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Yamakavagga

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Title: Yamakavagga

Summary:

Dhp I

PTS: Dhp 1-20

Yamakavagga

translated from the Pali by

Daw Mya Tin

edited by

Editorial Committee, Burma Tipitaka Association

Alternate translation: Thanissaro | Buddharakkhita

Alternate format:

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Cakkhupalatthera Vatthu

Manopubbaṅgamā dhammā(1) manoseṭṭhā manomayā; Manasā ce paduṭṭhena(2), bhāsati vā karoti vā; Tato naṃ dukkhamanveti, cakkaṃva vahato padaṃ.

VERSE 1: All mental phenomena have mind as their forerunner; they have mind as their chief; they are mind-made. If one speaks or acts with an evil mind, dukkha(3) follows him just as the wheel follows the hoofprint of the ox that draws the cart. Story to Dhp 1

Matthakundali Vatthu

Manopubbaṅgamā dhammā, manoseṭṭhā manomayā; Manasā ce pasannena, bhāsati vā karoti vā; Tato naṃ sukha(4) manveti, chāyāva anapāyinī.

VERSE 2: All mental phenomena have mind as their forerunner; they have mind as their chief; they are mind-made. If one speaks or acts with a pure mind, happiness (sukha) follows him like a shadow that never leaves him. Story to Dhp 2

Tissatthera Vatthu

Akkocchi maṃ avadhi maṃ, ajini maṃ ahāsi me; Ye ca taṃ upanayhanti, veraṃ tesaṃ na sammati.

VERSE 3: “He abused me, he ill-treated me, he got the better of me, he stole my belongings;”… the enmity of those harbouring such thoughts cannot be appeased. Story to Dhp 3 & 4

Akkocchi maṃ avadhi maṃ, ajini maṃ ahāsi me; Ye ca taṃ nupanayhanti, veraṃ tesūpasammati.

VERSE 4: “He abused me, he ill-treated me, he got the better of me, he stole my belongings;”… the enmity of those not harbouring such thoughts can be appeased. Story to Dhp 3 & 4

Kalayakkhini Vatthu

Na hi verena verāni, sammantīdha kudācanaṃ; Averena ca sammanti, esa dhammo sanantano.(5)

VERSE 5: Hatred is, indeed, never appeased by hatred in this world. It is appeased only by loving-kindness. This is an ancient law. Story to Dhp 5

Kosambaka Vatthu

Pare ca na vijānanti(6), mayamettha yamāmase(7); Ye ca tattha vijānanti(8), tato sammanti medhagā.

VERSE 6: People, other than the wise, do not realize, “We in this world must all die,” (and, not realizing it, continue their quarrels). The wise realize it and thereby their quarrels cease. Story to Dhp 6

Mahakalatthera Vatthu

Subhānupassiṃ viharantaṃ, indriyesu asaṃvutaṃ; Bhojanamhi cāmattaññuṃ, kusītaṃ hīnavīriyaṃ; Taṃ ve pasahati māro(9), vāto rukkhaṃva dubbalaṃ.

VERSE 7: He who keeps his mind on pleasant objects, who is uncontrolled in his senses, immoderate in his food, and is lazy and lacking in energy, will certainly be overwhelmed by Mara,(11) just as stormy winds uproot a weak tree. Story to Dhp 7 & 8

Asubhānupassiṃ viharantaṃ, indriyesu susaṃvutaṃ; Bhojanamhi ca mattaññuṃ, saddhaṃ(10) āraddhavīriyaṃ; Taṃ ve nappasahati māro, vāto selaṃva pabbataṃ.

VERSE 8: He who keeps his mind on the impurities (of the body), who is well-controlled in his senses and is full of faith and energy, will certainly be not overwhelmed by Mara, just as stormy winds cannot shake a mountain of rock. Story to Dhp 7 & 8

Devadatta Vatthu

Anikkasāvo kāsāvaṃ(12), yo vatthaṃ paridahissati; Apeto damasaccena, na so kāsāvamarahati.

VERSE 9: He who is not free from taints of moral defilements (kilesas) and yet dons the yellow robe, who lacks restraint in his senses and (speaks not the) truth is unworthy of the yellow robe. Story to Dhp 9 & 10

Yo ca vantakasāvassa(13), sīlesu susamāhito; Upeto damasaccena, sa ve kāsāvamarahati.

VERSE 10: He who has discarded all moral defilements (kilesas), who is established in moral precepts, is endowed with restraint and (speaks the) truth is, indeed, worthy of the yellow robe. Story to Dhp 9 & 10

Sariputtatthera Vatthu

Asāre(14) sāramatino, sāre(15) cāsāradassino; Te sāraṃ(16) nādhigacchanti, micchāsaṅkappagocarā.

VERSE 11: They take untruth for truth; they take truth for untruth; such persons can never arrive at the truth, for they hold wrong views. Story to Dhp 11 & 12

Sārañca sārato ñatvā, asārañca asārato; Te sāraṃ adhigacchanti, sammāsaṅkappagocarā.

VERSE 12: They take truth for truth; they take untruth for untruth; such persons arrive at the truth, for they hold right views. Story to Dhp 11 & 12

Nandatthera Vatthu

Yathā agāraṃ ducchannaṃ, vuṭṭhī samativijjhati; Evaṃ abhāvitaṃ cittaṃ, rāgo samativijjhati.

VERSE 13: Just as rain penetrates a badly-roofed house, so also, passion (raga) penetrates a mind not cultivated in Tranquillity and Insight Development (Samatha and Vipassana). Story to Dhp 13 & 14

Yathā agāraṃ suchannaṃ, vuṭṭhī na samativijjhati; Evaṃ subhāvitaṃ cittaṃ, rāgo na samativijjhati.

VERSE 14: Just as rain cannot penetrate a well-roofed house, so also, passion (raga) cannot penetrate a mind well-cultivated in Tranquillity and Insight Development (Samatha and Vipassana). Story to Dhp 13 & 14

Cundasukarika Vatthu

Idha socati pecca socati, pāpakārī ubhayattha socati; So socati so vihaññati, disvā kammakiliṭṭhamattano.

VERSE 15: Here he grieves, hereafter he grieves; the evil-doer grieves in both existences. He grieves and he suffers anguish when he sees the depravity of his own deeds. Story to Dhp 15

Dhammika-upasaka Vatthu

Idha modati pecca modati, katapuñño ubhayattha modati; So modati so pamodati, disvā kammavisuddhimattano.

VERSE 16: Here he rejoices, hereafter he rejoices; one who performed meritorious deeds rejoices in both existences. He rejoices and greatly rejoices when he sees the purity of his own deeds. Story to Dhp 16

Devadatta Vatthu

Idha tappati pecca tappati, pāpakārī ubhayattha tappati; ‘‘Pāpaṃ me kata’’nti tappati, bhiyyo tappati duggatiṃ(17) gato.

VERSE 17: Here he is tormented, hereafter he is tormented; the evil-doer is tormented in both existences. He is tormented, and he laments: “Evil have I done.” He is even more tormented when he is reborn in one of the lower worlds (Apaya). Story to Dhp 17

Sumanadevi Vatthu

Idha nandati pecca nandati, katapuñño ubhayattha nandati; ‘‘Puññaṃ me kata’’nti nandati, bhiyyo nandati suggatiṃ(18) gato.

VERSE 18: Here he is happy, hereafter he is happy; one who performs meritorious deeds is happy in both existences. Happily he exclaims: I have done meritorious deeds.“ He is happier still when he is reborn in a higher world (suggati). Story to Dhp 18

Dvesahayakabhikkhu Vatthu

Bahumpi ce saṃhita bhāsamāno, na takkaro hoti naro pamatto; Gopova gāvo gaṇayaṃ paresaṃ, na bhāgavā sāmaññassa hoti.

VERSE 19: Though he recites much the Sacred Texts (Tipitaka), but is negligent and does not practise according to the Dhamma, like a cowherd who counts the cattle of others, he has no share in the benefits of the life of a bhikkhu (i.e., Magga-phala). Story to Dhp 19 & 20

Appampi ce saṃhita bhāsamāno, dhammassa hoti anudhammacārī; Rāgañca dosañca pahāya mohaṃ, sammappajāno suvimuttacitto(18); Anupādiyāno idha vā huraṃ vā, sa bhāgavā sāmaññassa hoti.(20)

VERSE 20: Though he recites only a little of the Sacred Texts (Tipitaka), but practises according to the Dhamma, eradicating passion, ill will and ignorance, clearly comprehending the Dhamma, with his mind freed from moral defilements and no longer clinging to this world or to the next, he shares the benefits of the life of a bhikkhu (i.e., Magga-phala). Story to Dhp 19 & 20

The Story of Thera Cakkhupala

While residing at the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi, the Buddha uttered Verse (1) of this book, with reference to Cakkhupala, a blind thera.

On one occasion, Thera Cakkhupala came to pay homage to the Buddha at the Jetavana monastery. One night, while pacing up and down in meditation, the thera accidentally stepped on some insects. In the morning, some bhikkhus visiting the thera found the dead insects. They thought ill of the thera and reported the matter to the Buddha. The Buddha asked them whether they had seen the thera killing the insects. When they answered in the negative, the Buddha said, “Just as you had not seen him killing, so also he had not seen those living insects. Besides, as the thera had already attained arahatship he could have no intention of killing and so was quite innocent.” On being asked why Cakkhupala was blind although he was an arahat, the Buddha told the following story:

Cakkhupala was a physician in one of his past existences. Once, he had deliberately made a woman patient blind. That woman had promised him to become his slave, together with her children, if her eyes were completely cured. Fearing that she and her children would have to become slaves, she lied to the physician. She told him that her eyes were getting worse when, in fact, they were perfectly cured. The physician knew she was deceiving him, so in revenge, he gave her another ointment, which made her totally blind. As a result of this evil deed the physician lost his eyesight many times in his later existences.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 1: All mental phenomena have mind as their forerunner; they have mind as their chief; they are mind-made. If one speaks or acts with an evil mind, 'dukkha' follows him just as the wheel follows the hoofprint of the ox that draws the cart.

At the end of the discourse, thirty thousand bhikkhus attained arahatship together with Analytical Insight (Patisambhida).

The Story of Matthakundali

While residing at the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi, the Buddha uttered Verse (2) of this book, with reference to Matthakundali, a young Brahmin. Matthakundali was a young brahmin, whose father, Adinnapubbaka, was very stingy and never gave anything in charity. Even the gold ornaments for his only son were made by himself to save payment for workmanship. When his son fell ill, no physician was consulted, until it was too late. When he realized that his son was dying, he had the youth carried outside on to the verandah, so that people coming to his house would not see his possessions.

On that morning, the Buddha arising early from his deep meditation of compassion saw, in his Net of Knowledge, Matthakundali lying on the verandah. So when entering Savatthi for alms-food with his disciples, the Buddha stood near the door of the brahmin Adinnapubbaka. The Buddha sent forth a ray of light to attract the attention of the youth, who was facing the interior of the house. The youth saw the Buddha; and as he was very weak he could only profess his faith mentally. But that was enough. When he passed away with his heart in devotion to the Buddha he was reborn in the Tavatimsa celestial world.

From his celestial abode the young Matthakundali, seeing his father mourning over him at the cemetery, appeared to the old man in the likeness of his old self. He told his father about his rebirth in the Tavatimsa world and also urged him to approach and invite the Buddha to a meal. At the house of Adinnapubbaka the question of whether one could or could not be reborn in a celestial world simply by mentally professing profound faith in the Buddha, without giving in charity or observing the moral precepts, was brought up. So the Buddha willed that Matthakundali should appear in person; Matthakundali soon appeared fully decked with celestial ornaments and told them about his rebirth in the Tavatimsa world. Then only, the audience became convinced that the son of the brahmin Adinnapubbaka by simply devoting his mind to the Buddha had attained much glory.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 2: All mental phenomena have mind as their forerunner; they have mind as their chief; they are mind-made. If one speaks or acts with a pure mind, happiness (sukha) follows him like a shadow that never leaves him.

At the end of the discourse Matthakundali and his father Adinnapubbaka attained Sotapatti Magga and Sotapatti Phala. Adinnapubbaka also donated almost all his wealth to the cause of the Buddha's Teaching.

The Story of Thera Tissa

While residing at the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi, the Buddha uttered Verses (3) and (3) of this book, with reference to Thera Tissa.

Tissa, son of the Buddha's maternal aunt, was at one time staying with the Buddha. He had become a bhikkhu only in his old age, but he posed as a senior bhikkhu and was very pleased when visiting bhikkhus asked his permission to do some service for him. On the other hand, he failed to perform the duties expected of junior bhikkhus; besides, he often quarrelled with the younger bhikkhus. Should anyone rebuke him on account of his behaviour he would go complaining to the Buddha, weeping, very much dissatisfied and very upset. The others also followed him to the presence of the Buddha. The Buddha told them not to harbour thoughts of enmity, for enmity could only be appeased by not harbouring enmity.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 3: “He abused me, he ill-treated me, he got the better of me, he stole my belongings;”… the enmity of those harbouring such thoughts cannot be appeased.

Verse 4: “He abused me, he ill-treated me, he got the better of me, he stole my belongings;”… the enmity of those not harbouring such thoughts can be appeased.

The Story of Kalayakkhini

While residing at the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi, the Buddha uttered Verse (5) of this book, with reference to a certain woman who was barren, and her rival.

Once there lived a householder, whose wife was barren; later he took another wife. The feud started when the elder wife caused abortion of the other one, who eventually died in child birth. In later existences the two were reborn as a hen and a cat; a doe and a leopardess; and finally as the daughter of a nobleman in Savatthi and an ogress named Kali. The ogress (Kalayakkhini) was in hot pursuit of the lady with the baby, when the latter learned that the Buddha was nearby, giving a religious discourse at the Jetavana monastery. She fled to him and placed her son at his feet for protection. The ogress was stopped at the door by the guardian spirit of the monastery and was refused admission. She was later called in and both the lady and the ogress were reprimanded by the Buddha. The Buddha told them about their past feuds as rival wives of a common husband, as a cat and a hen, and as a doe and a leopardess. They were made to see that hatred could only cause more hatred, and that it could only cease through friendship, understanding and goodwill.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 5: Hatred is, indeed, never appeased by hatred in this world. It is appeased only by loving-kindness. This is an ancient law.

At the end of the discourse, the ogress was established in Sotapatti Fruition and the long-standing feud came to an end.

The Story of Kosambi Bhikkhus

While residing at the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi, the Buddha uttered Verse (6) of this book, with reference to the bhikkhus of Kosambi.

The bhikkhus of Kosambi had formed into two groups. One group followed the master of Vinaya and the other followed the teacher of the Dhamma and they were often quarrelling among themselves. Even the Buddha could not stop them from quarrelling; so he left them and spent the vassa, residence period of the rains, all alone in Rakkhita Grove near Palileyyaka forest. There, the elephant Palileyya waited upon the Buddha.

The lay disciples of Kosambi, on learning the reason for the departure of the Buddha, refused to make offerings to the remaining bhikkhus. This made them realize their mistake and reconciliation took place among themselves. Still, the lay disciples would not treat them as respectfully as before, until they owned up their fault to the Buddha. But the Buddha was away and it was in the middle of the vassa; so the bhikkhus of Kosambi spent the vassa in misery and hardship.

At the end of the vassa, the Venerable Ananda and five hundred bhikkhus approached the Buddha and gave the message from Annathapindika and other lay disciples imploring him to return. In due course the Buddha returned to the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi. The bhikkhus followed him there, fell down at his feet, and owned up their fault. The Buddha rebuked them for disobeying him. He told them to remember that they must all die some day and therefore, they must stop their quarrels and must not act as if they would never die.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 6: People, other than the wise, do not realize, “We in this world must all die,” (and, not realizing it, continue their quarrels). The wise realize it and thereby their quarrels cease.

At the end of the discourse, all the assembled bhikkhus were established in Sotapatti Fruition.

The Story of Thera Mahakala

While residing in the neighbourhood of the town of Setabya, the Buddha uttered Verses (7) and (8) of this book, with reference to Mahakala and his brother Culakala. Mahakala and Culakala were two merchant brothers from the town of Setabya. While travelling about with their merchandise on one occasion, they had a chance to listen to a religious discourse given by the Buddha. After hearing the discourse Mahakala asked the Buddha for admission to the Order of the bhikkhus. Culakala also joined the Order but with the intention of coming out of the Order and to bring out his brother along with him.

Mahakala was serious in his ascetic practice at the cemetery (Sosanika dhutinga) and diligently meditated on decay and impermanence. He finally gained Insight and attained arahatship.

Later, the Buddha and his disciples, including the brothers, happened to be staying in the forest of Simsapa, near Setabya. While staying there, the former wives of Culakala invited the Buddha and his disciples to their house. Culakala himself went ahead to prepare seating arrangements for the Buddha and his disciples. Once there, the former wives of Culakala made him change into lay clothes.

The next day, the wives of Mahakala invited the Buddha and his disciples to their house hoping to do the same with Mahakala as the wives of Culakala had done to Culakala. After the meal they requested the Buddha to let Mahakala remain to “express appreciation” (anumodana). So the Buddha and the other disciples left.

Arriving at the village gate the bhikkhus expressed their dissatisfaction and apprehension. They were dissatisfied because Mahakala was permitted to stay behind and they were afraid that, like Culakala, his brother, Mahakala, too, would be made to leave the Order by his former wives. To this, the Buddha replied that the two brothers were not alike. Culakala indulged in sensual pleasures and was lazy and weak; he was just like a weak tree. Mahakala, on the other hand, was diligent, steadfast and strong in his faith of the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha; he was like a mountain of rock.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 7: He who keeps his mind on pleasant objects, who is uncontrolled in his senses, immoderate in his food, and is lazy and lacking in energy, will certainly be overwhelmed by Mara, just as stormy winds uproot a weak tree.

Verse 8: He who keeps his mind on the impurities (of the body), who is well-controlled in his senses and is full of faith and energy, will certainly be not overwhelmed by Mara, just as stormy winds cannot shake a mountain of rock.

Meanwhile, the former wives of Mahakala surrounded him and tried to remove his yellow robes. The thera, sensing their attitude, stood up and rising up into the air by his supernormal powers passed through the roof of the house into the sky. He landed at the feet of the Buddha at the very moment the Master was coming to the end of his utterance of the above two stanzas. At the same time, all the bhikkhus assembled there were established in Sotapatti Fruition.

The Story of Devadatta

While residing at the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi, the Buddha uttered Verses (9) and (10) of this book, with reference to Devadatta.

Once the two Chief Disciples, the Venerable Sariputta and the Venerable Maha Moggallana, went from Savatthi to Rajagaha. There, the people of Rajagaha invited them, with their one thousand followers, to a morning meal. On that occasion someone handed over a piece of cloth, worth one hundred thousand, to the organizers of the alms-giving ceremony. He instructed them to dispose of it and use the proceeds for the ceremony should there be any shortage of funds, or if there were no such shortage, to offer it to anyone of the bhikkhus they thought fit. It so happened that there was no shortage of anything and the cloth was to be offered to one of the theras. Since the two Chief Disciples visited Rajagaha only occasionally, the cloth was offered to Devadatta, who was a permanent resident of Rajagaha.

Devadatta promptly made the cloth into robes and moved about pompously, wearing them. Then, a certain bhikkhu from Rajagaha came to Savatthi to pay homage to the Buddha, and told him about Devadatta and the robe, made out of cloth worth one hundred thousand. The Buddha then said that it was not the first time that Devadatta was wearing robes that he did not deserve. The Buddha then related the following story.

Devadatta was an elephant hunter in one of his previous existences. At that time, in a certain forest, there lived a large number of elephants. One day, the hunter noticed that these elephants knelt down to the paccekabuddhas* on seeing them. Having observed that, the hunter stole an upper part of a yellow robe and covered his body and hand with it. Then, holding a spear in his hand, he waited for the elephants on their usual route. The elephants came, and taking him for a paccekabuddha fell down on their knees to pay obeisance. They easily fell prey to the hunter. Thus, one by one, he killed the last elephant in the row each day for many days.

The Bodhisatta (the Buddha-to-be) was then the leader of the herd. Noticing the dwindling number of his followers he decided to investigate and followed his herd at the end of the line. He was alert, and was therefore able to evade the spear. He caught hold of the hunter in his trunk and was about to dash him against the ground, when he saw the yellow robe. Seeing the yellow robe, he desisted and spared the life of the hunter.

The hunter was rebuked for trying to kill under cover of the yellow robe and for commuting such an act of depravity. The hunter clearly did not deserve to put on the yellow robe.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 9: He who is not free from taints of moral defilements (kilesas) and yet dons the yellow robe, who lacks restraint in his senses and (speaks not the) truth is unworthy of the yellow robe.

Verse 10: He who has discarded all moral defilements (kilesas), who is established in moral precepts, is endowed with restraint and (speaks the) truth is, indeed, worthy of the yellow robe.

At the end of the discourse, many bhikkhus were established in Sotapatti Fruition.

[* Paccekabuddha: One who, like the Buddha, is Self-Enlightened in the Four Noble Truths and has uprooted all the moral defilements (kilesas). However, he cannot teach others. Paccekabuddhas appear during the absence of the Buddha Sasana (Teaching).]

The Story of Thera Sariputta

While residing at Veluvana, the Bamboo Grove monastery in Rajagaha, the Buddha uttered Verses (11) and (12) of this book, with reference to Sanjaya, a former teacher of the Chief Disciples, the Venerable Sariputta and the Venerable Moggallana (formerly Upatissa and Kolita).

Upatissa and Kolita were two youths from Upatissa and Kolita, two villages near Rajagaha. While looking at a show they realized the insubstantiality of things and they decided to search for the way to liberation. First, they approached Sanjaya. the wandering ascetic at Rajagaha, but they were not satisfied with his teachings. So they went all over Jambudipa and came back to their native place, after searching for, but not finding the true dhamma. At this point they came to an understanding that one who found the true dhamma should inform the other.

One day, Upatissa came across Thera Assaji and learned from him the substance of the dhamma. The thera uttered the verse beginning with ”Ye dhamma hetuppabhava“, meaning, “those phenomena which proceed from a cause”. Listening to the verse, Upatissa became established in the Sotapatti Magga and Phala. Then, as promised, he went to his friend Kolita, explained to him that he, Upatissa, had attained the state of Deathlessness and repeated the verse to his friend. Kolita also become established in Sotapatti Fruition at the end of the verse. They both remembered their former teacher and so went to Sanjaya and said to him, “We have found one who could point out the Path to Deathlesseness; the Buddha has appeared in the world; the Dhamma has appeared; the Sangha has appeared… Come, let us go to the Teacher.” They had hoped that their former teacher would go along with them to the Buddha and by listening to the discourses he, too, would come to realize Magga and Phala. But Sanjaya refused.

So Upatissa and Kolita, with two hundred and fifty followers, went to the Buddha, at Veluvana. There, they were initiated and admitted into the Order as bhikkhus. Upatissa as son of Rupasari became known as Thera Sariputta; Kolita as son of Moggali became known as Thera Maha Moggallana. On the seventh day after the initiation Maha Moggallana attained Arahatship. Thera Sariputta achieved the same a fortnight after initiation. On that day, the Buddha made them his two Chief Disciples (Agga-Savaka).

The two Chief Disciples then related to the Buddha how they went to the Giragga festival, the meeting with Thera Assaji and their attainment of Sotapatti Fruition. They also told the Buddha about their former teacher Sanjaya, who refused to accompany them. Sanjaya had said, “Having been a teacher to so many pupils, for me to become his pupil would be like a jar turning into a drinking cup. Besides, only few people are wise and the majority are foolish; let the wise go to the wise Gotama, the foolish would still come to me. Go your way, my pupils.”

Thus, as the Buddha pointed out, Sanjaya's false pride was preventing him from seeing truth as truth; he was seeing untruth as truth and would never arrive at the real truth.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 11: They take untruth for truth; they take truth for untruth; such persons can never arrive at the truth, for they hold wrong views.

Verse 12: They take truth for truth; they take untruth for untruth; such persons arrive at the truth, for they hold right views. At the end of the discourse, many people came to be established in Sotapatti Fruition.

At the end of the discourse, many people came to be established in Sotapatti Fruition.

The Story of Thera Nanda

While residing at the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi, the Buddha uttered Verses (13) and (14) of this book, with reference to Thera Nanda, a cousin of the Buddha.

Once the Buddha was residing at the Veluvana monastery in Rajagaha when his father King Suddhodana repeatedly sent messengers to the Buddha requesting him to visit the city of Kapilavatthu. Accordingly, the Buddha made the journey in the company of twenty thousand arahats. On arrival at Kapilavatthu he related the Vessantara Jataka to the assembly of his relatives. On the second day, he entered the city, where by reciting the verse beginning with ”Uttitthe Nappamajjeyya …“ (i.e., One should arise and should not be unmindful …) he caused his father to be established in Sotapatti Fruition. On arrival at the palace, the Buddha recited another verse beginning with ”Dhammam care sucaritam …“ (i.e., One should practise the Dhamma…) and established the king in Sakadagami Fruition*. After the meal he narrated the Candakinnari Jataka, with reference to the virtues of Rahula's mother.

On the third day, there was the marriage ceremony of Prince Nanda, a cousin of the Buddha. The Buddha went there for alms and handed over the alms bowl to Prince Nanda. The Buddha then departed without taking back the bowl. So the prince, holding the bowl, had to follow the Buddha. The bride, Princess Janapadakalyani, seeing the prince following the Buddha rushed forth and cried out to the prince to come back soon. At the monastery, the prince was admitted into the Order as a bhikkhu.

Later, the Buddha moved into the monastery built by Anathapindika, at Jeta Park in Savatthi. While residing there Nanda was discontented and half-hearted and found little pleasure in the life of a bhikkhu. He wanted to return to the life of a householder because he kept on remembering the words of Princess Janapadakalyani, imploring him to return soon.

Knowing this, the Buddha, by supernormal power, showed Nanda, the beautiful female devas of the Tavatimsa world who were far prettier than Princess Janapadakalyani. He promised to get them for Nanda, if the latter strove hard in the practice of the Dhamma. Other bhikkhus ridiculed Nanda by saying that he was like a hireling who practised the Dhamma for the sake of beautiful women, etc. Nanda felt very much tormented and ashamed. So, in seclusion, he tried very hard in the practice of the Dhamma and eventually attained arahatship. As an arahat his mind was totally released from all attachments, and the Buddha was also released from his promise to Nanda. All this had been foreseen by the Buddha right from the very beginning.

Other bhikkhus, having known that Nanda was not happy in the life of a bhikkhu, again asked him how he was faring. When he answered that he had no more attachments to the life of a householder, they thought Nanda was not speaking the truth. So they informed the Buddha about the matter, at the same time expressing their doubts. The Buddha then explained to them that, previously, the nature of Nanda was like that of an ill-roofed house, but now, it had grown to be like a well-roofed one.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 13: Just as rain penetrates a badly-roofed house, so also, passion (raga) penetrates a mind not cultivated in Tranquillity and Insight Development (Samatha and Vipassana).

Verse 14: Just as rain cannot penetrate a well-roofed house, so also, passion (raga) cannot penetrate a mind well-cultivated in Tranquillity and Insight Development (Samatha and Vipassana).

While residing at the Veluvana monastery in Rajagaha, the Buddha uttered Verse

TEXT…. (15) of this book, with reference to Cunda, the pork-butcher.

Once, in a village not far away from the Veluvana monastery, there lived a very cruel and hard-hearted pork-butcher, by the name of Cunda. Cunda was a pork-butcher for over fifty-five years; all this time he had not done a single meritorious deed. Before he died, he was in such great pain and agony that he was grunting and squealing and kept on moving about on his hands and knees like a pig for seven whole days. In fact, even before he died, he was suffering as if he were in Niraya*. On the seventh day, the pork-butcher died and was reborn in Avici Niraya. Thus, the evil-doer must always suffer for the evil deeds done by him; he suffers in this world as well as in the next.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 15: Here he grieves, hereafter he grieves; the evil-doer grieves in both existences. He grieves and he suffers anguish when he sees the depravity of his own deeds.

[* Niraya or Naraka: a place of continuous torment sometimes compared with hell; but it is different from hell because suffering in Niraya is not everlasting like suffering in hell. Avici Niraya is the most fearful of all Nirayas.]

The Story of Dhammika Upasaka

While residing at the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi, the Buddha uttered Verse (16) of this book, with reference to Dhammika, a lay disciple.

Once there lived in Savatthi, a lay disciple by the name of Dhammika, who was virtuous and very fond of giving in charity. He generously offered food and other requisites to the bhikkhus regularly and also on special occasions. He was, in fact, the leader of five hundred virtuous lay disciples of the Buddha who lived in Savatthi. Dhammika had seven sons and seven daughters and all of them, like their father, were virtuous and devoted to charity. When Dhammika was very ill and was on his death-bed he made a request to the Samgha to come to him and recite the sacred texts by his bedside. While the bhikkhus were reciting the Maha satipatthana Sutta, six decorated chariots from six celestial worlds arrived to invite him to their respective worlds. Dhammika told them to wait for a while for fear of interrupting the recitation of the Sutta. The bhikkhus, thinking that they were being asked to stop, stopped and left the place.

A little while later, Dhammika told his children about the six decorated chariots waiting for him. Then and there he decided to choose the chariot from the Tusita world and asked one of his children to throw a garland on to it. Then he passed away and was reborn in the Tusita world. Thus, the virtuous man rejoices in this world as well as in the next.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 16: Here he rejoices, hereafter he rejoices; one who performed meritorious deeds rejoices in both existences. He rejoices and greatly rejoices when he sees the purity of his own deeds.

The Story of Devadatta

While residing at the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi, the Buddha uttered Verse (17) of this book, with reference to Devadatta.

Devadatta was at one time residing with the Buddha in Kosambi. While staying there he realized that the Buddha was receiving much respect and honour as well as offerings. He envied the Buddha and aspired to head the Order of the bhikkhus. One day, while the Buddha was preaching at the Veluvana monastery in Rajagaha, he approached the Buddha and on the ground that the Buddha was getting old, he suggested that the Order be entrusted to his care. The Buddha rejected his offer and rebuked him, saying that he was a swallower of other people's spittle. The Buddha next asked the Samgha to carry out an act of proclamation (Pakasaniya kamma*) regarding Devadatta.

Devadatta felt aggrieved and vowed vengeance against the Buddha. Three times, he attempted to kill the Buddha: first, by employing some archers; secondly, by climbing up the Gijjhakuta hill and rolling down a big piece of rock on to the Buddha; and thirdly, by causing the elephant Nalagiri to attack the Buddha. The hired assassins returned after being established in Sotapatti Fruition, without harming the Buddha. The big piece of rock rolled down by Devadatta hurt the big toe of the Buddha just a little, and when the Nalagiri elephant rushed at the Buddha, it was made docile by the Buddha. Thus Devadatta failed to kill the Buddha, and he tried another tactic. He tried to break up the Order of the bhikkhus by taking away some newly admitted bhikkhus with him to Gayasisa; however, most of them were brought back by Thera Sariputta and Thera Maha Moggallana.

Later, Devadatta fell ill. He had been ill for nine months when he asked his pupils to take him to the Buddha, and subsequently made the trip to the Jetavana monastery. Hearing that Devadatta was coming, the Buddha told his disciples that Devadatta would never get the opportunity to see him.

When Devadatta and his party reached the pond in the Jetavana monastery compound the carriers put down the couch on the bank of the pond and went to take a bath. Devadatta also rose from his couch and placed both his feet on the ground. Immediately, his feet sank into the earth and he was gradually swallowed up, Devadatta did not have the opportunity to see the Buddha because of the wicked deeds he had done to the Buddha. After his death, he was reborn in Avici Niraya, a place of intense and continuous torment.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 17: Here he is tormented, hereafter he is tormented; the evil-doer is tormented in both existences. He is tormented, and he laments: “Evil have I done.” He is even more tormented when he is reborn in one of the lower worlds (Apaya).

[* Pakasaniya kamma: An act of Proclamation carried out by the Order of the Samgha regarding a member declaring that as his conduct was of one kind before and is of another kind now, henceforth all his physical and verbal actions are only his and have nothing to do with the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha.]

The Story of Sumanadevi

While residing at the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi, the Buddha uttered Verse (18) of this book, with reference to Sumanadevi, the youngest daughter of Anathapindika.

In Savatthi, at the house of Anathapindika and the house of Visakha, two thousand bhikkhus were served with food daily. At the house of Visakha, the offering of alms-food was supervised by her granddaughter. At the house of Anathapindika, the supervision was done, first by the eldest daughter, next by the second daughter and finally by Sumanadevi, the youngest daughter. The two elder sisters attained Sotapatti Fruition by listening to the Dhamma, while serving food to the bhikkhus. Sumanadevi did even better and she attained Sakadagami Fruition.

Later, Sumanadevi fell ill and on her death-bed she asked for her father. Her father came, and she addressed her father as “younger brother” (Kanittha bhatika) and passed away soon after. Her form of address kept her father wondering and made him uneasy and depressed, thinking that his daughter was delirious and not in her right senses at the time of her death. So, he approached the Buddha and reported to him about his daughter, Sumanadevi. Then the Buddha told the noble rich man that his daughter was in her right senses and fully self-possessed at the time of her passing away. The Buddha also explained that Sumanadevi had addressed her father as “younger brother” because her attainment of Magga and Phala was higher than that of her father's. She was a Sakadagam whereas her father was only a Sotapanna. Anathapindika was also told that Sumanadevi was reborn in the Tusita deva world.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 18: Here he is happy, hereafter he is happy; one who performs meritorious deeds is happy in both existences. Happily he exclaims: I have done meritorious deeds.” He is happier still when he is reborn in a higher world (suggati).[ Read longer version of story here ]

The Story of Two Friends

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses (19) and (20) of this book, with reference to two bhikkhus who were friends.

Once there were two friends of noble family, two bhikkhus from Savatthi. One of them learned the Tipitaka and was very proficient in reciting and preaching the sacred texts. He taught five hundred bhikkhus and became the instructor of eighteen groups of bhikkhus. The other bhikkhu striving diligently and ardently in the course of Insight Meditation attained arahatship together with Analytical Insight.

On one occasion, when the second bhikkhu came to pay homage to the Buddha, at the Jetavana monastery, the two bhikkhus met. The master of the Tipitaka did not realize that the other had already become an arahat. He looked down on the other, thinking that this old bhikkhu knew very little of the sacred texts, not even one out of the five Nikayas or one out of the three Pitakas. So he thought of putting questions to the other, and thus embarass him. The Buddha knew about his unkind intention and he also knew that as a result of giving trouble to such a noble disciple of his, the learned bhikkhu would be reborn in a lower world.

So, out of compassion, the Buddha visited the two bhikkhus to prevent the scholar from questioning the other bhikkhu. The Buddha himself did the questioning. He put questions on jhanas and maggas to the master of the Tipitaka; but he could not answer them because he had not practised what he had taught. The other bhikkhu, having practised the Dhamma and having attained arahatship, could answer all the questions. The Buddha praised the one who practised the Dhamma (i.e., a vipassaka), but not a single word of praise was spoken for the learned scholar (i.e., a ganthika).

The resident disciples could not understand why the Buddha had words of praise for the old bhikkhu and not for their learned teacher. So, the Buddha explained the matter to them. The scholar who knows a great deal but does not practise in accordance with the Dhamma is like a cowherd, who looks after the cows for wages, while the one who practises in accordance with the Dhamrna is like the owner who enjoys the five kinds of produce of the cows*. Thus, the scholar enjoys only the services rendered to him by his pupils but not the benefits of Magga-phala. The other bhikkhu, though he knows little and recites only a little of the sacred texts, having clearly comprehended the essence of the Dhamma and having practised diligently and strenuously, is an 'anudhammacari', who has eradicated passion, ill will and ignorance. His mind being totally freed from moral delilements and from all attachments to this world as well as to the next, he truly shares the benefits of Magga-phala. Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 19: Though he recites much the Sacred Texts (Tipitaka), but is negligent and does not practise according to the Dhamma, like a cowherd who counts the cattle of others, he has no share in the benefits of the life of a bhikkhu (i.e., Magga-phala).

Verse 20: Though he recites only a little of the Sacred Texts (Tipitaka), but practises according to the Dhamma, eradicating passion, ill will and ignorance, clearly comprehending the Dhamma, with his mind freed from moral defilements and no longer clinging to this world or to the next, he shares the benefits of the life of a bhikkhu (i.e., Magga-phala).

[* Milk, cream, butter, butter-milk and ghee. Anudhammacari: one who practises in conformity with the Dhamma.

Sumanadevi Vatthu (long version)

(Translated by the Department of Pali, University of Rangoon, Burma 1966)

The Master while residing at Jetavana delivered this religious discourse beginning with “Here (in this world) one who has done good deeds rejoices” in connection with Sumanadevi. (18)

At Savatthi, two thousand monks used to take their meals daily in the house of Anathapindika and a similar number in the house of the eminent female-devotee Visakha. Whosoever wished to give alms in Savatthi, they used to do so after getting permission of these two. What was the reason for this? Even though a sum of a hundred thousand was spent in charity, the monks used to ask:

“Has Anathapindika or Visakha come to our alms-hall?” If told, “They have not”, they used to express words of disapproval saying “What sort of a charity is this?” The fact was that both of them (Anathapindika and Visakha) knew exceedingly well what the congregation of monks liked, as also what ought to be done befitting the occasion. When they supervised, the monks could take food according to their liking, and so all those who wished to give alms used to take those two with them. As a result, they (Anathapindika and Visakha) could not get the opportunity to serve the monks in their own homes.

Thereupon, pondering as to who could take her place and entertain the congregation of monks with food, and finding her son's daughter, Visakha made her take the place. She started serving food to the congregation of monks in Visakha's house. Anathapindika too made his eldest daughter, Mahasubhadda by name, officiate in his stead. While attending to the monks, she used to listen to the Dhamma. She became a Sotapanna and went to the house of her husband. Then he (Anathapindika) put Cullasubhadda in her place. She too acting likewise became a Sotapanna and went to her husband's house. Then his youngest daughter Sumanadevi was assigned the place. She, however, attained the fruition of sakadagami. Though she was only a young maiden, she became afflicted with so severe a disease that she stopped taking her food and wishing to see her father sent for him.

Anathapindika received the message while in an almshouse. At once he returned and asked her what the matter was. She said to him, 'Brother, what is it?' He said 'Dear, are you talking in delirium?' Replied she, 'Brother, I am not delirious.' He asked, 'Dear, are you in fear?' and she replied, 'No, I am not, brother.' Saying only these words she passed away. Though a Sotapanna, the banker was unable to bear the grief that arose in him for his daughter and after having had the funeral rites of his daughter performed, approached the Master weeping. Being asked: Householder, what makes you come sad and depressed, weeping with a tearful face?', he replied 'Lord, my daughter Sumanadevi has passed away.' 'But, why do you lament? Isn't death common to all beings?' 'Lord, this I am aware of, but the fact that my daughter, who was so conscious of a sense of shame and fear of evil, was not able to maintain her self-possession at the time of her death and passed away talking in delirium, has made me very depressed.' 'But, noble banker, what was it that she said?'

'When I addressed her as “Dear Sumana”, she said “What is it, dear brother? “*

'Then when I asked her “Dear, are you talking in delirium ?”, she replied “I am not talking in delirium, brother”.

'When I asked her “Are you in fear, dear?”, she replied “Brother, I am not”. Saying this much she passed away.'

Thereupon the Master told him, Noble banker, your daughter was not talking in delirium.' When asked why she spoke like that, the Master replied, 'It is because of your lower spiritual position; indeed your daughter held a higher position than you did in the attainment of the path (magga) and fruition (phala); you are only a Sotapanna but your daughter was a sakadagami, it was because of her higher position in the attainment of path and fruition that she spoke to you in that way'. The banker asked, 'Is that so Lord ?', and the Master affirmed saying 'It is so'. When asked 'Where is she reborn at present?' the Master said, 'In the Tusita heaven, O householder'. Then the banker made this remark, 'Lord, having rejoiced here in this world in the midst of kinsmen, now again, after passing away, my daughter has been reborn in a place of joy.' Thereupon the Master told him, 'Yes banker, the diligent, whether they are householders or samanas, surely rejoice in this world as well as in the next', and uttered this stanza.

Verse 18: One who has done good deeds rejoices here and rejoices afterwards too; he rejoices in both places. Thinking “I have done good deeds” he rejoices, he rejoices all the more having gone to a happy existence.

At the end of the verse, many people became Sotapannas and so on, and the discourse became beneficial to the multitude.

[Therein, idha implies in this world, where one rejoices on account of the joy derived from one's own deeds.

Pecca implies that in the next world one rejoices on account of the resultant joy.

Katapunno means the performer of merit of various kinds.

Ubhayattha implies that in this world one rejoices at the thought “I have done good and have not done evil” and in the next he rejoices enjoying the result.

“Punnam me” means while rejoicing here at the thought “I have performed a meritorius deed”, one rejoices with mere happiness arising from the satisfaction in his own good deed.

bhiyyo implies that having gone to a happy existence (saggatim gato) one rejoices exceedingly on account of the resultant joy, enjoying the celestial glory for fifty-seven crores and sixty lakhs years in the Tusita Heaven. * younger brother, “Kanitthabhatika”. It would have been terribly rude, shocking, for a daughter to address her father as 'younger brother' in ordinary circumstances. A crore is 10,000,000: a Lakh is 100,000.

End of Chapter One: The Pairs (Yamakavagga)

Notes

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1.

manopubbangama dhamma: All mental phenomena have Mind as their

forerunner in the sense that Mind is the most dominant, and it is the cause of the other three mental phenomena, namely, Feeling (vedana), Perception (sanna) and Mental Formations or Mental Concomitants (sankhara). These three have Mind or Consciousness (vinnana) as their forerunner, because although they arise simultaneously with Mind they cannot arise if Mind does not arise. (The Commentary)

2.

manasa ce padutthena (Verse 1) and manasi ce pasannena

(Verse 2): Manasa here means intention or volition (cetana); volition leads one to the performance of volitional actions, both good and evil. This volition and the resultant actions constitute kamma; and kamma always follows one to produce results. Cakkhupala's blindness (Verse 1) was the consequence of his having acted with an evil intention in a previous existence and Matthakundali's happy existence in Tavatimsa celestial world (Verse 2) was the result of his mental devotion (manopasada) to the Buddha.

3.

dukkha: In this context, dukkha mens suffering, or physical

or mental pain, misfortune, unsatisfactoriness, evil consequences, etc., and rebirth in the lower planes of existence or in the lower strata of human society if born in the human world.

4.

dukkha: Sukham/sukha: in this context, happiness, satifactoriness, fortune, etc., and rebirth in the three upper planes of happy existence.

5.

esa dhammo sanantano: This is the same as ”poranako dhammo,”

the doctrine followed by the Budhha and his disciples. The exhortation is not to return hatred for hatred but to conquer it by loving-kindness (absence of hatred).

6.

Pare ca na vijananti: 'Pare' means 'others'; in this

context, people other than the wise. These people do not realize that they must die, and behave as if they were never going to die and keep on quarrelling. Therefore, they are sometimes referred to as the ignorant or the foolish, or those who are not worthy of love and respect.

7.

mayamettha yamamase: lit., “We here must

die,” meaning we, of this world, must die; or all men are mortal.

8.

ye ca tattha vijananti: in the case of those who

understand, meaning the wise. The wise understand (or realize) that all men are mortal.

9.

Maro/Mara: in this context kilesamara, the

defilements hindering the realization of Nibbana.

10.

saddham/saddha: According to the Commentary,

(a) unwavering (unshakable) faith in the Buddha, the Dhamma (the Doctrine) and the Samgha (the Buddhist Religious Order) and
(b) faith or belief in kamma (action) and its results.

11.

Refer to(9).

12.

kasavam or kasavam vattham: the yellow or reddish yellow

robe donned by members of the Buddhist Religious Order. There is a play on words in the above stanzas; 'anikkasavo', meaning, not free from faults of moral defilements and therefore, stained; and kasavam, the yellow robe, dyed sombre in some astringent juice and is therefore stained.

13.

vantakasav'assa: lit., has vomited all moral defilements; it means,

has discarded all moral defilements through the four Path Knowledge (Magga nana).

14.

asare: lit., essenceless; according to the Commentary, wrong view,

i.e., untruth.

15.

sare: lit., essence; according to the Commentary, right view, i.e.

, truth.

16.

siram: Truth According to the Commentary, essence of the

Dhamma. The essence of the Dhamma comprises sila (moral precepts or morality), samadhi (concentration), panna (knowledge), vimutti (liberation), vimutti-nanadasasana (Knowledge of and Insight into liberation), haramattha (ultimate truth) and Nibbana.

17.

duggatim/duggati: unhappy destinations, the four lower worlds (apaya).

In the case of Devadatta, avici niraya, the lowest niraya, (placement of torment).

18.

sugattim/suggati: happy existence.

19.

suvimuttacitto: Mind freed from moral defilements; this has been

achieved through perfect practice and clear comprehension of the Dhamma.

20.

sa bhagava samannassa hoti: lit., shares the benefits of the life

of a samana (a bhikkhu). According to the Commentary, in this context, it means, “Shares the benefits of Magga-phala.”

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en/tipitaka/sut/kn/dhp/dhp.01.bpit.txt · Last modified: 2019/09/03 09:26 by Johann