Gosinga Wood,
where is the sal grove;
there we can stay pleasantly,
free from noise and crowds.'

So, sir, those venerable ones are gone there.

There they are staying pleasantly,
free from noise and crowds."

"Well said! Well said, monks!

Those who should assert
what those great disciples have asserted
would rightly do so.

Indeed, monks, I have said
that noise is a thorn to musing.

There are these ten thorns.

 

§

 

What ten?

[1] To one who delights in seclusion
delight in society is a thorn.

asubha-nimittā-nuyoga-manuyu-t-tassa subhanimittānuyogo. Anuyoga = yoked -to; devotion to; manu = to think about. For one intent on following the signs of the unpleasant, being connected to the signs of the pleasant are a thorn. Do not confuse this with 'samadhi' which is also translated as 'concentration.'

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[2] To one devoted to concentration on the mark of the foul
concentration on the mark of the fair is a thorn.

[3] To one guarding the doors of the sense-faculties
the sight of shows[4] is a thorn.

[4] To the Brahma-life
consorting with womenfolk is a thorn.

[135] [5] To the first musing
sound is a thorn;

[6] to the second musing
thought directed and sustained is a thorn;

[7] to the third musing
zest is a thorn;

[8] to the fourth musing
in-breathing and out-breathing is a thorn.

[9] To the attainment of the ending of awareness-and-feeling
awareness-and-feeling are a thorn.

[10] Lust, malice and delusion are thorns.

So, monks, do ye abide thornless,
do ye abide thorn-removers,
do ye abide thornless thorn-removers.

Monks, the thornless are arahants,
the thornless thorn-removers are arahants."

 


[1] Comy. has nothing about these elders. There are nuns Cālā and Upacālā at S. i, 133; monks of these names at Brethren 46. Kakkaṭa, Nikaṭa and Kaṭissaha are upāsakas who died at S. v, 358. One Cāla and one Upacāla are called nephews of Sāriputta, Pas. of the Brethren, 46.

[2] Text's carapurāya, as P. Dict., points out, should perhaps be param parāya, 'one after the other' Comy. explains cara = the rear (but the word is not so used), and pura = the van or front part; and says the one behind tried to pass the one in front, mahā-puri-vārenā ti attho. Cf. Vin. i, 231; D. ii, 96, for the Licchavī and their splendid equipages and rivalry.

[3] For Gosinga-vana-sāla-dāya cf. M. i, 205. M.A., ad loc., states that on one of the ancient trees there grew a fork resembling cow's horns; hence the name. But a pair of horns on a tree are said to mark a watering-place.

[4] Visūka-dassanaɱ; cf. K.S. v, 394, where Comy. as at DA. i, 77, explains as paṭāni-bhūtā (probably 'with scenery of painted cloth'). Here Comy. simply has visūka-bhūtaɱ dassanaɱ.


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