On ‘The Pure’
Suddhaṭṭhaka Sutta


“I see the Pure, the Highest, the Non-Afflicted.
A man’s purity is intrinsic to his vision”(1).
Knowing such knowledge as ‘The Highest’
A ‘Seer of Purity’ reverts to knowledge.

Passāmi suddhaṃ paramaṃ arogaṃ diṭṭhena saṃsuddhi narassa hoti
Evābhijānaṃ paramanti ñatvā suddhānupassīti pacceti ñāṇaṃ


If a man’s purity is intrinsic to his vision,
If detachment from sorrow is intrinsic to one's knowledge,
Then a person with one basis of attachment
Is intrinsically purified by means of another.
The view of one who asserts purity in this way is thus belied.

Diṭṭhena ce suddhi narassa hoti ñāṇena vā so pajahāti dukkhaṃ
Aññena so sujjhati sopadhīko diṭṭhī hi naṃ pāva tathā vadānaṃ


No Brahman says that purity is intrinsic to an auxiliary basis of attachment,
Either to what is seen, heard or cognised, or to precepts and practices.
A Brahman is not stained by merit or evil.
Detaching from whatever he was clinging to,
He does not make further attachments in the world.

Na brāhmaṇo aññato suddhimāha diṭṭhe sute sīlavate mute vā
Puññe ca pāpe ca anūpalitto attañjaho nayidha pakubbamāno


Those following craving,
Detaching from what they have
In order to grab something different,
Do not cross over attachment.
They release and catch hold -
Like a monkey releasing one branch in order to seize another.

Purimaṃ pahāya aparaṃ sitāse ejānugā te na taranti saṅgaṃ
Te uggahāyanti nirassajanti kapīva sākhaṃ pamuñcaṃ gahāyaṃ


A person attached to the notion ‘I am’
Who undertakes religious practices of his own
Goes high and low.
But one of great wisdom,
One knowing the Buddha’s teaching, a sage,
Does not go high and low.

Sayaṃ samādāya vatāni jantu uccāvacaṃ gacchatsaññasatto
Vidvā ca vedehi samecca dhammaṃ na uccāvacaṃ gacchati bhūripañño


He is peaceful towards everything whether seen, heard or cognised.
He sees things as they are and conducts himself openly.
How could anyone have any doubts about him?

Sa sabbadhammesu visenibhūto yaṃ kiñci diṭṭhaṃ va sutaṃ mutaṃ vā
Tameva dassiṃ vivaṭaṃ carantaṃ kenīdha lokasmi vikappayeyya


Ones like him neither concoct religious teachings
Nor blindly follow them.
They do not proclaim of any religious teaching “This is final purity”.
Having loosened the knot of grasping with which they are bound
They do not hope for anything from the world.

Na kappayanti na purekkharonti accantasuddhī’ti na te vadanti
Ādānaganthaṃ gathitaṃ visajja āsaṃ na kubbanti kuhiñci loke


The Brahman has gone beyond conventional boundaries.
He has grasped nothing, either what is seen or known.
He is not overcome by lust, nor overwhelmed by disgust.
There is nothing in the world grasped by him as 'The Highest'.

Sīmātigo brāhmaṇo tassa natthi ñatvā va disvā va samuggahītaṃ
Na rāgarāgī na virāgaratto tassīdha natthī paramuggahītanti

Notes for Readers:

  • Note (1) A 'seer of purity' thinks a man’s purity is intrinsic to his vision, unlike a wise person, who does not relish what is seen or heard (v.897).

Notes on Translation:

  • Verse 789) aññena: discussed in the translation notes in Appendix 7.
  • Verse 790) “some auxiliary basis of attachment”: translation of aññato in the context of the previous verse.
  • Verse 790) nayidha pakubbamāno: Norman has “does not fashion [anything more] here”. This is because pakaroti means “effect, perform, prepare, make, do” (PED). But the verse is about purity through non-attachment. I translate the verse accordingly: "He does not make any more attachments in this world".
  • Verse 794) “blindly follow”: purakkhatā is discussed in the translation notes in Appendix 7 (as purakkharoti). In verse 784 it refers to religious teachings (dhammā), and is therefore rendered as such here.

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