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Tipitaka >> Sutta Pitaka >> Samyutta Nikaya >> Sundarika Sutta

Translation by Bhikkhuni Uppalavanna


1. At one time the Blessed One lived in the country of Kosala on the bank of the river Sundarika.

2. At that time the Brahmin Sundarika Bharadvaja was lighting the fire and cooking the sacrificial cake on the bank of river Sundarika.

3. The Brahmin Sundarika Bharadvaja having lighted the fire and cooked the sacrificial cake, raising himself looked in the four directions, thinking to whom am I to make the sacrificial offering.

4. The Brahmin Sundarika Bharadvaja saw the Blessed One sitting under a certain tree having covered up himself together with his head. Then the Brahmin taking the sacrificial cake in his left hand and the water pot with the long spout in his right hand approached the Blessed One.

5. The Blessed One hearing the foot steps of the Brahmin Sundarika Bharadvaja disclosed his head.

6. The Brahmin Sundarika Bharadvaja seeing the shaven head of the Blessed One, thinking this is a shaven headed, thought not to proceed.

7. Then again thought, there are Brahmins among the shaven headed too. What if I approach and ask his birth

8. Then the Brahmin Sundarika Bharadvaja approached the Blessed One and asked: "What is the birth of the good one?"

9. "Do not question the birth, question the conduct.

Indeed fire burns sticks. From low clans too there are wise sages
Thoroughbreds are born, restrained by shame.
Tamed by the truth and endowed with the taming,
Attaining knowledge, they live the holy life.
The sacrificial cake was brought, make the offering,
At the right time, there will be someone to accept it."

(Sundarika:)

10. "Here my good intention becomes complete,

That we see some learned one like you
Not meeting some one like you, we offer the sacrificial cake to others
Good Gotama, you are a Brahmin. Partake the porridge."

(The Blessed One:)

11. "Look, bramin, it is not suitable, that I should partake food reciting stanzas.

Enlightened Ones do not push along reciting stanzas.

It is becoming mindful of the right thing.
Offer the eatables and drinks to a perfect sage.
Who has destroyed desires and appeased doubts
It will be a field of merit for those who desire merit."

12. Good Gotama, to whom should I make this offering?

13. "Brahmin, in this world of gods and men together with its Màras, Brahmas, together with the community of recluses and Brahmins I do not see anyone who could partake and completely digest it other than a Thus Gone One or a disciple of the Thus Gone One. Brahmin, put it into some place where there is no green, or throw it into some water where there is no life."

14. Then the Brahmin Sundarika Bharadvaja dropped the porridge into some water where there was no life.

15. When the sacrificial cake was put into the water it sent forth a hissing sound with smoke rising from it, as though an iron plate heated throughout the day when put in the water, would hiss and smoke, in the same manner when the sacrificial cake was put in the water it hissed and smoked.

16. Then the Brahmin Sundarika Bharadvaja frightened and with hairs standing on end approached the Blessed One and stood on a side.

17. Then the Blessed One said these stanzas to the Brahmin:

"Brahmin, wood does not compose the mind.
Know! That's only external purity.
The wise do not say that it is purity.
If you desire external purity, leave me and burn wood.
I light the internal flame.
I burn it constantly for stable appeasement.
I am worthy and lead the holy life.
Brahmin, dealing with the mind is your own business.
Anger is smoke and lying, ashes,
For life's good the heart has to be kindled.
A well tamed self, is a man's light
Brahmin, the Teaching is a deep pond and virtues the ford.
When the water is undisturbed, it is constantly praised.
There, those who have attained knowledge take a bath,
And cross to the other shore with a not sticky body.
Lead the true holy life, restraining righteously.
Brahmin, smiling attain the highest good.
Make your venerations straightforwardly.
I say, they lead a righteous life!"

Then the Brahmin Sundarika Baradvaja said to the Blessed One: "Good Gotama, now I understand. It's like something overturned is put upright. Something covered is made manifest. It's like one who was lost was shown the path. It's like a lamp was lighted for the darkness, for those who have sight to see forms. In this and other ways the Teaching is well explained. Now I take refuge in good Gotama, in the Teaching and the Community of bhikkhus. May I gain the going forth and the higher ordination in the dispensation of Gotama."

The Brahmin Sundarika Bharadvaja obtained the going forth and higher ordination.

Soon after the higher ordination, venerable Sundarika Bharadvaja secluded and withdrawn from the crowd abode diligently to dispel and before long, for whatever reason sons of clansmen rightfully leave the household and become ascetic, that noble end of the holy life he realized, attained and abode. He knew, birth is destroyed, the holy life is lived, duties done, there is nothing more to do.

6. Venerable Bharadvaja became one of the worthy ones.

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