24: Ālavakasuttaṁ
The Discourse concerning Ālavaka

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Evaṁ me sutaṁ:
Thus I have heard:

ekaṁ samayaṁ Bhagavā Ālaviyaṁ viharati
at one time the Gracious One was dwelling near Ālavī

Ālavakassa yakkhassa bhavane.
in the domicile of the yakkha Ālavaka.

Atha kho Ālavako yakkho yena Bhagavā tenupasaṅkami,
Then the yakkha Ālavaka approached the Gracious One,

upasaṅkamitvā Bhagavantaṁ etad-avoca:
and after approaching he said this to the Gracious One:

“Nikkhama samaṇā!” ti,
“Get out, ascetic!”

“Sādhāvuso” ti Bhagavā nikkhami.
“Yes, friend”, said the Gracious One, and he got out.

“Pavisa samaṇā!” ti,
“Go in, ascetic!”

“Sādhāvuso” ti Bhagavā pāvisi.
“Yes, friend”, said the Gracious One, and he went in.

Dutiyam-pi kho Ālavako yakkho Bhagavantaṁ etad-avoca:
For a second time the yakkha Ālavaka said this to the Gracious One:

“Nikkhama samaṇā!” ti,
“Get out, ascetic!”

“Sādhāvuso” ti Bhagavā nikkhami.
“Yes, friend”, said the Gracious One, and he got out.

“Pavisa samaṇā!” ti,
“Go in, ascetic!”

“Sādhāvuso” ti Bhagavā pāvisi.
“Yes, friend”, said the Gracious One, and he went in.

Tatiyam-pi kho Ālavako yakkho Bhagavantaṁ etad-avoca:
For a third time the yakkha Ālavaka said this to the Gracious One:

“Nikkhama samaṇā!” ti,
“Get out, ascetic!”

“Sādhāvuso” ti Bhagavā nikkhami.
“Yes, friend”, said the Gracious One, and he got out.

“Pavisa samaṇā!” ti,
“Go in, ascetic!”

“Sādhāvuso” ti Bhagavā pāvisi.
“Yes, friend”, said the Gracious One, and he went in.

Catuttham-pi kho Ālavako yakkho Bhagavantaṁ etad-avoca:
For a fourth time the yakkha Ālavaka said this to the Gracious One:

“Nikkhama samaṇā!” ti,
“Get out, ascetic!”

“Na khvāhaṁ āvuso CBhp: Nakkhvāhaṁ taṁ āvuso.01 nikkhamissāmi,
“I certainly will not get out, friend,

yaṁ te karaṇīyaṁ taṁ karohī” ti.
so please do whatever it is you must do.”

 

“Pañhaṁ taṁ samaṇa pucchissāmi, sace me na vyākarissasi,
“I will ask you a question, ascetic, and if you do not answer me,

cittaṁ vā te khipissāmi, hadayaṁ vā te phālessāmi,
I will overthrow your mind, or split your heart,

pādesu vā gahetvā pāragaṅgāya khipissāmī” ti.
or seize you by the feet and throw you across the river.”

“Na khvāhaṁ CBhp: Nakkhvāhaṁ.02 taṁ āvuso passāmi,
“I certainly do not see, friend,

sadevake loke samārake sabrahmake,
in the world with its gods, Māra, and Brahma,

sassamaṇabrāhmaṇiyā pajāya sadevamanussāya,
in this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, princes and men,

yo me cittaṁ vā khipeyya, hadayaṁ vā phāleyya,
anyone who could overthrow my mind, or split my heart,

pādesu vā gahetvā pāragaṅgāya khipeyya.
or seize me by the feet and throw me across the river.

Api ca tvaṁ āvuso puccha yad-ākaṅkhasī” ti.
Still, you may ask what you want, friend.”

Atha kho Ālavako yakkho Bhagavantaṁ gāthāya ajjhabhāsi:
Then the yakkha Ālavaka recited a verse to the Gracious One:

 

1. “Kiṁ sūdha vittaṁ purisassa seṭṭhaṁ?
“What is the greatest wealth for a person here?

Kiṁ su suciṇṇo sukham-āvahāti?
What, when accomplished, brings about happiness?

Kiṁ su have sādutaraṁ PPV, PPV2: sādhutaraṁ, also in next verse.03 rasānaṁ?
What, for sure, is the sweetest of tastes?

Kathaṁ jīviṁ jīvitam-āhu seṭṭhan?” ti CBhp: omit ti, also in next verse.04
Living what life do they say is the greatest?”

 

2. “Saddhīdha vittaṁ purisassa seṭṭhaṁ.
“Confidence is a person's greatest wealth here.

Dhammo suciṇṇo sukham-āvahāti.
The Dhamma, when accomplished, brings about happiness.

Saccaṁ have sādutaraṁ rasānaṁ.
Truth, for sure, is the sweetest of tastes.

Paññājīviṁ jīvitam-āhu seṭṭhan”-ti.
Living a wise life they say is the greatest.”

 

3. “Kathaṁ su taratī oghaṁ? Kathaṁ su tarati CBhp: arati.05 aṇṇavaṁ?
“How does one cross over the flood? How does one cross over the sea?

Kathaṁ su dukkhaṁ acceti? Kathaṁ su parisujjhati?”
How does one overcome suffering? How does one become purified?”

 

4. “Saddhāya taratī CBhp: tarati.06 oghaṁ. Appamādena aṇṇavaṁ.
“Through confidence one crosses the flood. Through heedfulness (one crosses) the sea.

Viriyena dukkhaṁ acceti. Paññāya parisujjhati.”
Through energy one overcomes suffering. Through wisdom one is purified.”

 

5. “Kathaṁ su labhate paññaṁ? Kathaṁ su vindate dhanaṁ?
“How is it one gains true wisdom? How is it one finds true wealth?

Kathaṁ su kittiṁ pappoti? Kathaṁ mittāni ganthati?
How does one acquire good repute? How does one bind friends (to oneself)?

Asmā lokā paraṁ lokaṁ kathaṁ pecca na socati?”
How, after passing from this world to the next world, does one not grieve?”

 

6. “Saddahāno Arahataṁ Dhammaṁ Nibbānapattiyā,
“Confident in the Worthy Ones' Dhamma (taught) for attaining Nibbāna,

sussūsā labhate paññaṁ, appamatto vicakkhaṇo.
one gains wisdom through wanting to hear it, heedfulness, and application.

 

7. Patirūpakārī dhuravā, uṭṭhātā vindate dhanaṁ.
Doing what is suitable, bearing up, aroused, one finds true wealth.

Saccena kittiṁ pappoti. Dadaṁ mittāni ganthati.
Through truth one acquires good repute. (Through) giving one binds friends (to oneself).

 

8. Yassete caturo dhammā saddhassa gharamesino:
That confident householder who has these four things:

saccaṁ, Dhammo, dhitī, CBhp: dhiti.07 cāgo, sa ve pecca na socati,
truth, Dhamma, courage, liberality, after passing away he does not grieve,

asmā lokā paraṁ lokaṁ evaṁ pecca na socati. MPP: omits this line; PPV2: sa ve pecca.08
thus, after passing from this world to the next world, one does not grieve.

 

9. Iṅgha aññe pi pucchassu, puthū MPP, PPV2: puthu, and in the reply below.09 samaṇabrāhmaṇe,
Come now, ask others also, the many ascetics and brahmins,

yadi saccā damā cāgā khantyā bhiyyo na vijjati.” PPV: bhīyyo na vijjatī PPV2: bhīyyo na vijjati.10
if there is something more than truth, self-control, liberality, and patience.”

 

10. “Kathan nu dāni puccheyyaṁ, puthū samaṇabrāhmaṇe?
“Why should I ask (others) now, the many ascetics and brahmins?

Sohaṁ ajja pajānāmi yo attho CBhp, PPV: yo cattho.11 samparāyiko.
Today I have come to know what is the next life's true welfare.

 

11. Atthāya vata me Buddho vāsāy' Ālavim-āgamī. CBhp, PPV: Ālavim-āgami.12
Indeed for my welfare did the Buddha come and spend time in Ālavī.

Sohaṁ ajja pajānāmi yattha dinnaṁ mahapphalaṁ.
when today I have come to know where that which is given bears great fruit.

 

12. So ahaṁ vicarissāmi gāmā gāmaṁ purā puraṁ,
I will roam about from village to village, city to city,

namassamāno Sambuddhaṁ Dhammassa ca sudhammatan”-ti.
revering the Sambuddha and the good qualities of the Dhamma.”

 

Evaṁ vatvā CBhp: Evaṁ vutte.13 Ālavako yakkho Bhagavantaṁ etad-avoca:
After saying this, the yakkha Ālavaka said this to the Gracious One:

“Abhikkantaṁ bho Gotama! Abhikkantaṁ bho Gotama!
“Excellent, reverend Gotama! Excellent, reverend Gotama!

Seyyathā pi bho Gotama nikkujjitaṁ vā ukkujjeyya,
Just as, reverend Gotama, one might set upright what has been overturned,

paṭicchannaṁ vā vivareyya, mūḷhassa vā maggaṁ ācikkheyya,
or open up what has been closed, or show a path to one who is lost,

andhakāre vā telapajjotaṁ dhāreyya
or bear an oil lamp in the darkness

cakkhumanto rūpāni dakkhintī ti,
so that one who has eyes can see forms,

evam-evaṁ bhotā Gotamena anekapariyāyena Dhammo pakāsito.
just so has the Dhamma been made clear by reverend Gotama in more than one way.

Esāhaṁ bhavantaṁ Gotamaṁ saraṇaṁ gacchāmi,
I go to the reverend Gotama for refuge,

Dhammañ-ca bhikkhusaṅghañ-ca.
and to the Dhamma, and to the Saṅgha of monks.

Upāsakaṁ maṁ bhavaṁ Gotamo dhāretu
Please bear it in mind, reverend Gotama, that I am a lay disciple

ajjatagge pāṇupetaṁ saraṇaṁ gatan”-ti.
who has gone for refuge from today forward for as long as I am furnished with life.”