Discourse on Crops – Nivapa Suttam

Thus have I heard:

At one time the Lord was staying near Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. While he was there the Lord addressed the monks, saying:

“Monks.”

“Revered One,” these monks answered the Lord in assent.

The Lord spoke thus:

“Monks, a sower does not sow a crop for herds of deer, thinking:

‘Let the herds of deer, enjoying this crop sown by me, flourish in good condition for many a long day.’

Monks, the sower sows the crop for herds of deer thinking:

‘The herds of deer will eat fodder encroaching entranced on this crop sown by me; encroaching entranced and eating the fodder, they will get elated; being elated they will get careless; being careless they will become those to be done to as one wills amid this crop.’

The First Herd of Deer

Then, monks, the first herd of deer ate fodder encroaching entranced on this crop sown by the sower; encroaching entranced and eating the fodder these got elated; being elated they got careless; being careless they became those to be done to as the sower willed amid that crop.

Thus, monks, this first herd of deer did not escape from the sower’s mastery.

The Second Herd of Deer

Then, monks, the second herd of deer realised:

‘The first herd of deer has eaten fodder encroaching entranced on that crop sown by the sower; these, eating fodder encroaching entranced there got elated; being elated they got careless; being careless they became those to be done to as the sower willed amid that crop.

Thus this first herd of deer did not escape from the sower’s mastery.

Suppose that we should all refrain from eating the crops; and refraining from enjoyment where there is fear, having plunged into a stretch of forest, should stay there?’

So all these refrained from eating the crops; and refraining from enjoyment where there was fear, having plunged into a stretch of forest, they stayed there.

In the last month of the hot weather the grass and water gave out, and their bodies became extremely emaciated so that their strength and energy diminished, and with diminished strength and energy they came back again to those crops sown by the sower; encroaching entranced they ate the fodder there; encroaching entranced and eating the fodder there, they got elated; being elated they got careless; being careless, they became those to be done to as the sower willed amid that crop.

Thus, monks, neither did the second herd of deer escape from the sower’s mastery.

The Third Herd of Deer

Then, monks, the third herd of deer realised:

‘The first herd of deer has eaten fodder encroaching entranced on that crop sown by the sower; these, eating fodder encroaching entranced there got elated; being elated they got careless; being careless they became those to be done to as the sower willed amid that crop.

Thus this first herd of deer did not escape from the sower’s mastery.

Then that second herd of deer realised thus:

“The first herd of deer has eaten fodder encroaching entranced on that crop sown by the sower; these, eating fodder encroaching entranced there got elated; being elated they got careless; being careless they became those to be done to as the sower willed amid that crop.

Thus this first herd of deer did not escape from the sower’s mastery.

Suppose that we should all refrain from eating the crops; and refraining from enjoyment where there is fear, having plunged into a stretch of forest, should stay there?”

So all these refrained from eating the crops; and refraining from enjoyment where there was fear, having plunged into a stretch of forest, stayed there.

In the last month of the hot weather the grass and water gave out, and their bodies became extremely emaciated so that their strength and energy diminished, and with diminished strength and energy they came back again to those crops sown by the sower; encroaching entranced they ate the fodder there; encroaching entranced and eating the fodder there, they got elated; being elated they got careless; being careless, they became those to be done to as the sower willed amid that crop.’

Suppose that we should make a lair near those crops sown by the sower, so that we can eat fodder not encroaching entranced on those crops sown by the sower; and then, having made the lair and not encroaching entranced on the crops sown by the sower, we will not get elated; not being elated we will not get careless; not being careless, we will not become those to be done to as the sower wills amid that crop.’

These made a lair near that crop sown by the sower; having made the lair, they ate fodder not encroaching entranced on the crops sown by the sower; these, eating fodder not encroaching entranced there, did not get elated; not being elated, they did not get careless; not being careless, they did not become those to be done to as the sower willed amid that crop.

Thereupon, monks, it occurred to the sower and his companions:

‘This third herd of deer must be crafty and wily; this third herd of deer must have potency and be demons; they eat this crop that was sown, but we do not know of their comings or goings.

Suppose that we were to enclose this crop that was sown with large stakes and snares on all sides?

Then we might see the lair of the third herd of deer, where they might go to take it.’

So these enclosed that crop that was sown with large stakes and snares on all sides.

Then, monks, the sower and his companions saw the lair of the third herd of deer, where they went to take it.

Thus, monks, neither did this third herd of deer escape from the sower’s mastery.

The Fourth Herd of Deer

Thereupon, monks, the fourth herd of deer realised thus:

‘The first herd of deer has eaten fodder encroaching entranced on that crop sown by the sower; these, eating fodder encroaching entranced there got elated; being elated they got careless; being careless they became those to be done to as the sower willed amid that crop.

Thus this first herd of deer did not escape from the sower’s mastery.

Then that second herd of deer realised thus:

“The first herd of deer has eaten fodder encroaching entranced on that crop sown by the sower; these, eating fodder encroaching entranced there got elated; being elated they got careless; being careless they became those to be done to as the sower willed amid that crop.

Thus this first herd of deer did not escape from the sower’s mastery.

Suppose that we should all refrain from eating the crops; and refraining from enjoyment where there is fear, having plunged into a stretch of forest, should stay there?”

So all these refrained from eating the crops; and refraining from enjoyment where there was fear, having plunged into a stretch of forest, they stayed there.

In the last month of the hot weather the grass and water gave out, and their bodies became extremely emaciated so that their strength and energy diminished, and with diminished strength and energy they came back again to those crops sown by the sower; encroaching entranced they ate the fodder there; encroaching entranced and eating the fodder there, they got elated; being elated they got careless; being careless, they became those to be done to as the sower willed amid that crop.

Suppose that we should make a lair near those crops sown by the sower, so that we can eat fodder not encroaching entranced on those crops sown by the sower; and then, having made the lair and not encroaching entranced on the crops sown by the sower, we will not get elated; not being elated we will not get careless; not being careless, we will not become those to be done to as the sower wills amid that crop.”

These made a lair near that crop sown by the sower; having made the lair, they ate fodder not encroaching entranced on the crops sown by the sower; these, eating fodder not encroaching entranced there, did not get elated; not being elated, they did not get careless; not being careless, they did not become those to be done to as the sower willed amid that crop.

Thereupon, it occurred to the sower and his companions:

“This third herd of deer must be crafty and wily; this third herd of deer must have potency and be demons; they eat this crop that was sown, but we do not know of their comings or goings.

Suppose that we were to enclose this crop that was sown with large stakes and snares on all sides?

Then we might see the lair of the third herd of deer, where they might go to take it.”

So these enclosed that crop that was sown with large stakes and snares on all sides.

Then the sower and his companions saw the lair of the third herd of deer, where they went to take it.

Thus neither did this third herd of deer escape from the sower’s mastery.’

Suppose that we were to make a lair somewhere where the sower and his companions do not come?

Having made our lair there, we might eat fodder not encroaching entranced on that crop sown by the sower; eating fodder not encroaching entranced, we will not get elated; not being elated, we will not get careless; not being careless, we will not become those to be done to as the sower wills amid that crop.’

These made a lair somewhere where the sower and his companions did not come; having made a lair there, they ate fodder not encroaching entranced on that crop sown by the sower; these eating fodder not encroaching entranced there, did not get elated; not being elated, they did not get careless; not being careless, they did not become those to be done to as the sower willed amid that crop.

Thereupon, monks, it occurred to the sower and his companions:

‘This fourth herd of deer must be crafty and wily; this fourth herd of deer must have potency and be demons; they eat this crop that was sown, but we do not know of their comings or goings.

Suppose that we were to enclose this crop that was sown with large stakes and snares on all sides?

Then we might see the lair of the fourth herd of deer, where they might go to take it.’

So these enclosed that crop that was sown with large stakes and snares on all sides.

But, monks, neither the sower nor his companions saw the lair of this fourth herd of deer, where they might go to take it.

Thereupon, monks, it occurred to the sower and his companions:

‘If we beat up this fourth herd of deer, these, beaten up, will beat up others; these, beaten up, will beat up others, and so all the deer will neglect this crop that was sown.

Suppose that we were not to interfere with the fourth herd of deer?’

So, monks, neither the sower nor his companions interfered with the fourth herd of deer.

Thus, monks, this fourth herd of deer escaped the sower’s mastery.

Monks, this parable was made by me to illustrate the meaning.

And just this is the meaning here:

‘The crop,’ monks, this is a synonym for the five strands of sense-pleasures.

‘The sower,’ monks, this is a name for Māra the Evil One.

‘The sower’s companions,’ monks, this is a synonym for Māra’s companions.

‘The herds of deer,’ monks,

this is a synonym for recluses and brahmans.

The First Kind of Recluse and Brahman

Where, monks, the first kind of recluse and brahman ate fodder encroaching entranced on that crop sown by Māra—material things of the world—these, eating the fodder and encroaching entranced there, got elated; being elated, they got careless; being careless, they became those to be done to by Māra as he willed amid that crop—material things of the world.

Thus, monks, the first kind of recluses and brahmans did not escape from Māra’s mastery.

I, monks, say that this first kind of recluse and brahman is like that first herd of deer in the parable.

The Second Kind of Recluse and Brahman

Then, monks, the second kind of recluse and brahman realised:

‘That first kind of recluses and brahmans ate fodder encroaching entranced on a crop sown by Māra—material things of the world; these, eating the fodder and encroaching entranced there, got elated; being elated, they got careless; being careless, they became those to be done to by Māra as he willed amid that crop—material things of the world.’

Suppose that we should all refrain from eating the crop—material things of the world; and refraining from enjoyment where there is fear, having plunged into a stretch of forest, should stay there?’

All these refrained from eating the crop—material things of the world; refraining from enjoyment where there was fear, having plunged into a stretch of forest, they stayed there.

There these became those feeding on potherbs; they became those feeding on millet; they became those feeding on rice; they became those feeding on snippets of leather; they became those feeding on water-plants; they became those feeding on the red powder of rice husks; they became those feeding on the discarded scum of rice on the boil; they became those feeding on the flour of oil-seeds; they became those feeding on grass; they became those feeding on cowdung; they became those who subsisted on forest roots and fruits, eating the fruits that had fallen.

In the last month of the hot weather, when the grass and water dried up, their bodies became extremely emaciated; because their bodies were extremely emaciated their strength and energy diminished; because their strength and energy diminished, freedom of mind diminished; because freedom of mind diminished, they went back again to that very crop sown by Māra—material things of the world.

They ate fodder encroaching entranced there; eating fodder encroaching entranced there, they got elated; being elated they got careless; being careless, they became those to be done to by Māra as he willed amid that crop—those material things of the world.

Thus, monks, neither did this second kind of recluse and brahman escape from Māra’s mastery.

I, monks, say that this second kind of recluse and brahman is like that second herd of deer in that parable.

The Third Kind of Recluse and Brahman

Then, monks, the third kind of recluse and brahman realised:

‘That first kind of recluses and brahmans ate fodder encroaching entranced on a crop sown by Māra—material things of the world; these, eating the fodder and encroaching entranced there, got elated; being elated, they got careless; being careless, they became those to be done to by Māra as he willed amid that crop—material things of the world.

Then the second kind of recluse and brahman realised:

“That first kind of recluses and brahmans ate fodder encroaching entranced on a crop sown by Māra—material things of the world; these, eating the fodder and encroaching entranced there, got elated; being elated, they got careless; being careless, they became those to be done to by Māra as he willed amid that crop—material things of the world.’

Suppose that we should all refrain from eating the crop—material things of the world; and refraining from enjoyment where there is fear, having plunged into a stretch of forest, should stay there?”

All these refrained from eating the crop—material things of the world; refraining from enjoyment where there was fear, having plunged into a stretch of forest, they stayed there.

There these became those feeding on potherbs; they became those feeding on millet; they became those feeding on rice; they became those feeding on snippets of leather; they became those feeding on water-plants; they became those feeding on the red powder of rice husks; they became those feeding on the discarded scum of rice on the boil; they became those feeding on the flour of oil-seeds; they became those feeding on grass; they became those feeding on cowdung; they became those who subsisted on forest roots and fruits, eating the fruits that had fallen.

In the last month of the hot weather, when the grass and water dried up, their bodies became extremely emaciated; because their bodies were extremely emaciated their strength and energy diminished; because their strength and energy diminished, freedom of mind diminished; because freedom of mind diminished, they went back again to that very crop sown by Māra—material things of the world.

They ate fodder encroaching entranced there; eating fodder encroaching entranced there, they got elated; being elated they got careless; being careless, they became those to be done to by Māra as he willed amid that crop—those material things of the world.

Thus neither did this second kind of recluse and brahman escape from Māra’s mastery.

Suppose that we should make a lair near that crop sown by Māra—material things of the world; having made a lair there, we will eat fodder not encroaching entranced on that crop sown by Māra—material things of the world; eating fodder not encroaching entranced, we will not get elated; not being elated, we will not get careless; not being careless, we will not become those to be done to by Māra as he wills amid that crop-material things of the world.’

These made a lair near that crop sown by Māra—material things of the world; having made a lair there, they ate fodder not encroaching entranced on that crop sown by Māra—material things of the world; these, eating fodder not encroaching entranced there, did not get elated; not being elated, they did not get careless; not being careless, they did not become those to be done to by Māra as he willed amid that crop—material things of the world.

Nevertheless they came to be of views like this: that the world is eternal, also that the world is not eternal; and that the world is an ending thing, also that the world is not an ending thing; and that the life principle and the body are the same, also that the life principle and the body are different; and that the Tathāgata becomes after dying, also that the Tathāgata does not become after dying, also that the Tathāgata both becomes and does not become after dying, also that the Tathāgata neither becomes nor does not become after dying.

Thus, monks, neither did this third kind of recluse and brahman escape from Māra’s mastery.

I, monks, say that this third kind of recluse and brahman is like that third herd of deer in the parable.

The Fourth Kind of Recluse and Brahman

Then, monks, the fourth kind of recluse and brahman realised thus:

‘That first kind of recluses and brahmans ate fodder encroaching entranced on a crop sown by Māra—material things of the world; these, eating the fodder and encroaching entranced there, got elated; being elated, they got careless; being careless, they became those to be done to by Māra as he willed amid that crop—material things of the world.

Then the second kind of recluse and brahman realised:

“That first kind of recluses and brahmans ate fodder encroaching entranced on a crop sown by Māra—material things of the world; these, eating the fodder and encroaching entranced there, got elated; being elated, they got careless; being careless, they became those to be done to by Māra as he willed amid that crop—material things of the world.’

Suppose that we should all refrain from eating the crop—material things of the world; and refraining from enjoyment where there is fear, having plunged into a stretch of forest, should stay there?”

All these refrained from eating the crop—material things of the world; refraining from enjoyment where there was fear, having plunged into a stretch of forest, they stayed there.

There these became those feeding on potherbs; they became those feeding on millet; they became those feeding on rice; they became those feeding on snippets of leather; they became those feeding on water-plants; they became those feeding on the red powder of rice husks; they became those feeding on the discarded scum of rice on the boil; they became those feeding on the flour of oil-seeds; they became those feeding on grass; they became those feeding on cowdung; they became those who subsisted on forest roots and fruits, eating the fruits that had fallen.

In the last month of the hot weather, when the grass and water dried up, their bodies became extremely emaciated; because their bodies were extremely emaciated their strength and energy diminished; because their strength and energy diminished, freedom of mind diminished; because freedom of mind diminished, they went back again to that very crop sown by Māra—material things of the world.

They ate fodder encroaching entranced there; eating fodder encroaching entranced there, they got elated; being elated they got careless; being careless, they became those to be done to by Māra as he willed amid that crop—those material things of the world.

Thus neither did this second kind of recluse and brahman escape from Māra’s mastery.

Then the third kind of recluse and brahman realised:

‘That first kind of recluses and brahmans ate fodder encroaching entranced on a crop sown by Māra—material things of the world; these, eating the fodder and encroaching entranced there, got elated; being elated, they got careless; being careless, they became those to be done to by Māra as he willed amid that crop—material things of the world.

Then the second kind of recluse and brahman realised:

“That first kind of recluses and brahmans ate fodder encroaching entranced on a crop sown by Māra—material things of the world; these, eating the fodder and encroaching entranced there, got elated; being elated, they got careless; being careless, they became those to be done to by Māra as he willed amid that crop—material things of the world.’

Suppose that we should all refrain from eating the crop—material things of the world; and refraining from enjoyment where there is fear, having plunged into a stretch of forest, should stay there?”

All these refrained from eating the crop—material things of the world; refraining from enjoyment where there was fear, having plunged into a stretch of forest, they stayed there.

There these became those feeding on potherbs; they became those feeding on millet; they became those feeding on rice; they became those feeding on snippets of leather; they became those feeding on water-plants; they became those feeding on the red powder of rice husks; they became those feeding on the discarded scum of rice on the boil; they became those feeding on the flour of oil-seeds; they became those feeding on grass; they became those feeding on cowdung; they became those who subsisted on forest roots and fruits, eating the fruits that had fallen.

In the last month of the hot weather, when the grass and water dried up, their bodies became extremely emaciated; because their bodies were extremely emaciated their strength and energy diminished; because their strength and energy diminished, freedom of mind diminished; because freedom of mind diminished, they went back again to that very crop sown by Māra—material things of the world.

They ate fodder encroaching entranced there; eating fodder encroaching entranced there, they got elated; being elated they got careless; being careless, they became those to be done to by Māra as he willed amid that crop—those material things of the world.

Thus neither did this second kind of recluse and brahman escape from Māra’s mastery.

Suppose that we should make a lair near that crop sown by Māra—material things of the world; having made a lair there, we will eat fodder not encroaching entranced on that crop sown by Māra—material things of the world; eating fodder not encroaching entranced, we will not get elated; not being elated, we will not get careless; not being careless, we will not become those to be done to by Māra as he wills amid that crop-material things of the world.’

These made a lair near that crop sown by Māra—material things of the world; having made a lair there, they ate fodder not encroaching entranced on that crop sown by Māra—material things of the world; these, eating fodder not encroaching entranced there, did not get elated; not being elated, they did not get careless; not being careless, they did not become those to be done to by Māra as he willed amid that crop—material things of the world.

Nevertheless they came to be of views like this: that the world is eternal, also that the world is not eternal; and that the world is an ending thing, also that the world is not an ending thing; and that the life principle and the body are the same, also that the life principle and the body are different; and that the Tathāgata becomes after dying, also that the Tathāgata does not become after dying, also that the Tathāgata both becomes and does not become after dying, also that the Tathāgata neither becomes nor does not become after dying.

Thus neither did this third kind of recluse and brahman escape from Māra’s mastery.’

Suppose that we should make a lair where Māra and Māra’s companions do not come; having made that lair, we can eat fodder not encroaching entranced on that crop sown by Māra—material things of the world; eating fodder not encroaching entranced, we will not get elated; not being elated we will not get careless, not being careless we will not become those to be done to by Māra as he wills amid that crop—material things of the world.’

These made a lair where Māra and Māra’s companions did not come; having made a lair there, they ate fodder not encroaching entranced on that crop sown by Māra—material things of the world.

These, eating fodder not encroaching entranced there, did not get elated; not being elated, they did not get careless; not being careless, they did not become those to be done to by Māra as he willed amid that crop—material things of the world.

Thus, monks, the fourth kind of recluses and brahmans escaped from Māra’s mastery.

I, monks, say that the fourth kind of recluse and brahman is like that fourth herd of deer in the parable.

And how, monks, is there non-entry of Māra and Māra’s companions?

Herein, monks, a monk, aloof from the pleasures of the senses, aloof from unskilled states of mind, enters on and abides in the first meditation which is accompanied by initial thought and discursive thought, is born of aloofness, and is rapturous and joyful.

Monks, this kind of monk is called one who has put a darkness round Māra, and who, having blotted out Māra’s vision so that it has no range, goes unseen by the Evil One.

And again, monks, a monk, by allaying initial and discursive thought, his mind subjectively tranquillised and fixed on one point, enters on and abides in the second meditation which is devoid of initial and discursive thought, is born of concentration and is rapturous and joyful.

Monks, this kind of monk is called one who has put a darkness round Māra, and who, having blotted out Māra’s vision so that it has no range, goes unseen by the Evil One.

And again, monks, a monk, by the fading out of rapture, dwells with equanimity, attentive and clearly conscious, and experiences in his person that joy of which the ariyans say: ‘Joyful lives he who has equanimity and is mindful,’ and he enters on and abides in the third meditation.

Monks, this kind of monk is called one who has put a darkness round Māra, and who, having blotted out Māra’s vision so that it has no range, goes unseen by the Evil One.

And again, monks, a monk by getting rid of joy, by getting rid of anguish, by the going down of his former pleasures and sorrows, enters on and abides in the fourth meditation which has neither anguish nor joy, and which is entirely purified by equanimity and mindfulness.

Monks, this kind of monk is called one who has put a darkness round Māra, and who, having blotted out Māra’s vision so that it has no range, goes unseen by the Evil One.

And again, monks, a monk by passing quite beyond perception of material shapes, by the going down of perception of sensory reactions, by not attending to perception of variety, thinking: ‘Ether is unending,’ enters on and abides in the plane of infinite ether.

Monks, this kind of monk is called one who has put a darkness round Māra, and who, having blotted out Māra’s vision so that it has no range, goes unseen by the Evil One.

And again, monks, a monk by passing quite beyond the plane of infinite ether, thinking: ‘Consciousness is unending,’ enters on and abides in the plane of infinite consciousness.

Monks, this kind of monk is called one who has put a darkness round Māra, and who, having blotted out Māra’s vision so that it has no range, goes unseen by the Evil One.

And again, monks, a monk, by passing quite beyond the plane of infinite consciousness, thinking: ‘There is not anything,’ enters on and abides in the plane of no-thing.

Monks, this kind of monk is called one who has put a darkness round Māra, and who, having blotted out Māra’s vision so that it has no range, goes unseen by the Evil One.

And again, monks, a monk, by passing quite beyond the plane of no-thing, enters on and abides in the plane of neither-perception-nor-non-perception.

Monks, this kind of monk is called one who has put a darkness round Māra, and who, having blotted out Māra’s vision so that it has no range, goes unseen by the Evil One.

And again, monks, a monk, by passing quite beyond the plane of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, enters on and abides in the stopping of perception and feeling; and having seen by intuitive wisdom, his cankers are utterly destroyed.

Monks, this kind of monk is called one who has put a darkness round Māra, and who, having blotted out Māra’s vision so that it has no range, goes unseen by the Evil One he has crossed over the entanglement in the world.”

Thus spoke the Lord. Delighted, these monks rejoiced in what the Lord had said.

Majjhima Nikāya

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