Dīgha Nikāya


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Sacred Books of the Buddhists
Volume II

Dīgha Nikāya

Dialogues of the Buddha
Part I

Sutta 13

Tevijja Suttantaɱ

On Knowledge of the Vedas

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

 


[298]

Introduction
to the
Tevijja Sutta

.

This is the only Suttanta, among the thirteen translated in this volume, in which the discourse does not lead up to Arahatship. It leads up only to the so-called Brahma Vihāras — the supreme conditions — four states of mind held to result, after death, in a rebirth in the heavenly worlds of Brahmā. Why is it — the Buddhist ideal being Arahatship, which leads to no rebirth at all — that this lower ideal is thus suddenly introduced?

It would seem that the particular point here discussed was regarded as so important that it could scarcely be left out. And when we recollect that the highest teaching current before the Buddha, and still preserved in the pre-Buddhistic Upanishads, was precisely about union with Brahmā; we may, without much danger of error, explain the position occupied in the series of dialogues by this Suttanta by the supposition that it was deliberately inserted here as the Buddhist answer to the Upanishad theory. In this respect it is noteworthy that the neuter Brahman is quietly ignored. That is quite in accordance with the method of the Suttantas. The Buddha is in them often represented as using, in his own sense, words familiar to his interlocutors in a different sense. The neuter Brahman is, so far as I am aware, entirely unknown in the Nikāyas, and of course the Buddha's idea of Brahmā, in the masculine, really differs widely from that of the Upanishads.

There is nothing original in the Buddhist belief that a man's habit of mind at the time of his death would determine, save only in the one case of the Arahat, the nature of his rebirth. It is an Indian — not an exclusively Buddhist theory. The Buddhist texts represent it as held by non-Buddhists, and already long before. the Buddha's time, and as accepted by all as a matter of course. And it is even not exclusively Indian. As I have pointed out elsewhere, it is [299] ascribed by Plato to Socrates.[1] The essentially Buddhist parts of the theory are three. In the first place, the choice of the particular details they held essential to such a habit of mind as would lead to rebirth in the Brahmā-worlds; secondly, their doctrine that there was not really any 'soul' to be reborn; and thirdly, that the highest ideal was not to be reborn at all (even only once, and into union with Brahmā).

The Jātaka commentary in numerous passages states that the four Brahma vihāras were practised, long before the time of the rise of Buddhism, by the sages of old. I have not found such a statement in the Nikāyas; and it is most probable therefore that the Jātaka commentator is ante-dating the particular meditations in question. However this may be, they remained, throughout the long history of Buddhism, an essential part of Buddhist practice. They are even mentioned in the Jātaka Mālā, a work usually supposed to be Mahāyānist, and dated about a thousand years later than the Buddha.[2] They are well known to-day in Burma, Siam, and Ceylon. And it would be interesting to know whether they still form a part of the regulated meditations which are known to be practised by Buddhists in Thibet, China, and Japan. But they have not been found in any Indian book not a Buddhist work, and are therefore almost certainly exclusively Buddhist. Even the most determined anti-Buddhist must admit the beauty of the language (in spite of its repetitions §§ 76-78), the subtle depth of the ideas, and the great value of the practice from the point of view of ethical self-training. He would probably rejoin, and with truth, that similar sentiments are met with in other (post-Buddhistic) Indian books. But it is one thing to give expression in isolated passages to such views, and quite another to have selected just these four as the four cornerstones of habitual endeavour.

It should be recollected that the argument here is only an argumetium ad hominem. If you want union with Brahmā — which you had much better not want — this is the way to attain to it.[3]

 


[300]

XIII. Tevijja Sutta

On Knowledge Of The Vedas[4]

[1][bs][olds] THUS HAVE I HEARD.

When the Exalted One was once journeying through Kosala
with a great company of the brethren,
with about five hundred brethren,
he came to the Brahman village in Kosala
which is called Manasākaṭa.

And there at Manasākaṭa
the Exalted One stayed in the mango grove,
on the bank of the river Akiravatī,
to the north of Manasākaṭa.

2. Now at that time
many very distinguished and wealthy Brahmans
were staying at Manasākaṭa;
to wit, Kaŋkī the Brahman,
Tārukkha the Brahman,
Pokkharasādi the Brahman,
Jāṇussoṇi the Brahman,
Todeyya the Brahman,
and other very distinguished and wealthy Brahmans[5].

[301] 3. Now a conversation sprung up between Vāseṭṭha and Bhāradvāja,
when they were taking exercise
(after their bath)
and walking up and down,
in thoughtful mood,
as to which was the true path,
and which the false[6].

4. The young Brahman Vāseṭṭha spake thus:

"This is the straight path,
this the direct way
which makes for salvation,
and leads him who acts according to it,
into a state of union with Brahmā.

I mean that which has been announced
by the Brahman Pokkharasādi."

5. The young Brahman Bhāradvāja spake thus:

"This is the straight path,
this the direct way
which makes for salvation,
and leads him who acts according to it,
into a state of union with Brahmā.

I mean that which has been announced
by the Brahman Tārukkha."

6. But neither was the young Brahman Vāseṭṭha
able to convince the young Brahman Bhāradvāja,
nor was the young Brahman Bhāradvāja
able to convince the young Brahman Vāseṭṭha.

7. Then the young Brahman Vāseṭṭha
said to the young Brahman Bhāradvāja:

"That Samaṇa Gotama, Bhāradvāja,
of the sons of the Sākyas,
who went out from the Sākya clan
to adopt the religious life,
is now staying at Manasākaṭa,
in the mango grove,
on the bank of the river Aciravatī,
to the north of Manasākaṭa.

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

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

[302] Come, then, Bhāradvāja,
let us go to the place
where the Samaṇa Gotama is;
and when we have come there,
let us ask the Samaṇa Gotama
touching this matter.

What the Samaṇa Gotama shall declare unto us,
that let us bear in mind."[7]

"Very well, my friend!"
said the young Brahman Bhāradvāja, in assent,
to the young Brahman Vāseṭṭha.

 

§

 

8. Then the young Brahman Vāseṭṭha
and the young Brahman Bhāradvāja
went on to the place
where the Exalted One was.

And when they had come there,
they exchanged with the Exalted One
the greetings and compliments
of politeness and courtesy,
and sat down beside him.

And while they were thus seated
the young Brahman Vāseṭṭha
said to the Exalted One:

"As we, Gotama, were taking exercise
and walking up and down,
there sprung up a conversation between us
on which was the true path,
and which the false.

I said thus:

'This is the straight path,
this the direct way
which makes for salvation,
and leads him who acts according to it,
into a state of union with Brahmā.

I mean that which has been announced
by the Brahman Pokkharasādi.'

Bhāradvāja said thus:

'This is the straight path,
this the direct way
which makes for salvation,
and leads him who acts according to it,
into a state of union with Brahmā.

I mean that which has been announced
by the Brahman Tārukkha.'

Regarding this matter, Gotama,
there is a strife,
a dispute,
a difference of opinion between us."

9. "So you say, Vāseṭṭha,
that you said thus:

'This is the straight path,
this the direct way
which makes for salvation,
and leads him who acts according to it,
into a state of union with Brahmā.

[303] I mean that which has been announced
by the Brahman Pokkharasādi.'

While Bhāradvāja said thus:

'This is the straight path,
this the direct way
which makes for salvation,
and leads him who acts according to it,
into a state of union with Brahmā.

I mean that which has been announced
by the Brahman Tārukkha.'

Wherein, then, O Vāseṭṭha,
is there a strife,
a dispute,
a difference of opinion between you?"[8]

10. "Concerning the true path
and the false, Gotama.

Various Brahmans, Gotama,
teach various paths.

The Addhariyā Brahmans,
the Tittiriyā Brahmans,
the Chandokā Brahmans
[the Chandavā Brahmans],
the Bavharijā Brahmans.[9]

Are all those saving paths?

Are they all paths
which will lead him who acts according to them,
into a state of union with Brahmā?

Just, Gotama, as
near a village or a town
there are many and various paths,[10]
yet they all meet together in the village —
just in that way
are all the various paths
taught by various Brahmans —
the Addhariyā Brahmans,
the Tittiriyā Brahmans,
the Chandokā Brahmans
[the Chandavā Brahmans],
the Bavharijā Brahmans.

Are all these saving paths?

Are they all paths
which will lead him who acts according to them,
into a state of union with Brahmā?"

11. "Do you say that they all lead aright, Vāseṭṭha?"

"I say so, Gotama."

[304] "Do you really say that they all lead aright, Vāseṭṭha?"

"So I say, Gotama."

12. "But yet, Vāseṭṭha,
is there a single one
of the Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas,
who has ever seen Brahmā face-to-face"?

"No, indeed, Gotama."

"Or is there then, Vāseṭṭha,
a single one of the teachers
of the Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas
who has seen Brahmā face-to-face"?

"No, indeed, Gotama!"

"Or is there then, Vāseṭṭha,
a single one of the pupils of the teachers
of the Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas
who has seen Brahmā face-to-face"?

"No, indeed, Gotama!"

"Or is there then, Vāseṭṭha,
a single one of the Brahmans
up to the seventh generation
who has seen Brahmā face-to-face?"

"No, indeed, Gotama!"

13. "Well then, Vāseṭṭha,
those ancient Rishis
of the Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas,
the authors of the verses,
the utterers of the verses,
whose ancient form of words
so chanted, uttered, or composed,
the Brahmans of to-day chant over again or repeat;
intoning or reciting
exactly as has been intoned or recited -
to wit, Aṭṭhaka,
Vāmaka,
Vāmadeva,
Vessāmitta,
Yamataggi,
Aŋgirasa,
Bhāradvāja,
Vāseṭṭha,
Kassapa,
and Bhagu[11]
did even they speak thus, saying:

'We know it,
we have seen it,
where Brahmā is
whence Brahmā is,
whither Brahmā is'?"

"Not so, Gotama!"

14. "Then you say, Vāseṭṭha
that none of the Brahmans,
or of their teachers,
or of their pupils,
even up to the seventh generation,
has ever seen Brahmā face-to-face.

And that even the Rishis of old,
the authors and utterers of the verses,
of the ancient form of words
which the Brahmans of to-day so carefully intone
and recite precisely as they have [305] been handed down -
even they did not pretend to know
or to have seen
where
or whence
or whither Brahmā is.[12]

So that the Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas
have forsooth said thus:

'What we know not,
what we have not seen,
to a state of union with that
we can show the way,
and can say:

'This Is the straight path,
this is the direct way
which makes for salvation,
and leads him who acts according to it,
into a state of union with Brahmā!'

Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha?

Does it not follow,
this being so,
that the talk of the Brahmans,
versed though they be in the Three Vedas,
turns out to be foolish talk"?

"In sooth, Gotama,
that being, so,
it follows that the talk
of the Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas
is foolish talk!"

15. "Verily, Vāseṭṭha,
that Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas
should be able to show the way
to a state of union
with that which they do not know,
neither have seen -
such a condition of things
can in no wise be!

The Blind Leading the Blind

Just, Vāseṭṭha,
as when a string of blind men
are clinging one to the other,[13]
neither can the foremost see,
nor can the middle one see,
nor can the hindmost see —
just even so, methinks, Vāseṭṭha, is the talk
of the Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas
but blind talk:
the first sees not,
the middle one sees not,
nor can the latest see.

The talk then
of these [306] Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas
turns out to be ridiculous,
mere words,
a vain and empty thing!

16. Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha?

Can the Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas —
like other, ordinary, folk —
see the Moon and the Sun
as they pray to,
and praise,
and worship them,
turning round with clasped hands
towards the place whence they rise
and where they set?"

"Certainly, Gotama, they can".[14]

17. "Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha?

The Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas,
who can very well —
like other, ordinary, folk —
see the Moon and the Sun
as they pray to,
and praise,
and worship them,
turning round with clasped hands
to the place whence they rise
and where they set —
are those Brahmans,
versed in the Three Vedas,
able to point out the way
to a state of union
with the Moon or the Sun,
saying:

'This is the straight path,
this the direct way
which makes for salvation,
and leads him who acts according to it,
to a state of union with the Moon or the Sun'"?

"Certainly, not, Gotama"!

18. "So you say, Vāseṭṭha,
that the Brahmans are not able to point out
the way to union
with that which they have seen,
and you further say
that neither any one of them,
nor of their pupils,
nor of their predecessors
even to the seventh generation
has ever seen Brahmā.

And you further say
that even the Rishis of old,
whose words they hold in such deep respect,
did not pretend to know,
or to have seen
where, or whence, or whither Brahmā is.

Yet these Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas
say, forsooth,
that they can point out the way to union
with that which they know not,
neither have seen.[15]

Now what [307] think you, Vāseṭṭha?

Does it not follow that,
this being so,
the talk of the Brahmans,
versed though they be in the Three Vedas,
turns out to be foolish talk?"

"In sooth, Gotama,
that being so,
it follows that the talk of the Brahmans
versed in the Three Vedas
is foolish talk!"

19. "Very good, Vāseṭṭha.

Verily then, Vāseṭṭha,
that Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas
should be able to show the way
to a state of union
with that which they do not know,
neither have seen -
such a condition of things
can in no wise be!

 

§

 

Just, Vāseṭṭha, as if a man should say,

'How I long for,
how I love
the most beautiful woman in this land!'

And people should ask him,

'Well! good friend!
this most beautiful woman in the land,
whom you thus love and long for,
do you know whether that beautiful woman
is a noble lady
or a Brahman woman,
or of the trader class,
or a Sūdra?'

But when so asked,
he should answer:

'No.'

And when people should ask him,

'Well! good friend!
this most beautiful woman in all the land,
whom you so love and long for,
do you know what the name
of that most beautiful woman is,
or what is her family name,
whether she be tall
or short
or of medium height,
dark
or brunette
or golden in colour,
or in what village
or town
or city she dwells'?

But when so asked, he should answer:

'No.'

And then people should say to him:

'So then, good friend,
whom you know not,
neither have seen,
her do you love and long for'?

And then when so asked, he should answer:

'Yes.'

Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha?

Would it not turn out,
that being so,
that the talk of that man
was foolish talk"?

"In sooth, Gotama,
it would turn out,
that being so,
that the talk of that man
was foolish talk!"

[308] 20. "And just even so, Vāseṭṭha
though you say that the Brahmans
are not able to point out the way to union
with that which they have seen,
and you further say that
neither any one of them,
nor of their pupils,
nor of their predecessors
even to the seventh generation
has ever seen Brahmā.

And you further say
that even the Rishis of old,
whose words they hold in such deep respect,
did not pretend to know,
or to have seen
where, or whence, or whither Brahmā is.

Yet these Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas
say, forsooth,
that they can point out the way to union
with that which they know not,
neither have seen.

Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha?

Does it not follow that,
this being so,
the talk of the Brahmans,
versed though they be in the Three Vedas,
is foolish talk?"

"In sooth, Gotama,
that being so,
it follows that the talk
of the Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas
is foolish talk!"

"Very good, Vāseṭṭha.

Verily then, Vāseṭṭha,
that Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas
should be able to show the way
to a state of union
with that which they do not know,
neither have seen —
such a condition of things can in no wise be.

 

§

 

21. Just, Vāseṭṭha,
as if a man should make a staircase
in the place where four roads cross,
to mount up into a mansion.

And people should say to him,

'Well, good friend,
this mansion,
to mount up into which
you are making this staircase,
do you know whether it is in the east,
or in the south,
or in the west,
or in the north?
whether it is high
or low
or of medium size'?

And when so asked, he should answer:

'No.'

And people should say to him,

'But then, good friend,
you are making a staircase
to mount up into something —
taking it for a mansion —
which, all the while, you know not,
neither have seen!'

And when so asked, he should answer:

'Yes.'

Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha?

Would it not [309] turn out
that being so,
that the talk of that man was foolish talk?"

"In sooth, Gotama,
it would turn out,
that being so,
that the talk of that man
was foolish talk!"

22. "And just even so, Vāseṭṭha,
though you say that the Brahmans
are not able to point out the way
to union with that which they have seen,
and you further say
that neither any one of them,
nor of their pupils,
nor of their predecessors
even to the seventh generation
has ever seen Brahmā.

And you further say
that even the Rishis of old,
whose words they hold in such deep respect,
did not pretend to know,
or to have seen
where,
or whence,
or whither Brahmā is.

Yet these Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas
say, forsooth,
that they can point out the way
to union with that which they know not,
neither have seen!

Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha?

Does it not follow that,
this being so,
the talk of the Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas
is foolish talk?"

"In sooth, Gotama,
that being so,
it follows that the talk
of the Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas
is foolish talk!"

23. "Very good, Vāseṭṭha.

Verily then, Vāseṭṭha,
that Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas
should be able to show the way
to a state of union
with that which they do not know,
neither have seen -
such a condition of things
can in no wise be."

 

§

 

24. Again, Vāseṭṭha,
if this river Aciravatī were full of water
even to the brim,
and over-flowing.[16]

And a man with business on the other side,
bound for the other side,
making, for the other side,
should come up,
and want to cross over.

And he, standing on this bank,
should invoke the further bank,
and say,

'Come hither, O further bank!
come over to this side!'

Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha?

Would the further bank
of the river Aciravatī,
by reason of that man's [310] invoking
and praying
and hoping
and praising,
come over to this side?"

"Certainly not, Gotama!"

25. "In just the same way, Vāseṭṭha,
do the Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas, —
omitting the practice of those qualities
which really make a man a Brahman,
and adopting the practice of those qualities
which really make men non-Brahmans —
say thus:

'Indra we call upon,
Soma we call upon,
Varuṇa we call upon,
Īsāna we call upon,
Pajāpati we call upon,
Brahmā we call upon,
[Mahiddhi we call upon,
Yama we call upon!'[17]]

Verily, Vāseṭṭha,
that those Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas,
but omitting the practice
of those qualities which really make a man a Brahman,
and adopting the practice
of those qualities which really make men non-Brahmans —
that they, by reason of their invoking
and praying
and hoping
and praising,
should, after death
and when the body is dissolved,
become united with Brahmā
verily such a condition of things
can in no wise be![18]

 

§

 

26. Just, Vāseṭṭha,
as if this river Aciravatī were full,
even to the brim,
and overflowing.

And a man with business on the other side,
making for the other side,
bound for the other side,
should come up,
and want to cross over.

And he,
on this bank,
were to be bound tightly,
with his arms behind his back,
by a strong chain.

Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha,
would that man be able to get over
from this bank of the river Aciravatī
to the further bank?"

"Certainly not, Gotama!"

27. "In the same way, Vāseṭṭha,
there are five things
[311] leading to lust,
which are called,
in the Discipline of the Arahats,
a 'chain' and a 'bond.'

What are the five?

Forms perceptible to the eye;
desirable,
agreeable,
pleasant,
attractive
forms, that are accompanied by lust
and cause delight.

Sounds perceptible to the ear;
desirable,
agreeable,
pleasant,
attractive
sounds, that are accompanied by lust
and cause delight.

Odours perceptible to the nose;
desirable,
agreeable,
pleasant,
attractive
odours, that are accompanied by lust
and cause delight.

Tastes perceptible to the tongue;
desirable,
agreeable,
pleasant,
attractive
tastes, that are accompanied by lust
and cause delight.

Substances perceptible to the body by touch;
desirable,
agreeable,
pleasant,
attractive
substances, that are accompanied by lust
and cause delight.

These five things
predisposing to passion
are called, in the Discipline of the Arahats,
a 'chain'
and a 'bond.'

And these five things
predisposing to lust, Vāseṭṭha,
do the Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas
cling to,
they are infatuated by them,
attached to them,
see not the danger of them,
know not how unreliable they are,
and so enjoy them.[19]

28. And verily, Vāseṭṭha,
that Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas,
but omitting the practice of those qualities
which really make a man a Brahman,
and adopting the practice of those qualities
which really make men non-Brahmans -
clinging to these five things predisposing to passion,
infatuated by them,
attached to them,
see not their danger,
knowing not their unreliability,
and so enjoying them —
that these Brahmans should
after death,
on the dissolution of the body,
become united to Brahmā, —
such a condition of things can in no wise be!

 

§

 

29. Again, Vāseṭṭha,
if this river Aciravatī
were full of water even to the brim,
and overflowing.

And a man with business on the other side,
making for the other side,
bound for the other side,
should come up,
and want to cross over.

And if he
covering himself up,
even to his head,
were to lie down,
on this bank,
to sleep.

Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha?

Would that man [312] be able to get over
from this bank of the river Aciravatī
to the further bank?"

"Certainly not, Gotama!"

30. "And in the same way, Vāseṭṭha,
there are these Five Hindrances,
in the Discipline of the Arahats,[20]
which are called 'veils,'
and are called 'hindrances,'
and are called 'obstacles,'
and are called 'entanglements'.

Which are the five?

The hindrance of worldly lusts,
the hindrance of ill will,
the hindrance of torpor and sloth of heart and mind.
the hindrance of flurry and worry,
the hindrance of suspense.

These are the Five Hindrances, Vāseṭṭha,
which, in the Discipline of the Arahats,
are called 'veils,'
and are called 'hindrances,'
and are called 'obstacles'
and are called 'entanglements'.[21]

Now with these Five Hindrances, Vāseṭṭha,
the Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas
are veiled,
hindered,
obstructed,
and entangled.

And verily, Vāseṭṭha,
that Brahmans versed in the Three Vedas,
but omitting the practice
of those qualities which really make a man a Brahman,
and adopting the practice
of those qualities which really make men non-Brahmans —
veiled,
hindered,
obstructed,
and entangled by these Five Hindrances —
that these Brahmans should
after death,
on the dissolution of the body,
become united to Brahmā —
such a condition of things can in no wise be!

 

§

 

31. Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha,
and what have you heard
from the Brahmans aged
and well-stricken in years,
when the learners and teachers are talking [313] together?

Is Brahmā in possession
of wives and wealth,
or is he not?"[22]

"He is not, Gotama."

"Is his mind full of anger,
or free from anger?"

"Free from anger, Gotama."

"Is his mind full of malice,
or free from malice?"

"Free from malice, Gotama."

"Is his mind tarnished,
or, is it pure?"[23]

"It is pure, Gotama."

"Has he self-mastery,
or has he not?"[24]

"He has, Gotama."

32. "Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha,
are the Brahmans versed in the Vedas
in the possession
of wives and wealth,
or are they not?"

"They are, Gotama."

"Have they anger in their hearts,
or have they not?"

"They have, Gotama."

"Do they bear malice,
or do they not?"

"They do, Gotama."

"Are they pure in heart,
or are they not?"

"They are not, Gotama."

"Have they self-mastery,
or have they not?"

"They have not, Gotama."

33. "Then you say, Vāseṭṭha,
that the Brahmans are in possession
of wives and wealth,
and that Brahmā is not.

Can there, then,
be agreement and likeness
between the Brahmans
with their wives and property,
and Brahmā,
who has none of these things?"

[314] "Certainly not, Gotama!"

34. "Very good, Vāseṭṭha.

But, verily,
that these Brahmans versed in the Vedas,
who live married and wealthy,
should after death,
when the body is dissolved,
become united with Brahmā,
who has none of these things —
such a condition of things can in no wise be!

35. Then you say, too, Vāseṭṭha,
that the Brahmans bear anger
and malice in their hearts,
and are tarnished in heart
and uncontrolled,
whilst Brahmā is free from anger and malice,
pure in heart,
and has self-mastery.

Now can there, then,
be concord and likeness
between the Brahmans
and Brahmā?"

"Certainly not, Gotama!"

36. "Very good, Vāseṭṭha.

That these Brahmans versed in the Vedas
and yet bearing anger and malice in their hearts,
sinful,
and uncontrolled,
should after death,
when the body is dissolved,
become united to Brahmā,
who is free from anger and malice,
pure in heart,
and has self-mastery —
such a condition of things can in no wise be!

So that thus then, Vāseṭṭha, the Brahmans,
versed though they be in the Three Vedas,
while they sit down
(in confidence),
are sinking down
(in the mire);[25]
and so sinking
they are arriving only at despair,
thinking the while
that they are crossing over
into some happier land.

Therefore is it
that the threefold wisdom of the Brahmans,
wise in their Three Vedas,
is called a waterless desert,
their threefold wisdom is called
a pathless jungle,
their threefold wisdom is called
perdition!"

37. When he had thus spoken,
the young Brahman Vāseṭṭha
said to the Blessed One:

[315] "It has been told me, Gotama,
that the Samaṇa Gotama knows the way
to the state of union with Brahmā."

"What do you think, Vāseṭṭha,
is not Manasākaṭa near to this spot,
not distant from this spot?"

"Just so, Gotama.

Manasākaṭa is near to,
is not far from here."

"Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha,
suppose there were a man
born in Manasākaṭa,
and people should ask him,
who never till that time
had left Manasākaṭa,
which was the way to Manasākaṭa.

Would that man,
born and brought up in Manasākaṭa,
be in any doubt or difficulty?"

"Certainly not, Gotama!

And why?

If the man had been born
and brought up in Manasākaṭa,
every road that leads to Manasākaṭa
would be perfectly familiar to him."

38. "That man, Vāseṭṭha,
born and brought up at Manasākaṭa
might, if he were asked the way to Manasākaṭa,
fall into doubt and difficulty,
but to the Tathāgata,
when asked touching the path
which leads to the world of Brahmā,
there can be neither doubt nor difficulty.

For Brahmā, I know, Vāseṭṭha,
and the world of Brahmā,
and the path which leadeth unto it.

Yea, I know it
even as one who has entered the Brahmā-world,
and has been born within it!"

 

§

 

39. When he had thus spoken,
Vāseṭṭha, the young Brahman,
said to the Blessed One:

"Just so has it been told me, Gotama,
even that the Samaṇa Gotama knows
the way to a state of union with Brahmā.

It is well!

Let the venerable Gotama
be pleased to show us the way
to a state of union with Brahmā,
let the venerable Gotama
save the Brahman race!"[26]!

"Listen then, Vāseṭṭha,
and give ear attentively,
and I will speak!"

[316] "So be it, Lord!"
said the young Brahman Vāseṭṭha,
in assent, to the Blessed One.

40. Then the Blessed One spake, and said:

"Know, Vāseṭṭha, that
(from time to time)
a Tathāgata is born into the world,
an Arahat,
a fully awakened one,
abounding in wisdom and goodness,
happy,
with knowledge of the worlds,
unsurpassed as a guide
to mortals willing to be led,
a teacher of gods and men,
a Blessed One,
a Buddha.

He, by himself,
thoroughly understands,
and sees,
as it were, face-to-face
this universe —
including the worlds above
with the gods,
the Māras,
and the Brahmās;
and the world below
with its Samaṇas and Brahmans,
its princes and peoples; —
and he then makes his knowledge
known to others.

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

A householder or one of his children,
or a man of inferior birth in any class
listens to that truth;
[27] 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- [317] 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, Vāseṭṭha, is his conduct good?

In this, Vāseṭṭha, 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, Vāseṭṭha,
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, Vāseṭṭha, 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, Vāseṭṭha, that the Bhikshu becomes righteous.

 

§

 

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

When, Vāseṭṭha, 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, Vāseṭṭha, 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, Vāseṭṭha, is that uprightness.

When, Vāseṭṭha, 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, Vāseṭṭha, is that uprightness.

When, Vāseṭṭha, 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, Vāseṭṭha, is that uprightness.

When, Vāseṭṭha, 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, Vāseṭṭha, is that uprightness.

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

 

§

 

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

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

 

§

 

And how, Vāseṭṭha, is the Bhikshu content?

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

Thus is it, Vāseṭṭha,
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, Vāseṭṭha,
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, Vāseṭṭha,
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, Vāseṭṭha,
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, Vāseṭṭha,
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, Vāseṭṭha,
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, Vāseṭṭha, 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.

 

§

 

76.[28]And he lets his mind pervade
one quarter of [318] the world
with thoughts of Love,
and so the second,
and so the third,
and so the fourth.

And thus the whole wide world,
above,
below,
around,
and everywhere,
does he continue to pervade
with heart of Love,
far-reaching,
grown great,
and beyond measure.

77. Just, Vāseṭṭha, as a mighty trumpeter
makes himself heard -
and that without difficulty -
in all the four directions;
even so
of all things that have shape or life,
there is not one
that he passes by
or leaves aside,
but regards them all
with mind set free,
and deep-felt love.

Verily this, Vāseṭṭha,
is the way to a state of union with Brahmā.

And he lets his mind pervade
one quarter of the world
with thoughts of Pity,[29],
and so the second,
and so the third,
and so the fourth.

And thus the whole wide world,
above,
below,
around,
and everywhere,
does he continue to pervade
with heart of Pity,
far-reaching,
grown great,
and beyond measure.

Just, Vāseṭṭha, as a mighty trumpeter
makes himself heard -
and that without difficulty -
in all the four directions;
even so
of all things that have shape or life,
there is not one
that he passes by
or leaves aside,
but regards them all
with mind set free,
and deep-felt Pity.

Verily this, Vāseṭṭha,
is the way to a state of union with Brahmā.

And he lets his mind pervade
one quarter of the world
with thoughts of Sympathy,[30]
and so the second,
and so the third,
and so the fourth.

And thus the whole wide world,
above,
below,
around,
and everywhere,
does he continue to pervade
with heart of Sympathy,
far-reaching,
grown great,
and beyond measure.

Just, Vāseṭṭha, as a mighty trumpeter
makes himself heard -
and that without difficulty -
in all the four directions;
even so
of all things that have shape or life,
there is not one
that he passes by
or leaves aside,
but regards them all
with mind set free,
and deep-felt Sympathy.

Verily this, Vāseṭṭha,
is the way to a state of union with Brahmā.

And he lets his mind pervade
one quarter of the world
with thoughts of Equanimity,[31]
and so the second,
and so the third,
and so the fourth.

And thus the whole wide world,
above,
below,
around,
and everywhere,
does he continue to pervade
with heart of Equanimity,
far-reaching,
grown great,
and beyond measure.

Just, Vāseṭṭha, as a mighty trumpeter
makes himself heard -
and that without difficulty -
in all the four directions;
even so
of all things that have shape or life,
there is not one
that he passes by
or leaves aside,
but regards them all
with mind set free,
and deep-felt Equanimity.

Verily this, Vāseṭṭha,
is the way to a state of union with Brahmā.

 

§

 

80. Now what think you, Vāseṭṭha,
will the Bhikkhu who lives thus
be in possession of women and of wealth,
or will he not?"

"He will not, Gotama!"

"Will he be full of anger,
or free from anger?"

"He will be free from anger, Gotama!"

"Will his mind be full of malice,
or free from malice?"

[319] "Free from malice, Gotama!"

'Will his mind be tarnished,
or pure?"

"It will be pure, Gotama!"

"Will he have self-mastery,
or will he not?"

"Surely he will, Gotama!'

 

§

 

81 "Then you say, Vāseṭṭha,
that the Bhikkhu is free
from household and worldly cares,
and that Brahmā is free
from household and worldly cares.

Is there then
agreement and likeness
between the Bhikkhu and Brahmā?"

"There is, Gotama!"

"Very good, Vāseṭṭha.

Then in sooth, Vāseṭṭha,
that the Bhikkhu who is free from household cares
should after death,
when the body is dissolved,
become united with Brahmā,
who is the same —
such a condition of things
is every way possible!

"Then you say, Vāseṭṭha,
that the Bhikkhu is free
from anger,
and that Brahmā is free
from anger.

Is there then
agreement and likeness
between the Bhikkhu and Brahmā?"

"There is, Gotama!"

"Very good, Vāseṭṭha.

Then in sooth, Vāseṭṭha,
that the Bhikkhu who is free from anger
should after death,
when the body is dissolved,
become united with Brahmā,
who is the same —
such a condition of things
is every way possible!

81 "Then you say, Vāseṭṭha,
that the Bhikkhu is free
from malice,
and that Brahmā is free
from malice.

Is there then
agreement and likeness
between the Bhikkhu and Brahmā?"

"There is, Gotama!"

"Very good, Vāseṭṭha.

Then in sooth, Vāseṭṭha,
that the Bhikkhu who is free from malice
should after death,
when the body is dissolved,
become united with Brahmā,
who is the same —
such a condition of things
is every way possible!

"Then you say, Vāseṭṭha,
that the Bhikkhu is pure in mind
and that Brahmā is pure in mind.

Is there then
agreement and likeness
between the Bhikkhu and Brahmā?"

"There is, Gotama!"

"Very good, Vāseṭṭha.

Then in sooth, Vāseṭṭha,
that the Bhikkhu who is pure in mind
should after death,
when the body is dissolved,
become united with Brahmā,
who is the same —
such a condition of things
is every way possible!

"Then you say, Vāseṭṭha,
that the Bhikkhu is master of himself,
and that Brahmā is master of himself.

Is there then
agreement and likeness
between the Bhikkhu and Brahmā?"

"There is, Gotama!"

"Very good, Vāseṭṭha.

Then in sooth, Vāseṭṭha,
that the Bhikkhu who is master of himself
should after death,
when the body is dissolved,
become united with Brahmā,
who is the same —
such a condition of things
is every way possible!

 

§

 

82. When he hid thus spoken,
the young Brahmans Vāseṭṭha and Bhāradvāja
addressed the Blessed One,
and said:

"Most excellent, Lord,
are the words of thy mouth,
most excellent!

Just as if a man were to set up
that which is thrown down,
or were to reveal
that which is hidden away,
or were to point out the right road
to him who has gone astray,
or were to bring a lamp into the darkness,
so that those who have eyes
can see external forms; —
just even so, Lord,
has the truth been made known to us,
in many a figure,
by the Exalted One.

And we, even we,
betake ourselves, Lord,
to the Blessed One as our guide,
to the Truth, [320]
and to the Brotherhood.

May the Blessed One accept us as disciples,
as true believers,
from this day forth,
as long as life endures!"

 

HERE ENDS THE TEVIJJA SUTTANTA[32].

 


[1] Phaedo 69. The full context is given in my 'Hibbert Lectures,' Appendix viii.

[2] In the well-known story of the Bodhisattva giving his body to feed a tigress (No. I, verse 12).

[3] See the remarks above on p. 206.

[4] This Suttanta was translated from the MSS. in my 'Buddhist Suttas ' (S.B.E., 1881). Since then the text has been published by the Pāli Text Society; and alterations and amendments in a number of details have been rendered necessary.

[5] Buddhaghosa says that Kaŋkī lived at Opasāda, Tārukkha lived at Icchagala (so MSS., perhaps for Icchānangala), Pokkharasādi (sic MS.) lived at Ukkaṭṭha, Jāṇussoṇi lived at Sāvatthi, and Todeyya lived at Tudigama.

Jāṇussoṇi was converted by the Bhaya-bherava Sutta. On Pokkharasādi, see above, pp. 108, 135, 147; and on Todeyya, see above, p. 267; and on all the names, see Majjhima Nikāya, No. 98= Sutta Nipāta, 9.

Buddhaghosa adds that because Manasākaṭa was a pleasant place the Brahmans had built huts there on the bank of the river and fenced them in, and used to go and stay there from time to time to repeat their mantras.

[6]Jaŋghāvihāraɱ anucaŋkamantānaɱ anuvicarantānaɱ. Caŋkamati is to walk up and down thinking. I have added 'after their bath,' from Buddhaghosa, who says that this must be understood to have taken place when, after learning by heart and repeating all day, they, went down in the evening to the riverside to bathe, and then walked up and down on the sand. Comp. Mil. 22; Jāt. II, 240, 272.

[7] Comp. Divyāvadāna 196, 246; and Aŋguttara II, pp. 23, 24.

[8] This is either mildly sarcastic - as much as to say, 'that is six of one, and half a dozen of the other' - or is intended to lead on Vāseṭṭha to confess still more directly the fact that the different theologians held inconsistent opinions.

[9] The Mss. differ as to the last name, and some of them omit the last but one. The Adhvaryu, Taittirīya, Chandoga, and Bahvrica priests-those skilled in liturgy generally, and in the Yajur, Sāma, and Rig Vedas respectively — are probably meant. If we adopt the other reading for the last in the list, then those priests who relied on liturgy, sacrifice, or chant would be contrasted with those who had 'gone forth' as religieux, either as Tāpasas or as Bhikshus.

[10] Maggāni, which is noteworthy as a curious change of gender.

[11] See the note on these names at 'Vinaya Texts,' II, 130.

[12] In the text §§ 12, 13 are repeated word for word.

[13] Andhaveṇī paramparaɱ saŋsattā. The Phayre Ms. has replaced veṇī by paveṇī, after the constant custom of the Burmese Mss. to improve away unusual or difficult expressions. Buddhaghosa explains andhaveṇi by andhapaveṇi; and tells a tale of a wicked wight, who meeting a company of blind men, told them of a certain village wherein plenty of good food was to be had. When they besought him for hire to lead them there, he took the money, made one blind man catch hold of his stick, the next of that one, and so on, and then led them on till they came to a wilderness. There he deserted them, and they all — still holding each the other, and vainly, and with tears, seeking both their guide and the path — came to a miserable end! Comp. M. II, 170.

[14] The words of the question are repeated in the text in this and the following answers. It must be remembered, for these sections, that the Sun and Moon were gods just as much as Brahmā; and that the Moon always comes first in Nikāya and other ancient texts.

[15] The text repeats at length the words of §§ 12, 13, 14.

[16] Samatittika kākapeyyā. See on this phrase the note in my Buddhist Suttas (S.B.E.), pp. 178, 179.

[17] The Sinhalese Mss. omit Mahiddhi and Yama, but repeat the verb, 'we call upon,' three times after Brahmā. It is possible that the Burmese copyist has wrongly inserted them to remove the strangeness of this repetition. The comment is silent.

further bank: not always. See: Eleven Instructive Similies

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[18] The Buddha, as usual, here takes the 'further bank' in the meaning attached to it by the theologians he is talking to, as union with Brahmā. In his own system, of course, the 'further bank' is Arahatship. So Aŋguttara V, 232, 233, and elsewhere.

[19] Gathitā mucchitā ajjhopannā. See A. I, 74, 274; Udāna VII, 3,4; Sum. 59, etc.

[20] Ariyassa vinaye. This may possibly mean 'in the disciple recommended by the Arahat' (that is, by the Buddha). But the latter is expressed rather by Sugata-vinaye. Comp. Aŋguttara V, 237-239 with 234, 235.

[21] These Five 'Hindrances are more fully dealt with above, p. 82.

[22] 'Sapariggaho vā Brahmā apariggaho va' ti. Buddhaghosa says on Vāseṭṭha's reply, 'Kāmacchandassa, ābhavato itthipariggahena apariggaho,' thus restricting the 'possession' to women. But the reference is no doubt to the first 'hindrance'; and the word in the text, though doubtless alluding to possession of women also. includes more. Compare, on the general idea of the passage, the English expression, 'no encumbrances,' and Jacobi, 'Jaina-Sūtras' (S.B.E.) I, xxiii.

[23] Asaŋkiliṭṭha-citto. That is, says Buddhaghosa, free from mental torpor and idleness, worry and flurry.'

[24] Vasavattī vā avasavattī vā. Buddhaghosa says, in explanation of the, answer, 'By the absence of wavering he has his mind under control (vase vatteti).'

[25] āsīditva saŋsīdanti. I have no doubt the commentator is right in his explanation of these figurative expressions. Confident in their knowledge of the Vedas, and in their practice of Vedic ceremonies, they neglect higher things; and so, sinking into folly and superstition, 'they are arriving only at despair, thinking the while that they are crossing over into some happier land.'

[26] Buddhaghosa takes this to mean, 'Save me of the Brahman race.'

[27] 'The point is, that the acceptance of this 'Doctrine and Discipline' is open to all; not of course that Brahmans never accept it.

[28] These paragraphs occur frequently; see. inter alia, Mahā-Sudassana Sutta II, 8, in my 'Buddhist Suttas' (S.B.E.). It will be seen from 'Buddhism,' pp. 170, 171, that these meditations play a great part in later Buddhism, and occupy very much the place that prayer takes in Christianity. A fifth, the meditation on Impurity, has been added, at what time I do not know, before the last. These four (or-five), are called the Brahma Vihāras, and the practice of them leads, not to Arahatship, but to rebirth in the Brahmā-world.

[29] Paragraphs 76, 77 are supposed to be repeated of each.

[30] Paragraphs 76, 77 are supposed to be repeated of each.

[31] Paragraphs 76, 77 are supposed to be repeated of each.

[32] Literally 'The Suttanta about those who have the knowledge of the Three (Vedas).' See p.303, where the names of these, 'doctors' are given.


 [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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