Vinaya (2): The Mahavagga

by T. W. Rhys Davids | 1881 | 156,382 words

The Mahavagga (part of the Vinaya collection) includes accounts of Gautama Buddha’s and the ten principal disciples’ awakenings, as well as rules for ordination, rules for reciting the Patimokkha during uposatha days, and various monastic procedures....

Mahavagga, Khandaka 10, Chapter 3

And in the forenoon the Blessed One, having put on his under-robes, took up his alms-bowl and his cīvara, and entered the town of Kosambī for alms. Having collected alms in Kosambī, after his meal, when he had returned from his alms-pilgrimage, he put his resting-place in order, took up his alms-bowl and his cīvara, and standing in the midst of the assembly he pronounced the following stanzas:

'Loud is the noise that ordinary men make. Nobody thinks himself a fool, when divisions arise in the Saṃgha, nor do they ever value another person higher (than themselves).

'Bewildered[1] are (even) the clever words of him who is versed in the resources of eloquence. As wide as they like they open their mouth. By whom they are lead they do not see.

'"He[2] has reviled me, he has beaten me, he has oppressed me, he has robbed me,"—in those who nurse such thoughts, hatred will never be appeased.

'"He has reviled me, he has beaten me, he has oppressed me, he has robbed me,"—in those who do not nurse such thoughts, hatred is appeased.

'For not by hatred is hatred ever appeased; by not-hatred it is appeased; this is an eternal law.

'The others[3] do not know that we must keep ourselves under restraint here; but those who know it, their quarrels are appeased.

'They whose bones are broken (by their foes), who destroy lives, who rob cows, horses, and treasures, who plunder realms,—even these may find conciliation. How should you not find it?

'If[4] a man find a wise friend, a companion who lives righteously, a constant one, he may walk with him, overcoming all dangers, happy and mindful[5].

'If he find no wise friend, no companion who lives righteously, no constant one, let him walk alone, like a king who leaves his conquered realm behind[6], like an elephant in the elephant forest[7].

'It is better to walk alone; with a fool there is no companionship. Let a man walk alone; let him do no evil, free from cares, like an elephant in the elephant forest[7].'

Footnotes and references:


Parimuṭṭhā. Buddhaghosa: 'Parimuṭṭhā ’ti muṭṭhassatino.' Muṭṭhassati cannot be connected with mūḷha, as Childers supposes, but it is evidently muṣitasmiṛti (Kathāsarits. 56, 289; compare satisammosa, Mil. Pañha, p. 266). Thus it appears that parimuṭṭha must be derived also from the root mush.


These verses are inserted in the Dhammapada, vv. 3-6.


That is to say, those who do not follow the Buddha's teaching. On this meaning of pare compare parappavādā at Mahā-parinibbāna Sutta V, 62. Professor Max Müller, who in the first edition of his translation of the Dhammapada (Buddhaghosa's Parables, p. lvi) has 'Some do not know that we must all come to an end here,' in the revised edition (Sacred Books of the East, vol. x) renders the phrase, 'The world does not know that we must all come to an end here.'


The following three verses have also been inserted in the Dhammapada, vv. 328-330. The two first recur in the Khaggavisāna-sutta of the Sutta Nipāta, vv. 11, 12.


On the juxtaposition of happiness with mindfulness, see the constantly repeated phrase occurring, for instance, in the Tevijja Sutta I, 49 (at the end). It would perhaps be better to read satīmā in the text, as Fausböll has done, metri causā.


That is, who abdicates, and devotes himself in the forest to a hermit's life. This is given as the crucial instance of a happy life in the Jātaka Story, No. 10.


Professor Fausböll reads in both verses mātaṅgarañño instead of mātaṅgaraññe.

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