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Migasālā Suttaṃ

(A.v.137)

Do not Judge Others

75. At one time the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthi, in Prince Jeta’s grove, in the monastery of Anāthapiṇḍika. Then early in the morning, Venerable Ānanda, having put on the robes and taking his almsbowl and double-robe he approached the residence of the female lay disciple Migasālā, having approached, he sat down on a seat that had been prepared. Then the female lay disciple Migasālā approached the Venerable Ānanda, and having approached, she paid homage and sat down at one side. Sitting at one side, the female lay disciple Migasālā said to the Venerable Ānanda: “How, Venerable Ānanda, should this [138] teaching of the Blessed One be understood, when one who is celibate and one who is not both have the same destiny? My father Purāṇa, venerable sir, was celibate, abstaining from the vulgar act of sexual intercourse. When he died the Blessed One said: ‘He attained Once-returning and has arisen in the Tusita heaven. My grandfather (pitāmahā), Isidatta, lived a happily married life. When he died, the Blessed One said: ‘He attained Once-returning and has arisen in the Tusita heaven. How, Venerable Ānanda, should this teaching of the Blessed One be understood?”

“It is, sister, just as the Blessed One said.”

Then, the Venerable Ānanda, having accepted almsfood in the residence of the female lay disciple Migasālā, got up and left. Then the Venerable Ānanda, after the meal, having returned from almsround, approached the Blessed One, having approached, he paid homage to the Blessed One and sat down at one side. Sitting at one side the Venerable Ānanda related the conversation to the Blessed One.¹ [139]

“Who, Ānanda, is the female lay disciple Migasālā, unwise, a woman with the wisdom of a woman, that she can know the spiritual faculties of another individual?

“Ānanda, there are ten individuals found in the world. What ten? Here, Ānanda a certain individual is immoral. He does not know the liberation of the mind and the liberation by wisdom as it really is, where that immorality ceases without remainder. He has not listened [to the teachings], is not learned, has not penetrated them with view, and has not gained even temporary liberation. On the break-up of the body after death he is heading for degradation, not to distinction; is going to degradation, not to distinction. (1)

“Here, Ānanda, a certain individual is immoral. He knows the liberation of the mind and the liberation by wisdom as it really is, [140] where that immorality ceases without remainder. He has listened [to the teachings], is learned, has penetrated them with view, and has gained temporary liberation. On the break-up of the body after death he is heading for distinction, not to degradation; is going to distinction, not to degradation. (2)

“Therein, Ānanda, those who are judgemental will judge: ‘This one is the same as the other. Why should one be inferior while the other is superior. That will indeed, Ānanda, be for their harm and suffering for a long time.’

“Between the two individuals, Ānanda, the one who knows the liberation of the mind and the liberation by wisdom as it really is surpasses and is superior to the other.² What is the reason for that? This individual, Ānanda, is pulled along by the current of Dhamma.³ However, who can know this except a Tathāgata! Therefore, Ānanda, do not be judgemental, do not try to grasp the measure of individual. Who, Ānanda, can grasp the measure of another individual. Only I, Ānanda, can grasp the measure of individuals — or one like me.⁴ [141]

“Here, Ānanda a certain individual is moral. He does not know the liberation of the mind and the liberation by wisdom as it really is, where that morality ceases without remainder. He has not listened [to the teachings], is not learned, has not penetrated them with view, and has not gained even temporary liberation. On the break-up of the body after death he is heading for degradation, not to distinction; is going to degradation, not to distinction. (3)

“Here, Ānanda, a certain individual is moral. He knows the liberation of the mind and the liberation by wisdom as it really is, where that morality ceases without remainder. He has listened [to the teachings], is learned, has penetrated them with view, and has gained temporary liberation. On the break-up of the body after death he is heading for distinction, not to degradation; is going to distinction, not to degradation. (4)

“Therein, Ānanda, those who are judgemental will judge: … Only I, Ānanda, can grasp the measure of individuals — or one like me.

“Here, Ānanda a certain individual is very lustful. He does not know the liberation of the mind and the liberation by wisdom as it really is, where that lust ceases without remainder. He has not listened [to the teachings], is not learned, has not penetrated them with view, and has not gained even temporary liberation. On the break-up of the body after death he is heading for degradation, not to distinction; is going to degradation, not to distinction. (5)

“Here, Ānanda, a certain individual is very lustful. He knows the liberation of the mind and the liberation by wisdom as it really is, where that lust ceases without remainder. He has listened [to the teachings], is learned, has penetrated them with view, and has gained temporary liberation. [142] On the break-up of the body after death he is heading for distinction, not to degradation; is going to distinction, not to degradation. (6)

“Therein, Ānanda, those who are judgemental will judge: … Only I, Ānanda, can grasp the measure of individuals — or one like me.

“Here, Ānanda a certain individual is very angry. He does not know the liberation of the mind and the liberation by wisdom as it really is, where that anger ceases without remainder. He has not listened [to the teachings], is not learned, has not penetrated them with view, and has not gained even temporary liberation. On the break-up of the body after death he is heading for degradation, not to distinction; is going to degradation, not to distinction. (7)

“Here, Ānanda, a certain individual is very angry. He knows the liberation of the mind and the liberation by wisdom as it really is, where that anger ceases without remainder. He has listened [to the teachings], is learned, has penetrated them with view, and has gained temporary liberation. On the break-up of the body after death he is heading for distinction, not to degradation; is going to distinction, not to degradation. (8)

“Therein, Ānanda, those who are judgemental will judge: … Only I, Ānanda, can grasp the measure of individuals — or one like me.

“Here, Ānanda a certain individual is very distracted. He does not know the liberation of the mind and the liberation by wisdom as it really is, where that distraction ceases without remainder. He has not listened [to the teachings], is not learned, has not penetrated them with view, and has not gained even temporary liberation. On the break-up of the body after death he is heading for degradation, not to distinction; is going to degradation, not to distinction. (9)

“Here, Ānanda, a certain individual is very distracted. He knows the liberation of the mind and the liberation by wisdom as it really is, where that distraction ceases without remainder. He has listened [to the teachings], is learned, has penetrated them with view, [143] and has gained temporary liberation. On the break-up of the body after death he is heading for distinction, not to degradation; is going to distinction, not to degradation. (10)

“Therein, Ānanda, those who are judgemental will judge: … Only I, Ānanda, can grasp the measure of individuals — or one like me.

“Who, Ānanda, is the female lay disciple Migasālā, unwise, a woman with the wisdom of a woman, that she can know the spiritual faculties of another individual? “Ānanda, there are ten individuals found in the world.

“If Isidatta were endowed with the kind of morality possessed by Purāṇa, Ānanda, Purāṇa would not know his destination. [144] If Purāṇa were endowed with the kind of wisdom possessed by Isidatta, Ānanda, Isidatta would not know his destination. Thus, Ānanda, these individuals are both deficient in one factor.”

Notes:

1. I have paraphrased here, where the Venerable Ānanda repeats going for alms, and his conversation with Migasālā.

2. Paraphrased for brevity.

3. Commentary glosses: dhammasoto nibbahatiti sūraṃ hutvā pavattamānaṃ vipassanā-ñāṇaṃ nibbahati, ariyabhūmi pāpeti. Having become a hero he proceeds pulled along by insight-knowledge, to reach the realm of the noble ones.

4. See the Mahāsīhanāda Suttaṃ, the Tathāgata knows as it really is the spiritual faculties (indriyaparopariyattaṃ) of other beings. This, Sāriputta, is a power of a Tathāgata, possessing which, the Tathāgata claims the position as the leader of the herd, roars the lion’s roar in assemblies, and sets in motion the wheel of Brahma.