Long Discourses

Pāṭika Chapter

24. Mystic Wonders and the Origin of Things

Thus have I heard. The Exalted One was once staying among the Mallas, at Anupiya, one of their towns.

Now the Exalted One, having robed himself in the early morning, put on his cloak and took his bowl, and entered the town for alms.

And he thought: “It is too early for me now to go through Anupiya for alms.

I might go to the pleasaunce where Bhaggava the Wanderer dwells, and call upon Bhaggava.”

So the Exalted One went to the pleasaunce and to the place where Bhaggava the Wanderer was.

Then Bhaggava spake thus to the Exalted One: “Let my Lord the Exalted One come near.

Welcome to the Exalted One!

It is long since the Exalted One has taken the opportunity to come our way.

May it please you, Sir, to be seated; here is a seat made ready.”

The Exalted One sat down thereon, and Bhaggava, taking a certain low stool, sat down beside him.

So seated, Bhaggava the Wanderer spake thus to the Exalted One: “Some days ago, Lord, a good many days ago, Sunakkhatta of the Licchavis called on me and spake thus: ‘I have now given up the Exalted One, Bhaggava.

I am remaining no longer under him (as my teacher).’

Is the fact really so, just as he said?”

“It is just so, Bhaggava, as Sunakkhatta of the Licchavis said.

Some days ago, Bhaggava, a good many days ago, Sunakkhatta, the Licchavi, came to call on me, and spake thus: ‘Sir, I now give up the Exalted One.

I will henceforth remain no longer under him (as my teacher).’

When he told me this, I said to him: ‘But now, Sunakkhatta, have I ever said to you: “Come, Sunakkhatta, live under me (as my pupil)?”’

‘No, Sir, you have not.’

‘Or have you ever said to me: “Sir, I would fain dwell under the Exalted One (as my teacher)?”’

‘No, Sir, I have not.’

‘But if I said not the one, and you said not the other, what are you and what am I that you talk of giving up?

See, foolish one, in how far the fault here is your own.’

‘Well, but Sir, the Exalted One works me no mystic wonders surpassing the power of ordinary men.’

‘Why, now, Sunakkhatta, have I ever said to you: “Come, take me as your teacher, Sunakkhatta, and I will work for you mystic wonders surpassing the power of ordinary men?”’

‘You have not, Sir.’

‘Or have you ever said to me: “Sir, I would fain take the Exalted One as my teacher, for he will work for me mystic wonders beyond the powers of ordinary men”?’

‘I have not, Sir.’

‘But if I said not the one, and you said not the other, what are you and what am I, foolish man, that you talk of giving up?

What think you, Sunakkhatta?

Whether mystic wonders beyond the power of ordinary man are wrought, or whether they are not, is the object for which I teach the Norm this: that it leads to the thorough destruction of ill for the doer thereof?’

‘Whether, Sir, they are so wrought or not, that is indeed the object for which the Norm is taught by the Exalted One.’

‘If then, Sunakkhatta, it matters not to that object whether mystic wonders are wrought or not, of what use to you would be the working of them?

See, foolish one, in how far the fault here is your own.’

‘But, Sir, the Exalted One does not reveal to me the beginning of things.’

‘Why now, Sunakkhatta, have I ever said to you: “Come, Sunakkhatta, be my disciple and I will reveal to you the beginning of things?”’

‘Sir, you have not.’

‘Or have you ever said to me: “I will become the Exalted One’s pupil, for he will reveal to me the beginning of things”?’

‘Sir, I have not.’

‘But if I have not said the one and you have not said the other, what are you and what am I, foolish man, that you talk of giving up on that account?

What think you, Sunakkhatta?

Whether the beginning of things be revealed, or whether it be not, is the object for which I teach the Norm this: that it leads to the thorough destruction of ill for the doer thereof?’

‘Whether, Sir, they are revealed or not, that is indeed the object for which the Norm is taught by the Exalted One.’

‘If then, Sunakkhatta, it matters not to that object whether the beginning of things be revealed, or whether it be not, of what use to you would it be to have the beginning of things revealed?

See, foolish one, in how far the fault here is your own.

In many ways have you, Sunakkhatta, spoken my praises among the Vajjians, saying:

“Thus is the Exalted One; he is an Arahant fully awakened; wisdom he has and righteousness; he is the Well-Farer; he has knowledge of the worlds; he is the supreme driver of men willing to be tamed; the teacher of devas and men; the Awakened and Exalted One.”

In such wise have you been wont, among the Vajjians, to utter praise of me.

In many ways have you, Sunakkhatta, spoken the praises of the Dhamma among the Vajjians: “Well proclaimed by the Exalted One is the Dhamma as bearing on this present life, not involving time, inviting all to come and see, to be understood by every wise man for himself.”

In such wise have you been wont, among the Vajjians, to utter praise of the Dhamma.

In many ways have you, Sunakkhatta, spoken the praises of the Order among the Vajjians: “Well are they trained, the Order of the Exalted One’s disciples, even the four branches thereof.

The eight classes of individuals well trained in uprightness, in principles and in courtesy.

This Order should be respected and revered; gifts should be given it, and homage; for it is the world’s unsurpassed field (for sowing) merit.”

In such wise have you been wont, among the Vajjians, to utter praise of the Order.

I tell you Sunakkhatta, I make known to you Sunakkhatta, that there will be those that shall say concerning you thus: “Sunakkhatta of the Licchavis was not able to live the holy life under Gotama the recluse.

And he, not being able to adhere to it, hath renounced the discipline and turned to lower things.”’

Thus, Bhaggava, did Sunakkhatta of the Licchavis, addressed by me, depart from this Doctrine and Discipline, as one doomed to disaster and purgatory.”

“At one time, Bhaggava, I was staying among the Bumus.

Uttarakā is a village of theirs, and having dressed early one morning, I afterwards took my bowl, put on my robe, and went into Uttarakā for alms.

Now, at that time, a cynic there, Bandylegs the Khattiya, was wont to behave like a dog, walking on all fours, or sprawling on the ground and taking up food, whether hard or soft, with his mouth only (without using his hands).

Sunakkhatta, seeing him act thus, thought: ‘How truly admirable does he look, the holy man, the recluse creeping on all fours, or sprawling on the ground, taking up food, whether hard or soft, with his mouth only.’

Then I, Bhaggava, knowing what was in his mind, said to him: ‘Do you, O foolish man, confess yourself as following the son of the Sakyas?’

‘What does the Exalted One mean, Sir, in saying this to me?’

‘Did you not think, Sunakkhatta, as you looked at that naked Cynic, Kora the Khattiya, on all fours, sprawling on the earth, taking up his food, whether hard or soft, with his mouth only: “How admirable were it to be a holy man like that”?’

‘Yes, lord, I did.

What then!

Does the Exalted One begrudge Arahantship in others?’

‘Nay, foolish man.

I begrudge in no one Arahantship.

It is only in you that this vicious opinion has arisen.

Put it away.

Let it not become a lasting source of harm and ill to you.

This naked cynic, Kora the Khattiya, whom you, Sunakkhatta, fancy so admirable an arahant, will die seven days hence of an epilepsy, and dying he will be reborn as one of the Kālakañjas, the very lowest of the Asūra groups.

As dead, he will be laid out on a heap of birana grass in the charnel field.

You might go up to him, if you wish, and ask him: “Do you know your own destiny, friend Kora?”

Perchance he will reply: “I know my own destiny, friend Sunakkhatta.

There are Asūras called Kalakanjas, the very lowest of the Asūra groups—’Tis among them I am reborn.”’

Thereat, Bhaggava, Sunakkhatta of the Licchavis, went up to the cynic, Kora the Khattiya, and spake thus to him: ‘Friend Kora the Khattiya, the Samaṇa Gotama has declared that on the seventh day hence, the naked ascetic, Kora the Khattiya, will die, and dying he will be reborn as one of the Kalakanjas, the very lowest of the Asūra groups.’

As dead, he will be laid on a heap of birana grass in the charnel field.

Wherefore, friend Kora the Khattiya, you should partake of food with great moderation; you should drink liquids with great moderation; so that the word of the Samaṇa Gotama may prove wrong.’

Then Sunakkhatta, so firmly did he disbelieve the Tathāgata, counted up the seven days one after another; but, Bhaggava, on the seventh day, Kora the Khattiya died of an epilepsy, and dying was reborn as one of the Kalakanjas, the very lowest of the Asūra groups; and as dead, was laid out on a heap of birana grass in the charnel field.

Now Sunakkhatta heard, Bhaggava, that Kora the Khattiya lay dead in the charnel field on a heap of birana grass.

And he went thither where the corpse was lying, and thrice he smote the naked ascetic with his hand, saying: ‘Do you know, friend Kora the Khattiya, what has been your destiny?’

Then Bhaggava, Kora the Khattiya, rubbing his back with his hand, raised himself up and said: ‘I know, friend Sunakkhatta, what is my destiny.

Among the Kalakanjas, the very lowest of the Asūra groups—there am I reborn.’

So saying, he fell back supine.

Thereupon, Bhaggava, Sunakkhatta the Licchavi came to me, and saluting me, sat down beside me.

So sitting, I spake to him thus: ‘What think you, Sunakkhatta?

Has it happened to the cynic, Kora the Khattiya, even as I declared to you, or otherwise?’

‘It has happened to him even as the Exalted One declared to me, not otherwise.’

‘What think you, Sunakkhatta?

This being so, has a mystic wonder by power beyond that of ordinary men been wrought, or has it not?’

‘Surely, sir, this being so, such a mystic wonder has been wrought.’

‘And is it then to me, you foolish man, who have thus by power beyond that of ordinary men, wrought a mystic wonder, that you say: “Sir, the Exalted One works me no miracles with his superhuman gifts?”

See, foolish man, how far you have committed yourself.’

Thus, Bhaggava, did Sunakkhatta of the Licchavis, addressed by me, depart from this Doctrine and Discipline, as one doomed to disaster and to purgatory.”

“At one time, Bhaggava, I was staying at Vesalī in the Great Wood, at the Gable Hall.

Now at that time there was a naked ascetic residing at Vesalī, named Kandara-masuka, and great was his gain and his fame in the Vajjian home.

He had vowed and taken upon himself seven rules of life, to wit: ‘So long as I live I will be of the Naked Ascetics, I will put on no garment; so long as I live, I will be a devotee, devoted to a life of chastity; so long as I live, I will maintain myself by spirituous drink and by flesh, eating no rice-broth or gruel;

I will never go beyond the Udena shrine on the east of Vesalī; the Gotamaka shrine on the south; the Sattamba shrine on the west, and the Bahuputta shrine on the north.’

It was because of his having laid upon himself these seven rules of life that he had gain and fame beyond all others in the Vajjian home.

Now, Bhaggava, Sunakkhatta of the Licchavis went to call on Kandara-masuka and asked him a question.

Kandara-masuka did not follow the question, and not following, manifested resentment, dislike, and anger.

Then it occurred to Sunakkhatta: ‘We might come into conflict with the admirable arahant recluse.

Let nothing happen that would make for lasting harm and ill to us.’

Thereupon, Bhaggava, Sunakkhatta the Licchavi came to call upon me, and saluting me, he sat down beside me and thus I spake to him: ‘Do you, O foolish man, still confess yourself as following the son of the Sakyas?’

‘What does the Exalted One mean in saying that?’

‘Why, Sunakkhatta, did you not go up to the naked ascetic, Kandara-masuka and ask him a question which he did not follow, and over which he manifested anger, dislike, and resentment?

And did it not occur to you: “We might come into conflict with the admirable arahant and recluse.”

Let nothing happen that would make for lasting harm and ill to us?”’

‘It was even so, Sir.

Does the Exalted One begrudge arahantship in anyone?’

‘Nay, foolish man, I begrudge in no one Arahantship.

To you only has this vicious opinion arisen.

Get rid of it.

Let that not make for lasting harm and ill to you.

This naked ascetic Kandara-masuka, whom you think so admirable an arahant recluse, will ere long end his days clothed and married, his diet rice-broth and rice-gruel; his range past all shrines in Vesalī, and he will die fallen from his fame.’

And ere long, Bhaggava, that ascetic ended his days clothed and married, his diet rice-broth and rice-gruel; his range past all shrines in Vesalī, and died fallen from his fame.

Now Sunakkhatta heard that Kandara-masuka, the ascetic, had ended his days clothed and married, his diet rice-broth and rice-gruel; his range past all shrines in Vesalī, and died fallen from his fame.

Thereupon he came to call upon me, and saluting me, he sat down beside me, and I spake to him thus: ‘What think you, Sunakkhatta?

Has it happened to the naked ascetic, Kandara-masuka, even as I declared to you, or otherwise?’

‘It has happened to him even as the Exalted One declared to me, not otherwise.’

‘What think you, Sunakkhatta?

This being so, has a mystic wonder by power surpassing that of ordinary men been wrought, or has none been wrought?’

‘Surely, Sir, this being so, such a mystic wonder has been wrought.’

‘And is it then to me, you foolish man, who have thus by power surpassing that of ordinary men, wrought a mystic wonder, that you say: “Sir, the Exalted One works no such mystic wonder.”

See, foolish man, how far you have committed yourself.’

Thus, Bhaggava, did Sunakkhatta the Licchavi, addressed by me, depart from this Doctrine and Discipline, as one doomed to disaster and to purgatory.”

“At one time, Bhaggava, I was staying there at Vesalī, in the Great Wood, at the Gable Hall.

Now at that time, the naked ascetic, Pāṭika’s son, was residing at Vesalī, and great was his gain and his fame in the Vajjian home.

He held forth thus in the Vesalī assemblies: ‘Both the Samaṇa Gotama and I affirm that we have insight.

Now it becomes one who affirms this to show, in virtue of his insight, mystic wonders, by his extraordinary gifts.

If the Samaṇa Gotama would come half-way, I would meet him half-way.

Then we could both work a mystic wonder by our extraordinary gifts.

If the Samaṇa Gotama work one such mystic wonder, I will work two.

If he work two, I will work four.

If he will work four, I will work eight.

Thus, to whatever extent he may perform, I will perform double.’

Then, Bhaggava, Sunakkhatta the Licchavi came to call on me, and saluting me, sat down beside me.

And so seated, he said this: ‘The naked ascetic, Pāṭika’s son, sir, held forth thus in the Vesalī assemblies: “Both the Samaṇa Gotama and I affirm that we have insight.

Now it becomes one who affirms this to show, in virtue of his insight, mystic wonders, by his extraordinary gifts.

If the Samaṇa Gotama would come half-way, I would meet him half-way.

Then we could both work a mystic wonder by our extraordinary gifts.

If the Samaṇa Gotama work one such mystic wonder, I will work two.

If he work two, I will work four.

If he will work four, I will work eight.

Thus, to whatever extent he may perform, I will perform double.”’

And when he had thus spoken, Bhaggava, I said to Sunakkhatta: ‘Incompetent, Sunakkhatta, is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika’s son, to meet me face to face, if he withdraw not those words, if he put not away that idea, if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that, holding to those words, to that idea, maintaining that opinion, he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama, his head would split asunder.’

‘Let the Exalted One take heed to what he says.

Let the Wellfarer take heed to what he says.’

‘What mean you, Sunakkhatta, that you say this to me?’

“Let the Exalted One take heed to what he says.

Let the Wellfarer take heed to what he says.”

‘It may be, sir, that the Exalted One’s words convey an absolute statement respecting what would happen, in any case, to Pāṭika’s son, should he, as such, come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama.

But Pāṭika’s son might come in an altered shape to meet the Exalted One, and that would render the Exalted One’s words false.’

‘Now, Sunakkhatta, would a Tathāgata utter any speech that was ambiguous?’

‘Well now, Sir, is it by the Exalted One’s own discernment that he knows: “Incompetent is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika’s son, to meet me face to face, if he withdraw not those words, if he put not away that idea, if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that, holding to those words, to that idea, maintaining that opinion, he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama, his head would split asunder,” or has some deva announced: “Incompetent is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika’s son, to meet me face to face, if he withdraw not those words, if he put not away that idea, if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that, holding to those words, to that idea, maintaining that opinion, he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama, his head would split asunder,” to the Tathāgata?’

‘I have both discerned in my mind, Sunakkhatta: “Incompetent is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika’s son, to meet me face to face, if he withdraw not those words, if he put not away that idea, if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that, holding to those words, to that idea, maintaining that opinion, he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama, his head would split asunder,” and a deva has also announced to me: “Incompetent is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika’s son, to meet me face to face, if he withdraw not those words, if he put not away that idea, if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that, holding to those words, to that idea, maintaining that opinion, he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama, his head would split asunder,” for Ajita, general of the Licchavis, who died the other day, has been reborn in the realm of the Three-and-Thirty.

He came to me and declared this to me: “Shameless, Sir, is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika’s son; a liar, Sir, is Pāṭika’s son.

He made this statement concerning me among the Vajjians: ‘Ajita, the general of the Licchavis, is reborn in the Great Purgatory.’

But I am not reborn there, sir; I am reborn in the realm of the Thirty-and-Three.

Shameless is Pāṭika’s son, Sir, and a liar; incompetent is he to meet Samaṇa Gotama face to face, if he withdraw not those words, if he put not away that idea, if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that, holding to those words, to that idea, maintaining that opinion, he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama, his head would split asunder.”

Thus, Sunakkhatta, have I both discerned in my mind: “Incompetent is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika’s son, to meet me face to face, if he withdraw not those words, if he put not away that idea, if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that, holding to those words, to that idea, maintaining that opinion, he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama, his head would split asunder,” and a deva has also announced to me: “Incompetent is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika’s son, to meet me face to face, if he withdraw not those words, if he put not away that idea, if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that, holding to those words, to that idea, maintaining that opinion, he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama, his head would split asunder.”

Now Sunakkhatta, when I have gone to Vesalī on my round for alms, and have dined, and am on the way back, I will go to Pāṭika’s son’s Park.

Tell him, then, Sunakkhatta, whatever you think right.’

Then I, Bhaggava, having dressed early, and taken my bowl and robe, entered Vesalī for alms.

And after my meal, as I returned, I went into Pāṭika’s son’s park for siesta.

Then, Bhaggava, Sunakkhatta the Licchavi, in a great hurry, went into Vesalī, and went to all the most distinguished of the Licchavis and told them saying: ‘Friends, that Exalted One, on returning from his round for alms, and after dining, has gone to Pāṭika’s son’s park for siesta.

Come forth, sirs, come forth.

There is going to be wonder-working by the superhuman gifts of admirable recluses.’

Then those most distinguished among the Licchavis thought: ‘There is going to be wonder-working by the superhuman gifts of admirable recluses.

Come then, let’s go.’

And wherever there were eminent brahmins and wealthy householders of position, who had become Wanderers or brahmins of different sects, there he went and told them saying: ‘Friends, that Exalted One, on returning from his round for alms, and after dining, has gone to Pāṭika’s son’s park for siesta.

Come forth, sirs, come forth.

There is going to be wonder-working by the superhuman gifts of admirable recluses.’

And those most eminent brahmins and wealthy householders of position, who had become Wanderers or brahmins of different sects thought: ‘There is going to be wonder-working by the superhuman gifts of admirable recluses.

Come then, let’s go.’

So, Bhaggava, those eminent Licchavis and distinguished brahmins and wealthy householders of position, now Wanderers or brahmins of different sects, all repaired to the park of the naked ascetic, Pāṭika’s son.

And they formed an assembly of several hundred, nay, of several thousand persons.

Now Pāṭika’s son heard that all these people were come out and that the Samaṇa Gotama himself was sitting, during siesta, in his park, and hearing of it, fear came upon him and trembling and creeping of the flesh.

And thus afeared, agitated, and in dread, he went away to the Tinduka Pollards, the Wanderers’ Park.

Then that company, Bhaggava, heard that he had gone thither in a panic, and they charged a certain man, saying: ‘Come, my man, go to the Tinduka Pollards and find Pāṭika’s son, the naked ascetic and say this to him: “We have come out, friend Pāṭika’s son; there are come out many distinguished Licchavis and brahmins and wealthy householders, and various teachers among brahmins and recluses.

And the Samaṇa Gotama himself is sitting, during siesta, in your reverence’s park.

You, friend Pāṭika’s son, have delivered this speech in the assembly at Vesalī:

‘Both the Samaṇa Gotama and I affirm that we have insight.

Now it becomes one who affirms this to show, in virtue of his insight, mystic wonders, by his extraordinary gifts.

If the Samaṇa Gotama would come half-way, I would meet him half-way.

Then we could both work a mystic wonder by our extraordinary gifts.

If the Samaṇa Gotama work one such mystic wonder, I will work two.

If he work two, I will work four.

If he will work four, I will work eight.

Thus, to whatever extent he may perform, I will perform double.’

Come forth then half-way, friend Pāṭika’s son; the Samaṇa Gotama has come all the first half and is seated in your reverence’s park for siesta.”’

‘Very good’, said that man, consenting, and he went to the Tinduka Pollards, the Wanderers’ Park, found Pāṭika’s son, and said this: ‘We have come out, friend Pāṭika’s son; there are come out many distinguished Licchavis and brahmins and wealthy householders, and various teachers among brahmins and recluses.

And the Samaṇa Gotama himself is sitting, during siesta, in your reverence’s park.

You, friend Pāṭika’s son, have delivered this speech in the assembly at Vesalī:

“Both the Samaṇa Gotama and I affirm that we have insight.

Now it becomes one who affirms this to show, in virtue of his insight, mystic wonders, by his extraordinary gifts.

If the Samaṇa Gotama would come half-way, I would meet him half-way.

Then we could both work a mystic wonder by our extraordinary gifts.

If the Samaṇa Gotama work one such mystic wonder, I will work two.

If he work two, I will work four.

If he will work four, I will work eight.

Thus, to whatever extent he may perform, I will perform double.”

Come forth then half-way, friend Pāṭika’s son; the Samaṇa Gotama has come all the first half and is seated in your reverence’s park for siesta.’

When this was told him, Bhaggava, the naked ascetic, Pāṭika’s son, saying: ‘I am coming, friend, I am coming,’ writhed about then and there and was unable to rise from his seat.

Then said the man to him: ‘How now, friend Pāṭika’s son?

Are your hams stuck to your seat, or is your seat stuck to your hams?

You say: “I am coming, friend, I am coming”, yet you writhe about and are not able to rise from your seat.’

And though this was said to him, Pāṭika’s son repeated: ‘I am coming, friend, I am coming,’ but only writhed about, unable to rise.

Now when the man recognized Pāṭika’s son’s discomfiture, hearing his words and seeing his incapacity, he went to the assembly and told them, saying: ‘The naked ascetic Pāṭika’s son seems discomfited.

He says: “I am coming, friend, I am coming,” but he only writhes about as he sits and is unable to get up.

At these words, Bhaggava, I said to the assembly: ‘Incompetent, friends, is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika’s son, to meet me face to face, if he withdraw not those words, if he put not away that idea, if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that, holding to those words, to that idea, maintaining that opinion, he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama, his head would split asunder.’

Thereupon, Bhaggava, a certain councillor of the Licchavis rose from his seat and addressed the meeting: ‘Well then, gentlemen, wait a while till I go and see whether I am able to bring the naked ascetic, Pāṭika’s son, to this assembly.’

Then that councillor went to the Tinduka Pollards, the Wanderers’ Park, found Pāṭika’s son and summoned him to attend, saying: ‘We have come out, friend Pāṭika’s son; there are come out many distinguished Licchavis and brahmins and wealthy householders, and various teachers among brahmins and recluses.

And the Samaṇa Gotama himself is sitting, during siesta, in your reverence’s park.

You, friend Pāṭika’s son, have delivered this speech in the assembly at Vesalī:

“Both the Samaṇa Gotama and I affirm that we have insight.

Now it becomes one who affirms this to show, in virtue of his insight, mystic wonders, by his extraordinary gifts.

If the Samaṇa Gotama would come half-way, I would meet him half-way.

Then we could both work a mystic wonder by our extraordinary gifts.

If the Samaṇa Gotama work one such mystic wonder, I will work two.

If he work two, I will work four.

If he will work four, I will work eight.

Thus, to whatever extent he may perform, I will perform double.”

Come forth then half-way, friend Pāṭika’s son; the Samaṇa Gotama has come all the first half and is seated in your reverence’s park for siesta.’

If you come we will make you the victor, and cause the Samaṇa Gotama to lose.’

When this was told him, Bhaggava, the naked ascetic, Pāṭika’s son, saying: ‘I am coming, friend, I am coming,’ writhed about then and there and was unable to rise from his seat.

Now when the councillor recognized the ascetic’s discomfiture, hearing his words and seeing his incapacity, he came to the meeting and told them, saying: ‘The naked ascetic, Pāṭika’s son, seems discomfited.

He says: “I am coming, friend, I am coming,” but he writhes about as he sits and is unable to get up.’

And when he had thus said, Bhaggava, I spake to the meeting and told them again: ‘Incompetent, friends, is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika’s son, to meet me face to face, if he withdraw not those words, if he put not away that idea, if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that, holding to those words, to that idea, maintaining that opinion, he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama, his head would split asunder.

Even if it occurred to my noble friends the Licchavis: “Let us bind Pāṭika’s son with thongs and drag him hither with ox-yokes,” Pāṭika’s son would break those thongs.

Incompetent, friends, is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika’s son, to meet me face to face, if he withdraw not those words, if he put not away that idea, if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that, holding to those words, to that idea, maintaining that opinion, he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama, his head would split asunder.’

Thereupon, Bhaggava, Jaliya, pupil of Wooden-Bowl rose from his seat and spoke thus to the meeting: ‘Well then, gentlemen, wait awhile till I go and see whether I am able to bring the naked ascetic, Pāṭika’s son, to this assembly.’

Then Bhaggava, Jaliya, Wooden-Bowl’s pupil, went to the Tinduka Pollards, the Wanderers’ Park, found Pāṭika’s son, and summoned him to attend, saying: ‘We have come out, friend Pāṭika’s son; there are come out many distinguished Licchavis and brahmins and wealthy householders, and various teachers among brahmins and recluses.

And the Samaṇa Gotama himself is sitting, during siesta, in your reverence’s park.

You, friend Pāṭika’s son, have delivered this speech in the assembly at Vesalī:

“Both the Samaṇa Gotama and I affirm that we have insight.

Now it becomes one who affirms this to show, in virtue of his insight, mystic wonders, by his extraordinary gifts.

If the Samaṇa Gotama would come half-way, I would meet him half-way.

Then we could both work a mystic wonder by our extraordinary gifts.

If the Samaṇa Gotama work one such mystic wonder, I will work two.

If he work two, I will work four.

If he will work four, I will work eight.

Thus, to whatever extent he may perform, I will perform double.”

Come forth then half-way, friend Pāṭika’s son; the Samaṇa Gotama has come all the first half and is seated in your reverence’s park for siesta.’

If you come we will make you the victor, and cause the Samaṇa Gotama to lose.’

When this was told him, Bhaggava, the naked ascetic, Pāṭika’s son, saying: ‘I am coming, friend, I am coming,’ writhed about then and there and was unable to rise from his seat.

Now when Jaliya, Wooden-Bowl’s pupil, recognized the ascetic’s discomfiture, he spake to him thus: Long ago, friend Pāṭika’s son, this idea occurred to the lion, king of the beasts:

“What if I were to make my lair near a certain jungle, so that in the evening I could issue from my lair, and stretch myself and survey the landscape, and thrice roar a lion’s roar, and go forth towards the cattle pastures.

I could slay the pick of the herd of beasts, feast on a continual diet of tender flesh, and get me back to that same lair.”

Then the lion, friend, made his lair near a certain jungle, so that in the evening he could issue from his lair, and stretch himself and survey the landscape, and thrice roar a lion’s roar, and go forth towards the cattle pastures.

And he would slay the pick of the herd of beasts, feast on a continual diet of tender flesh, and get him back to that same lair.

Now, friend Pāṭika’s son, there was an old jackal who had continually thriven on the remains of that lion’s food, and was stout and strong, and it occurred to him:

“Who am I, and who is Lion, king of the beasts?

What if I were to choose my lair near a certain jungle, so that in the evening I could issue from my lair, and stretch myself and survey the landscape, and thrice roar a lion’s roar, and go forth towards the cattle pastures?

I could slay the pick of the herd of beasts, feast on a continual diet of tender flesh, and get me back to that same lair.”

Now, friend, that old jackal chose his lair near a certain jungle, and coming forth in the evening and stretching himself, and surveying the landscape, he thought: “Thrice will I roar a lion’s roar”, and thereat he roared a jackal’s howl, a vulpine howl.

Would you compare a vile jackal’s howl with a lion’s roar?

Even so, you, friend Pāṭika’s son, living among the exploits of the Wellfarer, feeding on food left over after the Wellfarer has been served, fancy you can reach up to those who are Tathāgatas, Arahants, Buddhas Supreme!

Why, what have wretched Pāṭika’s sons in common with Tathāgatas, Arahants, Buddhas Supreme?’

Now since Jaliya, Bhaggava, was unable, even by this parable, to make the ascetic leave his seat, he went on: ‘The jackal on himself reflecting deemed: “The lion I! I am the king of beasts!” And so he roared—a puny jackal’s whine. For what is there in common ‘twixt the twain—the scurvy jackal and the lion’s roar?

Even so do you, friend Pāṭika’s son, living among the exploits of the Wellfarer, feeding on the offerings set aside for the Wellfarer, you fancy things that are to be set up against Tathāgatas, Arahants, Buddhas Supreme.

Why, what have wretched Pāṭika’s sons in common with Tathāgatas, Arahants, Buddhas Supreme?’

Now, Bhaggava, since Jaliya was unable, even by this parable, to make the ascetic leave his seat, he said this to him: ‘Roaming the pleasant woods, seeing himself Grown fat on scraps, until he sees himself no more, “A tiger I!” the jackal deems himself. But lo! He roars—a puny jackal’s howl. For what is there in common ‘twixt the twain: The scurvy jackal and the lion’s roar?

Even so do you, friend Pāṭika’s son, living among the exploits of the Wellfarer, feeding on food set aside for the Wellfarer, fancy you can set yourself up against Tathāgatas, Arahants, Buddhas Supreme!

Why, what have wretched Pāṭika’s sons in common with the Tathāgatas, Arahants, Buddhas Supreme?’

Now, Bhaggava, since Jaliya was unable, even by this parable, to make the ascetic leave his seat, he went on thus: ‘Feeding on frogs, on barnfloor mice, and on The corpses laid apart in charnel-field, In the great forest, in the lonely wood The jackal throve and fancied vain conceits: “The lion, King of all the beasts am I!” But when he roared—a puny jackal’s whine. For what is there in common ‘twixt the twain—the scurvy jackal and the lion’s roar?

Even so you, friend Pāṭika’s son, living among the exploits of the Wellfarer, feeding on food set aside for the Wellfarer, fancy things that are to be set up against Tathāgatas, Arahants, Buddhas Supreme.

What have wretched Pāṭika’s sons in common with rivals of Tathāgatas, Arahants, Buddhas Supreme?’

Now, Bhaggava, since Jaliya was unable, even by this parable, to make the ascetic leave his seat, he went back to the meeting and told them, saying: ‘The naked ascetic, Pāṭika’s son, seems discomfited.

He says: “I am coming, friend, I am coming,” but he writhes about as he sits, and is unable to get up.’

And when he had thus said, Bhaggava, I spake to the meeting as before: ‘Incompetent, friends, is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika’s son, to meet me face to face, if he withdraw not those words, if he put not away that idea, if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that, holding to those words, to that idea, maintaining that opinion, he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama, his head would split asunder.

If it occurred to my noble friends, the Licchavis: “Let us bind Pāṭika’s son with thongs and drag him hither with ox-yokes,” Pāṭika’s son would break those thongs.

Incompetent, friends, is the naked ascetic, Pāṭika’s son, to meet me face to face, if he withdraw not those words, if he put not away that idea, if he renounce not that opinion.

If he thinks that, holding to those words, to that idea, maintaining that opinion, he would come to meet the Samaṇa Gotama, his head would split asunder.’

Thereupon, Bhaggava, I taught, and incited, and aroused, and gladdened that company with religious discourse.

And when I had so done, and had set them at liberty from the great bondage, had drawn forth eighty-four thousand creatures from the great abyss, I entered on Jhāna by the method of flame, rose into the air to the height of seven palm trees, projected a flame the height of another seven palm trees, so that it blazed and glowed; and then I reappeared in the Great Wood, at the Gabled Hall.

Then, Bhaggava, Sunakkhatta, the Licchavi, came to call on me, and saluting, he sat down beside me.

To him, so sitting, I said: ‘What think you of it, Sunakkhatta?

Has it fared with Pāṭika’s son as I declared unto you, and not otherwise?’

‘It has fared with him even as the lord, the Exalted One, declared unto me, and not otherwise.’

‘What think you of it, Sunakkhatta?

If it be even so, has a mystic wonder through superhuman gifts been wrought, or has none been wrought?’

‘Verily, Sir, it being even so, a mystic wonder through superhuman gifts has been wrought indeed.’

‘Even so do you, you foolish man say of me working mystic wonders by superhuman gifts: “The lord, the Exalted One, works no mystic wonder with his superhuman gifts.”

Behold, O foolish man, how far you have committed yourself.’

Thus, Bhaggava, did Sunakkhatta the Licchavi, addressed by me, depart from this Doctrine and Discipline, as one doomed to disaster and to purgatory.


The ultimate beginning of things, I know, Bhaggava, and I know not only that, but more than that.

And while I know that, I do not pervert it.

And as one not perverting it, I even of myself have understood that Peace, that which realizing, a Tathāgata can fall into no error.

There are, Bhaggava, certain recluses and brahmins who declare it as their traditional doctrine, that the beginning of things was the work of an overlord, of Brahmā.

To them have I gone and said: ‘Is it indeed true that the reverend teachers declare it as their traditional doctrine, that the beginning of things was the work of an overlord, of Brahmā?

And they, so questioned, have answered: ‘Ay.’

And then I have said: ‘But how do the reverend teachers declare in their traditional opinion, that the beginning of things as the work of an overlord, of Brahmā was appointed?’

They, so asked by me, were unable to go any further into that matter, and in their confusion they asked it of me as a counter-question.

To whom I, being asked, have made answer: ‘There comes a time, friends, when, sooner or later, after the lapse of a long epoch, the world is dissolved and evolved.

When this takes place, beings have mostly been reborn in the World of Radiance.

There they dwell, made of mind, feeding on rapture, radiating light from themselves, traversing space, continuing in beauty, and thus they remain—for a long, long period of time.

Now there comes also a time, friends, when, sooner or later, this world-system begins to re-evolve.

When this happens, the abode of the Brahmās appears, but it is empty.

And some being or other, either because his span of years has passed, or because his merit is exhausted, deceases from that world of Radiance, and comes to life in the abode of the Brahmās.

And there also he lives, made of mind, feeding on rapture, radiating light from himself, traversing space, continuing in beauty; and thus does he remain for a long, long period of time.

Now there arises in him, from his dwelling there so long alone, a dissatisfaction and a longing: “Oh, would that other beings too might come to join me in this place!”

And just then, either because their span of years had passed, or because their merit was exhausted, other beings fall from the world of Radiance and appear in the abode of the Brahmās as companions to him; and in all respects, they lead a life like his.

On this, friends, that being who was first reborn thinks thus: “I am Brahmā, the great Brahmā, the Vanquisher, the Unvanquished, the All-Seeing, the Disposer, the Lord, the Maker, the Creator, the Chief, the Assigner, Master of myself, the Father of all that are and are to be.

By me are these beings created.

And why is that so?

A while ago I thought: Would that other beings too might come to this state of being!

Such was the aspiration of my mind, and lo! These beings did come.”

And those beings themselves who arose after him, they too think thus: “This worthy must be Brahmā, the great Brahmā, the Vanquisher, the Unvanquished, the All-Seeing, the Disposer, the Lord, the Maker, the Creator, the Chief, the Assigner, Master of myself, the Father of all that are and are to be.

By this Brahmā have we, good sirs, been created.

And why is that so?

Because he, as we see, arose here first, but we arose after him.

On this, friends, that being who first arose becomes longer lived, handsomer, and more powerful, but those who appeared after him become shorter lived, less comely, less powerful.

And it might well be, friends, that some other being, on deceasing from that state, should come to this state [on earth].

So come, he might go forth from the household life into the homeless state.

And having thus gone forth, by reason of ardour, effort, devotion, earnestness, perfected intellection, he reaches up to such rapt concentration, that with rapt mind he calls to mind his former dwelling-place, but remembers not what went before.

He says thus: “That worshipful Brahmā, that great Brahmā, the Vanquisher, the Unvanquished, the All-Seeing, the Disposer, the Lord, the Maker, the Creator, the Chief, the Assigner, Master of myself, the Father of all that are and are to be, he by whom we were created, he is permanent, constant, eternal, unchanging, and he will remain so for ever and ever.

But we who were created by that Brahmā, we have come hither all impermanent, transient, unstable, short-lived, destined to pass away.”

Thus was appointed the beginning of things which ye, sirs, declare as your traditional doctrine; to wit, that it has been wrought by an overlord, by Brahmā.’

And they have said: ‘Even so have we heard, friend Gotama, as the reverend Gotama has told us.’

But I, Bhaggava, know the beginning of things and I know not only that, but more than that.

And while I know that, I do not pervert it.

And as one not perverting it, I even of myself have understood that Peace, that which realizing, a Tathāgata can fall into no error.

There are, Bhaggava, certain recluses and brahmins who declare it as their doctrine, that the beginning of things was owing to a debauch of pleasure.

To them have I gone and said: ‘Is it indeed true that the reverend teachers declare it as their doctrine, that the beginning of things was owing to a debauch of pleasure?’

And they, so questioned, have answered, ‘Ay.’

And then have I said: ‘But how do the reverend teachers declare in their traditional opinion, that the beginning of things as being due to a debauch of pleasure was appointed?’

They, so asked by me, were unable to go any further into that matter, and in their confusion they asked it of me instead as a counter-question.

To them, I, on being asked, have made reply: ‘There are, friends, certain spirits called the Debauched-by-Pleasure. For ages they pass their time in mirth and sport of sensual lusts. In consequence thereof their self-control is corrupted, and thereby those devas decease from that state.

Now it might well be, friends, that some being or other, on deceasing from that state, should come hither, and that, having come hither, he should go forth from the household life into the homeless state. As a recluse he might, by reason of ardour, effort, devotion, earnestness, perfected intellection, he reach up to such rapt concentration, that with rapt mind he acquire the power of recollecting his previous birth, but not what preceded it.

And he would say to himself: “Those worshipful spirits who are not debauched-by-pleasure, they have not, for ages, passed their time in the mirth and sport of sensual lusts. Hence is their self-control not corrupted. Hence they decease not from their estate, but are permanent, constant, eternal, unchanging, and will so remain for ever and ever.

But we who were pleasure-debauched, we did pass our time for ages in the mirth and sport of sensual lusts, whereby our self-control became corrupted, so that we deceased from that estate, and are come to this form of life impermanent, transient, unstable, short-lived, deciduous.”

Thus was appointed the beginning of things which ye declare as being due to a debauch of pleasure.

And they have said: ‘Even so have we heard, friend Gotama, as the reverend Gotama has told us.’

But I, Bhaggava, know the beginning of things and I know not only that, but more than that. And while I know that, I do not pervert it. And as one not perverting it, I even of myself have understood that Peace, that which realizing, a Tathāgata can fall into no error.

There are, Bhaggava, certain recluses and brahmins, who declare as their traditional doctrine, that the beginning of things was owing to a debauch of mind.

To these have I gone and said: ‘Is it indeed true that the reverend teachers declare it as their traditional doctrine, that the beginning of things was owing to a debauch of mind?’

And they, so questioned, have answered: ‘Ay.’

And then have I said: ‘But how do the reverend teachers declare, in their opinion, that the beginning of things as being due to a debauch of mind was appointed?’

They, so asked by me, were unable to go any further into that matter, and in their confusion they asked it of me instead as a counter-question.

To whom I, being asked, have made answer: ‘There are, friends, certain spirits called the Debauched-in-Mind. For ages they burn with mutual envy; hence their thoughts regarding each other become depraved. Hence their bodies become feeble and their minds imbecile. They decease from that estate.

Now it might well be, friends, that some being or other, deceasing from that estate, should come hither, and being hither come, should go forth from the household life into the homeless state. As a recluse he might, by reason of ardour, effort, devotion, earnestness, perfected intellection, reach up to such rapt concentration, that with rapt mind he acquire the power of recollecting his previous birth, but not what preceded it.

And he would say to himself: “Those worshipful devas who are not debauched in mind, they have not for ages been burning with mutual envy. Hence their thoughts regarding each other have not become depraved. Hence have their bodies not become feeble, nor their minds imbecile.

Those devas decease not from that estate, but are permanent, constant, eternal, unchanging and will so remain for ever and ever.

But we who were debauched in mind, we did pass the time for ages burning with mutual envy, whereby our thoughts about each other became depraved, our bodies feeble, our minds imbecile. And we have deceased from that estate and are come hither, impermanent, transient, unstable, short-lived, deciduous.”

Thus was appointed the beginning of things which ye declare as being due to debauch of mind.’

And they have said: ‘Even so have we heard, friend Gotama, as the reverend Gotama has told us.’

But I, Bhaggava, know the beginnings of things and I know not only that, but more than that. And while I know that, I do not pervert it. And as one not perverting it, I even of myself have understood that Peace, that which realizing, a Tathāgata can fall into no error.

There are, Bhaggava, certain recluses and brahmins, who declare it as their doctrine, that the beginning of things was by chance.

To them have I gone and said: ‘Is it indeed true that the reverend teachers declare it as their traditional doctrine, that the beginning of things was by chance?

And they, so questioned, have answered: “Ay.”’

Then have I said to them: ‘But how do the reverend teachers declare that the beginning of things by chance, which you teach, was appointed?’

They, so asked by me, were unable to go any further into that matter, and in their confusion they asked it of me instead as a counter-question.

To whom, I, being asked, have made answer: ‘There are, friends, certain spirits called Unconscious Beings. As soon as an idea occurs to them they decease from that estate.

Now it may well be, friends, that some being or other having so deceased, comes to this form of life, and so come, goes forth from the household life into the homeless state. As a recluse he, by reason of ardour, effort, devotion, earnestness, perfected intellection, he reach up to such rapt concentration, that with rapt mind he acquire the power of recollecting his previous birth, but not what preceded it.

And he would say to himself: “Fortuitous in origin are the soul and the world. And why so? Because formerly I was not, now, having non-existed, I am changed into being.”

Thus was appointed the beginning of things as being due to chance, which you venerable teachers declare as your doctrine.’

And they have said: ‘Even so have we heard, friend Gotama, as the reverend Gotama has told us.’

But I, Bhaggava, know the beginning of things, and I know not only that, but more than that. And knowing it, I do not pervert it, and not perverting it, I, even of myself, have understood that Peace which, realizing, a Tathāgata can fall into no error.


Now I, Bhaggava, being of such an opinion, certain recluses and brahmins have falsely, emptily, mendaciously and unfairly accused me, saying: ‘Gotama, the recluse, is all wrong, and so are his bhikkhus.

He has said: “Whenever one has attained to the stage of deliverance, entitled the Beautiful, one then considers all things as repulsive.”

But this, Bhaggava, I have not said.

What I do say is this: ‘Whenever one attains to the stage of deliverance, entitled the Beautiful, one is then aware ’Tis lovely!’

“But it is they, lord, that are all wrong, who impute to the Exalted One and to his bhikkhus, that they err. So delighted am I with the Exalted One that I believe he is able so to teach me that I may attain to and remain in the stage of deliverance, entitled the Beautiful.”

“Hard is it, Bhaggava, for you, holding, as you do, different views, other things approving themselves to you, you setting different aims before yourself, striving after a different aim, trained in a different system, to attain to and abide in the deliverance that is beautiful.

Look therefore to it, Bhaggava, that you foster well this faith of yours in me.”

“If, Sir, it be hard for me, holding different views, other things approving themselves to me, I setting different aims before myself, striving after a different aim, trained in a different system, to attain to and abide in the deliverance that is beautiful, then will I, at least, foster well my faith in the Exalted One.”

These things spake the Exalted One.

And Bhaggavagotta, the Wanderer, pleased in heart, took delight in his words.