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 75

Migasālā Suttaɱ

Migasālā[1]

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

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[94]

[1] THUS have I heard:

Once the Exalted One was dwelling near Sāvatthī
at Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

On that occasion the venerable Ānanda,
robing himself in the forenoon
and taking robe and bowl,
went to the dwelling of the woman disciple Migasālā,
and on reaching it
sat down on a seat made ready.

Then the woman disciple Migasālā came to where the venerable Ānanda was,
and on coming to him
saluted him
and sat down at one side.

 

§

 

So seated she said this to the venerable Ānanda:

"Pray, Ānanda, your reverence,
how[2] should this teaching
given by the Exalted One
be understood?

[138] It is that one who lives the Brahma-life
and one who does not so live
alike reach the same bourn
in the life to come.

Now, sir, my father Purāṇa lived the Brahma-life,
lived apart (from evil),
abstained from sexual intercourse,
from dealings [95] with women.

He when he died
was pronounced by the Exalted One
to be a once-returner,
one reborn in the Company of Delight.

But, sir, my father's brother Isidatta
was not a liver of the Brahma-life,
he took pleasure in his wife.

Yet he too was pronounced by the Exalted One
to be a once-returner,
reborn in the Company of Delight.

Pray, sir, how should this teaching of the Exalted One be understood,
namely, that one who lives the Brahma-life
and one who does not
shall both alike
reach the same bourn
in the life to come?"

"Sister, it is to be understood
just as the Exalted One declared."

 

§

 

Thereupon the venerable Ānanda,
after receiving his alms-food
at the hands of the woman disciple Migasālā,
rose up from his seat and departed.

Then, after returning from his alms-round
and eating his meal,
he went to see the Exalted One,
and on coming to him
saluted him
and sat down at one side.

So seated he said this to the Exalted One:

"Here, sir, I robed myself in the forenoon,
and taking bowl and robe
went to the dwelling of the woman disciple Migasālā
and on reaching it
sat down on a seat made ready.

Then the woman disciple Migasālā came to where I was,
and on coming
saluted
and sat down at one side.

So seated she said this:

'Pray, Ānanda, your reverence,
how should this teaching
given by the Exalted One
be understood?

It is that one who lives the Brahma-life
and one who does not so live
alike reach the same bourn
in the life to come.

Now, sir, my father Purāṇa lived the Brahma-life,
lived apart (from evil),
abstained from sexual intercourse,
from dealings with women.

He when he died
was pronounced by the Exalted One
to be a once-returner,
one reborn in the Company of Delight.

But, sir, my father's brother Isidatta
was not a liver of the Brahma-life,
he took pleasure in his wife.

Yet he too was pronounced by the Exalted One
to be a once-returner,
reborn in the Company of Delight.

Pray, sir, how should this teaching of the Exalted One be understood,
namely, that one who lives the Brahma-life
and one who does not
shall both alike
reach the same bourn
in the life to come?'

[139] Whereupon, sir, I said to her:

'Sister, it is to be understood
just as the Exalted One declared.'"

 

§

 

"But, Ānanda,
in the knowledge of the destiny of others
who is the woman disciple Migasālā -
just a foolish, witless, female woman,
with just a woman's wit -
and who are the individuals,
the male men[3] who have knowledge of the destiny of others?

 

§

 

[96] Ānanda, these ten persons
are found existing in the world.

What ten?

In this connexion
a certain person is immoral
and comprehends not that release of the mind,
that release by insight,
as it really is,
wherein that immorality of his
utterly ceases without remainder.

He has neglected to lend an ear,
he has done nothing by way of deep learning,
he has not penetrated by (right) view,
he wins not even temporary release.[4]

When body breaks up,
beyond death,
he tends to waning,
not to excellence;
he is one who goes on to waning,
he goes not on to excellence.

Herein again, Ānanda,
a certain person is immoral,
but he does comprehend that mind-release,
that release by insight,
as it really is,
[140] wherein that immorality of his
ceases without remainder.

He has given ear,
he has used deep knowledge,
he has penetrated by view,
he wins temporary release.

When body breaks up,
beyond death,
he tends to excellence,
not waning;
he goes on to excellence,
he goes not on to waning.

Thereupon, Ānanda,
those who measure
thus measure:[5]

These qualities are both in this man
and in the other.

Why then is the one of them mean
and the other exalted?

Such judgment is for them
to their loss and pain
for many a day.

For of the two
the one is immoral,
but does comprehend that mind-release,
that release by insight,
as it really is,
wherein that immorality of his
ceases without remainder;
for he has given ear,
he has used deep knowledge,
he has penetrated by view,
he wins temporary release -
this person, Ānanda,
is more goodly and excellent
than that other person.

Why so?

Because the ear of dhamma[6]
saves this person.

Who save the Wayfarer
could know the cause herein?

[97] Wherefore, Ānanda,
be ye not measurers of persons,
take not the measure of persons.

A person is ruined,[7] Ānanda,
by taking the measure of other persons.

But I myself, Ānanda,
and whoso is like unto me,
could take the measure of persons.

 

§

 

[141] Again in this connexion
a certain person is virtuous,
but he comprehends not
that mind-release,
that release by insight,
as it really is,
wherein that virtue of his
ceases without remainder.

Moreover he has neglected to lend an ear,
he has neglected deep learning,
he has not penetrated by view,
nor does he win temporary release.

When body breaks up,
beyond death,
he tends to waning,
he goes not on to excellence.

Again in this connexion
a certain person is virtuous,
but he does not comprehend
that mind-release,
that release by insight,
as it really is,
wherein that virtue of his
ceases without remainder.

Moreover he has not neglected to lend an ear,
he has not neglected deep learning,
he has penetrated by view,
he does win temporary release.

When body breaks up,
beyond death,
he tends to excellence,
not waning;
he goes on to excellence,
he goes not on to waning.

Thereupon, Ānanda,
those who measure
thus measure:

These qualities are both in this man
and in the other.

Why then is the one of them mean
and the other exalted?

This judgment is for them
to their loss and pain
for many a day.

For of the two
the one is virtuous,
but he does not comprehend
that mind-release,
that release by insight,
as it really is,
wherein that virtue of his
ceases without remainder
but he has not neglected to lend an ear,
he has not neglected deep learning,
he has penetrated by view,
he does win temporary release.
this person, Ānanda,
is more goodly and excellent
than that other person.

Why so?

Because the ear of dhamma
saves this person.

Who save the Wayfarer
could know the cause herein?

Wherefore, Ānanda,
be ye not measurers of persons,
take not the measure of persons.

A person is ruined, Ānanda,
by taking the measure of other persons.

But I myself, Ānanda,
and whoso is like unto me,
could take the measure of persons.

 

§

 

Again in this connexion
a certain person has keen passions,
and comprehends not that mind-release,
that release by insight,
as it really is,
wherein that passion of his
ceases without remainder.

Moreover he has neglected to lend an ear,
he has neglected deep learning,
he [98] has not penetrated by view,
nor does he win even temporary release.

When body breaks up,
beyond death,
he tends to waning,
he goes not on to excellence.

On the other hand,
a person has keen passions,
but does comprehend that mind-release,
that release by insight,
as it really is,
wherein that passion of his
ceases without remainder.

Moreover he has not neglected to lend an ear,
he has not neglected deep learning,
he has penetrated by view,
he does win temporary release.

When body breaks up,
beyond death,
[142] he tends to excellence,
not waning;
he goes on to excellence,
he goes not on to waning.

Thereupon, Ānanda,
those who measure
thus measure:

These qualities are both in this man
and in the other.

Why then is the one of them mean
and the other exalted?

This judgment is for them
to their loss and pain
for many a day.

For of the two
the one has keen passions,
but he does not comprehend
that mind-release,
that release by insight,
as it really is,
wherein that keen passion of his
ceases without remainder
but he has not neglected to lend an ear,
he has not neglected deep learning,
he has penetrated by view,
he does win temporary release.
this person, Ānanda,
is more goodly and excellent
than that other person.

Why so?

Because the ear of dhamma
saves this person.

Who save the Wayfarer
could know the cause herein?

Wherefore, Ānanda,
be ye not measurers of persons,
take not the measure of persons.

A person is ruined, Ānanda,
by taking the measure of other persons.

But I myself, Ānanda,
and whoso is like unto me,
could take the measure of persons.

 

§

 

Again in this connexion
a certain person is wrathful,
and comprehends not that mind-release,
that release by insight,
as it really is,
wherein that wrath of his
ceases without remainder.

Moreover he has neglected to lend an ear,
he has neglected deep learning,
he has not penetrated by view,
nor does he win even temporary release.

When body breaks up,
beyond death,
he tends to waning,
he goes not on to excellence.

On the other hand,
a person is wrathful,
but does comprehend that mind-release,
that release by insight,
as it really is,
wherein that wrath of his
ceases without remainder.

Moreover he has not neglected to lend an ear,
he has not neglected deep learning,
he has penetrated by view,
he does win temporary release.

When body breaks up,
beyond death,
he tends to excellence,
not waning;
he goes on to excellence,
he goes not on to waning.

Thereupon, Ānanda,
those who measure
thus measure:

These qualities are both in this man
and in the other.

Why then is the one of them mean
and the other exalted?

This judgment is for them
to their loss and pain
for many a day.

For of the two
the one is wrathful,
but he does not comprehend
that mind-release,
that release by insight,
as it really is,
wherein that wrath of his
ceases without remainder
but he has not neglected to lend an ear,
he has not neglected deep learning,
he has penetrated by view,
he does win temporary release.
this person, Ānanda,
is more goodly and excellent
than that other person.

Why so?

Because the ear of dhamma
saves this person.

Who save the Wayfarer
could know the cause herein?

Wherefore, Ānanda,
be ye not measurers of persons,
take not the measure of persons.

A person is ruined, Ānanda,
by taking the measure of other persons.

But I myself, Ānanda,
and whoso is like unto me,
could take the measure of persons.

 

§

 

Again in this connexion
a certain person is of muddled wits,
and comprehends not that mind-release,
that release by insight,
as it really is,
wherein those muddled wits of his
cease without remainder.

Moreover he has neglected to lend an ear,
he has neglected deep learning,
he has not penetrated by view,
nor does he win even temporary release.

When body breaks up,
beyond death,
he tends to waning,
he goes not on to excellence.

On the other hand,
a person is of muddled wits,
but does comprehend that mind-release,
that release by insight,
as it really is,
wherein muddled wits of his
cease without remainder.

Moreover he has not neglected to lend an ear,
he has not neglected deep learning,
he has penetrated by view,
he does win temporary release.

When body breaks up,
beyond death,
he tends to excellence,
not waning;
he goes on to excellence,
he goes not on to waning.

[143] Thereupon, Ānanda,
those who measure
thus measure:

These qualities are both in this man
and in the other.

Why then is the one of them mean
and the other exalted?

This judgment is for them
to their loss and pain
for many a day.

For of the two
the one is of muddled wits,
but he does not comprehend
that mind-release,
that release by insight,
as it really is,
wherein those muddled wits of his
cease without remainder
but he has not neglected to lend an ear,
he has not neglected deep learning,
he has penetrated by view,
he does win temporary release.
this person, Ānanda,
is more goodly and excellent
than that other person.

Why so?

Because the ear of dhamma
saves this person.

Who save the Wayfarer
could know the cause herein?

Wherefore, Ānanda,
be ye not measurers of persons,
take not the measure of persons.

A person is ruined, Ānanda,
by taking the measure of other persons.

But I myself, Ānanda,
and whoso is like unto me,
could take the measure of persons.

In the knowledge of the destiny of others, Ānanda,
who is the woman disciple Migasālā -
just a foolish, witless female woman,
with just a woman's wit -
and who are the individuals,
the male men who have the knowledge of the destiny of others?

So, Ānanda, these ten persons are found existing in the world.

 

§

 

Bhk. Bodhi [here and at AN 6.44] has made better sense of this than either Woodward or Hare:
"...if Isidatta had possessed the same kind of virtuous behavior that Purāṇa had, Purāṇa could not have even known his destination. And if Purāṇa had possessed the same kind of wisdom that Isidatta had, Isidatta could not have even known his destination. In this way, Ānanda, these two persons were each deficient in one respect."
by "not even known his destination" is meant that had the deficient quality been present, that one would have become Arahant.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

With whatsoever virtue Purāṇa was endowed,
with that same virtue Isidatta might be endowed.

Yet herein Purāṇa [99]
will not know the bourn of Isidatta,
the bourn of someone else.[8]

With whatsoever insight Isidatta was endowed,
with that same insight Purāṇa might be endowed.

[144] Yet herein Isidatta
will not know the bourn of Purāṇa,
the bourn of someone else.

Thus you see, Ānanda,
these persons in both cases are mean in one quality."

 


[1] The first part of this sutta is at A. iii, 347 = G.S. iii, 246-7.

[2] Text kathankathā; v.l. kathaɱ kaihaɱ. Comy. kathaɱ = kena kāraṇena.

[3] I read, with v.ll. of text ke ca purisa-puggalā paro-pariya-ñāṇe, instead of all as one word, as text and Comy. and Mr. Hare at G.S. iii, 246. This form of comparison is not uncommon, as below in § 99, If it be not so taken there is no noun to agree with ke. Text has ambhakā for ambakā; v.l. at G.S. iii is amma. I believe the word is not found elsewhere, and would read ammakā ('mummyish'). I take purisa-puggalā as emphatic male as opposed to the other. Paro-pariyañāṇa is used of clairvoyant insight into others' conditions. Elsewhere purisa-puggalā (par excellence) are the eight sets of beings on the eight stages of the Fourfold Path (yadidaɱ cattari purisa-yugāni aṭṭha purisa-puggalā, esa Bhagavato sāmka-sangho). In this case the purisa-puggalā who knows is himself (ahaɱ, yo vā mādiso).

[4] Sāmāyikaɱ, occurring variously as sāmādhika, sāmayika, samāyika; cf. K.S. i, 150 n. (where text has sāmādhikaɱ), and SA. i, 182, ad loc.; M. iii, 110. Here Comy. explains 'he does not win pīti-pāmojjaɱ) through seasonably hearing dhamma.'

[5] For pamāṇikā pamiṇanti, cf. A. ii, 70. [?]

[6] Dhamma-sota nibbahati. This seems 'ear for dhamma' (which I take to mean 'hearing the voice of conscience'), but is translated 'stream' at K.S. ii, 33, 42 (sotaɱ samāpanno), and at G.S. iii, 248, but I have nowhere seen dhamma-sota in this sense. The reference is to dhamma-savaṇa just above. Comy. 'as he is a champion, it draws out (nibbahati) the knowledge-and-insight existing in him and makes him reach the Ariyan ground.' (However, for soto as magga, see S. v, 247;[?] UdA. 290; and SA. on S. ii, quoted above.) It occurs again at § 12 of the Elevens. Reading with G.S. iii, and Comy. tadantaraɱ = kārcṇaɱ. Text has tadanantaraɱ ('what follows immediately').

[7] Khaññati (pass, of khaṇati); cf. M. i, 132, attānaɱ khaṇasi.

[8] The text here is incomplete-viz., na-y-idha Purāṇo Isidattassa gatim pi aññassa. There is no verb to account for the case of gati (Comy. = ñāṇagatiɱ). I conclude that aññassati (future of jānāti) has been mutilated by confusion with aññassa; or else originally there was no annassa, only gatim pi aññassati.


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