BOOK IV: Religion and Dhamma
1. What is Religion?
2. How Dhamma Differs From Religion.
3. The Purpose of Religion and the Purpose of Dhamma.
4. Morality and Religion.
5. Dhamma and Morality.
6. Mere Morality is not Enough. It must be Sacred and Universal.
§ 1. What is Religion ?
1. The word " religion " is an indefinite word with no fixed meaning.
2. It is one word with many meanings.
3. This is because religion has passed through many stages. The concept at each stage is called Religion though the concept at one stage has not had the same meaning which it had at the preceding stage or is likely to have at the succeeding stage.
4. The conception of religion was never fixed.
5. It has varied from time to time.
6. Because most of the phenomena such as lightning, rain and floods, the occurrence of which the primitive man could not explain, any weird performance done to control the phenomenon was called magic. Religion therefore came to be identified with magic.
7. Then came the second stage in the evolution of religion. In this stage religion came to be identified with beliefs, rituals, ceremonies, prayers and sacrifices.
8. But this conception of religion is derivative.
9. The pivotal point in religion starts with the belief that there exists some power which causes these phenomena which primitive man did not know and could not understand. Magic lost its place at this stage.
10. This power was originally malevolent. But later it was felt that it could also be benevolent.
II. Beliefs, rites, ceremonies and sacrifices were necessary both to propitiate a benevolent power and also to conciliate an angry power.
12. Later that power was called God or the Creator.
13. Then came the third stage that it is this God who created this world and also man.
14. This was followed by the belief that man has a soul and the soul is eternal and is answerable to God for man's actions in the world.
15. This is, in short, the evolution of the concept of Religion.
16. This is what Religion has come to be and this is what it connotesbelief in God, belief in soul, worship of God, curing of the erring soul, propitiating God by prayers, ceremonies, sacrifices, etc.
§2. How Dhamma Differs From Religion
1. What the Buddha calls Dhamma differs fundamentally from what is called Religion.
2. What the Buddha calls Dhamma is analogous to what the European theologians call Religion.
3. But there is no greater affinity between the two. On the other hand, the differences between the two are very great.
4. On this account some European theologians refuse to recognise the Buddha's Dhamma as Religion.
5. There need be no regrets over this. The loss is theirs. It does no harm to the Buddha's Dhamma. Rather, it shows what is wanting in Religion.
6. Instead of entering into this controversy it is better to proceed to give an idea of Dhamma and show how it differs from Religion.
7. Religion, it is said, is personal and one must keep it to oneself. One must not let it play its part in public life.
8. Contrary to this, Dhamma is social. It is fundamentally and essentially so.
9. Dhamma is righteousness, which means right relations between man and man in all spheres of life.
10. From this it is evident that one man if he is alone does not need Dhamma.
11. But when there are two men living in relation to each other they must find a place for Dhamma whether they like it or not. Neither can escape it.
12. In other words. Society cannot do without Dhamma.
13. Society has to choose one of the three alternatives.
14. Society may choose not to have any Dhamma, as an instrument of Government. For Dhamma is nothing if it is not an instrument of Government.
15. This means Society chooses the road to anarchy.
16. Secondly, Society may choose the police, i.e., dictatorship as an instrument of Government.
17. Thirdly, Society may choose Dhamma plus the Magistrate wherever people fail to observe the Dhamma.
18. In anarchy and dictatorship liberty is lost.
19. Only in the third liberty survives.
20. Those who want liberty must therefore have Dhamma.
21. Now what isDhamma? and why isDhamma necessary ? According to the Buddha, Dhamma consists of Prajna and Karuna.
22. What is Prajna ? And why Prajna ? Prajna is understanding. The Buddha made Prajna one of the two corner-stones of His Dhamma because he did not wish to leave any room for superstition.
23. What is Karuna? And why Karuna? Karuna is love. Because, without it Society can neither live nor grow, that is why the Buddha made it the second corner-stone of His Dhamma.
24. Such is the definition of the Buddha's Dhamma.
25. How different is this definition of Dhamma from that of Religion.
26. So ancient, yet so modern is the definition of Dhamma given by the Buddha.
27. So aboriginal yet so original.
28. Not borrowed from anyone, yet so true.
29. A unique amalgam of Pradnya and Karuna is the Dhamma of the Buddha.
30. Such is the difference between Religion and Dhamma.
§ 3. The Purpose of Religion and the Purpose of Dhamma
1. What is the purpose of Religion ? What is the purpose of Dhamma ? Are they one and the same ? Or are they different ?
2. The answer to these questions are to be found in two dialoguesone between the Buddha and Sunakkhatta and the other between the Buddha and the Brahmin Potthapada.
3. The Exalted One was once staying among the Mallas at Anupiya, one of their towns.
4. Now the Exalted One having robed himself in the early morning, put on his cloak and took his bowl and entered the town for alms.
5. On the way he thought it was too early to go for alms. Therefore he went to the pleasance where Bhaggava the wanderer dwelt and called on him.
6. On seeing the Blessed One Bhaggava got up, saluted him and said, "May it please you, sire, to be seated ; here is a seat made ready for you."
7. The Exalted One sat down thereon, and Bhaggava taking a certain lowstool sat down beside him. So seated, Bhaggava, the wanderer, spake thus to the Exalted One :
8 " Some days ago, Lord, a good many days ago, Sunakkhatta of the Licchavis called on me and spake thus: 'I have now given up the Exalted One, Bhaggava. I am remaining no longer under him (as my teacher).' Is the fact really so, just as he said ? "
9. "It is just so Bhaggava, as Sunakkhatta of the Licchavis said," replied the Riessed One.
10. " Some days ago, Bhaggava, a good many days ago, Sunakkhatta, the Licchavi, came to call on me, and spake thus : ' Sir, I now give up the Exalted One. I will henceforth remain no longer under him (as my teacher).' When he told me this, I said to him : ' But now, Sunakkhatta, have I ever said to you, Come, Sunakkhatta, live under me (as my pupil) ? ' 11. " ' No, sir, you have not.'
12. " Or have you ever said to me: ' Sir, I would fain dwell under the Exalted One (as my teacher) ?'
13. " 'No, sir, I have not.'
14. " Then I asked him 'If I said not the one, and you said not the other, what are you and what am I that you talk of giving up ? See, foolish one, in how far the fault here is your own.'
15. "'Well, but, sir, the Exalted One works me no mystic wonders surpassing the power of ordinary men'
16. " Why, now Sunakkhatta, have I ever said to you: ' Come, take me as your teacher, Sunakkhatta, and I will work for you mystic wonders surpassing the power of ordinary men ? '
17. " 'You have not, sir.'
18. " Or have you ever said to me: ' Sir, I would fain take the Exalted One as my teacher, for he will work for me mystic wonders beyond the powers of ordinary men ? '
19. "' I have not, sir.'
20. " ' But if I said not the one, and you said not the other, what are you and what am I, foolish man, that you talk of giving up ? What think you, Sunakkhatta? Whether mystic wonders beyond the power of ordinary man are wrought, or whether they are not is the object for which I teach the Dhamma: that it leads to the thorough, destruction of ill for the doer thereof ? '
21. '"Whether, sir, they are so wrought or not, that is indeed the object for which the Dhamma is taught by the Exalted One.'
22. " ' If then, Sunakkhatta, it matters not to that object whether mystic wonders are wrought or not, of what use to you would be the working of them? See, foolish one, in how far the fault here is your own.'
23. " 'But, sir, the Exalted One does not reveal to me the beginning of things.'
24. " Why now, Sunakkhatta, have I ever said to you: ' Come, Sunakkhatta, be my. disciple and I will reveal to you the beginning of things ? '
25. " ' Sir, you have not '
26. " Or have you ever said to me: ' I will become the Exalted One's pupil, for he will reveal to me the beginning of things ? '
27. " ' Sir, I have not.'
28. " ' But if I have not said the one and you have not said the other, what are you and what am I, foolish man, that you talk of giving up on that account ? What think you, Sunakkhatta? Whether the beginning of things be revealed, or whether it be not, is the object for which I teach the Dhamma that it leads to the thorough destruction of ill for the doer thereof ? '
29. " ' Whether, sir, they are revealed or not, that is indeed the object for which the Dhamma is taught by the Exalted One.'
30. " ' If then, Sunakkhatta, it matters not to that object whether the beginning of things be revealed, or whether it be not, of what use to you would it be to have the beginning of things revealed ? ' "
31. This illustrates that Religion is concerned with revealing the beginning of things and Dhamma is not.
The other differences between Religion and Dhamma are brought out in the discussion between the Blessed One and Potthapada.
1. The Blessed One was once staying at Shravasti in Anathapindika's pleasance of the Jeta's wood. Now at that time Potthapada, the wandering mendicant was dwelling in the hall put up in Queen Mallika's park for a debate on general systems of philosophical opinion.
2. There was with him a great following of mendicants; to wit, three hundred. A dialogue took place between the Blessed Lord and Potthapada. Potthapada asked:
3. " Then, sir, if that be so, tell me at least: Is the world eternal ? Is this alone the truth, and any other view mere folly ? ' "
4. "That, Potthapada, is a matter on which I have expressed no opinion," replied the Blessed Lord.
5. Then, in the same terms, Potthapada asked each of the following questions : (i) ' Is the world not eternal ? '
(ii) ' Is the world finite ? '
(iii) ' Is the world infinite ?
(iv) ' Is the soul the same as the body ?'
(v) ' Is the soul one thing, and the body another ? '
(vi) ' Does one who has gained the truth live again after death ? '
(vii) ' Does he not live again after death ? '
(viii) ' Does he both live again and not live again, after death ? '
(ix) ' Does he neither live again, nor not live again, after death?'
6. And to each questions the Exalted One made the same reply :
7. " That too, Potthapada, is a matter on which I have expressed no opinion."
8. " But why has the Exalted One expressed no opinion on that ? "
9. " Because this question is not calculated to profit, it is not concerned with the Dhamma, it does not redound even to the elements of right conduct, nor to detachment, nor to purification from lusts, nor to quietude, nor to tranquillisation of heart, nor to real knowledge, nor to the insight (of the higher stages of the Path), nor to Nirvana. Therefore is it that I express no opinion upon it. "
10. " Then what is it that the Exalted One has determined ? ' '
11. "I have expounded, Potthapada, what Dukkha is ; I have expounded what is the origin of Dukkha; I have expounded what is the cessation of Dukkha : I have expounded what is the method by which one may reach the cessation of Dukkha."
12. " And why has the Exalted One put forth a statement as to that ? "
13. " Because that question, Potthapada, is calculated to profit, is concerned with the Dhamma, redounds to the beginnings of right conduct, to detachment, to purification from lusts, .to quietude, to tranquillisation of heart, to real knowledge, to the insight of the higher stages of the Path and to Nirvana. There-fore is it, Potthapada, that I have put forward a statement as to that."
14. In this dialogue it is clearly put forth what is the subject matter of Religion and what is not the subject matter of Dhamma. The two are poles apart
15. The purpose of Religion is to explain the origin of the world. The purpose of Dhamma is to reconstruct the world.
§ 4. Morality and Religion
1. What is the place of morality in Religion ?
2. As a matter of truth morality has no place in Religion.
3. The content of religion consists of God, soul, prayers, worship, rituals, ceremonies and sacrifices.
4. Morality comes in only wherein man comes in relation to man.
5. Morality comes in into religion as a side wind to maintain peace and order.
6. Religion is a triangular piece.
7. Be good to your neighbour because you are both children of God.
8. That is the argument of religion.
9. Every religion preaches morality but morality is not the root of religion.
10. It is a wagon attached to it. It is attached and detached as the occasion requires.
11. The action of morality in the functioning of religion is therefore casual and occasional.
12. Morality in religion is therefore not effective.
§ 5. Dhamma and Morality
1. What is the place of morality in Dhamma ?
2. The simple answer is Morality is Dhamma and Dhamma is Morality.
3. In other words, in Dhamma morality takes the place of God although there is no God in Dhamma.
4. In Dhamma there is no place for prayers, pilgrimages, rituals, ceremonies or sacrifices.
5. Morality is the essence of Dhamma. Without it there is no Dhamma.
6. Morality in Dhamma arises from the direct necessity for man to love man.
7. It does not require the sanction of God. It is not to please God that man has to be moral. It is for his own good that man has to love man.
§ 6. Mere Morality is not Enough. It must be Sacred and Universal
1. When is a thing sacred? Why is a thing sacred ?
2. In every human society, primitive or advanced, there are some things or beliefs which it regards as sacred and the rest as profane.
3. When a thing or belief has reached the stage of being sacred (pavitra) it means that it cannot be violated. Indeed it cannot be touched. It is taboo.
4. Contrary to this, a thing or a belief which is profane (apavitra), i.e., outside the field of the sacred, may be violated. It means one can act contrary to it, without feeling any fear or qualms of conscience.
5. The sacred is something holy. To transgress it is a sacrilege.
6. Why is a thing made sacred ? To confine the scope of the question to the matter in hand, why morality should have been made sacred ?
7. Three factors seem to have played their part in making morality sacred.
8. The first factor is the social need for protecting the best.
9. The background of this question lies imbedded in what is called the struggle of existence and the survival of the fittest.
10. This arises out of the theory of evolution. It is common knowledge that evolution takes place through a struggle for existence because the means of food supply in early times were so limited.
11. The struggle is bitter. Nature is said to be red in claw and tooth.
12. In this struggle which is bitter and bloody only the fittest survive.
13. Such is the original state of society.
14. In the course of ancient past someone must have raised the question, Is the fittest (the strongest) the best ? Would not the weakest if protected be ultimately the best for advancing the ends and aims of society ?
15. The then prevailing state of society seems to have given an answer in the affirmative.
16. Then comes, the question what is the way to protect the weak ?
17. Nothing less than to impose some restraints upon the fittest.
18. In this lies the origin and necessity for morality.
19. This morality had to be sacred because it was imposed originally on the fittest, i.e., the strongest.
20. This has very serious consequences.
21. First, does morality in becoming social become anti-social ?
22. It is not that there is no morality among thieves. There is morality among businessmen. There is morality among fellow castemen and there is also morality among a gang of robbers.
23. But this morality is marked by isolation and exclusiveness. It is a morality to protect " group interest. " It is therefore anti-social.
24. It is the isolation and exclusiveness of this kind of morality which throws its anti-social spirit in relief.
25. The same is true where a group observes morality because it has interests of its own to protect.
26. The results of this group organisation of society are far-reaching.
27. If society continues to consist of anti-social groups, society will remain a disorganised and a factional society.
28. The danger of a disorganised and factional state of society is that it sets up a number of different models and standards.
29. In the absence of common models and common standards society cannot be a harmonious whole,
30. With such different models and standards it is impossible for the individual to attain consistency of mind.
31. A society which rests upon the supremacy of one group over another irrespective of its rational or proportionate claims inevitably leads to conflict.
32. The only way to put a stop to conflict is to have common rules of morality which are sacred to all.
33. There is the third factor which requires morality to be made sacred and universal. It is to safeguard the growth of the individual.
34. Under the struggle for existence or under group rule the interests of the individuals are not safe.
35. The group set-up prevents an individual from acquiring consistency of mind which is possible only when society has common ideals, common models. His thoughts are led astray and this creates a mind whose seeing unity is forced and distorted.
36. Secondly the group set-up leads to discrimination and denial of justice.
37. The group set-up leads to stratification of classes. Those who are masters remain masters and those who are born in slavery remain slaves. Owners remain owners and workers remain workers. The privileged remain privileged and the serfs remain serfs.
38. This means that there can be liberty for some but not for all. This means that there can be equality for a few but none for the majority.
39. What is the remedy ? The only remedy lies in making fraternity universally effective.
40. What is fraternity ? It is nothing but another name for brotherhood of men which is another name for morality.
41. This is why the Buddha preached that Dhamma is morality and as Dhamma is sacred so is morality.
2. Rebirth of What?
3. Rebirth of Whom?
1. Is the Buddhist doctrine of Karma the same as the Brahminic doctrine ?
2. Did the Buddha believe in past Karma having effect on future life ?
3. Did the Buddha believe in past Karma having effect on future life ?concluded.
1. The different ways in which it is interpreted and followed.
2. The true meaning of Ahimsa.
Section IVTransmigration Section VCauses of his Misunderstandings
1. What happens after death is a question often asked,
2. The contemporaries of the Buddha held two different views. One set was called Eternalist and the other was called Annihilationist.
3. The Eternalist said that the soul knows no death: therefore life is eternal. It is renewed by rebirth.
4. The thesis of the Annihilationists was summed up in one word, Ucchedvad, which meant that death is the end of everything. There is nothing left after death.
5. The Buddha was not an eternalist. For it involved a belief in the existence of a separate, immortal soul to which he was opposed.
6. Was the Buddha an annihilationist? With his belief in the non-existence of the soul, the Buddha would naturally be expected to be an annihilationist.
7. But in the Alagaddupamma-Sutta the Buddha complains that he is called an annihilationist when as a matter of fact he is not.
8. This is what he says : " Though this is what I affirm and what I preach yet some recluses and Brahmins, wrongly, erroneously and falsely charge me in defiance of facts, with being an annihilationist and with preaching the disintegration, destruction and extirpation of human beings.
9. " It is just what lam not, and what I do not affirm, that is wrongly, erroneously, and falsely charged against me by these good people who would make me out to be an annihilationist."
10. If this statement is a genuine one and is not an interpolation by those who wanted to foist a Brahmanic doctrine on Buddhism the statement raises a serious dilemma
11. How can the Buddha not believe in the existence of the soul and yet say that he is not an annihilationist ?
12. This raises the question : Did the Buddha believe in rebirth ?
§ 2. Rebirth of What ?
1. Did the Buddha believe in rebirth ?
2. The answer is in the affirmative.
3. It is better to split this question further into two parts : (1) Rebirth of What and (2) Rebirth of Whom.
4. It is better to take each one of these two questions separately.
5. Here we may consider the first. Rebirth of What.
6. This question is almost always ignored. It is because of the mixing of the two questions that so much confusion has arisen.
7. According to the Buddha there are four elements of Existence which go to compose the body. They are (1) Prithvi ; (2) Apa ; (3) Tej ; and (4) Vayu.
8. Question is when the human body dies what happens to these four elements? Do they also die along with dead body ? Some say that they do.
9. The Buddha said no. They join the mass of similar elements floating in (Akash) space.
10. When the four elements from this floating mass join together a new birth takes place.
11. This is what the Buddha meant by rebirth.
12. The elements need not and are not necessarily from the same bodywhich is dead. They may be drawn from different dead bodies.
13. It must be noted that the body dies. But the elements are ever living.
14. This is the kind of rebirth in which the Buddha believed.
15. Great light is 'thrown upon the subject by Sariputta in his dialogue with Maha-Kotthita.
16. It is said that once when the Lord was staying at Shravasti in Jeta's Grove in Anathapindika's Aram, the Maha-Kotthita rising up at even-tide from his meditations, went to Sariputta and asked him to elucidate some of the questions which troubled him.
17. The following was one of them.
18. Maha-Kotthita asked : " How many factors has the first ecstasy (Dhyana) put from it and how many does it retain ? "
19. Sariputta replied: " Five of each. Gone are lusts, malevolence, torpor, worry and doubt. Observation, reflection, zest, satisfaction and a focussed heart persist."
20. Maha-Kotthita asked: " Take the five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch,each with its own particular province and range of function, separate and mutually distinct. What ultimate base have they ? Who enjoys all their five provinces and ranges ? "
21. Sariputta replied: "Mind (Mano)."
22. Maha-Kotthita asked : " On what do these five faculties of sense depend ? "
23. Sariputta replied : " On vitality."
24. Maha-Kotthita asked: " On what does vitality depend ?
25. Sariputta : " On heat."
26. Maha-Kotthita asked: " On what does heat depend ? "
27. Sariputta replied : " On vitality."
28. Maha-Kotthita asked : " You say that vitality depends on heat, you also say that heat depends on vitality! What precisely is the meaning to be attached to this ? "
29. Sariputta replied : " I will give you an illustration. Just as in the case of a lamp, the light reveals the flame and the flame" the light, so vitality depends upon heat and heat on vitality.
30. Maha-Kotthita asked : " How many things must quit the body before it is flung aside and cast away like a senseless log ? "
31. Sariputta answered: "Vitality, heat and consciousness."
32. Maha-Kotthita asked : " What is the difference between a lifeless corpse and an almsman in trance, in whom perception and feelings are stilled?"
33. Sariputta replied : " In the corpse not only are the plastic forces of the body and speech and mind stilled and quiescent but also vitality is exhausted, heat is quenched and the faculties of sense broken up ; whereas in the almsman in trance vitality persists, heat abides, and the faculties are clear, although respiration, observation and perception are stilled and quiescent."
34. This probably is the best and most complete exposition of Death or Annihilation.
35. There is only one lacuna in this dialogue. Maha-Kotthita should have asked Sariputta one question. What is heat ?
36. What answer Sariputta would have given it is not easy to imagine. But there can be no doubt that heat means energy.
37. Thus amplified, the real answer to the question : What happens when the body dies ? is : The body ceases to produce energy.
38. But this is only a part of the answer. Because death also means that whatever energy that had escaped from the body joins the general mass of energy playing about in the Universe.
39. Annihilation has therefore a two-fold aspect. In one of its aspects it means cession of production of energy. In another aspect it means a new addition to the stock of general floating mass of energy.
40. It is probably because of this two-fold aspect of annihilation that the Buddha said that he was not an absolute annihilationist. He was an annihilationist so far as soul was concerned. He was not an annihilationist so far as matter was concerned.
41. So interpreted it is easy to understand why the Buddha said that he was not an annihilationist. He believed in the regeneration of matter and not in the rebirth of the soul.
42. So interpreted, the Buddha's view is in consonance with science.
43. It is only in this sense that the Buddha could be said to have believed in rebirth.
44. Energy is never lost. That is what science affirms. Annihilation in the sense that after death nothing is left would be contrary to science. For it would mean that energy is not constant in volume.
45. This is the only way by which the dilemma could be solved.
§3. Rebirth of Whom?
1. The most difficult question is Rebirth of Whom.
2. Does the same dead person take a new birth ?
3. Did the Buddha believe in this thesis ? The answer is " Most improbable."
4. The answer depends upon the elements of existence of the dead man meeting together and forming a new body then the possibility of the Rebirth of the same Sentient being is possible.
5. If a new body is formed after a mixture or the different elements of the different men who are dead then there is rebirth but not the rebirth of the same sentient being.
6. This point has been well explained by sister Khema to King Pasenadi.
7. Once the Exalted One was staying near Savatthi at Jeta Grove in Anathapindika's Aram.
8. Now on that occasion the sister Khema, after going her rounds among the Kosalana, took up her quarters at Toranavatthu, between Shravasti and Saketa.
9. Now the Rajah Pasenadi of Kosala was journeying from Saketa to Shravasti, and midway between Saketa and Shravasti he put up for one night at Toranavatthu.
10. The Rajah Pasenadi of Kosala called a certain man and said : " Come thou, good fellow ! Find out some recluse or brahmin such that I can wait upon him today."
11. " Even so, your majesty," said that man in reply to the Rajah Pasenadi of Kosala, and after wandering through all Toranavatthu he saw not any one, either recluse or brahmin, on whom the Rajah Pasenadi might wait.
12. Then that man saw the sister Khema, who had come to reside at Toranavatthu. And on seeing her he went back to the Rajah Pasenadi of Kosala, and said:
13. "Your Majesty, there is no recluse or brahmin in Toranavatthu such that your majesty can wait upon him. But, your majesty, there is a sister named Khema, a woman-disciple of that Exalted One. Now of this lady a lovely rumour has gone abroad, that she is sage, accomplished, shrewd, widely learned, a brilliant talker, of goodly ready wit. Let your majesty wait upon her."
14. So the Rajah Pasenadi of Kosala went to visit the sister Khema, and on coming to her saluted and sat down at one side. So seated he said to her:
15. " How say you, lady ? Does the Tathagata exist after death ? "
16. " That also, maharajah is not revealed by the Exalted One."
17. " How then, lady ? When asked ' Does the Tathagata exist after death?' you reply, "That is not revealed by the Exalted One,' and, when I ask . . . the other questions, you make the same reply. Pray, lady, what is the reason, what is the cause, why this thing is not revealed by the Exalted One ? "
18. "Now in this matter, maharajah, I will question you. Do you reply as you think fit. Now how say you, maharajah ? Have you some accountant, some ready reckoner or calculator, able to count the sand in Ganges, thus : There are so many hundred grains, or so many thousand grains, or so many hundreds of thousands of grains of sand ? "
19. " No, indeed, lady."
20. " Then have you some accountant, ready reckoner or calculator able to reckon the water in the mighty ocean, thus : There are so many gallons of water, so many hundreds, so many thousands, so many hundreds of thousand gallons of water ? "
21. "No, indeed, lady."
22. " How is that ? "
23. " Mighty is the ocean, lady, deep, boundless, unfathomable."
24. " Even so, maharajah, if one should try to define the Tathagata by his bodily form, that bodily form of the Tathagata is. abandoned, cut down at the root, made like a palm-tree stump, made some thing that is not, made of a nature not to spring up again in future time. Set free from reckoning as body, maharajah, is the Tathagata. He is deep, boundless unfathomable, just like the mighty ocean. To say, ' The Tathagata exists after death ' does not apply. To say, ' The Tathagata exists not after death,' does not apply. To say, ' The Tathagata both exists and exists not, neither exists nor not exists after death,' does not apply.
25. " If one should try to define the Tathagata by feeling,that feeling of the Tathagata is abandoned, cut down at the root . . . Yet free from reckoning as feeling is the Tathagata, maharajah, deep, boundless, unfathomable like the mighty ocean. To say, ' The Tathagata exists after death . . . exists not after death,' does not apply.
26. " So also if one should try to define the Tathagata by perception, by the activities, by consciousness . . . set free from reckoning by consciousness is the Tathagata, deep, boundless, unfathomable as the mighty ocean. To say, ' The Tathagata exists after death . . . exists not after death,' does not apply."
27. Then the Rajah Pasenadi of Kosala was delighted with the words of the sister Khema, and took pleasure therein. And he rose from his seat, saluted her by the right and went away.
28. Now on another occasion the Rajah went to visit the Exalted One, and on coming to him saluted him and sat down at one side. So seated he said to the Exalted One:
29. " Pray, Lord, does the Tathagata -exist after death ?"
30. " Not revealed by me, maharajah, is this matter."
31. "Then Lord, the Tathagata does not exist after death."
32. " That also, maharajah, is not revealed by me." me.
33. He then asks the other questions and gets the same reply.
34. " How then. Lord ? When I ask the question, ' Does the Tathagata exist ? . . . does he not exist after death ? ' you reply, ' It is not revealed by me.' Pray, Lord, what is the reason, what is the cause why this thing is not revealed by the Exalted One ? "
35. " Now, maharajah, I will question you. Do you reply as you think fit. Now what say you, maharajah? Have you some accountant . . . (the rest is exactly as before).'
36. " Wonderful, Lord! Strange it is, Lord, how the explanation both of Master and disciple, both in spirit and in letter, will agree, will harmonise, will not be inconsistent, that is, in any word about the highest.
37. " On a certain occasion. Lord, I went to visit the sister Khema, and asked her the meaning of this matter, and she gave me the meaning in the very words, in the very syllables used by the Exalted One. Wonderful, Lord! Strange it is. Lord, how the explanation both of Master and disciple will agree, will harmonise, in spirit and in letter, how they will not be inconsistent,that is, in any word about the highest.
38. " Well, Lord, now we must be going. We are busy folk. We have many things to do.
39. " Do now what you think it is time for, maharajah."
40. Thereupon the Rajah Pasenadi of Kosala was delighted with the words of the Exalted One and welcomed them. And he rose from his seat, saluted the Exalted One by the right and went away.
§ 1 .1$ the Buddhist Doctrine of Karma the same as the Brahminic Doctrine?
1. There is no doctrine in the Buddha's Dhamma which has created so much confusion as this doctrine of Karma.
2. What is its place in the Buddha's Dhamma and what is its significance which has already been told.
3. Ignorant Hindus out of sheer want of understanding say by comparing merely the similarity of words that Buddhism is the same as Brahmanism or Hinduism.
4. The educated and orthodox section of the Brahmins also do the same. They do so deliberately to mislead the ignorant masses.
5. The educated Brahmins know full well that the Buddhist Law of Karma is quite different from the Brahminic Law of Karma. Yet they keep on saying that Buddhism is the same as Brahmanism and Hinduism.
6. The similarity in terminology gives them an easy handle for their false and malicious propaganda.
7. It is, therefore, necessary to examine the position closely.
8. The Buddha's Law of Karma, however much may be similarity of words cannot be the same in its connotation as the Brahminic Law of Karma.
9. The premises of the two are so widely different, indeed so widely opposed that the result of the two cannot be the same. They must be different.
10. The principles of the Hindu Law of Karma may be stated seriatim for convenience.
11. The Hindu Law of Karma is based on the soul. The Buddhist is not. In fact there is no soul in Buddhism.
12. The Brahminic Law of Karma is hereditary.
13. It goes on from life to life. This is so because of the transmigration of the soul.
14. This cannot be true of the Buddhist Law of Karma. This is also because there is no soul.
15. The Hindu Law of Karma is based on the existence of a soul which is distinct from the body. When the body dies the soul does not die. The soul flies away.
16. This is not true of the Buddhist Law of Karma.
17. According to the Hindu Law of Karma what happens when a man does a karma is this. His act produces two-fold results. It affects the doer and secondly it produces an impress upon his soul.
18. Each act he does produces an impress upon his soul.
19. When a man dies and when his soul escapes, the soul is full of such impressions.
20. It is these impressions which determine his birth and status in his future life.
21. This Hindu theory is inconsistent with the Buddhist theory of no-soul.
22. For these reasons the Buddhist doctrine of Karma cannot be and is not the same as the Hindu doctrine of Karma.
23. It is therefore simply foolish to talk about the Buddhist doctrine of Karma being the same as the Brahminic doctrine of Karma.
24. All that one can say is beware of this jugglery.
§ 2. Did the Buddha believe in Past Karma having effect on Future Life?
1. The Law of Karma was enunciated by the Buddha. He was the first to say: " Reap as you sow."
2. He was so emphatic about the Law of Karma that he maintained that there could be no moral order unless there was a stern observance of the Law of Karma.
3. The Buddha's Law of Karma applied only to Karma and its effect on present life.
4. There is, however,' an extended doctrine of Karma. According to it Karma includes Karma done in past life or lives.
5. If a man is born in a poor family it is because of his past bad karma. If a man is born in a rich family it is because of his past good karma.
6. If a man is born with a congenital defect it is because of his past bad karma.
7. This is a very pernicious doctrine. For in this interpretation of karma there is no room left for human effort. Everything is predetermined for him by his past karma.
8. This extended doctrine is often found to be attributed to the Buddha.
9. Did the Buddha believe in such a doctrine?
10. To examine this extended doctrine properly it is better to change the language in which it is usually expressed.
11. Instead of saying that past karma is transmitted it should be better if it was said that past karma is inherited.
12. This change of language enables us to test it by the law of heredity. At the same time it does no harm to the doctrine either to its de jure or de facto connotation.
13. This restatement makes it possible to pose the two questions which could not otherwise be posed and without answering which the matter could not be made clear.
14. The first question is how is past karma inherited ? What is the process ?
15. The second question is what is the nature of past karma in terms of heredity ? Is it an inherent characteristic or acquired characteristic ?
16. What do we inherit from our parents ?
17. Starting with science the new individual begins when a sperm enters the egg. Fertilisation consists in fusion of the head of the sperm with the nucleus of the egg.
18. Each human being takes its origin from the union of two bits of living matter, an egg from the mother which has been fertilised by a single sperm from the father.
19. That human birth is genetic is told by the Buddha to a Yakkha who came to discuss the matter with him.
20. The Exalted One was then staying near Rafagraha, on the hill called lndra's Peak.
21. Now that Yakkha drew near to the Exalted One and addressed him as follows: ' Material form is not the living soul ' So says th' Enlightened One. Then how doth soul possess this body ? Whence to soul doth come Our bunch of bones and bowels ? How doth soul within the mother-cave suspended bide?
22. To this the Exalted One replied:
At first the Kalala takes birth, and thence the abudde. Therefrom the pesi grows, Developing as ghana in its turn. Now in the ghana doth appear the hair, The down, the nails.
And whatsoever food and drink the mother of him takes, thereby the man in mother's womb doth live and grow.
23. But the Hindu doctrine differs.
24. It says that the body is genetic. But the soul is not. It is implanted into the body from outsidethe doctrine is unable to specify the source.
25. Turning to the second question as to what is the nature of past karma, it must be determined whether it is an inherent characteristic or an acquired characteristic.
26. Unless an answer to this question is forthcoming it cannot be tested by the scientific theory of heredity.
27. But assuming there is an answer one way or the other to this question how is it possible to get any help from science whether it is a sensible theory or senseless theory.
28. According to science a child inherits the characteristics of his parents.
29. In the Hindu doctrine of karma a child inherits nothing from its parents except the body. The past karma in the Hindu doctrine is the inheritance of the child by the child and for the child.
30. The parents contributes nothing. The child brings everything.
31. Such a doctrine is nothing short of an absurdity.
32. As shown above the Buddha did not believe in such an absurdity.
33. " Yes, if it were not reborn; but if it were, no." no.
34. " Give me an illustration. "
35. " Suppose, 0 king, a man were to steal another man's mangoes, would the thief deserve punishment ? "
37. " But he would not have stolen the mangoes the other set in the ground. Why would he deserve punishment ? "
38. " Because those he stole were the result of those that were planted."
39. "Just so, great king, this name-and-form commits deeds, either pure or impure, and by that karma another name-and-form is reborn. And therefore is it not set free from its evil deeds ? "
40. " Very good, Nagasena ! "
41. The king said : " When deeds are committed, Nagasena by one name-and-form, what becomes of those deeds ? "
42. " The deeds would follow it, O king, like a shadow that never leaves it."
43. " Can any one point out those deeds, saying: ' Here are those deeds or there ? '
44. " No. "
45. " Give me an illustration."
46. " Now what do you think, 0 king ? Can any one point out the fruits which a tree has not yet produced, saying:
47. ' Here they are, or there ? ' "
48. " Certainly not, sir,"
49. " Just so, great king, so long as the continuity of life is not cut off, it is impossible to point out the deeds that are done."
50. " Very good, Nagasena."
§ 3. Did the Buddha believe in Past Karma having effect on Future Life? concluded
1. The Buddha's doctrine of Past Karma is thus in keeping with science.
2. He did not believe in the inheritance of Past Karma.
3. How can he, having held to the view that birth is genetic and whatever inheritance comes to the child it comes through its parents ?
4. Apart from logic there is more direct evidence on the point contained in a sutta called the Cula DukkhaKhandaSutta which contains a dialogue between the Buddha and the Jains.
5. In this dialogue this is what the Buddha says :" Niganthas, you have done evil in the past ; extirpate it by these severe austerities. Every present restraint on body, 'speech and mind will hereafter undo the evil doings of the past. Hence, by expelling through penance all past misdeeds, and by not committing fresh misdeeds, the future becomes cleared; with the future cleared, the past is wiped out ; with the past wiped out,is no more ; withno more (Painful) -feelings are no more; and, with painful feelings now no more, all will be outworn.This teaching commends and approves itself to us, and we rejoice in it."
6. Thereupon, I said to those Niganthas : " Do you know, reverend sirs, whether you had an existence before this or you were not non-existent ?"
7. " No, Sir. "
8. " Do you know that, in a former existence, you were guilty, and not guiltless, of misdeeds ? "
9. " No. "
10. 10. " Do you know that (in that former existence) you were guilty, and not guiltless, of this or that specific misdeed ? "
12. Secondly the Buddha asserts that the status of a man may be governed not so much by heredity as by his environment.
13. In the DevadahaSutta this is what the Buddha says : Some recluses and Brahmins there are who affirm and hold the view that, whatsoever the individual experiencesbe it pleasant or unpleasant or neitherall comes from former actions. Hence, by expiation and purge of former misdeeds and by not committing fresh misdeeds, nothing accrues for the future, the misdeeds die away ; as misdeeds die away,dies away ;'as dies away, feelings die away ; and as feelings die away, all will wear out and pass. This is what the Niganthas affirm.
14. If it is because of their birth's environment that creatures experience pleasure and pain, the Niganthas are blameworthy, and they are also blameworthy, if environment is not the cause.
15. Now these statements of the Buddha are very relevant. How could the Buddha throw doubt on past karma if he believed in it ? How could the Buddha maintain pain and pleasure in present life being due to environment if he believed that it was due to past karma ?
16. The doctrine of past karma is a purely Brahminic doctrine. Past karma taking effect in present life is quite consistent with the Brahminic doctrine of soul, the effect of karma on soul. But it is quite inconsistent with the Buddhist doctrine of non-soul.
17. It has been bodily introduced into Buddhism by some one who wanted to make Buddhism akin to Hinduism or who did not know what the Buddhist doctrine was.
18. This is one reason why it must be held that the Buddha could not have preached such a doctrine.
19. There is another and a more general reason why it must be held that the Buddha could not have preached such a doctrine. 20. The basis of the Hindu doctrine of past karma as the regulator of future life is an iniquitous doctrine. What could have been the purpose of inventing such a doctrine ?
21. The only purpose one can think of is to enable the state or the society to escape responsibility for the condition of the poor and the lowly.
22. Otherwise such an inhuman and absurd doctrine could never have been invented.
23. It is impossible to imagine that the Buddha who was known as the Maha Karunika could have supported such a doctrine.
§ 1. The different ways in which it was interpreted and followed
1. Ahimsa or non-killing forms a very important part of the Buddha's teachings.
2. It is intimately connected with Karuna and Maitri.
3. The question has, however, been raised whether His Ahimsa was absolute in its obligation or only relative. Was it only a principle ? Or was it a rule?
4. People who accept the Buddha's teachings find it difficult to accept Ahimsa as an absolute obligation. They say that such a definition of Ahimsa involves the sacrifice of good for evil, the sacrifice of virtue for vice.
5. This question requires to be clarified. There is no subject which is a matter of greater confusion than this subject of Ahimsa.
6. How have the people of Buddhist countries understood and actised Ahimsa ?
7. This is an important question which must be taken into account.
8. The monks of Ceylon fought against and asked the people of Ceylon to fight against the foreign invaders.
9. On the other hand the monks of Burma refused to fight against the foreign invaders and asked the Burmese people not to fight.
10. The Burmese people eat eggs but not fish.
11. This is how Ahimsa is understood and followed.
12. Recently the German Buddhist Association passed a resolution by which they accepted all the Panch Silas except the first which deals with Ahimsa.
13. This is the position about the Doctrine of Ahimsa.
§ 2. True Meaning of Ahimsa.
1. What does Ahimsa mean ?
2. The Buddha has nowhere given any definition of Ahimsa. In fact he has very seldom, if at all, referred to the subject in specific terms.
3. One has, therefore to spell out his intention from circumstantial evidence.
4. The first circumstantial evidence on the point is that the Buddha had no objection to eating meat if it was offered to him as part of his alms.
5. The monk can eat meat offered to him provided he was not a party to the killing of it.
6. He resisted the opposition of Devadatta who insisted that the monks should be prohibited from eating meat given to them by way of alms.
7. The next piece of evidence on the point is that he was only opposed to the killing of animals in yajna (sacrifice). This he has himself said.
8. Ahimsa PermoDharma is an extreme Doctrine, It is a Jain Doctrine. It is not a Buddhist Doctrine.
9. There is another piece of evidence which is more direct than circumstantial which almost amounts to a definition of Ahintsa. He has said: "Love all so that you may not wish to kill any." This is a positive way of stating the principle of Ahimsa.
10. From this it appears that the doctrine of Ahimsa does not say " Kill not. It says love all."
11. In the light of these statements it is quite easy to have a clear understanding of what the Buddha meant by Ahimsa.
12. It is quite clear that Buddha meant to make a distinction between will to kill and need to kill.
13. He did not ban killing where there was need to kill.
14. What he banned was killing where there was nothing but the will to kill.
15. So understood there is no confusion in the Buddhist doctrine of Ahimsa.
16. It is a perfectly sound or moral doctrine which everyone must respect.
17. No doubt he leaves it to every individual to decide whether the need to kill is there. But with whom else could it be left. Man has Pradnya and he must use it.
18. A moral man may be trusted to draw the line at the right point.
19. Brahminism has in it the will to kill.
20. Jainism has in it the will never to kill.
21. The Buddha's Ahimsa is quite in keeping with his middle path.
22. To put it differently the Buddha made a distinction between Principle and Rule. He did not make Ahimsa a matter of Rule. He enunciated it as a matter of Principle or way of life.
23. In this he no doubt acted very wisely.
24. A principle leaves you freedom to act. A rule does not. Rule either breaks you or you break the rule.
1. The Blessed Lord preached that there was rebirth. But the Blessed Lord also preached that there was no transmigration.
2. There were not wanting people who criticise the Lord for preaching what they regarded as two such contradictory doctrines.
3. How can there be rebirth unless there is transmigration ? asked the critics.
4. There is here a case of rebirth without transmigration, they said. Can this be?
5. There is no contradiction. There can be rebirth although there is no transmigration.
6. This has been well explained by Nagasena in his replies to the questions of King Milinda.
7. Milinda, King of Bactria, asked Nagasena " Did the Buddha believe in Rebirth (Transmigration) ? "
8. His reply was "Yes"
9. "Is this not a contradiction?"
10. Nagasena replied, "No."
11. " Can there be rebirth without a soul ?"
12. Nagasena said, "Of course, yes, there can be."
13. " Explain how it can be."
14. The king said : " Where there is no transmigration, Nagasena, can there be rebirth ? "
15. "Yes, there can."
16. " But how can that be ? Give me an illustration."
17. " Suppose a man, 0 king, were to light a lamp from another lamp, can it be said that the one transmigrates from, or to, the other ? "
18. "Certainly not."19. " Just so, great king, is rebirth without transmigration."
20. " Give me a further illustration."
21. " Do you recollect, great king, having learnt, when you were a boy, some verse or other from your teacher?"
22. " Yes. I recollect that."
23. " Well then, did that verse transmigrate from your teacher ? "
24. " Certainly not."
25. " Just so, great king, is rebirth without transmigration."
26. " Very good, Nagasena ! "
27. The king said : "Is there such a thing, Nagasena, as the soul ? "
28. " In the highest sense, 0 king, there is no such thing."
29. " Very good, Nagasena ! "
1. What the Buddha preached was heard by his audience, which largely consisted of the Bhikkus.
2. It is the Bhikkus who reported to the people at large what the Buddha had said on any particular matter.
3. The art of writing had not yet developed. The Bhikkus had therefore to memorise what they had heard. Not every Bhikku cared to memorise what he heard. But there were some that had made it their profession to memorise. They were called Bhanakas.
4. The Buddhist canonical literature is as vast as ocean. To memorise all this was indeed a great feat.
5. In reporting the Buddha it has often been found that he has been misreported.
6. Many cases of misreporting had been brought to the knowledge of the Buddha while he was alive.
7. Reference may be made by way of illustration to five such cases. One is mentioned in the Alagaddupama Sutta and the other in the Maha-Kamma-Vibhanga Sutta, a third in the Kannakatthala Sutta, fourth in the Maha-Tanha-Sankhya Sutta and fifth in the Jivaka Sutta.
8. There were perhaps many more such cases of misreporting. For we find that even the Bhikkus going to the Buddha asking him to tell them what they should do in such contingencies.
9. The cases of misreporting are common with regard to karma and rebirth.
10. These doctrines have also a place in the Brahminic religion consequently it was easy for the Bhanakas to incorporate the Brahminic tenets into the Buddhist Religion.
II. One has therefore to be very careful in accepting what is said in the Buddhist canonical literature as being the word of the Buddha.
12. There is however one test which is available.
13. If there is anything which could be said with confidence it is : He was nothing if not rational,
if not logical. Anything therefore which is rational and logical, other things being equal, may be taken to be the word of the Buddha.
14. The second thing is that the Buddha never cared to enter into a discussion which was not profitable for man's welfare. Therefore anything attributed to the Buddha which did not relate to man's welfare cannot be accepted to be the word. of the Buddha.
15. There is a third test. It is that the Buddha divided all matters into two classes. Those about which he was certain and those about which he was not certain. On matters which fell into class I, he has stated his views definitely and conclusively. On matters which fell into class II, he has expressed his views. But they are only tentative views.
16. In discussing the three questions about which there is doubt and difference it is necessary to bear these tests in mind before deciding what the view of the Buddha was thereon.
PART III : THE BUDDHIST WAY OF LIFE
1. On good, evil and sin.
2. On craving and lust.
3. On hurt and ill-will.
4. On anger and enmity.
5. On man, mind and impurities.
6. On self and self-conquest.
7. On wisdom, justice and good company.
8. On thoughtfulness and mindfulness.
9. On vigilance, earnestness and boldness.
10. On sorrow and happiness; On Charity and Kindness.
11. On hypocrisy.
12. On following the Right Way.
13. Mix not true Dhamma with false Dhamma.
§ 1. On Good, Evil and Sin
1. Do good. Be no party to evil. Commit no sin.
2. This is the Buddhist way of life.
3. If a man should do that which is good, let him do it again and again, let him turn the desires of his heart thereto. Happy is the heaping of good.
4. Think not casually of the good saying, " It will not come to me." Drop by drop is the water pot filled. By little added to little does good grow.
5. But well done is that deed which brings one no regrets, the fruit whereof is received with delight and satisfaction.
6. Well done is the deed which done brings no regrets, the fruit whereof is received with delight and satisfaction.
7. If a man does what is good, let him do it again ; let him delight in it; the accumulation of good is delightful.
8. Even a good man sees. evil days so long as his good deed does not ripen; but when his good deed ripens, then does the good man see good things.
9. Let no man think lightly of good, saying in his heart, it will not come right unto me. Even by the falling of water drops a water-pot is filledthe wise man becomes full of good, even if he gathers it little by little.
10. Far surpassing the fragrance of sandal or incense or lotus or jasmine, is the fragrance of virtue.
11. Faint is this fragrance of incense and sandal, but the fragrance of virtue ascends to the highest place.
12. Treat not lightly of evil, saying it will not come to me. Drop by drop is the water pot filled. By little added to little evil accumulates.
13. It is not well to do a deed which done brings regrets, the fruit whereof is received with tears and lamentations.
14. If a man speaks or acts evil of mind, suffering follows him close as the wheel the hoof of the beast that draws the cart.
15. Follow not after things evil. Dwell not in negligence. Cherish not false ideas.
16. Hasten towards the excellent, suppress all evil thoughts. Who so is backward in doing good, his mind delights in evil.
17. It is not well to do that deed which done brings regrets, the fruit whereof is received with tears and lamentations.
18. Even an evil-doer sees happiness so long as his evil deed does not ripen; but when his evil deed ripens, then does the evil-doer see evil.
19. Let no man think lightly of evil saying in his heart ' It will not come right unto me.' Even by the filling of water drops a water-pot is filled ; the fool becomes full of evil, even if he gathers it little by little.
20. A man should hasten towards the good, and should keep his thought away from evil; if a man does what is good slothfully, his mind delights in evil.
21. If a man commits a sin, let him not do it again, let him not delight in sin ; the accumulation of evil is painful.
22. Follow the law of virtue; do not follow that of sin. The virtuous rests in bliss in this world.
23. From lust is born sorrow, from lust is born fear. To him who is wholly free from lust there is neither sorrow nor fear.
24. Hunger is the worst of diseases (component), existence the worst of distress. This knowing in accordance with truth and fact, Nibbana becomes the highest happiness.
25. The evil done by oneself, self-begotten, self-bred, crushes the doer as a diamond breaks even a precious stone.
26. He whose wickedness is very great brings himself down to that state where his enemy wishes him to be, as a creeper does with the tree which it surrounds.
27. Bad deeds, and deeds hurtful to ourselves, are easy to do ; difficult to do what is beneficial and good.
§ 2. On Craving and Lust
1. Do not be possessed by Craving nor by Lust.
2. This is the Buddhist way of life.
3. Not in a rain of riches is satisfaction of desire to be found. " Unsatisfying, grievous are desires," so the wise man well knows. .
4. Even in the pleasures of the heaven-worlds he takes no delight; his delight is in the ending of craving, he is the disciple of the Supremely Awakened One, the Buddha.
5. From craving is born sorrow, from craving is born fear. To him who is wholly free from craving there is neither sorrow nor fear.
6. From craving is born sorrow, from craving is born fear. To him who is wholly free from craving there is neither sorrow nor fear.
7. He who gives himself to vanity, forgetting (the real aim of life) and grasping at pleasure, will in time envy him who has exerted himself in meditation.
8. Let no man have attachment to anything; loss of it gives pain. Those who love nothing, and hate nothing have no fetters.
9. From pleasure comes grief, from pleasure comes fear; he who is free from pleasure knows neither grief nor fear.
10. From attachment comes grief, from attachment comes fear; he who is free from attachment knows neither grief nor fear.
11. From lust comes grief, from lust comes fear; he who is free from lust knows neither grief nor fear.
12. From greed comes grief, from greed comes fear; he who is free from greed knows neither grief nor fear.
13. He who possesses virtue and intelligence, who is just, speaks the truth, and does what is his own business, him the world will hold dear.
14. Kinsmen, friends and lovers salute a man who has been long away, and returns safe from afar. 15. In like manner his good works receive him who has done good, and has gone from this world as kinsmen receive a friend on his return.
§ 3. On Hurt and Ill-will
1. Cause no hurt ; Cherish no ill-will,
2. This is the Buddhist Way of Life.
3. Is there in all the world a man so blameless that he gives no occasion for reproach, as a spirited horse gives no occasion for the stroke of the lash ?
4. By confidence, by virtue, by energy, by meditation, by investigation into the Truth, by perfection in knowledge and conduct, by recollectedness, leave ye this great suffering behind
5. The most excellent of ascetic practices is the practice of forbearance, of long suffering ; " most excellent of all is Nibbana " ; so says the Buddha. He is no ascetic who does hurt to others ; he is no disciple who works another's woe.
6. To speak no ill, to do no harm, to practise restraint in conformity with the discipline, this is the counsel of the Buddha.
7. Kill, nor cause slaughter.
8. He who seeking his own happiness does not punish or kill beings who also long for happiness, will find happiness.
9. If, like a shattered, metal plate (gong), thou utter nothing, then thou has reached Nibbana ; anger is not known to thee.
10. He who inflicts pain on innocent and harmless person, will soon come to grief.
11. He who, dressed in fine apparel of tranquillity, is quiet, subdued, restrained, chaste, and has ceased to find fault with all other beings, he indeed is an ascetic (Samana), a friar (Bhikku).
12. Is there in this world any man so restrained by shame that he does not provoke reproof, as a noble horse the whip?
13. If a man offend a harmless, pure, and innocent person, the evil falls back upon that fool, like light dust thrown up against the wind.
§4. On Anger and Enmity
1. Cherish no anger. Forget your enmities. Win your enemies by love.
2. This is the Buddhist Way of Life..
3. The fire of anger should be stilled.
4. One who harbours the thought : " He reviled me, maltreated me, overpowered me, robbed me," in him anger is never stilled."
5. He who harbours not such a thought, in him anger is stilled.
6. Enemy works evil to enemy, hater to hater, but whose is the evil.
7. Let a man overcome anger by love, let him overcome evil by good ; let him overcome the greedy by liberality, the liar by truth.
8. Speak the truth, do not yield to anger ; give, if thou art asked for little.
9. Let a man leave anger, let him forsake pride, let him overcome all bondage ; no sufferings befall the man who is not attached to name and form, and who calls nothing his own.
10. He who holds back rising anger like a rolling chariot, him I call a real driver, other people are but holding the reins.
II. Conquest begets enmity; the conquered lie down in distress. The tranquillised lies down in happiness, dismissing alike victory and defeat.
12. There is no fire like lust, no ill-fortune like hatred. There is no misery like the constituents of existence, no happiness higher than the Peace of Nibbana.
13. For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time : hatred ceases by love, this is an old rule.
§ 5. On Man, Mind and Impurities
1. Man is what his mind makes him.
2. The training of the mind to seek the good, is the first step in the path of Righteousness.
3. This is the main teaching in the Buddhist Way of Life.
4. In everything the primal element is mind. Mind is pre-eminent.
5. If a man speaks or does evil suffering follows him, close as the wheel of the hoof of the beast that draws the cart.
6. If a man speaks or acts from uprightness of mind, happiness follows him, close like his never-departing shadow.
7. This fickle, unsteady mind, difficult to guard, difficult to guidethe wise man makes it straight as the fletcher makes straight the arrow.
8. As quivers and throbs the water-dwelling fish, when thrown up out of the water on to the land, so quivers and throbs the mind forsaking
9. Hard to control, unstable is this mind, ever in quest of delight. Good is it to subdue the mind. A mind subdued brings happiness.
10. Make thyself an island, work hard, when thy impurities are blown away, and thou art free from guilt, thou wilt enter into the heavenly world of the elect.
11. Let a wise man blow off the impurities of himself, as a smith blows off the impurities of silver, one by one, little by little, and from time to time.
12. As the impurity which springs from the iron, when it springs from it, destroys it ; thus to a transgressor's own works, lead him to the evil path.
13. But there is a taint worse than all taints. Ignorance is the greatest taint. O ! mendicants, throw off that taint, and become taintless.
14. Life is easy to live for a man who is without shame, a crow here, a mischief maker, an insulting, bold and wretched fellow.
15. But life is hard to live for a modest man, who always looks for what is pure, who is disinterested, quiet, spotless and intelligent.
16. He who destroys life, who speaks untruth, who in the world takes what is not given him, who goes to another man's wife.
17. And the man who gives himself to drinking intoxicating liquors, he even in this world, digs up his own grave.
18. 0 man, know this, that the unrestrained are in a bad state; take care that greediness and vice do not bring thee to grief for a long time.
19. The world gives according to its faith or according to its pleasure; if a man frets about the food and the drink given to others, he will find no rest either by day or by night.
20. He in whom that feeling is destroyed, and taken out with the very root, finds rest by day and by night.
21. There is no fire like passion, there is no torrent like greed.
22. The fault of others is easily perceived, but that of oneself is difficult to perceive; a man winnows his neighbour's faults like chaff but his own faults he hides, as a cheat hides the bad dice from the player.
23. If a man looks after the faults of others, and is always inclined to be offended, his own passions will grow, and he is far from the destruction of passions. 24. Refrain from all evil; cultivate the good ; cleanse your own thoughts; this is the teaching of the Buddha.
§ 6. On Self and Self-Conquest
1, If one has self, let him practise self-conquest.
2. This is the Buddhist Way of Life.
3. Self is the lord of self, who else could be the lord ? With self well subdued, a man finds a lord such as few can find.
4. The foolish man who scorns the rule of the venerable (arahat), of the elect (ariya), of the virtuous and follows a false doctrine, he bears fruit to his own destruction, like the fruits of the Katthaka reed.
5. By oneself the evil is done, by oneself one suffers; by oneself evil is left undone, by oneself one is purified. The pure and the impure (stand and fall) by themselves, no one can purify another. 6. He who loves looking for senses uncontrolled, immoderate in his food, idle and weak, will certainly be overthrown by his own overdoing as the wind throws down a weak tree.
7. He who lives without looking for pleasures, his senses well controlled, moderate in his food, faithful and strong, he will not be overthrown any more than the wind throws down a rocky mountain.
8. If to himself a man is dear, let him keep close watch upon himself.
9. First establish thyself in the right then thou mayest counsel others. Let not the wise man give occasion for reproach.
10. Oneself, they say is hard to control. If one shapes oneself according as one counsels others, thus well controlled one will have control over others. II. A man pays in himself for the evil he has done and in himself is purified. The good and evil are purified severally, no one purifies another.
12. Though one should conquer in battle thousands and thousands of men, who shall conquer himself, he is the greatest of warriors.
13. First establish thyself in the right, then thou mayest counsel others. Let not the wise man give occasion for reproach.
14. If one shapes oneself according as one counsels others, thus well controlled, one will have control over others. Oneself they say, is hard to control.
15. Verily oneself is the guardian of oneself. What other guardian should there be. Guarded by oneself, one gets a guardian the like of which is not likely gotten.
16. If to himself a man is dear, let him keep close watch upon himself.
17. A man pays in himself for the evil he has done, and in himself is purified. The good and evil are purified severally, no one purifies another.
18. Verily oneself is the guardian of oneself; what other guardian should there be? Guarded by oneself, one gets a guardian the like of which is not easily gotten.
§ 7. On Wisdom, Justice and Good Company
1. Be wise, be just and choose good company.
2. This is the Buddhist Way of Life.
3. If you see a man who shows you what is to be avoided, who administers reproofs, and is intelligent, follow that wise man as you would one who tells of hidden treasures ; it will be better, not worse, for him who follows him.
4. Let him admonish, let him teach, let him forbid what is improperhe will be beloved of the good, by the bad he will be hated.
5. Do not have evil-doers for friends, do not have low people for friends ; have virtuous people for friends, have for friends the best of men.
6. He who drinks in the Dhamma lives happily with a serene mind; the sage rejoices always in the Dhamma as preached by the elect.
7. Well-makers lead the water (wherever they like), fletchers bend the arrow ; carpenters bend a log of wood ; wise people fashion themselves.
8. As a solid rock is not shaken by the wind, the wise people falter not amidst blame and praise.
9. Wise people, after they have listened to the Dhamma become serene, like a deep, smooth and still lake.
10. Good men indeed walk (warily) under all circumstances; good men speak not out of a desire for sensual gratification; whether touched by happiness or sorrow wise people never appear elated or depressed.
11. It is sweet as honey, so thinks the fool, while as yet the evil has not ripened. But when the evil ripens the fool comes to grief.
12. A fool does not know when he commits his evil deeds ; but a wicked man burns by his own deeds, as if burnt by fire.
13. Long is the night to him who is awake ; long is a mile to him who is tired ; long is life to the foolish who do not know the true Dhamma. 14. If a traveller does not meet with one who is his better, or his equal, let him firmly keep to his solitary journey; there is no companionship with a fool.
15. " These sons belong to me, and this wealth belongs to me," with such thoughts a fool is tormented. He himself does not belong to himself ; how much less sons and wealth ?
16. The fool who knows his foolishness, is wise at least so far. But a fool who thinks himself wise, he is called a fool indeed.
17. If a fool be associated with a wise man even all his life, he will perceive the truth as little as a spoon perceives the taste of soup.
18. If an intelligent man be associated for one minute only with a wise man, he will soon perceive the truth, as the tongue perceives the taste of soup.
19. Fools of poor understanding have themselves for their greatest enemies, for they do evil deeds which bear bitter fruits.
20. That deed is not well done of which a man must repent and the reward of which he receives crying and with a tearful face.
21. Know, that deed is well done of which a man does not repent and the reward of which he receives gladly and cheerfully.
22. As long as the evil deed done does not bear fruit, the fool thinks it is like honey, but when it ripens, then the fool suffers grief.
23. And when the evil deed, after it has become known, turns to sorrow for the fool, then it destroys his bright lot, nay, it cleaves his head.
24. Let the fool wish for a false reputation, for precedence among the Bhikkus, for lordships in the convents, for worship among other people.
25. A man is not an elder because his head is grey ; his age may be ripe, but he is called " old-and- vain."
26. He in whom there is truth, virtue, pity, restraint, moderation, he who is free from impurity and is wise, he is called an elder.
27. An envious, stingy, dishonest man does not become respectable by means of much talking only, or by the beauty of his complexion.
28. He in whom all this is destroyed, and taken out with the very root, he when freed from hatred and wise, is called respectable.
29. A man is not just if he carries a matter by violence; no, he who distinguishes both right and wrong, who is learned and guides others, not by violence, but by the same Dhamma, being a guardian of the Dhamma and intelligent, he is called just.
30. A man is not learned simply because he talks much ; he who is patient, free from hatred and fear, is called learned.
31. A man is not a supporter of the Dhamma because he talks much ; even if a man has learnt little, but sees the Dhamma bodily, he is supporter of the Dhamma, a man who never neglects the Dhamma.
32. If a man find a prudent companion who walks with him, is wise, and lives soberly, he may walk with him, overcoming all dangers, happy, but considerate.
33. If a man finds no prudent companion to walk with him, is wise, and lives soberly, let him walk alone, like a king who has left his conquered country behind, like an elephant in the forest.
34. It is better to live alone, there is no companionship with a fool ; let a man walk alone, let him commit no sin, with few wishes, like an elephant in the forest.
35. If the occasion arises, friends are pleasant ; enjoyment is pleasant, whatever be the cause; a good work is pleasant, whatever be the cause ; a good work is pleasant in the hour of death ; the giving up of all grief is pleasant.
36. Pleasant in the world is the state of a mother, pleasant the state of a father, pleasant the state of a Samana.
37. Pleasant is virtue lasting to old age, pleasant is a faith firmly rooted ; pleasant is attainment of intelligence, pleasant is avoiding of sins.
38. He who walks in the company of fools suffers a long way ; company with fools as with an enemy, is always painful ; company with the wise is pleasure. like meeting with kinsfolk.
39. Therefore, one ought to follow the wise, the intelligent, the learned, the much enduring, the dutiful, the elect, one ought to follow such a good and wise man, as the moon follows the path of the stars.
40. Follow not after vanity, nor after the enjoyment of love and lust. He who is earnest obtains ample joy.
41. When the learned man drives away vanity by earnestness, he, the wise, climbing the terraced heights of wisdom, looks down upon the fools, free from sorrow he looks upon the sorrowing crowd, as one that stands on a mountain looks down upon then) that stand upon the plain
42. Earnest among the thoughtless, awake among the sleepers, the wise man advances like a richer, leaving behind the hack.
§ 8. On Thoughtfulness and Mindfulness
1. In everything be thoughtful; in everything be mindful ; in all things be earnest and bold.
2. This is the Buddhist Way of Life.
3. All that we are is the result of what we have thought ; it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of your thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him. Therefore pure thoughts are important.
4. Be not thoughtless, watch your thought! Draw yourself out of the evil way, like an elephant sunk in mud.
5. Let the wise man guard his thoughts, for they are difficult to perceive, very artful, and they rush whenever they list; thoughts well-guarded bring happiness.
6. As rain breaks through an ill-thatched house, passion will break through an unreflecting mind.
7. As rain does not break through a well-thatched house, passion will not break through a well-reflecting mind.
8. This mind of mine went formerly wandering about as it liked, as it listed, as it pleased ; but I shall now hold it in thoroughly, as the Elder who holds the hook holds the furious elephant.
9. It is good to tame the mind, which is difficult to hold in and tightly, rushing wherever it listeth; a tamed mind brings happiness.
10. Those who bridle their mind which travels far, will be free from the bonds of temptation.
11. If a man's faith is unsteady, if he does not know the true Dhamma, if his peace of mind is troubled, his knowledge will never be perfect.
12. Whatever a hater may do to a hater, or an enemy to an enemy, a wrongly directed mind will do him greater mischief.
13. Not a mother, not a father will do so much, nor any other relatives as a well directed mind will do us.
§9. On Vigilance, Earnestness and Boldness
1. When, vigilant, the wise man puts from him negligence, ascending the tower of wisdom he looks down, free from sorrow, upon the sorrow-laden race of mankind. As from a mountain top, the wise man looks upon the fools in the valley.
2. Vigilant among the negligent, awake among those asleep, as a fleet courser leaves behind a sorry nag, so go the wise.
3. Give not yourselves unto negligence. Have naught to do with the lust of the flesh. The vigilant is given to meditation.
4. Earnestness leads to where death is not'; heedlessness is the way to death. Those who continue in earnestness do not die, but the heedless are as if already dead.
5. Fall not away from your purpose for the sake of another, however great this latter may be. When once you have seen your goal, hold it firm and fast.
6. Be watchful! Have done with indolence! Travel the True Path ! Whoso walks thereon happy he lives in the world.
7. Idleness is a disgrace; constant sloth is defilement. By strenuous striving and with the help of insight you should pull out the poisoned arrow of indolence.
8. Give not yourselves unto negligence. Have not to do with the lust of the flesh. The vigilant, the given to meditation, these attain an overflowing happiness.
9. If an earnest person has roused himself, if he is not forgetful, if his deeds are pure, if he acts with consideration, if he restrains himself, and lives according to Dhamma, his glory will increase.
§ 10. On Sorrow and Happiness; On Chanty and Kindness
1. Poverty gives rise to sorrow.
2. But removal of poverty does not necessarily give rise to happiness.
3. Not high standard of living but a high standard of culture is what gives happiness.
4. This is the Buddhist Way of Life.
5. Hunger is the worst of diseases.
6. Health is the greatest of gifts, contentedness the best riches; trust is the best of relationships, Nibbana the highest happiness.
7. We must learn to live happily indeed, not hating those who hate us !
8. We must learn to live happily indeed, free from ailments among the ailing men.
9. We must learn to live happily indeed, free from greed among the greedy.
10. Mankind is ruined by passion, just as fields are damaged by weeds : therefore charity done to the passionless brings great reward.
11. Mankind is damaged by vanity, just as fields are damaged by weeds. Therefore charity done to those who are free from vanity brings great reward.
12. Mankind is ruined by lust, just as fields are damaged by weeds. Therefore charity done to those who are free from Just brings great reward.
13. Charity to Dhamma exceeds all gifts. The sweetness of the Dhamma exceeds the Dhamma. The delight in the Dhamma exceeds all delights.
14. Victory breeds hatred, for the conquered is unhappy. He who has given up both victory and defeat, he, the contented, is happy.
15. There is no fire like passion ; there is no losing throw like hatred; there is no pain like this body; there is no happiness higher than the rest.
16. Fix not your gaze upon the ill-words and ill-deeds of others, upon what others do or leave undone. Look rather at what by yourself have done or left undone.
17. Hard always is life for the modest, the seeker after purity, the detached, the retiring, the cleanly of life, the discerning.
18. Is there in the world a man so blameless that he gives no occasion for reproach, as a spirited horse gives no occasion for the stroke of the lash ? Like a spirited horse that needs not the lash be fiery, be fleet.
19. Do not speak harshly to anybody: those who are spoken to will answer thee in the same way. Angry speech is painful, blows for blows will touch thee.
20. Liberty, courtesy, good-will and unselfishnessthese are to the world what the lynch-pin to the Chariot.
21. This is the Buddhist Way of Life.
§ II. On Hypocrisy
1. Let not anyone speak falsely. Let not anyone lead another to speak falsely, nor yet approve of the action of one who speaks falsely. Let every kind of lying and false speech be put away from among you.
2. As the Perfect One speaks, so He acts. As the Perfect One acts, so He speaks. And because He speaks as He Acts and acts as He speaks, therefore is He Called the Perfect One.
3. This is the Buddhist Way of Life.
§ 12. On following the Right Way-
1. Choose the Right Way. Depart not from it.
2.There are many paths ; not all lead to the Right Way.
3. The Right Path is for the happiness not of the few but of all.
4. It must be good at the beginning, good in the middle and good at the end.
5. To follow the right way is to lead the Buddhist Way of Life.
6. The best way is the eightfold way ; the best of truths the four words ; the best of virtues passionlessness; the best of men he who has eyes to see.
7. This is the way, there is no other that leads to the purifying of intelligence. Go on this path.
8. If you so on this way, you will make an end of pain ! The way was preached by me, when I had understood the removal of the thorns (in the flesh).
9. You yourself must make an effort. The Tathagatas are only preachers.
10.' All created things perish,' he who knows and sees this becomes passive in pain.
11. 'All forms are unreal," he who knows and sees this becomes passive in pain.
12. He who does not rouse himself when it is time to rise, who, though young and strong, is full of sloth, whose will and thought are weak, that lazy and idle man never finds the way to knowledge.
13. Watching his speech, well restrained in mind, let a man never commit any wrong with his body ! Let a man but keep these three roads of action clear, and he will achieve the way which is taught by the wise.
14. Through real knowledge is gotten, through lack of real knowledge is lost ; let a man who knows this double path of gain and loss thus place himself that knowledge may grow.
15. Cut out the love of self, like an autumn lotus, with thy hand! Cherish the road of peace. Nirvana has been shown by the Sugata
16. Do not follow the evil law ! Do not live on in thoughtlessness ! Do not follow false doctrine !
17. Rouse thyself! Do not be idle! Follow the law of virtue ! The virtuous rests in bliss in this world.
18. He who formerly was reckless and afterwards became sober brightens up this world, like the moon when freed from clouds.
19. He whose evil deeds are covered by good deeds, brightens up this world, like the moon when freed from clouds.
20. If a man has transgressed the one law, and speaks lies, there is no evil he will not do.
21. Those who are ever watchful, who study day and night, and who strive after Nirvana, their passions will come to an end.
22. This is an old saying. * They blame him who sits silent, they blame him who speaks much, they also blame him who says little ' ; there is no one on earth who is not blamed.
23. There never was, there never will be, nor is there now, a man who is always blamed, or a man who is always praised.
24. Beware of the anger of the tongue, and control thy tongue. Leave the sins of the mind, and practise virtue with thy mind.
25. Earnestness is the path of Nirvana, thoughtlessness the path of death. Those who are in earnest do not die, those who 'are thoughtless are as if dead already.
§ 13. Mix not True Dhamma with False Dhamma
1. Those who mistake false for true and true for false, there abides wrong-mindednessthey arrive not at the truth.
2. Those who know true as true and false as false, there abides right-mindedness-these arrive at the truth.
3. As rain gets into an ill-thatched house, so craving gets into an ill-trained mind.
4. As rain gets not into a well-thatched house, so craving gets not into a well-trained mind.
5. Arise! Be not negligent! Walk the Good Way of the Teaching! Who walks in the way of the teaching, happy is he in this and in all worlds.
6. Walk the Good Way of the teaching; walk not in ways that are evil. Who walks in the way of the teaching, happy he lives in this and in all worlds.
PART IV : HIS SERMONS
Section ISermons for Householders.
1. The Happy Householder.
2. Daughter may be better than a son.
3. Husband and wife.
Section II Sermons on the need for maintaining character,
1. What constitutes the downfall of man.
2. The wicked man.
3. The best man.
4. The enlightened man.
5. Manjust and good.
6. Need for doing good deeds.
7. Need for making good resolutions.
Section III - Sermons on Righteousness.
1. What is Righteousness.
2. Need for Righteousness.
3. Righteousness and the claims of the world.
4. How to reach perfection in Righteous Conduct.
5. One need not wait for a companion to tread on the path of Righteousness.
Section lV-Sermons on Nibbana,
1. What is Nibbana.
2. The roots of Nibbana.
Section v Sermons on Dhamma.
1. Why right views rank first.
2. Why bother about life after death.
3. Prayers and invocations to God are a futility.
4. It is not what you eat that makes you holy.
5. Not food but evil actions that matter.
6. Not enough is outward washing.
7. What is holy life?
Section vI -Sermons on Socio'political questions.
1. Do not depend on the favour of princes.
2. If the king is righteous his subjects will be righteous.
3. It is the social system on which depends political and military strength.
4. War is wrong.
5. The duties of a victor, who has won peace.
§ 1. The Happy Householder
1. Once Anathapindika came to where the Exalted One was, made obeisance to the Exalted One and took a seat at one side.
2. Anathapindika was anxious to know wherein lay the happiness of a householder.
3. Accordingly Anathapindika asked the Lord to explain to him the secret of the householder's happiness.
4. The Lord said first is the happiness of possession. A householder is possessed of wealth, justly and righteously acquired by great industry, amassed by strength of the arm, and earned by sweat (of the brow). At the thought ' I am possessed of wealth justly gained ' he gains happiness.
5. Second is the happiness of enjoyment. A householder is possessed of wealth justly and righteously acquired by great industry amassed by strength of the arm, and earned by sweat (of the brow), enjoys his wealth and performs acts of merit. Thus at the thought ' I am doing meritorious deeds with my wealth which was justly gained ' and so forth he gains happiness.
6. Third is the happiness of freedom from debt. A householder, owes no one any debt great or small, thus he gains happiness, thus he at the thought of ' I owe no man anything' and so forth, gains happiness.
7. Fourth is the happiness of blamelessness. A householder, who is endowed with blameless action of body, blameless speech and blameless thinking, gains happiness of blamelessness.
8. Verily, Anathapindika, these four kinds' of happiness are constantly obtainable by the householder, if he strives for them.
§ 2. Daughter may be better than a Son
I. When the Exalted One was once at Shravasti, the king of the Kosalas, Pasendi, had come to visit him.
2. While the king was engaged in a conversation with the Blessed Lord a messenger from the Palace arrived and approaching the king, announced to his private ear that Queen Mallika had given birth to a daughter.
3. The king appeared very sad and depressed. The Blessed Lord asked the king the reason of his sadness.
4. The king replied that he had just received the sad news that Queen Mallika had given birth to a daughter.
5. Thereupon the Exalted One, discerning the matter said : ' A woman child, 0 lord of man, may prove even a better offspring than a male. For she may grow up wise and virtuous, her husband's mother reverencing true wife, a daughter.
6. The boy that she may bear may do great deeds and rule great realms, yea, such a son of a noble wife becomes his country's guide.
§ 3. Husband and Wife
I. At one time, the Exalted One had entered the high road between Madhura and Neranja. Also many householders and their wives had joined the high road between Madhura and Neranja.
2. Then the Exalted One having left the road took a seat under a certain tree, and these householders and their wives saw the Exalted One seated under it.
3. So seeing they came to where the Exalted One 'was. Having come they made obeisance to the Exalted One and sat at one side and asked the Blessed One the right relations between the husband and wife. To the householders and their wives so seated the Exalted One spake thus :
4. " Householders, there are four ways for a husband and wife, of living together. A vile man lives with a vile woman, avile man lives with a goddess, a god lives with a vile woman and a god lives with a goddess. 5. " Householdrs! a husband kills, steals; commits impurity, lies and indulges in fermented liquor, is wicked and sinful, with his heart possessed by avarice he lives the life of a householder and abuses and reviles virtuous people. Also his wife kills ; . steals, commits impurity, lies, and indulges in fermen- ted liquor, is wicked and sinful, with her heart possessed by avarice she lives the life of the family and abuses and reviles virtuous people. Thus indeed, householders, a vile man lives with a vile woman.
6. " Householders! A husband kills, steals, commits impurity, lies and indulges in fermented liquor, is wicked and sinful, with his heart possessed by avarice, he lives the life of a householder and abuses and reviles virtuous people. But his wife abstains from killing, thieving, sexual impurity, lying and indulgence in fermented liquor. His wife is virtuous and of good behaviour , with her heart freed from the taint of avarice she lives the family life and abuses not nor reviles virtuous people. Thus indeed, house-holders, a vile man lives with a goddess.
7. " Householders ! A husband abstains from killing, thieving, impurity, lying and indulgence in fermented liquor, is virtuous and of good behaviour; with his mind freed from the stains of avarice, he lives the family life and abuses not nor revile virtuous people. But his wife kills, steals, commits impurity, lies and indulges in fermented liquor, is wicked and sinful ; with her heart possessed by avarice she lives the family life and abuses and reviles virtuous people. Thus indeed, householders, a god lives with a vile woman.
8. " Householders! Herein, a husband and a wife both abstain from killing, thieving, impurity, lying and indulgence in fermented liquor, are virtuous and of good behaviour, with mind freed from taints of avarice they live the family life and abuse not nor revile virtuous people. Thus indeed, householders, a god lives with a goddess.
9. " These, householders, are the four ways of living together."
§ 1. What Constitutes the Downfall of Man
1. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling in the monastery of Anathapindika, in the Jeta Grove, near Shravasti.
2. Now when the night was far spent a certain Deva whose splendour illuminated the whole Jeta Grove, came to the presence of the Blessed One, and, drawing near, respectfully saluted Him and stood at one side. Standing thus, he addressed the Blessed One in verse:
3. " Having come to interrogate the Blessed One, I ask thee, O Gotama, about the falling man. Pray, tell me the cause of one's downfall." The Blessed One consented to explain the causes of man's downfall.
4. " Easily known is the progressive one, easily known is the declining one. A lover of the Dhamma is the progressive one, a hater of the Dhamma is the declining one.
5. " The vicious are dear to him, in the virtuous he finds nothing pleasing; he favours the creeds of the viciousthis is the second cause of one's downfall.
6. " The man who is drowsy, fond of society, not industrious, indolent, and who manifests angerthis is the third cause of one's downfall.
7. " Whosoever, being rich, does. not support his aged mother and father, who have passed their youththis is the fourth cause of one's downfall.
8. " He who, by falsehood, deceives a Brahmana or an ascetic or any other medicantthis is the fifth cause of one's downfall.
9. "The man who owns much property, who has gold and food, but alone enjoys his delicaciesthis is the sixth cause of one's downfall.
10. "The man who prides in birth or wealth or clan, and despises his own kinsmenthis is the seventh cause of one's downfall.
11. " The man who is a debauchee, drunkard, a gambler, who squanders whatever he possessesthis is the eighth cause of one's downfall.
12. " Not contented with one's own wives, if one is seen amongst courtesans and the wives of others this is the ninth cause of one's downfall.
13. " He who places in authority an intemperate spend-thrift woman, or a man of similar naturethis is the eleventh cause of one's downfall.
14. " He who, of slender means, but vast ambition, of warrior birth, aspires to sovereigntythis is the twelfth cause of one's downfall.
15. "Know these causes of downfall, ye noble Deva, and if ye succeed in overcoming them ye will be saved."
§2. The Wicked Man
1. The Blessed Lord while he was on journey gave as was his usual practice the following discourse to the Bhikkhus who were accompanying him.
2. Addressing the Bhikkhus the Lord said: " Do you know how to recognise a wicked man ?" " No, Lord " replied the Bhikkhus.
3. " I will tell you the characteristics of a wicked man.
4. " There is a man who shows up the faults of another even when unasked, not to say when asked. Being indeed asked and plied with uestions, he speaks ill of another without suppressing or concealing, but with full details. Brethren, such a man is a wicked man.
5. " There is a man who, being asked, does not point out the good qualities of another, not to say when unasked. Being indeed asked and plied with questions, he speaks, well of another.
6. "' There is a man who, being asked, does not disclose his own bad qualities, not to say when unasked. Being indeed asked and plied with questions, he points out his own bad qualities, but suppresses and conceals them and does not give full details. Brethren, such a man is a wicked man.
7. " Then again, brethren, there is a man who, even unasked, discloses his good qualities, not to say when asked. Brethren, being asked and plied with questions, be points out his own good qualities without suppressing or concealing them and giving full details. Brethren, such a man is a wicked man."
§ 3. The Best Man
I. The Blessed One while he was on journey gave as was his practice the following discourse to the Bhikkhus who were accompanying him :
2. Addressing the Bhikkhus the Lord said: " There are four classes of persons, brethren, to be found in the world.
3. " He who has not striven for his own welfare nor that of others; he who has striven for others' welfare, but not his own; he who has striven for his own welfare but not others'; he who has striven for both his own welfare and that of others.
4. " One who has striven neither for his own welfare nor for that of others is like a torch from a funeral pyre, lit at both ends, and in the middle smeared with dung. He kindles no fuel either in village or in forest. He is useless to the world. And he is useless to himself.
5. " One who has striven for the welfare of others at the cost of his own is both excellent and eminent of the two.
6. " Then again, brethren, in the case of the person who has striven both for his own welfare and for that of othersof these four persons this is best and chief, topmost and highest and supreme."
§ 4. The Enlightened Man
I. At one time, the Exalted One had reached the high road between (the two towns of) Ukkattha and Setabbya. Then the Brahmin named Dona had also reached the high road between Ukkattha and Setabbya.
2. Just then the Exalted One left the road and sat down at the foot of a tree cross-legged. Then Dona the Brahman, following the footsteps of the Exalted One, saw Him seated at the foot of that tree resplendent and of a comely ppearance, with sense, controlled, with mind appeased, supremely tamed, restrained and powerful. So seeing he approached where the Exalted One was.
3. Having come he said thus to Him : " Is not the Venerable One a Deva ? " " Brahman, I am indeed not a Deva." " Is not the Venerable One then a Gandhabba?" " Brahman, I am indeed not a Gandhabba." " Is not the Venerable One then a Yakkha ? " " Brahman, I am indeed not a Yakkha." " Is not the Venerable One then a man ? " " Brahman, I am indeed not a man."
4. Having heard the Blessed One reply thus, the Brahman Dona said: "When Thou art asked: Are ye a Deva ?
Thou sayest: No. When Thou art questioned : Are ye a Gand-
habba ? Thou sayest : No. When Thou art asked: Are ye a Yakkha ?
Thou sayest: No. When Thou art questioned : Are ye then a
man ? Thou sayest : No. Who then can the Venerable One be ? "
5. " Brahman, verily I was a Deva, a Gandhabba, Yakkha, a man, so long as I had not purged myself of the intoxicants. These very intoxicants have I now given up with roots cut out like unto a palm-tree, with its base destroyed and rendered unable to sprout again, so that in future they do not come into existence.
6. " Just as a lotus or a water-lily born of the water, grown in the water, risen out of the water, stands unstained by the water even so, Brahman, being born of the world, grown in the world, having overcome the world I abide unstained by the world.
7. " Therefore, 0 Brahman, consider me as the Enlightened One."
§5. Man-Just and Good
1. Addressing the Brethren, the Lord said, " There are four classes of persons whom you must learn to distinguish if you wish to ascertain who are good and just.
2. " Brethren, there is a class of persons who strive for their own welfare but not that of-others.
3. " Brethren, herein a certain person practises the extirpation of lust inhimself, but does not urge the extirpation of lust in others : practises the extirpation of ill-will in himself but does not urge the extirpation of ill-will in others ; and also practises the extirpation of ignorance in himself but does not urge the extirpation of ignorance in others.
4. " Indeed, Brethren, this is the person who pursues his own welfare, but not the welfare of others.
5. " Brethren, there is a class of persons who have striven for others' welfare, but not their own.
6. " Brethren, herein a certain person does not practise the extirpation of lust, ill-will and ignorance in himself, but urges the extirpation of lust, ill-will and ignorance in others.
7. " Indeed, Brethren, this is the person who has. striven for others' welfare, but not his own.
8. " Brethren, there is a class of persons who strive not, neither for their own welfare nor that of others.
9. " Brethren, herein a certain person practises not the extirpation of lust, ill-will and ignorance in himself nor urges the extirpation of lust, ill-will and ignorance in others.
10. " Brethren, this is the person that has not striven for his own welfare nor that of others.
11. " Brethren, there is a class of persons who strive for their own welfare as well as that of others.
12. " Brethren, herein a certain person both practises the extirpation of lust, ill-will and ignorance in himself and also urges the extirpation of lust, ill-will and ignorance in others.
13. " Brethren, this is the person who has striven for his own welfare as well as that of others.
14. " This last person is to be deemed just and good."
§ 6. Need for Doing Good Deeds
1. On one occasion, thus spake the Exalted One, to the Brethren.
2. " Be not afraid of good works, brethren. It is another name for happiness, for what is desired, beloved, dear and delightful, this word ' good works'. I myself brethren can bear witness to having reaped for many a long day the profit of good works a thing desired, beloved, dear and delightful.
3. " I often ask ' Of what deeds is all this the fruit ? Of what deed is it the ripening, in that I am now thus happy and contented.'
4. "The answer that comes to me is: 'Of three deeds this is the fruit. Of three deeds this is the ripening, the deeds of Charity, Self-taming, and Self-control.'
5. " Auspicious, festive, happy, blessed dawn ! Fair day, glad time is that when alms are given to worthy ones : when goodly acts, words, thoughts, right aspirations, bring auspicious gain to those that practise them.
6. " Happy are they that win such gain, and prosperous in the way ! So be ye also prosperous in the way free from disease and happy with your kin."
§ 7. Need for' Making Good Resolutions
1. Once when he was at Shravasti in Jeta's Grove the Exalted One said to the Brethren :
2. " Brethren, there is a great need of good resolutions to be made and observed for a pure and happy life.
3. " I will tell you what your resolutions should be.
4. "Resolve that, 'all my life long may I support my parents. May I respect the head of my can. May I be of gentle speech. May I speak evil of none. Clearing my heart of the stain of selfishness, may I dwell at home generous pure-handed, delighting in giving up, may I be a proper man to ask a boon of, delighting in sharing gifts with others.
5. "'All my life long, may I be angerless, and, if anger arise, may I quickly check it "
6. Such are the seven resolutions Brethren, by undertaking and performing which you will attain the state of happiness and purity.
§1 What is Righteousness
1. Once when the Lord was on an alms-pilgrimage in Kosala, with a great train of almsmen, he came to a Brahmin village of the Kosalans named Sala.
2. It came to the ears of the Brahmin heads of families in Sala that the Blessed Lord had come to their village in the course of an alms-pilgrimage in Kosala.
3. They felt it was good to go and visit him. So the Brahmins of Sala went to the Lord and, after exchanging civil greetings, took their seats on one side.
4. They asked the Blessed One if he would explain to them what he meant by righteousness.
5. So to the attentive Brahmins the Lord said : "There are three forms of unrighteousness and wickedness for the body ; four for speech ; and three for thoughts.
6. " As regards bodily unrighteousness, a man (i) may take life, as a hunter with hands bathed in blood, given to killing and slaying, merciless to living creatures ; or (ii) may take what is not his, by appropriating to himself in thievish fashion the belongings of other people in village and jungle ; or (in) may be a fornicator, having intercourse with girls under the charge of mother or father or brother or sister or relations, yes, with girls affianced and plighted and even wearing the very garlands of betrothal.
7. " As regards unrighteousness of speech a man (i) may be a liar; when cited to give testimony before assembly or village-meeting or family council or royal household or his guild, he may say that he knows when he does not know, or that he does not know when he does know, or that he saw when he did not see, or that he did not see when he did see, deliberately lying in the interests either of himself or of other people or for some trifling gain. Or (ii) he may be a slanderer; repeating here what he has heard elsewhere so as to set one set of people by the ears, and repeating elsewhere what he has heard here so as to set another set of people by the ears ; he is a dissolver of harmony and a omenter of strife; discords prompts his utterances, discord being his pleasure, his joy, and his delight. Or (iii) he may be bitter of tongue; what he says is rough and harsh, hurtful and wounding to others, provocative of anger, and leading to distraction. Or (iv) he may be a tattler talking out of season, without heed to fact, always talking of the unprofitable, never of the Doctrine, never of the Rule, but ever of the trivial, of the ill-timed of the frivolous, of things leading nowhere, and unprofitable.
8. " As regards unrighteousness of thought, a man (i) may be covetous, coveting other people's gear with the yearning that it were all his own. Or (ii) he may be malevolent and wicked of heart,wishing that creatures around him might be killed, destroyed, annihilated, or cease to be. Or (iii) he may be wrong in outlook and erroneous in his conceptionsholding that there are no such things as alms or sacrifice or oblations, that there is no such things as the fruit and harvest of deeds good and bad, that there is no such thing as this world or any other, that there are no such things as either parents or relations elsewhere, that there are no such things in the world as recluse and Brahmins who, having trodden the right path and walked aright, have, of and by themselves, comprehended and realized this and other worlds and made it all known to others too.
9. "Contrariwise, there are three forms of righteousness and goodness for the body; four for speech and three for thoughts.
10. "As regards bodily righteousness, a man (0 puts from him all killing and abstains from killing anything; laying aside cudgel and sword, he lives a life of innocence and mercy, full of kindliness and compassion for everything that lives. (ii) Theft he puts from him and eschews taking from others except what is given to him by them, he lives an honest life. (iii) Putting from him all sensual misconduct, he abstains from fornication; he has no intercourse with girls under the charge of mother or father or brother or sister or relations, no intercourse with girls affianced and plighted and with the garlands of betrothal upon them.
11. "As regards righteousness in speech,(i) a man puts lying from him and abstains from lies; when cited to give testimony before assembly or village-meeting or family council or royal household or his guild he says that he does not know when he does not, and that he does know when he does, says that he did not see when he did not see and that he saw when he did see, never deliberately lying in the interests of himself or of other people or for some trifling gain. (ii) All slander he puts from him and from slandering he abstains; what he hears here he does not repeat elsewhere so to set one set of people by the ears, nor does he repeat here what he hears elsewhere so as to set another set of people by the ears, he is a promoter f harmony and a restorer of amity, for concord is his pleasure, his joy, and his delight. (iii) There is no bitterness in his tongue and he abstains from bitter speech; what he says is without gall, pleasant, friendly hearty, urbane, agreeable, and welcome to all. (iv) No tattler, he abstains from tattle, speaking in season, according to fact, always of the profitable, of the Doctrine and Rule, in speech which is seasonable and memorable, illuminating, well-marshalled, and of great profit.
12. " As regards righteousness in thoughts, (i) a man is devoid of covetousness, never coveting other people's gear with the yearning that it were all his own. (ii) He harbours no malevolence or wickedness of thought; his wish is that creatures around him may live on in peace and happiness, safe, from all enmity and oppression. (iii) He is right in outlook and correct in his conceptions.
13. " This is what I mean by righteousness and unrighteousness."
§2. Need for Righteousness
1. Then the Exalted One addressed the lay brethren of Pataligama:
2. " There are losses, householders, which attend the wicked and immoral man.
3. " The wicked, immoral man, as the result of sloth, comes to great loss of wealth.
4. " Then again, an evil report prevails about him which defames him in the eyes of the world.
5. " Whatever company he may enter, be it a company of the nobles, or the Brahmins, or the housefathers, or a company of recluses, he enters shyly and confused in mind. He is not fearless. This is the third loss.
6. " Again, he has no peace of mind and is troubled in mind when he dies. This is the fourth loss.
7. " Such, householders, are the losses that attend the wicked and immoral man.
8. " Consider the profits which attend the righteous man who lives virtuously.
9. ' ' The righteous man who lives virtuously comes by a great mass of wealth, due to his own exertions.
10. " Then, again, a good reputation prevails about him. He is honoured everywhere.
11. " Into whatsoever company he enters, be it of the nobles or the Brahmins or the housefathers or the recluses, he enters bold and confident.
12. " Again, he enjoys peace of mind and makes an end with mind untroubled.
13. " The fool in doing ill knows not his folly: His own deeds like a fire, the fool consume.
14. He who offends the harmless innocent soon reaches grievous disaster, or a mind distraught, loss of relations, loss of all his wealth.
§ 3. Righteousness and the Claims of the World
1. Once when the Lord was staying at Rajagraha in the Bamboo grove where the squirrels were fed, the reverend Sariputta was making an alms pilgrimage with a great train of almsmen among the Southern Hills'
2. On his way he met an almsman who had spent the rainy season at Rajagraha. After interchange of greetings of friendliness and civility, Sariputta enquired after the Master's health and was told he was well, as too was the Confraternity, and also the Brahmin Dhananjani of Tandula-pala Gate in Rajagraha concerning whose health too Sariputta had made enquiries.
3. ' And is the Brahmin, Dhananjani, zealous and earnest ? ' asked Sariputta further of the Almsman.
4. ' How could earnest zeal possibly dwell in Dhananjani ? ' replied theAlmsman. ' He uses the king to fleece the Brahmins and householders, and uses them to fleece the king. Also, his pious wife who came of a pious stock is dead now ; and he has taken to himself another wife who is not pious and comes of no pious stock.'
5. ' This is bad news, very bad news to hear of Dhananjani's lack of zeal,' said Sariputta. 'Perhaps, however, at some time and place I may meet him I should like to have a talk with him.'
6. After staying as. long as he wanted in the Southern Hills, Sariputta proceeded on his alms pilgrimage till he reached Rajagraha, where he took up his abode in the Bamboo Grove.
7. Early in the morning, bowl in hand and duly robed, he went into Rajagraha for alms, at a time when the Brahmin Dhananjani was out of the city seeing his cows milked in the byre.
8. On his return after his round and meal, Sariputta sought out the Brahmin. Seeing him coming, the Brahmin came to meet him with the remark that they had time for a draught of milk before meal-time.
9. Not so. Brahmin, I have had my meal today, and shall be resting under the shade of a tree during the noontide. Come to me there.
10. Dhananjani agreed and after his own meal joined Sariputta seating himself by him after friendly greetings.
11. Said Sariputta: "May I rest assured, Dhanan-jani, that zeal and earnestness and righteousness are yours ?
12. " How can that be, when I have to support my parents, my wife and family, and my slaves and serving folk and have to entertain my cquaintances and friends, my kith and kin, and guests, and have also to provide for my kinsfolk dead and gone, and for the deities, and for the king not to speak of supporting myself in meat and drink ? ' '
13. "What think you, Dhananjani? If we suppose a man who, for his parents' sake, has departed from righteousness and equity and is being hauled up would it avail him either to plead on his own behalf that it was for his parents' sake that he had departed from righteousness and equity and that therefore he should not be hauled up ? "
14. " No ; despite all appeals, the wardens would cast him into prison."
15. " Would it avail him either to plead on his own behalf, or to have his wife and family plead for him, that it was for their sake he had departed from righteousness and equity ? "
17. " Would it avail him if his slaves and serving folk pleaded for him ? "
18. "Not a whit"
19. " Or if his friends and acquaintances pleaded for him ? "
20. " Not a whit."
21. "Or if his kith and kin, or his guests pleaded for him ? "
22. " Not a whit."
23. " Or if his kinsfolk dead and gone, pleaded the claims of his deities, or his monarch's claims on him ? "
24. " Not a whit."
25. " Would it avail him to plead on his own behalf or to have others pleading for him that it was to support himself in meat and drink that he departed from righteousness and equity ? "
26. " No."
27. "What think you,Dhananjani? Which is the better man ? He that for the sake of his parents departs from righteousness and equity or he that no matter what happens to them walks in righteousness and equity ? "
28. "The latter," replied Dhananjani, "for to walk in righteousness and equity is better than to depart therefrom."
29. " Moreover, Dhananjani, there are other courses of action which are justified and righteous in themselves, whereby he can support his parents and yet avoid evildoing and walk uprightly. Now, does the same reasoning apply to the support of wife and family and everything else?"
30. " It does, Sariputta."
31. "Hereupon the Brahmin rejoicing in what the reverend Sariputta had said, thanked him, rose up and went his way."
§ 4. How to Reach Perfection in Righteous Conduct
1. Once while the Lord was staying at Shravasti in Jeta's Grove there came to him five hundred lay-followers. One of them was Dhammika.
2. Dhammika asked the Lord : " What principles make your followers reach perfection in righteous conduct.
3. " I ask thee this question because thou art the most matchless judge of the weal of men.
4. " Trained Jains and Mendicants all failed to vanquish thee. Trained Brahmins, ripe in yearswith others keen to air their point of vieware led to embrace thy saving truth. For, 'tis thy saving Truth, subtle, but preached so well for which all yearn. Vouchsafe an answer, Lord, to us !
5. " Let the lay-followers learn from thy lips thy Lore immaculate ! "
6. The Blessed Lord in compassion for his lay-followers said : " Give me your ear. I will explain the principles of righteous conduct. Hear and follow them.
" Slay not, nor doom to death, nor sanction slaughter. Do no violence to aught that livesstrong or weak.
8. " No layman, wittingly, should thieve, or order theft, or sanction any theft,take but what others give.
9. " And shun incontinence as 'twere a pit of fire, or, failing continence, debauch no wedded wife.
10. " In conclaves, courts, or talk let him not lie; let him not prompt or sanction lieslet him renounce untruth.
11. " Layman, observe this law: Shun drink; make no man drink; sanction no drinking. Mark how drink to madness leads.
12. " Through drink fools sin, and egg lax brethren on to sin. So flee this maddening vice, this folly, bliss of fools.
13. " Slay not, nor steal, nor lie; from strong drink keep away; refrain from lechery; touch not wrong meals at night !
14. "Eschew both scents and wreaths; spread on the ground thy bed; so make thy sabbath vows as week succeeds to week, and keep with pious hearts this eightfold festival.
15. "At morn, these vows performed, with pious, thankful heart be wise and of thy means give Almsmen food and drink.
16. " Cherish thy parents well; follow a righteous trade. Thus shall the layman staunch reach realms of light above.
§ 5. One Need Not Wait for a Companion to Treadon the Path of Righteousness
1. An elephant in battle bears the arrow at him buried, I must bear men's bitter tongues for every evil in the world.
2. Tamed, they lead him into battle; tamed, the king his back ascends; tamed, is he the best of beings when no bitter speech offends.
3. Good are well-tamed mules, and good are Cindian steeds of' lineage famed, good indeed the mighty tusker; best of all the men self-tamed.
4. Yet such mounts can naught avail us, cannot be Nibbana's guide. We can only reach the Path on the self-tamed self-ride
5. Take delight in Earnestness; watch thy thoughts and never tire. Lift thee from the Path of Evil, take the Tusker out of mire.
6. Hast thou found a fellow-traveller, upright, firm, intelligent? Leaving all thy cares behind thee, gladly walk with him intent.
7. Hast thou found no fellow-traveller, upright, intelligent? As a King deserts his borders, by the enemy pursued, like the tusker* in the forest, so go thy way in solitude.
8. Better is the lonely life, for fools companions cannot be. Live alone and do no evil, live alone with scanty needs, lonely, as the. mighty tusker in the forest lonely feeds.
9. Expunge all bad thoughts.
10. Here is the way to expunge.
11. You are to expunge by resolving that, though others may be harmful, you will be harmless.
12. That, though others may kill, you will never kill.
13. That, though others may steal, you will not.
14. That, though others may not lead the higher life, you will.
15. That, though others may lie, traduce, denounce, or prattle, you will not.
16. That, though others may be covetous, you will covet not.
17. That, though others may be malignant, you will be benignant.
18. That, though others may be given over to wrong views, wrong aims, wrong speech, actions, wrong modes of livelihood, wrong effort, wrong mindfulness and wrong concentration you must follow the Noble Eight-fold Path in right outlook, right aims, right speech, right actions, right mode of livelihood, right efforts, right mindfulness and right concentration.
19. That, though others are wrong about the truth and wrong about Deliverance, you will be right about truth and right about Deliverance.
20. That, though others may be possessed by sloth and torpor, you will free yourself therefrom.
21. That, though others may be puffed up, you will be humble-minded.
22. That, though others may be perplexed by doubts, you will be free from them.
23. That, though others may harbour wrath, malevolence, envy, jealousy, niggardliness, avarice, hypocrisy, deceit, imperviousness, arrogance, forwardness, unscrupulousness, lack of instruction, inertness, bewilderment, and unwisdomyou will be the reverse of all these things.
§ 1. What is Nibbana
1. Once the Blessed Lord was staying at Shravasti in Anathapindika's Arama where Sariputta was also staying.
2. The Lord addressing the Brethren said: " Almsmen, be ye partakers not of the world's goods but of my doctrine; in my compassion for you all I am anxious to ensure this."
3. Thus spoke the Lord, who thereupon rose and passed to his own cell.
4. Sariputta remained behind and the Brethren asked him to explain what is Nibbana.
5. Then Sariputta in reply to the Brethren said: " Brethren, know you that greed is vile, and vile is resentment.
6. " To shed this greed and this resentment, there is the Middle Way which gives us eyes to see and makes us know, leading us on to peace, insight, enlightenment and Nibbana.
7. " What is this Middle Way ? It is naught but the Noble Eight-fold Path of right outlook, right aims, right speech, right action, right means of livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration; this. Almsmen is the Middle Way.
8. "Yes, sirs; anger is vile and malevolence is vile, envy and jealousy are vile, niggardliness and avarice are vile, hypocrisy and deceit and arrogance are vile, inflation is vile, and indolence is vile.
9. " For the shedding of inflation and indolence there is the Middle Waygiving us eyes to see, making us know, and leading us on to peace, insight, enlightenment.
10. " Nibbana which is naught but that Noble Eight-fold Path."
11. Thus spoke the reverend Sariputtaglad at heart, the Almsmen rejoiced at what he had said.
§ 2. The Roots of Nibbana
1. Once the venerable Radha came to the Exalted One. Having done so he saluted the Exalted One and sat down on one side. So seated the venerable Radha thus addressed the Exalted One: " Pray, Lord, what for is Nibbana."
2. " Nibbana means release from passion," replied the Lord.
3. " But Nibbana, Lord,what is the aim of it ? "
4. " Rooted in Nibbana, Radha, the righteous life is lived. Nibbana is its goal. Nibbana is its end."
1. Once the Exalted One was dwelling at Shravasti, in Jeta's Grove, at Anathapindika's Park. Then the Exalted One called the brethren, saying, ^Brethren.' * Yes, Lord,' replied those brethren to the Exalted One. The Exalted One thus spake.
2. " Do ye bear in mind, brethren, the Five Fetters that bind to the lower world, as taught by me ?"
3. Whereupon the venerable Malunkyaputta said this to the Exalted One :
4. " I, Lord, bear in mind those Five Fetters."
5. "And how, Malunkyaputta, do you bear them in mind ?"
6. " I bear in mind. Lord, the view of bodyhood, as taught by the Exalted One, and wavering, and the moral taint of dependence on rite and ritual, the excitement of sensual delight, and malevolence, taught by the Exalted One as fetters that bind to the lower world. These are the Five Fetters that I bear in mind. Lord."
7. "As taught for whom, Malunkyaputta, do you bear in mind these Five Fetters? Will not the wanderers of other views reproach you, using the parable of a tender baby for their reproach and saying thus:
8. " But, Malunkyaputta, there can be no bodyhood for a tender baby-boy, dull of wits and lying on his back. How, then, can there arise in him any view of bodyhood ? Yet there is indeed latent in him a tendency to the view of bodyhood.'
9. ^Likewise, Malunkyaputta, there can be, no mental conditions for a tender baby-boy, dull of wits ana lying on his back. How, then, can there be in him any wavering of mental conditions ? Yet there is in him a latent tendency to wavering.'
10. " ' So also, Malunkyaputta, he can have no moral practice. How, then, can there be in him any moral taint of dependence on rite and ritual? Yet he has a latent tendency thereto.'
11. " Again, Malunkyaputta, that tender babe has no sensual passions. How, then, can be known the excitement of sensual delight ? But the tendency is there.'
12. "'Lastly, Malunkyaputta, for that tender babe beings do not exist. How then can it harbour malevolence against beings ? Yet the tendency thereto is in him.'
13. "Now, Malunkyaputta, will not those wanderers of other views thus reproach you, using for their reproach the parable of that tender baby-boy ? "
14. When this was said, the venerable Ananda thus addressed the Exalted One : " Now is the time, Exalted One. 0 Wayfarer, now is the time for the Exalted One to set."
§ 1. Why Right Views Rank First
1. Of the noble Eightfold path the noblest is Right Outlook.
2. Right thinking is the preface and the key to every thing else in the higher life, and ignorance.
3. The lack of understanding is the root of all evil.
4. For developing right outlook one must see all phenomena of life as a process of causal law. To have right outlook is to recognise the law of cause and effect.
5. " Whatsoever individual, brethren, follows perverted views, perverted aim, perverted speech or acts or living, perverted effort, attention, and contemplation : whose knowledge and emancipation are perverted, for him every action of deed, word or thought, performed and achieved according to such perverted views ; every willed act, every aspiration, every resolve, all his activities, these things one and all conduce to what is distasteful, unpleasing, repulsive, unprofitable, and painful. And why so ? Because of his evil view."
6. To be right is not enough. A baby may be right but that does not mean that a baby knows what is right. To be right one must know what is right.
7. " Anarda, who can be rightly described as an almsman? Only he who has mastered what is rationally possible and what is rationally impossible."
§ 2. Why Bother About Life After Death
1. On a certain occasion the venerable Kassapa the Great and the venerable Sariputta were staying near Benares at Isipatana in the Deer Park.
2. Then the venerable Sariputta rising up at eventide from solitude, went to the venerable Kassapa the Great and sat down on one side.
3. So seated, the venerable Sariputta said to the venerable Kassapa the Great. "How now friend Kassapa ? Does the Tathagata exist beyond death?
4. " Undeclared is it, friend, by the Exalted One that the Tathagata exists beyond death,
5. "What then friend? Does the Tathagata both exist and not exist beyond death ?
6. " This also, friend, is undeclared by the Exalted One.
7. "How then, friend? Does the Tathagata neither not exist beyond death ? That also, friend, is not declared by the Exalted One.
8. " But why, friend, has it not been declared by the Exalted One ? "
9. " This is a question not concerned with profit to humanity or with the first principles of holy life. It does not lead to perfect wisdom nor to Nibbana. That, friend, is why it is not declared by the Exalted One."
§ 3. Prayers and Invocations to God are a Futility
1. Once the Blessed Lord speaking to Vasettha said:
2. " If this river Achiravati were full of water even to the brim and overflowing, and a man with business to be done on the further bank of it should come up, and want to cross over :
3. " And standing on that bank, he should invoke the further bank and say : ' Come hither, 0 further bank ! Come over to this side ! '
4. " Now what think you, Vasettha ? Would the further bank of the river Achiravati, by that man's invoking and praying, and hoping, and praising, come over to this side?
5. "In just the same way, Vasettha, do the Brahmins, versed in the three Vedas, omitting the practice of those qualities which really make a man a Brahmin, and adopting the practice of those qualities which really make men non-Brahmins say thus :
6. " ' Indra we call upon, Brahma we call upon, Isana we call upon, Prajapati we call upon, Brahma, we call upon, we call, we call.'
7. " Verily, Vasettha, that these Brahmins, by reason of their invoking .and praying and hoping and praising, should after death become united with Brahmaverily such a condition of things can in nowise be."
§ 4. It is Not What You Eat that Makes You Holy
1. A Brahmin happened to meet the Lord and raised the question of the effect of food on a man's character.
2. The Brahmin said : " The millet-grain, palm-nuts, pulse, bulbs, and wilding shootsthis diet rightly got, ever prompts the good life. Tis eating carrion that is bad."
3. The Blessed One replied: " Though you (Lord) say you touch no carrion, you eat choice dishes made with flesh of birds1 ask what you term 'carrion."
4. " Killing and maiming, stripes, bonds, theft, lies, fraud, deceit, adulterynot meats, but these are carrion.
5. " Pursuit of pleasure, lust for guzzlings, life unclean, blatant dissentnot meats, but these are carrion.
6. " Backbiting, cruelty, betrayals, ruthless pride, mean stinginessnot meats, but these are carrion.
7. " Anger, conceit, revolt, guile, envy, bluster, pride, low companynot meats, but these are carrion.
8. " Base living, slander, fraud, cheating, the trickster's wiles, foul infamiesnot meats, but these are carrion.
9. " This rage to slay and steal, these crimes, are fraught with doom and end in hellnot meats, but these are carrion.
10. " No abstinence from meat and fish, no nudity, no topknots, shaven crowns, or garb of pelt, no cult of sacred fire, no stark austerities to purchase future bliss, no rinsing, burnt-offering, rites,' can cleanse the man who doubts.
11. " Control thy sense, rule thy powers, hold to Truth, be kind. The saint who leaves all ties and vanquishes all ills, is stained by naught he either sees or hears."
12. Hearing the Lord preach these lofty, saving truths, denouncing 'carrion', and sweeping ills away, the Brahmin meekly knelt and asked to be enrolled as Almsman then and there.
§ 5. Not Food But Evil Actions That Matter
1. A Brahmin by name Amagandha was an ascetic who lived in the region of Himalayas with his pupils.
2. They ate neither fish nor flesh. Every year they came down from their hermitage in search of salt and acids. The inhabitants of the village received them with honour and gave them hospitality for four months.
3. Then the Blessed Lord with his monks visited the same village. The people on hearing the Lord preach his Dhamma became his followers.
4. That year even Amagandha and his disciples as usual went to the villagers but the villagers did not show the same enthusiasm.
5. Amagandha was disappointed to hear that the Lord did not forbid eating fish and flesh. Wishing to have the matter confirmed he went to Jeta Vana at Shravasti where the Blessed Lord was then staying and said:
6. " Millet, cingula-beans and peas, edible leaves and roots, the fruit of any creeper ; the righteous who eat these, obtained justly, do not tell lies for the sake of pleasures.
7. " Thou eatest whatever food is given by others, which is well prepared, nicely got up, pure and excellent. He who enjoys such food made of rice, he eats, Amagandha. You say that the charge of Amagandha, does not apply to me, while eating rice with well prepared bird's flesh.
8. " I inquire the meaning of this from you, of ' what kind is your Amagandha ? "
9. The Lord replied: " Taking life, beating, cutting, binding, stealing, lying, fraud, deceiving, worthless knowledge, adultery ; this is Amagandha and not the eating of flesh.
10. " In this world those individuals, who are unrestrained in sensual pleasures, who are greedy for sweet things, who are associated with impure actions, who are of Nihilistic views, crooked, difficult to follow; this is Amagandha and not the eating of flesh.
11. "In this world those who are rude, harsh, backbiting, treacherous, unkind, excessively egoistic, ungenerous, and do not give anything to anybody; this is Amagandha, and not the eating of flesh.
12. " Anger, pride, obstinacy, antagonism, deceit, envy, boasting, excessive egoism, association with the unrighteous; this is Amagandha, and not eating of flesh.
13. " Those who are of bad morals, refuse to pay their debt, slanderers, deceitful in their dealings, pretenders, those who in this world being the vilest of men, commit such wrongdoings, this is Amagandha and not the eating of flesh.
14. " Those persons who, in this world, are uncontrolled towards living beings, who are bent on injuring others, having taken their belongings; immoral, cruel, harsh, disrespectful; this is Amagandha and not the eating of flesh.
15. " Those who attack these living beings either because of greed or of hostility, and always bent upon (evil), they go to darkness after death and fall into hell headlong ; this is Amagandha and not the eating of flesh.
16. "Abstaining from fish or flesh, nakedness, shaving of the head, matted hair, covering with ashes, wearing rough deer skins, attending the sacrificial fire, nor all these various penances in the world (performed) for immortality, neither incantations, oblations, sacrifices nor seasonal observances, purifies a person who has not overcome his doubt.
17. "He who lives with his senses guarded and conquered and is established in the Dhamma, delights in uprightness and gentleness, who has gone beyond attachments and has overcome all sorrows; that wise man does not cling to what is seen and heard.
18. "It is evil actions which constitute Ama-gandha and not the eating of fish or flesh."
§ 6. Not Enough Is Outward Washing
1. Once the Exalted One was dwelling at Shravat-si. And the Brahmin Sangarava also dwelt there. Now he was a cleanser by water, and practised cleansing by water. Night and day he abode given to the habit of going down to bathe.
2. Now the venerable Ananda, robing himself at an early hour and taking outer robe and bowl, went forth to Shravatsi to beg. And when he had gone his rounds in Shravatsi and had eaten his meal, upon his return, he went to the Exalted One, saluted Him, and sat down on one side. So seated, the venerable Ananda said:
3. "Lord, there is here one Sangarava, a Brahmin, dwelling at Shravatsi, a cleanser by water, one who practises cleansing by water. Night and day does he abide given to the habit of going down to bathe. Well were it. Lord, if the Exalted One would pay a visit to the Brahmin Sangarava, out of compassion for him."
4. And the Exalted One consented by His silence.
5. So next day at an early hour, the Exalted One robed Himself and taking outer robe and bowl went to the dwelling of the Brahmin Sangarava, and when He got there He sat down on a seat made ready.
6. Then the Brahmin Sangarava came to the Exalted One and greeted Him, and after the exchange of mutual courtesies sat down on one side.
7. As he thus sat, the Exalted One said this to the Brahmin Sangarava : " Is it true. Brahmin, as they say, that thou art a cleanser by water, that thou dost practise cleansing by water, abiding night and day given to the habit of going down to bathe ? "
8. " True it is. Master Gotama."
9. " Now, Brahmin, seeking what profit dost thou so practise the habit of going down to bathe, and so forth ? ' '
10. "It is in this way. Master Gotama. Whatsoever evil I do by day, I get it washed away that very evening by my bathing. Whatsoever evil I do by night I get it washed away next morning by my bathing. That is the profit I am looking for in being a cleanser by water and so forth."
11. Then said the Exalted One :
12. " The Norm is the pool. It is clear and undefiled."
13. " Hither when they have come to bathe, the masters of the lore, are cleansed in every limb, and pass unto the Further Shore."
14. Whereupon the Brahmin Sangarava said to the Exalted One : " Excellent it is. Master Gotama. May the Master Gotama accept me as His follower, from this day forth so long as life doth last, as one who has taken refuge in Him."
§7. What is Holy Life
1. Once while the Blessed Lord was on journey he gave, as was his practice, the following discourse to the Bhikkhus who were accompanying him.
2. Addressing the Bhikkhus the Lord said: " 0 brethren, this holy life is not practised with a view to deceive people, nor to seek their favour, nor for the purpose of gain, benefit, or fame, nor with the intention of getting out of difficulties in controversy, nor that one may be known as such and such by men. Indeed, brethren, this holy life is practised for the controlling (of body and speech), the cleansing (of corruptions) and the detachment (from) and cessation (of craving)."
§ 1. Do Not Depend on the Favour of Princes
1. Once the Exalted One was staying at Rajagraha in the Bamboo Grove in the Squirrels' Feeding ground.
2. At that time Prince Ajatasatruwas supporting Devadatta who had turned hostile to the Blessed Lord.
3. He was maintaining the supporters of Devadatta, late and early with five hundred carts, conveying therein food brought in five hundred cooking-pots.
4. Then a number of the brethren came before the Exalted One, saluted Him, and sat down on one side, and there sitting they told all of these things to the Exalted One.
5. Then the Blessed Lord addressing the brethren said : " Do ye not long for gains, favours and flattery from the kings. So long, brethren, as Prince Ajatasatru thus supports Devadatta late and early, with five hundred carts, conveying therein food brought in five hundred cooking-pots, it is ruin, brethren, that may be expected of Devadatta, and not growth in good conditions.
6. " Just as if, brethren, one were to crumble liver on a mad dog's nose, the dog would only get the madder, even so, brethren, so long as Prince Ajatasatru thus supports Devadatta it is ruin that may be expected of Devadatta, and not growth in good conditions. Thus terrible, brethren, are gains, favours, and flattery of the princes.
7. " They are a bitter, painful hindrance to the attainment of the sure peace that passeth all.
8. " Wherefore, brethren, thus must you train yourselves: ' When gains, favours and flattery befall us, we will reject them, and when they do befall us, they shall not Tay hold of and be established in our hearts' and make us slaves of the prince.' "
§2. If the King is Righteous His Subjects will be Righteous
1. Once the Lord addressing the Almsmen said :
2. " Brethren during such time as kings are unrighteous their ministers and officers also become unrighteous. The ministers and officers, brethren, being unrighteous. Brahmins and householders also become unrighteous. The Brahmins and householders, brethren, being unrighteous, the town-folk and villagers become unrighteous.
3. " But whenever, brethren, kings are righteous, then kings' ministers and officers also become righteous. Whenever kings' ministers and officers become righteous the Brahmins and householders also become righteous. Whenever Brahmins and householders become righteous, the town-folk and villagers also become righteous.
4. "When kine are crossing, if the old bull swerves, they all go swerving, following his lead. So among men, if he who is reckoned chief walks crook-ediy, the others crooked go.
5. " Similarly, the whole realm suffers when the king goes wrong. When kine are crossing, if the bull goes straight they all go straight because his course is straight. So among men, if he who's reckoned chief walks righteously, the others live aright. The whole realm lead happy lives when kings are good."
§3. It is the Social System on which Depends Political and Military Strength
1. The Blessed One was once dwelling in Rajagraha, on the hill called the Vultures' Peak.
2. Now at that time, Ajatasatru, the son of the queen consort of Videha origin, the king of Magadha, was desirous of attacking the Vajjins, and he said to himself, " I will root out these Vajjins, mighty and powerful though they be, I will destroy these Vajjins, I will bring these Vajjins to utter ruin ! "
3. So he spoke to the Brahmin Vasakara, the Prime Minister of Magadha, and said :
4. " Come now, 0 Brahmin, do you go to the Blessed One, and bow down in adoration at his feet on my behalf and enquire on my behalf whether he is free from illness and suffering and in the enjoyment of ease and comfort and vigorous health.
5. " Then tell him that Ajatasatru,' son of Videhi, the King of Magadha, is eager to attack the Vajjins, mighty and powerful though they be, I will destroy these Vajjins, I will bring these Vajjins to utter ruin !
6. " And bear carefully in mind whatever the Blessed One may predict and repeat it to me. For the Buddha speaks nothing untrue."
7. Then the Brahmin Vasakara hearkened to the words of the king, saying, " Be it as you say." And ordering a number of magnificent carriages to be ready he went to the Vultures' Peak.
8. On arriving there he exchanged with the Blessed One the greetings and compliments and then delivered to him the message even as the king had commanded.
9. Now at that time the venerable Ananda was standing behind the Blessed One. And the Blessed One said to him: " Have you heard, Ananda, that theVajjins hold full and frequent public assemblies?
10. " Lord, so I have heard," replied he.
11. "So long, Ananda," rejoined the Blessed One, "as the Vajjins hold these full and frequent public assemblies; so long may they be expected not to decline, but to prosper.
12. "So long, Ananda, as the Vajjins meet together in concord, and rise in concord, and carry out their undertakings in concord.
13. "So long as they enact nothing not already established, abrogate nothing that has been already enacted and act in accordance with the ancient institutions of the Vajjins as established in former days. 14. "So long as they honour and esteem and revere and support the Vajjin Elders, and make it a point of duty to hearken to their words.
15. " So long as no women or girls belonging to their clans are detained among them by force or abduction.
16. " So long as the Vajjins respect and follow religion.
17. "So long, Ananda, the Vajjins may be expected not to decline but to prosper and no one can destroy them."
18. In short, the Blessed Lord declared that so long as the Vajjins believe in democracy and practise democracy there is no danger to their State.
19. Then the Blessed One addressed Vasakara and said:
20. " When I was once staying, 0 Brahmin, at Vaishali I taught the Vajjins these conditions of welfare.
21. "We may expect then," answered the Brahmin, "the welfare and not the decline of the Vajjins, so long as they observe these conditions. So, Gotama, the Vajjins cannot be overcome by the king of Magadha."
22. So Vasakara heard the words of the Blessed One, rose from his seat and went back to Rajagraha to inform the king of what the Lord had said.
§ 4. War is Wrong
1. It so happened that Ajatasatru, the king of Magadha, mustering an army of cavalry and infantry, invaded Kasi, a part of the kingdom of king Pasenadi. And Pasenadi, hearing of the expedition, also mustered a similar army and went to meet him.
2. The two fought with one another and Ajatasatru defeated the king Pasenadi, who retreated to his own capital Shravasti.
3. The Bhikkhus who were in Shravasti returning from their alms round came and told the Exalted One of the battle and the retreat.
4. " Almsmen, the king of Magadha, Ajatasatru, is a friend of whatever is evil. King Pasenadi is a friend of whatever is good. For the present, Pasenadi will pass the night in misery, a defeated man.
5. " Conquest engenders hate; the conquered lives in misery. But whoso is at peace and passionless, happily doth he live ; conquest hath he abandoned and defeat."
6. Again it so happened these two kings met in battle a second time. But in that battle, the Kosala king Pasenadi defeated Ajatasatru and captured him alive. Then king Pasenadi thought: " Although this king injures me who was not injuring him, yet is he my nephew. What if I were now to confiscate his entire army, elephants, horses, chariots and infantry and leave him only his life ? " And he did so.
7. And almsmen returning from their alms tour in Shravasti brought word of this to the Exalted One. Thereupon the Exalted One said: " A man may spoil another, just so far as it may serve his ends, but when he's spoiled by others, he, despoiled, spoils yet again.
8. " So long as evil's fruit is not matured, the fool doth fancy now's the hour, the chance! ' But when the deed bears fruit, he fareth ill.
9. " The slayer gets a slayer in his turn ; the conqueror gets one who conquers him ; the abuser wins abuse from another.
10. " Thus by the evolution of the deed, a man who spoils is spoiled in his turn."
§ 5. The Duty of the Victor Who Has Won Peace
1. When the Victor in war has won the Peace he claims the right further to degrade the vanquished if not to enslave him. The Buddha had a totally different view on the matter. In His view if Peace had any meaning it means that the Victor has a duty to use his victory for the service of the vanquished. This is what he said to the Bhikkhus on this subject :
2. " When Peace is won, the adept in warfare needs to prove an able, upright man, of gracious speech, kind mood, devoid of arrogance, an easy, grateful guest, no busybody wants but few sens-disciplined, quick-witted, bluster-free, never importunate; and let him never stoop to conduct mean or low, evoking grave rebuke.
3. " May creatures all abound, in weal and peace; may all be blessed with peace always, all creatures weak or strong, all creatures great and small ; creatures unseen or seen dwelling afar or near, born or awaiting birth, may all be blessed with peace !
4. "Let none cajole or flout his fellows anywhere ; let none wish others harm in dudgeon or in hate.
5. " Just as with her own life a mother shields from hurt her own, her only child, let all-embracing thoughts for all that lives be thine, an all-embracing love for all the universe in all its heights and depths and breadths, unstinted love, unmarred by hate within, not rousing enmity.
6." So, as you stand or walk, or sit, or lie, reflect with all your might on this : ' Tis deemed a state divine.' "