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Four Short Suttas trans. by Rev. Daniel John Gogerly

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PARABHAVA-SUTTA.


Thus I heard: when Buddha was once residing at Jetavana, the vihâra of Anâthapi.n.dika, in the vicinity of the city of Sâvatthi, a certain deva possessed of pleasing appearance, approached Buddha, after the expiration of the first ten hours of the night (in the middle of the night), illuminating the whole Jetavana with his splendour, and having worshipped him, stood on one side of him (at a respectful distance) and spoke to him in this stanza:


1. Who is the person that declines (in prosperity)? Lord Buddha of the family of Gotama, we have come to you for the purpose of proposing the question: what is the cause that leads to the decline of prosperity?


2. The person who advances in prosperity may be easily known, and so is the person who declines. He who delights (in the performance of the) ten meritorious acts1 will attain to prosperity, while he that entertains an aversion thereto will decline in prosperity.


3. We know that this is the first cause which leads men to decline in prosperity. O Bhagavâ! please declare the second cause which leads to that result.


4. If any individual takes delight in wicked men and has an aversion towards the righteous, and delights in the doings of wicked men, that will be a cause to bring about his decline in prosperity.


5. We know that this is the second cause which leads to the decline of prosperity. O Bhagavâ! please declare the third cause. What is it that leads to the decline of prosperity?


p. 227


6. If any individual should be habitually sleepy (whether sitting, walking, or standing, etc.), be addicted to company, be of malicious temper, or would not exert himself, that would operate as a cause towards the decline of his prosperity.


7. We know that this is the third cause which leads to the decline of prosperity. Please declare the fourth, O Bhagavâ! What is it that leads to that result?


8. If any individual should not support and maintain either of his parents in their old age, having it in his power to do so, that would cause the decline of his prosperity.


9. We know that this is the fourth cause which leads to the decline of prosperity. O Bhagavâ! please declare the fifth. What is it that brings about that result?


10. If any individual utter a falsehood and thereby impose upon a Samana, a brâhman, or any other description of mendicants, that will operate as a cause towards a decline of his prosperity.


11. We know that this is the fifth cause which leads men to decline in prosperity. O Bhagavâ! please declare the sixth: what is it that brings about that result?


12. If any individual possessed of gold in abundance, plenty of kahapanas, and various kinds of viands, should himself alone enjoy his wealth, that would be a cause to the decline of his prosperity.


13. We know that this is the sixth cause which will lead men to decline in prosperity. O Bhagavâ! please declare the seventh: what is it that leads to that result?


14. If any individual disrespect his relations, actuated by too high an opinion of himself, founded on his superiority in birth, wealth, or family, it will operate as a cause towards a decline of his prosperity.


15. We know that this is the seventh cause which leads men to decline in prosperity. O Bhagavâ! please declare the eighth: what is it that tends to a decline of prosperity?


p. 228


16. If any individual becomes a debauchee, a drunkard, or a gambler, and thereby entirely squanders away his earnings, that will be a cause to the decline of his prosperity.


17. We know that this is the eighth cause which leads to the decline of men' s prosperity. O Bhagavâ! please declare the ninth: what is it that brings about the decline of prosperity?


18. If a man not pleased with his wife be constantly seen in the company of prostitutes and among the wives of others, that is a cause which would lead to the decline of his prosperity.


19. We know that this is the ninth cause which leads to the decline of prosperity of men. O Bhagavâ! please declare the tenth: what is it that leads to that result?


20. If any old man take a young woman, with breasts like unto timba-fruits, for his wife, and break rest from motives of jealousy, that will operate as a cause towards the decline of his prosperity.


21. We know that this is the tenth cause which leads men to decline in prosperity. O Bhagavâ! please declare the eleventh: what is it that brings about that result?


22. Should any individual entrust the management of his affairs to a gluttonous and prodigal woman or man, or place him or her at the head of his household, that would be a cause to bring about the decline of his prosperity.


23. We know that this is the eleventh cause which leads men to decline in prosperity. O Bhagavâ! please declare the twelfth: what is it that leads to the said decline?


24. If any individual is born of royal race, but is deficient in wealth and full of ambition, aspire to sovereignty here, that is a cause which will lead to a decline of his prosperity.


25. Therefore the wise man who has seen well the causes which in this world lead to the decline of men's p. 229 prosperity will lead such a life here as will entitle him to a birth in heaven.


METTA-SUTTA, OR DISCOURSE ON GENTLENESS.


Thus I heard: Buddha resided in the garden of Anâthapi.n.dika in Jetavana, near Sâvatthi. He then convoked his priests and said to them: There are eleven advantages, Priests, resulting from cultivating, meditating on, becoming accustomed to, led by, established in, following after, and acting according to a spirit of mildness and freedom from passion. These eleven are, that he who acts thus sleeps sound, awakes refreshed, has no evil dreams, is beloved of men, is beloved of demons, is preserved by the gods, neither fire, poison, nor sword can injure him, he has constant tranquillity, is of a pleasant aspect, will die in full possession of his intellectual powers, and hereafter will obtain an existence in the worlds of Brahma. These are the eleven advantages which result from cultivating, meditating on, being accustomed to, led by, established in, following after, and acting according to a spirit of mildness and freedom from passion.


When Buddha had thus spoken, the priests were much edified.


METTÂNISAMSA-SUTTA, OR ADVANTAGES OF GENTLENESS.


1. He who never violates friendly feelings1, whenever he journeys from his own residence shall obtain abundance of food, and become the means of supporting many others.


2. He who never violates friendly feelings, whether he visits town, country, or province, he shall be everywhere treated with respect.


3. He who never violates friendly feelings shall be unassailed p. 230 by robbers, shall receive no dishonour from princes, and shall escape from every enemy.


4. He who never violates friendly feelings shall return in tranquillity to his home, rejoice in the assemblies of the people, and be a chief among his kindred.


5. He who never violates friendly feelings, exercising hospitality to others, shall be hospitably treated, honouring others he shall be honoured himself, and his praises and good name shall be spread abroad.


6. He who never violates friendly feelings, presenting offerings to others, he himself shall receive offerings, saluting others he shall receive salutations, and shall attain to honour and renown.


7. He who never violates friendly feelings shall shine as the fire, be resplendent as the gods, and never be deserted by prosperity.


8. He who never violates friendly feelings shall have fruitful cattle, abundant crops, and his children shall have prosperity.


9. The man who never violates friendly feelings, should he fall from a precipice, from a mountain, or from a tree, when he falls he shall be sustained (so as to receive no injury).


10. The man who never violates friendly feelings shall never be overthrown by enemies, even as the nigrodha-tree, firmly fixed by its spreading roots, stands unmoved by the winds.


KARA.NÎYA-METTA-SUTTA.


THE DISCOURSE NAMED KARA.NÎYA-METTA.


I declare the Protection (or Paritta) by the power of which the demons shall display not dreadful sights; by which he who is urgently occupied by day or night may sleep securely, and sleeping see nothing evil.


1. These things must be attended to by the man wise p. 231 in securing advantages who desires to ascertain the path to Nibbâna: Let him be skilful, upright, honest, mild in speech, gentle, free from arrogance.


2. Let him be cheerful, contented, unencumbered with business, with little property, having his passions under control, wise, temperate, not desirous of obtaining much from those who assist him.


3. Let him not engage in any law-pursuit for which he might be censured by the wise! May every being experience happiness, peace, and mental enjoyment!


4-5. Whatever sentient being may exist, erratic or stationary, or or whatever kind, long, or tall, or middle-sized, or short, or stout, seen or unseen, near or remote, born or otherwise existing, may every being be happy!


6. In whatever place they may be, let no one deceive or dishonour another! Let there be no desire from wrath or malice to injure each other!


7. As a mother protects with her life the child of her bosom, so let immeasurable benevolence prevail among all beings!


8. Let unbounded kindness and benevolence prevail throughout the universe, above, below, around, without partiality, anger or enmity!


9. Let these dispositions be established in all who are awake, whether standing, walking, sitting or reclining, this place is thus constituted a holy residence.


10. If the virtuous man who has not attained to perfection, yet perceives it, subdues his desire for sensual objects, certainly he shall not again be a lier in the womb1.


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Footnotes


p. 226


1 Dasa puñña-kiriya. Vide Clough, Dict. vol. II, p. 262, for the different significations of this word.


p. 229


1 I.e. Who maintains under all circumstances feeling of universal kindness and gentleness.


p. 231


1 That is, he shall not be born again, but upon death migrate to the highest of the Brahma worlds, and after residing there the necessary time, cease to exist.

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