|Subscribe to RSS feed Get the App: iPhone Android Windows Phone Windows BlackBerry Symbian|
|English translation of
Holy Digha Nikaya
English translation by T. W. Rhys Davids
taken from http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/dob/
Now at that time the Brahman KŻtadanta was dwelling at Kh‚numata, a place teeming with life, with much grassland and woodland and water and corn, on a royal domain presented him by Seniya Bimbis‚ra the king of Magadh‚, as a royal gift, with power over it as if he were the king.
And just then a great sacrifice was being got ready on behalf of KŻtadanta the Brahman. And a hundred bulls, and a hundred steers, and a hundred heifers, and a hundred goats, and a hundred rams had been brought to the post for the sacrifice.
So he sent his doorkeeper to the Brahmans and householders of Kh‚numata, to ask them to wait till he could go with them to call upon the Blessed One.
'Well then, O Brahman, give ear and listen attentively and I will speak.'
'Very well, Sir,' said KŻtadanta in reply; and the Blessed One spake as follows:--
'And he had the Brahman, his chaplain, called; and telling him all that he had thought, he said: "So I would fain, O Brahman, offer a great sacrifice--let the venerable one instruct me how--for my weal and my welfare for many days."
'Then King Wide-realm, O Brahman, accepted the word of his chaplain, and did as he had said. And those men, following each his business, harassed the realm no more. And the king's revenue went up. And the country became quiet and at peace. And the populace, pleased one with another and happy, dancing their children in their arms, dwelt with open doors.
'Then let his majesty the king send invitations to whomsoever there may be in his realm who are Kshatriyas, vassals of his, either in the country or the towns; or who are ministers and officials of his, either in the country or the towns; or who are Brahmans of position, either in the country or the towns; or who are householders of substance, either in the country or the towns, saying: "I intend to offer a great sacrifice. Let the venerable ones give their sanction to what will be to me for weal and welfare for many days."
'Then King Wide-realm, O Brahman, accepted the word of his chaplain, and did as he had said, And they each--Kshatriyas and ministers and Brahmans and householders--made alike reply: "Let his majesty the king celebrate the sacrifice. The time is suitable, O king!"
'Thus did these four, as colleagues by consent, become wherewithal to furnish forth that sacrifice,
'He was well born on both sides, on the mother's side and on the father's, of pure descent back through seven generations, and no slur was cast upon him, and no reproach, in respect of birth--
'He was handsome, pleasant in appearance, inspiring trust, gifted with great beauty of complexion, fair in colour, fine in presence, stately to behold--
'He was mighty, with great wealth, and large property, with stores of silver and gold, of aids to enjoyment, of goods and corn, with his treasure-houses and his garners full--
'He was powerful, in command of an army, loyal and disciplined, in four divisions (of elephants, cavalry, chariots, and bowmen), burning up, methinks, his enemies by his very glory--
'He was a believer, and generous, a noble giver, keeping open house, a welling spring s whence Samanas and Brahmans, the poor and the wayfarers, beggars, and petitioners might draw, a doer of good deeds--
'He was learned in all kinds of knowledge--
'He knew the meaning of what had been said, and could explain: "This saying has such and such a meaning, and that such and such"-- 'He was intelligent, expert and wise, and able to think out things present or past or future--
'And these eight gifts of his, too, became wherewithal to furnish forth that sacrifice.
'He was well born on both sides, on the mother's and on the father's, of pure descent back through seven generations, with no slur cast upon him, and no reproach in respect of birth--
'He was a student repeater who knew the mystic verses by heart, master of the Three Vedas, with the indices, the ritual, the phonology, and the exegesis (as a fourth ), and the legends as a fifth, learned in the idioms and the grammar, versed in Lok‚yata (Nature-lore) and in the thirty marks on the body of a great man--
'He was virtuous, established in virtue, gifted with virtue that had grown great--
'He was intelligent, expert, and wise; foremost, or at most the second, among those who hold out the ladle.'
'Thus these four gifts of his, too, became wherewithal to furnish forth that sacrifice.
'Should his majesty the king, before starting on the great sacrifice, feel any such regret as: "Great, alas, will be the portion of my wealth used up herein," let not the king harbour such regret. Should his majesty the king, whilst he is offering the great sacrifice, feel any such regret as: "Great, alas, will be the portion of my wealth used up herein," let not the king harbour such regret. Should his majesty the king, when the great sacrifice has been offered, feel any such regret as: "Great, alas, has been the portion of my wealth used up herein," let not the king harbour such regret: 'Thus did the chaplain, O Brahman, before the sacrifice had begun, explain to King Wide-realm the three modes.
'"Sufficient wealth have I, my friends, laid up, the produce of taxation that is just. Do you keep yours, and take away more with you!"
'When they had thus been refused by the king, they went aside, and considered thus one with the other: "It would not beseem us now, were we to take this wealth away again to our own homes. King Wide-realm is offering a great sacrifice. Let us too make an after-sacrifice!"
'Thus, O Brahman, there was a fourfold co-operation, and King Wide-realm was gifted with eight personal gifts, and his officiating Brahman with four. And there were three modes of the giving of that sacrifice. This, O Brahman, is what is called the due celebration of a sacrifice in its threefold mode and with its furniture of sixteen kinds!'--
Then those Brahmans said to KŻtadanta: 'Why do you not approve the good words of the Samana Gotama as well-said?'
'I do not fail to approve: for he who approves not as well-said that which has been well spoken by the Samana Gotama, verily his head would split in twain. But I was considering that the Samana Gotama does not say: "Thus have I heard," nor "Thus behoves it to be," but says only "Thus it was then," or "It was like that then." So I thought: "For a certainty the Samana Gotama himself must at that time have been King Wide-realm, or the Brahman who officiated for him at that sacrifice. Does the venerable Gotama admit that he who celebrates such a sacrifice, or causes it, to be celebrated, is reborn at the dissolution of the body, after death, into some state of happiness in heaven?'
'Yes, O Brahman, that I admit. And at that time I was the Brahman who, as chaplain, had that sacrifice performed.'
'And what, O Gotama, may that be?'
'The perpetual gifts kept up in a family where they are given specifically to virtuous recluses.
'To the latter sort of sacrifice, O Brahman, neither will the Arahats go, nor such as have entered on the Arahat way. And why not? Because at it beating with sticks takes place, and seizing by the throat. But they will go to the former, where such things are not. And therefore are such perpetual gifts above the other sort of sacrifice.'
'And what, O Gotama, may that be?'
'The putting up of a dwelling place (Vih‚ra) on behalf of the Order in all the four directions.'
'Yes, O Brahman, there is.'
'And what, O Gotama, may that be?'
'He who with trusting heart takes a Buddha as his guide, and the Truth, and the Order--that is a sacrifice better than open largesse, better than perpetual alms, better than the gift of a dwelling place.'
'When a man with trusting heart takes upon himself the precepts--abstinence from destroying life; abstinence from taking what has not been given; abstinence from evil conduct in respect of lusts; abstinence from lying words; abstinence from strong, intoxicating, maddening drinks, the root of carelessness--that is a sacrifice better than open largesse, better than perpetual alms, better than the gift of dwelling places, better than accepting guidance.'
'Yes, O Brahman, there is.'
[The answer is the long passage from the S‚maŮŮa-phala, 40 (of the text), down to 75, on the First Gh‚na, as follows;--
1. The Introductory paragraphs on the appearance of a Buddha, his preaching, the conversion of a hearer, and his renunciation of the world.
2. The SÓlas (minor morality).
3. The paragraph on Confidence.
4. The paragraph on 'Guarded is the door of his senses.'
5. The paragraph on 'Mindful and self-possessed.'
6. The paragraph on Content.
7. The paragraph on Solitude.
8. The paragraphs on the Five Hindrances.
9. The description of the First Gh‚na.]
'This, O Brahman, is a sacrifice less difficult and less troublesome, of greater fruit and greater advantage than the previous sacrifices.'
[The same is then said of the Second, Third, and Fourth Gh‚nas, in succession (as in the S‚manna-phala), and of the Insight arising from knowledge, and further (omitting direct mention either way of 85-96 inclusive) of the knowledge of the destruction of the ¬savas, the deadly intoxications or floods.]
'And there is no sacrifice man can celebrate, O Brahman, higher and sweeter than this,'
'Most excellent, O Gotama, are the words of thy mouth, most excellent! Just as if a man were to set up what has been thrown down, or were to reveal that which has been hidden away, or were to point out the right road to him who has gone astray, or were to bring a light into the darkness so that those who had eyes could see external forms--just even so has the truth been made known to me in many a figure by the venerable Gotama. I, even I, betake myself to the venerable Gotama as my guide, to the Doctrine and the Order. May the venerable One accept me as a disciple, as one who, from this day forth, as long as life endures, has taken him as his guide. And I myself, O Gotama, will have the seven hundred bulls, and the seven hundred steers, and the seven hundred heifers, and the seven hundred goats, and the seven hundred rams set free. To them I grant their life. Let them eat green grass and drink fresh water, and may cool breezes waft around them.'
'May the venerable Gotama grant me the favour of taking his to-morrow's meal with me, and also the members of the Order with him.'
And the Blessed One signified, by silence, his consent. Then the Brahman KŻtadanta, seeing that the Blessed One had accepted, rose from his seat, and keeping his right towards him as he passed, he departed thence. And at daybreak he had sweet food, both hard and soft, made ready at the pit prepared for his sacrifice, and had the time announced to the Blessed One: 'It is time, O Gotama; and the meal is ready.' And the Blessed One, who had dressed early in the morning, put on his outer robe, and taking his bowl" with him, went with the brethren to KŻtadanta's sacrificial pit, and sat down there on the seat prepared for him. And KŻtadanta the Brahman satisfied the brethren with the Buddha at their head, with his own hand, with sweet food, both hard and soft, till they refused any more. And when the Blessed One had finished his meal, and cleansed the bowl and his hands, KŻtadanta the Brahman took a low seat and seated himself beside him. And when he was thus seated the Blessed One instructed and aroused and incited and gladdened KŻtadanta the Brahman with religious discourse; and then arose from his seat and departed thence.
KŻtadanta Sutta is ended.