Dīgha Nikāya


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Sacred Books of the Buddhists
Volume II

Dīgha Nikāya

Dialogues of the Buddha
Part I

Sutta 10

Subha Suttantaɱ

Conduct, Concentration, and Intellect

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

 


[265]

Introduction to the Subha Sutta.

As this Sutta is almost word for word the same as the Sāmañña-phala, the question arises why it was considered advisable to include it in our collection as a separate Sutta. The chief difference is that the states of mind enumerated in the Sāmañña-phala as fruits of the life of a recluse are here divided under the three heads of Sīla, Samādhi, and Paññā (Conduct, Concentration, and Intelligence).

Samādhi has not yet been found in any Indian book older than the Piṭakas. And, as in them, it is used exclusively of a mental state, never in a concrete sense, its meaning is not easy to fix exactly. It is not the same as Jhāna, which is a pre-Buddhistic term applied to four special forms of meditation, culminating in self-induced ecstasy. Samādhi on the other hand is a constant habit, or faculty, of mind. The oldest Sanskrit text in which it occurs is the Maitri Upanishad; and it probably has there the same meaning as it has in the Piṭakas.

In our present Sutta — and the principal reason for its existence as a separate Sutta is that it points out just this — it is pointed out that Samādhi includes, it is true, the Jhānas, but also other, and very different things. These are the habit of guarding the doors of one's senses; constant mindfulness and self-possession; and the faculty of being content with little. From the negative point of view it is said to include emancipation from ill-temper, inertness of mind and body, worry, and perplexity; from the positive point of view it is said to include a constant state of joy and peace.

Wilson's Sanskrit Dictionary (1819) gives the meaning 'devout meditation'; and the rendering 'meditation' has been used for it in subsequent works in English by Western scholars. It is quite clear that this would be a very inadequate and misleading rendering in our Sutta. But exigencies of space preclude the discussion here, either of the meaning, or of the very interesting and suggestive history of the word in India.

[266] How far was the word (literally 'allocation') invented or adopted by the Buddhists, or by their immediate spiritual forerunners, to express 'self-concentration' with implied co-ordination, harmonisation, of the mental faculties — an idea they wanted, in the statement of their most essential and ethical doctrines, to be used in preference to the more limited, more physical, notion of Jhāna? (It is Samādhi, and not Jhāna that we find in the Four Truths, in the Noble Path, and in the thirty-seven constituent parts of Arahatship.) How far, through the constant association of the two ideas, did the larger, as ethical feeling died away, become swallowed up by the smaller? At what date, in what circles, and under what reservations, did the word Samādhi come to mean nothing more than meditation? The history of the two ideas, Samādhi and Jhāna, has constant analogies with the history of the two similarly related ideas of Tāpasa and Bhikshu, and, like it, is of the first importance in following the evolution of philosophical and religious thought in India.

I have made some detailed contributions to the discussion of such questions in my 'Yogāvacara Manual' (Pāli Text Society, 1896, pp. xiv-xxviii); and must confine myself, here, to referring to those pages.

 


[267]

Conduct, Concentration, and Intellect

[1] THUS HAVE I HEARD. The venerable Ānanda was once staying at Sāvatthi
in the Jeta Wood,
in Anātha Piṇḍika's pleasaunce,
shortly after the Exalted One had died away.[1]

Now at that time the young Brahman Subha,
the son of the man of Tudi,[2]
was dwelling at Sāvatthi
on some business or other.

2. Now Subha, the young Brahman,
addressed a certain young man,
and said:

"Come now, young man.

Go to the Samaṇa Ānanda,
and ask in my name
as to whether his sickness and indisposition has abated,
as to his health and vigour
and condition of ease;
and say:

'Twere well if the venerable Ānanda
would be so kind as to pay a visit
to Subha, the young Brahman,
the son of the man of Tudi.'

3. "Very well, Sir,"
said that young man in reply.

And he went to the place
where the venerable Ānanda was staying,
and exchanged with him
the greetings and compliments
of politeness and courtesy,
and took his seat apart.

And, so seated,
he delivered to the venerable Ānanda
the message with which he had been charged.

[205] 4. On hearing that message,
the venerable Ānanda said to him:

"It is not just now, young man, convenient,
for I have just taken medicine.

But perhaps I may be able to go on the morrow,
if so be that conditions and opportunity seem fit."

Then that young man arose from his seat,
and went to Subha,
and told him all,
and added:

"So, Sir, the matter has been so far accomplished
that perhaps the venerable Ānanda
may be able to come on the morrow,
if so be that conditions and opportunity seem fit."

[268] 5. And the venerable Ānanda,
when the night had passed away,
dressed himself early in the morning,
and went, in his robes and carrying his bowl,
with a Bhikkhu from the Cetiya country as his attendant,
to Subha's house,
and took his seat on the mat spread out for him.

And Subha, the young Brahman,
the son of the man of Tudi,
came there where he sat,
and exchanged with the venerable Ānanda
the greetings and compliments
of politeness and courtesy,
and took his seat on one side.

And, so seated,
he said to the venerable Ānanda:

"You, Sir, have waited long
on the venerable Gotama,
constantly near him,
continually in his company.

You, Sir, will know
what were the things
the venerable Gotama was wont to praise;
to which he used to incite the folk,
in which he established them,
and made them firm.

What were they, Ānanda?"

6. "Three are the bodies of doctrine, young Brahman,
which the Exalted One was wont to praise;
to which he used to incite the folk,
in which he established them,
and made them firm.

And what are the three?

The so noble body of doctrine
regarding right conduct,
the so noble body of doctrine
regarding self-concentration,
the so noble body of doctrine
regarding intelligence."[3]

"And what, Ānanda,
is this so noble body of doctrine
regarding right conduct
(Sīla)
in praise of which
the venerable Gotama was wont to speak;
to which he used to incite the folk,
in which he established them,
and made them firm?"

 

§

 

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

In this, young 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.

Putting away the taking
of what has not been given,
he 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.

Putting away unchastity,
he is chaste.

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

Putting away lying words,
he 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.

Putting away slander,
he 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.

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

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

Putting away frivolous talk,
he 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.

He 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.

 

§

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

§

 

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

And there is yet something further,
according to this system,
still to be done."

"Wonderful is this, Ānanda, and mysterious -
both that this so noble group of conduct
is well-rounded,
not incomplete;
and that I perceive no other,
like unto it,
among the other Samaṇas and Brāhmaṇas
outside of this communion.

And were they also
to perceive such in themselves,
then would they be satisfied with thus much,
and would say:

'So far is enough.

We have done thus much.

The aim of our Samaṇaship has been reached.'

But you, Ānanda, on the other hand, say:

'There is yet something further',
according to your system,
'still to be done.'"

 

§

 

And what, Ānanda, is this
so noble body of doctrine
regarding self-concentration
(Samādhi)
in praise of which the venerable Gotama
was wont to speak;
to which he used to incite the folk,
in which he established them,
and made them firm?"

[Ed.: (Inserted to smooth the transition): "Here, young Brahman,
the Bhikkhu is guarded
as to the doors of his senses.]

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

When, young 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.

When, young 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, young Brahman, is that uprightness.

When, young 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, young Brahman, is that uprightness.

When, young 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, young Brahman, is that uprightness.

When, young 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, young Brahman, is that uprightness.

When, young 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.

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

 

§

 

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

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

 

§

 

And how, young Brahman, is the Bhikshu content?

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

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

 

§

 

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, young 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, young 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, young 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, young 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, young 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, young 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.

 

§

 

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, young 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.

Then further, young 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, young 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.

Then further, young 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, young 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.

Then further, young 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, young 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, young 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.

Thus is it, young Brahman,
that the Bhikshu becomes self-concentrated.

And there is yet something further,
according to this system,
still to be done."

 

§

 

"Wonderful is this, Ānanda, and mysterious -
both that this so noble self-concentration
is well-rounded,
not incomplete;
and that I perceive no other,
like unto it,
among the other Samaṇas and Brāhmaṇas
outside of this communion.

And were they also
to perceive such in themselves,
then would they be satisfied with thus much,
and would say:

'So far is enough.

We have done thus much.

The aim of our Samaṇaship has been reached.'

But you, Ānanda, on the other hand, say:

'There is yet something further',
according to your system,
'still to be done.'

 

§

 

20. And what, Ānanda,
is this so noble body of doctrine
regarding intellect
(Paññā)
in praise of which
the venerable Gotama was wont to speak;
to which he used to incite the folk,
in which he established them,
and made them firm?"

 

§

 

"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, Sirs,
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.

 

§

 

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, young 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.

 

§

 

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, young 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.

 

§

 

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, young 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, young Brahman, is an immediate fruit
of the life of a recluse,
visible in this life,
and 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, young 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.

 

§

 

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, young 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.'

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, young 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.'

 

§

 

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, young 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.

27. This, young Brahman,
is that so noble body of doctrine regarding intellect,
of which that Exalted One was wont to speak in praise,
to which he used to incite the folk,
in which he established them,
and made them firm."

 

§

 

'Wonderful is this, Ānanda, and mysterious —
both that this so noble group of doctrine regarding intellect is well-rounded,
not incomplete;
and that I perceive no other,
like unto it,
among the other Samaṇas and Brāhmaṇas
outside of this communion.

And there is not, in this matter,
anything further to be accomplished.

Most excellent, Ānanda,
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 have eyes
could see external forms -
just even so has the truth been made known to me,
in many a figure,
by the venerable Ānanda.

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

May the venerable Ānanda receive me
as an adherent,
as one who, from this day forth,
as long as life endures,
has taken them as his guide."

HERE ENDS THE SUBHA SUTTANTA

 


[1] The full details are given in Sumangala Vilāsinī, p. 7.

[2] A village near Sāvatthi, now in Nepal territory.

[3] On these three Skandhas of doctrine, see above, p.82, and A. I, 125, etc.

 


 

Contents of Dialogues of the Buddha Part I

 [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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