Như bông hoa tươi đẹp, có sắc lại thêm hương; cũng vậy, lời khéo nói, có làm, có kết quả.Kinh Pháp cú (Kệ số 52)
Nếu chuyên cần tinh tấn thì không có việc chi là khó. Ví như dòng nước nhỏ mà chảy mãi thì cũng làm mòn được hòn đá.Kinh Lời dạy cuối cùng
Kẻ làm điều ác là tự chuốc lấy việc dữ cho mình.Kinh Bốn mươi hai chương
Người ta vì ái dục sinh ra lo nghĩ; vì lo nghĩ sinh ra sợ sệt. Nếu lìa khỏi ái dục thì còn chi phải lo, còn chi phải sợ?Kinh Bốn mươi hai chương
Người nhiều lòng tham giống như cầm đuốc đi ngược gió, thế nào cũng bị lửa táp vào tay. Kinh Bốn mươi hai chương
Ta như thầy thuốc, biết bệnh cho thuốc. Người bệnh chịu uống thuốc ấy hay không, chẳng phải lỗi thầy thuốc. Lại cũng như người khéo chỉ đường, chỉ cho mọi người con đường tốt. Nghe rồi mà chẳng đi theo, thật chẳng phải lỗi người chỉ đường.Kinh Lời dạy cuối cùng
Như bông hoa tươi đẹp, có sắc nhưng không hương. Cũng vậy, lời khéo nói, không làm, không kết quả.Kinh Pháp cú (Kệ số 51)
Dầu mưa bằng tiền vàng, Các dục khó thỏa mãn. Dục đắng nhiều ngọt ít, Biết vậy là bậc trí.Kinh Pháp cú (Kệ số 186)
Ví như người mù sờ voi, tuy họ mô tả đúng thật như chỗ sờ biết, nhưng ta thật không thể nhờ đó mà biết rõ hình thể con voi.Kinh Đại Bát Niết-bàn
Lời nói được thận trọng, tâm tư khéo hộ phòng, thân chớ làm điều ác, hãy giữ ba nghiệp tịnh, chứng đạo thánh nhân dạyKinh Pháp Cú (Kệ số 281)

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Kinh Tiểu Bộ (Khuddaka Nikāya) »» Kinh Tập (Chương 1)

Sutta Nipata

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Dịch giả: Thanissaro and Piyadassi Thera

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I. Uraga Sutta: The Snake
The monk who subdues his arisen anger
as, with herbs, snake-venom once it has spread,
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.
The monk who has cut off passion
without leaving a trace,
as he would plunging into a lake, a lotus,
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.
The monk who has cut off craving
without leaving a trace,
as if he had dried up a swift-flowing stream,
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.
The monk who has demolished conceit
without leaving a trace,
as a great flood, a very weak bridge made of reeds,
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.
The monk seeing
in states of becoming
no essence,
as he would,
when surveying a fig tree,
no flowers,
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.
The monk with no inner anger,
who has thus gone beyond
becoming & not-,
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.
The monk whose discursive thoughts are dispersed,
well-dealt with inside
without leaving a trace,
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.
The monk who hasn't slipped past or turned back,
transcending all
this objectification,
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.
The monk who hasn't slipped past or turned back,
knowing with regard to the world
that "All this is unreal,"
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.
The monk who hasn't slipped past or turned back,
without greed, as "All this is unreal,"
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.
The monk who hasn't slipped past or turned back,
without aversion, as "All this is unreal,"
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.
The monk who hasn't slipped past or turned back,
without delusion, as "All this is unreal,"
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.
The monk in whom there are no obsessions
— the roots of unskillfulness totally destroyed —
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.
The monk in whom there's nothing born of distress
that would lead him back to this shore,
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.
The monk in whom there's nothing born of desire
that would keep him bound to becoming,
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.
The monk who's abandoned five hindrances,
who, untroubled, unwounded,
has crossed over doubt,
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.
II. Dhaniya Sutta: Dhaniya the Cattleman
Dhaniya the cattleman:[1]
"The rice is cooked,
my milking done.
I live with my people
along the banks of the Mahi;
my hut is roofed, my fire lit:
so if you want, rain-god,
go ahead & rain."
The Buddha:
"Free from anger,
my stubbornness gone,[2]
I live for one night
along the banks of the Mahi;
my hut's roof is open, my fire out:[3]
so if you want, rain-god,
go ahead & rain."
Dhaniya:
"No mosquitoes or gadflies
are to be found.
The cows range in the marshy meadow
where the grasses flourish.
They could stand the rain if it came:
so if you want, rain-god,
go ahead & rain."
The Buddha:
"A raft, well-made,
has been lashed together.[4]
Having crossed over,
gone to the far shore,
I've subdued the flood.
No need for a raft
is to be found:[5]
so if you want, rain-god,
go ahead & rain."
Dhaniya:
"My wife is compliant, not careless,
is charming, has lived with me long.
I hear no evil about her at all:
so if you want, rain-god,
go ahead & rain."
The Buddha:
"My mind is compliant, released,
has long been nurtured, well tamed.
No evil is to be found in me:
so if you want, rain-god,
go ahead & rain."
Dhaniya:
"I support myself on my earnings.
My sons live in harmony,
free from disease.
I hear no evil about them at all:
so if you want, rain-god,
go ahead & rain."
The Buddha:
"I'm in no one's employ,[6]
I wander the whole world
on the reward [of my Awakening].
No need for earnings
is to be found:
so if you want, rain-god,
go ahead & rain."
Dhaniya:
"There are cows, young bulls,
cows in calf, & breeding cows,
& a great bull, the leader of the herd:
so if you want, rain-god,
go ahead & rain."
The Buddha:
"There are no cows, no young bulls,
no cows in calf or breeding cows,
no great bull, the leader of the herd:[7]
so if you want, rain-god,
go ahead & rain."
Dhaniya:
"The stakes are dug-in, immovable.
The new muñja-grass halters, well-woven,
not even young bulls could break:
so if you want, rain-god,
go ahead & rain."
The Buddha:
"Having broken my bonds
like a great bull,
like a great elephant
tearing a rotting vine,
I never again
will lie in the womb:
so if you want, rain-god,
go ahead & rain."
The great cloud rained down
straightaway,
filling the lowlands & high.
Hearing the rain-god pour down,
Dhaniya said:
"How great our gain
that we've gazed
on the Blessed One!
We go to him,
the One with vision,
for refuge.
May you be our teacher, Great Sage.
My wife & I are compliant.
Let's follow the holy life
under the One Well-gone.
Gone to the far shore
of aging & death,
let's put an end
to suffering & stress."
Mara:[8]
"Those with children
delight
because of their children.
Those with cattle
delight
because of their cows.
A person's delight
comes from acquisitions,
since a person with no acquisitions
doesn't delight."
The Buddha:
"Those with children
grieve
because of their children.
Those with cattle
grieve
because of their cows.
A person's grief
comes from acquisitions,
since a person with no acquisitions
doesn't grieve."
Notes
1.
Dhaniya Gopa: Literally, one whose wealth is in cattle. According to the Commentary, his herd consisted of 30,000 head of cattle.
2.
The first line in the Buddha's verse plays on words in the first line of Dhaniya's. "Free from anger" (akkodhano) plays on "rice is cooked" (pakkodano); and "stubbornness" (khilo) plays on "milk" (khiro).
3.
"Open" means having a mind not covered or concealed by craving, defilement, or ignorance. This image is also used in Ud 5.5 and Sn 4.4. "My fire out" refers to the fires of passion, aversion, & delusion; birth, aging, & death; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. See SN 35.28; Iti 93; and The Mind Like Fire Unbound.
4.
The raft stands for the noble eightfold path. See passages 113 and 114 in The Wings to Awakening.
5.
As this verse doesn't seem to be a direct response to the preceding one, the Commentary suggests that we are missing part of the conversation here. An alternative possibility is that the Buddha is engaging in word play — the word "crossed over" (tinna) being a pun on Dhaniya's reference to grass (tina).
6.
According to the Commentary, the Buddha is not in anyone else's employ nor even in his own employ — i.e., he is not in the employ of craving.
7.
The Buddha may be speaking literally here — he has no cattle, so there is no way that a heavy rain could cause him harm — but he may also be speaking metaphorically. See SN 4.19.
8.
According to the Commentary, Mara suddenly comes on the scene to try — unsuccessfully — to prevent Dhaniya and his wife from going forth. His verses here, together with the Buddha's response, are also found at SN 4.8.
III. Khaggavisana Sutta: A Rhinoceros
Renouncing violence
for all living beings,
harming not even a one,
you would not wish for offspring,
so how a companion?
Wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
For a sociable person
there are allurements;
on the heels of allurement, this pain.
Seeing allurement's drawback,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
One whose mind
is enmeshed in sympathy
for friends & companions,
neglects the true goal.
Seeing this danger in intimacy,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Like spreading bamboo,
entwined,
is concern for offspring & spouses.
Like a bamboo sprout,
unentangling,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
As a deer in the wilds,
unfettered,
goes for forage wherever it wants:
the wise person, valuing freedom,
wanders alone
like a rhinoceros.
In the midst of companions
— when staying at home,
when going out wandering —
you are prey to requests.
Valuing the freedom
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
There is sporting & love
in the midst of companions,
& abundant fondness for offspring.
Feeling disgust
at the prospect of parting
from those who'd be dear,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Without resistance in all four directions,
content with whatever you get,
enduring troubles with no dismay,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
They are hard to please,
some of those gone forth,
as well as those living the household life.
Shedding concern
for these offspring of others,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Cutting off the householder's marks,[1]
like a kovilara tree
that has shed its leaves,
the prudent one, cutting all household ties,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
If you gain a mature companion,
a fellow traveler, right-living & wise,
overcoming all dangers
go with him, gratified,
mindful.
If you don't gain a mature companion,
a fellow traveler, right-living & wise,
wander alone
like a king renouncing his kingdom,
like the elephant in the Matanga wilds,
his herd.
We praise companionship
— yes!
Those on a par, or better,
should be chosen as friends.
If they're not to be found,
living faultlessly,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Seeing radiant bracelets of gold,
well-made by a smith,
clinking, clashing,
two on an arm,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros,
[thinking:]
"In the same way,
if I were to live with another,
there would be careless talk or abusive."
Seeing this future danger,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Because sensual pleasures,
elegant, honeyed, & charming,
bewitch the mind with their manifold forms —
seeing this drawback in sensual strands —
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
"Calamity, tumor, misfortune,
disease, an arrow, a danger for me."
Seeing this danger in sensual strands,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Cold & heat, hunger & thirst,
wind & sun, horseflies & snakes:
enduring all these, without exception,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
As a great white elephant,
with massive shoulders,
renouncing his herd,
lives in the wilds wherever he wants,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
"There's no way
that one delighting in company
can touch even momentary release."
Heeding the Solar Kinsman's words,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Transcending the contortion of views,
the sure way attained,
the path gained,
[realizing:]
"Unled by others,
I have knowledge arisen,"
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
With no greed, no deceit,
no thirst, no hypocrisy —
delusion & blemishes
blown away —
with no inclinations for all the world,
every world,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Avoid the evil companion
disregarding the goal,
intent on the out-of-tune way.
Don't take as a friend
someone heedless & hankering.
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Consort with one who is learned,
who maintains the Dhamma,
a great & quick-witted friend.
Knowing the meanings,
subdue your perplexity,
[then] wander alone
like a rhinoceros,
Free from longing, finding no pleasure
in the world's sport, love, or sensual bliss,
abstaining from adornment,
speaking the truth,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Abandoning offspring, spouse,
father, mother,
riches, grain, relatives,
& sensual pleasures
altogether,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
"This is a bondage, a baited hook.
There's little happiness here,
next to no satisfaction,
all the more suffering & pain."
Knowing this, circumspect,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Shattering fetters,
like a fish in the water tearing a net,
like a fire not coming back to what's burnt,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Eyes downcast, not footloose,
senses guarded, with protected mind,
not oozing — not burning — with lust,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Taking off the householder's marks,[2]
like a coral tree
that has shed its leaves,
going forth in the ochre robe,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Showing no greed for flavors, not careless,
going from house to house for alms,
with mind unenmeshed in this family or that,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Abandoning barriers to awareness,
expelling all defilements — all —
non-dependent, cutting aversion,
allurement,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Turning your back on pleasure & pain,
as earlier with sorrow & joy,
attaining pure equanimity,
tranquillity,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
With persistence aroused
for the highest goal's attainment,
with mind unsmeared, not lazy in action,
firm in effort, with steadfastness & strength arisen,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Not neglecting seclusion, absorption,
constantly living the Dhamma
in line with the Dhamma,
comprehending the danger
in states of becoming,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Intent on the ending of craving & heedful,
learned, mindful, not muddled,
certain — having reckoned the Dhamma —
& striving,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Unstartled, like a lion at sounds.
Unsnared, like the wind in a net.
Unsmeared, like a lotus in water:
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Like a lion — forceful, strong in fang,
living as a conqueror, the king of beasts —
resort to a solitary dwelling.
Wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
At the right time consorting
with the release through good will,
compassion,
appreciation,
equanimity,
unobstructed by all the world,
any world,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Having let go of passion,
aversion,
delusion;
having shattered the fetters;
undisturbed at the ending of life,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
People follow & associate
for a motive.
Friends without a motive these days
are rare.
They're shrewd for their own ends, & impure.
Wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Notes
1.
Hair and beard.
2.
Lay clothing.
IV. Kasi Bharadvaja Sutta: To the Plowing Bharadvaja
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was living among the Magadhans at Dakkhinagiri in the brahman village of Ekanala. Now at that time approximately 500 of the brahman Kasi Bharadvaja's plows were yoked at the sowing time. Then, in the early morning, putting on his lower robe and taking his bowl & robes, the Blessed One went to where Kasi Bharadvaja was working. Now at that time Kasi Bharadvaja's food-distribution was underway. So the Blessed One went to Kasi Bharadvaja's food-distribution and, on arrival, stood to one side. Kasi Bharadvaja saw the Blessed One standing for alms, and on seeing him, said to him, "I, contemplative, plow & sow. Having plowed & sown, I eat. You, too, contemplative, should plow & sow. Having plowed & sown, you (will) eat."
"I, too, brahman, plow & sow. Having plowed & sown, I eat."
"But, contemplative, I don't see the Master Gotama's yoke or plow, plowshare, goad, or oxen, and yet the Master Gotama says this: 'I, too, brahman, plow & sow. Having plowed & sown, I eat.'"
Then the Kasi Bharadvaja addressed the Blessed One with a verse:
You claim to be a plowman,
but I don't see your plowing.
Being asked, tell us about your plowing
so that we may know your plowing.
[The Buddha:]
Conviction is my seed,
austerity my rain,
discernment my yoke & plow,
conscience my pole,
mind my yoke-tie,
mindfulness my plowshare & goad.
Guarded in body,
guarded in speech,
restrained in terms of belly & food,
I make truth a weeding-hook,
and composure my unyoking.
Persistence, my beast of burden,
bearing me toward rest from the yoke,
takes me, without turning back,
to where, having gone,
one doesn't grieve.
That's how my plowing is plowed.
It has
as its fruit
the deathless.
Having plowed this plowing
one is unyoked
from all suffering
& stress.
Then Kasi Bharadvaja, having heaped up milk-rice in a large bronze serving bowl, offered it to the Blessed One, [saying,] "May Master Gotama eat [this] milk-rice. The master is a plowman, for the Master Gotama plows the plowing that has as its fruit the deathless."
What's been chanted over with verses
shouldn't be eaten by me.
That's not the nature, brahman,
of one who's seen rightly.
What's been chanted over with verses
Awakened Ones reject.
That being their nature, brahman,
this is their way of life.
Serve with other food & drink
a fully-perfected great seer,
his fermentations ended,
his anxiety stilled,
for that is the field
for one looking for merit.
"Then to whom, Master Gotama, should I give this milk-rice?"
"Brahman, I don't see that person in this world — with its devas, Maras, & Brahmas, in this generation with its royalty & common people — by whom this milk-rice, having been eaten, would be rightly digested, aside from a Tathagata or a Tathagata's disciple. In that case, brahman, throw the milk-rice away in a place without vegetation, or dump it in water with no living beings."
So Kasi Bharadvaja dumped the milk-rice in water with no living beings. And the milk-rice, when dropped in the water, hissed & sizzled, seethed & steamed. Just as an iron ball heated all day, when tossed in the water, hisses & sizzles, seethes & steams, in the same way the milk-rice, when dropped in the water, hissed & sizzled, seethed & steamed.
Then Kasi Bharadvaja — in awe, his hair standing on end — went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, throwing himself down with his head at the Blessed One's feet, said to him, "Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has Master Gotama — through many lines of reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. I go to Master Gotama for refuge, to the Dhamma, and to the Community of monks. May Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge, from this day forward, for life. Let me obtain the going forth in Master Gotama's presence, let me obtain admission."
Then the brahman Kasi Bharadvaja obtained the going forth in the Blessed One's presence, he obtained admission. And not long after his admission — dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute — he in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the celibate life, for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now. He knew: "Birth is ended, the celibate life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world." And so Ven. Bharadvaja became another one of the arahants.
V. Cunda Sutta: To Cunda
[Cunda the smith:]
"I ask the sage of abundant discernment,
awakened, lord of the Dhamma, free
of craving,
supreme
among two-legged beings,
best
of charioteers:
"How many contemplatives
are there in the world?
Please tell me."
[The Buddha:]
"Four contemplatives, Cunda. There isn't a fifth.
Being asked face-to-face, I'll explain:
the Victor of the path,
the teacher of the path,
one who lives by the path,
& one who corrupts the path."
[Cunda:]
"Whom do the Awakened
call the Victor of the path
[&] one who is an unequalled teacher of the path?
Tell me the one who lives by the path,
and explain to me one who corrupts the path."
[The Buddha:]
"He's crossed over perplexity,
his arrow removed,
delighting in Unbinding, free
of greed,
the leader of the world with its devas:
one like this
the Awakened
call the Victor
of the path.
He here knows the foremost as foremost,
who right here shows & analyzes the Dhamma,
that sage, a cutter-of-doubt unperturbed:
he's called the second of monks,
the teacher of the path.
Mindful, restrained,
he lives by the well-taught Dhamma-principles,
path,
associating with principles without blame:
he's called the third of monks,
one who lives by the path.
Creating a counterfeit
of those with good practices,
self-asserting, a corrupter of families,[1] intrusive,
deceitful, unrestrained, chaff,
going around in disguise:
he's one who corrupts the path.
Any householder, having ferreted these out
— a discerning disciple of those who are noble —
knowing they aren't all the same,
seeing this, his conviction's not harmed.
For how could the corrupt with the un-
corrupt,
the impure with the pure,
be put on a par?"
Note
1.
A corrupter of families is a monk who ingratiates himself into a family's affections by performing services for them that are inappropriate for a monk to do, thus diverting their faith away from those who live by the Dhamma and Vinaya. For more on this term, see The Buddhist Monastic Code, Volume 1, Sanghadisesa 13.
VI. Parabhava Sutta: Discourse on Downfall
translated by Piyadassi Thera
Thus have I heard:
On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Savatthi, at Jetavana, at Anathapindika's monastery. Now when the night was far advanced, a certain deity, whose surpassing radiance illuminated the whole of Jetavana, came to the presence of the Blessed One, respectfully saluted him, and stood beside him. Standing thus he addressed the Blessed One in verse:
[The Deity:]
1. About the declining man we question thee, Gotama. We have come to ask the Blessed One: What is the cause of his downfall?
[The Buddha:]
2. Easily known is the progressive one, easily known is the declining one. The lover of the Dhamma prospers. The hater of the Dhamma declines.
3. We understand this as explained (by thee); this is the first cause of his downfall. Tell us the second, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?
4. The vicious are dear to him. He likes not the virtuous; he approves the teachings of the ill-natured — this is the cause of his downfall.
5. We understand this as explained by thee; this is the second cause of his downfall. Tell us the third, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?
6. The man who is fond of sleep and company, inactive and lazy, and manifesting anger —this is the cause of his downfall.
7. We understand this as explained by thee; this is the third cause of his downfall. Tell us the fourth, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?
8. Whoever being affluent, does not support his mother and father who are old, and past their prime — this is the cause of his downfall.
9. We understand this as explained by thee; this is the fourth cause of his downfall. Tell us the fifth, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?
10. Whoever by falsehood deceives either a brahmana, or a samana (a holy man), or any other mendicant — this is the cause of his downfall.
11. We understand this as explained by thee; this is the fifth cause of his downfall. Tell us the six, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?
12. The person who is possessed of much wealth, who has gold, and who has an abundance of food, but enjoys his delicacies all by himself — this is the cause of his downfall.
13. We understand this as explained by thee; this is the sixth cause of his downfall. Tell us the seventh, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?
14. The man who, proud of his birth, of his wealth, and of his clan, despises his relations — this is the cause of his downfall.
15. We understand this as explained by thee; this is the seventh cause of his downfall. Tell us the eighth, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?
16. The man who is addicted to women (given to a life of debauchery), is a drunkard, a gambler, and a squanderer of his earnings — this is the cause of his downfall.
17. We understand this as explained by thee; this is the eighth cause of his downfall. Tell us the ninth, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?
18. Not satisfied with one's own wives,[2] he is seen among the whores and the wives of others — this is the cause of his downfall.
19. We understand this as explained by thee; this is the ninth cause of his downfall. Tell us the tenth, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?
20. A person past his youth takes as wife, a girl in her teens, and sleeps not being jealous of her[3] — this is the cause of his downfall.
21. We understand this as explained by thee; this is the tenth cause of his downfall. Tell us the eleventh, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?
22. He who places in authority a woman given to drink and squandering, or a man of similar nature — this is the cause of his downfall.
23. We understand this as explained by thee; this is the eleventh cause of his downfall. Tell us the twelfth, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?
24. He who having but little possessions but great ambition (greed), is of warrior birth and aspires selfishly to (an unattainable) sovereignty — this is the cause of his downfall.
25. Fully realizing these (twelve) causes of downfall in the world, the sage, endowed with ariyan insight, shares a realm of security (Nibbana).
Notes
2.
Apparently during the Buddha's time, in Indian society, a man could legally have more than one wife if he could maintain them. Kings had harems. What was prohibited was illegal sexual relations.
3.
By reason of his anxiety as to whether she would long for young men in preference to him. Comy.
VII. Vasala Sutta: Discourse on Outcasts
translated by Piyadassi Thera
Thus have I heard:
On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Savatthi at Jetavana at Anathapindika's monastery. Then in the forenoon the Blessed One having dressed himself, took bowl and (double) robe, and entered the city of Savatthi for alms. Now at that time a fire was burning, and an offering was being prepared in the house of the brahman Aggikabharadvaja. Then the Blessed One, while on his alms round, came to the brahman's residence. The brahman seeing the Blessed One some way off, said this: "Stay there, you shaveling, stay there you wretched monk, stay there you outcast." When he spoke thus the Blessed One said to the brahman: "Do you know, brahman, who an outcast is and what the conditions are that make an outcast?" "No, indeed, Venerable Gotama, I do not know who an outcast is nor the conditions that make an outcast. It is good if Venerable Gotama were to explain the Dhamma to me so that I may know who an outcast is and what the conditions are that make an outcast."[1]
"Listen then, brahman, and pay attention, I will speak."
"Yes, Venerable Sir," replied the brahman.
1. "Whosoever is angry, harbors hatred, and is reluctant to speak well of others (discredits the good of others), perverted in views, deceitful — know him as an outcast.
2. "Whosoever in this world kills living beings, once born or twice born,[2] in whom there is no sympathy for living beings — know him as an outcast.
3. "Whosoever destroys and besieges villages and hamlets and becomes notorious as an oppressor — know him as an outcast.
4. "Be it in the village, or in the forest, whosoever steals what belongs to others, what is not given to him — know him as an outcast.
5. "Whosoever having actually incurred a debt runs away when he is pressed to pay, saying, 'I owe no debt to you' — know him as an outcast.
6. "Whosoever coveting anything, kills a person going along the road, and grabs whatever that person has — know him as an outcast.
7. "He who for his own sake or for the sake of others or for the sake of wealth, utters lies when questioned as a witness — know him as an outcast.
8. "Whosoever by force or with consent associates with the wives of relatives or friends — know him as an outcast.
9. "Whosoever being wealthy supports not his mother and father who have grown old — know him as an outcast.
10. "Whosoever strikes and annoys by (harsh) speech, mother, father, brother, sister or mother-in-law or father-in-law — know him as an outcast.
11. "Whosoever when questioned about what is good, says what is detrimental, and talks in an evasive manner- know him as an outcast.
12. "Whosoever having committed an evil deed, wishes that it may not be known to others, and commits evil in secret — know him as an outcast.
13. "Whosoever having gone to another's house, and partaken of choice food, does not honor that host by offering food when he repays the visit — know him as an outcast.
14. "Whosoever deceives by uttering lies, a brahman or an ascetic, or any other mendicant — know him as an outcast.
15. "Whosoever when a brahman or ascetic appears during mealtime angers him by harsh speech, and does not offer him (any alms) — know him as an outcast.
16. "Whosoever in this world, shrouded in ignorance, speaks harsh words (asatam) or falsehood[3] expecting to gain something — know him as an outcast.
17. "Whosoever debased by his pride, exalts himself and belittles other — know him as an outcast.
18. "Whosoever is given to anger, is miserly, has base desires, and is selfish, deceitful, shameless and fearless (in doing evil) — know him as an outcast.
19. "Whosoever reviles the Enlightened One (the Buddha), or a disciple of the Buddha, recluse or a householder — know him as an outcast.
20. "Whosoever not being an arahant, a Consummate One, pretends to be so, is a thief in the whole universe — he is the lowest of outcasts.
21. "Not by birth is one an outcast; not by birth is one a brahman. By deed one becomes an outcast, by deed one becomes a brahman.
22. "Know ye by the example I now cite (the fact that by birth one is not an outcast). There was an outcast's son, Sopaka, who became known as Matanga.
23. "This Matanga attained the highest fame so difficult to gain. Many were the warriors (kshatriyas) and brahmans who went to attend on him.
24. "Mounting the celestial chariot (the Noble Eightfold path, and driving) along the passion-free high road, (Sopaka, now a monk), reached the Brahma realm having given up sense desires.
25. "His (lowly) birth did not prevent him from being reborn in the Brahma realm. There are brahmans born in the family of preceptors, kinsmen of (veda) hymns.
26. "They are often seen committing evil deeds. In this life itself they are despised, in the next they are born in an evil state of existence. High birth does not prevent them from falling into a woeful state, or from censure.
27. "Not by birth is one an outcast; not by birth is one a brahman. By deed one becomes an outcast, by deed one becomes an brahman."
When the Buddha had thus spoken, the Brahman Aggikabharadvaja said to the Blessed One: "Excellent, O Venerable Gotama, excellent! Just as, O Venerable Gotama, a man were to set upright what had been overturned, or were to reveal what had been hidden, or were to point the way to one who had gone astray, or were to hold an oil lamp in the dark so that those with eyes may see things, even so in many ways has the Venerable Gotama expounded the Dhamma, the doctrine. I take refuge in the Venerable Gotama, the Dhamma, and the Sangha, the Order. May the Venerable Gotama accept me as a lay follower who has taken refuge from this day onwards while life lasts."
Notes
1.
The abusive terms used by the brahman and the respectful address that follows need a word of explanation. The brahman had just prepared his offering to the great Brahma, his God, when his eyes fell on Buddha. To the brahman the sight of a samana, a shaven-headed recluse, was an unlucky sign. Hence he burst into angry words. The Buddha, however, was unruffled and spoke to him quietly in words of soft cadence. The brahman apparently was ashamed, and repenting of his folly, addressed the Buddha courteously. Comy. It is interesting to note the Buddha's stress on anger and hatred in his very first stanza.
2.
dvijam, birds. Twice-born is a reference to birds since they first come out as an egg, and when hatched a complete bird is born.
3.
asantamtipi patho, SnA.
VIII. Karaniya Metta Sutta: Good Will
This is to be done by one skilled in aims
who wants to break through to the state of peace:
Be capable, upright, & straightforward,
easy to instruct, gentle, & not conceited,
content & easy to support,
with few duties, living lightly,
with peaceful faculties, masterful,
modest, & no greed for supporters.
Do not do the slightest thing
that the wise would later censure.
Think: Happy, at rest,
may all beings be happy at heart.
Whatever beings there may be,
weak or strong, without exception,
long, large,
middling, short,
subtle, blatant,
seen & unseen,
near & far,
born & seeking birth:
May all beings be happy at heart.
Let no one deceive another
or despise anyone anywhere,
or through anger or irritation
wish for another to suffer.
As a mother would risk her life
to protect her child, her only child,
even so should one cultivate a limitless heart
with regard to all beings.
With good will for the entire cosmos,
cultivate a limitless heart:
Above, below, & all around,
unobstructed, without enmity or hate.
Whether standing, walking,
sitting, or lying down,
as long as one is alert,
one should be resolved on this mindfulness.
This is called a sublime abiding
here & now.
Not taken with views,
but virtuous & consummate in vision,
having subdued desire for sensual pleasures,
one never again
will lie in the womb.
X. Alavaka Sutta: To the Alavaka Yakkha
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Alavi in the haunt of the Alavaka yakkha. Then the Alavaka yakkha went to the Blessed One and on arrival said to him: "Get out, contemplative!"
[Saying,] "All right, my friend," the Blessed One went out.
"Come in, contemplative!"
[Saying,] "All right, my friend," the Blessed One went in.
A second time... A third time, the Alavaka yakkha said to the Blessed One, "Get out, contemplative!"
[Saying,] "All right, my friend," the Blessed One went out.
"Come in, contemplative!"
[Saying,] "All right, my friend," the Blessed One went in.
Then a fourth time, the Alavaka yakkha said to the Blessed One, "Get out, contemplative!"
"I won't go out, my friend. Do what you have to do."
"I will ask you a question, contemplative. If you can't answer me, I will possess your mind or rip open your heart or, grabbing you by the feet, hurl you across the Ganges."
"My friend, I see no one in the cosmos with its devas, Maras & Brahmas, its contemplatives & brahmans, its royalty & commonfolk, who could possess my mind or rip open my heart or, grabbing me by the feet, hurl me across the Ganges. But nevertheless, ask me what you wish."
[Alavaka:]
What is a person's highest wealth?
What, when well-practiced, brings bliss?
What is the highest of savors?
Living in what way
is one's life called the best?

[The Buddha:]
Conviction is a person's highest wealth.
Dhamma, when well-practiced, brings bliss.
Truth is the highest of savors.[1]
Living with discernment,
one's life is called best.
[Alavaka:]
How does one cross over the flood?
How cross over the sea?
How does one overcome suffering & stress?
How is a person purified?
[The Buddha:]
Through conviction one crosses over the flood.
Through heedfulness, the sea.
Through persistence one overcomes
suffering & stress.
Through discernment a person is purified.
[Alavaka:]
How does one gain discernment?
How does one find wealth?
How does one attain honor?
How bind friends to oneself?
Passing from this world
to
the next world,
how does one not grieve?
[The Buddha:]
Convinced of the arahants' Dhamma
for attaining Unbinding,
— heedful, observant —
one listening well
gains discernment.
Doing what's fitting,
enduring burdens,
one with initiative
finds wealth.
Through truth
one attains honor.
Giving
binds friends to oneself.
Endowed with these four qualities,
— truth,
self-control,
stamina,
relinquishment —
a householder of conviction,
on passing away, doesn't grieve.
Now, go ask others,
common brahmans & contemplatives,
if anything better than
truth,
self-control,
endurance,
& relinquishment
here can be found.
[Alavaka:]
How could I go ask
common brahmans & contemplatives? —
now that today I understand
what benefits
the next life.
It was truly for my well-being
that the Awakened One came
to stay in Alavi.
Today I understand
where what is given
bears great fruit.
I will wander from village to village,
town to town,
paying homage to the Self-awakened One
& the true rightness of the Dhamma.
Note
1.
This is apparently a reference to the concept of "savor" (rasa) in Indian aesthetic theory. For more on this topic, see the Introduction to Dhammapada: A Translation.
XI. Vijaya Sutta: Victory
Whether walking, standing,
sitting, or lying down,
it flexes & stretches:
this is the body's movement.
Joined together with tendons & bones,
plastered over with muscle & skin,
hidden by complexion,
the body isn't seen
for what it is:
filled with intestines, filled with stomach,
with the lump of the liver,
bladder, lungs, heart,
kidneys, spleen,
mucus, sweat, saliva, fat,
blood, synovial fluid, bile, & oil.
On top of that,
in nine streams,
filth is always flowing from it:
from the eyes : eye secretions,
from the ears : ear secretions,
from the nose : mucus,
from the mouth : now vomit,
now phlegm,
now bile.
from the body : beads of sweat.
And on top of that,
its hollow head is filled with brains.
The fool, beset by ignorance,
thinks it beautiful.
But when it lies dead,
swollen, livid,
cast away in a charnel ground,
even relatives don't care for it.
Dogs feed on it,
jackals, wolves, & worms.
Crows & vultures feed on it,
along with any other animals there.
Having heard the Awakened One's words,
the discerning monk
comprehends, for he sees it
for what it is:
"As this is, so is that.
As that, so this."
Within & without,
he should let desire for the body
fade away.
With desire & passion faded away,
the discerning monk arrives here:
at the deathless,
the calm,
the undying state
of Unbinding.
This two-footed, filthy, evil-smelling,
filled-with-various-carcasses,
oozing-out-here-&-there body:
Whoever would think,
on the basis of a body like this,
to exalt himself or disparage another:
What is that
if not blindness?
XII. Muni Sutta: The Sage
Danger is born from intimacy,[1]
society gives birth to dust.[2]
Free from intimacy,
free from society:
such is the vision of the sage.
Who, destroying what's born
wouldn't plant again
or nourish what will arise:
They call him the wandering, singular sage.
He has seen the state of peace.
Considering the ground,
crushing the seed,
he wouldn't nourish the sap[3]
— truly a sage —
seer of the ending of birth,
abandoning conjecture,
he cannot be classified.
Knowing all dwellings,[4]
not longing for any one anywhere
— truly a sage —
with no coveting, without greed,
he does not build,[5]
for he has gone beyond.
Overcoming all
knowing all,
wise.
With regard to all things:
unsmeared. Abandoning all,
in the ending of craving,
released:
The enlightened call him a sage.
Strong in discernment,
virtuous in his practices,
centered,
delighting in jhana,
mindful,
freed from attachments,
no constraints :: no fermentations:[6]
The enlightened call him a sage.
The wandering solitary sage,
uncomplacent, unshaken by praise or blame.
Unstartled, like a lion at sounds.
Unsnared, like the wind in a net.
Unsmeared, like a lotus in water.
Leader of others, by others unled:
The enlightened call him a sage.
Like the pillar at a bathing ford,[7]
when others speak in extremes.
He, without passion,
his senses well-centered:
The enlightened call him a sage.
Truly poised, straight as a shuttle,[8]
he loathes evil actions.
Pondering what is on-pitch and off:[9]
The enlightened call him a sage.
Self-restrained, he does no evil.
Young and middle-aged,
the sage self-controlled,
never angered, he angers none:
The enlightened call him a sage.
From the best
the middling
the leftovers
he receives alms.
Sustaining himself on what others give,
neither flattering
nor speaking disparagement:
The enlightened call him a sage.
The wandering sage
abstaining from sex,
in youth bound by no one,
abstaining from intoxication[10]
complacency
totally apart:
The enlightened call him a sage.
Knowing the world,
seeing the highest goal,
crossing the ocean,[11] the flood,[12]
— Such — [13]
his chains broken,
unattached
without fermentation:
The enlightened call him a sage.
These two are different,
they dwell far apart:
the householder supporting a wife
and the unselfish one, of good practices.
Slaying other beings, the householder
is unrestrained.
Constantly the sage protects other beings,
is controlled.
As the crested,
blue-necked peacock,
when flying,
never matches
the wild goose
in speed:
Even so the householder
never keeps up with the monk,
the sage secluded,
doing jhana
in the forest.
Notes
1.
Dangers in intimacy: Craving and views.
2.
Dust: Passion, aversion, and delusion.
3.
Ground, seed, and sap: The khandhas (body, feelings, perceptions, thought formations, and consciousness), sense spheres, and elements form the ground in which grows the seed of constructive consciousness — the consciousness that develops into states of being and birth. The sap of this seed is craving and views.
4.
Dwellings: States of becoming and birth.
5.
He does not build: He performs none of the good or bad deeds that give rise to further states of becoming and birth.
6.
No fermentations (asava): He has none of the forms of defilement — sensual desire, views, states of becoming, or ignorance — that "flow out" of the mind and give rise to the flood of the cycle of death and rebirth.
7.
The pillar at a bathing ford: The Cullavagga (V.l) describes this as an immovable pillar, standing quite tall and buried deep in the ground near a bathing place, against which young villagers and boxers would rub their bodies while bathing so as to toughen them. The "extremes" in which others speak, according to the Commentary, are extremes of praise and criticism: These leave the sage, like the pillar, unmoved.
8.
Straight as a shuttle: Having a mind unprejudiced by favoritism, dislike, delusion, or fear.
9.
On-pitch and off (sama and visama): Throughout ancient cultures, the terminology of music was used to describe the moral quality of people and acts. Discordant intervals or poorly-tuned musical instruments were metaphors for evil; harmonious intervals and well-tuned instruments were metaphors for good. In Pali, the term sama — "even" — described an instrument tuned on-pitch: There is a famous passage where the Buddha reminds Sona Kolivisa — who had been over-exerting himself in the practice — that a lute sounds appealing only if the strings are neither too taut or too lax, but 'evenly' tuned. This image would have special resonances with the Buddha's teaching on the middle way. It also adds meaning to the term samana — monk or contemplative — which the texts frequently mention as being derived from sama. The word samañña — "evenness," the quality of being in tune — also means the quality of being a contemplative. This concept plays an important role in the Instructions to Rahula, below. The true contemplative is always in tune with what is proper and good.
10.
Intoxication: The three intoxications are intoxication with youth, with good health, and with life.
11.
Ocean: The way defilement splashes into undesirable destinations (so says the Commentary).
12.
Flood: The flow of defilement: sensual desires, views, states of becoming, and ignorance.
13.
Such: Unchanging; unaffected by anything.
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