Udāna 8: Pāṭaligāmiyavaggo
The Chapter (including the Discourse) about the Pāṭalī Villagers

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7: The Discourse on the Two Paths

 

Thus I heard:
at one time the Gracious One was going along the high road amongst the Kosalans with venerable Nāgasamāla as the (attendant) ascetic who followed behind him.

The venerable Nāgasamāla saw two paths on the road, and having seen (that), he said this to the Gracious One: “This is the path, reverend Sir, let us go by this one, Gracious One.”

After that was said, the Gracious One said this to venerable Nāgasamāla: “This is the path, Nāgasamāla, let us go by this one.”

For a second time venerable Nāgasamāla said this to the Gracious One: “This is the path, reverend Sir, let us go by this one, Gracious One.”

After that was said, the Gracious One said this to venerable Nāgasamāla: “This is the path, Nāgasamāla, let us go by this one.”

For a third time venerable Nāgasamāla said this to the Gracious One: “This is the path, reverend Sir, let us go by this one, Gracious One.”

After that was said, the Gracious One said this to venerable Nāgasamāla: “This is the path, Nāgasamāla, let us go by this one.”

Then venerable Nāgasamāla, having put the Gracious One's bowl and robe on the floor right there (and then), went away, (saying): “This is the Gracious One's bowl and robe, reverend Sir.”

Then as venerable Nāgasamāla was going along by that path, thieves who had gone along the road, attacked him with their hands and feet, broke his bowl, and tore his double-robe.

Then venerable Nāgasamāla, with his broken bowl and torn double-robe went to the Gracious One, and after going and worshipping the Gracious One, he sat down on one side.

While sat on one side venerable Nāgasamāla said this to the Gracious One: “Here, reverend Sir, as I was going along by that path thieves who had gone along the path, attacked me with their hands and feet, broke my bowl, and tore my double-robe.”

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

“Walking together, dwelling as one,
The Perfect One mixes with ignorant people,
Having understood (that), he abandons bad deeds,
As the milk-drinking heron (abandons) water.” Ninnagā is not listed in PED, but SED (sv. nimnagā) defines it as going downwards, descending, a river, mountain stream. The milk-drinking heron is said to be able to separate the milk from the water when drinking. Udānavarga (28.3) reads: krauñcaḥ kṣīrapako yathodakam, which clarifies the sense.001