Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
II. Majjhima-Paṇṇāsa
5. Brāhmaṇa Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
II. The Middle Fifty Discourses
5. The Division on Brahmans

Sutta 99

Subha Suttaɱ

Discourse with Subha

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][upal] Thus have I heard:

At one time the Lord was staying near Sāvatthī
in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery.

Now at that time the brahman youth Subha, Todeyya's son[1]
was residing in Sāvatthī
in a householder's dwelling
on some business or other.

Then the brahman youth Subha, Todeyya's son,
who was staying in that householder's dwelling,
spoke thus to that householder:

"I have heard, householder,
that Sāvatthī is not unfrequented
by perfected ones.

Could we today
pay our respects to a recluse or brahman?"[2]

"Revered sir, this Lord is staying near Sāvatthī
in the Jeta Grove
in Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery.

You could pay respects to this Lord, revered sir."

When the brahman youth Subha, Todeyya's son,
had answered that householder in assent,
he approached the Lord;
having approached,
he exchanged greetings with the Lord;
having conversed in a friendly and courteous way,
he sat down at a respectful distance.

As he was sitting down at a respectful distance,
the brahman youth Subha, Todeyya's son,
spoke thus to the Lord:

"Good Gotama, brahmans speak thus:

'A householder is accomplishing the right path,
dhamma,
what is skilled;[3]
one who has gone forth
is not accomplishing the right path,
dhamma,
what is skilled.'

What does the good Gotama say to this?"

"On this point I, brahman youth, discriminate,[4]
on this point I do not speak definitely.[5]

I, brahman youth,
do not praise a wrong course
in either a householder
or one who has gone forth.

If, brahman youth,
either a householder[6]
or one who has gone forth
is faring along wrongly,
then as a result
and consequence
of his wrong [387] course
he is not accomplishing the right path,
dhamma, what is skilled.

But I, brahman youth,
praise a right course
both for a householder
and for one who has gone forth.

If, brahman youth,
either a householder
or one who has gone forth
is faring along rightly,
then as a result
and consequence
of his right course
he is accomplishing the right path,
dhamma,
what is skilled."

 


 

"Good Gotama, brahmans speak thus:

'Having a great deal to do:
many duties,
a large administration,
great problems -
this occupation[7] of householders
is of great fruit.

Not having a great deal to do:[8]
few duties,[9]
a small administration,
small problems -
this occupation of those who have gone forth
is of small fruit.'

What does the good Gotama say to this?"

"On this point too I, brahman youth, discriminate,
on this point I do not speak definitely.

There is, brahman youth, an occupation
where there is a great deal to do:
many duties,
a large administration,
great problems -
which if failed of
is of small fruit.

There is, brahman youth, an occupation
where there is a great deal to do:
many duties,
a large administration,
great problems -
which if succeeded in
is of great fruit.

There is, brahman youth, an occupation
where there is not a great deal to do:
few duties,
a small administration,
small problems -
which if failed of
is of small fruit.

There is, brahman youth, an occupation
where there is not a great deal to do:
few duties,
a small administration,
small problems -
which if succeeded in
is of great fruit.

And what, brahman youth, is an occupation
where there is a great deal to do:
many duties,
a large administration,
great problems -
which if failed of
is of small fruit?

Agriculture, brahman youth, is an occupation
where there is a great deal to do:
many duties,
a large administration,
great problems -
which if failed of
is of small fruit.

And what, brahman youth, is an occupation
where there is a great deal to do:
many duties,
a large administration,
great problems -
which if succeeded in
is of great fruit?

Agriculture, brahman youth, is an occupation
where there is a great deal to do:
many duties,
a large administration,
great problems -
which if succeeded in
is of great fruit.

And what, brahman youth, is an occupation
where there is not a great deal to do:
few duties,
a small administration,
small problems -
which if failed of
is of small fruit?

Trading, brahman youth, is an occupation
where there is not a great deal to do:
few duties,
a small administration,
small problems -
which if failed of
is of small fruit.

And what, brahman youth, is an occupation
where there is not a [388] great deal to do:
few duties,
a small administration,
small problems -
which if succeeded in
is of great fruit?

Trading, brahman youth is an occupation
where there is not a great deal to do:
few duties,
a small administration,
small problems -
which if succeeded in
is of great fruit.

 


 

As, brahman youth, agriculture is an occupation
where there is a great deal to do:
many duties,
a large administration,
great problems -
which if failed of
is of small fruit,
even so, brahman youth,
an occupation of a householder
where there is a great deal to do:
many duties,
a large administration,
great problems -
is one which if failed of
is of small fruit.

As, brahman youth, agriculture is an occupation
where there is a great deal to do:
many duties,
a large administration,
great problems -
which if succeeded in is of great fruit,
even so, brahman youth,
an occupation of a householder
where there is a great deal to do:
many duties,
a large administration,
great problems -
is one which if succeeded in
is of great fruit.

As, brahman youth, trading is an occupation
where there is not a great deal to do:
few duties,
a small administration,
small problems,
which if failed of
is of small fruit,
even so, brahman youth,
an occupation of one who has gone forth
where there is not a great deal to do:
few duties,
a small administration,
small problems -
is one which if failed of
is of small fruit.

As, brahman youth, trading is an occupation
where there is not a great deal to do:
few duties,
a small administration,
small problems -
which if succeeded in
is of great fruit,
even so, brahman youth,
an occupation of one who has gone forth
where there is not a great deal to do:
few duties,
a small administration,
small problems -
is one which if succeeded in
is of great fruit."

 


 

"Brahmans, good Gotama,
lay down five things[10]
for the doing[11] of good,
for success in what is skilled."

"If it were not burdensome to you, brahman youth,
it would be good
if you would speak in this company
about those five things
that the brahmans lay down
for the doing of good,
for success in what is skilled."

"It is not burdensome to me, good Gotama,
where there may be a revered one
or ones like revered ones."

"Well then, brahman youth, do speak."

"Truth, good Gotama,
is the first thing that brahmans lay down
for the doing of good,
for success in what is skilled.

Austerity, good Gotama,
is the second thing that brahmans lay down
for the doing of good,
for success in what is skilled.

Chastity,[12], good Gotama,
is the third [389] thing that brahmans lay down
for the doing of good,
for success in what is skilled.

Study of the (Vedic) hymns,[13] good Gotama,
is the fourth thing that brahmans lay down
for the doing of good,
for success in what is skilled.

Renunciation, good Gotama,
is the fifth thing that brahmans lay down
for the doing of good,
for success in what is skilled.

Brahmans, good Gotama,
lay down these five things
for the doing of good,
for success in what is skilled.

What does the good Gotama say to this?"

"But what, brahman youth?

Is there even a single brahman who speaks thus:

'I, having realised by[14] super-knowledge,
declare the result of these five things'?"

"No, good Gotama."

"So what, brahman youth?

Is there a single teacher of brahmans,
even a single line of teachers
back through seven generations of teachers,
who speaks thus:

'I, having realised by my own super-knowledge,
declare the result of these five things'?"

"No, good Gotama."

"So what, brahman youth?

Even those who were formerly seers of the brahmans,[15]
makers of mantras,
preservers of mantras,
whose ancient mantras as sung,
taught
and composed
the brahmans of today
still sing,
still speak;
they still speak what was spoken,
they still teach what was taught -
that is to say (by) Aṭṭhaka,
Vāmaka,
Vāmadeva,
Vessāmitta,
Yamataggi,
Aŋgirasa,
Bhāradvāja,
Vāseṭṭha,
Kassapa,
Bhagu-
do even these speak thus:

'We, having realised by our own super-knowledge,
declare the result of these five things'?"

"No, good Gotama."

"So what you are really saying, brahman youth,
is that among the brahmans
there is not even a single brahman who speaks thus:

'I, having realised by my own super-knowledge,
declare the result of these five things'."

There is not even a single teacher of brahmans,
even a single line of teachers
back through seven generations of teachers,
who speaks thus:

'I, having realised by my own super-knowledge,
declare the result of these five things'."

And also that even those who were formerly seers of the brahmans,
makers of mantras,
preservers of mantras,
whose ancient mantras as sung,
taught
and composed
the brahmans of today
still sing,
still speak;
they still speak what was spoken,
they still teach what was taught -
that is to say (by) Aṭṭhaka,
Vāmaka,
Vāmadeva,
Vessāmitta,
Yamataggi,
Aŋgirasa,
Bhāradvāja,
Vāseṭṭha,
Kassapa,
Bhagu-
not even these speak thus:

'We, having realised by our own super-knowledge,
declare the result of these five things'."

A String of Blind Men

Brahman youth, it is like a string of blind men[16]
holding on to one another -
neither does the foremost one see,
nor does the middle one see,
nor does the hindmost one see.

Even so, methinks, brahman youth,
do the words of the brahmans
turn out to [390] resemble
the string of blind men:
neither does the first one see
nor does the middle one see
nor does the last one see."

When this had been said,
the brahman youth Subha, Todeyya's son,
angry and displeased
at being spoken to by the Lord
with the simile of the string of blind men,
scorning even the Lord,
despising even the Lord,
and saying even of the Lord:

"The recluse Gotama will be disgraced,"[17]
spoke thus to the Lord:

"A brahman, good Gotama,
Pokkharasāti, of the Upamanna (clan, incumbent)[18]
of the Subhaga forest glade,[19] speaks thus:

'Even thus do some recluses and brahmans
claim states of further-men,
the excellent knowledge and vision
befitting the ariyans.

This speech of theirs
proves merely ridiculous,
it proves merely worthless,
it proves merely empty,
it proves merely void.

For how could a man know
or see
or realise
states of further-men,
the excellent knowledge and vision
befitting the ariyans?' -
such a situation does not exist."

"But, brahman youth, does the brahman Pokkharasāti
of the Upamanna (clan, incumbent)
of the Subhaga forest glade,
comprehend with his mind
the reasoning in the mind
of absolutely all recluses and brahmans?"

"Good Gotama, the brahman Pokkharasāti
of the Upamanna (clan, incumbent)
of the Subhaga forest glade,
does not even comprehend with his mind
the reasoning in the mind
of Puṇṇikā, his slave woman.

So how could he comprehend with his mind
the reasoning in the mind
of absolutely all recluses and brahmans?"

"Brahman youth, it is like[20] a man blind from birth
who could not see dark or bright shapes,
who could not see green shapes,
who could not see yellow shapes,
who could not see red shapes,
who could not see crimson shapes,
who could not see what is even or uneven,
who could not see the stars,
who could not see the moons and the suns.

He might speak thus:

'There are no dark and bright shapes,
there is no one who sees dark and bright shapes,
there is no one who sees green shapes,
there is no one who sees yellow shapes,
there is no one who sees red shapes,
there is no one who sees crimson shapes,
there is no one who sees what is even or uneven,
there is no one who sees the stars,
there is no one who sees the moons and the suns.

I do not see this,
therefore it does not exist.'

Would he, brahman youth,
in speaking rightly
speak thus?"

"No, good Gotama.

'There are dark and bright shapes,
there is one who sees dark and bright shapes;
there are green shapes,
there is one who sees green shapes;
there are yellow shapes,
there is one who sees yellow shapes;
there are red shapes,
there is one who sees red shapes;
there are crimson shapes,
there is one who sees crimson shapes;
there is what is even or uneven,
there is one who sees what is even or uneven;
there are stars,
there is one who sees stars;
there are moons and suns,
there is one who sees moons and suns.

I do not know this,
I do not [391] see this,
therefore it does not exist' -
in speaking rightly
he would not speak thus, good Gotama."

"In the same way, brahman youth,
the brahman Pokkharasāti
of the Upamanna (clan, incumbent)
of the Subhaga forest glade,
is blind,
he is without vision.

This situation certainly does not exist -
that he might know
or see
or realise
states of further-men,
the excellent knowledge and vision
befitting the ariyans.

What do you think about this, brahman youth?

Which is better
for those wealthy brahmans of Kosala,
such as the brahman Canki,[21]
the brahman Tārukkha,
the brahman Pokkharasāti,
the brahman Jāṇussoṇi,
and your father the brahman Todeyya -
that the speech they should utter be conventional[22]
or unconventional?"

"Conventional, good Gotama."

"Which is better for them,
that the speech they should utter be thought out[23]
or not thought out?"

"Thought out, good Gotama."

"Which is better for them,
that the speech they should utter be considered[24]
or not considered?"

"Considered, good Gotama."

"Which is better for them,
that the speech they should utter be connected with the goal[25]
or not connected with the goal?"

"Connected with the goal, good Gotama."

"What do you think about this, brahman youth?

This being so,
is the speech uttered by the brahman Pokkharasāti
of the Upamanna (clan, incumbent)
of the Subhaga forest glade,
conventional
or unconventional?"

"Unconventional, good Gotama."

"Is the speech uttered thought out,
or not thought out?"

"Not thought out, good Gotama?"

"Is the speech uttered considered
or not considered?"

"Not considered, good Gotama."

"Is the speech uttered connected with the goal
or not connected with the goal?"

"Not connected with the goal, good Gotama."

[392] "These five, brahman youth, are hindrances.

What five?

The hindrance of desire for sense-pleasnres,
the hindrance of malevolence,
the hindrance of sloth and torpor,
the hindrance of restlessness and worry,
the hindrance of doubt.

These, brahman youth, are the five hindrances.

Brahman youth, the brahman Pokkharasāti,
of the Upamañña (clan, incumbent)
of the Subhaga forest glade,
is veiled,
obstructed,
covered
and enveloped
by these five hindrances.

This situation certainly does not occur
that he should know
or see
or realise
states of further-men,
the excellent knowledge and vision
befitting the ariyans.

These five, brahman youth,
are the strands of pleasures of the senses:

What five?

Material shapes cognisable by the eye,
agreeable,
pleasant,
liked,
enticing,
connected with sensual pleasures,
alluring.

Sounds cognisable by the ear,
agreeable,
pleasant,
liked,
enticing,
connected with sensual pleasures,
alluring.

Smells cognisable by the nose,
agreeable,
pleasant,
liked,
enticing,
connected with sensual pleasures,
alluring.

Tastes cognisable by the tongue,
agreeable,
pleasant,
liked,
enticing,
connected with sensual pleasures,
alluring.

Touches cognisable by the body,
agreeable,
pleasant,
liked,
enticing,
connected with sensual pleasures,
alluring.

These, brahman youth, are the five strands of sense-pleasures.

Brahman youth, the brahman Pokkharasāti
of the Upamañña (clan, incumbent)
of the Subhaga forest glade,
is enslaved
and infatuated
by these five strands of sense-pleasures,
he is addicted to them,
and enjoys them
without seeing the peril (in them),
without knowing the escape (from them).

This situation certainly does not occur
that he should know
or see
or realise
states of further-men,
the excellent knowledge and vision
befitting the ariyans.

What do you think about this, brahman youth?

Which of these fires
would have flame
and hue
and brightness:
the fire that one could kindle
from fuel of grass and dry sticks
or the fire that one could kindle
without fuel of grass and dry sticks?"

"If it were possible, good Gotama,
to kindle a fire
without fuel of grass and dry sticks,
that fire would have flame
and hue
and bright-ness."

"That, is impossible, brahman youth,
it cannot come to pass,
that one should kindle a fire
without fuel of grass and dry sticks -
except through pyschic power.[26]

I, brahman youth,
say of this delight
which is a delight on account of the five strands of sense-pleasures,
that it is like the fire that burns
on account of fuel of grass and dry sticks.

I, brahman youth,
say of this delight
which is a delight apart from pleasures of the senses,
apart from unskilled [393] states of mind,
that it is like the fire that burns
because it is without fuel of grass and dry sticks.

And what, brahman youth,
is delight apart from pleasures of the senses,
apart from unskilled states of mind?

As to this, brahman youth, a monk,
aloof from the pleasures of the senses,
aloof from unskilled states of mind,
entering into the first meditation
which is accompanied by initial thought
and discursive thought,
is born of aloofness,
and is rapturous and joyful,
abides in it.

This, brahman youth,
is delight apart from pleasures of the senses,
apart from unskilled states of mind.

And again, monks, 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.

This too, brahman youth,
is delight apart from pleasures of the senses,
apart from unskilled states of mind.

Brahman youth, those brahmans
who lay down five things for the doing of good,
for success in what is skilled -
what is the thing of greatest fruit
that these brahmans lay down
for the doing of good,
for success in what is skilled?"

"Good Gotama, those brahmans
who lay down five things for the doing of good,
for success in what is skilled -
renunciation is the thing of greatest fruit
that these brahmans lay down
for the doing of good,
for success in what is skilled."

"What do you think about this, brahman youth?

Suppose a great sacrifice
to be prepared here by a certain brahman,
and that two brahmans should come along,
thinking:

'We will enjoy the great sacrifice of the brahman so-and-so'

and that one brahman should think:

'0 may I myself
get the best seat in the refectory,[27]
the best drinking water,
the best food;

may that (other) brahman
not get the best seat in the refectory,
the best drinking water,
the best food -

the other brahman
is getting the best seat in the refectory,
the best drinking water,
the best food,

I am not getting
the best seat in the refectory,
the best drinking water,
the best food;'

thinking thus
he is angry and discontented -
what result do brahmans lay down for him,
brahman youth?"

"But, as to this, good Gotama,
brahmans do not give a gift, thinking:

'Let the other be angry and discontented with this.'

For, as to this,
brahmans give a gift simply out of compassion."

"This being so, brahman youth,
is this the sixth method of brahmans
for doing good,
that is to say compassion?"

"This being so, good Gotama,
this is the sixth method of brahmans
for doing good,
that is to say compassion."

"Brahman youth,
those brahmans who lay down five things
for [394] the doing of good,
for success in what is skilled -
where do you observe these five things abundantly:
among householders
or among those who have gone forth?"

"Good Gotama, these five things
that brahmans lay down
for the doing of good,
for success in what is skilled -
I observe these five things abundantly
in those who have gone forth,
little among householders.

For a householder, good Gotama,
having a great deal to do:
many duties,
a large administration,
great problems -
is not constantly and consistently a truth-speaker.

But one who has gone forth, good Gotama,
having not a great deal to do:
few duties,
a small administration,
small problems -
is constantly and consistently a truth-speaker.

A householder, good Gotama,
having a great deal to do:
many duties,
a large administration,
great problems -
is not constantly and consistently a man of austerity.

But one who has gone forth, good Gotama,
having not a great deal to do:
few duties,
a small administration,
small problems -
is constantly and consistently a 'bumer-up,'[28].

A householder, good Gotama,
having a great deal to do:
many duties,
a large administration,
great problems -
is not constantly and consistently a chaste man.

But one who has gone forth, good Gotama,
having not a great deal to do:
few duties,
a small administration,
small problems -
is constantly and consistently a Brahma-farer[29].

A householder, good Gotama,
having a great deal to do:
many duties,
a large administration,
great problems -
is not constantly and consistently intent on study.

But one who has gone forth, good Gotama,
having not a great deal to do:
few duties,
a small administration,
small problems -
is constantly and consistently intent on study.

A householder, good Gotama,
having a great deal to do:
many duties,
a large administration,
great problems -
is not constantly and consistently intent on renunciation.

But one who has gone forth, good Gotama,
having not a great deal to do:
few duties,
a small administration,
small problems -
is constantly and consistently intent on renunciation.

Those five things, good Gotama,
that recluses and brahmans lay down
for the doing of good,
for success in what is skilled -
I observe these five things
abundantly among those who have gone forth,
little among householders."

"Those five things, brahman youth,
that brahmans lay down for the doing of good,
for success in what is skilled,
I say that these are equipments[30] of the mind,
that is to say
for developing a mind
that is without enmity,
without malevolence.

Here, brahman youth,
a monk is a truth-speaker.

He, thinking,

'I am a truthspeaker'

acquires knowledge of the goal,[31]
acquires knowledge of dhamma,
acquires the rapture which is connected with dhamma.

I say of that rapture
which is connected with what is skilled[32]
that it is an equipment of the mind,
that is to say
for developing a mind
that is without enmity,
without malevolence.

Here, brahman youth,
a monk is a burner-up.

He, thinking,

'I am a burner-up'

acquires knowledge of the goal,
acquires knowledge of dhamma,
acquires the rapture which is connected with dhamma.

I say of that rapture
which is connected with what is skilled
that it is an equipment of the mind,
that is to say
for developing a mind
that is without enmity,
without malevolence.

Here, brahman youth,
a monk is a Brahma-farer.

He, thinking,

'I am a Brahma-farer'

acquires knowledge of the goal,
acquires knowledge of dhamma,
acquires the rapture which is connected with dhamma.

I say of that rapture
which is connected with what is skilled
that it is an equipment of the mind,
that is to say
for developing a mind
that is without enmity,
without malevolence.

Here, brahman youth,
a monk is intent on study.

He, thinking,

'I am intent on study'

acquires knowledge of the goal,
acquires knowledge of dhamma,
acquires the rapture which is connected with dhamma.

I say of that rapture
which is connected with what is skilled
that it is an equipment of the mind,
that is to say
for developing a mind
that is without enmity,
without malevolence.

Here, brahman youth,
a monk is intent on renunciation.

He, thinking,

'I am intent on renunciation'

acquires knowledge of the goal,
acquires knowledge of dhamma,
acquires the rapture which is connected with dhamma.

I say of that rapture
which is connected with what is skilled
that it is an equip- [395] ment of the mind,
that is to say
for developing a mind
that is without enmity,
without malevolence.

 


 

When this had been said,
the brahman youth Subha, Todeyya's son,
spoke thus to the Lord:

"I have heard, good Gotama,
that the recluse Gotama knows
the way to companionship with Brahmā."[33]

"What do you think about this, brahman youth?

Is Naḷakāra village near here?

Is Naḷakāra village not far from here?"

"Yes, sir, Naḷakāra village is near here,
Naḷakāra village is not far from here."

"What do you think about this, brahman youth?

Suppose a man had been born and bred
here in Naḷakāra village,
and that someone were to ask him
who had never up to that time left Naḷakāra village
the way to Naḷakāra village -
would that man
who had been born and bred in Naḷakāra village
hesitate
or be at a loss
when asked the way to Naḷakāra village?"

"No, good Gotama.

What is the reason for this?

It is that that man was born and bred in Naḷakāra village;
so all the roads to Naḷakāra village
are well known to him."

"Yet, brahman youth, there might be hesitation
or being at a loss
for that man
who was born and bred in Naḷakāra village
on being asked the way to Naḷakāra village.

But for the Tathāgata
there is neither hesitation
nor being at a loss
when he is asked about the Brahma-world
or the course leading to the Brahma-world.

And I, brahman youth,
comprehend Brahmā
and the Brahma-world
and the course leading to the Brahma-world;
and that according to the faring
is the uprising in the Brahma-world,
that too I comprehend."

"I have heard, good Gotama,
that the recluse Gotama
teaches the way to companionship with Brahmā.

It would be good
if the revered Gotama would teach me
the way to companionship with Brahmā."

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

"Yes, sir,"
the brahman youth Subha, Todeyya's son,
answered the Lord in assent.

The Lord spoke thus:

"And what, brahman youth,
is the way to companionship with [396] Brahmā?

As to this, brahman youth, a monk dwells,
having suffused the first quarter with a mind of friendliness,
likewise the second,
likewise the third,
likewise the fourth;
just so above,
below,
across;
he dwelt having suffused the whole world
everywhere,
in every way,
with a mind of friendliness
that was far-reaching,
wide-spread,
immeasurable,
without enmity,
without malevolence.

When, brahman youth,
the freedom of mind that is friendliness
has been developed thus,
that deed which is done in a limited range
does not rest there,
does not remain there.[34]

Brahman youth,
as a stout conch-blower informs the four quarters
without any difficulty,
so, brahman youth,
when the freedom of mind that is friendliness
has been developed thus,
that deed which is done in a limited range
does not rest there,
does not remain there.

This, brahman youth,
is a way to companionship with Brahmā.

He dwelt, having suffused the first quarter with a mind of compassion,
likewise the second,
likewise the third,
likewise the fourth;
just so above,
below,
across;
he dwelt having suffused the whole world
everywhere,
in every way,
with a mind of compassion
that was far-reaching,
wide-spread,
immeasurable,
without enmity,
without malevolence.

When, brahman youth,
the freedom of mind that is compassion
has been developed thus,
that deed which is done in a limited range
does not rest there,
does not remain there.

Brahman youth,
as a stout conch-blower informs the four quarters
without any difficulty,
so, brahman youth,
when the freedom of mind that is compassion
has been developed thus,
that deed which is done in a limited range
does not rest there,
does not remain there.

This, brahman youth,
is a way to companionship with Brahmā.

He dwelt, having suffused the first quarter with a mind of sympathetic joy,
likewise the second,
likewise the third,
likewise the fourth;
just so above,
below,
across;
he dwelt having suffused the whole world
everywhere,
in every way,
with a mind of sympathetic joy
that was far-reaching,
wide-spread,
immeasurable,
without enmity,
without malevolence.

When, brahman youth,
the freedom of mind that is sympathetic joy
has been developed thus,
that deed which is done in a limited range
does not rest there,
does not remain there.

Brahman youth,
as a stout conch-blower informs the four quarters
without any difficulty,
so, brahman youth,
when the freedom of mind that is sympathetic joy
has been developed thus,
that deed which is done in a limited range
does not rest there,
does not remain there.

This, brahman youth,
is a way to companionship with Brahmā.

He dwelt, having suffused the first quarter with a mind of equanimity,
likewise the second,
likewise the third,
likewise the fourth;
just so above,
below,
across;
he dwelt having suffused the whole world
everywhere,
in every way,
with a mind of equanimity
that was far-reaching,
wide-spread,
immeasurable,
without enmity,
without malevolence.

When, brahman youth,
the freedom of mind that is equanimity
has been developed thus,
that deed which is done in a limited range
does not rest there,
does not remain there.

Brahman youth,
as a stout conch-blower informs the four quarters
without any difficulty,
so, brahman youth,
when the freedom of mind that is equanimity
has been developed thus,
that deed which is done in a limited range
does not rest there,
does not remain there.

This, brahman youth,
is a way to companionship with Brahmā.

When this had been said,
the brahman youth Subha, Todeyya's son
spoke thus to the Lord:

"It is excellent, good Gotama,
excellent, good Gotama.

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

I am going to the revered Gotama for refuge,
and to dhamma
and to the Order of monks.

May the revered Gotama accept me
as a lay-follower,
one gone for refuge from today forth
for as long as life lasts."

But, please, good Gotama,
we are going now,
we are very busy
and there is much to be done."

"You must do now, brahman youth,
that for which you deem it to be the right time."

Then the brahman youth Subha, Todeyya's son,
having rejoiced in what the Lord had said,
having given thanks,
rising from his seat,
having greeted the Lord,
departed keeping his right side towards him.

Now at that time the brahman Jāṇussoṇi
was leaving Sāvatthī early in the day
in a chariot (drawn by) all-white mules.

The brahman Jāṇussoṇi saw the brahman youth Subha, Todeyya's son,
coming in the distance;
and seeing him,
he spoke thus to the brahman youth Subha, Todeyya's son:

"Now, where is the good Bhāradvāja
coming from so early in the day?"

"I, sir, am coming from the recluse Gotama."

"What do you think about this,
good Bhāradvāja?

Has the recluse Gotama lucidity of wisdom?

Do you think him clever?"[35]

"But who am I, sir,
that I should know
whether the recluse Gotama has lucidity of wisdom?

Surely only one like him could know
whether the recluse Gotama has lucidity of wisdom?"

"Undoubtedly it is with lofty praise
that the revered Bhāradvāja praises the recluse Gotama."

"But who am I
that I should praise the recluse Gotama?

Praised by the praised
is the revered Gotama,
chief among devas and men.

And, sir,
the recluse Gotama speaks of those five things
that brahmans lay down
for the doing of good,
for success in what is skilled,
as equipments of the mind,
that is for developing a mind
that is without enmity, without malevolence."

When this had been said,
the brahman Jāṇussoṇi,
having got down from his chariot
(drawn by) all-white mules,
having arranged his upper cloth over one shoulder,
having saluted the Lord with joined palms,
uttered this solemn utterance:

"It is a gain for King Pasenadi of Kosala,
it is well gotten by King Pasenadi of Kosala
[398] that the Tathāgata,
perfected one,
fully Self-Awakened One,
is staying in his kingdom."[36]

Discourse with Subha:
The Ninth

 


[1] The Subha Sutta at D. i. 204 ff. records a conversation between Subha and Ānanda soon after the Buddha's death. See also M. Sta. 135, the real name for which, according to Bu., is also Subhasutta. See DA. 384f. Todeyya was a rich brahman, overlord of a village named Tudi not far from Sāvatthī.

[2] Cf. D. i. 47.

[3] Cf. M. i. 502 (above, p. 182).

[4] vibhajjavādo, speak analysing.

[5] na ekaṁ savādo, do not make a definite assertion, do not speak one-sidedly.

[6] Cf. A. i. 69.

[7] kammaṭṭhāna.

[8] appaṭṭha; cf. A. iii. 120.

[9] appakiccha; cf. A. iii. 120; It. p. 72; Sn. 144.

[10] pañca dhamme.

[11] kiriyāya, or causally effecting, hence Gotama's question, just below, whether any result (vipāka, ripening) is declared.

[12] brahmacariya. MA. iii. 448 gives chastity. Cf. MA. iii. 443, VbhA. 504, SnA. 317, 387.

[13] ajjhena; MA. iii 448 says mantagahaṇa, perhaps "reciting."

[14] sayaṁ omitted here, probably in error.

[15] As at M. ii. 169.

[16] As at M. ii. 170.

[17] Cf. M. ii. 43.

[18] MA. iii. 447, issara, lord, master.

[19] Near Ukkaṭṭha, MA. iii. 447. Pokkharasāti was a resident of this place, DA. 399.

[20] Cf. M. i. 509.

[21] These five brahmans are also mentioned at the beginning of Sta. 98.

[22] sammusā = samuccā, as what is agreed upon by the opinion of tbe world; by common consent.

[23] mantā; at MA. iii. 447 explained by tulayitvā, weighed, and by parigaṇ-hitvā, examined.

[24] patisaŋkhāya = jānitvā, MA. iii. 447.

[25] atthasaṁhitā = kāraṇanissitā, dependent on action (?).

[26] As at the pāṭihāriya when Gotama kindled the matted-hair ascetics' firewood at Vin. i. 31.

[27] Cf. M. i. 28 (M.L.S. i. 35).

[28] tapassin, burning up wrong states of mind; "man of austerity" better suits the brahman mode of life.

[29] brahma-cārin also means chaste.

[30] parikkhāra; cf. citta-parikkhāra at A. iv. 62.

[31] Cf. M. i. 37.

[32] kusalāpasaṁhita, as at S. ii. 220.

[33] Cf. M. ii. 194; D. i. 249.

[34] See also D. i. 251; S. iv. 322; A. v. 299; and cf. Jā. ii. 61 f. which regards pamāṇa as equivalent to paritta, small. All the Comys. (except Jā. ii. 62) take pamāṇakata kamma as equivalent to kāmāvacara, "that which pertains to the senses and their corresponding objects." It seems that the small deed or the deed done in the limited range (such as is being thought of in this context) cannot remain and give its own result unless it is "covered" (ajjhottharitvā) by a large deed.

[35] This passage, to "devas and men," also at M. i. 175.

[36] Such a "gain" is karmic in its nature.


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