Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
II. Majjhima-Paṇṇāsa
4. Rāja Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
II. The Middle Fifty Discourses
4. The Royal Division

Sutta 84

Madhurā Suttaɱ

Discourse at Madhura

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.

 


 

[1][chlm][chlm-2][upal] THUS have I heard:

At one time the venerable Kaccāna the Great was staying near Madhurā in the Gundā Grove.[1]

Avantiputta,[2] king of Madhurā, heard that the recluse Kaccāna was staying near Madhurā in the Gundā Grove and
that of that revered Kaccāna
a lovely report had gone forth thus:

'He is clever,
experienced,
wise,
one who has heard much,
a brilliant speaker,
of lovely intelligence,
senior
as well as being a perfected one.

Good is the sight of perfected ones like this.'

Then Avantiputta, king of Madhurā,
having had many splendid vehicles harnessed,
having mounted a splendid vehicle,
set out from Madhurā
with the many splendid vehicles
and with great royal pomp
so as to see the venerable Kaccāna the Great.

He went by vehicle as long as the ground was passable,
then, having dismounted from the vehicle,
he approached the venerable Kaccāna the Great on foot;
having approached,
he exchanged greetings with the venerable Kaccāna the Great;
and having conversed in a friendly and courteous way,
he sat down at a respectful distance.

As he was sitting down at a respectful distance,
Avantiputta, king of Madhurā,
spoke thus to the venerable Kaccāna the Great:

"Good Kaccāna,
brahmans speak thus:

'Only brahmans form the best caste,
all other castes are low;
only brahmans form the fair caste,
all other casts are dark;
only brahmans are pure,
not non-brahmans;
brahmans are own sons of Brahmā,
born of his mouth,
born of Brahmā, formed by Brahmā, heirs to Brahmā.'[3]

What does the reverend Kaccāna say to this?"

"Sire, this is merely a sound in the world, that:

'Only brahmans [274] form the best caste,
all other castes are low;
only brahmans form the fair caste,
all other casts are dark;
only brahmans are pure,
not non-brahmans;
brahmans are own sons of Brahmā,
born of his mouth,
born of Brahmā, formed by Brahmā, heirs to Brahmā.'

This is a way in which it can be said, sire, that this is merely a sound in the world, that:

'Only brahmans form the best caste,
all other castes are low;
only brahmans form the fair caste,
all other casts are dark;
only brahmans are pure,
not non-brahmans;
brahmans are own sons of Brahmā,
born of his mouth,
born of Brahmā, formed by Brahmā, heirs to Brahmā.'

What do you think about this, sire?

Even if a noble were to thrive in wealth or corn or gold or silver,
could he have as his obedient servant another noble to get up earlier than he would,
to go later to rest,
carrying out his pleasure,
speaking affably,[4]
or could he have a brahman
or could he have a merchant
or could he have a worker
to get up earlier than he would,
to go later to rest,
carrying out his pleasure,
speaking affably?"

"Good Kaccāna, if a noble were to thrive in wealth or corn or gold or silver
he could have as his obedient servant a noble to get up earlier than he would,
to go later to rest,
carrying out his pleasure,
speaking affably,
or he could have a brahman,
or he could have a merchant,
or he could have a worker
to get up earlier than he would,
to go later to rest,
carrying out his pleasure,
speaking affably."

"What do you think about this, sire?

Even if a brahman were to thrive in wealth or corn or gold or silver,
could he have as his obedient servant another brahman to get up earlier than he would,
to go later to rest,
carrying out his pleasure,
speaking affably,
or could he have a noble
or could he have a merchant
or could he have a worker
to get up earlier than he would,
to go later to rest,
carrying out his pleasure,
speaking affably?"

"Good Kaccāna, if a brahman were to thrive in wealth or corn or gold or silver,
he could have as his obedient servant another brahman to get up earlier than he would,
to go later to rest,
carrying out his pleasure,
speaking affably,
or he could have a noble
or he could have a merchant
or he could have a worker
to get up earlier than he would,
to go later to rest,
carrying out his pleasure,
speaking affably."

"What do you think about this, sire?

Even if a merchant were to thrive in wealth or corn or gold or silver,
could he have as his obedient servant another merchant to get up earlier than he would,
to go later to rest,
carrying out his pleasure,
speaking affably,
or could he have a noble
or could he have a brahman
or could he have a worker
to get up earlier than he would,
to go later to rest,
carrying out his pleasure,
speaking affably?"

"Good Kaccāna, if a merchant were to thrive in wealth or corn or gold or silver,
he could have as his obedient servant another merchant to get up earlier than he would,
to go later to rest,
carrying out his pleasure,
speaking affably,
or he could have a noble
or he could have a brahman
or he could have a worker
to get up earlier than he would,
to go later to rest,
carrying out his pleasure,
speaking affably."

"What do you think about this, sire?

Even if a worker were to thrive in wealth or corn or gold or silver,
could he have as his obedient servant another worker to get up earlier than he would,
to go later to rest,
carrying out his pleasure,
speaking affably,
or could he have a noble
or could he have a brahman
or could he have a merchant
to get up earlier than he would,
to go later to rest,
carrying out his pleasure,
speaking affably?"

"Good Kaccāna, if a worker were to thrive in wealth or corn or gold or silver,
he could have as his obedient servant another worker to get up earlier than he would,
to go later to rest,
carrying out his pleasure,
speaking affably,
or he could have a noble
or he could have a brahman
or he could have a merchant
to get up earlier than he would,
to go later to rest,
carrying out his pleasure,
speaking affably."

[275] "What do you think about this, sire?

This being so,
are these four castes exactly the same or not?

Or how does this seem to you?"

"Indeed, good Kaccāna,
this being so,
these four castes are exactly the same;
I do not see any difference between them in this respect."

"This is a way in which it can be said, sire, that this is merely a sound in the world, that:

'Only brahmans form the best caste,
all other castes are low;
only brahmans form the fair caste,
all other casts are dark;
only brahmans are pure,
not non-brahmans;
brahmans are own sons of Brahmā,
born of his mouth,
born of Brahmā, formed by Brahmā, heirs to Brahmā.'

 


 

What do yon think about this, sire?

If a noble made onslaught on creatures here,
took what had not been given,
wrongly enjoyed pleasures of the senses,
were a liar,
of slanderous speech,
of harsh speech,
a gossip,
covetous,
malevolent in mind,
of wrong view -
would he at the breaking up of the body after dying
arise in the sorrowful way,
the bad bourn,
the Downfall,
Niraya Hell?

Or not?

Or how does this seem to you?"

"If a noble, good Kaccāna,
made onslaught on creatures,
took what had not been given,
wrongly enjoyed pleasures of the senses,
were a liar,
of slanderous speech,
of harsh speech,
a gossip,
covetous,
malevolent in mind,
of wrong view -
at the breaking up of the body after dying
he would arise in the sorrowful way,
the bad bourn,
the Downfall,
Niraya Hell.

This is how it seems to me,
and thus have I heard it from perfected ones."

"It is good,
it is good, sire;
it is good that it seems thus to you, sire,
and it is good that you have heard this from perfected ones.

What do you think about this, sire?

If a brahman made onslaught on creatures here,
took what had not been given,
wrongly enjoyed pleasures of the senses,
were a liar,
of slanderous speech,
of harsh speech,
a gossip,
covetous,
malevolent in mind,
of wrong view -
would he at the breaking up of the body after dying
arise in the sorrowful way,
the bad bourn,
the Downfall,
Niraya Hell?

Or not?

Or how does this seem to you?"

"If a brahman, good Kaccāna,
made onslaught on creatures,
took what had not been given,
wrongly enjoyed pleasures of the senses,
were a liar,
of slanderous speech,
of harsh speech,
a gossip,
covetous,
malevolent in mind,
of wrong view -
at the breaking up of the body after dying
he would arise in the sorrowful way,
the bad bourn,
the Downfall,
Niraya Hell.

This is how it seems to me,
and thus have I heard it from perfected ones."

"It is good,
it is good, sire;
it is good that it seems thus to you, sire,
and it is good that you have heard this from perfected ones.

What do you think about this, sire?

If a merchant made onslaught on creatures here,
took what had not been given,
wrongly enjoyed pleasures of the senses,
were a liar,
of slanderous speech,
of harsh speech,
a gossip,
covetous,
malevolent in mind,
of wrong view -
would he at the breaking up of the body after dying
arise in the sorrowful way,
the bad bourn,
the Downfall,
Niraya Hell?

Or not?

Or how does this seem to you?"

"If a merchant, good Kaccāna,
made onslaught on creatures,
took what had not been given,
wrongly enjoyed pleasures of the senses,
were a liar,
of slanderous speech,
of harsh speech,
a gossip,
covetous,
malevolent in mind,
of wrong view -
at the breaking up of the body after dying
he would arise in the sorrowful way,
the bad bourn,
the Downfall,
Niraya Hell.

This is how it seems to me,
and thus have I heard it from perfected ones."

"It is good,
it is good, sire;
it is good that it seems thus to you, sire,
and it is good that you have heard this from perfected ones.

What do you think about this, sire?

If a worker made onslaught on creatures here,
took what had not been given,
wrongly enjoyed pleasures of the senses,
were a liar,
of slanderous speech,
of harsh speech,
a gossip,
covetous,
malevolent in mind,
of wrong view -
would he at the breaking up of the body after dying
arise in the sorrowful way,
the bad bourn,
the Downfall,
Niraya Hell?

Or not?

Or how does this seem to you?"

"If a worker, good Kaccāna,
made onslaught on creatures,
took what had not been given,
wrongly enjoyed pleasures of the senses,
were a liar,
of slanderous speech,
of harsh speech,
a gossip,
covetous,
malevolent in mind,
of wrong view -
at the breaking up of the body after dying
he would arise in the sorrowful way,
the bad bourn,
the Downfall,
Niraya Hell.

This is how it seems to me,[5]
and thus have I heard it from perfected ones."

"It is good,
it is good, sire;
it is good that it seems thus to you, sire,
and it is good that you have heard this from perfected ones.

"What do you think about this, sire?

This being so,
are these four castes exactly the same or not?

Or how does this seem to you?"

"Indeed, good Kaccāna,
this being so,
these four castes are exactly the same;
I do not see any difference between them in this respect."

"This is a way in which it can be said, sire, that this is merely a sound in the world, that:

'Only brahmans form the best caste,
all other castes are low;
only brahmans form the fair caste,
all other casts are dark;
only brahmans are pure,
not non-brahmans;
brahmans are own sons of Brahmā,
born of his mouth,
born of Brahmā, formed by Brahmā, heirs to Brahmā.'

What do you think about this, sire?

If a noble refrained from onslaught on creatures here,
from taking what had not been given,
from wrong enjoyment of the sense-pleasures,
from being a liar,
from slanderous speech,
from harsh speech,
from being a gossip,
were not covetous,
were benevolent in mind
and of right view -
would he at the breaking up of the body after dying
arise in a good bourn,
a heaven world?

Or not?

Or how does this seem to you?"

"If a noble, good Kaccāna,
refrained from onslaught of creatures
from taking what had not been given,
from wrong enjoyment of the sense-pleasures,
from being a liar,
from slanderous speech,
from harsh speech,
from being a gossip,
were not covetous,
were benevolent in mind
and of right view -
at the breaking up of the body after dying
he would arise in a good bourn,
a heaven world.

This is how it seems to me,
and thus have I heard it from perfected ones."

"It is good,
it is good, sire;
it is good that it seems thus to you, sire,
and it is good that you have heard this from perfected ones.

What do you think about this, sire?

If a brahman refrained from onslaught on creatures here,
from taking what had not been given,
from wrong enjoyment of the sense-pleasures,
from being a liar,
from slanderous speech,
from harsh speech,
from being a gossip,
were not covetous,
were benevolent in mind
and of right view -
would he at the breaking up of the body after dying
arise in a good bourn,
a heaven world?

Or not?

Or how does this seem to you?"

"If a brahman, good Kaccāna,
refrained from onslaught of creatures
from taking what had not been given,
from wrong enjoyment of the sense-pleasures,
from being a liar,
from slanderous speech,
from harsh speech,
from being a gossip,
were not covetous,
were benevolent in mind
and of right view -
at the breaking up of the body after dying
he would arise in a good bourn,
a heaven world.

This is how it seems to me,
and thus have I heard it from perfected ones."

"It is good,
it is good, sire;
it is good that it seems thus to you, sire,
and it is good that you have heard this from perfected ones.

What do you think about this, sire?

If a merchant refrained from onslaught on creatures here,
from taking what had not been given,
from wrong enjoyment of the sense-pleasures,
from being a liar,
from slanderous speech,
from harsh speech,
from being a gossip,
were not covetous,
were benevolent in mind
and of right view -
would he at the breaking up of the body after dying
arise in a good bourn,
a heaven world?

Or not?

Or how does this seem to you?"

"If a merchant, good Kaccāna,
refrained from onslaught of creatures
from taking what had not been given,
from wrong enjoyment of the sense-pleasures,
from being a liar,
from slanderous speech,
from harsh speech,
from being a gossip,
were not covetous,
were benevolent in mind
and of right view -
at the breaking up of the body after dying
he would arise in a good bourn,
a heaven world.

This is how it seems to me,
and thus have I heard it from perfected ones."

"It is good,
it is good, sire;
it is good that it seems thus to you, sire,
and it is good that you have heard this from perfected ones.

What do you think about this, sire?

If a worker refrained from onslaught on creatures here,
from taking what had not been given,
from wrong enjoyment of the sense-pleasures,
from being a liar,
from slanderous speech,
from harsh speech,
from being a gossip,
were not covetous,
were benevolent in mind
and of right view -
would he at the breaking up of the body after dying
arise in a good bourn,
a heaven world?

Or not?

Or how does this seem to you?"

"If a worker, good Kaccāna,
refrained from onslaught of creatures
from taking what had not been given,
from wrong enjoyment of the sense-pleasures,
from being a liar,
from slanderous speech,
from harsh speech,
from being a gossip,
were not covetous,
were benevolent in mind
and of right view -
at the breaking up of the body after dying
he would arise in a good bourn,
a heaven world.

This is how it seems to me,
and thus have I heard it from perfected ones."

"It is good,
it is good, sire;
it is good that it seems thus to you, sire,
and it is good that you have heard this from perfected ones.

"What do you think about this, sire?

This being so,
are these four castes exactly the same or not?

Or how does this seem to you?"

"Indeed, good Kaccāna,
this being so,
these four castes are exactly the same;
I do not see any difference between them in this respect."

"This is a way in which it can be said, sire, that this is merely a sound in the world, that:

'Only brahmans form the best caste,
all other castes are low;
only brahmans form the fair caste,
all other casts are dark;
only brahmans are pure,
not non-brahmans;
brahmans are own sons of Brahmā,
born of his mouth,
born of Brahmā, formed by Brahmā, heirs to Brahmā.'

What do you think about this, sire?

If a noble were to break into a house,
or carry off loot,
or commit a robbery,
or make an ambush,
or commit adultery,[6]
and if men who had captured him
were to show him to you, and say:

'This, your majesty, is the thief
who is doing evil to you,
decree what punishment you like for him' -

what would you do to him?"

"Good Kaccāna, we should kill him
or ruin him
or banish him
or deal with him as we liked.[7]

What is the cause of this?

Good Kaccāna, the designation of 'noble'
that he once had
has now disappeared for him,
and he is reckoned simply as 'thief.'"

[277] What do you think about this, sire?

If a brahman were to break into a house,
or carry off loot,
or commit a robbery,
or make an ambush,
or commit adultery,
and if men who had captured him
were to show him to you, and say:

'This, your majesty, is the thief
who is doing evil to you,
decree what punishment you like for him' -

what would you do to him?"

"Good Kaccāna, we should kill him
or ruin him
or banish him
or deal with him as we liked.

What is the cause of this?

Good Kaccāna, the designation of 'brahman'
that he once had
has now disappeared for him,
and he is reckoned simply as 'thief.'"

What do you think about this, sire?

If a merchant were to break into a house,
or carry off loot,
or commit a robbery,
or make an ambush,
or commit adultery,
and if men who had captured him
were to show him to you, and say:

'This, your majesty, is the thief
who is doing evil to you,
decree what punishment you like for him' -

what would you do to him?"

"Good Kaccāna, we should kill him
or ruin him
or banish him
or deal with him as we liked.

What is the cause of this?

Good Kaccāna, the designation of 'merchant'
that he once had
has now disappeared for him,
and he is reckoned simply as 'thief.'"

What do you think about this, sire?

If a worker were to break into a house,
or carry off loot,
or commit a robbery,
or make an ambush,
or commit adultery,
and if men who had captured him
were to show him to you, and say:

'This, your majesty, is the thief
who is doing evil to you,
decree what punishment you like for him' -

what would you do to him?"

"Good Kaccāna, we should kill him
or ruin him
or banish him
or deal with him as we liked.

What is the cause of this?

Good Kaccāna, the designation of 'worker'
that he once had
has now disappeared for him,
and he is reckoned simply as 'thief.'"

"What do you think about this, sire?

This being so,
are these four castes exactly the same or not?

Or how does this seem to you?"

"Indeed, good Kaccāna,
this being so,
these four castes are exactly the same;
I do not see any difference between them in this respect."

"This is a way in which it can be said, sire, that this is merely a sound in the world, that:

'Only brahmans form the best caste,
all other castes are low;
only brahmans form the fair caste,
all other casts are dark;
only brahmans are pure,
not non-brahmans;
brahmans are own sons of Brahmā,
born of his mouth,
born of Brahmā, formed by Brahmā, heirs to Brahmā.'

What do you think about this, sire?

If a noble,
having cut off his hair and beard here,[8]
having donned saffron robes,
should have gone forth from home into homelessness,
and is one that refrains from onslaught on creatures,
from taking what has not been given,
from lying speech,
is a one-meal-man,
a Brahma-farer,
virtuous,
of lovely character -
what would you do to him?"

"Good Kaccāna,
we should salute him
or rise up before him
or offer him a seat
or invite him to the requisites of robe-material,
almsfood,
lodgings
and medicines for the sick,
or we should have proper watch and ward and guard provided for him.[9]|| ||

What is the cause of this?|| ||

Good Kaccāna,
the designation of 'noble'
that he once had
has now disappeared for him,
and he is reckoned simply as 'recluse.'"

What do you think about this, sire?

If a brahman,
having cut off his hair and beard here,
having donned saffron robes,
should have gone forth from home into homelessness,
and is one that refrains from onslaught on creatures,
from taking what has not been given,
from lying speech,
is a one-meal-man,
a Brahma-farer,
virtuous,
of lovely character -
what would you do to him?"

"Good Kaccāna,
we should salute him
or rise up before him
or offer him a seat
or invite him to the requisites of robe-material,
almsfood,
lodgings
and medicines for the sick,
or we should have proper watch and ward and guard provided for him.|| ||

What is the cause of this?|| ||

Good Kaccāna,
the designation of 'brahman'
that he once had
has now disappeared for him,
and he is reckoned simply as 'recluse.'"

What do you think about this, sire?

If a merchant,
having cut off his hair and beard here,
having donned saffron robes,
should have gone forth from home into homelessness,
and is one that refrains from onslaught on creatures,
from taking what has not been given,
from lying speech,
is a one-meal-man,
a Brahma-farer,
virtuous,
of lovely character -
what would you do to him?"

"Good Kaccāna,
we should salute him
or rise up before him
or offer him a seat
or invite him to the requisites of robe-material,
almsfood,
lodgings
and medicines for the sick,
or we should have proper watch and ward and guard provided for him.|| ||

What is the cause of this?|| ||

Good Kaccāna,
the designation of 'merchant'
that he once had
has now disappeared for him,
and he is reckoned simply as 'recluse.'"

What do you think about this, sire?

If a worker,
having cut off his hair and beard here,
having donned saffron robes,
should have gone forth from home into homelessness,
and is one that refrains from onslaught on creatures,
from taking what has not been given,
from lying speech,
is a one-meal-man,
a Brahma-farer,
virtuous,
of lovely character -
what would you do to him?"

"Good Kaccāna,
we should salute him
or rise up before him
or offer him a seat
or invite him to the requisites of robe-material,
almsfood,
lodgings
and medicines for the sick,
or we should have proper watch and ward and guard provided for him.|| ||

What is the cause of this?|| ||

Good Kaccāna,
the designation of 'worker'
that he once had
has now disappeared for him,
and he is reckoned simply as 'recluse.'"

"What do you think about this, sire?

This being so,
are these four castes exactly the same or not?

Or how does this seem to you?"

"Indeed, good Kaccāna,
this being so,
these four castes are exactly the same;
I do not see any difference between them in this respect."

"This is a way in which it can be said, sire, that this is merely a [278] sound in the world, that:

'Only brahmans form the best caste,
all other castes are low;
only brahmans form the fair caste,
all other casts are dark;
only brahmans are pure,
not non-brahmans;
brahmans are own sons of Brahmā,
born of his mouth,
born of Brahmā, formed by Brahmā, heirs to Brahmā.'

When this had been said, Avantiputta, king of Madhurā,
spoke thus to the venerable Kaccāna the Great:

"Excellent, good Kaccāna,
excellent, good Kaccāna.

It is as if one might set upright
what had been upset,[10]
or might disclose what was covered,
or show the way to one who had gone astray,
or bring an oil-lamp into the darkness
so that those with vision might see material shapes -
even so in many a figure has dhamma been made clear by the good Kaccāna.

Thus I am going to the revered Kaccāna for refuge
and to dhamma
and to the Order of monks.

May the revered Kaccāna accept me as a lay-disciple
going for refuge from today forth
for as long as life lasts."

"But do not you, sire, go for refuge to me.

You must go for refuge
only to that Lord to whom I have gone for refuge."

"But where, good Kaccāna, is this Lord staying now,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One?"

"Sire, this Lord,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One,
has now attained final nibbāna."

"Good Kaccāna, if we should hear that that Lord were ten ... twenty thirty ... forty ... fifty yojana distant we should go the fifty yojana
so as to see that Lord.

And, good Kaccāna,
even if we heard that the Lord were a hundred yojana distant,
we should go the hundred yojana
so as to see that Lord,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One.

But, good Kaccāna,
since the Lord has attained final nibbāna,
we are going for refuge to that Lord
who has attained final nibbana
and to dhamma
and to the Order of monks.

May the revered Kaccāna accept me as a lay-disciple
going for refuge from today forth
for as long as life lasts."

Discourse at Madhurā: The Fourth

 


[1] As at A. i. 67. This Madhurā Is on the Jumna.

[2] MA. iii. 319: the son of the daughter of the king of Avanti.

[3] As at M. ii. 148; D. iii. 81.

[4] Cf. D. i. 60; A. iii. 37.

[5] Omitted in the text, in error judging from the king's response.

[6] As at M. i. 87.

[7] Various punishments are named at M. i. 87.

[8] The following passage down to "guard provided for him" also occurs at M. ii. 101.

[9] Cf. D. i. 61. "Proper" or "legitimate," dhammika, here seems to mean "recognised or understood as being customary."MA. iii. 321 says the arrangement would be like that (traditional one) where gatherers of sticks and leaves do not enter the vihara of a Naked Ascetic, or where hunters and trappers do not catch animals or fish within the boundary of a vihāra.

[10] From here to the end of this Discourse, compare with M. ii. 162-163.

 


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