Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
X. Dasaka-Nipāta
X: Upāsaka-Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
X. The Book of the Tens
X: The Lay-followers

Sutta 94

Vajjiyamāhita Suttaɱ

Vajjiyamāhita[1]

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

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[130]

[1][than] THUS have I heard:

Once the Exalted One was staying at Campā
on the bank of the Lotus Pond at Gaggara.

Now the housefather Vajjiyamāhita left Campa at an early hour to see the Exalted One.

But it occurred to him:

"It is not time to see the Exalted One,
he is in retirement.

Nor is it time to see the monks
who make the mind to grow;
those monks are in retirement.

Suppose I were to pay a visit
to the Park where dwell
the Wanderers who hold other views."

So the housefather Vajjiyamāhita drew near
the Park where dwelt
the Wanderers holding other views.

Now on that occasion
the Wanderers holding other views,
having come together in a great company,
were sitting engaged in divers childish talk,
all talking loudly,
making a great noise and din.

But when they saw the housefather Vajjiyamāhita approaching,
while yet he was at some distance,
they hushed each other, saying:

"Make little noise, your reverence!

Make no noise, your reverence!

Here comes the housefather Vajjiyamāhita,
a disciple of Gotama the recluse.

This housefather Vajjiyamāhita
is one of those disciples of Gotama the recluse,
householders clad in white,
who live at Campā.

Now those worthies are fond of little noise,
they are schooled to little noise,
they speak in praise of little noise.

Maybe, if he sees our company making little noise,
he will think it worth his while to draw near."

[190] So those Wanderers kept silence.

So the housefather Vajjiyamāhita drew near to those Wanderers,
and on coming to them
greeted them courteously,
and after courteous greetings
and reminiscent talk
[131] sat down at one side.

 

§

 

As he thus sat
those Wanderers holding other views said this to him:

"Is it true, housefather,
as it is said,
that Gotama the recluse blames all ascetic ways,
that he downright upbraids and reproaches
every ascetic who lives the hard life?"

"No indeed, sirs,
the Exalted One blames not all ascetic ways,
nor does he downright upbraid and reproach
every ascetic who lives the hard life.

The Exalted One, sirs,
blames the blameworthy,
praises the praiseworthy.

In so doing the Exalted One is a particularizer;[2]
that Exalted One is not one
who makes sweeping assertions herein."

At these words a certain Wanderer said this to the housefather Vajjiyamāhita:

"Stay thou, housefather!

That Gotama the recluse,
whose praises you utter,
is a nihilist,[3]
one who defines nothing as certain."[4]

"Nay, sir, herein I speak with good reason.

The Exalted One has thus defined:

'This is good;
that is bad.'

By thus defining good and bad
the Exalted One is a definer.

He is no nihilist,
not one who defines nothing as certain."

[191]At these words those Wanderers were silent,
were confounded,
hung the head,
looked downwards,
were disappointed,
and sat unable to make reply.

Then the housefather Vajjiyamāhita,
seeing that those Wanderers were confounded,
hung the head,
looked downwards,
were disappointed,
and sat unable to make reply,
rose up from his seat
rose up from his seat
and went to see the Exalted One,
and on coming to him,
saluted him and sat down at one side.

So seated he related
all the conversation he had had
with the Wanderers holding other views.

 

§

 

Then said the Exalted One to him:

"Well done, housefather!

Well done, housefather!

Even [132] thus reasonably
are infatuated people
from time to time
to be confuted and rebuked by you.

 

§

 

Indeed, housefather,
I say not that all ascetic ways are to be pursued.

Yet do I not say
that all ascetic ways are not to be pursued.

I say not that every undertaking,
that every effort in training
should be undertaken and made.

Yet do I not say that every undertaking,
that every effort in training
should not be undertaken and made.

I say not, housefather,
that every renunciation should be made,
nor yet that it should not be made.

I say not that every form of release
is to be regarded as such,[5]
nor yet that it should not be so regarded.

If, housefather, in one practising austerities
unprofitable states wax
and profitable states wane,
such austerity should not be practised, I declare.

If in one practising austerities
unprofitable states wane
and profitable states wax,
such austerities should be practised, I declare.

[192] If in one undertaking the training
unprofitable states wax
and profitable states wane,
such austerity should not be practised, I declare.

If in one undertaking the training
unprofitable states wane
and profitable states wax,
such austerities should be practised, I declare.

If in one making an effort
unprofitable states wax
and profitable states wane,
such austerity should not be practised, I declare.

If in one making an effort
unprofitable states wane
and profitable states wax,
such austerities should be practised, I declare.

If in one making renunciation
unprofitable states wax
and profitable states wane,
such austerity should not be practised, I declare.

If in one making renunciation
unprofitable states wane
and profitable states wax,
such austerities should be practised, I declare.

If in one who regards himself as released
by a certain form of release,
unprofitable states wax
and profitable states wane,
such release should not be regarded as such, I declare.

But if in one who regards himself as released
by a certain form of release
profitable states wax
and unprofitable states wane,
such form of release should be regarded as release, I declare."

 

§

 

Then the housefather Vajjiyamāhita,
being thus instructed,
stirred,
fired
and gladdened by the Exalted One,
rose up from his seat,
saluted the Exalted One by keeping his right side towards him
and departed.

Not long after he had gone
the Exalted One addressed the monks, saying:

"Monks, any monk who had been for a long time
stained with but few faults
in this Dhamma-discipline
might reasonably
from time to time
confute and rebuke
the Wanderers holding other views,
even as they have been confuted
by the housefather Vajjiyamāhita."

 


[1] Cf. § 81. With a number of other laymen said to have won the deathless at A. iii, 451.

[2] Vibhajja-vādo, ekaŋsa-vādo. See Gotama the Man, 73, 106; Sakya, 357; K.S. ii, 2 n.; M. ii, 197.

[3] Venayiko, a nihilist. Cf. M. i, 140, venayiko sammaṇo Gotamo sato sattassa ucchedaɱ vināsaɱ vibhavaɱ paññāpeti (where MA. ii, 117 has vinayati vināsetī ti, vinayo). So yeva venayiko. Here our Comy. has, as alternative, satta-vināsako; but puts first sayaɱ avinīto aññehi vinetabbo. The words also mean 'versed in Vinaya,' in which sense it is taken by P.E.D. in this passage. But at A. iv, 175, it is 'disciplinarian.'

[4] Appaññattiko = apaññattiko, Comy. Perhaps it means 'a Pyrrhonist' (suspender of judgment).

[5] For different forms see G.S. iii, 15, presumably suitable for some but not others.


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