1

MilindapaÒha MilindapaÒha MilindapaÒha MilindapaÒha
The Questions of King Milinda The Questions of King Milinda The Questions of King Milinda The Questions of King Milinda
Volume I Volume I Volume I Volume II II I


The Eighteenth The Eighteenth The Eighteenth The Eighteenth Book of the Khuddaka Book of the Khuddaka Book of the Khuddaka Book of the Khuddaka N NN NikÈya ikÈya ikÈya ikÈya





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mÈtikÈ mÈtikÈ mÈtikÈ mÈtikÈ

Division Division Division Division V VV V: : : : anumÈnapaÒha anumÈnapaÒha anumÈnapaÒha anumÈnapaÒha - -- - Questions on inference Questions on inference Questions on inference Questions on inference
Chapter 1: buddhavagga 4
The Buddhas
Chapter 2: nippapaÒcavagga 38
Dhamma that thwarts the cycle
of birth and death
Chapter 3: vessantaravagga 59
King Vessantara
Chapter 4: anumÈnavagga 122
Inference

Division Division Division Division VI VI VI VI: : : : o oo opammakathÈpaÒh pammakathÈpaÒh pammakathÈpaÒh pammakathÈpaÒha aa a - -- - The The The The s ss similes imiles imiles imiles 170
mÈtikÈ 171
Chapter 1: gadrabhavagga 175
The ass
Chapter 2: samuddavagga 191
The ocean
Chapter 3: pathavÊvagga 206
The earth
Chapter 4: upacikÈvagga 227
The white ant
Chapter 5: sÊhavagga 243
The lion
Chapter 6: makkaÔakavagga 257
The spider
Chapter 7: kumbhavagga 274
The water-pot

Epilogue Epilogue Epilogue Epilogue 285
3



MilindapaÒha MilindapaÒha MilindapaÒha MilindapaÒha

Division Division Division Division V VV V

anumÈnapaÒha anumÈnapaÒha anumÈnapaÒha anumÈnapaÒha
Questions on inference Questions on inference Questions on inference Questions on inference




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Chapter 1 Chapter 1 Chapter 1 Chapter 1

b bb buddhavagga uddhavagga uddhavagga uddhavagga
T TT The Buddhas he Buddhas he Buddhas he Buddhas

1. dvinnaÑ buddhÈnaÑ anuppajjamÈnapaÒha 5
The Buddha is unique in a sÈsana
2. gotamivatthadÈnapaÒha: 9
MahÈpajÈpati’s gift of a robe
3. gihipabbajitasammÈpaÔipattipaÒha 13
Practice of the dhamma by layman
and a samaÓa
4. paÔipadÈdosapaÒha 16
Practice of asceticism
5. hÊnÈyÈvattanapaÒha 19
The backsliders
6. arahantavedanÈvediyanapaÒha 26
Mastery of the ariya
7. abhisamayantarÈyakarapaÒha 29
The layman’s unwitting ignorance
8. dussÊlapaÒha 32
The immoral bhikkhu and the immoral layman
9. udakasattajÊvapaÒha 34
The life of water
5

1. 1. 1. 1. d dd dvinnaÑ buddhÈnaÑ anuppajjamÈnapaÒha vinnaÑ buddhÈnaÑ anuppajjamÈnapaÒha vinnaÑ buddhÈnaÑ anuppajjamÈnapaÒha vinnaÑ buddhÈnaÑ anuppajjamÈnapaÒha

The The The The Buddha is unique Buddha is unique Buddha is unique Buddha is unique

km km km km: O Venerable, the Buddha declared: ‘Bhikkh|, it is
impossible that two Buddhas, who are worthy of the highest
veneration, should arise in one world at one and the same
time. It is an occurrence for which there can be no cause,
and which cannot come about in any way.’

All Buddhas expound the 37 factors of enlightenment
(bodhipakkhiya), and the discourses are always in respect
of the Truths (ariyÈsaccÈ). All Buddhas teach the threefold
training: morality, concentration and wisdom; and all
Buddhas exhort diligence and mindfulness in those who are
seeking the truth - appamÈdena sampÈdetha.

If the teaching of all Buddhas is one, and their replies the
same, and their training the same, and their exhortation one,
why then should not two Buddhas arise at the same time?

Already by the appearance of one Buddha this world has
been flooded with the light of the sublime dhamma. If there
should be two Buddhas, the world would be more
illuminated by the radiance of two dhamma.

Should they exhort and instruct, the two Buddhas would do
so with greater efficacy. What is the reason why there
cannot be two Buddhas existing within the same sÈsana?
vn vn vn vn: The Buddha’s various virtuous perfections
1 11 1
have been in
the preparing and making since the beginning of the 4
asa~khyeyya and 100,000 world cycles.

6

At the culmination of those perfections at the foot of the
bodhi tree, these great virtuous perfections had thus been
honed and tempered to the ultimate infinite degree of
purity, unsurpassable by any god or man in the whole of
the 10,000 world systems.

The weightiness and magnanimity of these perfections are
beyond imagination. No other form of mental or pyschic
perfection of any such kind by anyone is comparable to
these perfections! In this 10,000 world systems, there are
sufficient powerful energy to support only one Buddha of
such great weight of virtue!

If a second Buddha were to arise simultaneously, this
system of 10,000 worlds would not be able to assimilate the
immense suffusing energy of those virtuous perfections.

One boat is able to carry only one passenger across to the
other shore. A second passenger that climbs in would rock
the boat and the boat would not be able to take on the
added weight of the second man.

Suppose a man had eaten as much food as he wanted.
Satiated, with no room left for more, were to again eat as
much food as he had eaten before. Would such a man then
be at ease?
km km km km: Not so. If he were to eat again, he would not be at ease.
vn vn vn vn: In this manner, this system of 10,000 worlds is capable of
supporting only one Buddha, and the weightiness and
magnanimity of His virtuous perfections.
km km km km: Venerable, how is it that the earth tremble at the great
weight of virtue of the dhamma?

7

vn vn vn vn: Suppose there were two carts quite filled with precious
jewels up to the top, and people were to take the jewels
from one cart and pile them up on the other; would that one
cart be able to carry the weight of the precious jewels of
both carts?
km km km km: Not so. The cart would collapse.
vn vn vn vn: But how is that? Would the cart collapse due to the
excessive weight of its burden?
km km km km: Yes, it would.
vn vn vn vn: Just so would the earth tremble owing to the excessive
weight of the virtue of the Teaching.

Further, should two Buddhas appear in the same sÈsana at
the same time, then would disputes arise between their
followers, such as: ‘your Buddha, our Buddha.’ The sÈsana
would be divided. Also, the fact that the Buddha is the
chief, that He takes precedence and that He is the best of all
would be untrue. And so, all those statements where the
Buddha is said to be the most eminent, the most exalted, the
highest of all, the peerless one, without an equal, the
matchless one, who has neither counterpart nor rival; all
would be proved untrue.

But besides that, there are natural characteristics of the
Buddhas, who are endowed with the six higher spiritual
powers; that one Buddha only should arise in the world.
This is because of the virtue of the Buddhas who are
endowed with the all-embracing wisdom (sabbaÒÒutaÒÈÓa).
The broad earth is great, and it is only one. The ocean is
mighty, and it is only one. Sineru, the king of mountains is
great, and it is only one. Space is mighty, and it is only one.
Sakka is great, and he is only one. The great BrahmÈ is
mighty, and he is only one.
8

The Buddha is great, worthy of the highest veneration;
who, unaided and all by Himself, comprehends rightly. He
is the only one in the sÈsana.

Whenever and wherever a Buddha arises, there can be no
other Buddha arising. Therefore, the Blessed One who is
worthy of the highest veneration and who, unaided and all
by Himself, comprehends rightly, arises alone in this world.
km km km km: Well has this uncertainty been resolved in a good way.
Even an unintelligent man on hearing this would be
satisfied; how much rather one great in wisdom as myself.
Very good, Venerable! That is so, I accept it as you say.

d dd dvinnaÑ buddhÈnaÑ anuppajjamÈnapaÒh vinnaÑ buddhÈnaÑ anuppajjamÈnapaÒh vinnaÑ buddhÈnaÑ anuppajjamÈnapaÒh vinnaÑ buddhÈnaÑ anuppajjamÈnapaÒho pa o pa o pa o paÔ ÔÔ Ôhamo hamo hamo hamo

Note:
1. The 10 perfections are:
dÈna – generosity,
sÊla – morality,
nekkhamma – renunciation,
paÒÒÈ – wisdom,
viriya – energy,
khanti – patience,
sacca – truthfulness,
adhiÔÔhÈna – determination,
mettÈ – loving-kindness, and
upekkhÈ – equanimity.
9

2. gotamivatthadÈnapaÒha 2. gotamivatthadÈnapaÒha 2. gotamivatthadÈnapaÒha 2. gotamivatthadÈnapaÒha

M MM Ma aa ah hh hÈ ÈÈ ÈpajÈpat pajÈpat pajÈpat pajÈpati ii i’s ’s ’s ’s gift of a robe gift of a robe gift of a robe gift of a robe

km km km km: Venerable, when MahÈpajÈpati GotamÊ, who cared for the
Blessed One after the passing away of His natural mother 7
days after His birth, presented Him a set of robes, the
Buddha instructed her: ‘Present this set of robes, GotamÊ, to
the saÑgha. When you thus present it, you would have
venerated and paid homage to both.’

If the Buddha is truly supreme, greater and more eminent
than the saÑgha, then He would have known that an alms
proffered to Him would accrue higher fruits of merit. He
would not have instructed MahÈpajÈpati GotamÊ to present
the robes to the saÑgha. But because He had instructed her
to offer the gift to the saÑgha, it would appear that He
places more importance on gifts to the saÑgha.
vn vn vn vn: O King, when MahÈpajÈpati GotamÊ presented a set of
robes to Him, the Blessed One had indeed said what you
have mentioned. But that was not because an act of
reverence paid to Him alone would bear no fruit, or
because He was unworthy to receive alms. It was out of
kindness and compassion that He, thinking: ‘In this manner
will the saÑgha in time to come be highly thought of, its
excellence maintained and magnified.’

Just as a father while he is still alive, promotes the virtues
of his son in the midst of the assembly of ministers, royal
attendants and all his hosts of subjects, thinking: ‘If I help
to establish his virtues here, in time to come after I have
gone, the people will likewise honour him.’

10

By merely offering the set of robes to the saÑgha, it does
not imply that the saÑgha is greater than, or superior to the
Blessed One. Just as when parents tenderly care for their
children, do these caring actions imply that the children are
greater than, or superior to the parents?
km km km km: Not so. Parents will care for their children as they will.
vn vn vn vn: Even so, an offering to the saÑgha, does not imply that the
saÑgha is greater than, or superior to the Blessed One. As a
matter of fact, the Blessed One was performing a suitable
act when, notwithstanding the likes and dislikes of the
saÑgha, He has MahÈpajÈpati GotamÊ make the offering to
the saÑgha.

Or suppose some man should bring a gift to a king, and the
king should present that gift to someone else: an attendant,
a soldier, a general, or a minister. Does it imply that by
thus receiving that gift, that man is greater than, or superior
to the king?
km km km km: Not so. That man is merely a subject of the king, on whom
he depends for his livelihood; it was the king who having
placed him in that office gave him a gift.
vn vn vn vn: Even so, by merely offering to the saÑgha, does not imply
that the saÑgha is greater than, or superior to the Blessed
One. As a matter of fact, the saÑgha is, as it were, a
subject of the Buddha on whom it depends on. It was the
Buddha who, having placed it in that position, caused that
set of robes to be presented to it.

Further, the Blessed One thought thus: ‘The saÑgha is by
its very nature worthy of gifts. I will therefore have this
gift that is offered to Me, presented to the saÑgha.’ For the
Blessed One praises not the offering of gifts only to
Himself, but rather to whomever in the world who is
worthy of gifts.
11

For this was said by the Blessed One desiring to praise the
virtue of having fewness of wants: ‘Whoever being a
bhikkhu, avoids eating leftover food, and devotes himself
to the practice of the dhamma; such a one should be the
first of my saÑgha who is worthy of the highest veneration
and of the highest praise.’ [DhammadÈyÈda Sutta]

There is not in the three planes of existence any being
worthy of gifts, greater or more exalted than the Buddha. It
is the Buddha who is supreme, there is no other.

It was said by MÈÓava-gÈmika, as he stood before the
Blessed One in the midst of the assembly of gods and men:
‘Of all the circumjacent hills of the city of RÈjagaha,
Mount Vipula’s acknowledged chief,
Of the Himalayas; Mount White,
Of planetary orbs; the sun,
The ocean of all waters,
Of constellations bright; the moon
In all the world of gods and men; the Buddha’s
The acknowledged Lord.’
[SaÑyutta NikÈya]

And those verses of MÈÓava the god were well sung, not
wrongly sung; well spoken, not wrongly spoken, and
approved by the Blessed One. Was it not said by Venerable
SÈriputta, commander of the dhamma that:
‘There is but one devotional feeling,
Coming for refuge or stretching forth,
The joined palms in salutation,
These are to the Blessed One,
The destroyer of MÈra’s power,
Who is able to help us cross the ocean of saÑsÈra.’
12

It was also said by the Blessed One Himself: ‘Bhikkh|,
there is only one being who is born into the world for the
good and the welfare of the great multitudes, out of
compassion to the world, for the advantage and the good
and the welfare of gods and men. And what is that being?
He is the TathÈgata, an arahant; the Buddha supreme.’
km km km km: Very good, Venerable! That is so and I accept it as you say.

gotamivatth gotamivatth gotamivatth gotamivatthad ad ad adÈ ÈÈ ÈnapaÒh napaÒh napaÒh napaÒho dutiyo o dutiyo o dutiyo o dutiyo
13

3. gihipabbajitasammÈpaÔipattipaÒha 3. gihipabbajitasammÈpaÔipattipaÒha 3. gihipabbajitasammÈpaÔipattipaÒha 3. gihipabbajitasammÈpaÔipattipaÒha

P PP Pract ract ract ractice of the right dhamma ice of the right dhamma ice of the right dhamma ice of the right dhamma

km km km km: Venerable, it was said by the Buddha: ‘Bhikkh|, I do praise
the layman or the samaÓa who exercises rightly the practice
of the dhamma. If either the layman or the samaÓa
exercises rightly the practice of the dhamma, such a one, by
reason of such practice, accomplishes the task of winning
the path to emancipation.’

If a layman who is clothed in white, enjoying the pleasures
of the senses, living the restricted life of a householder
supporting wife and children, using luxurious and refined
textiles woven in KÈsi country, enjoying the use of
sandalwood, and accepting gold and silver, were to
accomplish the task of winning the path of emancipation
through the right practice of the dhamma; and a samaÓa
who is shaven-headed, garbed in yellow robes, worthy of
offering of the 4 requisites, fulfils the fourfold code of
morality
1 11 1
, observes more than 150 rules
2 22 2
of the bhikkh|
disciplinary code and practises the 13 ascetic means of
purification without any exception, were also to accomplish
the same task of winning the path of emancipation through
the right practice of the dhamma. What then is the
distinction between the layman and the samaÓa?

If such is the case, then your practice of austerity is without
effect, your renunciation is useless, your observance of the
disciplinary rules is barren, and your observance of the
means of purification is vain. What is the good of your
practising the dhamma as a samaÓa, undergoing privations
and austerities?
14

vn vn vn vn: The Buddha did indeed declare as you have stated; for it is
only the one who exercises rightly the practice of the
dhamma is truly sanctified. If the samaÓa does not exercise
rightly the practice of the dhamma with the full knowledge
that, ‘I am a samaÓa,’ then such a one is far from being a
samaÓa, far from being sanctified.

But nevertheless, it is the samaÓa only who can fully exert
total effort of being a samaÓa, and who can take command
of his own affairs. Being a samaÓa brings along blessings
of many kinds; these blessings to a samaÓa are indeed
matchless, these blessings of samaÓaship enables him to
practise without hindrances.

Just as no man can put a measure in wealth on the value of
a wish-conferring gem saying: ‘Such and such is the price
of the gem.’ Just as no man can count the number of waves
in the great ocean and say: ‘So and so many are the waves
in the great ocean!’ Even so, the blessings of a samaÓa are
of many kinds and are indeed matchless.

Both have to fulfil many tasks to attain to emancipation. A
layperson has many distractions of lay-life. A samaÓa as
opposed to a layperson, has less needs; he is easy to be
satisfied, he is devoid of sensual lust, he holds no
communion that will distract from his practice. Thus, this
enables him to be steadfast in zeal; free from attachment,
he has no need of a house of craving, he is fully observant
of the moral precepts, he is a follower of the practice of
austere living, skillful in the practice of the means of
purification. Without any attachment or hindrances of a
householder, the samaÓa is able to devote his total
concentration and effort in the practice of emancipation. He
thus goes directly into his practice without let or hindrance.
15

Just as the flight of your javeline is efficient because it is
straight and direct, well-burnished, without a stain and well
maintained; even so, because a samaÓa has fewer lay-life’s
responsibilities, whatever he may have yet to do to attain
emancipation, he is concentrated and diligently works at it;
thus, does he accomplish emancipation without delay.
km km km km: Very good, Venerable! That is so and I accept it as you say.

gihipabbajitasamm gihipabbajitasamm gihipabbajitasamm gihipabbajitasammÈ ÈÈ ÈpaÔipattipaÒho tatiyo paÔipattipaÒho tatiyo paÔipattipaÒho tatiyo paÔipattipaÒho tatiyo

Notes: Notes: Notes: Notes:
1. The four kinds of morality consisting of purity (catu-pÈrisuddhi-sÊla):
[i] restraint with regard to the bhikkh| disciplinary code (pÈtimokkha-
saÑvara-sÊla),
[ii] restraint of the senses (indriya-saÑvara-sÊla),
[iii] purity with regard to one’s livelihood (Èjiva-pÈrisuddhi-sÊla),
[iv] morality with regard to the 4 requisites (pacccaya-sannissita-sÊla).

2. Refer to AN III 83, 85. ‘Lord, the recital I have to make twice a
month amounts to more than a hundred and fifty rules...’
It is clear from reference to the A~guttara NikÈya that the rules referred
to are those of the pÈtimokkha, notwithstanding the fact that the actual
number known to us today is 227.

16

4. paÔipadÈdosapaÒha 4. paÔipadÈdosapaÒha 4. paÔipadÈdosapaÒha 4. paÔipadÈdosapaÒha

Practice of Practice of Practice of Practice of asceticism asceticism asceticism asceticism

km km km km: Venerable, the bodhisatta’s practice of ascetism during the
time He was undergoing His final striving in the Uruvela
forest was unique in this present sÈsana; no exertion of any
kind by anyone can be comparable or even in any degree
similar in intensity to His great ultimate effort. No such
power of determination; no such battling against
defilements; no such routing of the armies of MÈra; and no
such abstinence in food was or ever will be expended now
or in the future.

But finding not the slightest satisfaction and result in
struggle of that nature, He relaxed the effort, contemplating
the while: ‘Not even by this practice of severe asceticism
am I gaining the transcendental knowledge arising from
insight into the knowledge of that which is fitting and
noble. Can there be some other way of gaining that
transcendental knowledge?’

Contemplating deeply, it came to Him that this way was not
the correct way. He realised that this extreme practice was
not the way to deathlessness. Bringing all His knowledge to
bear, He went on the middle path and continued His great
struggle.

But even when greatly wearied, He did not surrender His
mighty effort; He was determined to gain the final
emancipation. Exerting all effort, He eventually attained to
Buddhahood. Showcased by His great victory, He
repeatedly exhorted and instructed His disciples to avoid
that path which He had wearied in and abandoned, saying:
17

‘Exert yourselves in this Teaching and Discipline,
Strive diligently without flinching,
Strive on without relenting,
As a strong elephant crushes a house of reeds,
Even so, destroy the defilements
Which are the hosts of MÈra.’

Now, what is the reason that the Buddha exhorted and
taught His disciples to avoid that ascetic practice in which
He had wearied and from which He had become detached?
vn vn vn vn: O King, both then also, and now, too that practice of
asceticism prevails only as a path. It is along that path the
bodhisatta attained to Buddhahood.

The Buddha declared: ‘There are these two extremes, O
bhikkh|, which should be avoided by one who has
renounced:

(i) Indulgence in sensual pleasures; this is base, vulgar,
worldly, ignoble and profitless; and,

(ii) Addiction to self-mortification; this is painful, ignoble
and profitless.

‘Abandoning both these extremes the TathÈgata has
comprehended the Middle Path which promotes insight and
knowledge, and which tends to peace, higher wisdom,
enlightenment, and nibbÈna. What, O bhikkh|, is that
Middle Path the Tathāgata has comprehended which
promotes insight and knowledge, and which tends to peace,
higher wisdom, enlightenment, and nibbÈna?


18

‘The very Noble Eightfold Path: right understanding
(sammÈ ditthi), right thoughts (sammÈ sankappa), right
speech (sammÈ vÈcÈ), right action (sammÈ kammanta),
right livelihood (sammÈ Èjiva), right effort (sammÈ
vÈyÈma), right mindfulness (sammÈ sati), and right
concentration (sammÈ samÈdhi). This, O bhikkh| is the
Middle Path which the TathÈgata has comprehended.’

tatra kho bhagavÈ paÒcavaggiye bhikkh| Èmantesi –
‘dveme, bhikkhave, antÈ pabbajitena na sevitabbÈ. katame
dve? yo cÈyaÑ kÈmesu kÈmasukhallikÈnuyogo hÊno gammo
pothujjaniko anariyo anatthasaÑhito, yo cÈyaÑ
attakilamathÈnuyogo dukkho anariyo anatthasaÑhito. ete
kho, bhikkhave, ubho ante anupagamma majjhimÈ paÔipadÈ
tathÈgatena abhisambuddhÈ cakkhukaraÓÊ ÒÈÓakaraÓÊ
upasamÈya abhiÒÒÈya sambodhÈya nibbÈnÈya saÑvattati.

‘katamÈ ca sÈ, bhikkhave, majjhimÈ paÔipadÈ tathÈgatena
abhisambuddhÈ cakkhukaraÓÊ ÒÈÓakaraÓÊ upasamÈya
abhiÒÒÈya sambodhÈya nibbÈnÈya saÑvattati? ayameva
ariyo aÔÔha~giko maggo, seyyathidaÑ - sammÈdiÔÔhi
sammÈsa~kappo sammÈvÈcÈ sammÈkammanto sammÈÈjÊvo
sammÈvÈyÈmo sammÈsati sammÈsamÈdhi. ayaÑ kho sÈ,
bhikkhave, majjhimÈ paÔipadÈ tathÈgatena abhisambuddhÈ
cakkhukaraÓÊ ÒÈÓakaraÓÊ upasamÈya abhiÒÒÈya
sambodhÈya nibbÈnÈya saÑvattati.’ [SN 56:11]
km km km km: Very good Venerable! That is so and I accept it as you say.

paÔipad paÔipad paÔipad paÔipadÈ ÈÈ ÈdosapaÒho dosapaÒho dosapaÒho dosapaÒho catuttho catuttho catuttho catuttho
19

5. hÊnÈyÈvattanapaÒha 5. hÊnÈyÈvattanapaÒha 5. hÊnÈyÈvattanapaÒha 5. hÊnÈyÈvattanapaÒha

T TT The backs he backs he backs he backsliders liders liders liders

km km km km: O Venerable, the sÈsana of the Buddha is enduring, noble
and peerless. It does not seem right to admit a layman who
is merely an adherent, into the saÑgha; as he, being filled
with defilement, may not be able to bear the rigorous
discipline nature of a monk’s livelihood and may soon
return to lay life.

He should be instructed till he would have attained to at
least the first stage of the supramundane paths and
fruitions, and then be admitted into the saÑgha. By not
being able to remain as a bhikkhu due to his own failing,
people may misconceive that it was the dhamma of the
Buddha which was not worthy to be practised, which is
why these men have given up monkhood.
vn vn vn vn: Suppose there were a bathing tank, full of clean cold water,
and a man, grimy, dirty and smeared with mud and mire,
should stand by the side, and without bathing in it should
turn back again, still grimy, dirty and smeared as before.
Now, who would the people blame for the dirt still on the
man; the dirty man or the bathing tank?
km km km km: The people would blame the dirty man for not bathing in it,
as the bathing tank, of itself cannot clean the man.
vn vn vn vn: Even so has the Buddha constructed a bathing tank full of
excellent water of emancipation; the bath of the sublime
dhamma. Those who bathe in it would be cleansed of all
their defilements. If anyone, having gone to that bathing
tank of the sublime dhamma, should abstain from bathing
in it but went away, still grimy, dirty and polluted as
before, the people would blame him.

20

Thus the layman, having entered monkhood in the sÈsana of
the Blessed One and finding no resting place within it, has
returned again to a householder’s life. How could the
sÈsana of the Blessed One of itself, infuse in him
knowledge and wisdom if he would not practise it?

Or suppose that a man afflicted with a dire disease should
visit a physician skilled in diagnosis, who knows an
efficacious and lasting method of cure. That man not letting
himself be treated, but departs as afflicted with the disease
as before. Now, who would the people blame - the man
afflicted with disease or the physician?
km km km km: It is the man whom the people would blame.
vn vn vn vn: Even so has the Buddha deposited in the casket of His
sÈsana, the effective medicine of nibbÈna which has the
efficacy of curing all kinds of diseases of defilements,
thinking: ‘Let those who are polluted with the stains of
defilement and desirous of effecting a cure thereof avail
themselves of this medicine, and so allayed all their
diseases.’ If anyone, without drinking the medicine, should
return to a householder’s life, it is only this man whom the
people would blame.

Or suppose a starving man were to arrive at a place where
there is food given by donors and then should go away,
without eating. Who then would the people blame for his
still being hungry?
km km km km: It is the starving man they would blame.
vn vn vn vn: Just so has the Blessed One placed the most superb and
exceedingly nutritious food of mindfulness with regard to
the body, thinking: ‘Let some beings avail themselves of
this food and thus overcome all craving for rebirth in the
three planes of existence’.
21

If anyone, without partaking this nutritious food of
mindfulness with regard to the body, should return to a
householder’s life with the disease of defilements intact as
was before, it is this man whom the people would blame.

If the Blessed One were to admit to the saÑgha only those
who have already attained to the beginning stage of the
path, there would be no more task to strive for in the
overcoming and purifying of defilements. The holy life
already fulfilled there would have nothing further to be
done by a bhikkhu.

Notwithstanding that, they who return to a householder’s
life manifest thereby five immeasurable good qualities in
the sÈsana of the Blessed One. By their giving up the
training and returning to a househlder’s life, they
effectively demonstrate:
• how glorious is the state of the sÈsana;
• how purified it is from every bane and stain;
• how impossible it is for the evil elements to abide
within it together;
• how difficult it is to penetrate into the finenesses
and subtleties of the Teaching; and
• how numerous are the restraints to be observed
within it.

How is this demonstrated? Just as if a man, poor, of low
birth, without distinction, and deficient in knowledge were
to step into the position of a mighty and glorious king. It
would not be long before he would be overthrown,
destroyed or reduced in the strength of his followers and
attendants. Due to the greatness of the status of a governing
king, he would be unable to support his dignity and
maintain the governing influence.
22

Even so, it is that whoever are without distinction, have
acquired no merit and are deficient in knowledge, were to
enter into monkhood in the sÈsana of the Blessed One, he
would be unable to bear the strain of maintaining the
mighty and glorious monkhood. Thus, overthrown, fallen
and deprived of their glory, they return to a householder’s
life. For they do not have the qualities to bear the
responsibility of supporting the sÈsana of the Blessed One.

Why is that so? It is because of the exalted and rarefied
quality of the Teaching that brings this about. Thus is it,
that by giving up the practice of the teachings and returning
to a householder’s life, they demonstrate their own failings
and declare the exalted and rarefied quality of the state of
the sÈsana.

How do they demonstrate the exalted and rarefied quality
of the sÈsana of the Blessed One from every misery and
sorrow that is experienced? Just as water, when it has fallen
upon a lotus leaf, flows away, disperses, scatters,
disappears, and adheres not to it. This is due to the purity
of the lotus.

Even so, those with wrong views who enter monkhood in
the sÈsana of the Blessed One, will not have to wait long
before they disperse and scatter, and fall from that pure and
stainless sÈsana. Thus, finding no foothold to cling to, they
return to the householder’s life.

Why is it so? Because the sÈsana of the Blessed One is
totally pure, devoid of any misery and sorrow. Thus is it,
that those who return to a householder’s life demonstrate
the wholesome nature of the sÈsana.

23

The great ocean, because it is the abode of mighty
creatures, does not tolerate in it of anything that are dead or
defiled; it quickly washes dead things ashore, and cast it
onto dry land.

Even so, when those who are not worthy, unrestrained,
devoid of moral shame and deficient in zealous effort have
been admitted into the order, they are unable to practise the
Teaching. It is therefore not long before they abandon the
Blessed One’s Teachings. They return to the householder’s
life, being unable to dwell together with the worthy ones,
they are unable to find compatible symbiosis within the
sÈsana of the Blessed One. Thus is it that by their giving up
the practice, they demonstrate how impossible it is for the
unworthy elements to abide in the sÈsana.

How do they show how difficult it is to penetrate into the
finenesses and subtleties of the Teaching? Just as archers
who are unskilled, untrained, devoid of the art, or deficient
in knowledge and intellect, are incapable of high feats of
archery, such as hair-splitting and as such they drop out and
go elsewhere. Why is it so? Because of the difficulty of
splitting the tail end of a horse hair of utmost fineness and
minuteness.

Even so, when those who are slow and dull-witted enter
monkhood, they, being unable to understand with
penetrating knowledge the exquisitely fine and subtle
distinction of the Truths, turn back before long and return
to the householder’s life. Why is it so? Because it is so
difficult to penetrate into the fineness and subtleness of the
Truth. This is how they show the difficulty of penetrating
into the fineness and subtleness of the sÈsana.

24

How do they show how numerous are the restraints to be
observed within the sÈsana of the Blessed One? Just as a
man who had gone to fight in a battle were surrounded on
all sides by the forces of the enemy, he sees soldiers
crowding in upon him. Fearing for his own safety, he gives
way and takes flight. Why is it so? Out of fear lest he
should be hurt and killed in the fight with an army that
outnumbers him.

Even so, whoever are wicked, unrestrained, devoid of
moral shame, unable to practise the Teaching, lacking in
forbearing patience, fickle, unsteady, mean and stupid enter
into monkhood in the sÈsana of the Blessed One, then they,
unable to carry out the manifold precepts, return to the
householder’s life. Why is it so? Because of the restraints
and injunctions to be observed. Thus is it that they show
how numerous are the restraints to be observed with it.

Just as on the double jasmine shrub, there may be flowers
that have been infested by plant-louse, decayed and flower
buds that have dropped in their undeveloped stage. But by
their having decayed and dropped is not the jasmine bush
that is disgraced. For the flowers that still remain upon it
pervade the atmosphere in every direction with their
exquisite perfume.

Even so, those having entered into monkhood, would return
again to the householder’s life, are like jasmine flowers
infested by plant-louse and deprived of their colour and
fragrance, and incapable of development. By their
backsliding is not the sÈsana that is put to shame. For the
noble members of the saÑgha who remain in the sÈsana
pervade the world of gods and men with the exquisite
perfume of their moral perfection.
25

Among rice plants that are healthy, there may spring up
different species of rice plant called karumbhaka, and that
may occasionally deteriorate before reaching full
development. But by its deterioration are not the rice plants
disgraced. For whatever healthy rice species that remained
in the field become the food of kings.

Even so, whoever returns to the lay life, may grow not, nor
attain development. But by their backsliding it is not the
sÈsana of the Blessed One that is put to shame. For the
noble members of the saÑgha who remain in the sÈsana are
entitled to attain to the path of emancipation.

Even so, whoever having entered into monkhood in the
sÈsana of the Blessed One, return again to a householder’s
life, they, like the decayed part of sandalwood, may be as it
were thrown away in the sÈsana. But by their backsliding is
not the sÈsana put to shame. For the noble members of the
saÑgha who remain in the sÈsana anoint with the noble
perfume of the red sandalwood of their moral perfection,
pervades the whole world of gods and men.
km km km km: Very good, Venerable! By one appropriate simile after
another, by one correct analogy after another you have
vindicated the faultlessness and illustrated the sublime
quality of the sÈsana. Even those who have lapsed and
returned to the lower state manifest thereby how glorious
and sublime is the sÈsana of the Blessed One.

hÊn hÊn hÊn hÊnÈ ÈÈ Èy yy yÈ ÈÈ ÈvattanapaÒho paÒcamo vattanapaÒho paÒcamo vattanapaÒho paÒcamo vattanapaÒho paÒcamo
26

6. ar 6. ar 6. ar 6. arahantavedanÈvediyanapaÒha ahantavedanÈvediyanapaÒha ahantavedanÈvediyanapaÒha ahantavedanÈvediyanapaÒha

Mastery of the ariya Mastery of the ariya Mastery of the ariya Mastery of the ariya

km km km km: Venerable, I hear: ‘An arahant
1 11 1
feels only bodily and not
mental pain. How is this so? Is not the mind dependent on
the body for its arising? If so, does not the arahant have
influence over such a body? Does not that body belong to
him? Can he not discipline it to accord to his own wishes?

It does not seem correct that an arahant should have no
influence over his body; a body which is the seat of the
mind and which I surmise, he is not able to treat as his
own, or discipline it to accord to his own wishes. Even a
bird has influence over the nest for so long as he is
dwelling in it, and treats it as his own and accords it to his
own wishes.
vn vn vn vn: O King! You are right; there are these 10 traits inherent in
the body of any living being which arises at each rebirth in
all forms of existence. What are these 10 traits? Cold and
heat, hunger and thirst, faeces and urine, sleepiness and old
age, disease and death. These 10 traits arise with the body
in all rebirths. The arahant has no influence over them, he
cannot treat them as his own and he cannot discipline them
to accord to his own wishes.
km km km km: What is the reason that an arahant is not able to exercise his
authority over his body or has influence over it?
vn vn vn vn: Just as whatever beings are dependent on the land, they all
walk, dwell and carry on their business in dependence upon
it. But do these beings have authority or influence over it?
km km km km: Not so.
vn vn vn vn: Even so, although the mind of an arahant originates with
the body as its base, he has neither authority nor influence
over it.
27

km km km km: Why is it that the individual who is a worldling feels both
bodily and mental pain?
vn vn vn vn: Just like an ox fastened with a weak rope of grass and
creeper, were it to get excited and escape, it would drag the
fastening material with it. Even so, when the feeling of pain
comes upon the individual who is a worldling and whose
mind is undeveloped, his mind becomes uncontrolled and it
bends this way and that.

He being thus undeveloped in mind, trembles, groans and
moans. This is the reason why, the individual who is a
worldling feels pain both in body and mind.
km km km km: Then why, does the arahant feel only one kind of pain;
bodily and not mental?
vn vn vn vn: The mind of the arahant is fully developed and amenable to
every kind of discipline. When affected with feelings of
pain, the arahant grasps firmly the idea of the
impermanence of all things, so ties his mind, as it were, to
the post of concentration.

His mind, firmly bound to the post of concentration,
remains unmoved, unshaken, becomes steadfast and
wanders not, though his body may, due to the spread of the
feeling of pain all over it, shrink, become uncontrollable
and upset. This is the reason why, the arahant feels only
one kind of pain; bodily and not mental.

Further, suppose there were a huge tree with a full
compliment of trunk, branches and foliage. When agitated
by the force of the wind, its branches should sway. Would
the trunk also move?
km km km km: Not at all.

28

vn vn vn vn: Even so, when affected with feelings of pain, the arahant
grasps firmly the idea of impermanence of all things and
anchors his mind, as it were, to the post of concentration;
remains unmoved, unshaken, becomes steadfast and quivers
not, though his body may, due to the spread of the feeling
of pain all over it, shrink, become uncontrollable and upset.

But the mind of the arahant does not quiver or shake; just
like the trunk of that huge tree that moves not when struck
by the force of a strong wind.
km km km km: Most wonderful, Venerable! Never before have I seen the
lamp of the dhamma that burns like this for all time.

arahantavedan arahantavedan arahantavedan arahantavedanÈ ÈÈ ÈvediyanapaÒho chaÔÔho vediyanapaÒho chaÔÔho vediyanapaÒho chaÔÔho vediyanapaÒho chaÔÔho

Note:
1. arahant: a being who has eliminated all mental impurities and who, in
consequence, is free from all attachment and from all forms of
suffering. Such a being will not take rebirth but will experience
parinibbÈna at the end of his present existence.


29

7. abhisamayantarÈyakarapaÒha 7. abhisamayantarÈyakarapaÒha 7. abhisamayantarÈyakarapaÒha 7. abhisamayantarÈyakarapaÒha

The layman’s unwitting ignorance The layman’s unwitting ignorance The layman’s unwitting ignorance The layman’s unwitting ignorance

km km km km: Venerable, suppose a layman had been guilty of an offence
which if he were to be a monk, would have entailed loss of
monkhood (pÈrÈjika). At some later stage he ordains as a
bhikkhu not aware and neither has he been told that while
as a layman, he has been guilty of that particular offence
that had entailed a pÈrÈjika. Now, if he were to devote
himself to the attainment of meditative absorption or of
path and fruition, would he be able to attain and
comprehend the dhamma?
vn vn vn vn: No, O King, he would not.
km km km km: Why is that so?
vn vn vn vn: The mentality in him that was essential for him to
comprehend the dhamma has been destroyed. A
comprehension of the dhamma with penetrating insight
cannot therefore take place.
km km km km: Venerable, it has been said: ‘To him who is aware there
comes remorse. When remorse has arisen, there is an
obstruction in the heart. To him whose heart is obstructed,
there is no comprehension of the dhamma.’ Why should
there be no comprehension of the dhamma to one who is
not aware of his offence, and thus feeling no remorse and
remaining with a tranquil mind. These are controversial
statements and is now put to you. Ponder well over it and
give it a solution.
vn vn vn vn: Would selected seeds successfully sown in a well-ploughed,
well-watered, fertile field come into full growth?
km km km km: Certainly it will.
vn vn vn vn: But would the same seed come into full growth if planted
on a slab of rock on a rocky mountain?
km km km km: No, it would not.
30

vn vn vn vn: Why then, should the same seed grow in the fertile field,
and not the slab of rock on the rocky mountain?
km km km km: Because on the slab of rock on the rocky mountain, the
cause for growth of that seed does not exist. Seeds cannot
grow without a cause.
vn vn vn vn: Even so, the cause by reason of which his comprehension
of the dhamma might have been brought about, has been
rooted out in him. In the absence of a cause, the
comprehension of the dhamma is impossible.
km km km km: Give me another simile.
vn vn vn vn: Sticks, stones, clubs and mallets find a resting place on the
ground. Now, will these likewise find a resting place in the
air above?
km km km km: No, they will not.
v vv vn nn n: But what is the reason for that?
km km km km: There is no cause in the air for those sticks, stones, clubs
and mallets to remain stable therein. In the absence of a
cause they will not stand.
vn vn vn vn: Even so, that layman who had been guilty of an offence
which entails a pÈrÈjika has lost the wherewithal for his
comprehension of the dhamma. When the cause is thus
destroyed, the absence of such cause makes it impossible to
comprehend the dhamma. For example, fire burns on land.
Will the same fire burn in the water?
km km km km: It is not possible.
vn vn vn vn: Why does not the same fire that burns on land, also burn in
water? What is the reason?
km km km km: Because in the water, the conditions for burning does not
exist. Without such conditions there can be no burning.
vn vn vn vn: Even so, the cause of that individual’s comprehension of
the dhamma might have been brought about, has been
rooted out in him. In the absence of such a cause, the
comprehension of the dhamma is impossible.
31

km km km km: Do think this matter once more because I am not yet
convinced about it. Persuade me by some reason how such
obstruction can occur in the case of one who is not aware
of his offence, and is thus feeling no remorse.
vn vn vn vn: Does not the malignant poison that brings instantaneous
death to the consumer take away also the life of one who
had eaten it although he did not know he had eaten it?
km km km km: Yes, it would be so.
vn vn vn vn: Even so, is there an obstruction to his comprehension of the
dhamma, who without being aware of it has performed an
unwholesome action.

Is it not true that when the king of Kalinga, who was the
son of hermits, when surrounded by the seven gifts
1 11 1
of a
sovereign, he went mounted on his state elephant for the
purpose of paying a visit of homage to his mother and
father, was not able to pass over the bodhi tree, though he
was not aware that it was there? Well, of the same kind is
the reason why unwholesome action, even though its
performer is not aware of it, operates as an obstruction to
his comprehension of the dhamma.
km km km km: Indeed, this must be the word of the Blessed One. To find
any fault with it were vain. This explanation of yours must
be the true meaning of that. I accept it as you say.

abhisamayantar abhisamayantar abhisamayantar abhisamayantarÈ ÈÈ ÈyakarapaÒho sattamo yakarapaÒho sattamo yakarapaÒho sattamo yakarapaÒho sattamo

Note:
1. BÈlapaÓÉita Sutta, Majjhima NikÈya SuÒÒata Vagga, translated by the
PÈÄi Dept of the University of Rangoon.
“For example, monk, a paramount sovereign who is endowed seven gifts
... experiences physical and mental happiness on that account. What are
the seven? ...celestial wheel-gift, ...elephant gift, ...horse gift, ...gem gift,
...the gem of a woman, ...the divine eye, ...and the gem of an adviser.”

32

8. dussÊlapaÒha 8. dussÊlapaÒha 8. dussÊlapaÒha 8. dussÊlapaÒha

T TT The immoral he immoral he immoral he immoral bhikkhu bhikkhu bhikkhu bhikkhu and the immoral layman and the immoral layman and the immoral layman and the immoral layman

km km km km: Venerable, what is the difference between an immoral
layman and an immoral bhikkhu? What is their kamma?
vn vn vn vn: There are two significant differences, O King. A bhikkhu,
even an immoral one, possesses a number of qualities
which the immoral layman does not have. The second
difference that separates them is that offerings to a bhikkhu
accrues merits to the donor, regardless whether the bhikkhu
is moral or immoral; no such merit can be gotten from gifts
to an immoral layman.

In the first case, as an ordained renunciate, a bhikkhu is
possessed of: reverence for the Buddha, the dhamma and
the saÑgha and reverence for his fellow bhikkh|. He exerts
himself in pursuit of the studies of the discourses, rules of
the vinaya texts and commentaries. On entering the
assembly, though immoral, keeps up the manners and
deportment of a morally perfect bhikkhu. He guards
himself alike in body and speech through fear of rebuke; he
directs his mind foremost towards concentration and
meditation; he associates ordinarily with bhikkh| only; and
even though he practises evil, he does so clandestinely.

Just as a married woman commits adultery only in secret
and in privacy, so does the immoral bhikkhu practises evil
clandestinely. These are the numerous qualities the immoral
bhikkhu is possessed of that sets him apart from the
immoral layman.

33

There are also various reasons why offerings to a bhikkhu
accrues merits to the donor, regardless whether the bhikkhu
is moral or immoral.
• He wears the faultless yellow robe which is, as it were,
an invulnerable coat of mail;
• he is shaven-headed in the fashion of the characteristic
borne by the Buddha and the noble ones;
• he is a member of the saÑgha;
• he takes refuge in the Buddha, dhamma and saÑgha;
• he dwells in a monastery, a place dedicated to the
practice of concentration and meditation;
• he strives for the longevity of the Buddha’s sÈsana;
• he delivers the discourses of the sublime dhamma;
• he has only the dhamma as his sole refuge, sole hope
of future existence, sole place to fall back upon;
• he is possessed of a firm and honest belief that the
Buddha is the most supreme of all beings; and
• he keeps the uposatha.
These are the other numerous ways in which an immoral
bhikkhu differs from an immoral layman.

Being a bhikkhu, even though an immoral one, gifts to him
bring merit to the giver, regardless of the morality of the
bhikkhu. Just as water, however thick, will wash away mud
and dirt. Just as solid food, however tasteless, will allay the
hunger and weakness. Even so, though a bhikkhu is
immoral, gifts to him brings merit to the giver, regardless
of his morality.
km km km km: Most wonderful, Venerable! You were asked an ordinary
question, and you have expounded it with reasons and
similes which have made it plain and understandable.

dussÊlapaÒho aÔÔhamo dussÊlapaÒho aÔÔhamo dussÊlapaÒho aÔÔhamo dussÊlapaÒho aÔÔhamo
34

9. udakasattajÊvapaÒha 9. udakasattajÊvapaÒha 9. udakasattajÊvapaÒha 9. udakasattajÊvapaÒha

The life of water The life of water The life of water The life of water

km km km km: Venerable, water when boiled makes a hissing and
simmering sound. Is the water alive? Is it shouting at play
or is it crying out from the torment inflicted on it?
vn vn vn vn: The water is not alive. There is neither sentient life nor a
being in the water. Due to the intense heat of the fire, water
makes a sound.

It is like the water in holes in the ground, in ponds, pools,
lakes, reservoirs, crevices, chasms, wells and in low-lying
places, which is so affected by the winds and the heat of
the sun that it dries up. In the natural process of drying up,
does the water in such conditions make hissing and
simmering sounds?
km km km km: Not so.
vn vn vn vn: Thus, if the water were alive, the water in such places as
ponds and pools would also make some sound. From this
you would realise that water is not alive or is there sentient
life or a being in it. It is only by the energy created by the
heat of the fire that it makes hissing and simmering sounds.

Hear another reason. If water with grains of rice in it, is put
in the pot and covered up, but not placed over the fireplace,
would it then make any sound?
km km km km: No, it would not make any sound, but would remain
noiseless and still.
vn: vn: vn: vn: If you were then to light up the fire, would the water
remain noiseless and still?
km km km km: No, not so. It would be agitated, foam would be formed on
top and it would boil over.
35

vn vn vn vn: But why does water in its ordinary state remain noiseless
and still but would, when put over the fire be agitated,
shake about and boil over?
km km km km: Because water in its ordinary state would not move, but
would, when put over fire, boil over and make hissing and
simmering sounds.
vn vn vn vn: From this you would realise that water is not alive or is
there sentient life or a being in it. It is only by the energy
created by the heat of the fire that the water makes hissing
and simmering sounds. Hear another reason; is there not
water to be found in every house put into water pots with
their mouths close up?
km km km km: Yes.
vn vn vn vn: Does that water move, and be agitated, boil over, and foam
would have formed on top of it?
km km km km: No, the water in that pot is in its ordinary state, and as such
does not move.
vn vn vn vn: But have you ever heard it said: ‘The water of the great
ocean moves, is agitated, becomes perturbed and all in
commotion, has waves rising in it, rushes up and down in
every direction, boils over, has foam forming on top, has
lines of waves that roll up to lash the beach with deep
growls and rhythmic roars and then retreat rolling down
with sounds of turmoil and confusion?’
km km km km: Yes, I have both heard and seen by myself how the water in
the great ocean lifts itself up a hundred, two hundred,
cubits high, towards the sky.
vn vn vn vn: But why is the water in the pot motionless and noiseless,
while the water in the ocean is full of turmoil and uproars?
km km km km: The water in the ocean moves, with turmoil and uproars, by
reason of the mighty force of the onset of the wind while
the water in the pot remains motionless and noiseless
because nothing shakes it.
36

vn vn vn vn: Just as the water in the ocean moves with turmoil and
uproars, by reason of the mighty force of the wind, even
so, the sounds given forth by boiling water are the result of
the greatness of the heat of the fire. Do not people tightly
stretch dried leather at both ends of a hollow cylindrical
frame of a drum?
km km km km: Yes, they do.
vn vn vn vn: Is there sentient life or a being in the drum?
km km km km: No, Venerable.
vn vn vn vn: Then, why does a drum make a sound?
km km km km: A drum sounds by reason of the action or effort of a
woman or a man.
vn vn vn vn: :: : For this reason also, there is neither sentient life nor a
being in water. It is by reason of the greatness of the heat
of the fire that water sounds.

I, too, O King, have something further to ask of you; thus
shall this puzzle be thoroughly investigated. Is it true of
every kind of pot that the water heated therein gives forth
sounds, or only of some kinds of pot?
km km km km: Not all, O Venerable, only of some.
vn vn vn vn: Now you have abandoned the position you took up. You
have come over to my side by maintaining the belief that
there is neither sentient life nor a being in water. For only
if the heated water in whatever pot gives sounds could it be
right to say that there is sentient life in water. There cannot
be two kinds of water; that which gives sounds, as it were,
which has sentient life, and that which does not give
sounds, and as such, does not have sentient life. If all water
were to have sentient life, the water that the great
elephants, when they are in rut, suck up in their trunks and
then pour into their mouths and drain it into their bellies,
would give forth sounds when sucked and gurgled between
their teeth.
37

Great ships, a hundred cubits long, heavily laden and full,
of more than a hundred thousand packages of goods voyage
across the great ocean and the water crushed by them, too,
would give forth sounds. Mighty fish, with bodies more
than a hundred leagues long, since they dwell in the great
ocean, immersed in the depths of it, must, while living in it,
be constantly taking into their mouths and spouting out into
the ocean, and that water, too, crushed between their gills
or in their stomachs would give forth sounds.

But as even when tormented with the grinding and crushing
in such mighty things, the water gives forth no sound,
therefore, you may take it that there is neither sentient life
nor a being in water.
km km km km: Very good, Venerable! With fitting discrimination has the
puzzle put to you been solved. Just as a rare pearl at the
hands of an artificer in pearls, a fine piece of wearing
fabric at the hands of a master weaver, or red sandalwood
at the hands of a connoisseur, would meet with due fame,
appreciation and praise. I accept it as you say.

udakasattajÊvapaÒho navamo udakasattajÊvapaÒho navamo udakasattajÊvapaÒho navamo udakasattajÊvapaÒho navamo

buddhavaggo paÔhamo buddhavaggo paÔhamo buddhavaggo paÔhamo buddhavaggo paÔhamo
imas imas imas imasmiÑ vagge nava paÒh miÑ vagge nava paÒh miÑ vagge nava paÒh miÑ vagge nava paÒhÈ ÈÈ È
38

Chapter 2 Chapter 2 Chapter 2 Chapter 2

nippapaÒcavagga nippapaÒcavagga nippapaÒcavagga nippapaÒcavagga
D DD Dhamma hamma hamma hamma that thwarts that thwarts that thwarts that thwarts the the the the cycle cycle cycle cycle of birth of birth of birth of birth and death and death and death and death

1. nippapaÒcapaÒha 39
Dhamma that thwarts the cycle of
birth and death
2. khÊÓÈsavabhÈvapaÒha 43
Attainment of arahantship
3. khÊÓÈsavasatisammosapaÒha 45
Absence of heedlessness in an arahant
4. loke natthibhÈvapaÒha 48
Of what is and what is not in the world
5. akammajÈdipaÒha 50
Things which originate not from kamma or
other factors
6. kammajÈdipaÒha 53
Things which originate from kamma or
other factors
7. yakkhapaÒha 54
Yakkha
8. anavasesasikkhÈpadapaÒha 55
Promulgation of rules without exceptions
9. s|riyatapanapaÒha 57
The brightness or dimness of sunlight
10. kaÔhinatapanapaÒha 58
The fierce brightness of the sun
39

1. nippapaÒcapaÒha 1. nippapaÒcapaÒha 1. nippapaÒcapaÒha 1. nippapaÒcapaÒha

D DD Dhamma hamma hamma hamma that thwarts that thwarts that thwarts that thwarts the the the the cycle of cycle of cycle of cycle of birth and death birth and death birth and death birth and death

km km km km: O Venerable, the Buddha said: ‘Bhikkh|, live enjoying and
taking delight in the dhamma that thwarts the cycle of birth
and death.’ What is that dhamma?
vn vn vn vn: O King,
• the fruition of stream-enterer (sotÈpatti-phala);
• the fruition of once-returning (sagadÈgÈmi-phala);
• the fruition of never-returning (anÈgÈmi-phala); and
• the fruition of an arahanta (arahatta-phala).
These are the dhamma that thwarts the cycle of birth and
death.
km km km km: Why then, do bhikkh| concern themselves with the study
and recitation of:
• the discourses (suttaÑ);
• the pieces in mixed prose and verse (geyyaÑ);
• the answers and explanations (veyyÈkaranaÑ);
• the verses or stanzas (gÈthÈ);
• the paeans of joy (udÈnaÑ);
• the ‘thus said’ discourses (iti vuttakaÑ);
• the birth stories (jÈtakaÑ);
• the mysterious phenomena (abbhuta dhammaÑ); and
• the extended treatises (vedallaÑ).
Why do they get themselves preoccupied with new
buildings, gifts and offerings given to them, alms-giving,
and with paying of veneration and respect?
vn vn vn vn: Those bhikkh| who concern themselves with the study and
recitation of the dhamma and get themselves preoccupied
with new buildings, gifts and offerings given to them, alms-
giving and with paying of veneration and respect are
deemed to be working towards realisation of the dhamma
that thwarts the cycle of birth and death.
40

Those bhikkh| who are by nature spiritually pure, and who
have cumulatively amassed virtuous habits and propensities
during former births can, within a single thought-moment,
become individuals who realise the dhamma that thwarts
the cycle of birth and death.

Those bhikkh| whose eyes of wisdom are thickly veiled
with the dust of defilement will realise the dhamma that
thwarts the cycle of birth and death only by devotional zeal
in the study and recitation, etc.

It is just like the man who can, with his own personal effort
and strenuous endeavour reap the crop of paddy which he
had sown in the field that was not fenced in; and the other
man who can reap the crop of paddy which he had sown
only in the field that was fenced in with twigs or branches
of trees which he had cut and brought over from a nearby
forest. In that case, that man’s action in the procurement of
fencing material and that action of procurement was
performed for the sake of producing paddy.

Just as there is a bunch of fruit on a lofty mango tree. He
who possesses supernatural power would be able to take
those fruits; but he who does not possess such supernatural
power would have first to cut sticks and creepers and build
a ladder, and by this, climb up the tree and so get the fruits.
In that case, the act of procurement of the ladder was
performed by that man for the sake of getting the mango.

Just as a man seeking gain for himself will, by his own
effort, conclude any business he has to do. A wealthy man
will use his wealth to employ others to his service, and by
their help conclude the business. It is for his own benefit
that the wealthy man brings others to his service.
41

Even so, those bhikkh| who are by nature spiritually pure,
and who have cumulatively amassed virtuous habits and
propensities during former births can, like the man who
reaps the crop of paddy from the field that was not fenced
in; like the man who with his magical power could take
those fruits; like the man who will go alone and conclude
any business he has to do; attain within a single thought-
moment, become individuals who realise the dhamma that
thwarts the cycle of birth and death.

Those bhikkh| whose eyes of wisdom are thickly veiled
with the dust of defilement will realise the dhamma that
thwarts the cycle of birth and death only by devotional zeal
in the study and recitation, etc.

Among the various functions exercised by those bhikkh|,
highly rewarding is:
• the study of the vinaya and sutta in the PÈÄi;
• the recitation (on the subject connected therewith);
• the pursuit of alms-giving; and
• the rendering of veneration and respect.

Just as a man who renders service to the king by waiting
upon him and ministering to his needs in company with
others such as ministers, attendants, soldiers, sentries,
bodyguards and other retainers, and who in case of an
emergency, were to receive collective help and assistance
from all those people.

Even so, among the various functions exercised by those
bhikkh|; study and recitation as laid out are truly
rewarding.

42

If all individuals were spiritually pure since their inception,
then there will be nothing left for words of admonishment
and exhortation to accomplish. As, however, they are not
spiritually pure since their inception, then there is still need
of going by teachings and instructions. The Elder SÈriputta,
though he had attained to the summit of wisdom by reason
of his having been through countless aeons of world cycles,
deeply rooted in merits, yet, even he found it impossible to
reach to the extinction of defilements independently of
going by teachings and instructions.

Therefore, highly rewarding is the taking of lessons and
instructions. Likewise is the study and recitation on the
subject connected therewith and the practice of the
dhamma; these things thwart the cycle of birth and death.
km km km km: Very well have you made me understand this puzzle. That
is so and I accept it as you say.

nippapaÒcapaÒho paÔhamo nippapaÒcapaÒho paÔhamo nippapaÒcapaÒho paÔhamo nippapaÒcapaÒho paÔhamo
43

2. khÊÓÈsavabhÈ 2. khÊÓÈsavabhÈ 2. khÊÓÈsavabhÈ 2. khÊÓÈsavabhÈvapaÒha vapaÒha vapaÒha vapaÒha

A AA Attainment of ttainment of ttainment of ttainment of arahant arahant arahant arahantship ship ship ship

km km km km: :: : Venerable, it has been said: ‘In a layman who has attained
to arahantship, only one of two recourses are open to him;
either that very day he renounces lay life and ordains as a
bhikkhu or he will pass away to attain to final
emancipation, for beyond that day, he cannot endure.’

Now, if he could not on that day, procure an ordainment
teacher or preceptor, or an alms-bowl and a set of robes,
could he then, being an arahant, ordain himself, or would
he live on, or would some other arahants suddenly appear
by supernatural power and ordain him, or would he pass
away to attain to final emancipation?
vn vn vn vn: That layman who has attained to arahantship, cannot ordain
himself as a bhikkhu. For if he does that, he would be
guilty of committing theft of the look and appearance of a
bhikkhu. Neither can he last beyond that day. Whether
another arahant should happen to arrive or not, he would on
that very day pass away to attain to final emancipation.
km km km km: Then, by whatever means attained, the sanctity of
arahantship is thereby lost, for the destruction of life is
involved.
vn vn vn vn: It is the condition of the laymanship that is at fault. In that
faulty condition, and by reason of the weaknes of the
condition itself, the layman who, as such, has attained to
arahantship must either that very day ordain as a bhikkhu
or pass away.

That is not the fault of the arahantship. It is laymanship that
is at fault, through not being strong enough.

44

For example, food that guards the growth and protects the
life of all beings will through indigestion, take away the
life of one whose stomach is unequal to it, and whose
internal heat is low and weak. Even so, if a layman attains
to arahantship when in a condition unequal to it, then by
reason of the weakness of that condition he must ordain as
a bhikkhu that very day or pass away.

As for another example, when a heavy stone is placed upon
a small blade of grass, through its weakness, the small bit
of grass will break off and give way. Just as a man of low
birth, having little ability and poor resources, were to
become king of a great and powerful country, he would in
a short while fall, become destroyed because he would be
unable to support the dignity of it.

Just so, a layman who attains to arahantship whose
laymanship condition cannot support it, then that very day
he must ordain as a bhikkhu or pass away to attain to final
emancipation.
km km km km: Very good, Venerable! That is so and I accept it as you say.

khÊÓ khÊÓ khÊÓ khÊÓÈ ÈÈ Èsavabh savabh savabh savabhÈ ÈÈ ÈvapaÒho dutiyo vapaÒho dutiyo vapaÒho dutiyo vapaÒho dutiyo
45

3. khÊÓÈsavasatisammosapaÒha 3. khÊÓÈsavasatisammosapaÒha 3. khÊÓÈsavasatisammosapaÒha 3. khÊÓÈsavasatisammosapaÒha

Absence of Absence of Absence of Absence of heedfulness in an arahant heedfulness in an arahant heedfulness in an arahant heedfulness in an arahant

km km km km: Venerable, can an arahant be heedless?
vn vn vn vn: O King, in an arahant, heedlessness is absent.
km km km km: But can an arahant still be capable of committing an
offence under the rules of training for bhikkh|?
vn vn vn vn: Yes, he is still capable.
km km km km: In what respect?
vn vn vn vn: In respect of:
• construction of his hut;
• dealings in regards to the female gender;
• eating food unintentionally believing it was the
proper time;
• forgetting an invitation to a meal; and
• taking ‘left-over’ food which is not.
(a bhikkhu may not, except for certain special reasons,
such as sickness, either keep or eat food which has been
left over after a principal meal. Paticittiyam rule 35)
km km km km: But it is said: ‘Those who commit offences do so from one
of two reasons; either through irreverence of the rules or
through heedlessness.’ Now, is the arahant irreverent of the
rules and if so, guilty of an offence?
vn vn vn vn: No, he is not guilty.
km km km km: Then, if an arahant commits offences and yet is not
irreverent of the rules, is it not possible that an arahant is
capable of being heedless?
vn vn vn vn: An arahant, is not capable of heedlessness. An arahant may
however, be guilty of an offence.
km km km km: If such be the case, convince me by a reason.
vn vn vn vn: There are two kinds of offences: those which are a breach
of moral law and those which are a breach of the vinaya.
46

What is a breach of the ordinary moral law? The ten modes
of evil action (akusala-kamma-patha) are:
• killing (pÈnÈtipÈto),
• stealing (adinnÈdÈnaÑ),
• unlawful sexual intercourse (kÈmesumicchÈcÈro),
• speaking the untruth (musÈvÈdo),
• backbiting (pisunavÈcÈ),
• using harsh language (pharusavÈcÈ),
• frivolous talk (samphappalÈpo),
• covetousness (abhijjhÈ),
• malice (byÈpÈda), and
• the belief in false teaching (micchÈdiÔÔhi).
These things are against the moral law.

What is a breach of the vinaya? Whatever is held in the
world as unfitting and improper for bhikkh| and things
concerning which the Blessed One laid down rules for His
disciples, not to be transgressed by them as long as they
live, but which may not be wrong for the layman.

These are the things concerning which the Buddha laid
down rules for the bhikkh|. Eating in the afternoon is not
wrong to those in the world; doing injury to plants and
trees is no offence in the eyes of the laymen; the habit of
sporting is no offence to the laymen; and many things of a
similar kind are right in the world of laymen, but wrong in
the sÈsana of the Blessed One. This is what I mean by a
breach of the vinaya.

Now, the arahant is incapable of committing against
whatever is moral law, but he may unaware be guilty of an
offence against the vinaya. It is not within the province
of some arahants to know everything. All-embracing
knowledge cannot be within the capacity of such arahants.
47

An arahant may be ignorant of the names of some women
or men of their lineage. He may be ignorant of the road
journeys over the earth. Some arahants are capable of
knowing only the path, fruition and emancipation, and the
arahant gifted with the six modes of higher spiritual powers
would know what lies within his scope, and a Buddha
would know all things.
km km km km: Very good, Venerable! That is so and I accept it as you say.

khÊÓ khÊÓ khÊÓ khÊÓÈ ÈÈ ÈsavasatisammosapaÒho tatiyo savasatisammosapaÒho tatiyo savasatisammosapaÒho tatiyo savasatisammosapaÒho tatiyo


48

4. loke natthibhÈvapaÒha 4. loke natthibhÈvapaÒha 4. loke natthibhÈvapaÒha 4. loke natthibhÈvapaÒha

Of Of Of Of what is and what is not in the world what is and what is not in the world what is and what is not in the world what is and what is not in the world

km km km km: Venerable, plainly visible in this world are:
• the Buddhas and paccekabuddhas,
• the disciples of the Buddha,
• the universal and regional monarchs,
• the gods and men,
• the good-natured and the bad-natured,
• the men who have become women and women who
have become men,
• the wholesome deeds and unwholesome deeds,
• beings experiencing kamma result of wholesome deeds
and unwholesome deeds,
• beings that are egg-born, womb-born, moisture-born,
or spontaneously-manifested, and
• beings which are without feet, are bipeds, quadrupeds
or multi-legged.

There are in this world, the invisible beings such as the
yakkhas, yakkhasas, kumbhandas, asuras, danavas,
gandhabbas, petas, pisÈcas, kinnaras, mahoragas, nagas,
supannas, beings with supernatural powers and men gifted
with magical powers. There are also visible things such as
elephants, horses, cattle, gold, silver and pearls, etc.

There is fine linen, silk and cotton; there is paddy of
refined rice grain and barley; there are perfumes prepared
from roots and sap; there are grass, creepers and trees;
there are rivers, mountains, oceans, fish and tortoises, etc.

All these are in the world. Tell me, is there anything that is
not in the world?
49

vn vn vn vn: There are three things, which are not in the world. What
are the three?
• Whether consciousness or not consciousness, nothing
is found in this world that is not subject to decay and
death.
• Nothing is found in this world (organic or inorganic)
which is permanent.
• In the highest Truth there is no such thing in this world
as a being possessed of an ego entity, a soul or a self.
km km km km: Very good, Venerable! That is so and I accept it as you say.

loke natthibh loke natthibh loke natthibh loke natthibhÈ ÈÈ ÈvapaÒho catuttho vapaÒho catuttho vapaÒho catuttho vapaÒho catuttho
50

5. akammajÈdipaÒha 5. akammajÈdipaÒha 5. akammajÈdipaÒha 5. akammajÈdipaÒha

T TT Things which originate not from kamma or other factors hings which originate not from kamma or other factors hings which originate not from kamma or other factors hings which originate not from kamma or other factors

km km km km: Venerable, there are things in the world that originate from
kamma. There are also things which are the result of causal
factors. There are also things which are produced by
temperature. Is there anything that exists independently of
kamma, causal factors, or temperature?
vn vn vn vn: Space which originates not from kamma, causal factors, or
temperature, is one. NibbÈna is the other.
km km km km: Do not bring the Blessed One’s word into contempt, do not
answer the question ignorantly.
vn vn vn vn: What have I said that you should address me this way?
km km km km: What you said regarding space which originates not from
kamma is right; but with hundreds of reasons did the
Buddha proclaim to His disciples the path leading to the
realisation of nibbÈna. Notwithstanding it, you have said:
‘nibbÈna originates not from any cause.’
vn vn vn vn: No doubt the Blessed One with hundreds of reasons, did
proclaim to His disciples the path leading to the realisation
of nibbÈna. But He never proclaimed any cause out of
which nibbÈna could be said to be produced.
km km km km: Now in this, we have passed from darkness into greater
darkness, from a jungle into a denser jungle, from a thicket
into a deeper thicket. Inasmuch as you say there is a cause
for the realisation but no cause from which it can arise,
there must be a cause for the realisation of nibbÈna, then
we must expect to find a cause for the origin of nibbÈna.

As the son has a father, therefore we ought to expect that
the father had a father. Or because the pupil has a teacher,
therefore we ought to expect that the teacher had a teacher.
51

Or because the plant came from a seed, therefore we ought
to expect that the seed, too, has come from a seed. Even so,
if there is a cause for the realisation of nibbÈna, we ought
to expect that there is a reason too, for its origin.

For example, just as there is the top of a tree or of a
creeper, there is also a middle part and a root. Even so, if
there is a cause for the realisation of nibbÈna, we ought to
expect that there is a reason too, for its origin.
vn vn vn vn: NibbÈna cannot be produced and as such, no cause for its
origin had been declared.
km km km km: Show me this so that I know how it is that while there is a
cause that will bring about the realisation of nibbÈna, yet
there is no cause that will bring about nibbÈna itself.
vn vn vn vn: Then pay good attention, and I will tell you what the reason
is. Could a man, by his ordinary strength, go from here and
approach the Himalayas?
km km km km: Yes, he could.
vn vn vn vn: But could a man, by his ordinary power, bring the
Himalayas here?
km km km km: Not possible.
vn vn vn vn: Even so is it that while the path leading to the realisation of
nibbÈna can be declared, the cause of the origin of nibbÈna
cannot be declared. Could a man, by his ordinary power
cross over the great ocean in a boat and so go to the further
shore of it?
km km km km: Yes, he could.
vn vn vn vn: But could a man by his ordinary power, bring the further
shore of the ocean here?
km km km km: Not possible.
vn vn vn vn: Even so, is it that while the cause for the realisation of
nibbÈna can be declared, the cause of its origin cannot.
Why not? Because nibbÈna is not put together of any
qualities; it is unconditioned (asa~khata).
52

km km km km: Is nibbÈna not put together?
vn vn vn vn: No, nibbÈna is uncompounded and unconditioned. Of
nibbÈna, it cannot be said that: it has been produced, it has
not been produced, it can be produced; it is past, it is
future, it is present; it is perceptible by the eye, ear, nose,
tongue or sense of touch.
km km km km: If nibbÈna is as you say, you should definitely say that
nibbÈna is nothingness and that nibbÈna does not exist.
vn vn vn vn: NibbÈna exists, and it is perceptible to the mind-
consciousness. By means of his pure heart, sublime and
straight, free from obstacles and low cravings, the noble
disciple who has fully trained and attained, can see nibbÈna.
km km km km: Then what is nibbÈna?
vn vn vn vn: Is there such a thing as wind?
km km km km: Yes, of course.
vn vn vn vn: I insist that you show me the wind, whether by its colour or
form, whether small or big, or long or short!
km km km km: But wind cannot be pointed out. It is not of such nature that
it can be grasped or squeezed. But it exists all the same.
vn vn vn vn: If you cannot show me the wind, then there cannot be such
a thing.
km km km km: But I know there is wind. That wind exists I am fully
convinced, though I cannot show it.
vn vn vn vn: Even so does nibbÈna exist, though it cannot be shown by
its colour or form.
km km km km: Very good, Venerable. That is so and I accept it as you say.

akammaj akammaj akammaj akammajÈ ÈÈ ÈdipaÒho paÒcamo dipaÒho paÒcamo dipaÒho paÒcamo dipaÒho paÒcamo
53

6. kammajÈdipaÒha 6. kammajÈdipaÒha 6. kammajÈdipaÒha 6. kammajÈdipaÒha

T TT Things which originate from kamma or other factors hings which originate from kamma or other factors hings which originate from kamma or other factors hings which originate from kamma or other factors

km km km km: Venerable, of all these things, which are the things
that originate from kamma, that arise through causal
factors, and that are produced by temperature? And
what is it that is none of these?
vn vn vn vn: All beings who are equipped with consciousness and
volition (citta-cetanÈ), originate from kamma, spring
into existence as the result of kamma. Fire and all
germinal seeds are cause-born, the result of a pre-
existing material cause. The earth, mountains, water
and wind, all these are season-born, dependent for
their existence on seasons connected with the weather.

Space and nibbÈna are the two things that exist
independently of kamma, cause and seasons. Of
nibbÈna, it cannot be said that: it is kamma-born,
cause-born, or season-born; it has been produced, not
been produced or can be produced; it is past, future or
present; or it is perceptible by the eye, ear, nose,
tongue or sense of touch.

It is perceptible by the mind. By means of his pure
heart, refined and straight, free from obstacles and
lowly cravings, the noble disciple who has fully
trained and attained, can see nibbÈna.
km km km km: Well has this question been examined, cleared of
doubt and brought into reality. My perplexity has been
done away with.
kammaj kammaj kammaj kammajÈ ÈÈ ÈdipaÒho chaÔÔho dipaÒho chaÔÔho dipaÒho chaÔÔho dipaÒho chaÔÔho
54

7. yakkhapaÒha 7. yakkhapaÒha 7. yakkhapaÒha 7. yakkhapaÒha

yakkha yakkha yakkha yakkha

km km km km: Venerable, are there such things as yakkha (demons) in the
world?
vn vn vn vn: Yes, there are.
km km km km: Do they ever leave that condition?
vn vn vn vn: Yes, they do.
km km km km: But if so, why is there no signs of their remains and of
their foulness?
vn vn vn vn: The remains of those dead yakkha are found, and an odour
does arise from their dead bodies. The remains of the dead
yakkha can be seen in the form of insects, caterpillars,
termites, grasshoppers, snakes, scorpions, centipedes, birds
and deers.
km km km km: Very good, Venerable. That is so and I accept it as you say.

yakkhapaÒho sattamo yakkhapaÒho sattamo yakkhapaÒho sattamo yakkhapaÒho sattamo
55

8. anavasesasikk 8. anavasesasikk 8. anavasesasikk 8. anavasesasikkh hh hÈpadapaÒha ÈpadapaÒha ÈpadapaÒha ÈpadapaÒha

P PP Promulgation of rules without exceptions romulgation of rules without exceptions romulgation of rules without exceptions romulgation of rules without exceptions

km km km km: There were those who were teachers of the physicians in
times gone by. They were NÈrada,
1 11 1
DhammantarÊ,
2 22 2
A~gÊrasa,
3 33 3
Kapila,
4 44 4
KaÓÉaraggi SÈma, Atula and Pubba
KaccÈyana.

All these teachers of physicians individually and as a group
are knowledgeable regarding the rise of diseases and their
cause; the nature, progress and cure of diseases; the
treatment and management thereof. Individually each write
his own treatise but they work collectively to diagnose and
cure many diseases. Now, not one of these pioneer
physicians was omniscient.

Why then did not the Buddha, who was omniscient, and
who knew by His all-embracing knowledge, what would
happen in the future, determining in advance: ‘For such and
such extent of reasons, such and such extent of rules should
be promulgated,’ lay down the whole code of rules at once,
instead of laying them down and enforcing upon His
disciples from time to time as each occasion arises, when
the disgrace had already been noised abroad, when the evil
was already wide spread and grown great, when people
were already filled with righteous indignation?
vn vn vn vn: The Blessed One knew very well that: ‘In fullness of time,
the whole of the rules numbering over 150 would have to
be promulgated for these men.’ But the Buddha considered
thus: “If I were to promulgate the whole of the rules
numbering over 150 all at once, the people would be filled
with fear saying:
56

‘Look friends, how abundant are the rules and injunctions
to be observed! How difficult a thing is it to ordain as a
bhikkhu in the sÈsana of the samaÓa Gotama.’ With such
conviction, those of them who were prepared to be a novice
would refrain from doing so. They would not trust My
words, and through their want of faith they would be liable
to be reborn in states of suffering. I will therefore lay down
each rule illustrating it with a discourse, only when the evil
has shown itself.”
km km km km: A wonderful thing is it in the Buddhas and most marvellous
that the omniscience of the Blessed One should be so great.
That is just so. This matter was well understood by the
Blessed One; how after hearing that so abundant were the
rules and injunctions to be observed, men would have been
so filled with fear that not a single one would have entered
the saÑgha in the sÈsana of the Blessed One. That is so and
I accept it as you say.

anavasesasikk anavasesasikk anavasesasikk anavasesasikkh hh hÈ ÈÈ ÈpadapaÒho aÔÔhamo padapaÒho aÔÔhamo padapaÒho aÔÔhamo padapaÒho aÔÔhamo

Notes:
1. The physician of the gods.
2. The connection of A~gÊrasa with the physicians is due to the charms
against disease to be found in the Atharva-veda.
3. Kapila is known in the Brahman literature as a teacher of philosophy
rather than of medicine.
4. Probably 'the Eastern KaccÈyana,' but nothing is known of these last
three names.
All seven are also known as ‘rishis.’
57

9. s|riyatapanapaÒ 9. s|riyatapanapaÒ 9. s|riyatapanapaÒ 9. s|riyatapanapaÒha ha ha ha

T TT The brightness or dimness of sunlight he brightness or dimness of sunlight he brightness or dimness of sunlight he brightness or dimness of sunlight

km km km km: Venerable, does this sun always shine with brightness or
are there times when it shines with feeble or dim light?
vn vn vn vn: This sun always shines with brightness and never with
feeble or dim light.
km km km km: But if this is so, how is it that it shines sometimes with
brightness and sometimes with feeble or dim light?
vn vn vn vn: These four, are the disturbances of the sun, and when
afflicted by one or other of these, it shines with a feeble or
dim light. What are these four? The clouds, the fog, the
rain and the eclipse; these are disturbances of the sun.

Afflicted by one or other of these four, the sun shines with
feeble or dim light.
km km km km: Most wonderful that even the sun, so tremendous in power
can be afflicted. How can other beings escape affliction by
diseases? No one else could have made this explanation
except one wise like you!

s|riyatapanapaÒho navamo s|riyatapanapaÒho navamo s|riyatapanapaÒho navamo s|riyatapanapaÒho navamo
58

10. kaÔhinatapanapaÒha 10. kaÔhinatapanapaÒha 10. kaÔhinatapanapaÒha 10. kaÔhinatapanapaÒha

T TT The fierce brightness of the sun he fierce brightness of the sun he fierce brightness of the sun he fierce brightness of the sun

km km km km: Venerable, why is it that the brightness of the sun is more
intense in winter and why does it not shine with equal
intensity in the summer?
vn vn vn vn: In the hot season, dust collects everywhere at all times.
Driven by gusts of wind, it rises up into the sky where
billowy clouds of dust become overlaid in succession.
When gales blow with exceeding force all these clouds
intermingled by various processes of unification and thus
shut off the rays of the sun. So in the hot season, the sun
shines with feeble or dim light.

But in the cold season, the earth below is cool and the sky
above overladen with rain clouds. The dust sits quietly and
where it floats in the sky it moves gently. The sky above is
free from clouds and gently blows the breezes below.
Being free from adverse influences, the rays of the sun are
exceedingly clear and scintillating. Having escaped all
hostile influences, the sun’s rays become very bright and
intensed. This is the reason why the sun shines with greater
intensity in winter.
km km km km: Venerable, so it is, I accept it as you say.

kaÔhinatapanapaÒho dasamo kaÔhinatapanapaÒho dasamo kaÔhinatapanapaÒho dasamo kaÔhinatapanapaÒho dasamo

nipapaÒcavaggo dutiyo nipapaÒcavaggo dutiyo nipapaÒcavaggo dutiyo nipapaÒcavaggo dutiyo
imas imas imas imasmiÑ vagge da miÑ vagge da miÑ vagge da miÑ vagge dasa paÒh sa paÒh sa paÒh sa paÒhÈ ÈÈ È
59

Chapter 3 Chapter 3 Chapter 3 Chapter 3

vessantaravagga vessantaravagga vessantaravagga vessantaravagga
King Vessantara King Vessantara King Vessantara King Vessantara

1. vessantarapaÒha 60
Giving away of wife and children
2. dukkarakÈrikapaÒha 71
Austerities practised by the bodhisatta
3. kusalÈkusalabalavatarapaÒha 78
Virtue more powerful than vice
4. pubbapetÈdisapaÒha 84
Dedicating of merits
5. supinapaÒha 89
Dreams
6. akÈlamaraÓapaÒha 93
Premature death
7. cetiyapÈÔihÈriyapaÒha 100
Miracles occurring at stupas
8. dhammÈbisamayapaÒha 102
Insight into the path and fruition
9. ekantasukhanibbÈnapaÒha 106
NibbÈna truly being a bliss
10. nibbÈnar|pasaÓÔhÈnapaÒha 109
The form of nibbÈna
11. nibbÈnasacchikaraÓapaÒha 115
Realisation of the supreme bliss of nibbÈna
12. nibbÈnasannihitapaÒha 120
The place of nibbÈna
60

1. 1. 1. 1. vessantarapaÒha vessantarapaÒha vessantarapaÒha vessantarapaÒha

G GG Giving away of iving away of iving away of iving away of wife and children wife and children wife and children wife and children

k kk km mm m: Venerable, do all the bodhisattas give away their wives and
children, or was it only King Vessantara who did so?
vn vn vn vn: O King, all the bodhisattas gave away their wives and
children. It was not only King Vessantara who did so.
km km km km: Do they give away their wives and children with the
consent of the latter?
vn vn vn vn: The wife was a consenting party, but the children by reason
of their immaturity were not.
km km km km: A difficult action was it that the bodhisatta performed, in
that he gave away his dearly loved children into slavery to
the Brahman J|jakÈ.

This second action was more difficult; when he remained
unmoved on seeing his children being bound, tied with
jungle-creepers and dragged away.

This third action was even more difficult; when his children
after loosening the bonds by their own exertion, ran back to
him, and he bound them again and delivered them.

This fourth action was even more difficult; that when the
children cried and lamented: ‘Father dear, this ogre is
leading us away to eat us.’ He should have appeased them
saying: ‘Don’t be afraid.’

This fifth action was even more difficult; that when his son
laid himself at his feet weeping: ‘Be satisfied, father dear,
and keep my sister. I will go along with the ogre. Let him
eat me!’ Even then, King Vessantara would not yield.

61

This sixth action was even more difficult; that when his
son, lamented: ‘Have your heart turned to stone then,
father, that you can look upon us, being led away by the
ogre into jungle, and not call us back?’ King Vessantara
still was not roused to show his misery.

This seventh action was even more difficult; that when his
children were thus led away and out of sight, even then he
did not show emotions of misery. In seeking merits, why
would he make others suffer? Should he not rather give
himself away?
vn vn vn vn: It is because what he did was so difficult, that the fame of
the bodhisatta was spread abroad among gods and men
through the 10,000 world systems; that the gods, the asuras,
the garuÄas, the nÈgas and the yakkas exalt him.

Through the ages, the reputation of his glory has been
handed down, till it reached us here at this meeting of ours
at which we are disparaging and casting a slur on that gift,
debating whether it were well or ill given! The ultimate
greatness of that gift, demonstrates the 10 greatest qualities,
amongst others of the bodhisattas. These are:
• uncovetousness (agedhatÈ);
• having no craving and being detached (nirÈlayatÈ);
• being prone to giving away (cÈgo);
• renunciation (pahÈnaÑ);
• never backsliding from one’s resolved aim and object
(apunarÈvattitÈ);
• being refined in conduct (sukhumatÈ);
• being great and noble (mahantatÈ);
• incomprehensibility (duranubodhatÈ);
• the rarity (dullabhatÈ); and
• adherence to the peerless Buddha dhamma (asadisatÈ
buddha dhammassa).
62

In all these respects, it is the fame of that giving that
demonstrates the great qualities of the bodhisatta.
km km km km: Unbelievable! He who gives such gift as to bring sorrow to
others, does that giving of his bring forth fruit in happiness,
does it lead to rebirth in states of bliss?
vn vn vn vn: Yes, it does lead to such a rebirth. What can be said to the
contrary?
km km km km: Do give a reason for this.
vn vn vn vn: Suppose there were some virtuous samaÓa or brÈhmaÓa of
quality character, and he were to be paralysed, or crippled,
or suffering from some disease or other, and some man,
desirous of merit were to have him put into a carriage, and
taken to the place he wished to go to. Would happiness of
one kind or other accrue to that man by reason thereof,
would that be an act leading to rebirth in states of bliss?
km km km km: Certainly! What can be said against it? That man would
acquire carriers and conveyances in the form of a trained
elephant, or a riding horse of a carriage drawn by draught
animals. On land, he would acquire land vehicles and on
water, water vehicles, and in heaven, the vehicles of gods
and on earth, the vehicles of men.

From birth to birth, there would accrue to him that which in
each would be appropriate and fit, and appropriate joys
would come to him and he would pass from state to state of
bliss, and by the efficacy of that meritorious act mounting
on the vehicle of the power of his merits, would he arrive
at the longed-for goal, the city of nibbÈna itself.
vn vn vn vn: If such be the case, a gift though given in such a way as to
bring misery upon others, still bring forth fruit in happiness
does lead to rebirth in states of bliss. And hear another
reason. Suppose some monarch were to raise from his
subjects a righteous tax, and then by the issue of a
command were to bestow out there a gift of charity.
63

Would that monarch enjoy any happiness as a reward and
blessing brought forth by that deed of charity, would that
be a gift leading to rebirth in states of bliss?
km km km km: Certainly, what can be said against it? On account of that
deed of charity the monarch would receive blessings and
rewards many a hundred thousand-fold. He would surpass
and outstrip: all other kings if he were a king; all other
gods if he were a god; all other divine beings if he were a
divine being; all other samaÓa if he were one; all other
brÈhmaÓa if he were one; and all other arahants if he were
an arahant.
vn vn vn vn: If such be the case, a gift though given in such a way as to
bring misery upon others, still brings forth blessings and
rewards, does lead to rebirth in the realm of heavenly
beings; inasmuch as that monarch by giving as a gift of
charity what was gained by harassing his people with
taxation would enjoy such glory and happiness.
km km km km: But still, what was given as a gift of charity by King
Vessantara was an excessive gift; in that he gave away his
own wife to be made the wife of another man, and gave
away also his own children, his only ones, into slavery to a
Brahman. Excessive giving is by the wise in the world held
deserving of censure and of blame.

Just as under too much weight, the axle-tree of a cart would
break; or under too much weight a boat would sink; or as
his food would disagree with him who ate too much; or as
the crops would be ruined by too much rain.

Even so is excessive giving as a gift of charity held by the
wise in the world as deserving of censure and of blame. As
King Vessantara’s was excessive, no good blessings and
rewards should be expected from it.
64

vn vn vn vn: On the contrary, excessive charitable giving is praised,
applauded and approved by the wise in the world. All the
common people are prone to do just ordinary charitable
giving. Those who do excessive charitable giving acquire
fame in the world; they are very generous givers.

Just as a king by the excellence of his justice becomes
overlord;
just as a bhikhu by reason of his very righteousness
becomes an object of reverence to nÈgas, yakkas, men and
mÈras;
just as the Buddha by the excellence of His supremacy is
peerless; and
just so is exceeding generosity praised, applauded and
approved by the wise in the world; and they who give away
anything as a gift, just as it may occur to them, acquire in
the world the fame of being nobly generous.

By his mighty giving, Vessantara was praised, lauded,
exalted, magnified and made famous throughout the 10,000
world systems, and by reason of that mighty giving,
Vessantara has now in our days, become the Blessed One,
the most pre-eminent in the world of gods and men.

And now, is there anything in the world which should be
withheld and not given, even if there be present those who
are worthy of such gifts and those to whom it is one’s duty
to give?
km km km km: There are certain sorts of gift in the world that are
commonly disapproved of as gifts, and those who give such
presents become liable to rebirth in states of suffering.


65

Such as strong drink, theatrical or such other shows, the
gift of women, of bulls, of suggestive paintings, of
weapons, of poison, of iron anklets, of fowls and swine,
and of false weight and measures. These are the sorts of
gift in the world that are commonly disapproved of as gifts,
and those who give such presents become liable to rebirth
in sorrowful planes.
vn vn vn vn: I did not ask you, O King, what kinds of gift are not
approved of. But this I asked: ‘Is there anything in the
world which should be withheld and not given even if there
be present those who are worthy of such gift and those to
whom it is one’s duty to give?’
km km km km: No, there is nothing in the world which ought to be
withheld, and not bestowed as a gift, if one worthy of a gift
were present. When faith and devotional feeling is aroused
in their hearts, some give food, clothes, sleeping
accommodation, rest-houses, or a hundred thousand, or
even a kingdom and some give away their own life.
vn vn vn vn: But then, if some give away even their own life, why do
you violently attack Vessantara, the king of givers, for the
virtuous giving away of his young son, his daughter and his
wife? Is there not a general practice in the world, an
acknowledged custom, according to which it is allowable
for a father who has fallen into debt, or lost his livelihood,
to deposit his son or daughter in pledge or sell them?
km km km km: Yes, it is allowable.
vn vn vn vn: If it is allowable, well, in accordance therewith was it that
Vessantara in suffering and distress at not having yet
obtained omniscience, gave his wife and children for that
spiritual treasure. Thereby, Vessantara was merely giving
away what others have given away and was doing what
other people had done. Why then, do you so violently
attack Vessantara, the king of givers, for that act of giving?
66

km km km km: I don’t blame Vessantara for that giving, but when the
Brahman asked him for his wife and children, he should
have given himself away instead.
vn vn vn vn: That would be an act of a wrong doer to give himself away
when he was asked for his wife and children. For the thing
asked for, whatever it is, is that which ought to be given.

Such is the practice of the virtuous. Suppose a man were to
ask that water should be brought, would anyone who then
brought him food have done what he wanted?
km km km km: No, he would not have done what was wanted. The man
who should have given what he was first asked to be
brought would have done what was wanted.
vn vn vn vn: Even so, when the Brahman asked Vessantara for the
latter’s wife and children, it was the wife and children that
the latter gave.

If the Brahman had asked for Vessantara’s body, then
would Vessantara not saved his body, he would not have
trembled nor have craving for his own self, but would have
given away and abandoned his own body.

If anyone had come up to Vessantara and asked of him:
‘become my slave,’ then would he have given away and
abandoned his own self, and after so giving would
Vessantara have felt no worry or grief. The body of
Vessantara is shared by one and all.

Just as the lump or slice of cooked meat is shared by many,
or as a tree covered with fruit is shared by many flocks of
birds, even so, the body of Vessantara is shared by one and
all. Why so? Because he had said to himself: ‘Thus training
shall I attain to Buddhahood.’

67

Just as a man in need, who is wandering about in his search
after wealth, will have to pass along tracks that need
trailing after goats, to make climbs with the aid of pick-
axes and hooks, to haul himself up steep cliffs by means of
creepers and ropes of cane, to perform journeys by
waterways or overland routes for trading purposes, will
devote his bodily actions, words and thoughts to the
attainment of wealth.

Even so did Vessantara, the king of givers, who has a
longing for the treasure of the all-embracing knowledge
and who, for the sake of winning the jewel treasure of all-
embracing knowledge through attaining to Buddhahood,
give away all the substantial things he possessed: his wife,
children and himself, and seek exclusively after the
supreme Enlightenment.

And further, Vessantara, the king of givers thought this: ‘It
is by giving to him precisely what he asks for, that I shall
be legitimately regarded as one who discharges the
obligation that he owe to the Brahman.’ Therefore did he
bestow upon him his wife and children. It was not that
Vessantara gave away his wife and children to the Brahman
because: of his dislike of them; he did not care to see them
anymore; he thinks his wife and children are too many and
beyond his capacity to support; or he wanted to get rid of
them with a feeling of being tired of them.

Just because of the supreme Enlightenment, for the sake of
the supreme Enlightenment did he bestow that glorious gift;
that immeasurable, magnificent, unsurpassed gift of his
wife and children that were near and dear to him. For it has
been said by the Blessed One, the Supreme Being, and
recorded in the Cariya PiÔaka
1 11 1
:
68

“It was not through hatred of my children sweet,
It was not through hatred of my queen, MaddÊ,
Thraller of hearts,
Not that I love them less,
But Buddhahood more,
That I renounced them all.”

After giving away his wife and children, Vessantara,
entered the leaf hut, and sat down there. Heavy grief fell
upon him, distressed by his exceeding love for them and
tears rolled in drops of blood from his eyes. Such was the
grief, with which Vessantara gave to the Brahman his wife
and children in the thought that his practice of giving would
remain unimpaired in the fullness of its complements.

But there were two reasons why Vessantara gave them
away. What are those two? ‘That this my practice of giving
would remain unimpaired in the fullness of its
complements; as a result of my giving away my children
who are distressed by living with me only on wild roots
and fruits, would eventually be set free by King SaÒjaya,
their grandfather.’

For Vessantara knew: ‘No one is capable of keeping my
children as slaves. Their grandfather will ransom them, and
so they will eventually come back to me.’ These are the
two reasons why he gave his children away to the Brahman.

And further, Vessantara knew: ‘This Brahman is aged,
worn-out, weakened, and is bent of back, leaning on a staff,
is nearing the end of his life, his merit is small, he will not
be capable of keeping my children as slaves.’

69

Would a man be able, by his ordinary power, to seize the
moon and the sun, mighty and powerful as they are,
keeping them in a container with lid or on a tray, to use
them, deprived of their light, as small cups or vessels?
km km km km: Not so.
vn vn vn vn: Even so, neither could anyone whoever keep in use, as his
slaves, the children of Vessantara, who were to the world,
like the moon and the sun in glory.

Hear another reason. Just as a mighty bonfire burning on a
mountain top would be visible afar off in the darkness and
the gloom of night. Even so was King Vessantara well
known in far away places, and therefore could no one
whoever keep in use, as his slaves, the children of that
King Vessantara.

Just as at the time of the flowering of the NÈga trees in the
Himalaya Mountains, when the winds of spring are
blowing, the perfume of the flowers is wafted for 10
leagues, or for 12. Even so was the sound of the fame of
King Vessantara noised abroad, and the sweet perfume of
his rigid morality wafted along for thousands of leagues,
even up to the abodes of the AkaniÔÔha, (the highest of all)
gods, passing on its way the dwelling places of the gods
and asuras, of the garuÄas and gandhabbas, of the yakkhas
and Rakkhasa, of the Mahoragas and Kinnaras, and of Inda
the monarch of the gods! Therefore is it that no one could
keep in use as slaves, the children of that King Vessantara.

The young prince JÈlÊ, was instructed by his father,
Vessantara, in these words: ‘When your grandfather, my
child, shall ransom you with wealth that he gives to the
Brahman, let him buy you back for 1,000 ounces of gold.
70

‘And when he ransoms your sister KaÓhÈjinÈ, let him buy
her back for 100 man-servants, 100 woman-servants, 100
elephants, 100 horses, 100 cows, 100 buffaloes and 100
ounces of gold. If, my child, your grandfather takes you out
of the hands of the Brahman by word of command, or by
force, paying nothing, then obey not the words of your
grandfather, but follow always the lead of the Brahman.’

Such was his instruction as he sent him away. Thereafter,
when asked by his grandfather, young JÈlÊ said:
‘As worth a thousand ounces of gold, Sir,
My father gave me to this man;
As worth in seven groups of a hundred each
Such as a hundred elephants,
Fixed also he the ransom to pay,
As he gave sister KaÓhÈjinÈ.’
km km km km: Well has this puzzle been unravelled, well has the net of
heresy been torn to pieces, well has the argument of the
adversaries been overcome and your own views been well
established, well has the letter of the Teachng been
maintained while you have thus explained its spirit! That is
so, Venerable and I accept it as you say.'

vessantarapaÒho pa vessantarapaÒho pa vessantarapaÒho pa vessantarapaÒho paÔ ÔÔ Ôhamo hamo hamo hamo

Note:
1. Cariya PiÔaka: The 15
th
book of the Khuddaka NikÈya, this treatise
contains thirty-five stories of the Buddha's previous lives retold at the
request of the Venerable SÈriputta. Whereas the JÈtaka is concerned with
the Buddha's previous existences from the time of Sumedha, the hermit,
till he becomes Gotama Buddha, the Cariya PiÔaka deals only with
thirty-five of the existences of the bodhisatta in this last world cycle.
71

2. dukkarakÈrikapaÒha 2. dukkarakÈrikapaÒha 2. dukkarakÈrikapaÒha 2. dukkarakÈrikapaÒha

Practice of austerities Practice of austerities Practice of austerities Practice of austerities by the bodhisatta by the bodhisatta by the bodhisatta by the bodhisatta

km km km km: Venerable, did all the bodhisattas practise austerities, or
only Gotama?
vn vn vn vn: Not all bodhisattas do so, but Gotama did.
km km km km: If that be so, is it not right that there should be a difference
among bodhisattas?
vn vn vn vn: There are four matters in which there is such difference.
What are the four? There is
• a difference as to the kind of family in which they
are born;
• a difference in the length of the period needed to
practise and perfect the pÈramitÈ so as to become a
Buddha.
• a difference as to the length of their individual
lives; and
• a difference as to their individual height.

In these four respects, there is a difference among
bodhisattas. But there is no difference between any of the
Buddhas, who are alike in:
• bodily beauty,
• perfection of morality,
• perfection of concentration,
• wisdom,
• emancipation,
• the possession of the knowledge of emancipation,
• the possession of the fourfold knowledge of
confidence of a Buddha,
• the possession of the tenfold powers of a Buddha,
• the possession of the sixfold unrivalled knowledge,
72

• the possession of the fourteenfold Buddha
knowledge,
• the possession of the eighteenfold virtues of a
Buddha, and
• the possession of all the qualities of a Buddha.
For all the Buddhas are exactly alike in all the Buddha-
qualities.
km km km km: But if that be so, what is the reason that it was only
Gotama, when he was the bodhisatta, practise austerities?
vn vn vn vn: The bodhisatta had gone forth from the world when his
knowledge was yet immature. It was when he was bringing
that immature knowledge to maturity that he practised
austerities.
km km km km: Why did he not develop the maturity of his knowledge and
wisdom before renouncing the world?
vn vn vn vn: When the bodhisatta saw the women of his palace all in
disorder, then did he become disgusted, and in him thus
disgusted, discontent sprang up. On perceiving that his
heart was filled with discontent.

A certain god who belonged to the realm of MÈra thought:
‘This now is the time to dispel that discontent of his heart,’
and standing in the air he gave utterance to these words: ‘O
honourable one! Do not be distressed. On the seventh day
from this, the heavenly treasure of the wheel shall appear
to you, with its thousand spokes, its tire and its nave,
complete and perfect; and the others, those that walk on
earth and those that travel through the sky, shall come to
you of their own accord; and your command shall hold
sway over the four great continents and the two thousand
satellite isles; and you shall have above a thousand sons,
heroes mighty in strength; and with those sons surrounding
you, master of the seven treasures, shall rule the world!’

73

But even as if an iron spike, heated the whole day and
glowing throughout, had entered the orifice of his ear, so
was it that those words, entered the ear of the bodhisatta.
To the natural distress he already felt there was added, by
that utterance of the god, a further emotion, fright and fear.

Just as a mighty fiery furnace, were fresh fuel thrown on it,
the more furiously it would burn; just as the broad earth, by
nature moist, and already covered with a luxuriant growth
of green grass would be turned into a swamp and bog if, in
addition to watering of the place, rain were to come down
over it in torrents, so to the natural distress he already felt,
there was added, by that utterance of the god, a further
emotion of urgency coupled with fear.
km km km km: But tell me, if the heavenly wheel-treasure had, on the
seventh day, appeared to the bodhisatta, would he have
been turned back from his purpose?
vn vn vn vn: No, the heavenly wheel-treasure did not appear on the
seventh day. That was a lie told by that god with the object
of tempting him. And even had it appeared, the bodhisatta
would not have turned back from his purpose. And why
not? Because the bodhisatta had firmly adhered to the view
of impermanence, of suffering and impersonality of
conditionality, and thus have his erroneous views
eradicated.

The water which flows into the Ganges from the Anottata
lake, and from the Ganges into the great ocean, and from
the great ocean into the subterranean abysses; would that
water, after it had once entered into the subterranean
abysses, turn back and flow again into the great ocean, and
from the great ocean into the Ganges, and from the Ganges
into the Anottata lake?
km km km km: Certainly not!
74

vn vn vn vn: In the same way, it was for the sake of his last existence (as
King Vessantara) that the bodhisatta had acquired and
amassed merit through 4 asa~khyeyya and 100,000 world
cycles. He had now reached that last birth, the knowledge
of the Buddhas had grown mature in him; in six years he
would become a Buddha, all-knowing, the highest being in
the world. Would then the bodhisatta, for the sake of the
heavenly wheel-treasure, turn back?
km km km km: That cannot happen!
vn vn vn vn: Quite so! Though the great earth, with all its forests and
mountain ranges; though the water of the Ganges should
flow backwards up the stream; though the mighty ocean
with its incomparably vast expanse of water should dry up
like the water in the footprint of a cow; yet would not the
bodhisatta turn back at this juncture.

Though Sineru, the king of the mountains, should split up
into a hundred or a thousand fragments; though the sun and
moon with all the stars should fall, like stones, upon the
ground; though the expanse of heaven should be rolled up
like a mat; yet would not the bodhisatta turn back at this
juncture! And why not?

Because through the period of 4 asa~khyeyya and 100,000
world cycles he had now reached that last birth; all the
knowledge of the Buddhas had grown mature in him. In
reaching to this end stage of the process, he had loosened
and torn asunder every bond that was holding him.
km km km km: How many bonds are there in the world?
vn vn vn vn: There are these ten bonds in the world, bound by which
men renounce not the world, or having renounced, would
turn back to the world again. They are: a mother, a father, a
wife, children, relations, friends, property, worldly gain and
celebrity, sovereignty, and the five pleasures of the senses.
75

These are the ten bonds common in the world, bound by
which men cannot renounce the world or having renounced,
would turn back to the world again. And all these bonds the
bodhisatta had with the greatest difficulty and suffering
broken through. Therefore he could not have turned back,
however much MÈra and his unwholesome forces were to
tempt him.
km km km km: If the bodhisatta with discontent arising in his heart at the
words of the god, though his knowledge was yet perfect,
and his insight of a Buddha not mature, did nevertheless go
forth into renunciation of the world, of what advantage was
the practice of austerities to him then? Ought not he rather,
awaiting the maturity of his knowledge, to have lived in the
enjoyment of all sensual pleasures?
vn vn vn vn: There are these ten sorts of individuals who are despised
and treated with contempt in the world, looked down upon,
held in disgrace, held as blameworthy, held as objects of
ill-treatment, and treated with disrespect. A woman without
a husband, an individual who is deficient in strength,
without relatives, a glutton, has never been under a
preceptor, has an evil friend and companion, deficient in
property, of low character, has a low means of livelihood,
and has no zeal.

It was while recollecting these ten conditions to mind that
perception arose in him: ‘Let me not be deficient in deed,
in exertion and find fault with among gods and men. Let
me be as a master in action, who holds action in high
esteem and who has action only as his chief and action only
as his regular habit; then action shall be my mainstay,
action shall be my place of dwelling, wherein I shall live
with diligence.’ That was the spirit in which the bodhisatta,
when he was bringing his knowledge to maturity,
undertook the practice of austerities.
76

km km km km: The bodhisatta when he was undergoing austerities in the
Uruvela forest, contemplated on his practice thus far: ‘Is it
by this practice alone that I shall attain to the
supramundane knowledge and wisdom of the ariya? Would
there yet be another way?’ Was then the bodhisatta at that
time, confused in his mind with respect to the knowledge of
the path?
vn vn vn vn: There are 25 qualities which are causes of weakness of
mind, weakened by which the mind cannot successfully be
devoted to the destruction of the Èsava
1 11 1
. And what are the
25? They are anger, enmity, ingratitude, rivalry, envy,
avarice, deceit, treachery, obstinacy, perverseness, pride,
vainglory, intoxication (of exalted ideas about birth, health
or wealth), negligence (of escape from the realms of death
and suffering), sloth and torpor, drowsiness, idleness,
having evil-doers for friends, visible object, sound, odour,
taste, body contact, hunger and thirst, and feeling of
distaste. These are the 25 qualities which are causes of
weakness of mind, weakened by which the mind cannot
successfully be devoted to the destruction of the Èsava.

And of these it was hunger and thirst, which had then
reduced the body of the bodhisatta to skin, sinew and
bones. When the body was thus reduced, his mind was not
concentrated and rightly devoted to the destruction of the
Èsava. Now the bodhisatta, through 4 asa~khyeyya and
100,000 world cycles, had been fervently searching and
striving through all of his successive births to comprehend
the Truths. Is it then possible that in his last existence, in
the birth in which that perception was to arise, there should
be any confusion in his mind with respect to the knowledge
of the path? The thought: ‘Can there yet be any other way
of comprehending the Four Noble Truths,’ indeed passed
through the bodhisatta’s mind but for a moment.
77

Already before that, when he was only one month old,
when his father, the Sakya king was at the ceremonial
ploughing, the bodhisatta, placed in his cot for coolness
under the shade of the rose-apple tree, sat up cross-legged.

Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from
unskillful qualities, enters and remains in the first jhana:
rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied
by directed thought and evaluation. With the stilling of
directed thought and evaluation, he enters and remains in
the second jhana: rapture and pleasure born of composure,
unification of awareness free from directed thought and
evaluation - internal assurance. With the fading of rapture
he remains in equanimity, mindful and alert, and physically
sensitive of pleasure, he enters and remains in the third
jhana, and of him the Noble Ones declare, ‘equanimous and
mindful, he has a pleasurable abiding.’ With the
abandoning of pleasure and pain, as with the earlier
disappearance of elation and distress, he enters and remains
in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity and mindfulness,
neither pleasure nor pain. This is the development of
concentration that leads to a pleasant abiding in the here
and now.
km km km km: Very good, Venerable! That is so and I accept it as you say.
It was while he was bringing his knowledge to maturity that
the bodhisatta practised austerities.

dukkarak dukkarak dukkarak dukkarakÈ ÈÈ ÈrikapaÒho dutiyo rikapaÒho dutiyo rikapaÒho dutiyo rikapaÒho dutiyo

Notes:
1. Èsava: variously translated as biases, cankers, fluxions, impurities,
intoxicants, inflows and outflows.
78

3. kusalÈkusalabalavatarapaÒha 3. kusalÈkusalabalavatarapaÒha 3. kusalÈkusalabalavatarapaÒha 3. kusalÈkusalabalavatarapaÒha

V VV Virtue irtue irtue irtue more powerful than more powerful than more powerful than more powerful than vice vice vice vice

km km km km: Venerable, which is more powerful: virtue (wholesome
action) or vice (unwholesome action)?
vn vn vn vn: Virtue is far more powerful.
km km km km: I am unable to accept the saying that virtue is more
powerful than vice. For there are to be seen here in the
world those who destroy other living beings; who take what
is not given; who commit unlawful sexual intercourse; who
speak the untruth; who commit robbery and destruction in
villages; who commit highway robbery; who cheat and
those who swindle.

These beings according to their crime, suffer the cutting off
of their hands, their feet, their hands and feet, their ears,
their noses, their ears and nose, or suffer other bodily
punishments. Others are anointed with boiling oil, eaten by
dogs, impaled alive, or are beheaded with a double-edged
sword, etc.

They perform unwholesome volitional actions as and when,
day or night, and they experience the evil fruit the same
day or night, as the case may be. But all of such people
experience their evil fruit thereof during their present life-
time.

And is there any one, who from having bestowed gifts of
charity to one, two, ten or even a hundred thousand
recipients, experienced in his life-time of the immediate
present, wealth, fame or happiness?

79

vn vn vn vn: There are four people who from having bestowed gifts of
charity, from having observed the moral precepts and the
uposatha, have experienced wealth, fame or happiness, and
even been to TÈvatiÑsa heaven, during their life-time.
km km km km: Who were they?
vn vn vn vn: The kings MaÓÉÈtu, Nemi, SÈdina, and Guttila the harpist.
km km km km: This bearing of immediate fruit happened thousands of
births ago, and is beyond the knowledge of either of us.
Render examples in the present period or in the time in
which the Blessed One has been alive.
vn vn vn vn: In that period, the slave PuÓÓaka, on making a gift-offering
of hard food to the Elder SÈriputta, attained that day to the
dignity of a merchant and is now generally known as
PuÓÓaka the wealthy merchant.

The queen, named GopÈla-mÈtÈ, being the daughter of poor
peasant folk, sold her hair for eight pieces of money, and
therewith made a gift-offering of alms-food to MahÈ
KaccÈyana the Elder and his accompanying elders, became
that very day the chief queen of King CaÓÉapajjotta.

SuppiyÈ the devout woman, cut flesh from her own thigh to
provide meat curry for a sick bhikkhu, and within two days
the wound closed up, and the spot became cured, with skin
grown over it.

MallikÈ the queen, when as a poor flower girl, made a gift-
offering of a rice cake she had reserved for her own
dinner, to the Blessed One, became that very day the chief
queen of the king of Kosala.

Sumana the garland maker, when he had presented to the
Blessed One eight bunches of jasmine flowers, came that
very day into great wealth and happiness.
80

Eka-sÈÔaka the Brahman, who made a gift-offering to the
Blessed One of his only garment, received that very day the
full complement of eight treasures including an elephant.

All of them experienced in their present life-time, wealth,
fame and bliss.
km km km km: So then, with all your searching and enquiry, you have
found only a few cases?
vn vn vn vn: That is so.
km km km km: Then it is vice, and not virtue which is the more powerful.
For on one day alone I have seen ten men expiating their
crimes by being impaled alive, thirty, forty, fifty, a
hundred, and a thousand even.

And further, there was BhaddasÈla, the warrior son of King
Nandakula, who waged war against King CaÓÉagutta. Now
on that battlefield, there were left eighty headless bodies
that had fallen from both warring parties. When one
headless corpse collapsed, another headless corpse stood
up, All the men thus slain came to destruction for an
unworthy object through the evil fruit of their vice of the
past. Therefore, too, do I say, that vice is more powerful
than virtue.

Have you heard that in this sÈsana, the giving by the Kosala
king has been unequalled?
vn vn vn vn: Yes, I have heard so.
km km km km: But did he on account of his having given gifts so
unequalled, receive in his life-time of immediate present,
wealth, fame, or bliss?
vn vn vn vn: No, he did not.
km km km km: Then, in that case, surely, vice is more powerful than
virtue.
81

vn vn vn vn: Vice by reason of its fewness, bears evil fruit easily. But
virtue, by reason of its grandeur and developing powers,
takes a long time to bear good fruit. This can be further
examined into by a metaphor.

Just as in the Aparanta country, the kind of corn called
kumuda-baÓÉikÈ, ripens quickly and is reaped and gathered
into the warehouse within a month, but the quality rice
takes six or five months to ripen. What then is the
difference - what is the distinction herein between kumuda-
baÓÉikÈ and rice?
km km km km: :: : Being deficient in nutritive power the corn known as
kumuda-baÓÉikÈ ripens quickly and is reaped and gathered
into the warehouse within a month; but the quality rice,
being packed with nutritive and developing power, takes six
or five months to ripen. The quality rice is worthy of kings,
meant for the king's table; the other is the food of servants
and of slaves.
vn vn vn vn: Even so, vice by reason of its fewness, bears evil fruit
easily. But virtue, by reason of its grandeur and developing
powers, takes a long time to bear good fruit.
km km km km: But it is just those things which bear fruit most quickly
which are in the world considered the most powerful. So
still vice must be more powerful and not virtue.

Just as the strong warrior who, when he enters into a
furious battle, is able to most quickly get hold of an enemy
and make him a prisoner. Such warrior is regarded in the
world as the ablest and most valiant;
just as that surgeon who is able to most quickly extract the
dart and allay the disease, is considered best;
just as the accountant who speedily makes his calculations
is considered the best;
82

just as the wrestler who quickly fell his opponent is
considered the ablest.

Even so, it is that virtue or vice, which most quickly bears
fruit, is the more powerful of the two.
vn vn vn vn: The ripening of fruit of both these two actions, virtue or
vice, will take place and be experienced by the performer
in future births. But vice besides having its fruit ripen in a
future life, will by reason of its guilt, also ripen and its
results experienced by the performer at once, and in this
present life.

Now, the rulers of old, established this decree: whoever
takes life is deserving of punishment; so the same with
whoever takes what is not given, commits adultery, speaks
the untruth, commits village or highway robbery, cheats
and swindles; all these vices are deserving of punishment.
Such people shall be liable to be executed, mutilated,
broken or beaten. In pursuance thereof the rulers held
repeated investigation, and then passed sentences of
punishment accordingly to the vice committed.

But, has there ever been anyone, rulers of old or now,
promulgated a decree: whoever gives charitable gifts,
observes moral laws and precepts, and keeps the uposatha;
to him shall be given wealth or honour?

Do they then make repeated investigations, and bestow
wealth or honours accordingly, as they do in the case of
executing or binding up a thief who is accused of theft?
km km km km: Certainly not.


83

vn vn vn vn: Well, if they make repeated investigations and bestow
wealth or honour, then would the ripening of the fruit of
virtue be made evident and experienced by the performer in
this present life.

But as they neither make investigations concerning givers,
nor bestow wealth and honour upon them, therefore is
virtue not rewarded at once and in this present life. This is
the reason why vice is made known with evil result in this
very life, but the doer experiences much more suffering
and misery in the lives to come.
km km km km: Very good, Venerable! In the absence of one as wise as
you, this puzzle would not have been so well solved. The
problem put by me in worldly sense, you have in
transcendental sense made clear.

kusal kusal kusal kusalÈ ÈÈ ÈkusalabalavatarapaÒho tatiyo kusalabalavatarapaÒho tatiyo kusalabalavatarapaÒho tatiyo kusalabalavatarapaÒho tatiyo
84

4. pubbapetÈ 4. pubbapetÈ 4. pubbapetÈ 4. pubbapetÈdisapaÒha disapaÒha disapaÒha disapaÒha

D DD Dedicating edicating edicating edicating of of of of meri meri meri merit tt ts ss s

km km km km: Venerable, these givers when they bestow their offerings,
dedicate the merits accruing therefrom to departed friends
and relatives, saying: ‘May the merits of this offering be
for the benefit of such and such.’ Now do the dead derive
any benefit accruing from the merits so dedicated?
vn vn vn vn: Some derive benefit, O King, and some do not.
km km km km: Which then are they that do, and which do not?
vn vn vn vn: Those who do not benefit are those reborn in the hell
realms or in the heaven abodes or as animals. Three types
of peta also do not: the vantÈsikÈ (who feed on vomit), the
khuppipÈsa (whose mouths do not admit of food and as
such are perpetually hungry), and the nijjhÈma-taÓhikÈ
(whose stomachs are aglow with burning flames).

But the paradattupajÊvÊ (who live on the gifts of others),
derive benefit. The benefit is however, derived only when
the peta actually know the offerings made for their sake.
km km km km: If those for whose benefit the gift-offerings are made
derive no benefit therefrom, then the offerings given by the
givers have run to waste, and are fruitless.
vn vn vn vn: No, they do not run to waste, neither are they fruitless. The
givers themselves derive benefit from their merit of giving.
km km km km: How is that so?
vn vn vn vn: Suppose, people were to get ready fish, meat, strong drinks,
rice and other eatables, and bringing them, make a visit on
a family related to them. If their relatives should not accept
their complimentary present, would that present become
wasted or fruitless?
km km km km: No, that present would still belong to the owners.
85

vn vn vn vn: Well, even so, the givers themselves derive the benefit. Or
just as if a man were to enter an inner chamber, and there
were no exit in front of him, how would he get out?
km km km km: By the way he entered.
vn vn vn vn: Even so, the givers themselves derive the benefit.
km km km km: Let that pass. That is so, and I accept it as you say; we will
not contest that point of argument.

But, if the offerings made by such givers do benefit certain
of the departed, and they do reap the result of the gifts,
then if those who destroy living beings, are ruffians whose
hands are stained with blood and are of cruel disposition,
were after committing murder or any other dreadful act, to
dedicate it to the departed, saying: ‘May the result of this
cruel volitional action of mine accrue to the departed,’
would it then be transferred to them?
vn vn vn vn: No, O King.
km km km km: But what is the reason, what is the cause, that the result of a
wholesome volitional act can be transferred and not the
result of an unwholesome volitional act?
vn vn vn vn: This is really not a question you should ask. Ask me no
foolish question in the idea that an answer will be
forthcoming. You will be asking me next why space is
boundless, why the Ganges does not flow upstream, why
men and birds are bipeds, and the animals quadrupeds!
km km km km: It is not to annoy you that I ask this question, O Venerable,
but for the sake of resolving a doubt. There are many
people in the world who follow the wrong path and who
are devoid of the eye of knowledge. I put that question to
you, thinking: ‘Why should not also these unlucky ones
have a chance of bettering themselves?’
vn vn vn vn: The result of an evil deed, cannot be shared with one who
has not done it, and has not consented to it.
86

People convey water long distances by an aqueduct. But
could they in the same way remove a great mountain of
solid rock?
km km km km: Certainly not.
vn vn vn vn: Even so, the fruit of a good deed can be shared, but the
result of a bad cannot be shared. One can light a lamp with
oil, but could one in the same way, light it with water?
km km km km: Certainly not.
vn vn vn vn: Even so, the fruit of a good deed can be shared, but not the
result of a bad deed. Farmers take water from a reservoir to
bring their crops to maturity, but could they bring their
crops to maturity by taking water from the great ocean?
km km km km: Not so.
vn vn vn vn: Even so, the fruit of a good deed can be shared, but the
result of a bad cannot be shared.
km km km km: But, why is that? Convince me of this by a reason. I am not
blind of the eye of wisdom or denuded of the light of
knowledge. I shall understand when I have heard.
vn vn vn vn: The character of vice is few, narrow and bounded, while
virtue is vast and grand. By reason of its fewness, vice
affects only the doer, but virtue by reason of its vastness
and grandeur spreads over the world of gods and men.
km km km km: Show me this by a simile.
vn vn vn vn: Were a tiny drop of water to fall on the ground, would it
flood over an area of ten leagues or twelve in distance?
km km km km: Certainly not. The drop of water would vanish on the spot
of ground where it fell.
vn vn vn vn: But why so?
k kk km mm m: By reason of its minuteness.
vn vn vn vn: Even so is vice minute. And by reason of its fewness it
affects the doer only, and cannot possibly be shared. But if
a mighty rain cloud were to pour out rain, satisfying the
surface of the earth, would that mighty rain spread over the
entire place with water?
87

km km km km: Certainly, that thunderstorm would fill up the depressions
in the ground, pools, ponds, gullies, crevices, chasms, lakes,
reservoirs, wells, and lotus-tanks, and the water would
spread abroad for ten leagues or for twelve.
vn vn vn vn: But why so?
km km km km: Because of the greatness and vastness of the rain.
vn vn vn vn: Even so is virtue great and immense. By reason of its
vastness and immensity it can be shared by gods and men.
km km km km: Why is it that vice is so limited, and virtue so much more
wide-reaching?
vn vn vn vn: Whoever in this world bestows gifts of charity, observes
the moral precepts and keeps the uposatha, feels rejoiced,
greatly rejoiced, joyful, cheerful, clear minded and at peace
with the world around. In such a man there arises rapture in
successive stages of development. And whoever has a mind
that is satisfied and at peace with the world around
cultivates an abundant growth of virtues and wholesome
volitional activities.

Like a deep pool of clear water, and into which on one side
the spring pours, while on the other side the water flows
away; so as it flows away it comes again, and there can be
no failure there.

Even so, does virtues and wholesome volitional activities
grow more and abundantly. If a man were to perform a
meritorious deed only once every hundred years and to
reflect upon that merit later, such merit develops
abundantly every time such reflection takes place. The
merit of that man admits of being transferred to others to
whom he is kindly disposed. This is the reason why virtue
is so much the greater of the two.

88

But on doing evil, a man becomes filled with remorse, and
the mind of him who feels remorse is depressed, dejected,
dispirited, un-diffusive, anxiety-ridden, reduced in strength,
denuded of vigour, devoid of progress and undergoes a
process of vanishing at the moment of arising. Just as the
small volume of water that flows down from the upper
reaches of a river that has run dry and that has mighty
sandbanks along its tortuous course diminished, vanished,
gains not in volume, and dissipated on the way.

Even so, the mind of the evil-doer later becomes filled with
remorse, and the heart of him who feels remorse, is
depressed, dejected, dispirited, un-diffusive, anxiety-ridden,
reduced in strength, denuded of vigour, devoid of progress
and subject to a process of vanishing at the moment of
arising. This is the reason why vice is so few.
km km km km: Very good, Venerable! That is so and I accept it as you say.

pubbapet pubbapet pubbapet pubbapetÈ ÈÈ ÈdisapaÒho catuttho disapaÒho catuttho disapaÒho catuttho disapaÒho catuttho
89

5. supinapaÒha 5. supinapaÒha 5. supinapaÒha 5. supinapaÒha

D DD Drea rea rea reams ms ms ms

km km km km: Venerable, men and women in this world see dreams:
• that are pleasant or evil;
• that relate to things they have seen or not seen before;
• that relate to things they have done or not done before;
• that are associated or not associated with harm; and
• numbering over a thousand that relate to events that
occurred near to them or distant from them.

What is this that men call a dream, and who is it who
dreams it?
vn vn vn vn: A dream is a mental image (nimittaÑ), that comes across
the path of the mind. There are six kinds of people who
dreams: he who is of a windy humour, of a bilious humour,
of a phlegmatic humour, is influenced by a god, is
influenced by his own habits, and he who sees signs of his
own future. Of these, only the last kind of dreams is true;
all the rest are false.
km km km km: When a man dreams a dream that is a prediction, how is it?
Does his own mind set out itself to seek the omen, or does
the prediction come of its own accord into the path of his
mind, or does someone else come and tell him of it?
vn vn vn vn: His own mind does not itself seek the omen, neither does
anyone else come and tell him of it. The prediction comes
of its own accord into his mind. It is like the case of a
looking-glass, which does not go anywhere to seek for the
reflection; neither does anyone else come and put the
reflection onto the looking-glass. But the object reflected
comes from somewhere or other across the sphere over
which the reflecting power of the looking-glass extends.
90

km km km km: Does the same mind which sees the dream also know:
‘Such and such a result, either harmless or associated with
harm, will follow?’
vn vn vn vn: No, he cannot know. After the omen has occurred he tells
others, and then they explain the meaning of it.
km km km km: Come now, I insist that you show me the reason for it.
vn vn vn vn: It is like the marks, pimples and cutaneous eruptions which
arise on a man's body to his gain or loss, fame or
dishonour, praise or blame, happiness or sorrow. Do in that
case the pimples come because they know: ‘Such and such
is the event which we shall bring about?’
km km km km: No. But according to the place on which the cutaneous
eruptions have arisen, the fortune-tellers, making their
observations, give a decision, saying: ‘Such and such will
be the result.’
vn vn vn vn: Even so, the mind of the dreamer does not know: ‘Such and
such a result, either harmless or associated with harm, will
follow.’ After the omen has occurred he tells others, and
they then explain the meaning of it.
km km km km: When a man dreams a dream, is he awake or asleep?
vn vn vn vn: Neither does a man dream while asleep nor awake. But
when his sleep has become light, and he is not yet fully
conscious, in that interval it is that dreams are dreamt.

When a man is in deep sleep, his mind has returned home
(has entered again into bhavanga), and a mind thus shut in
does not act, and a mind hindered in its action does not
experience agreeable or disagreeable feelings, and he who
does not experience agreeable or disagreeable feelings, has
no dreams. It is when the mind is active with the flashing
forth of impulsive moments in a process of consciousness
that dreams are dreamt. Just as in the darkness and gloom,
where there is no light, no image will be reflected even on
the most burnished mirror.
91

Even so, when a man is in deep sleep his mind has entered
into bhavanga and the mind is inactive, does not experience
agreeable or disagreeable feelings, and he who does not
experience agreeable or disagreeable feelings, has no
dream. For it is when the mind is active that dreams are
dreamt. As the mirror are you to regard the body, as the
darkness of sleep, and as the light the mind.

Or again, just as the glory of a sun veiled in fog is
imperceptible, as its rays, though they do exist, are unable
to pierce through, and as when its rays act not, there is no
light. Even so, when a man is in deep sleep his mind has
entered into bhavanga, and the mind is inactive, does not
experience agreeable or disagreeable feelings, and he who
does not experience agreeable or disagreeable feelings, has
no dream. For it is when the mind is active that dreams are
dreamt. As the sun are you to regard the body, as the veil
of fog sleep, and as the rays the mind.

Under the two conditions is the mind inactive though the
body is there. When a man being in deep sleep, his mind
has entered into bhavanga, and when the man has entered
into the attainment of meditative absorption. The mind of a
man who is awake, is excited, open, clear and
untrammelled, and no prognostication occurs to one whose
mind is so. Just as men seeking concealment avoid the man
who is open, candid, unreserved; even so is it that the
divine intention is not manifested to the wakeful man, and
the man who is awake therefore sees no dream.

Or again, just as the qualities which lead to wisdom are not
to be found reflected in a bhikkhu whose mode of
livelihood is wrong, who has wicked and evil friends, is
devoid of morality, is lazy, and devoid of zeal.
92

Even so is it that the divine intention is not manifested to
the wakeful man, and the man who is awake, therefore,
sees no dream.
km km km km: Is there a beginning, a middle, and an end in sleep?
vn vn vn vn: Yes, there is.
km km km km: Which then is the beginning, which the middle, and which
the end?
vn vn vn vn: The feeling of lethargy and morbid lethargy in the body of
weakness, slackness, inertness; that is the beginning. The
light ‘monkey's sleep’ in which a man still guards his
scattered thoughts; that is the middle. When the mind has
entered into unconsciousness; that is the end.

It is in the middle stage, in the ‘monkey's sleep’ that dreams
are dreamt. Just as when a man, self-restrained with
collected thoughts, steadfast in the faith, unshaken in
wisdom, plunges deep into the woods far from the sounds
of strife and thinks over some subtle matter. There, tranquil
and at peace, he will master the meaning of it; just so a
man still watchful, not fallen into sleep, but dozing in a
‘monkey's sleep’, will dream a dream.

As the sound of strife, so are you to regard the
wakefulness, and as the lonely wood the ‘monkey’s sleep’.
And as that man avoiding the sound of strife, keeping out
of sleep, remaining in the middle stage, will master the
meaning of that subtle matter, so the still watchful man, not
fallen into sleep, but dozing in a ‘monkey’s sleep’, will
dream a dream.
km km km km: Very good, Venerable! That is so and I accept it as you say.

supinapaÒho paÒcamo supinapaÒho paÒcamo supinapaÒho paÒcamo supinapaÒho paÒcamo

93

6. akÈlamaraÓ 6. akÈlamaraÓ 6. akÈlamaraÓ 6. akÈlamaraÓa aa apaÒha paÒha paÒha paÒha

P PP Premature death remature death remature death remature death

km km km km: Venerable, when beings die, do they all die in fullness of
time, or do some die prematurely?
vn vn vn vn: There are such things, O King, as death at due time, and
prematured death.
km km km km: Then who are they who die at due time, and who dies
prematurely?
vn vn vn vn: Have you ever noticed, in the case of mango trees, rose-
apple trees or other fruit-bearing trees, that their fruits fall
when they are ripe and also when they are not ripe?
km km km km: Yes, I have.
vn vn vn vn: Well, those fallen fruits, do they all fall at due time, or do
some fall prematurely?
km km km km: In fullness of time, those that are ripe will fall. Of the rest,
they fall because some are bored into by worms, some
knocked down by other objects, some blown down by the
wind, some have rotted; all these fall out of due season.
vn vn vn vn: Even so, those men who die of old age, they die in fullness
of time. But of the rest, some die due to kamma, some due
to the effect of actions.
km km km km: Those who die of kamma, future destiny, actions, or old
age, they all die in fullness of time. Even he who dies in
the womb, that is his appointed time; he, too dies in
fullness of time. Of him who dies in the birth chamber, or
when he is a month old, or at any age up to a hundred
years, that is his appointed time; he, too dies in fullness of
time. So, there is no such thing as death out of due season.
For all who die, they do so at the appointed time.
vn vn vn vn: There are seven kinds of people, who, there being still a
portion of their appointed age to run, die prematurely.
94

− The starving man, who has no food and whose innards
are impaired;
− the thirsty man who has no drinking water and whose
heart is thus dried up;
− the man bitten by a snake, who, when consumed by the
fierce energy of poison, finds no cure;
− he who has taken poison, and when all his limbs are
burning, is unable to procure medicine;
− one fallen into fire, who, when he is aflame, can find
no means of putting out the fire;
− he who having fallen into water can find no firm
ground to stand on; and
− the man wounded by a dart, who in his illness can find
no surgeon.
All these are the seven who die prematurely.

Furthermore, there are eight ways of death. Through excess
of windy humour; excess of bilious humour; excess of
phlegmatic humour; the adverse union of these three; also
through variations in temperature; unbalanced diet; plotting
by others; and the dire effect of kamma.

Of these, death by the working of kamma, that is death at
the due season; all the rest are cases of prematured death.
For it is said:
‘By hunger, thirst, by poison, and by bites,
Burnt, drowned, or slain, men out of time do pass on;
By the three humours, and by three combined,
By heats, by unbalanced diet, by plotting,
By all these seven men pass on out of time.’

But there are also beings that pass away through the
working of some evil deed they have committed in former
existences. Their deaths are at appointed time.
95

These deaths and rebirths will happen repeatedly through
many hundreds of thousands of years. In these rebirths they
will constantly be tormented by the results of their evil
deeds.

Of these, whoever in a former birth had caused another to
die by: starvation, will die of hunger; thirst, will die of
thirst; snake bites, will die from snake bites; poison, will
die from being poisoned; fire, will be burnt to death;
drowning, will die by drowning; and the spear, will perish
by the spear.
km km km km: You have also said about prematured death. Give us the
reason for that.
vn vn vn vn: As a great and mighty fire onto which dry grass, sticks,
branches and leaves have been heaped, will nevertheless,
die out by the exhaustion of the fuel. Yet such a fire is said
to have gone out in fullness of time, without any calamity
or accident. Even so, the man who, when he has lived many
thousands of days, when he is old and stricken in years,
dies at last of old age, without any calamity or accident, is
said to have reached death in the fullness of time.

But if there were a great and mighty fire, onto which dry
grass, sticks, branches, and leaves had been heaped, then if
a mighty rain cloud were to pour out rain upon it, and it
were thus to be put out even before the fuel was consumed,
could it be said that the great fire had gone out in fullness
of time?
km km km km: No, it could not.
vn vn vn vn: But wherein would the second fire differ in its nature, from
the first?
km km km km: The second fire went out prematurely because it suffered
from the sudden rainfall. In that it was different in nature
from the first.
96

vn vn vn vn: Even so, whoever dies prematurely does so in consequence
of: the attack of some disease - excess of windy humour,
bilious humour, phlegmatic humour, or the union of the
three; variations in temperature; unbalanced diet; plotting
by others; hunger; thirst; snake-bite; taking poison; burning;
drowning; or injuries by weapons. This is the reason why
there is such a thing as prematured death.

Or again, it is like a mighty storm cloud which, rising up
into the heavens, should rain, filling the valleys and the
plains. That cloud would be said to have rained without
calamity or accident.

Even so, the man who after having lived long, dies at last,
when he is old and well stricken in years, without any
calamity or accident, of old age, is said to have reached
death in the fullness of time.

But if, a mighty storm cloud were to rise up, and as it did
so were to be dissipated by a mighty wind, could it be said
that, that cloud had perished in due time?
km km km km: No, it could not.
vn vn vn vn: But wherein would the second cloud differ in its nature,
from the first?
km km km km: The second cloud which suffered from the onset of the
whirlwind, would have been dissipated before its time.
vn vn vn vn: Even so, whoever dies prematurely in consequence of
suffering ranging from the attack of some diseases to
injuries from weapons; this is the reason why there is such
a thing as prematured death. Or again, it is like a poisonous
and deadly snake, which being angered should bite a man,
and to him that poison most deadly and affective, which is
unimpeded by an antidote, should bring death.

97

Even so, the man who, having lived long, dies at last, when
he is old and well stricken in years, without any calamity or
accident, of old age, is said to have reached death in the
fullness of time.

Or if, to a man while he was suffering from the bite of a
poisonous and deadly snake, a snake charmer were to give
an antidote and thus get rid of the poison, could it be said
that, that poison lost its potency in the fullness of time?
km km km km: :: : No, it could not.
vn vn vn vn: But wherein would the second poison differ in its nature,
from the first?
km km km km: The second poison which was rendered impotent by the
antidote, would have been removed before the effect takes
its course.
vn vn vn vn: Even so, whoever dies prematurely in consequence of
suffering ranging from the attack of some diseases to
injuries from weapons; this is the reason why there is such
a thing as dying prematurely.

Or again, it is like the arrow discharged by an archer. If
that arrow should go to the very end of the line of the path
along which it was intended, then it would be said to have
reached its destination without let or hindrance.

Even so, the man who, having lived long, dies at last, when
he is old and well stricken in years, without any calamity or
accident, of old age, is said to have reached death in the
fullness of time.

Or if, at the moment when the archer was discharging the
arrow, someone should catch hold of it, could that arrow be
said to have reached the end of its intended path?
km km km km: No, it could not.
98

vn vn vn vn: But wherein would the second arrow differ in its nature,
from the first?
km km km km: By the seizure which intervened, the course of the second
arrow was arrested.
vn vn vn vn: Even so, whoever dies prematurely in consequence of
suffering ranging from the attack of some diseases to
injuries from weapons; this is the reason why there is such
a thing as dying prematurely.

Or again, it is like the corn seed which had sprung up well
in the field, and by means of a downpour of rain had
become well laden far and wide with many seeds, and had
safely survived to the time of harvest.

Even so, the man who, having lived long, dies at last, when
he is old and well stricken in years, without any calamity or
accident, of old age, is said to have reached death in the
fullness of time.

But if the corn seed should be deprived of water and die;
could it be said to have reached its due season?
km km km km: No, it could not.
vn vn vn vn: But wherein would the second crop differ in its nature,
from the first?
km km km km: Oppressed by the heat which suddenly intervened, that crop
perished.
vn vn vn vn: Even so, whoever dies prematurely in consequence of
suffering ranging from the attack of some diseases to
injuries from weapons; this is the reason why there is such
a thing as dying prematurely.

And have you ever heard, of a young crop that at maturity,
worms sprung up and destroyed it down to the roots?
km km km km: We have heard of such a thing and have seen it, too.
99

vn vn vn vn: Well, was that worm-eaten crop destroyed in season, or out
of season?
km km km km: Out of season; for surely if worms had not destroyed the
crop it would have survived to harvest time.
vn vn vn vn: What then, on a disaster suddenly intervening the crop is
lost, but if no injury is done to it, it survives to the harvest?
km km km km: That is so.
vn vn vn vn: Even so, whoever dies prematurely in consequence of
suffering ranging from the attack of some diseases to
injuries from weapons; this is the reason why there is such
a thing as dying prematurely.
km km km km: Most wonderful, Venerable! Right well have you explained,
by reason and by similes, how it is that people die
prematurely. I was convinced already, by the first of your
similes, that such deaths happen, but nevertheless, out of
the wish to hear still further and further solutions, I would
not give in.

ak ak ak akÈ ÈÈ ÈlamaraÓ lamaraÓ lamaraÓ lamaraÓa aa apaÒho chaÔÔho paÒho chaÔÔho paÒho chaÔÔho paÒho chaÔÔho
100

7. cet 7. cet 7. cet 7. ceti ii iyapÈÔihÈriyapaÒha yapÈÔihÈriyapaÒha yapÈÔihÈriyapaÒha yapÈÔihÈriyapaÒha

Wonders Wonders Wonders Wonders occurring occurring occurring occurring at stupas at stupas at stupas at stupas

km km km km: Venerable, do wonders occur at the stupas of all arahants
who have passed away to the state of final emancipation, or
do they occur only at the stupas of some?
vn vn vn vn: Miracles occur at the stupas of some, but not of others.
km km km km: But of which is this the case, and of which not?
vn vn vn vn: It is by the steadfast resolve, of three kinds of people, that
wonders happen at the stupa of an arahanta who has passed
away to the state of emancipation. Who are the three?

In the first place, an arahant in this sÈsana, while still alive,
out of compassion for gods and men, make the resolve:
‘Let there be such and such wonders happen at my stupa.’
Thus, it is that miracles occur by the resolve of an arahant
at his stupa when he has passed away to the state of
emancipation.

In the second place, the gods, out of compassion for
mankind show wonders at the stupa of an arahant who has
passed away to the state of emancipation, considering:
‘This miracle may serve as a means of perpetuating the
sÈsana and may their faith grow.’ Thus is it that miracles
occur by the resolve of a god at the stupa of an arahant
who has passed away to the state of emancipation.

In the third place, some woman or some man of great faith,
intelligent, endowed with insight and possessed of rational
knowledge, may with proper thinking and deliberation,
make to the stupa a respectful gift offering of such things
as perfumes, a garland, or a cloth, and make a resolve:
‘May such and such a wonder take place!’
101

Thus is it that wonders occur by the resolve of human
beings at the stupa of an arahant who has passed away to
the state of emancipation.

These are the three kinds of people by whose steadfast
resolve, wonders take place at the stupa of arahants who
have passed way.

If no resolve has been made by one of these, then there
cannot be any wonder at the stupa even of an arahant who
had attained to the sixfold higher spiritual powers. If there
are no such wonders, then one should call to mind the
immaculate purity of the conduct of those one has seen, and
draw one’s conclusion: ‘Indeed, this son of the Buddha has
passed away to attain to the state of emancipation!’
km km km km: Very good, Venerable! That is so and I accept it as you say.

cetÊyap cetÊyap cetÊyap cetÊyapÈ ÈÈ ÈÔih Ôih Ôih ÔihÈ ÈÈ ÈriyapaÒho sattamo riyapaÒho sattamo riyapaÒho sattamo riyapaÒho sattamo
102

8. dhamm 8. dhamm 8. dhamm 8. dhammÈ ÈÈ ÈbisamayapaÒha bisamayapaÒha bisamayapaÒha bisamayapaÒha

I II Insight into th nsight into th nsight into th nsight into the path and fruition e path and fruition e path and fruition e path and fruition

km km km km: Venerable, those who train themselves correctly in the
dhamma, do they all attain to insight into the Truth, or are
there some of them who do not?
vn vn vn vn: Some do, O King, and some do not.
km km km km: Then who are these?
vn vn vn vn: One who is animal-born, even though it trains itself
correctly, will not attain to insight into the Truth; also:
• he who is born in the world of ghost (peta),
• he who holds heretical views,
• the deceitful man,
• he who has slain his mother, father, or an arahant,
• he who has created a schism in the Order,
• he who has shed a Buddha's blood,
• he who has furtively attached himself to the Order,
• he who has gone over to the heretical sects,
• he who has violated a bhikkhuni,
• he who, having been guilty of one or other of the
thirteen grievous offences (saÑghÈdisesa), has not
been exonerated,
• he who belongs to one or another of the five kinds of
a eunuch,
• a hermaphrodite, and
• a human infant under seven years of age.

Even though they train themselves correctly in the dhamma,
will not attain to insight into the Truth.
km km km km: There may or may not be a possibility of insight to those
you have pointed out. But what is the reason why an infant,
one under seven years of age, should not, even though he
trains himself correctly, attain to insight?
103

For is it not that in a child, there is no passion, hatred,
delusion, conceit, heretical views, discontent, or lustful
thoughts? Being unpolluted with defilements, should it not
be proper and deserving for the infant if it is able to train
itself correctly to gain insight into the Truth?
vn vn vn vn: The following are the reasons why an infant, under seven
years of age, cannot, even though he trains himself
corretly, attain to insight. If one under seven years of age
could feel passion about things exciting to passion; could
go wrong in things leading to iniquity; could be befooled in
matters that mislead; could be maddened as to things that
infatuate; could understand a heresy; could distinguish
between content and discontent; could think out virtue and
vice, then attainment to insight might be possible for him.

But the mind of one under seven years of age is powerless
and weak, diminutive, small, slight, slow to grasp and
indistinct of perception, whereas the idea of an
unconditioned element of nibbÈna is profound,
burdensome, extensive and sublime.

Therefore is it that the infant, is unable to know with
penetrating insight the idea of an unconditioned element of
nibbÈna which is transcendental, weighty, extensive and
sublime.

It is like the case of Sineru, the king of the mountains,
transcendental, weighty, extensive, wide-reaching and
mighty as it is; could a man, by his ordinary strength and
power and energy, dig up the whole mountain?
km km km km: Certainly not.
vn vn vn vn: Why not?
km km km km: Because of the weakness of the man, and because of the
mightiness of Sineru.
104

vn vn vn vn: Even so, the mind of the infant, one under seven years of
age is powerless and weak, diminutive, small, slight, slow
to grasp and indistinct of perception, whereas the idea of an
unconditioned element of nibbÈna is transcendental,
weighty, extensive and sublime.

Or it is like the broad earth, long and wide, great in
expanse and extension, large and mighty; would a tiny drop
of water be able to wet that broad earth to mud?
km km km km: Certainly not.
vn vn vn vn: But why not?
km km km km: Because of the minuteness of the drop of water, and
because of the greatness of the broad earth.
vn vn vn vn: Even so, the mind of the infant, one under seven years of
age is powerless and weak, diminutive, small, slight, slow
to grasp and indistinct of perception, whereas the idea of an
unconditioned element of nibbÈna is transcendental,
weighty, extensive and sublime.

Or again, suppose there was a weak and powerless, tiny,
ineffective and inconspicuous fire; would it be possible
with so insignificant a fire, to dispel darkness and make
light appear over the whole world of gods and men?
km km km km: Not so.
vn vn vn vn: But why not?
km km km km: Because of the insignificance of the fire against the
greatness of the world.
vn vn vn vn: Even so, the mind of the infant, one under seven years of
age is powerless and weak, diminutive, slow to grasp and
imperfect; it is veiled, moreover, with the thick darkness of
ignorance. Hard would it be, therefore, for it to shine forth
with the light of knowledge.
105

That is the reason why to an infant, one under seven years
of age, even though he trains himself correctly, there can
be no attainment of insight into the Truth.

Or again, suppose there were a SÈlaka worm, minute in the
measure of its body which is comparable to an atom and
rendered lean by disease; and it on seeing an elephant king,
which showed the signs of rut in three places, which having
three prominent widths, was nine cubits in length, ten in
girth, and eight in height coming to its lair, were to begin to
drag the elephant towards it with the view of swallowing it.
Would the Salaka worm be able to do?
km km km km: :: : Certainly not.
vn vn vn vn: But why not?
km km km km: Because of the minuteness of the Salaka's body, and
because of the magnitude of the mighty elephant.
vn vn vn vn: Even so, the mind of the infant, one under seven years of
age is powerless and weak, diminutive, slow to grasp and
imperfect; it is veiled, moreover, with the thick darkness of
ignorance. Hard would it be, therefore, for it to shine forth
with the light of knowledge.

That is the reason why to an infant, one under seven years
of age, even though he trains himself correctly, there can
be no attainment of insight into the Truth.
km km km km: Very good, Venerable! That is so, and I accept it as you
say.
dhamm dhamm dhamm dhammÈ ÈÈ ÈbisamayapaÒho aÔÔhamo bisamayapaÒho aÔÔhamo bisamayapaÒho aÔÔhamo bisamayapaÒho aÔÔhamo
106

9. ekantasukhanibbÈnapaÒha 9. ekantasukhanibbÈnapaÒha 9. ekantasukhanibbÈnapaÒha 9. ekantasukhanibbÈnapaÒha

N NN NibbÈna being truly a bliss ibbÈna being truly a bliss ibbÈna being truly a bliss ibbÈna being truly a bliss

km km km km: Venerable, is nibbÈna truly a bliss in entirety, or is it mixed
with pain?
vn vn vn vn: NibbÈna is all bliss. There is no intermingling of pain in it.
km km km km: That ‘nibbÈna is all bliss’ is a saying we cannot believe;
thus, we maintain, ‘nibbÈna is intermingled with pain.’
There is a reason for our adopting that view. Those who
seek after nibbÈna are seen to strenuously practise exertion
and application both of body and of mind, restraint in
standing, walking, sitting, lying down and eating,
suppression of sleepiness, subjugation of the sense-bases
such as eye-base, renunciation of wealth and property, of
relatives and friends.

But all those who are blissful or are endowed with bliss in
the world feast their sense-bases with the pleasure and
delights of the five sensuous objects creating more
sensually desirous outside objects and their ramifications.

You, on the other hand, put a stop to and destroy, maim
and mangle, put a drag on and restrain the development of
your eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind. Therefore, is
your body rendered hot and your mind too, rendered hot.
When your body is rendered hot, you feel the feeling of
pain associated with the body. When your mind is rendered
hot, you feel the feeling of pain associated with the mind.
Did not even MÈgaÓÉiya the ascetic, find fault with the
Blessed One and say: ‘The samaÓa Gotama is a destroyer
of progress?’
vn vn vn vn: It is maintained that nibbÈna is unmixed with pain. It is
truly a bliss in entirety.
107

When you maintain that nibbÈna is painful, that which you
call ‘painful’ is not nibbÈna. It is the preliminary stage to
the realisation of nibbÈna. This pain is the pain endured in
the process of seeking after nibbÈna. NibbÈna itself is truly
a bliss in entirety, there is no pain mixed with it. I will give
you an explanation of this. Is there such a thing as the bliss
of sovereignty which kings enjoy?
km km km km: Most certainly.
vn vn vn vn: Is there no pain mingled with that bliss?
km km km km: No.
vn vn vn vn: But surely then, why is it that when their frontier provinces
have broken out in revolt, the kings, with the view to
bringing the inhabitants of those provinces into subjugation
again, leave their palaces, attended by their ministers and
chiefs, their soldiers and guards, and marching over
grounds even and uneven, tormented the while by gnats and
mosquitoes, winds and the heat of the sun, engage in fierce
fights, and suffer the foreboding fear of death?
km km km km: That is not what is called the bliss of sovereignty. It is only
the preliminary stage in the pursuit of that bliss. It is after
they have, in pain, sought after sovereignty, that they enjoy
the bliss. Thus, that bliss is itself unmixed with pain, for the
bliss of sovereignty is one thing, and the pain another.
vn vn vn vn: Even so is nibbÈna all bliss! There is no pain mingled with
it. It is true that those who are in the quest of nibbÈna
afflict their minds and bodies, restrain themselves in
standing, walking, sitting, lying down and in eating;
suppress their sleepiness, keep their senses in subjugation,
abandon their very body and their life. But it is after they
have, in pain, sought after nibbÈna; and having gained
nibbÈna after the painful search, would they then know and
enjoy its pure and unadulterated bliss. Exactly so as kings
enjoy the bliss of sovereignty after their foes have been put
down.
108

Thus is it that nibbÈna is all bliss, and there is no pain
mingled with it. For nibbÈna is one thing, and the pain
another. Hear another simile. Is there bliss in a craft for
those teachers who are masters of a craft?
km km km km: Yes.
vn vn vn vn: Well, is that bliss in a craft mixed with pain?
km km km km: No.
vn vn vn vn: Why then do they afflict themselves by: making obeisance
to their teachers; making gestures of welcome on their
arrival; drawing water; sweeping out the dwelling place;
presenting tooth cleaners; handing water for face washing;
living on food left over by the teacher; assisting in putting
on robes or covers; helping the teacher as a bath attendant;
massaging hands and feet of the teacher; suppressing their
own will; acting according to the will of others; sleeping in
discomfort and feeding on distasteful food?
km km km km: But that is not called bliss in a craft; it is a preliminary
stage in the pursuit. It is after the teachers have sought a
craft in pain, that they enjoy the bliss in a craft. Thus is it
that the bliss in a craft is one thing, and pain is another.
vn vn vn vn: Even so is nibbÈna all bliss! There is no pain mingled with
it. Those who are in the quest of nibbÈna afflict their minds
and bodies; restrain themselves in standing, walking,
sitting, lying down and in eating; suppress their sleepiness,
keep their senses in subjugation, abandon their very body
and their life. But it is after they have, in pain, sought after
nibbÈna; and having gained nibbÈna after the painful
search, would they then know and enjoy its pure and
unadulterated bliss - as teachers do the bliss of a craft. Thus
is it that nibbÈna is all bliss, and there is no pain mingled
with it. For nibbÈna is one thing, and pain is another.
km km km km: Very good, Venerable! That is so and I accept it as you say.

ekantasukhanibb ekantasukhanibb ekantasukhanibb ekantasukhanibbÈ ÈÈ ÈnapaÒho navamo napaÒho navamo napaÒho navamo napaÒho navamo
109

10. nibbÈnar|pasaÓÔhÈnapaÒha 10. nibbÈnar|pasaÓÔhÈnapaÒha 10. nibbÈnar|pasaÓÔhÈnapaÒha 10. nibbÈnar|pasaÓÔhÈnapaÒha

T TT The form of nibbÈna he form of nibbÈna he form of nibbÈna he form of nibbÈna

km km km km: Venerable, it is said, ‘nibbÈna! nibbÈna!’ Can you make
clear by simile or explanation, the form, figure, duration, or
measure of it?
vn vn vn vn: ‘NibbÈna! nibbÈna!’ Nothing is comparable to it; and by no
means of any kind whatsoever can its form, figure,
duration or measure be made clear.
km km km km: I cannot accept what you say that the form, figure, duration
or measure of nibbÈna, which really after all is a condition
that exists, cannot be made clear by any means or
comparison! Please therefore give me some explanation.
vn vn vn vn: Very well, O King. Is there such a thing as the great ocean?
km km km km: Yes, the ocean exists.
vn vn vn vn: Well, suppose someone were to ask you: ‘How much water
is there, your Majesty, in the great ocean, and how many
are the creatures that dwell therein?’ When that question
had been put, how would you answer him?
km km km km: I should reply thus to such a question: ‘My good fellow!
No one ought to ask such a question. It is a kind of
question that should be left unanswered. The scientists of
the world have never discussed the subject of the ocean in
that way. No one can measure the water there, or count the
creatures that dwell therein.’
vn vn vn vn: But why would you make such a reply about the ocean
which, after all, is really an existing condition of things.

Ought you not rather to count and tell him, saying: ‘So and
so much is the water in the great ocean, and so and so
many are the creatures that dwell therein?’
km km km km: That would be impossible.
110

vn vn vn vn: As impossible as it is to tell the measure of the water in the
great ocean, or the number of the creatures dwelling
therein, though after all the great ocean is really an existing
condition of things, so it is impossible to make clear by
simile or explanation, the form, figure, duration or measure
of nibbÈna. Even if a person possessed of magical powers,
were to be able to measure the water and count the
creatures in the great ocean; even such a person would not
be able to make clear by simile or explanation, the form or
the figure, the duration or the measure of nibbÈna.

Hear another explanation. Are not there among the
heavenly beings of the BrÈhma world, certain of them
called immaterial ones?
km km km km: Yes. I have heard there are such.
vn vn vn vn: Well, can you make clear by simile or explanation, the
form or figure, duration or size of these immaterial ones of
the BrÈhma world?
km km km km: No, I cannot.
vn vn vn vn: In that case, there are none of those immaterial ones.
km km km km: The immaterial ones do exist in the BrÈhma world; yet it is
impossible to make clear by simile or explanation, the form
or figure, their duration or their size.
vn vn vn vn: As impossible as it is to make clear the form or figure, the
duration or the size of the immaterial ones of the BrÈhma
world, though they after all are beings that exist; it too is
impossible in any of the ways you suggest to make clear
the form or the figure, the duration or the measure of
nibbÈna, though after all it is a condition that does exist.
km km km km: I will grant that nibbÈna is bliss pure and unadulterated, and
yet that is impossible to make clear, either by simile or
explanation, either its form or its figure, either its duration
or its size.
111

But is there no quality of nibbÈna which is inherent also in
other things, and is such that it can be made evident by
simile?
vn vn vn vn: Though there is nothing as to its form which can be so
explained, there is something as to its qualities which can.
km km km km: A happy word! Speak then, quickly, that I may have an
explanation of even one point in the characteristics of
nibbÈna.
vn vn vn vn: There is one quality of the lotus, inherent in nibbÈna, two
qualities of water, three of medicine, four of the great
ocean, five of food, ten of space, three of the wish-
conferring gem, three of red sandalwood, three of clarified
butter (ghee), and five of a mountain peak.
km km km km: Can you explain more on each of those qualities?
vn vn vn vn: As the lotus is untarnished by the water, so is nibbÈna
untarnished by any defilement. This is the one quality of
the lotus inherent in nibbÈna.

As water is cool and assuages heat, so also is nibbÈna cool,
and assuages the burning heat of all defilement. This is the
first quality of water inherent in nibbÈna. Again, as water
allays the thirst of men and beasts when they are exhausted
and parched dry, craving for drink, or otherwise tormented
by the heat of the sun, so does nibbÈna allay the thirst of
the craving after sense objects, the craving after future
existence, and the craving after self-annihilation. This is the
second quality of water inherent in nibbÈna.

As medicine is the refuge of beings tormented by poison,
so is nibbÈna the refuge of beings tormented with the
poison of defilements. This is the first quality of medicine
inherent in nibbÈna. Again, as medicine puts an end to
diseases, so does nibbÈna put an end to death and sorrow.
This is the second quality of medicine inherent in nibbÈna.
112

Again, as medicine prevents death, so also is nibbÈna the
nectar that prevents death. These three qualities of medicine
are thus inherent in nibbÈna.

As the great ocean is empty of corpses, so also is nibbÈna
empty of the dead bodies of defilements. This is the first
quality of the great ocean inherent in nibbÈna. Again, as the
ocean is mighty and boundless, and fills not with all the
rivers that flow into it; so is nibbÈna mighty and boundless,
and fills not with all beings who enter into it. This is the
second quality of the great ocean inherent in nibbÈna.

Again, as the ocean is the abode of mighty creatures, so is
nibbÈna the abode of arahants, who are great; who are
purged of all dirt and stains; in whom all Èsava have
become extinct; who have reached the end of the goal of
their endeavour; and who are endowed with powers
through training of their minds. This is the third quality of
the great ocean inherent in nibbÈna. Again, as the ocean is
all in blossom, as it were, with the incomparable billows
and waves, so is nibbÈna all in blossom, with the
incomparable dirt-free and purified knowledge, and of
emancipation. This is the fourth quality of the great ocean
inherent in nibbÈna.

As food is the support of the life of all beings, so is
nibbÈna which supports the life of those who have realised
it by putting an end to old age, death and dissolution. This
is the first quality of food inherent in nibbÈna. Again, as
food increases the strength of all beings, so does nibbÈna
increase the power of iddhi of all beings who have realised
it. This is the second quality of food inherent in nibbÈna.

113

Again, as food is the source of the beauty of all beings, so
is nibbÈna the source of the beauty of all beings who have
realised it. This is the third quality of food inherent in
nibbÈna. Again, as food puts a stop to worry and anxiety in
all beings, so does nibbÈna put a stop to worry and anxiety
of defilements of all beings who have realised it. This is the
fourth quality of food inherent in nibbÈna. Again, as food
overcomes in all beings the weakness by hunger, so does
nibbÈna, when it has been realised, overcome in all beings
the weakness which arises from hunger and every sort of
pain. This is the fifth quality of food inherent in nibbÈna.

As space, neither is born nor grows old, neither dies nor
passes away nor is reborn, as it is impossible to be ill-
treated and belaboured with blows, or to be carried off by
thieves, rests on nothing, is the sphere in which birds fly, is
unobstructed, and is boundless. So, nibbÈna is not born,
neither does it grow old, it does not die or pass away, it has
no rebirth, it is unconquerable, thieves cannot carry it off, it
is not attached to anything; it is the sphere in which
arahants move, nothing can obstruct it, and it is infinite.
These are the ten qualities of space inherent in nibbÈna.

As the wishing-conferring gem satisfies every desire, so
also does nibbÈna. This is the first quality of the wishing-
conferring gem inherent in nibbÈna. Again, as the wishing-
conferring gem causes delight, so also does nibbÈna. This is
the second quality of the wishing-conferring gem inherent
in nibbÈna. Again, as the wishing-conferring gem is full of
lustre, so also is nibbÈna. This is the third quality of the
wishing-conferring gem inherent in nibbÈna.

As red sandalwood is hard to get, so is nibbÈna. This is the
first quality of red sandalwood inherent in nibbÈna.
114

Again, as red sandalwood is unequalled in the beauty of its
perfume, so is nibbÈna. This is the second quality of red
sandalwood inherent in nibbÈna. Again, as red sandalwood
is praised by all the good, so is nibbÈna praised by all the
Noble Ones. This is the third quality of red sandalwood
inherent in nibbÈna.

As clarified butter is beautiful in colour, so also is nibbÈna
beautiful in its virtues. This is the first quality of the
clarified butter inherent in nibbÈna. Again, as clarified
butter has a pleasant odour, so also has nibbÈna the pleasant
odour of virtue. This is the second quality of clarified
butter inherent in nibbÈna. Again, as clarified butter has a
pleasant taste, so also has nibbÈna the pleasant taste of
emancipation. This is the third quality of clarified butter
inherent in nibbÈna.

As a mountain peak is lofty, so also is nibbÈna exalted.
This is the first quality of a mountain peak inherent in
nibbÈna. Again, as a mountain peak is immoveable, so also
is nibbÈna immoveable. This is the second quality of a
mountain peak inherent in nibbÈna. Again, as a mountain
peak is inaccessible, so also is nibbÈna inaccessible to all
defilements. This is the third quality of a mountain peak
inherent in nibbÈna. Again, as a mountain peak is a place
where no plants can grow, so also is nibbÈna a condition in
which no defilements can grow. This is the fourth quality
of a mountain peak inherent in nibbÈna. Again, as a
mountain peak is free from desire to please and from
resentment, so also is nibbÈna. This is the fifth quality of a
mountain peak inherent in nibbÈna.
km km km km: Very good, Venerable! That is so and I accept it as you say.

nibb nibb nibb nibbÈ ÈÈ Ènar|pasaÓÔh nar|pasaÓÔh nar|pasaÓÔh nar|pasaÓÔhÈ ÈÈ ÈnapaÒho dasamo napaÒho dasamo napaÒho dasamo napaÒho dasamo
115

11. nibbÈnasacchikaraÓapaÒha 11. nibbÈnasacchikaraÓapaÒha 11. nibbÈnasacchikaraÓapaÒha 11. nibbÈnasacchikaraÓapaÒha
1 11 1


R RR Real eal eal ealisation of isation of isation of isation of nibbÈna nibbÈna nibbÈna nibbÈna

km km km km: Venerable, it is declared: ‘NibbÈna is neither past, nor
future, nor present, nor is it a phenomenon that has arisen,
nor not arisen, nor that it will arise.’

A man trains himself correctly in the dhamma in the
present sÈsana and realises nibbÈna; in doing so, does he
realise nibbÈna that has already arisen, or nibbÈna that he
had caused to arise?
vn vn vn vn: A man who has trained himself correctly realises nibbÈna.
But he does not realise nibbÈna as it is arising or nibbÈna
after he had caused it to arise. Nevertheless, the nibbÈna-
element that a man realises through training himself
correctly, exists.
km km km km: This is puzzling! Please explain it clearly as it is a point on
which all are bewildered.
vn vn vn vn: That element of nibbÈna, so peaceful and so worthy of
being eagerly sought after, exists. It is that which a man,
grasping the idea of all conditioned things taught by the
Blessed One, trains himself correctly and realises by his
wisdom. Just as a pupil, according to the instruction of his
teacher, by this knowledge makes himself master of an art.

If you ask: ‘How is nibbÈna to be seen?’ It is to be seen as
an object totally free from any kind of fault and as an
object of sublime peace, purity and coolness.

Just as a man being burnt in a fiery furnace, when he has
freed himself from it by a violent effort, and escaped into a
cool place, would experience supreme bliss.

116

Just so, whoever trains himself correctly and by means of
wise consideration, he will realise the supreme bliss of
nibbÈna which is free from the fiery heat of the threefold
worlds
2 22 2
. As the furnace, you should regard this threefold
world; as the man who has fallen into the fire he who trains
himself correctly; and as the cool place away from the fiery
furnace, nibbÈna.

Again, a man falls into a pit full of the dead bodies of
snakes, dogs and men and of excrement. Finding himself in
the midst of stinking matter, he struggles, and by a violent
effort, frees himself and escapes into a place where there
are no dead bodies. He would experience supreme bliss.
Just so, whoever trains himself correctly and by means of
wise consideration, he will realise the supreme bliss of
nibbÈna which is free from defilements.

As the stinking dead body, you should regard the five
objects of sense pleasure; as the man who has fallen among
stinking dead bodies he who trains himself correctly; and as
the place free from stinking dead bodies, nibbÈna.

Again, a man finds himself in a place of fear and terror,
agitated and upset in mind. With a violent effort, he frees
himself and escapes into a protected refuge, a firm place of
security. He experiences supreme bliss. Just so, whoever
trains himself correctly and by means of wise
consideration, he will realise the supreme bliss of nibbÈna
in which fear and terror are absent. As the terror, you
should regard the danger which arises again and again on
account of birth, old age, disease and death; as the terrified
man he who trains himself correctly; and as the place of
refuge, nibbÈna.

117

If again you should ask: ‘How does he who trains himself
correctly realise that nibbÈna?’ He who trains himself
correctly, contemplates on the conditioned phenomena. By
contemplating on the conditioned phenomena, he perceives
therein birth, old age, disease and death. But he perceives
not therein either happiness or bliss, he perceives not
therein, whether in the beginning, or the middle, or the end,
anything worthy of being laid hold of.

As a man, if a mass of iron had been heated the whole day,
and were all glowing and red hot, would find no spot on it,
whether at one end or in the middle or at the other end, fit
to be taken hold of, even so, he who trains himself
correctly and contemplates on the arising of conditioned
phenomena, and in doing so, he perceives birth, old age,
disease and death. But he perceives not either happiness or
bliss, he perceives not, whether in the beginning, or in the
middle, or in the end, anything fit to be taken hold of.

Discontent arises in his mind when he thus finds nothing fit
to be relied on as a lasting satisfaction, a feverish heat takes
possession of his mind, without a refuge or protection, and
feeling hopeless, he becomes weary of repeated births in
the three planes of existence.

Just as a man entered into a burning and blazing fiery
furnace, and saw no refuge from it, no way of help or
succour to be hoped for and thus becomes weary of the
fire. Just so, discontent arises in his mind and stays there
permanently when he finds nothing fit to be relied on as a
lasting satisfaction; a feverish heat takes possession of his
mind, without a refuge or protection, and feeling hopeless,
he becomes weary of repeated births in the three planes of
existence.
118

In the mind of him who perceives the danger throughout
the whole process of conditioned phenomena (mind-body
complex), the thought arises: ‘All on fire is this endless
becoming, burning, blazing, entirely sorrowful and sorrow-
fraught! If only one could reach a state in which there were
no becoming of conditioned phenomena there would be the
peaceful and sublime nibbÈna where:
• all conditioned phenomena have become
extinguished;
• all the five groups of existence have been rid of and
abandoned;
• craving becomes extinct;
• passion is absent;
• conditioned phenomena have reached extinction; and
• craving is transcended.’

Then his mind leaps forward into that state where
conditioned phenomena do not arise; thus he finds peace,
then does he exult and rejoice thinking: ‘Liberated at last
from all conditioned phenomena!’

Just as a man who, venturing into a strange land, has lost
his way. On finding a way out, he bounds forward along it,
exulting and thinking: ‘I have, at last found the way out!’

Even so, in him who contemplates on the process of the
becoming of conditioned phenomena and perceives the
danger involved; the mind leaps forward into nibbÈna
where conditioned phenomena arise no more. In doing so,
the mind exults, thinking: ‘Liberated at last.’

He strives with might and main to win the path leading to
nibbÈna. To that end, he investigates, develops and
diligently practises.
119

For the purpose of liberation through nibbÈna he establishes
himself firmly in mindfulness, in rapture. By contemplating
in successive stages and in repetition, that mind of his
transcends the sphere of the process of conditioned
phenomena. He who is established in nibbÈna where the
process of conditioned phenomena do not arise anymore;
by training himself correctly, he is one who has realised
nibbÈna.
km km km km: Very good, Venerable! That is so and I accept it as you say.

nibb nibb nibb nibbÈ ÈÈ ÈnasacchikaraÓapaÒho ek nasacchikaraÓapaÒho ek nasacchikaraÓapaÒho ek nasacchikaraÓapaÒho ekÈ ÈÈ Èdasamo dasamo dasamo dasamo

Notes:
1. sacchikaroti: to bring before one’s eye; see face to face; realise;
experience; attain. (R.C. Childers’ - A Dictionary of the PÈÄi Language)

2. threefold worlds – denotes the 3 spheres of existence comprising the
whole universe, that is, (i) the sensuous world (kÈma-loka)
corresponding to the world of the 5 senses; (ii) the fine-material world
(r|pa-loka) corresponding to the 4 fine-material absorptions; (iii) the
immaterial world (ar|pa-loka) corresponding to the 4 immaterial
absorptions. (NyÈnatiloka Buddhist Dictionary, 1956 edn.)

120

12. nibbÈnasannihitapaÒha 12. nibbÈnasannihitapaÒha 12. nibbÈnasannihitapaÒha 12. nibbÈnasannihitapaÒha

T TT The place of nibbÈna he place of nibbÈna he place of nibbÈna he place of nibbÈna

km km km km: Venerable, does there exist the spot, whether in the
direction of the east, south, west, or north, either above, or
below, or on the horizon, where nibbÈna is located?
vn vn vn vn: No, there isn’t.
km km km km: But if there is no permanent place for the location of
nibbÈna, then nibbÈna cannot exist. If those people claim
that they have realised it, their realisation must be in vain. I
will give you an explanation of this.

Just as there are on the earth, fields in which crops can be
grown, flowers from which perfumes come, bushes on
which flowers can grow, trees on which fruits can ripen,
mines from which gems can be dug, so that whoever
desires any of these things can go there and get it. Even so,
if nibbÈna exists, one must expect there to be some place,
where it arises. But since there is not such a place,
therefore I declare that there can be no nibbÈna, and those
who realise it, their realisation is in vain.
vn vn vn vn: There is no spot, where nibbÈna is situated, and yet nibbÈna
is, and he who trains himself correctly will and by means
of wise consideration, realise the supreme bliss of nibbÈna.

Just as fire exists, and yet there is no place where fire is
stored up. But if a man rubs two sticks together, the fire
comes. Even so, nibbÈna exists, though there is no spot
where it is stored up. He who trains himself correctly will
and by means of wise consideration, realise the supreme
bliss of nibbÈna. Again, just as there are the seven
treasures; that of the celestial wheel, the elephant, the
horse, the gem, the woman, the banker, and a son.
121

But there is no spot where these treasures are laid up. When
a sovereign conducts himself correctly, those treasures
appear to him by virtue of his conduct. Even so, nibbÈna
exists, though there is no place where it is stored up. He
who trains himself correctly will and by means of wise
consideration, realise the supreme bliss of nibbÈna.
km km km km: Let it be granted that there is no place where nibbÈna is
stored up. But is there any place on which a man may stand
and, training himself correctly, realise nibbÈna?
vn vn vn vn: Yes, there is such a place.
km km km km: Which then is that place?
vn vn vn vn: Morality is the place standing whereon one may realise
nibbÈna. For if grounded in morality and by means of wise
consideration, whether in the land of the Scythians or the
Greeks, in China or Tartary, in Alexandria or Nikumba, in
Benares or Kosala, in Kashmir or GandhÈra, on a mountain
top or in the plane of BrÈhmas, wherever he may be, the
man who trains himself correctly will realise nibbÈna.

Just as the man who is endowed with eyesight, wherever he
may be will be able to behold the expanse of heaven. Even
so, will he who if grounded in morality and by means of
wise consideration, wherever he may be, the man who
trains himself correctly will realise nibbÈna.
km km km km: Very good, Venerable! You have expounded to me nibbÈna,
and of the realisation thereof. You have set forth the
advantages of morality and also explained the noble
attainment. You have shown how the efforts of those who
train themselves correctly will be neither barren nor
unfruitful. That is so, and I accept it as you say.
nibbÈnasa nibbÈnasa nibbÈnasa nibbÈnasannihitapaÒho dv nnihitapaÒho dv nnihitapaÒho dv nnihitapaÒho dvÈ ÈÈ Èdasamo dasamo dasamo dasamo

vessantaravaggo tatiyo vessantaravaggo tatiyo vessantaravaggo tatiyo vessantaravaggo tatiyo
imas imas imas imasmiÑ vagge dvÈdasa paÒh miÑ vagge dvÈdasa paÒh miÑ vagge dvÈdasa paÒh miÑ vagge dvÈdasa paÒhÈ ÈÈ È
122

Chapter 4 Chapter 4 Chapter 4 Chapter 4

anumÈnavagga anumÈnavagga anumÈnavagga anumÈnavagga
I II Inference nference nference nference


1. anumÈnapaÒha 123
That the Buddha once lived

2. dhuta~gapaÒha 150
The ascetic practice

123

1. anumÈnapaÒha 1. anumÈnapaÒha 1. anumÈnapaÒha 1. anumÈnapaÒha

That the Buddha once lived That the Buddha once lived That the Buddha once lived That the Buddha once lived

Eager to hear, to know and to gain the sublime knowledge, with
the desire to dispel delusion and engender the arising of
knowledge to destroy his innate ignorance with the goal of
attaining enlightenment, King Milinda approached the Venerable
NÈgasena. He respectfully paid homage, took his seat at a
respectful distance, and addressed the Venerable NÈgasena.

km: km: km: km: Venerable NÈgasena, have you ever seen the Buddha?
vn vn vn vn: No, O King.
km km km km: Then have your teachers ever seen the Buddha?
vn vn vn vn: No, they haven’t.
km km km km: So you say that you have never seen the Buddha, and
neither have your teachers. There is no clear evidence in
that case, of a Buddha. Therefore, the Buddha did not exist.
vn vn vn vn: O King, do the ancestral kings of your lineage exist?
km km km km: Certainly. There can be no doubt about that.
vn vn vn vn: Have you, yourself ever seen them?
km km km km: No, Venerable.
vn vn vn vn: Those who instructed you, the family religious heads, those
who make legal decisions, the ministers, have they ever
seen those kings of old?
km km km km: No, they haven’t.
vn vn vn vn: If neither have you seen them, nor your teachers, then your
ancestral kings did not exist. There is no clear evidence, in
that case, of their existence!
km km km km: But the royal insignia they used are still to be seen: the
white umbrella of state, the crown, the regal footwear, the
fan fitted with the yak's tail, the double-bladed sword of
state, and the royal conch; by these can we know and
believe that the kings of old once lived.
124

vn vn vn vn: Exactly as you know that the kings of old once lived in the
way as you have described, so too, we know that the
Blessed One once lived and believed in Him. For too, there
is the royal insignia used by that Blessed One:
• the 4 foundations of mindfulness (satipaÔÔhÈna);
• the 4 right efforts (sammappadhÈna);
• the 4 roads to power (iddhipÈda);
• the 5 mental powers (bala);
• the 7 factors of enlightenment (bojjha~ga); and
• the eightfold Noble Path (ariya-magga).

By these supreme insignia can the whole world of gods and
men know and believe that the Blessed One, the best of
men did live.
km km km km: Give me an illustration.
vn vn vn vn: Just as an architect, when he wants to build a city, would
first seek out a spot of pleasant ground, faultless and with
no undulations, free from rocks and gravel. He would then
clear it completely. Further he would proceed to measure
out into suitable quarters, with moats and ramparts thrown
up around it, with strong gateways, watch-towers and
battlements, with wide squares and open places and
junctions and crossways, with clean and even high roads,
with regular lines of open shops, well provided with parks,
gardens, lakes, lotus-ponds and wells, and graced with
many palaces and residential buildings of the kings, free
from every fault. He would then proceed to build a city.

Thereafter, in the course of time, that city becomes mighty
and prosperous, where food would be easy to get, safe,
well-provided, peaceful, free from distress and calamity,
the place of all sorts and conditions of people congregate.

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Then people from all walks of life and of many different
countries, being impressed and finding the new city to be
regular, faultless, perfect and pleasant, take up their
residence there; and even not having known or seen the
architect would know: ‘Able indeed must be that architect
that planned and built this city.’

Even so, the Blessed One, peerless, unequalled, unrivalled,
incomparable, admirable beyond all measure by weight or
calculation, of infinite virtue, who has reached the summit
in virtue, built this city of Truth.

And again, boundless in knowledge, power, zeal and
strength, who, when He had attained to the summit of all
the perfections of the Buddhas, overthrew MÈra and all his
hosts, He bursting asunder the net of heresy, casting aside
ignorance, causing wisdom to arise, and bearing aloft the
torch of dhamma, reached forward to Buddhahood itself,
and having been victorious in that supreme battle, built this
city of dhamma.

The Blessed One's city of dhamma, has morality for its
rampart, moral shame for its moat, knowledge for the
battlement over its city gate, zeal for the turret above that,
faith for the pillars at its base, mindfulness for the
watchman at the gate, wisdom for the terrace above, the
sutta for its streets, the abhidhamma for its road junctions,
and the vinaya for judgment indicators, and the four
foundations of mindfulness for its principal highway.

On that highway, these markets are open: a flower market,
a scent market, a fruit market, an antidote market, a
medicine market, an ambrosia market, a jewel market, and
a market for all manner of merchandise.
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km km km km: Please give details of each market.
vn vn vn vn: O King, very well. As to the flower market; there are
certain subjects for meditation that have been made known
by the Blessed One, by Him of knowledge and insight.
What are these? They are:
• perception of impermanence (anicca-saÒÒÈ),
• perception of suffering (dukkha-saÒÒÈ),
• perception of impersonality or conditionality (anatta-
saÒÒÈ),
• perception of loathsomeness (asubha-saÒÒÈ),
• perception of misery or unwholesomeness (ÈdÊnava-
saÒÒÈ),
• perception of getting rid of unwholesomeness
(pahÈna-saÒÒÈ),
• perception of detachment (virÈga-saÒÒÈ),
• perception of extinction (nirodha-saÒÒÈ),
• perception of dissatisfaction with the things in the
world (sabbaloke anabhirati-saÒÒÈ),
• perception of transitory nature of all things (sabba-
sa~khÈresu-anicca-saÒÒÈ),
• perception of mental-absorption attained through
contemplation on:
− in- and out-breathing (ÈnÈpÈnassati uddhumÈtaka-
saÒÒÈ),
− a bluish discoloured corpse (vinÊlaka-saÒÒÈ),
− a festering corpse (vipubbaka-saÒÒÈ),
− a corpse fissured from decay (vicchiddaka-saÒÒÈ),
− a corpse gnawed by animals (vikkhÈyitaka-saÒÒÈ),
− a split corpse (vikkhittaka-saÒÒÈ),
− a dismembered and scattered corpse
(hata-vikkhittaka-saÒÒÈ),
− a blood-stained corpse (lohitaka-saÒÒÈ),
− a corpse eaten by worms (pulavaka-saÒÒÈ),
− a skeleton (atthika-saÒÒÈ),
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− loving-kindness (mettÈ-saÒÒÈ),
− compassion (karuÓÈ-saÒÒÈ),
− appreciative joy (muditÈ-saÒÒÈ),
− equanimity (upekkhÈ-saÒÒÈ),
− death (maraÓÈnussati-saÒÒÈ), and
− the body (kÈyagatÈsati-saÒÒÈ).

Contemplation on the above does away with greed, hate,
delusion, conceit and speculative views. One crosses the
ocean of saÑsÈra, and stems the current of craving (taÓhÈ),
and exterminates the threefold defilements (rÈga, dosa and
moha). By eradicating all defilements, one enters the city of
nibbÈna which is:
• free from defilement,
• where the dust of greed is absent,
• purified,
• clean-white,
• where there is no rebirth,
• where there is no death,
• blissful,
• peaceful, and
• free from danger and calamities, and liberate his
mind by attaining to arahantship.

This is what is called the flower market of the Blessed One:
‘Take with you, kamma as the price;
Go up to that market,
There, buy an object for contemplation;
Emancipate. Be free!’

vn vn vn vn: O King, as to the scent market, there is the exercise of
contemplation on one’s morals, which is prescribed by the
Blessed One.
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Anointed by the sweet scent of that morality, the sons of
the Blessed One fill the whole world of gods and men, in
every direction, and to windward and to leeward, with that
sweet scent of morality, continuing to pervade it again and
yet again. What are such contemplations? The
contemplation on one’s own morals which are unbroken,
without gap, immaculate, undefiled, praised by the wise and
leading to concentration in respect of the moral precepts:
• precept of taking refuge (saraÓa sÊla),
• the five moral precepts (paÒca~ga sÊla),
• the eight moral precepts (attha~ga sÊla),
• the ten moral precepts (dasa~ga sÊla), and
• the precepts of self-restraint tabulated in the five
recitations that comprise the monks disciplinary code
(pÈtimokkha-saÑvara-sÊla).

This is the scent market of the Blessed One. For it has been
declared by Him:
‘No flower's scent can go against the wind,
Not sandalwood's, or musk's, or jasmine flower's:
But the sweet scent of the good do go
Against the wind, and the good man pervades,
On every side, the sweetness of his life.’

‘Red sandalwood, musk, the lotus, and jasmine,
The sweet scent of morality surpasses them all.
Abundant the sweet scent of musk and of sandalwood,
Though by themselves their scent is good,
Still stronger, the scent of the virtuous mounts the
Realms of gods and BrÈhmas!’

vn vn vn vn: O King, as to the fruit market, there are certain fruits which
have been made known by the Blessed One. They are:

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• the fruition of stream-entering (sotÈpatti-phala),
• the fruition of once-returning (sakadÈgÈmi-phala),
• the fruition of never-returning (anÈgÈmi-phala),
• the fruition of arahantship (arahatta-phala),
• the attainment of the fruition of voidness (suÒÒata-
phala-samÈpatti),
• the attainment of the fruition of conditionlessness
(animitta-phala-samÈpatti), and
• the attainment of the fruition of desirelessness
(appaÓihita-phala-samÈpatti).

Whoever desires any one of these, he renders his kamma as
the price, and buys the fruit he longs for, either conversion
or any other.

Just as any man who has a mango tree that bears fruit all
the year round, and who does not pluck the fruits until
there are buyers. But when there is a buyer, and the fruit-
grower has taken the price, then he says: ‘Come, this tree is
always bearing and has therefore fruits in all stages of
growth; take from it the kind of fruit you prefer, whether
unripe, under-developed, fully developed, or fully ripe
fruit.’

And the buyer, for the price paid, takes the kind he likes
the best:
• if he likes the unripe fruit, he takes that;
• if he likes the under-developed fruit, he takes that;
• if he likes the fully developed fruit, he takes that; or
• if he likes the fully ripe fruit, he takes that.

Whoever desires any one of those other fruits, he renders
his kamma as the price, and buys the fruit he longs for.
This is what is called the fruit market of the Blessed One.
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‘Men render their kamma as the price,
And buy the fruit ambrosial;
And happiness is theirs, and peace,
Who've bought the fruit of ambrosial.’

vn vn vn vn: O King, then as to the antidote market, certain drugs have
been made known by the Blessed One; drugs by which He
delivers the whole world of gods and men from the poison
of defilements. What are these drugs? The Blessed One
proclaimed the Four Noble Truths:
• the noble truth of suffering (dukkha-ariyasacca);
• the noble truth of the origin of suffering (dukkha-
samudaya-ariyasacca);
• the noble truth of the extinction of suffering
(dukkha-nirodha-ariyasacca); and
• the noble truth of the path leading to the extinction of
suffering (dukkha-nirodha-gÈminÊ-paÔipadÈ-ariyasacca).

Whoever desiring to know the highest insight, hearing this
Teaching of the Four Truths, are set totally free from
rebirth, old age, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and
despair. This is what is called the antidote market of the
Blessed One.
‘Of all the drugs in all the world,
The antidotes of poison dire,
Not one equals that Teaching sweet.
Drink that, O bhikkhu. Drink and live!’

vn vn vn vn: As to the medicine market, certain medicines have been
made known by the Blessed One; medicines by which He
cures the whole world of gods and men. They are these:
• the 4 foundations of mindfulness,
• the 4 right efforts,
• the 4 roads to power,
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• the 5 mental faculties,
• the 5 mental powers,
• the 7 factors of enlightenment, and
• the eightfold Noble Path.

By these medicines the Blessed One purges:
• men of wrong understanding (micchÈ-diÔÔhi),
• them of wrong aspirations
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(micchÈ-sa~kappa),
• them of wrong speech (micchÈ-vÈcÈ),
• them of wrong bodily action (micchÈ-kammanta),
• them of wrong livelihood (micchÈ-Èjiva),
• them of wrong effort (micchÈ-vÈyÈma),
• them of wrong mindfulness (micchÈ-sati), and
• them of wrong concentration (micchÈ-samÈdhi),

and gives emetics to the vomiting up of greed (lobha), hate
(dosa), delusion (moha), personality belief (sakkÈyadiÔÔhi),
sceptical doubt (vichikicchÈ), restlessness (uddhacca),
torpor and languor (thina-middha), absence of moral shame
and moral dread (ahirika-anottappa), and all defilements
(kilesa). This is what is called the medicine market of the
Blessed One.
‘Of all the medicines found in all the world,
Many in number, various in their powers,
Not one equals this medicine of the Truth.
Drink that, O bhikkhu. Drink, and drinking, live!’

‘For having drunk that medicine of the Truth,
You shall have past beyond old age and death,
And evil, lusts, and kamma rooted out.
Thoughtful and seeing, you shall be at rest!’


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vn vn vn vn: As to the ambrosia market, an ambrosia has been made
known by the Blessed One, that ambrosia with which He
sprinkles the whole world of gods and men. When
sprinkled with that ambrosia, they are set free from
rebirths, old age, disease, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain,
grief and despair. What is that ambrosia? That which is the
fruit of the mindfulness of the body. For it has been said by
the Blessed One: ‘Bhikkh|, they who feed on ambrosia
feed on mindfulness of the body.’ This is what is called the
ambrosia market of the Blessed One.
‘He saw mankind afflicted with disease,
He opened freely His ambrosia market.
Go then, bhikkhu, give your kamma for it,
And buy, and feed on, that ambrosial food.’

vn vn vn vn: As to the jewel market, O King, certain jewels have been
made known by the Blessed One. Adorned with those
jewels, the sons of the Blessed One shine forth in
splendour, illuminating the whole world of gods and men,
brightening it in its heights, in its depths, from horizon to
horizon, with a brilliant glory. Those jewels are:
• the jewel of morality (sÊla-ratanaÑ),
• 3the jewel of concentration (samÈdhi-ratanaÑ),
• the jewel of wisdom (paÒÒÈ-ratanaÑ),
• the jewel of emancipation (vimutti-ratanaÑ),
• the jewel of the eye of knowledge regarding
emancipation (vimutti-ÒÈÓadassana-ratanaÑ), and
• the jewel of the factors of enlightenment (bojja~ga-
ratanaÑ).

What is the Blessed One's jewel market of morality? The
right conduct which follows on:
• self-restraint according to the rules of the pÈtimokkha,
• self-restraint of the senses (indriya-saÑvara-sÊla),
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• purity with regard to one’s livelihood (ÈjÊva-
pÈrisuddhi-sÊla),
• the 4 requisites of a samaÓa (paccaya-sannissita-sÊla),
• the short, middle, and long discourses (c|Äa-sÊla,
majjhima-sÊla, mahÈ-sÊla),
• the path (magga-sÊla), and the fruition (phala-sÊla).

Whoever is adorned with this jewel of morality is much
adored and beloved by the divine world of gods, MÈras and
BrÈhmas; and the human world inhabited by samaÓa and
brÈhmaÓa, kings and commoners. The bhikkhu who puts on
the jewel of morality, shines forth in glory all around,
upwards and downwards, and from side to side, surpassing
in lustre all the jewels to be found between the nethermost
hell of avici below to the highest point in heaven above,
excelling them all, overwhelming them all. Such are the
jewels of morality set out for sale in the Blessed One's
jewel market; this is the Blessed One's market of the jewel
of morality.
‘Such are the jewels of morality sold in that market,
The shop of the Enlightened One, the exalted.
Render kamma as the price,
buy, and put on, these Buddha’s jewel bright!’

What is the Blessed One's jewel of concentration
(samÈdhi)? The concentration consists of:
• concentration accompanied by thought-conception
(vitakka) and discursive thinking (vicÈra);
• concentration which is free from thought-conception,
but accompanied by discursive thinking;
• concentration in which are absent thought-conception
and discursive thinking;
• concentration which is devoid of a self, ego or
personality (atta); and
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• concentration which is devoid of any sign or
characteristic of permanency (animitta).

When a bhikkhu has put on this jewel of concentration,
sensuous thoughts (kÈma-vitakka), thoughts of hate
(vyÈpÈda-vitakka), cruel thoughts (vihiÑsÈ-vitakka), conceit
(mÈna), restlessness (uddacca), wrong understanding (diÔÔhi)
and sceptical doubt (vicikicchÈ); all these elements of
defilement and other unwholesome thoughts, coming in
contact with concentration fall to pieces, blown away,
scattered, dispersed in every direction and are dispelled.
They stay not with him, adhere not to him.

Just as when water has fallen on a lotus leaf, it drips off
from it and stays not on it. Even so, when a bhikkhu has
put on this jewel of concentration: sensuous thoughts,
thoughts of hate, cruel thoughts, conceit, restlessness,
wrong understanding and sceptical doubt; all these and
other unwholesome thoughts, coming in contact with
concentration fall to pieces, blown away, scattered,
dispersed in every direction and are dispelled. They stay
not with him, adhere not to him.

And why not? Because of the exceptional purity of
concentration. This is what is called the Blessed One's jewel
market of concentration, and such are the jewels of
concentration set out for sale in the Blessed One's market
of jewels.
‘Bad thoughts can never arise beneath the brow
Encircled by this coronet of gems.
It gives unwholesome or wandering thoughts no
Opportunity to arise.
Make it your own, buy it, put on the crown!’

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What is the Blessed One's jewel of wisdom? That wisdom
by which the noble disciple of the Blessed One knows
according to reality: this is wholesome action or
unwholesome action; this action is culpable or inculpable;
this should be resorted to or not be resorted to; this is mean
or exalted; this is black and dirty or white and clean or this
has the characteristic of resembling both black and white.
The wisdom by which he knows according to reality: this is
suffering; this is the origin of suffering; this is the
cessation of suffering; this is the path leading to the
extinction of suffering. This is what is called the Blessed
One's jewel of wisdom.
‘He who has knowledge as his jewelled wreath,
will not continue long in outward form.
Soon will he reach nibbÈna, in rebirth
in any world no longer take delight!’

What is the Blessed One's jewel of emancipation? The
fruition of arahantship is called the jewel of emancipation,
and the bhikkhu who has attained to arahantship is said to
have been bedecked with the jewel of emancipation. Just as
a man who is decorated with strings of precious stones,
whose body is anointed with scented wood and who is
adorned with a garland of various scented flowers. With
such adornments, he would outshine all other men,
overwhelming them with his glory and splendour.

Similar to this is the arahant where all defilments have been
eradicated. He would be known as being adorned with the
insignia of emancipation from all defilements, he would
outshine all other bhikkh| who have transcended stage by
stage, the emancipation of the lower grades, overwhelming
them in his glory and resplendence in the achievement of
the highest and final emancipation.
136

This is one insignia which is paramount of all; this is the
Blessed One's jewel of emancipation.
‘All the people that dwell in a house look up
To the Lord of the house wearing his crown of jewels.
The wide world of the gods and of men looks up
to the wearer of freedom's insignia,
the jewel of emancipation!’

What is the Blessed One's jewel of the eye of knowledge
regarding emancipation? The retrospective knowledge
(paccavakkhaÓÈÒÈÓa) is what is called the Blessed One's
jewel of the eye of knowledge regarding emancipation. By
such retrospective knowledge, the noble disciple reviews
the path, the fruition, nibbÈna, the abandoned defilements
and the still remaining defilements.
‘The retrospective knowledge that by which
The Noble Ones know the state of an ariya
Who has accomplished the task.
Strive, O you sons of the Blessed One, strive,
That jewel - the eye of knowledge regarding emancipation,
Yourselves to obtain!’

What is the Blessed One's jewel of analytical knowledge?
The analytical knowledge is of 4 kinds:
• that of the meaning (attha),
• that with regard to the law (dhamma),
• that of the language (nirutti),
• that of ready-wit (paÔibhÈna
1 11 1
).

The bhikkhu who is adorned with the 4 jewels of analytical
knowledge, whatever company he enters into: brahmans,
nobles, merchants or work-people, he enters it in
confidence, neither put out nor shy, undaunted or
undismayed, without excitement or fear.
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Just as a warrior, a hero in the fight, when protected in all
his harness of war, goes down undismayed to the battle,
and in confidence: ‘If the enemy should remain afar, I can
knock them down with my arrows; should they come
towards me, I can hit them with my javelins; should they
come yet nearer, I can reach them with my spear; should
they come right up, I can cleave them in two with my
double-edged sword; should they come to close quarters, I
can pierce them through and through with my dagger.’

Even so does the bhikkhu, who is adorned with these four
jewels of analytical knowledge can enter any assembly
undismayed and confident: ‘Should any one put to me a
question, turning to the analytical knowledge of the
meaning, I shall be able to explain it, comparing sense with
sense, explanation with explanation, reason with reason.
Thus shall I resolve his doubts, dispel his perplexity, and
delight him by my answers.

‘Should any one put to me a question, turning to the
analytical knowledge with regard to the law, I shall be able
to explain it by comparing phenomena with phenomena, the
deathless (amataÑ) with the deathless, the unconditioned
(asa~khata) with the unconditioned, void (suÒÒata) with the
void, signless (animitta) with the signless, desireless
(appaÓihita) with desireless, absence of craving (anejo) with
absence of craving. Thus shall I resolve his doubts, dispel
his perplexity, and delight him with my answers.

‘Should any one put to me a question, turning to the
analytical knowledge of the language corresponding to
reality, and the unfailing mode of expression concerning
the true meaning and the law, I shall be able to explain it by
comparing derivation with derivation, word with word,
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particle with particle, letter with letter, one modification of
a letter by contact (saÓdhi) with another, consonant with
consonant, vowel with vowel, accent (intonation) with
accent, quantity with quantity, rule with rule, idiom with
idiom, and concept with concept. Thus shall I be able to
resolve his doubts, dispel his perplexity, and delight him
with my answers.

‘Should anyone put to me a question, turning on the
analytical knowledge of ready-wit, I shall be able to explain
it by comparing ready-wit with ready-wit, metaphor with
metaphor, characteristic with characteristic, and function
with function. Thus shall I resolve his doubts, dispel his
perplexity, and delight him by my answers.’

This is what is called the Blessed One's jewel of analytical
knowledge.
‘First buy the jewel of analytical knowledge,
Then cut it with your wisdom and your skill;
So, free from all anxiety and fear,
But with glory and splendour,
Shall you shine in the world of gods and men!’

What is the Blessed One's jewel of the factors of
enlightenment? These are:
• mindfulness (sati-sambojjha~ga),
• investigation of dhamma (dhammavicaya-sambojjha~ga),
• energy (vÊriya-sambojjha~ga),
• rapture (pÊti-sambojjha~ga),
• tranquillity (passaddhi-sambojjha~ga),
• concentration (samÈdhi-sambojjha~ga), and
• equanimity (upekkhÈ-sambojjha~ga).

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The bhikkhu who is adorned with this sevenfold jewel of
the factors of enlightenment shines forth over the whole
world of gods and men, illuminates it, and dispersing the
darkness, arouse the light. This is what is called the Blessed
One's jewel of the seven factors of enlightenment.
‘The gods and men in reverence wait upon
Him who wears this jewel insignia.
Show your good actions then, that is the price,
And buy, and wear, this insignia of enlightenment factors.’

km km km km: What is the market set up by the Blessed One for all
manner of merchandise?
vn vn vn vn: The Blessed One's market for all manner of merchandise is
the ninefold word of the Buddha; the relic remainings of
His body and the things He used which are enshrined in
stupas; and the jewel of His Order. In that market, there are
set out by Him the attainment:
• (in a future birth) of high lineage (jÈti-sampatti);
• of wealth (bhoga-sampatti),
• of long life (Èyu-sampatti),
• of good health (Èroja-sampatti),
• of beauty (vaÓÓa-sampatti),
• of wisdom (paÒÒÈ-sampatti),
• of worldly glory (mÈnusika-sampatti),
• of heavenly glory (dibba-sampatti), and
• of the supreme bliss of nibbÈna.

Of these, they who desire either one or the other, render
kamma as the price, and so buy whichever glory they
desire. Some buy by observing the vows of morality, and
some by observing the precepts of uposatha, and so on
down to the smallest kamma, they buy the various glories
from the greatest to the least.

140

Just as in a trader's shop, oil, seed, peas and beans can be
either taken in barter for a small quantity of rice, peas or
beans, or bought for a small price decreasing in order
according to requirement. Even so, in the Blessed One's
market for all manner of merchandise, advantages are to be
rendered for kamma according to requirements. This is the
Blessed One's market for all manner of merchandise.
‘Long life, good health, beauty, rebirth in heaven,
High birth, nibbÈna – all are found for sale.
There to be bought for kamma, great or small,
In the great Blessed One's world-famed market.
Come, O bhikkhu, show your faith as the price,
Buy and make yourself wealthy and happy.’

The inhabitants that dwell in the Blessed One's city of
dhamma are these: masters in the suttanta, the vinaya, and
the abhidhamma; teachers of the dhamma (dhamma-
kathika); reciters of the birth stories (JÈtaka-bÈÓaka), the
DÊgha NikÈya, the Majjhima NikÈya, the SaÑyutta NikÈya,
the A~guttara NikÈya, and the Khuddaka NikÈya; those
endowed with morality (sÊla sampanna), concentration
(samÈdhi sampanna), wisdom (paÒÒÈ sampanna); those who
take delight in developing the factors of enlightenment
(bojjha~ga-bhÈvanÈ-ratÈ), in practising the development of
clear insight (vipassana), and who strive for their own
spiritual benefit (sadattha-manuyuttÈ).

Furthermore, there are those who practise asceticism
(dhuta~ga) by: living in the forest (ÈraÒÒika dhuta~ga),
under a tree (rukkha-m|lika dhuta~ga), in the open air
(abbhokÈsika dhuta~ga), on hay-stack (palÈlapujjhika
dhuta~ga), in a cemetery (sosÈnika dhuta~ga), and sleeping
in a sitting position and never lying down (nesajjika
dhuta~ga).
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Then, there are those who have attained the path
(patipannaka) and fruition (phalaÔÔhÈ); the noble learners
(sekha); those endowed with the fruition (phala-
sama~gino), stream-enterers (sotÈpanna), once-returners
(sakadÈgÈmi), never-returners (anÈgÈmi), and arahants;
those endowed with the threefold knowledge (tevijjÈ), the
sixfold higher spiritual powers (chalabhiÒÒÈ), the power of
iddhi (iddhimanto); those who have reached perfection in
knowledge (paÒÒÈya-pÈramiÑ-gatÈ); and those skilled in
the practice of: the 4 foundations of mindfulness
(satipaÔÔhÈna), the 4 right efforts (sammappadhÈna), the 4
roads to power (iddhipÈda), the 5 mental faculties (indriya),
the 7 factors of enlightenment (bojjha~ga), the eightfold
Noble Path (ariya magga), the exalted absorption (vara-
jhÈna), absorption of emancipation (vimokkha), absorption
of the fine-material sphere (r|pa-jhÈna), absorption of the
immaterial sphere (ar|pa-jhÈna), attainment of the subtle
and blissful absorptions (santa-sukha samÈpatti).

Like a forest full of bamboo, full of reeds, that city of the
dhamma has been crowded, congested and frequented by
arahants! It may herein be summarily described thus;
dwelling in the city of the dhamma are those:
• who are devoid of greed, hate, delusion, biases,
craving, and clinging;
• who live in a forest, who practise austerities as an
ascetic means of purification, who enter on and abide
in mental absorptions, who wear coarse garments as
robes, who rejoice in solitude, and who are endowed
with knowledge;
• who practise the ascetic means of sleeping in a sitting
position, are satisfied with whatever dwelling, who
spend their time standing or meditatively pacing up
and down, who practise wearing patched-up robes;
142

• who being sagacious are wearers each of three robes,
with a skin for the fourth, who rejoice in eating at
one sitting, and who is wise;
• whose wants are few, who are prudent, resolute, light
eaters, not fastidious with food, and who are
indifferent to presence or absence of worldly gains;
• who practise entering into mental absorption, who
delight in the practice of entering into jhÈna, who are
resolute in the practice of jhÈna, who are mentally
tranquil, who are concentrated in mind, who are
eager to reach the jhÈnic sphere of nothingness;
• who are walking the path, who are noble learners,
who are endowed with the fruition, and those who
are eager to attain to arahantship;
• who are the stream-enterers, once-returners, never-
returners, and arahants who are purged of impurities;
• who are skilful in the 4 foundations of mindfulness,
who take delight in developing the 7 factors of
enlightenment, who practise insight, and who adhere
to the dhamma both in letter and spirit;
• who are skilful in the development of the 4 roads to
power, who take delight in the development of
samÈdhi, and who always keep astride with the
development of the 4 right efforts;
• who have reached the summit in the attainment of the
sixfold higher spiritual powers, who take delight in
the development of such factors of enlightenment as
the 4 foundations of mindfulness that is theirs by
rightful inheritance, and those who can travel in the
sky through the exercise of jhÈna, who keep their
eyes downcast, whose speech is measured, whose
sense-doors are guarded, who are self-restrained,
who are well trained according to the supreme
discipline with regard to the restraint of the senses;
143

• who are endowed with the threefold knowledge and
the sixfold higher spiritual powers, who have reached
the exalted stage of the 4 roads to power and who
have reached the exalted stage of wisdom.

Furthermore, those of the bhikkhus who are bearers of the
exalted knowledge that is incomparable, who are free from
entanglements and impediments, whose power and glory
are incomparable, whose following unrivalled, whose
power of wisdom is without a peer, whose power of
influence is unmatched, who keep the wheel of dhamma
rolling on, who have reached perfection in wisdom. Such
bhikkh| are called the commanders of the dhamma in the
Blessed One's city of the dhamma.

Furthermore, those bhikkh| who have the power of iddhi,
who are endowed with the analytical knowledge, who are
possessed of the knowledge of self-confidence, who can
travel through the air, who are hard to oppose, who can
move without support, who can shake the broad earth, the
great ocean and the mass of mountains on it, who can touch
and examine the sun and the moon, who are skilful in
creating wonders, in developing iddhi powers, and putting
the exercise of iddhi powers in the forefront and who are
perfect in iddhi powers; such bhikkh| are called the royal
chaplains in the Blessed One's city of the dhamma.

Furthermore, those bhikkh| who have taken the ascetic
practice, whose wants are few and are easy to be satisfied,
who would loathe improper modes of intimation and
improper manner of seeking alms, and carry out the
practice of moving from house to house in soliciting alms-
food, just as a bee collects nectar from the flowers and
retreat into the woods.
144

Even so, those who would go away into solitude, those who
are indifferent as to their body and as to life in attaining to
arahantship, those who place the highest value on
employing the ascetic practice, such bhikkh| are called the
judges in the Blessed One's city of the dhamma.

Furthermore, those bhikkh| who are greatly learned, who
are reciters of the suttanta, vinaya and mÈtika, skilled in the
exact determination of letters into surds and sonant, into
longs and shorts, as to lightness and heaviness, those who
know by heart the ninefold Teaching; such bhikkh| are
called the protector of the dhamma in the Blessed One's
city of the dhamma.

Furthermore, those bhikkh| who are learned in the vinaya,
skilled in the vinaya; skilled in deciding which is the matter
at issue and which is not; who are skilled in deciding
whether any act is an offence or not; whether an offence is
grievous or slight; whether it can be atoned for or not;
skilled in deciding questions as to the rise; the
acknowledgment, the absolution, or the confession of an
offence; as to the suspension, or the restoration, or the
defence of an offender; who are perfect masters in the
vinaya; such bhikkh| are called the protector of the visible
object of the Blessed One's city of the dhamma.

Furthermore, those bhikkh| who are makers of noble
garland of emancipation, who have at all times, attained to
the highest, noblest, and most priceless of all conditions,
who are loved and longed for by the great multitudes; such
bhikkh| are called flower-sellers in the Blessed One's city
of the dhamma.

145

Furthermore, those bhikkh| who have penetrated to the
comprehension of the Four Noble Truths, and have seen
them, have realised them, who have passed beyond doubt as
to the four supramundane paths and fruits, share those
fruits with others who have pursued the path; such bhikkh|
are called fruit-dealers in the Blessed One's city of the
dhamma.

Furthermore, those bhikkh| who, being anointed with that
most excellent perfume of morality, are gifted with many
and various virtues, and are able to dispel the bad odour of
dirt and defilements; such bhikkh| are called perfume
dealers in the Blessed One's city of the dhamma.

Furthermore, those bhikkh| who are fondly attached to the
dhamma, and who address each other in terms of
endearment, who rejoice exceedingly in the sublime
dhamma, and who by retreating to the forest, or at the foot
of trees, or to a place of solitude, drink the sweet juice of
the dhamma, and who having bodily, verbally and mentally
immersed in the sweet juice of the dhamma, become
endowed with exceedingly increased power of the
analytical knowledge of ready wit, and who devote their
effort and energy to seeking and finding the deeper truths
of the Teaching, and who, wherever the discourse is in
praise of:
• fewness of one’s desires,
• being easily contented,
• retirement to places of seclusion or solitude,
• avoiding co-residence with the laity,
• the exertion in zeal,
• morality,
• concentration,
• wisdom,
146

• deliverance from defilements, and
• the eye of knowledge regarding deliverance from
defilements.

There do they repair, and drink in the sweet juice of such
discourses. Such bhikkh| are called thirsty and intoxicant-
addicts in the Blessed One's city of the dhamma.

Furthermore, those bhikkh| who are addicted to the habit
of wakefulness from the first watch of the night to the last,
who spend day and night in sitting, standing, or pacing up
and down in meditation, who, addicted to the habit of
practising mind-development are devoted to their own
benefit of attaining to arahantship for the sake of warding
off defilement; such bhikkh| are called watchmen in the
Blessed One's city of the dhamma.

Furthermore, those bhikkh| who give discourses, lectures,
expositions and demonstrations on the ninefold words of
the Buddha, both in spirit and in the letter, both in its
arguments and its explanations, both in its reasons and its
examples; such bhikkh| are called keepers of dhamma in
the Blessed One's city of dhamma.

Furthermore, those bhikkh| who are wealthy and rich in
the abundance of the treasures of the dhamma, in the
abundance of the traditions, the text, and the learning, who
comprehend the signs, vowels, and consonants, in all their
details, pervading all directions with their knowledge; such
bhikkh| are called bankers of the dhamma in the Blessed
One's city of the dhamma.


147

Furthermore, those bhikkh| who have penetrated to the
sublime Teaching, who can identify the object of repeated
contemplations and give instructions and elucidations in
amplification, and who have reached the summit in the
attainment of virtues of training; such bhikkh| are called
distinguished people who practise the dhamma in the
Blessed One's city of the dhamma.

Thus well planned out is the Blessed One's city of the
dhamma, well built, well appointed, well provisioned, well
established, well-guarded, well protected, and impregnable
by enemies with adverse and hostile intent. By this
explanation, by this argument, by this reason, you may by
inference know that the Blessed One once existed.

‘As when they see a pleasant city, well planned out,
Men know, by inference, how great the founder was;
So when they see the Blessed One’s city of dhamma,
They know, by inference, that He did once exist.’

‘As men, seeing its waves, can judge, by inference,
The great extent and power of the great ocean;
So may they judge the Blessed One when they see Him,
Who, unconquered in all battles, allays all grieves.
Who rooted out, in His own heart, craving's dread power,
Who is set free from the whirlpool of rebirths -
Far as the waves of the dhamma extend and roll,
So great, so mighty, must our Lord, the Buddha, be.’

‘As men, seeing its mighty peaks that tower aloft,
Can judge, by inference, HimÈlaya's wondrous height;
So when they see the Buddha's mount of dhamma -
Steadfast, unshaken by fierce passion's stormy blasts,
148

Towering aloft in wondrous heights of calm and peace,
Where thirst for rebirth and mind-body complex cannot exist,
They draw the inference: ‘Great as this mountain high
That mighty Hero's power upon whose word it stands’.’

‘As men, seeing the footprint of an elephant king,
Can judge, by inference: ‘How great his size must be!’
So when they see the footprint of the elephant of men,
Buddha, the omniscient, upon the path that men have trod,
They know, by inference:
‘How glorious Buddha was’!’

‘As when they see small animals crouching in fear,
Men know: ‘This is the roar of the
King of the beasts that frightens them.’
So, seeing heretics quacking and shaking in fear,
They know: ‘This king of the dhamma
Hath roared words sublime’!’

‘Seeing the earth smiling, well watered, green with grass,
Men say: ‘A great and pleasant rain hath fallen fast.’
So when they see this multitude rejoicing, peaceful, blest,
Men may infer: ‘How sweet the rain that stilled their hearts’!’

‘Seeing the wide earth soaked, boggy, a marsh of mud,
Men say: ‘Mighty the mass of waters broken loose.’
So, when they see this mighty host that once were dazed
With the mud of sin, swept down in dhamma's stream, and left
In the wide sea of the good-law, some here, some there,
All, gods and men alike, plunged in ambrosial waves,
They may infer, and say: 'How great that dhamma is!’


149

‘As when men, travelling, feel a glorious perfume sweet
Pervading all the country side, and gladdening them, infer
At once: ‘Surely, this giant forest trees are flowering now!’
So, conscious of this perfume sweet of the dhamma
That now pervades the earth and heavens, they may infer:
‘A Buddha, infinitely great, must once have lived’!’

It would be possible to show forth the Buddha's greatness,
by a hundred or a thousand such examples, such reasons,
such similes. Just as a clever garland maker will, from one
heap of all kinds of flowers, both following the instruction
of his teacher, and also using his own personal talent, make
many variegated and beautiful bouquets.

Even so, that Blessed One is, as it were, an infinite,
immeasurable, bouquet of variegated flowers of virtue.
And I now, a garland maker, as it were in the Blessed
One’s sÈsana, stringing those flowers together, both
following the instructions given by our teachers of old, and
also using such power of wisdom as lies within me, could
show forth by inference, the power of the Blessed One in
innumerable similes. But you, on your part, must create a
desire to listen and pay heed to my words.
km km km km: Hard would it be, O Venerable, for any other men thus to
have shown by inference, drawn from such examples, the
power of the Buddha. I am filled with satisfaction at your
so perfectly varied exposition of this question.

anumÈnapaÒho paÔhamo anumÈnapaÒho paÔhamo anumÈnapaÒho paÔhamo anumÈnapaÒho paÔhamo

Note: :: :
1. pÈÔibhanaÑ – understanding, intelligence, readiness or confidence of
speech, promptitude, wit. A Dictionary of PÈÄi Language by R.C.
Childers.
150

2. dhuta~gapaÒha 2. dhuta~gapaÒha 2. dhuta~gapaÒha 2. dhuta~gapaÒha

T TT The ascetic practice he ascetic practice he ascetic practice he ascetic practice

‘The king saw the bhikkh| in the forest, lone
And far away from men, keeping hard vows,
And then he saw too householders, at home
Eating the sweet fruits of the Noble Path*
Considering both of these, deep doubts he felt.
If laymen also realise the truth,
Then surely vowing vows must be in vain.
Come! Let me ask that best of teachers, wise
In the threefold basket of the Buddha's words,
Skilled to overthrow the arguments of the foe.
He will be able to resolve my doubts!’

*(Standing in the fruit of the anÈgÈmi, so they had already reached the
third stage on the path)

Thinking thus, King Milinda went up to the place where
Venerable NÈgasena was, and proffering veneration, took his seat
at a suitable distance and address the Venerable.

km: km: km: km: Venerable, is there any layman living at home, enjoying the
pleasures of sense objects, but living a narrow and
restricted life encumbered with wife and children, who has
realised nibbÈna where defilements have been extinguished,
and peace and calmness reign?
vn vn vn vn: Yes there is; not only one hundred or two or even a billion
laymen, but many more than that have realised nibbÈna and
have totally extinguished their defilements; not to speak of
twenty or a hundred or a thousand who have attained to
clear understanding of the Truths.
151

By what kind of exposition shall I lay before you, evidence
showing that I know this?
km km km km: Do tell me.
vn vn vn vn: Then I shall explain it, O King. All those passages in the
ninefold Teachings of the Buddha dealing with taking upon
oneself the means of purification shall be unfolded in the
following explanations.

Just as water which has rained down upon a country
district, with both low-lying and high places, will flow
down through rivulets and streams and meet together in the
ocean. Even so will all those passages meet here and be
made known.

In this explanation, a manifestation of reasons arising out
of my experience and intelligence shall also be brought to
bear in this connection. Thus will this matter be thoroughly
analysed, its beauty and magnificence brought out, its
meaning rendered complete, and the whole purified and
well-produced.

In the city of SÈvatthi alone, nearly fifty million devout
men and women, lay adherents of the Blessed One attained
to the stage of noble disciples of the Buddha. Out of those,
nearly half the numbers were established in the fruition of
non-returning.

There in the same city, at the foot of the Gandamba tree,
when the twin-miracle took place, two hundred million of
living beings attained to an understanding of the Four
Noble Truths.

Apart from these, also at SÈvatthi, at the delivery of:
152

• the discourse on minor admonishment to the Elder
RÈhula (C|ÄarÈhulaovÈda Sutta),
• the discourse on the great blessings (MahÈma~gala
Sutta),
• the exposition on equanimity (Samacitta PariyÈya),
• the discourse on downfall (ParÈbhava Sutta),
• the discourse on former break-up (PurÈ-bheda Sutta),
• the discourse on quarrels and disputes (Kalaha-
vivÈda Sutta),
• the discourse on minor strategy and tactics
(C|Äaby|ha Sutta),
• the discourse on major strategy and tactics
(MahÈby|ha Sutta),
• the discourse on eating together (TuvaÔaka Sutta),
• the discourse pertaining to SÈriputta (SÈriputta Sutta);
an innumerable number of heavenly beings penetrated to
the knowledge of the dhamma.

In the city of RÈjagaha, 350,000 devout laymen and devout
laywomen, become noble disciples of the Blessed One.
There again at the taming of DhanapÈla the great
elephant, nine hundred million living beings attained to an
understanding of the Four Noble Truths.

Again at the meeting at the PÈsÈÓika stupa on the occasion
of the PÈrÈyana discourse, one hundred and forty million
living beings attained to an understanding of the Four
Noble Truths.

At Benares, in the deer park Isipatana, at the first
exposition of the Dhamma, one hundred and eighty million
BrÈhma gods and innumerable others attained to an
understanding of the Four Noble Truths.

153

Again in TÈvatiÑsa heaven at the exposition of the
abhidhamma, on Sakka’s throne made of ornamental
stone, eight hundred million of the gods attained to an
understanding of the Four Noble Truths. On the descent
from the world of the gods at the gate of the city of
Sankassa Nagara, at the miracle of the manifestation to the
world, three hundred million of believing men and deities
attained to an understanding of the Four Noble Truths. At
Kapilavatthu among the Sakya, at the teaching of the
history of the Buddhas in the monastery of Nigrodha, and
again at the discourse on the great occasion (MahÈsamaya
Sutta), gods in numbers that cannot be counted attained to
an understanding of the Four Noble Truths.

Again at the assemblies on the occasions of Sumana the
garland maker, of Garahadinna, of Œnanda the rich man, of
Jambuka the naked ascetic, of MaÓÉuka the god, of
MaÔÔhakuÓÉalÊ the son of a miserly Brahmin reborn as a
god, of SulasÈ the courtesan, of SirimÈ the courtesan, of
PesakÈrÊ the weaver's daughter, of C|Äasubhadda, of the
watching of the cremation of SÈketa the Brahmin, of the
S|nÈparantaka, of the question put by Sakka, of the
delivery of the Discourse on Petas (TirokuÔÔa Sutta) and of
the Jewel Discourse (Ratana Sutta); on each of these
occasions, eighty-four thousand living beings attained to a
knowledge of the dhamma.

So long as the Blessed One remained in the world, so long
as wherever in the three great divisions such as MahÈ
MaÓÉhala or in the sixteen principal countries that He
stayed, there will be, as a usual occurrence, two, three,
four, or five hundred, or a thousand, or a hundred
thousand, both gods and men, who will realise the calm,
peaceful and supramundane nibbÈna.
154

All of those were gods, they were not monks. So these and
many other gods, even while they were yet laymen, living
at home, enjoying the pleasures of sense objects, realised
the calm, peaceful and supramundane nibbÈna.
km km km km: If so, laymen living at home and enjoying the pleasures of
sense objects, realised the calm, peaceful and
supramundane nibbÈna, what purpose then do these ascetic
practices serve?

For if diseases would abate without medicine, what would
be the advantage of weakening the body by emetics, by
purges, and other like remedies? If one could cross a
difficult journey all alone, a journey which is detestable,
rugged and full of danger, why need one put on himself a
coat of mail or wait for a grand caravan of traders to go
along with?

Thus, I do not see any beneficial result these ascetic
practices give rise to?
vn vn vn vn: O King, I shall expound the matter completely to clear your
doubts. There are, these various special qualities in the
ascetic practice; and on account of these virtuous qualities
inherent in them, all the Buddhas alike have held them dear.
What are these qualities?
The keeping of the ascetic practice implies
a mode of livelihood without evil,
it has calm as its fruit, it avoids blame,
it works no harm to others,
it is free from danger,
it brings no trouble on others,
it is certain to bring with it growth in goodness,
it wastes not away, it deludes not,
it is in itself a protection,
it disarms desires; it tames all beings,
155

it is good for self-control, it is appropriate,
a practitioner is self-dependent, he is emancipated,
the keeping of the ascetic practice
is the destruction of lust;
and of malice, and of dullness;
it puts away pride, it cuts off evil thoughts,
it removes doubts, it suppresses sloth,
discontent is assuage; it is long-suffering,
its merit is beyond weight, and its virtue beyond measure,
and it is the path that leads to the end of every grief.

These, amongst others, too, are some of the many good,
virtuous qualities in the ascetic practice; and it is on
account of these that all the Buddhas alike have held them
dear. At the same time, those who thoroughly fulfill the
requirements of the ascetic practice, they become
completely endowed with many good virtuous qualities
themselves. What are these good virtuous qualities thus
acquired by a person taking up the ascetic practice?

Their behaviour is of the highest morality,
their path towards emancipation is accomplished,
well guarded are they in deed and word,
altogether pure are they in manners and in mind,
their vigour in their practice do not weaken,
all their fears are allayed,
all delusions as to the impermanence,
suffering nature and of their
individuality have been put away,
anger is no more,
while love for all beings has been infused in them,
in taking nourishment they consume with
three right views regarding food
1 11 1
,
they are temperate in eating,
156

they are honoured of all men,
they are full of watchfulness,
they need no home,
where a spot is suitable; there they will dwell,
they loathe to do ill, they take delight in solitude,
they are in earnest always.

These, O King, are the virtuous qualities with which they
who carry out the ascetic practice are completely endowed.

Further, there are only a limited number of individuals who
are suitable and are worthy of the ascetic practice. Who are
these worthy people?

These are the individuals worthy of those advantages
inherent in the ascetic practice; they are those who are
ashamed to do wrong, void of hypocrisy, master of himself,
not unstable, desirous to learn, glad to undertake the task
that is hard, not easy to take offence, of a loving heart.
These are the individuals worthy of those advantages
inherent in the vows.

All these multitudes of laymen, living at home enjoying the
pleasures of sense objects, yet are able to practise and
realise the calm, peaceful and supramundane nibbÈna;
however, all had in their former births adhered to and
trained themselves in the ascetic practice, and thus, laid the
foundation of kamma that would ripen in the realisation of
nibbÈna. By thus undergoing training and practice of the
deeds of merit and virtue in former births and purged
themselves of defilements by means of them, they now in
this birth realised the calm, peaceful and supramundane
nibbÈna; they still belong to the laity.

157

There is no realisation of arahantship in one single life,
without adhering to and training oneself in the ascetic
practice; further, to be successful in the attainment, these
ascetic practices must be practised together with
supramundane effort and the most devoted attitude, and
with the aid of a teacher of a like temperament and of a
virtuous friend (kalyÈna-mitta).

Just as a doctor or surgeon first finds a teacher, and gets
himself thoroughly trained and only when he has thus gone
through training, served his apprenticeship, made himself
skilful, does he visit the sick to heal them. Even so, all
those who as laymen, living at home enjoying the pleasures
of sense objects, yet realised the calm, peaceful and
supramundane nibbÈna, all had in their former births
adhered to and trained themselves in the ascetic practice
and laid the foundation of kamma that would ripen in the
realisation of nibbÈna. By thus undergoing training and
practice of the deeds of merit and virtue in former births
and purged themselves of defilements by means of them,
now in this birth they realised the calm, peaceful and
supramundane nibbÈna, though they still belong to the laity.

There is no attainment of the truth to those who are not
trained in the ascetic practice. Just as there is no rebirth in
the happy planes of existence for those who have not
performed deeds of merit, or deeds of virtue; even so can
there be no attainment of the truth in those who have not
trained themselves in the ascetic practice.

Like the broad earth, which is the base to support all that is
on it; the virtuous character resulting from the ascetic
practice, becomes a base to those who desire to be pure.
158

Like water is to wash away dirt; the virtuous character
resulting from the ascetic practice becomes the water that
cleans the stain of all things evil in those who desire to be
pure. Like fire is to burn; the virtuous character resulting
from the ascetic practice becomes a fire to burn out the lust
of all evil in those who desire to be pure.

Like the wind is to carry away the dust; the virtuous
character resulting from the ascetic practice will carry away
all evil in those desiring to be pure. Like medicine is it to
allay disease; the virtuous character resulting from the
ascetic practice will allay evil in those desiring to be pure.

Like the ocean which causes the arising of waves and
treasures within its immensity; so is the virtuous character
resulting from the ascetic practice, as causing to arise in
those desiring to be pure, treasures of the priceless virtues
of those who have renounced the world, and by reason, too
of the immensity of the great virtues, that is beyond
measure and beyond count.

The ascetic practice is thus of great benefit to those who
aspire to realise nibbÈna. Amongst many other benefits, it
destroys all worries, it puts an end to becoming, it dispels
wrong views, it conduces to extinction of attachments, and
it is a treasure of goodness that is beyond measure and
beyond count, priceless above all things, and precious.

Just as men for the sake of: nourishment, resort to food;
well-being, resort to medicine; honour and wealth, resort to
a king; and satisfying their wishes, resort to a wish-
conferring gem; and many others. Even so do the arahants,
for the sake of the path and fruition, resort to the ascetic
practice as a means of purification.
159

And what water is for the growth of seeds, what fire is for
burning, what food is for giving strength, what a creeper is
for tying things up, what sovereignty is for dominion, etc.,
all that, is the character that comes of keeping the ascetic
practice for the good growth of the seed of renunciation;
for the burning out of the stains of evil; for giving the
strength of iddhi; for tying up one's self in self-control and
presence of mind; for allaying the fever arising from the
scorching of the threefold fire; for the production of the
precious jewels of the sevenfold wisdom (self-possession,
investigation of the truth, energy, joy, calm, contemplation,
and serenity); for the adornment of the samaÓa, for the
prevention of any transgression against that blameless,
abstruse, delicate bliss that comes of peace, for dominion
over all the qualities that the samaÓa and arahants affect.

Thus is it that carrying out the ascetic practice is one and
the same as attainment of all the great virtuous qualities.
Thus is it that the ascetic practice is to attain all the above.
The advantage of these qualities cannot be weighed, neither
measured; it has no equal, it is extensive and abundant,
weighty and worthy.

Whoever having wicked desires, whose conduct is
inconsistent with the ascetic practice is unworthy of and is
unable to attain those virtuous qualities.

Whoever being unfit, take upon himself the ascetic
practice, shall incur a twofold punishment being tantamount
to denying and destroying all of his virtues. For in this
world he shall receive derision, disparagement, blame, on-
the-spot ridicule, disgrace, being socially outcast, expelled,
excluded and excommunicated.
160

And in his next life he shall suffer torment in the great
avÊci hell that is a hundred leagues in depth, and covered,
as with a garland, with hot and scorching, fierce and fiery
blazing flames; therein shall he rise and fall for many a
thousand million years, floating up to the surface and
diving down to the bottom and across; a foam bubble, as it
were, cast up and thrown from side to side with a swelling
body in a sea of boiling oil.

When released from there, then as a mighty peta by the
name of NijjhÈmataÓhikÈ, in the outward form of a monk,
but with body and limbs lean, rugged and dark like the
putrid body of a dead dog, with head swollen, bloated, and
full of holes, hungry and thirsty, odd and dreadful in colour
and form, his ears all torn, his nose broken off, and his
whole body the prey of maggots, his stomach all scorching
and hot like a fiery furnace blazing in the breeze at the
mouth, as it were, of an air-intake tunnel, with no place of
refuge to fly to, no protector to help him, groaning,
moaning and weeping, shall he wander over the earth here
and there wailing out pitiful cries of agony and distress!

Just as whoever, being unfit for royalty, without having
properly attained to it, being inappropriate to it, unworthy
of it, unsuitable for it, a low-born man and base in lineage,
should receive the consecration of a king.

He would suffer mutilation, having his hands or his feet, or
both his hands and feet cut off, or his ears or his nose, or
both his ears and nose cut off, or he would be tortured,
being subjected to punishments of various kinds.


161

Why? Because he being unfit for royalty, without having
properly attained to it, being inappropriate to it, unworthy
of it, unsuitable for it, a low-born man and base in lineage,
he had placed himself in the seat of sovereignty, and thus
transgressed beyond his rightful limits.

But whoever is fit for ascetic practice, is consistent with it,
is worthy of it, appropriate to it, who desires little, is easy
to be contented, given to seclusion, not prone to mix with
laity, keenly energetic, given to thoughts of emancipation,
without guile, without deceit, not a slave to his stomach,
seeking neither material gain nor worldly fame or glory,
who has entered the saÑgha by reason of faith and
enthusiasm, and is full of desire for release from old age
and death.

Whoever being such shall take upon himself the ascetic
practice with the idea of upholding the sÈsana, he is
deserving of twofold honour.

For he is near and dear to, loved and longed for by both
gods and men, dear as rare jasmine flowers to the man
bathed and anointed; as choice food to the hungry; as cool,
clear, fragrant water to the thirsty; as a healing drug to a
poisoned man; as a costly chariot drawn by high-bred
steeds to a traveller in great hurry; as a wish-conferring
gem to a man yearning for worldly gain; as an immaculate
clean and white umbrella of sovereignty to a king desiring
to be ceremoniously consecrated; as the peerless and
sublime fruition of arahantship to a seeker of the Truth.

Even so, in one who is worthy of the ascetic practice, the
following 37 factors pertaining to enlightenment will reach
full perfection (parip|riÑ gacchanti):
162

• the 4 foundations of mindfulness,
• the 4 right efforts,
• the 4 roads to power,
• the 5 mental faculties,
• the 5 mental powers,
• the 7 factors of enlightenment,
• the eightfold Noble Path,
• the development of concentration or mental
tranquillity and of insight is achieved, and
• the training for attainment of the path and fruition
reach maturity.

Firmly established in the forefront of the bhikkhu who is
worthy of the ascetic practice are the:
• supramundane paths and fruitions,
• analytical knowledge,
• threefold knowledge,
• sixfold higher spiritual powers,
• all laws pertaining to a bhikkhu (kevalo ca
samaÓadhammo),
• all teaching and laws of phenomena (sabbe
tassÈdheyyÈ).

So, with an immaculately clean and white umbrella of
sovereignty representing fruition of arahantship borne over
him, that bhikkhu who is worthy of the ascetic practice is
ceremoniously consecrated a king.

Just as all the citizens and country folk in the land, the
soldiers and the attendants wait in service upon a king of
the royal family born to the purple, and high on both sides
of lineage.

163

When he has been consecrated with the inauguration
ceremonies of royalty; the thirty-eight divisions of the royal
retinue, and the dancing men, and entertainers also wait
upon him in service; singing his praises and extolling his
virtues in sweet, calm and resonant tones, the ascetics and
Brahmans of various castes and creeds also frequent his
court, and he becomes the lord of every seaport, and
treasure-mine, and custom-house in cities, in all lands and
exercising arbitrary powers on all people in all countries
either foreign or within frontiers.

Even so, in one who is worthy of the ascetic practice, is
consistent with it, is worthy of it, the 37 factors pertaining
to enlightenment will reach full perfection. So with an
immaculately clean and white umbrella of sovereignty
representing fruition of arahantship borne over him, that
bhikkhu who is worthy of the ascetic practice is
ceremoniously consecrated a king.

Such are the ascetical means of purification by which a
man shall take a plunge and bathe in the mighty waters of
the great ocean of nibbÈna, and there indulge himself, as
one sporting in the waves, with the manifold delights of the
Teaching. He shall addict himself to the enjoyment of the 4
attainments comprising the 4 jhÈna of the fine-material
spheres and the 4 jhÈna of the immaterial spheres.

He shall acquire the higher spiritual powers comprising
magical powers (iddhi-vidha), divine ear (dibba-sota),
knowledge of the thoughts of others (paracitta-vijÈnana),
divine eye (dibba-cakkhu), remembrance of former
existences (pubbe-nivÈsÈnussati), and also extinction of all
biases on attaining the fruition of arahantship.

164

There are 13 ascetical means of purification. The 13 are:
• wearing patched-up robes (paÑsuk|lika~ga),
• wearing only three robes (ticÊvarika~ga),
• going the round for alms-food (piÓÉapÈtika~ga),
• not omitting any house while going the round for
alms-food (sapadÈnacÈrika~ga),
• eating at one sitting (ekÈsanika~ga),
• eating only from the alms-bowl (pattapiÓÉika~ga),
• refusing all further food (khalu-pacchÈ-bhattika~ga),
• living in the forest (ÈraÒÒika~ga),
• living under a tree (rukkhamulika~ga),
• living in the open air (abbhokÈsika~ga),
• living in a cemetery (sosÈnika~ga),
• being satisfied with whatever dwelling (yathÈ-
santhatika~ga), and
• sleeping in a sitting posture (nesajjika~ga).

It is he, the noble disciple who, in former births, has
undertaken and practised, followed and carried out,
observed, framed his conduct according to, and fulfilled
these 13 ascetic practices, realises the path and fruition and
all subtle and blissful attainments of absorption becomes
his very own.

Just as a ship owner who having paid up the port dues, will
traverse the great ocean and go to Va~ga, Takkola, China,
Sovira, Surat, Alexandria, the Koromandel coast, SuvaÓÓa-
bhumi, or any other place accessible by ship or boat. Even
so, it is he, the noble disciple who, in former births has
undertaken and practised, followed and carried out,
observed, framed his conduct according to, and fulfilled
these 13 ascetic practices, realises the path and fruition and
all subtle and blissful attainments of absorption becomes
his very own.
165

Just as a farmer will first remove the faults and defects in
the field: weeds, thorns and stones; and then by ploughing,
sowing, irrigating, fencing, watching, reaping and treading,
will become the owner of much corn, and whoever are
poor and needy, reduced to destitution in respect of a like
product have to make their approach to such a farmer.

Just so it is he who in former births has undertaken and
practised, followed and carried out, observed, framed his
conduct according to and fulfilled these 13 ascetic
practices, realises the path and fruition and all subtle and
blissful attainments of absorption becomes his very own.

Again, just as a king of a royal family, born to the purple
and high on both sides of lineage, when he has been
consecrated with the ceremony of anointing, is lord and
master over the treatment of outlaws, and does whatever he
desires, and all the broad earth is subject to that king.

Even so, it is he, the noble disciple who, in former births,
who has undertaken and practised, followed and carried
out, observed, framed his conduct according to and fulfilled
these 13 ascetic practices, realises the path and fruition and
all subtle and blissful attainments of absorption becomes
his very own.

Venerable Upasena, son of Vangantas, and a practitioner of
the ascetic practice, accompanied by a group of other
bhikkh| visited the Blessed One, who was in meditation
retreat at SÈvatthÊ. Arriving and after having paid proper
veneration to Him, he took a seat to one side.


166

When the Blessed One saw how well disciplined the
gathering was, and delighted He greeted them with
courteous words and addressed the Elder Upasena: ‘Most
pleasant, Upasena, is the deportment of these bhikkh|
waiting upon you. How have you managed thus to train
your followers?’

Venerable Upasena, when questioned by the Blessed One,
replied as to the nature of their behaviour: “Whoever,
Venerable One, may come to me for admission to the
saÑgha, I would caution and say: ‘I, brother, am an
adherent to the ascetic practice of living in the forest, of
going the rounds for alms-food, of wearing patched-up
robes, and of wearing only three robes. If you are prepared
to adhere to these practices, I am prepared to admit you to
the saÑgha.’ If he accepts my words with gladness and
agree to those proposals with joy, I would admit him to the
saÑgha. If however, he expresses disagreement, I will not
accept him. Thus it is, that I train them.”

Thus is it, that he who would undertake the noble ascetic
practice becomes the master, ruler and lord in the sÈsana of
the Blessed One; and all the subtle and blissful attainments
of absorption becomes his very own.

Just as the lotus flower, glorious, untarnished by mud or
mire, the resort of many bees and depends for its growth
on clear cold water. Even so is that noble disciple who in
former births has undertaken and practised, followed and
carried out, observed and framed his conduct according to
and fulfilled these 13 ascetic practices, becomes endowed
with various sublime virtues. What are these?


167

His heart is full of affectionate, soft, and tender love,
evil is killed, destroyed, cast out from within him,
pride and self-righteousness
are put an end to and cast down,
stable and strong and established and
undeviating is his faith,
he enters into the enjoyment of the heart's refreshment,
the highly praised and desirable peace and bliss of
the ecstacies of contemplation fully felt,
he exhales the most excellent and unequalled
sweet savour of righteousness of life,
dear is he to gods and men alike,
exalted by the best of beings the arahant themselves,
gods and men delight to honour him,
the enlightened, wise, and learned approve,
esteem, appreciate, and praise him,
untarnished is he by the love
either of this world or the next,
he sees the danger in the smallest tiniest offence,
rich is he in the best of wealth,
the wealth that is the fruit of the path,
the wealth of those who are seeking
the highest of the attainments,
he is partaker of the best of the four requisites
of a samaÓa that may be obtained by asking,
he lives without a home addicted to that best austerity
that is dependent on the meditation of the jhana;
he has unravelled the whole net of evil,
he has broken and burst through,
doubled up and utterly destroyed
both the possibility of rebirth
in any of the five future states,
and the five obstacles to the higher life in this one
(lust, malice, sloth, pride and doubt),
168

unalterable in character, excellent in conduct,
transgressing none of the rules as to
the four requisites of a samaÓa,
he is set free from rebirths,
he has passed beyond all perplexity,
his mind is set upon complete emancipation,
he has seen the truth,
the sure and steadfast place of refuge from all fear
has he gained,
the seven evil inclinations
(lust, malice, heresy, doubt, pride, desire for future life,
and ignorance) are rooted out in him,
he has reached the end of the Great Evils
(lust, individuality, delusion and ignorance),
he abounds in the peace and the bliss of
the ecstacies of contemplation,
he is endowed with all the virtues a samaÓa should have.
These, O King, are the many graces he is adorned withal.
He becomes one who is fully endowed
with all these many sublime virtues.

Was not the Elder SÈriputta, the greatest man in the whole
10,000 world systems, with the exception of the Blessed
One who was the Teacher of the three spheres
2 22 2
of existence
comprising the whole universe? He who through countless
number of world periods had heaped up merit, and had
been reborn in a Brahman family, relinquished all the
delights of the pleasures of sense objects and gave up many
a hundred things of wealth and value to enter the saÑgha in
the sÈsana of the Buddha, and having restrained his bodily
actions, words, and thoughts by these 13 ascetic practices,
become in this life of such exalted virtue that he was the
one who, in emulation of the Blessed One, set rolling on
the royal chariot-wheel of the sÈsana of Gotama Buddha.
169

So that this was said by the Blessed One: ‘I know, O
bhikkh|, of no other man who in succession to Me sets
rolling on the glorious chariot-wheel of the dhamma so
well as SÈriputta. SÈriputta sets rolling that wheel the best
of all.’
km km km km: Very good, Venerable! The whole ninefold word of the
Buddha, the transcending of the world that should be
pursued, the bliss of the highest splendour and sublimity;
all these are embodied in, and converging on the 13 ascetic
practices.

dhuta~gapaÒho dutiyo dhuta~gapaÒho dutiyo dhuta~gapaÒho dutiyo dhuta~gapaÒho dutiyo

anumÈnavaggo catuttho anumÈnavaggo catuttho anumÈnavaggo catuttho anumÈnavaggo catuttho

Notes:
1. The three right views are: as to its nature, as to its impurity, as to the
lust of taste.
2. World (loka): denotes the three spheres of existence comprising the
whole universe, that is, [1] sensuous world or the world of the five
senses (kÈma loka), [2] fine-material world (r|pa loka), corresponding to
the 4 fine-material absorptions, [3] the immaterial world (ar|pa loka),
corresponding to the 4 immaterial absorptions. (The Buddhist Dictionary
by NyÈnatiloka, 1956 edn)



170



MilindapaÒha MilindapaÒha MilindapaÒha MilindapaÒha

Division Division Division Division VI VI VI VI

opammakathÈpaÒha opammakathÈpaÒha opammakathÈpaÒha opammakathÈpaÒha
The similes The similes The similes The similes









171

mÈtikÈ mÈtikÈ mÈtikÈ mÈtikÈ

km km km km: Venerable NÈgasena, how many qualities must a bhikkhu
be endowed with in order to realise arahantship?
vn vn vn vn: The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to arahantship must take:
1 quality of the ass,
5 qualities of the cock,
1 quality of the black squirrel,
1 quality of the female panther,
2 qualities of the male panther,
5 qualities of the tortoise,
1 quality of the bamboo,
1 quality of the bow,
2 qualities of the crow,
2 qualities of the monkey,
1 quality of the gourd creeper,
3 qualities of the lotus,
2 qualities of the seed,
1 quality of the Sal-tree,
3 qualities of a boat,
2 qualities of the anchor,
1 quality of the mast,
3 qualities of the boat captain,
1 quality of the boat’s deck-hand,
5 qualities of the ocean,
5 qualities of the earth,
5 qualities of water,
5 qualities of fire,
5 qualities of wind,
5 qualities of the mountain,
5 qualities of space,
5 qualities of the moon,
7 qualities of the sun,
3 qualities of Sakka,
172

4 qualities of a universal monarch,
1 quality of the white ant,
2 qualities of the cat,
1 quality of the rat,
1 quality of the scorpion,
1 quality of the mongoose,
2 qualities of the old male jackal,
3 qualities of the deer,
4 qualities of the bull,
2 qualities of the boar,
5 qualities of the elephant,
7 qualities of the lion,
3 qualities of the cakkavÈka bird,
2 qualities of the penÈhikÈ bird,
1 quality of the house pigeon,
2 qualities of the owl,
1 quality of the Indian crane,
2 qualities of the bat,
1 quality of the leech,
3 qualities of the snake;
1 quality of the rock-snake,
1 quality of the spider,
1 quality of the child at the breast,
1 quality of the land tortoise,
5 qualities of the forest,
3 qualities of the tree,
5 qualities of the rain,
3 qualities of the ruby,
4 qualities of the hunter,
2 qualities of the angler,
2 qualities of the carpenter,
1 quality of the water-pot,
2 qualities of iron,
3 qualities of the umbrella,
173

3 qualities of the rice field,
2 qualities of the antidote drug,
3 qualities of food,
4 qualities of the archer,
4 qualities of the king,
2 qualities of the doorkeeper,
1 quality of a grindstone,
2 qualities of a lamp,
2 qualities of the peacock,
2 qualities of the horse,
2 qualities of the publican,
2 qualities of a threshold,
1 quality of a balance,
2 qualities of a sword,
2 qualities of a fish,
1 quality of a debtor,
2 qualities of a sick man,
2 qualities of a corpse,
2 qualities of a river,
1 quality of the bull,
2 qualities of a road,
1 quality of a tax-collector,
3 qualities of a thief,
1 quality of the hawk,
1 quality of the dog,
3 qualities of the physician,
2 qualities of a pregnant woman,
1 quality of the yak cow,
2 qualities of the kiki bird,
3 qualities of the female dove,
2 qualities of a one-eyed man,
3 qualities of a plougher of the field,
1 quality of the female jackal,
2 qualities of a small sieve (ca~gavÈraka),
174

1 quality of a ladle,
3 qualities of the negotiator of a loan,
1 quality of an examiner of meditation practice
(anuvicinaka),
2 qualities of a charioteer,
2 qualities of a partaker of food,
1 quality of a tailor,
1 quality of a helmsman, and
2 qualities of a bee.

mÈtikÈ niÔÔhitÈ mÈtikÈ niÔÔhitÈ mÈtikÈ niÔÔhitÈ mÈtikÈ niÔÔhitÈ


175

Chapter 1 Chapter 1 Chapter 1 Chapter 1

gadrabhavagga gadrabhavagga gadrabhavagga gadrabhavagga
T TT The ass he ass he ass he ass

1. gadrabha~gapaÒha 176
Quality of the ass
2. kukkuÔa~gapaÒha 177
Qualities of the cock
3. kalandaka~gapaÒha 180
Quality of the black squirrel
4. dÊpiniya~gapaÒha 181
Quality of the female panther
5. dÊpika~gapaÒha 182
Qualities of the male panther
6. kumma~gapaÒha 184
Qualities of the tortoise
7. vaÑsa~gapaÒha 186
Quality of the bamboo
8. cÈpa~gapaÒha 187
Quality of the bow
9. vÈyasa~gapaÒha 188
Qualities of the crow
10. makkaÔa~gapaÒha 189
Qualities of the monkey

176

1. 1. 1. 1. gadrabha~gapaÒha gadrabha~gapaÒha gadrabha~gapaÒha gadrabha~gapaÒha

Quality of t Quality of t Quality of t Quality of the ass he ass he ass he ass

km km km km: Venerable, it was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain
to arahantship must adopt one quality of the ass.’ What is
that one quality?
vn vn vn vn: The ass can sleep anywhere; either at a rubbish dump, at a
road junction, on a trail bordering the road, at the village
gate, on a heap of bran, or any non-descript place. No
where is he given to sleep long.

Even so, should one who practises mind-development sleep
wherever one may spread out his skin-matting, either on a
heap of strewed grass, leaves, on a wooden couch or on
bare earth; nowhere should he be given to sleep long. This
is the one quality of the ass he ought to possess. For this
has been said by the Blessed One: ‘My disciples are like
old and rotten logs of firewood and they dwell, striving
with their utmost zeal and vigilance in their mind-
development exercise.’

This, too was said by the Venerable SÈriputta, commander
of the dhamma: ‘To the bhikkhu who sits cross-legged in
meditative posture, his knees at both ends are not wetted by
rain water; satisfied with overhead cover so slight and
meagre, cheerful is the outlook of a bhikkhu in whom
nibbÈna is his goal of endeavour.’

gadrabha~gapaÒ gadrabha~gapaÒ gadrabha~gapaÒ gadrabha~gapaÒho paÔhamo ho paÔhamo ho paÔhamo ho paÔhamo
177

2. 2. 2. 2. kukkuÔ kukkuÔ kukkuÔ kukkuÔa~ a~ a~ a~gapaÒha gapaÒha gapaÒha gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities ualities ualities ualities of the of the of the of the cock cock cock cock

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the five qualities of the cock.’ What
are those qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as a cock goes early to roost, so should one who
practises mind-development, rise early and sweep out the
open space around the pagoda; having filled up the
drinking-water for the day's use and taken his bath, he
should make obeisance before the pagoda, then pay visits to
the senior bhikkh|. This is the first of the qualities of the
cock he ought to possess.

After making obeisance to the senior bhikkh| and on his
return, retreat in due time to the place of solitude. This is
the second of the qualities of the cock he ought to possess.

Again, as the cock is unremitting in scratching the earth to
pick up what he can find to eat, so should one who
practises mind-development, partake of his food only after
contemplating thus: ‘I eat this food seeking not after
pleasure, nor after excitement, nor after beauty of body,
nor after elegance of form; but merely for the preservation
of my body, to keep myself alive, to ward off the
discomfort of hunger, to support the noble effort in the
practice of the sublime dhamma.

‘Thus shall I put an end to former sorrow and give no
cause for new sorrow to arise; therein be free from blame
and for dwelling at ease.’ This is the third of the qualities
of the cock he ought to possess.

178

For it has been said by the Blessed One:
‘Like the flesh of one’s own child,
To an unprovisioned parent in the desert wild;
Like oil that you smear the axle,
For smooth rolling of the cart’s wheel;
So should you regard your alms-food,
Eating it but not with covetous mood.’

Again, as the cock, though it has eyes, is blind by night; so
should one who practises mind-development, though he is
not blind, be as one blind. Whether in the woods, or in the
village of his alms-food donors, or while going the round
for alms-food, blind should he be and deaf and dumb to all
sense objects of form, sound, taste, smell or touch. He
should not take cognizance of such perceptual signs and
characteristic such as of a man, a woman, a form, a sound,
shapes and form such as of hands or feet. This is the fourth
of the qualities of the cock he ought to possess.

For it was said by MahÈ KaccÈyana, the Elder:
‘Let him with eyes be as one blind,
And he who hears be as the deaf,
He who can speak be as the dumb,
The man of strength as he were weak.
As each new object rises to his sense,
Let him sleep as if dead.’

Again, as the cock, even though pelted with stones and
thrown at with sticks, clubs and cudgels, will not desert his
home. Even so, should one who practises mind-
development, whether he be engaged in mending robes,
performing new functions, doing personal service for
senior bhikkh|, or learning or teaching the scriptures, in all
these undertakings he should apply wise consideration.
179

For this is the house owned by one who practises mind-
development. This is the fifth of the qualities of the cock
he ought to possess.

This has been said by the Blessed One:
‘And which, O bhikkh|, is the heritage of your father
the TathÈgata, your field of pasture, the object to which
your mind should be directed? It is the four foundations of
mindfulness (cattÈro satipaÔÔhÈnÈ).’

And this too, has been said by the Venerable SÈriputta,
commander of the dhamma:
‘As the tamed elephant does not tread on his own trunk,
He knows which food he should eat and which to avoid,
Even so, let each son of the Buddha,
Exercise vigilance and do neither violence nor injury
To the Blessed One’s word,
The most sublime of conceptions.’

kukkuÔa~gapaÒho dutiyo kukkuÔa~gapaÒho dutiyo kukkuÔa~gapaÒho dutiyo kukkuÔa~gapaÒho dutiyo

180

3. 3. 3. 3. kalandaka kalandaka kalandaka kalandaka~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Quality uality uality uality of the of the of the of the black squirrel black squirrel black squirrel black squirrel

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the one quality of the black
squirrel.’ Which is that quality?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the squirrel, sensing an enemy, beats his tail on the
ground till it swells, and then with his own tail as a cudgel
drives off the foe. Even so, should one who practises mind-
development; when the enemy - defilements, arise in him,
beat the cudgel of the four foundations of mindfulness till
it swells, and then by that cudgel of mindfulness drive all
defilements away. This is the one quality of the squirrel
which he ought to possess.

For it was said by C|Äapanthaka, the Elder:
‘When defilements, those fell destroyers
Of the virtues gained by a bhikkhu fall on you,
Then should you give battle by dealing with them,
Blow after blow with the cudgel of mindfulness.’

kalandaka~gapaÒho tatiyo kalandaka~gapaÒho tatiyo kalandaka~gapaÒho tatiyo kalandaka~gapaÒho tatiyo

181

4. 4. 4. 4. dÊpiniya~gapaÒha dÊpiniya~gapaÒha dÊpiniya~gapaÒha dÊpiniya~gapaÒha

Q QQ Quality uality uality uality o oo of the f the f the f the female panther female panther female panther female panther

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the one quality of the female
panther.’ Which is that quality?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the female panther conceives only once, and does
not resort again to the male; even so, should one who
practises mind-development, seeing how future rebirths will
involve conception in a mother’s womb, death, destruction,
perishing, and ruin; and seeing the horrors of the round of
rebirth, the horrors of rebirth in the four states of
unhappiness, the disharmony everywhere, and the
oppressions and harassments; apply wise consideration and
steadfastly resolve: ‘Never shall I enter another womb.’

This is the one quality of the female panther which he
ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One, in the DhaniyagopÈlaka
Sutta of the Sutta NipÈta:
‘Like a strong bull that has burst the cords that bound him,
Or an elephant that has forced his way through jungle,
To freedom shall I go, never more to enter the womb,
And just rain on, if it so please you, deva, rain on!’

d dd dÊpiniy Êpiniy Êpiniy Êpiniya aa a~gapaÒho catuttho ~gapaÒho catuttho ~gapaÒho catuttho ~gapaÒho catuttho


182

5. 5. 5. 5. dÊpi dÊpi dÊpi dÊpik kk ka~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities ualities ualities ualities of the of the of the of the male panther male panther male panther male panther

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the two qualities of the male
panther.’ Which are those two qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the panther, lying in ambush in wild places, behind a
thicket of long grass, in a forest or on a mountain top,
catches his prey. Even so, should one who practises mind-
development, resort to solitary places in the woods, at the
foot of a tree, in a mountain gorge, at a cemetery, in a
forest, under the open sky, on beds of straw; in quiet,
noiseless spots free from uproars, free from winds agitated
by human movements or places congenial for men to do
things in privacy, places suitable as solitary dwellings or
for living in seclusion.

For one who practises mind-development and resorts to
places of solitude, will soon gain mastery of the sixfold
higher spiritual powers. This is the first of the qualities of
the panther he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Elders who participated in the
proceedings of the Great Buddhist Councils:
‘As the panther by lying in ambush catches the prey,
So the sons of the Buddha,
With insight and earnestness armed,
By resorting to solitude,
Captures the fruition of the sublime dhamma.’

Again, as the panther, whatever may be the beast he has
killed, will never eat it if it has fallen on the left side.
183

Even so, one who practises mind-development, not partake
of any food that has been procured by gifts of bamboo,
leaves, flowers, fruits, bathing soaps, chunam, tooth-sticks,
water for washing face; by flattery, by gaining the laity
over by sugared words, by petting donors’ children, by
taking messages or running errands on behalf of donors, by
returning present of gift food in kind, by making return-
presents, by administering lands or estates, by auguries
drawn from astrology, by prophesying long life, prosperity,
etc., or the reverse, from marks on limbs, hands and feet of
a person, or by any other of those wrong modes of
obtaining a livelihood that have been condemned by the
Buddha.

No food so procured should he eat, as the panther will not
eat any prey that has fallen on its left side. This is the
second of the qualities of the panther he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Venerable SÈriputta, commander of
the dhamma:
‘This food, so sweet, has been procured
Through intimation given by speech.
Were I, then, to partake thereof,
My mode of livelihood would be blameworthy.
Now let me be by dire hunger oppressed,
Till my stomach seem to rise, to go.
Never will I break my rule of life,
Not though my life I sacrifice.”

dÊpika~gapaÒho paÒcamo dÊpika~gapaÒho paÒcamo dÊpika~gapaÒho paÒcamo dÊpika~gapaÒho paÒcamo
184

6. 6. 6. 6. kumma kumma kumma kumma~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities ualities ualities ualities of the of the of the of the tortoise tortoise tortoise tortoise

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the five qualities of the tortoise.’
Which are those five qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the tortoise, which is a water animal, keeps to the
water, even so, should one who practises mind-
development, dwell pervading the world of living beings
with loving-kindness and with a mind unbounded, free
from every feeling of hatred or of malice. This is the first
of the qualities of the tortoise he ought to possess.

Just as the tortoise, when, as he swims in the water and
raises his head, he catches sight of any one, that moment
sinks, and dives into the depths, thinking to himself: ‘Let
not those people see me again!’ Even so, should one who
practises mind-development, when defilements fall upon
him, dive into that lake of mindfulness contemplation, dives
down into the deeps thereof thinking to himself: ‘Let not
the defilements see me again!’ This is the second quality of
the tortoise he ought to possess.

Again, just as the tortoise gets out of the water, and suns
himself, even so, should one who practises mind-
development, withdraws his mind from contemplation,
whether sitting, standing, lying down, or walking up and
down, suns his mind in the four right efforts. This is the
third of the qualities of the tortoise he ought to possess.

Again, just as the tortoise, digging a hole in the ground,
dwells alone, even so, should one who practises mind-
development, giving up worldly gain, honour and praise.
185

He should take up his abode alone, plunging into the
solitude of empty lonely places in the groves, woods, hills,
caves and grottoes, noiseless and quiet. This is the fourth of
the qualities of the tortoise he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Elder Upasena, son of Va~ganta the
Brahman:
‘Lonely and quiet places, haunts
Of the deer, and of wild beasts.
Should the bhikkhu seek as his abode,
For solitude's sweet sake.’

Again, as the tortoise, when on his rounds sees any one,
draws in at once his head and limbs into his shell, and
hiding them there, keeps still in silence to save himself.
Even so, should one who practises mind-development,
whenever sense-objects, such as forms, sounds, odours,
tastes, bodily impressions or mind-objects strike upon him,
shut the flaps of self-restraint at the six sense-doors, and
dwell guarding with constant mindfulness and clear
comprehension by keeping watch and ward over his mind.
This is the fifth quality of the tortoise he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One, in the Kumm|pama
Sutta of the SaÑyutta NikÈya:
‘As the tortoise withdraws his limbs in his shell,
Let the bhikkhu bury the thoughts and inclinations,
That craving and heretical views may not overtake him,
But reach extinction before anyone gets afflicted,
Or blamed with accusations.’

kumma~gapaÒho chattho kumma~gapaÒho chattho kumma~gapaÒho chattho kumma~gapaÒho chattho
186

7. 7. 7. 7. vaÑs vaÑs vaÑs vaÑsa aa a~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Quality uality uality uality o oo of the f the f the f the bamboo bamboo bamboo bamboo

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the one quality of the bamboo.’
Which is that one quality?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the bamboo, wherever the wind blows, to that
quarter does it bend accordingly, pursuing no other way.
Even so, should he who practises mind-development,
conduct himself in accordance with the ninefold Teaching
of the Blessed One, the exhortation of the Supremely
Enlightened One, and steadfastly keeping to all things
lawful and blameless, he should seek after the virtues of the
samaÓaship itself. This is the one quality of the bamboo he
ought to possess.

For it was said by RÈhula the Elder:
‘By always in accord with the ninefold word of the Buddha,
And establishing himself in an apt and blameless sphere,
he passes beyond rebirth in the lower regions of sorrow.’

vaÑsa~gapaÒho sattamo vaÑsa~gapaÒho sattamo vaÑsa~gapaÒho sattamo vaÑsa~gapaÒho sattamo
187

8. 8. 8. 8. cÈpa~gapaÒha cÈpa~gapaÒha cÈpa~gapaÒha cÈpa~gapaÒha

Q QQ Quality uality uality uality of the of the of the of the bow bow bow bow

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the one quality of the bow.’ Which
is that one quality?
vn vn vn vn: Just as a well-made and balanced bow bends equally from
end to end, and does not resist stiffly, even so, should one
who practises mind-development, bend easily in accord
with all members of the saÑgha, whether elders, juniors, of
medium seniority, or of like standing as himself, and not
stand on rigid ceremony in his dealings with them. This is
the one quality of the bow he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One, in the Vidh|ra JÈtaka:
‘Let the wise man bend like the bow,
Like the bamboo conforming himself.
He should not act adversely,
So he shall dwell in the court of kings.’

cÈp cÈp cÈp cÈpa~gapaÒho a~gapaÒho a~gapaÒho a~gapaÒho aÔÔhamo aÔÔhamo aÔÔhamo aÔÔhamo

188

9. 9. 9. 9. vÈyas vÈyas vÈyas vÈyasa~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities ualities ualities ualities of the of the of the of the crow crow crow crow

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the two qualities of the crow.’
Which are those two qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the crow goes about full of apprehension, always on
the watch and guard, even so, should one who practises
mind-development, go about full of apprehension and
suspicion, always on the watch and guard over his sense
faculties. This is the first of the qualities of the crow he
ought to possess.

Again, as the crow, whatever food he catches sight of, eats
it, sharing with his kind, even so, should one who practises
mind-development, never omit to share with the morally
virtuous bhikkh|, and that without distinction of person or
deliberation as to quantity, whatever lawful gifts he may
have lawfully acquired, down even to the contents of his
alms-bowl. This is the second of the qualities of the crow
he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Venerable SÈriputta, commander of
the dhamma:
‘Whatever they may present to me, austere in life,
All that, just as it comes, do I divide,
With all, and I myself then take my food.’

vÈyas vÈyas vÈyas vÈyasa~gapaÒho navamo a~gapaÒho navamo a~gapaÒho navamo a~gapaÒho navamo

189

10. 10. 10. 10. makka makka makka makkaÔ ÔÔ Ôa~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities ualities ualities ualities of the of the of the of the monkey monkey monkey monkey

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the two qualities of the monkey.’
Which two?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the monkey, when about to take up his abode does
so in some place such as a mighty tree, in a quiet place
densely covered with branches, a sure place of refuge.
Even so, should one who practises mind-development,
choose as the teacher, mentor and friend, under whom to
live, a man who is:
− conscious of moral shame,
− endowed with morality,
− possessed of virtuous conduct,
− widely learned,
− well-versed in the dhamma,
− well-versed in the vinaya,
− adorable,
− worthy of high consideration and respect,
− prone to be outspoken and forthright,
− a speaker of words with dignity attached thereto,
− a good admonisher,
− informative,
− proficient in teaching the dhamma,
− capable of arousing willingness to undertake
performing tasks of virtue,
− capable of inciting enthusiasm in others to do good,
and
− capable of bringing delight to others in wholesome
pursuits.
This, O King, is the first of the qualities of the monkey he
ought to possess.
190

Again, as the monkey wanders about, stands and sits always
on trees, and, if he goes to sleep, spends the night on them.
Even so, should one who practises mind-development,
stand, walk up and down contemplating, lie down, and
sleep only in the forest, and there enjoy the practice of the
four foundations of mindfulness. This is the second of the
qualities of the monkey he ought to possess.

For it has been said by the Venerable SÈriputta, commander
of the dhamma:
‘Walking, standing, sitting, lying down,
This in the forest that the bhikkhu looks graceful.
To dwell in wildernesses far remote,
Of praiseworthy living it is a mode.’

m mm makka akka akka akkaÔ ÔÔ Ôa~gapaÒho dasamo a~gapaÒho dasamo a~gapaÒho dasamo a~gapaÒho dasamo

gadrabhavaggo paÔhamo gadrabhavaggo paÔhamo gadrabhavaggo paÔhamo gadrabhavaggo paÔhamo
191

Chapter 2 Chapter 2 Chapter 2 Chapter 2

samuddavagga samuddavagga samuddavagga samuddavagga
T TT The ocean he ocean he ocean he ocean

1. lÈbulata~gapaÒha 192
Quality of the gourd creeper
2. paduma~gapaÒha 193
Qualities of the lotus
3. bÊja~gapaÒha 194
Qualities of the seed
4. sÈlakalyÈÓika~gapaÒha 195
Quality of the Sal tree
5. nÈva~gapaÒha 196
Qualities of a boat
6. nÈvÈlagganaka~gapaÒha 198
Qualities of the anchor
7. k|pa~gapaÒha 199
Quality of the mast
8. niyÈmaka~gapaÒha 200
Qualities of the boat captain
9. kammakÈra~gapaÒha 202
Quality of a boat’s deck hand
10. samudda~gapaÒha 203
Qualities of the ocean

192

1. lÈbulata~gapaÒha 1. lÈbulata~gapaÒha 1. lÈbulata~gapaÒha 1. lÈbulata~gapaÒha

Q QQ Quality of the gourd creeper uality of the gourd creeper uality of the gourd creeper uality of the gourd creeper

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the one quality of the gourd
creeper.’ Which is that one quality?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the gourd creeper, climbing up with its tendrils and
fastening itself onto some other plant, whether a grass, or a
tree, or a creeper, grows all over it; even so, should one
who practises mind-development, who desires to progress
on the path of emancipation, do so by fastening his mind on
the subjects for meditation. This is the one quality of the
gourd creeper he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Venerable SÈriputta, commander of
the dhamma:
‘As the gourd, clambering up with its tendrils, grows
Over the grass, or the thorn-bush, or creeper widespread,
So the son of the Buddha on arahantship bent,
Climbs up over ideas, to perfection and peace.’

lÈbulata~gapaÒ lÈbulata~gapaÒ lÈbulata~gapaÒ lÈbulata~gapaÒho paÔhamo ho paÔhamo ho paÔhamo ho paÔhamo
193

2 22 2. . . . paduma paduma paduma paduma~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the lotus ualities of the lotus ualities of the lotus ualities of the lotus

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the three qualities of the lotus.’
Which are those three qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the lotus, though it is born in the water, and grows
up in the water, yet remains undefiled by the water; even
so, should one who practises mind-development, remain
undefiled by his high birth, social standing, worldly gains
with honour and fame, the strength of his followers, the
veneration he receives, the esteem and honour he receives,
or by the elegance of his personal requisites. This is the
first of the qualities of the lotus he ought to possess.

Again, as the lotus remains lifted up far above the water,
even so, should one who practises mind-development,
remain far above all worldly things. Transcending
worldliness, establishing himself in the supramundane
sphere of the dhamma. This is the second of the qualities of
the lotus he ought to possess.

Again, as the lotus trembles when blown upon by the
slightest breeze, even so, should one who practises mind-
development, exercise self-control in respect of the least of
the defilements, perceiving the danger in them. This is the
third of the qualities of the lotus he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One: ‘Seeing danger in the
least offence, he trains himself by taking upon himself the
rigid observance of the precepts.’

paduma~gapaÒho dutiyo paduma~gapaÒho dutiyo paduma~gapaÒho dutiyo paduma~gapaÒho dutiyo
194

3 33 3. . . . b bb bÊja Êja Êja Êja~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the seed ualities of the seed ualities of the seed ualities of the seed

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the two qualities of the seed.’
Which are those two qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as seed, tiny though it be, yet if sown in good soil, and
if the rain pours down a good quantity of water, will give
abundant fruit. Even so, should he who practises mind-
development, so conducts himself aright that the precepts
observed by him will bear fruits of arahantship. This is the
first of the qualities of the seed which he ought to possess.

Again, as seed planted in well-weeded soil comes quickly
to maturity, even so, will the mind of he who practises
mind-development, when well-controlled and well-purified
in solitude, when cast into the excellent field of the four
foundations of mindfulness, come quickly to maturity. This
is the second quality of the seed which he ought to possess.

For it was said by Anuruddha the Elder:
‘If seed be sown on a well-weeded field,
Its fruit, abounding, will rejoice.
So the samaÓa's mind, in solitude made pure,
Matures full fast in mindfulness field.’

vÊja~gapaÒho tatiyo vÊja~gapaÒho tatiyo vÊja~gapaÒho tatiyo vÊja~gapaÒho tatiyo

195

4 44 4. . . . sÈlakalyÈnika sÈlakalyÈnika sÈlakalyÈnika sÈlakalyÈnika~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Quality of the Sal tree uality of the Sal tree uality of the Sal tree uality of the Sal tree

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the one quality of the Sal tree.’
Which is that one quality?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the Sal tree grows within the ground to the depth of
a hundred cubits or more, even so, should he who practises
mind-development, perfect in solitude the 4 supramundane
fruition, the 4 analytical knowledge, and the 6 higher
spiritual powers. This is the one quality of the Sal tree he
ought to possess.

For it was said by RÈhula the Elder:
‘The tree that's called the Sal tree grows above the earth,
And shoots beneath, a hundred cubits deep.
As in the fullness of time, and at its highest growth,
That tree shoots in one day a hundred cubits high.
Just so do I, O Buddha, like the Sal,
Increase, in solitude, in inward good.’

sÈlakalyÈnika~gapaÒho sÈlakalyÈnika~gapaÒho sÈlakalyÈnika~gapaÒho sÈlakalyÈnika~gapaÒho catuttho catuttho catuttho catuttho
196

5 55 5. . . . nÈva nÈva nÈva nÈva~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qu uu ualities of a boat alities of a boat alities of a boat alities of a boat

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the three qualities of a boat.’ What
are those three qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as a boat, by the combination of the different kinds of
timber affords a means of saving a large number of people
(by conveying them to the shore of safety). Even so, should
he who practises mind-development, cross the whole world
of existence, whether in heaven or on earth, by a
combination of his various qualities arising out of good
conduct, morality and the performance of spiritual duties.
This is the first quality of a boat he ought to possess.

Again, just as a boat can withstand the onslaught of various
waves and of far-reaching whirlpools, even so, should he
who practises mind-development, be able to withstand the
onslaught of the waves of defilements, and of the sweeping
billows of varied evils: worldly gain with honour and fame,
veneration, increase of followers, celebrity, being
worshipped, idolised, being blamed, being praised, being
rich or poor, being adored or being disliked. This is the
second of the qualities of a boat he ought to possess.

Again, as the boat journeys over the great ocean,
immeasurable and infinite though it be, without a further
shore, unfathomable, roaring with a thunderous noise, and
filled with swarms of fish of the predatory kind, and other
monsters of the deep.


197

Even so, should he who practises mind-development, make
his mind journey through to the penetration into the Four
Truths in their three modes and in their twelvefold form.
This is the third of the qualities of the boat he ought to
possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One, in the SaccÈ SaÑyutta
of the SaÑyutta NikÈya:
O bhikkh|,
“Whenever you are contemplating,
You should contemplate:

‘This is the truth about suffering,’
‘This is the truth about the origin of suffering,’
‘This is the truth about extinction of suffering,’
‘This is the path leading to the extinction of suffering’.”

nÈva~gapaÒ nÈva~gapaÒ nÈva~gapaÒ nÈva~gapaÒho paÒcamo ho paÒcamo ho paÒcamo ho paÒcamo
198

6 66 6. . . . nÈvÈlagganaka nÈvÈlagganaka nÈvÈlagganaka nÈvÈlagganaka~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the anchor ualities of the anchor ualities of the anchor ualities of the anchor

km km km km: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to arahantship must
adopt the two qualities of the anchor.’ Which two?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the anchor, even in the great ocean, in the expanse
of waters agitated by boisterious waves, will fasten the
boat, and keep it still, not letting the sea take it in one
direction or another. Even so, should he who practises
mind-development, keeps his mind directed with one-
pointedness of attention on the single mind-object buffeted
about by boisterious waves of scattered thoughts in the
billows of greed, hate and delusion, not letting the scattered
thoughts take the mind in one direction or another. This is
the first quality of the anchor he ought to possess.

Again, as the anchor floats not, but remains sunk, and even
in water a hundred cubits deep holds the boat fast, brings it
to rest. Even so, should he who practises mind-
development, keep not afloat and conspicuous when visited
with worldly gain and fame, increase of followers and
attendants, celebrity, being adored, being worshipped and
idolised, veneration, and respect; be not lifted up on the
summit of the support or the fame, but keep his mind fixed
on the idea of merely keeping his body alive. This is the
second quality of the anchor he ought to possess.

It was said by the Venerable SÈriputta: ‘As the anchor
floats not, but sinks down beneath the waves, so be humble,
not lifted up by praise or gifts.’

nÈvÈlagganaka nÈvÈlagganaka nÈvÈlagganaka nÈvÈlagganaka~gapaÒho chaÔÔho ~gapaÒho chaÔÔho ~gapaÒho chaÔÔho ~gapaÒho chaÔÔho
199

7 77 7. . . . k|pa k|pa k|pa k|pa~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Quality of the mast uality of the mast uality of the mast uality of the mast

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the one quality of the mast.’ What
is that one quality?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the mast carries ropes, leather braces and sails, even
so should he who practises mind-development, always have
mindfulness, clear comprehension and understanding when:
• stepping forward and backward;
• looking forward and sideways;
• bending or stretching his limbs;
• wearing the robes or carrying his alms-bowl;
• eating, drinking, chewing or tasting;
• easing the bowels and bladder;
• walking, standing, sitting, or lying down;
• asleep or awake, talking or keeping silent.

This is the one quality of the mast he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One:
‘Mindful, should the bhikkhu remain, and clearly
Comprehending. This is my instruction to you.’

k|pa~gapaÒho sattamo k|pa~gapaÒho sattamo k|pa~gapaÒho sattamo k|pa~gapaÒho sattamo

200

8 88 8. . . . niyÈmaka niyÈmaka niyÈmaka niyÈmaka~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the boat captain ualities of the boat captain ualities of the boat captain ualities of the boat captain

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the three qualities of the boat
captain.’ What are those three qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the boat captain, day and night, with continuous and
unceasing zeal and effort, navigates his boat. Even so, does
he who practises mind-development, when regulating his
mind, continue night and day with wise consideration,
dwell in contemplation on the consciousness: ardent, clearly
comprehending and attentive. This is the one quality of the
boat captain he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One in the Dhammapada:
‘Take delight in heedfulness and guard your mind well;
Draw yourself out of the cycle of birth and death;
Like the king’s elephant that extricates himself,
From the most difficult mire in which he was bogged.’

Again, as the boat captain knows all that is in the great
ocean, whether good or bad. Even so, should he who
practises mind-development, know wholesome from the
unwholesome; what is an offence from what is not; what is
mean from what is exalted; and what is grimy and dirty
from what is white and purified. This is the second quality
of the boat captain he ought to possess.

Again, as the boat captain puts up a sign on the boat’s
machinery reading: ‘Not to be touched by anyone.’


201

Even so, should he who practises mind-development, put a
note of self-control on his heart: ‘Let no unwholesome
thoughts arise.’ This is the third quality of the boat captain
he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One in the SaÑyutta NikÈya:
‘Think, O bhikkhu, no evil or unwholesome thoughts, such
as sensuous thoughts, thoughts of hate and of delusion.’

niyÈmaka niyÈmaka niyÈmaka niyÈmaka~gapaÒho aÔÔhamo ~gapaÒho aÔÔhamo ~gapaÒho aÔÔhamo ~gapaÒho aÔÔhamo

202

9 99 9. . . . kamm kamm kamm kammakÈra akÈra akÈra akÈra~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Quality of the boat’s deck uality of the boat’s deck uality of the boat’s deck uality of the boat’s deck- -- -hand hand hand hand

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the one quality of the boat’s deck-
hand.’ What is that one quality?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the boat’s deck-hand thinks thus: ‘I am a hireling,
and am working for my wage on board this boat. By means
of this boat is it that I get food and upkeep. I must not be
negligent, but with diligence should I perform my work on
this boat.’

Even so, should he who practises mind-development, think
thus: ‘In contemplating on this body of mine which has
only the four primary elements (mahÈ-bh|ta) as its
originating factors, I must exercise unremitting vigilance in
the practice of mindfulness with clear comprehension and
with attention being solely and ardently devoted to a single
mind-object so that I may gain freedom from birth, old age,
disease, death, sorrow, lamentation, grief and despair.’

This is the one quality of the boat’s deck hand he ought to
possess.

For it was said by the Venerable SÈriputta, commander of
the dhamma:
‘Contemplate on this body (of its three characteristics of
existence). Know it again and again. If you can see the
nature of the body, you will have realised nibbÈna and put
an end to all suffering.’

kammakÈra~gapaÒho navam kammakÈra~gapaÒho navam kammakÈra~gapaÒho navam kammakÈra~gapaÒho navamo oo o

203

10 10 10 10. . . . samudda samudda samudda samudda~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the ocean ualities of the ocean ualities of the ocean ualities of the ocean

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the five qualities of the ocean.’
What are those five qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the ocean brooks no contact with a corpse, even so,
should he who practises mind-development, brook no
association with defilements of evil conduct: greed, hate,
delusion, conceit, heresy, disrespect, rivalry, envy,
selfishness, deception and craftiness. This is the first
quality of the ocean he ought to possess.

Again, just as the ocean confines within it all kinds of
gems: pearls, rubies, cat's-eyes, conch-shells, quartz, coral,
and crystal, but conceals them all. Even so, should he who
practises mind-development, though he has attained to the
various jewel treasures of virtue of the path and fruition,
absorptions, deliverance, concentration, attainments,
insight, and the higher spiritual powers, conceals them and
not bring them to the light. This is the second quality of the
sea he ought to possess.

Again, just as the ocean associates with mighty creatures,
even so, should he who practises mind-development,
associates himself with a fellow-disciple who:
• desires little,
• is easily contented,
• teaches the means of eradicating defilements,
• is given to live a life of austerity,
• is of good conduct,
• is conscious of moral shame,
• observes moral laws,
204

• is worthy of high esteem,
• is developed in mental tranquillity and insight,
• is amenable to admonitory rebukes,
• is capable of pointing out faults of his associates,
• is capable of blaming others when they do wrong,
• is capable of instructing others,
• is capable of admonishing others,
• is capable of bringing others to the understanding of
the dhamma,
• is capable of teaching the dhamma,
• is capable of inciting others to practise the dhamma,
• is capable of arousing enthusiasm,
• is capable of making spirits lively, and
• makes himself a virtuous friend.

This is the third quality of the ocean he ought to possess.

Again, as the ocean, though filled with the fresh water
brought down by the Ganges, JumnÈ, AcÊravatÊ, Sarabh|,
MahÊ, and by other rivers a hundred thousand in number,
and by the rains of heaven, yet never overflows its shore.
Even so, should he who practises mind-development, never
consciously transgress the precepts for the sake of worldly
gain and fame, veneration, adoration, being worshipped and
idolised, or even for the sake of saving one’s life. This is
the fourth of the qualities of the ocean he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One:
‘Just as the great ocean has fixity as its characteristic and
never overflows its shores; even so should My disciples
never transgress the disciplinary rules I have laid down for
them - no! Not even for the sake of saving their own lives.’

205

Again, as the ocean is not filled even by all the rivers: the
Ganges, JumnÈ, AcÊravatÊ, Sarabh|, and the MahÊ, nor by
the rains from heaven; even so, should he who practises
mind-development, never be satisfied with receiving
instruction, with asking and answering questions, with
listening to the word, and learning it by heart, and
examining into it, with hearing the abhidhamma and the
vinaya, and the deep sayings of the sutta, with analysis of
forms, with learning the rules of right composition,
conjunction, and grammatical construction, with listening to
the ninefold Teaching of the Blessed One. This is the fifth
quality of the ocean he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One in the Sutasoma JÈtaka:
‘Just as the fire, in burning grass and sticks,
Is never satisfied, nor the great ocean
Filled with the waters of all streams that flow -
So are these wise learners, O king of kings,
Listening, never sated with the words of the dhamma.’

samudda~gapaÒho dasamo samudda~gapaÒho dasamo samudda~gapaÒho dasamo samudda~gapaÒho dasamo

s ss samudda amudda amudda amuddavaggo dutiyo vaggo dutiyo vaggo dutiyo vaggo dutiyo
206

Chapter 3 Chapter 3 Chapter 3 Chapter 3

pathavÊvagga pathavÊvagga pathavÊvagga pathavÊvagga
T TT The earth he earth he earth he earth

1. pathavÊa~gapaÒha 207
Qualities of the earth
2. Èpa~gapaÒha 209
Qualities of water
3. teja~gapaÒha 211
Qualities of fire
4. vÈyu~gapaÒha 213
Qualities of wind
5. pabbata~gapaÒha 215
Qualities of the mountain
6. ÈkÈsata~gapaÒha 218
Qualities of space
7. canda~gapaÒha 220
Qualities of the moon
8. s|riya~gapaÒha 222
Qualities of the sun
9. sakka~gapaÒha 224
Qualities of Sakka
10. cakkavatti~gapaÒha 225
Qualities of a universal monarch
207

1. pathavÊa~gapaÒha 1. pathavÊa~gapaÒha 1. pathavÊa~gapaÒha 1. pathavÊa~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the earth ualities of the earth ualities of the earth ualities of the earth

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the five qualities of the earth.’ What
are those five qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the earth remains the same whether one scatters
upon it desirable things or the undesirable ones, whether
camphor, aloe, jasmine, sandalwood and saffron, or
whether bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, saliva, mucus,
the fluid which lubricates the joints, urine and faeces; still
it is the same. Even so, should he who practises mind-
development, remain the same, unmoved and uncorrupted
by all such things as:
• pleasant (iÔÔhÈ), unpleasant (aniÔÔhÈ),
• gain (lÈbho), loss (alÈbho),
• fame (yaso), dishonour (ayaso),
• praise (pasaÑsÈ), blame (nindÈ),
• happiness (sukhaÑ), misery (dukkhaÑ).

This is the first of the qualities of the earth he ought to
possess.

Again, as the earth has no adornment, no garlands, but is
suffused with the odour of itself; even so, should he who
practises mind-development, wear no finery, but rather
pervade the surrounding atmosphere with the sweet
fragrance of his morality. This is the second of the qualities
of the earth he ought to possess.

Again, as the earth is solid, without holes or interstices,
thick, dense, and spreads itself out on every side.
208

Even so, should he who practises mind-development, be
endowed with an unbroken morality with no gaps or cracks
in it, thick, dense, and spreading itself out on every side.
This is the third of the qualities of the earth he ought to
possess.

Again, as the earth is never weary, though it bears up the
villages, towns, cities and countries; the trees, hills, rivers,
ponds and lakes; the beasts and birds; multitudes of men
and women. Even so, should he who practises mind-
development be never weary in giving exhortation,
admonition and instruction, in inciting others to practise the
dhamma, in arousing their enthusiasm, and in making their
spirits lively at the expositions of the dhamma. This is the
fourth of the qualities of the earth he ought to possess.

Again, as the earth is free alike from fawning and from ill
will; even so, should one who practises mind-development,
dwell with a mind, like the earth, free alike from fawning
upon any man, from ill will to any man. This is the fifth
quality of the earth he ought to possess.

For it was said by the devoted laywoman, C|Äa SubhaddÈ,
when she was exalting the bhikkh| in whom she was taking
refuge:
‘Were one, enraged, to cut their one arm with an axe,
Another, pleased, to anoint the other with sweet scent.
No ill will would they bear the one, nor love the other,
Their hearts are like the earth, unmoved are my samaÓa.’

pathavÊa~gapaÒ pathavÊa~gapaÒ pathavÊa~gapaÒ pathavÊa~gapaÒho pa ho pa ho pa ho paÔ ÔÔ Ôhamo hamo hamo hamo
209

2 22 2. . . . Èp Èp Èp Èpa~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of water ualities of water ualities of water ualities of water

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the five qualities of water.’ What
are those five qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as water is firmly fixed, shakes not, and not slimy but
pure by nature. Even so, should he who practises mind-
development, avoiding hypocrisy, whining, intimating his
wants, overbearing talks; be fixed, unshaken, unslimy and
pure in conduct in every respect. This is the first of the
qualities of water he ought to possess.

Again, as water is always of a cool nature, even so, should
he who practises mind-development, be full of patience,
love and kindness to all beings, forever seeking the good of
all, having compassion to all in terms of eternities. This is
the second of the qualities of water he ought to possess.

Again, as water cleans, even so, should he who practises
mind-development, be in all places, whether in the village
or in the forest, avoid entering into wrangling
conversations with, or doing offence against his preceptor,
teachers or those of his peers who are teachers of different
standing. This is the third of the qualities of water he ought
to possess.

Again, as water is desired of all men, even so, should he
who practises mind-development, desiring for little, is
content, given to solitude and retirement, be always an
object of desire to all the world. This is the fourth of the
qualities of water he ought to possess.

210

Again, as water works no harm to any man, even so, should
he who practises mind-development, never do any wrong,
whether in deed, word or thought, which would produce in
others either strife, quarrel, contention, dispute, an empty
feeling, or ill feeling. This is the fifth of the qualities of
water he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One in the KaÓha JÈtaka:
‘If you would grant a boon to me,
O Sakka, lord of all gods,
let none, Sakka, on my account,
be harmed, whether in mind or body,
at any time or place.
This, Sakka, would I choose as boon of boons.’

Èpa~gapaÒho dutiyo Èpa~gapaÒho dutiyo Èpa~gapaÒho dutiyo Èpa~gapaÒho dutiyo
211

3 33 3. . . . tej tej tej teja~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of fire ualities of fire ualities of fire ualities of fire

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the five qualities of fire.’ What are
those five qualities?
v vv vn nn n: Just as fire burns grass, sticks, branches and leaves, even
so, should he who practises mind-development, burn out in
the fire of wisdom, all defilements which feed on objects
of thought, whether internal or external, whether pleasant
or unpleasant. This is the first of the qualities of fire he
ought to possess.

Again, as fire has neither pity nor compassion, even so,
should he who practises mind-development, show neither
pity nor compassion to any defilement. This is the second
of the qualities of fire he ought to possess.

Again, as fire destroys cold, even so, should he who
practises mind-development, lighting up in his heart the
burning fire of zeal, destroy all defilements therein. This is
the third of the qualities of fire he ought to possess.

Again, as fire, seeking no favour of any man, bearing no ill
will to any man, produces heat for all; even so, should he
who practises mind-development, dwell in spirit like the
fire, fawning on none, bearing ill will to none. This is the
fourth of the qualities of fire he ought to possess.

Again, as fire dispels darkness, and shows the light, even
so, should he who practises mind-development, dispel the
darkness of ignorance, and show the light of knowledge.
This is the fifth of the qualities of fire he ought to possess.
212

For it was said by the Blessed One in his exhortation to
RÈhula, his son:
‘Develop, RÈhula, the practice of meditation which acts like
fire. There are both desirable and undesirable phenomena
of physical and mental contact which have not yet arisen,
not arise within you, nor shall they that have arisen take
hold of and overpower your mind.’

teja~gapaÒho tatiyo teja~gapaÒho tatiyo teja~gapaÒho tatiyo teja~gapaÒho tatiyo
213

4 44 4. . . . vÈyu vÈyu vÈyu vÈyu~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of wind ualities of wind ualities of wind ualities of wind

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the five qualities of wind.’ What are
those five qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as wind pervades the space in the woods and groves in
flowering time, even so, should he who practises mind-
development, take delight in the woods and groves of
meditation that are all in blossom with the sublime flowers
of emancipation. This is the first of the qualities of wind he
ought to possess.

Again, as wind sets all the trees that grow upon the earth in
agitation, even so, should he who practises mind-
development, retiring into the midst of the woods, there
examining into the true nature of all conditioned
phenomena, beat down all defilements. This is the second
of the qualities of wind he ought to possess.

Again, as the wind wanders through the sky, even so,
should he who practises mind-development, set one’s mind
to wander and graze in the pasture of supramundane
pursuits. This is the third of the qualities of wind he ought
to possess.

Again, as wind carries perfume along, even so, should he
who practises mind-development, carry along with him
always the fragrant perfume of his own sublime morality.
This is the fourth of the qualities of wind he ought to
possess.

214

Again, as wind has no place of permanent abode, or any
place as headquarters, even so, should he who practises
mind-development, having no place of permanent abode, or
having nothing as his headquarters, and having no
companion, become detached and liberated from all kinds
of sense objects. This is the fifth of the qualities of wind he
ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One in the Sutta NipÈta:
‘In friendship of the world anxiety is born,
In household life distraction's dust lies thick;
The state set free from home and friendship's ties,
That, and that only, is the samaÓa’s aim.’

v vv vÈyu~gapaÒho catuttho Èyu~gapaÒho catuttho Èyu~gapaÒho catuttho Èyu~gapaÒho catuttho
215

5 55 5. . . . pabb pabb pabb pabbata ata ata ata~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the mountain ualities of the mountain ualities of the mountain ualities of the mountain

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the five qualities of the mountain.’
What are those five qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the mountain is unshaken, immoveable and
unswayed, even so, should he who practises mind-
development, not be attracted to being treated with
adoration or non-adoration, respect or disrespect,
consideration or neglect; being attended with fame or
dishonour, praise or blame, happiness or misery; attracted
to sense-objects such as form, sound, odour, taste, touch, or
mind-object; be offended by things that give offence, or
bewildered on occasions of bewilderment; neither should
he quake nor tremble.

But like a mountan should one remain unmoved. This is the
first of the qualities of the mountain he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One:
‘The solid mountain not shaken by the wind,
Even so the wise man falters not, unshaken,
at praise or blame.’

Again, as a mountain is firm, unmixed with extraneous
things, even so, should he who practises mind-development,
be firm and independent, given to association with none.
This is the second of the qualities of the mountain he ought
to possess.



216

For it was said by the Blessed One:
‘The man who mixes not with householders,
Nor with the homeless, but who wanders alone,
Without attachment, and touched by few desires,
Such a one do I call a brÈhmaÓa.’

Again, as on the mountain no seed will take root, even so,
should he who practises mind-development, never permit
defilement to take root in his mind. This is the third of the
qualities of mountain that he ought to possess.

For it was said by Subhuti the Elder:
‘When thoughts of passion arise within my heart,
Examining myself, alone I beat them down.
Those who by passion excited, who by things
That give offence, allows offence.
Feeling bewildered when strange things occur,
Should you retire far from the lonely woods.
For they're the dwelling-place of men made pure,
Austere in life, free from the stains of evil.
Defile not that pure place. Leave you the woods.’

Again, just as the mountain rises aloft, even so, should he
who practises mind-development, rise aloft through
knowledge. This is the fourth of the qualities of the
mountain he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One:
‘When the wise man supplants heedlessness
With vigilance he climbs the terraced heights
Of the tower of wisdom, and, free from care,
Looks over the vain world, the careworn crowd,
As he who standing on the mountain top
Can watch his fellow-men still toiling on the plain.’
217

Again, just as the mountain cannot be made to rise higher
up or sink lower down, even so, should he who practises
mind-development, be neither lifted up nor depressed by
worldly conditions. This is the fifth of the qualities of the
mountain he ought to possess.

For it was said by the devout woman, C|Äa SubhaddÈ, when
she was exalting the bhikkh| she was taking refuge in:
‘The world is lifted up by gain, depressed by loss.
These samaÓa remain alike in gain or loss.’

pabbata pabbata pabbata pabbata~gapaÒho paÒcamo ~gapaÒho paÒcamo ~gapaÒho paÒcamo ~gapaÒho paÒcamo

218

6 66 6. . . . Èk Èk Èk ÈkÈ ÈÈ Èsa sa sa sa~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of space ualities of space ualities of space ualities of space

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the five qualities of space.’ What
are those five qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as space is everywhere, impossible to touch, even so,
should it be impossible for he who practises mind-
development, to be anywhere taken hold of by defilements.
This is the first of the qualities of space he ought to
possess.

Again, as space is the familiar resort of the Buddhas,
ariyas, ascetics, gods, and flocks of birds, even so, should
he who practises mind-development, set his mind to wander
over the conditioned phenomena in which are the
characteristics of impermanence, sorrow, and without an
entity. This is the second of the qualities of space he ought
to possess.

Again, as space inspires terror, even so, should he who
practises mind-development, train his mind to be in dread
and terror of all processes of existence and seek no
happiness therein. This is the third of the qualities of space
he ought to possess.

Again, as space is infinite, boundless, and immeasurable,
even so, should he who practises mind-development,
become possessed of morality that knows no limit, and
knowledge that is incomparable. This is the fourth of the
qualities of space he ought to possess.

219

Again, as space does not hang on to anything, does not
cling to anything, does not rest on anything, is not stopped
by anything, even so, should one who practises mind-
development, neither in any way depend on, cling to, rest
on, nor be hindered by either the families that minister to
him, the pupils who resort to him, the support he receives,
the dwelling he occupies, any belongings that act as fetters,
or any kind of defilements. This is the fifth of the qualities
of space he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One, in his exhortation to
RÈhula, his son:
‘Just, RÈhula, as space rests nowhere on anything, so
should you practise meditation which is like space. Thereby
shall neither pleasant nor unpleasant sensations that have
arisen take hold of and overpower your mind.’

Èk Èk Èk ÈkÈ ÈÈ Èsa~gapaÒho chaÔÔ sa~gapaÒho chaÔÔ sa~gapaÒho chaÔÔ sa~gapaÒho chaÔÔho ho ho ho
220

7 77 7. . . . canda canda canda canda~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the moon ualities of the moon ualities of the moon ualities of the moon

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the five qualities of the moon.’
What are those five qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the moon, rising in the bright fortnight, waxes more
and more, even so, should he who practises mind-
development, grow more and more in the virtues of
morality, the constant performance of duty, realising the
supramundane path and fruition, dwelling in seclusion, and
in keeping the doors of his senses guarded. This is the first
of the qualities of the moon he ought to possess.

Again, as the moon is the predominant lord over the stars
in the firmaments of heaven, even so, should he who
practises mind-development, be the predominant mighty
lord over his own will. This is the second of the qualities of
the moon he ought to possess.

Again, as the moon wanders at night, even so, should he
who practises mind-development, be given to solitude. This
is the third quality of the moon he ought to possess.

Again, as the moon is a standard raised high above a
mansion, even so, should he who practises mind-
development, have a standard of morality raised high. This
is the fourth of the qualities of the moon he ought to
possess.



221

Again, as the moon rises when requested for and yearned
for doing so, even so, should he who practises mind-
development, frequent for alms those donors who have
asked and invited one to do so. This is the fifth quality of
the moon he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One in the SaÑyutta NikÈya:
‘Like the moon, bhikkh|, do you approach the laity.
Modestly drawing back both in body and mind, ever
unobstrusive among the families as a newly ordained
bhikkhu.’

canda~gapaÒho sattamo canda~gapaÒho sattamo canda~gapaÒho sattamo canda~gapaÒho sattamo
222

8 88 8. . . . s|riya s|riya s|riya s|riya~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the sun ualities of the sun ualities of the sun ualities of the sun

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the seven qualities of the sun.’
What are those seven qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the sun evaporates all water, even so, should he who
practises mind-development, cause all defilements, without
any exception, to dry up within him. This is the first of the
qualities of the sun he ought to possess.

Again, as the sun dispels the darkness, even so, should he
who practises mind-development, dispel all the darkness of
greed, hate, delusion, conceit, speculative views,
defilements, and of all unrighteousness. This is the second
of the qualities of the sun he ought to possess.

Again, as the sun is always in motion, even so, should he
who practises mind-development with wise consideration.
This is the third quality of the sun he ought to possess.

Again, as the sun has a halo of rays, even so, should he
who practises mind-development, have a halo of objects of
mindfulness contemplation. This is the fourth of the
qualities of the sun he ought to possess.

Again, as the sun continually warms multitudes of people,
even so, should he who practises mind-development, warms
multitudes of people with the:
• virtue of moral perfection and good conduct,
• virtue of the performance of duty,
• attainment of jhÈna,
• attainment of emancipation,
223

• attainment of concentration,
• attainment of the 8 absorptions,
• attainment of the 5 mental faculties,
• attainment of the 5 mental powers,
• development of the 7 factors of enlightenment,
• development of the 4 applications of mindfulness,
• development of the 4 right efforts, and
• development of the 4 roads to power.
This is the fifth quality of the sun he ought to possess.

Again, as the sun is terrified with the fear of RÈhu (the
demon of eclipses), even so, should he who practises mind-
development, seeing how beings are entangled in the waste
wilderness of evil, life and rebirth in states of suffering,
caught in the net of mournful results here of evil done in
former births, of punishment in hell, or of defilements;
terrifies one’s mind with great anxiety and fear. This is the
sixth of the qualities of the sun he ought to possess.

Again, as the sun exposes evil and good, even so, should he
who practises mind-development, manifest mental faculties,
mental powers, factors of enlightenment, foundations of
mindfulness, right efforts and roads to power. This is the
seventh quality of the sun he ought to possess.

For it was said by Va~gisa the Elder:
‘As the rising sun makes plain to all that live
Forms pure and impure, forms both good and bad.
So should the bhikkhu, like the rising orb,
Bearing the truth ever in his mind,
Make manifest to men, in ignorance blind,
The many-sided Noble Path of bliss.’

s|riya s|riya s|riya s|riya~gapaÒho aÔÔhamo ~gapaÒho aÔÔhamo ~gapaÒho aÔÔhamo ~gapaÒho aÔÔhamo
224

9 99 9. . . . sakka sakka sakka sakka~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of Sakka ualities of Sakka ualities of Sakka ualities of Sakka

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the three qualities of Sakka.’ What
are those three qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as Sakka enjoys perfect bliss, even so, should he who
practises mind-development, rejoice in the perfect bliss of
retirement. This is the first of the qualities of Sakka he
ought to possess.

Again, as when Sakka, on seeing his gods around him,
would make them feel uplifted and rejoiced. Even so,
should he who practises mind-development, keep his mind
uplifted and rejoicing, put forth his energy, make
promptings and exertions, so that in doing wholesome
deeds, there may not be backwards or laziness and that
there may be tranquillity of mind. This is the second of the
qualities of Sakka he ought to possess.

Again, as Sakka feels no discontent, even so, should he who
practises mind-development, never allow himself to
become discontented with solitude. This is the third of the
qualities of Sakka he ought to possess.

For it was said by Subhuti the Elder:
‘Since having renounced the world,
According to the doctrine that you teach,
I will not grant that any thought of lust
Or craving care has risen in my mind.’

sakka sakka sakka sakka~gapaÒho navamo ~gapaÒho navamo ~gapaÒho navamo ~gapaÒho navamo
225

10 10 10 10. . . . cakkavatti cakkavatti cakkavatti cakkavatti~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of a universal monarch ualities of a universal monarch ualities of a universal monarch ualities of a universal monarch

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the four qualities of a universal
monarch.’ What are those four qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the universal monarch bestows upon the people in
four ways
1 11 1
of showing favour (sa~gaha-vatthu), even so,
should he who practises mind-development, should uplift
the minds of the four assemblies
2 22 2
(parisÈ), supporting them
and gladdening their hearts. This is the first of the qualities
of a universal monarch he ought to possess.

Again, as the universal monarch allows no robber bands to
form in his realm; even so, should he who practises mind-
development, never allow sensuous, hateful or cruel
thoughts to arise within him. This is the second quality of a
universal monarch he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One:
‘The man who takes delight in the suppression
Of evil thoughts, and develop contemplation on
Loathsomeness of objects,
Reflects on the impurity of things
The world thinks beautiful, he will remove
Cut in two, the bonds of the Evil One.’

Again, as the universal monarch travels through the whole
world, even to the confines of the earth bordered by the
ocean for the purpose of examining into the evil and the
good; even so, should he who practises mind-development,
examine himself day by day as to his acts, words and
thoughts, saying to himself:
226

‘Have I passed the day blameless in all these three
directions?’ This is the third of the qualities of a universal
monarch he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One in the A~guttara NikÈya:
‘With constant care should the bhikkhu
Himself examine day by day -
As days and nights pass quickly by
How have they found me? And how left?’

Again, as the universal monarch is completely provided
with protection, both within and without, even so, should he
who practises mind-development, keep mindfulness as his
door-keeper, as a protection against all defilement, internal
and external. This is the fourth quality of a universal
monarch he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One:
‘With mindfulness as his door-keeper, O bhikkhu, the noble
disciple puts away the unwholesome deeds and develops
the wholesome deeds; puts away what is matter of offence
and devotes himself to blamelessness, preserves himself in
purity of conduct.’

cakkavatti cakkavatti cakkavatti cakkavatti~gapaÒho dasamo ~gapaÒho dasamo ~gapaÒho dasamo ~gapaÒho dasamo

pathavÊvaggo pathavÊvaggo pathavÊvaggo pathavÊvaggo tatiyo tatiyo tatiyo tatiyo

Notes:
1. sa~gaha-vatthu: literality, kindly speech, beneficial actions,
impartiality.
2. parisÈ: noble, Brahmins, householders, wanderers.
227

Chapter 4 Chapter 4 Chapter 4 Chapter 4

upacikÈvagga upacikÈvagga upacikÈvagga upacikÈvagga
Chapter on the white ant Chapter on the white ant Chapter on the white ant Chapter on the white ant

1. upacika~gapaÒha 228
Quality of the white ant
2. biÄÈra~gapaÒha 229
Qualities of the cat
3. und|ra~gapaÒha 231
Quality of the rat
4. vicchika~gapaÒha 232
Quality of the scorpion
5. nakula~gapaÒha 233
Quality of mongoose
6. jarasi~gÈla~gapaÒha 234
Qualities of the old male jackal
7. miga~gapaÒha 236
Qualities of the deer
8. gor|pa~gapaÒha 238
Qualities of the bull
9. varÈha~gapaÒha 240
Qualities of the boar
10. hatthi~gapaÒha 241
Qualities of the elephant

228

1. 1. 1. 1. upacika~gapaÒha upacika~gapaÒha upacika~gapaÒha upacika~gapaÒha

Q QQ Quality of the white ant uality of the white ant uality of the white ant uality of the white ant

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the one quality of the white ant.’
What is that one quality?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the white ant goes in search of food only when he
has made a roof over himself, and covered himself up;
even so, should he who practises mind-development, on his
round for alms, cover up his mind with morality and self-
restraint as a roof. For in so doing, he will pass beyond all
fear of danger. This is the one quality of the white ant he
ought to possess.

For it was said by Upasena Va~gantaputta the Elder:
‘The bhikkhu who covers up his mind,
Under the sheltering roof of morality,
And self-control, untarnished by the world
Remains, and is set free from every fear.’

upacika~gapaÒ upacika~gapaÒ upacika~gapaÒ upacika~gapaÒho paÔhamo ho paÔhamo ho paÔhamo ho paÔhamo
229

2. 2. 2. 2. b bb biÄÈr iÄÈr iÄÈr iÄÈra~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the cat ualities of the cat ualities of the cat ualities of the cat

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the two qualities of the cat.’ What
are those two qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the cat, in frequenting caves, hollowed trunks of
trees and the interiors of buildings with terraced roofs, does
so only in the search after rats; even so, should he who
practises mind-development, wherever he goes, be it to the
village, the woods, the foot of trees, or to a place of
solitude, be continually and always zealous in the search
after that which is his food - mindfulness. This is the first
of the qualities of the cat he ought to possess.

Again, as the cat in pursuing its prey always crouches
down; even so, should he who practises mind-development,
dwell repeatedly contemplating on the arising and
dissolution of those five groups of existence forming the
objects of attachment, reflecting; this phenomenon is:
− corporeality (r|pakkhandhÈ);
− the origin of corporeality (r|passa samudayo);
− the destruction of corporeality (r|passa attha~gamo);

− feeling (vedanÈ);
− the origin of feeling (vedanÈya samudayo);
− the destruction of feeling (vedanÈya attha~gamo);

− perception (saÒÒÈ);
− the origin of perception (saÒÒÈya samudayo);
− the destruction of perception (saÒÒÈya attha~gamo);


230

− mental-formation (sa~khÈra);
− the origin of mental-formation (sa~khÈranaÑ
samudayo);
− the destruction of mental-formation (sa~khÈranaÑ
attha~gamo);

− consciousness (viÒÒÈÓa);
− the origin of consciousness (viÒÒÈÓassa samudayo);
− the destruction of consciousness (viÒÒÈÓassa
attha~gamo).
This is the second of the qualities of the cat he ought to
possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One:
‘Seek not for rebirths afar in future states.
What could heaven itself advantage you!
Now, in this present world, and in the state
In which you find yourselves, be conquerors!’

b bb biÄÈra~gapaÒho iÄÈra~gapaÒho iÄÈra~gapaÒho iÄÈra~gapaÒho dutiyo dutiyo dutiyo dutiyo
231

3. und|r 3. und|r 3. und|r 3. und|ra~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha

Q QQ Quality of the rat uality of the rat uality of the rat uality of the rat

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the one quality of the rat.’ What is
that one quality?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the rat, wandering here and there, searching for
food; even so, should he who practises mind-development,
be ever in his wanderings here and there, always with wise
consideration. This is the quality of the rat he ought to
possess.

For it was said by Upasena Va~gantaputta the Elder:
‘Dwelling as one of insight,
Having made dhamma the head.
He dwells without shrinking,
Always tranquil and mindful.’

und|ra~gapaÒh und|ra~gapaÒh und|ra~gapaÒh und|ra~gapaÒho tatiyo o tatiyo o tatiyo o tatiyo
232

4. vicchik 4. vicchik 4. vicchik 4. vicchika~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha

Q QQ Quality of the scorpion uality of the scorpion uality of the scorpion uality of the scorpion

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the one quality of the scorpion.’
What is that one quality?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the scorpion, whose tail is its weapon, keeps its tail
erect as it wanders about; even so, should he who practises
mind-development, have knowledge as his weapon, and
dwell with his weapon of knowledge, always drawn. This is
the quality of the scorpion he ought to possess.

For it was said by Upasena Va~gantaputta the Elder:
‘With his sword of knowledge drawn,
The man of insight
Should ever be unconquerable in the fight,
Set free from every fear.’

vicchika~gapaÒ vicchika~gapaÒ vicchika~gapaÒ vicchika~gapaÒho catuttho ho catuttho ho catuttho ho catuttho

233

5. nakul 5. nakul 5. nakul 5. nakula~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha

Q QQ Quality of the mongoose uality of the mongoose uality of the mongoose uality of the mongoose

k kk km mm m: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the one quality of the mongoose.’
What is that one quality?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the mongoose, when attacking a snake, only does so
when it has covered its body with an antidote. Even so,
should he who practises mind-development, when
approaching people in whom anger and hatred are rife, who
are under the sway of quarrels, strife, disputes and
enmities, ever keep his mind anointed with the antidote of
loving-kindness. This is the quality of the mongoose he
ought to possess.

For it was said by the Venerable SÈriputta, commander of
the dhamma:
‘Therefore should loving-kindness be developed
For one's own kin,
And so for strangers too, and the whole wide world
Should be pervaded with loving-kindness.
This is the doctrine of the Buddhas all.’

nakula~gapaÒh nakula~gapaÒh nakula~gapaÒh nakula~gapaÒho paÒcamo o paÒcamo o paÒcamo o paÒcamo

234

6. jarasi~gÈl 6. jarasi~gÈl 6. jarasi~gÈl 6. jarasi~gÈla~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the old male jackal ualities of the old male jackal ualities of the old male jackal ualities of the old male jackal

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the two qualities of the old male
jackal.’ What are those two qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the old male jackal, whatever kind of food it finds,
feels no disgust, but eats of it as much as it requires. Even
so, should he who practises mind-development, eat without
disgust such food as he receives with the sole object of
keeping himself alive.

This is the first of the qualities of the old male jackal he
ought to possess.

For it was said by MahÈ Kassapa the Elder:
‘Leaving my dwelling-place, I entered once
Upon my round for alms, the village street.
A leper there I saw eating his meal,
And, as was meet, deliberately, in turn,
I stood beside him, too that he might give a gift.
He, with his hand all leprous and diseased,
Put in my bowl - it was all he had to give
A ball of rice; and as he placed it there
A finger, mortifying, broke and fell.
Seated behind a wall, that ball of food
I ate, and neither when I ate it,
Nor afterwards, did any loathing thought
Arise within my breast.’

Again, as the old male jackal, when it gets any food, does
not stop to examine it.
235

Even so, should he who practises mind-development, never
stop to find out whether food given to him is coarse or
fine, superb or mean, just as it is should he be satisfied with
it. This is the second of the qualities of the old male jackal
he ought to possess.

For it was said by Upasena Va~gantaputta the Elder:
‘Coarse food too should he enjoy,
Nor long for what is sweet to taste.
The mind enslaved by lust of taste
Can never enjoy the ecstacies
Of meditations high. The man content
With anything that's given - in him alone
Is samaÓaship made perfect.’

jarasi~gÈl jarasi~gÈl jarasi~gÈl jarasi~gÈla~gapaÒho chaÔÔho a~gapaÒho chaÔÔho a~gapaÒho chaÔÔho a~gapaÒho chaÔÔho

236

7. mig 7. mig 7. mig 7. miga~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the deer ualities of the deer ualities of the deer ualities of the deer

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the three qualities of the deer.’
What are those three qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the deer frequents the forest by day, and spends the
night in the open air; even so, should he who practises
mind-development, pass the day in the forest, and the night
under the open sky. This is the first of the qualities of the
deer he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One in the exposition called
the LomahaÑsana PariyÈya:
‘And I, SÈriputta, when the nights are cold and wintry, at
the time of the eights (the AÔÔhakÈ festivals), when the
snow is falling, at such times did I pass the night under the
open sky, and the day in the woods. In the last month of the
hot season, I spent the day under the open sky, and the
night in the woods.’

Again, as the deer, when a javelin or an arrow is falling
upon him, dodges it and escapes, not allowing its body to
remain in its way; even so, should he who practises mind-
development, when defilements fall upon him, dodge them,
and escape, placing not his mind in their way. This is the
second of the qualities of the deer he ought to possess.

Again, as the deer on catching sight of men, escapes this
way or that, that they may not see it.


237

Even so, should he who practises mind-development, when
he sees men of quarrelsome habits, given to disagreements,
disputes, immorality, laziness, and fondness of society, then
should he escape this or that way, that neither should they
see him, nor he them. This is the third of the qualities of
the deer he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Venerable SÈriputta, commander of
the dhamma:
‘Let not the man with evil in his heart,
Is lazy, bereft of zeal and energy,
Ignorant of the sacred words
Of wrong conduct,
Be associated with me.’

miga~gapaÒho sattamo miga~gapaÒho sattamo miga~gapaÒho sattamo miga~gapaÒho sattamo
238

8. gor|p 8. gor|p 8. gor|p 8. gor|pa~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the bull ualities of the bull ualities of the bull ualities of the bull

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the four qualities of the bull.’ What
are those four qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the bull never forsakes its own stall, even so, should
he who practises mind-development, never abandon his
own body on the ground that its nature is only the
decomposition, the wearing away, the dissolution, and the
destruction of that which is impermanent. This is the first
of the qualities of the bull he ought to possess.

Again, as the bull, when it has once taken the yoke upon it,
bears that yoke through all conditions of ease or of pain;
even so, should he who practises mind-development, when
he has once taken upon himself the life of a samaÓa, keep
to it, in happiness or in pain, to the end of his life, to his
last breath. This is the second of the qualities of the bull he
ought to possess.

Again, as the bull drinks water with never satiated desire,
even so, should he who practises mind-development,
receive the instructions of his teachers and masters with a
desire, love, and pleasure that is never satiated. This is the
third of the qualities of the bull he ought to possess.

Again, as the bull equally bears the yoke whoever puts it on
it, even so, should he who practises mind-development,
accept with bowed head, the admonitions and exhortations
of the elders, of the saÑgha, of junior or of middle
standing, and of the believing laity alike. This is the fourth
of the qualities of the bull he ought to possess.
239

For it was said by the Venerable SÈriputta, commander of
the dhamma:
‘A novice, seven years of age, a boy
Only today received ordination.
He too may teach me, and with bended head,
His admonitions will I gladly bear.
Time after time, wherever I meet him, still
My strong approval, and my esteem, will I
Lavish upon him and with respect
Yield the honoured place of teacher to him.’

gor|pa~gapaÒh gor|pa~gapaÒh gor|pa~gapaÒh gor|pa~gapaÒho aÔÔhamo o aÔÔhamo o aÔÔhamo o aÔÔhamo

240

9. varÈh 9. varÈh 9. varÈh 9. varÈha~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the boar ualities of the boar ualities of the boar ualities of the boar

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the two qualities of the boar.’ What
are those two qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the boar, in the scorching weather of the hot season,
resorts to the water; even so, should he who practises mind-
development, when his heart is distracted and ready to fall,
all in a whirl, inflamed by anger, resort to the cool,
ambrosial, sweet water of the meditation on loving-
kindness. This is the first of the qualities of the boar he
ought to possess.

Again, as the boar, resorting to muddy water, digs into the
swamp with its snout, and making a trough for itself, lies
down there. Even so, should he who practises mind-
development, put his body away in his mind, and lie down
in the midst of contemplation. This is the second of the
qualities of the boar he ought to possess.

For it was said by PiÓÉola-bhÈradvÈja the Elder:
‘Alone, with no one near, the man of insight,
Searching into and finding out the nature
Of this body, can lay him down to rest
On the sweet bed of contemplations deep.’

varÈh varÈh varÈh varÈha~gapaÒho navamo a~gapaÒho navamo a~gapaÒho navamo a~gapaÒho navamo
241

10. hatthi 10. hatthi 10. hatthi 10. hatthi~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the elephant ualities of the elephant ualities of the elephant ualities of the elephant

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the five qualities of the elephant.’
What are those five qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the elephant, as it walks about, crushes the earth,
even so, should he who practises mind-development,
contemplating on the body, crush out all defilements. This
is the first of the qualities of the elephant he ought to
possess.

Again, as the elephant turns its whole body when it looks,
always looking straight ahead, not glancing around this way
and that; even so, should he who practises mind-
development, turn his whole body when he looks, looking
straight ahead, not glancing round this way and that, not
looking aloft, not looking down below, but keeping his eyes
fixed about a yoke's length in front of him. This is the
second of the qualities of the elephant he ought to possess.

Again, as the elephant has no permanent lair, even in
seeking its food does not always frequent the same spot,
has no fixed place of abode; even so, should he who
practises mind-development, have no permanent resting-
place. Having no attachment, he should go his rounds for
alms. Full of insight, wherever he sees a pleasant suitable
congenial place, whether in a hut, at the foot of a tree, in a
cave, or on a mountain side, there should he approach for
dwelling, not taking up a fixed abode. This is the third of
the qualities of the elephant he ought to possess.

242

Again, as the elephant revels in the water, plunging into
glorious lotus ponds full of clear pure cool water, and
covered-over with lotuses yellow, blue, red and white,
sporting there in the games in which the mighty beast
delights. Even so, should he who practises mind-
development, plunge into the glorious ponds of mindfulness
practice, covered with the flowers of emancipation, filled
with the delicious waters of the pure and stainless, clear
and limpid Truth. There should he by knowledge shake off
and drive away the conditioned phenomena; there should he
revel in the sport that is the delight of the samaÓa. This is
the fourth quality of the elephant he ought to possess.

Again, as the elephant lifts up its foot with care, and puts it
down with care; even so, should he who practises mind-
development, exercise mindfulness and clear
comprehension in lifting up his feet and in putting them
down, in going or returning, in stretching his arm or
drawing it back, and in all other kinds of physical
movements and postures. This is the fifth of the qualities of
the elephant he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One in the SaÑyutta NikÈya:
‘Good is restraint in action,
And good restraint in speech,
Good is restraint in thought,
Restraint throughout is good.
Well guarded is he said to be
Who is ashamed of sin, in all things self-controlled.’

hatthi~gapaÒho hatthi~gapaÒho hatthi~gapaÒho hatthi~gapaÒho dasamo dasamo dasamo dasamo

upacikÈvaggo upacikÈvaggo upacikÈvaggo upacikÈvaggo catuttho catuttho catuttho catuttho
243

Chapter 5 Chapter 5 Chapter 5 Chapter 5

sÊhavagga sÊhavagga sÊhavagga sÊhavagga
Chapter on the lion Chapter on the lion Chapter on the lion Chapter on the lion

1. sÊha~gapaÒha 244
Qualities of the lion
2. cakkavÈka~gapaÒha 247
Qualities of the cakkavÈka bird
3. peÓÈhika~gapaÒha 248
Qualities of the penÈhikÈ bird
4. gharakapota~gapaÒha 249
Quality of the house pigeons
5. ul|ka~gapaÒha 250
Qualities of the owl
6. satapatta~gapaÒha 251
Quality of the Indian crane
7. vagguli~gapaÒha 252
Qualities of the bat
8. jal|ka~gapaÒha 254
Quality of the leech
9. sappa~gapaÒha 255
Qualities of the snake
10. ajagara~gapaÒha 256
Quality of the rock-snake
244

1. 1. 1. 1. sÊha~gapaÒha sÊha~gapaÒha sÊha~gapaÒha sÊha~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the lion ualities of the lion ualities of the lion ualities of the lion

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the seven qualities of the lion.’
What are those seven qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the lion is of a clear, stainless, and pure light yellow
colour, even so, should he who practises mind-
development, be clear, stainless, pure and light in mind,
free from anger and moroseness. This is the first of the
qualities of the lion he ought to possess.

Again, as the lion has four paws by means of which it goes
about with utmost confidence, even so, should he who
practises mind-development, move along with the four
powers as the basis of his training. This is the second of the
qualities of the lion he ought to possess.

Again, as the lion has a beautiful mane, even so, should he
who practises mind-development, have a beautiful mane of
moral perfection. This is the third of the qualities of the
lion he ought to possess.

Again, as the lion, even were its life to cease, bows down
before no living being. Even so, should he who practises
mind-development, though he should be deficient in
requisites of a samaÓa: robes, alms-food, dwelling and
medicine, never bow down to any man. This is the fourth
of the qualities of the lion he ought to possess.

Again, as the lion eats regularly on wherever its prey falls,
there does it eat whatever it requires, and seeks not out the
best morsels of flesh.
245

Even so, should he who practises mind-development, eat
his alms-food in regular order, not selecting or giving
preference to families where he would be given better
food, not missing out any house upon his rounds, not
picking and choosing in eating. Wherever he may have
received a mouthful of rice there should he eat it, seeking
not for the best morsels. This is the fifth of the qualities of
the lion he ought to possess.

Again, as the lion does not store up the food it eats, and
when having once eaten of its prey returns not again to it;
even so, should he who practises mind-development, never
be a hoarder of food. This is the sixth of the qualities of the
lion he ought to possess.

Again, as the lion, even if it gets no food, is not alarmed
nor beset with yearning. If it does get food, then it eats
without craving, without being dazed, without being over-
avaricious. Even so, should he who practises mind-
development, be not alarmed nor beset with a yearning
even if he gets no food. If he does, then should he eat it
without craving, without being dazed, without being over-
avaricious, observant of the danger in the lust of taste, in
full knowledge of the right practice that leads to
emancipation. This is the seventh of the qualities of the lion
he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One in the SaÑyutta NikÈya,
when He was exalting MahÈ Kassapa the Elder:
‘This Kassapa, O bhikkh|, is content with such alms-food
as he receives, and always having words of praise for the
virtue of being content with whatever food one gets.

246

‘He is not guilty of anything improper or unbecoming for
the sake of an alms. If he receives none, yet is he not
alarmed nor beset with yearning for it, and if he does then
does he eat it without craving, without being dazed, without
being over-avaricious, observant of the danger, with full
knowledge of the right practice that leads to emancipation.’

sÊha~gapaÒh sÊha~gapaÒh sÊha~gapaÒh sÊha~gapaÒho o o o paÔhamo paÔhamo paÔhamo paÔhamo
247

2. cakkavÈk 2. cakkavÈk 2. cakkavÈk 2. cakkavÈka~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha
Q QQ Qualities of the cakkavÈka bird ualities of the cakkavÈka bird ualities of the cakkavÈka bird ualities of the cakkavÈka bird

km km km km: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to arahantship must
adopt the three qualities of the cakkavÈka bird.’ Which
three?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the cakkavÈka bird never forsakes its mate even to
the close of its life, even so, should he who practises mind-
development, never, even to the close of his life, give up
wise consideration. This is the first quality of
the cakkavÈka bird he ought to possess.

Again, as the cakkavÈka bird feeds on the SevÈla and
Panaka (water-plants), and derives satisfaction therefrom,
and being so satisfied, neither its strength nor beauty
diminishes. Even so, should he who practises mind-
development, find satisfaction in whatever he receives. And
if he does find satisfaction, then does he decrease neither in
morality, concentration, wisdom, emancipation, in the
insight regarding emancipation, nor in any kind of
wholesome actions. This is the second quality of
the cakkavÈka bird he ought to possess.

Again, as the cakkavÈka bird does no harm to living things,
even so, should he who practises mind-development, be
conscious of moral shame, show compassionate to all. This
is the third quality of the cakkavÈka bird he ought to
possess. For the Blessed One said in the CakkavÈka JÈtaka:
‘The man who kills not, nor destroys,
Oppresses not, nor makes others oppressed,
Who has loving-kindness for all living beings
To such a one can there be enmity.’

cakkavÈka~gapaÒho dutiyo cakkavÈka~gapaÒho dutiyo cakkavÈka~gapaÒho dutiyo cakkavÈka~gapaÒho dutiyo
248

3. penÈhik 3. penÈhik 3. penÈhik 3. penÈhika~gap a~gap a~gap a~gapaÒha aÒha aÒha aÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the penÈhikÈ bird ualities of the penÈhikÈ bird ualities of the penÈhikÈ bird ualities of the penÈhikÈ bird

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the two qualities of the penÈhikÈ
bird.’ What are those two qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the penÈhikÈ bird, through jealousy of its mate,
refuses to nourish its young, even so, should he who
practises mind-development, be jealous of any defilements
which arise within him, and putting them by his
mindfulness into the excellent crevice of self-control and
develop mindfulness with regard to the sense-doors. This is
the first quality of the penÈhikÈ bird he ought to possess.

Again, as the penÈhikÈ bird spends the day in the forest in
search of food, but at night time resorts to the flock of
birds to which it belongs for protection. Even so, should he
who practises mind-development, resort to solitude for the
purpose of emancipation from the ten fetters, and finding
no satisfaction therein, repair back to the saÑgha for
protection against the danger of blame, and dwell under the
protection of the saÑgha. This is the second of the qualities
of the penÈhikÈ bird he ought to possess.

For it was said by the BrahmÈ Sahampati in the presence of
the Blessed One:
‘Seek remote dwelling,
Practise there to gain freedom from fetters;
But he who finds no delight in solitude,
May dwell with the saÑgha,
With mindfulness well guarded.

penÈhik penÈhik penÈhik penÈhika~gapaÒh tatiyo a~gapaÒh tatiyo a~gapaÒh tatiyo a~gapaÒh tatiyo
249

4. gharakapot 4. gharakapot 4. gharakapot 4. gharakapota~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha

Q QQ Quality of the house uality of the house uality of the house uality of the house- -- -pigeon pigeon pigeon pigeon

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the one quality of the house-
pigeon.’ What is that one quality?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the house-pigeon, while dwelling in the abode of
others and of men, does not take notice of the sign of
anything that belongs to them, but remains indifferent,
taking notice only of things generally. Even so, should he
who practises mind-development, while resorting to other
people's houses, takes no notice of the sign of women, men,
beds, chairs, garments, jewellery, things of internal or
external domestic use, or various forms of food that are
there, but remain indifferent, preoccupied with the notion
that one were but a samaÓa. This is the quality of the
house-pigeon he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One in the C|Äa
NÈrada JÈtaka:
‘Frequenting people's homes for food or drink,
In food and drink alike be temperate,
And let not the form of a woman attract your thoughts.’

gharakapot gharakapot gharakapot gharakapota~gapaÒho catuttho a~gapaÒho catuttho a~gapaÒho catuttho a~gapaÒho catuttho
250

5. ul|k 5. ul|k 5. ul|k 5. ul|ka~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the owl ualities of the owl ualities of the owl ualities of the owl

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the two qualities of the owl.’ What
are those two qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the owl, being at enmity with the crows, goes at
night where the flocks of crows are, and kills a number of
them; even so, should he who practises mind-development,
be at enmity with ignorance, dwelling alone and in
seclusion, thoroughly subdue ignorance, cutting it off at the
root. This is the first quality of the owl he ought to possess.

Again, as the owl lies low in the safety of solitude, even so,
should he who practises mind-development, be devoted to
solitude, take delight in solitude. This is the second of the
qualities of the owl he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One in the SaÑyutta NikÈya:
‘Let the bhikkhu be devoted to solitude, take delight in
solitude, to the end that he may realise what suffering
really is, and what the origin of suffering really is, and
what the cessation of suffering really is, and what the path
that leads to the cessation of suffering really is.’

ul|k ul|k ul|k ul|ka~gapaÒho paÒcamo a~gapaÒho paÒcamo a~gapaÒho paÒcamo a~gapaÒho paÒcamo
251

6. satapatt 6. satapatt 6. satapatt 6. satapatta~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha

Q QQ Quality of the Indian crane uality of the Indian crane uality of the Indian crane uality of the Indian crane

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the one quality of the Indian crane.’
What is that one quality?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the Indian crane by its cry, makes known to others
in the flock, whether danger is absent or present. Even so,
should he who practises mind-development, make known to
others by his exposition of the dhamma how dreadful it is
to fall into the suffering realms, and how blissful is to
realise nibbÈna. This is the one quality of the Indian crane
he ought to possess.

For it was said by PiÓÉola-bhÈradvÈja the Elder:
‘Two matters there are that the earnest recluse
Should ever to others be making clear.
How fearful, how terrible, realms of suffering are;
How great and how deep is nibbÈna’s bliss.’

satapatt satapatt satapatt satapatta~gapaÒho chaÔÔho a~gapaÒho chaÔÔho a~gapaÒho chaÔÔho a~gapaÒho chaÔÔho

252

7. vagguli 7. vagguli 7. vagguli 7. vagguli~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the bat ualities of the bat ualities of the bat ualities of the bat

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the two qualities of the bat.’ What
are those two qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the bat, though it enters into men's dwelling-places,
and flies about in them, soon goes out from them, making
no disturbance therein.

Even so, should he who practises mind-development, when
he has entered the village for alms, and gone on his rounds
in regular order, depart quickly with the alms he has
received, and delay not therein. This is the first of the
qualities of the bat he ought to possess.

Again, as the bat, while putting up in other people’s houses,
does nothing to cause damage to or decline in welfare of
the householder.

Even so, should he who practises mind-development, when
visiting the houses of the laity, never give them cause for
vexation by persistent requests, by committing offences of
intimation, by wrong demeanour, by chattering, or by being
indifferent to their prosperity or adversity. He should not
cause a decline in the regular occupation of the
householder, but desire their success in all things. This is
the second of the qualities of the bat he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One in the LakkhaÓa Sutta of
the DÊgha NikÈya:

253

‘Oh! How may others never suffer loss
Or diminution,
Whether in their faith,
Or morality, or knowledge of the word,
Or understanding, or worldly successes,
Or in dhamma
Or
In all good things,
Or in their stores of wealth, or corn, or lands,
Or tenements, or in their sons, or wives,
Or in their flocks and herds,
Or
In their friends,
And relatives, and kinsmen,
Or
In strength,
In beauty, and in joy thus he thinks,
Longing for other men's advantage and success!’

vagguli~gapaÒho sattamo vagguli~gapaÒho sattamo vagguli~gapaÒho sattamo vagguli~gapaÒho sattamo
254

8. jal|k 8. jal|k 8. jal|k 8. jal|ka~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha

Q QQ Quality of the leech uality of the leech uality of the leech uality of the leech

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the one quality of the leech.’ What
is that one quality?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the leech, wherever it gets stuck, there does it
adhere firmly, drinking the blood. Even so, should he who
practises mind-development, on whatever subject for
meditation he may fix his attention on, call that subject
firmly up before him in respect of its colour, shape,
position, extension, boundaries, nature, and characteristics,
drinking the delicious draught of the ambrosia of
emancipation. This is the one quality of the leech he ought
to possess.

For it was said by Anuruddha the Elder:
‘With heart made pure, in meditation firm,
Drink deep of freedom's never-failing draught.’

jal|ka~gapaÒho aÔÔhamo jal|ka~gapaÒho aÔÔhamo jal|ka~gapaÒho aÔÔhamo jal|ka~gapaÒho aÔÔhamo

255

9. sappa 9. sappa 9. sappa 9. sappa~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the snake ualities of the snake ualities of the snake ualities of the snake

km km km km: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to arahantship must
adopt the three qualities of the snake.’ Which three?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the snake progresses by means of its belly, even so,
should he who practises mind-development, progress by
means of his wisdom. For the mind of the samaÓa, who
progresses by wisdom, functions by adopting the right and
proper way, by avoiding the wrong way of practice. This is
the first quality of the snake he ought to possess.

Again, just as when the snake moves, it avoids anti-venom
herbs; even so, should he who practises mind-development,
go on his way avoiding evil conduct. This is the second
quality of the snake he ought to possess.

Again, just as the snake on catching sight of men is
frightened and seeks a way of escape. Even so, should he
who practises mind-development, when he finds himself
displeased with the evil thoughts that have arisen within
him, seeks a way of escape, saying: ‘This day must I have
spent in heedlessness, and never shall I be able to recover
it.’ This is the third qualitiy of the snake he ought to
possess. For there is a saying of the two fairy birds in the
BallÈÔiya JÈtaka:
‘It is one night only, hunter, that we've spent
Away from home, and that against our will,
And thinking all night through of one another,
Yet that one night is it that we bemoan,
And grieve; for nevermore can it return!

sappa~gapaÒho navamo sappa~gapaÒho navamo sappa~gapaÒho navamo sappa~gapaÒho navamo
256

10. ajagar 10. ajagar 10. ajagar 10. ajagara~ a~ a~ a~gapaÒha gapaÒha gapaÒha gapaÒha

Q QQ Quality of the rock uality of the rock uality of the rock uality of the rock- -- -snake snake snake snake

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the one quality of the rock-snake.’
What is that one quality?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the rock-snake, immense as is its body, will go
many days with empty belly, and wretched, get no food to
fill its stomach, yet in spite of that it will just manage to
keep itself alive. Even so, should he who practises mind-
development, though he be dedicated to obtaining his food
by alms, dependent on the gifts that others may give,
awaiting offers, abstaining from taking anything himself,
and find it difficult to get his belly full, yet should he, if he
seek after the highest good, though he receive not so much
as four or five mouthfuls to eat, fill up the void by water.
This is the quality of the rock-snake he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Venerable SÈriputta, commander of
the dhamma:
‘Whether it be dry food or wet he eats,
Let him to full repletion never eat.
The good samaÓa goes forth in emptiness,
And keeps to moderation in his food.
If but four mouthfuls or but five he gets,
Let him drink water. For what cares the man
With mind on arahantship fixed for ease!’

ajagara~gapaÒh ajagara~gapaÒh ajagara~gapaÒh ajagara~gapaÒho dasamo o dasamo o dasamo o dasamo

sÊhavaggo paÒcamo sÊhavaggo paÒcamo sÊhavaggo paÒcamo sÊhavaggo paÒcamo
257

Chapter 6 Chapter 6 Chapter 6 Chapter 6

makkaÔakavagga makkaÔakavagga makkaÔakavagga makkaÔakavagga
Chapter on the spider Chapter on the spider Chapter on the spider Chapter on the spider

1. panthamakkaÔaka~gapaÒha 258
Quality of the spider
2. thanassitadÈraka~gapaÒha 259
Quality of the child at the breast
3. cittakadharakumma~gapaÒha 260
Quality of the land tortoise
4. pavana~gapaÒha 261
Qualities of the forest
5. rukkha~gapaÒha 263
Qualities of the tree
6. megha~gapaÒha 265
Qualities of the rain
7. maÓiratana~gapaÒha 267
Qualities of the ruby
8. mÈgavika~gapaÒha 268
Qualities of the hunter
9. bÈÄisika~gapaÒha 270
Qualities of the angler
10. tacchaka~gapaÒha 271
Qualities of the carpenter

258

1. p 1. p 1. p 1. panthamakkaÔaka~gapaÒha anthamakkaÔaka~gapaÒha anthamakkaÔaka~gapaÒha anthamakkaÔaka~gapaÒha

Q QQ Quality of the spider uality of the spider uality of the spider uality of the spider

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the one quality of the spider.’ What
is that one quality?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the spider weaves its web on the path, and whatever
is caught therein, whether worm, fly or grasshopper, that
does it catch and eat. Even so, should he who practises
mind-development, spread the web of mindfulness over the
six sense-doors, and if any defilements are caught therein,
there should he seize them. This is the quality of the spider
he ought to possess.

For it was said by Anuruddha the Elder:
‘His heart should he shut in, at its six doors,
By mindfulness, best and chief of gifts,
Should any evil thoughts be caught within,
Them by the sword of insight should he slay.’

p pp panthamakkaÔaka~gapaÒho paÔhamo anthamakkaÔaka~gapaÒho paÔhamo anthamakkaÔaka~gapaÒho paÔhamo anthamakkaÔaka~gapaÒho paÔhamo
259

2 22 2. . . . thanassitadÈra thanassitadÈra thanassitadÈra thanassitadÈraka~gapaÒha ka~gapaÒha ka~gapaÒha ka~gapaÒha

Q QQ Quality of the uality of the uality of the uality of the child at the breast child at the breast child at the breast child at the breast

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the one quality of the child at the
breast.’ What is that one quality?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the child at the breast sticks to its own advantage,
and if it wants milk, cries for it. Even so, should he who
practises mind-development, adhere to his own good, and
towards that end: learn the teaching, asking and answering
questions, making reasonable effort, reside with his
teachers in solitude, cultivate friendship with the good, and
act with knowledge of the Truth. This is the quality of the
child at the breast he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One in the discourse of the
Great Decease (MahÈparinibbÈna Sutta) in the DÊgha
NikÈya:
‘Be zealous, rather, I beseech you, Œnanda, in your own
behalf. Devote yourselves to your own good. Be earnest, all
aglow, intent on your own good!’

thanassitadÈraka~gapaÒh thanassitadÈraka~gapaÒh thanassitadÈraka~gapaÒh thanassitadÈraka~gapaÒho dut o dut o dut o dutiyo iyo iyo iyo


260

3 33 3. . . . cittakadharakumm cittakadharakumm cittakadharakumm cittakadharakumma~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha

Q QQ Quality of the uality of the uality of the uality of the land tortoise land tortoise land tortoise land tortoise

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the one quality of the land tortoise.’
What is that one quality?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the land tortoise, being afraid of the water, avoids
the water from afar in passing, and by that habit of
avoiding water, its length of life is kept undiminished. Even
so, should he who practises mind-development, habitually
sees danger in heedlessness, be mindful of the advantages
that distinguish earnestness. For by that perception of
danger in heedlessness, he stands undiminished in his
renunciation, but even closer to nibbÈna itself. This is the
quality of the land tortoise he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One in the Dhammapada:
‘The bhikkhu who delights in vigilance,
Who sees the danger of heedlessness,
Is not liable to fall from a bhikkhu’s reward,
Of supramundane path and fruition.’

cit cit cit cittakadharakumma~gapaÒho tatiyo takadharakumma~gapaÒho tatiyo takadharakumma~gapaÒho tatiyo takadharakumma~gapaÒho tatiyo
261

4. pavana 4. pavana 4. pavana 4. pavana~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the forest ualities of the forest ualities of the forest ualities of the forest

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the five qualities of the forest.’
What are those five qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the forest provides cover for those who are stained
with guilt, even so, should he who practises mind-
development, not disclose but cover up the faults and
shortcomings of others. This is the first of the qualities of
the forest he ought to possess.

Again, just as the forest is void of many people, even so,
should he who practises mind-development, be void of
passion, anger, delusion, conceit, wrong views, and all
defilements. This is the second of the qualities of the forest
he ought to possess.

Again, just as the forest is a quiet place free from crowds
of people, even so, should he who practises mind-
development, be given to solitude, and free from evil,
unworthy qualities, from those who are not noble. This is
the third of the qualities of the forest he ought to possess.

Again, just as the forest is clean and pure, even so, should
he who practises mind-development, be clean and pure,
happy, and without conceit. This is the fourth of the
qualities of the forest he ought to possess.

Again, just as the forest is the resort of the noble ones,
even so, should he who practises mind-development, be
sought after by the noble ones. This is the fifth of the
qualities of the forest he ought to possess.
262

For it was said by the Blessed One in the SaÑyutta NikÈya:
‘With ariyans who are aloof, with self resolute meditators,
with wise men who put forth energy, constantly must one
dwell.’

pavana~gapaÒho catuttho pavana~gapaÒho catuttho pavana~gapaÒho catuttho pavana~gapaÒho catuttho
263

5. rukkha 5. rukkha 5. rukkha 5. rukkha~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the tree ualities of the tree ualities of the tree ualities of the tree

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the three qualities of the tree.’ What
are those three qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the tree bears fruits and flowers, even so, should he
who practises mind-development, bear the flowers of
emancipation and the fruits of arahantship. This is the first
of the qualities of the tree he ought to possess.

Again, as the tree casts its shadow over the men who come
to it, and stay beneath it, even so, should he who practises
mind-development, greet whoever approaches with regards
their bodily wants or their spiritual necessities. This is the
second of the qualities of the tree he ought to possess.

Again, just as the tree makes no kind of distinction in the
shadow it affords, even so, should he who practises mind-
development, make no distinctions between all things that
live, but nourish an equal love to those who rob, or kill, or
bear enmity to him, and to those who are like himself,
transmitting and radiating thoughts of loving-kindness
expressing the earnest wish:

‘Let those beings be free from fear, worry and anxiety,
misery and sorrow; may they be able, with comfort and
happiness, bear the burden of their respective bodies!’ This
is the third of the qualities of the tree he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Venerable SÈriputta, commander of
the dhamma:

264

‘Devadatta,
Who tried to murder Him;
A~gulimÈla,
Highway robber;
The elephant set loose to take His life;
And RÈhula, the good,
His only son -
The Exalted Buddha is equal-minded to them all.’

rukkha rukkha rukkha rukkha~gapaÒho paÒcamo ~gapaÒho paÒcamo ~gapaÒho paÒcamo ~gapaÒho paÒcamo

265

6. megha 6. megha 6. megha 6. megha~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the rain ualities of the rain ualities of the rain ualities of the rain

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the five qualities of the rain.’ What
are those five qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the rain lays any dust that arises, even so, should he
who practises mind-development, lay the dust and dirt of
any defilements that may arise within him. This is the first
of the qualities of the rain he ought to possess.

Again, just as the rain allays the heat of the ground, even
so, should he who practises mind-development, soothe the
whole world of gods and men, with the feeling of his
loving-kindness. This is the second of the qualities of the
rain he ought to possess.

Again, as the rain makes all kinds of seed to grow, even so,
should he who practises mind-development, cause faith to
spring up in all beings, and make that seed of faith grow up
progressively with the bliss of divine and earthly beings till
it finally grows with the supreme bliss of nibbÈna. This is
the third of the qualities of the rain he ought to possess.

Again, just as the rain-cloud, rising up in the hot season,
affords protection to the grass, trees, creepers, shrubs,
medicinal herbs, and to the monarchs of the woods that
grow on the surface of the earth. Even so, should he who
practises mind-development, applying wise consideration
and by so doing, afford protection by his thoughtfulness to
his condition of renunciation, for in thoughtfulness is it that
all wholesome activities have their root. This is the fourth
of the qualities of the rain he ought to possess.
266

Again, as the rain when it pours down fills the rivers,
reservoirs, artificial lakes, caves, chasms, ponds, pits and
wells with water; even so, should he who practises mind-
development, pour down the rain of dhamma according to
the texts handed down by tradition, and so fill to
satisfaction the mind of those who are longing for
attainment. This is the fifth of the qualities of the rain he
ought to possess.

For it was said by the Venerable SÈriputta, commander of
the dhamma:
‘When the Great Sage perceives a man afar,
Were it a hundred or a thousand leagues,
Ripe for enlightenment, straightway he goes
And guides him gently to the path of Truth.’

megha~gapaÒh megha~gapaÒh megha~gapaÒh megha~gapaÒho chattho o chattho o chattho o chattho
267

7. maÓiratana 7. maÓiratana 7. maÓiratana 7. maÓiratana~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the ruby ualities of the ruby ualities of the ruby ualities of the ruby

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the three qualities of the ruby.’
What are those three qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the ruby is pure throughout, even so, should he who
practises mind-development, be perfectly pure in his means
of livelihood. This is the first quality of the ruby he ought
to possess.

Again, as the ruby cannot be alloyed with any other
substance, even so, should he who practises mind-
development, never mix with wicked men as friends. This
is the second quality of the ruby he ought to possess.

Again, just as the ruby is set together with the most costly
gems, even so, should he who practises mind-development,
associate with those of higher excellence, men who have
reached various stages of the noble path, the jewel treasures
of the arahants, those who have attained fruition, or those
endowed with the threefold wisdom or the sixfold higher
spiritual powers. This is the third of the qualities of the
ruby he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One:
‘Let the pure associate with the pure,
Ever in recollection firm;
Dwelling harmoniously wise
Thus shall you put an end to woe.’

maÓiratana~gapaÒh maÓiratana~gapaÒh maÓiratana~gapaÒh maÓiratana~gapaÒho sattamo o sattamo o sattamo o sattamo
268

8. mÈgavika 8. mÈgavika 8. mÈgavika 8. mÈgavika~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the hunter ualities of the hunter ualities of the hunter ualities of the hunter

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the four qualities of the hunter.’
What are those four qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the hunter sleeps for short duration only, even so,
should he who practises mind-development, sleeps for short
duration only. This is the first of the qualities of the hunter
he ought to possess.

Again, just as the hunter keeps his attention fixed on the
deer, even so, should he who practises mind-development,
keep his mind firmly fixed on the particular object which is
the subject of his meditation. This is the second of the
qualities of the hunter he ought to possess.

Again, just as the hunter knows the right time for his work,
even so, should he who practises mind-development, know
the right time for doing his reclusive work, saying to
himself: ‘Now is the right time to dwell alone in seclusion!
Now is the right time to come out of seclusion.’ This is the
third of the qualities of the hunter he ought to possess.

Again, just as the hunter on catching sight of a deer
experiences joy at the thought: ‘I shall capture it!’ Even so,
should he who practises mind-development, rejoice at the
sight of an object for contemplation, and experience joy at
the thought: ‘Thereby shall I grasp the sublime truth of
which I am in search.’ This is the fourth of the qualities of
the hunter he ought to possess.


269

For it was said by MogharÈjÈ the Elder:
‘The samaÓa who, with mind on nibbÈna bent,
Has acquired an object his thoughts to guide,
Should be filled with exceeding joy at the hope:
By this my uttermost aim shall I gain.’

mÈgavika~gapaÒh mÈgavika~gapaÒh mÈgavika~gapaÒh mÈgavika~gapaÒho aÔÔhamo o aÔÔhamo o aÔÔhamo o aÔÔhamo




270

9. bÈÄisika 9. bÈÄisika 9. bÈÄisika 9. bÈÄisika~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the angler ualities of the angler ualities of the angler ualities of the angler

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the two qualities of the angler.’
What are those two qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the angler draws up the fish on his hook, even so,
should he who practises mind-development, draw up his
knowledge of the sublime path and fruition of
emancipation. This is the first of the qualities of the angler
he ought to possess.

Again, just as the angler by killing a few fishes acquires a
vast and varied number of gain; even so, should he who
practises mind-development, renounce the worldly things
which are few and insignificant. Then by that renunciation
will he gain the vast and varied number of fruits of the
sublime path and fruition of emancipation. This is the
second of the qualities of the angler he ought to possess.

For it was said by RÈhula the Elder:
‘Renouncing the baits of the world he shall gain,
The state that is void of greed, anger and delusion.
Those conditions of sentient life - and be free,
Free from the cravings that mortals feel,
And the fruits of the stages of the Excellent Way
And the six modes of Insight shall all be his.’

bÈÄisika bÈÄisika bÈÄisika bÈÄisika~gapaÒho navamo ~gapaÒho navamo ~gapaÒho navamo ~gapaÒho navamo

271

10. tacch 10. tacch 10. tacch 10. taccha aa aka ka ka ka~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the carpenter ualities of the carpenter ualities of the carpenter ualities of the carpenter

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the two qualities of the carpenter.’
What are those two qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the carpenter saws off the wood along the line of
the blackened string (he has put round it to guide him);
even so, should he who practises mind-development,
standing on the firm ground of morality as a basis, and
holding in the hand of faith, the saw of wisdom, cut off the
defilements according to the teaching laid down by the
Conquerors. This is the first of the qualities of the
carpenter he ought to possess.

Again, just as the carpenter, discarding the soft outer parts
of the wood, takes the hard parts. Even so, should he who
practises mind-development, discard:
• the eternity view (sassata-diÔÔhi) which holds that the
beings and conditioned things are eternal;
• the annihilation view (uccheda-diÔÔhi) which holds
that there is no rebirth process after death;
• the view which holds that life and body are one and
the same thing;
• the view which holds that life and body are two
different things;
• the view which holds that what one believes is
exalted while what others believe are not;
• the view which holds that there are certain things
which someone should not do, cannot possibly do, or
is not worthy of doing;
• the view which holds that the effort exerted by men
brings no reward;
272

• the view which holds that virtue is fruitless;
• the view which holds that beings end in destruction;
• the view which holds that a being’s birth is his
absolute beginning;
• the view which holds that conditioned things are
permanent;
• the view which holds that the doer of a deed and the
receiver of kamma are one and the same person;
• the view which holds that the doer of a deed and the
receiver of kamma are different people, and thus
teaches that the suffering by which the one being is
overwhelmed, is produced by the other being;
• the view which holds that all bodily and mentally
agreeable and disagreeable sensations enjoyed in the
present life are caused and conditioned only by the
volitional actions done by them in their past
existences (pubbekata-hetu-diÔÔhi);
• the view which holds that one enjoys only the
kammic result of volitional actions done by oneself;
• all other views having the nature and characteristic
similar to the above views;
• all other views that tend to give rise to disputations
and controversies.

Forsaking all these paths which lead to heresy, he should
maintain and uphold:
• the view regarding the true nature of conditioned
phenomena;
• the view regarding the voidness therein of greed,
hate and delusion;
• the view regarding the voidness therein of effort and
of a life-principle;
• the view regarding the total voidness and stillness of
phenomena as a hard reality.
273

This is the second of the qualities of the carpenter he ought
to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One in the Sutta NipÈta:
‘Get rid of filth! Put aside rubbish from you!
Winnow away the chaff, the men who hold
Those who are not so, as true samaÓa!
Get rid of those who harbour evil thoughts,
Who follow after evil modes of life!
Thoughtful yourselves, and pure, with those resort,
With those associate, who are pure themselves!’

tacch tacch tacch taccha aa ak kk ka aa a~gapaÒho dasamo ~gapaÒho dasamo ~gapaÒho dasamo ~gapaÒho dasamo

makkaÔ makkaÔ makkaÔ makkaÔakavaggo chaÔÔho akavaggo chaÔÔho akavaggo chaÔÔho akavaggo chaÔÔho
274

Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter 7 77 7

kumbha kumbha kumbha kumbhavagga vagga vagga vagga
Chapter on t Chapter on t Chapter on t Chapter on the he he he water water water water- -- -pot pot pot pot

1. kumbha~gapaÒha 275
Quality of the water-pot
2. kÈÄÈyasa~gapaÒha 276
Qualities of iron
3. chatta~gapaÒha 277
Qualities of the umbrella
4. khetta~gapaÒha 278
Qualities of the rice field
5. agada~gapaÒha 280
Qualities of the antidote drug
6. bhojana~gapaÒha 281
Qualities of food
7. issÈsa~gapaÒha 282
Qualities of the archer
275

1. 1. 1. 1. kumbh kumbh kumbh kumbha~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha a~gapaÒha

Q QQ Quality of the uality of the uality of the uality of the water water water water- -- -pot pot pot pot

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the one quality of the water-pot.’
What is that one quality?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the water-pot when it is full gives forth no sound,
even so, should he who practises mind-development, even
when he has reached the path and fruition, and knows all
tradition, learning and interpretation, yet should give forth
no sound, not pride himself thereon, not show himself
puffed up, but putting away pride and self-righteousness,
should be straightforward, not garrulous of himself, neither
deprecating others. This is the quality of the water-pot he
ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One in the Sutta NipÈta:
‘What is not full, that is the thing that sounds,
That which is full is noiseless and at rest;
The fool is like an empty waterpot,
The wise man like a deep pool, clear and full.’

kumbha~gapaÒh kumbha~gapaÒh kumbha~gapaÒh kumbha~gapaÒho paÔhamo o paÔhamo o paÔhamo o paÔhamo

276

2. kÈÄÈyasa 2. kÈÄÈyasa 2. kÈÄÈyasa 2. kÈÄÈyasa~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha ~gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of iron ualities of iron ualities of iron ualities of iron

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the two qualities of iron.’ What are
those two qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as iron even when beaten out carries weight, even so,
should he who practises mind-development, be able, by his
habit of thoughtfulness, carry heavy burden. This is the
first quality of iron he ought to possess.

Again, as iron does not vomit up the water it has once
soaked in, even so, should he who practises mind-
development, never give up the faith he has once felt in the
greatness of the Blessed One, the Supreme Buddha, in the
perfection of His Teaching, in the excellence of the
saÑgha; never give up the knowledge he has once acquired
of the impermanence of forms, of sensations, of ideas, of
qualities, or of modes of consciousness. This is the second
quality of iron he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One:
‘That man who is in insight purified,
Trained in the Teaching of the Noble Ones,
Grasping distinctions as they really are,
What need hath he to tremble? Not in part
Only, but in its full extent, shall he
To the clear heights of arahantship attain.’

kÈÄÈyasa~gapaÒh kÈÄÈyasa~gapaÒh kÈÄÈyasa~gapaÒh kÈÄÈyasa~gapaÒho du o du o du o dutiyo tiyo tiyo tiyo

277

3. chatta~ 3. chatta~ 3. chatta~ 3. chatta~gapaÒha gapaÒha gapaÒha gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the umbrella ualities of the umbrella ualities of the umbrella ualities of the umbrella

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the three qualities of the umbrella.’
What are those three qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the umbrella goes along over one's head, even so,
should he who practises mind-development, be of a
character raised high above all defilements. This is the first
of the qualities of the umbrella he ought to possess.

Again, just as the umbrella is held over the head by a
handle, even so, should he who practises mind-
development, have thoughtfulness as his handle. This is the
second of the qualities of the umbrella he ought to possess.

Again, as the umbrella wards off winds, the sun’s heat and
storms of rain, even so, should he who practises mind-
development, ward off the empty wind of the opinions of
the numerous ascetics and Brahmans who hold forth their
divergent views; ward off the heat of greed, hate and
delusion, and ward off the rain of defilements. This is the
third quality of the umbrella he ought to possess. For it was
said by the Venerable SÈriputta, commander of the dhamma:
‘As a broad sunshade spreading far and firm,
Without a hole from rim to rim, wards off
The burning heat, and the god's mighty rain;
So does the Buddha's son, all pure within,
Bearing the sunshade brave of righteousness,
Ward off the rain of evil tendencies,
And the dread heat of all the threefold fire.’

chatta~ chatta~ chatta~ chatta~gapaÒho tatiyo gapaÒho tatiyo gapaÒho tatiyo gapaÒho tatiyo
278

4. khetta~ 4. khetta~ 4. khetta~ 4. khetta~gapaÒha gapaÒha gapaÒha gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the rice field ualities of the rice field ualities of the rice field ualities of the rice field

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the three qualities of the rice field.’
What are those three qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the rice field is replete with canals for irrigation,
even so, should he who practises mind-development, be
replete with the lists of the various duties incumbent on the
man with good moral training - the canals that bring the
water to the rice fields of the Buddha's Teaching. This is
the first of the qualities of the rice field he ought to
possess.

Again, just as the rice field is provided with embankments
whereby men keep the water in, and so bring the crop to
maturity; even so, should he who practises mind-
development, be provided with the embankments of
morality, and consciousness of moral shame, and thereby
protect the virtues of renunciation intact, and gain the fruits
thereof. This is the second of the qualities of the rice field
he ought to possess.

Again, just as the rice field is bountiful due to fertility of
its soil, filling the heart of the farmer with joy, so that if
the seed be little the crop is great, and if the seed be much
the crop is greater still. Even so, should he who practises
mind-development, be fruitful to the bearing of much good
fruit, making the hearts of those who support him to
rejoice, so that where little is given the result is great, and
where much is given the result is greater still. This is the
third of the qualities of the rice field he ought to possess.

279

For it was said by UpÈli the Elder, he who carried the
vinaya in his head:
‘Be fruitful as a rice field, be rich
In all good works! For that is the best field
Which yield to the sower the richest crop.’

khetta~gapaÒh khetta~gapaÒh khetta~gapaÒh khetta~gapaÒho catuttho o catuttho o catuttho o catuttho
280

5. agada~ 5. agada~ 5. agada~ 5. agada~gapaÒha gapaÒha gapaÒha gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the antidote drug ualities of the antidote drug ualities of the antidote drug ualities of the antidote drug

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the two qualities of the antidote
drug.’ What are those two qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as parasitic worms are not invulnerable to antidote
drugs, even so, should no defilements be allowed to arise in
the mind of he who practises mind-development. This is the
first of the qualities of antidote drug he ought to possess.

Again, just as anti-venom is an antidote to whatever poison
may have been imparted by bites or contact, by eating or by
drinking in any way, even so, should he who practises
mind-development, counteract in himself the poison of
greed, hate, delusion, conceit and heretical view. This is the
second of the qualities of antidote drug he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Blessed One:
‘The strenuous samaÓa who longs to see
Into the nature, and the meaning true,
Of the constituent elements of things,
Must as it were an antidote become,
To the destruction of all evil thoughts.’

agada~gapaÒh agada~gapaÒh agada~gapaÒh agada~gapaÒho paÒcamo o paÒcamo o paÒcamo o paÒcamo



281

6. bhojhana~ 6. bhojhana~ 6. bhojhana~ 6. bhojhana~gapaÒha gapaÒha gapaÒha gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of food ualities of food ualities of food ualities of food

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the three qualities of food.’ What
are those three qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as food is the support of all beings, even so, should he
who practises mind-development, be a support as it were,
by which all beings may realise the path to emancipation.
This is the first of the qualities of food he ought to possess.

Again, just as food increases people's strength, even so,
should he who practises mind-development, grow in
increase of virtue. This is the second of the qualities of
food he ought to possess.

Again, just as food is a thing desired of all beings, even so,
should he who practises mind-development, be desired of
all mankind. This is the third of the qualities of food he
ought to possess.

For it was said by MahÈ MoggallÈna the Elder:
‘By self-restraint, training and righteousness,
By duty done, and by attainments reached,
The strenuous samaÓa should make himself
To all men in the world a thing desired.’

bhojhana~gapaÒh bhojhana~gapaÒh bhojhana~gapaÒh bhojhana~gapaÒho chaÔÔho o chaÔÔho o chaÔÔho o chaÔÔho
282

7. issÈsa~ 7. issÈsa~ 7. issÈsa~ 7. issÈsa~gapaÒha gapaÒha gapaÒha gapaÒha

Q QQ Qualities of the archer ualities of the archer ualities of the archer ualities of the archer

km km km km: It was said: ‘The bhikkhu who wishes to attain to
arahantship must adopt the four qualities of the archer.’
What are those four qualities?
vn vn vn vn: Just as the archer, when discharging his arrows, plants both
his feet firmly on the ground, keeps his knees straight,
hangs his quiver against the narrow part of his waist, keeps
his whole body steady, places both his hands firmly on the
point of junction (of the arrow on the bow), closes his fists,
leaves no openings between his fingers, stretches out his
neck, shuts his mouth and one eye, and takes aim in joy at
the thought: ‘I shall hit the target.’

Even so, should he who practises mind-development, plant
firmly the feet of his zeal on the basis of morality, keep
intact his kindness and tenderness of heart, fix his mind on
subjugation of the senses, keep himself steady by self-
restraint and performance of duty, suppress excitement and
sense of faintness, by continual thoughtfulness let no
openings remain in his mind, reach forward in zeal, shut
the six sense-doors, and continue mindfulness and
thoughtful, in joy at the thought:

‘By the arrow of my knowledge will I slay all my
defilements.’ This is the first of the qualities of the archer
he ought to possess.

Again, as the archer carries a vice for straightening out
bent, crooked and uneven arrows.

283

Even so, should he who practises mind-development, carry
about with him, so long as he is in the body, the vice of
mindfulness and thoughtfulness, with which he may
straighten out any crooked and bent ideas that may arise.
This is the second of the qualities of the archer he ought to
possess.

Again, as the archer practises at a target, even so, should he
who practises mind-development, practise so long as he is
in the body. And how should he practise? He should
practise in the idea of:
• the impermanence of all things;
• the suffering inherent in individuality;
• the absence of an entity (any soul);
• the diseases, sores, pains, aches and ailments of the
body;
• its dependence on others;
• its certainty of disintegration;
• the calamities, dangers, fears and misfortunes to
which it is subjected;
• its instability in the changing conditions of life;
• its liability to dissolution, its want of firmness, its
being not a true place of refuge, not a cave of
security, not a home of protection, not a right object
to place trust in;
• its vanity, emptiness, danger and insubstantiality;
• its being the source of pain and subject to
punishment and full of impurity, a mongrel
compound of conditions and qualities that have no
coherence;
• its being the food alike of evil and of the evil one;
• its inherent liability to rebirths, old age, disease,
death, grief, lamentation, despair; and
284

• of the corruption of the cravings and delusions that
are never absent from it.
This is the third of the qualities of the archer he ought to
possess.

Again, just as the archer practises early and late, even so,
should he who practises mind-development, practise
meditation early and late. This is the fourth of the qualities
of the archer he ought to possess.

For it was said by the Venerable SÈriputta, commander of
the dhamma:
‘Early and late the true archer will practise,
It is only by never neglecting his art,
That he earns the reward and the wage of his skill.
So the sons of the Buddha, too, practise their art.
It is just by never neglecting in thought
The conditions of life in this bodily frame
That they gain the rich fruits which the arahants love.’

issÈsa~gapaÒh issÈsa~gapaÒh issÈsa~gapaÒh issÈsa~gapaÒho sattamo o sattamo o sattamo o sattamo

kumbhavaggo sattamo kumbhavaggo sattamo kumbhavaggo sattamo kumbhavaggo sattamo

opammakathÈpaÒho niÔÔhito opammakathÈpaÒho niÔÔhito opammakathÈpaÒho niÔÔhito opammakathÈpaÒho niÔÔhito
End of Volume II End of Volume II End of Volume II End of Volume II
285


Epilogue Epilogue Epilogue Epilogue

Here end the two hundred and sixty-two questions of King
Milinda, as handed down in the book in its six parts, adorned with
twenty-two chapters. Now those which have not been handed
down are forty-two. Taking together all those that have been, and
those that have not been handed down, there are three hundred
and four, all of which are reckoned as 'The Questions of King
Milinda.'

On the conclusion of these profound, searching questions put
forward by King Milinda and the succinct, dhammic answers
propounded by the Venerable NÈgasena, this great earth, eighty-
four thousand leagues in all directions, shook six times even to its
ocean boundary, blinding bright lightnings flashed across the
heavens; the heavenly gods cascade down soft showers of scented
heavenly flowers. MahÈ BrahmÈ himself signified his total
acceptance, and there was a mighty roar like the crashing and
thundering of the sky opening up in joy.

On beholding that wonder, the five hundred high ministers of the
king, and all the inhabitants of the city of SÈgala who were there,
and the women of the king's palace, bowed down before
NÈgasena, the great teacher, raising their clasped hands to their
foreheads, and departed in silence.


286

King Milinda at the sight of this wondrous spectacle was filled
with pÊti and the joy of the dhamma arose in him. A great sense
of humility suffused his mind and body, and all pride was cooled
within him. He became aware of the virtue that lay in the
dhamma of the Buddhas; he ceased to have any doubt at all in the
Triple Gem.

He was pleased beyond measure at the excellence of expounding
of the dhamma by the Venerable NÈgasena, in manners truly
befitting a samaÓa. He was filled with confidence, and all
cravings were stilled, and all his pride and self-righteousness left
his heart.

Like a cobra deprived of its fangs he said: “Most excellent, most
excellent, Venerable NÈgasena! The dilemmas, worthy of a
Buddha to solve, have you made clear. There is none like you,
amongst all the followers of the Buddha, in the solution of
problems, save only SÈriputta the Elder, commander of the
dhamma. Pardon me, Venerable NÈgasena, my faults. May the
Venerable NÈgasena accept me as a supporter of the dhamma, as
a true convert from today onwards as long as life shall last!”

Henceforth, the king and his mighty men continued in paying
honour to Venerable NÈgasena. The king had a vihÈra built called
‘The Milinda VihÈra,’ and handed it over to NÈgasena the Elder,
and waited upon him and all the multitude of the arahant bhikkh|
of whom he was the chief with the four requisites of the
bhikkhu’s life.

And afterwards, taking delight in the wisdom of the Elder, he
handed over his kingdom to his son, and abandoning the
household life for the houseless state, grew great in insight, and
himself attained to arahantship!

287

Therefore is it said:

“Wisdom abounds o'er all the world,
Spreading the dhamma
for the endurance of the sasana.
When they, by wisdom, having put aside doubt,
The wise reach upward to that Tranquil State.
That man in whom wisdom is firmly set,
And mindful self-possession never fails,
He is the best of those who gifts receive,
The chief of men to whom distinction’s given.
Let therefore able men, in due regard
To their own welfare, honour those who're wise,
Worthy of honour like the sacred pile beneath whose solid dome
The bones of the great dead lie.”

Thus, from the seeds of doubts and uncertainties bubbling and
boiling within the recesses of the mind of King Milinda, the
Venerable NÈgasena, with skill and great insight, took them, cared
for them with patience and fortitude and planted them in the field
of dhamma; nurtured and coaxed their growth. In time, with the
warmth of truth and the cool rains of reality, the seeds of doubts
and uncertainties develop into fine trees that are like the fortress
of the sÈsana, thus protecting and prolonging its very life. May
the sÈsana live long!

Here ends the debate of King Milinda and the Venerable
NÈgasena.



288

Acknowledgement Acknowledgement Acknowledgement Acknowledgement
To To To To
The The The The Koh Koh Koh Koh Family Family Family Family
May the merits of your wholesome deeds be shared by May the merits of your wholesome deeds be shared by May the merits of your wholesome deeds be shared by May the merits of your wholesome deeds be shared by
All All All All beings and may you be endowed beings and may you be endowed beings and may you be endowed beings and may you be endowed
With good health and happiness With good health and happiness With good health and happiness With good health and happiness
And the protection of the Triple Gem And the protection of the Triple Gem And the protection of the Triple Gem And the protection of the Triple Gem
Now and Ever Now and Ever Now and Ever Now and Ever





Looking after Looking after Looking after Looking after one’s mother and father one’s mother and father one’s mother and father one’s mother and father
Caring for Caring for Caring for Caring for one’s wife and children one’s wife and children one’s wife and children one’s wife and children
And And And And unconfused unconfused unconfused unconfused actions, actions, actions, actions,
This is the most auspicious sign. This is the most auspicious sign. This is the most auspicious sign. This is the most auspicious sign.

M MM Māt tt tāpitu upatth pitu upatth pitu upatth pitu upatthānam nam nam nam
Puttad Puttad Puttad Puttadārassa sangaho rassa sangaho rassa sangaho rassa sangaho
An An An Anākul kul kul kulā ca kammant ca kammant ca kammant ca kammantā
Etam mangalamuttamam Etam mangalamuttamam Etam mangalamuttamam Etam mangalamuttamam

289

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