Dīgha Nikāya


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Sacred Books of the Buddhists
Volume II

Dīgha Nikāya

Dialogues of the Buddha
Part I

Sutta 4

Soṇadaṇḍa Suttantaɱ

Characteristics of the True Brahman

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

 


[137]

Introduction
to the
Soṇadaṇḍa Sutta

This Dialogue comes very appropriately immediately after the Brahman. That dealt with the general question of pride of birth, or social position. This deals with the special question of what is the essential quality which makes a man a Brahman. The conclusion is, no doubt, substantially the same. But there is a difference, and the difference is instructive.

In trying to gain over Brahman to his (the Buddha's) view of the essential distinction — rather than birth or social position — between man and man, Gotama includes the whole list as set out above in the thirteen divisions of the Sāmaññaphala[1]. In trying to gain over Soṇadaṇḍa to his (the Buddha's) view of what is the essential quality that makes a man a Brahman, he gives the same details, but puts the Jhānas (the states of Ecstasy) not under Conduct, but under Paññā (intelligence).

The reason seems to be simply that the verse, on which the exposition in the Brahman turns, mentions only Wisdom and Conduct (containing no word for Intelligence), and that it is not thought accurate to put the states of Ecstasy (which are Indian, not specially Buddhist) under Wisdom. It is true that the Buddhist position is that 'goodness is a function of intelligence, as beauty is of health' (to quote the words of Matthew Bassendine). But under Intelligence they always distinguish two phases — the enquiring, and necessarily therefore doubting, activity, of the mind; and the final stage of emancipation and peace when the laws of the universe are clearly seen, and firmly grasped, and cheerfully acquiesced in.

[138] It is this latter phase which they call Wisdom (Vijjā)[2] - the contrary of the Avijjā, which is ignorance of the action of Karma, of the Four Noble Truths, and of the doctrine of the āsavas or Intoxications. The man who knows these; who, finally and permanently out of the jungle and in the open, quite beyond the stage of 'wasting his wonder on the fabulous soul,' has attained to, and remains in this state of Nirvāṇa in Arahatship, is not only, in Buddhist terminology, called a Brahman, but is, in fact, declared to be the only true Brahman.

It is amazing that Soṇadaṇḍa, as learned as he is wealthy, does not see that this, the logical outcome of the Buddha's argument, and carefully led upto in the final paragraph of the exposition,[3] is really incompatible with the supremacy of the Brahmans in the ordinary sense of that word. He is baffled by the skill with which he is gradually led on, by the usual Socratic method adopted in so many of the Dialogues, to accept one self-evident truth after another. There is indeed nothing, till we come to that last paragraph, which any intelligent Brahman could not, with safety, and with due regard to his own doctrine, fully accept. In other words, the doctrine of Brahman supremacy was intellectually indefensible. It was really quite inconsistent with the ethical standard of the times, which the Brahmans, in common with the rest of the people, fully accepted.

Our Sutta is by no means the only one in which the same, or a similar, argument leads up to the same, or a similar, conclusion. It will aid us in understanding the real gist of our Sutta to mention one or two of these.

In the Tikaṇṇa and Jāṇussoṇi Suttas of the Aŋguttara[4] the question put by the Buddha is: 'What sort of person do you Brahmans acknowledge to be a Ṭevijja Brahman (a Brahman with threefold lore)?'

The answer of each of the Brahmans is, in the words of our Sutta, § 4: 'A Brahman well born on both sides, of pure descent, through the father and through the mother, back through seven generations, with no slur put upon him, and no reproach, in respect of birth — a repeater (of the sacred words) knowing the mystic verses by heart, one who has mastered the Three Vedas, with the indices, the ritual, the phonology, and the exegesis (as a fourth), and with the [139] legends as a fifth — a man learned in the (etymologies of the) words and in the grammar, versed in Lokāyata (Nature-lore)[5] and in the theory of the signs on the body of a great man.'

Whereupon the Buddha rejoins that in the teaching of the Arahats the 'threefold lore' is different; and on being asked what it is, answers in the words of sections 93, 95, and 97 of the Sāmañña-phala Sutta, which are quoted as the last three paragraphs of his exposition in our Sutta, that is to say,

a. The knowledge of one's own previous births.
b. The knowledge of other people's previous births.
c. The knowledge of the Four Truths, and of the Four Intoxications (āsavas), leading on to the emancipation of Arahatship.

The only difference is that at the end of each section, and after the words setting forth the emancipation, the following sentence is added:

'This first (or second, or third) lore hath he required. Ignorance is dispelled within him, and wisdom has been born. The darkness has been dissipated, the light has appeared. (And all this) inasmuch as he has continued in earnestness, in zeal, in mastery of himself.'

And at the end of the whole the following verses are also added:

'Him do they honour whose heart, — unswerving in goodness, and wise,
Given to earnest thought, — rests in his own control,
Pacified, stedfast. And him resolute, able in method,
Threefold in knowledge, dispelling the darkness, the conqueror of Death, who
Lived for the weal of gods and of men delivered from folly,
Him of the threefold lore, mindful and self-possessed,
Him do they honour, the Buddha, our Gotama, wearing now,
Conqueror, too, of Birth, the last of his mortal frames!'

'Tis he who is a Brāhmaṇa indeed
Who knows the births that he has lived before;
And sees (with Heavenly Eye) the states of bliss,
And states of woe, that other men pass through;
Has reached the end of all rebirths, become
A sage, perfect in insight, Arahat,
In these three modes of knowledge threefold wise.
[140] Him do I call a Brahman, threefold wise,
And not the man who mutters o'er again
  The mystic verse so often muttered through before.'

 


 

How important a place this doctrine occupied in early Buddhism is made evident by the fact that this latter stanza, with variations at the close, is so constantly repeated. We find it in the 99th Sutta of the Itivuttaka (p. 100) and in the 91st Sutta of the Majjhima (the Brahmāya Sutta). And it is quoted also, not only in this Sutta in the Aŋguttara, and in another Sutta in the Saɱyutta (I, 167), but also in the collection of verses from the Piṭakas called the Dhammapada (verse 423); and also in the other collection of such verses (probably belonging to some other school of Buddhists), now preserved in the oldest MS. yet discovered in India, the so-called Kharoshṭhi MS., portions of which have simultaneously found their way, last year, to both St. Petersburg and Paris.

The whole section of the Dhammapada, which contains this quotation, consists of no less than forty verses, each of which, from one point of view or another, emphasise this point of the identification, by the Buddhists, of the Arahat with the Brahman. Twenty-seven of them are taken from the Vāseṭṭha Sutta of the Sutta Nipāta in which the question raised is precisely the same as that raised in our Sutta, and in which the reply, though different in details, amounts to much the same as the reply given here.

Two conclusions force themselves upon us. It is, in the first place, a striking proof of the high social esteem in which the Brahmans, as such, and quite irrespective of character, were held by the masses of the people. We have hitherto only had the views which the Brahmans held about themselves. And very absurd they seem to readers whose own vivid sense of superiority rests on a self-complacency quite as inexpugnable as that of the Brahmans. Here we have evidence from an independent source, — evidence all the stronger because it is found in Suttas in which the exclusive claims of the Brahmans by birth are vigorously contested. When the Buddhists, in selecting a title of honour for those they valued so highly, for the best of men, for the Arahats, selected the name of Brahman, it is clear that that word, in the opinion of the early Buddhists, conveyed to the minds of the people an exalted meaning, a connotation of real veneration and respect. And it is not likely that this would have been the case unless the Brahmans had, at least as [141] a general rule, deserved it — and on other grounds than the mere prerogative of birth.

In the second place, if the contention of the Buddhists had been universally accepted — if the word Brahman had come to mean, not only a man of a certain descent, but exclusively a man of a certain character and insight then the present caste system of India could never have grown up. But it was obviously impossible that the contention should succeed.

The method, adopted by all reformers, of pouring new wine into old bottles, putting new meanings into ancient words, can only succeed under conditions, that, in this case, were non-existent. And it is always open to the danger that, with the old and hallowed word, the old superstition associated with it will also survive. It was a method largely adopted by the Buddhists; and in numerous other cases, to which I have elsewhere called attention, adopted with success. The subsequent language of India is full of phrases and words which bear, not the meaning which they previously bore, but the new and higher meaning put into them by Buddhists. But in this case the two ideas were too widely apart, too contradictory. A physical meaning cannot be replaced by an ethical one. The actual facts of life, which they could not alter, could not, indeed, attempt to alter, were a constant influence, against their view, too strong to be overcome. Brahmans by birth, many of them, perhaps most of them, engaged in various worldly trades and occupations, and therefore Brahmans only by birth, were so constant and so important a factor in the daily and hourly life of the people, that the idea of birth could not be dissociated from the word. The Buddhists failed. And they not only failed, their very choice of the word as a title of honour, must (through the wide influence they exercised for so many centuries throughout and beyond the valley of the Ganges) have actually afforded a fresh strength to the veneration which the word inspired. The very means they adopted to lend weight to their doctrine of emancipation became a weapon to be turned against themselves.

It is unlikely that this really mattered much. The point was only one detail in a broad scheme which was doomed from the outset to failure-that is if failure to attain immediate and lasting acceptance can rightly be called the failure of a theory of life.

A theory which placed the ideal in Self-conquest, regarded final salvation as obtainable in this world, and in this world [142] only, and only by self-conquest — a view of life that ignored the 'soul' and brought the very gods themselves under the domain of law — a religious movement which aimed its keenest shafts against all those forms of belief in the supernatural and mysterious, appealing most strongly alike to the hopes and to the fears of the people — a philosophy that confined itself to going back, step by step, from effect to cause, and poured scorn on speculations as to the ultimate origin and end of all things — might gain, by the powerful personality of its founder and the enthusiasm and zeal of his early followers, a certain measure of temporary success. But it fought against too many vested interests at once, it raised up too many enemies, it tried in 'pouring new wine into the old bottles' to retain too much of the ancient phraseology, for lasting victory — at least at that time, and in an advancing country then assimilating to itself surrounding peoples at a lower grade of culture. The end was inevitable. And it was actually brought about, not by persecution, but by the gradual weakening of the theory itself, the gradual creeping back, under new forms and new names, of the more popular beliefs.

The very event, which seemed, in the eyes of the world, to be the most striking proof of the success of the new movement, the conversion and strenuous support of Asoka, the most powerful ruler India had had — indeed the first real overlord over practically the whole of India — only hastened the decline. The adhesion of large numbers of nominal converts, more especially from the newly incorporated and less advanced provinces, produced weakness, rather than strength, in the movement for reform. The day of compromise had come. Every relaxation of the old thoroughgoing position was widely supported by converts only half converted. And the margin of difference between the Buddhists and their opponents gradually faded almost entirely away. The soul theory, step by step, gained again the upper hand. The caste system was gradually built up into a completely organised system. The social supremacy of the Brahmans by birth became accepted as an incontrovertible fact. And the inflood of popular superstition which overwhelmed the Buddhist movement, overwhelmed also the whole pantheon of the Vedic gods. Buddhism and Brahmanism alike passed practically away, and modern Hinduism arose on the ruins of both.

The struggle is now being renewed under conditions perhaps, on the whole, more favourable. The tone of worldliness and love of material comfort, the eager restless- [143] ness of modern social, and economic competition, the degradation of learning to a mere means of getting on and making money, are no doubt all unfavourable to any movement for the social and religious elevation of a people. But history shows, notably in the case of the Reformation in Europe, how powerfully the contact of two diverse views of life tends to widen the thoughts of men. Both India and Europe in the twentieth century may be fairly expected to afford fresh examples of the same influence. And in India the powerful aid of the new methods of science and of historical criticism will lend their invaluable aid to the party endeavouring, now once again, to place the ideal, not in birth, but in character and wisdom.

 


 

[111] [144]

IV. Soṇa-Daṇḍa Sutta

Characteristics of the True Brahman

[1] THUS HAVE I HEARD.

The Blessed One once, when going on a tour through the Aŋga country
with a great multitude of the brethren,
with about five hundred brethren,
arrived at Campā.[6]

And there at Campā
he lodged on the bank of the Gaggarā Lake.[7]

Now at that time the Brahman Soṇadaṇḍa
was dwelling at Campā,
a place teeming with life,[8]
with much grassland and woodland
and water and corn,
on a royal domain
granted him by Seniya Bimbisāra, the king of Magadhā,[9]
as a royal fief,
with power over it
as if he were the king.

[2] Now the Brahmans and householders of Campā
heard the news:

"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 [145] company of the brethren
at Campā,
and is staying there
on the shore of the Gaggarā Lake.

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 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.

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

[112] And the Brahmans and householders of Campā
began to leave Campā in companies
and in bands
from each district,[10]
so that they could be counted,
to go to the Gaggarā Lake.

[3] Now at that time Soṇadaṇḍa the Brahman had gone apart
to the upper terrace of his house
for his siesta,
and seeing the people thus go by,
he said to his doorkeeper:

"Why are the people of Campā, going forth like this
towards the Gaggarā Lake?"

Then the doorkeeper told him the news.

And he said:

"Then, good doorkeeper,
go to the Brahmans and householders of Campā,
and say to them:

'Soṇadaṇḍa the Brahman
desires them to wait.

He will himself come to see the Samaṇa Gotama.'"

"Very well, Sir,"
said the doorkeeper,
and he did so.

[113] [4] Now at that time
there were about five hundred Brahmans
from different kingdoms
lodging at Campā
for some business or other.

And when they heard
that Soṇadaṇḍa was intending to visit [146] the Samaṇa Gotama,
they went to Soṇadaṇḍa,
and asked whether that was so.

"That is my intention, Sirs.

I propose to call on the Samaṇa Gotama."

"Let not the venerable Soṇadaṇḍa do that.

It is not fitting for him to do so.

If it were the venerable Soṇadaṇḍa
who went to call upon him,
then the venerable Soṇadaṇḍa's reputation
would decrease
and the Samaṇa Gotama's would increase.

This is the first reason
why you, Sir,
should not call upon him,
but he upon you."

[5] And they laid before Soṇadaṇḍa the Brahman
in like manner
also other considerations,
to wit:

That he was well born on both sides,
of pure descent
through the mother and through the father
back through seven generations,
with no slur put upon him,
and no reproach in respect of birth -

That he was prosperous,
well to do,
and rich —

[114] That 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),
and the legends as a fifth,
learned in the words
and in the grammar,
versed in Lokāyata
(Nature-lore),
and in the theory of the signs
on the body of a great man —

That he was handsome,
pleasant to look upon,
inspiring trust,
gifted with great beauty of complexion,
fair in colour,
fine in presence,[11]
stately[12] to behold —

That he was virtuous,
increased in virtue,
gifted with virtue
that had waxed great —

That he had a pleasant voice
and pleasing delivery,
and was gifted with polite address,
distinct,
not husky,[13]
suitable for making clear
the matter in hand —

That he was the teacher
of the teachers of many,
[147] instructing three hundred Brahmans
in the repetition of the mystic verses,
and that many young Brahmans,
from various directions
and various counties,
all craving for the verses,
came to learn them by heart under him —

That he was aged,
old, and well stricken in years,
long-lived and full of days —

That he was honoured,
held of weight,
esteemed worthy,
venerated and revered by Seniya Bimbisāra,
the king of Magadhā —

That he was honoured,
held of weight,
esteemed worthy,
venerated and revered
by Pokkharasādi, the Brahman —

That he dwelt at Campā,
a place teeming with life,
with much grassland and woodland and corn,
on a royal fief
granted him by Seniya Bimbisāra,
the king of Magadhā,
as a royal gift,
with power over it
as if he were the king —

For each of these reasons
it was not fitting that he, Soṇadaṇḍa the Brahman,
should call upon the Samaṇa Gotama,
but rather that the Samaṇa Gotama
should call upon him.

[6] And when they had thus spoken,
Soṇadaṇḍa said to them:

[115] "Then, Sirs, listen,
and hear why it is fitting
that I should call upon the venerable Gotama,
and not he should call upon me —

'Truly, Sirs,
the venerable Gotama is well born on both sides,
of pure descent through the mother and the father
back through seven generations,
with no slur put upon him,
and no reproach in respect of birth —

Truly, Sirs, the Samaṇa Gotama
has gone forth (into the religious life),
giving up the great clan of his relations[14]

Truly, Sirs, the Samaṇa Gotama
has gone forth (into the religious life),
giving up much money and gold,
treasure both buried and above the ground —

[148] Truly, Sirs, the Samaṇa Gotama,
while he was still a young man,
without a grey hair on his head,
in the beauty of his early manhood,
has gone forth from the household life
into the homeless state —

Gotama's mother died in childbirth.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

Truly, Sirs, the Samaṇa Gotama,
though his father and mother were unwilling,
and wept,
their cheeks being wet with tears,
nevertheless cut off his hair and beard,
and donned the yellow robes,
and went out from the household life
into the homeless state —

Truly, Sirs, the Samaṇa Gotama is handsome,
pleasant to look upon,
inspiring trust,
gifted with great beauty of complexion,
fair in colour,
fine in presence,
stately to behold —

Truly, Sirs, the Samaṇa Gotama
is virtuous
with the virtue of the Arahats,
good and virtuous,
gifted with goodness and virtue —

Truly, Sirs, the Samaṇa Gotama
hath a pleasant voice,
and a pleasing delivery,
he is gifted with polite address,
distinct,
not husky,
suitable for making clear
the matter in hand —

Truly, Sirs, the Samaṇa Gotama
is the teacher of the teachers of many —

Truly, Sirs the Samaṇa Gotama
has no passion of lust left in him,
and has put away all fickleness of mind —

Truly, Sirs, the Samaṇa Gotama
believes in Karma,
and in action,[15]
he is one who puts righteousness
in the forefront (of his exhortations)
to the Brahman race —

Truly, Sirs, the Samaṇa Gotama
went forth from a distinguished family
primeval[16] among the Kshatriya clans —

[149] Truly, Sirs, the Samaṇa Gotama
went forth from a family
prosperous,
well to do,
and rich —

[116] Truly, Sirs, people come right across the country
from distant lands
to ask questions of the Samaṇa Gotama —

Truly, Sirs, multitudes of heavenly beings
put their trust in the Samaṇa Gotama —

Truly, Sirs, such is the high reputation
noised abroad concerning the Samaṇa Gotama,
that he is said to be an Arahat,
exalted,
fully awakened,
abounding in wisdom and righteousness,
happy,
with knowledge of the worlds,
a Blessed One,
a Buddha —

Truly, Sirs, the Samaṇa Gotama
has all the thirty two bodily marks of a Great Being —

Truly, Sirs, the Samaṇa Gotama bids all men welcome, is congenial, conciliatory, not supercilious, accessible to all, not backward in conversation —

Truly, Sirs, the Samaṇa Gotama
is honoured,
held of weight,
esteemed and venerated and revered
by the four classes
(of his followers —
the brethren and sisters of the Order,
laymen and lay women) —

Truly, Sirs, many gods and men
believe in the Samaṇa Gotama —

Truly, Sirs, in whatsoever village or town
the Samaṇa Gotama stays,
there the non-humans
do the humans no harm —

Truly, Sirs, the Samaṇa Gotama
as the head of an Order,
of a school,
as the teacher of a school,
is the acknowledged chief
of all the founders of sects.

Whereas some Samaṇas and Brahmans
have gained a reputation
by all sorts of insignificant matters,[17]
not [150] so the Samaṇa Gotama.

His reputation comes
from perfection in conduct
and righteousness —

Truly, Sirs, the king of Magadhā, Seniya Bimbisāra,
with his children and his wives,
with his people,
and his courtiers,
has put his trust in the Samaṇa Gotama —

Truly, Sirs, King Pasenadi of Kosala,
with his children and his wives,
with his people and his courtiers,
has put his trust in the Samaṇa Gotama —

Truly, Sirs, Pokkharasādi the Brahman,
with his children and his wives,
with his people and his intimates,
has put his trust in the Samaṇa Gotama —

Truly, Sirs, the Samaṇa Gotama
is honoured,
held of weight,
esteemed,
and venerated and revered alike
by Seniya Bimbisāra, the king of Magadhā,
by Pasenadi the king of Kosala,
and by Pokkharasādi the Brahman —

[117] Truly, Sirs, the Samaṇa Gotama
has now arrived at Campā,
and is staying on the shores of the Gaggarā Lake.

But all Samaṇas and Brahmans
who come into our village borders
are our guests.

And guests we ought to esteem and honour,
to venerate
and revere.

And as he is now so come,
he ought to be so treated,
as a guest —

For each and all of these considerations
it is not fitting
that the Samaṇa Gotama should call upon us,
but rather does it behove us to call upon him.

And so far only
do I know the excellencies of the Samaṇa Gotama,
but these are not all of them,
for his excellence is beyond measure."

[7] And when he had thus spoken,
those Brahmans said to him:

"The venerable Soṇadaṇḍa
declares the praises of the Samaṇa Gotama on such wise
that were he to be dwelling
even a hundred leagues from here,
it would be enough to make a believing man
go thither to call upon him,
even had he to carry a bag
(for the provisions for the journey)
on his back.[18]

Let us then all go
to call on the Samaṇa Gotama together!"

[151] So Soṇadaṇḍa the Brahman
went out to the Gaggarā Lake
with a great company of Brahmans.

[8] Now the following hesitation
arose in Soṇadaṇḍa's mind
as he passed through the wood:

"Were I to ask the Samaṇa Gotama a question,
if he were to say:

'The question ought not to be asked so,
thus ought the question to be framed';

the company might thereupon
speak of me with disrespect,
saying:

'Foolish is this Soṇadaṇḍa the Brahman,
and inexpert.

[118] He is not even able to ask a question rightly.'

But if they did so
my reputation would decrease;
and with my reputation
my incomings would grow less,
for what we have to enjoy,
that depends on our reputation.

But if the Samaṇa Gotama
were to put a question to me,
I might not be able to gain his approval[19]
by my explanation of the problem.

And if they were then to say to me:

'The question ought not to be answered so;
thus ought the problem to be explained;

the company might thereupon
speak of me with disrespect,
saying:

'Foolish is this Soṇadaṇḍa the Brahman,
and inexpert.

He is not even able to satisfy the Samaṇa Gotama
by his explanation of the problem put.'

But if they did so,
my reputation would decrease;
and with my reputation
my incomings would grow less,
for what we have to enjoy,
that depends upon our reputation.

But on the other hand
if, having come so far,
I should turn back
without calling upon the Samaṇa Gotama,
then might the company speak disrespectfully of me,
saying:

"Foolish is this Soṇadaṇḍa the Brahman,
and inexpert,
though obstinate with pride,
he is so afraid
that he dare not call on the Samaṇa Gotama.

How can he turn back
after having come so far?'

But if they did so,
my reputation would decrease;
and with my reputation
my incomings would grow less
for what we have to enjoy,
that depends upon our reputation."

[9] So Soṇadaṇḍa the Brahman
went up to where [152] the Blessed One was.

And when he had come there
he exchanged with the Blessed One
the greetings and compliments
of politeness and courtesy,
and took his seat on one side.

And as to the Brahmans and householders of Campā,
some of them bowed to the Blessed One
and took their seats on one side;
some of them exchanged with him
the greetings and compliments
of politeness and courtesy,
and then took their seats on one side;
some of them called out their name and family,
and then took their seats on one side;
and some of them took their seats on one side in silence.

[119] [10] Now as Soṇadaṇḍa was seated there
he was still filled with hesitation,
thinking as before set out;
and he added to himself:

"Oh! would that the Samaṇa Gotama
would but ask me some question
on my own subject,
on the threefold Vedic lore.

Verily, I should then be able to gain his approval
by my exposition of the problem put!"

[11] Now the Blessed One became aware in his own mind
of the hesitation in the mind of Soṇadaṇḍa,
and he thought:

"This Soṇadaṇḍa is afflicted in his heart.

I had better question him
on his own doctrine."

And he said to him:

"What are the things, Brahman,
which the Brahmans say a man ought to have
in order to be a Brahman,
so that if he says:

'I am a Brahman,'
he speaks accurately
and does not become guilty of falsehood?'

[12] Then Soṇadaṇḍa thought:

[120] "What I wished and desired
and had in my mind
and hoped for —
that the Samaṇa Gotama should put to me
some question on my own subject,
on the threefold Vedic lore —
that he now does.

Oh! that I may be able to satisfy his heart
with my exposition thereof!"

[13] And drawing his body up erect,
and looking round on the assembly,
he said to the Blessed One:

"The Brahmans, Gotama, declare him to be a Brahman
who can accurately say
'I am a Brahman'
without being guilty of falsehood,
who has five things.

And what are the five?

In the first place, Sir,
a Brahman is well born on both sides,
on the mother's side
and on [153] the father's side,
of pure descent
back through seven generations,
with no slur put upon him,
and no reproach,
in respect of birth —

Then he is a repeater
(of the sacred words),
knowing the mystic verses by heart,
one who has mastered the Three Vedas,
with the indices,
the ritual,
the phonology,
and the exegesis (as a fourth),
and the legends as a fifth,
learned in the phrases
and in the grammar,
versed in Lokāyata sophistry,
and in the theory of the signs
on the body of a great man —

Then he is handsome,
pleasant to look upon,
inspiring trust,
gifted with great beauty of complexion,
fair in colour,
fine in presence,
stately to behold —

Then he is virtuous,
increased in virtue,
gifted with virtue
that has grown great —

Then he is learned and wise,
the first, or it may be the second,
among those who hold out the ladle."[20]

[14] "But of these five things, oh Brahman,
is it possible to leave one out,
and to declare the man who has the other four
to be a Brahman,
to be one who can accurately,
and without falling into falsehood,
claim to be a Brahman?"

"Yes, Gotama, that can be, done.

We could leave out colour.[21]

For what does colour matter?

[121] If he have the other four —
good birth,
technical training,
virtue,
and wisdom,
as just set forth[22]
Brahmans would still declare him to be a Brahman;
and he could rightly,
without danger of falsehood,
claim to be one."

[15] "But of these four things, oh Brahman,
is it possible to leave one out,
and to declare the man who has the other three
to be a Brahman,
to be one who can rightly,
and without falling into falsehood,
claim to be a Brahman?"

"Yes, Gotama, that could be done.

We could leave out the verses.

For what do the verses matter?

If [154] he have the other three —
good birth,
virtue,
and wisdom —
Brahmans would still declare him to be a Brahman;
and he could rightly,
without danger of falsehood,
claim to be one."

[16] "But of these three things, Brahman,
is it possible to leave one out,
and to declare the man who has the other two
to be a Brahman,
to be one who can accurately,
and without falling into falsehood,
claim to be a Brahman?"

"Yes, Gotama, that could be done.

We could leave out birth.

For what does birth matter?

If he have the other two —
virtue
and wisdom —
Brahmans would still declare him to be a Brahman;
and he could rightly,
without danger of falsehood,
claim to be one."

[122] [17] And when he had thus spoken
the other Brahmans said to Soṇadaṇḍa:

"Say not so venerable Soṇadaṇḍa,
say not so!

He depreciates not only our colour,
but he depreciates our verses
and our birth.

Verily the venerable Soṇadaṇḍa
is going over to the doctrine of the Samaṇa Gotama."

[18] Then the Blessed One said to those Brahmans:

"If you, oh Brahmans,
think that Soṇadaṇḍa is unlearned,
that he speaks unfittingly,
that he is unwise,
that he is unable to hold his own with me in this matter,
let him keep silence,
and do you discuss with me.

But if you think him learned,
able in speech,
wise,
able to hold his own,
then do you keep silence,
and let him discuss with me."

[19] And when he had thus spoken,
Soṇadaṇḍa the Brahman said to those Brahmans:

"Let not the venerable ones say so.

Say not so, Sirs.

[123] I do not depreciate
either our colour,
nor our verses,
nor our birth."

[20] Now at that time a young Brahman named Angaka,[23]
sister's son to Soṇadaṇḍa the Brahman,
was seated in that company.

And Soṇadaṇḍa said to those [155] Brahmans:

"Do the venerable ones see this Angaka,
our nephew?"

"Yes, Sir, we see him."

"Well! Angaka, Sirs, is handsome,
pleasant to look upon,
inspiring trust,
gifted with great beauty of complexion,
fair in colour,
fine in presence,
stately to behold —
none in this assembly
is like unto him in colour,
save only the Samaṇa Gotama.

And Angaka, Sirs, is a repeater
(of the sacred words),
knowing the mystic verses by heart,
one who has mastered the Three Vedas,
with the indices,
the ritual,
the phonology,
and the exegesis (as a fourth),
and the legends as a fifth,
learned in the phrases
and the grammar,
versed in Lokāyata (Nature-lore),
and in the theory of the signs
on the body of a great man —
I myself have taught him the verses.

And Angaka, Sirs,
is well born on both sides,
on the mother's side
and on the father's side,
of pure descent
back through seven generations,
with no slur put upon him,
and no reproach in respect of birth —
I myself know his forebears,
on the mother's side
and on the father's.

If Angaka, Sirs, should kill living things,
and take what has not been given,
and go the way of the adulterer,
and speak lies,
and drink strong drink,
what then, Sirs,
would his colour avail him?
what the verses?
what his birth?

It is in so far, Sirs,
as a Brahman is virtuous,
increased in virtue,
gifted with virtue that has grown great;
in so far as he is learned and wise,
the first, or it may be the second,
among those who hold out the ladle,
that Brahmans would declare him,
as endowed with these two qualities,
to be a Brahman,
to be one who could rightly say
'I am a Brahman'
without falling into falsehood."

[21] "But of these two things, oh Brahman,
is it possible to leave one out,
and to declare the man who has the other
to be a Brahman,
to be one who can rightly,
and without falling into falsehood,
claim to be a, Brahman?"

[156] [124] "Not that, Gotama!

For wisdom, oh Gotama,
is purified by uprightness,
and uprightness is purified by wisdom.

Where there is uprightness,
wisdom is there,
and where there is wisdom,
uprightness is there.

To the upright
there is wisdom,
to the wise
there is uprightness,
and wisdom and goodness
are declared to be
the best thing in the world.[24]

Just, oh Gotama,
as one might wash hand with hand,
or foot with foot,
just even so, oh Gotama,
is wisdom purified by uprightness,
and uprightness is purified by wisdom.

Where there is uprightness,
wisdom is there,
and where there is wisdom,
uprightness is there.

To the upright,
there is wisdom,
to the wise
there is uprightness,
and wisdom and goodness
are declared to be
the best thing in the world."

[22] "That is just so, oh Brahman.

And I, too, say the same.

But what, then, is that uprightness
and what that wisdom?"

"We only know, oh Gotama,
the general statement in this matter.

May the venerable Gotama be pleased to explain the meaning of the phrase."

"Well then, oh Brahman
give ear,
and pay earnest attention,
and I will speak."

[23] "Very well, Sir,"
said Soṇadaṇḍa in assent to the Blessed One.

 

§

 

And the Blessed One said:

"Suppose, oh Brahman, 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, oh Brahman, is his conduct good?

In this, oh Brahman, 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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

Putting away unchastity,
the Bhikshu is chaste.

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

This, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

And then that Bhikshu, oh Brahman,
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, oh Brahman, 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, oh Brahman,
that the Bhikshu becomes righteous.

Conduct (Karaṇa)

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

When, oh Brahman, 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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

When, oh Brahman, 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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

When, oh Brahman, 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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

When, oh Brahman, 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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

When, oh Brahman, 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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

When, oh Brahman, 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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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, oh Brahman,
that the Bhikshu becomes guarded
as to the doors of his senses.

This, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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

In this matter, oh Brahman,
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, oh Brahman,
that the Bhikshu
becomes mindful and self-possessed.

This, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

And how, oh Brahman, is the Bhikshu content?

'In this matter, oh Brahman,
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, oh Brahman,
whithersoever he may fly,
carries his wings with him as he flies.

Thus is it, oh Brahman,
that the Bhikshu becomes content.

This, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

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, oh Brahman,
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, oh Brahman,
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, oh Brahman,
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, oh Brahman,
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, oh Brahman,
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, oh Brahman, 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, oh Brahman, is that uprightness.

nbsp;

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, oh Brahman, 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, oh Brahman, is that wisdom.

Then further, oh Brahman,
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, oh Brahman,
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, oh Brahman, is that wisdom.

Then further, oh Brahman, 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, oh Brahman,
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, oh Brahman, is that wisdom.

Then further, oh Brahman, 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, oh Brahman,
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, oh Brahman, 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, oh Brahman, is that wisdom.

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, oh Brahman,
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, oh Brahman,
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, oh Brahman,
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, oh Brahman,
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, oh Brahman,
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, oh Brahman,
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, oh Brahman,
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, oh Brahman,
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, oh Brahman, is that wisdom."[25]

[24] When he had thus spoken,
Soṇadaṇḍa the Brahman, said to the Blessed One:

[125] "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
has the truth been made known to me,
in many a figure,
by the venerable Gotama.

I, even I,
betake myself to the venerable Gotama
as my guide,
to the truth,
and to the Order.

And 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 may the venerable Gotama
grant me the favour
of taking his tomorrow's meal with me,
and also the members of the Order with him.'

Then the Blessed One signified,
by silence,
his consent.

And Soṇadaṇḍa,
on seeing that he had done so,
arose from his seat
and bowed down before the Blessed [158] One,
and walking round him with his right hand towards him,
departed thence.

And at early dawn
he made ready at his house
sweet food,
both hard and soft,
and had the time announced to the Blessed One:

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

[25] Then 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 Soṇadaṇḍa's house,
and sat down on the seat prepared for him.

And Soṇadaṇḍa the Brahman
satisfied the Blessed One,
and the brethren,
with his own hand,
with sweet food,
both hard and soft,
until they refused any more.

And when the Blessed One had finished his meal,
and cleansed the bowl and his hands,
Soṇadaṇḍa took a low seat,
and sat down beside him,
and said:

[26] "If, oh Gotama, after I have entered the assembly,
I should rise from my seat
to bow down before the venerable Gotama,
then the assembly would find fault with me.[26]

Now he with whom the assembly should find fault,
his reputation would grow less;
and he who should lose his reputation,
his income would grow less
for that which we have to enjoy,
that depends upon our reputation.

If then, when I am seated in the assembly,
I stretch forth my joined palms in salutation,
let the venerable Gotama accept that from me
as a rising up from my seat.

[126] And if when I am seated in the assembly
I take off my turban,
let the venerable Gotama accept that from me
as a salutation with my head.

So if, when I am in my chariot,
I were to get down from the chariot
to salute the venerable Gotama,
the surrounders would find fault with me.

If, then, when mounted on my chariot,
I bend down low the staff of my goad,
let the venerable Gotama accept that from me
as if I had got down.

And if, when mounted on my chariot,
I should wave [159] my hand,
let the venerable Gotama accept that from me
as if I had bowed low in salutation!"[27]

[27] Then the Blessed One instructed
and roused
and incited
and gladdened Soṇadaṇḍa the Brahman
with religious discourse,
and then rose from his seat
and departed thence.

HERE ENDS THE SOṆADAṆḌA SUTTA

 


[1] See the summary above, pp. 57-59, in the Introduction to the Sāmañña-phala.

[2] The English equivalents do not exactly cover the corresponding Pāli terms, which are not, in the texts, used always with scrupulous distinctiveness.

[3] § 23 of the text, and of the translation below.

[4] Vol. i, pp. 163-168.

[5] See below in the Introduction to the next Sutta.

[6] Campā, the capital of Angā, was on the East bank of the river of the same name (Jāt. IV, 454), which formed the Eastern boundary of Magadhā. It was close to the modern Bagulpur, about Lat. 24' 10' by Long. 87'. Like other names of famous places in India, it was used over again by colonists in the Far East, and there means what we now call Cochin China and Annam (I-Tsing, p. 58).

[7] So called after Queen Gaggarā, who had had it excavated, says Buddhaghosa (Sum. I, 279). He adds that on its banks was a grove of champaka trees, so well known for the fragrance of their beautiful white flowers. It was under those trees that the wandering mendicants put up.

[8] Sattussada. The meaning is really quite settled, though Fausböll wrongly translates ussada 'desire,' and Oldenberg and myself 'uneven,' at SN 783 = Vin. I, 3. See No. 15 in the list of the thirty-two marks. Also Jāt. IV, 188 = Dhp. A. 339; Jāt. IV, 6o = Dhp.A. 95; Jāt. IV, 4; P.G.D. 22-44; Asl. 307.

[9] In the Buddha's time Angā was subject to Magadhā.

[10] Perhaps in 'companies and separately'; but I follow Buddhaghosa. Comp. M. I, 231; A. II, 55.

[11] Brahma-vaccasī. With a body like that of Mahā Brahmā,' says Buddhaghosa (p. 282). The Burmese and Siamese MSS. read vacchasī.

[12] Akkhuddāvakāso, for which Buddhaghosa (pp. 282, 284) gives three contradictory explanations.

[13] Ane'agalāya. 'Not slobbering,' says Buddhaghosa.

[14] 'Eighty thousand families on the mother's, and eighty thousand on the father's side,' says Buddhaghosa — making a total for the Sākya clan of 800,000, reckoning five to a family.

[15] Kamma-vādī kiriya-vādī. Compare 'Vinaya Texts,' II, 109,112.

[16] ādīna-khattiya-kulā. The reading is doubtful, and the Burmese MSS., after their constant habit, have replaced it by an easy reading, abhinna-khattiya-kulā, 'unbroken Kshatriya family.' But all the Sinhalese MSS. agree in reading either ādina or ādīna; and if the reading had once been abhinna, it is difficult to see how the alteration to the more difficult reading should have occurred. Buddhaghosa skips the clause, which (if it was in the text before him) is suggestive. He would scarcely have done so unless the matter were really very simple. 'Autonomous' would make a good sense in the context; but I have taken the word, in the sense of 'primordial, aboriginal,' as being a derivative from ādi, in the same way as adhīna is from adhi. This is simple enough; the only difficulty being, that the word occurs nowhere else.

[17] Literally 'anyhow'; 'such as by wearing no clothes' explains Buddhaghosa (p. 288).

[18] Puṭaɱsenāpi. Compare A. II, 183, where a precisely similar phrase occurs.

[19] Cittaɱ na ārādheyyaɱ, 'win over his mind.' Comp. M. I, 85, 341; II, 10; Mil. 25.

[20] That is, 'officiate at a sacrifice by pouring out of a spoon a libation of butter, or of spirituous Soma, to the fire god.'

[21] Vaṇṇa, much the same as 'caste,' though that rendering is not strictly accurate. (See the Introduction to the Brahman.)

[22] The full text is repeated, both here and in the following sections.

[23] This name looks suspiciously like a kind of personification of the five Aŋgas (the five characteristics) of the true Brahman as just above, §13, set out.

[24] Oldenberg renders this ('Buddha,' P. 283) as follows: 'The wisdom of the upright and the uprightness of the wise have, of all uprightness and wisdom in the world, the highest value.' I cannot see how this can be grammatically justified; though the sentiment is admirable enough, and would have somewhat relieved the monotony of the paragraph. On paññāna as nominative, not genitive, see, for instance, S. I, 41, 42; Sum. 1, 171, 290; A. IV, 342.

[25] The repetition here is nearly the same as that in the Brahman Sutta, summarised above at the translation of p. 100 of the text. The only difference is that the paragraphs 64-74 of the Sāmañña-phala there included as coming under Caraṇa (Conduct) are here included under Sīla (Uprightness). The Jhānas, there put, not under Vijjā, (Wisdom), but under Caraṇa, are here put, not under Sīla, but under Paññā (Intelligence). In other words Paññā includes all that was there included under Vijjā, and the Four Jhānas besides. But Sīla includes all that is put in the Brahman under Sīla — all indeed of the eight divisions of Sīla as summarised above, pp. 57-59. See Buddhaghosa's notes at pp. 219, 268, 292.

[26] On the ground, says Buddhaghosa (p. 292), that he would be saluting a much younger man, one young enough to be his grandson. If this tradition be correct, it would follow that this Sutta must be describing events very early in the public ministry of the Buddha.

[27] It will be seen from this section that Soṇadaṇḍa is represented as being a convert only to a limited extent. He still keeps on his school of Vedic studies, and is keenly anxious to retain the good opinion of his students, and of other Brahmans. And if that part of the Buddha's doctrine put before him in this Sutta be examined, it will be found to be, with perhaps one or two exceptions, quite compatible with the best Brahman views. No doubt if every detail were carried to its strict logical conclusion there would be no further need for Vedic studies, except from the historical standpoint. But those details are, on the face of them ethical. They belong to a plane not touched on in the then Vedic studies. They could be accepted by an adherent of the soul theory of life. And the essential doctrines of Buddhism — the Path, the Truths, and Arahatship — are barely even referred to.


 [Contents ]   [Preface ]   [#1. Brahma-gāla Suttanta: ]   [#2. Sāmañña-phala Suttanta: ]   [#3. The Brahman 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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