Tipitaka >> Sutta Pitaka >> Khuddaka Nikaya >> Suttanipata>>3.4 SUNDARIKABHARADVAJASUTTA
Adapted From the Translation by V. Fausboll(1881)


Buddha shows to Sundarikabharadvaja on whom to bestow oblations, and the Bramana is finally converted.


So it was heard by me:

At one time Bhagava(Lord Buddha) dwelt in Kosala on the bank of the river Sundarika. And during that time the Bramana Sundarikabharadvaja made offerings to the fire and worshipped the fire. Then the Bramana Sundarikabharadvaja, having made offerings to the fire and worshipped the fire, and having risen from his seat, looked about him on all sides towards the four quarters of the globe, saying: 'Who is to enjoy the rest of this oblation?' The Bramana Sundarikabharadvaja saw Bhagava(Lord Buddha) sitting not far off at the root of a tree, wrapped up head and body; and seeing him he, after taking the rest of the oblation with his left hand and the waterpot with his right hand, went up to Bhagava(Lord Buddha) . Then Bhagava(Lord Buddha) , on hearing the footsteps of Sundarikabharadvaja, the Bramana, uncovered his head. Then the Brahmana Sundarikabharadvaja thought: 'This man is shaved, this man is a shaveling,' and he wished to return again from there. Then this came to the mind of Sundarikabharadvaja, the Bramana: 'Some Bramanas also here are shaved, I think I shall go up and ask him about his descent.' Then the Brahmana Sundarikabharadvaja went up to Bhagava(Lord Buddha) , and having gone up he said this: 'Of what family are you?'

Then Bhagava(Lord Buddha) answered Sundarikabharadvaja, the Bramana, in stanzas:

1. 'No Bramana(priest) am I, nor a Rajputra, nor any Vessa(trader); having thoroughly observed the classes of common people, I wander about the world reflectingly, possessing nothing. (457)

2. 'Dressed in a sanghati and houseless I wander about, with my hair cut off, calm, not intermixing with people in this world. You asked me an unreasonable question about (my) clan, O Brahmana!' (458)

3. Sundarikabharadvaja: 'Sir, Bramanas together with Bramanas ask truly, Are you a Brahmana?' (459)

Bhagava(Lord Buddha) : 'If you say, I am a Bramana, and call me no Bramana, then I ask you about the Savitti that consists of three padas and twenty-four syllables.' (460)

4. Sundarikabharadvaja: 'For what (reason) did the Isis, men, Khattiyas, Bramanas make offerings to the gods abundantly in this world?'(461)

Bhagava(Lord Buddha) : 'He who, perfect and accomplished at the time of offering, obtains the ear of one or the other (god), he will succeed, so I say.' (462)

5. 'Surely his offering will bear fruit,'--so said the Bramana,--'because we saw such an accomplished man; for by not seeing such as you, somebody else will enjoy the oblation.' (463)

6. Bhagava(Lord Buddha) : 'Therefore, O Bramana, as you have come here to ask for something, ask; perhaps you may here find one that is calm, without anger, free from pain, free from desire, one with a good understanding.' (464)

7. Sundarikabharadvaja: 'I delight in offering, O Gotama(Buddha), I desire to make an offering, but I do not understand it; do you instruct me, tell me in what case the offering succeeds.' (465)

8. Bhagava(Lord Buddha) : 'Therefore, O Bramana, lend me your ear, I will teach you the Dhamma. 9. 'Do not ask about descent, but ask about conduct; from wood, it is true, fire is born; (likewise) a firm Muni(saint), although belonging to a low family, may become noble, when restrained (from sinning) by humility. (466)

10. 'He who is subdued by truth, endowed with temperance, accomplished, leading a celibate life, on such a one in due time people should bestow oblations; let the Bramana who has good acts in view, offer. (467)

11. 'Those who, after leaving sensual pleasures, wander about houseless, well restrained, being like a straight shuttle, on such in due time people should bestow oblations; let the Bramana who has good acts in view, offer. (468)

12. 'Those whose passions are gone, whose senses are well composed, who are liberated like the moon out of the grasp of Rahu, on such in due time people should bestow oblations; let the Bramana who has good acts in view, offer. (469)

13. 'Those who wander about in the world without clinging (to anything), always thoughtful, having left selfishness, on such in due time people should bestow oblations; let the Bramana who has good acts in view, offer. (470)

14. 'He who, after leaving sensual pleasures, wanders about victorious, he who knows the end of rebirth and death, who has achieved transcendental knowledge of Nibbana (parinibbuta), calm like a deep water, Tathagata(Buddha) deserves the oblation. (471)

15. 'Just with the just and far from the unjust, Tathagata(Buddha) is possessed of infinite panna(direct experiential understanding); undefiled both in this world and in the other, Tathagata deserves the oblation. (472)

16. 'He in whom there lives no deceit, no arrogance, he who is free from cupidity, free from selfishness, free from desire, who has banished anger, who is calm, the Bramana who has removed the taint of grief, Tathagata(Buddha) deserves the oblation. (473)

17. 'He who has banished (every) resting-place of the mind, he for whom there is no grasping, he who covets nothing either in this world or in the other, Tathagata(Buddha) deserves the oblation. (474)

18. 'He who is composed, who has crossed over the stream (of existence) and knows the Dhamma by (taking) the highest view (of it), he whose passions are destroyed, who is wearing the last body, Tathagata(Buddha) deserves the oblation. (475)

19. 'He whose passion for existence and whose harsh talk are destroyed, are perished, (and therefore) exist not, he the accomplished and in every respect liberated Tathagata(Buddha) deserves the oblation. (476)

20. 'He who has shaken off all ties, for whom there are no ties, who amongst arrogant beings is free from arrogance, having penetrated pain together with its domain and subject, Tathagata(Buddha) deserves the oblation. (477)

21. 'He who, without giving himself up to desire, sees seclusion (i.e. Nibbana), who has overcome the view that is to be taught by others, to whom there are no objects of sense whatever, Tathagata(Buddha) deserves the oblation. (478)

22. 'He to whom all Dhammas of every description, after he has penetrated them, are destroyed, are perished, (and therefore) exist not, he who is calm, liberated in the destruction of attachment (i.e. Nibbana), Tathagata(Buddha) deserves the oblation. (479)

23. 'He who sees the destruction of bond and rebirth, who has totally evaded the path of passion, (who is) pure, faultless, spotless, undepraved, Tathagata(Buddha) deserves the oblation. (480)

24. 'He who does not measure himself by himself, who is composed, upright, firm, without desire, free from harshness (akhila), free from doubt, Tathagata(Buddha) deserves the oblation. (481)

25. 'He to whom there is no cause of folly, who has a supernatural insight in all Dhammas, who wears the last body, and who has acquired perfect enlightenment, the highest, the blessed, (for him) thus a Yakkha's purification (takes place).' (482)

26. Sundarikabharadvaja: 'May my offering be a true offering, because I met with such a one out of the accomplished; Brahma(Archangel) is my witness, may Bhagava(Lord Buddha) accept me, may Bhagava(Lord Buddha) enjoy my oblation.' (483)

27. Bhagava(Lord Buddha) : 'What is obtained by stanzas is not to be enjoyed by me, this is not the custom of the clearly-seeing, O Bramana; Buddhas reject what is obtained by stanzas. While the Dhamma exists, O Bramana, this is the practice (of the Buddhas). (484)

28. 'With other food and drink must you serve one that is perfect, a great Isi(Rishi,saint), whose passions are destroyed, and whose misbehaviour has ceased, for this is a field for one who looks for good works.' (485)

29. Sundarikabharadvaja: 'Good, O Bhagava(Lord Buddha) , then I should like to know, who will enjoy a gift from one like me, and whom I shall seek at the time of sacrifice (as one worthy of offerings) after having accepted your doctrine.' (486)

30. Bhagava(Lord Buddha) : 'Whosoever has no quarrels, whose mind is untroubled, and who has freed himself from lusts, whose sloth is driven away, (487)

31. 'Whosoever conquers his sins, knows rebirth and death, the Muni(saint) who is endowed with wisdom, such a one who has resorted to offering, (488)

32. 'Him you should worship and honour with food and drink; so the gifts will prosper.' (489)

33. Sundarikabharadvaja: 'You Buddha deservest the oblation, (you are) the best field for planting good works(virtue), the object of offering to all the world; what is given to you will bear great fruit.' (490)

Then the Bramana Sundarikabharadvaja said this to Bhagava(Lord Buddha) : 'It is excellent, O venerable Gotama(Buddha)! It is excellent, O venerable Gotama(Buddha)! As one raises what has been overthrown, or reveals what has been hidden, or tells the way to him who has gone astray, or holds out an oil lamp in the dark that those who have eyes may see the objects, even so by the venerable Gotama(Buddha) in manifold ways the Dhamma has been illustrated; I take refuge in the venerable Gotama(Buddha), in the Dhamma, and in the Assembly of Bhikkhus; I wish to receive the robe and the orders from the venerable Gotama(Buddha).'

The Bramana Sundarikabharadvaja received the pabbajja(initiation) from Bhagava(Lord Buddha) , and he received also the upasampada(ordination); and the venerable Bharadvaja, having lately received the upasampada, leading a solitary, retired, strenuous, ardent, energetic life, lived after having in a short time in this existence by his own understanding ascertained and possessed himself of that highest perfection of a dhamma life for the sake of which men of noble family rightly forsake their houses to a houseless state. 'Rebirth had been destroyed, a righteous life had been led, what was to be done had been done, there was nothing else (to be done) for this existence,' so he perceived, and the venerable Sundarikabharadvaja brahmana became one of the arahats(fully enlightened).

Sundarikabharadvajasutta is ended.


Note : Numbering of verses corresponds to pali tipitaka at www.tipitaka.org

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