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English translation of
Holy Digha Nikaya

English translation by T. W. Rhys Davids
taken from http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/dob/

Kevaddha Sutta

1.
Thus have I heard. The Exalted One was once staying at N‚land‚ in the P‚v‚rika's mango grove. Now Kevaddha, a young householder, came where the Exalted One was, and bowed down in salutation to him, and took a seat on one side. And, so seated, he said to the Exalted One:

'This N‚land‚ of ours, Sir, is influential and prosperous, full of folk, crowded with people devoted to the Exalted One. It were well if the Exalted One were to give command to some brother to perform, by power surpassing that of ordinary men, a mystic wonder. Thus would this N‚land‚ of ours become even so much the more devoted to the Exalted One.'

On his speaking thus the Exalted One said to him:

'But, Kevaddha, it is not thus that I am wont to give instruction to the brethren: "Come now, my brethren; perform ye a mystic wonder, by power surpassing that of ordinary men, for the lay folk clad in their garments of white!"

2.
And a second time Kevaddha made the same request to the Exalted One, and received a second time the same reply.

3.
And a third time Kevaddha, the young householder, addressed the Exalted One, and said:

'I would fain do no injury to the Exalted One. I only say that this N‚land‚ of ours is influential and prosperous, full of folk, crowded with people devoted to the Exalted One. It were well if the Exalted One were to give command to some brother to perform, by power surpassing that of ordinary men, a mystic wonder. Thus would this N‚land‚ of ours become even so much the more devoted to the Exalted One.'

'There are three sorts of wonders, Kevaddha, which I, having myself understood and realised them, have made known to others. And what are the three? The mystic wonder, the wonder of manifestation, and the wonder of education.

4.
'And what, Kevaddha, is the mystic wonder?

'In this case, Kevaddha, suppose that a brother enjoys the possession, in various ways, of mystic power--from being one he becomes multiform, from being multiform he becomes one: from being visible he becomes invisible: he passes without hindrance to the further side of a wall or a battlement or a mountain, as if through air: he penetrates up and down through solid ground, as if through water: he walks on water without dividing it, as if on solid ground: he travels cross-legged through the sky, like the birds on wing: he touches and feels with the hand even the Moon and the Sun, beings of mystic power and potency though they be: he reaches, even in the body, up to the heaven of Brahm‚. And some believer, of trusting heart, should behold him doing so.

5.
'Then that believer should announce the fact to an unbeliever, saying: "Wonderful, Sir, and marvellous is the mystic power and potency of that recluse. For verily I saw him indulging himself, in various ways, in mystic power:--from being one becoming multiform ( c., as before, down to) reaching, even in the body, up to the heaven of Brahm‚."'

'Then that unbeliever should say to him: "Well, Sir! there is a certain charm called the Gandhara Charm. It is by the efficacy thereof that he performs all this."'

'Now what think you, Kevaddha? Might not the unbeliever so say?'

'Yes, Sir; he might.'

'Well, Kevaddha! It is because I perceive danger in the practice of mystic wonders, that I loathe, and abhor, and am ashamed thereof.

6.
'And what, Kevaddha, is the wonder of manifestation?

'Suppose, in this case, Kevaddha, that a brother can make manifest the heart and the feelings, the reasonings and the thoughts, of other beings, of other individuals, saying: "So and so is in your mind. You are thinking of such and such a matter. Thus and thus are your emotions." And some believer, of trusting heart, should see him doing so.

7.
'Then that believer should announce the fact to an unbeliever, saying: "Wonderful, Sir, and marvellous is the mystic power and potency of that recluse. For verily I saw him making manifest the heart and the feelings, the reasonings and the thoughts, of other beings, of other individuals, saying: "So and so is in your mind. You are thinking of such and such a matter. Thus and thus are your emotions."

'Then that unbeliever should say to him: "Well, Sir! there is a charm called the Jewel Charm. It is by the efficacy thereof that he performs all this."

'Now what think you, Kevaddha? Might not the unbeliever so say?'

'Yes, Sir; he might.'

'Well, Kevaddha! It is because I perceive danger in the practice of the wonder of manifestation, that I loathe, and abhor, and am ashamed thereof.

8.
'And what, Kevaddha, is the wonder of education?

'Suppose, Kevaddha, that a brother teaches thus: "Reason in this way, do not reason in that way. Consider thus, and not thus. Get rid of this disposition, train yourself, and remain, in that." This, Kevaddha, is what is called "The wonder of education."

'And further, Kevaddha, suppose that a Tath‚gata is born into the world, c.'

Continued...

[The text repeats the S‚maŮŮa-phala Suttanta, that is to say:

1. The preaching of the Buddha.

2. The a wakening of a hearer, and his renunciation of the world.

3. His self-training in act, word, and speech.

4. The minor details of mere morality (summarised above which he observes.

5. The absence of fear, confidence of heart thence arising.

6. The way in which he learns to guard the doors of his senses.

7. The constant self-possession he thus gains.

8. The power of being content with little, of simplicity of life.

9. The emancipation of the heart from the Five Hindrances--covetousness, ill-temper, sloth of body and mind, excitement and worry, and perplexity.

10. The resulting joy and peace that he gains.

11. The training in the Four Raptures.

12. The insight arising from the knowledge of the nature of the body, and its impermanence, and of the fact that consciousness is bound up with it.

13. The realisation of the Four Truths, the destruction of the Intoxicants, and the final assurance of the emancipation of Arahatship.

The refrain throughout is: 'This, Kevaddha, is what is called the wonder of education.']

67.
'So these, Kevaddha, are the three wonders I have understood and realised myself, and made known to others.

'Once upon a time, Kevaddha, there occurred to a certain brother in this very company of the brethren, a doubt on the following point: "Where now do these four great elements--earth, water, fire, and wind--pass away, leaving no trace behind?" So that brother, Kevaddha, worked himself up into such a state of ecstasy that the way leading. to the world of the Gods became clear to his ecstatic vision.

68.
'Then that brother, Kevaddha, went up to the realm of the Four Great Kings; and said to the gods thereof: "Where, my friends, do the four great elements--earth, water, fire, and wind--cease, leaving no trace behind?"

'And when he had thus spoken the gods in the heaven of the Four Great Kings said to him: "We, brother, do not know that. But there are the Four Great Kings. more potent and more glorious than we. They will know it."

69 - 79.
'Then that brother, Kevaddha, went to the Four Great Kings, [and put the same question, and was sent on, by a similar reply, to the Thirty-three, who sent him on to their king, Sakka; who sent him on to the Y‚ma gods. who sent him on to their king, Suy‚ma; who sent him on to the Tusita gods, who sent him on to their king, Santusita; who sent him on to the Nimm‚na-rati gods, who sent him on to their king, Sunimmita; who sent him on to the Para-nimmita Vasavatti gods, who sent him on to their king, Vasavatti; who sent him on to the gods of the Brahm‚-world.']

80.
'Then that brother, Kevaddha, became so absorbed by self-concentration that the way to the Brahm‚-world became clear to his mind thus pacified. And he drew near to the gods of the retinue of Brahm‚, and said: "Where, my friends, do the four great elements-earth, water, fire, and wind-cease, leaving no trace behind?"

'And when he had thus spoken the gods of the retinue of Brahm‚ replied: "We, brother, do not know that. But there is Brahm‚, the Great Brahm‚, the Supreme One, the Mighty One, the All-seeing One, the Ruler, the Lord of all, the Controller, the Creator, the Chief of all, appointing to each his place, the Ancient of days, the Father of all that are and are to be! He is more potent and more glorious than we. He will know it."

'"Where then is that Great Brahm‚ now?"

'"We, brother. know not where Brahm‚ is, nor why Brahm‚ is, nor whence. But, brother, when the signs of his coming appear, when the light ariseth, and the glory shineth, then will He be manifest. For that is the portent of the manifestation of Brahm‚ when the light ariseth, and the glory shineth."

81.
'And it was not long, Kevaddha, before that Great Brahm‚ became manifest. And that brother drew near to him, and said: "Where, my friend, do the four great elements--earth, water, fire, and wind--cease, leaving no trace behind?"'

And when he had thus spoken that Great Brahm‚ said to him: "I, brother, am the Great Brahm‚, the Supreme, the Mighty, the All-seeing, the Ruler, the Lord of all, the Controller, the Creator, the Chief of all, appointing to each his place, the Ancient of days, the Father of all that are and are to be!"

82.
'Then that brother answered Brahm‚, and said: "I did not ask you, friend, as to whether you were indeed all that you now say. But I ask you where the four great elements--earth, water, fire, and wind--cease, leaving no trace behind?"

83.
'Then again, Kevaddha, Brahm‚ gave the same reply. And that brother, yet a third time, put to Brahm‚ his question as before. 'Then, Kevaddha, the Great Brahm‚ took that brother by the arm and led him aside, and said:

'"These gods, the retinue of Brahm‚, hold me, brother, to be such that there is nothing I cannot see, nothing I have not understood, nothing I have not realised. Therefore I gave no answer in their presence. I do not know, brother, where those four great elements--earth, water, fire, and wind--cease, leaving no trace behind. Therefore you, brother, have done wrong, have acted ill, in that, ignoring the Exalted One. you have undertaken this long search, among others, for an answer to this question. Go you now, return to the Exalted One, ask him the question, and accept the answer according as he shall make reply."

84.
'Then, Kevaddha, that Bhikkhu, as quickly as one could stretch forth his bended arm, or draw it in when stretched forth, vanished from the Brahm‚-world, and appeared before me. And he bowed in salutation to me, and took his seat on one side; and, so seated, he said to me: "Where is it, Sir, that these four great elements--earth, water, fire, and wind--cease, leaving no trace behind?"

85.
'And when he had thus spoken, Kevaddha, I answered him thus: "Long, long ago, brother, sea-faring traders were wont, when they were setting sail on an ocean voyage, to take with them a land-sighting bird. And when the ship got out of sight of the shore they would let the land-sighting bird free. Such a bird would fly to the East, and to the South, and to the West, and to the North, to the zenith, and to the intermediate points of the compass. And if anywhere on the horizon it caught sight of land, thither would it fly. But if no land, all round about, were visible, it would come back even to the ship. Just so, brother, do you, having sought an answer to this question, and sought it in vain, even up to the Brahm‚-world, come back therefore to me. Now the question, brother, should not be put as you have put it. Instead of asking where the four great elements cease, leaving no trace behind, you should have asked:

'On that the answer is:

'The intellect of Arahatship, the invisible, the endless, accessible from every side--

Thus spake the Exalted One. And Kevaddha, the young householder, pleased at heart, rejoiced at the spoken word.

Here ends the Kevaddha Suttanta.

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-- Book 11 --





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