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...

Eight wonderful things about the great ocean

“Monks, BD.5.332 there are these eight strange and wonderful things about the great ocean,[1] from constantly having seen which asuras[2] delight in the great ocean. What are the eight? The great ocean, monks, deepens gradually, slopes gradually, shelves gradually, with no abruptness like a precipice. And monks, that the great ocean deepens gradually, slopes gradually, shelves gradually with no abruptness like a precipice—this, monks, is the first strange and wonderful thing about the great ocean from constantly having seen which asuras delight in the great ocean.

“And again, monks, the great ocean is stable, it does not overflow its margins.[3] And, monks, that the great ocean is stable, that it does not overflow its margins—this, monks, is the second strange and wonderful thing …

“And again, monks, the great ocean does not associate with a dead body, a corpse. Whatever dead body, corpse there may be in the great ocean, that it just quickly forces ashore and pushes on to the dry land.[4] That the great ocean, monks, does not associate with a dead body, a corpse … this, monks, is the third strange and wonderful thing …

“And again, monks, all the great rivers, that is to say the Ganges, the Jumna, the Aciravatī, the Sarabhū, the Mahī[5]—these, on reaching the great ocean lose their former names and identities[6] and are reckoned simply as the great ocean. That all the great rivers … this, monks, Vin.2.238 is the fourth strange and wonderful thing …

“And again, monks, those streams which in the world flow into the great ocean, and those showers from the sky which fall into it, yet is neither the emptiness nor the fullness of the great ocean affected by that. That those streams which in the world … this, monks, is the fifth strange and wonderful thing …

“And again, monks, the great ocean has one taste, the taste BD.5.333 of salt. That the great ocean, monks, has one taste … this, monks, is the sixth strange and wonderful thing …

“And again, monks, the great ocean has many treasures,[7] divers treasures; these treasures are there, that is to say: pearl,[8] crystal,[9] lapis lazuli,[10] shell,[11] quartz,[12] coral,[13] silver, gold, ruby, cat’s-eye.[14] That the great ocean, monks, has many treasures … this, monks, is the seventh strange and wonderful thing …

“And again, monks, the great ocean is the abode of great beings; these beings are there: the timis, the timiṅgalas, the timitimiṅgalas, asuras,[15] nāgas, gandhabbas. There are in the great ocean individualities[16] a hundred yojanas[17] (long),[18] individualities two hundred … three hundred … four hundred … five hundred yojanas (long). That the great ocean, monks, is the abode of great beings; that these beings are there: the timis … individualities five hundred yojanas (long)—this, monks, is the eighth strange and wonderful thing about the great ocean from constantly having seen which asuras delight in the great ocean. These, monks, are the eight strange and wonderful things about the great ocean from constantly having seen which asuras delight in the great ocean.

Footnotes and references:

1.

As at AN.iv.198AN.iv.204, AN.iv.206AN.iv.208; Ud.53Ud.56.

2.

A class of mythical beings—not apparently here, as sometimes, shown as the enemies of the devas.

3.

In ebbing and flowing, Vin-a.1287 says.

4.

Cf. Mil.187, Mil.250.

5.

This list recurs at AN.iv.101, AN.v.22; SN.ii.135, SN.v.38; Mil.70, Mil.87, Mil.380; Vism.10.

6.

gotta, clan. Cf. Chāndogya Upaniṣad 6.10.1,2; Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 3.2.8, Praśna Upaniṣad 6.5.

7.

ratana.

8.

See GS.iv.137, notes.

9.

See GS.iv.137, notes.

10.

See GS.iv.137, notes.

11.

See GS.iv.137, notes.

12.

See GS.iv.137, notes.

13.

See GS.iv.137, notes.

14.

See GS.iv.137, notes.

15.

See GS.iv.137, n.11.

16.

attabhāva.

18.

Quoted Atthasālinī 299.