Khuddaka Nikāya - The Minor Texts

Sutta Nipata

Sutta Nipata Chapter 3: The Great Chapter

3:4 With Bhāradvāja of Sundarikā on the Sacrificial Cake

3:4 With Bhāradvāja of Sundarikā on the Sacrificial Cake

So I have heard:

At one time the Buddha was staying in the Kosalan lands on the bank of the Sundarikā river. Now at that time the brahmin Sundarikabhāradvāja was serving the sacred flame and performing the fire sacrifice on the bank of the Sundarikā. Then he looked all around the four quarters, wondering: “Now who might eat the leftovers of this offering?” He saw the Buddha meditating at the root of a certain tree with his robe pulled over his head. Taking the leftovers of the offering in his left hand and a pitcher in the right he approached the Buddha.

When he heard Sundarikabhāradvāja’s footsteps the Buddha uncovered his head. Sundarikabhāradvāja thought: “This man is shaven, he is shaven!” And he wanted to turn back.

But he thought: “Even some brahmins are shaven. Why don’t I go to him and ask about his birth?” Then the brahmin Sundarikabhāradvāja went up to the Buddha, and said to him: “Sir, in what caste were you born?”

Then the Buddha addressed Sundarikabhāradvāja in verse:

455 “I am no brahmin, nor am I a prince,
nor merchant nor anything else.
Fully understanding the clan of ordinary people,
I wander in the world owning nothing, reflective.

456 Clad in my cloak, I wander without home,
my hair shorn, quenched.
Since I’m unburdened by youngsters,
it’s inappropriate to ask me about clan.”


457 “Actually sir, when brahmins meet they politely
ask each other whether they are brahmins.”

“Well, if you say that you’re a brahmin,
and that I am not,
I shall question you on the Gāyatrī Mantra,
with its three lines and twenty-four syllables.”


458 “On what grounds have hermits and men,
aristocrats and brahmins here in the world
performed so many different sacrifices to the gods?”

“During a sacrifice, should a past-master, a knowledge master,
receive an oblation, it profits the donor, I say.”


“Then clearly my oblation will be profitable,”
said the brahmin,
“since I have met such a knowledge master.
It’s because I’d never met anyone like you
that others ate the sacrificial cake.”


460 “So then, brahmin, since you have approached me
as a seeker of the good, ask.
Perhaps you may find here someone intelligent,
peaceful, unclouded, untroubled, with no need for hope.”


461 “Master Gotama, I like to sacrifice
and wish to perform a sacrifice. Please advise me,
for I do not understand
where an oblation is profitable; tell me this.”


“Well then, brahmin, lend an ear, I will teach you the Dhamma.

462 Don’t ask about birth, ask about conduct;
for any wood can surely generate fire.
A steadfast sage, even though from a low class family,
is a thoroughbred checked by conscience.

463 Tamed by truth, fulfilled by taming,
a complete knowledge master who has completed the spiritual journey—
that is where a brahmin seeking merit
should bestow a timely offering as sacrifice.

464 Those who have left sensuality behind, wandering homeless,
self-controlled, straight as a shuttle—
that is where a brahmin seeking merit
should bestow a timely offering as sacrifice.

465 Those freed of greed, with senses stilled,
like the moon released from the eclipse—
that is where a brahmin seeking merit
should bestow a timely offering as sacrifice.

466 They wander the world unimpeded,
always mindful, calling nothing their own—
that is where a brahmin seeking merit
should bestow a timely offering as sacrifice.

467 Having left sensuality behind, wandering triumphant,
knowing the end of rebirth and death,
extinguished and cool as a lake:
the Realized One is worthy of the sacrificial cake.

468 Good among the good, far from the bad,
the Realized One has infinite wisdom.
Unsullied in this world and the next:
the Realized One is worthy of the sacrificial cake.

469 In whom dwells no deceit or conceit,
rid of greed, unselfish, with no need for hope,
with anger eliminated, quenched,
a brahmin rid of sorrow’s stain:
the Realized One is worthy of the sacrificial cake.

470 He has given up the mind’s home,
and has no possessions at all.
Not grasping to this world or the next:
the Realized One is worthy of the sacrificial cake.

471 Serene, he has crossed the flood,
and has understood the teaching with ultimate view.
With defilements ended, bearing his final body:
the Realized One is worthy of the sacrificial cake.

472 In whom desire to be reborn, and caustic speech
are cleared and ended, they are no more;
that knowledge master, everywhere free:
the Realized One is worthy of the sacrificial cake.

473 He has escaped his chains, he’s chained no more,
among those caught in conceit he is free of conceit;
he has fully understood suffering with its field and ground:
the Realized One is worthy of the sacrificial cake.

474 Not relying on hope, seeing seclusion,
well past the views proclaimed by others.
In him there are no supporting conditions at all:
the Realized One is worthy of the sacrificial cake.

475 He has comprehended all things, high and low,
cleared them and ended them, so they are no more.
Peaceful, freed in the ending of grasping:
the Realized One is worthy of the sacrificial cake.

476 He sees the ending of rebirth’s fetter,
and has swept away all manner of desire.
Pure, stainless, immaculate, flawless:
the Realized One is worthy of the sacrificial cake.

477 Not seeing himself in terms of a self,
he is stilled, upright, and steadfast.
Imperturbable, kind, wishless:
the Realized One is worthy of the sacrificial cake.

478 He harbors no delusions within at all,
he has insight into all things.
He bears his final body,
attained to the state of grace, the supreme awakening.
That’s how the purity of a spirit is defined:
the Realized One is worthy of the sacrificial cake.”

479 “Let my oblation be a true offering,
since I have found such a knowledge master!
I see Brahmā in person! Accept my offering, Blessed One:
please eat my sacrificial cake.”

480 “Food enchanted by a spell isn’t fit for me to eat.
That’s not the principle of those who see, brahmin.
The Buddhas reject things enchanted with spells.
Since there is such a principle, brahmin, that’s how they live.

481 Serve with other food and drink
the consummate one, the great hermit,
with defilements ended and remorse stilled.
For he is the field for the seeker of merit.”


482“Please, Blessed One, help me understand:
now that I have encountered your teaching,
when I look for someone during a sacrifice,
who should eat the religious donation of one like me?”


483Whose anger’s disappeared,
who has unclouded mind,
who’s free from lustfulness,
whose sloth is thrust aside,

484 “One who is rid of aggression,
whose mind is unclouded,
who is liberated from sensual pleasures,
and who has dispelled dullness.

485 One who has erased boundaries and limits,
expert in birth and death,
a sage, blessed with sagacity.
When such a person comes to the sacrifice,


486 get rid of your scowl!
Honor them with joined palms,
and venerate them with food and drink,
and in this way your religious donation will succeed.”

Then the brahmin Sundarikabhāradvāja said to the Buddha: “Excellent, Master Gotama! Excellent! As if he were righting the overturned, or revealing the hidden, or pointing out the path to the lost, or lighting a lamp in the dark so people with good eyes can see what’s there, Master Gotama has made the teaching clear in many ways. I go for refuge to Master Gotama, to the teaching, and to the mendicant Saṅgha. Sir, may I receive the going forth, the ordination in the Buddha’s presence?” And the brahmin Sundarika Bhāradvāja received the going forth, the ordination in the Buddha’s presence. And soon after, he became one of the perfected.

Pūraḷāsa (sundarikabhāradvāja) sutta

Evaṁ me sutaṁ​:

Ekaṁ samayaṁ bhagavā kosalesu viharati sundarikāya nadiyā tīre. Tena kho pana samayena sundarikabhāradvājo brāhmaṇo sundarikāya nadiyā tīre aggiṁ juhati, aggihuttaṁ paricarati. Atha kho sundarikabhāradvājo brāhmaṇo aggiṁ juhitvā aggihuttaṁ paricaritvā uṭṭhāyāsanā samantā catuddisā anuvilokesi:  "ko nu kho imaṁ habyasesaṁ bhuñjeyyā"ti? Addasā kho sundarikabhāradvājo brāhmaṇo bhagavantaṁ avidūre aññatarasmiṁ rukkhamūle sasīsaṁ pārutaṁ nisinnaṁ; disvāna vāmena hatthena habyasesaṁ gahetvā dakkhiṇena hatthena kamaṇḍaluṁ gahetvā yena bhagavā tenupasaṅkami.

Atha kho bhagavā sundarikabhāradvājassa brāhmaṇassa padasaddena sīsaṁ vivari. Atha kho sundarikabhāradvājo brāhmaṇo:  "muṇḍo ayaṁ bhavaṁ, muṇḍako ayaṁ bhavan"ti tatova puna nivattitukāmo ahosi.

Atha kho sundarikabhāradvājassa brāhmaṇassa etadahosi:  "muṇḍāpi hi idhekacce brāhmaṇā bhavanti, yannūnāhaṁ upasaṅkamitvā jātiṁ puccheyyan"ti. Atha kho sundarikabhāradvājo brāhmaṇo yena bhagavā tenupasaṅkami; upasaṅkamitvā bhagavantaṁ etadavoca:  "kiṁjacco bhavan"ti?

Atha kho bhagavā sundarikabhāradvājaṁ brāhmaṇaṁ gāthāhi ajjhabhāsi: 

455"Na brāhmaṇo nomhi na rājaputto,
Na vessāyano uda koci nomhi;
Gottaṁ pariññāya puthujjanānaṁ,
Akiñcano manta carāmi loke.

456 Saṅghāṭivāsī agaho carāmi,
Nivuttakeso abhinibbutatto;
Alippamāno idha māṇavehi,
Akallaṁ maṁ brāhmaṇa pucchasi gottapañhaṁ".

457 "Pucchanti ve bho brāhmaṇā brāhmaṇebhi,
Saha brāhmaṇo no bhavan"ti.

"Brāhmaṇo hi ce tvaṁ brūsi,
Mañca brūsi abrāhmaṇaṁ;
Taṁ taṁ sāvittiṁ pucchāmi,
Tipadaṁ catuvīsatakkharaṁ".


458 "Kiṁ nissitā isayo manujā,
Khattiyā brāhmaṇā devatānaṁ;
Yaññamakappayiṁsu puthū idha loke".

"Yadantagū vedagū yaññakāle,
Yassāhutiṁ labhe tassijjheti brūmi".

(iti brāhmaṇo):

459 "Addhā hi tassa hutamijjhe,
Yaṁ tādisaṁ vedagumaddasāma;
Tumhādisānañhi adassanena,
Añño jano bhuñjati pūraḷāsaṁ".


460 "Tasmātiha tvaṁ brāhmaṇa atthena,
Atthiko upasaṅkamma puccha;
Santaṁ vidhūmaṁ anīghaṁ nirāsaṁ,
Appevidha abhivinde sumedhaṁ".


461 "Yaññe ratohaṁ bho gotama,
Yaññaṁ yiṭṭhukāmo nāhaṁ pajānāmi;
Anusāsatu maṁ bhavaṁ,
Yattha hutaṁ ijjhate brūhi me taṁ".


"Tena hi tvaṁ, brāhmaṇa, odahassu sotaṁ; dhammaṁ te desessāmi – 

462 Mā jātiṁ pucchī caraṇañca puccha,
Kaṭṭhā have jāyati jātavedo;
Nīcākulīnopi munī dhitīmā,
Ājāniyo hoti hirīnisedho.

463 Saccena danto damasā upeto,
Vedantagū vūsitabrahmacariyo;
Kālena tamhi habyaṁ pavecche,
Yo brāhmaṇo puññapekkho yajetha.

464 Ye kāme hitvā agahā caranti,
Susaññatattā tasaraṁva ujjuṁ;
Kālena tesu habyaṁ pavecche,
Yo brāhmaṇo puññapekkho yajetha.

465 Ye vītarāgā susamāhitindriyā,
Candova rāhuggahaṇā pamuttā;
Kālena tesu habyaṁ pavecche,
Yo brāhmaṇo puññapekkho yajetha.

466 Asajjamānā vicaranti loke,
Sadā satā hitvā mamāyitāni;
Kālena tesu habyaṁ pavecche,
Yo brāhmaṇo puññapekkho yajetha.

467 Yo kāme hitvā abhibhuyyacārī,
Yo vedi jātīmaraṇassa antaṁ;
Parinibbuto udakarahadova sīto,
Tathāgato arahati pūraḷāsaṁ.

468 Samo samehi visamehi dūre,
Tathāgato hoti anantapañño;
Anūpalitto idha vā huraṁ vā,
Tathāgato arahati pūraḷāsaṁ.

469 Yamhi na māyā vasati na māno,
Yo vītalobho amamo nirāso;
Paṇunnakodho abhinibbutatto,
Yo brāhmaṇo sokamalaṁ ahāsi;
Tathāgato arahati pūraḷāsaṁ.

470 Nivesanaṁ yo manaso ahāsi,
Pariggahā yassa na santi keci;
Anupādiyāno idha vā huraṁ vā,
Tathāgato arahati pūraḷāsaṁ.

471 Samāhito yo udatāri oghaṁ,
Dhammaṁ caññāsi paramāya diṭṭhiyā;
Khīṇāsavo antimadehadhārī,
Tathāgato arahati pūraḷāsaṁ.

472 Bhavāsavā yassa vacī kharā ca,
Vidhūpitā atthagatā na santi;
Sa vedagū sabbadhi vippamutto,
Tathāgato arahati pūraḷāsaṁ.

473 Sangātigo yassa na santi saṅgā,
Yo mānasattesu amānasatto;
Dukkhaṁ pariññāya sakhettavatthuṁ,
Tathāgato arahati pūraḷāsaṁ.

474 Āsaṁ anissāya vivekadassī,
Paravediyaṁ diṭṭhimupātivatto;
Ārammaṇā yassa na santi keci,
Tathāgato arahati pūraḷāsaṁ.

475 Paroparā yassa samecca dhammā,
Vidhūpitā atthagatā na santi;
Santo upādānakhaye vimutto,
Tathāgato arahati pūraḷāsaṁ.

476 Saṁyojanaṁ jātikhayantadassī,
Yopānudi rāgapathaṁ asesaṁ;
Suddho nidoso vimalo akāco,
Tathāgato arahati pūraḷāsaṁ.

477 Yo attano attānaṁ nānupassati,
Samāhito ujjugato ṭhitatto;
Sa ve anejo akhilo akaṅkho,
Tathāgato arahati pūraḷāsaṁ.

478 Mohantarā yassa na santi keci,
Sabbesu dhammesu ca ñāṇadassī;
Sarīrañca antimaṁ dhāreti,
Patto ca sambodhimanuttaraṁ sivaṁ;
Ettāvatā yakkhassa suddhi,
Tathāgato arahati pūraḷāsaṁ".


479 "Hutañca mayhaṁ hutamatthu saccaṁ,
Yaṁ tādisaṁ vedagunaṁ alatthaṁ;
Brahmā hi sakkhi paṭigaṇhātu me bhagavā,
Bhuñjatu me bhagavā pūraḷāsaṁ".


480 "Gāthābhigītaṁ me abhojaneyyaṁ,
Sampassataṁ brāhmaṇa nesa dhammo;
Gāthābhigītaṁ panudanti buddhā,
Dhamme satī brāhmaṇa vuttiresā.

481 Aññena ca kevalinaṁ mahesiṁ,
Khīṇāsavaṁ kukkuccavūpasantaṁ;
Annena pānena upaṭṭhahassu,
Khettañhi taṁ puññapekkhassa hoti".

482 "Sādhāhaṁ bhagavā tathā vijaññaṁ,
Yo dakkhiṇaṁ bhuñjeyya mādisassa;
Yaṁ yaññakāle pariyesamāno,
Pappuyya tava sāsanaṁ".

483 "Sārambhā yassa vigatā,
Cittaṁ yassa anāvilaṁ;
Vippamutto ca kāmehi,
Thinaṁ yassa panūditaṁ.

484 Sīmantānaṁ vinetāraṁ,
Muniṁ moneyyasampannaṁ,
Tādisaṁ yaññamāgataṁ.

485 Bhakuṭiṁ vinayitvāna,
Pañjalikā namassatha;
Pūjetha annapānena,
Evaṁ ijjhanti dakkhiṇā".


486 "Buddho bhavaṁ arahati pūraḷāsaṁ,
Āyāgo sabbalokassa,
Bhoto dinnaṁ mahapphalan"ti.

Atha kho sundarikabhāradvājo brāhmaṇo bhagavantaṁ etadavoca:  "Abhikkantaṁ, bho gotama, abhikkantaṁ, bho gotama. Seyyathāpi, bho gotama, nikkujjitaṁ vā ukkujjeyya, paṭicchannaṁ vā vivareyya, mūḷhassa vā maggaṁ ācikkheyya, andhakāre vā telapajjotaṁ dhāreyya:  ‘cakkhumanto rūpāni dakkhantī’ti; evamevaṁ bhotā gotamena anekapariyāyena dhammo pakāsito. Esāhaṁ bhavantaṁ gotamaṁ saraṇaṁ gacchāmi dhammañca bhikkhusaṅghañca. Labheyyāhaṁ bhoto gotamassa santike pabbajjaṁ, labheyyaṁ upasampadan"ti. Alattha kho sundarikabhāradvājo brāhmaṇo … pe … arahataṁ ahosīti.

Sundarikabhāradvājasuttaṁ catutthaṁ.