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The Sutta Pitaka


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The Anguttara Nikaya

The "Further-factored" Discourses

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Abhisanda Sutta (AN VIII.39) -- Rewards  

Vipaka Sutta (AN VIII.40) -- Results  

Uposatha Sutta (AN VIII.41) -- The Uposatha Observance

Visakhuposatha Sutta (AN VIII.43) -- The Discourse to Visakha on the Uposatha with the Eight Practices  

Anguttara Nikaya VIII.39

Abhisanda Sutta(^)

Rewards

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

"Monks, there are these eight rewards of merit, rewards of skillfulness, nourishments of happiness, celestial, resulting in happiness, leading to heaven, leading to what is desirable, pleasurable, & appealing, to welfare & happiness. Which eight?

"There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones has gone to the Buddha for refuge. This is the first reward of merit, reward of skillfulness, nourishment of happiness, celestial, resulting in happiness, leading to heaven, leading to what is desirable, pleasurable, & appealing; to welfare & to happiness.

"Furthermore, the disciple of the noble ones has gone to the Dhamma for refuge. This is the second reward of merit...

"Furthermore, the disciple of the noble ones has gone to the Sangha for refuge. This is the third reward of merit...

"Now, there are these five gifts, five great gifts -- original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning -- that are not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and are unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & priests. Which five?

"There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from taking life. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the first gift, the first great gift -- original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning -- that is not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and is unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & priests. And this is the fourth reward of merit...

"Furthermore, abandoning taking what is not given (stealing), the disciple of the noble ones abstains from taking what is not given. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the second gift, the second great gift...and this is the fifth reward of merit...

"Furthermore, abandoning illicit sex, the disciple of the noble ones abstains from illicit sex. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the third gift, the third great gift...and this is the sixth reward of merit...

"Furthermore, abandoning lying, the disciple of the noble ones abstains from lying. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the fourth gift, the fourth great gift...and this is the seventh reward of merit...

"Furthermore, abandoning the use of intoxicants, the disciple of the noble ones abstains from taking intoxicants. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the fifth gift, the fifth great gift -- original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning -- that is not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and is unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & priests. And this is the eighth reward of merit, reward of skillfulness, nourishment of happiness, celestial, resulting in happiness, leading to heaven, leading to what is desirable, pleasurable, & appealing; to welfare & to happiness.


Anguttara Nikaya VIII.40

Vipaka Sutta(^)

Results

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

"Monks, the taking of life -- when indulged in, developed, & pursued -- is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from the taking of life is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to a short life span.

"Stealing -- when indulged in, developed, & pursued -- is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from stealing is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to the loss of one's wealth.

"Illicit sexual behavior -- when indulged in, developed, & pursued -- is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from illicit sexual behavior is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to rivalry & revenge.

"Telling falsehoods -- when indulged in, developed, & pursued -- is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from telling falsehoods is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to being falsely accused.

"Divisive tale-bearing -- when indulged in, developed, & pursued -- is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from divisive tale-bearing is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to the breaking of one's friendships.

"Harsh speech -- when indulged in, developed, & pursued -- is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from harsh speech is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to unappealing sounds.

"Frivolous chattering -- when indulged in, developed, & pursued -- is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from frivolous chattering is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to words that aren't worth taking to heart.

"The drinking of fermented & distilled liquors -- when indulged in, developed, & pursued -- is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from drinking fermented & distilled liquors is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to mental derangement."


Anguttara Nikaya VIII.41

Uposatha Sutta(^)

The Uposatha Observance

Translated from the Pali by Ñanavara Thera and Bhikkhu Kantasilo.

Evamme sutam ekam samayam bhagava savatthiyam viharati jetavane anathapindikassa arame tatra kho bhagava bhikkhu amantesi bhikkhavoti bhadanteti te bhikkhu bhagavato paccassosum bhagava etadavoca atthamggasamannagato bhikkhave uposatho upavuttho mahapphalo hoti mahanisamso mahajutiko mahavippharoti...

Thus have I heard:

At one time the Blessed One was residing in Jetavana, the monastery of Anathapindika, near Savatthi. At that time the Blessed One, having called all the bhikkhus together, addressed them thus: "Bhikkhus!" The bhikkhus answered in assent: "Lord!" (The bhikkhus then prepared themselves for the following teaching.) The Blessed One then gave the following teaching on Uposatha.

"Bhikkhus. Uposatha is comprised of eight factors which the Ariyan disciple observes, the observation of which brings glorious and radiant fruit and benefit.

"Bhikkhus. What is the Uposatha which, observed by the Ariyan disciples, brings glorious and radiant fruit and benefit?"

1. "Bhikkhus. Ariyan disciples in this Religion reflect thus:

"'All Arahants, for as long as life lasts, have given up the intentional taking of life (panatipata). The club and sword have been laid down. They have shame (of doing evil) and are compassionate towards all beings.'

"All of you have given up the intentional taking of life, have put down all weapons, are possessed of shame (of doing evil) and are compassionate towards all beings. For all of this day and night, in this manner, you will be known as having followed the Arahants, and the Uposatha will have been observed by you. This is the first factor of the Uposatha.

2. "Bhikkhus. Ariyan disciples in this Religion reflect thus:

"'All Arahants, for as long as life lasts, have given up taking what has not been given (adinnadana). They take only what is given, are intent on taking only what is given. They are not thieves. Their behavior is spotless.'

"All of you have given up the taking of what has not been given, are ones who do not take what is not given, are intent on taking only what is given, are not thieves. Your behavior is spotless. For all of this day and night, in this manner, you will be known as having followed the Arahants, and the Uposatha will have been observed by you. This is the second factor of the Uposatha.

3. "Bhikkhus. Ariyan disciples in this Religion reflect thus:

"'All Arahants, for as long as life lasts, have given up that which is an obstacle to the Brahma-faring (abrahma-cariya). Their practice is like that of a Brahma. They are far from sexual intercourse, which is a practice of lay people.'

"All of you have given up that which is an obstacle to the Brahma-faring and behave like a Brahma. Your behavior is far from sexual intercourse. For all of this day and night, in this manner, you will be known as having followed the Arahants, and the Uposatha will have been observed by you. This is the third factor of the Uposatha.

4. "Bhikkhus. Ariyan disciples in this Religion reflect thus:

"'All Arahants, for as long as life lasts, have given up the telling of lies (musavada).They utter only the truth and are intent on the truth. Their speech is firm and is composed of reason. Their speech does not waver from that which is a mainstay for the world.'

"All of you have given up the telling of lies. You speak only the truth and are intent only on that which is true. Your speech is firm and with reason. Your speech does not waver from that which is a mainstay for the world. For all of this day and night, in this manner, you will be known as having followed the Arahants, and the Uposatha will have been observed by you. This is the fourth factor of the Uposatha.

5. "Bhikkhus. Ariyan disciples in this Religion reflect thus:

"'All Arahants, for as long as life lasts, have given up the taking of liquors and intoxicants (sura-meraya-majja-pamadatthana), of that which intoxicates, causing carelessness. They are far from intoxicants.'

"All of you have given up the taking of liquors and intoxicants. You abstain from drink which causes carelessness. For all of this day and night, in this manner, you will be known as having followed the Arahants, and the Uposatha will have been observed by you. This is the fifth factor of the Uposatha.

6. "Bhikkhus. Ariyan disciples in this Religion reflect thus:

"'All Arahants, for as long as life lasts, eat at one time only and do not partake of food in the evening. They abstain from food at the 'wrong time' (vikala bhojana).'

"All of you eat at one time only and do not partake of food in the evening. You abstain from food at the 'wrong time.' For all of this day and night, in this manner, you will be known as having followed the Arahants, and the Uposatha will have been observed by you. This is the sixth factor of the Uposatha.

7. "Bhikkhus. Ariyan disciples in this Religion reflect thus:

"'All Arahants, for as long as life lasts, have given up singing and dancing, the playing of musical instruments and the watching of entertainments, which are stumbling blocks to that which is wholesome. Nor do they bedeck themselves with ornaments, flowers or perfume.'

"All of you have given up singing and dancing, the playing of musical instruments and the watching of entertainments, which are stumbling blocks to that which is wholesome. You do not bedeck yourselves with ornaments, flowers or perfume. For all of this day and night, in this manner, you will be known as having followed the Arahants, and the Uposatha will have been observed by you. This is the seventh factor of the Uposatha.

8. "Bhikkhus. Ariyan disciples in this Religion reflect thus:

"'All Arahants, for as long as life lasts, have given up lying on large or high beds. They are content with low beds or bedding made of grass.'

"All of you have given up lying on large or high beds. You are content with low beds or beds made of grass. For all of this day and night, in this manner, you will be known as having followed the Arahants, and the Uposatha will have been observed by you. This is the eighth factor of the Uposatha.

"Bhikkhus. The Uposatha is comprised of these eight factors which the Ariyan disciple observes, and it is of great and glorious fruit and benefit."

Thus the Blessed One spoke on the Uposatha. The bhikkhus were delighted and rejoiced at his words.


Anguttara Nikaya VIII.43

Visakhuposatha Sutta(^)

The Discourse to Visakha
on the Uposatha with the Eight Practices

Translated from the Pali by Bhikkhu Khantipalo.

Thus have I heard: At one time the Exalted One was staying near Savatthi at the Eastern monastery in the mansion (given by) Migara's mother. Then Visakha,[1] Migara's mother, approached the Exalted One; having approached and bowed down she sat down in a suitable place. When she was seated the Exalted One spoke thus to Visakha, Migara's Mother:

"Visakha, when the Uposatha undertaken with its eight component practices,[2] is entered on, it is of great fruit, of great advantage, of great splendor, of great range. And how, Visakha, is the Uposatha undertaken with its eight component practices, entered on, is of great fruit, great advantage, great splendor and great range?

"Here,[3] Visakha, a noble disciple considers thus:

"'For all their lives the Arahants dwell having abandoned killing living beings, refrain from killing living beings, they have laid down their staffs, laid down their weapons, they are conscientious,[4] sympathetic, compassionate for the good of all living beings; so today I dwell, for this night and day, having abandoned killing living beings, refraining from killing living beings, I am one who has laid down my staff, laid down my weapon, I am conscientious, sympathetic, compassionate for the good of all living beings. By this practice, following after the Arahants, the Uposatha will be entered on by me.'

"It is undertaken by this first practice.

"(He considers:) 'For all their lives the Arahants dwell having abandoned taking what is not given, refrain from taking what is not given, they are takers of what is given, those who expect only what is given, themselves become clean without thieving; so today I dwell, for this night and day, having abandoned taking what is not given, refraining from taking what is not given. I am a taker of what is given, one who expects only what is given, by myself become clean without thieving. By this practice, following after the Arahants, the Uposatha will be entered on by me.'

"It is undertaken by this second practice.

"(He considers:) 'For all their lives the Arahants dwell having abandoned unchaste conduct, they are of chaste conduct, living aloof, refrain from sex which is the way of common society; so today I dwell, for this night and day, having abandoned unchaste conduct, I am of chaste conduct, living aloof, refraining from sex which is the common way of society. By this practice, following after the Arahants, the Uposatha will be entered on by me.'

"It is undertaken by this third practice.

"(He considers:) 'For all their lives the Arahants dwell having abandoned false speech, refrain from false speech, they are speakers of truth, joiners of truth,[5] firm-in-truth,[6] grounded-on-truth,[7] not speakers of lies to the world; so today I dwell, for this night and day, having abandoned false speech, refraining from false speech, a speaker of truth, a joiner of truth, firm-in-truth, grounded-on-truth, not a speaker of lies to the world. By this practice, following after the Arahants, the Uposatha will be entered on by me.'

"It is undertaken by this fourth practice.

"(He considers:) 'For all their lives the Arahants dwell having abandoned distilled and fermented intoxicants which are the occasion for carelessness and refrain from them; so today I dwell, for this night and day, having abandoned distilled and fermented intoxicants which are the occasion for carelessness, refraining from them. By this practice, following after the Arahants, the Uposatha will be entered on by me.'

"It is undertaken by this fifth practice.

"(He considers:) 'For all their lives the Arahants are one-mealers, refrain from eating outside the time, desisting at night,[8] so today I am a one-mealer, refraining from eating outside the time, desisting at night. By this practice, following after the Arahants, the Uposatha will be entered on by me.'

"It is undertaken by this sixth practice.

"(He considers:) 'For all their lives the Arahants refrain from dancing, singing, music, going to see entertainments, wearing garments, smartening with perfumes and beautifying with cosmetics; so today I refrain from dancing, singing, music, going to see entertainments, wearing ornaments, smartening with perfumes and beautifying with cosmetics. By this practice, following after the Arahants, the Uposatha will be entered on by me.'

"It is undertaken by this seventh practice.

"(He considers:) 'For all their lives the Arahants having abandoned high beds[9] and large beds,[10] refraining from high beds and large beds, they make use of a low sleeping place, a (hard) bed or a strewing of grass; so today I have abandoned high beds and large beds, refraining from high beds and large beds, I make use of a low sleeping place, a (hard) bed or a strewing of grass. By this practice, following after the Arahants the Uposatha will be entered on by me.'

"It is undertaken by this eighth practice.

"Thus indeed, Visakha, is the Uposatha entered on and undertaken with its eight component practices, of great fruit, of great advantage, of great splendor, of great range. "How great a fruit? How great an advantage? How great a splendor? How great a range?

"Just as though, Visakha, one might have power, dominion and kingship[11] over sixteen great countries abounding in the seven treasures[12] -- that is to say, Anga, Magadha, Kasi, Kosala, Vajji, Malla, Ceti, Vansa, Kure, Pancala, Maccha, Surasena, Assaka, Avanti, Gandhara and Kamboja, yet it is not worth a sixteenth part of the Uposatha undertaken with its eight practices. For what reason? Miserable is kingship over men compared with heavenly bliss.

"That which among men is fifty years, Visakha, is one night and day of the devas of the Four Great Kings, their month has thirty of those days, their year twelve of those months; the lifespan of the devas of the Four Great Kings is five hundred of those heavenly years. Now here a certain woman or man, having entered on the Uposatha undertaken with its eight practices, at the break up of the body, after death, may arise to fellowship with the devas of the Four Great Kings -- such a thing indeed is known, Visakha. It was in connection with this that I have said: Miserable is kingship over men compared with heavenly bliss.

"That which among men is a hundred years, Visakha, is one night and day of the devas of the Thirty-three, their month has thirty of those days, their year twelve of those months; the lifespan of the devas of the Thirty-three is one thousand of those heavenly years.[13] Now here a certain woman or man, having entered on the Uposatha undertaken with the eight practices, at the break up of the body, after death, may arise to fellowship with the devas of the Thirty-three -- such a thing indeed is known, Visakha. It was in connection with this that I have said: Miserable is kingship over men compared with heavenly bliss.

"That which among men is two hundred years, Visakha, is one night and day of the Yama devas, their month has thirty of those days, their year twelve of those months; the lifespan of the Yama devas is two thousand of those heavenly years. Now here a certain woman or man, having entered on the Uposatha undertaken with the eight practices, at the break-up of the body, after death, may arise to fellowship with the Yama devas -- such a thing indeed is known, Visakha. It was in connection with this that I have said: Miserable is kingship over men compared with heavenly bliss.

"That which among men is four hundred years, Visakha, is one night and day of the Tusita devas, their month has thirty of those days, their year twelve of those months; the lifespan of the Tusita devas is four thousand of those heavenly years. Now here a certain woman or man, having entered on the Uposatha undertaken with the eight practices, at the break up of the body, after death, may arise to fellowship with the Tusita devas -- such a thing indeed is known, Visakha. It was in connection with this that I have said: Miserable is kingship over men compared with heavenly bliss.

"That which among men is eight hundred years, Visakha, is one night and day of the Nimmanarati devas, their month has thirty of those days, their year twelve of those months; the lifespan of the Nimmanarati devas is eight thousand of those heavenly years. Now here a certain woman or man, having entered on the Uposatha undertaken with the eight practices, at the break up of the body, after death may arise to fellowship with the Nimmanarati devas -- such a thing indeed is known, Visakha. It was in connection with this that I have said: Miserable is kingship over men compared with heavenly bliss.

"That which among men is sixteen hundred years, Visakha, is one night and day of the Paranimmitavasavatti devas, their month has thirty of those days, their year twelve of those months; the lifespan of the Paranimmitavasavatti devas is sixteen thousand of those heavenly years. Now here a certain woman or man, having entered on the Uposatha undertaken with the eight practices, at the break up of the body, after death, may arise to fellowship with the Paranimmitavasavatti devas -- such a thing indeed is known, Visakha. It was in connection with this that I have said: Miserable is kingship over men compared with heavenly bliss.

"Kill no life, nor take what is not given, speak no lie, nor be an alcoholic, refrain from sex and unchaste conduct, at night do not eat out-of-time food, neither bear garlands nor indulge with perfume, and make your bed a mat upon the ground: this indeed is called the eight-part uposatha taught by the Buddha gone to dukkha's end. The radiance of the sun and moon, both beautiful to see, follow on from each other, dispelling the darkness as they go through the heavens, illumining the sky and brightening the quarters and the treasure found between them: pearls and crystals and auspicious turquoises, gold nuggets and the gold called "ore," monetary gold with gold dust carried down -- compared with the eight-part uposatha, though they are enjoyed, are not a sixteenth part -- as the shining of the moon in all the groups of stars. Hence indeed the woman and the man who are virtuous enter on uposatha having eight parts and having made merits[14] bringing forth happiness blameless they obtain heavenly abodes."

-- [PTS iv. pp.255-258]

* * * (The upasaka Vasettha, when he heard this discourse, after the Buddha had finished speaking the above verses, exclaimed:)

"Lord, if my dear kin and relatives were to enter on the uposatha undertaken with its eight practices, it would be for their benefit and happiness for many a day. Lord, if all the warrior-nobles, brahmans, merchants and laborers were to enter on the uposatha undertaken with its eight practices, it would be for their benefit and happiness for many a day."

"So it is, Vasettha. If all the warrior-nobles, brahmans, merchants and laborers were to enter on the uposatha undertaken with its eight practices, it would be for their benefit and happiness for many a day. If this world with its devas, maras and brahmas, this generation with its samanas and brahmans, together with its rulers and mankind were to enter on the uposatha undertaken with its eight practices, it would be for their benefit and happiness for many a day. Vasettha, if these great sala trees were to enter on the uposatha undertaken with its eight practices it would be for their benefit and happiness for many a day, that is, if they were conscious, what to speak of mankind."

-- [PTS iv. p.259]


Notes

1. Visakha: a very generous woman lay-disciple who, by listening frequently to Dhamma, became a Streamwinner and who was, perhaps, already a noble disciple (ariya) when this discourse was spoken. [Go back]

2. anga: lit. part, component, practice; here meaning practices composing the Uposatha. [Go back]

3. "Here": meaning "in the Buddhasasana," the Buddha's instructions or religion. [Go back]

4. lajji: one who has shame (hiri) of doing evil, and fear of doing evil (ottappa), the two qualities which are called "the world guardians." [Go back]

5. saccasandha: "they join the truth" (Comm.). [Go back]

6. theta: lit. "firm, established," that is, in the experience of ultimate truth. [Go back]

7. paccayika: truth that has been seen by perceiving its conditional arising. [Go back]

8. Bhikkhus do not eat after midday until the following dawn. [Go back]

9. High beds means luxurious beds which are soft and well-sprung. [Go back]

10. Large beds means those in which two people can sleep. [Go back]

11. rajjam: lit., "kingship," but meaning generally great authority. [Go back]

12. The seven treasures: gold, silver, pearls, crystal, turquoise, diamond, coral. [Go back]

13. If calculated in human years, the devas of the Four Great Kings live 9,000,000 years; of the Thirty-three 36,000,000 years; of the Yama 144,000,000 years; of the Tusita 576,000,000 years; of the Nimmanarati 2,304,000,000 years; of the Paranimminitavasavatti devas the life is 9,216,000,000 years. Man can live at most one day in the life of the Thirty-three. It is worth reading the story in the Dhammapada Commentary (trans. "Buddhist Legends," Harvard Oriental Series Vol. 29, reissued by the Pali Text Society, London, 1969), called Husband-honourer, which brings to life this comparative time scale. [Go back]

14. merit (puñña): good kamma which purifies and cleanses the mind of the doer, such as the practice of the three ways of merit-making: giving, moral conduct (or precepts), and meditation. [Go back]

 

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