Ekottara Agama 21.4

 

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[i]‘Thus have I heard. 

At one time the Buddha was staying in Śrāvastī, at Jetṛ’s Grove, in Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park. Then the Exalted One said to the bhikṣus:

If there are persons [towards whom you] cultivate friendliness (maitrī) in your hearts, [who] think [they can] really trust [in you] and who listen [to you] respectfully, [viz.] father and mother, brothers, family members, relatives, friends or inmates, [you should] establish [them] in three bases (sthāna) [on which they should take their stand] unwaveringly.  Which are the three?

They should be encouraged (sam-ut-thā, sthā) unwaveringly to take delight (prīti) in the  Tathāgata [thus]: He is the  Tathāgata who has realized absolute truth (paramārthāgata)[ii], the Fully and Completely Enlightened One, perfect in knowledge and conduct, the Blessed One, Knower of the universe, the Incomparable One (anuttarapuruṣa), the Teaching Guide [to show sentient beings] the Way (mārgadharmasārathi)[iii], the Teacher of Gods and Men, the Buddha, the Exalted One.

Again, they should be encouraged to direct their attention to the Teachings [thus]: The  Tathāgata’s Dharma is well proclaimed, inviting (aihipaśyika)[iv], in the highest degree (paramataḥ) making for exquisiteness (sūkṣmatā), yielding immediate results (sāṁdṛṣṭika)[v] and thus to be understood by the wise (vedanīyo vijñaiḥ)[vi].

Similarly, they should be encouraged to contemplate and honour (man) this Order of the Disciples, the  Tathāgata’s Śrāvakasaṁgha, [thus]: [Among them] prevails absolute concord (sāmagrī)[vii], they walk in the right path (nyāyapratipanna)[viii], are endowed with all virtues[ix] and have achieved perfection in moral training, concentration and wisdom, in [ultimate] freedom (vimukti) and in-sight-knowledge of this freedom, that is to say the Order of Disciples, the four pairs [of noble persons] and the eight [kinds of āryas][x]. This is the  Tathāgata’s Śrāvakasaṁgha, worthy of respect (gauravārha) and worthy of veneration[xi]; this is the world’s incomparable field of merit (puṇyakṣetra).  Whoever, bhikṣus, trains in these three bases will achieve great results (phalavipaka). Thus, bhikṣus, you should train.

After listening to the Buddha’s words, the bhikṣus were pleased and respectfully applied themselves to practice.’[xii]



[i] CBETA, T02, no. 125, p. 603, a15-b1

[ii]   ## for the common arahat (cf., for example, Mahāvyut.4).

[iii]    ####    for anuttaraḥ puruṣadamyasāratiḥ (Mahāvyut. 9-10).

[iv] Mahāvyut. 1296; EĀ lit.:  ##     , apratighāta, ‘without keeping back’.

[v] Here the EA rendering (##) exegetically tallies with that of PTSD (and Childers) s.v. sandiṭṭhika, whilst at Mahāvyut.    1292 the Tibetan and Chinese translations are literalisms.

[vi] Mahāvyut. 1297.

[vii] This recalls sāmīcīpratipanna (Mahavyut. 1123).

[viii] Lit.: ‘without error and confusion’.

[ix] As for    #  , see Karashima, p.120.

[x] See PTSD s.v. purisa (purisayugāni, purisapuggala) and yuga

[xi]    ## Rendering dakṣiniya, may be peculiar to EA.

[xii] For the Pali parallel see A1,p.222 (111.75): Yaṁ…  anukampeyyatha ye ca sotabbaṁ maññeyyuṁ mittā vā amaccā vā ñāti vā salohitā vā te vo… tisu ṭhānesu samādapetabbā… Buddhe aveccappāsāde samādāpetabbā… iti pi so Bhagavā…  svakhyāto Bhagavato dhammo…  supaṭipanno Bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho… F.L. Woodward, Gradual Sayings 1, PTS, 1932, p.202 f., translates: ‘…one for whom you have fellow-feelings and those who think you should be listened to, whether friends or inmates or kinsmen… ought to be advised about… three particulars. … They should be advised about... unwavering loyalty to the Buddha, thus: He it is, the Exalted One… Well proclaimed by the Exalted One is Dhamma… They walk righteously, the Exalted One’s Order of Disciples…’