|←Brahmajala Sutta||Sàmañña-Phàla Sutta , translated by T. W. Rhys Davids
Sutta 2 of the Digha Nikaya
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The first Dialogue deals with the most fundamental conceptions that lay at the root of the Buddha's doctrine, his Dharma, his ethical and philosophical view of life; the second puts forth his justification for the foundation of the Order, for the enunciation of the Vinaya, the practical rules of canon law by which life in the Order is regulated. The Rules themselves are not discussed. It is only certain ethical precepts that are referred to in so many words. The question is a larger and wider one than the desirability of any particular injunction. It is as to the advantage, as to the use, of having any Order at all.
King Ajàtasattu of Magadha, after pointing out the advantages derived from their occupations by a long list of ordinary people in the world, asks whether the members of the Order, who have given up the world, derive any corresponding advantage, visible in this life, from theirs. The answer is a list of such advantages, arranged in an ascending scale of importance, each one mentioned being said to be better and sweeter than the one just before described.
The list of ordinary occupations given in the question is interesting evidence, especially as compared with the later lists of a similar kind referred to in the notes, of social conditions in the Ganges valley at the time when this Dialogue was composed. And the introductory story, in which the king explains how he had put a similar question to the founders of six other orders, and gives the six replies he received, is interesting evidence of the views held by the authors of the Dialogue as to beliefs current at the time.
The replies are no less interesting from the fact, pointed out by the king, that they are not to the point. Each of the six teachers goes off into a general statement of his theory instead of answering the question put. But as the works, if any, of all these teachers save one (Nigaõñha Nàta-putta) have been irretrievably lost, the summary here given of their doctrines is of great importance as evidence of the sort of speculation they favoured. The six paragraphs are short and obscure, and this is just what we should expect. As is the case with the accounts given by early Catholic writers of opinions they held to be heretical, the versions of these six sets of belief are neither adequate nor clear. But a number of other references to these six theories are found, as pointed out in the notes, both in the Buddhist and in the Jain records. And it would be premature to discuss our six paragraphs until the whole of the available evidence is made accessible to scholars. It is noteworthy that in at least two of these answers some of the expressions used seem to be in a Pràkrit differing in dialect from the Pàli of the Piñakas. And these are not the only instances of the preservation in the Piñakas of ancient dialectical varieties.
The answer which the Buddha is represented to have given, in his turn, to the question raised by the king, takes (as is so often the case) the form of a counter-question. 'The very man whom, under ordinary circumstances, you would treat as slave or servant; what treatment would you mete out to him after he had joined an Order?' The king confesses that he would treat him as a person worthy of honour and respect. And neither in question nor answer is there any reference specially to the Buddhist Order. It is taken for granted, alike by the Buddha and the king, that any one who had devoted himself to the religious life, whatever the views or opinions he held, or the association he had joined, would, in accordance with the remarkable tolerance of that age and country, be treated with equal respect and courtesy. And the same note runs all through the Dialogue. The Buddha shows the advantages of the 'life of a recluse,' not necessarily of a follower of his own. And most of what he says would apply as much to his strongest opponents as to the members of his own Order.
The following, in a constantly ascending order of merit, are the advantages, visible in this life, which he claims for such a recluse:
- 1. The honour and respect shown to a member of a religious order.
- 2. The training in all those lower kinds of mere morality set out in the very ancient document called 'The Sãlas.' The importance of this document has been discussed above, in the Introduction to the Brahmajàla. The details of it may be summarised here as follows:
- a. Mercy and kindness to all living things; Section 43
- b. Honesty.
- c. Chastity.
- d. Truthfulness, peacefulness, courtesy, and good sense in speech; Section 44.
- e. Abstinence from luxury of twelve different kinds, and
freedom from trickery and violence; Section 45.
- f. Not injuring plants; Section 46.
- g. Not laying up treasure, of seven kinds; Section 47.
- h. Not frequenting shows, of twenty-six specified kinds; Section 48.
- i Not playing games, eighteen being mentioned by name; Section 49.
- j Not using luxurious rugs, &c., of twenty different kinds; Section 50.
- k. Not using toilet luxuries, of which twenty-two are specified; Section 51.
- l. Not talking vain things, of which twenty-seven instances are given; Section 52.
- m. Not using sophistical and rude phrases when talking of higher things; Section 53.
- n. Not acting as go-between; Section 54.
- o. Not practising trickery and mystery under the guise of religion; Section 55
- p Not gaining a living by low arts, such as auguries (Section 56);
advising as to the best sorts of various things (Section 57); prophesying as to war and its results (Section 58); astrology (Section 59); foretelling famine or plague or the reverse (Section 60); arranging marriages, using spells, or worshipping gods (Section 61); various sorts of medical trickery (Section 62).
- 3. The confidence of heart, absence of fear, resulting from the consciousness of right doing; Section 63.
- 4 The habit of keeping guarded the door of his senses; Section 64.
- 5 The constant self-possession he thus gains; Section 65.
- 6. The power of being content with little, with simplicity of life; Section 66.
- 7. The emancipation of heart from the Five Hindrances to self-mastery—covetousness, ill-temper, laziness, worry and flurry, and perplexity; Section 68-74.
- 8. The joy and peace that, as a result of the sense of this emancipation, fills his whole being; Section 75.
- 9. The practice of the Four Jhànas; Section 75-82.
- 10. The insight arising from knowledge (¤àõa-dassana); Section 83, 84.
- 11. The power of projecting mental images; Section 85, 86.
- 12. The five modes of mystic insight (abhi¤¤à); Section 87-96
- a. The practice of iddhi.
- b. The Heavenly Ear—hearing heavenly sounds.
- c. Knowledge of others' thoughts.
- d. Memory of his own previous births.
- e. Knowledge of other people's previous births (the Heavenly Eye).
- 13. The realisation of the Four Truths, the destruction of the âsavas, and attainment of Arahatship; Section 97, 98.
Now it is perfectly true that of these thirteen consecutive propositions, or groups of propositions, it is only the last, No. 13, which is exclusively Buddhist. But the things omitted, the union of the whole of those included into one system, the order in which the ideas are arranged, the way in which they are treated as so many steps of a ladder whose chief value depends on the fact that it leads up to the culminating point of Nirvàõa in Arahatship—all this is also distinctively Buddhist. And further, the whole statement, the details of it, the order of it, must have soaked very thoroughly into the minds of the early Buddhists. For we find the whole, or nearly the whole, of it repeated (with direct reference by name to our Sutta as the oldest and most complete enumeration of it) not only in all the subsequent dialogues translated in this volume, but also in many others.
In these repetitions the order is always the same, and the details (so far as they occur) are the same. But one or other of the thirteen groups is often omitted, and the application of those of them that remain is always different—that is to say, they are enumerated in support, or in illustration, of a different proposition.
A comparison of some of these other applications of the list is full of suggestion as to its real meaning here.
In the Ambaññha the point is as to caste. The Kshatriya caste is the most honourable, but wisdom and conduct are higher still. What then is the right conduct, what the right wisdom? The conduct (caraõa) is all the above paragraphs from 2-9 inclusive; the wisdom (vijjà) is the rest, 10-13.
In the Soõadaõóa the question is: 'What is the true Brahman?' After, by his usual Socratic method, leading Soõadaõóa to acknowledge that the only two essential requisites are goodness and intelligence, these last are explained as above (2-9 and 10-13).
In the Kåñadanta the question is as to the right sort of sacrifice. After rejecting animal sacrifice we have generosity (of various kinds, each better than the last), faith, training in the precepts, and 2-13, set forth as each of them a better sacrifice than the last.
In the Jàliya the question is whether the soul is the same as, or is other than, the body. The answer is a counter question. Repeating our sections 2-13 (omitting 11 and 12) the Buddha asks, at the end of each subdivision, whether men who do that would be likely to trouble themselves as to speculations about the soul? And the answer being, of course, 'No,' rejoins that neither does he.
In the Poññhapàda the question is as to the way in which various recluses attain to mystic trance. The Buddha's answer is that it is by training; and the training should be first in morals (our groups 2 and 3) then in the things mentioned in our groups 4-9, and then in the Four Aråpa Vimokkhas. The Dialogue then takes up other questions, omitting our groups 10-13.
In the Kevaóóha the talk is on miracles, mystic powers. And the Buddha, disparaging all others, calls attention to our groups 2-13.
In the Lohicca the question is as to who is the right sort of teacher; and the answer is that it is the one whose pupil carries out our groups 2-13.
In the Tevijja the question is as to the way by which one can attain to union with God (brahmà-sahavyatà). The answer gives our groups 1-8, and then adds the four brahma-vihàras.
In the shorter of the two Hatthipadopama Suttas (No. 27 in the Majjhima), the question discussed between a Brahman and an ascetic is as to the ascendancy of the Buddha over the other teachers of the time. The Buddha himself giving afterwards the full reason, repeats our group 2 (omitting however clauses f to p inclusive), then repeats our groups 6, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9) then omitting groups 10 and 11, quotes two only, the last two (omitting the first three) of the five Abhi¤¤às in group 12, and concludes with group 13 in full.
In the Mahà Taõhà-saïkhaya Sutta (No. 38 in the Majjhima), we have the same sequence—our group 2 (omitting f to p), then 6, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9. The rest is omitted.
In the next Sutta, the longer of the Assapuras, after a summary in different words of most of the contents of our group 2, we have our group 4 then two paragraphs not in our Sutta, then our groups 5, 7, 8, 9, and the last two only out of group 12, and then (as a climax) our group 13—all enumerated to show what is the true Brahman, the true samaõa.
Then again in the Sakuludàyi, No. 79 of the Majjhima, it is declared to be not for the sake of realising happiness that recluses take up the celibate life in the Order under the Buddha, but for the sake of those matters set forth in our groups 2-9 inclusive, of the two last of the Abhi¤¤às, and above all for the sake of the attainment of Arahatship.
Besides the differences pointed out above between the Suttas preserved in the Dãgha, and in the Majjhima, respectively—differences due, I think, solely to the difference in the subjects under discussion—there are also a few verbal differences, amounting to scarcely more than 'various readings,' due, perhaps, to the divergent traditions of the Dãgha bhàõakà and the Majjhima-bhàõakà (the students and repeaters of the two collections in which the Dialogues are handed down to us).
However this may be, it is clear that the sum and the sequence of the paragraphs in our Sutta is regarded as of great importance, not as a statement of Buddhist ethics, or of Buddhist philosophy, or of the Buddhist religion, but as a statement of the advantages that may be looked for as the result of life in an Order. And further that the statement has to be slightly modified and shortened when the question is the narrower one of life in the particular community which we call the Buddhist Order.
The difference is interesting—in the scheme for the Buddhist Order the ¤àõa-dassana, the power of projecting a mental image (apparently of oneself, which seems like the earliest germ of the modern Yoga ideas about, the astral body), the powers of iddhi, the power of hearing heavenly sounds (something like hearing the music of the spheres), and the power of knowing the thoughts of others, are all omitted.
In the abstract given above, I have called these last three, together with the power of calling to mind one's own, and other peoples', previous births, the Five Abhi¤¤às, or Intuitions. And this is in accord with the passages on which Childers's article sub voce is based. But these powers are not so called either in our text, or in any other Dialogue yet published. The use of the word abhi¤¤à in this technical sense would seem therefore (to judge from the published texts) to be a sign of the later date of the book in which it occurs. In the oldest portions of the Piñakas the word is always used in the general sense of insight, and if any special limitation is hinted at, it is simply the insight of Arahatship that is emphasised (as in Dhammapada 423, which is a quotation from Itivuttaka, No. 99, and is quoted also at Aïguttara I, 165 ).
The Eightfold Path is not mentioned in our Sutta. This is not merely because it is not possible always to mention everything. The Path does not come within the special advantages of life in the Order. To enter upon the Path to Arahatship, to walk along it, is not peculiar to members of the Order. A bhikshu might reach the goal either along that path, open also to laymen, or by the process set out in our Sutta. They are two quite distinct methods of training, of which our Sutta deals only with one.
It is essential, in order to understand Buddhist ethics, to bear in mind that there are (and must be in such a system) several different lines along which both speculation and edifying teaching run. These are:
- 1. The course of conduct laid down for the ordinary Buddhist layman, contained in the Gahapati-vaggas found in the various nikàyas
- 2. The rules as to the outward conduct of the members of the Order, laid down in the Pàñimokkha and in the Khandhakas
- 3. The system of self-training in higher things prescribed for members of the Order. Of this our present Sutta is a striking example.
- 4. The method of self-training laid down for those who have entered upon the Path to Arahatship. (The Four Truths, the Eightfold Path, and the âsavas.)
In the first of these Buddhism goes very little beyond the current ethics of the day. In the second a very great deal has been simply incorporated from the rules found expedient by previous recluses, both Brahman and non-Brahman, though there are numerous differences, both of the positive regulations included, and also of things deliberately omitted. Even the third, as we have seen, cannot be considered, except in a very limited sense, as exclusively Buddhist. It is in the fourth that the essential doctrines of Buddhism are to be found. All four have, no doubt, become welded together into a more or less consistent whole. But to understand the whole, the relation of its various parts has to be kept constantly in view.
This will explain an apparent contradiction. The last Sutta quoted, the Sakuludàyi, states that the aim of the religious or celibate life as led in the Buddha's Order, is the attainment, in order, of the various things set out in our Sutta (groups 2-9, 12 and 13).
Now in other passages other things are stated to be the aim.
Thus in the Saüyutta (IV, 51) the Buddha himself is represented as explaining that the celibate life (the brahmacariyà) is led by his followers for the sake of the complete understanding of pain (dukkha-pari¤¤à). Further on in the same book (VI, 253 = V, 6, 27) this is three times repeated, with the suggestive addition that there is one way to this, to wit, the Noble Eightfold Path.
Again, in the Aïguttara (IV, 7) the higher life is said to be for the sake of getting rid of, of cutting through, seven Bonds which prevent one from attaining Arahatship. The argument on pp. 88, 99 (though the word brahma-carinyà does not occur) comes to much the same thing. And further on in the same book (IV, 272) the object is stated to be for the sake of getting rid of five particular sorts of envy.
Nàgasena is therefore quite right when he says that the object of renouncing the world to live in the Order is for the sake of righteousness and peace; and in another place that it is to the end that sorrow may pass away . All these explanations belong to the Path, not to the rules of the Order. They are not really inconsistent with the other aim that our Sutta sets out. And they are only additional proof, if such were needed, that it is no more possible to sum up in a single phrase (as some writers have tried to do) the aim of Buddhism, or the object of life in the Order, than it would be to sum up in a similar way the aim of Christianity, or the object for which men enter a Christian Order. The aims are necessarily as various as the character and circumstances of the various individuals who take them up. And Nàgasena does not hesitate to add—and to add in speaking to a king—that some had joined the Order in terror at the tyranny of kings, some in fear of robbers, some because they were harassed by debt, and some perhaps merely to gain a livelihood.
This also would apply to other Orders both in India and elsewhere, and is quite consistent with our Sutta, which only purports to set forth the advantages the early Buddhists held to be the likely results of joining, from whatever motive, such an Order as their own.
The Fruits of the Life of a Recluse
1. Thus have I heard. The Blessed One was once dwelling at Ràjagaha in the Mango Grove of Jãvaka the children's physician, with a great company of the brethren, with twelve hundred and fifty of the brethren. Now at that time the king of Magadha, Ajàtasattu, the son of the Videha princess, on the Uposatha day, held on the fifteenth, on Komudi (white water-lily), the full moon day of the fourth month,  at night, when the moon was full, was seated on the upper terrace roof of his palace surrounded by his ministers. And the king, on that sacred day, gave utterance to a hymn of joy, saying:
'How pleasant, friends, is the moonlight night!
How beautiful, friends, is the moonlight night!
How lovely, friends, is the moonlight night!
How soothing, friends, is the moonlight night!
How grand a sign, friends, is the moonlight night!
'Who is the recluse or Brahman whom we may call upon tonight, who, when we call upon him, shall be able to satisfy our hearts?
2. When he had thus spoken, a certain minister said to the king: 'There is, Sire, Påraõa Kassapa, the head of an order, of a following, the teacher of a school, well-known and of repute as a sophist, revered by the people, a man of experience, who has long been a recluse, old and well stricken in years. Let your Majesty pay a visit to him. It may well be that, on calling upon him, your heart, Sire, shall find peace.' But when he had thus spoken, Ajàtasattu the king kept silence.
3-7. Then other five ministers spake in the same terms of Makkhali of the cow-pen, of Ajita of the garment of hair, of pakudha Kaccàyana, of Sa¤jaya of the Belaññha clan, and of the Nigaõñha of the Nàta clan. And still, to each, Ajàtasattu the king kept silence.
8. Now at that time Jãvaka the physician was seated, in silence, not far from Ajàtasattu the king. And the king said to him: 'But you, friend Jãvaka, why do you say nothing?'
'The Blessed One, Sire, the Arahat, the all-awakened one, is now lodging in our Mango Grove, with a great company of the brethren, with twelve hundred and fifty brethren. And this is the good report that has been noised abroad as to Gotama the Blessed One: "An Arahat, fully awakened, is the exalted One, abounding in wisdom and goodness, happy, with knowledge of the worlds, unsurpassed as a guide to mortals willing to be led, the teacher of gods and men, a blessed Buddha." Let your Majesty pay a visit to him. It may well be that, on calling upon him, your heart, Sire, shall find peace.'
'Then, friend Jãvaka, have the riding-elephants made ready.'
9. 'Very good, Sire!' said Jãvaka the physician in assent to the words of the king. And he had five hundred she-elephants made ready, and the state elephant the king was wont to ride, and had word brought to the king: 'The elephants, Sire, are caparisoned. Do now what seemeth to you meet.' Then the king had five hundred of his women mounted on the she-elephants, one on each; and himself mounted the state elephant; and he went forth, the attendants bearing torches, in royal pomp, from Ràjagaha to Jãvaka the physician's Mango Grove.
10. And the king, when close upon the Mango Grove, was seized with a sudden fear and consternation, and the hairs on his body stood erect. And anxious and excited, he said to Jãvaka: 'You are playing me no tricks, Jãvaka? You are not deceiving me? You are not betraying me to my foes? How can it be that there should be no sound at all, not a sneeze nor a cough, in so large an assembly of the brethren, among twelve hundred and fifty of the brethren?
'Fear not, O king I play no trick, neither deceive you; nor would I betray you to the foe. Go on, O king, go straight on! There, in the pavilion hall, the lamps are burning.'
11. Then the king went on, on his elephant as far as the path was passable for elephants, and then on foot, to the door of the pavilion; and then said to Jãvaka: 'But where, Jãvaka, is the Blessed One?'
'That is he, O king, sitting against the middle pillar, and facing the East, with the brethren around him.
12. Then the king went up, and stood respectfully on one side. And as he stood there and looked on the assembly, seated in perfect silence, calm as a clear lake, he broke out: 'Would that my son, Udàyi Bhadda, might have such calm as this assembly of the brethren now has!'
'Do your thoughts then go where love guides them?'
'I love the boy, and wish that he, Udàyi Bhadda, might enjoy such calm as this assembly has.'
13. Then the king bowed to the Blessed One, and stretching forth his joined palms in salutation to the Order took his seat aside, and said to the Blessed One: 'I would fain question the Blessed One on a certain matter, if he give me opportunity to set forth the question.'
'Ask, O king, whatsoever you desire.'
14. 'There are, Sir, a number of ordinary crafts mahouts, horsemen, charioteers, archers, standard bearers, camp marshalls, camp followers, high military officers of royal birth, military scouts, men brave as elephants, champions, heroes, warriors in buckskin, home-born slaves, cooks, barbers, bath attendants, confectioners, garland-makers, washermen, weavers, basket-makers, potters, arithmeticians, accountants, and whatsoever others of like kind there may be. All these enjoy, in this very world, the visible fruits of their craft. They maintain themselves, and their parents and children and friends, in happiness and comfort. They keep up gift, the object of which is gain on high, to recluses and Brahmans—gifts that lead to rebirth in heaven, that redound to happiness, and have bliss as their result. Can you, Sir, declare to me any such immediate fruit, visible in this very world, of the life of a recluse?'
15. 'Do you admit to us, O king, that you have put the same question to other recluses or to Brahmans'
'I do, Lord.'
'Then tell us how they answered it, if you do not mind.'
'I have no objection where the Blessed One, or others like him, are.'
'Then speak, O king.'
16. 'Once I went to Påraõa Kassapa. And after exchanging with him the greetings and compliments of friendship and courtesy, I seated myself beside him, and put to him the same question as I have now put, Lord, to you.
17. 'Then Påraõa Kassapa said to me: "To him who acts, O king, or causes another to act, to him who mutilates or causes another to mutilate, to him who punishes or causes another to punish, to him who causes grief or torment, to him who trembles or causes others to tremble, to him who kills a living creature, who takes what is not given, who breaks into houses, who commits dacoity, or robbery, or highway robbery, or adultery, or who speaks lies, to him thus acting there is no guilt. If with a discus with an edge sharp as a razor he should make all the living creatures on the earth one heap, one mass, of flesh, there would be no guilt thence resulting, no increase of guilt would ensue. Were he to go along the south bank of the Ganges striking and slaying, mutilating and having men mutilated, oppressing and having men oppressed, there would be no guilt thence resulting, no increase of guilt would ensue. Were he to go along the north bank of the Ganges giving alms, and ordering gifts to be given, offering sacrifices or causing them to be offered, there would be no merit thence resulting no increase of merit. In generosity, in self-mastery, in control of the senses, in speaking truth there is neither merit, nor increase of merit." Thus, Lord, did Påraõa Kassapa, when asked what was the immediate advantage in the life of a recluse, expound his theory of non-action, just, Lord, as if a man, when asked what a mango was, should explain what a bread fruit is, just so did Påraõa Kassapa, when asked what was the fruit, in this present state of being, of the life of a recluse, expound his theory of non-action. Then, Lord, it occurred to me: "How should such a one as I think of giving dissatisfaction to any recluse or Brahman in my realm?" So I neither applauded nor blamed what he said, and though dissatisfied I gave utterance to no expression of dissatisfaction, and neither accepting nor rejecting that answer of his, I arose from my seat, and departed thence.
19. ['In the same manner I went to five other teachers, and receiving to this same question put an answer not to the point, I behaved in each case as just set forth. And the answers of the five were thus:
20. 'When one day I had thus asked Makkhali of the cow-pen, he said: "There is, O king, no cause, either ultimate or remote, for the depravity of beings; they become depraved without reason and without cause. There is no cause, either proximate or remote, for the rectitude of beings; they become pure without reason and without cause. The attainment of any given condition, of any character, does not depend either on one's own acts, or on the acts of another, or on human effort. There is no such thing as power or energy, or human strength or human vigour. All animals, all creatures (with one, two, or more senses), all beings (produced from eggs or in a womb), all souls (in plants) are without force and power and energy of their own. They are bent this way and that by their fate, by the necessary conditions of the class to which they belong, by their individual nature: and it is according to their position in one or other of the six classes that they experience ease or pain.
'"There are fourteen hundred thousands of the principal sorts of birth, and again six thousand others, and again six hundred. There are five hundred sorts of karma, and again five (according to the five senses), and again three (according to act, word, and thought); and there is a whole karma and a half karma (the whole being a karma of act or word, the half, a karma of thought).
'"There are sixty-two paths (or modes of conduct), sixty-two periods, six classes (or distinctions among men), eight stages of a prophet's existence, forty-nine hundred sorts of occupation, forty-nine hundred sorts of wandering mendicants, forty-nine hundred regions dwelt in by Nàgas, two thousand faculties, three thousand purgatories, thirty-six places where dust accumulates, seven sorts of animate and seven of inanimate production, and seven of production by grafting, seven sorts of gods, and of men, and of devils, and of great lakes, and seven principal and again seven hundred minor sorts of Pacuñas of precipices, and of dreams.
'"There are eighty-four hundred thousand periods during which both fools and wise alike, wandering in transmigration, shall at last make an end of pain. Though the wise should hope: 'By this virtue or this performance of duty, or this penance, or this righteousness will I make the karma (I have inherited), that is not yet mature, mature'—though the fool should hope, by the same means, to get gradually rid of karma that has matured—neither of them can do it. The ease and pain, measured out, as it were, with a measure, cannot be altered in the course of transmigration, there can be neither increase nor decrease thereof, neither excess nor deficiency. Just as when a ball of string is cast forth it will spread out just as far, and no farther, than it can unwind, just so both fools and wise alike, wandering in transmigration exactly for the allotted term, shall then, and only then, make an end of pain."
'Thus, Lord, did Makkhali of the cow-pen, when asked what was the immediate advantage in the life of a recluse, expound his theory of purification through transmigration.
23. 'When, one day, I had thus asked Ajita of the garment of hair, he said:
'"There is no such thing, O king, as alms or sacrifice or offering. There is neither fruit nor result of good or evil deeds. There is no such thing as this world or the next. There is neither father nor mother, nor beings springing into life without them. There are in the world no recluses or Brahmans who have reached the highest point, who walk perfectly, and who having understood and realised, by themselves alone, both this world and the next, make their wisdom known to others.
'"A human being is built up of the four elements. When he dies the earthy in him returns and relapses to the earth, the fluid to the water, the heat to the fire, the windy to the air, and his faculties pass into space. The four bearers, on the bier as a fifth, take his dead body away; till they reach the burning-ground men utter forth eulogies, but there his bones are bleached, and his offerings end in ashes. It is a doctrine of fools, this talk of gifts. It is an empty lie, mere idle talk, when men say there is profit therein. Fools and wise alike, on the dissolution of the body, are cut off, annihilated, and after death they are not."
'Thus, Lord, did Ajita of the garment of hair, when asked what was the immediate advantage in the life of a recluse, expound his theory of annihilation.
26. 'When, one day, I had thus asked Pakudha Kaccàyana, he said, "The following seven things, O king, are neither made nor commanded to be made, neither created nor caused to be created, they are barren (so that nothing is produced out of them), stedfast as a mountain peak, as a pillar firmly fixed. They move not, neither do they vary, they trench not one upon another, nor avail aught as to ease or pain or both. And what are the seven? The four elements—earth, water, fire, and air—and ease, and pain, and the soul as a seventh. So there is neither slayer nor causer of slaying, hearer or speaker, knower or explainer. When one with a sharp sword cleaves a head in twain, no one thereby deprives any one of life, a sword has only penetrated into the interval between seven elementary substances."
'Thus, Lord, did Pakudha Kaccàyana, when asked what was the immediate advantage in the life of a recluse, expound the matter by expounding something else.
28. 'When, one day, I had thus asked the Nigaõñha of the Nàta clan, he said: "A Nigaõñha, O king (a man free from bonds), is restrained with a fourfold self-restraint. He lives restrained as regards all water; restrained as regards all evil; all evil has he washed away; and he lives suffused with the sense of evil held at bay. Such is his fourfold self-restraint. And since he is thus tied with this fourfold bond, therefore is he, the Nigaõñha (free from bonds), called Gatatto (whose heart has gone; that is, to the summit, to the attainment, of his aim) Yatatto (whose heart is kept down; that is, is under command), and òhitatto (whose heart is fixed )."
'Thus, Lord, did the Nigaõñha of the Nàta clan, when asked what was the immediate advantage in the life of a recluse, expound his theory of the fourfold bond.
31. 'When, one day, I had thus asked Sa¤jaya of the Belaññha clan, he said: "If you ask me whether there is another world—well, if I thought there were, I would say so. But I don't say so. And I don't think it is thus or thus. And I don't think it is otherwise. And I don't deny it. And I don't say there neither is nor is not, another world. And if you ask me about the beings produced by chance; or whether there is any fruit, any result, of good or bad actions; or whether a man who has won the truth continues, or not, after death—to each or any of these questions do I give the same reply."
33. 'Thus, Lord, did Sa¤jaya of the Belaññha clan, when asked what was the immediate advantage in the life of a recluse, show his manner of prevarication. And to him, as to all the others, I expressed neither approval nor dissatisfaction, but neither accepting nor rejecting what was said, I arose from my seat, and departed thence.
34. 'And now, Lord, I put the same question to the Blessed One. Can you show me any immediate fruit, in this world, of the life of a recluse, such as those who follow each of the occupations I have mentioned are, each of them, able to show?'
'I can, O king. And to that end I would fain put a question to you. Answer it as you may think most fit.
35. 'Now what do you think, O king. Suppose among the people of your household there were a slave who does work for you, rises up in the morning before you do and retires earlier to rest, who is keen to carry out your pleasure, anxious to make himself agreeable in what he does and says, a man who watches your every look. Suppose he should think, "Strange is it and wonderful, this issue of meritorious deeds, this result of merit! Here is this king of Magadha, Ajàtasattu, the son of the Videha princess—he is a man, and so am I. But the king lives in the full enjoyment and possession of the five pleasures of sense—a very god, methinks—and here am I a slave, working for him, rising before him and retiring earlier to rest, keen to carry out his pleasure, anxious to make myself agreeable in deed and word, watching his very looks. Would that I were like him, that I too might earn merit. Why should not I have my hair and beard shaved off, and don the yellow robes, and going forth from the household state, renounce the world?" And suppose, after a time, he should do so. And having been admitted into an Order, should dwell restrained in act and word and thought, content with mere food and shelter, delighting in solitude. And suppose your people should tell you of this, saying: "If it please your majesty, do you know that such a one, formerly your slave, who worked for you, and so on (all as before) has now donned the yellow robes, and has been admitted into an Order, and dwells restrained, content with mere food and shelter, delighting in solitude?" Would you then say, "Let the man come back; let him become a slave again, and work for me"?'
36. 'Nay, Lord, rather should we greet him with reverence, and rise up from our seat out of deference towards him, and press him to be seated. And we should have robes and a bowl, and a lodging place, and medicine for the sick—all the requisites of a recluse—made ready, and beg him to accept of them. And we should order watch and ward and guard to be kept for him according to the law.'
'But what do you think, O king. That being so, is there, or is there not, some fruit, visible in this world, of the life of a recluse?'
'Certainly, Lord, that is so.'
'This then, O king, is the first kind of the fruit, visible in this world, which I maintained to arise from the life of a recluse.'
37. 'Can you, Lord, show me any other fruit, visible in this world, of the life of a recluse?'
'I can, O king. And to that end I would fain put a question, &c. [as before, to the end of Section 36, the case now put being that of a free man who cultivates his land, a householder, who pays taxes and thus increases the king's wealth, but gives up his little property and his position in his clan, and enters an Order.]'
39. 'Can you, Lord, show me any other fruit, visible in this world, of the life of a recluse, a fruit higher and sweeter than these?'
'I can, O king. Give ear therefore, O king, and give good heed, and I will speak.
40. 'Suppose, O king, there appears in the world one who has won the truth, an Arahat, a fully awakened one, abounding in wisdom and goodness, happy, who knows all worlds, unsurpassed as a guide to mortals willing to be led, a teacher for gods and men, a Blessed One, a Buddha. He, by himself, thoroughly knows and sees, as it were, face to face this universe—including the worlds above of the gods, the Brahmas, and the Màras, and the world below with its recluses and Brahmans, its princes and peoples—and having known it, he makes his knowledge known to others. The truth, lovely in its origin, lovely in its progress, lovely in its consummation, doth he proclaim, both in the spirit and in the letter, the higher life doth he make known, in all its fullness and in all its purity.
41. 'A householder or one of his children, or a man of inferior birth in any class listens to that truth; and on hearing it he has faith in the Tathàgata (the one who has found the truth); and when he is possessed of that faith, he considers thus within himself:
"Full of hindrances is household life, a path for the dust of passion. Free as the air is the life of him who has renounced all worldly things. How difficult is it for the man who dwells at home to live the higher life in all its fullness, in all its purity, in all its bright perfection! Let me then cut off my hair and beard, let me clothe myself in the orange-coloured robes, and let me go forth from the household life into the homeless state."
'Then, before long, forsaking his portion of wealth, be it great or small, forsaking his circle of relatives, be they many or be they few, he cuts off his hair and beard, he clothes himself in the orange-coloured robes, and he goes forth from the household life into the homeless state.
42. 'When he has thus become a recluse he lives self-restrained by that restraint that should be binding on a recluse. Uprightness is his delight, and he sees danger in the least of those things he should avoid. He adopts, and trains himself in, the precepts. He encompasses himself with good deeds in act and word. Pure are his means of livelihood, good is his conduct, guarded the door of his senses. Mindful and self-possessed he is altogether happy.
43. 'And how, O king, is his conduct good?
'In this, O king, that the Bhikshu, putting away the killing of living things, holds aloof from the destruction of life. The cudgel and the sword he has laid aside, and ashamed of roughness, and full of mercy, he dwells compassionate and kind to all creatures that have life.
'This is part of the goodness that he has.
[Here follow the whole of the Sãlas (the paragraphs on minor morality), in the words already translated above in the Brahma-jàla Sutta, Section 8 to 27. Only for 'Gotama the recluse' one should read 'the Bhikshu'; and alter in each case the words of the refrain accordingly.]
63. 'And then that Bhikshu, O king, being thus master of the minor moralities, sees no danger from any side, that is, so far as concerns his self-restraint in conduct. Just, O king, as a sovereign, duly crowned, whose enemies have been beaten down, sees no danger from any side; that is, so far as enemies are concerned, so is the Bhikshu confident. And endowed with this body of morals, so worthy of honour, he experiences, within himself, a sense of ease without alloy. Thus is it, O king, that the Bhikshu becomes righteous.
64. 'And how, O king, is the Bhikshu guarded as to the doors of his senses?
'When, O king, he sees an object with his eye he is not entranced in the general appearance or the details of it. He sets himself to restrain that which might give occasion for evil states, covetousness and dejection, to flow in over him so long as he dwells unrestrained as to his sense of sight. He keeps watch upon his faculty of sight, and he attains to mastery over it. And so, in like manner, when he hears a sound with his ear, or smells an odour with his nose, or tastes a flavour with his tongue, or feels a touch with his body, or when he cognises a phenomenon with his mind he is not entranced in the general appearance or the details of it. He sets himself to restrain that which might give occasion for evil states, covetousness and dejection, to flow in over him so long as he dwells unrestrained as to his mental (representative) faculty. He keeps watch upon his representative faculty, and he attains to mastery over it. And endowed with this self-restraint, so worthy of honour, as regards the senses, he experiences, within himself, a sense of ease into which no evil state can enter. Thus is it, O king, that the Bhikshu becomes guarded as to the doors of his senses.
65. 'And how, O king, is the Bhikshu mindful and self-possessed?
'In this matter, O king, the Bhikshu in going forth or in coming back keeps clearly before his mind's eye (all that is wrapt up therein—the immediate object of the act itself, its ethical significance, whether or not it is conducive to the high aim set before him, and the real facts underlying the mere phenomenon of the outward act). And so also in looking forward, or in looking round; in stretching forth his arm, or in drawing it in again; in eating or drinking, in masticating or swallowing, in obeying the calls of nature, in going or standing or sitting, in sleeping or waking, in speaking or in being still, he keeps himself aware of all it really means. Thus is it, O king, that the Bhikshu becomes mindful and self-possessed.
66. 'And how, O king, is the Bhikshu content?
'In this matter, O king, the Bhikshu is satisfied with sufficient robes to cherish his body, with sufficient food to keep his stomach going. Whithersoever he may go forth, these he takes with him as he goes—just as a bird with his wings, O king, whithersoever he may fly, carries his wings with him as he flies. Thus is it, O king, that the Bhikshu becomes content.
67. 'Then, master of this so excellent body of moral precepts, gifted with this so excellent self-restraint as to the senses, endowed with this so excellent mindfulness and self-possession, filled with this so excellent content, he chooses some lonely spot to rest at on his way—in the woods, at the foot of a tree, on a hill side, in a mountain glen, in a rocky cave, in a charnel place, or on a heap of straw in the open field. And returning thither after his round for alms he seats himself, when his meal is done, cross-legged, keeping his body erect, and his intelligence alert, intent.
68. 'Putting away the hankering after the world, he remains with a heart that hankers not, and purifies his mind of lusts. Putting away the corruption of the wish to injure, he remains with a heart free from ill temper, and purifies his mind of malevolence. Putting away torpor of heart and mind, keeping his ideas alight, mindful and self-possessed, he purifies his mind of weakness and of sloth. Putting away flurry and worry, he remains free from fretfulness, and with heart serene within, he purifies himself of irritability and vexation of spirit. Putting away wavering, he remains as one passed beyond perplexity; and no longer in suspense as to what is good, he purifies his mind of doubt. 69. 'Then just, O king, as when a man, after contracting a loan, should set a business on foot, and his business should succeed, and he should not only be able to pay off the old debt he had incurred, but there should be a surplus over to maintain a wife. Then would he realise: "I used to have to carry on my business by getting into debt, but it has gone so well with me that I have paid off what I owed, and have a surplus over to maintain a wife." And he would be of good cheer at that, would be glad of heart at that;
70. 'Then just, O king, as if a man were a prey to disease, in pain, and very ill, and his food would not digest, and there were no strength left in him; and after a time he were to recover from that disease, and his food should digest, and his strength come back to him; then, when he realised his former and his present state, he would be of good cheer at that, he would be glad of heart at that;
71. 'Then just, O king, as if a man were bound in a prison house, and after a time he should be set free from his bonds, safe and sound, and without any confiscation of his goods; when he realised his former and his present state, he would be of good cheer at that, he would be glad of heart at that;
72. 'Then just, O king, as if a man were a slave, not his own master, subject to another, unable to go whither he would; and after a time he should be emancipated from that slavery, become his own master, not subject to others, a free man, free to go whither he would; then, on realising his former and his present state, he would be of good cheer at that, he would be glad of heart at that;
73. 'Then just, O king, as if a man, rich and prosperous, were to find himself on a long, road, in a desert, where no food was, but much danger; and after a time were to find himself out of the desert, arrived safe, on the borders of his village, in security and peace; then, on realising his former and his present state, he would be of good cheer at that, he would be glad of heart at that;
74. 'Just so, O king, the Bhikshu, so long as these five Hindrances are not put away within him looks upon himself as in debt, diseased, in prison, in slavery, lost on a desert road. But when these five Hindrances have been put away within him, he looks upon himself as freed from debt, rid of disease, out of jail, a free man, and secure;
75. 'And gladness springs up within him on his realising that, and joy arises to him thus gladdened, and so rejoicing all his frame becomes at ease, and being thus at ease he is filled with a sense of peace, and in that peace his heart is stayed.
75A. 'Then estranged from lusts, aloof from evil dispositions, he enters into and remains in the First Rapture—a state of joy and ease born of detachment, reasoning and investigation going on the while.
'His very body does he so pervade, drench, permeate, and suffuse with the joy and ease born of detachment, that there is no spot in his whole frame not suffused therewith.
76. 'Just, O king, as a skilful bathman or his apprentice will scatter perfumed soap powder in a metal basin, and then besprinkling it with water, drop by drop, will so knead it together that the ball of lather, taking up the unctuous moisture, is drenched with it, pervaded by it, permeated by it within and without, and there is no leakage possible.
'This, O king, is an immediate fruit of the life of a recluse, visible in this world, higher and sweeter than the last.
77. 'Then further, O king, the Bhikshu suppressing all reasoning and investigation enters into and abides in the Second Jhàna, a state of joy and ease, born of the serenity of concentration, when no reasoning or investigation goes on—a state of elevation of mind, a tranquillisation of the heart within.
'And his very body does he so pervade, drench, permeate, and suffuse with the joy and ease born of concentration, that there is no spot in his whole frame not suffused therewith.
78. 'Just, O king, as if there were a deep pool, with water welling up into it from a spring beneath, and with no inlet from the east or west, from the north or south, and the god should not from time to time send down showers of rain upon it. Still the current of cool waters rising up from that spring would pervade, fill, permeate, and suffuse the pool with cool waters, and there would be no part or portion of the pool unsuffused therewith.
'This, O king, is an immediate fruit of the life of a recluse, visible in this world, and higher and sweeter than the last.
79. 'Then further, O king, the Bhikshu, holding aloof from joy, becomes equable; and mindful and self-possessed he experiences in his body that case which the Arahats talk of when they say: "The man serene and self-possessed is well at ease," and so he enters into and abides in the Third Jhàna.
'And his very body does he so pervade, drench, permeate, and suffuse with that case that has no joy with it, that there is no spot in his whole frame not suffused therewith.
80. 'Just, O king, as when in a lotus tank the several lotus flowers, red or white or blue, born in the water, grown up in the water, not rising up above the surface of the water, drawing up nourishment from the depths of the water, are so pervaded, drenched, permeated, and suffused from their very tips down to their roots with the cool moisture thereof, that there is no spot in the whole plant, whether of the red lotus, or of the white, or of the blue, not suffused therewith.
'This, O king, is an immediate fruit of the life of a recluse, visible in this world, and higher and sweeter than the last.
8. 'Then further, O king, the Bhikshu, by the putting away alike of ease and of pain, by the passing, away alike of any elation, any dejection, he had previously felt, enters into and abides in the Fourth Jhàna, a state of pure self-possession and equanimity, without pain and without case.
'And he sits there so suffusing even his body with that sense of purification, of translucence, of heart, that there is no spot in his whole frame not suffused therewith.
82. 'Just, O king, as if a man were sitting so wrapt from head to foot in a clean white robe, that there were no spot in his whole frame not in contact with the clean white robeÞjust so, O king, does the Bhikshu sit there, so suffusing even his body with that sense of purification, of translucence, of heart, that there is no spot in his whole frame not suffused therewith.
'This, O king, is an immediate fruit of the life of a recluse, and higher and sweeter than the last.
83. 'With his heart thus serene, made pure, translucent, cultured, devoid of evil, supple, ready to act, firm, and imperturbable, he applies and bends down his mind to that insight that comes from knowledge. He grasps the fact: "This body of mine has form, it is built up of the four elements, it springs from father and mother, it is continually renewed by so much boiled rice and juicy foods, its very nature is impermanence, it is subject to erasion, abrasion, dissolution, and disintegration; and therein is this consciousnessof mine, too, bound up, on that does it depend." 84. 'Just, O king, as if there were a Veluriya gem, bright, of the purest water, with eight facets, excellently cut, clear, translucent, without a flaw, excellent in every way. And through it a string, blue, or orange-coloured, or red, or white, or yellow should be threaded. If a man, who had eyes to see, were to take it into his hand, he would clearly perceive how the one is bound up with the other.
'This, O king, is an immediate fruit of the life of a recluse, visible in this world, and higher and sweeter than the last.
85. 'With his heart thus serene, made pure, translucent, cultured, devoid of evil, supple, ready to act, firm, and imperturbable, he applies and bends down his mind to the calling up of a mental image. He calls up from this body another body, having form, made of mind, having all (his own body's) limbs and parts, not deprived of any organ;
86. 'Just, O king, as if a man were to pull out a reed from its sheath. He would know: "This is the reed; this, the sheath. The reed is one thing, the sheath another. It is from the sheath that the reed has been drawn forth." And similarly were he to take a snake out of its slough, or draw a sword from its scabbard.'
'This, O king, is an immediate fruit of the life of a recluse, visible in this life, and higher and sweeter than the last.
87. 'With his heart thus serene, made pure, translucent, cultured, devoid of evil, supple, ready to act, firm and imperturbable, he applies and bends down his mind to the modes of the Wondrous Gift. He enjoys the Wondrous Gift in its various modes—being one he becomes many, or having become many becomes one again; he becomes visible or invisible; he goes, feeling no obstruction, to the further side of a wall or rampart or hill, as if through air; he penetrates up and down through solid ground, as if through water; he walks on water without breaking through, as if on solid ground; he travels cross-legged in the sky, like the birds on wing; even the Moon and the Sun, so potent, so mighty though they be, does he touch and feel with his hand; he reaches in the body even up to the heaven of Brahmà.
88. 'Just, O king, as a clever potter or his apprentice could make, could succeed in getting out of properly prepared clay any shape of vessel he wanted to haveÞor an ivory carver out of ivory, or a goldsmith out of gold.
'This, O king, is an immediate fruit of the life of a recluse, and higher and sweeter than the last.
89. 'With his heart thus serene, made pure, translucent, cultured, devoid of evil, supple, ready to act, firm and imperturbable, he applies and bends down his mind to the Heavenly Ear. With that clear Heavenly Ear surpassing the ear of men he hears sounds both human and celestial, whether far or near.
90. 'Just, O king, as if a man were on the high road and were to hear the sound of a kettledrum or a tabor or the sound of chank horns and small drums he would know: "This is the sound of a kettledrum, this is the sound of a tabor, this of chank horns, and of drums."
'This, O king, is an immediate fruit of the life of a recluse, visible in this life, and higher and sweeter than the last.
91. 'With his heart thus serene (&c. as before), he directs and bends down his mind to the knowledge which penetrates the heart. Penetrating with his own heart the hearts of other beings, of other men, he knows them. He discerns—
- The passionate mind to be passionate, and the calm mind calm;
- The angry mind to be angry, and the peaceful mind peaceful;
- The dull mind to be dull, and the alert mind alert;
- The attentive mind to be attentive, and the wandering mind wandering;
- The broad mind to be broad, and the narrow mind narrow;
- The mean mind to be mean, and the lofty mind lofty;
- The stedfast mind to be stedfast, and the wavering mind to be wavering;
- The free mind to be free, and the enslaved mind enslaved.
92. 'Just, O king, as a woman or a man or a lad, young and smart, on considering attentively the image of his own face in a bright and brilliant mirror or in a vessel of clear water would, if it had a mole on it, know that it had, and if not, would know it had not.
93. 'With his heart thus serene (&c. as before), he directs and bends down his mind to the knowledge of the memory of his previous temporary states. He recalls to mind his various temporary states in days gone by—one birth, or two or three or four or five births, or ten or twenty or thirty or forty or fifty or a hundred or a thousand or a hundred thousand births, through many an aeon of dissolution, many an aeon of evolution, many an aeon of both dissolution and evolution. "In such a place such was my name, such my family, such my caste, such my food, such my experience of discomfort or of ease, and such the limits of my life. When I passed away from that state, I took form again in such a place. There I had such and such a name and family and caste and food and experience of discomfort or of ease, such was the limit of my life. When I passed away from that state I took form again here"—thus does he call to mind his temporary state in days gone by in all their details, and in all their modes.
94. 'Just, O king, as if a man were to go from his own to another village, and from that one to another, and from that one should return home. Then he would know: "From my own village I came to that other one. There I stood in such and such a way, sat thus, spake thus, and held my peace thus. Thence I came to that other village; and there I stood in such and such a way, sat thus, spake thus, and held my peace thus. And now, from that other village, I have returned back again home."
'This, O king, is an immediate fruit of the life of a recluse. Visible in this world, and higher and sweeter than the last.
95. 'With his heart thus serene (&c. as before), he directs and bends down his mind to the knowledge of the fall and rise of beings. With the pure Heavenly Eye, surpassing that of men, he sees beings as they pass away from one form of existence and take shape in another; he recognises the mean and the noble, the well favoured and the ill favoured, the happy and the wretched, passing away according to their deeds:
"Such and such beings, my brethren, in act and word and thought, revilers of the noble ones, holding to wrong views, acquiring for themselves that karma which results from wrong views, they, on the dissolution of the body, after death, are reborn in some unhappy state of suffering or woe. But such and such beings, my brethren, well doers in act and word and thought, not revilers of the noble ones, holding to right views, acquiring for themselves that karma that results from right views, they, on the dissolution of the body, after death, are reborn in some happy state in heaven." Thus with the pure Heavenly Eye, surpassing that of men, he sees beings as they pass away from one state of existence, and take form in another; he recognises the mean and the noble, the well favoured and the ill favoured, the happy and the wretched, passing away according to their deeds.
96. Just, O king, as if there were a house with an upper terrace on it in the midst of a place where four roads meet, and a man standing thereon, and with eyes to see, should watch men entering a house, and coming forth out of it, and walking hither and thither along the street, and seated in the square in the midst. Then he would know: "Those men are entering a house, and those are leaving it, and those are walking to and fro in the street, and those are seated in the square in the midst."
97. 'With his heart thus serene (&c. as before), he directs and bends down his mind to the knowledge of the destruction of the Deadly Floods. He knows as it really is: "This is pain." He knows as it really is: "This is the origin of pain." He knows as it really is: "This is the cessation of pain." He knows as it really is: "This is the Path that leads to the cessation of pain." He knows as they really are: "These are the Deadly Floods." He knows as it really is, "This is the origin of the Deadly Floods." He knows as it really is: "This is the cessation of the Deadly Floods." He knows as it really is: "This is the Path that leads to the cessation of the Deadly Floods." To him, thus knowing, thus seeing, the heart is set free from the Deadly Taint of Lusts, is set free from the Deadly Taint of Becomings, is set free from the Deadly Taint of Ignorance. In him, thus set free, there arises the knowledge of his emancipation, and he knows: "Rebirth has been destroyed. The higher life has been fulfilled. What had to be done has been accomplished. After this present life there will be no beyond!"
98. 'Just, O king, as if in a mountain fastness there were a pool of water, clear, translucent, and serene; and a man, standing on the bank, and with eyes to see, should perceive the oysters and the shells, the gravel and the pebbles and the shoals of fish, as they move about or lie within it: he would know: "This pool is clear, transparent, and serene, and there within it are the oysters and the shells, and the sand and gravel, and the shoals of fish are moving about or lying still."
'This, O king, is an immediate fruit of the life of a recluse, visible in this world, and higher and sweeter than the last. And there is no fruit of the life of a recluse, visible in this world, that is higher and sweeter than this.'
99. And when he had thus spoken, Ajàtasattu the king said to the Blessed One: 'Most excellent, Lord, most excellent! just as if a man were to set up that which has been thrown down, or were to reveal that which is hidden away, or were to point out the right road to him who has gone astray, or were to bring a lamp into the darkness so that those who have eyes could see external forms—just even so, Lord, has the truth been made known to me, in many a figure, by the Blessed One. And now I betake myself, Lord, to the Blessed One as my refuge, to the Truth, and to the Order. May the Blessed One accept me as a disciple, as one who, from this day forth, as long as life endures, has taken his refuge in them. Sin has overcome me, Lord, weak and foolish and wrong that I am, in that, for the sake of sovereignty, I put to death my father, that righteous man, that righteous king! May the Blessed One accept it of me, Lord, that do so acknowledge it as a sin, to the end that in future I may restrain myself.'
100. 'Verily, O king, it was sin that overcame you in acting thus. But in as much as you look upon it as sin, and confess it according to what is right, we accept your confession as to that. For that, O king, is custom in the discipline of the noble ones, that whosoever looks upon his fault as a fault, and rightfully confesses it, shall attain to self-restraint in future.'
101. When he had thus spoken, Ajàtasattu the king said to the Blessed One: 'Now, Lord, we would fain go. We are busy, and there is much to do.'
'Do, O king, whatever seemeth to thee fit.'
Then Ajàtasattu the king, pleased and delighted with the words of the Blessed One, arose from his seat, and bowed to the Blessed One, and keeping him on the right hand as he passed him, departed thence,
102. Now the Blessed One, not long after Ajàtasattu the king had gone, addressed the brethren, and said: 'This king, brethren, was deeply affected. He was touched in heart. If, brethren, the king had not put his father to death, that righteous man, and righteous king, then would the clear and spotless eye for the truth have arisen in him, even as he sat there.'
Thus spake the Blessed One. The brethren were pleased and delighted at his words.
Here ends the Discourse on the Fruits of the Life of a Recluse.
Sàmañña-phala Sutta is ended.
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