Aŋguttara Nikāya


 

Aŋguttara Nikāya
VIII. Aṭṭhaka Nipāta
II: Mahā Vagga

The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha
VIII. The Book of the Eights
II. The Great Chapter

Sutta 11

Verañjā Suttaɱ

Verañjā

Translated from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi.

© 2012 Bhikkhu Bodhi
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[172] [1124]

[1][pts] Thus have I heard.

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Verañjā at the foot of Naḷeru's neem tree.

Then a brahmin of Verañjā [173] approached the Blessed One and exchanged greetings with him.

When he had concluded his greetings and cordial talk, he sat down to one side and said to the Blessed One:

"I have heard, Master Gotama:

'The ascetic Gotama does not pay homage to brahmins who are old, aged, burdened with years, advanced in life, come to the last stage; nor does he stand up for them or offer them a seat.'

This is indeed true, for Master Gotama does not pay homage to brahmins who are old, aged, burdened with years, advanced in life, come to the last stage; nor does he stand up for them or offer them a seat.

This is not proper, Master Gotama."

"Brahmin, in the world with its devas, Māra, and Brahmā, in this population with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans, I do not see one to whom I should pay homage, or for whom I should stand up, or whom I should offer a seat.

For if the Tathāgata should pay homage to anyone, or stand up for him, or offer him a seat, even that person's head would split."

(1) "Master Gotama lacks taste."

"There is, brahmin, a way in which one could rightly say of me:

'The ascetic Gotama lacks taste.'

The Tathāgata has abandoned his taste for forms, sounds, odors, tastes, and tactile objects.

He has abandoned them, cut them off at the root, made them like a palm stump, obliterated them so that they are no more subject to future arising.

It is in this way that one could rightly say of me:

'The ascetic Gotama lacks taste.'

But you did not speak with reference to this."

[174] (2) "Master Gotama is not convivial."

"There is, brahmin, a way in which one could rightly say of me:

'The ascetic Gotama is not convivial.'

The Tathāgata has abandoned the enjoyment of forms, sounds, odors, tastes, and tactile objects.

He has abandoned them, cut them off at the root, made them like a palm stump, obliterated them so that they are no more subject to future arising.

It is in this way that one could rightly say of me:

'The ascetic Gotama is not convivial.'

But you did not speak with reference to this."

(3) "Master Gotama is a proponent of non-doing."

"There is, brahmin, a way in which one could rightly say of me:

'The ascetic Gotama is a proponent of non-doing.'

For I assert the non-doing of bodily, verbal, and mental misconduct; I assert the non-doing of the numerous kinds of bad unwholesome deeds.

It is in this way that one could rightly say of me:

'The ascetic Gotama is a proponent of non-doing.'

But you did not speak with reference to this."

(4) "Master Gotama is an annihilationist."

"There is, brahmin, a way in which one could rightly say of me:

'The ascetic Gotama is an annihilationist.'

For I assert the annihilation of lust, hatred, and delusion; I assert the annihilation of the numerous kinds of bad unwholesome qualities.

It is in this way that one could rightly say of me:

'The ascetic Gotama is an annihilationist.'

But you did not speak with reference to this."

(5) "Master Gotama is a repeller."

"There is, brahmin, a way in which one could rightly say of me:

'The ascetic Gotama is a repeller.'

For I am repelled by bodily, verbal, and mental misconduct; I am repelled by the acquisition of the numerous kinds of bad unwholesome [175] qualities.

It is in this way that one could rightly say of me:

'The ascetic Gotama is a repeller.'

But you did not speak with reference to this."

(6) "Master Gotama is an abolitionist."

"There is, brahmin, a way in which one could rightly say of me:

'The ascetic Gotama is an abolitionist.'

For I teach the Dhamma for the abolition of lust, hatred, and delusion; I teach the Dhamma for the abolition of the numerous kinds of bad unwholesome qualities.

It is in this way that one could rightly say of me:

'The ascetic Gotama is an abolitionist.'

But you did not speak with reference to this."

(7) "Master Gotama is a tormentor."

"There is, brahmin, a way in which one could rightly say of me:

'The ascetic Gotama is a tormentor.'

For I assert that bad unwholesome qualities — bodily, verbal, and mental misconduct — are to be burned up.

I say that someone is a tormentor when he has abandoned the bad unwholesome qualities that are to be burned up; when he has cut them off at the root, made them like a palm stump, obliterated them so that they are no more subject to future arising.

The Tathāgata has abandoned the bad unwholesome qualities that are to be burned up; he has cut them off at the root, made them like a palm stump, obliterated them so that they are no more subject to future arising.

It is in this way that one could rightly say of me:

'The ascetic Gotama is a tormentor.'

But you did not speak with reference to this."

(8) "Master Gotama is retiring."

"There is, brahmin, a way in which one could rightly say of me:

'The ascetic Gotama is retiring.'

For I say that someone is retiring when he has abandoned the production of renewed existence, the future bed of the womb; when he has cut it off at the root, made it like a palm stump, obliterated it [176] so that it is no more subject to future arising.

The Tathāgata has abandoned the production of renewed existence, the future bed of the womb; he has cut it off at the root, made it like a palm stump, obliterated it so that it is no more subject to future arising.

It is in this way that one could rightly say of me:

'The ascetic Gotama is retiring.'

But you did not speak with reference to this.

"Suppose, brahmin, there was a hen with eight, ten, or twelve eggs that she had properly covered, incubated, and nurtured.

Should the first among those chicks to pierce its shell with the points of its claws or beak and safely hatch be called the eldest or the youngest."

"It should be called the eldest, Master Gotama.

So it is the eldest among them."

"So too, brahmin, in a population immersed in ignorance, become like an egg, completely enveloped, I have pierced the eggshell of ignorance.

I am the sole person in the world who has awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment.

So I am the eldest, the best in the world.

"My energy, brahmin, was aroused without slackening; my mindfulness was established without confusion; my body was tranquil without disturbance; my mind was concentrated and one-pointed.

Secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, I entered and dwelled in the first jhāna, which consists of rapture and pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by thought and examination.

With the subsiding of thought and examination, I entered and dwelled in the second jhāna, which has internal placidity and unification of mind and consists of rapture and pleasure born of concentration, without thought and examination.

[177] With the fading away as well of rapture, I dwelled equanimous and, mindful and clearly comprehending, I experienced pleasure with the body; I entered and dwelled in the third jhāna of which the noble ones declare:

'He is equanimous, mindful, one who dwells happily.'

With the abandoning of pleasure and pain, and with the previous passing away of joy and dejection, I entered and dwelled in the fourth jhāna, neither painful nor pleasant, which has purification of mindfulness by equanimity.

"When my mind was thus concentrated, purified, cleansed, unblemished, rid of defilement, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of the recollection of past abodes.

I recollected my manifold past abodes, that is, 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, many eons of world-dissolution, many eons of world-evolution, many eons of world-dissolution and world-evolution thus:

'There I was so named, of such a clan, with such an appearance, such was my food, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such my life span; passing away from there, I was reborn elsewhere, and there too I was so named, of such a clan, with such an appearance, such was my food, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such my life span; passing away from there, I was reborn here.'

Thus I recollected my manifold past abodes with their aspects and details.

"This, brahmin, was the first true knowledge attained by me in the first watch of the night.

Ignorance was dispelled, true knowledge had arisen; darkness was dispelled, light had arisen, as happens when one dwells heedful, ardent, and resolute.

This, brahmin, was my first breaking out, like that of the chick breaking out of the eggshell.

[178] "When my mind was thus concentrated, purified, cleansed, unblemished, rid of defilement, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of the passing away and rebirth of beings.

With the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, I saw beings passing away and being reborn, inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate, and I understood how beings fare on in accordance with their kamma thus:

'These beings who engaged in misconduct by body, speech, and mind, who reviled the noble ones, held wrong view, and undertook kamma based on wrong view, with the breakup of the body, after death, have been reborn in the plane of misery, in a bad destination, in the lower world, in hell; but these beings who engaged in good conduct by body, speech, and mind, who did not revile the noble ones, who held right view, and undertook kamma based on right view, with the breakup of the body, after death, have been reborn in a good destination, in the heavenly world.'

Thus with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, I saw beings passing away and being reborn, inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate, and I understood how beings fare on in accordance with their kamma.

"This, brahmin, was the second true knowledge attained by me in the middle watch of the night.

Ignorance was dispelled, true knowledge had arisen; darkness was dispelled, light had arisen, as happens when one dwells heedful, ardent, and resolute.

This, brahmin, was my second breaking out, like that of the chick breaking out of the eggshell.

"When my mind was thus concentrated, purified, cleansed, unblemished, rid of defilement, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of the destruction of the taints.

I understood as it really is:

'This is suffering';

I understood as it really is:

'This is the origin of suffering';

I understood as it really is:

'This is the cessation of suffering';

I understood as it really is:

'This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.'

I understood as it really is:

'These are the taints';

[179] I understood as it really is:

'This is the origin of the taints';

I understood as it really is:

'This is the cessation of the taints';

I understood as it really is:

'This is the way leading to the cessation of the taints.'

"When I knew and saw thus, my mind was liberated from the taint of sensuality, from the taint of existence, and from the taint of ignorance.

When it was liberated there came the knowledge:

'[It's] liberated.'

I directly knew:

'Destroyed is birth, the spiritual life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more coming back to any state of being.'

"This, brahmin, was the third true knowledge attained by me in the last watch of the night.

Ignorance was dispelled, true knowledge had arisen; darkness was dispelled, light had arisen, as happens when one dwells heedful, ardent, and resolute.

This, brahmin, was my third breaking out, like that of the chick breaking out of the eggshell."

When this was said, the brahmin of Verañjā said to the Blessed One:

"Master Gotama is the eldest!

Master Gotama is the best!

Excellent, Master Gotama!

Excellent, Master Gotama!

Master Gotama has made the Dhamma clear in many ways, as though he were turning upright what had been overthrown, revealing what was hidden, showing the way to one who was lost, or holding up a lamp in the darkness so those with good eyesight can see forms.

I now go for refuge to Master Gotama, to the Dhamma, and to the Saŋgha of bhikkhus.

Let Master Gotama consider me a lay follower who from today has gone for refuge for life."


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