Dīgha Nikāya


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Sacred Books of the Buddhists
Volume II

Dīgha Nikāya

Dialogues of the Buddha
Part I

Sutta 11

Kevaḍḍha Suttaɱ (Kevatta) Suttantaɱ

The Three Wonders, And The Gods

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

 


[272]

Introduction
to the
Kevaddha Sutta

In this Sutta we have the position taken up by the early Buddhists, and no doubt by Gotama himself, as to the practice of the wonders or miracles, in which there was then universal belief.

They were not, however, miracles in our Western sense. There was no interference by an outside power with the laws of nature. It was supposed that certain people, by reason of special (but quite natural) powers, could accomplish certain special acts beyond the power of ordinary men. These acts are eight in number: and as set forth in detail (above, (: pp. 88, 89) remind us of some (not of all) the powers now attributed to mediums. The belief is not Buddhist. It is pre-Buddhistic, and common to all schools of thought in India.

As usual[1] the Buddha is represented as not taking the trouble to doubt or dispute the fact of the existence of such powers. He simply says that he loathes the practice of them and that a greater and better wonder than any or all of them; is education in the system of self-training which culminates in Arahatship. There is no evidence of a similarly reasonable view of this question of wonders having been put forward by any Indian teacher before the Buddha.

It is very strange that Childers should have stated (Dict, P. 157) that 'Iddhī is the peculiar attribute of the Arahats.' He gives no authority for the statement. Devadatta, who was the very reverse of an Arahat, was noted for his power of Iddhī. And of the many Arahats mentioned in the books, only one or two, notably Moggallāna, were famed for this acquirement. They could have it, of course; just as they could have any craft or skill of the unconverted. But the eight powers referred to above are called the 'pothujjanikā' — or 'puthujjanikā-īddhī'[2] or āmisā-iddhī[3]; that is, pre- [273] cisely not an attribute of the Arahats, or even of men in the lower stages of the Path, but of the worldly, the unconverted, a practice carried out for worldly gain.

We have the Iddhī, the majestic movement, of animals[4] the Iddhī, the glory and majesty and potency, of a king[5] — the Iddhī, the prosperity and splendour, of a rich young man[6] — the Iddhī, the craft and power, of a hunter[7] — the Iddhī, in the technical sense just explained, of the unconverted wonder-worker. The Iddhī of the Arahats, as such, was the majesty and potency of their victory, of their emancipation.[8]

In illustration of his position Gotama is represented to have told a wonderful legend-how a Bhikshu, seeking the answer to a deep problem in religion and philosophy, goes up and up, by the power of his Iddhī, from world to world, appealing to the gods. In each heaven, as he mounts ever higher, the gods confess their ignorance, and send him on to the gods above, more potent and more glorious than they. And so he comes at last to the great god of gods, the Mahā Brahmā himself, only to be taken discreetly aside, and told in confidence, so that the gods may not hear it, that he too, the Mahā Brahmā, does not know the answer!

All the details of the story are worked out with persistent humour, characteristic of such legends in the Buddhist books, in order to bring out the two lessons — in the first place how, in all such matters, to trust to the gods is to lean on a broken reed; and secondly, how perfectly useless is the power of such Iddhī, which, even at its best, can give no better help than that to one in earnest about higher things.

The problem put is of great interest; and goes to the very core of the Buddhist Welt-anschauung, of Buddhist philosophy. The world, as we know it, is within each of us.

'Verily, I declare to you, my friend, that within this very body, mortal as it is and only a fathom high, but conscious and endowed with mind,[9] is, the world, and the waxing thereof, and the waning thereof, and the way that leads to the passing away thereof![10]

On this Dr. Karl, Neumann, whose illustrations of Buddhist [274] texts from passages in Western literature, old and new, are so happy, appropriately compares Schopenhauer's saying (W.W.V. I, 538),'One can also say that Kant's teaching leads to the view that the beginning and end of the world are not to be sought without, but within, us.'

The problem, as put by the Bhikshu to the gods, is: 'Where do the elements pass away?' The Buddha, in giving his solution, first says that that is not the right way to put the question. It ought to be: 'Where do the elements find no foothold; where does that union of qualities that make a person (nāma and rūpa) pass away?'

The alteration is suggestive. The person should be introduced; a thinking being. We only know of the elements and their derivatives, as reflected in, constructed by, human intelligence. To the question, as thus altered, the answer is: 'They find no foothold in the mind of the Arahat, and when intellection (with special reference to the representative faculty) ceases, then they, and the person with them, cease.'

So in the Bāhiya story (Ud. I, 10) we are told:

'There, where earth, water, fire, and wind no footing find,
There are the nights not bright, nor suns resplendent,
No moon shines there, there is no darkness seen.
And then, when he, the Arahat hath, in his wisdom, seen;
From well and ill, from form and formless, is he freed!'

This is a striking, and in all probability intentional, contrast to the Upanishad passages where the same kind of language is used of the Great Soul, the corollary of the human soul. It is one of many instances (as has been pointed out by Father Dahlmann) where the same expressions, used in the Piṭakas of the Arahat, are used in the older or later priestly speculation of God.

We have another reference to the view that the Four Elements find no foothold in the Arahat at Saɱyutta I, 15 And we see what is meant by this from verse 1111 in the Sutta Nipāta: 'To him who harbours no delight in feelings that arise, either from within or without, cognition (Viññāṇa) tends to wane.' That is, of course, not that his mental activity grows less — the mental alertness of the Arahat is laid stress upon throughout the books. The picture drawn of the Arahat par excellence, the Buddha himself, is a standing example of what the early Buddhists considered a man to be in whom the Viññāṇa had waned. Whatever else it is, it is the very reverse of a man intellectually asleep, unconscious of what is said to him dull to ideas. But it is the picture of [275] a man to whom the Four Elements, and all that follows from them, material things, and the ways in which they affect him, have ceased to have the paramount importance they have to the thoughtless.[11]

 


[276]

XI. Kevaddha Sutta

The Three Wonders, and the Gods

[1][bit][than] THUS HAVE I HEARD.

The Exalted One was once staying at Nālandā
in the Pāvārika's mango grove.[12]

Now Kevaddha,[13] a young householder,
came where the Exalted One was,
and bowed down in salutation to him,
and took a seat on one side.

And, so seated, he said to the Exalted One:

"This Nālandā, of ours, Sir,
is influential and prosperous,
full of folk,
crowded with people devoted to the Exalted One.

It were well if the Exalted One
were to give command to some brother
to perform, by power surpassing that of ordinary men,
a mystic wonder.

Thus would this Nālandā of ours
become even so much the more
devoted to the Exalted One."

On his speaking thus
the Exalted One said to him:

"But, Kevaddha, it is not thus
that I am wont to give instruction to the brethren:

'Come now, my brethren;
perform ye a mystic wonder,
by power surpassing that of ordinary men,
for the lay folk
clad in their garments of white!'"

2. And a second time Kevaddha said to the Exalted One:

"This Nālandā, of ours, Sir,
is influential and prosperous,
full of folk,
crowded with people devoted to the Exalted One.

It were well if the Exalted One
were to give command to some brother
to perform, by power surpassing that of ordinary men,
a mystic wonder.

Thus would this Nālandā of ours
become even so much the more
devoted to the Exalted One."

And a second time, on his speaking thus
the Exalted One said to him:

"But, Kevaddha, it is not thus
that I am wont to give instruction to the brethren:

'Come now, my brethren;
perform ye a mystic wonder,
by power surpassing that of ordinary men,
for the lay folk
clad in their garments of white!'"

[277] 3. And a third time Kevaddha, the young householder,
addressed the Exalted One, and said:

"I would fain do no injury to the Exalted One.

I only say
that this Nālandā, of ours
is influential and prosperous,
full of folk,
crowded with people devoted to the Exalted One.

It were well if the Exalted One
were to give command to some brother
to perform, by power surpassing that of ordinary men,
a mystic wonder.

Thus would this Nālandā of ours
become even so much the more
devoted to the Exalted One."

 

§

 

"There are three sorts of wonders, Kevaddha,
which I, having myself understood
and realised them,
have made known to others.

And what are the three?

[1] The mystic wonder,
[2] the wonder of manifestation, and
[3] the wonder of education.[14]

 

§

 

4. And what, Kevaddha,
is the mystic wonder?

In this case, Kevaddha,
suppose that a brother enjoys the possession,
in various ways,
of mystic power:

From being one he becomes multiform,
from being multiform he becomes one;

from being visible he becomes invisible:
he passes without hindrance
to the further side of a wall
or a battlement
or a mountain,
as if through air;

he penetrates up and down
through solid ground,
as if through water:
he walks on water without dividing it,
as if on solid ground;

he travels cross-legged through the sky,
like the birds on wing;

he touches and feels with the hand
even the Moon and the Sun,
beings of mystic power and potency though they be;

he reaches, even in the body,
up to the heaven of Brahmā.

And some believer,
of trusting heart,
should behold him doing so.

5. Then that believer
should announce the fact to an unbeliever,
saying:

'Wonderful, Sir,
and marvellous
is the mystic power and potency
of that recluse.

For verily I saw him
indulging himself, in various ways,
in mystic power:

From being one he becomes multiform,
from being multiform he becomes one;

from being visible he becomes invisible:
he passes without hindrance
to the further side of a wall
or a battlement
or a mountain,
as if through air;

he penetrates up and down
through solid ground,
as if through water:
he walks on water without dividing it,
as if on solid ground;

he travels cross-legged through the sky,
like the birds on wing;

he touches and feels with the hand
even the Moon and the Sun,
beings of mystic power and potency though they be;

he reaches, even in the body,
up to the heaven of Brahmā.'

[278] Then that unbeliever should say to him:

'Well, Sir! there is a certain charm
called the Gandhāra Charm.

It is by the efficacy thereof
that he performs all this.'[15]

Now what think you, Kevaddha?

Might not the unbeliever so say?"

"Yes, Sir; he might."

"Well, Kevaddha!

It is because I perceive danger
in the practice of mystic wonders,
that I loathe,
and abhor,
and am ashamed thereof.

 

§

 

6. And what, Kevaddha,
is the wonder of manifestation?

Suppose, in this case, Kevaddha,
that a brother can make manifest
the heart and
the feelings,
the reasonings and
the thoughts,
of other beings,
of other individuals,
saying:

'So and so is in your mind.

You are thinking of such and such a matter.

Thus and thus are your emotions.'

And some believer,
of trusting heart,
should see him doing so.[16]

7. Then that believer should announce the fact
to an unbeliever,
saying:

'Wonderful, Sir, and marvellous
is the mystic power and potency
of that recluse.

For verily I saw him
making manifest the heart and
the feelings,
the reasonings and
the thoughts,
of other beings,
of other individuals,
saying:

"So and so is in your mind.

You are thinking of such and such a matter.

Thus and thus are your emotions."

Then that unbeliever
should say to him:

'Well, Sir! there is a charm
called the Jewel Charm.[17]

It is by the efficacy thereof
that he performs all this.'

[279] Now what think you, Kevaddha?

Might not the unbeliever so say?"

"Yes, Sir; he might."

"Well, Kevaddha!

It is because I perceive danger
in the practice
of the wonder of manifestation,
that I loathe,
and abhor,
and am ashamed thereof.

 

§

 

8. And what, Kevaddha,
is the wonder of education?

Suppose, Kevaddha,
that a brother teaches thus:

'Reason in this way,
do not reason in that way.

Consider thus,
and not thus.

Get rid of this disposition,
train yourself,
and remain,
in that.'

This, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

And further, Kevaddha, suppose that a Tathāgata is born into 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.

This, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

 

§

 

And how, Kevaddha, is his conduct good?

In this, Kevaddha, 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.

This, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

 

§

 

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, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

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, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

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, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

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, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

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, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

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, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

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, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

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, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

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, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

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.

This, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

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, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

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, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

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, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

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, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

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, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

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, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

 

§

 

And then that Bhikshu, Kevaddha,
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, Kevaddha, 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.

This, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

 

§

 

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

When, Kevaddha, 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, Kevaddha, 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, Kevaddha, is that uprightness.

When, Kevaddha, 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, Kevaddha, is that uprightness.

When, Kevaddha, 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, Kevaddha, is that uprightness.

When, Kevaddha, 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, Kevaddha, is that uprightness.

When, Kevaddha, 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, Kevaddha,
that the Bhikshu becomes guarded
as to the doors of his senses.

This, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

 

§

 

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

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

This, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

 

§

 

And how, Kevaddha, is the Bhikshu content?

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

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

This, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

 

§

 

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, Kevaddha,
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, Kevaddha,
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, Kevaddha,
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, Kevaddha,
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, Kevaddha,
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, Kevaddha, 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, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

 

§

[280]

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, Kevaddha, 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, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

Then further, Kevaddha,
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, Kevaddha,
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, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

Then further, Kevaddha, 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, Kevaddha,
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, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

Then further, Kevaddha, 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, Kevaddha,
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, Kevaddha, 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, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

 

§

 

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, Kevaddha,
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, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

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, Kevaddha,
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, Kevaddha, is what is called
'The wonder of education.'

 

§

 

67. So these, Kevaddha,
are the three wonders
I have understood and realised myself,
and made known to others.

[18] Once upon a time, Kevaddha,
there occurred to a certain brother
in this very company of the brethren,
a doubt on the following point:

"Where now do these four great elements —
earth, water, fire, and wind —
pass away, leaving no trace behind?"

So that brother, Kevaddha,
worked himself up into such a state of ecstasy
that the way leading to the world of the Gods
became clear to his ecstatic vision.

68. Then that brother, Kevaddha,
went up to the realm of the Four Great Kings;
and said to the gods thereof:

'Where, my friends, do the four great elements —
earth, water, fire, and wind —
cease, leaving no trace behind?'

And when he had thus spoken
the gods in the heaven of the Four Great Kings
said to him:

'We, brother, do not know that.

But there are the Four Great Kings,
more potent and more glorious than we.

They will know it.'

69. Then that brother, Kevaddha,
went up to the Four Great Kings;
and said to them:

'Where, my friends, do the four great elements —
earth, water, fire, and wind —
cease, leaving no trace behind?'

And when he had thus spoken
the Four Great Kings
said to him:

'We, brother, do not know that.

But there are the gods of the Realm of the Thirty-three,
more potent and more glorious than we.

They will know it.'

70. Then that brother, Kevaddha,
went up to the gods of the Realm of the Thirty-three;
and said to them:

'Where, my friends, do the four great elements —
earth, water, fire, and wind —
cease, leaving no trace behind?'

And when he had thus spoken
the Thirty-three
said to him:

'We, brother, do not know that.

But there is our king, Sakka,
more potent and more glorious than we.

He will know it.'

71. Then that brother, Kevaddha,
went up to Sakka;
and said to him:

'Where, my friend, do the four great elements —
earth, water, fire, and wind —
cease, leaving no trace behind?'

And when he had thus spoken
Sakka said to him:

'We, brother, do not know that.

But there are the Yama gods,
more potent and more glorious than we.

They will know it.'

72. Then that brother, Kevaddha,
went up to the Realm of the Yama gods;
and said to them:

'Where, my friends, do the four great elements —
earth, water, fire, and wind —
cease, leaving no trace behind?'

And when he had thus spoken
they said to him:

'We, brother, do not know that.

But there is the king of the Yama gods, Suyāma
more potent and more glorious than we.

He will know it.'

73. Then that brother, Kevaddha,
went up to Suyāma;
and said to him:

'Where, my friend, do the four great elements —
earth, water, fire, and wind —
cease, leaving no trace behind?'

And when he had thus spoken
Suyāma said to him:

'We, brother, do not know that.

But there are the Tusita gods
more potent and more glorious than we.

They will know it.'

74. Then that brother, Kevaddha,
went up to the Realm of the Tusita gods;
and said to them:

'Where, my friends, do the four great elements —
earth, water, fire, and wind —
cease, leaving no trace behind?'

And when he had thus spoken
they said to him:

'We, brother, do not know that.

But there is our king, Santusita
more potent and more glorious than we.

He will know it.'

75. Then that brother, Kevaddha,
went up to Santusita;
and said to him:

'Where, my friend, do the four great elements —
earth, water, fire, and wind —
cease, leaving no trace behind?'

And when he had thus spoken
Santusita said to him:

'We, brother, do not know that.

But there are the Nimmāna-rati gods
more potent and more glorious than we.

They will know it.'

[281] 76. Then that brother, Kevaddha,
went up to the Realm of the Nimmāna-rati gods;
and said to them:

'Where, my friends, do the four great elements —
earth, water, fire, and wind —
cease, leaving no trace behind?'

And when he had thus spoken
they said to him:

'We, brother, do not know that.

But there is our king, Sunimmita
more potent and more glorious than we.

He will know it.'

77. Then that brother, Kevaddha,
went up to Sunimmita;
and said to him:

'Where, my friend, do the four great elements —
earth, water, fire, and wind —
cease, leaving no trace behind?'

And when he had thus spoken
Sunimmita said to him:

'We, brother, do not know that.

But there are the Para-nimmita Vasavatti gods
more potent and more glorious than we.

They will know it.'

78. Then that brother, Kevaddha,
went up to the Realm of the Para-nimmita Vasavatti gods;
and said to them:

'Where, my friends, do the four great elements —
earth, water, fire, and wind —
cease, leaving no trace behind?'

And when he had thus spoken
they said to him:

'We, brother, do not know that.

But there is our king, Vasavatti
more potent and more glorious than we.

He will know it.'

79. Then that brother, Kevaddha,
went up to Vasavatti;
and said to him:

'Where, my friend, do the four great elements —
earth, water, fire, and wind —
cease, leaving no trace behind?'

And when he had thus spoken
Vasavatti said to him:

'We, brother, do not know that.

But there are the gods of the Retinue of Brahmā[19]
more potent and more glorious than we.

They will know it.'

[220] 80. Then that brother, Kevaddha,
became so absorbed by self-concentration
that the way to the Brahmā-world
became clear to his mind thus pacified.

And he drew near to the gods of the retinue of Brahmā, and said:

'Where, my friend, do the four great elements —
earth, water, fire, and wind —
cease, leaving no trace behind?'

And when he had thus spoken
the gods of the retinue of Brahmā replied:

'We, brother, do not know that.

But there is Brahmā,
the Great Brahmā,
the Supreme One,
the Mighty One,
the All-seeing One,
the Ruler,
the Lord of all,
the Controller,
the Creator,
the Chief of all,
appointing to each his place,
the Ancient of days,
the Father of all that are
and are to be.[20]

He is more potent and more glorious than we.

He will know it.'

'Where then is that Great Brahmā now?'

We, brother, know not where Brahmā is,
nor why Brahmā is,
nor whence.

But, brother,
when the signs of his coming appear,
when the light ariseth,
and the glory shineth,
then will He be manifest.

For that is the portent
of the manifestation of Brahmā
when the light ariseth,
and the glory shineth.'

[221] 81. And it was not long, Kevaddha,
before that Great Brahmā became manifest.

And that brother drew near to him,
and said:

'Where, my friend,
do the four great elements —
earth, water, fire, and wind —
cease,
leaving no trace behind?'

And when he had thus spoken
that Great Brahmā said to him:

'I, brother, am the Great Brahmā,
the Supreme,
the Mighty,
the All-seeing,
the Ruler,
the [282] Lord of all,
the Controller,
the Creator,
the Chief of all,
appointing to each his place,
the Ancient of days,
the Father of all that are
and are to be!'

82. Then that brother answered Brahmā,
and said:

'I did not ask you, friend,
as to whether you were indeed
all that you now say.

But I ask you
where the four great elements -
earth, water, fire, and wind -
cease,
leaving no trace behind?'

83. Then a second time, Kevaddha,
that Great Brahmā said to him:

'I, brother, am the Great Brahmā,
the Supreme,
the Mighty,
the All-seeing,
the Ruler,
the Lord of all,
the Controller,
the Creator,
the Chief of all,
appointing to each his place,
the Ancient of days,
the Father of all that are
and are to be!'

84. Then a second time that brother answered Brahmā,
and said:

'I did not ask you, friend,
as to whether you were indeed
all that you now say.

But I ask you
where the four great elements -
earth, water, fire, and wind -
cease,
leaving no trace behind?'

Then, Kevaddha, the Great Brahmā
took that brother by the arm
and led him aside,
and said:

'These gods,
the retinue of Brahmā,
hold me, brother,
to be such
that there is nothing I cannot see,
nothing I have not understood,
nothing I have not realised.

Therefore I gave no answer
in their presence.

I do not know, brother,
where those four great elements —
earth, water, fire, and wind —
cease,
leaving no trace behind.

Therefore you, brother, have done wrong,
have acted ill,
in that, ignoring[21] the Exalted One,
you have undertaken this long search,
among others,
for an answer to this question.

Go you now,
return to the Exalted One,
ask him the question,
and accept the answer
according as he shall make reply.'

84. Then, Kevaddha, that Bhikkhu,
as quickly as one could stretch forth his bended arm,
or draw it in when stretched forth,
vanished from the Brahmā world,
and appeared before me.

And he bowed in salutation to me,
and took his seat on one side;
and, so seated,
he said to me:

'Where is it, Sir,
that these four great elements —
earth, water, fire, and wind —
cease,
leaving no trace behind?'

85. And when he had thus spoken, Kevaddha,
I answered him thus:

'Long, long ago, brother,
[283] sea-faring traders were wont,
when they were setting sail on an ocean voyage,
to take with them a land-sighting bird.

And when the ship got out of sight of the shore
they would let the land-sighting bird free.

Such a bird would fly to the East,
and to the South
and to the West,
and to the North,
to the zenith,
and to the intermediate points of the compass.

And if anywhere on the horizon
it caught sight of land,
thither would it fly.

But if no land,
all around about,
were visible,
it would come back even to the ship.

Just so, brother, do you,
having sought an answer to this question,
and sought it in vain,
even up to the Brahmā-world,
come back therefore to me.

[223] Now the question, brother,
should not be put as you have put it.

Instead of asking
where the four great elements cease,
leaving no trace behind,
you should have asked:

"Where do earth, water, fire, and wind,
And long and short, and fine and coarse,
Pure and impure, no footing find?
Where is it that both name and form[22]
Die out, leaving no trace behind?"

On that, the answer is:

"The intellect of Arahatship,
the invisible,
the endless,
accessible from every side.[23]

[284] There is it that earth, water, fire, and wind,
And long and short, and fine and coarse,
Pure and impure, no footing find.

There is it that both name and form
Die out, leaving, no trace behind.
When intellection ceases they all also cease."'

Thus spake the Exalted One.

And Kevaddha, the young householder,
pleased at heart,
rejoiced at the spoken word.

 

HERE ENDS THE KEVADDHA SUTTANTA

 


[1] See for other instances above, p. 206.

[2] Vin. II, 183; Jāt. I, 360

[3] A. I, 93.

[4] Dhp. 175

[5] Above, p. 88, and Jāt. III, 454.

[6] A. I, 145.

[7] M. I, 152.

[8] That is, in the Piṭakas. In some passages of the fifth century A.D. it seems to be implied that, in certain cases, Iddhī was then considered to be a consequence of the Arahatta.

[9] Samanake, perhaps 'with the representative faculty.' Compare saviññāṇake kāye (A. I, 132). Morris here has, wrongly, samaṇaka.

[10] Aŋguttara II, 48 - Saɱyutta I, 62.

[11] On Viññāṇssa nirodho, see further Ud. VIII, 9; S. III, 54-58; A. II, 45; and compare Asl. 350; A. IV, 39 and above, P. 87.

[12] Afterwards the site of the famous Buddhist University.

[13] The MSS. differ as to the spelling of this name. It is improbable that a wealthy and distinguished man, of high social position, should have been called kevaṭṭa, 'fisherman.' However, Dr. Neumann, who has translated this Suttanta in his 'Buddhist Anthropologie,' pp. 62-100, has adopted this form; and it may turn out to be the better of the two.

[14] These are explained at length in the Saŋgārava Sutta, A. I, 168-173.

[15] The Gandhāra Charm is mentioned at Jāt. IV, 498, 499, as a well-known charm for the single purpose only of making oneself invisible.

[16] The Saŋgārava Sutta (loc. cit.) tells us how — either by omens, or by interpreting exterior sounds, or by hearing the actual sound of the man's mental operations, or by knowing, in his own heart, the heart of the other.

[17] Identified here, by Buddhaghosa, with the Cintāmaṇī Vijjā, which, according to Jāt. III, 504, is only for following up trails. Compare Sum. 265, 267, 271. It is most probable that the Jātaka is right in both cases as to the meaning of these charm-names, and that the objector is intentionally represented, like Kaṇha in the Ambaṭṭha Suttanta, to be 'drawing the long bow.'

[18] From here to the end has been translated by the late Henry C. Warren in his 'Buddhism in Translations,' pp. 308 foll.

[19] The question and answer in §68 is repeated, in the text, in each case.

[20] So also above, p. 31.

[21] Atisitvā. The Siamese edition has abhisiŋsitvā. On atisitvā see Morris in the J.P.T.S., 1886, and Fausböll at S.N. II, 366

[22] Nāmā ca rūpā ca; that is, the mental and the physical. Dr. Neumann puts this into nineteenth-century language by translating — 'subject and object.' And however un-Buddhistic the phrase may be — for no Buddhist would use an expression apparently implying a unity in the subject — it really, if by subject be understood an ever-changing group of impermanent faculties or qualities, comes very near to the Buddhist meaning.

[23] Pahaɱ. Buddhaghosa takes this in the sense of tittha; that is, ghat, flight of steps or shelving beach from which to step down into water. James d'Alwis, who usually gives the view of Baṭuwan Tuḍawa, took it as = pabhaɱ, shining — which Buddhaghosa, who gives it as an alternative explanation, had rejected ('Buddhist Nirvāṇa,' P. 39). Dr. Neumann, the only European writer who has discussed the point, thinks it is put by the poet, metri causā for pajahaɱ, 'rejecting.' But an English poet, if he wanted to save a syllable, would scarcely write 'reacting for rejecting.' And the Pāli poet, had he wished to give that meaning, could easily have found other means. He need have gone no further afield than adopting simply jahaɱ. That viññāṇa, when qualified by such adjectives as those here used, can be meant for the viññāna of a man who has attained to Nirvāṇa, could be supported by other passages from the Piṭakas.

 


 

 [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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