English Translation 3.6.12



3.6.12   The Duties of a Righteous King?1


…… “What then, O’Sir, is the duty of an Arian wheel-turning king?”

“Dear, it is such: You should firmly establish yourself in Dhamma, esteem the Dhamma, honour the Dhamma, pay homage to the Dhamma, venerate the Dhamma, revere the Dhamma, acknowledge Dhamma as your banner, make Dhamma your obvious sign, let yourself guide by the Dhamma and establish proper guard, protection and ward in accordance to Dhamma for your folks and army, for warriors, your subjects, Brāhmins, householders, all people dwelling in towns and in the country, for all kinds of ascetics, for animals and birds alike. Dear, let no wrongdoing get established in your realm! And in your realm, dear, you should provide those who are in poverty with property. And, dear, from time to time invite those ascetics and Brāhmins who are dwelling in your realm, who are devoted to warding off all sensual infatuation, are engulfed in tolerance and sympathy, each of them dedicated to taming oneself, to calming oneself and trying to achieve perfection within oneself – then you should ask and consult them: ‘What, Bhante, is wholesome and what is unwholesome; what is blameworthy and what is blameless; what should be pursued and what should be left undone; what action of mine will result in unhappiness and suffering in the long run, by what action can I promote happiness and wellbeing for a long time?’ And when you have heard what is unwholesome – such like activity you should never pursue, and what is wholesome – such like activity you should adopt!

This, dear, comprises the duty of an Arian wheel-turning king! ......”

 

(Explanation of the turning point of the decline of lifespan and the deteoriation of physical appearance)

 

…… After he had heard them (them: - those ministers instructing the king about the duties of an Arian wheel-turning king -) he established proper guard, protection and ward in accordance to Dhamma but did not provide those who were in poverty with wealth. Because affluence was not bestowed to those without possession poverty spread. When poverty had increased a certain man took by what is called ‘theft’ what others had not given him. They seized him. Having taken him before the rightful king those warriors pointed out: “This man, O’ King took by what is called ‘theft’ what others had not given him!” This being said, Bhikkhus, the king addressed the man: “Is it true that you took by what is called ‘theft’ what others had not given to you?” “It is true, Sir!” “And why did you do so?” “Because, King, I am not able to survive!”

Then the rightful king gave property to the man by saying: “Through this property, Sir, you shall be able to survive, to support your mother and father, to maintain a family, to establish your business, and to provide ascetics and Brahmins with appropriate means which is beneficial for spiritual progress, conducive to good outcomes, resulting in happiness and leading towards heavenly rebirth.”

“Yes, O’ King!’ in this way the man replied to the rightful king.”

 

Then another man took by what is called ‘theft’ what others had not given him. They seized him. Having taken him before the rightful king those warriors pointed out: “This man, O’ King took by what is called ‘theft’ what others had not given him!” This being said, Bhikkhus, the king addressed the man: “Is it true that you took by what is called ‘theft’ what others had not given to you?” “It is true, Sir!” “And why did you do so?” “Because, King, I am not able to survive!”

Then the rightful king gave property to the man by saying: “Through this property, Sir, you shall be able to survive, to support your mother and father, to maintain a family, to establish your business, and to provide ascetics and Brahmins with appropriate means which is beneficial for spiritual progress, conducive to good outcomes, resulting in happiness and leading towards heavenly rebirth.”

“Yes, O’ King!’ in this way the man replied to the rightful king.”

……

Now, Bhikkhus, then other men heard: ‘The king has given property to those, who have taken by what is called ‘theft’ what others had not given him!’ Hearing that this following thought occurred to them: ‘Why should not we ourselves take by what is called ‘theft’ what others have not given to us?’ and yet another man took by what is called ‘theft’ what others had not given him. They seized him. Having taken him before the king those warriors pointed out: “This man, O’ King took by what is called ‘theft’ what others had not given him!” This being said the king addressed the man: “Is it true that you took by what is called ‘theft’ what others had not given to you?” “It is true, Sir!” “And why did you do so?” “Because, King, I am not able to survive!”

Here it occurred to the king: ‘If I continue giving property to anyone who takes by what is called ‘theft’ what others have not given him this habit of stealing will increase. Let me now take care to act with utmost punishment, eliminate all this at the root and cut his head off!’ And then, Bhikkhus, the king advised his man thus: “Now, bind this man with a strong rope behind his arms by a safe knot, shave his head bald and by the harsh sound of a drum lead him through all the streets and from crossroad to crossroad, then take him out through the southern gate to the south of the town and in order to completely prevent this and to eradicate it at the root - cut his head off!” Bhikkhus, after the king had given this command, his men consented and bound this man with a strong rope behind his arms by a safe knot, shaved his head bald, led him by the harsh sound of a drum through all the streets and from crossroad to crossroad, then took him out through the southern gate to the south of the town and by enforcing the utmost punishment and finishing him off they cut his head off.

Then the men, Bhikkhus, heard thus: ‘Those who took by what is called ‘theft’ what others had not given them were seized by the king, by enforcing the utmost punishment and finishing him off their heads were taken off!’ Having heard about this the following thought occurred to them: “What if we equip ourselves with sharp swords, after having equipped ourselves with sharp swords let’s take by what is called ‘theft’ what others had not given us, inflict the utmost injury, finish them and cut their heads off!” Then they equipped themselves with sharp swords, after having equipped themselves with sharp swords approached villages, towns and approached cities and robbed by waylaying. And those, from whom they took by what is called ‘theft’ what others had not given them; they inflicted the utmost injury and finished them off by cutting their heads off.

In this way, Bhikkhus, thus because no property was provided to the poor, poverty spread; from the increase of poverty taking what was not given ensued; through the increase of theft the use of weapons arose; from the increase of the use of weapons killing of beings developed. From this increase of killing of beings their lifespan decreased and their complexion withered. As result of this decrease of lifespan and complexion the life expectation of the children of those, whose lifespan was eighty thousand years decreased to forty thousand years.

Then amongst those, Bhikkhus, whose lifespan was forty thousand years a certain man took by what is called ‘theft’ what others had not given him. They seized him. Having taken him before the king those warriors pointed out: “This man, O’ king took by what is called ‘theft’ what others had not given him!” This being said the king addressed the man: “Is it true that you took by what is called ‘theft’ what others had not given to you?” “No, Sir, that is not true!” this man replied by uttering a deliberate lie.

In this way, Bhikkhus, thus because no property was provided to the poor, poverty spread; from the increase of poverty taking what was not given ensued; through the increase of theft the use of weapons arose; from the increase of the use of weapons killing of beings developed and likewise speaking falsehood increased. From this increase of lying the lifespan of beings decreased further and their complexion withered. As result of this decrease of lifespan and complexion the life expectation of the children of those, whose lifespan was forty thousand years decreased to twenty thousand years only?

Then amongst those, Bhikkhu, whose lifespan was twenty-thousand years a certain man took by what is called ‘theft’ what others had not given him. Then another man approached the rightful king and reported: “Sir, this certain man took by what is called ‘theft’ what others had not given him!” and thus performed backbiting.

In this way, Bhikkhus, thus because no property was provided to the poor, poverty spread; from the increase of poverty taking what was not given ensued; through the increase of theft the use of weapons arose; from the increase of the use of weapons killing of beings developed and likewise speaking falsehood and backbiting increased. From this increase of slander the lifespan of beings decreased further and their complexion withered. As result of this decrease of lifespan and complexion the life expectation of the children of those, whose lifespan was twenty thousand years decreased to ten thousand years only?

Amongst those beings, whose lifespan was ten thousand years some had beautiful complexion, others were ugly. Then those who were ugly started being envious of those who were beautiful and committed adultery with the wives of others.

In this way, Bhikkhus, thus because no property was provided to the poor, poverty spread; from the increase of poverty taking what was not given ensued; through the increase of theft the use of weapons arose; from the increase of the use of weapons killing of beings developed, speaking falsehood, backbiting and likewise acts of sexual misconduct increased. From this increase of acts of sexual misconduct the lifespan of beings decreased further and their complexion withered. As result of this decrease of lifespan and complexion the life expectation of the children of those, whose lifespan was ten thousand years decreased to five thousand years.

Amongst those beings, whose lifespan was five thousand years two things developed: harsh speech and idle chatter. Caused by these two practices the lifespan of beings decreased further and their complexion withered. As result of this decrease of lifespan and complexion the life expectation of the children of those, whose lifespan was five thousand years decreased to two-and-a-half thousand years, with some the lifespan decreased to two thousand years.

Amongst those beings, whose lifespan was two-and-a-half thousand years envy and hatred developed. Caused by these the lifespan of beings decreased further and their complexion withered. As result of this decrease of lifespan and complexion the life expectation of the children of those, whose lifespan was two-and-a-half thousand years decreased to one thousand years only.

Amongst those beings, whose lifespan was one thousand years wrong view and wrong understanding developed. Caused by wrong view and wrong understanding the lifespan of beings decreased further and their complexion withered. As result of this decrease of lifespan and complexion the life expectation of the children of those, whose lifespan was one thousand years decreased to five hundred years only.

Amongst those beings, whose lifespan was five hundred years the following three unwholesome practices developed: the practices of illicit desire, excessive greed and indecorous conduct. Caused by these three practices the lifespan of beings decreased further and their complexion withered. As result of this decrease of lifespan and complexion the life expectation of the children of those, whose lifespan was one five hundred years decreased to two hundred and fifty years and others two hundred years only.

And those beings, whose lifespan was two hundred years lacked respect towards mother, father, ascetics and Brāhmins and towards the elders of their clan.

In this way, Bhikkhus, thus because no property was provided to the poor, poverty spread; from the increase of poverty taking what was not given ensued; through the increase of theft the use of weapons arose; from the increase of the use of weapons killing of beings developed, speaking falsehood, backbiting and likewise acts of sexual misconduct increased. From this increase of acts of sexual misconduct two things: harsh speech and idle chatter, developed. Based on harsh speech and idle chatter wrong view and wrong understanding developed. Caused by this the three unwholesome practices developed: the practices of illicit desire, excessive greed and indecorous conduct. These practices of illicit desire, improper greed and indecorous behavior resulted in lack of respect towards mother, father, ascetics and Brahmins and towards the elders of their clan. Based on this lack of respect towards mother, father, ascetics and Brahmins and towards the elders of their clan the lifespan of beings decreased further and their complexion withered. As result of this decrease of lifespan and complexion the life expectation of the children of those, whose lifespan was two hundred years decreased to one hundred years. ……


1 Cakkavattisuttaṃ - also called: Cakkavattisīhanādasuttaṃ: cakka + vatti + sīha + nāda + suttaṃ: wheel + turning (- universal monarch) + lions + roar + sutta


Last modified: Thursday, 1 December 2016, 2:21 PM