|Forest Sangha Newsletter||April 1990|
Venerable Dr. Hammalawa Saddhatissa Mahanayaka Thera passed away, aged 76, on February 13th this year, (1990) and was cremated at the orth London Crematorium on February 17th, 1990. Although personally he had not wanted any ceremony, such an event was inevitable at the funeral of Britain's most senior bhikkhu. Dr. Saddhatissa had received upasampada in Sri Lanka in 1926 and had been resident in the U.K., mostly at the London Buddhist Vihara, since 1957.
The Venerable Mahanayaka was a scholar of distinction, having served as either professor or lecturer at the universities of Benares, London, Toronto and Oxford, as well as being president of the British Mahabodhi Society and member of the executive council of the Pali Text Society. We remember his gentleness and humility, and his willingness to serve the sansana.
Here is an extract from his translation of the Sutta Nipata, published by Curzon Press.
10: PURABHEDA SUTTA 'Qualities of a Muni (Sage)'1 'Gotama, sir,' a questioner said to the Buddha, 'I want to ask you about the perfect man. There are those people whom we call "men who are calmed" - can you tell me how they see things and how they behave?'
2 'A man who is calmed, who has extinguished all his cravings before the time his body disintegrates into nothing, who has no concern with how things began or with how they will end and no fixation with what happens in between: such a man has no preferences.
Nothing disturbs his composure and nothing gives him cause for regret. He is the wise man who is restrained in speech.
3 'He has no anger, no fear and no pride. Nothing disturbs his composure and nothing gives him cause for regret. He is the wise man who is restrained in speech.
4 'He has no longing for the future and no grief for the past; there are no views or opinions that lead him. He can see detachment from the entangled world of sense impressions.
5 'He does not conceal anything and there is nothing that he holds on to. Without acquisitive or envy, he remains unobtrusive; he has no disdain or insult for anyone.
6 'He is not a man who is full of himself, or a man who is addicted to pleasure; he is a man who is gentle and alert, with no blind faith; he shows no aversion [to anything].
7 'He is not a person who works because he wants something; if he gets nothing at all he remains unperturbed. There is no craving to build up the passion to taste new pleasures.
8 'His mindfulness holds him posed in a constant even-mindedness where arrogance is impossible; he makes no comparisons with the rest of the world as "superior", "inferior" or "equal".
9 'Because he understands the Way Things Are, he is free from dependency and there is nothing he relies on. For him there is no more craving to exist or not to exist.
10 'This is what I call a man who is calmed. It is a man who does not seek after pleasure, who has nothing to tie him down, who has gone beyond the pull of attachment.
11 'It is a man without sons, a man without wealth, without fields, without cows - a man with nothing in him that he grasps at as his, and nothing in him that he rejects as not his.
12 'He is a man who receives false criticisms from other people, from priests and hermits, but who remains undisturbed and unmoved by their words.
13 'It is a man without greed and without possessiveness; it is a man who, as a man of wisdom, does not consider himself "superior", "inferior" or "equal". It is a man who does not enter speculation, a man who is free from speculations.
14 'It is a man who has nothing in this world that he calls his own and who does not grieve for not having anything. He is calmed who does not take speculative views.'