Khuddaka Nikāya - The Minor Texts

Sutta Nipata

Sutta Nipata Chapter 3: The Great Chapter

3:11 The Sages Asita and Nālaka

3:11 The Sages Asita and Nālaka

Prologue—Telling the story


679 The hermit Asita in his daily meditation
saw the bright-clad gods of the Thirty-Three
and their lord Sakka joyfully celebrating,
waving streamers in exuberant exaltation.

680 Seeing the gods rejoicing, elated,
he paid respects and said this there:
“Why is the community of gods in such excellent spirits?
Why take up streamers and whirl them about?

681 Even in the war with the demons,
when gods were victorious and demons defeated,
there was no such excitement.
What marvel have the celestials seen that they so rejoice?

682 Shouting and singing and playing music,
they clap their hands and dance.
I ask you, dwellers on Mount Meru’s peak,
quickly dispel my doubt, good sirs!”


683 “The being intent on awakening, a peerless gem,
has been born in the human realm for the sake of welfare and happiness,
in Lumbinī, a village in the Sakyan land.
That’s why we’re so happy, in such excellent spirits.

684 He is supreme among all beings, the best of people,
a bull among men, supreme among all creatures.
He will roll forth the wheel in the grove of the hermits,
roaring like a mighty lion, lord of beasts.”


685 Hearing this, he swiftly descended
and right away approached Suddhodana’s home.
Seated there he said this to the Sakyans,
“Where is the boy? I too wish to see him!”


Then the Sakyans showed their son to the one named Asita

686 the boy shone like burning gold
well-wrought in the forge;
resplendent with glory, of peerless beauty.

687 The boy beamed like crested flame,
pure as the moon, lord of stars traversing the sky,
blazing like the sun free of clouds after the rains;
seeing him, he was joyful, brimming with happiness.

688 The celestials held up a parasol in the sky,
many-ribbed and thousand-circled;
and golden-handled chowries waved—
but none could see who held the chowries or the parasols.

689 When the dreadlocked hermit they called “Dark Splendor”
had seen the boy like a gold nugget on a cream rug
with a white parasol held over his head,
he received him, elated and happy.

690 Having received the Sakyan bull,
the seeker, master of marks and hymns,
lifted up his voice with confident heart:
“He is supreme, the best of men!”


691 But then, remembering he would depart this world,
his spirits fell and his tears flowed.
Seeing the weeping hermit, the Sakyans said,
“Surely there will be no threat to the boy?”


692 Seeing the crestfallen Sakyans, the hermit said,
“I do not forsee harm befall the boy,
and there will be no threat to him,
not in the least; set your minds at ease.

693 This boy shall reach the highest awakening.
As one of perfectly purified vision, compassionate for the welfare of the many,
he shall roll forth the wheel of the teaching;
his spiritual path will become widespread.

694 But I have not long left in this life,
I shall die before then.
I will never hear the teaching of the one who bore the unequaled burden.
That’s why I’m so upset and distraught—it’s a disaster for me!”


695 Having brought abundant happiness to the Sakyans,
the spiritual seeker left the royal compound.
He had a nephew; and out of compassion
he encouraged him in the teaching of the one who bore the unequaled burden.


696 “When you hear the voice of another saying ‘Buddha’—
one who has attained awakening and who reveals the foremost teaching—
go there and ask about his breakthrough;
lead the spiritual life under that Blessed One.”


697 Now, that Nālaka had a store of accumulated merit;
so when instructed by one of such kindly intent,
with perfectly purified vision of the future,
he waited in hope for the Victor, guarding his senses.

698 When he heard of the Victor rolling forth the excellent wheel he went to him,
and seeing the leading hermit, he became confident.
The time of Asita’s instruction had arrived;
so he asked the excellent sage about the highest sagacity.

The introductory verses are finished.


699 “I now know that Asita’s words
have turned out to be true.
I ask you this, Gotama,
who has gone beyond all things:

700 For one who has entered the homeless life,
seeking food on alms round,
when questioned, O sage, please tell me
of sagacity, the ultimate state.”


701 “I shall school you in sagacity,”
said the Buddha,
“so difficult and challenging.
Come, I shall tell you all about it.
Brace yourself; stay strong!

702 In the village, keep the same attitude
no matter if reviled or praised.
Guard against ill-tempered thoughts,
wander peaceful, not frantic.

703 Many different things come up,
like tongues of fire in a forest.
Women try to seduce a sage—
let them not seduce you!

704 Refraining from sex,
having left behind sensual pleasures high and low,
don’t be hostile or attached
to living creatures firm or frail.

705 ‘As am I, so are they;
as are they, so am I’—
Treating others like oneself,
neither kill nor incite to kill.

706 Leaving behind desire and greed
for what ordinary people are attached to,
a seer would set out to practice,
they’d cross over this abyss.

707 With empty stomach, taking limited food,
few in wishes, not greedy;
truly hungerless regarding all desires,
desireless, one is quenched.

708 Having wandered for alms,
they’d take themselves into the forest;
and nearing the foot of a tree,
the sage would take their seat.

709 That wise one intent on absorption,
would delight within the forest.
They’d practice absorption at the foot of a tree,
filling themselves with bliss.

710 Then, at the end of the night,
they’d take themselves into a village.
They’d not welcome being called,
nor offerings brought from the village.

711 A sage who has come to a village
would not walk hastily among the families.
They’d not discuss their search for food,
nor would they speak suggestively.

712 ‘I got something, that’s good.
I got nothing, that’s fine.’
Impartial in both cases,
they return right to the tree.

713 Wandering with bowl in hand,
not dumb, but thought to be dumb,
they wouldn’t scorn a tiny gift,
nor look down upon the giver.

714 For the practice has many aspects,
as explained by the Ascetic.
They do not go to the far shore twice,
nor having gone once do they fall away.

715 When a mendicant has no creeping,
and has cut the stream of craving,
and given up all the various duties,
no fever is found in them.

716 I shall school you in sagacity.
Practice as if you were licking a razor’s edge.
With tongue pressed to the roof of your mouth,
be restrained regarding your stomach.

717 Don’t be sluggish in mind,
nor think overly much.
Be free of putrefaction and unattached,
committed to the spiritual life.

718 Train in a lonely seat,
attending closely to ascetics;
solitude is sagacity, they say.
If you welcome solitude,
you’ll light up the ten directions.

719 Having heard the words of the wise,
the meditators who’ve given up sensual desires,
a follower of mine would develop
conscience and faith all the more.

720 Understand this by the way streams move
in clefts and crevices:
the little creeks flow on babbling,
while silent flow the great rivers.

721 What is lacking, babbles;
what is full is at peace.
The fool is like a half-full pot;
the wise like a brimfull lake.

722 When the Ascetic speaks much
it is relevant and meaningful:
knowing, he teaches the Dhamma;
knowing, he speaks much.

723 But one who, knowing, is restrained,
knowing, does not speak much;
that sage is worthy of sagacity,
that sage has achieved sagacity.”




679Ānandajāte tidasagaṇe patīte,
Sakkañca indaṁ sucivasane ca deve;
Dussaṁ gahetvā atiriva thomayante,
Asito isi addasa divāvihāre.

680 Disvāna deve muditamane udagge,
Cittiṁ karitvāna idamavoca tattha;
"Kiṁ devasaṅgho atiriva kalyarūpo,
Dussaṁ gahetvā ramayatha kiṁ paṭicca.

681 Yadāpi āsī asurehi saṅgamo,
Jayo surānaṁ asurā parājitā;
Tadāpi netādiso lomahaṁsano,
Kimabbhutaṁ daṭṭhu marū pamoditā.

682 Seḷenti gāyanti ca vādayanti ca,
Bhujāni phoṭenti ca naccayanti ca;
Pucchāmi vohaṁ merumuddhavāsine,
Dhunātha me saṁsayaṁ khippa mārisā".


683 "So bodhisatto ratanavaro atulyo,
Manussaloke hitasukhatthāya jāto;
Sakyāna gāme janapade lumbineyye,
Tenamha tuṭṭhā atiriva kalyarūpā.

684 So sabbasattuttamo aggapuggalo,
Narāsabho sabbapajānamuttamo;
Vattessati cakkamisivhaye vane,
Nadaṁva sīho balavā migābhibhū".


685 Taṁ saddaṁ sutvā turitamavasarī so,
Suddhodanassa tada bhavanaṁ upāvisi;
Nisajja tattha idamavocāsi sakye,
"Kuhiṁ kumāro ahamapi daṭṭhukāmo".


Tato kumāraṁ jalitamiva suvaṇṇaṁ

686 Ukkāmukheva sukusalasampahaṭṭhaṁ;
Daddallamānaṁ siriyā anomavaṇṇaṁ,
Dassesu puttaṁ asitavhayassa sakyā.

687 Disvā kumāraṁ sikhimiva pajjalantaṁ,
Tārāsabhaṁva nabhasigamaṁ visuddhaṁ;
Suriyaṁ tapantaṁ saradarivabbhamuttaṁ,
Ānandajāto vipulamalattha pītiṁ.

688 Anekasākhañca sahassamaṇḍalaṁ,
Chattaṁ marū dhārayumantalikkhe;
Suvaṇṇadaṇḍā vītipatanti cāmarā,
Na dissare cāmarachattagāhakā.

689 Disvā jaṭī kaṇhasirivhayo isi,
Suvaṇṇanikkhaṁ viya paṇḍukambale;
Setañca chattaṁ dhariyanta muddhani,
Udaggacitto sumano paṭiggahe.

690 Paṭiggahetvā pana sakyapuṅgavaṁ,
Jigīsako lakkhaṇamantapāragū;
Pasannacitto giramabbhudīrayi,
"Anuttarāyaṁ dvipadānamuttamo".


691 Athattano gamanamanussaranto,
Akalyarūpo gaḷayati assukāni;
Disvāna sakyā isimavocuṁ rudantaṁ,
"No ce kumāre bhavissati antarāyo".


692 Disvāna sakye isimavoca akalye,
" Nāhaṁ kumāre ahitamanussarāmi;
Na cāpimassa bhavissati antarāyo,
Na orakāyaṁ adhimānasā bhavātha.

693 Sambodhiyaggaṁ phusissatāyaṁ kumāro,
So dhammacakkaṁ paramavisuddhadassī;
Vattessatāyaṁ bahujanahitānukampī,
Vitthārikassa bhavissati brahmacariyaṁ.

694 Mamañca āyu na ciramidhāvaseso,
Athantarā me bhavissati kālakiriyā;
Sohaṁ na sossaṁ asamadhurassa dhammaṁ,
Tenamhi aṭṭo byasanaṅgato aghāvī".

695 So sākiyānaṁ vipulaṁ janetvā pītiṁ,
Antepuramhā niggamā brahmacārī;
So bhāgineyyaṁ sayaṁ anukampamāno,
Samādapesi asamadhurassa dhamme.


696 "Buddhoti ghosaṁ yada parato suṇāsi,
Sambodhipatto vivarati dhammamaggaṁ;
Gantvāna tattha samayaṁ paripucchamāno,
Carassu tasmiṁ bhagavati brahmacariyaṁ".

697 Tenānusiṭṭho hitamanena tādinā,
Anāgate paramavisuddhadassinā;
So nālako upacitapuññasañcayo,
Jinaṁ patikkhaṁ parivasi rakkhitindriyo.

698 Sutvāna ghosaṁ jinavaracakkavattane,
Gantvāna disvā isinisabhaṁ pasanno;
Moneyyaseṭṭhaṁ munipavaraṁ apucchi,
Samāgate asitāvhayassa sāsaneti.

Vatthugāthā niṭṭhitā.


699 "Aññātametaṁ vacanaṁ,
Asitassa yathātathaṁ;
Taṁ taṁ gotama pucchāmi,
Sabbadhammāna pāraguṁ.

700 Anagāriyupetassa,
Bhikkhācariyaṁ jigīsato;
Muni pabrūhi me puṭṭho,
Moneyyaṁ uttamaṁ padaṁ".

(iti bhagavā):

701 "Moneyyaṁ te upaññissaṁ,
Dukkaraṁ durabhisambhavaṁ;
Handa te naṁ pavakkhāmi,
Santhambhassu daḷho bhava.

702 Samānabhāgaṁ kubbetha,
Gāme akkuṭṭhavanditaṁ;
Manopadosaṁ rakkheyya,
Santo anuṇṇato care.

703 Uccāvacā niccharanti,
Dāye aggisikhūpamā;
Nāriyo muniṁ palobhenti,
Tā su taṁ mā palobhayuṁ.

704 Virato methunā dhammā,
Hitvā kāme paropare;
Aviruddho asāratto,
Pāṇesu tasathāvare.

705 Yathā ahaṁ tathā ete,
Yathā ete tathā ahaṁ;
Attānaṁ upamaṁ katvā,
Na haneyya na ghātaye.

706 Hitvā icchañca lobhañca,
Yattha satto puthujjano;
Cakkhumā paṭipajjeyya,
Tareyya narakaṁ imaṁ.

707 Ūnūdaro mitāhāro,
Appicchassa alolupo;
Sadā icchāya nicchāto,
Aniccho hoti nibbuto.

708 Sa piṇḍacāraṁ caritvā,
Upaṭṭhito rukkhamūlasmiṁ,
Āsanūpagato muni.

709 Sa jhānapasuto dhīro,
Vanante ramito siyā;
Jhāyetha rukkhamūlasmiṁ,

710 Tato ratyā vivasāne,
Avhānaṁ nābhinandeyya,
Abhihārañca gāmato.

711 Na munī gāmamāgamma,
Kulesu sahasā care;
Ghāsesanaṁ chinnakatho,
Na vācaṁ payutaṁ bhaṇe.

712 Alatthaṁ yadidaṁ sādhu,
Nālatthaṁ kusalaṁ iti;
Ubhayeneva so tādī,

713 Sa pattapāṇi vicaranto,
Amūgo mūgasammato;
Appaṁ dānaṁ na hīḷeyya,
Dātāraṁ nāvajāniyā.

714 Uccāvacā hi paṭipadā,
Samaṇena pakāsitā;
Na pāraṁ diguṇaṁ yanti,
Nayidaṁ ekaguṇaṁ mutaṁ.

715 Yassa ca visatā natthi,
Chinnasotassa bhikkhuno;
Pariḷāho na vijjati.

716 Moneyyaṁ te upaññissaṁ,
Khuradhārūpamo bhave;
Jivhāya tālumāhacca,
Udare saññato siyā.

717 Alīnacitto ca siyā,
Na cāpi bahu cintaye;
Nirāmagandho asito,

718 Ekāsanassa sikkhetha,
Samaṇūpāsanassa ca;
Ekattaṁ monamakkhātaṁ,
Eko ce abhiramissasi;
Atha bhāhisi dasadisā.

719 Sutvā dhīrānaṁ nighosaṁ,
Jhāyīnaṁ kāmacāginaṁ;
Tato hiriñca saddhañca,
Bhiyyo kubbetha māmako.

720 Taṁ nadīhi vijānātha,
Sobbhesu padaresu ca;
Saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
Tuṇhī yanti mahodadhī.

721 Yadūnakaṁ taṁ saṇati,
Yaṁ pūraṁ santameva taṁ;
Aḍḍhakumbhūpamo bālo,
Rahado pūrova paṇḍito.

722 Yaṁ samaṇo bahuṁ bhāsati,
Upetaṁ atthasañhitaṁ;
Jānaṁ so dhammaṁ deseti,
Jānaṁ so bahu bhāsati.

723 Yo ca jānaṁ saṁyatatto,
Jānaṁ na bahu bhāsati;
Sa munī monamarahati,
Sa munī monamajjhagā"ti.

Nālakasuttaṁ ekādasamaṁ.