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Aṅguttara Nikāya - The Numerical Discourses

6: The Book of the Sixes

49. Khema

1On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthī in Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's Park. Now on that occasion the Venerable Khema and the Venerable Sumana were dwelling at Sāvatthī in the Blind Men's Grove. Then they approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, and sat down to one side. The Venerable Khema then said to the Blessed One:

2"Bhante, when a bhikkhu is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed, who has lived the spiritual life, done what had to be done, laid down the burden, reached his own goal, utterly destroyed the fetters of existence, one completely liberated through final knowledge, it does not occur to him: (1) ‘There is someone better than me,’ or (2) ‘There is someone equal to me,’ or (3) ‘There is someone inferior to me.’"

This is what the Venerable Khema said. The Teacher agreed. Then the Venerable Khema, thinking, ‘The Teacher agrees with me,’ got up from his seat, paid homage to the Blessed One, circumambulated him keeping the right side toward him, and left.


3Then, right after the Venerable Khema had left, the Venerable Sumana said to the Blessed One: "Bhante, when a bhikkhu is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed, who has lived the spiritual life, done what had to be done, laid down the burden, reached his own goal, utterly destroyed the fetters of existence, one completely liberated through final knowledge, it does not occur to him: (4) ‘There is no one better than me,’ or (5) ‘There is no one equal to me,’ or (6) ‘There is no one inferior to me.’"

This is what the Venerable Sumana said. The Teacher agreed. Then the Venerable Sumana, thinking, ‘The Teacher agrees with me,’ got up from his seat, paid homage to the Blessed One, circumambulated him keeping the right side toward him, and left.[n.1351] Both monks declare, in opposite ways, the arahant's eradication of the three modes of conceit: the superiority conceit, the inferiority conceit, and the equality conceit.


4Then, soon after both monks had left, the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus: "Bhikkhus, it is in such a way that clansmen declare final knowledge. They state the meaning but don’t bring themselves into the picture.[n.1352] Attho ca vutto attā ca anupanīto. As at AN3.72, IV 218,31, there seems to be a word play between attho and attā, "goal" and "self." But there are some foolish men here who, it seems, declare final knowledge as a joke. They will meet with distress later."

5They (do not rank themselves) as superior or inferior,
nor do they rank themselves as equal.[n.1353] Mp glosses ussesu as superior persons, omesu as inferior ones, and samatte as similar ones, explaining: "Arahants do not rank themselves, by way of conceit, as superior, inferior, and equal."
Destroyed is birth, the spiritual life has been lived;
they continue on, freed from fetters.

1Ekaṁ samayaṁ bhagavā sāvatthiyaṁ viharati jetavane anāthapiṇḍikassa ārāme. Tena kho pana samayena āyasmā ca khemo āyasmā ca sumano sāvatthiyaṁ viharanti andhavanasmiṁ. Atha kho āyasmā ca khemo āyasmā ca sumano yena bhagavā tenupasaṅkamiṁsu; upasaṅkamitvā bhagavantaṁ abhivādetvā ekamantaṁ nisīdiṁsu. Ekamantaṁ nisinno kho āyasmā khemo bhagavantaṁ etadavoca: 

2"Yo so, bhante, bhikkhu arahaṁ khīṇāsavo vusitavā katakaraṇīyo ohitabhāro anuppattasadattho parikkhīṇabhavasaṁyojano sammadaññāvimutto tassa na evaṁ hoti:  ‘atthi me seyyoti vā atthi me sadisoti vā atthi me hīnoti vā’"ti.

Idamavocāyasmā khemo. Samanuñño satthā ahosi. Atha kho āyasmā khemo "samanuñño me satthā"ti uṭṭhāyāsanā bhagavantaṁ abhivādetvā padakkhiṇaṁ katvā pakkāmi.


3Atha kho āyasmā sumano acirapakkante āyasmante kheme bhagavantaṁ etadavoca:  "yo so, bhante, bhikkhu arahaṁ khīṇāsavo vusitavā katakaraṇīyo ohitabhāro anuppattasadattho parikkhīṇabhavasaṁyojano sammadaññāvimutto tassa na evaṁ hoti:  ‘Natthi me seyyoti vā natthi me sadisoti vā natthi me hīnoti vā’"ti.

Idamavocāyasmā sumano. Samanuñño satthā ahosi. Atha kho āyasmā sumano "samanuñño me satthā"ti uṭṭhāyāsanā bhagavantaṁ abhivādetvā padakkhiṇaṁ katvā pakkāmi.


4Atha kho bhagavā acirapakkantesu āyasmante ca kheme āyasmante ca sumane bhikkhū āmantesi:  "evaṁ kho, bhikkhave, kulaputtā aññaṁ byākaronti. Attho ca vutto attā ca anupanīto. Atha ca pana idhekacce moghapurisā hasamānakā maññe aññaṁ byākaronti. Te pacchā vighātaṁ āpajjantīti.

5Na ussesu na omesu,
Samatte nopanīyare;
Khīṇā jāti vusitaṁ brahmacariyaṁ,
Caranti saṁyojanavippamuttā"ti.

Sattamaṁ.