MN 85. Bodhirājakumārasuttaṁ
The Discourse to Prince Bodhi

[9. The Story about Brahmā’s Request]



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

‘Adhigato kho mayāyaṁ BJT, RTE: myāyaṁ, PTS: me ayaṁ; form uncertain.01 Dhammo gambhīro duddaso duranubodho,
‘This Dhamma I have attained is deep, hard to see, hard to understand,

santo paṇīto atakkāvacaro nipuṇo paṇḍitavedanīyo.
peaceful, excellent, beyond the sphere of logic, profound, understandable (only) by the wise.

Ālayarāmā kho panāyaṁ pajā ālayaratā ālayasammuditā,
But this generation delights in desire, is devoted to desire, gladdened by desire,

ālayarāmā kho panāyaṁ pajā BJT: ālayarāmāya kho panapajāya; RTE: kho pajāya.02 ālayaratāya ālayasammuditāya,
and for this generation delighting in desire, devoted to desire, gladdened by desire,

duddasaṁ idaṁ ṭhānaṁ, yad-idaṁ: idappaccayatā paṭiccasamuppādo.
this thing is hard to see, that is to say: conditionality and conditional origination.

Idam-pi kho ṭhānaṁ duddasaṁ, yad-idaṁ:
This thing also is hard to see, that is to say:

sabbasaṅkhārasamatho, sabbūpadhipaṭinissaggo,
the tranquilising of all processes, the letting go of all bases for cleaving,

taṇhakkhayo, virāgo, nirodho, Nibbānaṁ.
the end of craving, dispassion, cessation, Nibbāna.

Ahañ-ce va kho pana Dhammaṁ deseyyaṁ pare ca me na ājāneyyuṁ
But if I were to teach the Dhamma and others did not understand me

so mamassa kilamatho, sā mamassa vihesā.’ ti
that would be tiring for me, that would be troublesome to me.’

Apissu maṁ, Rājakumāra, imā anacchariyā gāthā ChS: gāthāyo, alternative form.03 paṭibhaṁsu,
Further, Prince, these truly wonderful verses occurred to me,

pubbe assutapubbā:
that were unheard of in the past:

‘Kicchena me adhigataṁ halaṁ dāni pakāsituṁ?
‘Now is it suitable for me to explain what was attained with difficulty?

Rāgadosaparetehi nāyaṁ Dhammo susambudho.
For those overcome by passion and hatred this Dhamma is not easily understood.

Paṭisotagāmiṁ nipuṇaṁ gambhīraṁ duddasaṁ aṇuṁ.
Going against the stream, it is profound, deep, hard to see, subtle.

Rāgarattā na dakkhanti, BJT: dakkhinti, alternative form.04 tamokkhandhena ChS: tamokhandhena, alternative form.05 āvuṭā.’ ti RTE: āvutā ti; PTS: āvaṭā ti, alternative forms.06
Those delighting in passion, obstructed by darkness, will not see it.’

 

Itiha me, Rājakumāra, paṭisañcikkhato,
Such was my reflection, Prince,

appossukkatāya cittaṁ namati, no Dhammadesanāya. RTE: -desanāyāti, but there seems no need for the quotation marker here as the narrative continues.07
and my mind inclined to inaction, not to teaching the Dhamma.

Atha kho, Rājakumāra, Brahmuno Sahampatissa,
Then, Prince, to Brahmā Sahampati,

mama cetasā cetoparivitakkam-aññāya etad-ahosi:
knowing with his mind the reflection in my mind, this (thought) occurred:

‘Nassati vata bho loko, vinassati vata bho loko,
‘The world is surely going to destruction, the world is surely going to complete destruction,

yatra hi nāma Tathāgatassa Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa
wherever the Realised One, the Worthy One, the Perfect Sambuddha’s

appossukkatāya cittaṁ namati no Dhammadesanāyā.’ ti
mind inclines to inaction, not to teaching the Dhamma.’

Atha kho, Rājakumāra, Brahmā Sahampati seyyathā pi nāma balavā puriso
Then, Prince, Brahmā Sahampati, just as a strong man

sammiñjitaṁ vā bāhaṁ pasāreyya pasāritaṁ vā bāhaṁ sammiñjeyya,
might stretch out a bent arm, or bend in an outstretched arm,

evam-eva RTE: evam-eva kho; BJT, PTS: evam-evaṁ.08 Brahmaloke antarahito mama purato pātur-ahosi.
so did he vanish from the Brahmā world and appear in front of me.

Atha kho, Rājakumāra, Brahmā Sahampati, ekaṁsaṁ uttarāsaṅgaṁ karitvā,
Then, Prince, Brahmā Sahampati, after arranging his upper robe on one shoulder,

yenāhaṁ tenañjaliṁ paṇāmetvā, maṁ etad-avoca:
and raising his hands in respectful salutation, said this to me:

“Desetu, Bhante, Bhagavā Dhammaṁ, desetu Sugato Dhammaṁ,
“Let the Gracious One preach the Dhamma, reverend Sir, let the Fortunate One
preach the Dhamma,

santi sattā apparajakkhajātikā assavanatā Dhammassa parihāyanti,
there are beings with little dust on the eyes who are perishing through not hearing the Dhamma,

bhavissanti Dhammassa aññātāro.” ti
there will be those who understand the Dhamma.”

Idam-avoca, Rājakumāra, Brahmā Sahampati, idaṁ vatvā athāparaṁ etad-avoca:
Brahmā Sahampati, Prince, said this and after saying this he said something more:

“Pātūr-ahosi Magadhesu pubbe
“Formerly there appeared amongst the Magadhans

Dhammo asuddho samalehi cintito,
an impure Dhamma, invented by those still stained,

apāpuretaṁ BJT: avāpuretaṁ; alternative form.09 Amatassa dvāraṁ,
open the door to the Deathless,

suṇantu Dhammaṁ Vimalenānubuddhaṁ.
let them hear the Dhamma understood by the Pure One.

Sele yathā pabbatamuddhaniṭṭhito
As one who is standing on a rock on the top of a mountain

yathā pi passe janataṁ samantato,
can see the people on all sides,

tathūpamaṁ Dhammamayaṁ Sumedha
o in the same way, One of Great Wisdom, having ascended

Pāsādam-āruyha Samantacakkhu,
the Palace made from Dhamma, Visionary One,

sokāvatiṇṇaṁ janataṁ BJT, RTE: janatam, alternative sandhi. 10 Apetasoko,
o look down on the people overcome by grief,

avekkhassu jātijarābhibhūtaṁ.
One Free of Grief, on those overcome by birth and old-age.

Uṭṭhehi Vīra Vijitasaṅgāma,
Rise up, O Hero, Victorious in Battle.

Satthavāha Anaṇa vicara loke.
Caravan-Leader, Debtless One, travel through the world.

Desassu RTE: Desetu; alternative form.11 Bhagavā Dhammaṁ, aññātāro bhavissantī.” ti
Let the Gracious One teach the Dhamma, there will be those who understand.”

 

Atha khvāhaṁ, ChS: kho ahaṁ, parsing the sandhi.12 Rājakumāra, Brahmuno ca ajjhesanaṁ viditvā,
Then, Prince, having understood Brahmā’s request,

sattesu ca kāruññataṁ paṭicca Buddhacakkhunā lokaṁ volokesiṁ. BJT: olokesiṁ; alternative form.13
out of kindness I looked at beings around the world with my Buddha-eye.

Addasaṁ kho ahaṁ, Rājakumāra, Buddhacakkhunā lokaṁ volokento
While looking around the world, Prince, with my Buddha-eye, I saw

satte apparajakkhe mahārajakkhe, tikkhindriye mudindriye,
beings having little dust on the eyes, having great dust on the eyes, having sharp faculties, having undeveloped faculties,

svākāre dvākāre, suviññāpaye duviññāpaye, BJT omits: dvākāre and duviññāpaye.14
having good conditions, having poor conditions, easy to instruct, hard to instruct,

appekacce paralokavajjabhayadassāvine BJT, RTE: -dassāvino.15 viharante. BJT has an extra line in square brackets: appekacce na paralokavajjabhayadassāvine viharante.16
and (only) some who dwelt seeing danger in what is blameworthy and in the next world.

Seyyathā pi nāma uppaliniyaṁ vā paduminiyaṁ vā puṇḍarīkiniyaṁ vā
Just as with water-lilies or lotuses or white lotuses

appekaccāni uppalāni vā padumāni vā puṇḍarīkāni vā,
some of those water-lilies or lotuses or white lotuses,

udake jātāni udake saṁvaḍḍhāni BJT, RTE, PTS: saṁvaddhāni; also below, alternative spelling.17 udakānuggatāni antonimuggaposīni, RTE: antonimuggapositāni.18
born in the water, flourishing in the water, not rising above water, are nourished from inside the depths,

appekaccāni uppalāni vā padumāni vā puṇḍarīkāni vā,
some of those water-lilies or lotuses or white lotuses,

udake jātāni, udake saṁvaḍḍhāni, udakānuggatāni, BJT, PTS omit udakānuggatāni.19 samodakaṁ ṭhitāni,
born in the water, flourishing in the water, surrounded by water, stand level with the water,

appekaccāni uppalāni vā padumāni vā puṇḍarīkāni vā,
some of those water-lilies or lotuses or white lotuses,

udake jātāni udake saṁvaḍḍhāni udakaṁ BJT, PTS: udakā, ablative.20 accuggamma tiṭṭhanti,
born in the water, flourishing in the water, stand above the water,

anupalittāni RTE: anuppalittāni, with gemination.21 udakena.
and are untouched by the water.

Evam-eva kho ahaṁ, Rājakumāra, Buddhacakkhunā lokaṁ volokento addasaṁ
Even so while looking around the world, Prince, with my Buddha-eye, I saw

satte apparajakkhe mahārajakkhe, tikkhindriye mudindriye,
beings having little dust on the eyes, having great dust on the eyes, having sharp faculties, having undeveloped faculties,

svākāre dvākāre, suviññāpaye duviññāpaye, BJT omits dvākāre and duviññāpaye.22
having good conditions, having poor conditions, easy to instruct, hard to instruct,

appekacce paralokavajjabhayadassāvine viharante. BJT has an extra line in square brackets: appekacce na paralokavajjabhayadassāvine viharante.23
and (only) some who dwelt seeing danger in what is blameworthy and in the next world.

Atha khvāhaṁ, Rājakumāra, Brahmānaṁ Sahampatiṁ gāthāya ajjhabhāsiṁ: BJT: paccabhāsiṁ; ChS: ajjhabhāsi. The reading here seems very uncertain, although the meaning is the same in all three cases.24
Then, Prince, I recited this verse to Brahmā Sahampati:

“Apārutā tesaṁ ChS: te, ‘correcting’ the metre.25 Amatassa dvārā, PTS adds [Brahme], like this in square brackets.26
“Open for you are the doors to the Deathless,

ye sotavanto pamuñcantu saddhaṁ.
whoever has ears let them release their faith.

Vihiṁsasaññī paguṇaṁ na bhāsiṁ,
o Perceiving trouble, Brahmā, I did not speak amongst humans,

Dhammaṁ paṇītaṁ manujesu Brahme!” ti
about what was hard-learned, the excellent Dhamma!”

Atha kho, Rājakumāra, Brahmā Sahampati:
Then, Prince, Brahmā Sahampati,

‘Katāvakāso khomhi Bhagavatā Dhammadesanāyā,’ ti
thinking: ‘I have obtained consent for the Gracious One to teach the Dhamma,’

maṁ abhivādetvā padakkhiṇaṁ katvā, tatthevantaradhāyi.
after worshipping and circumambulating me, vanished right there.