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[I. The First Teachings]
2. The Story about the Goatherd's (Tree) Cf. Udāna 1.4.01
(The Grumbling Brāhmaṇa) The story of the grumbling brāhmaṇa is placed later in Mahāvastu, on the journey between Uruvelā and Isipatana, see the Text and Translation Uruvilvā to Ṛṣipatana elsewhere on this website.02
Atha kho Bhagavā sattāhassa accayena,
Then with the passing of seven days, the Gracious One, Jā Nid places the temptation by Māra's daughters during this week, but it goes completely unnoticed in the earlier text. On the other hand Jā Nid does not mention the encounter with the brāhmaṇa recorded here.03
tamhā samādhimhā vuṭṭhahitvā,
after arising from that concentration,
Bodhirukkhamūlā yena Ajapālanigrodho tenupasaṅkami,
approached the Goatherd's Banyan (tree) Comm: tassa kira Nigrodhassa chāyāya ajapālakā gantvā nisīdanti, tenassa Ajapālanigrodho tveva nāmaṁ udapādi; it seems that the goat-herders, having gone to the shade of that Banyan tree, would sit down (there), therefore the name Goatherds' Banyan tree arose. According to the commentary this was east of the Awakening tree.04 from the root of the Awakening tree,
o and after approaching the root of the Goatherds' Banyan tree
sattāhaṁ ekapallaṅkena nisīdi vimuttisukhapaṭisaṁvedī.
he sat in one cross-legged posture for seven days experiencing the happiness of liberation. Jā Nid states that it is now five weeks since the Awakening, the first week having been spent in blissful contemplation, the second worshipping the Bodhi Tree, the third walking in the jewelled walkway, and the fourth reflecting on the Abhidhamma collection; exactly where the first section recorded above fits in is not clear, unless it is taken as the conclusion of the last section.05
Atha kho aññataro huhuṅkajātiko brāhmaṇo
Then a certain brāhmaṇa who was a grumbler by nature Described by the commentary as being a diṭṭhamaṅgala, one who believes that luck arises through what is seen, like seeing a lucky black cat in the morning, and says that he was a grumbler through conceit and through anger.06
yena Bhagavā tenupasaṅkami,
approached the Gracious One,
upasaṅkamitvā Bhagavatā saddhiṁ sammodi,
and after approaching he exchanged greetings with the Gracious One,
sammodanīyaṁ kathaṁ sārāṇīyaṁ vītisāretvā ekam-antaṁ aṭṭhāsi.
and after exchanging courteous talk ChS adds: huhuṅkajātiko ti vuccati, huhuṅkajātiko ti pi paṭhantī ti tabbaṇṇanā; he spoke grumblingly, and he spoke in praise of speaking grumblingly, but this is unknown to the other texts.07 and greetings, he stood on one side.
Ekam-antaṁ ṭhito kho so brāhmaṇo Bhagavantaṁ etad-avoca:
While standing on one side that brāhmaṇa said this to the Gracious One:
“Kittāvatā nu kho bho Gotama brāhmaṇo hoti?
“To what extent, dear Gotama, is one a brāhmaṇa?
Katame ca pana brāhmaṇakaraṇā dhammā?” ti
And again what things make one a brāhmaṇa?”
Atha kho Bhagavā, etam-atthaṁ viditvā,
Then the Gracious One, having understood the significance of it,
tāyaṁ velāyaṁ imaṁ udānaṁ udānesi:
on that occasion uttered this exalted utterance:
“Yo brāhmaṇo bāhitapāpadhammo,
“That brāhmaṇa who has barred wickedness, There is a pun on bāhita (barred) and brāhmaṇa, which is nearly lost in Pāḷi owing to the reintroduction of the -r- element. In the original language it must have been *bāhmaṇa, or something very similar, where the pun would have been more obvious.08
Nihuhuṅkako nikkasāvo yatatto,
Not grumbling, free from blemish, self-restrained,
With perfect understanding, (and) the spiritual life accomplished,
Dhammena so Brahmavādaṁ vadeyya,
Righteously he might speak a word about the Brahman, Comm: “brāhmaṇo, ahan”-ti etaṁ vādaṁ dhammena vadeyya; he might righteously speak this word, saying “I am a brāhmaṇa.” This may be the meaning, but it is not what it says, as Brahma- cannot be equal to brāhmaṇa-.09
Yassussadā natthi kuhiñci loke” ti.
For him there is no arrogance Comm: rāgussado dosussado mohussado mānussado diṭṭhussado ti ime ussadā natthi; there is no arrogance like the arrogance owing to passion, hatred, delusion, conceit or views.10 anywhere in the world.” This verse differs somewhat from the parallel verse in Mahāvastu, see Uruvilvā to Ṛṣipatana elsewhere on this website.11
The Story about the Goatherd's (Tree) is finished
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last updated: August 2009