Aṅguttara Nikāya

The Book of the Fours

39. Ujjaya

Then the brahmin Ujjaya approached the Blessed One and exchanged greetings with him. When they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, he sat down to one side and said to the Blessed One:

“Does Master Gotama praise sacrifice?”

“I do not praise all sacrifice, brahmin, nor do I withhold praise from all sacrifice. (1) I do not praise a violent sacrifice at which cattle, goats, rams, chickens, and pigs are slain, at which various creatures are led to slaughter. (2) For what reason? Because arahants and those who have entered the path to arahantship do not attend a violent sacrifice.

(3) “But I praise a non-violent sacrifice at which cattle, goats, rams, chickens, and pigs are not slain, where various creatures are not slaughtered, that is, a regular giving, a sacrifice offered by family custom. (4) For what reason? Because arahants and those who have entered the path to arahantship attend a nonviolent sacrifice.”

The horse sacrifice, human sacrifice,
sammāpāsa, vājapeyya, niraggaḷa:
these grand sacrifices, fraught with violence,
do not bring great fruit.

The great seers of right conduct
do not attend a sacrifice
where goats, rams, cattle,
and various creatures are slain.

But when they regularly offer by family custom
sacrifices free from violence,
no goats, sheep, and cattle
or various creatures are slain.

That is the sacrifice the great seers
of right conduct attend.
The wise person should offer this;
this sacrifice is very fruitful.

For one who makes such sacrifice
it is indeed better, never worse.
Such a sacrifice is truly vast
and the deities too are pleased.