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Aṅguttara Nikāya - The Numerical Discourses

4: The Book of the Fours

30. Wanderers

1On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Rājagaha on Mount Vulture Peak. Now on that occasion a number of very well-known wanderers were residing at the wanderers’ park on the bank of the river Sappinī, namely, Annabhāra, Varadhara, Sakuludāyī the wanderer, and other very well-known wanderers.


Then, in the evening, the Blessed One emerged from seclusion and went to the wanderers’ park on the bank of the Sappinī. He sat down on a seat that was prepared and said to those wanderers:

2"Wanderers, there are these four Dhamma factors that are primal, of long standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated and never before adulterated, which are not being adulterated and will not be adulterated, which are not repudiated by wise ascetics and brahmins. What four?


(1) "Non-longing is a Dhamma factor that is primal, of long standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated and never before adulterated, which is not being adulterated and will not be adulterated, which is not repudiated by wise ascetics and brahmins. (2) Good will is a Dhamma factor that is primal, of long standing … (3) Right mindfulness is a Dhamma factor that is primal, of long standing … (4) Right concentration is a Dhamma factor that is primal, of long standing … not repudiated by wise ascetics and brahmins.


"These are the four Dhamma factors that are primal, of long standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated and never before adulterated, which are not being adulterated and will not be adulterated, which are not repudiated by wise ascetics and brahmins.

3(1) "If, wanderers, anyone should say: ‘I will reject this Dhamma factor of non-longing and point out a real ascetic or brahmin who is full of longing, deeply passionate about sensual pleasures,’ I would respond to him thus: ‘Let him come, speak, and converse. Let me see how mighty he is!’ Indeed, it would be impossible for him to reject non-longing as a Dhamma factor and to point out a real ascetic or brahmin who is full of longing, deeply passionate about sensual pleasures.

4(2) "If anyone should say: ‘I will reject this Dhamma factor of good will and point out a real ascetic or brahmin who has a mind of ill will and intentions of hate,’ I would respond to him thus: ‘Let him come, speak, and converse. Let me see how mighty he is!’ Indeed, it would be impossible for him to reject good will as a Dhamma factor and to point out a real ascetic or brahmin who has a mind of ill will and intentions of hate.

5(3) "If anyone should say: ‘I will reject this Dhamma factor of right mindfulness and point out a real ascetic or brahmin who is muddled in mind and lacks clear comprehension,’ I would respond to him thus: ‘Let him come, speak, and converse. Let me see how mighty he is!’ Indeed, it would be impossible for him to reject right mindfulness as a Dhamma factor and to point out a real ascetic or brahmin who is muddled in mind and lacks clear comprehension.

6(4) "If anyone should say: ‘I will reject this Dhamma factor of right concentration and point out a real ascetic or brahmin who is unconcentrated, with a wandering mind,’ I would respond to him thus: ‘Let him come, speak, and converse. Let me see how mighty he is!’ Indeed, it would be impossible for him to reject right concentration as a Dhamma factor and to point out a real ascetic or brahmin who is unconcentrated, with a wandering mind.

7"If, wanderers, anyone thinks these four Dhamma factors should be censured and repudiated, then, in this very life, he incurs four reasonable criticisms and grounds for censure.[n.684] See AN3.57, n. 416. What four?


"‘If you censure and repudiate this Dhamma factor of non-longing, then you must regard as worthy of worship and praise those ascetics and brahmins who are full of longing and deeply passionate about sensual pleasures. If you censure and repudiate this Dhamma factor of good will, then you must regard as worthy of worship and praise those ascetics and brahmins who have minds of ill will and intentions of hate. If you censure and repudiate this Dhamma factor of right mindfulness, then you must regard as worthy of worship and praise those ascetics and brahmins who are muddle-minded and lack clear comprehension. If you censure and repudiate this Dhamma factor of right concentration, then you must regard as worthy of worship and praise those ascetics and brahmins who are unconcentrated, with wandering minds.’

8"If, wanderers, anyone thinks these four Dhamma factors should be censured and repudiated, then, in this very life, he incurs these four reasonable criticisms and grounds for censure. Even those wanderers Vassa and Bhañña of Ukkalā, who were proponents of non-causality, inactivity, and nihilism, did not think that these four Dhamma factors should be censured and repudiated. For what reason? From fear of blame, attack, and refutation."[n.685] These two wanderers are also mentioned at MN 117.16, III 78,13, and SN 22:62, III 73,3. We do not have more information about them than what is said here.

9One of good will, ever mindful,
inwardly well concentrated,
training to remove longing,
is said to be heedful.


1Ekaṁ samayaṁ bhagavā rājagahe viharati gijjhakūṭe pabbate. Tena kho pana samayena sambahulā abhiññātā abhiññātā paribbājakā sippinikātīre paribbājakārāme paṭivasanti, seyyathidaṁ annabhāro varadharo sakuludāyī ca paribbājako aññe ca abhiññātā abhiññātā paribbājakā.


Atha kho bhagavā sāyanhasamayaṁ paṭisallānā vuṭṭhito yena sippinikātīraṁ paribbājakārāmo tenupasaṅkami; upasaṅkamitvā paññatte āsane nisīdi. Nisajja kho bhagavā te paribbājake etadavoca: 

2"Cattārimāni, paribbājakā, dhammapadāni aggaññāni rattaññāni vaṁsaññāni porāṇāni asaṅkiṇṇāni asaṅkiṇṇapubbāni, na saṅkīyanti na saṅkīyissanti, appaṭikuṭṭhāni samaṇehi brāhmaṇehi viññūhi. Katamāni cattāri?


Anabhijjhā, paribbājakā, dhammapadaṁ aggaññaṁ rattaññaṁ vaṁsaññaṁ porāṇaṁ asaṅkiṇṇaṁ asaṅkiṇṇapubbaṁ, na saṅkīyati na saṅkīyissati, appaṭikuṭṭhaṁ samaṇehi brāhmaṇehi viññūhi. Abyāpādo, paribbājakā, dhammapadaṁ … pe … sammāsati, paribbājakā, dhammapadaṁ … pe … sammāsamādhi, paribbājakā, dhammapadaṁ aggaññaṁ rattaññaṁ vaṁsaññaṁ porāṇaṁ asaṅkiṇṇaṁ asaṅkiṇṇapubbaṁ, na saṅkīyati na saṅkīyissati, appaṭikuṭṭhaṁ samaṇehi brāhmaṇehi viññūhi.


Imāni kho, paribbājakā, cattāri dhammapadāni aggaññāni rattaññāni vaṁsaññāni porāṇāni asaṅkiṇṇāni asaṅkiṇṇapubbāni, na saṅkīyanti na saṅkīyissanti, appaṭikuṭṭhāni samaṇehi brāhmaṇehi viññūhi.

3Yo kho, paribbājakā, evaṁ vadeyya:  ‘ahametaṁ anabhijjhaṁ dhammapadaṁ paccakkhāya abhijjhāluṁ kāmesu tibbasārāgaṁ samaṇaṁ vā brāhmaṇaṁ vā paññāpessāmī’ti, tamahaṁ tattha evaṁ vadeyyaṁ:  ‘etu vadatu byāharatu passāmissānubhāvan’ti. So vata, paribbājakā, anabhijjhaṁ dhammapadaṁ paccakkhāya abhijjhāluṁ kāmesu tibbasārāgaṁ samaṇaṁ vā brāhmaṇaṁ vā paññāpessatīti netaṁ ṭhānaṁ vijjati.

4Yo kho, paribbājakā, evaṁ vadeyya:  ‘ahametaṁ abyāpādaṁ dhammapadaṁ paccakkhāya byāpannacittaṁ paduṭṭhamanasaṅkappaṁ samaṇaṁ vā brāhmaṇaṁ vā paññāpessāmī’ti, tamahaṁ tattha evaṁ vadeyyaṁ:  ‘etu vadatu byāharatu passāmissānubhāvan’ti. So vata, paribbājakā, abyāpādaṁ dhammapadaṁ paccakkhāya byāpannacittaṁ paduṭṭhamanasaṅkappaṁ samaṇaṁ vā brāhmaṇaṁ vā paññāpessatīti netaṁ ṭhānaṁ vijjati.

5Yo kho, paribbājakā, evaṁ vadeyya:  ‘ahametaṁ sammāsatiṁ dhammapadaṁ paccakkhāya muṭṭhassatiṁ asampajānaṁ samaṇaṁ vā brāhmaṇaṁ vā paññāpessāmī’ti, tamahaṁ tattha evaṁ vadeyyaṁ:  ‘etu vadatu byāharatu passāmissānubhāvan’ti. So vata, paribbājakā, sammāsatiṁ dhammapadaṁ paccakkhāya muṭṭhassatiṁ asampajānaṁ samaṇaṁ vā brāhmaṇaṁ vā paññāpessatīti netaṁ ṭhānaṁ vijjati.

6Yo kho, paribbājakā, evaṁ vadeyya:  ‘ahametaṁ sammāsamādhiṁ dhammapadaṁ paccakkhāya asamāhitaṁ vibbhantacittaṁ samaṇaṁ vā brāhmaṇaṁ vā paññāpessāmī’ti, tamahaṁ tattha evaṁ vadeyyaṁ:  ‘etu vadatu byāharatu passāmissānubhāvan’ti. So vata, paribbājakā, sammāsamādhiṁ dhammapadaṁ paccakkhāya asamāhitaṁ vibbhantacittaṁ samaṇaṁ vā brāhmaṇaṁ vā paññāpessatīti netaṁ ṭhānaṁ vijjati.

7Yo kho, paribbājakā, imāni cattāri dhammapadāni garahitabbaṁ paṭikkositabbaṁ maññeyya, tassa diṭṭheva dhamme cattāro sahadhammikā vādānupātā gārayhā ṭhānā āgacchanti. Katame cattāro?


Anabhijjhañce bhavaṁ dhammapadaṁ garahati paṭikkosati, ye ca hi abhijjhālū kāmesu tibbasārāgā samaṇabrāhmaṇā te bhoto pujjā te bhoto pāsaṁsā. Abyāpādañce bhavaṁ dhammapadaṁ garahati paṭikkosati, ye ca hi byāpannacittā paduṭṭhamanasaṅkappā samaṇabrāhmaṇā te bhoto pujjā te bhoto pāsaṁsā. Sammāsatiñce bhavaṁ dhammapadaṁ garahati paṭikkosati, ye ca hi muṭṭhassatī asampajānā samaṇabrāhmaṇā te bhoto pujjā te bhoto pāsaṁsā. Sammāsamādhiñce bhavaṁ dhammapadaṁ garahati paṭikkosati, ye ca hi asamāhitā vibbhantacittā samaṇabrāhmaṇā te bhoto pujjā te bhoto pāsaṁsā.

8Yo kho, paribbājakā, imāni cattāri dhammapadāni garahitabbaṁ paṭikkositabbaṁ maññeyya, tassa diṭṭheva dhamme ime cattāro sahadhammikā vādānupātā gārayhā ṭhānā āgacchanti. Yepi te paribbājakā ahesuṁ ukkalā vassabhaññā ahetukavādā akiriyavādā natthikavādā, tepi imāni cattāri dhammapadāni na garahitabbaṁ na paṭikkositabbaṁ amaññiṁsu. Taṁ kissa hetu? Nindābyārosanaupārambhabhayāti.

9Abyāpanno sadā sato,
ajjhattaṁ susamāhito;
Abhijjhāvinaye sikkhaṁ,
appamattoti vuccatī"ti.


Dasamaṁ.
Uruvelavaggo tatiyo.

10Dve uruvelā loko kāḷako,
Brahmacariyena pañcamaṁ;
Kuhaṁ santuṭṭhi vaṁso ca,
Dhammapadaṁ paribbājakena cāti.