Adhammikasuttaṁ, AN 4.70
The Discourse on the Dishonest

A text and translation of a short discourse explaining how deeds have consequences on the environment, together with its comm.

Translated by Ānandajoti Bhikkhu
(April 2020/2564)

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Adhammikasuttaṁ
The Discourse on the Dishonest

Yasmiṁ, bhikkhave, samaye rājāno adhammikā honti,
At whatever time, monastics, there are dishonest kings,

rājāyuttā pi tasmiṁ samaye adhammikā honti.
at that time royal agents are dishonest.

Dasame adhammikā hontī ti
In the tenth (discourse in this section) there are dishonest (kings) means

porāṇaka-rājūhi ṭhapitaṁ,
established by the kings of old,

dasa-bhāga-baliñ-ceva aparādhānurūpañ-ca daṇḍaṁ aggahetvā,
(agents,) having taken a tenth in tax shares and the fines in accordance with guilt,

atireka-balino ceva atireka-daṇḍassa ca gahaṇena adhammikā.
dishonestly take extra taxes and extra fines.

Rājāyuttā ti rañño janapadesu kicca-saṁvidhāyakā āyuttaka-purisā.
Royal agents means there are people who are agents managing (various) duties within the king’s realms.

Rājāyuttesu adhammikesu
When there are dishonest royal agents

brāhmaṇa-gahapatikā pi tasmiṁ samaye adhammikā honti.
at that time brahmins and householders are dishonest.

Brāhmaṇa-gahapatikesu adhammikesu
When there are dishonest brahmins and householders

negama-jānapadā pi tasmiṁ samaye adhammikā honti.
at that time the citizens are dishonest.

Brāhmaṇa-gahapatikā ti anto-nagara-vāsino brāhmaṇa-gahapatayo.
Brahmins and householders means those brahmins and householders dwelling within the cities.

Negama-jānapadā ti nigama-vāsino ceva janapada-vāsino ca.
Citizens means those who dwell in the towns or the countryside.

Negama-jānapadesu adhammikesu
When there are dishonest citizens

visamaṁ candima-sūriyā parivattanti.
moon and sun move irregularly.

Visamaṁ candima-sūriyesu parivattantesu
When there is the irregular movement of the moon and sun

visamaṁ nakkhattāni tāraka-rūpāni parivattanti.
the constellations and stars move irregularly.

Visamaṁ nakkhattesu tāraka-rūpesu parivattantesu
When there is the irregular movement of the constellations and stars

visamaṁ rattin-divā parivattanti.
night and day move irregularly.

Visamaṁ rattindivesu parivattantesu
When there is the irregular movement of night and day

visamaṁ māsaddhamāsā parivattanti.
the months and fortnights move irregularly.

Visamaṁ māsaddhamāsesu parivattantesu
When there is the irregular movement of the months and fortnights

visamaṁ utusaṁvaccharā parivattanti.
the seasons and years move irregularly.

Visamaṁ utusaṁvaccharesu parivattantesu
When there is the irregular movement of the seasons and years

visamaṁ vātā vāyanti visamā apañjasā.
the blowing of the winds is irregular and abnormal.

Visaman-ti visamā hutvā, asamayena vāyantī ti attho.
Irregular means having become uneven, blowing at the wrong time is the meaning.

Visamā ti na samā, atithaddhā vā atimudukā vā ti attho.
Irregular means not regular, too strong or too weak is the meaning.

Apañjasā ti maggato apagatā.
Abnormal means having departed from the (right) path.

Ummagga-gāmino hutvā vāyantī ti attho.
It is blowing along a devious path is the meaning.

Visamaṁ vātesu vāyantesu visamesu apañjasesu
When there is the irregular and abnormal movement of the winds

devatā parikupitā bhavanti.
the gods become agitated.

Devatā parikupitā bhavantī ti
The gods become agitated means

vātesu hi visamesu apañjasesu vāyantesu
because of irregular and abnormal winds

rukkhā bhijjanti, vimānāni bhijjanti.
the trees break, (their) palaces break. Evidently the bhummā devā are intended here, those who live on earth, thought to inhabit tress and other places.

Devatāsu parikupitāsu
When the gods are agitated

devo na sammā dhāraṁ anuppavecchati.
the gods do not give proper (rain).

Tasmā devatā parikupitā bhavanti,
Therefore the gods become agitated,

tā devassa sammā vassituṁ na denti.
and those gods do not give the proper rain.

Tena vuttaṁ: devo na sammā dhāraṁ anuppavecchatī ti.
Because of that this was said: the gods do not give the proper (rain)

Deve na sammā dhāraṁ anuppavecchante
When the gods do not give proper (rain)

visamapākāni sassāni bhavanti.
the crops ripen irregularly.

Visamapākāni sassāni bhavantī ti
The crops ripen irregularly means

ekasmiṁ ṭhāne gabbhīni honti,
in one place they are swelling, Literally, they are pregnant, in the sense I take it of being larger than normal. I owe much of the interpretation of this passage to Dr. Junko Matsumura.

ekasmiṁ sañjātakhīrāni,
in one (place) sap has arisen,

ekaṁ ṭhānaṁ paccatī, ti
(in) one place it is (still) ripening,

evaṁ visamaṁ pākāni sassāni bhavanti.
thus the crops ripen irregularly.

Visamapākāni, bhikkhave, sassāni manussā paribhuñjantā
When the crops ripen irregularly, monastics, humans who eat them

appāyukā honti, dubbaṇṇā ca bavhābādhā ca.
have a short life, are ugly and have many illnesses.

 

Yasmiṁ, bhikkhave, samaye rājāno dhammikā honti,
At whatever time, monastics, there are honest kings,

rājāyuttā pi tasmiṁ samaye dhammikā honti.
at that time royal agents are honest.

Rājāyuttesu dhammikesu
When there are honest royal agents

brāhmaṇa-gahapatikā pi tasmiṁ samaye dhammikā honti.
at that time brahmins and householders are honest.

Brāhmaṇa-gahapatikesu dhammikesu
When there are honest brahmins and householders

negama-jānapadā pi tasmiṁ samaye dhammikā honti.
at that time the citizens are honest.

Negama-jānapadesu dhammikesu
When there are honest citizens

samaṁ candima-sūriyā parivattanti.
the moon and sun move regularly.

Samaṁ candima-sūriyesu parivattantesu
When there is the regular movement of the moon and sun

samaṁ nakkhattāni tāraka-rūpāni parivattanti.
the constellations and stars move regularly.

Samaṁ nakkhattāni tāraka-rūpāni parivattantī ti
The constellations and stars move regularly means

yathā Kattika-puṇṇamā Kattika-nakkhattam-eva labhati,
just as the Kattika full moon is found in the Kattika constellation

Migasira-puṇṇamā Migasira-nakkhattam-evā ti,
and the Migasira full moon is found in the Migasira constellation,

evaṁ tasmiṁ tasmiṁ māse sā sā puṇṇamā taṁ taṁ nakkhattam-eva labhati,
so in whatever month the full moons are, they are always found in the (right) constellations,

tathā sammā parivattanti.
therefore they move properly.

Samaṁ nakkhattesu tāraka-rūpesu parivattantesu
When there is the regular movement of the constellations and stars

samaṁ rattindivā parivattanti.
night and day move regularly.

Samaṁ rattindivesu parivattantesu
When there is the regular movement of night and day

samaṁ māsaddhamāsā parivattanti.
the months and fortnights move regularly.

Samaṁ māsaddhamāsesu parivattantesu
When there is the regular movement of the months and fortnights

samaṁ utusaṁvaccharā parivattanti.
the seasons and years move regularly.

Samaṁ utusaṁvaccharesu parivattantesu
When there is the regular movement of the seasons and years

samaṁ vātā vāyanti samā pañjasā.
the blowing of the winds is regular and normal.

Samaṁ vātā vāyantī ti avisamā hutvā samayasmiṁ yeva vāyanti,
The blowing of the winds means after being irregular the (winds) blow on time,

cha māse uttarā vātā, cha māse dakkhiṇā ti.
six months there are northerly winds, six months there are southerly (winds).

Evaṁ tesaṁ tesaṁ janapadānaṁ anurūpe samaye vāyanti.
Thus for those people (the winds) blow in accordance with the time (of the year).

Samā ti samappavattino, nātithaddhā nātimudū.
Regular means moving regularly, neither too strong or too weak.

Pañjasā ti maggappaṭipannā.
Normal means along the (right) path.

Maggeneva vāyanti, no amaggenā ti attho.
They blow along the path, not against the path is the meaning.

Samaṁ vātesu vāyantesu samesu pañjasesu
When there is the regular and normal movement of the winds

devatā aparikupitā bhavanti.
the gods become calm. Or, more literally, unagitated.

Devatāsu aparikupitāsu
When the gods are calm

devo sammā dhāraṁ anuppavecchati.
the gods give proper (rain).

Deve sammā dhāraṁ anuppavecchante
When the gods give proper (rain)

samapākāni sassāni bhavanti.
the crops ripen regularly.

Samapākāni, bhikkhave, sassāni manussā paribhuñjantā
When the crops ripen regularly, monastics, humans who eat them

dīghāyukā ca honti vaṇṇavanto ca balavanto ca appābādhā cā ti.
have a long life, are beautiful and have few illnesses.

Gunnaṁ ce taramānānaṁ, jimhaṁ gacchati puṅgavo,
If, when cattle are hurrying, the leader goes off course,

sabbā tā jimhaṁ gacchanti, nette jimhaṁ gate sati.
they all go off course, as the leader is going off course.

Jimhaṁ gacchatī ti kuṭilaṁ gacchati, atitthaṁ gaṇhāti.
Goes off course means goes crookedly, grasping an unsuitable way.

Nette jimhaṁ gate satī ti nayatī ti nettā.
The leader is going off course, here leader means (their) guide.

Tasmiṁ nette jimhaṁ gate, kuṭilaṁ gantvā
Because the leader goes off course, having gone in an unsuitable way,

atitthaṁ gaṇhante itarā pi, atittham-eva gaṇhantī ti attho.
the others also grasp an unsuitable way, grasp at a truly unsuitable way is the meaning.

Nete ti pi pāṭho.
Nete is also a reading.

Evam-evaṁ manussesu, yo hoti seṭṭha-sammato,
So it is with humans, he who is agreed upon as the chief,

so ce adhammaṁ carati, pageva itarā pajā?
if he is dishonest, what to say of the other people?

Sabbaṁ raṭṭhaṁ dukkhaṁ seti rājā ce hoti adhammiko.
The whole country sleeps badly if the king is dishonest.

Dukkhaṁ setī ti dukkhaṁ sayati, dukkhitaṁ hotī ti attho.
Sleeps badly means sleeping miserably, there is affliction is the meaning.

Gunnaṁ ce taramānānaṁ, ujuṁ gacchati puṅgavo,
If, when cattle are hurrying, as the leader is going straight,

sabbā tā ujuṁ gacchanti, nette ujuṁ gate sati.
they all go straight, following the one who goes straight.

Evam-evaṁ manussesu, yo hoti seṭṭha-sammato,
So it is with humans, he who is agreed upon as the chief,

so sace dhammaṁ carati, pageva itarā pajā?
if he is honest, what to say of the other people?

Sabbaṁ raṭṭhaṁ sukhaṁ seti rājā ce hoti dhammiko ti.
The whole country will sleep happily if the king is but honest.