1. At that time the blessed Buddha dwelt at Râgagaha at the Vulture's Peak.
Now at that time Seniya Bimbisâra, the king of Magadha, held rule and sovranty over eighty thousand townships 1. And at that time there was at Kampâ a Setthi's son named Sona Kolivisa 2, delicately nurtured, on the soles of whose feet hair had grown.
Now when Seniya Bimbisâra, the king of Magadha, was holding an assembly of the eighty thousand overseers over those townships, he sent a message to Sona Kolivisa on some matter of business, saying, 'Let Sona come hither. I desire Sona's presence!'
2. Then spake the parents of Sona Kolivisa to him thus: 'The king, dear Sona, wishes to see thy feet. But stretch not out thy feet, dear Sona, towards the
king. Take thy seat cross-legged before the king, that the king may see thy feet as thou sittest there.' And they carried Sona Kolivisa in a palankeen (to Râgagaha).
And Sona Kolivisa went to the place where Seniya Bimbisâra, the king of Magadha, was. And when he had come there, and had bowed down before Seniya Bimbisâra, the king of Magadha, he took his seat cross-legged before the king. And Seniya Bimbisâra, the king of Magadha, saw that hair had grown on the soles of the feet of Sona Kolivisa.
3. Now after Seniya Bimbisâra, the king of Magadha, had instructed the eighty thousand overseers over those townships in the things of this world he exhorted them, saying, 'Ye have now received from me instruction in the things of this world. Go now, and wait upon the Blessed One. The Blessed One himself shall instruct you in the things of eternity.'
Then the eighty thousand overseers over those townships went on to the Vulture's Peak.
4. Now at that time the venerable Sâgata was the attendant on the Blessed One. And the eighty thousand overseers over those townships went to the place where the venerable Sâgata was. And when they were come there they spake thus to the venerable Sâgata:
The eighty thousand overseers over the townships are come here, Sir, to visit the Blessed One. It were well, Sir, that we should be granted an audience of the Blessed One.'
Then do you, Sirs, stay here yet a moment, while I let the Blessed One know.'
5. Then the venerable Sâgata disappeared down the steps 1 from before the very eyes of the eighty thousand overseers over those townships, and appeared before the Blessed One, and spake to the Blessed One, and said:
'Lord, the eighty thousand overseers over the townships are come here to visit the Blessed One. Let the Blessed One do as seemeth to him fit.'
Do thou then, Sâgata, make a seat ready in the shade of the house 2.'
6. 'Even so, Lord!' said the venerable Sâgata, in assent, to the Blessed One. And taking a chair, he disappeared from before the Blessed One, and reappeared up the steps before the very eyes of those eighty thousand overseers over those townships, and made ready a seat in the shade of the house.
And the Blessed One came out of the house and sat down on the seat made ready in the shade thereof.
7. Then those eighty thousand overseers over the townships went up to the place where the Blessed One was. And when they had come there they bowed down before the Blessed One and took their seats on one side. But those eighty thousand overseers over the townships paid more respect in their hearts to the venerable Sâgata than to the Blessed One 3.
And the Blessed One perceived by his mind the thoughts of the minds of those eighty thousand
overseers over the townships; and he addressed the venerable Sâgata, and said: 'Show them now, Sâgata, a still greater wonder, beyond the power of men.'
'Even so, Lord!' said the venerable Sâgata, in assent, to the Blessed One. And rising up into the air he walked, and stood, and sat, and lay down, and gave forth smoke and fire, and disappeared in the sky.
8. Then the venerable Sâgata, when he had shown in the open sky wonders of various kinds beyond the power of men, fell down with his head at the feet of the Blessed One, and said to the Blessed One:
My teacher, Lord, is the Blessed One; and I am the disciple. My teacher, Lord, is the Blessed One; and I am the disciple.'
Then those eighty thousand overseers over the townships thinking, 'Wonderful is it, most marvellous! If even the pupil be so mighty and so powerful, how much more then the master!' paid more respect in their hearts to the Blessed One than to the venerable Sâgata.
9. Then the Blessed One perceived by his mind the thoughts of the minds of those eighty thousand overseers over the townships, and held to them a discourse in due order; that is to say, he spake to them of giving, of righteousness, of heaven, of the danger, the worthlessness, the depravity of lusts, and of the advantages of renunciation. And when the Blessed One perceived that they had become pliant, softened, unprejudiced, upraised and believing in heart, then he proclaimed that which is the special doctrine of the Buddhas; (that is to say), Suffering, its Origin, its Cessation, and the Path.
Just as a clean cloth, from which all stain has been washed away, would readily take the dye, just even so did those eighty thousand overseers over the townships obtain, even while sitting there, the pure and spotless Eye of the Truth; (that is to say, the knowledge that) whatsoever has a beginning, in that is inherent also the necessity of dissolution.
10. And having seen the Truth, having mastered the Truth, having understood the Truth, having penetrated the Truth, having overcome uncertainty, having dispelled all doubts, having gained full knowledge, dependent on nobody else for the knowledge of the doctrine of the Teacher, they said to the Blessed One: 'Glorious, Lord! glorious, Lord! Just as if one should set up, Lord, what had been overturned, or should reveal what had been hidden, or should point out the way to one who had lost his way, or should bring a lamp into the darkness, in order that those who had eyes might see visible things, thus has the Blessed One preached the doctrine in many ways. We take our refuge, Lord, in the Blessed One, and in the Dhamma, and in the fraternity of Bhikkhus; may the Blessed One receive us from this day forth while our life lasts as his disciples who have taken their refuge in Him.'
11. And Sona Kolivisa thought: As I understand the Dhamma proclaimed by the Blessed One, it is not easy to a person living as a layman to lead a wholly perfect and pure and altogether consummate 1 life of holiness. What if I were to cut off my hair and beard, and to put on yellow robes, and give up the world, and go forth into the houseless state.'
And those eighty thousand overseers over the townships, having expressed their joy and delight at the words of the Blessed One, rose from their seats, respectfully saluted the Blessed One, and passing round him with their right sides towards him, went away.
12. And Sona Kolivisa, soon after those eighty thousand overseers over the townships had departed, went to the place where the Blessed One was. And when he had come there he bowed down before the Blessed One and took his seat on one side. Sitting on one side Sona Kolivisa said to the Blessed One: 'As I understand the Dhamma proclaimed by the Blessed One (&c., as in § 11, down to:) and go forth into the houseless state. I desire, Lord, to cut off my hair and beard, and to put on yellow robes, and to give up the world, and to go forth into the houseless state. May the Blessed One, Lord, ordain me.'
Thus Sona Kolivisa received from the Blessed One the pabbaggâ and upasampadâ ordinations. And the venerable Sona, soon after his upasampadâ, dwelt in the Sîtavana grove.
13. As he, with eager determination, was walking up and down there, his feet were injured, and the place in which he walked became covered with blood, like a slaughter-house for oxen. Then in the mind of the venerable Sona, who had gone apart and was plunged in meditation, there sprung up this thought:
'Though I have become one of those disciples of the Blessed One who live in the exercise of strenuous determination, yet my heart has not been set free from the Âsavas through absence of craving. And there is much wealth laid up for me at home. It is possible both to enjoy that wealth, and to do good
deeds. Let me now, then, returning to the lower state 1, enjoy my wealth and do good deeds.'
14. Now the Blessed One perceived in his mind the thought of the heart of the venerable Sona; and as quickly as a strong man can stretch forth his arm, or can draw it back again when it has been stretched forth, he disappeared from the hill of the Vulture's Peak, and appeared in the Sîtavana grove. And the Blessed One, as he was passing through the sleeping-places (of the Bhikkhus), came up, with a multitude of Bhikkhus, to the place where the venerable Sona had walked up and down.
When the Blessed One saw that the place where the venerable Sona had walked up and down was covered with blood, he addressed the Bhikkhus, and said: 'Whose walking-place 2 is this, O Bhikkhus, which is covered with blood, like a slaughter-house for oxen?'
'As the venerable Sona, Lord, was walking up and down here with eager determination, his feet were injured; and so this place has become covered with blood, like a slaughter-house for oxen.'
15. Then the Blessed One went on to the house in which the venerable Sona was living, and sat down there on a seat made ready for him. And the venerable Sona bowed down before the Blessed
[paragraph continues] One, and took his seat on one side. And when he was thus seated, the Blessed One addressed the venerable Soma, and said: 'Is it not true, Sona, that in your mind, when you had gone apart and were plunged in meditation, there sprung up this thought: "Though I have become (&c., as in § 13, down to the end)?"'
'Even so, Lord!'
'Now what think you, Sona,--you were skilled, were you not, when you formerly lived in the world, in the music of the lute?'
'That was so, Lord!'
'Now what think you, Sona,--when the strings of your lute 1 were too much stretched, had your lute then any sound, was it in a fit state to be played upon?'
'Not so, Lord!'
16. 'Now what think you, Sona,--when the strings of your lute were too loose, had your lute then any sound 2, was it in a fit state to be played upon?' 'Not so, Lord!'
Now what think you, Sona,--when the strings of your lute were neither too much stretched nor too loose, but fixed in even proportion, had your lute sound then, was it then in a fit state to be played upon?'
'And just so, Sona, does too eager a determination conduce to self-righteousness, and too weak a determination
to sloth. [17.] Do thou, therefore, O Sona, be steadfast in evenness of determination, press through to harmony of your mental powers. Let that be the object of your thought 1!'
Even so, Lord!' said the venerable Sona, and hearkened to the word of the Blessed One.
And when the Blessed One had exhorted the venerable Sona with this exhortation, then, as quickly as a strong man can stretch forth his arm, or can draw it back again when it has been stretched forth, he vanished from the presence of the venerable Sona in the Sîtavana grove, and reappeared on the hill of the Vulture's Peak.
18. Thenceforward the venerable Sona was stead-fast in evenness of determination, he pressed through to harmony of his mental powers, that did he take as the object of his thought. And the venerable Sona remaining alone and separate, earnest, zealous, and resolved, attained ere long to that supreme goal of the higher life for the sake of which noble youths go out from all and every household gain and comfort to become houseless wanderers--yea, that supreme goal did he, by himself, and while yet in this visible world, bring himself to the knowledge of, and continue to realise, and to see face to face! And he became conscious that rebirth was at an end, that the higher life had been fulfilled, that all that should be done had been accomplished, and that after this present life there would be no beyond!
So the venerable Sona became yet another among the Arahats.
19. Now when the venerable Sona had attained to Arahatship there occurred to him the thought: 'Let me now make known my Insight in the presence of the Blessed One 1!'
Then the venerable Sona went to the place where the Blessed One was, and bowed down before the Blessed One, and took his seat on one side. And when he was thus seated, the venerable Sona said to the Blessed One:
20. 'Whatsoever Bhikkhu, Lord, is an Arahat whose Âsavas are rooted out, who has lived the life, who has accomplished the task, who has laid aside every burden, who has gained the end he had in view, who has quite broken the fetter of a craving for (future) existence, who is completely set free by insight, six things doth he reach up unto 2--unto renunciation, unto the love of solitude, unto kindness of heart, unto the destruction of craving, unto the destruction of thirst, unto the getting free from delusions.
21. 'Now it may be, Lord, that it might occur, regarding this matter, to some brother, thus: "For the sake of faith merely 3 hath this brother attained
unto renunciation." But not thus, Lord, should this matter be regarded. For the Bhikkhu in whom the Âsavas are rooted out, who has lived the life, who has accomplished the task, he looks not upon himself as one who has anything yet to do, or to gather up, of (the fruit of his past) labour; but he attaineth to renunciation by the destruction of lust, by the very condition of the absence of lust; he attaineth to renunciation by the destruction of ill-will, by the very condition of the absence of ill-will; he attaineth to renunciation by the destruction of delusions, by the very condition of the absence of delusions.
22. 'Now it may, be, Lord, that it might occur, regarding this matter, to some brother, thus: "Seeking after gain, hospitality, and fame bath this brother attained to the love of solitude." But not thus (&c., as in § 21, down to the end, substituting "love of solitude" for "renunciation").
23. 'Now it may be, Lord, that it might occur, regarding this matter, to some brother, thus: "Returning, verily, to the dependence upon works, as if that were the true essence (of spiritual welfare), hath this brother attained to kindness of heart." But not thus (&c., as in § 21, down to the end, substituting "kindness of heart" for "renunciation").
24. 'He attaineth to the destruction of craving by the destruction of lust (&c., as in § 21, down to the end, substituting "absence of craving" for "renunciation"). He attaineth to the absence of thirst (&c., as in § 21). He attaineth to the absence of delusions (&c., as in § 21, down to the end).
25. 'When a Bhikkhu, Lord, has thus become fully emancipated in heart, even though many objects
visible to the sight should enter the path of his eye 1, yet they take not possession of his mind: undefiled is his mind, firm, immovable; and he sees into the (manner which that impression) passes away 2--even though many objects audible to the ear, smellable to the nostrils, tastable to the tongue, feelable by the body, sensible to the intellect should enter the path of the ear, the nose, the tongue, the skin, the intellect, yet they take not possession of his mind: undefiled is his mind, firm, immovable, and he sees into the (manner in which that impression) passes away.
26. 'Just, Lord, as if there be a mountain of rock, undivided, solid, one mass, and much wind and rain should fall upon it from the direction of the East, or of the West, or of the North, or of the South, yet they would not make it shake, or tremble, or quake; just so, Lord, when a Bhikkhu has thus become fully emancipated in heart (&c., as in § 25, down to the end).
27. 'He who has attained to renunciation, to solitude of heart, who has attained to kindness, and to the rooting out of craving,
'He who has attained to the rooting out of thirst, to the absence of delusions from the mind, he sees the source of sensations, his mind is quite set free.
'To such a Bhikkhu, so emancipated, and with calmness in his heart, there is no gathering up of what is done, nothing to be done still remains.
'As a rock, all of one mass, is not shaken by
the breezes 1, just so never can shapes and tastes, and sounds, and smells, and touch--the whole of them
Things wished for, things unwished--make tremble such a one. Firm is his mind, set free. He sees into the end thereof.'
28. And the Blessed One addressed the Bhikkhus, and said: 'Thus, brethren, do young men of worth make their insight known. The truth is spoken, and the self is not obtruded. But herein some foolish ones, methinks, make known their insight to be a thing ridiculous, and they, thereafter, fall into defeat!'
29. Then the Blessed One said to the venerable Sona, 'You, Sona, have been delicately nurtured. I enjoin upon you, Sona, the use of shoes with one lining 2.'
I have gone out from the world, Lord, into the houseless state, abandoning eighty cart-loads of gold 3, and a retinue of seven elephants 4. It will be said against me for this matter: "Sona Kolivisa went out from the world into the houseless state, abandoning eighty cart-loads of gold, and a retinue of seven elephants; but the very same man now accustoms himself to the use of shoes with a lining
to them." [30.] If the Blessed One will enjoin their use upon the Order of Bhikkhus, I will also use them. If the Blessed One will not enjoin their use upon the Order of Bhikkhus, neither will I use them.'
Then the Blessed One, on that occasion, having delivered a religious discourse, thus addressed the Bhikkhus:
'I enjoin upon you, O Bhikkhus, the use of shoes with one lining to them. Doubly lined shoes, Bhikkhus, are not to be worn, nor trebly lined ones, nor shoes with many linings 1. Whosoever shall wear such, is guilty of a dukkata offence.'
1:1 Gâma, which should be understood in the sense of parishes, not of villages.
1:2 This Sona is the reputed author of one of the Theragâthâs. It is interesting to notice that Kampâ, the capital of Aṅga, is here included under Magadha. Compare Aṅga-magadhesu in Mahâvagga I, 29, and the beginning sentences of the Sonadanda Sutta (Digha Nikâya), in which it is said that the revenues of the town of Kampâ had been bestowed by king Bimbisâra on the Brâhmana Sonadanda.
3:1 Pâtikâya nimuggitvâ ’ti sopânassa hetthâ addhakandapâsânena nimuggitvâ (Comm.).
3:2 Vihârapakkhâyâyan ti vihârapakkante khâyâyam.
3:3 Samannâharantiti pasâdavasena punappunam manasikaronti (Buddhaghosa).
5:1 Saṅkhalikhita. See Boehtlingk-Roth s.v. Likhita.
7:1 That is to say, the state of a layman (Hînây’ âvattitvâ).
7:2 Kaṅkama, for which there is no real equivalent in English. In speaking of later periods the word 'cloister' is sometimes a correct rendering, for the places in which the recluses walked up and down, thinking, were then in some cases paved and even roofed. The Chinese pilgrim I-tsing has a description of such a stone kaṅkama, which he saw at the great monastery at Nâlanda (Indian Antiquary, X, 192). In this passage it only means a narrow, open, space of ground, levelled and cleared for the purpose.
8:1 Vînâ. On the construction of the ancient Indian lute, see Milinda Pañha (p. 53, ed. Trenckner), where all the various parts are mentioned. Compare also the Guttila Gâtaka (No. 243, ed. Fausböll).
8:2 There is a misprint here in the text, savaratî for saravati.
9:1 Buddhaghosa says: Tattha ka nimittam ganhâhîti: tasmim samathe sati yena âdâse mukhabimben’ eva nimittena uppaggitabbam, tam samatha-nimittam vipassanâ-nimittam magga-nimittam phala-nimittañ ka ganhâhi nipattetîti (? nipphâdehîti, nibbattehîti) attho.
10:1 It is often represented in the Pâli Pi.itakas to have been a customary thing for any one who thought he had attained to Arahatship to deliver a discourse in the presence of Gotama, as a kind of proof, or test, of his emancipation; and to receive the decision of Gotama thereupon. Buddhaghosa says: Aññam vyâkareyyan ti: arahâ ahan ti gânâpeyyam. Compare Gâtaka I, 140; II, 333.
10:2 Adhimutto hotîti: pativigghitvâ pakkakkham katvâ thito hoti (B.).
10:3 Kevalam saddhâmattakan ti: pativedha-rahitam kevalam pativedha-paññâya asammissam saddhâmattakam (B.). On the lower position here assigned to faith, compare Mahâ-parinibbâna Sutta VI, 9.
12:1 Kakkhussa âpâtham âgakkhanti; that is, should come within reach of his vision.
12:2 Vayañ k’ assânupassatîti: tassa kittassa uppâdam pi vayam pi passati B.).
13:1 This half sloka recurs in Dhammapada, verse 81.
13:2 Ekapalâsikan ti eka-patalam (B.).
13:3 Asîti-sakata-vâhe hiraññam (so correct the misprint in the text). Buddhaghosa says: ettha dve sakatabhârâ eko vâho ’ti veditabbo; but compare Rh. D., 'Ancient Coins and Measures,' &c., p. 18, § 32, and p. 14, § 23. Vâha occurs also in the Mahâvamsa, p. 22.
13:4 Sattahatthikañ ka anîkan ti: ettha kha hatthiniyo eko ka hatthîti, idam ekam anîkam, îdisani satta anîkâni sattahatthikam nâma (B.).
14:1 Dvi-gunâ ’ti dvi-patalâ. Ti-gunâ ’ti ti-patalâ. Ganamganûpâhanâ ’ti katu-patalato patthâya vukkati (B.).