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English translation of
Holy Sutta Nipata
English translation by V. Fausböll
taken from http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/sbe10/

Book 03 Mahavagga : Chapter 09 Vasetthasutta

So it was heard by me:

At one time Bhagavat dwelt at I/kkh/āna/m/kala, in the I/kkh/āna/m/kala forest. At that time many distinguished, wealthy Brāma/n/as lived at I/kkh/āna/m/kala, as the Brāma/n/a /K/a/m/kin, the Brāma/n/a Tārukkha, the Brāma/n/a Pokkharasāti, the Brāhmana /G/ānusso/n/i, the Brāma/n/a Todeyya, and other distinguished, wealthy Brāma/n/as.

Then this dialogue arose between the young men Vāsettha and Bhāradvā/g/a while walking about:

'How does one become a Brāma/n/a?'

The young man Bhāradvā/g/a said: 'When one is noble by birth on both sides, on the mother's and on the father's side, of pure conception up to the seventh generation of ancestors, not discarded and not reproached in point of birth, in this way one is a Brāma/n/a.'

The young man Vāse/tth/a said: 'When one is virtuous and endowed with (holy) works, in this way he is a Brāma/n/a.'

Neither could the young man Bhāradvā/g/a convince the young man Vāse/tth/a, nor could the young man Vāse/tth/a convince the young man Bhāradvā/g/a. Then the young man Vāse/tth/a addressed the young man Bhāradvā/g/a: 'O Bhāradvā/g/a, this Sama/n/a Gotama, the Sakya son, gone out from the Sakya family, dwells at I/kkh/āna/m/kala, in the forest of I/kkh/āna/m/kala, and the following good praising words met the venerable Gotama: "And so he is Bhagavat, the venerable, the enlightened, the glorious, let us go, O venerable Bhāradvā/g/a, let us go (to the place) where the Sama/n/a Gotama is, and having gone there let us ask the Sama/n/a Gotama about this matter, and as the Sama/n/a Gotama replies so will we understand it."'

'Very well, O venerable one;' so the young man Bhāradvā/g/a answered the young man Vāse/tth/a.

Then the young men Vāse/tth/a and Bhāradvā/g/a went (to the place) where Bhagavat was, and having gone, they talked pleasantly with Bhagavat, and after having had some pleasant and remarkable conversation (with him) they sat down apart. Sitting down apart the young man Vāse/tth/a addressed Bhagavat in stanzas:

1.
'We are accepted and acknowledged masters of the three Vedas, I am (a pupil) of Pokkharasāti, and this young man is (the pupil) of Tārukkha.

2.
'We are accomplished in all the knowledge propounded by those who are acquainted with the three Vedas, we are padakas (versed in the metre), veyyākara/n/as (grammarians?), and equal to our teachers in recitation (/g/appa).

3.
'We have a controversy regarding (the distinctions of) birth, O Gotama! Bhāradvā/g/a says, one is a Brāma/n/a by birth, and I say, by deeds; know this, O thou clearly-seeing!

4.
'We are both unable to convince each other, (therefore) we have come to ask thee (who art) celebrated as perfectly enlightened.

5.
'As people adoring the full moon worship (her) with uplifted clasped hands, so (they worship) Gotama in the world.

6.
'We ask Gotama who has come as an eye to the world: Is a man a Brāhma/n/a by birth, or is he so by deeds? Tell us who do not know, that we may know a Brāma/n/a.'

7.
'I will explain to you, O Vāse/tth/a,'--so said Bhagavat,--'in due order the exact distinction of living beings according to species, for their species are manifold.

8.
'Know ye the grass and the trees, although they do not exhibit (it), the marks that constitute species are for them, and (their) species are manifold.

9.
'Then (know ye) the worms, and the moths, and the different sorts of ants, the marks that constitute species are for them, and (their) species are manifold.

10.
'Know ye also the four-footed (animals), small and great, the marks that constitute species are for them, and (their) species are manifold.

11.
'Know ye also the serpents, the long-backed snakes, the marks that constitute species are for them, and (their) species are manifold.

12.
'Then know ye also the fish which range in the water, the marks that constitute species are for them, and (their) species are manifold.

13.
'Then know ye also the birds that are borne along on wings and move through the air, the marks that constitute species are for them, and (their) species are manifold.

14.
'As in these species the marks that constitute species are abundant, so in men the marks that constitute species are not abundant.

15.
'Not as regards their hair, head, ears, eyes, mouth, nose, lips, or brows,

16.
'Nor as regards their neck, shoulders, belly, back, hip, breast, female organ, sexual intercourse,

17.
'Nor as regards their hands, feet, palms, nails, calves, thighs, colour, or voice are there marks that constitute species as in other species.

18.
'Difference there is in beings endowed with bodies, but amongst men this is not the case, the difference amongst men is nominal (only).

19.
'For whoever amongst men lives by cowkeeping,--know this, O Vāse/tth/a,--he is a husbandman, not a Brāma/n/a.'

20.
'And whoever amongst men lives by different mechanical arts,--know this, O Vāse/tth/a,--he is an artisan, not a Brāma/n/a.

21.
'And whoever amongst men lives by trade,--know this, O Vāse/tth/a,--he is a merchant, not a Brāma/n/a.

22.
And whoever amongst men lives by serving others,--know this, O Vāse/tth/a,--he is a servant, not a Brāhma/n/a.

23.
'And whoever amongst men lives by theft,--know this, O Vāse/tth/a,--he is a thief, not a Brāhma/n/a.

24.
'And whoever amongst men lives by archery,--know this, O Vāse/tth/a,--he is a soldier, not a Brāma/n/a.

25.
'And whoever amongst men lives by performing household ceremonials,--know this, O Vāse/tth/a,--he is a sacrificer, not a Brāma/n/a.

Continued...

26.
'And whoever amongst men possesses villages and countries,--know this, O Vāse/tth/a,--he is a king, not a Brāma/n/a.

27.
'And I do not call one a Brāma/n/a on account of his birth or of his origin from (a particular) mother; he may be called bhovādi, and he may be wealthy, (but) the one who is possessed of nothing and seizes upon nothing, him I call a Brāhma/n/a.

28.
'Whosoever, after cutting all bonds, does not tremble, has shaken off (all) ties and is liberated, him I call a Brāma/n/a.

29.
'The man who, after cutting the strap (i.e. enmity), the thong (i.e. attachment), and the rope (i.e. scepticism) with all that pertains to it, has destroyed (all) obstacles (i.e. ignorance), the enlightened (buddha), him I call a Brāma/n/a.

30.
'Whosoever, being innocent, endures reproach, blows, and bonds, the man who is strong in (his) endurance and has for his army this strength, him I call a Brāma/n/a.

31.
'The man who is free from anger, endowed with (holy) works, virtuous, without desire, subdued, and wearing the last body, him I call a Brāhma/n/a.

32.
'The man who, like water on a lotus leaf, or a mustard seed on the point of a needle, does not cling to sensual pleasures, him I call a Brāhma/n/a.

33.
'The man who knows in this world the destruction of his pain, who has laid aside (his) burden, and is liberated, him I call a Brāma/n/a.

34.
'The man who has a profound understanding, who is wise, who knows the true way and the wrong way, who has attained the highest good, him I call a Brāma/n/a.

35.
'The man who does not mix with householders nor with the houseless, who wanders about without a house, and who has few wants, him I call a Brāhma/n/a.

36.
'Whosoever, after refraining from hurting (living) creatures, (both) those that tremble and those that are strong, does not kill or cause to be killed, him I call a Brāma/n/a.

37.
'The man who is not hostile amongst the hostile, who is peaceful amongst the violent, not seizing (upon anything) amongst those that seize (upon everything), him I call a Brāma/n/a.

38.
'The man whose passion and hatred, arrogance and hypocrisy have dropt like a mustard seed from the point of a needle, him I call a Brāma/n/a.

39.
'The man that utters true speech, instructive and free from harshness, by which he does not offend any one, him I call a Brāma/n/a.

40.
'Whosoever in the world does not take what has not been given (to him), be it long or short, small or large, good or bad, him I call a Brāhma/n/a.

41.
'The man who has no desire for this world or the next, who is desireless and liberated, him I call a Brāma/n/a.

42.
'The man who has no desire, who knowingly is free from doubt; and has attained the depth of immortality, him I call a Brāma/n/a.

43.
'Whosoever in this world has overcome good and evil, both ties, who is free from grief and defilement, and is pure, him I call a Brāma/n/a.

44.
'The man that is stainless like the moon, pure, serene, and undisturbed, who has destroyed joy, him I call a Brāma/n/a.

45.
'Whosoever has passed over this quagmire difficult to pass, (who has passed over) revolution (sa/m/sāra) and folly, who has crossed over, who has reached the other shore, who is meditative, free from desire and doubt, calm without seizing (upon anything), him I call a Brāma/n/a.

46.
'Whosoever in this world, after abandoning sensual pleasures, wanders about houseless, and has destroyed the existence of sensual pleasures (kāmabhava), him I call a Brāma/n/a.

47.
'Whosoever in this world, after abandoning desire, wanders about houseless, and has destroyed the existence of desire (ta/n/hābhava), him I call a Brāma/n/a.

48.
'Whosoever, after leaving human attachment (yoga), has overcome divine attachment, and is liberated from all attachment, him I call a Brāhma/n/a.

49.
'The man that, after leaving pleasure and disgust, is calm and free from the elements of existence (nirupadhi), who is a hero, and has conquered all the world, him I call a Brāma/n/a.

50.
'Whosoever knows wholly the vanishing and reappearance of beings, does not cling to (anything); is happy (sugata), and enlightened, him I call a Brāma/n/a.

51.
'The man whose way neither gods nor Gandhabbas nbr men know, and whose passions are destroyed, who is a saint, him I call a Brāma/n/a.

52.
'The man for whom there is nothing, neither before nor after nor in the middle, who possesses nothing, and does not seize (upon anything), him I call a Brāma/n/a.

53.
'The (man that is undaunted like a) bull, who is eminent, a hero, a great sage (mahesi), victorious, free from desire, purified, enlightened, him I call a Brāma/n/a.

54.
'The man who knows his former dwellings, who sees both heaven and hell, and has reached the destruction of births, him I call a Brāma/n/a.

55.
'For what has been designated as "name" and "family" in the world is only a term, what has been designated here and there is understood by common consent.

56.
'Adhered to for a long time are the views of the ignorant, the ignorant tell us, one is a Brāma/n/a by birth.

57.
'Not by birth is one a Brāma/n/a, nor is one by birth no Brāma/n/a; by work (kammanā) one is a Brāma/n/a, by work one is no Brāma/n/a.

58.
'By work one is a husbandman, by work one is an artisan, by work one is a merchant, by work one is a servant.

59.
'By work one is a thief, by work one is a soldier, by work one is a sacrificer, by work one is a king.

60.
'So the wise, who see the cause of things and understand the result of work, know this work as it really is.

61.
'By work the world exists, by work mankind exists, beings are bound by work as the linch-pin of the rolling cart (keeps the wheel on).

62.
'By penance, by a religious life, by self-restraint, and by temperance, by this one is a Brāma/n/a, such a one (they call) the best Brāma/n/a.

63.
'He who is endowed with the threefold knowledge, is calm, and has destroyed regeneration,--know this, O Vāse/tth/a,--he is to the wise Brahman and Sakka.'

This having been said, the young men Vāse/tth/a and Bhāradvā/g/a spoke to Bhagavat as follows:

'It is excellent, O venerable Gotama! It is excellent, O venerable Gotama! As one raises what has been overthrown, or reveals what has been hidden, or tells the way to him who has gone astray, or holds out an oil lamp in the dark that those who have eyes may see the objects, even so by the venerable Gotama in manifold ways the Dhamma has been illustrated; we take refuge in the venerable Gotama, in the Dhamma, and in the Assembly of Bhikkhus; may the venerable Gotama receive us as followers (upāsaka), who from this day for life have taken refuge (in him).'

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-- Book 03 - Chapter 09 --





 
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