14- Buddha Vagga

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Chapter 14

Buddha
The Buddha
(Text and Translation by Ven. Nàrada)

 

1. Yassa jita§ n’ ƒvajãyati Þ
jitamassa no yàti koci loke
Ta§ Buddham anantagocara§ Þ
apada§ kena padena nessatha 179.
2. Yassa jàlinã visattikà Þ
taõhà natthi kuhi¤ci netave
Ta§ Buddham anantagocara§ Þ
apada§ kena padena nessatha 180.

 

THE BUDDHA CANNOT BE FATHOMED

1. Whose conquest (of passion) is not turned into defeat, 1 no conquered (passion) of his in this world follows him 2 – that trackless 3 Buddha of infinite range, 4 by which way will you lead him? 179.

THE BUDDHA IS PASSIONLESS

2. Him in whom there is not that entangling, 5 embroiling craving to lead (to any life), him the trackless Buddha of infinite range – by which way will you lead him? 6 180.

Story

    Màgandiyà, a lovely maiden, was presented by her father to the Buddha to serve as His wife. The Buddha uttered these verses to show that He had not been tempted even when the three daughters of Màra the Evil One, made a vain attempt to entice Him by their female charms.


 

3. Ye jhànapasutà dhãrà Þ
nekkhammåpasame ratà
Devà’ pi tesa§ pihayanti Þ
sambuddhàna§ satãmata§. 181.

 

BUDDHAS ARE DEAR TO ALL

3. The wise ones who are intent on meditation, 7 who delight in the peace of renunciation 8 (i.e., Nibbàna), such mindful perfect Buddhas even the gods hold (most) dear. 181.

Story

    The Buddha went to Tàvati§sa heaven to expound the Abhidhamma to the devas. There His mother, reborn as a deva in the Tusita heaven came to hear the Dhamma. At the end of three months when the Buddha returned to earth accompanied by the devas the Venerable Sàriputta remarked that even the devas seek the guidance of the Buddha. Thereupon the Buddha uttered this verse.


 

4. Kiccho manussapañilàbho Þ
kiccha§ macchàna jãvita§
Kiccha§ saddhammasavaõa§ Þ
kiccho buddhàna§ uppàdo. 182.

 

THE GOOD ARE RARE

4. Rare is birth as a human being. Hard is the life of mortals. Hard is the hearing of the Sublime Truth. Rare is the appearance of the Buddhas. 182.

Story

    The Buddha uttered this verse concerning a monk who was reborn as an animal.


 

5. Sabbapàpassa akaraõa§ Þ
kusalassa upasampadà
Sacittapariyodapana§ Þ
eta§ buddhàna sàsana§. 183.
6. Khantã parama§ tapo titikkhà Þ
nibbàna§ parama§ vadanti buddhà.
Na hi pabbajito paråpaghàtã Þ
samaõo hoti para§ viheñhayanto. 184.
7. Anåpavàdo anåpaghàto Þ
pàtimokkhe ca sa§varo
Matta¤¤utà ca bhattasmi§ Þ
panta¤ ca sayanàsana§
Adhicitte ca àyogo Þ
eta§ buddhàna sàsana§. 185.

 

DO GOOD AND BE GOOD

5. Not to do any evil, 9 to cultivate good, to purify one’s mind, this is the Teaching of the Buddhas. 10 183.

NON-VIOLENCE IS THE CHARACTERISTIC OF AN ASCETIC

6. Forbearing patience is the highest austerity. Nibbàna is supreme, say the Buddhas. He, verily, is not a recluse 11 who harms another. Nor is he an ascetic 12 who oppresses others. 184.

LEAD A PURE AND NOBLE LIFE

7. Not insulting, not harming, restraint according to the Fundamental Moral Code, 13 moderation in food, secluded abode, intent on higher thoughts, 14 – this is the Teaching of the Buddhas. 185.

Story

    When questioned by the Venerable Ananda as to how the previous Buddhas had observed the Uposatha (Holy Day), the Buddha replied that all the Buddhas had recited these three verses in admonition.


 

8. Na kahàpaõavassena Þ
titti kàmesu vijjati
Appassàdà dukhà kàmà Þ
iti vi¤¤àya paõóito. 186.
9. Api dibbesu kàmesu Þ
rati§ so n’ ƒdhigacchati.
Taõhakkhayarato hoti Þ
sammàsambuddhasàvako. 187.

 

INSATIATE ARE SENSUAL PLEASURES

8-9. Not by a shower of gold coins does contentment arise in sensual pleasures. Of little sweetness, and painful, are sensual pleasures. Knowing thus, the wise man finds no delight even in heavenly pleasures. The disciple of the Fully Enlightened One delights in the destruction of craving. 186-187.

Story

    A discontented monk desired to leave the Order, hoping to live on the meagre possessions left by his father. The Buddha explained that no satisfaction can arise in sense-desires.


 

10. Bahå ve saraõa§ yanti Þ
pabbatàni vanàni ca
âràmarukkhacetyàni Þ
manussà bhayatajjità. 188.
11. N’eta§ kho saraõa§ khema§ Þ
n’eta§ saraõam uttama§
N’eta§ saraõam àgamma Þ
sabbadukkhà pamuccati. 189.
12. Yo ca buddha¤ ca dhamma¤ ca Þ
saïgha¤ ca saraõa§ 
15 gato
Cattàri ariyasaccàni Þ
sammappa¤¤àya passati. 190.
13. Dukkha§ dukkhasamuppàda§ Þ
dukkhassa ca atikkama§
Ariya¤caññhaïgika§ magga§ Þ
dukkhåpasamagàmina§. 191.
14. Eta§ kho saraõa§ khema§ Þ
eta§ saraõam uttama§
Eta§ saraõam àgamma Þ
sabbadukkhà pamuccati. 192.

 

RELEASE FROM SUFFERING IS GAINED BY SEEKING REFUGE IN THE BUDDHA, DHAMMA AND THE SANGHA

10. To many a refuge fear-stricken men betake themselves – to hills, woods, groves, trees, and shrines. 188.

11. Nay no such refuge is safe, no such refuge is supreme. Not by resorting to such a refuge is one freed from all ill. 189.

12-14. He who has gone for refuge to the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha, sees with right knowledge the four Noble Truths – Sorrow, the Cause of Sorrow, the Transcending of Sorrow, and the Noble Eightfold Path which leads to the Cessation of Sorrow. This, indeed, is refuge secure. This, indeed, is refuge supreme. By seeking such refuge one is released from all sorrow. 190-192.

Story

    A teacher of an alien sect instructed his disciples to seek refuge in mountains and forests to get rid of suffering. The Buddha spoke on the efficacy of the Three Refuges for deliverance from suffering.


 

15. Dullabho purisàja¤¤o 16 Þ
na so sabbattha jàyati
Yattha so jàyati dhãro Þ
ta§ kula§ sukhamedhati. 193.

 

THE NOBLE ARE RARE

15. Hard to find is a man of great wisdom: such a man is not born everywhere. Where such a wise man is born, that family thrives happily. 193.

Story

    The Venerable ânanda wished to know from the Buddha where noble personages like the Buddhas are born. In reply the Buddha uttered this verse.


 

16. Sukho buddhàna§ uppàdo Þ
sukhà saddhammadesanà
Sukhà saïghassa sàmaggi Þ
samaggàna§ tapo sukho. 194.

 

THINGS THAT TEND TO HAPPINESS

16. Happy is the birth of Buddhas. Happy is the teaching of the sublime Dhamma. Happy is the unity of the Sangha. 17 Happy is the discipline of the united ones. 194.

Story

    When the monks were discussing which things tend to happiness the Buddha uttered this verse.


 

17. Påjàrahe påjayato Þ
Buddhe yadi va sàvake
Papa¤casamatikkante Þ
tiõõasokapariddave. 195.
18. Te tàdise påjayato Þ
nibbute akutobhaye
Na sakkà pu¤¤a§ saïkhàtu§ Þ
im’ ettam’iti kenaci. 196.

 

HONOUR TO WHOM HONOUR IS DUE

17-18. He who reverences those worthy of reverence, whether Buddhas or their disciples; those who have overcome the impediments 18 and have got rid of grief and lamentation – the merit of him who reverences such peaceful 19 and fearless Ones 20 cannot be measured by anyone as such and such. 195-196.

Story

    While the Buddha was dwelling at an old shrine a brahmin came to see Him and worshipped at the shrine. The Buddha admonished him that it was more commendable to reverence the Pure Ones.


End Notes

1 As the Buddha had eradicated all passions of lust, hatred, and delusion they could not arise in Him any more. His spiritual victory was unconquerable.

2 Because the eradicated passions do not arise again.

3 Since the Buddha is devoid of the tracks (pada) of lust, hatred, and delusion.

4 Being omniscient.

5 Of lust, hatred, and delusion.

6 Nessatha = will lead to temptation by bringing under the sway of the tempters.

7 Here Jhàna means both concentration (samatha) and insight (vipassanà).

8 Nekkhamma implies Nibbàna, which is gained by the subjugation of passions.

9 What is associated with the three immoral roots of attachment (lobha), ill-will (dosa), and delusion (moha) is evil. What is associated with the three moral roots of generosity (alobha), goodwill or loving-kindness (adosa) and wisdom (amoha) is good.

10 The religion of the Buddha is summarised in this verse.

11 Pabbajito, one who casts aside his impurities and has left the world.

12 Samaõo, one who has subdued his passions, an ascetic.

13 Pàtimokkha, these are the 220 chief rules (excluding the seven ways of settling disputes) which every bhikkhu is expected to observe.

14 Adhicitta, namely: the eight attainments (aññhasamàpatti), the four råpa jhànas and the four aråpa jhànas. They are higher stages of mental concentration which enable one to gain supernormal powers.

15 One’s best refuge is oneself. A Buddhist seeks refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha as the Teacher, the Teaching and the Taught in order to gain his deliverance from the ills of life. The Buddha is the supreme teacher who shows the way to deliverance. The Dhamma is the unique way. The Sangha represents the Taught who have followed the way and have become living examples. One formally becomes a Buddhist by intelligently seeking refuge in this Triple Gem (Tisaraõa). A Buddhist does not seek refuge in the Buddha with the hope that he will be saved by a personal act of deliverance. The confidence of a Buddhist in the Buddha is like that of a sick person in a noted physician, or of a student in his teacher.

16 That is, a Buddha.

17 Sangha is the oldest, democratically constituted, historic, celibate Order, founded by the Buddha. Strictly speaking, the Sangha denotes those noble disciples who have realized the four Paths and four Fruits. The ordinary bhikkhus of the present day are merely their representatives.

18 Papa¤ca = impediments or obstacles such as attachment, false views and pride.

19 Those who have extinguished the fire of lust.

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