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Chapter 7

Arahanta Vagga 1
The Worthy
(Text and Translation by Ven. Nàrada)


1. Gataddhino visokassa Þ
            vippamuttassa sabbadhi
Sabbaganthappahãõassa Þ
            pariëàho na vijjati. 90.


1. For him who has completed the journey, 2 for him who is sorrowless, for him who from everything 3 is wholly free, 4 for him who has destroyed all Ties, 5 the fever (of passion) exists not. 6 90.


    The Venerable Devadatta attempted to kill the Buddha by hurling a stone from a rock above. It struck against another rock and a flying splinter hit His foot, causing intense physical pain. Jivaka the physician dressed the wound and left, saying that he would return to undress it after seeing a patient in the city. He could not return in due time as the city gate was closed. He was worried that the Buddha would be subject to intense pain. The Buddha read his thought and ordered the Venerable Ananda to remove the dressing. On the following morning Jivaka hurried to the monastery and inquired whether the Buddha was subject to much pain. Then the Buddha explained the mental attitude of an Emancipated One.


2. Uyyu¤janti satãmanto Þ
            na nikete ramanti te
Ha§sà' va pallala§ hitvà Þ
            okam oka§ jahanti te. 91.


2. The mindful exert themselves. To no abode are they attached. Like swans that quit their pools, home after home they abandon (and go). 7 91.


    Some monks misconstrued the conduct of the Venerable Kassapa and discussed amongst themselves that he still had attachment to his supporters and kinsmen. The Buddha heard their talk and remarked that the Venerable Kassapa was free from attachment.


3. Yesa§ sannicayo natthi Þ
            ye pari¤¤àtabhojanà
Su¤¤ato animitto ca Þ
            vimokkho yassa gocaro
âkàse'va sakuntàna§ Þ
            gati tesa§ durannayà. 92.


3. They for whom there is no accumulation, 8 who reflect well over their food, 9 who have Deliverance 10 which is Void and Signless, as their object - their course, like that of birds in the air, cannot be traced. 92.


    A monk stored food for future use. The Buddha advised him not to do so and explained the right attitude of a good monk.


4. Yassƒsavà parikkhãõà Þ
            àhàre ca anissito
Su¤¤ato animitto ca Þ
            vimokkho yassa gocaro
âkàse'va sakuntàna§ Þ
            pada§ tassa durannaya§. 93.


4. He whose corruptions are destroyed, he who is not attached to food, he who has Deliverance, which is Void and Signless, as his object - his path, like that of birds in the air, cannot be traced. 93.


    When his supporters brought food in abundance the Venerable Anuruddha was unjustly blamed by some monks saying that he was inducing the people to do so to show his influence. The Buddha remarked that the supporters' generosity was not due to any inducement on the part of the Venerable Anuruddha and added that the Undefiled Ones waste no time in talking about their requisites.


5. Yass'indriyàni samatha§ gatàni Þ
            assà yathà sàrathinà sudantà
Pahãnamànassa anàsavassa Þ
            devà'pi tassa pihayanti tàdino. 94.


5. He whose senses are subdued, like steeds well-trained by a charioteer, he whose pride is destroyed and is free from the corruptions - such a steadfast one even the gods hold dear. 94.


    Sakka, king of the gods, paid great reverence to the Venerable Kaccàyana. Some monks accused Sakka of favouritism. The Buddha reproved them and remarked that Arahants like the Venerable Kaccàyana whose senses are well subdued, are dear to both gods and men alike.


6. Pañhavi samo no virujjhati Þ
            indakhãlåpamo tàdi subbato
Rahado' va apetakaddamo Þ
            sa§sàrà na bhavanti tàdino. 95.


6. Like the earth a balanced and well-disciplined person resents not. He is comparable to an Indakhãla. 11 Like a pool unsullied by mud, is he; to such a balanced one 12 life's wanderings do not arise. 13 95.


    Inadvertently the Venerable Sàriputta brushed against the ear of a monk who was jealous of him. The latter reported this unconscious discourtesy to the Buddha. Questioned by the Buddha about the incident, the Venerable Sàriputta, without asserting his innocence, described his humble ways ever since he became a monk. Remorse overtook the erring monk, who now implored pardon from the Venerable Sàriputta, who in his turn sought pardon from him if he has done any wrong. The Buddha extolled the Venerable Sàriputta, comparing him to the unresenting earth.


7. Santa§ tassa mana§ hoti Þ
            santà vàcà ca kamma ca
Sammada¤¤àvimuttassa Þ
            upasantassa tàdino. 96.


7. Calm is his mind, calm is his speech, calm is his action, who, rightly knowing, is wholly freed, 14 perfectly peaceful, 15 and equipoised. 96.


    While attempting to awaken, with his fan, a pupil novice who was thought to be asleep, a teacher accidentally injured the pupil's eye. Later, when the teacher tried to close the door, he injured the pupil's hand too. But the pupil showed no resentment at the carelessness of his teacher. He was well restrained. The Buddha praised him.


8. Assaddho akata¤¤å ca Þ
            sandhicchedo ca yo naro
Hatàvakàso vantàso Þ
            sa ve uttamaporiso. 97.


16The man who is not credulous, 17 who understands the Uncreate 18 (Nibbàna), who has cut off the links, 19 who has put an end to occasion 20 (of good and evil), who has eschewed 21 all desires, 22 he indeed, is a supreme man. 97


    The Buddha put some questions to the Venerable Sàriputta with regard to faith. Sàriputta replied that as he had realized the Paths and Fruits he would not act by mere faith in the Buddha. The monks were displeased to hear that he refused to believe in the Buddha. Thereupon the Buddha explained to the monks that Sàriputta was not open to censure as he believed through personal experience and not through mere faith in another.


9. Gàme và yadi vàra¤¤e Þ
            ninne và yadi và thale
Yatthàrahanto viharanti Þ
            ta§ bhåmi§ ràmaõeyyaka§. 98.


9. Whether in village or in forest in vale or on hill, 23 wherever Arahants dwell - delightful, indeed, is that spot. 98.


    Revata, youngest brother of the Venerable Sàriputta renounced the world and before long attained Arahantship. He took delight in living alone in the forest. When the monks had meals with the Buddha at Visàkhà's residence she inquired about the forest where the Venerable Revata dwell. Thereupon the Buddha commented on the attractiveness of forests where Arahants dwell.


10. Ramaõãyàni ara¤¤àni Þ
            yattha na ramatã jano
Vãtaràgà ramissanti Þ
            na te kàmagavesino. 99.


10. Delightful are the forests where worldlings delight not; the passionless 24 will rejoice (therein), (for) they seek no sensual pleasures. 99.


    A monk was meditating in a pleasure park. A courtesan, who had an assignation with a certain person to meet in the park, repaired thither, but the man did not turn up. As she was strolling about she saw the monk and attempted to tempt him. The Buddha, perceiving the scene with his Divine Eye, projected himself before the monk and commented on the attractiveness of the forests where the passionless dwell.

End Notes

1 Arahanta has several meanings. It may be interpreted as "Worthy One". "Passionless One". Or one who commits no evil even secretly. He has got rid of both death and birth. After death, in conventional terms, he attains parinibbàna. Until his death he serves other seekers of truth by example and by precept.

2 Of life in the round of existence, i.e., an Arahant.

3 Sabbadhi, the five Aggregates, etc.

4 One gives up sorrow by attaining Anàgàmi, the third stage of Sainthood. It is at this stage one eradicates completely attachment to sense-desires and ill-will or aversion.

5 There are four kinds of ganthas (Ties) - namely: i. covetousness (abhijjhà). ii. ill-will (vyàpàda). iii. indulgence in (wrongful) rites and ceremonies (sãlabbataparàmàsa), and iv. adherence to one's preconceptions as truth (ida§ saccàbhinivesa).

6 This verse refers to the ethical state of an Arahant. Heat is both physical and mental. An Arahant experiences bodily heat as long as he is alive, but is not thereby worried. Mental heat of passions he experiences not.

7 Arahants wander whithersoever they like without any attachment to any particular place as they are free from the conception of "I" and "mine".

8 There are two kinds of accumulation- namely: kammic activities and the four necessaries of life. The former tend to prolong life in Sa§sàra and the latter, though essential, may prove an obstacle to spiritual progress.

9 To get rid of the desire for food.

10 Nibbàna is Deliverance from suffering (vimokkha). It is called Void because it is void of lust, hatred and ignorance, not because it is nothingness or annihilation. Nibbàna is a positive supramundane state which cannot be expressed in mundane words. It is Signless because it is free from the signs of lust etc., Arahants experience Nibbànic bliss while alive. It is not correct to say that Arahants exist after death or do not exist after death, for Nibbàna is neither eternalism nor nihilism. In Nibbàna nothing is eternalised nor is anything, except passions, annihilated. Arahants experience Nibbànic bliss by attaining to the fruit of Arahantship in this life itself.

11 By indakhãla is meant either a column as firm and high as that of Sakka's, or the chief column that stands at the entrance to a city. Commentators state that these indakhãlas are firm posts which are erected either inside or outside the city as an embellishment. Usually they are made of bricks or of durable wood and are octagonal in shape. Half of the post is embedded in the earth, hence the metaphor `as firm and steady as an indakhãla'.

12 Tàdi is one who has neither attachment to desirable objects nor aversion to undesirable objects. Nor does he cling to anything. Amidst the eight worldly conditions - gain and loss, fame and infamy, blame and praise, happiness and pain - an Arahant remains unperturbed, manifesting neither attachment nor aversion, neither elation nor depression.

13 As they are not subject to birth and death. See note on sa§sàra, vs 60.

14 From all defilements.

15 Since his mind is absolutely pure.

16 The pun in the original Pàëi is lost in the translation.

17 Assaddho, lit. unfaithful. He does not merely accept from other sources because he himself knows from personal experience.

18 Akata, Nibbàna. It is so called because it is not created by anyone. Akata¤¤å can also be interpreted as ungrateful.

19 The links of existence and rebirth. Sandhicchedo also means a housebreaker, that is, a burglar.

20 Hata + avakàso - he who has destroyed the opportunity.

21 Vanta + àso he who eats vomit is another meaning.

22 By means of the four paths of Sainthood. Gross forms of desire are eradicated at the first three stages, the subtle forms at the last stage.

23 Ninna and thala, lit., low-lying and elevated grounds.

24 The passionless Arahants rejoice in secluded forests which have no attraction for worldlings.