MN 85. Bodhirājakumārasuttaṁ
The Discourse to Prince Bodhi

[5. The Similes]



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So kho ahaṁ, Rājakumāra,
Then, Prince,

kiṁkusalagavesī, anuttaraṁ santivarapadaṁ pariyesamāno,
still searching for what was wholesome, the unsurpassed, noble and peaceful state,

Magadhesu anupubbena cārikaṁ caramāno,
o while walking gradually on walking tour I entered Magadha,

yena Uruvelā Senānigamo tad-avasariṁ.
and arrived at the Army town at Uruvelā.

Tatthaddasaṁ ramaṇīyaṁ bhūmibhāgaṁ, pāsādikañ-ca vanasaṇḍaṁ,
There I saw a delightful piece of land, and a pleasing jungle thicket,

nadiñ-ca sandantiṁ setakaṁ RTE: sītodakaṁ, here and below.01 supatitthaṁ PTS: sūpatitthaṁ, alternative spelling, same below. 02 ramaṇīyaṁ,
with a clear river flowing and lovely banks,

samantā ca gocaragāmaṁ.
and nearby a village suitable for collecting alms.

Tassa mayhaṁ, Rājakumāra, etad-ahosi:
Then, Prince, this occurred to me:

‘Ramaṇīyo vata PTS, ChS adds: bho, which seems out of place, as he is not addressing anyone at this point.03 bhūmibhāgo, pāsādiko ca vanasaṇḍo,
‘Delightful is this piece of land, with its pleasing jungle thicket,

nadī ca sandati setakā supatitthā ramaṇīyā,
and a clear river flowing and lovely banks,

samantā ca gocaragāmo.
and it is near a village suitable for collecting alms.

‘Alaṁ vatidaṁ kulaputtassa padhānatthikassa padhānāyā.’ ti
I thought: ‘This is surely enough for the striving of a son of a good family who is seeking to strive.’

So kho ahaṁ, Rājakumāra, tattheva nisīdiṁ:
Then, Prince, I sat down right there,

‘Alam-idaṁ padhānāyā.’ ti
thinking: ‘This is enough for striving.’

 

Apissu maṁ, Rājakumāra, tisso upamā BJT: upamāyo; alternative form.04 paṭibhaṁsu anacchariyā,
Then, Prince, these three wonderful similes occurred to me,

pubbe assutapubbā.
that were unheard of in the past.

seyyathā pi, Rājakumāra, allaṁ kaṭṭhaṁ sasnehaṁ udake nikkhittaṁ,
Suppose, Prince, there were a green, sappy timber, lying in water,

atha puriso āgaccheyya uttarāraṇiṁ ādāya:
and a man would come with an upper kindling wood,

‘Aggiṁ abhinibbattessāmi, tejo pātukarissāmī.’ ti
thinking: ‘I will make fire, I will engender heat.’

Taṁ kiṁ maññasi, Rājakumāra, api nu so puriso
What do you think, Prince, would that man

amuṁ allaṁ kaṭṭhaṁ sasnehaṁ, udake nikkhittaṁ,
with that green, sappy timber, lying in water,

uttarāraṇiṁ ādāya abhimanthento RTE: abhimanthanto; alternative form, also below.05
through rubbing with the upper kindling wood

aggiṁ abhinibbatteyya, tejo pātukareyyā?” ti
be able to make fire, to engender heat?”

“No hidaṁ, bho Gotama. BJT: Bhante, and in similar positions throughout. RTE: No hetuṁ, Bhante.06
“Surely not, dear Gotama.

Taṁ kissa hetu? ChS by its punctuation indicates mistakenly that this question is spoken by the Buddha. There are no quotation markers to indicate that we have changed speakers, however, and it is certainly wrong.07
What is the reason for that?

Aduñ-hi, bho Gotama, BJT, RTE: Bhante, and in similar positions throughout.08
Because, dear Gotama,

allaṁ kaṭṭhaṁ sasnehaṁ, tañ-ca pana udake nikkhittaṁ.
it is a green, sappy timber, and it is lying in water.

Yāvad-eva ca pana so puriso kilamathassa vighātassa bhāgī assā.” ti
That man would only get a fair share of weariness and vexation.”

Evam-eva kho, Rājakumāra, ye hi keci samaṇā vā brāhmaṇā vā
Just so, Prince, whatever ascetics and priests

kāyena ceva cittena ca RTE omits: cittena ca, also below. Ceva always occurs, however, in conjunction with ca in these constructions.09 kāmehi avūpakaṭṭhā viharanti,
live unsecluded from sensual pleasures with their body and mind,

yo ca nesaṁ kāmesu kāmacchando,
who, in regard to sensual desire for sensual pleasures,

kāmasneho kāmamucchā kāmapipāsā kāmapariḷāho,
love for sensual pleasures, infatuation for sensual pleasures, thirst for sensual pleasures and fever for sensual pleasures,

so ca ajjhattaṁ na suppahīno RTE: supahīno; lacking gemination, also below.10 hoti, na suppaṭippassaddho, RTE: supaṭippassaddho; lacking gemination, also below.11
without having completely abandoned them on the inside, without having completely allayed them,

opakkamikā ce pi te bhonto samaṇabrāhmaṇā dukkhā,
o even if those good ascetics and priests feel acute pain,

tibbā kharā BJT, RTE: tippā, and omits kharā, similarly below.12 kaṭukā vedanā vedayanti,
sharp, harsh, and bitter feelings,

abhabbā va te ñāṇāya dassanāya anuttarāya Sambodhāya,
they are incapable of knowledge and insight into the supreme and complete Awakening,

no ce pi te bhonto samaṇabrāhmaṇā opakkamikā dukkhā,
and even if those good ascetics and priests do not feel acute pain,

tibbā kharā kaṭukā vedanā vedayanti,
sharp, harsh, and bitter feelings,

abhabbā va te ñāṇāya dassanāya anuttarāya Sambodhāya.
still they are incapable of knowledge and insight into the supreme and complete Awakening.

Ayaṁ kho maṁ, Rājakumāra, paṭhamā upamā paṭibhāsi anacchariyā,
This, Prince, is the first wonderful simile that occurred to me,

pubbe assutapubbā.
that was unheard of in the past.

 

Aparāpi kho maṁ, Rājakumāra, dutiyā upamā paṭibhāsi anacchariyā,
Then, Prince, a second wonderful simile occurred to me,

pubbe assutapubbā.
that was unheard of in the past.

seyyathā pi, Rājakumāra, allaṁ kaṭṭhaṁ sasnehaṁ,
Suppose, Prince, there were a green, sappy timber,

ārakā udakā, thale nikkhittaṁ,
far from the water, lying on the ground,

atha puriso āgaccheyya uttarāraṇiṁ ādāya:
and a man would come with an upper kindling wood,

‘Aggiṁ abhinibbattessāmi, tejo pātukarissāmī.’ ti
thinking: ‘I will make fire, I will engender heat.’

Taṁ kiṁ maññasi, Rājakumāra, api nu so puriso
What do you think, Prince, would that man

amuṁ allaṁ kaṭṭhaṁ sasnehaṁ, ārakā udakā, thale nikkhittaṁ,
with that green, sappy timber, far from the water, lying on the ground,

uttarāraṇiṁ ādāya abhimanthento
through rubbing with the upper kindling wood

aggiṁ abhinibbatteyya tejo pātukareyyā?” ti
be able to make fire, to engender heat?”

“No hidaṁ, bho Gotama.
“Surely not, dear Gotama.

Taṁ kissa hetu?
What is the reason for that?

Aduñ-hi, bho Gotama,
Because, dear Gotama,

allaṁ kaṭṭhaṁ sasnehaṁ, kiñcāpi ārakā udakā, thale nikkhittaṁ.
it is (still) a green, sappy timber, however far it is from the water, lying on the ground.

Yāvad-eva ca pana so puriso kilamathassa vighātassa bhāgī assā.” ti
That man would only get a fair share of weariness and vexation.”

“Evam-eva kho, Rājakumāra, ye hi keci samaṇā vā brāhmaṇā vā
“Just so, Prince, whatever ascetics and priests

kāyena ceva cittena ca kāmehi BJT: kāyena kho kāmehi, but below as in the text here.13 vūpakaṭṭhā viharanti,
live secluded from sensual pleasures with their body and mind,

yo ca nesaṁ kāmesu kāmacchando,
who, in regard to sensual desire for sensual pleasures,

kāmasneho kāmamucchā kāmapipāsā kāmapariḷāho
love for sensual pleasures, infatuation for sensual pleasures, thirst for sensual pleasures and fever for sensual pleasures,

so ca ajjhattaṁ na suppahīno hoti, na suppaṭippassaddho,
without having completely abandoned them on the inside, without having completely allayed them,

opakkamikā ce pi te bhonto samaṇabrāhmaṇā dukkhā,
o even if those good ascetics and priests feel acute pain,

tibbā kharā BJT includes kharā here (but not in similar positions above or below).14 kaṭukā vedanā vedayanti,
sharp, harsh, and bitter feelings,

abhabbā va te ñāṇāya dassanāya anuttarāya Sambodhāya;
they are incapable of knowledge and insight into the supreme and complete Awakening;

no ce pi te bhonto samaṇabrāhmaṇā opakkamikā dukkhā,
and even if those good ascetics and priests do not feel acute pain,

tibbā kharā kaṭukā vedanā vedayanti,
sharp, harsh, and bitter feelings,

abhabbā va te ñāṇāya dassanāya anuttarāya Sambodhāya.
(still) they are incapable of knowledge and insight into the supreme and complete Awakening.

Ayaṁ kho maṁ, Rājakumāra, dutiyā upamā paṭibhāsi anacchariyā,
This, Prince, is the second wonderful simile that occurred to me,

pubbe assutapubbā.
that was unheard of in the past.

 

Aparāpi kho maṁ, Rājakumāra, tatiyā upamā paṭibhāsi anacchariyā,
Then, Prince, a third wonderful simile occured to me,

pubbe assutapubbā.
that was unheard of in the past.

seyyathā pi, Rājakumāra, sukkhaṁ kaṭṭhaṁ koḷāpaṁ,
Suppose, Prince, there were a dry, sapless timber,

ārakā udakā, thale nikkhittaṁ,
far from the water, lying on the ground,

atha puriso āgaccheyya uttarāraṇiṁ ādāya:
and a man would come with an upper kindling wood,

‘Aggiṁ abhinibbattessāmi, tejo pātukarissāmī.’ ti
thinking: ‘I will make fire, I will engender heat.’

Taṁ kiṁ maññasi, Rājakumāra, api nu so puriso
What do you think, Prince, would that man

amuṁ sukkhaṁ kaṭṭhaṁ koḷāpaṁ, ārakā udakā thale nikkhittaṁ,
with that dry, sapless timber, far from the water, lying on the ground,

uttarāraṇiṁ ādāya abhimanthento
through rubbing with the upper kindling wood

aggiṁ abhinibbatteyya, tejo pātukareyyā?” ti
be able to make fire, to engender heat?”

“Evaṁ, bho Gotama.
“Surely, dear Gotama.

Taṁ kissa hetu?
What is the reason for that?

Aduñ-hi, bho Gotama,
Because, dear Gotama,

sukkhaṁ kaṭṭhaṁ koḷāpaṁ, tañ-ca pana ārakā udakā, thale nikkhittan.”-ti
it is a dry, sapless timber, and it is far from the water, lying on the ground.”

“Evam-eva kho, Rājakumāra, ye hi keci samaṇā vā brāhmaṇā vā
“Just so, Prince, whatever ascetics and priests

kāyena ceva cittena ca kāmehi vūpakaṭṭhā viharanti,
live secluded from sensual pleasures with their body and mind,

yo ca nesaṁ kāmesu kāmacchando,
who, in regard to sensual desire for sensual pleasures,

kāmasneho kāmamucchā kāmapipāsā kāmapariḷāho,
love for sensual pleasures, infatuation for sensual pleasures, thirst for sensual pleasures and fever for sensual pleasures,

so ca ajjhattaṁ suppahīno hoti suppaṭippassaddho,
have completely abandoned them on the inside, completely allayed them,

opakkamikā ce pi te bhonto samaṇabrāhmaṇā dukkhā,
o even if those good ascetics and priests feel acute pain,

tibbā kharā kaṭukā vedanā vedayanti,
sharp, harsh, and bitter feelings,

bhabbā va te ñāṇāya dassanāya anuttarāya Sambodhāya;
they are capable of knowledge and insight into the supreme and complete Awakening;

no ce pi te bhonto samaṇabrāhmaṇā opakkamikā dukkhā,
and even if those good ascetics and priests do not feel acute pain,

tibbā kharā kaṭukā vedanā vedayanti,
sharp, harsh, and bitter feelings,

bhabbā va te ñāṇāya dassanāya anuttarāya Sambodhāya.
(still) they are capable of knowledge and insight into the supreme and complete Awakening.

Ayaṁ kho maṁ, Rājakumāra, tatiyā upamā paṭibhāsi anacchariyā,
This, Prince, is the third wonderful simile that occurred to me,

pubbe assutapubbā.
that was unheard of in the past.

Imā kho maṁ, Rājakumāra, tisso upamā paṭibhaṁsu anacchariyā,
These, Prince, are the three wonderful similes that occurred to me,

pubbe assutapubbā.
that were unheard of in the past.