Appendix: More Udānas

2: The Exclamatory Udānas

 

In illustration of the exclamatory group we may cite the following passages, beginning with the same group of devatās who, on another occassion approached the Buddha, after his foot had been cut by a stone, and uttered the following exclamations (Devatāsaṁyutta SN 1.38):

Atha kho sattasatā Satullapakāyikā devatāyo abhikkantāya rattiyā abhikkantavaṇṇā kevalakappaṁ Maddakucchiṁ obhāsetvā yena Bhagavā tenupasaṅkamiṁsu, upasaṅkamitvā Bhagavantaṁ abhivādetvā ekam-antaṁ aṭṭhaṁsu.

Ekam-antaṁ ṭhitā kho ekā devatā Bhagavato santike imaṁ udānaṁ udānesi:

“Nāgo vata bho samaṇo Gotamo; nāgavatā ca samuppannā sārīrikā vedanā dukkhā tibbā kharā kaṭukā asātā amanāpā sato sampajāno adhivāseti avihaññamāno” ti.

Atha kho aparā devatā Bhagavato santike imaṁ udānaṁ udānesi:

“Sīho vata bho samaṇo Gotamo; sīhavatā ca samuppannā sārīrikā vedanā dukkhā tibbā kharā kaṭukā asātā amanāpā sato sampajāno adhivāseti avihaññamāno” ti.

Atha kho aparā devatā Bhagavato santike imaṁ udānaṁ udānesi:

“Ājānīyo vata bho samaṇo Gotamo; ājānīyavatā ca samuppannā sārīrikā vedanā dukkhā tibbā kharā kaṭukā asātā amanāpā sato sampajāno adhivāseti avihaññamāno” ti.

Atha kho aparā devatā Bhagavato santike imaṁ udānaṁ udānesi:

“Nisabho vata bho samaṇo Gotamo; nisabhavatā ca samuppannā sārīrikā vedanā dukkhā tibbā kharā kaṭukā asātā amanāpā sato sampajāno adhivāseti avihaññamāno” ti.

Atha kho aparā devatā Bhagavato santike imaṁ udānaṁ udānesi:

“Dhorayho vata bho samaṇo Gotamo; dhorayhavatā ca samuppannā sārīrikā vedanā dukkhā tibbā kharā kaṭukā asātā amanāpā sato sampajāno adhivāseti avihaññamāno” ti.

Atha kho aparā devatā Bhagavato santike imaṁ udānaṁ udānesi:

“Danto vata bho samaṇo Gotamo; dantavatā ca samuppannā sārīrikā vedanā dukkhā tibbā kharā kaṭukā asātā amanāpā sato sampajāno adhivāseti avihaññamāno” ti.

Atha kho aparā devatā Bhagavato santike imaṁ udānaṁ udānesi:

“Passa samādhiṁ subhāvitaṁ cittañ-ca suvimuttaṁ, na cābhinataṁ na cāpanataṁ na ca sasaṅkhāraniggayhavāritagataṁ. Yo evarūpaṁ purisanāgaṁ purisasīhaṁ purisa-ājānīyaṁ purisanisabhaṁ purisadhorayhaṁ purisadantaṁ atikkamitabbaṁ maññeyya kim-aññatra adassanā” ti.

These udānas are followed by verses, but they are not described as udānas.


In the Saṅgītisutta of Dīghanikāya, Ven. Sāriputta attributes the following exclamation to the Ābhassarā devas, in a list of 3 happy rebirths (DN.33, Saṅgītisutta):

Santāvuso, sattā sukhena abhisannā parisannā paripūrā paripphuṭā, te kadāci karahaci udānaṁ udānenti: “Aho sukhaṁ, aho sukhan”-ti, seyyathāpi devā Ābhassarā.


Ven. Bhaddajī also knew about this exclamation of the Ābhassarā devas, which he called the greatest of things that are heard (AN.V.XVII.10): The same exclamation was made by the Bodhisatta on two occassions, see below.01

Atthāvuso Ābhassarā nāma devā sukhena abhisannā parisannā, te kadāci karahaci udānaṁ udānenti: “Aho sukhaṁ, aho sukhan”-ti! Yo taṁ saddaṁ suṇāti, idaṁ savanānaṁ aggaṁ.


There are a number of famous Kings who are reported in the discourses as having made similar utterances on various occasions.

First there is the story of the legendary King Okkāka, who uttered the following udāna after hearing how his elder brothers were living in the Himālayas after he had banished them from the Kingdom. This utterance gives a folk etymology for the name Sakka (DN.3, Ambaṭṭhasutta):

Atha kho ... Rājā Okkāko udānaṁ udānesi: “Sakyā vata bho kumārā, paramasakyā vata bho kumārā” ti. Tad-agge kho pana ... Sakyā paññāyanti so ca nesaṁ pubbapuriso.


Next we have King Ajātasattu on a full moon night, at the beginning of Sāmaññaphalasutta (DN.2):

Atha kho Rājā Māgadho Ajātasattu Vedehiputto tad-ahuposathe udānaṁ udānesi: “Ramaṇīyā vata bho dosinā ratti, abhirūpā vata bho dosinā ratti, dassanīyā vata bho dosinā ratti, pāsādikā vata bho dosinā ratti, lakkhaññā vata bho dosinā ratti. Kaṁ nu khvajja samaṇaṁ vā brāhmaṇaṁ vā payirupāseyyāma, yaṁ no payirupāsato cittaṁ pasīdeyyā?” ti


A little later in the same discourse, the same King, upon meeting the Buddha, surrounded by the monks, who were sitting quietly around him, uttered the following aspiration for his son Udayabhadda (DN.2):

Ekamantaṁ ṭhito kho Rājā Māgadho Ajātasattu Vedehiputto tuṇhībhūtaṁ tuṇhībhūtaṁ bhikkhusaṅghaṁ anuviloketvā rahadam-iva vippasannaṁ udānaṁ udānesi: “Iminā me upasamena Udayabhaddo kumāro samannāgato hotu, yenetarahi upasamena bhikkhusaṅgho samannāgato” ti.


King Mahāsuddassana, after understanding he became so powerful through giving, self-control, and abstinence, uttered the following exclamation (DN.17, Mahāsuddassanasutta):

Atha kho ... Rājā Mahāsudassano yena Mahāviyūhaṁ kūṭāgāraṁ tenupasaṅkami, upasaṅkamitvā Mahāviyūhassa kūṭāgārassa dvāre ṭhito udānaṁ udānesi: “Tiṭṭha kāmavitakka, tiṭṭha byāpādavitakka, tiṭṭha vihiṁsā vitakka. Ettāvatā kāmavitakka, ettāvatā byāpādavitakka, ettāvatā vihiṁsāvitakkā” ti.


The Kosalan King Pasenadi has another udāna attributed to him, which he made after being advised by the Buddha on his eating habits (Kosalasaṁyutta SN 3.13):

Atha kho Rājā Pasenadi Kosalo aparena samayena susallikhitagatto pāṇinā gattāni anumajjanto tāyaṁ velāyaṁ imaṁ udānaṁ udānesi: “Ubhayena vata maṁ so Bhagavā atthena anukampi, diṭṭhadhammikena ceva atthena samparāyikena cā” ti.


Perhaps the simplest udāna in this group is the praise exclamation. Another exclamation is attributed to King Pasenadi of Kosala after hearing a report of a Dhamma exposition from his queen Mallikā (MN.87, Piyajātikasuttaṁ):

Atha kho Rājā Pasenadi Kosalo uṭṭhāyāsanā ekaṁsaṁ uttarāsaṅgaṁ karitvā yena Bhagavā tenañjaliṁ paṇāmetvā tikkhattuṁ udānaṁ udānesi: “Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa, namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa, namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassā” ti.


In Sakkapañhasutta (DN.21), the king of the gods Sakka, after attaining sotāpatti utters the same formulaic praise of the Buddha:

Atha kho Sakko devānam-indo pāṇinā pathaviṁ parāmasitvā tikkhattuṁ udānaṁ udānesi: “Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassā” ti.


The young brāhmaṇī Dhanañjānī was want to utter the same exclamation after stumbling, as we can see from two discourses, the first is from Majjhimanikāya (MN.100 Saṅgāravasuttaṁ):

Atha kho Dhanañjānī brāhmaṇī upakkhalitvā tikkhattuṁ udānaṁ udānesi: “Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa, namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa, namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassā” ti.

and on another ocassion, recorded in Saṁyuttanikāya (Brāhmaṇasaṁyutta SN 6.1):

Tena kho pana samayena aññatarassa Bhāradvājagottassa brāhmaṇassa Dhanañjānī nāma brāhmaṇī abhippasannā hoti Buddhe ca Dhamme ca Saṅghe ca. Atha kho Dhanañjānī brāhmaṇī Bhāradvājagottassa brāhmaṇassa bhattaṁ upasaṁharanti upakkhalitvā tikkhattuṁ udānaṁ udānesi: “Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa, namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa, namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassā” ti.


Brāhmaṇas were also want to give vent to the same praise in different situations, with additional reflections to follow. We may cite first Ārāmadaṇḍa who uttered the following after hearing a Dhamma teaching from Mahākaccāyana, which finished by extolling the qualities of the Buddha (AN. II.iv.6): The second part of the utterance is not part of the Udāna, but is a reflection that followed.02

Evaṁ vutte Ārāmadaṇḍo brāhmaṇo uṭṭhāyāsanā ekaṁsaṁ uttarāsaṅgaṁ karitvā dakkhiṇaṁ Jāṇumaṇḍalaṁ pathaviyaṁ nihantvā, yena Bhagavā tenañjaliṁ paṇāmetvā tikkhattuṁ udānaṁ udānesi: “Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa, namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa, namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa.

Yo hi so Bhagavā imañ-ceva kāmarāgābhinivesavinibandhapaligedhapariyuṭṭhānajjhosānaṁ samatikkanto, imañ-ca diṭṭhirāgābhinivesavinibandhapaligedhapariyuṭṭhānajjhosānaṁ samatikkanto” ti.


Next the brāhmaṇa Kāraṇapāḷī, after hearing about the qualities of the Buddha from another brāhmaṇa Piṅgiyāni, which is followed by the going-for-refuge formula for a lay follower, which occurs many times in the discourses (AN. V.xx.4):

Evaṁ vutte Kāraṇapālī brāhmaṇo uṭṭhāyāsanā ekaṁsaṁ uttarāsaṅgaṁ karitvā, dakkhiṇaṁ Jāṇumaṇḍalaṁ pathaviyaṁ nihantvā, yena Bhagavā tenañjaliṁ paṇāmetvā tikkhattuṁ udānaṁ udānesi: “Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa, namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa, namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassā ti.

Abhikkantaṁ bho Piṅgiyāni! Abhikkantaṁ bho Piṅgiyāni! Seyyathāpi bho Piṅgiyāni, nikkujjitaṁ vā ukkujjeyya paṭicchannaṁ vā vivareyya, mūḷhassa vā maggaṁ ācikkheyya andhakāre vā telapajjotaṁ dhāreyya, cakkhumanto rūpāni dakkhantī ti; evam-evaṁ bhotā Piṅgiyāninā anekapariyāyena Dhammo pakāsito. Esāhaṁ bho Piṅgiyāni taṁ bhavantaṁ Gotamaṁ saraṇaṁ gacchāmi, Dhammañ-ca bhikkhusaṅghañ-ca. Upāsakaṁ maṁ bhavaṁ Piṅgiyānī dhāretu, ajjatagge pāṇupetaṁ saraṇaṁ gatan”-ti.


The brāhmaṇa Brahmāyu, is also reported as making the same praise, together with an aspiration to meet the Buddha, after hearing that he bore the 32 Marks of a Great Man (mahāpurisalakkhaṇaṁ) from his student Uttara (Brahmāyusuttaṁ, MN.91):

Evaṁ vutte, Brahmāyu brāhmaṇo uṭṭhāyāsanā ekaṁsaṁ uttarāsaṅgaṁ karitvā, yena Bhagavā tenañjaliṁ paṇāmetvā tikkhattuṁ udānaṁ udāneti: “Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa, namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa, namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassā ti.

Appeva nāma mayaṁ kadāci karahaci tena bhotā Gotamena samāgaccheyyāma, appeva nāma siyā kocid-eva kathāsallāpo” ti!


Another brāhmaṇā Jāṇussoṇi, after hearing about the qualities of the Buddha, first praised him in the formula previously cited and then made a similar aspiration (Cūḷahatthipadopamasuttaṁ, MN.27):

Evaṁ vutte, Jāṇussoṇi brāhmaṇo sabbasetā vaḷavābhirathā orohitvā ekaṁsaṁ uttarāsaṅgaṁ karitvā, yena Bhagavā tenañjaliṁ paṇāmetvā tikkhattuṁ udānaṁ udānesi: “Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa, namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa, namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa.

Appeva nāma mayam-pi kadāci karahaci tena bhotā Gotamena saddhiṁ samāgaccheyyāma, appeva nāma siyā kocid-eva kathāsallāpo” ti!


On another occasion the same brāhmaṇa uttered an exclamatory udāna after hearing a short report of a Dhamma exposition by the young brāhmaṇa Subha, this time without the praise formula (MN.99, Subhasuttaṁ):

Evaṁ vutte, Jāṇussoṇi brāhmaṇo sabbasetā vaḷavābhirathā orohitvā ekaṁsaṁ uttarāsaṅgaṁ karitvā, yena Bhagavā tenañjaliṁ paṇāmetvā udānaṁ udānesi: “Lābhā Rañño Pasenadissa Kosalassa, suladdhalābhā Rañño Pasenadissa Kosalassa yassa vijite Tathāgato viharati Arahaṁ Sammāsambuddho” ti.


The brāhmaṇa priest to Brahmadatta, King of Kāsi, is also reported as having uttered an exclamation after seeing the queen of Kosala approaching (Kosambakakkhandhaka, Kosambakavivādakathā):

Atha kho, bhikkhave, Dīghītissa Kosalarañño Mahesī yena Brahmadattassa Kāsirañño purohito brāhmaṇo tenupasaṅkami. Addasā kho, bhikkhave, Brahmadattassa Kāsirañño purohito brāhmaṇo Dīghītissa Kosalarañño Mahesiṁ dūrato va āgacchantiṁ, disvāna uṭṭhāyāsanā ekaṁsaṁ uttarāsaṅgaṁ karitvā, yena Dīghītissa Kosalarañño Mahesī tenañjaliṁ paṇāmetvā tikkhattuṁ udānaṁ udānesi: “Kosalarājā vata bho kucchigato, Kosalarājā vata bho kucchigato” ti.


As another in this group of udānas we can cite the words of the wanderer Vekhanassa to the Buddha, which were used to open a discussion on the subject of the highest beauty (MN.80, Vekhanassasutta):

Ekamantaṁ ṭhito kho Vekhanaso paribbājako Bhagavato santike udānaṁ udānesi: “Ayaṁ paramo vaṇṇo, ayaṁ paramo vaṇṇo” ti.


The Licchavi Mahānāma, after a group of Licchavis out hunting had abandoned their hunt to sit near the Buddha, uttered the following exclamation (AN.V.vi.8):

Tena kho pana samayena Mahānāmo Licchavi Mahāvane jaṅghāvihāraṁ anucaṅkamamāno addasa te Licchavikumārake tuṇhībhūte tuṇhībhūte pañjalike Bhagavantaṁ payirupāsante; disvā yena Bhagavā tenupasaṅkami, upasaṅkamitvā Bhagavantaṁ abhivādetvā ekam-antaṁ nisīdi. Ekamantaṁ nisinno kho Mahānāmo Licchavi udānaṁ udānesi: “Bhavissanti Vajjī, bhavissanti Vajjī” ti!


The young man of good family Yasa, after seeing the state of his dishevelled dancing girls as they slept, expressed his distress in the following words (Vinaya Mahāvagga, Pabbajākathā):

Disvānassa ādīnavo pātur-ahosi, nibbidāya cittaṁ saṇṭhāsi. Atha kho Yaso kulaputto udānaṁ udānesi: “Upaddutaṁ vata bho, upassaṭṭhaṁ vata bho” ti.


On a couple of occasions the Auspicious One is also reported as having made similar exclamatory udānas. The first is before giving an exposition on the subject of becoming (Khandhasaṁyutta SN.55):

Sāvatthinidānaṁ. Tatra kho Bhagavā udānaṁ udānesi: “No cassaṁ, no ca me siyā, nābhavissa, na me bhavissatī ti, evaṁ adhimuccamāno bhikkhu chindeyya orambhāgiyāni saṁyojanānī” ti.


The Buddha also uttered what is probably the most famous of these exclamatory utterances, after Ven. Koṇḍañña had attained sotāpatti after hearing the 1stdiscourse (Vinaya Mahāvagga, Pañcavaggiyakathā Saccasaṁyutta 56.11) (for a full translation of this discourse, see Dhammacakkappavattanasuttaṁ elsewhere on this website):

Atha kho Bhagavā imaṁ udānaṁ udānesi: “Aññāsi vata bho Koṇḍañño, aññāsi vata bho Koṇḍañño” ti! Iti hidaṁ āyasmato Koṇḍaññassa ‘Aññāsi Koṇḍañño’ tveva nāmaṁ ahosī ti.


Given the fact that this udāna obviously does close a very important episode in the life of the Buddha, and that the Udāna collection seems to have been partly organized around the life story of the Buddha, as we have suggested in the Introduction, it is perhaps odd that it didn't find it's way into the Udāna collection itself, perhaps because the redactors themselves understood the difference between the exclamatory and exalted type of udāna.