AN 4.113 Patoda Sutta

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Patoda Sutta: The Goad

translated from the Pali by

F.L. Woodward

"Monks, these four goodly thoroughbred steeds are found existing in the world. What four?

"In this case, monks, we may have a certain goodly thoroughbred steed which at the very sight of the shadow of the goad-stick is stirred, feels agitation [thinking:] 'What task, I wonder, will the trainer set me today? What return can I make him?' Here, monks, we may have such a steed, and this is the first sort of goodly thoroughbred steed found existing in the world.

"Then again, monks, we may have a certain goodly thoroughbred steed which is not stirred at the mere sight of the goad-stick's shadow, feels no agitation, but when his coat is pricked with the goad, he is stirred, feels agitation [thinking:] 'What task, I wonder...' This is the second sort...

"Then again, monks, we may have a certain goodly thoroughbred steed which is not stirred... at the sight of the goad-stick's shade, nor yet when his coat is pricked with the goad, but when his flesh is pierced, he is stirred, he feels agitated [thinking:] 'What task, I wonder...' This is the third sort...

"Once more, monks, we may have a goodly thoroughbred steed which is stirred neither at the sight of the goad-stick's shade nor when his coat is pricked, nor yet when his flesh is pierced by the goad-stick; but when he is pierced to the very bone, he is stirred, feels agitation [thinking:] 'What task, I wonder, will the trainer set me today? What return can I make him?' Here we have such a goodly thoroughbred steed... This is the fourth sort.

"Thus, monks, there four goodly thoroughbred steeds are found existing in the world.

"Just in the same way, monks, these four goodly thoroughbred men are found existing in the world. What four?

"In this case, monks, we may have a certain goodly thoroughbred man who hears is said that in such and such a village or township is a woman or man afflicted or dead. Thereat he is stirred, he feels agitation. Thus agitated he strictly applied himself. Thus applied he both realized in his own person the supreme truth, and sees it by penetrating it with wisdom. Just as, monks, that goodly thoroughbred steed on seeing the shadow of the goad-stick is stirred, feels agitation, even so using this figure do I speak of this goodly thoroughbred man. Such in this case is the goodly thoroughbred man. This is the first sort...

"Again, monks, here we may have a goodly thoroughbred man who does not hear it said that in such a village or township is a woman or a man afflicted or dead, but with his own eyes beholds such. Thereupon he is stirred, he feels agitation (as above)... Just as, monks, that goodly thoroughbred steed on having his coat pricked with the goad stirred... even so using this figure do I speak of this goodly thoroughbred man... Such in this case is... This is the second sort...

"Then again, monks, here we may have a goodly thoroughbred man who does not hear it said... nor yet with his own eyes beholds a woman or a man afflicted or dead, but his own kinsman or blood-relation is afflicted or dead. Thereupon he is stirred... just as, monks, that goodly thoroughbred steed on having his flesh pierced is stirred... even so using this figure do I speak of this goodly thoroughbred man... Such in this case... This is the third sort.

"Once more, monks, here we may have a goodly thoroughbred man who neither hears it said... nor yet with his own eyes beholds... nor is his own kinsman or blood-relation afflicted or dead, but he himself is stricken with painful bodily feelings, grievous, sharp, racking, distracting, discomforting, that drain the life away. Thereat he is stirred, he feels agitation. Being so stirred he strictly applied himself. Thus applied he both realizes in his own person the supreme truth, and sees it by penetrating it with wisdom. Just as, monks, that goodly thoroughbred steed on being pierced to the very bone is stirred, feels agitation, even so using this figure do I speak of this goodly thoroughbred man. Of such a sort, monks, is the goodly thoroughbred man in this case. This is the fourth sort.

"These, monks, are the four sorts of thoroughbreds among men found existing in the world."