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 99

Upāli Suttaɱ

Upāli

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

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[140]

[1][than] THUS have I heard:

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

Now the venerable Upāli came to see the Exalted One
and on coming to him saluted him
and sat down at one side
seated [202] at one side he said this to the Exalted One:

"Sir, I desire to frequent woodland haunts in the forest,
to be a lodger in solitude."

 

§

 

"Upāli, to frequent woodland haunts in the forest
and to be a lodger in solitude
are things hard to compass.[1]

A hard thing it is to dwell secluded;
it is hard to find delight in living alone;
the woods strain the mind,[2] methinks,
of a monk who has not won concentration of mind.

Whoso, Upāli, should say:

'Though I have not won concentration of mind,
yet I will frequent woodland haunts in the forest,
I will be a lodger in solitude,'

of him it is to be expected
that either he will sink to the bottom
or float on the surface.[3]

Suppose, Upāli, a great pool of water.

Then comes a bull elephant
seven[4] or eight cubits[5] in height.

He thinks thus:

'Suppose I plunge into this pool of water
and amuse myself with the sport
of squirting water into my ears
or over my back.

When I have enjoyed this sport
and washed
and drunk
and come out again,
suppose I go whithersoever it pleases me.'

So in he goes and does so,
comes out again
and goes whithersoever it pleases him.

How can he do it?

The great bulk of his person, Upāli,
finds a footing in deep water.

[203] But suppose a hare
or a cat[6]
should come and say to itself:

'What difference is there between myself
and a bull elephant?

Suppose I plunge into this pool of water
and amuse myself with the sport
of squirting water into my ears
or over my back?

When I have enjoyed this sport
and washed
and drunk
and come out again,
suppose I go whithersoever it pleases me?'

[141] So he springs into that pool of water hastily
and without consideration.

Then this is to be expected of him:
either he will sink to the bottom
or float on the surface.

Why so?

The smallness of his person, Upāli,
finds no footing in deep water.

Just in the same way, Upāli,
whoso should say:

'Though I have not won concentration of mind,
yet I will frequent woodland haunts in the forest,
I will be a lodger in solitude' -

of him it is to be expected
that either he will sink to the bottom
or float on the surface.

 

§

 

Again, Upāli,
suppose a tender boy-child,
feeble
and lying on his back
and playing with his own excrements.

What think you, Upāli?

Does not this childish sport
come to completion and fullness?"

"It does, sir."

 

§

 

"Well then, Upāli,
that boy-child
on another occasion,
when he has grown older,
following on the ripening of the sense-faculties,
plays with whatever may be the playthings of such children,
such as a toy-plough,[7]
tip-cat,[8]
somersaults,[9] windmills,
leaf-pannikins,
toy-carts
and toy-bows.

Now what think you, Upāli?

Does not this game
come to be finer
and more valued
than the former?

"It does, sir."

 

§

 

"Well, Upāli,
that child later on,
when he has grown older
owing to the ripening of his sense-faculties,
and has come into possession
of the five sense-pleasures
and is possessed by them,
he becomes a prey to them,
to objects cognizable by the eye,
objects desirable,
agreeable,
fascinating,
attractive:
to sounds cognizable by the ear
to odours cognizable by the nose,
tastes cognizable by the tongue,
[204] touches cognizable by the body,
things concerned with sensual desires
and passionate.

Now what [142] think you, Upāli?

Does not this game
come to be finer
and more valuable
than the former?"

"It does, sir."

 

§

 

"Now look you,[10] Upāli.

A Wayfarer arises in the world,
an arahant,
one rightly enlightened,
perfect in knowledge and practice,
a Wellfarer,
world-knower,
an unsurpassed trainer of men who can be trained,
a teacher of devas and mankind,
an awakened one,
an Exalted One.

He makes known this world,
with its Devas,
its Maras,
its Brahmas,
its recluses and brahmins,
its host of devas and mankind,
himself realizing it
by his own comprehension.

He teaches dhamma,
lovely in the beginning,
lovely midway,
lovely at the end (of life),
both in its meaning
and its letter;
he shows forth the Brahma-life
utterly fulfilled
and purified.

Then a housefather
or housefather's son
or one reborn in some family or other
hears that dhamma.

On hearing that dhamma
he wins faith in the Wayfarer.

In possession of that faith
which he has won
he ponders thus:

'Oppressive is the home-life,
a way of dust!

The way of going forth
is of the open air.

It is no easy thing
for one living the household life
to practise the Brahma-life
in all its completeness,
in utter purity
like a polished shell.

How if I were to get the hair of my beard shorn and,
donning the saffron robe,
were to go forth from home
to the homeless?'

Then he, some time later on,
abandoning the whole mass of his wealth
whether small or great,
abandoning his circle of kinsmen
whether small or great,
gets the hair of his beard shorn,
dons the saffron robes
and goes forth from home
to the homeless.

He, having thus gone forth,
having entered upon the way of life
in the training followed by the monks,
abandoning the slaying of creatures
abstains therefrom.

He lives as one
who has laid down the rod,
who has laid down the knife,
who has scruples;
he is kind
and has compassion
for every living thing.

Abandoning the taking of what is not given
he abstains therefrom.

He lives as one
who takes only what is given,
who waits for what is given;
he lives with a self that [143] has become pure,
not by stealth.

Abandoning the unchaste life
he lives chaste,
lives a life aloof,
abstaining from the sexual act,
[205] from dealings with womenfolk.

Abandoning falsehood
he abstains therefrom;
he speaks the truth,
joins truth to truth,[11]
unswerving,
reliable,
no deceiver of the world.

Abandoning slanderous speech
he abstains therefrom.

When he hears something at one place
he spreads it not abroad elsewhere
to cause dissension among these folk.

When he hears something at another place
he spreads it not abroad elsewhere
to cause dissension among those folk.

Thus he reconciles those who are at variance
and confirms the friendly.

He delights in harmony,
finds pleasure therein,
rejoices in harmony
and utters words that make for harmony.

Abandoning bitter speech
he abstains therefrom.

Whatever speech is blameless,
pleasing to the ear,
affectionate,
speech that goes to the heart,
is urbane,
delights many folk -
such speech does he utter.

Abandoning idle babble
he abstains therefrom.

He is one who speaks in season,
speaks of facts,
speaks sense,
speaks according to dhamma,
speaks according to the discipline.

He speaks words worth treasuring up,
words seasonable,
reasonable,
discriminating
and concerned with profit.

He is one who abstains
from injury to seed-life
and plant-life;
he lives on one meal a day,
refrains from food at night
and at unseasonable hours;
from flowers,
scents,
unguents,
adornments and finery,
from shows of nautch-dancing and singing,
from beds high and broad,
from taking gifts of gold and silver,
from gifts of uncooked grain,
gifts of uncooked flesh,
from gifts of women and girls,
female and male slaves,
of goats and sheep,
fowls and swine,
elephants,
cattle,
horses and mares.

He abstains from gifts of fields,
cultivated or waste,
from buying and selling,
sending messengers
or going as such,
from cheating with scales,
[206] copper vessels or measures,
from taking bribes to pervert justice,
from cheating and crooked ways.

He abstains from cutting,
flogging,
binding,
highway robbery,
plundering
and deeds of violence.

He is content with a robe
sufficient to protect the body,
[144] with alms-food enough for his belly's need.

Wherever he may go
he takes these with him.

Just as for instance a bird upon the wing,
wherever it may fly,
flies with the load of its wings,
even so a monk is content with a robe
sufficient to protect the body,
with alms-food enough for his belly's need.

Wherever he may go
he takes these with him.

Possessed of this Ariyan mass of morals,
he experiences in himself
the bliss of blamelessness.

Seeing an object with the eye
he is not misled by its outer view
nor by its lesser details.

Since coveting and dejection,
evil,
unprofitable states,
might flow in upon one
who lives with the faculty of the eye uncontrolled,
he applies himself to such control,
sets a guard over the faculty of eye
and attains control thereof.

Hearing a sound with the ear
he is not misled by its outer view
nor by its lesser details.

Since coveting and dejection,
evil,
unprofitable states,
might flow in upon one
who lives with the faculty of the ear uncontrolled,
he applies himself to such control,
sets a guard over the faculty of ear
and attains control thereof.

or with the nose smelling a scent
he is not misled by its outer view
nor by its lesser details.

Since coveting and dejection,
evil,
unprofitable states,
might flow in upon one
who lives with the faculty of the nose uncontrolled,
he applies himself to such control,
sets a guard over the faculty of nose
and attains control thereof.

or with the tongue tasting a savour
he is not misled by its outer view
nor by its lesser details.

Since coveting and dejection,
evil,
unprofitable states,
might flow in upon one
who lives with the faculty of the tongue uncontrolled,
he applies himself to such control,
sets a guard over the faculty of tongue
and attains control thereof.

or with body contacting tangibles,
he is not misled by its outer view
nor by its lesser details.

Since coveting and dejection,
evil,
unprofitable states,
might flow in upon one
who lives with the faculty of the body uncontrolled,
he applies himself to such control,
sets a guard over the faculty of body
and attains control thereof.

Or with mind cognizing mental states,
he is not misled by their outer view
nor by their lesser details.

But since coveting and dejection,
evil,
unprofitable states,
might flow in upon one who lives with the faculty of the mind uncontrolled,
he applies himself to such control,
sets a guard over the faculty of mind
and attains control thereof.

Thus possessed of this Ariyan restraint of faculties
he experiences in himself unadulterated bliss.

In his goings out
and his comings in
he acts composedly.

In looking in front
and looking behind
he acts composedly.

In bending or relaxing
he acts composedly.

In wearing his robe
and bearing outer robe and bowl
he acts composedly.

In eating,
drinking,
chewing
and tasting
he acts composedly.

In easing himself,
in going,
standing,
sitting,
sleeping,
waking,
in speaking
and keeping silence
he acts composedly.

Possessed of this Ariyan mass of morals
and this Ariyan restraint of the [207] faculties
and composure,
he resorts to a secluded lodging-place,
a forest,
the root of a tree,
a hill,
ravine,
grotto or cave,
a charnel-field,
a jungle-path,
an open space,
a heap of straw.

Thus gone to the forest
or root of a tree
or a lonely place,[12]
he sits down cross-legged,
keeping his body erect
and fixing attention in front of him.

Then abandon- [145] ing the hankering after the world,
he abides with heart freed therefrom,
he cleanses his heart
of hankering.

Abandoning the taint of ill-will;
with heart free from ill-will
he abides having regard for the welfare
and feeling compassion for
every living thing;
he cleanses his heart
of the taint of ill-will.

Abandoning sloth-and-torpor
he remains freed therefrom,
wide-awake,
mindful,
composed,
and cleanses his heart
of sloth-and-torpor.

Abandoning distraction-and-flurry
he abides undistracted at heart
in the inner self,
he cleanses his heart
of distraction-and-flurry.

Abandoning doubt-and-wavering
he abides as one who has transcended them;
no longer questioning this or that
in things profitable,
he cleanses his heart
of doubt-and-wavering.

Thus abandoning these five hindrances,
these taints of the heart
which cause the weakening of wisdom,
aloof from sense-desires,
aloof from unprofitable states,
he enters on the first musing,
which is accompanied by thought directed and sustained,
born of seclusion,
zestful and easeful,
and so abides.

Now what think you, Upāli?

Is not this way of living[13]
more excellent and choice
than his former ways?"

"It is, sir."

"Now, Upāli, my disciples
coming to see this dhamma in the self[14]
follow after woodland haunts in the forest
and solitary lodging;
but not if they have attained their own good
do they dwell [there].[15]

 

§

 

Again, Upāli, a monk,
by calming down thought directed and sustained[16]
attains and abides in the second musing,
that inward calming,
that single-mindness apart from thought directed and sustained,
that is born of mental balance,
zestful
and eaaseful.

Now what think you, Upāli?

Is not this way of living
more excellent and choice
than his former way of living?"[17]

"It is, sir."

"Indeed, Upāli, my disciples
coming to see this dhamma in [146] the self
follow after woodland haunts in the forest
and solitary lodging;
[208] but not if they have attained their own good
do they dwell there.

 

§

 

Again, Upāli, a monk,
by the fading out of zest,
disinterested,
mindful and composed,
he experiences with body
that ease of which the Ariyans declare:
"He who is disinterested and alert, dwells at ease,"
and he attains and abides in the third musing.

Now what think you, Upāli?

Is not this way of living
more excellent and choice
than his former way of living?"

"It is, sir."

"Indeed, Upāli, my disciples
coming to see this dhamma in the self
follow after woodland haunts in the forest
and solitary lodging;
but not if they have attained their own good
do they dwell there.

 

§

 

Again, Upāli,
by abandoning both ease and discomfort
a monk by the ending of both the happiness and unhappiness he had before,
attains and abides in the fourth musing,
a state of neither ease nor discomfort,
an equanimity of utter purity.

Now what think you, Upāli?

Is not this way of living
more excellent and choice
than his former way of living?"

"It is, sir."

"Indeed, Upāli, my disciples
coming to see this dhamma in the self
follow after woodland haunts in the forest
and solitary lodging;
but not if they have attained their own good
do they dwell there.

 

§

 

Again, Upāli,
passing utterly beyond all sense of object,
by the coming to an end of sense-reaction,
by paying no attention to the diversity of sense,
but realizing:
'Unlimited is space,'
a monk attains to the plane of the infinity of space
and so abides.

Now what think you, Upāli?

Is not this way of living
more excellent and choice
than his former way of living?"

"It is, sir."

"Indeed, Upāli, my disciples
coming to see this dhamma in the self
follow after woodland haunts in the forest
and solitary lodging;
but not if they have attained their own good
do they dwell there.

 

§

 

Yet again, Upāli,
passing utterly beyond the plane of the infinity of space,
realizing:
'Unlimited is consciousness',
a monk attains to the plane of the infinity of consciousness
and so abides.

Now what think you, Upāli?

Is not this way of living
more excellent and choice
than his former way of living?"

"It is, sir."

"Indeed, Upāli, my disciples
coming to see this dhamma in the self
follow after woodland haunts in the forest
and solitary lodging;
but not if they have attained their own good
do they dwell there.

 

§

 

Yet again, Upāli,
passing utterly beyond the plane of the infinity of consciousness,
realizing:
'There is nothing at all,'
he attains the plane of nothingness
and so abides.

Now what think you, Upāli?

Is not this way of living
more excellent and choice
than his former way of living?"

"It is, sir."

"Indeed, Upāli, my disciples
coming to see this dhamma in the self
follow after woodland haunts in the forest
and solitary lodging;
but not if they have attained their own good
do they dwell there.

 

§

 

Yet again, Upāli,
passing utterly beyond the plane of nothingness,
realizing:

This is the real,[18]
this is the best,
[209] he attains and abides in the plane
of what is neither-consciousness-nor-unconsciousness
and so abides.

Now what think you, Upāli?

Is not this way of living
more excellent and choice
than his former way of living?"

"It is, sir."

"Indeed, Upāli, my disciples
coming to see this dhamma in the self
follow after woodland haunts in the forest
and solitary lodging;
but not if they have attained their own good
do they dwell there.

 

§

 

Yet again, Upāli,
passing utterly beyond the plane
of neither-consciousness-nor-unconsciousness,
he attains the ending of consciousness and feeling,
and so abides;
and by insight beholding it
he knows that in himself
the cankers are destroyed.

Now what think you, Upāli?

Is not this way of living
more excellent and choice
than his former way of living?"

"It is, sir."

"Indeed, Upāli, my disciples
coming to see this dhamma in the self
follow after woodland haunts in the forest
and solitary lodging;
but not if they have attained their own good
do they dwell there.

Come then, Upāli, do thou dwell in the Order.

Dwelling in the Order will be pleasant for thee."[19]

 


[1] Durabhisambhava; cf. S. v, 464; Sn. 429, 701. Comy. 'not attainable by weaklings.'

[2] Haranti mano. Mano in accusative is rare, but found in Sn.

...sink or float. Both lustful and malicious thoughts will drag him down, but if he evades those and yet has no skill in attaining serenity (having firm footing, able to live detached whithersoever he goes ... in or out of the water), he will get no advantage from his forest abode ... float on the surface.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[3] His lustful thoughts will pull him down and his malicious thoughts will keep him afloat.

[4] This simile is not listed in those of J.P.T.S., 1906-7.

[5] Ratana; cf. Mil.P. 282 (of the nāga Uposatha).

[6] Cats would hardly do this. For the comparative ko ca ... ko ca, cf. § 75 n.

[7] Text vanka; v.l. and Comy. vankaka. DA. i, 86; Mil. Panh. 229 = Trans. ii, 32 and n. The list is at M. i, 266 = F. Dialog, i [DN 1].

[8] Ghaṭika (Sinh. kalli). A short stick is laid over a stone or other stick, and struck into the air with a long stick, and struck again as it revolves in the air.

[9] Mokkhacika, v.l. mokkhaṭika; cf. J.P.T.8., 1885, p. 49. Comy. as at DA. i, 86; Vin. i, 275. See refs, in P.E.D.

[10] Vo, not nipāta-mattaɱ, as Comy. What follows is at G.S. ii, 221 ff.

[11] Sacca-sandho.

[12] For this passage G.S. ii, 224, has, 'After his meal when he has returned from his alms-round.'

[13] Nanvāyaɱ vihāro ( = nanu ayaɱ v.).

[14] Imam pi kho attani dhammaɱ sampassamānā.

No ca kho tāvn anuppatta-sadatthā viharanti. And yet not on that account have they attained their goal. Woodward's second thought is the better understanding (Bhk. Bodhi words this understanding: 'But they still haven't attained their own goal.') because it is often an admonition given to bhikkhus to not give up at a point where self-deception could easily lead to the thought that one has accomplished the goal. But both ideas would miss the point being made here which is to give Upāli an indication of the difficulty of attaining the goal and by that the difficulty of successful forest living. Woodward's idea that one was to give up solitary living once the goal was attained was one which was popular at one time, but which has very little basis in the suttas. Forest living, solitary living is highly praised by Gotama right up to the end as being a great inspiration for those who follow. In other words, forest living is teaching. But it is not suitable for everyone.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[15] No ca kho tāvn anuppatta-sadatthā viharanti. I take this to mean that, as soon as one has won realization, he should return to the outer world to teach and help. Or is it to be translated, 'but, not having realized (an-uppatta-), they stay there (in the forest)'?

[16] Cf. G.S. ii, 206 ff.

[17] These words are repeated after each item.

[18] Santaɱ (sat), gen. trans. 'peace' (?).

[19] Upāli. Our Comy. has much the same as that on the Upāli verses at Thag. v. 249 = Brethren, 168, but probably our Upāli was not the barber, so called; for in this passage he wishes to go to the forest (which was not the natural inclination of 'Vinaya' Upāli); whereas at Thag., loc. cit., he says, 'Send me not away, lord, to dwell in the forest!' The Master replies, 'Bhikkhu, you, dwelling in the forest will develop one subject (dhura) only; whereas if you dwell with us you will become proficient both in 'book'-knowledge (gantha) and insight.' Nor was he 'one who went forth in faith.' Our Comy. conjectures that the Master restrained him for the purpose of afterwards declaring him etad agga of Vinaya-reciters! Hence there is a probable confusion of two or more Upālis. Cf. Gotama the Man, 215.


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