The Brahmin Dona

Doṇa [Doṇabrāhmaṇa] (AN 5.192)

The Brahmin Dona approached The Blessed One and exchanged friendly greetings, sat on a side and said to The Blessed One:

Good Gotama, we have heard that the recluse Gotama does not honour, attend or offer a seat to decayed aged Brahmins who have come to the end of life. Good Gotama, is this so? Good Gotama is it the right conduct, to not honour, attend or offer a seat to decayed aged Brahmins who have come to the end of life?

Dona, do you recognize a Brahmin?

Good Gotama, to say it correctly -a Brahmin is well born on both sides- on the mother's and father's side. He is of pure descent up to the seventh great grand father, not spoilt and and not censured. He is a scholar of the three Vedic scriptures. and learned in the rules as an officiating priest, knows the words together with the letters with the History as the fifth. Knows the words and their grammar and is complete with the marks of a great man.

Good Gotama, saying it correctly I am that Brahmin, well born on both sides- on the mother's and father's side. I am of pure descent up to the seventh great grand father, not spoilt and and not censured. I am a scholar of the three Vedic scriptures. and am learned in the rules as an officiating priest. I know the words together with the letters with the History as the fifth. I know the words and their grammar and am complete with the marks of a great man.

Dona, those ancient sages the makers, those handing down the tradition of the scriptures, which at present are sung, handed down, collected and are re -sung and recited now, are the following. Such as Aṭṭhaka, Vāmaka, Vāmadeva, Vessāmitta, Yamtaggi, Angīrasa, Bhāradvāja, Vāseṭṭha, Kassapa and Bhagu. They specify these five kinds of Brahmins- The one similar to Brahma, the one similar to gods, the one on the boundary, the one who has split the boundary and the Brahmin outcaste. Dona, of them to which do you belong?

Good Gotama, I do not know of five kinds of Brahmins, I know them as Brahmins only. It is good if good Gotama, teach me the five kinds of Brahmins. Then Brahmin listen and attend carefully, I will tell. The Blessed One said: .

Dona, who is the Brahmin similar to Brahma?

Here, Dona, the Brahmin is well born on both sides- on the mother's and father's side. He is of pure descent up to the seventh great grand father, not spoilt and and not censured.

He observes holy chastity for forty eight years. These forty eight years he observes holy chastity, learns the scriptures and searches the wealth of the teacher, righteously.

Dona, what is righteousness there?

Neither farming, nor trading, nor cattle rearing. Not archery, not soldiery, neither a certain skill but to lead the complete life of a bhikkhu begging with bowl in hand to dispel measuring and conceit. He taking charge of the teacher's wealth, shaves head and beard and wearing yellow clothes leave home and becomes homeless.

Having gone forth, he abides pervading one direction with thoughts of loving kindness. So also the second, third, fourth, above, below and across, in every respect, on the whole, the entire world. He abides with thoughts of loving kindness grown great and immeasurable without enmity. He abides pervading one direction with thoughts of compassion, ... re ... intrinsic joy, ... re ... with equanimity ... re ... So also the second, third, fourth, above, below and across, in every respect, on the whole, the entire world. He abides with thoughts of equanimity grown great and immeasurable without enmity. He develops these four divine abidings. After death he is born in the world of brahma. Dona, thus the Brahmin is similar to brahma. Dona, who is the Brahmin similar to a god?

Here, Dona, the Brahmin is well born on both sides- on the mother's and father's side. He is of pure descent up to the seventh great grand father, not spoilt and not censured.

He observes holy chastity for forty eight years. These forty eight years he observes holy chastity, learns the scriptures and searches the wealth of the teacher righteously.

Dona, what is righteousness there?

Neither farming, nor trading, nor cattle rearing. Not archery, not a soldier, neither a certain skill but to lead the complete life of a bhikkhu begging with bowl in hand to dispel measuring and conceit. He taking charge of the teacher's wealth then goes in search of a wife righteously. Dona, what is righteousness there?

Not buying one, nor selling one, choosing only a Brahmin woman taking charge of her with water. He goes only to Brahmin women. Not to warrior women, or to the ordinary caste women or the outcaste women, not to women of such castes as of basket weavers, chariot makers, rubbish collectors. He does not go to a woman bearing a child, or giving suck, does not go to a woman when it is not her season. Why does the Brahmin not go to a woman bearing child? Dona, if the Brahmin goes to a woman bearing child, the boy or girl that will be born will be named one born in dirty water. Therefore he does not go to one bearing child. Why does the Brahmin not go to a woman giving suck? Dona, if the Brahmin goes to a woman giving suck, the boy or girl that will be born will be named, one pressed with excreta. Therefore he does not go to one giving suck. Thus he goes to a Brahmin woman not for sensual pleasures, not for play, not for passion but for the sake of humanity. He does sexual intercourse and arousing birth, shaves head and beard and wearing yellow clothes leaves home becomes homeless.

Gone forth thus, secluding the mind from sensual desires, ... re ... abides in the fourth higher state of the mind. Developing these four higher states of the mind, after death he goes to heaven. Thus, Dona, the Brahmin is similar to a god. Dona, how is the Brahmin on the border?

Here, Dona, the Brahmin is well born on both sides- on the mother's and father's side. He is of pure descent up to the seventh great grand father, not spoilt and not censured.

He observes holy chastity for forty eight years. These forty eight years he observes holy chastity, learns the scriptures and searches the wealth of the teacher righteously.

Dona, what is righteousness there?

Neither farming, nor trading, nor cattle rearing. Not archery, not soldiery, neither a certain skill but to lead the complete life of a bhikkhu begging with bowl in hand to dispel measuring and conceit. He taking charge of the teacher's wealth then goes in search of a wife righteously. Dona, what is righteousness there?

Not buying one, nor selling one, choosing only a Brahmin woman taking charge of her with water. He goes only to Brahmin women not to warrior women, nor to the ordinary caste women nor the outcaste women, nor to women of such castes as of basket weavers, chariot makers, rubbish collectors. He does not go to a woman bearing a child, or giving suck, does not go to a woman when it is not her season. Why does the Brahmin not go to a woman bearing child? Dona, if the Brahmin goes to a woman bearing child, the boy or girl that will be born will be named one born in dirty water. Therefore he does not go to one bearing child. Why does the Brahmin not go to a woman giving suck? Dona, if the Brahmin goes to a woman giving suck, the boy or girl that will be born will be named, one pressed with excreta. Therefore he does not go to one giving suck. Thus he goes to a Brahmin woman not for sensual pleasures, not for play, not for passion but for the sake of humanity. He does sexual intercourse and arousing birth, takes delight in his wife lives as husband, does not leave home and become homeless. According to the border of the ancient Brahmins, he stands there does not go beyond. Therefore the Brahmin is said to stand on the border. Dona, thus the Brahmin stands on the border.

Dona, how does the Brahmin go beyond the border?

Here, Dona, the Brahmin is well born on both sides- on the mother's and father's side. He is of pure descent up to the seventh great grand father, not spoilt and not censured.

He observes holy chastity for forty eight years. These forty eight years he observes holy chastity, learns the scriptures and searches the wealth of the teacher righteously.

Dona, what is righteousness there?

Neither farming, nor trading, nor cattle rearing. Not archery, not soldiery, neither a certain skill but to lead the complete life of a bhikkhu begging with bowl in hand to dispel measuring and conceit. He taking charge of the teacher's wealth then goes in search of a wife righteously. or unrighteously, either buying one, or selling one, or choosing one taking charge of her with water. He goes to Brahmin women, to warrior women, to the ordinary caste women or to the outcaste women, or to women of such castes as of basket weavers, chariot makers, rubbish collectors. He goes to a woman bearing a child, or giving suck, or to a woman when it is not her season. He goes to a Brahmin woman for sensual pleasures, for play, for passion and for the sake of humanity. As told by the ancient Brahmins, he does not stand on the border. He breaks through the border and it is said he has gone beyond the border. Thus Dona, the Brahmin goes beyond the border.

Dona, how does the Brahmin become an outcaste of a Brahmin?

Here, Dona, the Brahmin is well born on both sides- on the mother's and father's side. He is of pure descent up to the seventh great grand father, not spoilt and not censured.

He observes holy chastity for forty eight years. These forty eight years he observes holy chastity, learns the scriptures and searches the wealth of the teacher righteously. and unrighteously.

Either by farming, or by trading, or by cattle rearing. Or by archery, or soldiery, or learning a certain skill, to lead the complete life of a bhikkhu begging with bowl in hand to dispel measuring and conceit.

Having taken charge of the teacher's wealth he goes in search of a wife righteously. or unrighteously, either buying one, or selling one, or choosing one taking charge of her with water. He goes to Brahmin women, to warrior women, to the ordinary caste women or to the outcaste women, or to women of such castes as of basket weavers, chariot makers, rubbish collectors. He goes to a woman bearing a child, or giving suck, or to a woman, during her season and out of her season. He goes to a Brahmin woman for sensual pleasures, for play, for passion and for the sake of humanity. He makes a living with all kinds of livelihood. The ancient Brahmins told him: How shall we make you known when you make a living doing all kinds of livelihood? He said, just as fire burns the pure and the impure and by that the fire is not soiled. In the same manner the Brahmin makes a living with all kinds of livelihood and is not soiled on account of it. On account of making a livelihood with all kinds of activity he is known as a Brahmin outcasteṬhus Dona, the Brahmin becomes a Brahmin outcaste.

Dona, those ancient sages the makers, those handing down the tradition of the scriptures, which at present are sung, handed down, collected and are re -sung and recited now, are the following. Such as Aṭṭhaka, Vāmaka, Vāmadeva, Vessāmitta, Yamtaggi, Angīrasa, Bhāradvāja, Vāseṭṭha, Kassapa and Bhagu. They specify these five kinds of Brahmins- The one similar to Brahma, the one similar to gods, the one on the boundary, the one who has split the boundary and the Brahmin outcaste. Dona, of them to which do you belong?

Good Gotama, when this is so, I do not qualify to be even the Brahmin outcaste. Good Gotama, I understand! ... re ... am a lay disciple of good Gotama. I take refuge in good Gotama, from today until life lasts.

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