Home Previous Up Next

The Buddha

What's New?

Classes

Retreats

Videos

Forums

Blog

Books

Mahāsi Sayādaw

Ledi Sayādaw

Other Authors

Bhikkhu Pesala

Discourses

DPPN

Help

Contact Us

Pāḷi Words

Map of India

Related Links

Photos

OpenType Fonts


Parent Folder Previous Page

© You may print any of these books for your own use. However, all rights are reserved. You may not use any of the site content on your own website, nor for commercial distribution. To publish the books, permission must be sought from the appropriate copyright owners. If you post an extract on a forum, post a link to the appropriate page. Please do not link directly to PDF, MP3, or ZIP files. (Updated on 3 January, 2018)




Home Next Page

Soṇa Suttaṃ

(A.iii.221)

Dogs

“Monks, these five ancient Brahmin practices ¹ are now practised by dogs, not by Brahmins. What five?

“Formerly, monks, Brahmins only couple with Brahmin women, not with non-Brahmin women. Now, monks, Brahmins couple with Brahmin women and also with non-Brahmin women. Now, monks, dogs couple only with female dogs, not with other animals.  This, monks is the first Brahmin practice that is now practised by dogs, not by Brahmins.

“Formerly, monks, Brahmins only coupled with Brahmin women when they were in season, not when they were not in season. [222] Now, monks, Brahmins couple with Brahmin women when they are in season, and also when they are not in season. Now, monks, dogs only couple with female dogs when they are in season, not when they are not in season. This, monks, is the second Brahmin practice that is now practised by dogs, not by Brahmins.

“Formerly, monks, Brahmins neither bought nor sold Brahmin women,² they lived together and bonded to continue the family line only through mutual affection. Now, monks, Brahmins also buy and sell Brahmin women, they do not live together and bond to continue the family line only through mutual affection. Now, monks, dogs neither buy nor sell female dogs, they live together and bond to continue the family line only through mutual affection. This, monks, is the third Brahmin practice that is now practised by dogs, not by Brahmins.

“Formerly, monks, Brahmins did not store up wealth, grain, silver, and gold. Now, monks, Brahmins store up wealth, grain, silver, and gold. Now, monks, dogs do not store up wealth, grain, silver, or gold. This, monks, is the fourth Brahmin practice that is now practised by dogs, not by Brahmins.

“Formerly, monks, Brahmins sought food for their morning meal in the morning and for their evening meal in the evening. Now, monks, Brahmins having eaten as much as their bellies will hold, leave taking away the left-overs. Now, monks, dogs seek food for their morning meal in the morning and for their evening meal in the evening. This, monks, is the fifth Brahmin practice that is now practised by dogs, not by Brahmins.

Notes:

1. The ancient Brahmin practices (porāṇā brāhmaṇadhammā), followed by the Brahmins of former times. The four castes of Brahmins (brāhmaṇā), rulers (khattiyā), merchants (vessā), and workers (suddā), were recognised in the time of the Buddha. The Buddha was of the khattiyā caste of rulers and nobles. Those outside of these four castes were known as outcastes (vasala, caṇḍala). The Brahmins regarded themselves as superior to other castes, but here the Buddha ridicules them.

2. In the time of the Buddha, arranged marriages seem to have been the norm. Visākhā, for example, was married to the son of Migāra, who worshipped the naked ascetics (Nigaṇṭhā). A substantial dowry was given. The Siṅgāla Sutta gives one of the duties of parents as “they seek a suitable wife for him.” Nowadays, the burden seems to have been reversed onto the parents of daughters to “seek a suitable husband,” for them. No mention is made in the Siṅgāla Sutta of any such duty of parents to their daughters, though note that it was taught to a young man, not to parents with daughters. My own view is that the role of the parents is only to proved guidance by acting as a go-between, not to purchase a suitable husband for their daughter or a suitable wife for their son. The ancient Brahmin practice would be marriage by mutual affection if the parents agree to it in the case of those of a young age. If they don’t agree to it, the young couple should wait until their parents do agree, or until they are both living independently of their parents.