Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
II. Majjhima-Paṇṇāsa
3. Paribbājaka Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
II. The Middle Fifty Discourses
3. The Division on Wanderers

Sutta 76

Sandaka Suttaɱ

Discourse to Sandaka

Translated from the Pali by I.B. Horner, M.A.
Associate of Newham College, Cambridge
First Published in 1954

Copyright The Pali Text Society
Commercial Rights Reserved
Creative Commons Licence
For details see Terms of Use.

 


[513] [192]

[1][chlm][upal] THUS have I heard:

At one time the Lord was staying near Kosambī in Ghosita's monastery.

Now at that time the wanderer Sandaka was staying in the Fig Tree[1] Cave
with a great company of wanderers,
with at least five hundred wanderers.

Then the venerable Ānanda,
emerging from solitude towards evening,
addressed the monks, saying:

"Come, your reverences,
we will go to Devakaṭa Pool so as to see the Cave."

"Yes, your reverence," these monks answered the venerable Ānanda in assent.

Then the venerable Ānanda,
together with many monks,
approached Devakata Pool.

Now at that time the wanderer Sandaka was sitting down
with the great company of wanderers
shouting out with a loud noise,
a great noise,
talking various kinds of inferior talk,[2]
that is to say:

talk on kings,
thieves,
great ministers,
armies,
fears,
battles,
food,
drink,
clothes,
beds,
garlands,
scents,
relations,
vehicles,
villages,
market towns,
towns,
the country,
women,
heroes,
streets,
wells,
those departed before,
talk of diversity,
speculation about the world,
speculation about the sea,
[514]talk about becoming or not becoming
thus or thus.

The wanderer Sandaka saw the venerable Ānanda coming in the distance;
seeing him, he called his own company to order,
saying:

"Good sirs, let there be little noise;
do not, good sirs, make a noise;
this is a disciple of the recluse Gotama who is coming -
the recluse Ānanda.

For as long as disciples of the recluse Gotama
have [193] been staying near Kosambī
the recluse Ānanda has been among them.

These venerable ones wish for little noise,
they are trained to little noise,
they are praisers of little noise.

So he may consider approaching
if he knows that this is a company of little noise."

Then these wanderers fell silent.

Then the venerable Ānanda approached the wanderer Sandaka.

The wanderer Sandaka spoke thus to the venerable Ānanda:

"Let the revered Ānanda come,
there is a welcome for the revered Ānanda;
it is long since the revered Ānanda made this opportunity,[3]
that is to say
for coming here.

Let the revered Ānanda sit down,
this seat is ready."

Then the venerable Ānanda sat down on the seat that was ready.

And the wanderer Sandaka,
having taken a low seat,
sat down at a respectful distance.

Then the venerable Ānanda spoke thus
to the wanderer Sandaka
as he was sitting down at a respectful distance:

"What is the talk
for which you are now gathered together here, Sandaka?

And what was your talk
that was interrupted?"[4]

"Let be that talk, good Ānanda,
for which we are now gathered together here.

It will not be difficult for the good Ānanda
to hear this talk later.

It were good if some dhamma-talk
belonging to his own teacher
were to occur to the revered Ānanda himself."

"Well then, Sandaka, listen,
attend carefully
and I will speak."

"Yes, sir," the wanderer Sandaka answered the venerable Ānanda in assent.

The venerable Ānanda spoke thus:

"Sandaka, these four ways of living a non-Brahma-faring
have been pointed out
by this Lord who knows and sees,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One;
and four comfortless Brahma-farings
have been pointed out
in which an intelligent man
could certainly not live a Brahma-faring,
or, if living it,
could not gain success in the right path,
in dhamma,
in what is skilled."

"And what, good Ānanda,
are these four ways of living a non-Brahma-faring
that have been pointed out
by the Lord who knows and sees,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One
in which [515]an intelligent man
could certainly not live a Brahma-faring,
or, if living it,
could not gain success in the right path,
in dhamma,
in what is skilled?"

 


 

"As to this, Sandaka,
some teacher speaks thus
and is of this view:[5]

'There is no (result of) gift,
no (result of) sacrifice;
there is no [194] fruit
or ripening of deeds
well done or ill done;
there is not this world,
there is not a world beyond;
there is not (benefit from serving) mother or father;
there are no beings of spontaneous uprising;
there are not in the world
recluses and brahmans who are faring rightly,
proceeding rightly,
and who proclaim this world
and a world beyond,
having realised them
by their own super-knowledge.

This man is derived
from the four great elements
so that, when he passes away,
the earthy part of his body
returns and relapses to earth,
the fluid part to water,
the hot part to heat,
the windy part to wind,
and his sense-organs pass over into the ether.

Four men,
with a bier as the fifth,[6]
go along taking the corpse;
as far as the cemetery
they make known his characteristics.[7]

His bones become pigeon-grey.

Offerings end as ashes.

It is imbeciles who speak of giving.

It is vain,
lying,
empty talk
on their part
who profess to say:

There is.[8]

Fools and wise alike
are annihilated
and destroyed
at the breaking up of the body;
after dying they are not.'

 


 

Wherefore, Sandaka, an intelligent man reflects thus:

'This worthy teacher speaks thus
and is of this view:

"There is no (result of) gift,
no (result of) sacrifice;
there is no fruit
or ripening of deeds
well done or ill done;
there is not this world,
there is not a world beyond;
there is not (benefit from serving) mother or father;
there are no beings of spontaneous uprising;
there are not in the world
recluses and brahmans who are faring rightly,
proceeding rightly,
and who proclaim this world
and a world beyond,
having realised them
by their own super-knowledge.

This man is derived
from the four great elements
so that, when he passes away,
the earthy part of his body
returns and relapses to earth,
the fluid part to water,
the hot part to heat,
the windy part to wind,
and his sense-organs pass over into the ether.

Four men,
with a bier as the fifth,
go along taking the corpse;
as far as the cemetery
they make known his characteristics.

His bones become pigeon-grey.

Offerings end as ashes.

It is imbeciles who speak of giving.

It is vain,
lying,
empty talk
on their part
who profess to say:

There is.

Fools and wise alike
are annihilated
and destroyed
at the breaking up of the body;
after dying they are not."

If this is a true word
of this good teacher,
then what is done herein[9]
is without my doing it,
what is lived herein
is without my living it.

Moreover both of us are herein
on an exact level in attaining recluseship,
although I do not say:

"We will both be annihilated
and destroyed
at the breaking up of the body;
after dying we will not be."

It is excessive of this good teacher
to be naked,
shaven,
to practise squatting on his heels,
to pluck out the hair of his head and beard,
while I am living in a house
surrounded and supported by sons,
delighting in Kāsi's sandal-wood perfumes,
decked with garlands,
scents
and unguents,
enjoying the use of gold and silver.[10]

For in a future state
I will be on an exact level in wayfaring[11]
as this good teacher.

Knowing what,
seeing what,
should I fare the Brahma-faring
under this teacher?'

He, realising that this is a way
of living a non-Brahma-faring,
goes away uninterested
in this Brahma-faring.

This, Sandaka, is the first way of living
a non-Brahma-faring
that [195] has been pointed out
by this Lord who knows and sees,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One,
(a way) in which an intelligent man
could certainly not [516] live a Brahma-faring
or, if living it,
could not gain success in the right path,
in dhamma,
in what is skilled.

 


 

And again, Sandaka,
some teacher here speaks thus
and is of this view:[12]

'From doing, from making (another) do,
from mutilating,
from making (another) mutilate,
from threatening,
from making (another) threaten,
from causing grief,
from tormenting,
from torturing,
from making (another) torture,
from making onslaught on creatures,
from taking what is not given,
from house-breaking,
from plundering,
from robbery,
from waiting in ambush,
from going after other men's wives,
from lying speech —
from acting (thus) evil is not done.

If anyone with a discus having an edge sharp as a razor should make the creatures of this earth into one mass of flesh,
into one heap of flesh,
from that source there is not evil,
there is not the perpetuating of evil.

And if anyone should go to the south bank of the Ganges slaying and striking,
mutilating,
making (others) mutilate,
threatening,
making (others) threaten,
from that source there is not evil,
there is not the perpetuating of evil.

And if he should go to the north bank of the Ganges giving,
making (others) give,
offering,
making (others) offer,
from that source there is not merit,
there is not the perpetuating of merit.

There is no merit from giving,
from taming oneself,
from restraining oneself,
from truth-speaking,
there is not the perpetuating of merit.'

Wherefore, Sandaka, an intelligent man reflects thus:

'This worthy teacher speaks thus and is of this view:

"From doing, from making (another) do,
from mutilating,
from making (another) mutilate,
from threatening,
from making (another) threaten,
from causing grief,
from tormenting,
from torturing,
from making (another) torture,
from making onslaught on creatures,
from taking what is not given,
from house-breaking,
from plundering,
from robbery,
from waiting in ambush,
from going after other men's wives,
from lying speech —
from acting (thus) evil is not done.

If anyone with a discus having an edge sharp as a razor should make the creatures of this earth into one mass of flesh,
into one heap of flesh,
from that source there is not evil,
there is not the perpetuating of evil.

And if anyone should go to the south bank of the Ganges slaying and striking,
mutilating,
making (others) mutilate,
threatening,
making (others) threaten,
from that source there is not evil,
there is not the perpetuating of evil.

And if he should go to the north bank of the Ganges giving,
making (others) give,
offering,
making (others) offer,
from that source there is not merit,
there is not the perpetuating of merit.

There is no merit from giving,
from taming oneself,
from restraining oneself,
from truth-speaking,
there is not the perpetuating of merit."

If this is a true word
of this good teacher,
then what is done herein
is without my doing it,
what is lived herein
is without my living it.

Moreover both of us are herein
on an exact level in attaining recluse-ship,
although I do not say:

"Evil will not be done by the deeds of both."

It is excessive of this good teacher
to be naked,
shaven,
to practise squatting on his heels,
to pluck out the hair of his head and beard,
while I am living in a house
surrounded and supported by sons,
delighting in Kāsi's sandal-wood perfumes,
decked with garlands,
scents
and unguents,
enjoying the use of gold and silver.

For in a future state
I will be on an exact level in wayfaring
as this good teacher.

Knowing what,
seeing what,
should I fare the Brahma-faring
under this teacher?'

He, realising that this is a way
of living a non-Brahma-faring,
goes away uninterested
in this Brahma-faring.

This, Sandaka, is the second way of living
a non-Brahma-faring
that has been pointed out
by this Lord who knows and sees,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One,
(a way) in which an intelligent man
could certainly not live a Brahma-faring
or, if living it,
could not gain success in the right path,
in dhamma,
in what is skilled.

 


 

And again, Sandaka, some teacher here speaks thus
and is of this view:[13]

'There is no cause,
no reason for the defilement of creatures,
creatures are defiled without cause,
without reason.

There is no cause,
no reason for the purification of creatures,
creatures are purified without cause,
without reason.

There is not strength,
there is not energy,
there is not human vigour,
there is not human effort;
all creatures,
all breathing things,
all beings,
all living things
are without power,
without strength,
without energy,
bent by fate,
chance,
and nature,
[517] they experience pleasure and pain
amid the six classes.'

Wherefore, Sandaka, an intelligent man reflects thus:

'This worthy teacher speaks thus and is of this view:

'There is no cause,
no reason for the defilement of creatures,
creatures are defiled without cause,
without reason.

There is no cause,
no reason for the purification of creatures,
creatures are purified without cause,
without reason.

There is not strength,
there is not energy,
there is not human vigour,
there is not human effort;
all creatures,
all breathing things,
all beings,
all living things
are without power,
without strength,
without energy,
bent by fate,
chance,
and nature,
they experience pleasure and pain
amid the six classes.'

If this is a true word
of this good teacher,
then what is done herein
is without my doing it,
what is lived herein
is without my living it.

Moreover both of us are herein
on an exact level in attaining recluse-ship,
although I do not say:

"We will both be purified without cause, without reason."

It is excessive of this good teacher
to be naked,
shaven,
to practise squatting on his heels,
to pluck out the hair of his head and beard,
while I am living in a house
surrounded and supported by sons,
delighting in Kāsi's sandal-wood perfumes,
decked with garlands,
scents
and unguents,
enjoying the use of gold and silver.

For in a future state
I will be on an exact level in wayfaring
as this good teacher.

Knowing what,
seeing what,
should I fare the Brahma-faring
under this teacher?'

He, realising that [196] this is a way
of living a non-Brahma-faring,
goes away uninterested
in this Brahma-faring.

This, Sandaka, is the third way of living
a non-Brahma-faring
that has been pointed out
by this Lord who knows and sees,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One,
(a way) in which an intelligent man
could certainly not live a Brahma-faring
or, if living it,
could not gain success in the right path,
in dhamma,
in what is skilled.

 


 

And again, Sandaka, some teacher here speaks thus
and is of this view:[14]'

These seven classes
are not made
or caused to be made,
they are not created
or caused to be created,
they are barren (of results),
standing stable as a mountain,
stable as a pillar,[15]
they do not move
or change
or injure one another,
they are unable to affect one another's pleasure
or pain
or pleasure-and-pain.

What are the seven?

Earth,[16]
water,
heat,
wind,
pleasures,
pains,
life-principles -
these seven.[17]

These seven classes
are not made
or caused to be made,
they are not created
or caused to be created,
they are barren (of results),
standing stable as a mountain,
stable as a pillar,
they do not move
or change
or injure one another,
they are unable to affect one another's pleasure
or pain
or pleasure-and-pain.

Herein there is neither slayer
nor one that makes another slay,[18]
neither hearer[19]
nor one that makes another hear,
neither knower[19]
nor one that makes another know.

Even he who cuts off (another's) head
with a sharp sword
deprives no one of life,
for the sword merely penetrates the gap
between the seven classes.

There are these fourteen hundred thousand
chief kinds of birth,[20]
and sixty hundred
and six hundred.

There are five hundred karmas[21]
and (another) five karmas[22]
and (another) three karmas.[23]

There is a karma[24]
and half a karma.[25]

There are sixty-two practices,
sixty-two sub-divisions
(in a great kalpa[26]),
six classes [197] of mankind,[27]
eight stages in (the life of a) man,[28]
forty-nine hundred modes of livelihood,
forty-nine hundred wanderers,[29]
[518] forty-nine hundred nāga-dwellings,[30]
twenty hundred faculties,
thirty hundred Niraya Hells,
thirty-six places where dust collects,
seven births where there is consciousness,[31]
seven births where there is no consciousness,[32]
seven kinds of production
where there are joints in the stalk,[33]
seven kinds of devas,[34]
seven kinds of men,[35]
seven kinds of demons,
seven lakes,
seven knots,[36]
seven (greater) mountains,
seven hundred (smaller) mountains,
seven (great) dreams,[37]
seven hundred (lesser) dreams.

There are 84,000 great kalpas
in which both fools and the wise,
when they have run on
and circled on,
will make an end of anguish.

It is useless to say:

"I, by this moral practice
or habit
or austerity
or Brahma-faring[38]
will bring an unmatured karma to maturity,[39]
or gradually exhaust karma already matured."[40]

This is [198] not so.

Happiness and pain are measured out
(as) in a bushel;
circling on has its limits fixed;
there is not decline and growth,
there is not high degree or low.[41]

Indeed, just as a ball of thread,
when thrown down,
unwinds itself as it rolls,[42]
even so will fools and the wise alike,
when they have run on
and circled on,
make an end of anguish.'

Wherefore, Sandaka, an intelligent man reflects thus:

'This worthy teacher speaks thus and is of this view:

These seven classes
are not made
or caused to be made,
they are not created
or caused to be created,
they are barren (of results),
standing stable as a mountain,
stable as a pillar,
they do not move
or change
or injure one another,
they are unable to affect one another's pleasure
or pain
or pleasure-and-pain.

What are the seven?

Earth,
water,
heat,
wind,
pleasures,
pains,
life-principles -
these seven.

These seven classes
are not made
or caused to be made,
they are not created
or caused to be created,
they are barren (of results),
standing stable as a mountain,
stable as a pillar,
they do not move
or change
or injure one another,
they are unable to affect one another's pleasure
or pain
or pleasure-and-pain.

Herein there is neither slayer
nor one that makes another slay,
neither hearer
nor one that makes another hear,
neither knower
nor one that makes another know.

Even he who cuts off (another's) head
with a sharp sword
deprives no one of life,
for the sword merely penetrates the gap
between the seven classes.

There are these fourteen hundred thousand
chief kinds of birth,
and sixty hundred
and six hundred.

There are five hundred karmas
and (another) five karmas
and (another) three karmas.

There is a karma
and half a karma.

There are sixty-two practices,
sixty-two sub-divisions
(in a great kalpa,
six classes of mankind,
eight stages in (the life of a) man,
forty-nine hundred modes of livelihood,
forty-nine hundred wanderers,
forty-nine hundred nāga-dwellings,
twenty hundred faculties,
thirty hundred Niraya Hells,
thirty-six places where dust collects,
seven births where there is consciousness,
seven births where there is no consciousness,
seven kinds of production
where there are joints in the stalk,
seven kinds of devas,
seven kinds of men,
seven kinds of demons,
seven lakes,
seven knots,
seven (greater) mountains,
seven hundred (smaller) mountains,
seven (great) dreams,
seven hundred (lesser) dreams.

There are 84,000 great kalpas
in which both fools and the wise,
when they have run on
and circled on,
will make an end of anguish.

It is useless to say:

"I, by this moral practice
or habit
or austerity
or Brahma-faring
will bring an unmatured karma to maturity,
or gradually exhaust karma already matured."

This is not so.

Happiness and pain are measured out
(as) in a bushel;
circling on has its limits fixed;
there is not decline and growth,
there is not high degree or low.

Indeed, just as a ball of thread,
when thrown down,
unwinds itself as it rolls,
even so will fools and the wise alike,
when they have run on
and circled on,
make an end of anguish.'

If this is a true word
of this good teacher,
then what is done herein
is without my doing it,
what is lived herein
is without my living it.

Moreover both of us are herein
on an exact level in attaining recluse-ship,
although I do not say:

"When we have both run on
and circled on
we will make an end of anguish."

It is excessive of this good teacher
to be naked,
shaven,
to practise squatting on his heels,
to pluck out the hair of his head and beard,
while I am living in a house
surrounded and supported by sons,
delighting in Kāsi's sandal-wood perfumes,
decked with garlands,
scents
and unguents,
enjoying the use of gold and silver.

For in a future state
I will be on an exact level in wayfaring
as this good teacher.

Knowing what,
seeing what,
should I fare the Brahma-faring
under this teacher?'

He, realising that this is a way
of living a non-Brahma-faring,
goes away uninterested
in this Brahma-faring.

This, Sandaka, is the fourth way of living
a non-Brahma-faring
that has been pointed out
by this Lord who knows and sees,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One,
(a way) in which an intelligent man
could certainly not live a Brahma-faring
or, if living it,
could not gain success in the right path,
in dhamma,
in what is skilled.

 


 

These, Sandaka, are the four ways of living a non-Brahma-faring
that have been pointed out
by this Lord who knows and sees,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One,
[519] and in which an intelligent man
could certainly not live a Brahma-faring,
or, if living it,
could not gain success in the right path,
in dhamma,
in what is skilled."

"It is wonderful, good Ānanda,
it is marvellous, good Ānanda,
that although there are these four ways
of living a non-Brahma-faring,
they have been pointed out
by this Lord who knows and sees,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One,
as those in which an intelligent man
could certainly not live a Brahma-faring,
or, if living it,
could not gain success in the right path,
in dhamma,
in what is skilled.

 

§

 

But now, good Ānanda,
what are these four comfortless Brahma-farings
that have been pointed out
by this Lord who knows and sees,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One,
and in which an intelligent man
certainly could not live a Brahma-faring,
or, if living [199] it,
could not gain success in the right path,
in dhamma,
in what is skilled?"

"As to this, Sandaka,
some teacher,
all-knowing,[43]
all-seeing,
claims all-embracing knowledge-and-vision,
saying:

'Whether I am walking
or standing still
or asleep
or awake,
knowledge-and-vision is constantly
and perpetually before me.'

He enters an empty place,
and he does not obtain aimsfood,
and a dog bites him,
and he encounters a fierce elephant,
and he encounters a fierce horse,
and he encounters a fierce bullock,
and he asks a woman and a man their name and clan,
and he asks the name of a village
or a market town
and the way.

He, being one who asks,[44]
'How was this?'

answers,

'I had to enter an empty place,
therefore I entered;
I had to obtain no aimsfood,
therefore I obtained none;
(someone) had to be bitten by a dog,
therefore I was bitten by one;
(someone) had to encounter a fierce elephant,
horse
and bullock,
therefore I encountered them;
(someone) had to ask a woman and a man their name and clan,
therefore I asked;
(someone) had to ask the name of a village
and market town
and the way,
therefore I asked.'

Whereupon, Sandaka,
an intelligent person reflects thus:

'This revered teacher,
all-knowing,
all-seeing,
claims all-embracing knowledge-and-vision,
saying:

"Whether I am walking
or standing still
or asleep
or awake,
knowledge-and-vision is constantly
and perpetually before me."

He enters an empty place,
and he does not obtain aimsfood,
and a dog bites him,
and he encounters a fierce elephant,
and he encounters a fierce horse,
and he encounters a fierce bullock,
and he asks a woman and a man their name and clan,
and he asks the name of a village
or a market town
and the way.

He, being one who asks,
'How was this?'

answers,

'I had to enter an empty place,
therefore I entered;
I had to obtain no aimsfood,
therefore I obtained none;
(someone) had to be bitten by a dog,
therefore I was bitten by one;
(someone) had to encounter a fierce elephant,
horse
and bullock,
therefore I encountered them;
(someone) had to ask a woman and a man their name and clan,
therefore I asked;
(someone) had to ask the name of a village
and market town
and the way,
therefore I asked.'

Having realised that this Brahma-faring is comfortless,
he goes away uninterested in this Brahma-faring.

This, Sandaka, is the first comfortless Brahma-faring
that has been pointed out
by this Lord who knows and sees,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One,
and [520] in which an intelligent man
certainly could not live a Brahma-faring,
or, if living it,
could not gain success in the right path,
in dhamma,
in what is skilled.

 


 

And again, Sandaka,
some teacher here depends on report,[45]
holds to report for his 'truths,'
he teaches dhamma according to report,[46]
according to hearsay
and tradition,
according to the authority of the collections.[47]

If a teacher, Sandaka, depends on report,
holds to report for his 'truths,'
he remembers (part) well
and he remembers (part) badly,
and is both right and wrong.

Wherefore, Sandaka, an intelligent person reflects thus:

'This worthy teacher depends on report,
holds to report for his 'truths,'
he teaches dhamma according to report,
according to hearsay
and tradition,
according to the authority of the collections

If a teacher depends on report,
holds to report for his 'truths,'
he remembers (part) well
and he remembers (part) badly,
and is both right and wrong.

Having realised that this Brahma-faring is comfortless,
he goes away uninterested in this Brahma-faring.

[200] This, Sandaka, is the second comfortless Brahma-faring
that has been pointed out
by this Lord who knows and sees,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One,
and in which an intelligent man
certainly could not live a Brahma-faring,
or, if living it,
could not gain success in the right path,
in dhamma,
in what is skilled.

 


 

And again, Sandaka, some teacher here
is a reasoner and investigator;[48]
he teaches dhamma
on a system of his own devising,
beaten out by reasoning
and based on investigation.

If, Sandaka, a teacher is a reasoner and investigator,
part is well reasoned
and part is badly reasoned,
and is both right and wrong.

Wherefore, Sandaka, an intelligent person reflects thus:

'This worthy teacher
is a reasoner and investigator
he teaches dhamma
on a system of his own devising,
beaten out by reasoning
and based on investigation.

If a teacher is a reasoner and investigator,
part is well reasoned
and part is badly reasoned,
and is both right and wrong.

Having realised that this Brahma-faring is comfortless,
he goes away uninterested in this Brahma-faring.

This, Sandaka, is the third comfortless Brahma-faring
that has been pointed out
by this Lord who knows and sees,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One,
and in which an intelligent man
certainly could not live a Brahma-faring,
or, if living it,
could not gain success in the right path,
in dhamma,
in what is skilled.

 


 

And again, Sandaka, some teacher here
is stupid and confused;[49]
because of his stupidity and confusion,
on being asked a question on this or that
[521] he falls into equivocation,
into eel-wriggling:[50]

'It is not thus for me,[51]
it is not so for me,
it is not otherwise for me,
I do not say it is not,
I do not say it is not not.'

Wherefore, Sandaka, an intelligent person reflects thus:

'This worthy teacher is stupid and confused
because of his stupidity and confusion,
on being asked a question on this or that
he falls into equivocation,
into eel-wriggling:

'It is not thus for me,
it is not so for me,
it is not otherwise for me,
I do not say it is not,
I do not say it is not not.'

Having realised that this Brahma-faring is comfortless,
he goes away uninterested in this Brahma-faring.

This, Sandaka, is the fourth comfortless Brahma-faring
that has been pointed out
by this Lord who knows and sees,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One,
and in which an intelligent man
certainly could not live a Brahma-faring,
or, if living it,
could not gain success in the right path,
in dhamma,
in what is skilled.

These, Sandaka, are the four comfortless Brahma-farings that have been pointed out by this Lord who knows and sees,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One,
and in which an intelligent man
certainly could not live a Brahma-faring,
or, if living it,
could not gain success in the right path,
in dhamma,
in what is skilled."

 


 

"It is wonderful, good Ānanda,
it is marvellous, good Ānanda,
that these four comfortless Brahma-farings
have been pointed out by this Lord
who knows and sees,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One,
as those in which an intelligent man
could certainly not live a Brahma-faring
or, if living it,
could not gain success in the right path,
in dhamma,
in what is skilled.

 

§

 

Good Ānanda,
what does this Teacher teach,
what does he profess
whereby an intelligent man
[201] could certainly live a Brahma-faring
and, living it,
could gain success in the right path,
in dhamma,
in what is skilled?"

"As to this, Sandaka, a Tathāgata arises in the world,
a perfected one,
a fully Self-awakened one
endowed with right knowledge and conduct,
well-farer,
knower of the worlds,
the matchless charioteer of men to be tamed,
the Awakened One,
the Lord.

He makes known this world
with the devas,
with Māra,
with Brahmā,
creation
with its recluses and brahmans,
its devas and men,
having realised them by his own super-knowledge.

He teaches dhamma which is lovely at the beginning,
lovely in the middle,
lovely at the ending,
with the spirit and the letter;
he proclaims the Brahma-faring
wholly fulfilled,
quite purified.

A householder
or a householder's son
or one born in another family
hears that dhamma.

Having heard that dhamma,
he gains faith in the Tathāgata.

Endowed with this faith
that he has acquired,
he reflects in this way:

'The household life is confined and dusty;
going forth is of the open;
it is not easy for one who lives in a house
to fare the Brahma-faring
wholly fulfilled,
wholly pure,
polished like a conch-shell.

Suppose now that I,
having cut off hair and beard,
having put on saffron robes,
should go forth from home
into homelessness?'

After a time,
getting rid of his wealth,
be it small or great,
getting rid of his circle of relations,
be it small or great,
having cut off his hair and beard,
having put on saffron robes,
he goes forth from home
into homelessness.

He, being thus one who has gone forth
and who is endowed with the training
and the way of living of monks,
abandoning onslaught on creatures,
is one who abstains from onslaught on creatures;
the stick laid aside,
the knife laid aside,
he lives kindly,
scrupulous,
friendly
and compassionate
towards all breathing things and creatures.

Abandoning the taking of what is not given,
he is one who abstains from taking what is not given;
being one who takes (only) what is given,
who waits for what is given,
not by stealing he lives with a self become pure.

Abandoning unchastity,
he is one who is chaste,
keeping remote (from unchastity),
abstaining from dealings with women.

Abandoning lying speech,
he is one who abstains from lying speech,
a truth-speaker,
a bondsman to truth,
trustworthy,
dependable,
no deceiver of the world.

Abandoning slanderous speech,
he is one who abstains from slanderous speech;
having heard something here
he is not one for repeating it elsewhere
for (causing) variance among these (people),
or having heard something elsewhere
he is not one to repeat it there
for (causing) variance among these (people).

In this way
he is a reconciler of those who are at variance,
and one who combines those who are friends.

Concord is his pleasure,
concord his delight,
concord his joy,
concord is the motive of his speech.

Abandoning harsh speech,
he is one who abstains from harsh speech.

Whatever speech is gentle,
pleasing to the ear,
affectionate,
going to the heart,
urbane,
pleasant to the manyfolk,
agreeable to the manyfolk -
he comes to be one who utters speech like this.

Abandoning frivolous chatter,
he is one who abstains from frivolous chatter.

He is a speaker at a right time,
a speaker of fact,
a speaker on the goal,
a speaker on dhamma,
a speaker on discipline,
he speaks words that are worth treasuring,
with similes at a right time
that are discriminating,
connected with the goal.

He comes to be one who abstains
from what involves destruction to seed-growth,
to vegetable growth.

He comes to be one who eats one meal a day,
refraining at night,
abstaining from eating at a wrong time.

He comes to be one who abstains
from watching shows of dancing,
singing,
music.

He comes to be one who abstains
from using garlands,
scents,
unguents,
adornments,
finery.

He comes to be one who abstains
from using high beds,
large beds.

He comes to be one who abstains
from accepting gold and silver.

He comes to be one who abstains
from accepting raw grain.

He comes to be one who abstains
from accepting raw meat.

He comes to be one who abstains
from accepting women and girls.

He comes to be one who abstains
from accepting women slaves and men slaves.

He comes to be one who abstains
from accepting goats and sheep.

He comes to be one who abstains
from accepting fowl and swine.

He comes to be one who abstains
from accepting elephants, cows, horses, mares.

He comes to be one who abstains
from accepting fields and sites.

He comes to be one who abstains
from accepting messages or going on such.

He comes to be one who abstains from buying and selling.

He comes to be one who abstains
from accepting from cheating with weights.

He comes to be one who abstains
from accepting from cheating with bronzes.

He comes to be one who abstains
from cheating with measures.

He comes to be one who abstains
from the crooked ways of bribery, fraud and deceit.

He comes to be one who abstains
from maiming, murdering, manacling, highway robbery.

He comes to be contented
with the robes for protecting his body,
with the almsfood for sustaining his stomach.

Wherever he goes
he takes these things with him as he goes.

As a bird on the wing
wherever it flies
takes its' wings with it as it flies,
so a monk,
contented with the robes for protecting his body,
with the almsfood for sustaining his stomach,
wherever he goes
takes these things with him as he goes.

He, possessed of the ariyan body of moral habit,
subjectively experiences unsullied well-being.

Having seen a material shape with the eye,
he is not entranced by the general appearsnce,
he is not entranced by the detail.

If he dwells with this organ of sight uncontrolled,
covetousness and dejection,
evil unskilled states of mind,
might predominate.

So he fares along controlling it;
he guards the organ of sight,
he comes to control over the organ of sight.

Having heard a sound with the ear,
he is not entranced by the general appearsnce,
he is not entranced by the detail.

If he dwells with this organ of hearing uncontrolled,
covetousness and dejection,
evil unskilled states of mind,
might predominate.

So he fares along controlling it;
he guards the organ of hearing,
he comes to control over the organ of hearing.

Having smelt a smell with the nose,
he is not entranced by the general appearsnce,
he is not entranced by the detail.

If he dwells with this organ of smell uncontrolled,
covetousness and dejection,
evil unskilled states of mind,
might predominate.

So he fares along controlling it;
he guards the organ of smell,
he comes to control over the organ of smell.

Having savoured a taste with the tongue,
he is not entranced by the general appearsnce,
he is not entranced by the detail.

If he dwells with this organ of taste uncontrolled,
covetousness and dejection,
evil unskilled states of mind,
might predominate.

So he fares along controlling it;
he guards the organ of taste,
he comes to control over the organ of taste.

Having felt a touch with the body,
he is not entranced by the general appearsnce,
he is not entranced by the detail.

If he dwells with this organ of touch uncontrolled,
covetousness and dejection,
evil unskilled states of mind,
might predominate.

So he fares along controlling it;
he guards the organ of touch,
he comes to control over the organ of touch.

Having cognised a mental object with the mind,
he is not entranced by the general appearsnce,
he is not entranced by the detail.

If he lives with this organ of mind uncontrolled,
covetousness and dejection,
evil unskilled states of mind
might predominate.

So he fares along controlling it;
he guards the organ of mind,
he comes to control over the organ of mind.

If he is possessed of this ariyan control of the (sense-) organs,
he subjectively experiences unsulhed well-being.

Whether he is setting out
or returning,
he is one who comports himself properly;
whether he is looking down
or looking round,
he is one who comports himself properly;
whether he is bending back
or stretching out (his arm),
he is one who comports himself properly;
whether he is carrying his outer cloak,
his bowl,
his robe,
he is one who comports himself properly;
whether he is munching,
drinking,
eating,
savouring,
he is one who comports himself properly;
whether he is obeying the calls of nature,
he is one who comports himself properly;
whether he is walking,
standing,
asleep,
awake,
talking,
silent,
he is one who comports himself properly.

Possessed of this ariyan body of moral habit
and possessed of this ariyan control of the (sense-) organs
and possessed of this ariyan mindfulness
and clear consciousness,
he chooses a remote lodging in a forest,
at the root of a tree,
on a mountain slope,
in a wilderness,
in a hill-cave,
in a cemetery,
in a forest haunt,
in the open
or on a heap of straw.

He, returning from alms-gathering
after his meal,
sits down cross-legged
holding the back erect,
having made mindfulness
rise up in front of him.

He, having got rid of covetousness for the world,
lives with a mind devoid of coveting,
he purifies the mind of coveting.

By getting rid of the taint of ill-will,
he lives benevolent in mind;
and compassionate for the welfare
of all creatures and beings,
he purifies the mind of the taint of ill-will.

By getting rid of sloth and torpor,
he hves devoid of sloth and torpor;
perceiving the light,
mindful and clearly conscious,
he purifies the mind of sloth and torpor.

By getting rid of restlessness and worry,
he lives calmly,
the mind subjectively tranquillised,
he purifies the mind of restlessness and worry.

By getting rid of doubt,
he hves doubt-crossed;
unperplexed as to the states that are skilled,
he purifies his mind of doubt.

He, by getting rid Of these five hindrances -
defilements of a mind and weakening to intuitive wisdom -
aloof from pleasurs of the senses,
aloof from unskilled states of mind,
enters and abides in the first meditation,
which is accompanied by initial thought and discursive thought,
is born of aloofness
and is rapturous and joyful.

If a disciple attains such lofty eminence under this Teacher,
[522] an intelligent person could certainly live that Brahma-faring and,
living it,
could gain success in the right path,
in dhamma,
in what is skilled.

And again, Sandaka, a monk,
by allaying initial and discursive thought,
his mind subjectively tranquillised
and fixed on one point,
enters on
and abides in
the second meditation
which is devoid of initial and discursive thought,
is born of concentration
and is rapturous and joyful.

If a disciple attains such lofty eminence under this Teacher,
an intelligent person could certainly live that Brahma-faring and,
living it,
could gain success in the right path,
in dhamma,
in what is skilled.

And again, Sandaka, a monk,
by the fading out of rapture,
dwells with equanimity,
attentive and clearly conscious,
and experiences in his person
that joy of which the ariyans say:
'Joyful lives he who has equanimity and is mindful,'
and he enters on
and abides in
the third meditation.

If a disciple attains such lofty eminence under this Teacher,
an intelligent person could certainly live that Brahma-faring and,
living it,
could gain success in the right path,
in dhamma,
in what is skilled.

And again, Sandaka, a monk
by getting rid of joy,
by getting rid of anguish,
by the going down of his former pleasures and sorrows,
enters on
and abides in
the fourth meditation
which has neither anguish nor joy,
and which is entirely purified
by equanimity and mindfulness.

If a disciple attains such lofty eminence under this Teacher,
an intelligent person could certainly live that Brahma-faring and,
living it,
could gain success in the right path,
in dhamma,
in what is skilled.

Thus with the mind composed,
quite purified,
quite clarified,
without blemish,
without defilement,
grown soft and workable,
stable,
immovable,
he directs his mind
to the knowledge and recollection of former habitations.

He recollects a variety of former habitations, thus:

One birth,
two births,
three births,
four births,
five births,
ten births,
twenty births,
thirty births,
forty births,
fifty births,
a hundred births,
a thousand births,
a hundred thousand births,
and many an eon of integration
and many an eon of disintegration
and many an eon of integration-disintegration:

'Such a one was I by name,
having such and such a clan,
such and such a colour,
so I was nourished,
such and such pleasant and painful experiences were mine,
so did the span of life end.

Passing from this,
I came to be in another state
where I was such a one by name,
having such and such a clan,
such and such a colour,
so I was nourished,
such and such pleasant and painful experiences were mine,
so did the span of life end.

Passing from this,
I arose here.'

Thus he recollects divers former habitations
in all their modes and detail.

With the mind composed thus,
quite purified,
quite clarified,
without blemish,
without defilement,
grown soft and workable,
stable,
immovable,
he directs his mind
to the knowledge of the passing hence
and the arising of beings.

With the purified deva-vision
surpassing that of men,
he sees beings as they pass hence
or come to be;
he comprehends that beings are mean,
excellent,
comely,
ugly,
well-going,
ill-going,
according to the consequences of deeds,
and thinks:

'Indeed these worthy beings
who were possessed of wrong conduct in body,
speech
and thought,
scoffers at the ariyans,
holding a wrong view,
incurring deeds consequent on a wrong view -
these, at the breaking up of the body after dying,
have arisen in a sorrowful state,
a bad bourn,
the abyss,
Niraya Hell.

But these worthy beings
who were possessed of good conduct in body,
speech
and thought,
who did not scoff at the ariyans,
holding a right view,
incurring deeds consequent on a right view -
these at the breaking up of the body after dying,
have arisen in a good bourn,
a heaven world.'

Thus with the purified deva-vision
surpassing that of men
does he see beings as they pass hence,
as they arise;
he comprehends that beings are mean,
excellent,
comely,
ugly,
well-going,
ill-going
according to the consequences of deeds.

With the mind composed thus,
quite purified,
quite clarified,
without blemish,
without defilement,
grown soft and workable,
stable,
immovable,
he directs his mind
to the knowledge of the destruction of the cankers.

He comprehends as it really is:

'This is anguish',
'this is the arising of anguish',
'this is the stopping of anguish',
'this is the course leading to the stopping of anguish'.

He comprehends as it really is:

'These are the cankers',
'this is the arising of the cankers',
'this is the stopping of the cankers',
'this is the course leading to the stopping of the cankers'.

Knowing thus,
seeing thus,
his mind is freed from the canker of sense-pleasures
and his mind is freed from the canker of becoming
and his mind is freed from the canker of ignorance.

In freedom the knowledge comes to be:

'I am freed';
and he comprehends:

'Destroyed is birth,
brought to a close the Brahma-faring,
done is what was to be done,
there is no more of being such or so.'

If a disciple attains such lofty eminence under this Teacher,
an intelligent person could certainly live that Brahma-faring and,
living it,
could gain success in the right path,
in dhamma,
in what is skilled.

"But, good Ānanda,
could that monk who is a perfected one,
the cankers destroyed,
who has lived the life,
done what was to be done,
laid down the burden,
attained his own goal,
the fetters of becoming utterly destroyed,
freed by perfect profound knowledge -
[523] could he enjoy pleasures of the senses?"

"Whatever monk, Sandaka, is a perfected one[52] . ,
the cankers destroyed,
who has lived the life,
done what was to be done,
laid down the burden,
attained his own goal,
the fetters of becoming utterly destroyed,
freed by perfect profound knowledge -
he cannot become one to transgress[53]
five points:[54]

a monk whose cankers are destroyed
cannot become one
intentionally to deprive a living creature of life

a monk whose cankers are destroyed
cannot become one
to take what has not been given,
as it were by theft

a monk whose cankers are destroyed
cannot become one
to indulge in sexual intercourse

a monk whose cankers are destroyed
cannot become one
to speak a deliberate lie

a monk whose cankers are destroyed
cannot become one
to enjoy pleasures of the senses
in [202] regard to what was stored[55]
as he did formerly
when in the household state.

Sandaka, whatever is a perfected one
the cankers destroyed,
who has lived the life,
done what was to be done,
laid down the burden,
attained his own goal,
the fetters of becoming utterly destroyed,
freed by perfect profound knowledge -
he cannot become one to transgress
these five points."

"But, good Ānanda,
if a monk is one perfected
the cankers destroyed,
who has lived the life,
done what was to be done,
laid down the burden,
attained his own goal,
the fetters of becoming utterly destroyed,
freed by perfect profound knowledge -
then, whether he is walking
or standing still
or asleep
or awake
is the knowledge-and-vision constantly
and perpetually present
that his cankers are destroyed?"

"Well then, Sandaka, I will make you a simile,
for by a simile some intelligent persons here
understand the meaning of what has been said.

Sandaka, it is like a man
whose hands and feet have been cut off;
whether he is walking
or standing still
or asleep
or awake,
constantly and perpetually
are his hands and feet
as though cut off;
and moreover
while he is reflecting on it,
he knows:

'My hands and feet have been cut off.'

Even so, Sandaka,
whatever monk is a perfected one,
the cankers destroyed,
who has lived the life,
done what was to be done,
laid down the burden,
attained his own goal,
the fetters of becoming utterly destroyed,
freed by perfect profound knowledge,
for him
whether he is walking
or standing still
or asleep
or awake,
the cankers are as though destroyed;
and moreover
while he is reflecting on it,
he knows:

'My cankers are destroyed.'"

"How many great leaders,[56] good Ānanda,
are there in this dhamma and discipline?"

"Not merely a hundred,
nor two,
three,
four
or five hundred,
but far more are those
who are great leaders
in this dhamma and discipline."

"Wonderful, good Ānanda,
marvellous, good Ānanda;
there can be no extolling of their own dhamma
nor disparaging of the dhamma of others;
but both the teaching of dhamma in its (whole) extent[57]
and so [524] many great leaders can be seen.

On the other hand,
these Naked Ascetics
are children of a childless mother,
they both extol themselves
and disparage others,
and they show only three great leaders,
namely Nanda Vaccha, Kisa Saŋkicca and Makkhali Gosāla"[58]

Then the wanderer Sandaka addressed his own company, saying:

"Let the good sirs fare forth;
the living of the Brahma-faring
is [203] under the recluse Gotama,
although it is not easy for us now
to give up gains,
honours,
fame."

It was in this way
that the wanderer Sandaka
sent his own company
into the Lord's Brahma-faring.

Discourse to Sandaka:
The Sixth[59]

 


[1] Pilakkha, probably ficus infectoria. See Vin. iv. 35. MA. iii. 220 says there was a tree of this kind at the entrance to the Cave.

[2] As at Vin. iv. 164. See B.D. iii. 82 f. for references and notes on the various kinds of talk.

[3] Cf. M. i. 326, 481.

[4] As at M. ii. 1-2; D. i. 2; Ud. 11, 31.

[5] Ascribed to Ajita Kesakainbalin at D. i. 55; cf. also M. i. 287, 402, S. iii. 206. See translation and notes by A.L. Basham in his History and Doctrines of the Ājīvikas, London, 1951, p. 15.

[6] Four men each take a leg of the bier, and so the bier as well.

[7] padāni

[8] atthikavāda, affirmatists, "there-is-ists." Here MA. iii. 227 takes the theory to refer to there being fruit of giving.

[9] ettha. MA. iii. 228: in this recluses' dhamma.

[10] Cf. A. iii. 391, iv. 281; Ud. 65.

[11] Cf. A. iii. 347, v. 139.

[12] As at M. i. 404; see above, p. 73. Also at S. iii. 208.

[13] As at M. i. 407; see above, p. 76. Also at S. iii. 210.

[14] At D. i. 56 ascribed to Pakudha Kaccāyana. See also S. iii. 211.

[15] As at D. i. 14.

[16] paṭhmikāya. MA. iii. 229 says that this is just earth or the aggregation of earth; and so for the other "elements."

[17] M. here reads satt'ime as against sattame, "as the seventh" of D. i. 56.

[18] Cf. Iti. p. 22 = Jā. iv. 7l = Miln. 402.

[19] At A. iv. 196 these are among the eight qualities fitting one to go on a message.

[20] For a discussion of these terms down to "great kalpas," see A.L. Basham, op. cit., p. 240 ff. The following view is ascribed to Makkhali Gosāla at D. i. 63-54.

[21] kammuno. MA. iii. 230: all shown to be useless.

[22] MA. iii. 230 = DA. 162: the five controlling faculties, or sense-organs, indriya.

[23] Of body, speech and thought, MA. iii. 230.

[24] Of body and speech, MA. iii. 230.

[25] Of thought, MA. iii. 230.

[26] MA. iii. 230: "in each kalpa there are 64 sub-divisions, antarakappa. But because he does not know the other two, he (Makkhali Gosfila) speaks thus,"

[27] chaḷ-abhijātiyo. Cf. the corresponding theory of Pūrana Kassapa at A. iii. 383. See also D. iii. 250. Referred to at M. i. 407 as chass-evābhijāti, as at M. ii. 222. The black class includes, according to MA. iii. 121, DA. 162, SA. ii. 343 butchers, hunters, fishermen, robbers, etc.; the blue includes monks and some wanderers; the red, Jains and wearers of one cloth only; the yellow, householders and disciples of unclothed ascetics; the white includes Nanda, Vaccha, Saŋkicca (MA. iii. 121), or it includes Naked Ascetics, men and women (DA. 162 = SA. ii. 343); the radiant class includes Naked Ascetics (MA. iii. 121), or Nanda Vaccha, Kisa Saŋkicca, Makkhali Gosāla (DA. 162 = SA. ii. 343).

[28] MA. iii. 230-231: babyhood, playtime, stage of investigation, standing erect, learning time, recluseship, victory (jina, explained by jānanakāla, time of knowing) and prostrate time, pannabhūmi (translated at K.S. iii. 171, n. 2 as "attainment," reading pattabhūmi, a suggested v.l. at SA. ii. 343).

[29] Unclothed ascetics - the white; Nanda Vaccha, Saŋkicca (MA. iii. 121), or Naked Ascetics, men and women (DA. 162 = SA. ii. 343); the radiant, Naked Ascetics (MA. iii. 121), or Nanda Vaccha, Kisa Saŋkicca, Makkhali Gosāla (DA. 162 = SA. ii. 343).

[30] nāgāvasa, explained by nāgamaṇḍala at MA. iii. 231, circles or groups of nāgas.

[31] The Comys say camels, cows, donkeys, goats, cattle, deer, buffaloes.

[32] The Comys say rice, barley, wheat, beans, millet and two other kinds of grain.

[33] Sugar-cane, bamboo, reeds, etc.

[34] The Comys here say that seven stands for "many."

[35] Meaning "endless."

[36] pavuṭā, see PED., s.v. MA. iii. 232, gaṇṭikā. Le Canon Pali bouddhique, vol. I, fasc. i, p. 48 does not translate. The meaning is really unknown.

[37] Five dreams of Gotama given at A. iii. 240, Jā. i. 69.

[38] I.e. of unclothed or other ascetics.

[39] This is what a wise man might say.

[40] This is what the fool might say; but he goes on (in saṁsara) after he has passed the time at which this was said, MA. iii. 233.

[41] saṁsāra does not decline for the wise man or grow for the fool, MA. iii. 233.

[42] It goes on unwinding itself for the length of the thread, MA. iii. 233.

[43] As at M. i. 92-93, ii. 31; A. i. 220.

[44] Being omniscient, why did he ask? MA. iii. 233.

[45] M. ii. 211.

[46] A. i. 189, 195, ii. 91.

[47] piṭaka; cf. M. ii. 169.

[48] Cf. M. i. 68; D. 1. 16.

[49] Cf. D. i. 27.

[50] On amarāvikkhepa see D. i. 24 ff.

[51] On these answers in a particular context see D. i, 27.

[52] As at A. iv. 369-370.

[53] ajjhācarituṁ, to practise (wrongly), to commit.

[54] Cf. D. iii. 133, 235.

[55] sannidkikārakaṁ. Cf. Pāc. 38 (Vin. iv. 86-87), and see B.D. ii. 339, n. 1; and also G.S. iv. 245, n. 8.

[56] niyyātāro.

[57] āyatane can also mean "practice."

[58] Mentioned at M. i. 238.

[59] Here ends Trenckner, Majjhima-Nikaya, vol. I.

 


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