For free distribution only, as a gift of Dhamma Thus Have I Heard: Once the Lord was traveling through Magadha with a large company of some five hundred monks, and he arrived at a Brahmin village called Khanumata. And there he stayed at the Ambalatthika park. And Kutadanta planned a great sacrifice : seven hundred bulls, seven hundred bullocks, seven hundred heifers, seven hundred he-goats and seven hundred rams were all tied up to the sacrificial posts. He teaches a Dhamma that is lovely in its beginning, lovely in its middle and lovely in its ending, in the spirit and in the letter, and he displays the fully-perfected, thoroughly purified holy life. And indeed it is good to such Arahants.
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Thus have I heard. And a hundred bulls, and a hundred steers, and a hundred heifers, and a hundred goats, and a hundred rams had been brought to the post for the sacrifice. Buddhaghosa p. All given in the text in full, as in the Sonadanda Sutta. But he answered them in the same terms as Sonadanda had used to those Brahmans. But he has made a strange muddle between it and vidho. All that he has under both words should be struck out. I, 84, and in the passage quoted in Childers.
It is just the contrary. Vidho is most rare. It is given doubtfully by Buddhaghosa, in discussing a doubtful reading at Sum. Gotama lays hold of the ambiguity of the word, and twists it round to his ethical teaching in the sense of mode of generosity. Here again the word is turned into a riddle, the solution of which is the basis of the dialogue.
Now when King Wide-realm was once sitting alone in meditation he became anxious at the thought: "I have in abundance all the good things a mortal can enjoy. The whole wide circle of the earth is mine by conquest to possess. There are dacoits abroad who pillage the villages and townships, and who make the roads unsafe.
Were the king, so long as that is so, to levy a fresh tax, verily his majesty would be acting wrongly. The remnant left unpunished would still go on harassing the realm. And those men, following each his business, harassed the realm no more. And the country became quiet and at peace. And the populace, pleased one with another and happy, dancing their children in their arms, dwelt with open doors.
The country is at peace. I want to offer that great sacrifice--let the venerable one instruct me how--for my weal and my welfare for many days. Let the venerable ones give their sanction to what will be to me for weal and welfare for many days.
On this word, the locative singular of a neuter abstract form, compare M. I, The latter word is here twisted round to a new sense. Compare M. I, ; Vin. I, ; Mil. Should his majesty the king, whilst he is offering the great sacrifice, feel any such regret as: "Great, alas, will be the portion of my wealth used up herein," let not the king harbour such regret.
Buddhaghosa explains this as meaning that he knew the result of Karma, he knew that his present prosperity was a gift to him by the good deeds done to others in the past, and that there would be a similar result in future for his good deeds done now.
Of each of these let them, who do evil, alone with their evil. For them who do well let your majesty offer, for them, Sire, arrange the rites, them let the king gratify, in them shall your heart within find peace.
For the consent of the four classes has been obtained, the king has the eight, and his Brahman has the four, personal gifts. With regard to each and everyone of these sixteen conditions the king may rest assured that it has been fulfilled. This whole closing sentence is repeated, in the text, of each of the sixteen.
No trees were cut down to be used as posts, no Dabbha grasses mown to strew around the sacrificial spot. And the slaves and messengers and workmen there employed were driven neither by rods nor fear, nor carried on their work weeping with tears upon their faces. Whoso chose to help, he worked; whoso chose not to help, worked not. What each chose to do, he did; what they chose not to do, that was left undone.
With ghee, and oil, and butter, and milk, and honey, and sugar only was that sacrifice accomplished. Let his majesty accept it at our hands! Do you keep yours, and take away more with you! King Wide-realm is offering a great sacrifice. Let us too make an after-sacrifice! And the things given, and the manner of their gift, was in all respects like unto the great sacrifice of King Wide-realm himself. And there were three modes of the giving of that sacrifice. This, O Brahman, is what is called the due celebration of a sacrifice in its threefold mode and with its furniture of sixteen kinds!
But I was considering that the Samana Gotama does not say: "Thus have I heard," nor "Thus behoves it to be," but says only "Thus it was then," or "It was like that then. Does the venerable Gotama admit that he who celebrates such a sacrifice, or causes it, to be celebrated, is reborn at the dissolution of the body, after death, into some state of happiness in heaven? And at that time I was the Brahman who, as chaplain, had that sacrifice performed. And why not? But they will go to the former, where such things are not.
And therefore are such perpetual gifts above the other sort of sacrifice. The attendants, at such a general largesse, says Buddhaghosa p.
The Introductory paragraphs on the appearance of a Buddha, his preaching, the conversion of a hearer, and his renunciation of the world. The paragraph on Confidence. The paragraph on Content. The paragraph on Solitude.
The paragraphs on the Five Hindrances. I, even I, betake myself to the venerable Gotama as my guide, to the Doctrine and the Order. May the venerable One accept me as a disciple, as one who, from this day forth, as long as life endures, has taken him as his guide. And I  myself, O Gotama, will have the seven hundred bulls, and the seven hundred steers, and the seven hundred heifers, and the seven hundred goats, and the seven hundred rams set free. To them I grant their life.
Let them eat green grass and drink fresh water, and may cool breezes waft around them.
Kutadanta Sutta, Kūtadanta-sutta: 1 definition
And there at Khanumata he lodged in the Ambalatthika pleasaunce. And a hundred bulls, and a hundred steers, and a hundred heifers, and a hundred goats, and a hundred rams had been brought to the post for the sacrifice. And they began to leave Khanumata in companies and in bands to go to the Ambalatthika pleasaunce. And the doorkeeper told him. It would be well for me to go to the Samana Gotama, and ask him about it.
See also Kutadanta Sutta means something in Buddhism , Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article. Kutadanta consults the Buddha on the best way of making a sacrifice efficacious, and the Buddha tells him of a sacrifice held in days of yore by King Maha Vijitavi, under the guidance of his enlightened purohita.
Digha Nikaya - Kutadanta Sutta
I have already called attention to the great importance for the right understanding of early Buddhist teaching of a constant appreciation of this sort of subtle humour. The humour is not at all intended to raise a laugh, scarcely even a smile. And the aroma of it, pervading the whole of an exposition—none the less delightful because of the very serious earnestness of the narrator, all the while, as regards the ethical point at issue—is apt to be lost sight of precisely because of that earnestness. And just as a joke may be explained, but the point of it spoilt in the process, so in the attempt to write about this irony, much more delicate than any joke, one runs great danger of smothering it under the explanatory words.