Ja 158 The Story about (the Horse) Suhanu

In the present two monks separately are always cruel with others, until they come together, and then are very friendly. The Buddha tells a similar story of how two horses called Suhanu and Soṇa were difficult to control, but when they met were friendly with each other.

1. Na-y-idaṁ visamasīlena Soṇena Suhanū saha,
Suhanū pi tādiso yeva, yo Soṇassa sagocaro.

Suhanu does not have bad behaviour with Soṇa in this place, Suhanu is of such a kind, and Soṇa his companion.

2. Pakkhandinā pagabbhena niccaṁ sandānakhādinā,
Sameti pāpaṁ pāpena, sameti asatā asan-ti.

The transgressor and the arrogant always bite on the tether, the wicked agree with the wicked, the bad agree with the bad.

In this connection, Suhanu does not have bad behaviour with Soṇa in this place, in this place Suhanu, the untamed horse, shows affection for Soṇa, in this place he does not have bad behaviour himself, and then he behaves with good behaviour himself. Both of these themselves, with misconduct, with bad behaviour, have the same behaviour, the same state.

Suhanu is of such a kind, and Soṇa his companion, of whatever kind is Soṇa, Suhanu is of the same kind, he who is Soṇa’s companion, whatever range Soṇa has, he also has that range. This is very difficult to translate into English as it relies on a play of words in Pāḷi. Gocara means many things, one of which is range, sagocara means someone having the same range, a friend, a companion. Just as Soṇa within the horse’s range goes round biting other horses, so does Sunahu. With this he explains their similar range.

Having brought the range of their behaviour together, to explain it the transgressor and so on is said. In this connection the transgressor, the horses have transgressive behaviour, have a transgressive range.

The arrogant means endowed with arrogance in body and so on, having bad character.

Always bite on the tether, they always have the behaviour of chewing, the character of chewing the rope that binds them.

The wicked agree with the wicked, amongst these a certain wicked person together with another wicked person agree in their bad behaviour.

The bad agree with the bad, amongst these a certain bad person together with another bad person who is endowed with bad character agree as to their bad deeds, just as dung and so on agrees with dung and so on, it is similar, lacking distinction.