Ekottara Āgama's parallel to the Nanda Sutta (Ud 3:2)

I found that EA 18.7 is a direct parallel of Udana 3:2 Nandasutta, but it hasn’t been listed as such. So I have translated EA 18.7 for the purpose of comparison (a rather rough translation, so I would be grateful if anyone could correct and improve its English). This sutra is much longer and in my oppinion more complete than the Pali counterpart, but if one adds the ending of the Pali version into it, it will make a perfect companion. Also EA has three sutras about Nanda, one when he was adjusting his new life in the Sangha, one when he was having a breaking point and finally attained to the Arahantship (this sutra here), and one after he had become an Arahant and about his teaching (this one also recounts his life before joining the Sangha). I hope to translate all three of them for suttacentral when time permits, but first, EA 18.7. Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

Thus have I heard. Once when the Buddha was staying at Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park in Jeta’s Grove at Śrāvastī. At the time, Venerable Nanda was unable to put up with the holy life, wanted to give up the monastic’s robe to live the white-robed life.

At that time, the Bhikṣus went to the Lord, having bowed down to his feet, sat to one side. The Bhikṣus told the Lord: “Bhikṣu Nanda was unable to put up with the holy life, wanted to give up the monastic’s robe to live the white-robed life.”

Then the Lord told one Bhikṣu: “You come to Nanda and tell that the Tathāgata calls for him.”

He replied, “As you say, Lord.”

Having received the Lord’s words, the Bhikṣu rose from his seat, paid homage at the Lord’s feet and then departed.

Having arrived at Nanda’s, the Bhikṣu said, “The Lord calls for you, Nanda.”

Nanda replied: “Alright.”

Then Nanda followed that Bhikṣu and went to the Lord, on arrival, having bowed down to his feet, sat to one side.

The Lord told Nanda: “How so Nanda? Did you not enjoy cultivating the holy life,
and wanted to give up the monastic’s robe to live the white-robed life?”

Nanda replied: “It is so, Lord!”

The Lord said: “Why is that, Nanda?”

Nanda replied: “My desire is blazing, I cannot self-restrain it.”

The Lord said: "How Nanda? Are you not the son of the good family who has left home to learn the Dharma?

Nanda replied: "It is so, Lord! I am the son of the good family, whom because of the firm faith has left home to learn the Dharma.

The Lord said:

“It is not suitable for you, the son of the good family who has left home to learn the Dharma, why would you want to abandon the true Dharma and want to live the polluted life? Nanda, you should know, there are two dharmas that knows no enough, that bears no satisfaction. What are these two dharmas? Having sex and drinking alcohol, these are called the two dharmas that knows no enough, that bears no satisfaction. Those who lead a life following these two dharmas will never know enough, will never have any satisfaction. Because of acting upon these results that one could not realize the beyond Sankharas. Therefore, Nanda, remember to abandon these two dharmas, in due course one surely will attain the fruit of untaintedness. Nanda, you should now cultivate the holy life well, the way to the path and its fruitions cannot be otherwise stemmed out from here.”

Then the Lord uttered these stanzas:

The hut that is ill-covered,
The rain surely will drip over.
The person who not practices
Passsion, aversion, and delusion oozes.

The hut that is well-covered,
The rain will not drip over.
The person who does the practices,
There not passsion, aversion, and delusion is.

Then thoughts occured to the Lord: “This good family’s son has too much sensual intentions. Now I can use fire to cure fire.”

Then the Lord with his majestic power, grabbing Nanda by the arm, as a strong man might flex or extend his arm in a moment’s flash, he took Nanda to Gandhamàdana mountain. Now on the mountain there was a stone cave, also a blind female monkey was residing there. The Lord, with his right arm still grabbing Nanda, said to him:

“Nanda, do you see this blind female monkey?”

“Yes, Lord.”

The Lord said:

“Which one is pretty? Sundari the Sakyan girl, or the blind female monkey is pretty?”

Nanda replied: “Just as if there was a man hitting a ferocious dog in the nose, and even further he smeared venom into it, that dog would become even more ferocious. It’s the same here with Sundari the Sakyan girl, if now taking that blind female monkey to contrast, it would be impossible to make a comparison. Just as the great fire burning mountains and fields, then adding more dry wood the fire would turn more violent. Here is the same, I think of the Sakyan girl, and cannot get the mind out of longing for her.”

Then the Lord, in a moment’s flash, as a strong man might flex or extend his arm, disappeared from that mountain and reappeared to the Heaven of the Thirty-three. At the time, the Heaven of the Thirty-three’s Devas were all gathering at the Kusaladharma teaching hall. Not far from Kusaladharma teaching hall, there was a palace, with 500 celestial nymphs who were entertaining and amusing themselves, all were females without a single male. Nanda from afar saw 500 celestial nymphs singing, entertaining and amusing themselves, he asked the Lord:

“Where is this place, so as to have 500 celestial nymphs singing, entertaining and amusing themselves like this?”

The Lord said:

“Nanda, you come and ask them yourself.”

Venerable Nanda then went to the 500 celestial nymphs, and saw those palace and dwellings, with arrangement of hundreds of fine seating requisites, all females without a male. Venerable Nanda asked these celestial nymphs: “You ladies, are you truly celestial maidens who are entertaining and enjoying yourselves right?”

The celestial nymphs replied: “We here have 500 maidens, all are virgins, without a lord husband. We’ve heard that there is a disciple of the Blessed One, named Nanda, who is the son of the Buddha’s maternal aunt. After passing away he will be reborn in this place to be our husband, and we will be enjoying pleasure together.”

At that time, Venerable Nanda’s heart was so glad with joy and could not be self-constrained, he then thought to himself, “I am now the Lord’s disciple, and furthermore I’m the child of the Lord’s maternal-aunt. These celestial nymphs shall all be my wives.”

Then, Nanda turned back and went to the Lord. The Lord asked:

“So Nanda, what did those celestial nymphs say?”

Nanda replied: "Those celestial nymphs all said, “We all have no lord husband, and heard that there is a disciple of the Blessed One who practices the holy life well, after passing away he will be reborn here.”

The Lord said:

“Nanda, what is your intention? Nanda, what is your intention?”

Nanda replied: "At that time, I thought to myself: “I am the Lord’s disciple, and furthermore I’m the child of the Buddha’s maternal-aunt. These celestial nymphs shall all be my wives.”

The Lord said:

“Take joy, Nanda! Practice the holy life well. I will be your guarantor so that you’ll have these 500 nymphs to be your maids.”

The Lord furthermore said:
“So now Nanda, Sundari the Sakyan girl is pretty, or the 500 celestial nymphs?”

Nanda replied:
“Just as the blind female monkey on the mountain top before Sundari, was without brightness nor complexion. Here also, Sundari before those celestial nymphs is the same, was without brightness nor complexion.”

The Lord said:

“You practice the holy life well, I will be your guarantor so that you’ll have these 500 celestial nymphs.”

Now the thought occurred to the Lord: “I shall now use fire to destroy Nanda’s fire.” In a moment’s flash, as a strong man might flex or extend his arm, the Lord with his right hand grabbed Nanda by the arm, take him to inside of hell. At the time, beings in hell were suffering all kinds of torments. And then in hell there was a large empty cauldron, without a person [inside it]. Seeing this, Nanda was trembling with fear and terror, with his hair and robe all stood on end, he went before the Lord and expressed:

“Beings here all suffer great torments, just only this cauldron is empty, without a person!”

The Lord said: “This is called the hell Avici.”

Then Nanda was even more frightened and terrified, with his hair and robe all stood on end, he asked the Lord:

“This is hell Avici, but how there is an empty spot without a sinner?”

The Lord said:

“Nanda, you come and ask yourself.”

Then Venerable Nanda went there and asked: "How is it Hell-Warden, what sort of dungeon is it, but is empty and without a prisoner?

The Hell-Warden replied:

“Bhikṣu, you should know, there’s a disciple of the Sakya Muni Buddha, whose name is Nanda, he is at the Tathāgata’s practicing the spotless holy life, after passing away he will be reborn in a good place in heaven. There his lifespan will be 1000 years, he will be enjoying pleasure, after passing away from there he shall be reborn to this hell Avici. This empty cauldron shall be his home.”

Then, Venerable Nanda after hearing these words, his heart trembled with fear, with his hair and robe all stood on end, then [in him] arose this thought: “Does this empty cauldron rightly belong to me?” Then he came back to the Lord, paid homage at the Lord’s feet and said:

“Lord, please accept my repentance, not only did I not cultivate the holy life, but also making trouble for the Tathagata.”

At that time, Venerable Nanda spoke this verse:

The human life is not precious enough,
The age of gods shall too fade out,
The hell is suffering and agony,
There’s just Nibbāna the only ease.

Then the Lord told Nanda:

“Good! Good! Like what you have said, Nibbāna is the ultimate ease. Nanda, I allow you to make repentance. You, the foolish one who have known his wrongdoing against the Tathāgata, do not make transgression again.”

Then the Lord in a moment’s flash, as one flexes and extends one’s arm, with his hand grabbing Nanda, disappeared from hell and returned to Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park, in Jeta’s Grove, at Śrāvastī. Then the Lord told Nanda:

"Nanda, you should now cultivate these two dharmas. What two? Samatha and Vipassana. And futhermore cultivate two other dharmas. What two? Birth and death are not pleasurable, and to recognize that Nibbāna is ease. These are two dharmas. Further still, cultivate two another dharmas. What two? Wisdom and exposition.

Then the Lord taught Nanda the Dharma by various different ways. Venerable Nanda after having received the Lord’s teaching, rose from his seat, paid homage at the Lord’s feet, and departed. Then he went to Aijanavana forest. At that place, the Venerable sat cross-legged under the roots of trees, his body erect, his mind upright, and established mindfulness before him, he comtemplated the teachings of the Tathāgata. Then Venerable Nanda, in a secluded and quite place, constantly pondered the Tathāgata’s teachings without a moment’s lapse, for the purpose in which the son of good families, because of the firm faith, that had gone forth from the home life to search for the Way, to cultivate the supreme holy life, to know with true knowledge that: “Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more coming to any state of being.” Then Venerable Nanda became one of the Arhats. After becoming Arhat, the Venerable rose from his seat, arranged his robe, and went to the Lord, paid homage at his feet, sat to one side. Venerable Nanda said to the Lord:

“Before, the Blessed One has promised to guarantee 500 celestial nymphs to me. Now I release it all.”

The Lord said:

“Now you have ended birth and death, your holy life has been lived. I thereby release you from that promise.”

Then the Lord spoke this verse:

Now I see Venerable Nanda,
Cultivated the Śramaṇa’s Dharma.
All evil have been destroyed,
His ascetic practice will not be spoiled.

Then the Lord told the Bhikṣus:

“The one who have attained to the Arhat is Bhikṣu Nanda. Without passion, aversion, and delusion is also Bhikṣu Nanda.”

The Bhikṣus after hearing what the Buddha taught, delighted and approved.

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I think there is a typo or misspelling here.

Satisfy is a verb. Maybe you’re thinking of the noun, satisfaction?

:anjal:

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Thank you Gabriel, I’ve fixed it, the original 厭足 is a combination of “Bored-Enough”, So I had to split them in two in order to preserve its idiomatic meaning. Anyway, most of my English was learned through watching Lord of the rings and Christopher Nolan’s movies, so it is far from perfect (grammar especially). But thanks a lot for pointing out the error.

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