Dīgha Nikāya


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Sacred Books of the Buddhists
Volume II

Dīgha Nikāya

Dialogues of the Buddha
Part I

Sutta 3

Ambaṭṭha Suttantaɱ

A Young Brahman Rudeness
And An Old One's Faith

Translated from the Pali by T.W. Rhys Davids

Public Domain

Originally published under the patronage of
His Majesty King Chulālankarana,
King of Siam
by The Pali Text Society, Oxford

 


[96]

Introduction
to the
Ambaṭṭha Sutta

This is one of several Suttas (mentioned in the notes to the celebrated verse quoted at the end of Chapter I) which deal with the subject of caste.

It is sufficiently evident from the comparative frequency of the discussions on the matter of Brahman pretensions that this was a burning question at the time when the Dialogues were composed. No other social problem is referred to so often; and Brahman would not be so often represented as expressing astonishment or indignation at the position taken up regarding it by the early Buddhists unless there had really been a serious difference on the subject between the two schools. But the difference, though real, has been gravely misunderstood.

Some writers on Buddhism do not hesitate to ascribe to Gotama the role of a successful political reformer, by representing him as having fought for the poor and despised against the rich and privileged classes, and as having gone far to abolish caste. Other writers gird at the Buddha because most of the leaders of this Order were drawn from the ranks of the respectable and the well-to-do, with an education in keeping with their social position; and disparage him for neglecting the humble and the wretched, for not using his influence to abolish, or to mitigate, the harshness of caste rules.

Both views are equally unhistorical. It is well known that the population of India is now divided into a number of sections (we call them 'castes'), the members of which are debarred from the right of intermarriage (from the connubium) with those outside their caste, and also, but in constantly varying degrees, from the right of eating together (of commensality) with the members of other sections. Each such 'caste' has also a council or committee by which it is governed, and which settles all disputes regarding the caste.

The disastrous effects, from the ethical, social, and political points of view, of these restrictions, and of caste as a whole, have been often grossly exaggerated, and the benefits of the [97] system ignored. And we are entirely unwarranted in supposing the system, as it now exists, to have been in existence also at the time when Buddhism arose in the valley of the Ganges. Our knowledge of the actual facts of caste, even as it now exists, is still confused and inaccurate. The theories put forward to explain the facts are loose and irreconcilable. And an accurate statement of the corresponding facts, if any, at the time of Gotama, has yet to be drawn up.

We have long known that the connubium was the cause of a long and determined struggle between the patricians and the plebeians in Rome. Evidence has been yearly accumulating on the existence of restrictions as to intermarriage, and as to the right of eating together, among other Aryan tribes - Greeks, Germans, Russians, and so on. Even without the fact of the existence, now, of such restrictions among the modern successors of the ancient Aryans in India, it would have been almost certain that they also were addicted to similar customs. It is certain that the notion of such usages was familiar enough to some at least of the tribes that preceded the Aryans in India. It is quite a mistake to look upon all these tribes as far below the Aryans in culture. Both the Kolarians and the Dravidians were probably quite the equals of the Aryans in social organisation. And the Aryans probably adopted much from them, especially in matters relating to land tenure, village community, government, taxation, and so on. Their custom of endogamy and exogamy, their ideas as to purity and the reverse, may have differed from those of the Aryans, but were similar in kind. Rules of endogamy and exogamy; privileges, restricted to certain classes, of eating together, are not only Indian or Aryan, but worldwide phenomena. Both the spirit, and to a large degree the actual details, of modern Indian caste usages, are identical with these ancient, and no doubt universal, customs. It is in them that we have the key to the origin of caste.

At any moment in the history of a nation such customs seem, to a superficial observer, to be fixed and immutable. As a matter of fact they are never quite the same in successive centuries, or even generations. A man's visible frame, though no change is at any moment perceptible, is really never the same for two consecutive moments, and the result of constant minute variations becomes clear after the lapse of time. The numerous and complicated details which we sum up under the convenient (but often misleading) single name of caste are solely dependent for their sanction on public opinion. That opinion seems stable. But it is always tending to vary as to the degree of importance attached to some particular one of [98] the details, as to the size and complexity of the particular groups in which each detail ought to be observed.

This last statement may be illustrated by the case of the Chaliyas. When the Dutch started cinnamon cultivation in Ceylon on a large scale, they wanted labourers. 'The peasantry, who belonged almost exclusively to one caste, the Goigamas, regarded it as unworthy of a free man to work for hire. Some of them, however, in the struggle of motives, found the pressure of poverty too strong for them, and accepted service as coolies. The others, thinking this bad form, became averse to giving their daughters in marriage to such coolies. These feelings were naturally stronger at first among the Goigamas of good social position, and it became a mark of superiority not to have a relative married to a worker in the cinnamon gardens. And such workers were called Chaliyas. By the time that the families of Chaliyas were numerous enough to afford mates for the male or female coolies, the Chaliyas found it impossible to find wives elsewhere. And thus, under the very eyes of Europeans, the size of one group had been diminished by the very considerable number of persons engaged in a new and despised trade. In other words, what we call a new caste had arisen, the caste of the Chaliyas. When the English took Ceylon they gave up the government cultivation of cinnamon. The gardens were carried on, in ever lessening numbers, by private individuals. The number of the Chaliyas consequently declined. Numbers of them, as they gradually returned to ordinary peasant work, became reabsorbed among the Goigamas. This was an instance of a change precisely contrary to that which happened when the caste gradually arose. But all did not succeed in returning; and there are, therefore, still some Chaliyas left. And the caste survives though the members of it are now no longer exclusively, or even largely, employed in cinnamon gardens; and many of them have become wealthy and honoured.

What had happened in this case was, not two separate and striking revolutions, but a long series of slight changes in public opinion, no doubt quite imperceptible at the time to the very people among whom the changes were taking place. And after all the changes were not so very slow. Three or four generations were enough to cover the whole series with the consequent results. Who can doubt but that the history of ancient India, if we had only access to the necessary evidence, would be found to cover, in its two thousand five hundred years, and through its wide territory, a constant succession of similar variations; and that similar variations are recurring still to-day.

[99] Owing to the fact that the particular set of people who worked their way to the top based its claims on religious grounds, not on political power or wealth, the system has, no doubt, lasted longer in India than in Europe. But public opinion still insists in considerable circles, even in Europe, on restrictions of a more or less defined kind, both as to marriage and as to eating together. And in India the problem still remains to trace in the literature the gradual growth of the system — the gradual formation of new sections among the people, the gradual extension of the institution to the families of people engaged in certain trades, belonging to the same sect or tribe', tracing their ancestry (whether rightly or wrongly) to the same source. All these factors, and others besides, are real factors. But they are phases of the extension and growth, not explanations of the origin, of the system.

There is no evidence to show that at the time when the conversations recorded in the Dialogues took place (that is to say, in the sixth century B. C.) there was any substantial difference, as regards the barriers in question, between the peoples dwelling in the valley of the Ganges and their contemporaries dwelling on the shores of the Mediterranean. The point of greatest weight in the establishment of the great difference in the subsequent development - the supremacy, in India, of the priests - was still being hotly debated. And all our evidence tends to show that at least in the wide extent of territory covered by the Piṭakas — countries close upon a hundred thousand square miles in area — the struggle was being decided rather against the Brahman than for them. There were distinctions as to marriage; endogamous and exogamous groups. In a few instances, all among the lower classes of the people, these amounted, probably, to what would now be called caste-divisions. But of castes, in the modern sense, among the preponderating majority there is little or no conclusive evidence.

There was a common phrase current among the people, which divided all the world into four vaṇṇā (colours or complexions) — the nobles, the priests, the other Aryan people, and the non-Aryan Sūdras (Khattiyā, Brāhmaṇā, Vessā, and Suddā). The priests put themselves first, and had a theological legend in support of their contention. But it is clear from the Piṭakas that this was not admitted by the nobles. And it is also clear that no one of these divisions was a caste. There was neither connubium nor commensality between all the members of one vaṇṇa, nor was there a governing council for each. The fourth was distinguished from the others by race. The remaining three were distinguished from each other [100] by social position. And though in a general rough way the classification corresponded to the actual facts of life, there were insensible gradations within the four classes, and the boundary between them was both variable and undefined.

And this enumeration of the populace was not complete. Outside these classes there were others, resembling in many points the modern low castes, and always when mentioned in the Piṭakas following after the above four. Thus in Aŋguttara I, 162[1] the argument is that just as there is no real difference in oxen, in spite of the fact that they can be arranged in classes by difference of colour (vaṇṇa), and the strong, active, well-trained ox is selected by preference, without regard to his colour (vaṇṇa); so also, when presenting gifts, the man of strong, active, well-trained mind should be selected as donee — without reference to the fact of his belonging to any one of the four classes of society (vaṇṇā), or of his being a Kaṇḍāla or a Pukkusa. It is plain that this passage distinguishes the last two from the four vaṇṇā and therefore from the Sūdras

Other old texts[2] insert between these two three further names — the Veṇas, the Nesādas, and the Rathakāras, that is to say, the workers in rushes[3], bird-catchers, and cart makers. By these are meant aboriginal tribesmen who were hereditary craftsmen in these three crafts; for they are called hīna-jātiyo, low tribes. They no doubt formed castes in the modern sense, though we have no information as to their marriage customs. They are represented in the Jātaka book as living in villages of their own, outside the towns in which ordinary people dwelt, and formed evidently a numerically insignificant portion of the populace.

In the last passage quoted in the previous note there are mentioned, as distinct from these low tribes (the hīna-jātiyo), certain low occupations (hīna-sippāni) — mat-makers, potters, weavers, leather-workers, and barbers. As they are excluded from the list of those distinguished by birth (jāti), it is implied that there was no hard and fast line, determined by birth, for those who gained their living by these trades. There would be a natural tendency for the son to follow the father's craft;[4] [101] centuries afterwards they had become castes, and they were then on the borderline. But they were not castes as yet.

Besides the above, who were all freemen, there were also slaves. We only hear of them quite occasionally, as domestic servants, in the houses of the very rich. Individuals had been captured in predatory raids, and reduced to slavery (Jāt. IV, 220); or had been deprived of their freedom as a judicial punishment (Jāt. I, 200); or had submitted to slavery of their own accord ('Vinaya Texts,' I, 191; Sum. I, 168). Children born to such slaves were also slaves, and the emancipation of slaves is often referred to. But we hear nothing of such later developments of slavery as rendered the Roman latifundia, or the plantations of some Christian slave-owners, scenes of misery and oppression. For the most part the slaves were household servants, and not badly treated, and their numbers seem to have been insignificant[5]

What we find then, in the Buddha's time, is caste in the making. The great mass of the people were distinguished quite roughly into four classes — social strata — of which the boundary lines were vague and uncertain. At the one end of the scale certain outlying tribes, and certain hereditary crafts of a dirty or despised kind, were already, probably, castes. At the other end of the scale Brahman by birth (not necessarily sacrificial priests, for they followed all sorts of occupations) were putting forward caste claims that were not yet universally admitted. There were social customs about the details of which we know very little (and dependent probably, more exactly upon the gotta rather than upon the jāti), which raised barriers, not seldom broken through, as to intermarriage of people admittedly belonging to the same vaṇṇa, and a fortiori of others. And there was a social code, based on the idea of impurity, which prevented familiar intercourse (such as commensality) between people of different rank; and rendered disgraceful the use of certain foods. We find, however, no usages which cannot be amply paralleled in the history of other peoples throughout the world in similar stages of social evolution. The key-stone of the arch of the peculiarly Indian caste organisation — the absolute supremacy of the Brahmans — had not yet been put in position, had not, in fact, been yet made ready. The caste-system, in any proper or exact use of the term, did not exist.

In the face of this set of circumstances Gotama took up [102] a distinct position. It meets us, it is true, in two phases; but it forms one consistent and logical whole.

In the first place, as regards his own Order, over which alone he had complete control, he ignores completely and absolutely all advantages or disadvantages arising from birth, occupation, and social status, and sweeps away all barriers and disabilities arising from the arbitrary rules of mere ceremonial or social impurity.

One of the most distinguished members of his Order the very one of them who was referred to as the chief authority, after Gotama himself, on the rules of the Order, was Upāli, who had formerly been a barber, one of the despised occupations. So Sunīta, one of the brethren whose verses are chosen for insertion in the Thera Jāthā, was a Pukkusa, one of the low tribes. Sāti, the propounder of a deadly heresy, was of the sons of the fisherfolk, afterwards a low caste, and even then an occupation, on account of its cruelty, particularly abhorred. Nanda was a cowherd. The two Paṇṭhakas were born out of wedlock, to a girl of good family through intercourse with a slave (so that by the rule laid down in Manu 31, they were actually outcasts). Kāpā was the daughter of a deer-stalker, Puṇṇā and Puṇṇikā had been slave girls. Sumangalamātā was daughter and wife to workers in rushes, and Subhā was the daughter of a smith. More instances could doubtless be quoted already, and others will become known when more texts are published.

It does not show much historical insight to sneer at the numbers as small, and to suggest that the supposed enlightenment or liberality was mere pretence. The facts speak for themselves; and the percentage of low-born members of the Order was probably in fair proportion to the percentage of persons belonging to the despised gātis and sippas as compared with the rest of the population. Thus of the Therīs mentioned in the Therī Gāthā we know the social position of sixty, of whom five are mentioned above — that is 8½ per cent. of the whole number were base-born. It is most likely that this is just about the proportion which persons in similar social rank bore to the rest of the population.

Whether the Buddhist Order differed in this respect from the other similar communities which are mentioned in the Buddhist books as having already existed when the Buddhist Order was founded, is still matter of controversy. The Buddhist books are mostly silent on the matter. But that very silence is valuable evidence. It is scarcely likely that, if there had been much difference, there should be no allusion to it in the Piṭakas. And the few passages in print confirm this. We [103] have seen how in the Sāmañña-phala Sutta (above, § 35) it is taken for granted that a slave would join an Order (that is any order, not the Buddhist). And in the Aggañña Sutta of the Dīgha, and the Madhura Sutta of the Majjhima, there is express mention of Sūdras becoming Samaṇas, as if it were a recognised and common occurrence, long before the time of the rise of Buddhism. So in the Jātaka (III, 381) we hear of a potter, and at IV, 392 of a Kaṇḍāla, who become Samaṇas (not Buddhist Samaṇas).[6]

On the other hand, it is just possible that in these passages the custom afterwards followed in the Buddhist Order is simply put back to earlier times, and is an anachronism. The low-born, however earnest in their search after truth, were no doubt excluded from any community of hermits or religious recluses in which Brahmans had the upper hand. But all the twice-born (the Dvijas, that is the Khattiyas, Brāhmaṇas, and Vessas) were certainly justified, by public opinion, in becoming Samaṇas. To what extent the Sūdras, and the tribes below the Sūdras, were accorded, in communities other than the Buddhist, a similar privilege, is at present doubtful. But the Buddha certainly adopted, and probably extended, the most rational view current at the time.

There is one point, however, in which he seems to have restricted (and for a valid reason) the existing custom. It is impossible to avoid the inference from the passage just referred to (in the Sāmañña-phala, above, P. 77), that the existing orders, or most of them, admitted slaves to their ranks. Now among a number of rules laid down to regulate admission to the Buddhist Order, in such wise that the existing rights of third parties should not be encroached upon, there is a rule (translated in 'Vinaya Texts,' S.B.E., I, 199) that no runaway slave, shall be admitted. And in the form of words to be used at the chapter held for admitting new members, one of the questions asked of the candidate is: 'Are you a freeman?'[7] Whenever slaves were admitted to the Order, they must have previously obtained the consent of their masters, and also, I think, have been emancipated.

Secondly, as regards all such matters as we may now fairly call 'questions of caste' outside the Order, the Buddha adopted the only course then open to any man of sense; that is to say, he strove to influence that public opinion, on which the observances depend, by a constant inculcation of reasonable views. Thus in the Āmagandha Sutta[8] of the Sutta [104] Nipāta (certainly one of the very oldest of our documents) it is laid down, in eloquent words, that defilement does not come from eating this or that, prepared or given by this or that person, but from evil deeds and words and thoughts.

This is a particularly interesting passage, being one of the few in which sayings of previous Buddhas are recorded. In other words the Buddhists put forward this view as having been enunciated long ago — with the intended implication that it was a self-evident proposition which was common ground to the wise. No originality, no special insight, is claimed on account of a view that would have put an end to so many foolish prejudices based on superstition. The Buddha's position is again to adopt, in this matter, the sensible position already put forward by others.

As to other details also, which it would take too long to set out here, Gotama followed the same plan. On the general question, however, he had opinions, presumably his own. For they are not found elsewhere. And in the early Buddhist texts (always ready to give credit to others, and even anxious wherever possible to support their views by showing that others, especially in ancient times, had held them) these views are not referred to as part of the doctrine of either earlier or contemporary teachers.

We may class the utterances on this point under three heads — biological, ethical, and historical.

In the Vāseṭṭha Sutta of the Sutta Nipāta (several verses of which have been inserted also in the Dhammapada) the question, as in the Soṇadaṇḍa Sutta, translated below, is as to what makes a man a Brahman. As his answer the Buddha reminds his questioners of the fact that whereas, in the case of plants (large or small), insects, quadrupeds, serpents, fish, and birds, there are many species and marks (due to the species) by which they can be distinguished — in the case of man there are no such species, and no such marks. 'Herein,' as pointed out by Mr. Chalmers,[9] 'Gotama was in accord with the conclusion of modern biologists, that "the Anthropidae are represented by the single genus and species, Man" — a conclusion the more remarkable as the accident of colour did not mislead Gotama' as it did so many of his contemporaries then; and even, within living memory, so many in the West. He goes on to draw the conclusion that distinctions made between different men are mere matters of prejudice and custom; that it is wisdom and goodness that make the only valid distinction, that make a man a Brahman; that the [105] Arahat is therefore the true Brahman; and that it is only the ignorant who had, for so long, maintained that it was birth that made a man a Brahman.

Similar arguments frequently recur. In the Madhura Sutta, a dialogue, shortly after the Buddha's death, between the king of Madhura and Kaccāna, the point raised is whether the Brahmans are right in their exclusive claims. 'The Brahmans say thus, Kaccāna: — "The Brahmans are the most distinguished of the four divisions into which the people is classified[10]; every other division is inferior. The Brahmans are the white division; all the rest are black. The Brahmans alone are accounted pure, not those who are not Brahmans. The Brahmans are the legitimate sons of God (of Brahmā), born from His mouth, specially made by Him, heirs of Brahmā! What do you, Sir, say to this?"'

The Buddhist answer is first to remind the king of the actual facts of life — how a prosperous member of any one of the four vaṇṇas would find members of each of the other three to wait upon him and serve him. There was no difference between them in this respect. Then, secondly, he points out how a wicked man (whatever his vaṇṇa), in accordance with the doctrine of Karma acknowledged by all good men (not only by Buddhists), will be reborn in some state of woe; and a good man in some state of bliss. Thirdly, a criminal, whatever his vaṇṇa, would be equally subject to punishment for his crime. And lastly, a man, whatever his vaṇṇa, would, on joining an order, on becoming a religieux, receive equal respect and honour from the people.[11]

A Brahman might object that all this ignores the important point that the Brahman were, originally, born of Brahma, and are his legitimate heirs. It was this claim to especial connection with the mysterious powers of a supernatural kind, so widely believed in, that formed their chief weapon in the struggle. We find the Buddhist reply to that in the Aggañña Sutta of the Dīgha, in many respects one of the most interesting and instructive of all the Dialogues.[12] It is a kind [106] of Buddhist book of Genesis. In it the pretensions of the Brahman are put forward in the same terms as those just quoted above from the Madhura Sutta.

Gotama replies that they make these claims in forgetfulness of the past. The claims have no basis in fact. It is righteousness (dhamma) and not class distinction (vaṇṇa) that makes the real difference between man and man.[13] Do we not daily see Brahman women with child and bearing sons just like other folk? How can they then say that they are born of God? And as to their origin, when the evolution of the world began, beings were at first immaterial, feeding on joy, giving light from themselves, passing through the air. There was thick darkness round about them, and neither sun nor moon, nor stars, nor sex, nor measures of time. Then the earth rose in the midst of the waters, beautiful as honey in taste and colour and smell, and the beings, eating thereof, lost their brightness, and then sun and moon and stars appeared, and time began to run. And then also their bodies became more coarse and material, and differences of complexion (vaṇṇa) became manifest among them. Then some prided themselves, and despised others, on the ground of their finer complexion. And thereupon the fine-tasting earth ceased to be so.

Then successively fine moss, and sweet creepers, and delicate rice appeared, and each time the beings ate thereof with a similar result. Then differences of sex appeared; and households were formed; and the lazy stored up the rice, instead of gathering it each evening and morning; and the rights of property arose, and were infringed. And when lusts were felt, and thefts committed, the beings, now become men, met together, and chose certain men, differing from the others in no wise except in virtue (dhamma), to restrain the evil doers by blame or fines or banishment. These were the first Kshatriyas. And others they chose to restrain the evil dispositions which led to the evil doing. And these were the first Brahman, differing from the others in no wise, except only in virtue (dhamma).

Then certain others, to keep their households going, and maintain their wives, started occupations of various kinds. And these were the first vessas. And some abandoned their homes and became the first recluses (samaṇas). But all were alike in origin, and the only distinction between them was in virtue. And the highest of them all was acknowledged [107] to be the Arahat, who had made himself so by the destruction of the Four Mental Intoxications (the āsavas) and by breaking the bonds that tied him to rebirths; the man who had laid aside every burden, who had lived the life, had accomplished a11 that had to be done, had gained his end, and by the highest knowledge was set free!

We may not accept the historical accuracy of this legend. Indeed a continual note of good-humoured irony runs through the whole story, with its fanciful etymologies of the names of the four vaṇṇā; and the aroma of it would be lost on the hearer who took it au grand szeezrieux. But it reveals a sound and healthy insight, and is much nearer to the actual facts than the Brahman legend it was intended to replace.

Had the Buddha's views on the whole question won the day — and widely shared, as they were, by others, they very nearly prevailed — the evolution of social grades and distinctions would have gone on in India on lines similar to those it followed in the West, and the caste system of India would never have been built up.[14]

 


[108]

III. Ambaṭṭha Sutta.

A Young Brahman Rudeness
and an Old One's Faith

[1] THUS HAVE I HEARD:

The Blessed One, when once on a tour through the Kosala country
with a great company of the brethren,
with about five hundred brethren,
arrived at a Brahman village in Kosala named Icchānankala;
and while there he stayed in the Icchānankala Wood.

Now at that time the Brahman Pokkharasādi
was dwelling at Ukkaṭṭha,
a spot teeming with life,
with much grassland and woodland and corn,
on a royal domain,
granted him by King Pasenadi of Kosala as a royal gift,
with power over it as if he were the king[15].

[2] Now the Brahman Pokkharasādi[16] heard the news:

[109] "They say that the Samaṇa Gotama,
of the Sākya clan,
who went out from a Sākya family
to adopt the religious life,
has now arrived,
with a great company of the brethren of his Order,
at Icchānankala,
and is staying there
in the Icchānankala Wood.

Now regarding that venerable Gotama,
such is the high reputation
that has been noised abroad:

— 'That Blessed One is an Arahat,
a fully awakened one,
abounding in wisdom and goodness,
happy,
with knowledge of the worlds,
unsurpassed as a guide
to mortals willing to be led,
a teacher for gods and men,
a Blessed One,
a Buddha.

He, by himself,
thoroughly knows and sees,
as it were, face-to-face
this universe —
including the worlds above of the gods,
the Brahmas,
and the Māras,
and the world below
with its recluses and Brahman,
its princes and peoples —
and having known it,
he makes his knowledge known to others.

The truth,
lovely in its origin,
lovely in its progress,
lovely in its consummation,
doth he proclaim,
both in the spirit and in the letter,
the higher life doth he make known,
in all its fullness
and in all its purity.

And good is it
to pay visits to Arahats like that.'

[3] Now at that time
a young Brahman, an Ambaṭṭha,[17]
was a pupil under Pokkharasādi the Brahman.

And he was a repeater
(of the sacred words)
knowing the mystic verses by heart,
one who had mastered the Three Vedas,
with the indices, the ritual, the phonology,
and the exegesis (as a fourth),[18]
and the legends [110] as a fifth,
learned in the idioms and the grammar,
versed in Lokāyata sophistry,
and in the theory of the signs
on the body of a great man,[19]
so recognised an authority
in the system of the threefold Vedic knowledge
as expounded by his master,
that he could say of him:

"What I know that you know,
and what you know that I know."

[4] And Pokkharasādi told Ambaṭṭha the news, and said:

"Come now, dear Ambaṭṭha,
go to the Samaṇa Gotama,
and find out whether the reputation
so noised abroad regarding him
is in accord with the facts or not,
whether the Samaṇa Gotama
is such as they say or not."

[5] "But how, Sir, shall I know
whether that is so or not?"

'There have been handed down, Ambaṭṭha,
in our mystic verses
thirty-two bodily signs of a great man, —
signs which, if a man has,
he will become one of two things,
and no other.[20]

If he dwells at home
he will become a sovran of the world,
a righteous king,
bearing rule even to the shores
of the four great oceans,
a conqueror,
the protector of his people,
possessor of the seven royal treasures.

And these are the seven treasures that he has —
the Wheel,
the Elephant,
the Horse,
the Gem,
the Woman,
the Treasurer,
and the [111] Adviser as a seventh.[21]

And he has more than a thousand sons,
heroes,
mighty in frame,
beating down the armies of the foe.

And he dwells in complete ascendancy
over the wide earth
from sea to sea,
ruling it in righteousness
without the need of baton
or of sword.

But if he go forth from the household life
into the houseless state,
then he will become a Buddha
who removes the veil
from the eyes of the world.

Now I, Ambaṭṭha, am a giver
of the mystic verses;
you have received them from me."

[6] "Very good, Sir,"
said Ambaṭṭha in reply;
and rising from his seat
and paying reverence to Pokkharasādi,
he mounted a chariot drawn by mares,
and proceeded,
with a retinue of young Brahman,
to the Icchānankala Wood.

And when he had gone on in the chariot
as far as the road was practicable for vehicles,
he got down,
and went on,
into the park,
on foot.

[7] Now at that time
a number of the brethren
were walking up and down
in the open air.

And Ambaṭṭha went up to them, and said:

"Where may the venerable Gotama be lodging now?

We have come hither to call upon him."

[8] Then the brethren thought:

"This young Brahman Ambaṭṭha
is of distinguished family,
and a pupil of the distinguished Brahman Pokkharasādi.

The Blessed One will not find it difficult
to hold conversation with such."

And they said to Ambaṭṭha:

"There, Ambaṭṭha, is his lodging,[22]
where the door is shut,
go quietly up and enter the porch gently,
and give a cough,
and knock on the cross-bar.

The Blessed One will open the door for you."

[9] Then Ambaṭṭha did so.

And the Blessed One opened the door,
and Ambaṭṭha entered in.

And the other young Brahman also went in;
and they exchanged with the Blessed One
the greetings and [112] compliments of politeness and courtesy,
and took their seats.

But Ambaṭṭha,
walking about,
said something or other of a civil kind
in an off-hand way,
fidgeting about the while,
or standing up,
to the Blessed One sitting there.

[10] And the Blessed One said to him:

"Is that the way, Ambaṭṭha,
that you would hold converse
with aged teachers,
and teachers of your teachers
well stricken in years,
as you now do,
moving about the while
or standing,
with me thus seated?"

[11] "Certainly not, Gotama.

It is proper to speak with a Brahman
as one goes along
only when the Brahman himself is walking,
and standing to a Brahman who stands,
and seated to a Brahman who has taken his seat,
or reclining to a Brahman who reclines.

But with shavelings,
sham friars,
menial black fellows,
the offscouring of our kinsman's heels[23]
with them I would talk
as I now do to you!"

"But you must have been wanting something, Ambaṭṭha,
when you came here.

Turn your thoughts rather
to the object you had in view
when you came.

This young Brahman Ambaṭṭha
is ill bred,
though he prides himself on his culture;
what can this come from
except from want of training?"[24]

[12] Then Ambaṭṭha was displeased
and angry with the Blessed One
at being called rude;
and at the thought
that the Blessed One was vexed with him,
he said,
scoffing, jeering, and sneering at the Blessed One:

"Rough is this Sākya breed of yours, Gotama,
and rude;
touchy is this Sākya breed of yours
and [113] violent.

Menials,
mere menials,[25]
they neither venerate,
nor value,
nor esteem,
nor give gifts to,
nor pay honour to Brahman.

That, Gotama, is neither fitting,
nor is it seemly!"

Thus did the young Brahman Ambaṭṭha
for the first time
charge the Sākyas with being menials.

[13] "But in what then, Ambaṭṭha,
have the Sākyas given you offence?"

"Once, Gotama, I had to go to Kapilavatthu
on some business or other of Pokkharasādi's,
and went into the Sākyas' Congress Hall.[26]

Now at that time
there were a number of Sākyas,
old and young,
seated in the hall on grand seats,
making merry and joking together,
nudging one another with their fingers;[27]
and for a truth, methinks,
it was I myself that was the subject of their jokes;
and not one of them even offered me a seat.

That, Gotama, is neither fitting,
nor is it seemly,
that the Sākyas,
menials as they are,
mere menials,
should neither venerate,
nor value,
nor esteem,
nor give gifts to,
nor pay honour to Brahman."

Thus did the young Brahman Ambaṭṭha
for the second time
charge the Sākyas with being menials.

[114] [14] "Why a quail, Ambaṭṭha,
little hen bird though she be,
can say what she likes
in her own nest.

And there the Sākyas
are at their own home,
in Kapilavatthu.

It is not fitting for you to take offence
at so trifling a thing."

[15] "There are these four grades[28] Gotama, —
the nobles,
the Brahman,
the tradesfolk,
and the workpeople.

And of these four, three —
the nobles, the tradesfolk, and the work-people —
are, verily, but attendants on the Brahman.

So, Gotama, that is neither fitting,
nor is it seemly,
that the, Sākyas,
menials as they are,
mere menials,
should neither venerate,
nor value,
nor esteem,
nor give gifts to,
nor pay honour to the Brahman."

Thus did the young Brahman Ambaṭṭha
for the third time
charge the Sākyas with being menials.

[16] Then the Blessed One thought thus:

"This Ambaṭṭha is very set
on humbling the Sākyas
with his charge of servile origin.

What if I were to ask him
as to his own lineage."

And he said to him:

"And what family do you then, Ambaṭṭha, belong to?"

"I am a Kaṇhāyana."

"Yes, but if one were to follow up your ancient name and lineage, Ambaṭṭha,
on the father's and the mother's side,
it would appear that the Sākyas
were once your masters,
and that you are the offspring
of one of their slave girls.

But the Sākyas trace their line
back to Okkāka the king.[29]

Long ago, Ambaṭṭha,
King Okkāka,
wanting to divert the succession
in favour of the son of his favourite queen,
banished his elder children —
Okkāmukha, Karaṇḍa Hatthinika, and Sinipura —
from the land.

And being thus banished
they took up their dwelling
on the slopes of the Himālaya,
on the borders of a lake
where a mighty oak tree grew.

[115] And through fear of injuring the purity of their line
they intermarried with their sisters.

Now Okkāka the king
asked the ministers at his court:

'Where, Sirs, are the children now?'[30]

'There is a spot, Sire,
on the slopes of the Himālaya,
on the borders of a lake,
where there grows a mighty oak (sako).

There do they dwell.

And lest they should injure
the purity of their line
they have married their own (sakāhi) sisters.'

Then did Okkāka the king
burst forth in admiration:

'Hearts of oak (Sakkā)
are those young fellows!

Right well they hold their own (parama-sakkā)!'[31]

That is the reason, Ambaṭṭha,
why they are known as Sākyas.

Now Okkāka had a slave girl called Disā.

She gave birth to a black baby.

And no sooner was it born
than the little black thing said:

'Wash me, mother.

Bathe me, mother.

Set me free, mother, of this dirt.

So shall I be of use to you.'

Now just as now, Ambaṭṭha,
people call devils 'devils,'
so then they called devils 'black fellows' (kaṇhe).

And they said:

'This fellow spoke as soon as he was born.

'Tis a black thing (kaṇha) that is born,
a devil has been born!'

And that is the origin, Ambaṭṭha,
of the Kaṇhāyanas.[32]

He was the ancestor of the Kaṇhāyanas.[33]

And thus is it, Ambaṭṭha,
that if one were to follow up
your ancient name and lineage,
on the father's and on the mother's side,
it would appear that the Sākyas
were once your masters,
and that you are the offspring
of one of their slave girls."

[17] When he had thus spoken
the young Brahman said to the Blessed One:

"Let not the venerable [116] Gotama
humble Ambaṭṭha too sternly
with this reproach
of being descended from a slave girl.

He is well born, Gotama,
and of good family;
he is versed in the sacred hymns,
an able reciter,
a learned man.

And he is able to give answer
to the venerable Gotama in these matters."

[18] Then the Blessed One said to them:

"Quite so.

If you thought otherwise,
then it would be for you
to carry on our discussion further.

But as you think so,
let Ambaṭṭha himself speak."[34]

[19] "We do think so;
and we will hold our peace.

Ambaṭṭha is able to give answer
to the venerable Gotama
in these matters."

[20] Then the Blessed One said to Ambaṭṭha the Brahman:

"Then this further question arises, Ambaṭṭha,
a very reasonable one
which, even though unwillingly,
you should answer.

If you do not give a clear reply,
or go off upon another issue,[35]
or remain silent,
or go away,
then your head will split in pieces on the spot.[36]

What have you heard,
when Brahman old and well stricken in years,
teachers of yours or their teachers,
were talking together,
as to whence the Kaṇhāyanas draw their origin,
and who the ancestor was
to whom they trace themselves back?"

And when he had thus spoken Ambaṭṭha remained silent.

And the Blessed One asked the same question again.

And still Ambaṭṭha remained silent.

Then the Blessed One said to him:

"You [117] had better answer, now, Ambaṭṭha.

This is no time for you to hold your peace.

For whosoever, Ambaṭṭha, does not,
even up to the third time of asking,
answer a reasonable question
put by a Tathāgata
(by one who has won the truth),
his head splits into pieces
'on the spot.'"

[21] Now at that time
the spirit who bears the thunderbolt[37]
stood over above Ambaṭṭha in the sky
with a mighty mass of iron,
all fiery,
dazzling,
and aglow,
with the intention,
if he did not answer,
there and then to split his head in pieces.

And the Blessed One perceived
the spirit bearing the thunderbolt,
and so did Ambaṭṭha the Brahman.

And Ambaṭṭha on becoming aware of it,
terrified, startled, and agitated,
seeking safety and protection
and help from the Blessed One,
crouched down beside him in awe,[38]
and said:

"What was it the Blessed One said?

Say it once again!"

"What do you think, Ambaṭṭha?

What have you heard,
when Brahman old and well stricken in years,
teachers of yours
or their teachers,
were talking together,
as to whence the Kaṇhāyanas draw their origin,
and who the ancestor was
to whom they trace themselves back?"

"Just so, Gotama, did I hear,
even as the venerable Gotama hath said.

That is the origin of the Kaṇhāyanas,
and that the ancestor
to whom they trace themselves back."

[22] And when he had thus spoken
the young Brahman fell into tumult,
and uproar,
and turmoil;
and said:

"Low born, they say,
is Ambaṭṭha the Brahman;
his family, they say,
is not of good standing;
they say he is descended from a slave girl;
and the Sākyas were his masters.

We did not suppose that the Samaṇa Gotama,
whose words are righteousness itself,
was not a man to be trusted!"

[23] And the Blessed One thought:

"They [118] go too far, these Brahman,
in their depreciation of Ambaṭṭha
as the offspring of a slave girl.

Let me set him free from their reproach."

And he said to them:

"Be not too severe in disparaging Ambaṭṭha the Brahman
on the ground of his descent.

That Kaṇha became a mighty seer.[39]

He went into the Dekkan,
there he learnt mystic verses,
and returning to Okkāka the king,
he demanded his daughter
Maddarūpī in marriage.

To him the king in answer said:

'Who forsooth is this fellow, who —
son of my slave girl as he is —
asks for my daughter in marriage;'

and, angry and displeased,
he fitted an arrow to his bow.

But neither could he let the arrow fly,
nor could he take it off the string again.[40]

Then the ministers and courtiers went to Kaṇha the seer,
and said

'Let the king go safe, Sir;
let the king go safe.'[41]

'The king shall suffer no harm.

But should he shoot the arrow downwards,
then would the earth dry up
as far as his realm extends.'[42]

'Let the king, Sir, go safe,
and the country too.'

'The king shall suffer no harm,
nor his land.

But should he shoot the arrow upwards,
the god would not rain for seven years
as far as his realm extends.'

'Let the king, Sir, go safe, and the country too; and let the god rain.'

'The king shall suffer no harm,
nor the land either,
and the god shall rain.

But let the king aim the arrow at his eldest son.

The prince shall suffer no harm,
not a hair of him shall be touched.'

Then, O Brahmans, the ministers told this to Okkāka, [119] and said:

'Let the king aim at his eldest son[43].

He will suffer neither harm nor terror.'

And the king did so,
and no harm was done.

But the king,
terrified at the lesson given him,
gave the man his daughter
Maddarūpī to wife.

You should not, O Brahmans,
be too severe to disparage Ambaṭṭha
in the matter of his slave-girl ancestress.

That Kaṇha was a mighty seer."

[24] Then the Blessed One said to Ambaṭṭha:

"What think you, Ambaṭṭha?

Suppose a young Kshatriya
should have connection with a Brahman maiden,
and from their intercourse
a son should be born.

Now would the son
thus come to the Brahman maiden
through the Kshatriya youth
receive a seat and water
(as tokens of respect)
from the Brahmans?"

"Yes, he would, Gotama."

"But would the Brahman
allow him to partake of the feast offered to the dead,
or of the food boiled in milk,[[44]]
or of the offerings to the gods,
or of food sent as a present?"

"Yes, they would, Gotama."

"But would the Brahman teach him their verses or not?"

"They would, Gotama."

"But would he be shut off, or not,
from their women?"

"He would not be shut off."

"But would the Kshatriyas allow him
to receive the consecration ceremony of a Kshatriya?"

"Certainly not, Gotama."

"Why not that?"

"Because he is not of pure descent on the mother's side."

[25] "Then what think you, Ambaṭṭha?

Suppose a Brahman youth
should have connection with a Kshatriya maiden,
and from their intercourse
a son should be born.

Now would the son
thus come to the Kshatriya maiden through the Brahman youth
receive [120] a seat and water
(as tokens of respect)
from the Brahmans?"

"Yes, he would, Gotama."

"But would the Brahman
allow him to partake of the feast offered to the dead,
or of food boiled in milk,
or of an offering to the gods,
or of food sent as a present?"

"Yes, they would, Gotama."

"But would the Brahman teach him their verses or not?"

"They would, Gotama."

"But would he be shut off, or not,
from their women?"

"He would not, Gotama."

"But would the Kshatriyas
allow him to receive the consecration ceremony of a Kshatriya?"

"Certainly not, Gotama."

"Why not that?"

"Because he is not of pure descent on the father's side."

[26] "Then, Ambaṭṭha, whether one compares
women with women,
or men with men,
the Kshatriyas are higher
and the Brahmans inferior.

And what think you, Ambaṭṭha?

Suppose the Brahman,
for some offence[45] or other,
were to outlaw a Brahman
by shaving him
and pouring ashes over his head,[46]
were to banish him from the land
or from the township.

Would he be offered a seat or water
among the Brahmans?"

"Certainly not, Gotama."

"Or would the Brahman
allow him to partake of the food offered to the dead,
or of the food boiled in milk,
or of the offerings to the gods,
or of food sent as a present?"

"Certainly not, Gotama."

[121] "Or would the Brahmans teach him their verses or not?"

"Certainly not, Gotama."

"And would he be shut off, or not,
from their women?"

"He would be 'shut off."

[27] "But what think you, Ambaṭṭha?

If the Kshatriyas had
in the same way
outlawed a Kshatriya,
and banished him from the land
or the township,
would he, among the Brahmans,
be offered water and a seat?"

"Yes, he would, Gotama."

"And would he be allowed to partake
of the food offered to the dead,
or of the food boiled in milk,
or of the offerings to the gods,
or of food sent as a present?"

"He would, Gotama."

"And would the Brahman teach him their verses?"

"They would, Gotama?"

"And would he be shut off, or not,
from their women?"

"He would not, Gotama."

"But thereby, Ambaṭṭha,
the Kshatriya would have fallen
into the deepest degradation,
shaven as to his head,
cut dead with the ash-basket,
banished from land and township.

So that, even when a Kshatriya
has fallen into the deepest degradation,
still it holds good
that the Kshatriyas are higher,
and the Brahman inferior.

[28] Moreover it was one of the Brahmā gods,
Sanaɱ-kumāra,[47]
who uttered this stanza:[48]

[122] 'The Kshatriya is the best of those among
this folk who put their trust in lineage.
But he who is perfect in wisdom and righteousness,
he is the best among gods and men.'

Now this stanza, Ambaṭṭha,
was well sung
and not ill sung
by the Brahmā Sanaɱ-kumāra,
well said
and not ill said,
full of meaning
and not void thereof.

And I too approve it;
I also, Ambaṭṭha, say:

'The Kshatriya is the best of those among this folk
who put their trust in lineage.[49]
But he who is perfect in wisdom and righteousness
he is the best among gods and men.'"

 

§

[123]

Morality (Sīla)[51]

[29] "But what, Gotama,
is the righteousness,
and what the wisdom
spoken of in that verse?"

"In the supreme perfection in wisdom and righteousness, Ambaṭṭha,
there is no reference to the question
either of birth,
or of lineage,
or of the pride which says:

'You are held as worthy as I,'
or
'You are not held as worthy as I.'

It is where the talk is of marrying,
or of giving in marriage,
that reference is made
to such things as that.

For whosoever, Ambaṭṭha,
are in bondage to the notions of birth or of lineage,
or to the pride of social position,
or of connection by marriage,
they are far
from the best wisdom and righteousness.

It is only by having got rid of all such bondage
that one can realise for himself
that supreme perfection in wisdom and in conduct."[50]

[30] "But what, Gotama, is that conduct,
and what that wisdom?"

 

§

 

"Suppose, Ambaṭṭha, there appears in the world
one who has won the truth, an Arahat,
a fully awakened one,
abounding in wisdom and goodness, happy,
who knows all worlds,
unsurpassed as a guide
to mortals willing to be led,
a teacher for gods and men,
a Blessed One, a Buddha.

He, by himself, thoroughly knows and sees,
as it were, face-to-face this universe,
— including the worlds above of the gods,
the Brahmas, and the Māras,
and the world below with its recluses and Brahmans,
its princes and peoples, —
and having known it,
he makes his knowledge known to others.

The truth, lovely in its origin,
lovely in its progress,
lovely in its consummation,
doth he proclaim,
both in the spirit and in the letter,
the higher life doth he make known,
in all its fullness and in all its purity.

A householder or one of his children,
or a man of inferior birth in any class
listens to that truth;
and on hearing it he has faith in the Tathāgata
(the one who has found the truth);
and when he is possessed of that faith,
he considers thus within himself:

'Full of hindrances is household life,
a path for the dust of passion.

Free as the air is the life
of him who has renounced all worldly things.

How difficult is it for the man who dwells at home
to live the higher life in all its fullness,
in all its purity,
in all its bright perfection!

Let me then cut off my hair and beard,
let me clothe myself in the orange-coloured robes,
and let me go forth
from the household life
into the homeless state.'

Then, before long,
forsaking his portion of wealth,
be it great or small,
forsaking his circle of relatives,
be they many or be they few,
he cuts off his hair and beard,
he clothes himself in the orange-coloured robes,
and he goes forth from the household life
into the homeless state.

When he has thus become a recluse
he lives self-restrained
by that restraint
that should be binding on a recluse.

Uprightness is his delight,
and he sees danger
in the least of those things he should avoid.

He adopts, and trains himself in, the precepts.

He encompasses himself with good deeds in act and word.

Pure are his means of livelihood,
good is his conduct,
guarded the doors of his senses.

Mindful and self-possessed
he is altogether happy.

And how, Ambaṭṭha, is his conduct good?

In this, Ambaṭṭha, that the Bhikshu,
putting away the killing of living things,
holds aloof from the destruction of life.

The cudgel and the sword he has laid aside,
and ashamed of roughness,
and full of mercy,
he dwells compassionate and kind
to all creatures that have life.

This is reckoned in him as morality.

Putting away the taking of what has not been given,
the Bhikshu lives aloof
from grasping what is not his own.

He takes only what is given,
and expecting that gifts will come,
he passes his life in honesty
and purity of heart.

This is reckoned in him as morality.

Putting away unchastity,
the Bhikshu is chaste.

He holds himself aloof,
far off,
from the vulgar practice,
from the sexual act.

This is reckoned in him as morality.

Putting away lying words,
the Bhikshu holds himself aloof from falsehood.

He speaks truth,
from the truth he never swerves;
faithful and trustworthy,
he breaks not his word to the world.

This is reckoned in him as morality.

Putting away slander,
the Bhikshu holds himself aloof from calumny.

What he hears here
he repeats not elsewhere
to raise a quarrel against the people here;
what he hears elsewhere
he repeats not here
to raise a quarrel against the people there.

Thus does he live as a binder together
of those who are divided,
an encourager of those who are friends,
a peacemaker,
a lover of peace,
impassioned for peace,
a speaker of words that make for peace.

This is reckoned in him as morality.

Putting away rudeness of speech,
the Bhikshu holds himself aloof from harsh language.

Whatsoever word is blameless,
pleasant to the car,
lovely,
reaching to the heart,
pleasing to the people,
beloved of the people —
such are words he speaks.

This is reckoned in him as morality.

Putting away frivolous talk,
the Bhikshu holds himself aloof
from vain conversation.

In season he speaks,
in accordance with the facts,
words full of meaning,
on religion,
on the discipline of the Order.

He speaks,
and at the right time,
words worthy to be laid up in one's heart,
fitly illustrated,
clearly divided,
to the point.

The Bhikshu holds himself aloof
from causing injury to seeds or plants.

He takes but one meal a day,
not eating at night,
refraining from food after hours
(after midday).

He refrains from being a spectator
at shows at fairs,
with nautch dances,
singing, and music.

He abstains from wearing,
adorning,
or ornamenting himself
with garlands, scents, and unguents.

He abstains from the use
of large and lofty beds.

He abstains from accepting silver or gold.

He abstains from accepting uncooked grain.

He abstains from accepting raw meat.

He abstains from accepting women or girls.

He abstains from accepting bondmen or bondwomen.

He abstains from accepting sheep or goats.

He abstains from accepting fowls or swine.

He abstains from accepting elephants, cattle. horses, and mares.

He abstains from accepting cultivated fields or waste.

He abstains from acting as a go-between or messenger.

He abstains from buying and selling.

He abstains from cheating
with scales or bronzes or measures.

He abstains from the crooked ways
of bribery, cheating, and fraud.

He abstains from maiming,
murder,
putting in bonds,
highway robbery,
dacoity,
and violence.

This is reckoned in him as morality.

Whereas some recluses and Brahmans,
while living on food provided by the faithful,
continue addicted to the injury of seedlings
and growing plants
whether propagated from roots
or cuttings
or joints
or buddings
or seeds
the Bhikshu holds aloof from such injury
to seedlings and growing plants.

This is reckoned in him as morality.

Whereas some recluses and Brahmans,
while living on food provided by the faithful,
continue addicted to the use
of things stored up;
stores, to wit,
of foods, drinks, clothing,
equipages, bedding, perfumes,
and curry-stuffs —
the Bhikshu holds aloof from such use
of things stored up.

This is reckoned in him as morality.

Whereas some recluses and Brahmans
while living on food provided by the faithful,
continue addicted to visiting shows;
that is to say:

(1) Nautch dances (naccaɱ);

(2) Singing of songs (gītaɱ);

(3) Instrumental music (vāditaɱ);

(4) Shows at fairs (pekkhaɱ);

(5) Ballad recitations (akkhānaɱ);

(6) Hand music (pāṇissaraɱ);

(7) The chanting of bards (vetālaɱ);

(8) Tam - tam playing (kumbhathūnaɱ);

(9) Fairy scenes (Sobhanagarakaɱ);

(10) Acrobatic feats by Kaṇḍālas (Kaṇḍāla-vaɱsa-dhopanaɱ);

(11) Combats of elephants, horses, buffaloes,
bulls, goats, rams,
cocks, and quails;

(12) Bouts at quarter-staff, boxing, wrestling;

(13) Sham-fights.

(14) roll-calls.

(15) manoeuvres.

(16) reviews —

the Bhikshu holds aloof from visiting such shows.

This is reckoned in him as morality.

Whereas some recluses and Brahmans,
while living on food provided by the faithful,
continue addicted to games and recreations;
that is to say:

(1) Games on boards with eight,
or with ten,
rows of squares;

(2) The same games
played by imagining such boards in the air;

(3) Keeping going over diagrams drawn on the ground
so that one steps only where one ought to go;

(4) Either removing the pieces or men from a heap
with one's nail,
or putting them into a heap,
in each case without shaking it,
he who shakes the heap, loses;

(5) Throwing dice;

(6) Hitting a short stick with a long one;

(7) Dipping the hand with the fingers stretched out
in lac,
or red dye,
or flower-water,
and striking the wet hand
on the ground
or on a wall,
calling out
'What shell it be?'
and showing the form required —
elephants, horses, etc.;

(8) Games with balls;

(9) Blowing through toy pipes made of leaves;

(10) Ploughing with toy ploughs;

(11) Turning summersaults;

(12) Playing with toy windmills made of palm-leaves;

(13) Playing with toy measures made of palm-leaves;

(14, 15) Playing with toy carts or toy bows;

(16) Guessing at letters traced in the air, or on a. playfellow's back;

(17) Guessing the play fellow's thoughts;

(18) Mimicry of deformities;

The Bhikshu holds aloof from such games and recreations.

This is reckoned in him as morality.

Whereas some recluses and Brahmans,
while living on food provided by the faithful,
continue addicted to the use of high and large couches;
that is to say:

(1) Moveable settees,
high, and six feet long;

(2) Divans with animal figures carved on the supports (Pallanko);

(3) Goats' hair coverlets
with very long fleece (Gonako);

(4) Patchwork counterpanes of many colours (Cittakā);

(5) White blankets (Paṭikā);

(6) Woollen coverlets embroidered with flowers (Paṭalikā);

(7) Quilts stuffed with cotton wool (Tūlikā);

(8) Coverlets embroidered with figures of lions, tigers, etc. (Vikatikā);

(9) Rugs with fur on both sides (Uddalomī);

(10) Rugs with fur on one side (Ekantalomī);

(11) Coverlets embroidered with gems (Kaṭṭhissaɱ);

(12) Silk coverlets (Koseyyaɱ);

(13) Carpets large enough for sixteen dancers (Kuttakaɱ);

(14) Elephant rugs;

(15) horse rugs;

(16) chariot rugs;

(17) Rugs of antelope skins sewn together (Ajina-paveṇi);

(18) Rugs of skins of the plantain antelope;

(19) Carpets with awnings above them (Sauttara-cchadaɱ);

(20) Sofas with red pillows
for the head and feet.

the Bhikshu holds aloof from such things.

This is reckoned in him as morality.

Whereas some recluses and Brahmans,
while living on food provided by the faithful,
continue addicted to the use
of means for adorning
and beautifying themselves;
that is to say:

Rubbing in scented powders on one's body,
shampooing it,
and bathing it;

Patting the limbs with clubs
after the manner of wrestlers;

The use of mirrors, eye-ointments, garlands,
rouge, cosmetics, bracelets, necklaces, walking-sticks,
reed cases for drugs,
rapiers,
sunshades,
embroidered slippers,
turbans, diadems, whisks of the yak's tail,
and long-fringed white robes;

The Bhikshu holds aloof
from such means of adorning and beautifying the person.

This is reckoned in him as morality.

Whereas some recluses and Brahmans,
while living on food provided by the faithful,
continue addicted to such low conversation as these:

Tales of kings, of robbers, of ministers of state
tales of war, of terrors, of battles;
talk about foods and drinks, clothes, beds, garlands, perfumes;
talks about relationships, equipages, villages, town, cities, and countries;
tales about women, and about heroes;
gossip at street corners, or places whence water is fetched;
ghost stories;
desultory talk;
speculations about the creation of the land or sea,
or about existence and non-existence;

the Bhikshu holds aloof from such low conversation.

This is reckoned in him as morality.

Whereas some recluses and Brahmans,
while living on food provided by the faithful,
continue addicted to the use of wrangling phrases such as

'You don't understand this doctrine and discipline, I do.';

'How should you know about this doctrine and discipline?';

'You have fallen into wrong views. It is I who am in the right.';

'I am speaking to the point, you are not.';

'You are putting last
what ought to come first,
first what ought to come last.';

'What you've excogitated so long, that's all quite upset.';

'Your challenge has been taken up.';

'You are proved to be wrong.';

'Set to work to clear your views.';

'Disentangle yourself if you can.';

the Bhikshu holds aloof from such wrangling phrases.

This is reckoned in him as morality.

Whereas some recluses and Brahmans,
while living on food provided by the faithful,
continue addicted to taking messages,
going on errands,
and acting as go-betweens;
to wit,
on kings,
ministers of state,
Kshatriyas,
Brahmans,
or young men,
saying:

'Go there,
come hither,
take this with you,
bring that from thence';

the Bhikshu abstains from such servile duties.

This is reckoned in him as morality.

Whereas some recluses and Brahmans,
while living on food provided by the faithful,
are tricksters,
droners out (of holy words for pay),
diviners, and exorcists,
ever hungering to add gain to gain —
the Bhikshu holds aloof from such deception and patter.

This is reckoned in him as morality.

Whereas some recluses and Brahmans,
while living on food provided by the faithful,
earn their living by wrong means of livelihood,
by low arts,
such as these:

(1) Palmistry —
prophesying long life, prosperity, etc.
from marks on child's hands, feet. etc.;

(2) Divining by means of omens and signs;

(3) Auguries drawn from thunderbolts
and other celestial portents;

(4) Prognostication by interpreting dreams;

(5) Fortune-telling from marks on the body;

(6) Auguries from the marks on cloth gnawed by mice;

(7) Sacrificing to Agni;

(8) Offering oblations from a spoon;

(9-13) Making offerings to gods
of husks,
of the red powder between the grain and the husk,
of husked grain ready for boiling,
of ghee,
and of oil;

(14) Sacrificing by spewing mustard seeds, etc.,
into the fire out of one's mouth;

(15) Drawing blood from one's right knee
as a sacrifice to the gods;

(16) Looking at the knuckles, etc., and,
after muttering a charm,
divining whether a man is well born
or lucky or not;

(17) Determining whether the site
for a proposed house or pleasance,
is lucky or not;

(18) Advising on customary law;

(19) Laying demons in a cemetery;

(20) Laying ghosts;

(21) Knowledge of the charms to be used
when lodging in an earth house;

(22) Snake charming;

(23) The poison craft;

(24) The scorpion craft;

(25) The mouse craft;

(26) The bird craft;

(27) The crow craft;

(28) Foretelling the number of years
that a man has yet to live.

(29) Giving charms to ward off arrows;

(30) The animal wheel;

the Bhikshu holds aloof from such low arts.

This is reckoned in him as morality.

Whereas some recluses and Brahmans,
while living on food provided by the faithful,
earn their living by wrong means of livelihood,
by low arts,
such as these:

Knowledge of the signs
of good and bad qualities
in the following things
and of the marks in them
denoting the health or luck of their owners: —
to wit,
gems,
staves,
garments,
swords,
arrows,
bows,
other weapons,
women,
men,
boys,
girls,
slaves,
slave-girls,
elephants,
horses,
buffaloes,
bulls,
oxen,
goats,
sheep,
fowls,
quails,
iguanas,
earrings,
tortoises,
and other animals;

the Bhikshu holds aloof from such low arts.

This is reckoned in him as morality.

Whereas some recluses and Brahmans,
while living on food provided by the faithful,
earn their living by wrong means of livelihood,
by low arts,
such as soothsaying,
to the effect that:

'The chiefs will march out';

'The chiefs will march back';

'The home chiefs will attack,
and the enemies' retreat';

'The enemies' chiefs will attack,
and ours will retreat';

'The home chiefs will gain the victory,
and the foreign chiefs suffer defeat';

'The foreign chiefs will gain the victory,
and ours will suffer defeat';

'Thus will there be victory on this side,
defeat on that'

the Bhikshu holds aloof from such low arts.

This is reckoned in him as morality.

Whereas some recluses and Brahmans,
while living on food provided by the faithful,
earn their living by wrong means of livelihood,
by such low arts as foretelling:

(1) 'There will be an eclipse of the moon';

(2) 'There will be en eclipse of the sun';

(3) 'There will be en eclipse of a star'
(Nakshatra);

(4) 'There will be aberration of the sun or the moon';

(5) 'The sun or the moon will return to its usual path';

(6) 'There will be aberrations of the stars';

(7) 'The stars will return to their usual course';

(8) 'There will be a fall of meteors';

(9) 'There will be a jungle fire';

(10) 'There will be an earthquake';

(11) 'The god will thunder';

(12-15) 'There will be rising and setting,
clearness and dimness,
of the sun or the moon or the stars',|| ||

or foretelling of each of these fifteen phenomena
that they will betoken such and such a result;

the Bhikshu holds aloof from such low arts.

This is reckoned in him as morality.

Whereas some recluses and Brahmans,
while living on food provided by the faithful,
earn their living by wrong means of livelihood,
by low arts,
such as these:

Foretelling an abundant rainfall;

Foretelling a deficient rainfall;

Foretelling a good harvest;

Foretelling scarcity of food;

Foretelling tranquillity;

Foretelling disturbances;

Foretelling a pestilence;

Foretelling a healthy season;

Counting on the fingers;

Counting without using the fingers;

Summing up large totals;

Composing ballads, poetising;

Casuistry, sophistry;

the Bhikshu holds aloof from such low arts.

This is reckoned in him as morality.

Whereas some recluses and Brahmans,
while living on food provided by the faithful,
earn their living by wrong means of livelihood,
by low arts,
such as:

(1) Arranging a lucky day for marriages
in which the bride or bridegroom is brought home;

(2) Arranging a lucky day for marriages
in which the bride or bridegroom is sent forth;

(3) Fixing a lucky time for the conclusion of treaties of peace
[or using charms to procure harmony;

(4) Fixing a lucky time
for the outbreak of hostilities
[or using charms to make discord];

(5) Fixing-a lucky time
for the calling in of debts
[or charms for success in throwing dice];

(6) Fixing a lucky time
for the expenditure of money
[or charms to bring ill luck to an opponent throwing dice];

(7) Using charms to make people lucky;

(8) Using charms to make people unlucky;

(9) Using charms to procure abortion;

(10) Incantations to bring on dumbness;

(11) Incantations to keep a man's jaws fixed;

(12) Incantations to make a man throw up his hands;

(13) Incantations to bring on deafness;

(14) Obtaining oracular answers by means of the magic mirror;

(15) Obtaining oracular answers through a girl possessed;

(16) Obtaining oracular answers from a god;

(17) The worship of the Sun;

(18) The worship of the Great One;

(19) Bringing forth flames from one's mouth;

(20) Invoking Siri, the goddess of Luck —

the Bhikshu holds aloof from such low arts.

This is reckoned in him as morality.

Whereas some recluses and Brahmans,
while living on food provided by the faithful,
earn their living by wrong means of livelihood,
by low arts,
such as these:

(1) Vowing gifts to a god if a certain benefit be granted;

(2) Paying such vows;

(3) Repeating charms while lodging in an earth house;

(4) Causing virility;

(5) Making a man impotent;

(6) Fixing on lucky sites for dwelling;

(7) Consecrating sites;

(8) Ceremonial rinsings of the month;

(9) Ceremonial bathings;

(10) Offering sacrifices;

(11-14) Administering emetics and purgatives;

(15) Purging people to relieve the head
(that is by giving drugs to make people sneeze);

(16) Oiling people's ears
(either to make them grow or to heal sores on them);

(17) Satisfying people's eyes
(soothing them by dropping medicinal oils into them);

(18) Administering drugs through the nose;

(19) Applying collyrium to the eyes;

(20) Giving medical ointment for the eyes;

(21) Practising as an oculist;

(22) Practising as a surgeon;

(23) Practising as a doctor for children;

(24) Administering roots and drugs;

(25) Administering medicines in rotation;

the Bhikshu holds aloof from such low arts.

This is reckoned in him as morality.

And then that Bhikshu, Ambaṭṭha,
being thus master of the minor moralities,
sees no danger from any side,
that is, so far as concerns
his self-restraint in conduct.

Just, Ambaṭṭha, as a sovereign,
duly crowned,
whose enemies have been beaten down,
sees no danger from any side;
that is, so far as enemies are concerned,
so is the Bhikshu confident.

And endowed with this body of morals,
so worthy of honour,
he experiences, within himself,
a sense of ease without alloy.

Thus is it, Ambaṭṭha,
that the Bhikshu becomes righteous.

[124]

Conduct (Karaṇa)

And how, Ambaṭṭha,
is the Bhikshu guarded
as to the doors of his senses?

When, Ambaṭṭha, he sees an object with his eye
he is not entranced in the general appearance
or the details of it.

He sets himself to restrain
that which might give occasion for evil states,
covetousness and dejection,
to flow in over him
so long as he dwells unrestrained
as to his sense of sight.

He keeps watch upon his faculty of sight,
and he attains to mastery over it.

This is reckoned to him as conduct.

When, Ambaṭṭha, he hears a sound with his ear
he is not entranced in the general appearance
or the details of it.

He sets himself to restrain
that which might give occasion for evil states,
covetousness and dejection,
to flow in over him
so long as he dwells unrestrained
as to his sense of hearing.

He keeps watch upon his faculty of hearing,
and he attains to mastery over it.

This is reckoned to him as conduct.

When, Ambaṭṭha, he smells an odour with his nose
he is not entranced in the general appearance
or the details of it.

He sets himself to restrain
that which might give occasion for evil states,
covetousness and dejection,
to flow in over him
so long as he dwells unrestrained
as to his sense of smell.

He keeps watch upon his faculty of smell,
and he attains to mastery over it.

This is reckoned to him as conduct.

When, Ambaṭṭha, he tastes a flavour with his tongue
he is not entranced in the general appearance
or the details of it.

He sets himself to restrain
that which might give occasion for evil states,
covetousness and dejection,
to flow in over him
so long as he dwells unrestrained
as to his sense of taste.

He keeps watch upon his faculty of taste,
and he attains to mastery over it.

This is reckoned to him as conduct.

When, Ambaṭṭha, he feels a touch with his body
he is not entranced in the general appearance
or the details of it.

He sets himself to restrain
that which might give occasion for evil states,
covetousness and dejection,
to flow in over him
so long as he dwells unrestrained
as to his sense of touch.

He keeps watch upon his faculty of touch,
and he attains to mastery over it.

This is reckoned to him as conduct.

When, Ambaṭṭha, he cognises a phenomenon with his mind
he is not entranced in the general appearance
or the details of it.

He sets himself to restrain
that which might give occasion for evil states,
covetousness and dejection,
to flow in over him
so long as he dwells unrestrained
as to his mental (representative) faculty.

He keeps watch upon his representative faculty,
and he attains to mastery over it.

This is reckoned to him as conduct.

And endowed with this self-restraint,
so worthy of honour,
as regards the senses,
he experiences, within himself, a sense of ease
into which no evil state can enter.

Thus is it, Ambaṭṭha,
that the Bhikshu becomes guarded
as to the doors of his senses.

This is reckoned to him as conduct.

And how, Ambaṭṭha, is the Bhikshu
mindful and self-possessed?

In this matter, Ambaṭṭha,
the Bhikshu
in going forth or in coming back
whether looking forward,
or in looking round;
in stretching forth his arm,
or in drawing it in again;
in eating or drinking,
in masticating or swallowing,
in obeying the calls of nature,
in going or standing or sitting,
in sleeping or waking,
in speaking or in being still,
he keeps himself aware
of all it really means.

Thus is it, Ambaṭṭha,
that the Bhikshu
becomes mindful and self-possessed.

This is reckoned to him as conduct.

And how, Ambaṭṭha, is the Bhikshu content?

'In this matter, Ambaṭṭha,
the Bhikshu is satisfied with sufficient robes
to cherish his body,
with sufficient food
to keep his stomach going.

Whithersoever he may go forth,
these he takes with him as he goes
- just as a bird with his wings, Ambaṭṭha,
whithersoever he may fly,
carries his wings with him as he flies.

Thus is it, Ambaṭṭha,
that the Bhikshu becomes content.

This is reckoned to him as conduct.

Then, master of this so excellent body of moral precepts,
gifted with this so excellent self-restraint as to the senses,
endowed with this so excellent mindfulness and self-possession,
filled with this so excellent content,
he chooses some lonely spot
to rest at on his way
— in the woods,
at the foot of a tree,
on a hill side,
in a mountain glen,
in a rocky cave,
in a charnel place,
or on a heap of straw in the open field.

And returning thither
after his round for alms
he seats himself, when his meal is done,
cross-legged,
keeping his body erect,
and his intelligence alert, intent.

Putting away the hankering after the world,
he remains with a heart that hankers not,
and purifies his mind of lusts.

Putting away the corruption
of the wish to injure,
he remains with a heart free from ill temper,
and purifies his mind of malevolence.

Putting away torpor of heart and mind,
keeping his ideas alight,
mindful and self-possessed,
he purifies his mind of weakness and of sloth.

Putting away flurry and worry,
he remains free from fretfulness,
and with heart serene within,
he purifies himself of irritability
and vexation of spirit.

Putting away wavering,
he remains as one passed beyond perplexity;
and no longer in suspense as to what is good,
he purifies his mind of doubt.

'Then just, Ambaṭṭha,
as when a man, after contracting a loan,
should set a business on foot,
and his business should succeed,
and he should not only be able
to pay off the old debt he had incurred,
but there should be a surplus over
to maintain a wife.

Then would he realise:

'I used to have to carry on my business
by getting into debt,
but it has gone so well with me
that I have paid off what I owed,
and have a surplus over
to maintain a wife.'

And he would be of good cheer at that,
would be glad of heart at that: —

Then just, Ambaṭṭha,
as if a man were a prey to disease,
in pain, and very ill,
and his food would not digest,
and there were no strength left in him;
and after a time
he were to recover from that disease,
and his food should digest,
and his strength come back to him;
then, when he realised his former and his present state,
he would be of good cheer at that,
he would be glad of heart at that: —

Then just, Ambaṭṭha,
as if a man were bound in a prison house,
and after a time
he should be set free from his bonds,
safe and sound,
and without any confiscation of his goods;
when he realised his former and his present state,
he would be of good cheer at that,
he would be glad of heart at that: —

Then just, Ambaṭṭha,
as if a man were a slave,
not his own master,
subject to another,
unable to go whither he would;
and after a time
he should be emancipated from that slavery,
become his own master,
not subject to others,
a free man,
free to go whither he would;
then, on realising his former and his present state,
he would be of good cheer at that,
he would be glad of heart at that: —

Then just, Ambaṭṭha,
as if a man, rich and prosperous,
were to find himself on a long road,
in a desert, where no food was,
but much danger;
and after a time
were to find himself out of the desert,
arrived safe,
on the borders of his village,
in security and peace;
then, on realising his former and his present state,
he would be of good cheer at that,
he would be glad of heart at that: —

Just so, Ambaṭṭha, the Bhikshu,
so long as these five hindrances
are not put away within him
looks upon himself as in debt,
diseased,
in prison,
in slavery,
lost on a desert road.

But when these five hindrances
have been put away within him,
he looks upon himself as freed from debt,
rid of disease,
out of jail,
a free man,
and secure.

And gladness springs up within him
on his realising that,
and joy arises to him thus gladdened,
and so rejoicing
all his frame becomes at ease,
and being thus at ease
he is filled with a sense of peace,
and in that peace his heart is stayed.

This is reckoned to him as conduct.

Higher Conduct[52]

Then estranged from lusts,
aloof from evil dispositions,
he enters into and remains in the First Rapture
— a state of joy and ease born of detachment,
reasoning and investigation going on the while.

His very body does he so pervade,
drench,
permeate,
and suffuse
with the joy and ease born of detachment,
that there is no spot in his whole frame
not suffused therewith.

Just, Ambaṭṭha, as a skilful bathman
or his apprentice
will scatter perfumed soap powder
in a metal basin,
and then besprinkling it with water,
drop by drop,
will so knead it together
that the ball of lather,
taking up the unctuous moisture,
is drenched with it,
pervaded by it,
permeated by it within and without,
and there is no leakage possible.

This, Ambaṭṭha, is reckond his higher conduct.

Then further, Ambaṭṭha,
the Bhikshu suppressing all reasoning and investigation
enters into and abides in the Second Jhāna,
a state of joy and ease,
born of the serenity of concentration,
when no reasoning or investigation goes on,
— a state of elevation of mind,
a tranquillisation of the heart within.

And his very body does he so pervade,
drench,
permeate,
and suffuse with the joy and ease born of concentration,
that there is no spot in his whole frame
not suffused therewith.

Just, Ambaṭṭha,
as if there were a deep pool,
with water welling up into it
from a spring beneath,
and with no inlet from the east or west,
from the north or south,
and the god should not
from time to time
send down showers of rain upon it.
Still the current of cool waters
rising up from that spring
would pervade,
fill,
permeate,
and suffuse the pool
with cool waters,
and there would be no part or portion of the pool
unsuffused therewith.

This, Ambaṭṭha, is reckond his higher conduct.

Then further, Ambaṭṭha, the Bhikshu,
holding aloof from joy,
becomes equable;
and mindful and self-possessed
he experiences in his body
that ease which the Arahats talk of when they say:
'The man serene and self-possessed
is well at ease,'
and so he enters into
and abides in the Third Jhāna.

And his very body
does he so pervade,
drench,
permeate,
and suffuse with that ease
that has no joy with it,
that there is no spot in his whole frame
not suffused therewith.

Just, Ambaṭṭha,
as when in a lotus tank
the several lotus flowers,
red or white or blue,
born in the water,
grown up in the water,
not rising up above the surface of the water,
drawing up nourishment from the depths of the water,
are so pervaded,
drenched,
permeated,
and suffused
from their very tips
down to their roots
with the cool moisture thereof,
that there is no spot in the whole plant,
whether of the red lotus,
or of the white,
or of the blue,
not suffused therewith.

This, Ambaṭṭha, is reckond his higher conduct.

Then further, Ambaṭṭha, the Bhikshu,
by the putting away alike of ease and of pain,
by the passing away alike of any elation,
any dejection,
he had previously felt,
enters into and abides in the Fourth Jhāna,
a state of pure self-possession and equanimity,
without pain and without ease.

And he sits there
so suffusing even his body
with that sense of purification,
of translucence of heart,
that there is no spot in his whole frame
not suffused therewith.

Just, Ambaṭṭha,
as if a man were sitting
so wrapt from head to foot in a clean white robe,
that there were no spot in his whole frame
not in contact with the clean white robe
— just so, Ambaṭṭha, does the Bhikshu sit there,
so suffusing even his body
with that sense of purification,
of translucence of heart,
that there is no spot in his whole frame
not suffused therewith.

This, Ambaṭṭha, is reckond his higher conduct.

Wisdom (Vijjā)

With his heart thus serene,
made pure, translucent,
cultured, devoid of evil,
supple, ready to act,
firm, and imperturbable,
he applies and bends down his mind
to that insight that comes from knowledge.

He grasps the fact:

'This body of mine has form,
it is built up of the four elements,
it springs from father and mother,
it is continually renewed
by so much boiled rice and juicy foods,
its very nature is impermanence,
it is subject to erasion,
abrasion,
dissolution,
and disintegration;
and therein is this consciousness of mine, too, bound up,
on that does it depend.'

Just, Ambaṭṭha,
as if there were a veluriya gem,
bright, of the purest water,
with eight facets,
excellently cut,
clear, translucent,
without a flaw,
excellent in every way.
And through it a string,
blue, or orange-coloured,
or red, or white, or yellow
should be threaded.
If a man, who had eyes to see,
were to take it into his hand,
he would clearly perceive
how the one is bound up with the other.

This is reckond in him as wisdom,
and it is higher and sweeter than the last.

With his heart thus serene,
made pure, translucent,
cultured, devoid of evil,
supple, ready to act,
firm, and imperturbable,
he applies and bends down his mind
to the calling up of a mental image.

He calls up from this body
another body,
having form,
made of mind,
having all (his own body's) limbs and parts,
not deprived of any organ.

Just, Ambaṭṭha,
as if a man were to pull out a reed from its sheath.

He would know:

'This is the reed,
this the sheath.

The reed is one thing,
the sheath another.

It is from the sheath
that the reed has been drawn forth."

And similarly were he to take a snake out of its slough,
or draw a sword from its scabbard.

This is reckond in him as wisdom,
and it is higher and sweeter than the last.

With his heart thus serene,
made pure, translucent,
cultured, devoid of evil,
supple, ready to act,
firm, and imperturbable,
he applies and bends down his mind
to the modes of the Wondrous Gift.

He enjoys the Wondrous Gift in its various modes
— being one he becomes many,
or having become many becomes one again;
he becomes visible or invisible;
he goes, feeling no obstruction,
to the further side of a wall or rampart or hill,
as if through air;
he penetrates up and down through solid ground,
as if through water;
he walks on water without breaking through,
as if on solid ground;
he travels cross-legged in the sky,
like the birds on wing;
even the Moon and the Sun,
so potent, so mighty though they be,
does he touch and feel with his hand;
he reaches in the body
even up to the heaven of Brahmā.

Just, Ambaṭṭha,
as a clever potter or his apprentice
could make,
could succeed in getting out of properly prepared clay
any shape of vessel he wanted to have
— or an ivory carver out of ivory,
or a goldsmith out of gold.

This is reckond in him as wisdom,
and it is higher and sweeter than the last.

With his heart thus serene,
made pure, translucent,
cultured, devoid of evil,
supple, ready to act,
firm, and imperturbable,
he applies and bends down his mind
to the Heavenly Ear.

With that clear Heavenly Ear
surpassing the ear of men
he hears sounds both human and celestial,
whether far or near.

Just, Ambaṭṭha,
as if a man were on the high road
and were to hear the sound of a kettledrum
or a tabor or the sound of chank horns and small drums
he would know:

'This is the sound of a kettledrum,
this is the sound of a tabor,
this of chank horns,
and of drums."

This is reckond in him as wisdom,
and it is higher and sweeter than the last.

With his heart thus serene,
made pure, translucent,
cultured, devoid of evil,
supple, ready to act,
firm, and imperturbable,
he directs and bends down his mind
to the knowledge which penetrates the heart.

Penetrating with his own heart
the hearts of other beings, of other men,
he knows them.

He discerns —

The passionate mind to be passionate,
and the calm mind calm;
the angry mind to be angry,
and the peaceful mind peaceful;
the dull mind to be dull,
and the alert mind alert;
the attentive mind to be attentive,
and the wandering mind wandering;
the broad mind to be broad,
and the narrow mind narrow;
the mean mind to be mean,
and the lofty mind lofty;
the stedfast mind to be stedfast,
and the wavering mind to be wavering;
the free mind to be free,
and the enslaved mind enslaved.

Just, Ambaṭṭha,
as a woman or a man or a lad,
young and smart,
on considering attentively
the image of his own face
in a bright and brilliant mirror
or in a vessel of clear water
would, if it had a mole on it,
know that it had,
and if not,
would know it had not.

This is reckond in him as wisdom,
and it is higher and sweeter than the last.

With his heart thus serene,
made pure, translucent,
cultured, devoid of evil,
supple, ready to act,
firm, and imperturbable,
he directs and bends down his mind
to the knowledge of the memory
of his previous temporary states.

He recalls to mind
his various temporary states in days gone by
— one birth,
or two or three or four or five births,
or ten or twenty or thirty or forty or fifty
or a hundred or a thousand
or a hundred thousand births,
through many an aeon of dissolution,
many an aeon of evolution,
many an aeon of both dissolution and evolution.

'In such a place such was my name,
such my family,
such my caste,
such my food,
such my experience of discomfort or of ease,
and such the limits of my life.

When I passed away from that state,
I took form again in such a place.
There I had such and such a name
and family
and caste
and food
and experience of discomfort or of ease,
such was the limit of my life.

When I passed away from that state
I took form again here.'

— thus does he call to mind
his temporary states in days gone by
in all their details,
and in all their modes.

Just, Ambaṭṭha,
as if a man were to go from his own to another village,
and from that one to another,
and from that one should return home.

Then he would know:

'From my own village I came to that other one.

There I stood in such and such a way,
sat thus, spake thus, and held my peace thus.

Thence I came to that other village;
and there I stood in such and such a way,
sat thus, spake thus, and held my peace thus.

And now, from that other village,
I have returned back again home."

This is reckond in him as wisdom,
and it is higher and sweeter than the last.

[125]

With his heart thus serene,
made pure, translucent,
cultured, devoid of evil,
supple, ready to act,
firm, and imperturbable,
he directs and bends down his mind
to the knowledge of the fall and rise of beings.

With the pure Heavenly Eye,
surpassing that of men,
he sees beings as they pass away
from one form of existence
and take shape in another;
he recognises the mean and the noble,
the well favoured and the ill favoured,
the happy and the wretched,
passing away according to their deeds:

'Such and such beings, my brethren,
evil-doers in act and word and thought,
revilers of the noble ones,
holding to wrong views,
acquiring for themselves that Karma
which results from wrong views,
they, on the dissolution of the body, after death,
are reborn in some unhappy state of suffering or woe.

But such and such beings, my brethren,
well-doers in act and word and thought,
not revilers of the noble ones,
holding to right views,
acquiring for themselves that Karma
that results from right views,
they, on the dissolution of the body, after death,
are reborn in some happy state in heaven.'

Thus with the pure Heavenly Eye,
surpassing that of men,
he sees beings as they pass away from one state of existence,
and take form in another;
he recognises the mean and the noble,
the well favoured and the ill favoured,
the happy and the wretched,
passing away according to their deeds.

Just, Ambaṭṭha,
as if there were a house with an upper terrace on it
in the midst of a place where four roads meet,
and a man standing thereon,
and with eyes to see,
should watch men entering a house,
and coming forth out of it,
and walking hither and thither along the street,
and seated in the square in the midst.

Then he would know:

'Those men are entering a house,
and those are leaving it,
and those are walking to and fro in the street,
and those are seated in the square in the midst.'

This is reckond in him as wisdom,
and it is higher and sweeter than the last.

With his heart thus serene,
made pure, translucent,
cultured, devoid of evil,
supple, ready to act,
firm, and imperturbable,
he directs and bends down his mind
to the knowledge of the destruction of the Deadly Floods.

He knows as it really is:

'This is pain.'

He knows as it really is:

'This is the origin of pain.'

He knows as it really is:

'This is the cessation of pain.'

He knows as it really is:

'This is the Path that leads to the cessation of pain.'

He knows as they really are:

'These are the Deadly Floods.'

He knows as it really is:

'This is the origin of the Deadly Floods.'

He knows as it really is:

'This is the cessation of the Deadly Floods.'

He knows as it really is:

'This is the Path that leads to the cessation of the Deadly Floods.'

To him, thus knowing, thus seeing,
the heart is set free
from the Deadly Taint of Lusts,
is set free from the Deadly Taint of Becomings
is set free from the Deadly Taint of Ignorance.

In him, thus set free,
there arises the knowledge of his emancipation,
and he knows:

'Rebirth has been destroyed.

The higher life has been fulfilled.

What had to be done has been accomplished.

After this present life
there will be no beyond!

Just, Ambaṭṭha,
as if in a mountain fastness
there were a pool of water,
clear, translucent, and serene;
and a man, standing on the bank,
and with eyes to see,
should perceive the oysters and the shells,
the gravel and the pebbles
and the shoals of fish
as they move about or lie within it.

He would know:

'This pool is clear, transparent, and serene,
and there within it
are the oysters and the shells,
and the sand and gravel,
and the shoals of fish are moving about or lying still."

This is reckond in him as wisdom,
and it is higher and sweeter than the last.

And there is no fruit of the life of a recluse,
visible in this world,
that is higher and sweeter than this."[53]

'Such a man, Ambaṭṭha,
is said to be perfect in wisdom,
perfect in conduct,
perfect in wisdom and conduct.

And there is no other perfection
in wisdom and conduct
higher and sweeter than this.

 

§

 

[31] 'Now, Ambaṭṭha,
to this supreme perfection in wisdom and goodness
there are Four Leakages.[54]
And what are the four?'

'In case, Ambaṭṭha,
any recluse or Brahman,
without having thoroughly attained
unto this supreme perfection in wisdom and conduct,
with his yoke on his shoulder
(to carry fire-sticks, a water-pot, needles, and the rest of a mendicant friar's outfit),
should plunge into the depths of the forest,
vowing to himself:

"I will henceforth be one of those
who live only on fruits that have fallen of themselves" —

then, verily, he turns out
worthy only to be a servant
unto him that hath attained
to wisdom and righteousness.

[126] 'And again, Ambaṭṭha,
in case any recluse or Brahman,
without having thoroughly attained
unto this supreme perfection in wisdom and conduct,
and without having attained
to living only on fruits fallen of themselves,
taking a hoe and a basket with him,
should plunge into the depths of the forest,
vowing to himself:

"I will henceforth be one of those
who live only on bulbs and roots and fruits" —

then, verily, he turns out
worthy only to be a servant
unto him who hath attained
to wisdom and righteousness.

'And again, Ambaṭṭha,
in case any recluse or Brahman,
without having thoroughly attained
unto this supreme perfection in wisdom and conduct,
and without having attained
to living only on fruits fallen of themselves,
and without having attained
to living only on bulbs and roots and fruits,
should build himself a fire-shrine
near the boundaries of some village
or some town,
and there dwell serving the fire-god[55]
then, verily, he turns out
worthy only to be a servant
unto him that hath attained
to wisdom and righteousness.

'And again, Ambaṭṭha,
in case any recluse or Brahman,
without having thoroughly attained
unto this supreme perfection in wisdom and conduct,
and without having attained
to living only on fruits fallen of themselves,
and without having attained
to living only on bulbs and roots and fruits,
and without having attained
to serving the fire-god,
should build himself a four-doored almshouse
at a crossing where four high roads meet,
and dwell there,
saying to himself:

"Whosoever, whether recluse or Brahman,
shall pass here,
from either of these four directions,
him will I entertain
according to my ability
and according to my power" —

then, verily, he turns out
worthy only to be a servant
unto him who hath attained to wisdom and righteousness.

These are the Four Leakages, Ambaṭṭha,
to supreme perfection
in righteousness and conduct.[56]

[34] 'Now what think you, Ambaṭṭha?

Have you,
as one of a class of pupils under the same teacher,
been instructed in this supreme perfection of wisdom and conduct?"[57]

"Not that, Gotama.

How little is it that I can pro- [127] fess to have learnt!

How supreme this Perfection of wisdom and conduct!

Far is it from me to have been trained therein?"

"Then what think you, Ambaṭṭha?

Although you have not thoroughly attained
unto this supreme perfection of wisdom and goodness,
have you been trained
to take the yoke upon your shoulders,
and plunge into the depths of the forest
as one who would fain observe the vow
of living only on fruits fallen of themselves?"

"Not even that, Gotama."

"Then what think you, Ambaṭṭha?

Although you have not attained
unto this supreme perfection of wisdom and goodness,
nor have attained
to living on fruits fallen of themselves,
have you been trained
to take hoe and basket,
and plunge into the depths of the forest
as one who would fain observe the vow
of living only on bulbs and roots and fruits?"

"Not even that, Gotama."

"Then what think you, Ambaṭṭha?

Although you have not attained
unto this supreme perfection of wisdom and goodness,
and have not attained
to living on fruits fallen of themselves,
and have not attained
to living on bulbs and roots and fruits,
have you been taught
to build yourself a fire-shrine
on the borders of some village or some town,
and dwell there
as one who would fain serve the fire-god?"

"Not even that, Gotama."

"Then what think you, Ambaṭṭha?

Although you have not attained
unto this supreme perfection of wisdom and goodness,
and have not attained
to living on fruits fallen of themselves,
and have not attained
to living on bulbs and roots and fruits,
and have not attained
to serving the fire-god,
have you been taught
to build yourself a four-doored almshouse
at a spot where four high roads cross,
and dwell there
as one who would fain observe the vow
to entertain whosoever might pass that way,
from any of the four directions,
according to your ability
and according to your power?"

"Not even that, Gotama."

[128] [35] "So then you, Ambaṭṭha, as a pupil,
have fallen short[58] of due training,
not only in the supreme wisdom and conduct,
but even in any one of the Four Leakages
by which the complete attainment thereof is debarred.

And your teacher too,
the Brahman Pokkharasādi,
has told you this saying:

'Who are these shavelings,
sham friars,
menial black fellows,
the off-scouring of our kinsman's heels,
that they should claim converse
with Brahmans versed in the threefold Vedic lore!' —

he himself not having even fulfilled
any one even of these lesser duties
(which lead men to neglect the higher ones).

See, Ambaṭṭha, how deeply your teacher,
the Brahman Pokkharasādi,
has herein done you wrong.[59]

[36] And the Brahman Pokkharasādi, Ambaṭṭha,
is in the enjoyment of a grant from Pasenadi,
the king of Kosala.

But the king does not allow him
to come into his presence.

When he consults with him
he speaks to him only from behind a curtain.

How is it, Ambaṭṭha, that the very king,
from whom he accepts this pure and lawful maintenance,
King Pasenadi of Kosala,
does not admit him to his presence?

See, Ambaṭṭha, how deeply your teacher,
the Brahman Pokkharasādi,
has herein done you wrong.

[37] Now what think you, Ambaṭṭha?

Suppose a king,
either seated on the neck of his elephant
or on the back of his horse,
or standing on the foot rug of his chariot,
should discuss some resolution of state
with his chiefs or princes.

And suppose as he left the spot
and stepped on one side,
a workman (Sūdra)
or the slave of a workman
should come up and, standing there,
should discuss [129] the matter, saying:

'Thus and thus said Pasenadi the king.'

Although he should speak as the king might have spoken,
or discuss as the king might have done,
would he thereby be the king,
or even as one of his officers?"

"Certainly not, Gotama."

[38] "But just so, Ambaṭṭha,
those ancient poets (Rishis) of the Brahmans,
the authors of the verses,
the utterers of the verses,
whose ancient form of words
so chanted, uttered, or composed,
the Brahmans of to-day chant over again and rehearse,
intoning or reciting
exactly as has been intoned or recited —
to wit, Aṭṭhaka, Vāmaka, Vāmadeva, Vessāmitta, Yamataggi, Angirasa, Bhāradvaja, Vāseṭṭha, Kassapa, and Bhagu[60]
though you can say:

'I, as a pupil,
know by heart their verses,'

that you should on that account
be a Rishi,
or have attained to the state of a Rishi —
such a condition of things has no existence!

[39] Now what think you, Ambaṭṭha?

What have you heard
when Brahmans, old and well stricken in years,
teachers of yours
or their teachers,
were talking together —
did those ancient Rishis,
whose verses you so chant over and repeat,
parade about well groomed,
perfumed,
trimmed as to their hair and beard,
adorned with garlands and gems,
clad in white garments,
in the full possession and enjoyment
of the five pleasures of sense,
as you, and your teacher too, do now?"

"Not that, Gotama."

"Or did they live,
as their food,
on boiled rice of the best sorts,
from which all the black specks
had been sought out and removed,
and flavoured with sauces
and curries of various kinds,
as you, and your teacher too, do now?"

"Not that, Gotama."

"Or were they waited upon
by women with fringes [130] and furbelows,[61]
round their loins,
as you, and your teacher too, do now?"

"Not that, Gotama."

"Or did they go about driving chariots,
drawn by mares with plaited manes and tails,[62]
using long wands and goads the while,
as you, and your teacher too, do now?'

"Not that, Gotama."

"Or did they have themselves guarded
in fortified towns,
with moats dug out round them[63]
and crossbars let down before the gates,[64]
by men girt with long swords,
as you, and your teacher too, do now?"

"Not that, Gotama."

[40] "So then, Ambaṭṭha,
neither are you a Rishi,
nor your teacher,
nor do you live under the conditions
under which the Rishis lived.

But whatever it may be, Ambaṭṭha,
concerning which you are in doubt or perplexity about me,
ask me as to that.

I will make it clear by explanation."

[41] Then the Blessed One went, forth from his chamber,
and began to walk up and down.

And Ambaṭṭha did the same.

And as he thus walked [131] up and down,
following the Blessed One,
he took stock of the thirty-two signs of a great man,
whether they appeared on the body of the Blessed One or not.

And he perceived them all save only two.

With respect to those two —
the concealed member
and the extent of tongue[65]
he was in doubt and perplexity,
not satisfied,
not sure.

[42] And the Blessed One knew that he was so in doubt.

And he so arranged matters
by his Wondrous Gift
that Ambaṭṭha the Brahman saw
how that part of the Blessed One
that ought to be hidden by clothes
was enclosed in a sheath.

And the Blessed One so bent round his tongue
that he touched and stroked both his ears,
touched and stroked both his nostrils,
and the whole circumference of his forehead
he covered with his tongue.[66]

[132] And Ambaṭṭha, the young Brahman, thought:

'The Samaṇa Gotama is endowed
with the thirty two signs of a great man,
with them all,
not only with some of them.'

And he said to the Blessed One:

"And now, Gotama, we would fain depart.

We are busy, and have much to do."

"Do, Ambaṭṭha, what seemeth to you fit."

And Ambaṭṭha mounted his chariot drawn by mares,
and departed thence.

[43] Now at that time
the Brahman Pokkharasādi had gone forth from Ukkaṭṭha
with a great retinue of Brahmans,
and was seated in his own pleasaunce
waiting there for Ambaṭṭha.

And Ambaṭṭha came on to the pleasaunce.

And when he had come in his chariot
as far as the path was practicable for chariots,
he descended from it,
and came on foot
to where Pokkharasādi was,
and saluted him,
and took his seat respectfully on one side.

And when he was so seated,
Pokkharasādi said to him:

[44] "Well, Ambaṭṭha!

Did you see the Blessed One?"

"Yes, Sir, we saw him."

"Well! is the venerable Gotama
so as the reputation about him I told you of declares;
and not otherwise?

Is he such a one, or is he not?"

"He is so, Sir, as his reputation declares,
and not otherwise.

Such is he, not different.

And he is endowed with the thirty-two signs of a great man,
with all of them,
not only with some."

"And did you have any talk, Ambaṭṭha,
with the Samaṇa Gotama?"

"Yes, Sir, I had."

"And how did the talk go?"

Then Ambaṭṭha told the Brahman Pokkharasādi
all the talk that he had had
with the Blessed One.

[45] When he had thus spoken,
Pokkharasādi said to him:

"Oh! you wiseacre!

Oh! you dullard!

Oh! you [133] expert, forsooth,
in our threefold Vedic lore!

A man, they say,
who should carry out his business thus,
must, on the dissolution of the body, after death,
be reborn into some dismal state
of misery and woe.

What could the very points you pressed
in your insolent words
lead up to,
if not to the very disclosures the venerable Gotama made?[67]

What a wiseacre;
what a dullard;
what an expert, forsooth,
in our threefold Vedic lore."

And angry and displeased,
he struck out with his foot,
and rolled Ambaṭṭha over.

And he wanted, there and then, himself,
to go and call on the Blessed One.

[46] But the Brahman there spake thus to Pokkharasādi:

"It is much too late, Sir, to-day
to go to call on the Samaṇa Gotama.

The venerable Pokkharasādi can do so to-morrow."

So Pokkharasādi had sweet food,
both hard and soft,
made ready at his own house,
and taken on wagons,
by the light of blazing torches,
out to Ukkaṭṭha.

And he himself went on to the Icchānankala Wood,
driving in his chariot
as far as the road was practicable for vehicles,
and then going on, on foot,
to where the Blessed One was.

And when he had exchanged with the Blessed One
the greetings and compliments of politeness and courtesy,
he took his seat on one side,
and said to the Blessed One:

[47] "Has our pupil, Gotama,
the young Brahman Ambaṭṭha,
been here?"

"Yes, Brahman, he has."

"And did you, Gotama,
have any talk with him?"

"Yes, Brahman, I had."

"And on what wise was the talk that you had with him."

[48] Then the Blessed One told the Brahman Pokkharasādi all the talk that had taken place.

And when [134] he had thus spoken
Pokkharasādi said to the Blessed One:

"He is young and foolish, Gotama,
that young Brahman Ambaṭṭha.

Forgive him, Gotama."

"Let him be quite happy, Brahman,
that young Brahman Ambaṭṭha."

[49] And the Brahman Pokkharasādi took stock,
on the body of the Blessed One,
of the thirty-two marks of a Great Being.

And he saw them all plainly,
save only two.

As to two of them —
the sheath-concealed member
and the extensive tongue —
he was still in doubt and undecided.

But the Blessed One showed them to Pokkharasādi,
even as he had shown them to Ambaṭṭha.[68]

And Pokkharasādi perceived
that the Blessed One was endowed with the thirty-two marks of a Great Being,
with all of them,
not only with some.

And he said to the Blessed One:

"May the venerable Gotama
grant me the favour of taking his to-morrow's meal with me,
and also the members of the Order with him.'

And the Blessed One accepted, by silence,
his request.

[50] Then the Brahman Pokkharasādi,
seeing that the Blessed One had accepted,
had (on the morrow) the time announced to him:

"It is time, oh Gotama,
the meal is ready."

And the Blessed One,
who had dressed in the early morning,
put on his outer robe,
and taking his bowl with him,
went, with the brethren,
to Pokkharasādi's house,
and sat down on the seat prepared for him.

And Pokkharasādi, the Brahman,
satisfied the Blessed One, with his own hand,
with sweet food,
both hard and soft,
until he refused any more,
and the young Brahmans
the members of the Order.

And when the Blessed One had finished his meal,
and cleansed the bowl and his[69] hands,
Pokkharasādi took a low seat,
and sat down beside him.

[51] Then to him thus seated
the Blessed One [135] discoursed in due order;
that is to say,
he spake to him of generosity,
of right conduct,
of heaven,
of the danger the vanity, and the defilement of lusts,
of the advantages of renunciation.

And when the Blessed, One saw that Pokkharasādi, the Brahman,
had become prepared,
softened,
unprejudiced,
upraised,
and believing in heart,
then he proclaimed the doctrine
the Buddhas alone have won;
that is to say,
the doctrine of sorrow,
of its origin,
of its cessation,
and of the Path.

And just as a clean cloth
from which all stain has been washed away
will readily take the dye,
just even so did Pokkharasādi, the Brahman, obtain,
even while sitting there,
the pure and spotless Eye for the Truth,
and he knew:

"Whatsoever has a beginning
in that is inherent also
the necessity of dissolution."

[52] And then the Brahman Pokkharasādi,
as one who had seen the Truth,
had mastered it,
understood it,
dived deep down into it,
who had passed beyond doubt
and put away perplexity
and gained full confidence,
who had become dependent on no other man
for his knowledge of the teaching of the Master,
addressed the Blessed One,
and said:

"Most excellent, oh Gotama
(are the words of thy mouth),
most excellent!

Just as if a man were to set up
that which has been thrown down,
or were to reveal
that which has been hidden away,
or were to point out the right road
to him who has gone astray,
or were to bring a light into the darkness
so that those who had eyes
could see external forms, -
just even so, Lord,
has the truth been made known to me,
in many a figure,
by the venerable Gotama.

And I, oh Gotama,
with my sons,
and my wife,
and my people,
and my companions,
betake myself to the venerable Gotama as my guide,
to the truth,
and to the Order.

May the venerable Gotama accept me as a disciple,
as one who, from this day forth,
as long as life endures,
has taken him as his guide.

And just as the venerable Gotama visits the families of others,
his disciples,
at Ukkaṭṭha,
so let him visit [136] mine.

Whosoever there may be there,
of Brahman or their wives,
who shall pay reverence to the venerable Gotama,
or stand up in his presence,
or offer him a seat
or water,
or take delight in him,
to him that will be,
for long,
a cause of weal and bliss."

"It is well, Brahman, what you say."

 

HERE ENDS THE AMBṬṬHA SUTTA

 


[1] Compare Petavatthu II, 6, 12.

[2] Assalāyana (No. 93 in the Majjhima); Aŋguttara II, 85 = P.P. IV, 19 ; Saɱyutta I, 93; Vinaya IV, 6-10, etc.

[3] Sometimes explained as carpenters, sometimes as basket-makers, sometimes as makers of sunshades.

[4] Further exemplified by the number of people described as kevañña-putto, assāroha-putto, naña-putto, sūda-putto, etc.

[5] See also A. I, 145, 206; II, 67; III, 36, 132, 217; Vin. IV, 224; D. I, 5, 60, 72, 93, 141 (translated above); Jat. I, 226, 385; III, 343,437; Dhp. Cy. 238, etc.

[6] See Fick, 'Sociale Gliederung im nordöstlichen Indien,' pp. 50, 51.

[7] 'Vinaya Texts,' I, 230.

[8] Translated by Fausböll, S.B.E., pp. 40-42

[9] J.R.A.S., 1894, p. 396

[10] Literally 'are the best colour' (vaṇṇa, with reference to the well-known classification into four vaṇṇas, neither of which was a caste, referred to above).

[11] This Madhura Sutta has now been edited and translated, with valuable introduction and notes, by Mr. Robert Chalmers, in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1894.

[12] The larger portion of this Sutta (from the beginning of the genesis part down to the election of the first king) is also preserved in the Mahāvastu. See Senart's edition, vol. i, pp. 338-348. The reading agninyaɱ (p. 340, 17, etc.) represents the Pāli aggaññaɱ

[13] The words here are quoted in the Milinda, vol. I, p. 229 of my translation.

[14] There is an admirable little book by M. Senart on the origin of caste, on the Brahman views about it, and on the present actual facts of caste in India, entitled 'Les Castes dans l'Inde.' Dr. Fick also in his 'Sociale Gliedrung im nord stlichen Indien zu Buddha's Zeit' has collected the evidence found in the Jātaka book, and analysed it with great skill. Similar monographs on the Piṭakas, and on the Epics, are much to be desired.

[15]So Buddhaghosa; but he gives no further details as to the terms of the grant, or of the tenancy. The whole string of adjectives recurs below, pp. 111, 114, 127, 131 of the text, and rāja-bhoggaɱ at Vin. III, 222. Compare Divyāvadāna, p. 620.

The land revenue payable, of course in kind, would be a tithe. If the king had full proprietary (zemindary) rights as well, which is the probable meaning of rāja-bhoggaɱ, his share would be, either with or without the land tax, one half. The grant would be of his own rights only. The rights of the peasants to the other half, and the use of the common and waste and woods, would remain to them. If Buddhaghosa's interpretation of brahmadeyyaɱ is correct, then the grantee would also be the king's representative for all purposes judicial and executive. Elsewhere the word has only been found as applied to marriage; and the first part of the compound (brahma) has always been interpreted by Brahmans as referring to themselves. But brahma as the first part of a compound never has that meaning in Pāli; and the word in our passage means literally 'a full gift.'

[16]His full name was Pokkharasādi Opamañño SuBhagavaniko (M. II, 200); where the second is the gotta (gens) name and the third a local name. See the introduction to the Mahāli Sutta.

[17] According to Jāt. IV, 363 (compare Jāt. IV, 366) there were also Ambaṭṭhas who were not Brahmans by birth but farmers.

[18] The fourth is not expressly mentioned. Buddhaghosa (p. 247) say we have to supply the fourth Veda, the Atharva. But the older Pāli texts do not accept the Atharva as a Veda. It only occurs as the Athabbaṇa Veda, in the Aṭṭhakathās and Ṭīkās. And it is quite unnecessary to suppose a silent reference to it here. The fourth place is quite sufficiently filled as suggested in the translation. The āthabbaṇa, given (in S.N. 927) as the name of a mystic art (together with astrology, the interpretation of dreams and of lucky signs, and so forth), is probably not the Veda, but witchcraft or sorcery. The Piṭakas always take three Vedas, and three only, for granted. And the whole point of the Tevijja Sutta (translated in full in my 'Buddhist Suttas') is this three-, not four-, fold division. Four Vedas are referred to in the Milinda, at p. 3, and the Atharva-veda, at p. 117.

[19] This is the standing description of the Suttas of a learned Brahman. See below, pp. 114, 120 (of the text); A. I, 163; Mil. 10; Divyāvadāna 620, etc. One or two of the details are not quite certain, as yet.

[20] The knowledge of these thirty-two marks of a Great Being (Mahā-purusha) is one of the details in the often-recurring paragraph giving the points of Brahman wisdom, which we have just had a, § 3. No such list has been found, so far as I know, in those portions of the pre-Buddhistic priestly literature that have survived. And the inference from both our passages is that the knowledge is scattered through the Brahman texts. Many of the details of the Buddhist list (see the note below on p. 106 of the text) are very obscure; and a collection of the older Brahman passages would probably throw light upon them, and upon a curious chapter in mythological superstition. Who will write us a monograph (historical of course) on the Mahā-purusha theory as held in early times among the Aryans in India?

[21] For the details of these seven see further my 'Buddhist Suttas,' PP. 251-259.

[22] Vihāra; often rendered 'monastery,' a meaning the word never has in the older texts.

[23] Bandhupādāpakkā. Neumann, l loc. cit. p. 521, says 'treading on one another's heels.' Buddhaghosa refers the expression to the Brahman theory that the Sūdras were born from Brahmā's heels. And this may well have been the meaning. For though Gotama and the majority of his order were well born, still others, of low caste, were admitted to it, and Ambaṭṭha is certainly represented as giving vent to caste prejudice when he calls the brethren 'black fellows.' Compare M. I, 334; S. IV, 117, and below, D. I, 103.

[24] And is therefore, after all, not so much his fault as that of his teacher. That this is the implication is clear from the text, pp. 90, 91 (§§ 10-13) below.

[25] Ibbhā. Chalmers (J.R.A.S., 1894, p. 343) renders this 'ought but men of substance,' and he has been followed by Frazer, 'Literature of India,' p. 118. But Buddhaghosa's interpretation is confirmed both by the context and by the derivation.

[26] Santhāgāra. Childers is quite wrong about this word. It is the hall where a clan mote was held, and is used exclusively of places for the assemblies of the householders in the free republics of Northern Kosala. It never means a royal rest house, which is rājāgāraka, as we had above (p. 1, § 2 of the Pāli text). Thus at M. I, 353-4 and Jāt. IV, 147 we have this identical hall of the Sākyas at Kapilavatthu, and at M. I, 457 a similar one of the Sākyas at Cātumāya; at M.P.V., 56 (VI, 23 of the translation) in my 'Buddhist Suttas' we have the congress hall of the Mullas of Kusinārā, and at M. 1, 228 and Vin. I, 233 that of the Licchavis of Vesālī — all of them called Santhāgāra, and all referred to in connection with a public meeting of the clan.

[27] Anguli-patodakena. The Introductory Story to the 52nd Pācittiya (Vin. IV, 110 = III, 84) tells how a Bhikshu was inadvertently done to death by being made to laugh immoderately in this way. It must there mean 'tickling.' Here, and at A. IV, 343, it seems to have the meaning given above.

[28] Vaṇṇā

[29] On this famous old king see the legends preserved in the M.B.V, 13; Mahāvastu I, 348; Jāt. II, 311; Sum. I, 258.

[30] Sammanti, 'dwell,' not in Childers in this sense. But see S. I, 226 = Sum. I, 125 and Jāt. V, 396.

[31] The oak (which doesn't grow in the text, and could not grow in the Terai) has been introduced to enable the word play to be adequately rendered. The Pāli Saka means a herb.

[32] Kaṇhāyana is the regular form of patronymic from Kaṇha.

[33] Buddhaghosa gives further details as to his subsequent life.

[34] Buddhaghosa (p. 263) says that Gotama's object was to confine the discussion to a single opponent, since if all spoke at once, it could not well be brought to a conclusion. In the text Gotama repeats the whole speech of the Brahmans.

[35] Aññena aññaɱ paṭikarasi. For this idiom, not in Childers, see M. 1, 250; Vin. I, 85; A. I, 187, 198; Mil. 94; Sum. I, 264. It is answering one thing by alleging another.

[36] This curious threat — which never comes to anything, among the Buddhists, and is apparently never meant to — is a frequent form of expression in Indian books, and is pre-Buddhistic. Comp. Brihad ār. Up. III, 6. 2 and 9. 26. Buddhist passages are M. I, 231; Dhp. 72 Dhp.A. 87, 140; Jāt. I, 54; V, 21, 33, 87, 92, 493, etc.

[37] Vajira-pāṇī: to wit, Indra, says Buddhaghosa.

[38] Upanisīdati; whence Upanishad, a mystery, secret, listened to in awe.

[39] Rishi, mystic sage, magician being no doubt implied, as in B.V. II, 81 = Jāt. I, 17 (verse 90). Compare Merlin.

[40] The effect of course of the charm which, Buddhaghosa tells us (p.265), was known as the Ambaṭṭha charm.

[41] Sotthi hotu. This is the old mystic word swasti. We have lost the use of such expressions Fausium fac regem.

[42] All this, says Buddhaghosa, was brutum fulmen. The Ambaṭṭha charm had only power to stop the arrow going off; not to work such results as these.

[43] Literally 'place the arrow (which had a barb shaped like a horseshoe) on his son.'

[44] Thālipāka. See Jāt. I, 186; Mil. 249. It is used in sacrifices and also on special occasions.

[45] Pakarane. Perhaps 'in consequence of some regulation or other.' Buddhaghosa (p. 267) says 'offence,' but compare Mil. 189.

[46] Assa-puṭena vadhitvā, literally 'killing him with (the proceeding called) the Ash-basket.' Compare the idiom 'cut him dead.' It is also mentioned at A. II, 242.

[47] Sanaɱ-kumāra means 'ever virgin.' According to the legend common ground to Brahmans and Buddhists — there were five 'mind born' sons of Brahma, who remained always pure and innocent, and this Brahmā was one of the five. See the passages quoted by Chalmers in the J.R.A.S., 1894, P. 344.

Hofrath Bühler has pointed out that in the Mahābhārata III, 185 (Bombay edition) there is an interesting passage where Sanat-kumāra (the Sanskrit form of the name Sanaɱ-kumāra) is actually represented by the Brahmans themselves as having uttered, as referee in a dispute on a point similar to the one here discussed, not indeed the actual words here imputed to him, but others of a very similar import. See the whole article in the J.R.A.S., 1897, pp. 585-588. We either have in our text a quotation from an older recession of the same legend, or one of the two — either the Brahman editors of the Mahābhārata, or the composers of our Sutta — have twisted the legend a little in their own favour.

[48] The verse is a favourite one. It occurs also at M. I, 358; S. I, 153; II, 284; and below in the Aggañña Sutta.

[49] Gotta-patisārino. Either 'tracing back their gotras' or 'referring back to their gotras' according as we derive the word with Childers from (root) sar, or with Bühler from (root) smar. It occurs also in the description (Mahā Sudassana Sutta) of the ideal woman as kiɱkāra-paṭisārinī. Bühler, loc. cit., renders it 'record their gotras.'

The next line might also be rendered 'when perfect,' etc., referring to the Kshatriya.

[50] 'This question of caste, besides being often referred to in isolated passages, is described at length also in the Assalāyana, Kaṇṇakathāla, and Madhura Suttas, all in the Majjhima. The first has been translated into German by Professor Pischel and the last into English by Mr. Chalmers, J.R.A.S., 1894, p. 341 and foll. On the facts of caste as disclosed in the Jātaka book see Fick's 'Sociale Gliederung in Indien zu Buddha's Zeit,' Kiel, 1897 ; and on the general history of caste in India see Senart's 'Les Castes dans l'Inde,' Paris, 1896.

[51] Buddhaghosa, p. 268, seems to have had a different reading idam p'assa, hoti sīlasmiɱ — from that preserved in our text. It comes to much the same result, but is better, as omitting the word bhikkhu.

[52] It is important to notice that these are put, not under wisdom, but under conduct.

[53] There are therefore eight divisions of conduct, and eight of the higher wisdom.

[54] Apāya-mukhāni, outlets, leakages, so that it cannot fill up.' The word aya-mukhaɱ, inlet, is used in its concrete sense at D. I, 74, and both words at A. II, 166; and 'outlet' occurs figuratively, in a secondary sense, as in this passage, in the Sigālovāda Sutta, p. 299.

[55] For instances of this see Jāt I, 285, 494; II, 43. Such service paid to a god has already been condemned in the tract on the Sīlas, the minor details of mere morality (above, pp. 24, 25).

[56] Buddhaghosa here (p. 270) says that all sorts of Brahman ascetics are here intended to be included, and he gives further details of eight different sorts (discussed in the Journal of the P.T.S. for 1891, pp; 34 foll.).

[57] Sandissasi sācariyako. Compare M.P.S. 6, 7, 8, 9, 24, 25.'

[58] Parihīnako sācariyako. 'Have been done out of, neglected in the matter of, defrauded of, this wisdom,' etc.

[59] By concealing this suggestive fact, and thereby leaving you ignorant that the king, a Kshatriya, looked down on a Brahman, even one whom he considered, as a Brahman, of great merit. So at Jāt. V, 257 a king calls a Brahman 'low born' (hīna-gacco) compared with himself.

[60] On these names see Tevijja Sutta I, 13 (p. 172 of my 'Buddhist Stuttas') and Vinaya Texts,' II, 130.

[61] Veṭhaka-nata-passāhi. We have here probably the ancient name of the very elaborate girdles which all the fashionable women and goddesses wear on the old bas reliefs. Cunningham, 'Stūpa of Bharhut,' Pl. LI, gives figures and details of them. To judge from the bas reliefs — and I cannot call to mind any Piṭaka passage contradicting them — the women (lay women of course, the Sisterhood wore robes from the shoulders downwards) have only very elaborate headdresses and necklaces, a skirt from the waist to the ankles, and a very broad and handsome girdle worn over the top of the skirt. They were unclothed from the neck to the waist.

[62] Kutta-vālehi. The chariot of the time, as represented on the bas reliefs, had standing room for four passengers, the steeds wore plumes on their heads, and had their manes and tails elaborately plaited. 'Stūpa of Bharhut,' Pl. XII, shows us the chariot of Pasenadi, king of Kosala (see ibid. pp. 124, 125). Kutta is not in Childers. But it occurs frequently. See Jāt I, 296, 433; II, 127, 128; IV, 219; Asl. 321.

[63] Compare Jāt IV, 106; Mil. 330.

[64] Okkhitta-palighāsu. Childers says (following the Sanskrit dictionaries) bars 'of iron.' But where does the iron come in? This is surely a modern improvement. Unfortunately the word is found elsewhere (M. I, 139; A. III, 84; Dhp. 398) only in an ethical sense.

the power of extending the tongue: This is symbolic! It indicates comprehension of language both human and devine.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[65] Neither text nor commentary make it clear what these two marks really quite meant. The first, says Buddhaghosa, is 'like an elephant's,' and the second seems, from what follows, to be the power of extending the tongue, like a snake's, to a great length. This last is possibly derived from poetical descriptions of the tongues of flame or light playing round the disk of the sun.

As to the means by which the Buddha made the first visible to Ambaṭṭha, Buddhaghosa simply quotes Nāgasena (at Mil. 169) to show that he made a visible image of himself fully dressed in his robes. And the difficulty is to see how that would have helped matters. Only an historical explanation of the meaning of the marks can here guide us to what is inferred.

[66] These are two of the thirty-two bodily marks of a Great Being (Mahā-purisa), as handed down among the Brahmans (see note above, p. 88 of the text, § 5) and adopted by the Buddhists. They are in part adaptations to a man of poetical epithets applied to the sun, or to the personification of the mystic human sacrifice; partly characteristics of personal beauty such as any man might have; and one or two of them — the little wart, for instance, between the eyes with white hair on it, and the protuberance at the top of the head - may possibly be added in reminiscence of personal bodily peculiarities which Gotama actually had.

One of the Dialogues in the Dīgha, the Lakhaṇa Sutta, is devoted to these thirty-two marks. They are also enumerated, with slight differences, in the Mahāpadhāna Sutta; and later books give other lists differing from each other, and from the old lists, in many small points.

The story told here in §§ 11, 12 recurs in identical words in the Sela Sutta (S.N. No. 33 = M. No. 92) and forms the subject of one of the dilemmas put by King Milinda to Nāgasena (Mil. 167).

[67] āsagga āsagga ... upanīyya upanīyya. Buddhaghosa is somewhat ambiguous in his interpretation of this idiomatic phrase, on which compare M. I, 250, 251; A. I, 172

[68] Above, p. 106 of the text, § I 2 repeated.

[69] Onīta-patta-pāṇiɱ. See the note at Vinaya Texts,' I, 83.


 [Contents ]   [Preface ]   [#1. Brahma-gāla Suttanta: ]   [#2. Sāmañña-phala Suttanta: ]   [#3. The Ambaṭṭha Suttanta: ]   [#4. The Soṇadaṇḍa Suttanta: ]   [#5. The Kūṭadanta Suttanta: ]   [#6. The Mahāli Suttanta: ]   [#7. Gāliva Suttanta: ]   [#8. Kassapa-Sīhanāda Suttanta: ]   [#9. The Poṭṭhapāda Suttanta: ]   [#10. Subha Suttanta: ]   [#11. Kevaddha Suttanta: ]   [#12. Lohikka Suttanta: ]   [#13. Tevigga Suttanta:


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