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 89

Dhamma-Cetiya Suttaɱ

Discourse on Testimonies to Dhamma

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

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[1][chlm][upal] THUS have I heard:

At one time the Lord was staying among the Sakyans.

Medaḷumpa[1] was the name of the market town belonging to the Sakyans.

At that time King Pasenadi of Kosala had arrived at Naŋgaraka[2]
on some business or other.

Then King Pasenadi addressed Dīgha Kārāyana,[3] saying:

"Good Kārāyana, harness some lovely vehicles;
we are going to the garden of the pleasaunce
to see its beauties."

"Yes, sire," and Dīgha Kārāyana,
having answered King Pasenadi in assent,
having had many lovely vehicles harnessed,
announced to King Pasenadi:

"Many lovely vehicles are harnessed for you, sire.

You may deem it is now the right time for that."

Then King Pasenadi, having mounted one of the lovely vehicles,
set forth from Naŋgaraka
with the many lovely vehicles
and with great royal pomp,
and drew near the park.

When he had gone by vehicle
as far as the ground was possible,
dismounting from the vehicle,
he entered the park on foot.

As King Pasenadi was pacing up and down in the park
and roaming about on foot
he saw charming and attractive roots of trees,
quiet and silent,
without folk's breath,
far from the haunts of men,
suitable for solitary meditation.[4]

Seeing them,
he began to remember the Lord,
thinking:

"It is at these charming and attractive roots of trees,
quiet and silent,
without folk's breath,
far from the haunts of men,
suitable for solitary meditation,
that we [302] can pay homage to that Lord,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One."

Then King Pasenadi addressed Dīgha Kārāyana, saying:

"It is, good Kārāyana,
at these charming and attractive roots of trees,
quiet and silent,
without folk's breath,
far from the haunts of men,
suitable for solitary meditation,
that we can pay homage to this Lord,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One.

Where, good Kārāyana,
is this Lord staying at present,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One?"

"Sire, there is a market town of the Sakyans called Medaḷumpa.

The Lord, perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One,
is staying there at present."

"Now, how far, good Kārāyana, is Medaḷumpa,
the market town of the Sakyans,
from Naŋgaraka?"

"It is not far, sire;
it is three yojams.

It is possible to get to it
in what remains of the day."

"Well then, good Kārāyana,
harness many lovely vehicles,
we will go to see this Lord,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One."

"Yes, sire," and Dīgha Kārāyana,
having answered King Pasenadi in assent,
having had many lovely vehicles harnessed,
announced to King Pasenadi:

"Many lovely vehicles are harnessed for you, sire.

You may deem it is now the right time for that."

Then King Pasenadi, having mounted one of the lovely vehicles,
set forth from Naŋgaraka
with the many lovely vehicles
and drew near Medaḷumpa,
the market town of the Sakyans,
arriving there in what remained of that day,
and approached the park.[5]

When he had gone by vehicle as far as the ground was possible,
dismounting from the vehicle,
he entered the park on foot.

Now at that time several monks
were pacing up and down in the open air.

Then King Pasenadi approached these monks;
having approached,
he spoke thus to these monks;

"Where, revered sirs, is the Lord staying at present,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One?

We are anxious to see the Lord,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One."

"Sire, this is the dwelling-place;
the door is closed.

Having approached quietly,
having entered the verandah
(but) not crossing it,
having coughed,
tap on the door-bolt.

The Lord will open the door to you."[6]

Then King Pasenadi immediately handed his sword and turban[7] to Dīgha Kārāyana,.

Then it occurred to Dīgha Kārāyana,:

"The King wants to be alone now;
must I now remain just where I am?"

Then King Pasenadi having quietly approached [303] that dwelling-place with its closed door,
having entered the verandah
(but) not crossing it,
coughed
and tapped on the door-bolt.

The Lord opened the door.

Then King Pasenadi, having entered the dwelling-place,[8]
having inclined his head to the Lord's feet,
kissed the Lord's feet on all sides with his mouth
and stroked them on all sides with his hands,
and he made known his (own) name;

"I, revered sir, am King Pasenadi of Kosala;

I, revered sir, am King Pasenadi of Kosala."

"But for what special reason do you, sire,
pay such deep respect to this body[9]
and display such tokens of friendship?"

"Revered sir, for me there is a logical consequence[10] of the Lord's dhamma:

'The fully Self-Awakened One is the Lord,
well taught is dhamma by the Lord,
the Lord's Order of disciples fares along well.'

I, revered sir, see some recluses and brahmans here,
faring a restricted Brahma-faring for ten,
twenty,
thirty
and forty years.

After a time
these,
well washed,[11]
well anointed,
with their hair and beards trimmed,
parade about in the full possession
and enjoyment
of the five strands of sense-pleasures.

On the other hand I, revered sir,
see monks here
faring a perfectly fulfilled,
perfectly purified Brahma-faring
all their lives long
until their last breath.

And outside this, revered sir,
I behold no other Brahma-faring
so perfectly fulfilled
and perfectly purified.

This, revered sir, is a logical consequence of the Lord's dhamma:

'The fully Self-Awakened One is the Lord,
well taught is dhamma by the Lord,
the Lord's Order of disciples fares along well.'

And again, revered sir,
kings quarrel with kings,
and nobles quarrel with nobles,
and brahmans quarrel with brahmans,
and householders quarrel with householders,
and a mother quarrels with a child,
and a child quarrels with the mother,
and a father quarrels with a child,
and a child quarrels with the father,
and a brother quarrels with a brother,
and a brother quarrels with a sister,
and a sister quarrels with a brother,
and friend quarrels with friend.

But I, revered sir,
see monks here living on friendly terms and harmonious,
not quarrelling,
like milk and water blending,
regarding one another with the eye of affection.

But outside this, revered sir, I [304] behold no other such harmonious company.

And this too, revered sir, is for me a logical consequence of Lord's dhamma.

'The fully Self-Awakened One is the Lord,
well taught is dhamma by the Lord,
the Lord's Order of disciples fares along well.'

And again, I, revered sir,
pace up and down
and roam about
from one park to another,
from one pleasaunce to another.

And there I see some recluses and brahmans
who are thin,
wretched,
their colour bad,
yellowish,
their veins standing out on their limbs,
methinks not at all pleasing to behold.

So it occurs to me thus, revered sir:

Undoubtedly these venerable ones are faring the Brahma-faring displeased,
or there is some evil kamma done by them and concealed[12]
and that is why these venerable ones are thin, wretched,
their colour bad,
yellowish,
their veins standing out on their limbs,
methinks not at all pleasing to behold.

So, approaching these venerable ones, I speak thus:

'How is it that you, venerable ones, are thin,
wretched,
their colour bad,
yellowish,
their veins standing out on their limbs,
methinks not at all pleasing to behold?'

They say:

'It is an illness that runs in our families,[13] sire.'

On the other hand I, revered sir,
see monks here who are very joyful,
very exultant,
looking contented and cheerful,
living unconcerned,
unruffled,
dependent on others,[14]
with a mind become as a wild creature's.

So it occurs to me, revered sir:

Undoubtedly these venerable ones
recognise a high excellence in the Lord's teaching,
a gradual accomplishing,[15]
and that is why these venerable ones are very joyful,
very exultant,
looking contented and cheerful,
living unconcerned,
unruffled,
dependent on others,
with a mind become as a wild creature's.

And this too is for me, revered sir, a logical consequence of the Lord's dhamma:

'The fully Self-Awakened One is the Lord,
well taught is dhamma by the Lord,
the Lord's Order of disciples fares along well.'

And again, revered sir, I,
a noble anointed king,
am able to execute one deserving execution,
to fine one deserving to be fined,
to banish one deserving banishment.

But when I am sitting on a case,
people sometimes speak interrupting (me).

And I get no chance to say:

'While I am sitting on the case
do not, good sirs, speak
interrupting (me).

Let the good sirs wait until I have finished speaking,'

But I, revered sir,
see monks here
at a time when the Lord is teaching dhamma
to various assemblies,
and at that time
there is no sound of expectorating
among the Lord's disciples,
no [305] sound of coughing.[16]

Once upon a time, revered sir,
when the Lord was teaching dhamma
to various assemblies
a certain disciple of the Lord coughed;
one of his fellow Brahma-farers tapped his knee and said:

'Let the venerable one be quiet,
let the venerable one make no noise;
the Lord, our Teacher, is teaching dhamma'[16]

In connection with this it occurred to me, revered sir:

'Indeed, it is wonderful,
indeed it is marvellous;
assuredly, how well trained -
without stick,[17]
without sword -
must be such an assembly.'

And outside this, revered sir,
I see no other assembly well trained thus.

And this too is for me, revered sir,
a logical consequence of the Lord's dhamma:

'The fully Self-Awakened One is the Lord,
well taught is dhamma by the Lord,
the Lord's Order of disciples fares along well.'

And again, revered sir,
I see here some clever nobles,[18]
subtle,
practised in disputing with others,
skilled in hair-splitting,
who go about, methinks,
breaking to pieces
in their wisdom
the views (of others).

These hear:

'Undoubtedly the recluse Gotama will visit a certain village or market town.'

They construct a question, thinking:

'Having approached the recluse Gotama,
we will ask him this question of ours.

If, on being asked by us thus,
he answers thus,
we will refute him thus;
and if,
on being asked by us thus,
he answers thus,
we will refute him thus.'

These hear:

'It is certain that the recluse Gotama is visiting a certain village or market town.'

So they approach the Lord.

The Lord gladdens,
rouses,
incites,
delights them
with talk on dhamma.

These, gladdened,
roused,
incited,
delighted by the Lord
with talk on dhamma,
do not ask the Lord the question at all -
whence can they refute him?

On the contrary, they become the Lord's disciples.

This too is for me, revered sir,
a logical consequence of the Lord's dhamma:

'The fully Self-Awakened One is the Lord,
well taught is dhamma by the Lord,
the Lord's Order of disciples fares along well.'

And again, revered sir,
I see here some clever brahmans[19]subtle,
practised in disputing with others,
skilled in hair-splitting,
who go about, methinks,
breaking to pieces
in their wisdom
the views (of others).

These hear:

'Undoubtedly the recluse Gotama will visit a certain village or market town.'

They construct a question, thinking:

'Having approached the recluse Gotama,
we will ask him this question of ours.

If, on being asked by us thus,
he answers thus,
we will refute him thus;
and if,
on being asked by us thus,
he answers thus,
we will refute him thus.'

These hear:

'It is certain that the recluse Gotama is visiting a certain village or market town.'

So they approach the Lord.

The Lord gladdens,
rouses,
incites,
delights them
with talk on dhamma.

These, gladdened,
roused,
incited,
delighted by the Lord
with talk on dhamma,
do not ask the Lord the question at all -
whence can they refute him?

On the contrary, they become the Lord's disciples.

This too is for me, revered sir,
a logical consequence of the Lord's dhamma:

'The fully Self-Awakened One is the Lord,
well taught is dhamma by the Lord,
the Lord's Order of disciples fares along well.'

And again, revered sir,
I see here some clever householders
subtle,
practised in disputing with others,
skilled in hair-splitting,
who go about, methinks,
breaking to pieces
in their wisdom
the views (of others).

These hear:

'Undoubtedly the recluse Gotama will visit a certain village or market town.'

They construct a question, thinking:

'Having approached the recluse Gotama,
we will ask him this question of ours.

If, on being asked by us thus,
he answers thus,
we will refute him thus;
and if,
on being asked by us thus,
he answers thus,
we will refute him thus.'

These hear:

'It is certain that the recluse Gotama is visiting a certain village or market town.'

So they approach the Lord.

The Lord gladdens,
rouses,
incites,
delights them
with talk on dhamma.

These, gladdened,
roused,
incited,
delighted by the Lord
with talk on dhamma,
do not ask the Lord the question at all -
whence can they refute him?

On the contrary,
they ask leave of the Lord himself
for the going forth from home into homelessness.

The Lord lets them go forth.

These, gone forth like this,
living alone,
aloof,
diligent,
ardent,
self-resolute,
having by their own super-knowledge
soon realised here and now
that matchless goal of the Brahma-faring
for the sake of which young men of family
rightly go forth from home into homelessness,
entering on it, abide in it.

This too is for me, revered sir,
a logical consequence of the Lord's dhamma:

'The fully Self-Awakened One is the Lord,
well taught is dhamma by the Lord,
the Lord's Order of disciples fares along well.'

And again, revered sir,
I see here some clever recluses
subtle,
practised in disputing with others,
skilled in hair-splitting,
who go about, methinks,
breaking to pieces
in their wisdom
the views (of others).

These hear:

'Undoubtedly the recluse Gotama will visit a certain village or market town.'

They construct a question, thinking:

'Having approached the recluse Gotama,
we will ask him this question of ours.

If, on being asked by us thus,
he answers thus,
we will refute him thus;
and if,
on being asked by us thus,
he answers thus,
we will refute him thus.'

These hear:

'It is certain that the recluse Gotama is visiting a certain village or market town.'

So they approach the Lord.

The Lord gladdens,
rouses,
incites,
delights them
with talk on dhamma.

These, gladdened,
roused,
incited,
delighted by the Lord
with talk on dhamma,
do not ask the Lord the question at all -
whence can they refute him?

On the contrary,
they ask leave of the Lord himself
for the going forth from home into homelessness.

The Lord lets them go forth.

These, gone forth like this,
living alone,
aloof,
[306] diligent,
ardent,
self-resolute,
having by their own super-knowledge
soon realised here and now
that matchless goal of the Brahma-faring
for the sake of which young men of family
rightly go forth from home into homelessness,
entering on it, abide in it.

These speak thus:

'Indeed we were nearly lost,
indeed we were nearly lost,
for while we were formerly not (true) recluses,
we claimed that we were,
saying:

We are recluses.

Not being (true) brahmans,
we claimed that we were
saying;

We are brahmans.

Not being (true) perfected ones, we claimed that we were saying:

We are perfected ones.

But now we really are recluses,
now we really are brahmans,
now we really are perfected ones.'

This too is for me, revered sir,
a logical consequence of the Lord's dhamma:

'The fully Self-Awakened One is the Lord,
well taught is dhamma by the Lord,
the Lord's Order of disciples fares along well.'

And again, revered sir,
I see here the equerries[20] Isīdatta and Purāṇa[21]
whose food is mine,
whose vehicles are mine,[22]
for whom I provide a livelihood
and to whom I bring fame.

But yet they do not pay me respect
as they do the Lord.

Once upon a time, revered sir,
while marching against an army,
in order to test these same equerries,
Isldatta and Purāṇa, I took up my quarters in some cramped habitation.

Then, revered sir, these equerries, Isīdatta and Purāṇa,
having passed the greater part of the night
in talk on dhamma,
lay down with their heads directed
towards where they had heard that the Lord was,
their feet towards me.

In connection with this, revered sir,
it occurred to me:

'Indeed it is wonderful,
indeed it is marvellous.

These equerries, Isīdatta and Purāṇa,
whose food is mine,
whose vehicles are mine,
for whom I provide a livelihood
and to whom I bring fame,
yet do not pay me respect
as they do the Lord.

Undoubtedly these venerable ones
recognise a high excellence
in this Lord's teaching,
a gradual accomplishing.'

And this too is for me, revered sir,
a logical consequence of the Lord's teaching:

'The fully Self-Awakened One is the Lord,
well taught is dhamma by the Lord,
the Lord's Order of disciples fares along well.'

And again, revered sir,
the Lord is a noble,
I too am a noble;
the Lord is a Kosalan,
I too am a Kosalan;
the Lord is round about eighty years of age,
I too am round about eighty years of age.

It is because the Lord is a noble
and I am a noble,
because the Lord is a Kosalan
and I am a Kosalan,
because the Lord is round about eighty years of age
and I am round about eighty years of age
that I am disposed, revered sir,
to pay deep respect to the Lord
and display tokens of friendship.

Please, revered sir,
I must be going now,
I am very busy,
there is much to be done."

"Do now, sire,
that for which you deem it
to be the right time."

Then King Pasenadi, rising from his seat,
having greeted the Lord,
departed
keeping his right side towards him.

Soon after King Pasenadi had departed,
the Lord addressed the monks, saying:

"Monks, that is King Pasenadi of Kosala who,
having spoken testimonies to dhamma,[23]
rising from his seat,
is departing.

Learn, monks, the testimonies to dhamma;
master, monks, the testimonies to dhamma;
remember, monks, the testimonies to dhamma.

Connected with the goal, monks,
are the testimonies to dhamma,
fundamental to the Brahma-faring."

Thus spoke the Lord.

Delighted, these monks rejoiced in what the Lord had said.

Discourse on Testimonies to Dhamma:
The Ninth

 


[1] MA. iii. 348: Medataḷumpa; DhA. i. 356 = Jā. iv. 151: Uḷumpa.

[2] According to M. iii. 104 and MA. iii. 348 this was a market-town, nigama, of the Sakyans.

[3] Nephew of Bandhula, the commander-in-chief of the Mallas, MA. iii. 349.

[4] As at Vin. i. 39, ii. 158, etc.

[5] Cf. A. v. 65-66, several of the details of which vary however from the M. account.

[6] As at Vin. i. 248. See B.D. iv. 342 for notes.

[7] Two of the five emblems of royalty, see e.g. Jā. v. 264.

[8] It was at this juncture that Dīgha Kārāyana, made Viḍūḍabha king instead of Pasenadi, MA. iii. 352, Jā. iv. 151-152, DhA. i. 356.

[9] Cf. S. iii. 120, "What is there in seeing this vile body of mine?"

[10] dhammanvaya, as at M. i. 69. The A. account breaks off here, and Pasenadi gives, as recorded there, quite different reasons for his deep respect.

[11] Sunhāta. This and the next two words also at S. i. 79, iv. 343, and cf. D. i. 104. Sunhāta probably refers to ceremonial washing rather than to the bathing at fortnightly intervals allowed to monks at Vin. iv. 117.

[12] Cf. Vin. ii. 40 ff., where an offence that has not been confessed is still 'concealed,' hidden or covered, paṭicchanna.

[13] bandhukaroga. Bandhu is of course kinsman, and although a v.l. is paṇḍuka- (jaundice), MA. iii. 353 explains by kularogo amhākaɱ, a family illness of ours, of hereditary nature.

[14] paradavutta, see B.D. v. 259, n. 2.

[15] pubbenāpara visesa, from kasiṇa-meditation through vipassanā (insight, a higher form of meditation) to arahantship, MA. iii. 353.

[16] Cf. M. ii. 4-5.

[17] daṇḍa here possibly means more specifically "punishment," to balance the punishments meted out by the king, above; but we have not infrequently had the pair: (without) stick and (without) sword.

[18] Cf. following passage with M. i. 176 f.

[19] At M. i. 176 the brahmans are like the nobles who "on the contrary, become the Lord's disciples." Thus a pair is formed to balance the other pair - householders and recluses - who ask for the going forth. The reading at M. i. 176 is to be preferred.

[20] A translation of thapatayo suggested at K.S. v. 303, n. 1.

[21] For the two see S. v. 348ff., A. iii. 348, 351, 451, v. 139, 143, and DPPN.

[22] mama bhattā mama yānā. MA. iii. 354 says mama santakaɱ bhattaɱ (... yānaɱ ...) etesaɱ, their food (vehicles) is due to me. There is little support for Chalmers' "who make my carriages."

[23] MA. iii. 355 explains dhammacetiyāni as "words of respect for the dhamma. To whichever one of the Three Jewels respect is paid, it is paid to all. Therefore, if paid to the Lord, it is paid to dhamma, and so tho Lord spoke of 'testimonies to dhamma.' "Cetiya usually means a (sepulchral) monument, from a root meaning to pile up, and in this Discourse Chalmers renders by "monuments "and Neumann by "Denkmale." The memorial monuments of India are, however, also in the nature of testimony to tho virtues, etc. of the deceased person in whose honour they are erected. I hope the use of this word here does not take us too far from the meaning intended. "Attestations" might also have been chosen.

 


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