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English translation of
Holy Sutta Nipata
English translation by V. FausbŲll
taken from http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/sbe10/

Book 02 Kulavagga : Chapter 07 Brahmanadmammikasutta

So it was heard by me:

At one time Bhagavat dwelt at S‚vatthÓ, in /G/etavana, in the park of An‚thapi/nd/ika. Then many wealthy Br‚hma/n/as of Kosala, decrepit, elderly, old, advanced in age, or arrived at extreme old age, went to Bhagavat, and having gone to him they talked pleasantly with him, and after having had some pleasant and remarkable talk with him, they sat down apart. Sitting down apart these wealthy Br‚hma/n/as said this to Bhagavat: 'O venerable Gotama, are the Br‚hma/n/as now-a-days seen (engaged) in the Br‚hmanical customs (dhamma) of the ancient Br‚hma/n/as?'

Bhagavat answered: 'The Br‚hma/n/as now-a-days, O Br‚hma/n/as, are not seen (engaged) in the Br‚hmanical customs of the ancient Br‚hma/n/as.'

The Br‚hma/n/as said: 'Let the venerable Gotama tell us the Br‚hmanical customs of the ancient Br‚hma/n/as, if it is not inconvenient to the venerable Gotama.'

Bhagavat answered: 'Then listen, O Br‚hma/n/as, pay great attention, I will speak.'

'Yes,' so saying the wealthy Br‚hma/n/as listened to Bhagavat. Bhagavat said this:

1.
The old sages (isayo) were self-restrained, penitent; having abandoned the objects of the five senses, they studied their own welfare.

2.
There were no cattle for the Br‚hma/n/as, nor gold, nor corn, (but) the riches and corn of meditation were for them, and theey kept watch over the best treasure.

3.
What was prepared for them and placed as food at the door, they thought was to be given to those that seek for what has been prepared by faith.

4.
With garments variously coloured, with beds and abodes, prosperous people from the provinces and the whole country worshipped those Br‚hma/n/as.

5.
Inviolable were the Br‚hma/n/as, invincible, protected by the Dhamma, no one opposed them (while standing) at the doors of the houses anywhere.

6.
For forty-eight years they practised juvenile chastity, the Br‚hma/n/as formerly went in search of science and exemplary conduct.

7.
The Br‚hma/n/as did not marry (a woman belonging to) another (caste), nor did they buy a wife; they chose living together in mutual love after having come together.

8.
Excepting from the time about the cessation of the menstruation else the Br‚hma/n/as did not indulge in sexual intercourse.

9.
They praised chastity and virtue, rectitude, mildness, penance, tenderness, compassion, and patience.

10.
He who was the best of them, a strong Br‚hma/n/a, did not (even) in sleep indulge in sexual intercourse.

11.
Imitating his practices some wise men in this world praised chastity and patience.

12.
Having asked for rice, beds, garments, butter. and oil, and gathered them justly, they made sacrifices out of them, and when the sacrifice came on, they did not kill cows.

Continued...

13.
Like unto a mother, a father, a brother, and other relatives the cows are our best friends, in which medicines are produced.

14.
They give food, and they give strength, they likewise give (a good) complexion and happiness; knowing the real state of this, they did not kill cows.

15.
They were graceful, large, handsome, renowned, Br‚hma/n/as by nature, zealous for their several works; as long as they lived in the world, this race prospered.

16.
But there was a change in them: after gradually seeing the king's prosperity and adorned women,

17.
Well-made chariots drawn by noble horses, carpets in variegated colours, palaces and houses, divided into compartments and measured out,

18.
The great human wealth, attended with a number of cows, and combined with a flock of beautiful women, the Br‚hma/n/as became covetous.

19.
They then, in this matter, having composed hymns, went to Okk‚ka, and said: 'Thou hast much wealth and corn, sacrifice thy great property, sacrifice thy great wealth.'

20.
And then the king, the lord of chariots, instructed by the Br‚hma/n/as, brought about assamedha, purisamedha, samm‚p‚sa, and v‚/k/‚peyya without any hinderance, and having offered these sacrifices he gave the Br‚hma/n/as wealth:

21.
Cows, beds, garments, and adorned women, and well-made chariots, drawn by noble horses, carpets in variegated colours,

22.
Beautiful palaces, well divided into compartments; and having filled these with different (sorts of) corn, he gave this wealth to the Br‚hma/n/as.

23.
And they having thus received wealth wished for a store, and the desire of those who had given way to (their) wishes increased still more; they then, in this matter, having composed hymns, went again to Okk‚ka, and said:

24.
'As water, earth, gold, wealth, and corn, even so are there cows for men, for this is a requisite for living beings; sacrifice thy great property, sacrifice thy wealth.'

25.
And then the king, the lord of chariots, instructed by the Br‚hma/n/as, caused many hundred thousand cows to be slain in offerings.

26.
The cows, that are like goats, do not hurt any one with their feet or with either of their horns, they are tender, and yield vessels (of milk),--seizing them by the horns the king caused them to be slain with a weapon.

27.
Then the gods, the forefathers, Inda, the Asuras, and the Rakkhasas cried out: 'This is injustice,' because of the weapon falling on the cows.

28.
There were formerly three diseases: desire, hunger, and decay, but from the slaying of cattle there came ninety-eight.

29.
This injustice of (using) violence that has come down (to us), was old; innocent (cows) are slain, the sacrificing (priests) have fallen off from the Dhamma.

30.
So this old and mean Dhamma is blamed by the wise; where people see such a one, they blame the sacrificing priest.

31.
So Dhamma being lost, the Suddas and the Vessikas disagreed, the Khattiyas disagreed in manifold ways, the wife despised her husband.

32.
The Khattiyas and the Br‚hma/n/as and those others who had been protected by their castes, after doing away with their disputes on descent, fell into the power of sensual pleasures.

This having been said, those wealthy Br‚hma/n/as said to Bhagavat as follows:

'It is excellent, O venerable Gotama! It is excellent, O venerable Gotama! As one raises what has been overthrown, or reveals what has been hidden, or tells the way to him who has gone astray, or holds out an oil lamp in the dark that those who have eyes may see the objects, even so by the venerable Gotama in manifold ways the Dhamma has been illustrated; we take refuge in the venerable Gotama, in the Dhamma, and in the Assembly of Bhikkhus; may the venerable Gotama receive us as followers (up‚saka), who from this day for life have taken refuge (in him).'

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-- Book 02 - Chapter 07 --





 
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