Sarakaani Sutta: Sarakaani (Who Took to Drink)
translated from the Pali by Maurice O'Connell Walshe
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html
[At Kapilavasthu] Now at that time Sarakaani the Sakyan, who had died, was proclaimed by the Blessed One to be a Stream-Winner, not subject to rebirth in states of woe, assured of enlightenment. At this, a number of the Sakyans, whenever they met each other or came together in company, were indignant and angry, and said scornfully: "A fine thing, a marvelous thing! Nowadays anyone can become a Stream-Winner, if the Blessed One has proclaimed Sarakaani who died to be Stream-Winner... assured of enlightenment! Why, Sarakaani failed in his training and took to drink!"
[Mahaanaama the Sakyan reported this to the Buddha who said:] "Mahaanaama, a lay-follower who has for a long time taken refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha — how could he go to states of woe? [And this can be truly said of Sarakaani the Sakyan.] How could he go to states of woe?
"Mahaanaama, take the case of a man endowed with unwavering devotion to the Buddha, declaring 'He is the Blessed One...,' the Dhamma... the Sangha... He is joyous and swift in wisdom, one who has gained release. By the destruction of the cankers he has by his own realization gained the cankerless heart's release, the release through wisdom, in this very life, and abides in it. The man is entirely released from the hell-state, from rebirth as an animal, he is free from the realm of hungry ghosts, fully freed from the downfall, the evil way, from states of woe.
"Take the case of another man. He is endowed with unwavering devotion to the Buddha... the Dhamma... the Sangha... he is joyous and swift in wisdom but has not gained release. Having destroyed the five lower fetters, he is reborn spontaneously where he will attain Nibbaana without returning from that world. That man is entirely released from... states of woe.
"Take the case of another man. He is endowed with unwavering devotion to the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha. But he is not joyous in wisdom and has not gained release. Yet by destroying three fetters and weakening lust, hatred and delusion, he is a Once-returner, who will return once more to this world and put an end to suffering. That man is entirely freed from... states of woe.
"Take the case of another man. He is endowed with unwavering devotion to the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha. But he is not joyous in wisdom and has not gained release. Yet by destroying three fetters he is a Stream-Winner, not subject to rebirth in states of woe, assured of enlightenment. That man is entirely freed... from states of woe.
"Take the case of another man. He is not even endowed with unwavering devotion to the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha. He is not joyous and swift in wisdom and has not gained release. But perhaps he has these things: the faculty of faith, of energy, of mindfulness, of concentration, of wisdom. And the things proclaimed by the Tathaagata are moderately approved by him with insight. That man does not go to the realm of hungry ghosts, to the downfall, to the evil way, to states of woe.
"Take the case of another man. He is not even endowed with unwavering devotion to the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha. He is not joyous and swift in wisdom and has not gained release. But he has just these things: the faculty of faith, of energy, of mindfulness, of concentration, of wisdom. Yet if he has merely faith, merely affection for the Tathaagata, that man, too, does not go to... states of woe.
"Why, Mahaanaama, if these great sal trees could distinguish what is well spoken from what is ill spoken, I would proclaim these great sal trees to be Stream-Winners... bound for enlightenment, how much more so then Sarakaani the Sakyan! Mahaanaama, Sarakaani the Sakyan fulfilled the training at the time of death.'
1. These are, of course, the standard formulations for referring to the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. They seem to fit awkwardly into the context here and may have been interpolated.
2. These terms are used of Saariputta at SN 2.9 [I can't locate this, perhaps it is a mis-print] (not translated here). Cf. the distinction between difficult and easy progress in VM XXI, 117.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... on2011.pdf
- 117. [Progress.] But if [insight] has from the start only been able to suppress
defilements with difficulty, with effort and with prompting, then it is called “of
difficult progress.” The opposite kind is called “of easy progress.” And
when the manifestation of the path, the goal of insight, is slowly effected after
defilements have been suppressed, then it is called “of sluggish directknowledge.” The opposite kind is called “of swift direct-knowledge.” So this
equanimity about formations stands at the arrival point and gives its own name
to the path in each case, and so the path has four names [according to the kind
of progress] (see D III 228)
3. Theosophists and others maintain that rebirth as an animal, after a human existence, is impossible. This view is not supported by the Buddhist texts of any school.
4. This means that he is an anaagaamin or "Non-Returner" who, having destroyed the five lower fetters, will not return to this world.
5. I.e., not born from a womb by spontaneously arising in another world (in this case the "Pure Abodes" (suddhaavaasaa), where they will attain to final release without returning to this world).
6. These are the first three of the five lower fetters (orambhaagiya-sa.myojanaani Vol. I, n. 83)
- Orambhaagiya-sa.myojana: the five fetters belonging to the lower, the sensual realms of existence, these being:
Sakkaaya-di.t.thi — views about the "existing group" of mental and physical phenomena (i.e., the five aggregates), that they constitute a "self" or a "person" or an "ego" thought of as being permanent or existing in unbroken continuity from the past into the future;
Vicikicchaa — wavering doubt;
Siilabbata-paraamaasa — holding to habits and customs, mere external observances, thinking they will bring release of themselves;
Kaamaraaga — sensual passions and attachments;
Vyaapaada — ill-will, aversion.
A person who has eliminated these five fetters is called an anaagaamii, a never-returner. After death he does not come back again to this world, but is born in one of the five Pure Abodes (Suddhaavaasa) of the realm of form (ruupaloka) and there realizes final deliverance. The last five of these seven fruits refer to the five grades of anaagaamii in descending order, the highest is "one who attains final deliverance early," down to the "one going upstream."
7. An encouraging message for many! Cf. the end of MN 22, and also the charming image of the new-born calf in MN 34. The Commentary (MA) to MN 22 says such people are termed "lesser stream-winners" (cuulasotaapannaa). This term is discussed in VM XIX, 27.
- 27. When a man practicing insight has become possessed of this knowledge,
he has found comfort in the Buddhas’ Dispensation, he has found a foothold, he
is certain of his destiny, he is called a “lesser stream-enterer.”
- So would a bhikkhu overcome
His doubts, then ever mindfully
Let him discern conditions both
Of mind and matter thoroughly.