Udāna 7: Cullavaggo
The Chapter (including) the Short (Discourses)

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10: The Discourse about Udena

 

Thus I heard:
at one time the Gracious One was dwelling near Kosambī, in Ghosita's Monastery.

Then at that time when King Udena had gone to the pleasure park, the inner quarters (of the palace) were burnt down, and five hundred women died with (Queen) Sāmāvatī at their head.

Then many monks, having dressed in the morning time, after picking up their bowls and robes, entered Kosambī for alms, and after walking for alms in Kosambī, while returning from the alms-round after the meal, went to the Gracious One, and after going and worshipping the Gracious One, they sat down on one side.

While sat on one side those monks said this to the Gracious One: “Here, reverend Sir, when King Udena had gone to the pleasure park, the inner quarters (of the palace) were burnt down, and five hundred women died with (Queen) Sāmāvatī at their head. What is the destination of the female lay followers, reverend Sir, what is their future state?”

“There are in this female lay followers who are stream-enterers, monks, there are once-returners, there are non-returners - none of those female lay followers died, monks, without (having attained some) result.” Anipphala is a double negative, which sometimes occurs in Pāḷi in emphatic sense. More literally the sentence reads: all of those lay disciples died, monks, not without (having attained some) result.01

Then the Gracious One, having understood the significance of it, on that occasion uttered this exalted utterance:

“The world, in bondage to delusion, is looked on as being beautiful, SED gives the following definitions for bhavyarūpa: good figure or form; handsome, beautiful - which seems appropriate here.02
The fool, in bondage to cleaving, is surrounded by darkness.
It seems like it is eternal, This verse, especially the last line, is very difficult, the translation follows the main Commentarial explanation, with the addition of but in brackets to give it some sort of sense. Khāyati is a passive verb, and cannot be in construction with the nominative bālo. The line passato natthi kiñcanaṁ, recurs in 8.2 below. The tradition has also found the lines difficult is shown by the readings in the Sanskrit, Divyāvadāna, pg 534, and Udānavarga (27.6). There is also a reading bhavarūpo va dissati in the Commentary.03 (but) there is nothing (to hold to) for the one who sees.”