Khuddaka Nikāya - The Minor Texts

Sutta Nipata

Sutta Nipata Chapter 5: The Chapter of the Way to the Beyond- Parayanavagga

5:1 Introductory Verses

5:1 Introductory Verses

1 From the fair city of the Kosalans
to the southern region
came a brahmin expert in hymns,
aspiring to nothingness.

2 In the domain of Assaka,
close by Aḷaka,
he lived on the bank of the Godhāvarī River,
getting by on gleanings and fruit.

3 He was supported
by a prosperous village nearby.
With the revenue earned from there
he performed a great sacrifice.

4 When he had completed the great sacrifice,
he returned to his hermitage once more.
Upon his return,
another brahmin arrived.

5 Foot-sore and thirsty,
with grotty teeth and dusty head,
he approached the other
and asked for five hundred coins.

6 When Bāvari saw him,
he invited him to sit down,
asked of his happiness and well-being,
and said the following.

7 “Whatever I had available to give,
I have already distributed.
Believe me, brahmin,
I don’t have five hundred coins.”

8 “If, good sir, you do not
give me what I ask,
then on the seventh day,
let your head explode in seven!”

9 After performing a ritual,
that charlatan uttered his dreadful curse.
When he heard these words,
Bāvari became distressed.

10 Not eating, he grew emaciated,
stricken by the dart of sorrow.
And in such a state of mind,
he could not enjoy absorption.

11 Seeing him anxious and distraught,
a goddess wishing to help,
approached Bāvari
and said the following.

12 “That charlatan understands nothing
about the head, he only wants money.
When it comes to heads or head-splitting,
he has no knowledge at all.”

13 “Madam, surely you must know—
please answer my question.
Let me hear what you say
about heads and head-splitting.”

14 “I too do not know that,
I have no knowledge in that matter.
When it comes to heads or head-splitting,
it is the Victors who have vision.”

15 “Then, in all this vast territory,
who exactly does know
about heads and head-splitting?
Please tell me, goddess.”

16 “From the city of Kapilavatthu
the World Leader has gone forth.
He is a scion of King Okkāka,
a Sakyan, and a beacon.

17 For he, brahmin, is the Awakened One!
He has gone beyond all things;
he has attained to all knowledge and power;
he is the seer into all things,
he has attained the end of all deeds;
he is freed with the ending of attachments.

18 That Buddha, the Blessed One in the world,
the Seer, teaches Dhamma.
Go to him and ask—
he will answer you.”

19 When he heard the word “Buddha”,
Bāvari was elated.
His sorrow faded,
and he was filled to brimming with joy.

20 Uplifted, elated, and inspired,
Bāvari questioned that goddess:
“But in what village or town,
or in what land is the protector of the world,
where we may go and pay respects
to the Awakened One, best of men?”

21 “Near Sāvatthī, the home of the Kosalans, is the Victor
abounding in wisdom, vast in intelligence.
That Sakyan is indefatigable, free of defilements, a bull among men:
he understands head-splitting.

22 Therefore he addressed his pupils,
brahmins who had mastered the hymns:
“Come, students, I shall speak.
Listen to what I say.
Today has arisen in the world
one whose appearance in the world
is hard to find again—
he is renowned as the Awakened One.
Quickly go to Sāvatthī
and see the best of men.”

23 “Brahmin, how exactly are we to know
the Buddha when we see him?
We don’t know, please tell us,
so we can recognize him.”

24 “The marks of a great man
have been handed down in our hymns.
Thirty-two have been described,
complete and in order.

25 One upon whose body is found
these marks of a great man
has two possible destinies,
there is no third.

26 If he stays at home,
having conquered this land
without rod or sword,
he shall govern by principle.

27 But if he goes forth
from the lay life to homelessness,
he becomes an Awakened One, a perfected one,
with veil drawn back, supreme.

28 Ask him about my birth, clan, and marks,
my hymns and students; and further,
about heads and head-splitting—
but do so only in your mind!

29 If he is the Buddha
of unobstructed vision,
he will answer with his voice
the questions in your mind.”

30 Sixteen brahmin pupils
heard what Bāvari said:
Ajita, Tissametteyya,
Puṇṇaka and Mettagū,

31 Dhotaka and Upasīva,
Nanda and then Hemaka,
both Todeyya and Kappa,
and Jatukaṇṇī the astute,

32 Bhadrāvudha and Udaya,
and the brahmin Posāla,
Mogharājā the intelligent,
and Piṅgiya the great hermit.

33 Each of them had their own following,
they were renowned the whole world over.
Those wise ones, meditators who love absorption,
were redolent with the potential of their past deeds.

34 Having bowed to Bāvari,
and circled him to his right,
they set out for the north,
with their dreadlocks and hides.

35 First to Patiṭṭhāna of Aḷaka,
then on to the city of Mahissati;
to Ujjenī and Gonaddhā,
and Vedisa, and Vanasa.

36 Then to Kosambi and Sāketa,
and the supreme city of Sāvatthī;
on they went to Setavyā and Kapilavatthu,
and the homestead at Kusinārā.

37 To Pāvā they went, and Bhoganagara,
and on to Vesālī and the Magadhan city.
Finally they reached the Pāsāṇaka shrine,
fair and delightful.

38 Like a thirsty person to cool water,
like a merchant to great profit,
like a heat-struck person to shade,
they quickly climbed the mountain.

39 At that time the Buddha
at the fore of the mendicant Saṅgha,
was teaching the mendicants the Dhamma,
like a lion roaring in the jungle.

40 Ajita saw the Buddha,
like the sun shining with a hundred rays,
like the moon on the fifteenth day
when it has come into its fullness.

41 Then he saw his body,
complete in all features.
Thrilled, he stood to one side
and asked this question in his mind.

42 “Speak about the brahmin’s birth;
of his clan; and his own marks;
what hymns is he proficient in;
and how many he teaches.”

43 “His age is a hundred and twenty.
By clan he is a Bāvari.
There are three marks on his body.
He is a master of the three Vedas,

44 the teachings on the marks, the testaments,
the vocabularies, and the rituals.
He teaches five hundred,
and has reached proficiency in his own teaching.”

45 “O supreme person, cutter of craving,
please reveal in detail
Bāvari’s marks—
let us doubt no longer!”

46 “He can cover his face with his tongue;
there is a tuft of hair between his eyebrows;
his private parts are concealed in a foreskin:
know them as this, young man.”

47 Hearing the answers
without having heard any questions,
all the people, inspired,
with joined palms, wondered:

48 “Who is it that asked a question with their mind?
Was it a god or Brahmā?
Or Indra, Sujā’s husband?
To whom does the Buddha reply?”

49 “Bāvari asks
about heads and head-splitting.
May the Buddha please answer,
and so, O hermit, dispel our doubt.”

50 “Know ignorance as the head,
and knowledge as the head-splitter,
when joined with faith, mindfulness, and immersion,
and enthusiasm and energy.”

51 At that, the brahmin student,
full of inspiration,
arranged his antelope-skin cloak over one shoulder,
and fell with his head to the Buddha’s feet.

52 “Good sir, the brahmin Bāvari
together with his pupils,
elated and happy,
bows to your feet, O seer!”

53 “May the brahmin Bāvari be happy,
together with his pupils.
And may you, too, be happy!
May you live long, young man.

54 To Bāvari and you all
I grant the opportunity to clear up all doubt.
Please ask
whatever you want.”

55 Granted the opportunity by the Buddha,
they sat down with joined palms.
Ajita asked the Realized One
the first question right there.

The Introductory Verses are Finished


1Kosalānaṁ purā rammā,
agamā dakkhiṇāpathaṁ;
Ākiñcaññaṁ patthayāno,
brāhmaṇo mantapāragū.

2So assakassa visaye,
aḷakassa samāsane;
Vasi godhāvarīkūle,
uñchena ca phalena ca.

3Tasseva upanissāya,
gāmo ca vipulo ahu;
Tato jātena āyena,

4Mahāyaññaṁ yajitvāna,
puna pāvisi assamaṁ;
Tasmiṁ paṭipaviṭṭhamhi,
añño āgañchi brāhmaṇo.

5Ugghaṭṭapādo tasito,
paṅkadanto rajassiro;
So ca naṁ upasaṅkamma,
satāni pañca yācati.

6Tamenaṁ bāvarī disvā,
āsanena nimantayi;
Sukhañca kusalaṁ pucchi,
idaṁ vacanamabravi.

7"Yaṁ kho mama deyyadhammaṁ,
Sabbaṁ visajjitaṁ mayā;
Anujānāhi me brahme,
Natthi pañcasatāni me".

8"Sace me yācamānassa,
bhavaṁ nānupadassati;
Sattame divase tuyhaṁ,
muddhā phalatu sattadhā".

9Abhisaṅkharitvā kuhako,
bheravaṁ so akittayi;
Tassa taṁ vacanaṁ sutvā,
bāvarī dukkhito ahu.

10Ussussati anāhāro,
Athopi evaṁ cittassa,
Jhāne na ramatī mano.

11Utrastaṁ dukkhitaṁ disvā,
Devatā atthakāminī;
Bāvariṁ upasaṅkamma,
Idaṁ vacanamabravi.

12"Na so muddhaṁ pajānāti,
Kuhako so dhanatthiko;
Muddhani muddhapāte vā,
Ñāṇaṁ tassa na vijjati".

13"Bhotī carahi jānāsi,
Taṁ me akkhāhi pucchitā;
Muddhaṁ muddhādhipātañca,
Taṁ suṇoma vaco tava".

14"Ahampetaṁ na jānāmi,
Ñāṇamettha na vijjati;
Muddhani muddhādhipāte ca,
Jinānaṁ hettha dassanaṁ".

15"Atha ko carahi jānāti,
Asmiṁ pathavimaṇḍale;
Muddhaṁ muddhādhipātañca,
Taṁ me akkhāhi devate".

16"Purā kapilavatthumhā,
Nikkhanto lokanāyako;
Apacco okkākarājassa,
Sakyaputto pabhaṅkaro.

17So hi brāhmaṇa sambuddho,
Sabbadhammāna pāragū;
Sabbadhammesu cakkhumā;
Sabbakammakkhayaṁ patto,
Vimutto upadhikkhaye.

18Buddho so bhagavā loke,
Dhammaṁ deseti cakkhumā;
Taṁ tvaṁ gantvāna pucchassu,
So te taṁ byākarissati".

19Sambuddhoti vaco sutvā,
Udaggo bāvarī ahu;
Sokassa tanuko āsi,
Pītiñca vipulaṁ labhi.

20So bāvarī attamano udaggo,
Taṁ devataṁ pucchati vedajāto;
"Katamamhi gāme nigamamhi vā pana,
Katamamhi vā janapade lokanātho;
Yattha gantvāna passemu,
Sambuddhaṁ dvipaduttamaṁ".

21"Sāvatthiyaṁ kosalamandire jino,
Pahūtapañño varabhūrimedhaso;
So sakyaputto vidhuro anāsavo,
Muddhādhipātassa vidū narāsabho".

22Tato āmantayī sisse,
Brāhmaṇe mantapārage;
"Etha māṇavā akkhissaṁ,
Suṇātha vacanaṁ mama.
Yasseso dullabho loke,
Pātubhāvo abhiṇhaso;
Svājja lokamhi uppanno,
Sambuddho iti vissuto;
Khippaṁ gantvāna sāvatthiṁ,
Passavho dvipaduttamaṁ".

23"Kathaṁ carahi jānemu,
Disvā buddhoti brāhmaṇa;
Ajānataṁ no pabrūhi,
Yathā jānemu taṁ mayaṁ".

24"Āgatāni hi mantesu,
Dvattiṁsāni ca byākkhātā,
Samattā anupubbaso.

25Yassete honti gattesu,
Dveyeva tassa gatiyo,
Tatiyā hi na vijjati.

26Sace agāraṁ āvasati,
Vijeyya pathaviṁ imaṁ;
Adaṇḍena asatthena,
Dhammena manusāsati.

27Sace ca so pabbajati,
Agārā anagāriyaṁ;
Vivaṭṭacchado sambuddho,
Arahā bhavati anuttaro.

28Jātiṁ gottañca lakkhaṇaṁ,
Mante sisse punāpare;
Muddhaṁ muddhādhipātañca,
Manasāyeva pucchatha.

Yadi buddho bhavissati;
Manasā pucchite pañhe,
Vācāya vissajessati".

30Bāvarissa vaco sutvā,
Sissā soḷasa brāhmaṇā;
Ajito tissametteyyo,
Puṇṇako atha mettagū.

31Dhotako upasīvo ca,
Nando ca atha hemako;
Todeyya-kappā dubhayo,
Jatukaṇṇī ca paṇḍito.

32Bhadrāvudho udayo ca,
Posālo cāpi brāhmaṇo;
Mogharājā ca medhāvī,
Piṅgiyo ca mahāisi.

33Paccekagaṇino sabbe,
Sabbalokassa vissutā;
Jhāyī jhānaratā dhīrā,

34Bāvariṁ abhivādetvā,
Katvā ca naṁ padakkhiṇaṁ;
Jaṭājinadharā sabbe,
Pakkāmuṁ uttarāmukhā.

35Aḷakassa patiṭṭhānaṁ,
Purimāhissatiṁ tadā;
Ujjeniñcāpi gonaddhaṁ,
Vedisaṁ vanasavhayaṁ.

36Kosambiñcāpi sāketaṁ,
Sāvatthiñca puruttamaṁ;
Setabyaṁ kapilavatthuṁ,
Kusinārañca mandiraṁ.

37Pāvañca bhoganagaraṁ,
Vesāliṁ māgadhaṁ puraṁ;
Pāsāṇakaṁ cetiyañca,
Ramaṇīyaṁ manoramaṁ.

38Tasitovudakaṁ sītaṁ,
Mahālābhaṁva vāṇijo;
Chāyaṁ ghammābhitattova,
Turitā pabbatamāruhuṁ.

39Bhagavā tamhi samaye,
Bhikkhūnaṁ dhammaṁ deseti,
Sīhova nadatī vane.

40Ajito addasa buddhaṁ,
Sataraṁsiṁva bhāṇumaṁ;
Candaṁ yathā pannarase,
Pāripūriṁ upāgataṁ.

41Athassa gatte disvāna,
Paripūrañca byañjanaṁ;
Ekamantaṁ ṭhito haṭṭho,
Manopañhe apucchatha.

42"Ādissa jammanaṁ brūhi,
Gottaṁ brūhi salakkhaṇaṁ;
Mantesu pāramiṁ brūhi,
Kati vāceti brāhmaṇo".

43"Vīsaṁ vassasataṁ āyu,
So ca gottena bāvarī;
Tīṇissa lakkhaṇā gatte,
Tiṇṇaṁ vedāna pāragū.

44Lakkhaṇe itihāse ca,
Pañcasatāni vāceti,
Sadhamme pāramiṁ gato".

45"Lakkhaṇānaṁ pavicayaṁ,
Bāvarissa naruttama;
Kaṅkhacchida pakāsehi,
Mā no kaṅkhāyitaṁ ahu".

46"Mukhaṁ jivhāya chādeti,
Uṇṇassa bhamukantare;
Kosohitaṁ vatthaguyhaṁ,
Evaṁ jānāhi māṇava".

47Pucchañhi kiñci asuṇanto,
Sutvā pañhe viyākate;
Vicinteti jano sabbo,
Vedajāto katañjalī.

48"Ko nu devo vā brahmā vā,
Indo vāpi sujampati;
Manasā pucchite pañhe,
Kametaṁ paṭibhāsati".

49"Muddhaṁ muddhādhipātañca,
Bāvarī paripucchati;
Taṁ byākarohi bhagavā,
Kaṅkhaṁ vinaya no ise".

50"Avijjā muddhāti jānāhi,
Vijjā muddhādhipātinī;
Chandaviriyena saṁyutā".

51Tato vedena mahatā,
Santhambhitvāna māṇavo;
Ekaṁsaṁ ajinaṁ katvā,
Pādesu sirasā pati.

52"Bāvarī brāhmaṇo bhoto,
Saha sissehi mārisa;
Udaggacitto sumano,
Pāde vandati cakkhuma".

53"Sukhito bāvarī hotu,
Saha sissehi brāhmaṇo;
Tvañcāpi sukhito hohi,
Ciraṁ jīvāhi māṇava.

54Bāvarissa ca tuyhaṁ vā,
Sabbesaṁ sabbasaṁsayaṁ;
Katāvakāsā pucchavho,
Yaṁ kiñci manasicchatha".

55Sambuddhena katokāso,
Nisīditvāna pañjalī;
Ajito paṭhamaṁ pañhaṁ,
Tattha pucchi tathāgataṁ.

Vatthugāthā niṭṭhitā.