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Magandiya Sutta

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Tipitaka >> Sutta Pitaka >> Majjhima Nikaya >> Magandiya Sutta

Translation by Sister Upalavanna


I heard thus.

At one time the Blessed One lived in the country of the Kurus in a hamlet named Kammassadhamma. The Blessed One, slept on a spread of dried grass in the fire hut of a brahmin of the Bharadvaja clan. In the morning, the Blessed One, putting on robes, taking bowl and robes went the alms round, in the hamlet Kammassadhamma. Returning from the alms round and after the meal was over the Blessed One entered a certain forest stretch, and sat at the root of a certain tree, to spend the day.

The wandering ascetic Magandiya wandering and walking for exercise entered the fire hut of the brahmin of the Bharadvaja clan. Seeing the spread of dried grass in the fire hut he said. ‘Good Bharadvaja, for whom, is this spread of dried grass prepared, I think it’s the bed of a recluse.’ ‘Good Magandiya, it is the recluse Gotama’s, the son of the Sakyas. He has gone forth from the clan of the Sakyas. His fame is such, the Blessed One is perfect, rightly enlightened, endowed with knowledge and conduct. Well gone, knows the worlds, is the incomparable tamer of those to be tamed, is Teacher of gods and men, enlightened and Blessed’ ‘Good Bharadvaja, we saw something we should not have seen, it’s the bed of that good Gotama, the destroyer of humanity.’ ‘Magandiya, be careful of what you say, good Gotama has many wise warriors, brahmins, householders and recluses, pleased and tamed in the noble Teaching and established in merit.’’Bharadvaja, I will meet that good Gotama, and tell these words myself, that the recluse Gotama is a destroyer of humanity. What is the reason? It is by examining his bed, that we do so.’ ‘If it does not matter to good Magandiya, I will inform this to the recluse Gotama.’’Be unconcerned, good Bharadvaja, tell it if he asks.’

The Blessed One heard this conversation between the wandering ascetic Magandiya and the brahmin of the Bharadvaja clan, with his purified heavenly ear element above human. The Blessed One got up from his seclusion in the evening, and approached the fire hut of the brahmin of the Bharadvaja clan. Entering the fire hut, he sat on the prepared seat. Then the brahmin of the Bharadvaja clan approached the Blessed One worshipped, exchanged friendly greetings and sat on a side. Then the Blessed One said, to the brahmin of the Bharadvaja clan.’Was there any conversation between Bharadvaja and the wandering ascetic Magandiya concerning this spread of grass?’ When this was asked the brahmin of the Bharadvaja clan shivered and his hairs stood on end, and said.’This we wanted to tell good Gotama, and even before that good Gotama tells it.’ Even when this conversation was taking place the wandering ascetic Magandiya wandering and walking for exercise entered the fire hut of the brahmin of the Bharadvaja clan, and approached the Blessed One.Exchanged friendly greetings with the Blessed One and sat on a side.

Then the Blessed One addressed the wandering ascetic Magandiya. ‘Magandiya, the eye is fond of forms, intent on forms and delight in forms, the eye of the Thus Gone One is tamed and protected. He teaches to protect and to restrain the eye.Is it on account of this, that Magandiya saidthe recluse Gotama is a destroyer of humanity?’ ‘I said the recluse Gotama is a destroyer of humanity, by examining, his bed.’ . .’Magandiya, the ear is fond of sounds, the nose is fond of smells, the tongue is fond of tastes, intent on tastes, and delight in tastes. The tongue of the Thus Gone One is tamed and protected. He teaches to protect and to restrain the tongue. Is it on account of this, that Magandiya said the recluse Gotama is a destroyer of humanity?’ ‘I said the recluse Gotama, is a destroyer of humanity, examining his bedstead.’ ‘Magandiya, the body, is fond of touches, …re …The mind is fond of ideas, intent on ideas and delight with ideas. The mind of the Thus Gone One is tamed and protected. He teaches to protect and to restrain the mind. Is it on account of this, that Magandiya said, the recluse Gotama is a destroyer of humanity?’’I said the recluse Gotama is a destroyer of humanity, examining his bedstead.’

‘Magandiya, one is well provided with pleasing, agreeable, forms cognizable by eye consciousness, arousing fondness and sensual desires.In the mean time he knows the arising, fading, the satisfaction, the danger and the escape from forms, as it really is. He dispels and destroys the burning and thirst for forms and internally appeases the mind and abides. What has Magandiya to say to that?’ ‘Good Gotama, I have nothing to say.’ Magandiya, one is well provided with pleasing, agreeable sounds cognizable by ear consciousness, re…. smells, cognizable by nose consciousness,…re… tastes cognizable by tongue consciousness, touches,…re… cognizable by body consciousnessarousing fondness and sensual desires. In the mean time he knows the arising, fading, satisfaction, danger and the escape from touches, as it really is He dispels and destroys the burning and thirst for touches and internally appeases the mind and abides. What has Magandiya to say to that?’ ‘Good Gotama, I have nothing to say.’

Magandiya, when I was a householder, I was well provided with the five strands of sensual pleasures. Such as pleasing agreeable forms cognizable by eye consciousness arousing fondness and sensual desires. Pleasing agreeable sounds, --pleasing agreeable smells, --pleasing agreeable tastes, and pleasing agreeable touches cognizable by body consciousness, arousing fondness and sensual desires. I was provided with three palaces, for the three seasons, one for the rainy season, one for the cold season and another for the hot season. Magandiya, I spent four months in the palace for the rainy season, without males and provided with music. Not coming down to the lower storey, for any reason. In the mean time I knew, the arising, fading, the satisfaction, the danger and the escape from sensual desires. I dispelled and destroyed the craving, burning and thirst, for sensual desires and internally appeased the mind and abode. I see other beings not satiated with sensuality, while partaknig it being eaten by it and burnt by it. I do not envy them, and do not take pleasure in it. Magandiya, I abide in that attachment away from sensuality, away from thoughts of demerit, and even beyond heavenly pleasantness and do not envy or delight in something lower than that.

Magandiya, like a housholder, or a householder’s son, quite wealthy and with many resources, well provided with the five strands of sensual pleasures. Such as pleasing agreeable forms cognizable by eye consciousness, arousing fondness and sensual desires. Pleasing agreeable sounds, --pleasing agreeable smells, --pleasing agreeable tastes, and pleasing agreeable touches cognizable by body consciousness, arousing fondness and sensual desires. He behaves himself correctly by body, speech and mind. After death, he goes to increase, is born with the retinue of the thirtythree gods and partakes of the five strands of heavenly sensual pleasures attended by nymphs in the Nandana forest. Then he sees a householder partake the five strands of sensual pleasures provided and well attended. Magandiya, do you think, this son of the gods, partaking the five strands of heavenly bliss, attended by those nymphs would envy that householder or the son of the householder and would come back for the five strands of sensual pleasures?’ ‘No, good Gotama. Heavenly sensual pleasures are superior and more exalted than human sensual pleasures.’ ‘In the same manner, Magandiya, when I was a householder I was well provided with the five strands of sensual pleasures. Such as pleasing agreeable forms cognizable by eye consciousness arousing fondness and sensual desires. Pleasing agreeable sounds, --pleasing agreeable smells, --pleasing agreeable tastes, and pleasing agreeable touches cognizable by body consciousness, arousing fondness and sensual desires. Then in the mean time I knew, the arising, fading, the satisfaction, the danger and the escape from sensuality as it really is. Then I dispelled and destroyed the craving, burning and thirst for senssuality and internally appeased the mind and abode. I see other beings not satiated with sensuality, while partaking it being eaten and burnt by it. I do not envy them, and do not take pleasure in it. Magandiya, I abide in that attachment away from sensuality, away from thoughts of demerit, and even beyond heavenly pleasantness and do not envy or delight in something lower than that.

Magandiya, a lepor with a diseased, decayed skin, with worms attacking it, would scratch the skin with his nails and would have open bruises and wounds. Then he would burn those wounds in a pit of embers and his friends, co-associates and blood relations would call a doctor to attend on him. After that treatment he would get over his leprosy, and getting well would be able to go where he wished. Then he would see another lepor with a diseased, decayed skin, with worms eating the skin, and he scratching it for relief and burning the wounds and bruises in a pit of embers. Would he envy that lepor, or the pit of embers, or the treatment given?’ ‘No, good Gotama, when he was diseased, the treatment was necessary. When he got over the illness, no more medicine is necessary.’ ‘In the same manner, Magandiya, when I was a householder I was well provided with the five strands of sensual pleasures. Pleasing agreeable forms cognizable by eye consciousness arousing fondness and sensual desires. Pleasing agreeable sounds, --pleasing agreeable smells, --pleasing agreeable tastes, and pleasing agreeable touches cognizable by body consciousness, arousing fondness and sensual desires. In the mean time I knew the arising, fading, the satisfaction, the danger and the escape from sensuality as it really is I dispelled and destroyed the craving, burning and the thirst for sensuality, appeasing the mind internally abode. I see other beings partaking sensuality not satiated with it, being eaten by it and burnt by it. I do not envy them, and do not take pleasure in it. Magandiya, I abide in that attachment away from sensuality, away from thoughts of demerit, and even beyond heavenly pleasantness and do not envy or delight in something lower than that.

Magandiya, a lepor with a diseased, decayed skin, worms attacking it, would scratch the skin with his nails and would have open bruises and wounds, would burn those wounds in a pit of embers. His friends, co-associates and blood relations would call a doctor to attend on him. Then treated by the doctor would get over his leprosy, and getting well would be able to go where he wished. Then two strong men would come along and pull this man along to the burning pit of embers. Magandiya, wouldn’t his body writhe to get away from it?’ ‘Yes, good Gotama, his body would writhe to get away from it. What is the reason? Good Gotama fire is unpleasant to contact, the great heat causes much burning.’ ‘Magandiya, fire is unpleasant to contact, produces heat and causes burning to him, only now, or was it unpleasant to contact, produced heat and caused burning earlier too?’ ’Good Gotama, now and earlier too fire is unpleasant to contact, produced heat and caused burning. The lepor with a diseased, decayed skin, worms attacking it, scratched the skin with the nails and had open wounds. With a distorted mental faculty, he experienced pleasantness in fire. It is the result of a distorted perception.’ ‘Magandiya, in the same manner, even in the past sensual contact was unpleasant, produced much heat and burning, in the future too sensual contact will be unpleasant, will produce much heat and burning, and sensual contact at present too is unpleasant, produces much heat and burning. Magandiya, these beings not free of greed for sensuality, destroyed by the greed for sensuality, worried by sensual worries, have distorted mental faculties and perceive the unpleasant contact of sensuality is pleasant feeling.

Magandiya, however much the lepor would scratch the diseased, decayed skin, eaten by worms and make, open bruises and wounds and would burn the wounds in a pit of embers.Those wounds would not get better but worse and worse. The decay and the ill smell would get worse, and worse. Whatever satisfaction he gets, is through scratching the open wounds and scorching them.. In the same manner Magandiya, beings not free of greed for sensuality, destroyed with greed for sensuality, worried by sensual worries, partake of sensuality, and in this and other way they grow their sensual greed and grow their sensual worries. Whatever little satisfaction they gain is through the five strands of sense pleasures.

Magandiya, have you seen or heard of a king or the chief minister of a king, provided and accomplished with the five strands of sensual pleasures. Have you seen such a one internally appeased, without giving up that sensual, greed, burning and thirst. Or do you see such a one, or will you see such a one in the future?’ ‘No, good Gotama.’ ’Good! Magandiya, you have understood it. I too have not seen or heard of such a one. Nor will hear of such a one. Magandiya, who ever recluses or brahmins abode in the past or abide now or will abide in the future, gave up, give up and will give up the thirst and burning for sensuality and internally appease themselves. By knowing, sensuality, the arising of sensuality, fading of sensuality, the satisfaction of sensuality, its dangers, and the escape from it, as it really is.’

At that time the Blessed One utterred this solemn utterance.

‘Health is the highest gain, extinction is the highest bliss,
The eightfold path is the path to peace and deathlessness.'

When this was said, the wandering ascetic Magandiya said to the Blessed One. ‘These words of good Gotama are excellent, such as Health is the highest gain, and extinction, is the highest bliss.I too have heard these words said, by the teachers of teachers of wandering ascetics.’

‘Health is the highest gain, extinction is the highest bliss. Magandiya, what is that health and what is that extinction?’ When this was asked, Magandiya stroked his own body and hands, saying, ‘That health and extinction is here. Good Gotama, I’m now healthy and without ailments.’

‘Magandiya, like a man born blind, would not see impure and pure forms, would not see, blue, yellow, red or brown forms, would not see even and uneven forms, would not see the constellation, the moon and the sun. He would hear a man with sight say. Wonderful is a white garment, pure and stainless. Then he goes in search of white.A certain man cheats him, giving an oil sprayed coarse garment, saying: Good man this is a white pure stainless garment. He accepts it puts it on and pleased says delighted words- Wonderful is a white garment, pure and stainless.Magandiya, would that blind man, knowing, seeing, accept, wear and utter words of delight?’‘Good Gotama that man, born blind would accept, wear and utter words of delight not knowing and not seeing that oil sprayed coarse garment. He would utter those words of delight, wonderful is a white garment, pure and stainless, placing faith in the man who has sight.’ ‘Magandiya, in the same manner, wandering ascetics of other sects are blind, not knowing and not seeing health and extinction, would say this verse.

'Health is the highest gain, extinction is the highest bliss.'

Magandiya, this verse was said, by rightfully enlightened perfect ones.of the past. "Health is the highest gain, extinction is the highest bliss The eightfold path is the peaceful path to deathlessness."

Now this has become the ordinary one’s verse. Magandiya, this body is the birth place of ill health, abscesses, troubles and ailments, and you say it is good health and extinction.You should have the noble one’s eye to know the healthand see extinction. (* 1)

I’m pleased with good Gotama’s Teaching: Could good Gotama teach me so that I may know that health and see that extinction. Magandiya, like a man born blind, would not see impure and pure forms. Would not see, blue, yellow, red or brown forms. Would not see even and uneven forms and would not see the constellation, the moon and the sun. His friends, co-associates and blood relations, would get a surgeon to attend to his eyes. He being treated and taking that medicine does not regain his sight. Magandiya, wouldn’t that surgeon reap fatigue only?’ ‘Yes, good Gotama.’’Magandiya, in the same manner I taught you showing the healthy state and showing extinction, yet you do not know it and see it, and it is only fatigue for me.’

‘I’m pleased with good Gotama’s Teaching: Could good Gotama teach me so that I may know that health and see that extinction.’ ‘Magandiya, like a man born blind, would not see impure and pure forms. Would not see, blue, yellow, red or brown forms, nor even and uneven forms. Would not see the constellation, the moon and the sun. Would hear a man with sight saying, wonderful is a white garment, pure and stainless. He goes in search of white. Then a certain man cheats giving him an oil sprayed coarse garment Saying: good man this is a white pure stainless garment. He accepts it, puts it on and pleased says delighted words. Wonderful is a white garment, pure and stainless His friends, co-associates and blood relations, would get a surgeon to attend to his eyes. That surgeon attends to him, giving him purgatives for the head and stomach, and nasal treatment. Then he regains his sight. Soon after, he regains his sight, he dispels the interest and greed for the oil sprayed coarse garment, and considers the man who gave it as an enemy and even thinks to kill him: Indeed since long I have been cheated by this man, with this oil sprayed coarse garment. Saying good man this is a wonderful white garment pure and stainess. Magandiya, in the same manner manner I taught you showing the healthy state and showing extinction You know it and see it, and together with the arising of that sight,you dispel that interest and greed for the five holding masses. Indeed, since a long time I have been cheated by this mind. I have been upholding matter. I have been upholding feelings. I have been upholding perceptions. I have been upholding determinations and I have been upholding consciousness. On account of that holding there is being, on account of being, there is birth. On account of birth, decay, death, grief, wailing, unpleasantness, and distress-Thus is the arising of the whole mass of unpleasantness.

I’m pleased with good Gotama’s Teaching, could I be taught so that I get up delighted from this seat Then Magandiya associate good friends, when you associate good friends, you hear the good Teaching. When you hear the good Teaching, you fall to the method of living according to the teaching. When you fall to the method of living according to the Teaching, you yourself realize the ill health, the absces, the arrow and the dart. It is here itself that the ill health, the abscess, the arrow and the dart should be completely removed. With the cessation of holding, there comes the cessation of being, with the cessation of being comes the cessation of birth. With the cessation of birth, cease decay, death, grief, wailing, unpleasantness and distress. Thus, ceases the complete mass of unpleasaantness.’

Then the wandering ascetic Magandiya, said to the Blessed One. ‘Now I understand venerable sir, it is as though something over turned was reinstalled. As something covered, is made manifest. As though the path was told to one who had lost his way. As though an oil lamp was lighted for the dark for those with sight to see forms The Blessed One has explained the Teaching in various ways. Now I take refuge in the Blessed One in the Teaching and the Community of bhikkhus. May I gain the going forth and the higher ordination in the dispensation of the Blessed One.’ ‘Magandiya, whoever is of another sect seeking the going forth and the higher ordination in this dispensation should be on probation for four months, after the four months, if the bhikkhus are satisfied, they would give the going forth and the higher ordination. It is to see the improvement in the person. Venerable sir if one of another sect, would have to be on probation for four months, I would be on probation for four years. May the bhikkhus, when satisfied give me the going forth and the higher ordination Magandiya gained the going forth and the higher ordination and soon after the higher ordination, venerable Magandiya abode withdrawn from the crowd diligent for dispelling. He here and now, realized and attained that highest end of the yoke, for which sons of clansmen rightfully leave the household and become homeless.He knew, birth is destroyed, the holy life is lived, what should be done is done, there is nothing more to wish. Venerable Magandiya became a perfect one.

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