Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
X. Dasaka-Nipāta
XII: Paccorohaṇī-Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
X. The Book of the Tens
XII: The Descent

Sutta 119

Paṭhama Paccorohaṇī Suttaɱ

The Ariyan Descent (a)

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

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[161] [234]

[1] THUS have I heard:

Once the Exalted One was dwelling near Sāvatthī.

Now on that occasion the brāhmin Jāṇussoṇi,[1]
the day being the sabbath,
having washed his head
and put on a [162] fresh pair of linen cloths,
holding a handful of wet kusa grass,
was standing aside
not far from the Exalted One.

And the Exalted One saw the brāhmin Jāṇussoṇi
this sabbath day,
having washed his head
and put on a fresh pair of linen cloths,
thus standing aside
holding a handful of wet kusa grass,
and on seeing him said this:

"How is it, brāhmin, that you
on this sabbath day,
having washed your head
and put on a fresh pair of linen cloths,
thus stand aside
holding a handful of wet kusa grass?"

"Today, Master Gotama,
is the (ceremony of) descent
of the brāhmin clan."

"In what manner, brāhmin,
is this descent?"

"Herein, Master Gotama,
it being the sabbath,
brāhmins wash the head,
put on a fresh pair of cloths,
smear the floor with wet cowdung,
strew it with wet kusa grass,
and make their bed
between the boundary[2] and the fire-house.[3]

Rising up thrice in that night,
with clasped hands
they do homage to fire,
saying:

'We come down[4] to your worship,
we come down to your worship!'

Then they feed the fire
with oblation of oil
of butter
and fresh butter.

When the night has passed
they feed brāhmins
with choice food
both hard and soft.

Thus, Master Gotama,
is the descent of the brāhmins."

"Brāhmin, the descent (ceremony) of the brāhmins is one thing,
the descent by the discipline of the Ariyan
is quite another thing."

"Pray, Master Gotama,
in what way is the descent by the discipline of the Ariyan done?

Well for me
if the worthy Gotama would teach me dhamma
as to the descent by the discipline of the Ariyan."

"Then, brāhmin, do you listen."

"I will, master,"
replied the brāhmin Jāṇussoṇi to the Exalted One,
who said:

 

§

 

[163] [235] "In this matter, brāhmin,
the Ariyan disciple thus ponders:

From wrong view (comes) an evil ripening,
both in this same visible state
and in the future state.

Thus pondering
he abandons wrong view,
he descends from wrong view.

From wrong intent (comes) an evil ripening,
both in this same visible state
and in the future state.

Thus pondering
he abandons wrong intent,
he descends from wrong intent.

From wrong speech (comes) an evil ripening,
both in this same visible state
and in the future state.

Thus pondering
he abandons wrong speech,
he descends from wrong speech.

From wrong action (comes) an evil ripening,
both in this same visible state
and in the future state.

Thus pondering
he abandons wrong action,
he descends from wrong action.

From wrong living (comes) an evil ripening,
both in this same visible state
and in the future state.

Thus pondering
he abandons wrong living,
he descends from wrong living.

From wrong effort (comes) an evil ripening,
both in this same visible state
and in the future state.

Thus pondering
he abandons wrong effort,
he descends from wrong effort.

From wrong mindfulness (comes) an evil ripening,
both in this same visible state
and in the future state.

Thus pondering
he abandons wrong mindfulness,
he descends from wrong mindfulness.

From wrong concentration (comes) an evil ripening,
both in this same visible state
and in the future state.

Thus pondering
he abandons wrong concentration,
he descends from wrong concentration.

From wrong knowledge (comes) an evil ripening,
both in this same visible state
and in the future state.

Thus pondering
he abandons wrong knowledge,
he descends from wrong knowledge.

From wrong release (comes) an evil ripening,
both in this same visible state
and in the future state.

Thus pondering
he abandons wrong release,
he descends from wrong release.

Thus, brāhmin, is the descent
by the discipline of the Ariyan."

 

§

 

"Indeed, Master Gotama,
one thing is the descent of the brāhmins,
quite another thing is the descent
by the discipline of the Ariyan.[5]

Why, Master Gotama,
compared with the descent by the discipline of the Ariyan
that of the brāhmins is not worth one sixteenth part of it.[6]

[236]It is excellent, Master Gotama!

It is excellent, Master Gotama![7]

It is as if one should raise the fallen,
open up the hidden,
point out the way
to one gone astray,
hold up a shining light
so that they who have eyes
may see objects.

Thus has dhamma been expounded in divers ways by the worthy Gotama.

I myself, worthy Gotama,
do go for resort to the awakened one,
to dhamma
and to the order of monks.

Let the worthy Gotama reckon me as a lay-follower
from this day forth,
so long as life shall last,
as one who has gone to him as resort."

 


[1] A chapter below is called by his name [Chapter XVII]. Cf. K.S. ii, 52 n.; v, 2; A. i, 36; also Bhāradvāja, the fire-man, K.S. i, 207.

[2] Vela (? boundary). Comy., which has nothing to say about all this, simply has 'heap of sand.' I have a reference to Aśvalāyana Grihya Sūtra ii, 3 (of the Śrauta Sūtras), but I cannot verify it.

[3] Agyāgāra.

[4] Paccorohāma. The word is used of stepping down from a vehicle or into water. Did they originally step into the fire?

[5] The brāhmins step into water, the Ariyan disciple steps out of his sin.

[6] See Appendix.

[7] Text abbreviates this stock paragraph.


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