Vinaya Pitaka (3): Khandhaka

by I. B. Horner | 2014 | 386,194 words | ISBN-13: 9781921842160

The English translation of the Khandhaka: the second book of the Pali Vinaya Pitaka, one of the three major ‘baskets’ of Therevada canonical literature. It is a collection of various narratives. The English translation of the Vinaya-pitaka (third part, khandhaka) contains many Pali original words, but transliterated using a system similar to the I...

On the invitation of Brahmā

Kd.1.5.1 Then the Lord, having emerged from that contemplation at the end of seven days, approached the Goatherds’ Banyan from the foot of the Rājāyatana; having approached, the Lord stayed there at the foot of the Goatherds’ Banyan.

Kd.1.5.2 Then as the Lord was meditating in seclusion a reasoning arose in his mind thus:[1] “This dhamma, won to by me, is deep, difficult to see, difficult to understand, peaceful, excellent, beyond dialectic, subtle, intelligible to the learned.[2] But this is a creation delighting in sensual pleasure,[3] delighted by sensual pleasure, rejoicing in sensual pleasure. So that for a creation delighting in sensual pleasure, delighted by sensual pleasure, rejoicing in sensual pleasure, this were a matter difficult to see, Vin.1.5 that is to say causal uprising by way of BD.4.7 cause. This too were a matter very difficult to see,[4] that is to say the calming of all the habitual tendencies, the renunciation of all attachment, the destruction of craving, dispassion, stopping, nibbāna. And so if I were to teach dhamma and others were not to understand me, this would be a weariness to me, this would be a vexation to me.”

Kd.1.5.3 And further, these verses not heard before in the past occurred spontaneously to the Lord:

“This that through many toils I’ve won—
Enough! Why should I make it known?
By folk with lust and hate consumed
This dhamma is not understood.[5]

Leading on against the stream[6],
Subtle, deep, difficult to see, delicate,
Unseen ‘twill be by passion’s slaves
Cloaked in the murk of ignorance.”[7]

Kd.1.5.4 In such wise, as the Lord pondered, his mind inclined to little effort[8] and not to teaching dhamma. Then it occurred to Brahmā Sahampati,[9] knowing with his mind the reasoning in the Lord’s mind: “Alas,[10] the world is lost,[11] alas, the world is destroyed, inasmuch as the mind of the Truth-finder, the perfected one, the fully awakened one, inclines to little effort and not to teaching dhamma.”

Kd.1.5.5 Then as a strong man might stretch forth his bent arm or might bend back his outstretched arm, even so did Brahmā Sahampati, vanishing from the Brahma-world, become manifest before the Lord.[12]

Kd.1.5.6 Then Brahmā Sahampati, having arranged his upper robe BD.4.8 over one shoulder, having stooped his right knee to the ground having saluted the Lord with joined palms, spoke thus to the Lord: “Lord, let the Lord teach dhamma, let the Well-farer teach dhamma; there are beings with little dust in their eyes who, not hearing dhamma, are decaying, (but if) they are learners of dhamma, they will grow.”[13]

Kd.1.5.7 Thus spoke Brahmā Sahampati; having said this, he further spoke thus:[14]

“There has appeared in Magadha before thee
An unclean dhamma by impure minds devised.
Open this door of deathlessness, let[15] them hear
Dhamma awakened to by the stainless one.

“As on a crag on crest of mountain standing
A man might watch the people far below,
E’en so do thou, O Wisdom fair, ascending,
O Seer of all, the terraced heights of truth,[16] Vin.1.6
Look down, from grief released, upon the peoples
Sunken in grief, oppressed with birth and age.

“Arise, thou hero! Conqueror in the battle!
Thou freed from debt! Man of the caravan!
Walk the world over, let the Blessed One
Teach dhamma. They who learn will grow.”[17]

Kd.1.5.8 When he had spoken thus, the Lord spoke thus to Brahmā Sahampati: “Brahmā, it occurred to me: ‘This dhamma penetrated by me is deep … that would be a vexation to me.’ And further, Brahmā, these verses not heard before in the past occurred spontaneously to me: ‘This that through many toils I’ve won … cloaked in the murk of ignorance.’ In such wise, Brahmā, as I pondered, my mind inclined to little effort and not to teaching dhamma.”

Kd.1.5.9 Then a second time did Brahmā Sahampati speak thus to the Lord: “Lord, let the Lord teach dhamma … if they are BD.4.9 learners of dhamma, they will grow.” Then a second time did the Lord speak thus to Brahmā Sahampati: “But, Brahmā, it occurred to me: … my mind inclined to little effort and and not to teaching dhamma.”

Kd.1.5.10 Then a third time did Brahmā Sahampati speak thus to the Lord: “Lord, let the Lord teach dhamma … if they are learners of dhamma, they will grow.” Then the Lord, having understood Brahmā’s entreaty and, out of compassion for beings, surveyed the world with the eye of an awakened one. As the Lord was surveying the world with the eye of an awakened one, he saw beings with little dust in their eyes, with much dust in their eyes, with acute faculties, with dull faculties, of good dispositions, of bad dispositions, docile, indocile, few seeing fear in sins and the worlds beyond.[18]

Kd.1.5.11 Even as in[19] a pond of blue lotuses or in a pond of red lotuses or in a pond of white lotuses, a few blue or red or white lotuses are born in the water, grow in the water, do not rise above the water but thrive while altogether immersed; a few blue or red or white lotuses are born in the water, grow in the water and reach to the surface of the water; a few blue or red or white lotuses are born in the water, grow in the water, and stand up rising out of the water, undefiled by the water.

Kd.1.1.12 Even so, did the Lord, surveying the world with the eye of an awakened one, see beings with little dust in their eyes, with much dust in their eyes, Vin.1.7 with acute faculties, with dull faculties, of good dispositions, of bad dispositions, docile, indocile, few seeing fear in sins and the worlds beyond. Seeing Brahmā Sahampati, he addressed him with verses:

“Open for those who hear are the doors of deathlessness[20];
let them renounce their faith[21].
Thinking of useless fatigue, I have not preached, Brahmā, the
sublime and excellent dhamma to men[22].”

Kd.1.5.13 BD.4.10 Then Brahmā Sahampati, thinking: “The opportunity was made by me for the Lord to teach dhamma,”[23] greeting the Lord, keeping his right side towards him, vanished then and there.[24]

Kd.1.5.14 Told is the Talk on Brahmā’s Entreaty.

Footnotes and references:

1.

For the Great Hesitation, cf. SN.i.136, DN.ii.36, MN.i.167, and see KS.i.171, Dialogues of the Buddha ii.29f. and Further Dialogues of the Buddha i.118 for notes. See also Mrs. Rhys Davids, Manual of Buddhism, p.73ff.

2.

Quoted at Bv-a.9.

3.

ālaya, what is clung to, “habit.” But Vin-a.961 = MN-a.ii.174 explain by the five strands of sense-pleasure.

4.

sududdasa, as at Dhp.36.

5.

Cf. Snp.764.

6.

paṭisotagāmin, against the stream up to the source (nibbāna), not with the stream, for that leads to dangerous whirlpools and waves in a pool (here in an unfavourable sense) lower down. Vin-a.962 says that paṭisota is called nibbāna. A stream can be a River of Life or a River of Death, according as to whether one goes against the current, striving with hands and feet, or with the current. Cf. Lamotte, Vol. I, p.59, n.1.

7.

This translation follows that at Dialogues of the Buddha ii.30, with the important exception that paṭisotagāmin is not “against the stream of common thought.” Verse also found at MN.i.168, DN.ii.38, SN.i.136; Mahāvastu iii.314, Lalitavistara, edited Lefmann, p.397.

8.

appossukkatā, indifference, “rest quiet” (Further Dialogues of the Buddha, i.118), “to be averse from exertion” (KS.i.173), “to remain quiet” (Vinaya Texts, i.85).

9.

A Great Brahmā.

10.

vata bho.

11.

Quoted Bv-a.10.

12.

For this paragraph and the beginning of the next, see AN.ii.21,

13.

Quoted Bv-a.10. See Mrs. Rhys Davids, Dialogues of the Buddha ii, 2nd edition, Preface, xii. Also her Note to Gotama the Man (added in 1938) where she says, “The only rational translation (of aññātāro bhavissanti) is that ‘they who come to know (i.e. the dhamma you should teach), will come to be, will become, that is will grow. Thus rendered the last clause balances the opposed clause, that men are in a decline.”

14.

As at MN.i.168, SN.i.137; quoted Bv-a.10. For references to parallel Sanskrit, Chinese and Tibetan Texts, see Lamotte, Traité de la Grande Veriu de Sagesse, vol.1, p.57, n.1.

15.

To end of this verse = Snp.384.

16.

dhammamaya pāsāda; cf. paññāpāsāda at Dhp.28.

17.

Second part of verses taken from Mrs. Rhys Davids, Manual of Buddhism, p.82. The Dīgha version omits the first four lines. Last four lines at SN.i.234.

18.

paralokavajjabhayadassāvino, Vin-a.963 saying that these are those who see by fear (bhayato) the world(s) beyond and sin.

19.

Cf. DN.i.75, MN.iii.93, SN.i.138.

20.

Vin-a.963 calls this “the noble Way”, ariyamagga. The “quest” in folklore and in the great religious traditions alike is for immortality, the undying. Early Buddhism is in line with these traditions.

21.

saddhā must refer to their (own, Vin-a.963) present wrong beliefs.

22.

Verse also at DN.ii.39, MN.i.169, SN.i.138; and cf. Mahāvastu iii.319; Lalitavistara, p.400. See discussion on some of the expressions found in theverse by Lamotte, vol.1, p.60, n.1.

23.

From the beginning of the verses to here is quoted at Bv-a.18.

24.

tatth’ eva can mean “as before”; if it does so here, it would mean by the same method of vanishing from the Brahma-world as in Kd.1.5.5above.