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Sutta Nipata

Sutta Nipāta
1.7 Vasala Sutta
Discourse on the Outcast

Evaṁ me sutaṁ. Ekaṁ samayaṁ Bhagavā Sāvatthiyaṁ viharati Jetavane Anāthapiṇḍikassa ārāme. Atha kho Bhagavā pubbaṇhasamayaṁ nivāsetvā pattacīvaramādāya Sāvatthiyaṁ piṇḍāya pāvisi.

Thus have I heard: On one occasion the Blessed One was living in the city of Sāvatthi at Jetavana, at Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Then in the morning the Blessed One, having dressed, took his bowl and robe, and entered Sāvatthi for alms.

Tena kho pana samayena Aggikabhāradvājassa brāhmaṇassa nivesane aggi pajjalito hoti āhuti paggahitā. Atha kho Bhagavā Sāvatthiyaṁ sapadānaṁ piṇḍāya caramāno yena Aggikabhāradvājassa brāhmaṇassa nivesanaṁ tenupasaṅkami.

Now at that time a fire was burning, and an offering was being prepared in the house of the Brāhmin Aggikabhāradvāja. Then the Blessed One, while on his alms round, came to the Brāhmin Aggikabhāradvāja’s residence.

Addasā kho Aggikabhāradvājo brāhmaṇo Bhagavantaṁ dūrato va āgacchantaṁ. Disvāna Bhagavantaṁ etada’voca. Tatre’va muṇḍaka tatre’va samaṇaka tatre’va vasalaka tiṭṭhāhī’ti. Evaṁ vutte Bhagavā Aggikabhāradvājaṁ brāhmaṇaṁ etadavoca, jānāsi pana tvaṁ brāhmaṇa, vasalaṁ vā vasalakaraṇe vā dhamme’ti.

The Brāhmin Aggikabhāradvāja saw the Blessed One coming from a distance and upon seeing him said to the Blessed One, “Stay there, you bald-headed man. Stay there, you recluse. Stay there, you outcast.” When he spoke thus, the Blessed One said to the Brāhmin Aggikabhāradvāja, “Do you know, Brāhmin, who is an outcast and what conditions make one an outcast?”

Nakhvā’haṁ bho Gotama, jānāmi vasalaṁ vā vasalakaraṇe vā dhamme. Sādhu me bhavaṁ Gotamo tathā dhammaṁ desetu, yathā’haṁ jāneyyaṁ vasalaṁ vā vasalakaraṇe vā dhamme’ti. Tena hi brāhmaṇa suṇāhi. Sādhukaṁ manasikarohi. Bhāsissāmī’ti. Evaṁ bho’ti kho Aggikabhāradvājo brāhmaṇo Bhavagato paccassosi. Bhagavā etada’voca.

“No, indeed, Venerable Gotama, I do not know who is an outcast nor the conditions that make one an outcast. It would be good, if the Venerable Gotama were to explain the Dhamma to me so that I may know who is an outcast, and what conditions make one an outcast.” “Listen then, Brāhmin, and reflect wisely. I will teach you.” “Yes, Venerable Sir,” replied the Brāhmin Aggikabhāradvāja to the Blessed One. The Blessed One then taught this discourse.

1. Kodhano upanāhī ca – Pāpamakkhī ca yo naro
Vipannadiṭṭhi māyāvī – Taṁ jaññā vasalo iti

Whoever is angry and hateful, denying the good of others; holding wrong views and deceitful, know him as an outcast.

2. Ekajaṁ vā dvijaṁ vā’pi – Yo’dha pāṇāni hiṁsati
Yassa pāṇe dayā natthi – Taṁ jaññā vasalo iti

Whoever in this world kills living beings born from a womb or from an egg; who does not have sympathy for living beings, know him as an outcast.

3. Yo hanti parirundhati – Gāmāni nigamāni ca
Niggāhako sammaññāto – Taṁ jaññā vasalo iti

Whoever destroys and invades villages and hamlets and is branded as a notorious criminal, know him as an outcast.

4. Gāme vā yadivā’raññe – Yaṁ paresaṁ mamāyitaṁ
Theyyā adinnaṁ ādiyati – Taṁ jaññā vasalo iti

Be it in the village, or in the forest, whoever steals what belongs to others, what is not given to him, know him as an outcast.

5. Yo have iṇamādāya – Cujjamāno palāyati
Nahi te iṇamatthi’ti – Taṁ jaññā vasalo iti

Whoever takes a loan from someone and when he is asked to pay it back, runs away saying, “I owe no debt to you,” know him as an outcast.

6. Yo ve kiñcikkhakamyatā – Panthasmiṁ vajataṁ janaṁ
Hantvā kiñcikkhamādeti – Taṁ jaññā vasalo iti

Whoever kills travelers and steals even a small amount from those he has killed, know him as an outcast.

7. Yo attahetu parahetu – Dhanahetū ca yo naro
Sakkhīpuṭṭho musā brūhi – Taṁ jaññā vasalo iti

He, who for his own sake, or for the sake of others, or for wealth, tells lies when questioned as a witness, know him as an outcast.

8. Yo ñātīnaṁ sakkhānaṁ vā – Dāresu patidissati
Sahasā sampiyena vā – Taṁ jaññā vasalo iti

Whoever by force or with consent, associates with the wives of others, or with the wives of relatives or friends, know him as an outcast.

9. Yo mātaraṁ vā pītaraṁ vā – Jiṇṇakaṁ gatayobbanaṁ
Pahūsanto na bharati – Taṁ jaññā vasalo iti

Whoever being wealthy, does not support his mother and father who have grown old, know him as an outcast.

10. Yo mātaraṁ vā pitaraṁ vā – Bhātaraṁ bhaginiṁ sasuṁ
Hanti roseti vācāya – Taṁ jaññā vasalo iti

Whoever hurts by harsh speech, his mother, father, brother, sister, mother-in-law or father-in-law, know him as an outcast.

11. Yo atthaṁ pucchito santo – Anatthamanusāsati
Paṭicchannena manteti – Taṁ jaññā vasalo iti

Whoever when questioned about the good says what is harmful, and talks in a deceiving manner, know him as an outcast.

12. Yo katvā pāpakaṁ kammaṁ – Mā maṁ jaññāti icchati
Yo paṭicchannakammanto – Taṁ jaññā vasalo iti

Whoever having done an evil deed wishes, “Oh, may others not know me,” and commits evil in secret, know him as an outcast.

13. Yo ve parakulaṁ gantvā – Bhutvāna sucībhojanaṁ
Āgataṁ na paṭipūjeti – Taṁ jaññā vasalo iti

Whoever having visited a friend and eaten the food they offered, does not return the hospitality, know him as an outcast.

14. Yo brāhmaṇaṁ vā samaṇaṁ vā – Aññaṁ vā’pi vaṇibbakaṁ
Musāvādena vañceti – Taṁ jaññā vasalo iti

Whoever deceives by telling lies, a brāhmin, an ascetic, or a beggar, know him as outcast.

15. Yo brāhmaṇaṁ vā samaṇaṁ vā – Bhattakāle upaṭṭhite
Roseti vācā na ca deti – Taṁ jaññā vasalo iti

When a brāhmin or ascetic appears during mealtime, whoever scolds them with harsh speech, and does not offer them any food, know him as an outcast.

16. Asataṁ yo’dha pabrūti – Mohena paḷiguṇṭito
Kiñcikkhaṁ nijigiṁsāno – Taṁ jaññā vasalo iti

Whoever in this world, covered in ignorance, speaks harsh words or falsehood, expecting to gain something, know him as an outcast.

17. Yo c’attānaṁ samukkaṁse – Paraṁ ca mavajānati
Nīhīno sena mānena – Taṁ jaññā vasalo iti

Whoever, intoxicated by his pride, exalts himself and belittles others; being evil with arrogance, know him as an outcast.

18. Rosako kadariyo ca – Pāpiccho maccharī saṭho
Ahirīko anottāpī – Taṁ jaññā vasalo iti

Whoever is given to anger, and is miserly; has base desires, and is selfish and deceitful; shameless and fearless in doing evil, know him as an outcast.

19. Yo Budhhaṁ paribhāsati – Atha vā tassa sāvakaṁ
Paribbājaṁ gahaṭṭaṁ vā – Taṁ jaññā vasalo iti

Whoever insults the Buddha, or a disciple of the Buddha, a monk or a lay disciple, know him as an outcast.

20. Yo ve anarahā santo – Arahaṁ paṭijānati
Coro sabrahmake loke – Esa kho vasalā’dhamo

Whoever not being an Enlightened One, pretends to be so, is the worst thief in the whole universe, he is the lowest of outcasts.

21. Ete kho vasalā vuttā – Mayā vo ye pakāsitā
Na jaccā vasalo hoti – Na jaccā hoti brāhmaṇo
Kammanā vasalo hoti – Kammanā hoti brāhmaṇo

I have now taught you who an outcast is. Not by birth is one an outcast. Not by birth is one a brāhmin. By deed one becomes an outcast. By deed one becomes a brāhmin.

22. Tadaminā’pi vijānātha – Yathā medaṁ nidassanaṁ
Caṇḍālaputto Sopāko – Mātaṅgo iti vissuto

Know by the example I now cite that by birth one is not an outcast. There was an outcast’s son, Sopāka, who became known as Mātaṅga.

23. So yasaṁ paramaṁ patto – Mātaṅgo’yaṁ sudullabhaṁ
Āgañchuṁ tassupaṭṭānaṁ – Khattiyā brāhmaṇā bahū

This Mātaṅga attained the highest fame so difficult to gain. Many were kings and brāhmins who went to attend on him.

24. So devayānamāruyha – Virajaṁ so mahāpathaṁ
Kāmarāgaṁ virājetvā – Brahmalokūpago ahū

Mounting the celestial chariot and driving along the passion-free high road, Sopāka, reached the Brahma realm, having given up sense desires.

25. Na naṁ jāti nivāresi – Brahmalokūpapattiyā
Ajjhāyakākule jātā – Brāhmaṇā mantabandhuno

His lowly birth did not prevent him from being reborn in the Brahma realm. There are brāhmins born in the families of preceptors, the kinsmen of hymns.

26. Te ca pāpesu kammesu – Abhiṇhamupadissare
Diṭṭhe’va dhamme gārayhā – Samparāye ca duggatiṁ
Na te jāti nivāreti – Duggaccā garahāya vā

They are often seen committing evil deeds. In this very life they are despised, in the next they are born in a plane of misery. High birth does not prevent them from falling into a miserable world, or from being blamed.

27. Na jaccā vasalo hoti – Na jaccā hoti brāhmaṇo
Kammanā vasalo hoti – Kammanā hoti brāhmaṇo

Not by birth is one an outcast. Not by birth is one a brāhmin. By deed one becomes an outcast. By deed one becomes a brāhmin.

Evaṁ vutte Aggikabhāradvājo brāhmaṇo Bhagavantaṁ etada’voca. Abhikkantaṁ bho Gotama, abhikkantaṁ bho Gotama. Seyyathāpi bho Gotama, nikkujjitaṁ vā ukkujjeyya, paṭicchannaṁ vā vivareyya, mūḷhassa vā maggaṁ ācikkheyya, andhakāre vā telapajjotaṁ dhāreyya cakkhumanto rūpāni dakkhintī’ti. Evameva, bhotā Gotamena anekapariyāyena Dhammo pakāsito. Esā’haṁ Bhavantaṁ Gotamaṁ saraṇaṁ gacchāmi. Dhammañca Bhikkhusaṅghañca. Upāsakaṁ maṁ bhavaṁ Gotamo dhāretu ajjatagge pāṇupetaṁ saraṇaṁ gatan’ti.

When this discourse was taught by the Blessed One, the Brāhmin Aggikabhāradvāja said to the Blessed One: ‘Excellent, oh Venerable Gotama! Excellent, oh Venerable Gotama! Just as, oh Venerable Gotama, a man were to set upright what had been overturned, or were to reveal what had been hidden, or were to point the way to one who had gone astray, or were to hold an oil lamp in the dark so that those with eyes may see forms, even so in many ways has the Venerable Gotama expounded the Dhamma. I take refuge in the Venerable Gotama, the Dhamma, and the community of monks. May the Venerable Gotama accept me as a lay follower, who has gone for refuge to the Triple Gem from today onwards, for as long as this life lasts.

Sādhu! Sādhu! Sādhu!

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Sutta Nipāta 1.7 Vasala Sutta: Discourse on the Outcast

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