2.7. How Brahmins Lived by the Dharma
At one time the Radiant One dwelt at Sāvatthī, in the Jeta Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s park. Then many decrepit old Kosalan brahmins, aged, elderly, advanced in years, attained to old age, those indeed of palatial abodes, went to the Radiant One and exchanged greeting with him. When this courteous and amiable talk was finished they sat down to one side. Sitting there these brahmins of palatial abodes said, “Master Gotama, are there now to be seen any brahmins who practise the Brahmin Dharma of the brahmins of old?”
Those brahmins then by Dharma did
what should be done, not what should not,
and so aware they graceful were,
well-built, fair-skinned, of high renown.
While in the world this lore was found
these people happily prospered.
That rajah, Lord of chariots,
by brahmins was persuaded so
he offered all these sacrifices:
of horses, men, the peg well-thrown,
the sacrifice of soma drink
the one of rich results—
while to the brahmins wealth he gave:
When they had all this wealth received
to hoard it up was their desire
for they were overwhelmed by greed—
their craving thus increased—
so they composed more Vedic hymns
and chanting went to Okkāka king.
“As water is, and earth, as well
as gold, as grain as well as wealth,
in the same way for human beings,
and cattle are necessities;
Great your wealth and great your grain,
make sacrifice to us with grain and wealth”.
When this was said the brahmins of palatial abodes exclaimed to the Radiant One: “Magnificent, Master Gotama! The Dharma has been clarified by Master Gotama in many ways, as though he was righting what had been overturned, revealing what was hidden, showing the way to one who was lost, or holding a lamp in the dark so that those with eyes could see forms. We go for refuge to Master Gotama, to the Dharma and to the Saṅgha. May Master Gotama remember us as upāsakas who from today have Gone for Refuge for life.”