Udāna 8: Pāṭaligāmiyavaggo
The Chapter (including the Discourse) about the Pāṭalī Villagers

download

6: The Discourse about the Pāṭali Villagers

 

Thus I heard:
at one time the Gracious One was walking on walking tour amongst the Magadhans with a great Community of monks, and arrived at Pāṭaligāma.

The lay followers of Pāṭaligāma heard: “The Gracious One, it seems, is walking on walking tour amongst the Magadhans with a great Community of monks, and has arrived at Pāṭaligāma.” Then the lay followers of Pāṭaligāma went to the Gracious One, and after going and worshipping the Gracious One, they sat down on one side.

While sat on one side the lay followers of Pāṭaligāma said this to the Gracious One: “May the Gracious One consent, reverend Sir, to (stay in) our rest house.”

The Gracious One consented by maintaining silence.

Then the lay followers of Pāṭaligāma, having understood the Gracious One's consent, after rising from their seats, worshipping and circumambulating the Gracious One, went to their rest house, and after going, and spreading (the mats) so that the rest house was spread all over, and preparing the seats, setting up the water-pot, and lighting the oil-lamp, they went to the Gracious One, and after going and worshipping the Gracious One, they stood on one side.

While stood on one side the lay followers of Pāṭaligāma said this to the Gracious One: “The rest house is spread with mats all over, reverend Sir, the seats are prepared, the water-pot is set up, and the oil-lamp is lit, now is the time for whatever the Gracious One is thinking, reverend Sir.’

Then the Gracious One, having dressed, after picking up his bowl and robe, together with the Community of monks, went to the rest house, and after going, washing his feet, and entering the rest house, he sat down near to the middle pillar, facing the East, and the Community of monks, having washed their feet, and entering the rest house, sat down near the West wall, facing the East, having the Gracious One at the front. Also the lay followers of Pāṭaligāma, having washed their feet, entered the rest house, sat down near the East wall, facing the West, having the Gracious One at the front.

Then the Gracious One addressed the lay followers of Pāṭaligāma, (saying): “There are these five dangers, householders, for one lacking in virtue, for one who has lost his virtue. What are the five?

Here, householders, one lacking in virtue, one who has lost his virtue, because of being heedless undergoes a great loss of riches. This is the first danger for one lacking in virtue, for one who has lost his virtue.

Furthermore, householders, for one lacking in virtue, for one who has lost his virtue, a bad report goes round. This is the second danger for one lacking in virtue, for one who has lost his virtue.

Furthermore, householders, one lacking in virtue, one who has lost his virtue, whatever assembly he goes to, whether an assembly of nobles, or an assembly of brāhmaṇas, or an assembly of householders, or an assembly of ascetics, he goes without confidence, with confusion. This is the third danger for one lacking in virtue, for one who has lost his virtue.

Furthermore, householders, one lacking in virtue, one who has lost his virtue, dies bewildered. This is the fourth danger for one lacking in virtue, for one who has lost his virtue.

Furthermore, householders, one lacking in virtue, one who has lost his virtue, at the break up of the body, after death, arises in the lower world, in an unfortunate destiny, in the fall, in the nether regions. This is the fifth danger for one lacking in virtue, for one who has lost his virtue.

These are the five dangers, householders, for one lacking in virtue, for one who has lost his virtue.

There are these five advantages, householders, for one who is virtuous, for one accomplished in virtue. What are the five?

Here, householders, one who is virtuous, one accomplished in virtue, because of being heedful obtains a great mass of riches. This is the first advantage for one who is virtuous, for one accomplished in virtue.

Furthermore, householders, of one who is virtuous, of one accomplished in virtue, a good report goes round. This is the second advantage for one who is virtuous, for one accomplished in virtue.

Furthermore, householders, one who is virtuous, one accomplished in virtue, whatever assembly he goes to, whether an assembly of nobles, or an assembly of brāhmaṇas, or an assembly of householders, or an assembly of ascetics, goes with confidence, without confusion. This is the third advantage for one who is virtuous, for one accomplished in virtue.

Furthermore, householders, one who is virtuous, one accomplished in virtue, dies without being bewildered. This is the fourth advantage for one who is virtuous, for one accomplished in virtue.

Furthermore, householders, one who is virtuous, one accomplished in virtue, at the break up of the body, after death, arises in a fortunate destiny, in a Heavenly world. This is the fifth advantage for one who is virtuous, for one accomplished in virtue.

These are the five advantages, householders, for one who is virtuous, for one accomplished in virtue.”

Then the Gracious One, after instructing, rousing, enthusing, and cheering the lay followers of Pāṭaligāma for most of the night with a Dhamma talk, dismissed them, (saying): “The night has passed, householders, now is the time for whatever you are thinking.”

Then the lay followers of Pāṭaligāma, after greatly rejoicing and gladly receiving this word of the Gracious One, rising from their seats, worshipping and circumambulating the Gracious One, went away. Then the Gracious One, not long after the lay followers of Pāṭaligāma had gone, entered an empty place.

Then at that time the Magadhan chief ministers Sunīdha and Vassakāra were building up a city at Pāṭaligāma to ward off the Vajjians. Then at that time a great many devatās, thousands upon thousands, were taking possession of grounds at Pāṭaligāma.

In that place where the great devatās took possession of grounds, there the powerful rulers and great royal ministers minds inclined to building up residences.

In that place where the middling devatās took possession of grounds, there the middling rulers and middling royal ministers minds inclined to building up residences.

In that place where the lower devatās took possession of grounds, there the lower rulers and lower royal ministers minds inclined to building up residences.

The Gracious One saw with his divine-eye, which is purified, and surpasses that of (normal) men, that those devatās, thousands upon thousands, were taking possession of grounds at Pāṭaligāma.

In that place where the great devatās took possession of grounds, there the powerful rulers and great royal ministers minds inclined to building up residences.

In that place where the middling devatās took possession of grounds, there the middling rulers and middling royal ministers minds inclined to building up residences.

In that place where the lower devatās took possession of grounds, there the lower rulers and lower royal ministers minds inclined to building up residences.

Then towards the time of dawn, having risen from his seat, the Gracious One addressed venerable Ānanda, (saying): “Now who, Ānanda, is building a city at Pāṭaligāma?” “The Magadhan chief ministers Sunīdha and Vassakāra, reverend Sir, are building up a city at Pāṭaligāma to ward off the Vajjians.”

“It is just as though, Ānanda, after consulting with the Tāvatiṁsa devas, in the same way, Ānanda, the Magadhan chief ministers Sunīdha and Vassakāra, are building up a city at Pāṭaligāma to ward off the Vajjians.

Here, Ānanda, I saw with my divine-eye, which is purified, and surpasses that of (normal) men, that a great many devatās, thousands upon thousands, were taking possession of grounds at Pāṭaligāma.

In that place where the great devatās took possession of grounds, there the powerful rulers and great royal ministers minds inclined to building up residences.

In that place where the middling devatās took possession of grounds, there the middling rulers and middling royal ministers minds inclined to building up residences.

In that place where the lower devatās took possession of grounds, there the lower rulers and lower royal ministers minds inclined to building up residences.

For as long, Ānanda, as there is an Ariyan sphere (of influence), for as long as there is trade, this basket-opening Pāṭaliputta will be the chief city. Basket-opening (place), appears to mean a place where there is a market = the market town of Pāṭaliputta. There is a play on the name Pāṭaliputta in the Pāḷi, which probably was originally spelt Pāṭalipuṭa, meaning: the place where the Pāṭali pods open up.01 For Pāṭaliputta, Ānanda, there will be three dangers: from fire and from water and from the breaking of an alliance.” The Commentary here defines as having the sense of a conjunction (as opposed to its normal sense of a disjunction), and says that the three dangers will arise simultaneously in different parts of the city.02

Then the Magadhan chief ministers Sunīdha and Vassakāra went to the Gracious One, and after going, they exchanged greetings with the Gracious One and after exchanging courteous talk and greetings, they stood on one side.

While stood on one side the Magadhan chief ministers Sunīdha and Vassakāra said this to the Gracious One: “May Gotama consent, dear Sir, to us (offering him) a meal today, together with the Community of monks.”

The Gracious One consented by maintaining silence.

Then the Magadhan chief ministers Sunīdha and Vassakāra having understood the Gracious One's consent, went to their own dwelling, and after going, in their own dwellings having had excellent comestibles and edibles made ready, announced the time to the Gracious One, (saying): “It is time, dear Gotama, the meal is ready.”

Then the Gracious One, having dressed in the morning time, after picking up his bowl and robe, together with the Community of monks, went to the dwelling of the Magadhan chief ministers Sunīdha and Vassakāra, and after going, he sat down on the prepared seat.

Then the Magadhan chief ministers Sunīdha and Vassakāra with their own hands served and satisfied the Community of monks with the Buddha at its head with excellent comestibles and edibles.

Then the Magadhan chief ministers Sunīdha and Vassakāra, when the Gracious One had eaten and washed his hand and bowl, having taken a low seat, sat down on one side.

While sat on one side the Gracious One rejoiced the Magadhan chief ministers Sunīdha and Vassakāra with these verses:

“In that place where he makes his dwelling, having entertained
The wise and virtuous here, the restrained, who live the spiritual life,
He should dedicate a gift to the devatās who are in that place. The pādayuga (pair of lines) is the normal syntactical unit in the verses in the Canon, and only occasionally is it necessary to take two pādayugas together to get a complete sentence. Here, however, very unusually, we can see from the verbal syntax that we have to take three pādayugas together to make a complete sentence. This shows that what we have here is 2 verses of 3 pādayugas each, and they should be divided as such. 03
Honoured, they pay honour, revered, they revere him.

Thereafter they have compassion on him, as a mother on her own son,
A man whom the devatās have compassion on always sees what is auspicious.”

Then the Gracious One after rejoicing the Magadhan chief ministers Sunīdha and Vassakāra with these verses, and rising from his seat, went away.

Then at that time the Magadhan chief ministers Sunīdha and Vassakāra were following close behind the Gracious One, (thinking): “That gate by which the ascetic Gotama leaves will get the name the Gotama Gate, and that ford by which he crosses the river Gaṅgā will get the name the Gotama Ford.”

Then that gate by which the Gracious One left got the name the Gotama Gate, then the Gracious One went to the river Gaṅgā. Then at that time the river Gaṅgā was full to the brim, and could be drunk from by crows (perched on the bank). Some of the people were seeking boats, some were seeking floats, and some were binding rafts, desiring to go from this shore to the shore beyond.

Then the Gracious One, just as a strong man might stretch out a bent arm, or bend in an outstretched arm, so did he vanish from the near bank of the river Gaṅgā, and reappeared on the far bank, together with the Community of monks.

The Gracious One saw those people, some seeking boats, some seeking floats, and some binding rafts, desiring to go from this shore to the shore beyond.

Then the Gracious One, having understood the significance of it, on that occasion uttered this exalted utterance:

“Those who cross over a sea or a lake,
(Do so) after making a bridge, and leaving the pond behind.
(While) people are still binding together a raft,
Intelligent people have crossed over.”