Sn 5.18/ / Piārāyana Sutta - PDF

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6b Pārāyana Sutta or, Pārāyana Sutta, The Discourse on the Far Shore 1 Sn 5.18 (Sn ) Be: Pārāyana-t,thuti Gāthā, the Pārāyana Paean & Pārāyanânugīti Gāthā, the Pārāyana Verse Summary Theme: The

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6b Pārāyana Sutta or, Pārāyana Sutta, The Discourse on the Far Shore 1 Sn 5.18 (Sn ) Be: Pārāyana-t,thuti Gāthā, the Pārāyana Paean & Pārāyanânugīti Gāthā, the Pārāyana Verse Summary Theme: The teaching that is the way to nirvana Translated & annotated by Piya Tan Sutta highlights 1.1 AGE OF THE SUTTA The Pārāyana Sutta (Sn 5.18) is the 18 th, and last sutta, in the Pārāyana Vagga, which is the fifth and last book or chapter (vagga) of the Sutta Nipāta (Sn ). The last two chapters the Aṭṭhaka Vagga, the eights chapter (or the octet chapter) (Sn 4) and the Pārāyana Vagga, the chapter on the far shore (Sn 5) appear to be very old texts. Both are quoted in other parts of the Tipiṭaka, 2 and both include very early teachings. 3 The fact that they are quoted in the 2 nd -century Sanskrit work, Divyāvadāna, and that there is a canonical commentary, the Niddesa on them, indicates that both the Vaggas have existed as independent texts for quite some time. 4 Both these Vaggas have been embedded in the Niddesa, their commentary the Pārāyana Vagga is in the Cūḷa Niddesa (Nc) in a similar manner as the Pātimokkga,sutta is found in the Vinaya Vibhaṅga The Pārāyana Vagga opens with a prologue or vatthu,gāthā of 56 verses (Sn ) added by the council elders (saṅgīti,kāra). The prologue relates how Bāvārī first hears of the Buddha from a devotee and sends 16 of his pupils to visit the Buddha to ascertain if his claims to awakening were true. The route they take is then mentioned. Sixteen suttas called questions (pucchā) each recording the questions asked by Bāvarī s disciples and the answers given by the Buddha [Sn ]. The Cūḷa Niddesa comments on the 16 suttas, but makes no mention of the Vatthu,gāthā, but also comments on the Khagga,visāṇa Sutta (Sn 1.3), which possibly means that the Sutta was one attached to the Pārāyana Vagga. [ ] 1.2 WHAT IS THE PĀRĀYANA? Sutta citations of the Pārāyana The Pārāyana is an ancient text (meaning an oral transmission as well as, later, a scribal scripture) quoted a number of times in the suttas, namely, the following: (Tika)Ānanda Sutta Puṇṇaka Pucchā (Sn 1048) A 3.32/1:133 SD 31.8a (Tika) Sāriputta Sutta Udaya Pucchā (Sn ) A 3.33/1:134 SD 31.8b Sāmadhi Bhāvanā Sutta Puṇṇaka Pucchā (Sn 1048) A 4.41/2:45 SD 24.1 Majjhe Sutta (Tissa) Metteyya Pucchā (Sn 2041) A 6.61/3:399, 401 SD (Veḷu,kaṇṭakī) Nanda,mātā S The Pārāyana 6 A 7.50/4:63 f SD We known Sn as the Pārāyana Vagga, the chapter on the far shore [ ]. The penultimate section of the Pārāyana Vagga is called the Pārāyana Sutta, which records non-returner Piṅgiya as 1 Pārāyana (without the word Sutta ): Sn 218,18; SnA 604,5; Pārāyana Sutta: Nc:Ee See CPD: Aṭṭhakavagga. On Pārāyana Vg, eg S 2:47,12; A 1:134,8, 4:63,12. 3 See Vetter 1988: , Prob by the time of Asoka ( BCE), the Theravāda have included all canonical texts in some collection or other in the Pali canon, so that there are no independent suttas, as in other schools. Texts outside the canon are regarded as extracanonical, even apocryphal. See Hinuber 1996: That Pārāyana Vg is very old is attested by the fact that it is quoted in various suttas [ ]. See Hinuber 1996: 15; also 116 for the contents of the Niddesa. This is the only comy, besides the Sutta Vibhaṅga, that has been included in the Canon. On the earliness of the Pārāyana Vagga, see Norman 1983b:69 f. 6 Recited by Veḷu,kaṇṭakī Nanda,māta (prob identical with Uttarā Nanda,mātā): see SD 3.8 (4). 56 Sn 5.18 (Khuddaka Nikāya 5) Sutta Nipāta 5, Pārāyana Vagga 18 telling Bāvarī, I will (now) recite the Pārāyana (Sn 1131). Then, he recites Sn 1131c up to Sn 1137, before he is interrupted by Bāvarī. The rest of the Pārāyana Sutta records their conversation. We can thus surmise that the Pārāyana (the way across) comprises only Sn 1131c As a text (oral or scribal), however, the Pārāyana naturally would include the whole of this Sutta. Since the Vagga itself was put together later, we do not see the Pārāyana Vaggga cited in the canon. The Aṅguttara, for example, quotes a number of the separate Pucchās, and even a reference of the Pārāyana [ ]. A reference to the Pārāyana is made in the (Veḷu,kaṇṭakī) Nandamātā Sutta (A 7.50) [ ]. The Sutta does not tell us what exactly the Pārāyana is. The Aṅguttara Commentary says that the Pārāyana is so called because it leads to nibbāna 7 (AA 4:35). This gloss explains the etymology, the word origin and meaning, but does not tell us which passages or teachings the term encompasses. We need to cull this information from how the term pārāyana is used The Pārāyana Sutta (Sn 5.18), which concludes the Sutta Nipāta, comprises two parts: the Pārāyana-t,thuti Gāthā (The Pārāyana Paeans) and the Pārāyanânugīti Gāthā (the Pārāyana Verse Summary). These titles are not found in the Sutta itself, but given in the Cūḷa Niddesa, its old commentary. The Pārāyana Sutta, unlike the Vatthu,gāthā (the prologue) of the Pārāyana Vagga, is explained in the old Commentary, Cūḷa Niddesa (Nc:Be 25:228). This shows that the Sutta was in existence well before the Vatthu,gāthā were compiled or included in the Canon, or were in existence when the Niddesa was composed The Pārāyana-t,thuti Gātha, 8 the Pārāyana paeans (verses in praise of the Pārāyana) (Sn ). These 7 verses summarize the awakening the 16 brahmin youths, closing with the statement that they have all found their way across to the far shore (pārāyana) [Sn 1130]. They are actually devotional verses of praise (thuti) for the Buddha and the Dharma The Pārāyanânugīti Gāthā, 9 the verse summary (Sn ), comprises 19 verses, historically, they are more interesting in bringing the story of Bāvarī and his 16 brahmin disciples to a delightful conclusion. This account begins with Piṅgiya meeting Bāvarī and recounting the Pārāyana to him. It is likely that Piṅgiya relates all the questions of the 16 youths, and their answers given by the Buddha or, each of these brahnmin youths does this on other own. Piṅgiya, the oldest of the brahmin youths and Bāvarī s own nephew, is the last to report back. He begins by showing how inspired he is by the Dharma, and relates his own practice of Buddha recollection (buddhânussati). Bābvarī is amazed and wonders just how Piṅgiya does it [Sn ]. Piṅgiya then replies by joyfully explaining his practice [Sn ]. The Buddha is then said to have sent forth a ray of radiance 10 and then he utters a verse [Sn 1146]. The tone of all these verses are those of profound of joy (pīti). Clearly, at this climactic moment, both Piṅgiya and Bāvarī are in deep dhyana. We must imagine Sn 1146 is heard as a result of there dhyanic state. Both then emerge from their dhyana, at which point Piṅgiya is an arhat, and Bāvarī a non-returner. Sn (the closing verses of the Pārāyana Vagga as well as the Sutta Nipāta itself) are Piṅgiya s own declaration of his attaining arhathood Parāyana The word pārāyana or pārāyaṇa, meaning the way across or the far shore should not be confused with parāyana or parāyaṇa, which means the goal, destination, that is, nirvana. There is, in fact, the Parāyana Sutta (S 43.44), a short text, where the Buddha teaches the goal and the path leading to the goal The word parāyaṇa is derived from the prefix paraṁ, the far shore, the other shore and ayanaṁ, going (SA 3:112). As such, it is a synonym of pārāyana, but used in a slightly specialized way as goal. Both pārāyana and parāyana refer to nirvana. 7 Pārāyanan ti nibbāna,saṅkhātam pāram ayanato pārāyanâti laddha,vohāraṁ dhammaṁ (AA 4:35). 8 Or, Pārāyana Thuti Gāthā. 9 Or, Pārāyana Anugīti Gātha. 10 There is neither mention of the Buddha himself appearing nor of his holograph. Clearly this ray of light is accompanied only by the Buddha s voice. On the Buddha radiance, see Endo, Buddha in Theravāda Buddhism, 1997: See also SD 36.9 (4.5.3). 57 The Sutta simply states that the goal (parāyana/parāyaṇa) is the destruction of the 3 unwholesome roots: lust (rāga), hate (dosa) and delusion (moha), and the path leading to the goal (parāyaṇa,gāmī) is body-based mindfulness (kāya,gatā,sati). (S 43.14/3:373) 2 Bāvarī and the 16 brahmin youths 2.1 BĀVARĪ RENOUNCES THE WORLD According to the Aṅguttara Commentary and the Sutta Nipāta Commentary, Bāvarī (his gotra name) was the son of the son of the purohit of king Pasenadi s father. He is said to bear three of the 32 marks of the great man on his body. (Sn 1019) In time, he became a learned brahmin. In due course, when Pasenadi was king, Bāvarī took leave to become an ascetic (Sn 976). The king agreed on the condition that he lived nearby. So he lived in the king s park, along with a group of 16 youths, each with a thousand matted-hair ascetics as followers Finding the park unconducive for religious practice, he decided to journey south to look for a suitable place for his ashram. Leaving the Middle Country, he journeyed through the Uttara janapada (north country), and then southwards into Dakkhiṇa,patha (the Deccan plateau). There, he found an island (antara,dīpa), 5 yojanas wide, in the Godhāvarī, a residence for ancient sages. The island and its shores were right on the border between two kingdoms, so that half of it lay in the territory of king Assaka and the other half in that of king Alaka Pasenadi s ministers paid 100,00 kahāpanas to the two, and donated the island to Bāvarī. They also bought a village on its bank, the revenue of which would be given to the ascetics. Bāvarī, however, had no wish for wealth, and spent all the year s revenue of 100,000 kahāpana on a great almsgiving. 2.2 THE BRAHMIN S CURSE Now, there was a brahmin of Dunniviṭṭha, 12 a village in Kalinga, and wife, a descendent of Jujaka (the greedy brahmin in the Vessantara Jātaka, J 547). Unwilling to do housework, she constantly nagged her husband to obtain 500 kahāpanas to buy a slave. He went to Bāvarī and asked for the money. (SnA 580 f) Another version of the story was that Bāvarī settled down on the Godhāvarī banks, and a hundred families, too, settled close by. Each occupant yearly gave one kahāpana despite the brahmins protests that they had no use for money. Bāvarī disttributed the money yearly among the poor and needy, and reports of his generosity spread around. It was at this time that the brahminee of Dunniviṭṭha, a descendent of Jūjaka (or Tūjaka according to a Sinhala reading), pestered her husband to get the money to buy a slave. Unable to bear her constant nagging, he finally went to Bāvarī (AA 1:334) When the Dunniviṭṭha finally met Bāvarī, he asked for 500 kahāpanas. Bāvarī, however, relied that he had no money left, as he had spent them on the alms-offerings. The other brahmin, disappointed, became angry, and cursed Bāvarī, saying that his head would split into seven pieces on the seventh day. Bāvarī was greatly distressed, but a female deity (his mother in a previous birth, AA 1:335), seeing his trouble, reassured him by saying that the brahmin knew the meanings neither of head nor of splitting. Who then knows it? asked Bāvarī, and the deity told him of the appearance in the world of the Buddha, who was living at Sāvatthī. At that time, Bāvarī was 120 years old, and he bore three of the 32 marks of the great man (Sn 1019) AA 1:334; SnA 581 f, 602, Dunniviṭṭha was a brahmin village in Kaliṅga country. It lay on the road between Jet uttara and Cetī country. along which Vessantara was said to have travelled to Vaṅka,giri (V 6:521). It was 5 yojanas from Ārañjara,giri (J 3:463) and 10 from Cetī country. It was where the brahmin Jūjaka (who took Vessantara s two sons, J 6:521), and Jūjaka s bond-slave woman, Amitta,tāpanā (J 6:521, 541) once lived 13 The 3 marks that Bāvarī possessed were: (1) he can cover his face with his tongue; (2) there is hair between his eye-brows; (3) his male organ is ensheathed (Sn 1022). It shuld be noted although Sn is very old, these two verses belong to the prologue or introductory narrative verses (vatthu,gāthā) (Sn ), interpolated by the council elders (SnA 603). 58 Sn 5.18 (Khuddaka Nikāya 5) Sutta Nipāta 5, Pārāyana Vagga In the time of Kassapa Buddha, it is said that Bāvarī was king Kattha,vāhana. Hearing of the Buddha from his friend, the king of Benares, he sent messengers, including his nephew, to find out about the Buddha and to report back to him. But the nephew returned with the news of the Buddha s death, which had taken place before their arrival at Benares. Thereupon, Kattha,vāhana, having accepted the Buddha s teaching, engaged in various good deeds and was reborn after death in the a sense-realm deva-world. From there, he was born in the family of Pasenadi s purohit and was the teacher of Pasenadi s boyhood. Unwilling to remain longer in the court, he took leave of the king and lived in the royal park as an ascetic. [2.1.1] 2.3 THE 16 BRAHMIN YOUTHS It was on this occasion that he sent his disciples to the Buddha. 14 The 16 brahmin youths (soḷasa māṇava) were Ajita, Tissa Metteyya, Punnaka, Mettagū, Upasīva, Nanda, Hemaka, Todeyya, Kappa, Jatu,- kannī, Bhadr āvudha, Udaya, Posāla, Mogharāja and Pingiya. The 16 pupils went northward, through Patitthāna, Māhissatī, Ujjenī, Gonaddha, Vedisā, Vanasavhya (also called Vana,sāvatthi or Tumbava), Kosambī, Sāketa and Sāvatthī When they arrived, they found that the Buddha had gone to Rājagaha. They journeyed through Setavyā, Kapilavatthu, Kusinārā, Pāvā, Bhoganagara and Vesāli. When they finally arrived at the Pāsānaka Cetiya, they greeted him in Bāvarī s name. Being satisfied that the Buddha has all the marks of the Great Man. 15 In the Pārāyana Sutta, first, Ajita presents Bāvarī s question to the Buddha, and when he has answered it, each of the other pupils asks him a question in turn, and the Buddha replies them accordingly. The last questioner amongst the 16 brahmin youths is the oldest of them, that is, Piṅgiya. His questions and the Buddha s answers are recored in the Piṅgiya Māṇava Pucchā (Sn 5.17). 16 This Sutta recounts the story of Piṅgiya and Bāvri after that According to the Sutta Nipāta Commentary, all of Bāvarī s disciples and their 16,000 followers became arhats at the conclusion of the Buddha s teaching, except for Piṅgiya, who became a non-returner. This was because he was thinking of Bāvarī while the Buddha was teaching. Pingiya then took leave of the Buddha and returned to report back Bāvarī. At the end of report, the Buddha appeared before them in a radiant ray of light and taught them the Dharma. It is then that Piṅgiya became an arhat and Bāvarī a non-returner. (SnA 603 f) At the end of the teachings recorded in the Pārāyana Vagga, the 16 brahmin youths and their 16,000 followers, all express their wish to renounce the world. The Buddha accepts them into the community them by pronouncing, Come, O bhikshus! (etha bhikkhave). This is known as the come, bhikshu going-forth (ehi,bhikkhu pabbajjā, VA 1:24). 17 On account of the 16 brahmin youths and their followers attaining spiritual excellence (as arhats and as non-returner), and they renounce the world at the close of the teachings of Pārāyana Vagga, they are known as the brahmains who have crossed over (pārāyanika,brāhmanā). 14 Sn 977; SnA ; AA 1: On the great man (mahā,purisa) and his marks, see SD 36.9 (3 +4). On the problem of the hidden marks, see Miln 168 f, SA 1:275 f. 16 Sn (SD 49.6b). 17 On the ehi,bhikkhu pabbajjā, see SD (1.2). 59 The Discourse on the Far Shore Sn The Pārāyana Paeans (pārāyana thuti gāthā) [The council elders:] 18 [218] 1 The Blessed One said this while he was residing at the Pāsāṇaka Shrine in Magadha. As he was asked in turn by the 16 attending brahmins, he answered them accordingly. 2 If one, understanding the meaning of the verses, one by one, were to practise the Dharma in accordance with the Dharma, they would follow the path to the far shore beyond decay and death. 3 Therefore, this Dharma exposition is cvalled the Pārāyana 19 (the going to the far shore). (1) Ajito tissametteyyo Ajita, Tissa Metteyya, puṇṇako atha mettagū Puṇṇaka, Mettagū, too, dhotako upasīvo ca Dhoṭaka and Upasīva, nando ca atha hemako Sn Nanda, and Hemaka, too. (2) Todeyya,kappā dubhayo Both Todeyya and Kappa, jatu,kaṇṇī ca paṇḍito and wise Jatu,kaṇṇī, bhadr āvudho 21 udayo ca Bhadr āvudha and Udaya, posālo câpi brāhmaṇo Posāla the brahmin, too, mogha,rājā ca medhāvī and wise Mogha,rāja, piṅgiyo ca mahā,isi. [219] Sn 1125 and the great seer Piṅgiya (3) Ete buddhaṁ upāgañchuṁ 22 they approached the Buddha sampanna,caraṇaṁ isiṁ. the seer, accomplished in conduct, Pucchantā nipuṇe pañhe asking subtle questions, buddha,seṭṭhaṁ 23 upāgamuṁ. Sn 1126 they approached the best of buddhas. (4) Tesaṁ buddho pavyākāsi The Buddha answered according with reality pañhe puṭṭho yathā,tathaṁ the question that they have asked. pañhānaṁ veyyākaraṇena In answering their questuions, tosesi brāhmaṇe muni Sn 1127 the sage gladdened the brahmins. 18 Saṅgīti,kārā (SnA 603,28-29). 19 Comys: Pārāyana is a name for death-free nirvana which is called the far shore (pārāyanan t eva adhivacanan- ti pāraṁ vuccati amataṁ nibbānaṁ..., ayanaṁ vuccati maggo, Nc:Be 197,1) [on t eva, see Norman 1988:92 = Collected Papers 3:222 f]; Pārāyana is the going to the far shore, that is, nirvana; it is called pārāyana in common usage (Pārāyanan ti nibbāna,saṅkhataṁ pāraṁ ayanato pārāyanan ti laddha,vohāraṁ dhammaṁ, AA 4:35,11-13). See Jayawickrama, Univ of Ceylon Review 6,3 1948: , repr Pali Buddhist Rev 1,3 1976b: See also Sn:N 423 n p218, The metre here are śloka (Sn , , ), Triṣṭubh (Sn , , 1146) and mixed śloka/triṣṭubh (1145, 1149). 21 Āvudha is an alternate form of āyudha (Skt), weapon (Dh 40): see Geiger, A Pāli Grammar, 1994: Upagañchuṁ (aor) (so Ee; Be upagacchuṁ). From upa + āgañchuṁ; cf āgañchi (Sn 379, Ee āgacchi; 979; āgañchiṁ, J 4:331,8*). See Sn:N 194 n Buddha,seṭṭha: see details at Comy on Sn 226, which essentially says that he is buddha (awakened) (buddha) and he is the best (seṭṭha) (SnA 1:180,31-181,3). See J W de Jong, rev of Elders Verses I, Indo-Iranian Journal :300. Cf also Sn 282 and Ap 96,2. 60 Sn 5.18 (Khuddaka Nikāya 5) Sutta Nipāta 5, Pārāyana Vagga 18 (5) Te tositā cakkhumatā They, gladdened by the one with the eye, buddhen ādicca,bandhunā. 24 the Buddha, kinsman of the sun, Brahma,cariyam acariṁsu lived the holy life vara,paññassa santike Sn 1128 in the presence of the one of noble wisdom. (6) Ekam ekassa pañhassa If one were to practise in accordance yathā buddhena desitaṁ with the truth of each and every one tathā yo paṭipajjeyya of the questions as answered by the Buddha, gacche pāraṁ apārato Sn 1129 one would go from here to the far shore. (7) Apārā pāraṁ gaccheyya Cultivating the supreme way, he would go bhāvento maggam uttamaṁ from the near shore to the far shore: maggo so pāraṁ gamanāya This path is for going to the far shore, tasmā pārāyanaṁ iti. Sn 1130 therefore, it is called the Pārāyana. Piṅgiya s adoration The Pārāyana Verse Summary (pārāyana anugīti gāthā) (8) Pārāyanam anugāyissaṁ I will recite the Pārāyana, (icc āyasmā piṅgiyo) 25 (said the venerable Piṅgiya,) yathā ddakkhi tathā kkhāsi 26 As he has seen, so he teaches it vimalo bhūri,medhaso. The immaculate one of broad wisdom, nikkāmo 27 nibbano 28 nāgo 29 lust-free, cooled naga [noble saint] kissa hetu musā bhaṇe. Sn 1131 why would he speak fal
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