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Sonadanda Sutta.

: About
Soadai1a
The Qualities of a True Brahmin
1. THUS HAVE I HEARD. Once the Lord was travelling among the Angas with a large
compan o! some !ive h"ndred mon#s$ and he arrived at %ampa. At %amp& he staed '
(aggara)s lot"s*pond. At that time the +rahmin Sonadanda was living at %ampa$ a pop"lo"s
place$ !"ll o! grass$ tim'er$ water and corn$ which had 'een given to him ' ,ing Senia
+im'isara o! -agadha as a roal gi!t arid with roal powers. And the +rahmins and
ho"seholders o! %ampa heard sa. /The ascetic (otama o! the Sa#ans$ who has gone !orth
!rom the Sa#a clan$ is travelling among the Angas with a large compan o! some !ive
h"ndred mon#s$ and he arrived at %ampa and is staing ' (aggara)s lot"s*pool. And
concerning that +lessed Lord (otama a good report has 'een spread a'o"t. 0This Blessed
Lord is an Arahant, a fully-enlightened Buddha, perfected in no!ledge and conduct, a
"ell-#arer, $no!er of the !orlds, une%ualled Trainer of men to be tamed, Teacher of
gods and humans, a Buddha, a Blessed Lord.1 He prod aims this world with its gods$
maras$ +rahmas$ the world o! ascetics and +rahmins with its princes and people$ having
come to #now it ' his own #nowledge.
&. He teaches a Dhamma that is lovel in its 'eginning$ lovel in its middle and lovel in its
ending$ in the spirit and in the letter$ and he displas the !"ll*per!ected$ thoro"ghl p"ri!ied
hol li!e. And indeed it is good to see s"ch Arahants.) 23345 There"pon the +rahmins and
ho"seholders o! %ampa$ leaving %ampa in great crowds$ in vast n"m'ers$ went to (aggara)s
lot"s*pond.
'. 6"st then$ the +rahmin Sonadanda had gone "p to his verandah !or his midda rest.
Seeing all the +rahmins and ho"seholders ma#ing !or (aggara)s lot"s*pond$ he as#ed his
steward the reason. /Sir$ it is the ascetic (otama o! the Sa#ans with a large compan o! some
!ive h"ndred mon#s$ and he arrived at %ampa and is staing ' (aggara)s lot"s*pool. And
concerning that +lessed Lord (otama a good report has 'een spread a'o"t. 0This +lessed
Lord is an Arahant$ a !"ll*enlightened +"ddha$ per!ected in #nowledge and cond"ct$ a 7ell*
8arer$ ,nower o! the worlds$ "ne9"alled Trainer o! men to 'e tamed$ Teacher o! gods and
h"mans$ a +"ddha$ a +lessed Lord.1 That is wh the are going to see him.)
7ell then$ steward$ go to the +rahmins and ho"seholders o! %ampa and sa to them. 0:lease
wait$ gentlemen$ the +rahmin Sonadanda will come to see the ascetic (otama.1
And the steward conveed this message to the +rahmins and ho"seholders o! %ampa.
(. ;ow at that time some !ive h"ndred +rahmins !rom vario"s provinces were in %amp& on
some '"siness$ and the heard that Sonadanda intended to visit the ascetic (otama. So the
called "pon him and as#ed i! this were tr"e. /So it is$ gentlemen$ I am going to visit the ascetic
(otama.)
). /Sir$ do not visit the ascetic (otama$ it is not !itting that o" sho"ld do so< I! the Reverend
Sonadanda goes to visit the ascetic (otama$ his rep"tation will decrease$ and that o! the
ascetic (otama will increase. This 'eing so$ it is not right that the Reverend Sonadanda
sho"ld visit the ascetic (otama$ '"t rather the ascetic (otama sho"ld visit him.
*. /The Reverend Sonadanda is well*'orn on 'oth the mother)s and the !ather)s side$ o! p"re
descent to the se+enth generation, unbroen, of irreproachable birth$ and there!ore he
sho"ld not call on the ascetic (otama$ '"t rather the ascetic (otama sho"ld call on him.
The Reverend Sonadanda is possessed o! great !ealth and resources....
The Reverend Sonadanda is a scholar, +ersed in the mantras, accomplished in the
Three ,edas, a silled e-pounder o! the rules and rituals, the lore o! sounds and meanings
and$ fifthly, oral tradition = an e>po"nder$ !"ll versed in nat"ral philosoph and the mar#s
o! a (reat -an.
The Reverend Sonadanda is handsome, good-looing, pleasing, o! the most 'ea"ti!"l
comple-ion, in !orm and countenance li#e Brahma$ o! no mean appearance.
He is virt"o"s$ o! increasing virt"e$ endowed with increasing virt"e.
He is well*spo#en$ o! pleasing address$ polite$ o! p"re and clear en"nciation$ spea#ing to
the point.
He is the teacher)s teacher o! man$ teaching the mantras to three h"ndred o"ths$ and
man o"ng men come !rom di!!erent districts and regions see#ing to learn the mantras in his
presence$ desiro"s to learn them !rom him.
He is aged$ grown old$ venera'le$ advanced in ears$ long past his o"th$ whereas the
ascetic (otama is o"th!"l and newl gone !orth as a wanderer.
The Reverend Sonadanda is esteemed$ made m"ch o!$ hono"red$ revered$ worshipped '
,ing Senia +im'isara and ' the +rahmin :o##harasati.
He lives at %ampa$ a pop"lo"s place$ !"ll o! grass$ tim'er$ water and corn$ which has 'een
given to him ' ,ing Senia +im'isara o! -agadha as a roal gi!t$ and with roal powers.
This 'eing so$ it is not proper that he sho"ld visit the ascetic (otama$ '"t rather the ascetic
(otama sho"ld visit him.1
.. At this Sonadanda replied. /;ow listen$ gentlemen$ as to wh it is !itting !or "s to visit
the Reverend (otama$ and wh it is not !itting !or him to visit "s. The ascetic (otama is well*
'orn on 'oth sides o! p"re descent to the seventh generation$ "n'ro#en$ o! it reproacha'le
'irth. . . ?as verse @A. There!ore it is !itting !or "s to visit him.
He went !orth$ leaving a great 'od o! #insmen. In !act he gave "p m"ch gold and wealth
to go !orth$ 'oth hidden awa and openl displaed.
The ascetic (otama$ while o"th!"l$ a 'lac#*haired o"th$ in the prime o! his o"ng das$
in the !irst stage o! li!e went !orth !rom the ho"sehold li!e into homelessness. Leaving his
grieving parents weeping with tear*stained !aces$ having c"t o!! his hair and 'eard and p"t on
ellow ro'es$ he went !orth into homelessness.
He is handsome good*loo#ing$ pleasing$ o! the most 'ea"ti!"l comple>ion$ in !orm and
co"ntenance li#e +rahm&$ o! no mean appearance.
He is virt"o"s$ o! increasing virt"e$ endowed with increasing virt"e.
He is well*spo#en$ o! pleasing address$ polite$ o! p"re and clear en"nciation$ spea#ing to
the point.
He is the teacher)s teacher o! man. He has a'andoned sens"alit and dispelled vanit.
He teaches action and the res"lts o! action$ hono"ring the 'lameless +rahmin wa o! li!e.
He is a wanderer o! high 'irth$ o! a leading ,hattia !amil.
He is a wanderer !rom a wealth !amil$ o! great wealth and possessions.
:eople come to cons"lt him !rom !oreign #ingdoms and !oreign lands. -an tho"sands o!
devas have ta#en re!"ge with him.
/This good report has 'een spread a'o"t him. 0This +lessed Lord is an Arahant$ a !"ll*
enlightened +"ddha$ per!ected in #nowledge and cond"ct$ a 7ell*8arer$ ,nower o! the
worlds$ "ne9"alled Trainer o! men to 'e tamed$ Teacher o! gods and h"mans$ a +"ddha$ a
+lessed Lord.1
He 'ears the B4 mar#s o! a (reat -an.
He is welcoming$ #indl o! speech$ co"rteo"s$ genial$ clear and read o! speech.
He is attended ' !o"r assem'lies$ revered$ hono"red$ esteemed and worshipped ' them.
-an devas and h"mans are devoted to him. 7henever he stas in an town or village$
that place is not tro"'led ' non*h"man 'eings.
He has a crowd$ a m"ltit"de o! !ollowers$ is a teacher o! man$ 'e is cons"lted ' the chie!
o! the vario"s leaders o! sects. It is not the wa with the ascetic (otama)s rep"tation$ as it is
with that o! some ascetics and +rahmins$ a'o"t whom this or that is reported = the ascetic
(otama)s !ame is 'ased on his achievement o! "ns"rpassed wisdom and cond"ct.
Indeed ,ing Senia +im'is&ra o! -agadha has gone !or re!"ge to him together with his
son$ his wi!e$ his !ollowers and his ministers. So have ,ing :asenadi o! ,osala and the
+rahmin :o##haras&ti. He is revered$ hono"red$ esteemed and worshipped ' them. 233C5
/The ascetic (otama has arrived in %ampa and is staing ' (aggara)s lot"s*pond. And
whatever ascetics and +rahmins come to o"r territor are o"r g"ests. And we sho"ld revere$
hono"r$ esteem and worship g"ests. Having come to (aggara)s lot"s*pond$ the ascetic
(otama is s"ch a g"est$ and sho"ld 'e treated as s"ch. There!ore it is not proper that he
sho"ld come to "s$ '"t rather we sho"ld go to him. However m"ch I might praise the ascetic
(otama$ that praise is ins"!!icient$ he is 'eond all praise.)