Ta như thầy thuốc, biết bệnh cho thuốc. Người bệnh chịu uống thuốc ấy hay không, chẳng phải lỗi thầy thuốc. Lại cũng như người khéo chỉ đường, chỉ cho mọi người con đường tốt. Nghe rồi mà chẳng đi theo, thật chẳng phải lỗi người chỉ đường.Kinh Lời dạy cuối cùng
Ai sống một trăm năm, lười nhác không tinh tấn, tốt hơn sống một ngày, tinh tấn tận sức mình.Kinh Pháp cú (Kệ số 112)
Hãy tự mình làm những điều mình khuyên dạy người khác. Kinh Pháp cú
Người nhiều lòng tham giống như cầm đuốc đi ngược gió, thế nào cũng bị lửa táp vào tay. Kinh Bốn mươi hai chương
Như ngôi nhà khéo lợp, mưa không xâm nhập vào. Cũng vậy tâm khéo tu, tham dục không xâm nhập.Kinh Pháp cú (Kệ số 14)
Dễ thay thấy lỗi người, lỗi mình thấy mới khó.Kinh Pháp cú (Kệ số 252)
Vui thay, chúng ta sống, Không hận, giữa hận thù! Giữa những người thù hận, Ta sống, không hận thù!Kinh Pháp Cú (Kệ số 197)
Người ta vì ái dục sinh ra lo nghĩ; vì lo nghĩ sinh ra sợ sệt. Nếu lìa khỏi ái dục thì còn chi phải lo, còn chi phải sợ?Kinh Bốn mươi hai chương
Kẻ hung dữ hại người cũng như ngửa mặt lên trời mà phun nước bọt. Nước bọt ấy chẳng lên đến trời, lại rơi xuống chính mình.Kinh Bốn mươi hai chương
Nếu chuyên cần tinh tấn thì không có việc chi là khó. Ví như dòng nước nhỏ mà chảy mãi thì cũng làm mòn được hòn đá.Kinh Lời dạy cuối cùng

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Udāna

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1. Bodhivagga — The Chapter About Awakening
I.
I have heard that on one occasion, the Blessed One was staying at Uruvelā on the bank of the Nerañjarā River at the root of the Bodhi tree — the tree of awakening — newly awakened. And on that occasion he sat at the root of the Bodhi tree for seven days in one session, sensitive to the bliss of release. Then, with the passing of seven days, after emerging from that concentration, in the first watch of the night, he gave close attention to dependent co-arising in forward order,[1] thus:
When this is, that is.
From the arising of this comes the arising of that.
In other words:
From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications.
From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness.
From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form.
From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media.
From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact.
From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling.
From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving.
From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance.[2]From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming.
From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth.
From birth as a requisite condition, then aging-&-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of suffering & stress.[3]
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
As phenomena grow clear
to the brahman — ardent, in jhāna —
his doubts all vanish
when he discerns
a phenomenon with its cause.
Notes
1.
In the parallel passage at Mv.I.1.2, the Buddha gives attention to dependent co-arising in both forward and reverse order.
2.
This hybrid word — clinging/sustenance — is a translation of the Pali term upādāna. Upādāna has a hybrid meaning because it is used to cover two sides of a physical process metaphorically applied to the mind: the act of clinging whereby a fire takes sustenance from a piece of fuel, together with the sustenance offered by the fuel. On the level of the mind, upādāna denotes both the act of clinging and the object clung to, which together give sustenance to the process of becoming and its attendant factors leading to suffering and stress. For more on this image and its implications for the practice, see The Mind Like Fire Unbound.
3.
Notice that dependent co-arising (paṭicca samuppāda) is expressed in terms of processes — of events and actions — without reference to a framework containing those processes. In other words, it doesn't mention the existence or non-existence of agents doing the actions, or of a framework in time and space in which these processes happen. Thus it makes possible a way of understanding the causes of suffering and stress without reference to the existence or non-existence of an "I" or an "other" responsible for those events. Instead, the events are viewed simply as events in the context of the process — a way of viewing that makes it possible to abandon clinging for any of these events, so as to bring suffering to an end. Even the idea of an "I" or an "other" is seen simply as part of the process (under the factors of fabrication and the sub-factor of attention under "name" in name-and-form). This is what makes possible the abandoning of any attachment to the conceit "I am," as mentioned in Ud 2:1, 4:1, 6:6, and 7:1. In this way, the treatment of dependent co-arising in the first three udānas, while terse, actually sets the stage for understanding some of the more paradoxical teachings that appear later in the collection.
For a discussion of dependent co-arising in general, see The Shape of Suffering. For further discussion of its role in framing and abandoning thoughts of "I am," see Skill in Questions, chapters 3 and 8.
II.
I have heard that on one occasion, the Blessed One was staying at Uruvelā on the bank of the Nerañjarā River at the root of the Bodhi tree — the tree of awakening — newly awakened. And on that occasion he sat at the root of the Bodhi tree for seven days in one session, sensitive to the bliss of release. Then, with the passing of seven days, after emerging from that concentration, in the second watch of the night, he gave close attention to dependent co-arising in reverse order,[1] thus:
When this isn't, that isn't.
From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that.
In other words:
From the cessation of ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications.
From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness.
From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form.
From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media.
From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact.
From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling.
From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving.
From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance.
From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming.
From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth.
From the cessation of birth, then aging-&-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of suffering & stress.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
As phenomena grow clear
to the brahman — ardent, in jhāna —
his doubts all vanish
when he penetrates the ending
of requisite conditions.
Note
1.
In the parallel passage at Mv.I.1.4, the Buddha gives attention to dependent co-arising in both forward and reverse order.
III.
I have heard that on one occasion, the Blessed One was staying at Uruvelā on the bank of the Nerañjarā River at the root of the Bodhi tree — the tree of awakening — newly awakened. And on that occasion he sat at the root of the Bodhi tree for seven days in one session, sensitive to the bliss of release. Then, with the passing of seven days, after emerging from that concentration, in the third watch of the night, he gave close attention to dependent co-arising in forward and reverse order, thus:
When this is, that is.
From the arising of this comes the arising of that.
When this isn't, that isn't.
From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that.
In other words:
From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications.
From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness.
From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form.
From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media.
From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact.
From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling.
From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving.
From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance.
From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming.
From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth.
From birth as a requisite condition, then aging-&-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of suffering & stress.
Now from the remainderless fading and cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/ sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging-&-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of suffering & stress.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
As phenomena grow clear
to the brahman — ardent, in jhāna —
he stands,
routing Māra's army,
as the sun,
illumining the sky.[1]
Note
1.
This verse is an example of a "lamp" — a poetic figure in which one word, such as an adjective or a verb, functions in two or more different clauses or sentences. The name of the figure comes from the image of the different clauses or sentences "radiating" from the one word. In this case the lamp-word is "stands." For another example of a lamp, see Ud 5.3.
IV.
I have heard that on one occasion, the Blessed One was staying at Uruvelā on the bank of the Nerañjarā River at the root of the Bodhi tree — the tree of awakening — newly awakened. And on that occasion he sat at the root of the Bodhi tree for seven days in one session, sensitive to the bliss of release. At the end of seven days, he emerged from that concentration.
Then a certain overbearing brahman went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he stood to one side. As he was standing there, he said to the Blessed One, "To what extent, Master Gotama, is one a brahman? And which are the qualities that make one a brahman?"
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Any brahman
who has banished evil qualities,[1]
— not overbearing,
not stained,
his mind controlled —
gone to the end of wisdom,[2]
the holy life completed:[3]
Rightly would that brahman
speak the holy teaching.
He has no swelling of pride[4]
anywhere in the world.
Notes
1.
This line contains a wordplay on the words brāhmaṇa and bāhita(banished) — the same wordplay used in Dhp 388 and Ud 1.5.
2.
This line plays with the term vedanta, which can mean "end of wisdom," "end of the Vedas," or "supplement to the Vedas." In the latter two cases, it would be a term referring to a brahman-by-birth who has studied all the Vedas and their supplements, but the Buddha is obviously giving this term a different meaning here.
3.
Here and two lines down, the word "holy" translates brahma.
4.
See Sn 4.10 and Sn 4.14.
V.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion Ven. Sāriputta, Ven. Mahā Moggalāna, Ven. Mahā Kassapa, Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana, Ven. Mahā Koṭṭhita, Ven. Mahā Kappina, Ven. Mahā Cunda, Ven. Anuruddha, Ven. Revata, and Ven. Nanda[1] went to the Blessed One. The Blessed One saw them coming from afar and, on seeing them, addressed the monks, "Monks, those are brahmans who are coming. Monks, those are brahmans who are coming."
When this was said, a certain monk who was a brahman by birth said to the Blessed One, "To what extent, lord, is one a brahman? And which are the qualities that make one a brahman?"
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Having banished evil qualities,[2]
those who go about ever mindful,
awakened, their fetters ended:
They, in the world,
are truly brahmans.
Notes
1.
This translation follows the Thai and Burmese versions of this passage. The Sri Lankan version replaces Ven. Nanda in this list with Ven. Ānanda; the PTS version replaces him with Ven. Devadatta and Ven. Ānanda. These latter two readings would appear to be mistaken, as the Buddha in this sutta defines "brahman" as one whose fetters are ended — i.e., an arahant — whereas Ven. Ānanda became an arahant only after the Buddha's passing; Devadatta, after having caused a split in the Saṅgha toward the end of the Buddha's life, fell into hell.
2.
This line contains a wordplay on the words brāhmaṇa and bāhita (banished) — the same wordplay used in Dhp 388 and Ud 1.4.
VI.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rājagaha at the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Sanctuary. And on that occasion Ven. Mahā Kassapa was staying at the Pipphali Cave, afflicted, in pain, & seriously ill. Then, at a later time, he recovered from his illness. When he had recovered from the illness, the thought occurred to him: "What if I were to go into Rājagaha for alms?"
Now on that occasion 500 devatās were in a state of eagerness for the chance to give alms to Ven. Mahā Kassapa. But Ven. Mahā Kassapa, turning down those 500 devatās, early in the morning adjusted his under robe[1] and — carrying his bowl & robes — went into Rājagaha for alms along the streets of the poor, the streets of the indigent, the streets of the weavers. The Blessed One saw that Ven. Mahā Kassapa had gone into Rājagaha for alms along the streets of the poor, the streets of the indigent, the streets of the weavers.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Supporting no others,
unknown,[2]
tamed, established
in what is essential,
effluents ended,
anger disgorged:
He's what I call
a brahman.
Notes
1.
According to the protocols given in Cv.VIII, a monk leaving a monastery in the wilderness with the purpose of going for alms would wear just his under robe, while carrying his upper and outer robes folded over his shoulder or upper back. On approaching an inhabited area he would stop and make sure that his under robe was neatly arranged: covering the area from above his navel to below his knees, and hanging down evenly in front and behind. Then he would put on his upper and outer robe, arranged so that the upper robe was a lining for the outer robe. If he was wearing sandals, he would take them off and place them in a small cloth bag. Only then would he enter the inhabited area for alms.
2.
There is an alliterative play of words here on anañña (no others) and aññāta (unknown).
VII.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Pāva at the Ajakalāpaka [Herd-of-Goats] shrine, the dwelling of the Ajakalāpaka spirit. And on that occasion, in the pitch-black darkness of the night, the Blessed One was sitting in the open air, and the rain was falling in scattered drops.
Then the Ajakalāpaka spirit — wanting to cause fear, terror, & horripilation in the Blessed One — went to him and, on arrival, not far from him, three times made a commotion & pandemonium: "Commotion & pandemonium! Commotion & pandemonium! Commotion & pandemonium! — That's a goblin for you, contemplative!"
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
When,
with regard to his own qualities,[1]
a brahman is one
who has gone beyond,
he transcends this goblin
and his pandemonium.
Note
1.
Dhammas. This is apparently a reference to skillful and unskillful mental qualities — which would mean that this sutta sides with the passages in the Canon categorizing unbinding not as a dhamma, but as the transcending of all dhammas. (The suttas in general are inconsistent on this point. Iti 90, among others, states clearly that unbinding counts as a dhamma. AN 10.58, on the other hand, calls unbinding the ending of all dhammas. Sn 5.6 calls the attainment of the goal the transcending of all dhammas, just as Sn 4.6 and Sn 4.10 state that the arahant has transcended dispassion, said to be the highest dhamma. MN 22, in the famous simile of the raft, states that all dhammas are abandoned at the end of the path.)
VIII.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion Ven. Saṅgāmaji had arrived in Sāvatthī to see the Blessed One. His former wife heard, "Master Saṅgāmaji, they say, has arrived in Sāvatthī." Taking her small child, she went to Jeta's Grove. On that occasion Ven. Saṅgāmaji was sitting at the root of a tree for the day's abiding. His former wife went to him and, on arrival, said to him, "Look after me, contemplative — (a woman) with a little son." When this was said, Ven. Saṅgāmaji remained silent. A second time... A third time, his former wife said to him, "Look after me, contemplative — (a woman) with a little son." A third time, Ven. Saṅgāmaji remained silent.
Then his former wife, taking the baby and leaving him in front of Ven. Saṅgāmaji, went away, saying, "That's your son, contemplative. Look after him."
Then Ven. Saṅgāmaji neither looked at the child nor spoke to him. His wife, after going not far away, was looking back and saw Ven. Saṅgāmaji neither looking at the child nor speaking to him. On seeing this, the thought occurred to her, "The contemplative doesn't even care about his son." Returning from there and taking the child, she left.
The Blessed One — with his divine eye, purified and surpassing the human — saw Ven. Saṅgāmaji's former wife misbehaving in that way.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
At her coming,
he didn't delight;
at her leaving,
he didn't grieve.
A victor in battle, freed from the tie:[1]
He's what I call
a brahman.
Note
1.
This line is a double wordplay on Saṅgāmaji's name. Literally, it means a victor in battle — a compound of saṅgāma (battle) and -ji (victor) — but the Buddha also extracts from the first member of the compound the word saṅgā, which means "from the tie." Strictly speaking, saṅgāma and saṅgā are not related to each other. The ability to engage in wordplay using unrelated words like this was considered a sign of intelligence and wit.
IX.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Gayā at Gayā Head. And on that occasion, many ascetics — on the cold winter nights of the "Between-the-Eights,"[1] when the snow was falling in Gayā — jumped up in the water, jumped down in the water, did a jumping-up-&-down in the water, poured (water over themselves), and performed the fire sacrifice, (thinking,) "Through this there is purity."
The Blessed One saw those many ascetics — on the cold winter nights of the "Between-the-Eights," when the snow was falling in Gayā — jumping up in the water, jumping down in the water, doing a jumping-up-&-down in the water, pouring (water over themselves), and performing the fire sacrifice, (thinking,) "Through this there is purity."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Not by water is one clean,
though many people are bathing here.
Whoever has truth
& rectitude:
He's a clean one;
he, a brahman.[2]
Note
1.
The "Eights" are the waning half-moon days (each on the eighth day of the waning cycle) after three of the full moons in the cold season. These are the dates of brahmanical ceremonies for making merit for the dead. The period between the first and last of these dates — the "Between-the-Eights" — is regarded in northern India as the coldest part of the year. See AN 3.34.
2.
The last half of this verse is identical with the last half of Dhp 393.
X.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion Bāhiya of the Bark-cloth was living in Suppāraka by the seashore. He was worshipped, revered, honored, venerated, and given homage — a recipient of robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick. Then, when he was alone in seclusion, this line of thinking appeared to his awareness: "Now, of those who in this world are arahants or have entered the path of arahantship, am I one?"
Then a devatā who had once been a blood relative of Bāhiya of the Bark-cloth — compassionate, desiring his welfare, knowing with her own awareness the line of thinking that had arisen in his awareness — went to him and on arrival said to him, "You, Bāhiya, are neither an arahant nor have you entered the path of arahantship. You don't even have the practice whereby you would become an arahant or enter the path of arahantship."
"Then who, in this world with its devas, are arahants or have entered the path to arahantship?"
"Bāhiya, there is a city in the northern country named Sāvatthī. There the Blessed One — an arahant, rightly self-awakened — is living now. He truly is an arahant and teaches the Dhamma leading to arahantship."
Then Bāhiya, deeply chastened by the devatā, left Suppāraka right then and, in the space of one night,[1] went all the way to where the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. Now on that occasion, a large number of monks were doing walking meditation in the open air. He went to them and, on arrival, said, "Where, venerable sirs, is the Blessed One — the arahant, rightly self-awakened — now staying? We want to see that Blessed One — the arahant, rightly self-awakened."
"The Blessed One has gone into town for alms."
Then Bāhiya, hurriedly leaving Jeta's Grove and entering Sāvatthī, saw the Blessed One going for alms in Sāvatthī — serene & inspiring serene confidence, calming, his senses at peace, his mind at peace, having attained the utmost tranquility & poise, tamed, guarded, his senses restrained, a Great One (nāga). Seeing him, he approached the Blessed One and, on reaching him, threw himself down, with his head at the Blessed One's feet, and said, "Teach me the Dhamma, O Blessed One! Teach me the Dhamma, O One-Well-Gone, that will be for my long-term welfare & bliss."
When this was said, the Blessed One said to him, "This is not the time, Bāhiya. We have entered the town for alms."
A second time, Bāhiya said to the Blessed One, "But it is hard to know for sure what dangers there may be for the Blessed One's life, or what dangers there may be for mine. Teach me the Dhamma, O Blessed One! Teach me the Dhamma, O One-Well-Gone, that will be for my long-term welfare & bliss."
A second time, the Blessed One said to him, "This is not the time, Bāhiya. We have entered the town for alms."
A third time, Bāhiya said to the Blessed One, "But it is hard to know for sure what dangers there may be for the Blessed One's life, or what dangers there may be for mine. Teach me the Dhamma, O Blessed One! Teach me the Dhamma, O One-Well-Gone, that will be for my long-term welfare & bliss."
"Then, Bāhiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bāhiya, there is no you in connection with that. When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."[2]
Through hearing this brief explanation of the Dhamma from the Blessed One, the mind of Bāhiya of the Bark-cloth right then and there was released from effluents through lack of clinging/sustenance. Having exhorted Bāhiya of the Bark-cloth with this brief explanation of the Dhamma, the Blessed One left.
Now, not long after the Blessed One's departure, Bāhiya was attacked & killed by a cow with a young calf. Then the Blessed One, having gone for alms in Sāvatthī, after the meal, returning from his alms round with a large number of monks, saw that Bāhiya had died. On seeing him, he said to the monks, "Take Bāhiya's body, monks, and, placing it on a litter and carrying it away, cremate it and build him a memorial. Your companion in the holy life has died."
Responding, "As you say, lord," to the Blessed One, the monks — placing Bāhiya's body on a litter, carrying it away, cremating it, and building him a memorial — went to the Blessed One. On arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, they said to him, "Bāhiya's body has been cremated, lord, and his memorial has been built. What is his destination? What is his future state?"
"Monks, Bāhiya of the Bark-cloth was wise. He practiced the Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma and did not pester me with issues related to the Dhamma. Bāhiya of the Bark-cloth, monks, is totally unbound."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Where water, earth,
fire, & wind
have no footing:
There the stars don't shine,
the sun isn't visible.
There the moon doesn't appear.
There darkness is not found.
And when a sage,
a brahman through sagacity,
has realized [this] for himself,
then from form & formless,
from bliss & pain,
he is freed.
Note
1.
Eka-ratti-parivāsena: This phrase can also mean, "taking one-night sojourns" (i.e., resting no more than one night in any one spot); or "with a one-night sojourn." The Commentary prefers the meaning used in the translation, noting that the distance between Suppāraka and Sāvatthī amounts to 120 leagues, or approximately 1,200 miles. In its version of Bāhiya's story, Bāhiya had no meditative attainments at all, and so the miraculous speed of his journey had to be attributed either to the power of the deva or the power of the Buddha. However, he may actually have had strong powers of concentration with some attendant psychic powers of his own.
2.
For a discussion of these instructions, see the article, "Food for Awakening: The Role of Appropriate Attention."
2. Muccalindavagga — The Chapter About Muccalinda
I.
I have heard that on one occasion, the Blessed One was staying at Uruvelā on the bank of the Nerañjarā River at the root of the Muccalinda tree, newly awakened. And on that occasion he sat for seven days in one session, sensitive to the bliss of release.
And on that occasion a great, out-of-season storm-cloud rose up, with seven days of rainy weather, cold winds, & intense darkness. Then Muccalinda the nāga king — leaving his dwelling place and encircling the Blessed One's body seven times with his coils — stood with his great hood spread over the Blessed One, (thinking,) "Don't let the Blessed One be disturbed by cold. Don't let the Blessed One be disturbed by heat. Don't let the Blessed One be disturbed by the touch of flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, & creeping things."
Then, with the passing of seven days, the Blessed One emerged from that concentration. Muccalinda the nāga king, realizing that the sky had cleared and was free of clouds, unraveled his coils from the body of the Blessed One, dropped his own appearance and, assuming the appearance of a young man, stood in front of the Blessed One with hands before his heart, paying homage.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Blissful is solitude
for one who's content,
who has heard the Dhamma,
who sees.
Blissful is non-affliction
with regard for the world,
restraint for living beings.
Blissful is dispassion
with regard for the world,
the overcoming of sensuality.
But the subduing of the conceit "I am" [1] —
That is truly
the ultimate bliss.
Note
1.
See Ud 1.1, note 3.
II.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion a large number of monks, after the meal, on returning from their alms round, were sitting gathered together in the assembly hall when this discussion arose: "Friends, which of these two kings has greater wealth, greater possessions, the greater treasury, the larger realm, the greater stock of riding animals, the greater army, greater power, greater might: King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha or King Pasenadi of Kosala?" And this discussion came to no conclusion.
Then the Blessed One, emerging from his seclusion in the late afternoon, went to the assembly hall and, on arrival, sat down on a seat laid out. Seated, he addressed the monks: "For what topic are you sitting together here? And what was the discussion that came to no conclusion?"
"Just now, lord, after the meal, on returning from our alms round, we were sitting gathered here at the assembly hall when this discussion arose: 'Friends, which of these two kings has greater wealth, greater possessions, the greater treasury, the larger realm, the greater stock of riding animals, the greater army, greater power, greater might: King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha or King Pasenadi of Kosala?' This was the discussion that had come to no conclusion when the Blessed One arrived."
"It isn't proper, monks, that sons of good families, on having gone forth out of faith from home to the homeless life, should talk on such a topic. When you have gathered you have two duties: either Dhamma-talk or noble silence."[1]
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Any sensual bliss in the world,
any heavenly bliss,
isn't worth one sixteenth-sixteenth
of the bliss of the ending of craving.
Note
1.
SN 21.1 equates noble silence with the second jhāna. This apparently relates to the fact that directed thought and evaluation, which MN 44 identifies as verbal fabrications, are abandoned when going from the first jhāna into the second.
III.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion, a large number of boys on the road between Sāvatthī & Jeta's Grove were hitting a snake with a stick. Then early in the morning the Blessed One adjusted his under robe and — carrying his bowl & robes — went into Sāvatthī for alms. He saw the large number of boys on the road between Sāvatthī & Jeta's Grove hitting the snake with a stick.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Whoever hits with a stick
beings desiring ease,
when he himself is looking for ease,
will meet with no ease after death.
Whoever doesn't hit with a stick
beings desiring ease,
when he himself is looking for ease,
will meet with ease after death.[1]
Note
1.
These verses are identical with Dhp 131-132.
IV.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion the Blessed One was worshipped, revered, honored, venerated, and given homage — a recipient of robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick. The community of monks was also worshipped, revered, honored, venerated, and given homage — a recipient of robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick. But the wanderers of other sects were not worshipped, revered, honored, venerated, or given homage; nor were they recipients of robes, alms food, lodgings, or medicinal requisites for the sick. So the wanderers of other sects, unable to stand the veneration given to the Blessed One and the community of monks, on seeing monks in village or wilderness, would insult, revile, irritate, & harass them with discourteous, abusive language.
Then a large number of monks went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, they said to him, "At present the Blessed One is worshipped, revered, honored, venerated, and given homage — a recipient of robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick. The community of monks is also worshipped, revered, honored, venerated, and given homage — a recipient of robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick. But the wanderers of other sects are not worshipped, revered, honored, venerated, or given homage; nor are they recipients of robes, alms food, lodgings, or medicinal requisites for the sick. So the wanderers of other sects, unable to stand the veneration given to the Blessed One and the community of monks, on seeing monks in village or wilderness, insult, revile, irritate, & harass them with discourteous, abusive language."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
When in contact with pleasure or pain
in village or wilderness,
don't take it as yours or as others'.
Contacts make contact
dependent on a sense of acquisition.
Where there's no sense of acquisition,
contacts would make contact
with what?
V.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion a certain lay follower from Icchānaṅgalaka had arrived in Sāvatthī on some business affairs. Having settled his affairs in Sāvatthī, he went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him, "At long last you have managed to come here."
"For a long time, lord, have I wanted to come see the Blessed One, but being involved in one business affair after another, I have not been able to do so."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
How blissful it is, for one who has nothing
who has mastered the Dhamma,
is learned.
See him suffering, one who has something,
a person bound in body
with people.
VI.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion the young wife of a certain wanderer was pregnant and on the verge of delivery. So she said to the wanderer, "Go, brahman, get some oil for my delivery."
When this was said, the wanderer said to her, "But where can I get any oil?"
A second time, she said to him, "Go, brahman, get some oil for my delivery."
A second time, he said to her, "But where can I get any oil?"
A third time, she said to him, "Go, brahman get some oil for my delivery."
Now on that occasion at the storehouse of King Pasenadi Kosala contemplatives & brahmans were being given as much oil or ghee as they needed to drink, but not to take away. So the thought occurred to the wanderer, "At present at the storehouse of King Pasenadi Kosala contemplatives & brahmans are being given as much oil or ghee as they need to drink, but not to take away. Suppose, having gone there, I were to drink as much oil as I need and, on returning home, vomiting it up, were to give it to use at this delivery?"
So, having gone to the storehouse of King Pasenadi Kosala, he drank as much oil as he needed but, on returning home, was unable to bring it up or pass it down. So he rolled back & forth, suffering from fierce pains, sharp & severe. Then early in the morning the Blessed One adjusted his under robe and — carrying his bowl & robes — went into Sāvatthī for alms. He saw the wanderer rolling back & forth, suffering from fierce pains, sharp & severe.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
How blissful it is, for one who has nothing.
Attainers-of-wisdom
are people with nothing.
See him suffering, one who has something,
a person bound in mind
with people.
VII.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion the dear and beloved only son of a certain lay follower had died. So a large number of lay followers — their clothes wet, their hair wet — went to the Blessed One in the middle of the day and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there the Blessed One said to them: "Why have you come here — your clothes wet, your hair wet — in the middle of the day?"
When this was said, the lay follower said to the Blessed One, "My dear and beloved only son, lord, has died. This is why we have come here — our clothes wet, our hair wet — in the middle of the day."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Tied down by the allure
of what seems dear,[1]
heavenly beings, most people,
worn out with misery,
fall under the sway
of the King of Death.
But those who, day & night,
heedfully abandon
what seems dear,
dig up misery
by the root —
Death's bait
so hard
to overcome.
Note
1.
Following the reading, piyarūpassāda-gaddhitāse in the Thai, Burmese, and BJT editions. The Sri Lankan edition available from the Journal of Buddhist Ethics has, piyarūpa-sātarūpa-gaddhitā ye: "Those tied down by what seems dear & what seems agreeable"; the PTS edition, piyarūpāsāta-gaddhitā ve: "Truly tied down by what seems dear & what is disagreeable." The parallel passage in the Udānavarga (5.10) has, priyarūpa-sāta-grathitā: "Tied down by what seems dear and is agreeable."
VIII.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Kuṇḍiya in the Kuṇḍiṭṭhāna forest. And on that occasion Suppavāsā the Koliyan-daughter had been seven years pregnant and seven days in difficult labor. She — touched by fierce, sharp pains — endured them with three thoughts: "How rightly self-awakened is the Blessed One who, abandoning this sort of suffering, teaches the Dhamma! How well-practiced is the community of the Blessed One's disciples who practice, abandoning this sort of suffering! How truly blissful is unbinding, where this sort of pain is not found!"
Then Suppavāsā said to her husband, "Come, young master. Go to the Blessed One and, on arrival, showing reverence with your head to his feet in my name, ask whether he is free from illness & affliction, is carefree, strong, & living in comfort, saying: 'Suppavāsā the Koliyan-daughter, lord, shows reverence with her head to your feet and asks whether you are free from illness & affliction, are carefree, strong, & living in comfort.' And say this: 'Suppavāsā has been seven years pregnant and seven days in difficult labor. She — touched by fierce, sharp pains — endures them with three thoughts: "How rightly self-awakened is the Blessed One who, abandoning this sort of suffering, teaches the Dhamma! How well-practiced is the community of the Blessed One's disciples who practice, abandoning this sort of suffering! How truly blissful is unbinding, where this sort of pain is not found!"'"
Responding, "Excellent!" to Suppavāsā the Koliyan-daughter, the Koliyan-son went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "Suppavāsā the Koliyan-daughter, lord, shows reverence with her head to your feet and asks whether you are free from illness & affliction, are carefree, strong, & living in comfort. And she says this: 'Suppavāsā has been seven years pregnant and seven days in difficult labor. She — touched by fierce, sharp pains — endures them with three thoughts: "How rightly self-awakened is the Blessed One who, abandoning this sort of suffering, teaches the Dhamma! How well-practiced is the community of the Blessed One's disciples who practice, abandoning this sort of suffering! How truly blissful is unbinding, where this sort of pain is not found!"'"
[The Blessed One said:] "May Suppavāsā the Koliyan-daughter be well & free from disease. And may she deliver a son free from disease." And at the same time as the Blessed One's statement, Suppavāsā the Koliyan-daughter — well & free from disease — delivered a son free from disease.
Saying, "Very well, lord," the Koliyan-son, delighting in & approving of the Blessed One's words, got up from his seat, bowed down to the Blessed One and — circling him to the right — returned to his home. He saw that Suppavāsā the Koliyan-daughter — well & free from disease — had delivered a son free from disease. On seeing this, the thought occurred to him, "How amazing! How astounding! — the Tathāgata's great power, great might, in that, at the same time as the Blessed One's statement, Suppavāsā the Koliyan-daughter — well & free from disease — would deliver a son free from disease!" Gratified, he was joyful, rapturous, & happy.
Then Suppavāsā said to her husband, "Come, young master. Go to the Blessed One and, on arrival, showing reverence with your head to his feet in my name, saying: 'Suppavāsā the Koliyan-daughter, lord, shows reverence with her head to your feet.' And say this: 'Suppavāsā, who was seven years pregnant and seven days in difficult labor, has now — well & free from disease — delivered a son free from disease. She invites the community of monks, with the Buddha at its head, for seven days of meals. May the Blessed One acquiesce to Suppavāsā's seven meals, together with the community of monks.'"
Responding, "Excellent!" to Suppavāsā the Koliyan-daughter, the Koliyan-son went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "Suppavāsā the Koliyan-daughter, lord, shows reverence with her head to your feet. And she says this: 'Suppavāsā, who was seven years pregnant and seven days in difficult labor, has now — well & free from disease — delivered a son free from disease. She invites the community of monks, with the Buddha at its head, for seven days of meals. May the Blessed One acquiesce to Suppavāsā's seven meals, together with the community of monks.'"
Now at that time a certain lay follower had invited the community of monks, with the Buddha at its head, for the next day's meal. That lay follower was a supporter of Ven. Mahā Moggallāna. So the Blessed One addressed Ven. Mahā Moggallāna, "Come, Moggallāna. Go to the lay follower and, on arrival, say to him, 'Suppavāsā the Koliyan-daughter, who was seven years pregnant and seven days in difficult labor, has now — well & free from disease — delivered a son free from disease. She has invited the community of monks, with the Buddha at its head, for seven days of meals. Let Suppavāsā do seven meals. Afterward, you will do yours.' He's your supporter."
Responding, "As you say, lord," to the Blessed One, Ven. Moggallāna went to the lay follower and, on arrival, said to him, "Suppavāsā the Koliyan-daughter, who was seven years pregnant and seven days in difficult labor, has now — well & free from disease — delivered a son free from disease. She has invited the community of monks, with the Buddha at its head, for seven days of meals. Let Suppavāsā do seven meals; afterward, you will do yours."
"Venerable sir, if Ven. Moggallāna will be my guarantor for three things — (my) wealth, life, & faith — then let Suppavāsā do seven meals; afterward, I will do mine."
"For two things, friend, will I be your guarantor: your wealth & life. Only you are the guarantor of your faith."
"Venerable sir, if Ven. Moggallāna will be my guarantor for two things — (my) wealth & life — then let Suppavāsā do seven meals; afterward, I will do mine."
Then Ven. Moggallāna, having conciliated the lay follower, went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, said, "The lay follower, lord, has been conciliated. Let Suppavāsā do seven meals; afterward, he will do his."
So for seven days Suppavāsā the Koliyan-daughter with her own hand served & satisfied the community of monks, with the Buddha at its head, with exquisite staple & non-staple food. And she had the child show reverence to the Blessed One and the community of monks. Then Ven. Sāriputta said to the child, "I trust, child, that things are bearable for you. I trust that things are comfortable for you. I trust that there's no pain."
"From where, Ven. Sāriputta, would things be bearable for me? From where would they be comfortable for me living seven years in a belly of blood?"[1]
Then Suppavāsā — (thinking,) "My son is conversing with the Dhamma General!" — was gratified, joyful, rapturous, & happy.
The Blessed One, knowing that Suppavāsā was gratified, joyful, rapturous, & happy, said to her, "Suppavāsā, would you like to have another son like this?"
"O Blessed One, lord, I would like to have seven more sons like this!"
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
The disagreeable
in the guise of the agreeable,
the unlovable
in the guise of the lovable,
pain in the guise of bliss,
overcome
one who is heedless.
Note
1.
Reading lohita-kucchiyā with the Thai edition. The Commentary favors the reading, lohita-kumbhiyā, in a pot of blood. The Commentary states that Suppavāsā's son later became the famous arahant, Sīvalin, whom the Buddha declared to be foremost among his disciples in receiving gifts.
IX.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at the Eastern Monastery, the palace of Migāra's mother.[1] And on that occasion, Visākhā, Migāra's mother, had some dealings with King Pasenadi Kosala that he did not settle as she had wished. So in the middle of the day she went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As she was sitting there the Blessed One said to her, "Well now, Visākhā, where are you coming from in the middle of the day?"
"Just now, lord, I had some dealings with King Pasenadi Kosala that he did not settle as I had wished."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
All subjection to others
is painful.
All independence
is bliss.
What is held in common
brings suffering,
for duties are hard
to overcome.
Note
1.
According to the Commentary, Visākhā was actually Migāra's daughter, but because she introduced him to the Dhamma, she gained the epithet of being his mother.
X.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Anupiyā in the Mango Grove. And on that occasion, Ven. Bhaddiya, Kāḷigodhā's son, on going to the wilderness, to the root of a tree, or to an empty dwelling, would repeatedly exclaim, "What bliss! What bliss!"
A large number of monks heard Ven. Bhaddiya, Kāḷigodhā's son, on going to the wilderness, to the root of a tree, or to an empty dwelling, repeatedly exclaim, "What bliss! What bliss!" and on hearing him, the thought occurred to them, "There's no doubt but that Ven. Bhaddiya, Kāḷigodhā's son, doesn't enjoy leading the holy life, for when he was a householder he knew the bliss of kingship, so that now, on recollecting that when going to the wilderness, to the root of a tree, or to an empty dwelling, he is repeatedly exclaiming, 'What bliss! What bliss!'"
So they went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, they told him, "Ven. Bhaddiya, Kāḷigodhā's son, lord, on going to the wilderness, to the root of a tree, or to an empty dwelling, repeatedly exclaims, 'What bliss! What bliss!' There's no doubt but that Ven. Bhaddiya doesn't enjoy leading the holy life, for when he was a householder he knew the bliss of kingship, so that now, on recollecting that when going to the wilderness, to the root of a tree, or to an empty dwelling, he is repeatedly exclaiming, 'What bliss! What bliss!'"
Then the Blessed One told a certain monk, "Come, monk. In my name, call Bhaddiya, saying, 'The Teacher calls you, friend Bhaddiya.'"
Responding, "As you say, lord," to the Blessed One, the monk went to Ven. Bhaddiya, Kāḷigodhā's son, and on arrival he said to him, "The Teacher calls you, friend Bhaddiya."
Responding, "As you say, my friend," to the monk, Ven. Bhaddiya, Kāḷigodhā's son, went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him, "Is it true, Bhaddiya that — on going to the wilderness, to the root of a tree, or to an empty dwelling — you repeatedly exclaim, 'What bliss! What bliss!'?"
"Yes, lord."
"What compelling reason do you have in mind that — when going to the wilderness, to the root of a tree, or to an empty dwelling — you repeatedly exclaim, 'What bliss! What bliss!'?"
"Before, when I has a householder, maintaining the bliss of kingship,[1] lord, I had guards posted within and without the royal apartments, within and without the city, within and without the countryside. But even though I was thus guarded, thus protected, I dwelled in fear — agitated, distrustful, & afraid. But now, on going alone to the wilderness, to the root of a tree, or to an empty dwelling, I dwell without fear, unagitated, confident, & unafraid — unconcerned, unruffled, my wants satisfied, with my mind like a wild deer. This is the compelling reason I have in mind that — when going to the wilderness, to the root of a tree, or to an empty dwelling — I repeatedly exclaim, 'What bliss! What bliss!'"
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
From whose heart
there is no provocation,
& for whom becoming & non-becoming
are overcome,
he — beyond fear,
blissful,
with no grief —
is one the devas can't see.
Note
1.
Reading rajja-sukhaṃ with the Thai and PTS editions. The Sri Lankan and Burmese editions have rajjaṃ: "kingship."
3. Nandavagga — The Chapter About Nanda
I.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion a certain monk was sitting not far from the Blessed One, his legs crossed, his body held erect, enduring fierce pains, sharp & severe, that were the result of old kamma — mindful, alert, without suffering. The Blessed One saw him sitting not far away, his legs crossed, his body held erect, enduring fierce pains, sharp & severe, that were the result of old kamma — mindful, alert, and not struck down by them.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
For the monk who has left
all kamma
behind,
shaking off the dust of the past,
steady, unpossessive,
Such:[1]There's no point in telling
anyone else.
Note
1.
Such (tādin): An adjective applied to the mind of one who has attained the goal. It indicates that the mind "is what it is" — indescribable but not subject to change or alteration.
II.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion Ven. Nanda — the Blessed One's brother, son of his maternal aunt — announced to a large number of monks: "I don't enjoy leading the holy life, my friends. I can't keep up the holy life. Giving up the training, I will return to the common life."
Then a certain monk went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he told the Blessed One: "Lord, Ven. Nanda — the Blessed One's brother, son of his maternal aunt — has announced to a large number of monks: 'I don't enjoy leading the holy life, my friends. I can't keep up the holy life. Giving up the training, I will return to the common life.'"
Then the Blessed One told a certain monk, "Come, monk. In my name, call Nanda, saying, 'The Teacher calls you, friend Nanda.'"
Responding, "As you say, lord," to the Blessed One, the monk went to Ven. Nanda, on arrival he said, "The Teacher calls you, friend Nanda."
Responding, "As you say, my friend," to the monk, Ven. Nanda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him, "Is it true, Nanda, that you have announced to a large number of monks: 'I don't enjoy leading the holy life, my friends. I can't keep up the holy life. Giving up the training, I will return to the common life'?"
"Yes, lord."
"But why, Nanda, don't you enjoy leading the holy life? Why can't you keep up the holy life? Why, giving up the training, will you return to the common life?"
"Lord, as I was leaving home, a Sakyan girl — the envy of the countryside — glanced up at me, with her hair half-combed, and said, 'Hurry back, master.' Recollecting that, I don't enjoy leading the holy life. I can't keep up the holy life. Giving up the training, I will return to the common life."
Then, taking Ven. Nanda by the arm — as a strong man might flex his extended arm or extend his flexed arm — the Blessed One disappeared from Jeta's Grove and reappeared among the devas of the heaven of the Thirty-three [Tāvatiṃsa]. Now on that occasion about 500 dove-footed nymphs had come to wait upon Sakka, the ruler of the devas. The Blessed One said to Ven. Nanda, "Nanda, do you see these 500 dove-footed nymphs?"
"Yes, lord."
"What do you think, Nanda? Which is lovelier, better looking, more charming: the Sakyan girl, the envy of the countryside, or these 500 dove-footed nymphs?"
"Lord, compared to these 500 dove-footed nymphs, the Sakyan girl, the envy of the countryside, is like a cauterized monkey with its ears & nose cut off. She doesn't count. She's not even a small fraction. There's no comparison. The 500 dove-footed nymphs are lovelier, better looking, more charming."
"Then take joy, Nanda. Take joy! I am your guarantor for getting 500 dove-footed nymphs."
"If the Blessed One is my guarantor for getting 500 dove-footed nymphs, I will enjoy leading the holy life under the Blessed One."
Then, taking Ven. Nanda by the arm — as a strong man might flex his extended arm or extend his flexed arm — the Blessed One disappeared from among the devas of the heaven of the Thirty-three and reappeared at Jeta's Grove. The monks heard, "They say that Ven. Nanda — the Blessed One's brother, son of his maternal aunt — is leading the holy life for the sake of nymphs. They say that the Blessed One is his guarantor for getting 500 dove-footed nymphs."
Then the monks who were companions of Ven. Nanda went around addressing him as they would a hired hand & a person who had been bought: "Venerable Nanda, they say, has been hired. Venerable Nanda, they say, has been bought.[1] He's leading the holy life for the sake of nymphs. The Blessed One is his guarantor for getting 500 dove-footed nymphs."
Then Ven. Nanda — humiliated, ashamed, & disgusted that the monks who were his companions were addressing him as they would a hired hand & a person who had been bought — went to dwell alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute. He in no long time entered & remained in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself right in the here-&-now. He knew, "Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world." And thus Ven. Nanda became another one of the arahants.
Then a certain devatā, in the far extreme of the night, her extreme radiance lighting up the entirety of Jeta's Grove, approached the Blessed One. On arrival, having bowed down to him, she stood to one side. As she was standing there, she said to the Blessed One, "Lord, Ven. Nanda — the Blessed One's brother, son of his maternal aunt — through the ending of the effluents, has entered & remains in the effluent-free awareness-release & discernment-release, directly knowing & realizing them for himself right in the here-&-now." And within the Blessed One, the knowledge arose: "Nanda, through the ending of the effluents, has entered & remains in the effluent-free awareness-release & discernment-release, directly knowing & realizing them for himself right in the here-&-now."
Then, when the night had passed, Ven. Nanda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One, "Lord, about the Blessed One's being my guarantor for getting 500 dove-footed nymphs: I hereby release the Blessed One from that promise."
"Nanda, having comprehended your awareness with my own awareness, I realized that 'Nanda, through the ending of the effluents, has entered & remains in the effluent-free awareness-release & discernment-release, directly knowing & realizing them for himself right in the here-&-now.' And a devatā informed me that 'Ven. Nanda, through the ending of the effluents, has entered & remains in the effluent-free awareness-release & discernment-release, directly knowing & realizing them for himself right in the here-&-now.' When your mind, through lack of clinging, was released from the effluents, I was thereby released from that promise."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
In whom the mire of sensuality is crossed over,[2]
the thorn of sensuality crushed,
the ending of delusion reached:
He doesn't quiver
from pleasures & pains
: a monk.
Note
1.
The monks here address Ven. Nanda as "āyasmant." According to DN 16, they did not normally address one another in this formal way while the Buddha was still alive. Thus there is an element of sarcasm in the way they use the term here.
2.
Reading yassa tiṇṇo kāmapaṅko with the Thai edition. The Burmese, Sri Lankan, and PTS editions read, yassa nittiṇṇo paṅko: "In whom the mire is crossed over." The parallel passage in the Udānavarga (32.2) essentially agrees with this latter version.
III.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion approximately 500 monks, headed by Ven. Yasoja, had arrived in Sāvatthī to see the Blessed One. As these visiting monks were exchanging greetings with the resident monks, setting their lodgings in order, and putting away their robes & bowls, they made a loud racket, a great racket. Then the Blessed One said to Ven. Ānanda, "Ānanda, what is that loud racket, that great racket like fishermen with a catch of fish?"
"Lord, those are approximately 500 monks, headed by Ven. Yasoja, who have arrived in Sāvatthī to see the Blessed One. As these visiting monks are exchanging greetings with the resident monks, setting their lodgings in order, and putting away their robes & bowls, they are making a loud racket, a great racket."
"In that case, Ānanda, tell those monks in my name, 'The Teacher calls you, friends.'"
Responding, "As you say, lord," to the Blessed One, Ven. Ānanda went to the monks and said, "The Teacher calls you, friends."
Responding, "As you say, friend," to Ven. Ānanda, the monks went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, the Blessed One said to them, "Monks, why were you making that loud racket, that great racket, like fishermen with a catch of fish?"
When this was said, Ven. Yasoja said to the Blessed One, "Lord, these 500 monks have arrived in Sāvatthī to see the Blessed One. As they were exchanging greetings with the resident monks, setting their lodgings in order, and putting away their robes & bowls, they made a loud racket, a great racket."
"Go away, monks. I dismiss you. You are not to stay in my vicinity."
Responding, "As you say, lord," to the Blessed One, the monks got up from their seats, bowed down to the Blessed One, and left, circling him to the right. Setting their lodgings in order and taking their robes & bowls, they went wandering among the Vajjians. After wandering by stages among the Vajjians, they came to the River Vaggamudā. There on the bank of the River Vaggamudā they made leaf-huts and entered the Rains Retreat.
Then Ven. Yasoja addressed the monks as they entered the Rains Retreat: "Friends, the Blessed One dismissed us, wishing for our benefit, seeking our wellbeing, being sympathetic, and acting out of sympathy. Let's live in such a way that the Blessed One will be gratified by our way of living."
"As you say, friend," the monks responded to Ven. Yasoja. And so, living secluded, ardent, & resolute, every one of them realized the Three Knowledges [remembrance of past lives, knowledge of the arising & passing away of living beings, and knowledge of the ending of mental effluents] in the course of that very Rains Retreat.
Then the Blessed One, having stayed as long as he liked in Sāvatthī, went wandering in the direction of Vesālī. After wandering by stages, he arrived in Vesālī and stayed there in the Peaked Roof Pavilion in the Great Wood. Then, encompassing with his awareness the awareness of the monks staying on the bank of the River Vaggamudā, he said to Ven. Ānanda, "This direction seems bright to me, Ānanda. This direction seems dazzling to me. It's not at all repugnant for me to go & pay attention to where the monks on the bank of the River Vaggamudā are staying. Send a messenger into their presence to say, 'The Teacher calls you, friends. The Teacher wants to see you.'"
Responding, "As you say, lord," to the Blessed One, Ven. Ānanda went to a certain monk and said, "Come now, friend. Go to the monks on the bank of the River Vaggamudā and say to them, 'The Teacher calls you, friends. The Teacher wants to see you.'"
Responding, "As you say, friend," to Ven. Ānanda, the monk — just as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm — disappeared from the Peaked Roof Pavilion in the Great Wood and appeared in front of the monks on the bank of the River Vaggamudā. Then he said to them, "The Teacher calls you, friends. The Teacher wants to see you."
Responding, "As you say, friend," to the monk, the monks set their lodgings in order and, taking their robes & bowls, disappeared from the bank of the River Vaggamudā — just as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm — and appeared in the presence of the Blessed One in the Peaked Roof Pavilion in the Great Wood.
Now, at that time the Blessed One was sitting in imperturbable concentration [either in the fourth jhāna, the dimension of the infinitude of space, or the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness]. The thought occurred to the monks, "Now, in which mental dwelling is the Blessed One now residing?" Then they realized, "He is residing in the imperturbable dwelling." So they all sat in imperturbable concentration.
Then Ven. Ānanda — when the night was far advanced, at the end of the first watch — got up from his seat, arranged his robe over one shoulder, stood facing the Blessed One, paying homage with his hands placed palm-to-palm over his heart, and said to him, "The night, lord, is far advanced. The first watch has ended. The visiting monks have been sitting here a long time. May the Blessed One greet them." When this was said, the Blessed One remained silent.
Then a second time, when the night was far advanced, at the end of the middle watch, Ven. Ānanda got up from his seat, arranged his robe over one shoulder, stood facing the Blessed One, paying homage to him with his hands placed palm-to-palm over his heart, and said to him, "The night, lord, is far advanced. The middle watch has ended. The visiting monks have been sitting here a long time. May the Blessed One greet them." When this was said, the Blessed One remained silent.
Then a third time, when the night was far advanced, at the end of the last watch, as dawn was approaching and the face of the night was beaming, Ven. Ānanda got up from his seat, arranged his robe over one shoulder, stood facing the Blessed One, paying homage to him with his hands placed palm-to-palm over his heart, and said to him, "The night, lord, is far advanced. The last watch has ended. Dawn is approaching and the face of the night is beaming. The visiting monks have been sitting here a long time. May the Blessed One greet them."
Then the Blessed One, emerging from his imperturbable concentration, said to Ven. Ānanda, "Ānanda, if you had known, not even that much would have occurred to you (to say).[1] I, along with all 500 of these monks, have been sitting in imperturbable concentration."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
In whom they're defeated —
the thorn of sensuality,
insult,
assault,
& imprisonment:
Like a mountain standing unperturbed,
he doesn't quiver
from pleasures & pains
: a monk.
Note
1.
All the major editions here read, nappaṭibhāseyya: "He/it would have not said in return." This makes no sense, so I follow a variant reading listed in the Burmese edition, nappaṭibheyya (the optative of paṭibhāti).
IV.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion Ven. Sāriputta was sitting not far from the Blessed One, his legs crossed, his body held erect, having set mindfulness to the fore. The Blessed One saw Ven. Sāriputta sitting not far away, his legs crossed, his body held erect, having set mindfulness to the fore.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
As a mountain of rock
is unwavering, well-settled,
so a monk whose delusion is ended
doesn't quiver —
just like a mountain.[1]
Note
1.
1. This verse also appears among the verses attributed to Ven. Revata at Thag 14.1 (verse 651 in the PTS edition) and among the verses attributed to Ven. Sāriputta at Thag 17.2 (verse 1000 in the PTS edition).
V.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion Ven. Mahā Moggallāna was sitting not far from the Blessed One, his legs crossed, his body held erect, having mindfulness immersed in the body well-established within. The Blessed One saw Ven. Mahā Moggallāna sitting not far away, his legs crossed, his body held erect, having mindfulness immersed in the body well-established within.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
With mindfulness immersed in the body
well-established, restrained
with regard to the six contact-media —
continually centered,
a monk
can know
unbinding for himself.
VI.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rājagaha at the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' refuge. Now at on that occasion Ven. Pilindavaccha went around addressing the monks as if they were outcastes.
So a large number of monks went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, bowed down to him and sat to one side. As they were sitting there they said to him, "Lord, Ven. Pilindavaccha goes around addressing the monks as if they were outcastes."
Then the Blessed One told a certain monk, "Come, monk. In my name, call Pilindavaccha, saying, 'The Teacher calls you, friend Vaccha.'"
Responding, "As you say, lord," to the Blessed One, the monk went to Ven. Pilindavaccha and on arrival said to him, "The Teacher calls you, friend Vaccha."
Responding, "As you say, my friend," to the monk, Ven. Pilindavaccha went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him, "Is it true, Pilindavaccha, that you go around addressing the monks as if they were outcastes?"
"Yes, lord."
Then the Blessed One, having directed attention to Ven. Pilindavaccha's previous lives, said to the monks, "Don't take offense at the monk Vaccha. It's not out of inner hatred that he goes around addressing the monks as if they were outcastes. For 500 consecutive lifetimes the monk Vaccha has been born in brahman families. For a long time he has been accustomed to addressing people as outcastes. That's why he goes around addressing the monks as if they were outcastes."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
In whom there's no deceit
or conceit,
his greed ended,
unpossessive, free from longing,
his anger dispelled,
his mind unbound:[1]
He's a contemplative.
He is a brahman
: a monk.
Note
1.
The first part of this verse is nearly identical with the first part of a verse in Sn 3.4 (verse 469 in the PTS edition).
VII.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rājagaha at the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Sanctuary. And on that occasion Ven. Mahā Kassapa was staying at the Pipphali Cave, sitting for seven days in a single session, having attained a certain level of concentration. Then, with the passing of seven days, he emerged from that concentration. To him, emerging from that concentration, the thought occurred: "What if I were to go into Rājagaha for alms?"
Now on that occasion 500 devatās were in a state of eagerness for the chance to give alms to Ven. Mahā Kassapa. But Ven. Mahā Kassapa, turning down those 500 devatās, early in the morning adjusted his under robe and — carrying his bowl & robes — went into Rājagaha for alms.
Now on that occasion Sakka, the deva-king, wanted to give alms to Ven. Mahā Kassapa. So, assuming the appearance of a weaver, he was working a loom, while Sujātā, an asura-maiden, filled the shuttle. Then, as Ven. Mahā Kassapa was going on an almsround that bypassed no donors[1] in Rājagaha, he arrived at Sakka's home. Sakka saw him coming from afar and, on seeing him, came out of house to meet him. Taking the bowl from his hand, entered the house, took cooked rice from the pot, filled the bowl, and gave it back to Ven. Mahā Kassapa. And that gift of alms included many kinds of curry, many kinds of sauces.
The thought occurred to Ven. Mahā Kassapa, "Now, who is this being with such power & might as this?" Then the thought occurred to him, "This is Sakka, the deva-king, isn't it?" On realizing this, he said to Sakka, "Is this your doing, Kosiya?[2] Don't ever do anything like this again."
"We, too, need merit, Ven. Kassapa. We, too, have use for merit."
Then, bowing down to Ven. Mahā Kassapa and circling him to the right, Sakka rose up into the air and, while up in the sky, exclaimed three times:
"O the alms, the foremost alms, well-established in Kassapa!"
"O the alms, the foremost alms, well-established in Kassapa!"
"O the alms, the foremost alms, well-established in Kassapa!"
The Blessed One — with his divine hearing-property, surpassing that of the human — heard Sakka the deva-king, while up in the sky, exclaiming three times:
"O the alms, the foremost alms, well-established in Kassapa!"
"O the alms, the foremost alms, well-established in Kassapa!"
"O the alms, the foremost alms, well-established in Kassapa!"
On realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
The monk going for alms,
supporting himself and no other:
The devas adore one who is Such,
calmed & ever mindful.
Note
1.
Going on an almsround that bypasses no donors is one of the thirteen optional ascetic (dhutaṅga) practices. See Thag 16.7.
2.
Kosiya — "Owl" — is Sakka's clan name.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion a large number of monks, after the meal, on returning from their alms round, were sitting gathered together at the kareri-tree pavilion when this discussion arose: "Friends, an alms-collecting monk,[1] while going for alms, periodically sees agreeable sights via the eye. He periodically hears agreeable sounds via the ear... smells agreeable aromas via the nose... tastes agreeable flavors via the tongue... touches agreeable tactile sensations via the body. An alms-collecting monk, while going for alms, is honored, respected, revered, venerated, and given homage.
"So, friends, let's become alms-collecting monks. Then we, too, while going for alms, will periodically get to see agreeable sights via the eye... to hear agreeable sounds via the ear... to smell agreeable aromas via the nose... to taste agreeable flavors via the tongue... to touch agreeable tactile sensations via the body. We, too, while going for alms, will be honored, respected, revered, venerated, and given homage." And this discussion came to no conclusion.
Then the Blessed One, emerging from his seclusion in the late afternoon, went to the kareri-tree pavilion and, on arrival, sat down on a seat laid out. Seated, he addressed the monks: "For what topic are you sitting together here? And what was the discussion that came to no conclusion?"
"Just now, lord, after the meal, on returning from our alms round, we were sitting gathered together here at the kareri-tree pavilion when this discussion arose: [They repeat what had been said.]"
"It isn't proper, monks, that sons of good families, on having gone forth out of faith from home to the homeless life, should talk on such a topic. When you have gathered you have two duties: either Dhamma-talk or noble silence."[2]
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
The monk going for alms,
supporting himself and no other:
The devas adore one who is Such
if he's not intent
on fame & praise.
Note
1.
A monk who makes a steady practice of eating only the food received while going for alms.
2.
SN 21.1 equates noble silence with the second jhāna. This apparently relates to the fact that directed thought and evaluation, which MN 44 identifies as verbal fabrications, are abandoned when going from the first jhāna into the second.
VIII.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion a large number of monks, after the meal, on returning from their alms round, were sitting gathered together at the kareri-tree pavilion when this discussion arose: "Friends, an alms-collecting monk,[1] while going for alms, periodically sees agreeable sights via the eye. He periodically hears agreeable sounds via the ear... smells agreeable aromas via the nose... tastes agreeable flavors via the tongue... touches agreeable tactile sensations via the body. An alms-collecting monk, while going for alms, is honored, respected, revered, venerated, and given homage.
"So, friends, let's become alms-collecting monks. Then we, too, while going for alms, will periodically get to see agreeable sights via the eye... to hear agreeable sounds via the ear... to smell agreeable aromas via the nose... to taste agreeable flavors via the tongue... to touch agreeable tactile sensations via the body. We, too, while going for alms, will be honored, respected, revered, venerated, and given homage." And this discussion came to no conclusion.
Then the Blessed One, emerging from his seclusion in the late afternoon, went to the kareri-tree pavilion and, on arrival, sat down on a seat laid out. Seated, he addressed the monks: "For what topic are you sitting together here? And what was the discussion that came to no conclusion?"
"Just now, lord, after the meal, on returning from our alms round, we were sitting gathered together here at the kareri-tree pavilion when this discussion arose: [They repeat what had been said.]"
"It isn't proper, monks, that sons of good families, on having gone forth out of faith from home to the homeless life, should talk on such a topic. When you have gathered you have two duties: either Dhamma-talk or noble silence."[2]
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
The monk going for alms,
supporting himself and no other:
The devas adore one who is Such
if he's not intent
on fame & praise.
Note
1.
A monk who makes a steady practice of eating only the food received while going for alms.
2.
SN 21.1 equates noble silence with the second jhāna. This apparently relates to the fact that directed thought and evaluation, which MN 44 identifies as verbal fabrications, are abandoned when going from the first jhāna into the second.
IX.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. Now at that time a large number of monks, after the meal, on returning from their alms round, were sitting gathered together at a pavilion when this discussion arose: "Who, friends, knows a craft? Who's studying which craft? Which is the supreme among crafts?"
With regard to that, some said, "The elephant-craft is the supreme craft among crafts." Some said, "The horse-craft is the supreme craft among crafts" ... "The chariot-craft..." ... "Archery..." ... "Swordsmanship..." ... "Signaling[1] ..." ... "Calculating..." ... "Accounting..." ... "Writing..." ... "Literary composition..." ... "Cosmology..." Some said, "Geomancy is the supreme craft among crafts." And this discussion came to no conclusion.
Then the Blessed One, emerging from his seclusion in the late afternoon, went to the pavilion and, on arrival, sat down on a seat laid out. As he was sitting there, he addressed the monks: "For what topic are you sitting together here? And what was the discussion that came to no conclusion?"
"Just now, lord, after the meal, on returning from our alms round, we were sitting gathered together here at the pavilion when this discussion arose: [They repeat what had been said.]"
"It isn't proper, monks, that sons of good families, on having gone forth out of faith from home to the homeless life, should talk on such a topic. When you have gathered you have two duties: either Dhamma-talk or noble silence."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Supporting himself
without a craft —
light, desiring the goal —
his faculties controlled,
released everywhere;
living in no home,
unpossessive,
free from longing,
having slain Māra,
going alone
: a monk.
Note
1.
Reading mudda-sippam with the Commentary. The Thai edition has muddha-sippam, which could mean phrenology, but that doesn't fit in with the previous members of the list, all of which deal with military skills.
X.
I have heard that on one occasion, the Blessed One was staying at Uruvelā on the bank of the Nerañjarā River at the root of the Bodhi tree — the tree of awakening — newly awakened. And on that occasion he sat at the root of the Bodhi tree for seven days in one session, sensitive to the bliss of release. Then, with the passing of seven days, after emerging from that concentration, he surveyed the world with the eye of an Awakened One. As he did so, he saw living beings burning with the many fevers and aflame with the many fires born of passion, aversion, & delusion.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, he on that occasion exclaimed:
This world is burning.
Afflicted by contact,
it calls disease a 'self.'
By whatever means it construes [anything],
it becomes otherwise than that.[1]Becoming otherwise,
the world is
attached to becoming
afflicted by becoming
and yet delights
in that very becoming.
Where there's delight,
there is fear.
What one fears
is stressful.
This holy life is lived
for the abandoning of becoming.
Whatever contemplatives or brahmans say that liberation from becoming is by means of becoming, all of them are not released from becoming, I say.
And whatever contemplatives or brahmans say that escape from becoming is by means of non-becoming, all of them have not escaped from becoming, I say.
For this stress comes into play
in dependence on every acquisition.[2]
With the ending of every clinging/sustenance,
there's no stress coming into play.
Look at this world:
Beings, afflicted with thick ignorance,
are unreleased
from passion for what has come to be.
All levels of becoming,
anywhere,
in any way,
are inconstant, stressful, subject to change.
Seeing this — as it's come to be —
with right discernment,
one abandons craving for becoming,
and doesn't delight in non-becoming.[3]
From the total ending of craving
comes fading & cessation without remainder:
unbinding.
For the monk unbound
through lack of clinging/sustenance,
there's no further becoming.
He has conquered Māra,
won the battle,
having gone beyond becomings
: Such.
Note
1.
In other words, regardless of whatever one bases one's construal of an experience on, by the time the construal is complete, the base has already changed.
2.
Reading sabb'upadhiṃ hi with the Thai edition. The Burmese and Sri Lankan editions read upadhiṃ hi: "For this stress comes into play in dependence on acquisition." The parallel passage in the Udānavarga (32.36) agrees with this latter version.
3.
This passage indicates the way out of the dilemma posed above, that one cannot gain release either through becoming or non-becoming. Rather than focus on whether one wants to take "what has come to be" in the direction of becoming or non-becoming, one develops dispassion for "what has come to be" as it occurs, and this provides the way out. On this point, see The Paradox of Becoming, chapters 2 and 6.
4. Meghiyavagga — The Chapter About Meghiya
I.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying among the Cālikans, at Cālikā Mountain. And on that occasion Ven. Meghiya was his attendant. Then Ven. Meghiya went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, stood to one side. As he was standing there he said to the Blessed One, "I would like to go into Jantu Village for alms."
"Then do, Meghiya, what you think it is now time to do."
Then in the early morning, Ven. Meghiya adjusted his under robe and — carrying his bowl & robes — went into Jantu Village for alms. Having gone for alms in Jantu Village, after the meal, returning from his alms round, he went to the bank of the Kimikālā River. As he was walking up & down along the bank of the river to exercise his legs, he saw a pleasing, charming mango grove. Seeing it, the thought occurred to him: "How pleasing & charming this mango grove! It's enough for a young man of good family intent on exertion to exert himself [in meditation]. If the Blessed One gives me permission, I would like to exert myself [in meditation] in this mango grove."
So Ven. Meghiya went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "Just now, in the early morning, I adjusted my under robe and — carrying my bowl & robes — went into Jantu Village for alms. Having gone for alms in Jantu Village, after the meal, returning from my alms round, I went to the bank of the Kimikālā River. As I was walking up & down along the bank of the river to exercise my legs, I saw a pleasing, charming mango grove. Seeing it, the thought occurred to me: 'How pleasing & charming this mango grove! It's enough for a young man of good family intent on exertion to exert himself [in meditation]. If the Blessed One gives me permission, I would like to exert myself [in meditation] in this mango grove.' If the Blessed One gives me permission, I would like to go to the mango grove to exert myself [in meditation]."
When this was said, the Blessed One responded to Ven. Meghiya, "As long as I am still alone, stay here until another monk comes."
A second time, Ven. Meghiya said to the Blessed One, "Lord, the Blessed One has nothing further to do, and nothing further to add to what he has done. I, however, have something further to do, and something further to add to what I have done. If the Blessed One gives me permission, I would like to go to the mango grove to exert myself [in meditation]."
A second time, the Blessed One responded to Ven. Meghiya, "As long as I am still alone, stay here until another monk comes."
A third time, Ven. Meghiya said to the Blessed One, "Lord, the Blessed One has nothing further to do, and nothing further to add to what he has done. I, however, have something further to do, and something further to add to what I have done. If the Blessed One gives me permission, I would like to go to the mango grove to exert myself [in meditation]."
"As you are talking about exertion, Meghiya, what can we say? Do what you think it is now time to do."
Then Ven. Meghiya, rising from his seat, bowing down to the Blessed One and, circling him to the right, went to the mango grove. On arrival, having gone deep into the grove, he sat down at the root of a certain tree for the day's abiding.
Now while Ven. Meghiya was staying in the mango grove, he was for the most part assailed by three kinds of unskillful thoughts: thoughts of sensuality, thoughts of ill will, and thoughts of doing harm. The thought occurred to him: "How amazing! How astounding! Even though it was through faith that I went forth from home to the homeless life, still I am overpowered by these three kinds of unskillful thoughts: thoughts of sensuality, thoughts of ill will, and thoughts of doing harm."
Emerging from his seclusion in the late afternoon, he went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "Just now, while I was staying in the mango grove, I was for the most part assailed by three kinds of unskillful thoughts: thoughts of sensuality, thoughts of ill will, and thoughts of doing harm. The thought occurred to me: 'How amazing! How astounding! Even though it was through faith that I went forth from home to the homeless life, still I am overpowered by these three kinds of unskillful thoughts: thoughts of sensuality, thoughts of ill will, and thoughts of doing harm.'"
"Meghiya, in one whose awareness-release is still immature, five qualities bring it to maturity. Which five?
"There is the case where a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & colleagues. In one whose awareness-release is still immature, this is the first quality that brings it to maturity.
"Furthermore, the monk is virtuous. He dwells restrained in accordance with the Pāṭimokkha, consummate in his behavior & range of activity. He trains himself, having undertaken the training rules, seeing danger in the slightest faults. In one whose awareness-release is still immature, this is the second quality that brings it to maturity.
"Furthermore, he gets to hear at will, easily and without difficulty, talk that is truly sobering and conducive to the opening of awareness, i.e., talk on modesty, contentment, seclusion, non-entanglement, arousing persistence, virtue, concentration, discernment, release, and the knowledge & vision of release. In one whose awareness-release is still immature, this is the third quality that brings it to maturity.
"Furthermore, he keeps his persistence aroused for abandoning unskillful [mental] qualities and for taking on skillful qualities. He is steadfast, solid in his effort, not shirking his duties with regard to skillful qualities. In one whose awareness-release is still immature, this is the fourth quality that brings it to maturity.
"Furthermore, he is discerning, endowed with the discernment related to arising & passing away — noble, penetrating, leading to the right ending of stress. In one whose awareness-release is still immature, this is the fifth quality that brings it to maturity.
"Meghiya, in one whose awareness-release is still immature, these are the five qualities that bring it to maturity.
"Meghiya, when a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & colleagues, it is to be expected that he will be virtuous, will dwell restrained in accordance with the Pāṭimokkha, consummate in his behavior & range of activity, and will train himself, having undertaken the training rules, seeing danger in the slightest faults.
"When a monk has admirable people as friends & colleagues, it is to be expected that he will get to hear at will, easily and without difficulty, talk that is truly sobering and conducive to the opening of awareness, i.e., talk on modesty, contentment, seclusion, non-entanglement, arousing persistence, virtue, concentration, discernment, release, and the knowledge & vision of release.
"When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & colleagues, it is to be expected that he will keep his persistence aroused for abandoning unskillful qualities and for taking on skillful qualities — steadfast, solid in his effort, not shirking his duties with regard to skillful qualities.
"When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & colleagues, it is to be expected that he will be discerning, endowed with the discernment relating to arising & passing away — noble, penetrating, leading to the right ending of stress.
"And furthermore, when the monk is established in these five qualities, there are four additional qualities he should develop: He should develop [contemplation of] the unattractive so as to abandon passion. He should develop good will so as to abandon ill will. He should develop mindfulness of in-&-out breathing so as to cut off thinking. He should develop the perception of inconstancy so as to uproot the conceit, 'I am.' [1] For a monk perceiving inconstancy, the perception of not-self is made steady. One perceiving not-self attains the uprooting of the conceit, 'I am' — unbinding right in the here-&-now."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Little thoughts, subtle thoughts,
when followed, stir up the heart.
Not comprehending the thoughts of the heart,
one runs here & there,
the mind out of control.
But comprehending the thoughts of the heart,
one who is ardent, mindful,
restrains them.
When, followed, they stir up the heart,
one awakened
lets them go without trace.
Note
1.
See Ud 1.1, note 3.
II.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying in Upavattana, the Mallan sal grove near Kusinarā.[1] And on that occasion, not far from the Blessed One, many monks were staying in wilderness huts: high-strung, rowdy, flighty, talkative, of loose words & muddled mindfulness, unalert, unconcentrated, their minds scattered, their faculties left wide open.
The Blessed One saw those many monks staying in wilderness huts: high-strung, rowdy, flighty, talkative, of loose words & muddled mindfulness, unalert, unconcentrated, their minds scattered, their faculties left wide open.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
By leaving your body unprotected,
being immersed in wrong view,
conquered by sloth & torpor,
you go under Māra's sway.
Therefore,
with protected mind,
ranging in right resolve,
honoring right view,
knowing rise-&-fall,
conquering sloth & torpor, a monk
leaves all
bad destinations
behind.
Note
1.
This is the location where the Buddha later was totally unbound.
III.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was wandering among the Kosalans with a large community of monks. Then, coming down from the road, he went to a certain tree, and on arrival sat down on a seat laid out. A certain cowherd then went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One, instructed, urged, roused, & encouraged him with Dhamma-talk. The cowherd — instructed, urged, roused, & encouraged by the Blessed One's talk on Dhamma — said to him, "Lord, may the Blessed One, together with the community of monks, acquiesce to my offer of tomorrow's meal."
The Blessed One acquiesced with silence.
Then the cowherd, understanding the Blessed One's acquiescence, got up from his seat, bowed down to the Blessed One and left, circling him to the right.
Then, after the night had passed, the cowherd — having prepared in his own home a great deal of thick milk-rice porridge & fresh ghee — announced the time of the meal to the Blessed One: "It's time, lord. The meal is ready."
So the Blessed One early in the morning adjusted his under robe and — carrying his bowl & robes — went together with the community of monks to the cowherd's home. On arrival, he sat down on a seat laid out. The cowherd, with his own hand, served & satisfied the community of monks headed by the Blessed One with thick milk-rice porridge & fresh ghee. Then, when the Blessed One had eaten and had removed his hand from his bowl, the cowherd, taking a lower seat, sat down to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One, instructed, urged, roused, & encouraged him with Dhamma-talk, then got up from his seat & left.
Now, not long after the Blessed One's departure, the cowherd was killed by a certain man between the boundaries of two villages. A large number of monks then went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, they told him, "The cowherd who today served & satisfied the community of monks headed by the Blessed One with thick milk-rice porridge & fresh ghee, has been killed, it is said, by a certain man between the boundaries of two villages."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Whatever an enemy
might do to an enemy,
or a foe
to a foe,
the ill-directed mind
can do to you
even worse.[1]
Note
1.
This verse also occurs at Dhp 42, where it is paired with Dhp 43:
Whatever a mother, father
or other kinsman
might do for you,
the well-directed mind
can do for you
even better.
IV.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rājagaha at the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Sanctuary. And on that occasion Ven. Sāriputta and Ven. Mahā Moggallāna were staying in Pigeon Cave. Then, on a moonlit night, Ven. Sāriputta — his head newly shaven — was sitting in the open air, having attained a certain level of concentration.
And on that occasion two yakkhas who were companions were flying from north to south on some business or other. They saw Ven. Sāriputta — his head newly shaven — sitting in the open air. Seeing him, the first yakkha said to the second, "I'm inspired to give this contemplative a blow on the head."
When this was said, the second yakkha said to the first, "Enough of that, my good friend. Don't lay a hand on the contemplative. He's an outstanding contemplative, of great power & great might."
A second time, the first yakkha said to the second, "I'm inspired to give this contemplative a blow on the head."
A second time, the second yakkha said to the first, "Enough of that, my good friend. Don't lay a hand on the contemplative. He's an outstanding contemplative, of great power & great might."
A third time, the first yakkha said to the second, "I'm inspired to give this contemplative a blow on the head."
A third time, the second yakkha said to the first, "Enough of that, my good friend. Don't lay a hand on the contemplative. He's an outstanding contemplative, of great power & great might."
Then the first yakkha, ignoring the second yakkha, gave Ven. Sāriputta a blow on the head. And with that blow he might have knocked over an elephant seven or eight cubits tall, or split a great rocky crag. But right there the yakkha — yelling, "I'm burning!" — fell into the Great Hell.
Now, Ven. Moggallāna — with his divine eye, pure and surpassing the human — saw the yakkha give Ven. Sāriputta a blow on the head. Seeing this, he went to Ven. Sāriputta and, on arrival, said to him, "I hope you are well, friend Sāriputta. I hope you are comfortable. I hope you are feeling no pain."
"I am well, friend Moggallāna. I am comfortable. But I do have a slight headache."
"How amazing, friend Sāriputta! How astounding! How great your power & might! Just now a yakkha gave you a blow on the head. So great was that blow that he might have knocked over an elephant seven or eight cubits tall, or split a great rocky crag. But all you say is this: 'I am well, friend Moggallāna. I am comfortable. But I do have a slight headache'!"
"How amazing, friend Moggallāna! How astounding! How great your power & might! Where you saw a yakkha just now, I didn't even see a dust devil!"
The Blessed One — with the divine ear-property, pure and surpassing the human — heard those two great beings conversing in this way. Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Whose mind, standing like rock,
doesn't shake,
dispassionate for things that spark passion,
unprovoked by things that spark provocation:
When one's mind is developed like this,
from where can there come to him
suffering & stress?[1]
Note
1.
A variant of this verse is attributed to Ven. Khitaka at Thag 2.36 (verses 191-192 in the PTS edition):
Whose mind, standing like rock,
doesn't shake,
dispassionate for things that spark passion,
unprovoked by things that spark provocation?
When one's mind is developed like this,
from where can there come to him
suffering & stress?
My mind, standing like rock,
doesn't shake,
dispassionate for things that spark passion,
unprovoked by things that spark provocation.
When my mind is developed like this,
from where can there come to me
suffering & stress?
V.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Kosambī at Kosita's monastery. And on that occasion the Blessed One lived hemmed in with monks, nuns, male & female lay followers, kings, royal ministers, sectarians, & their disciples. Hemmed in, he lived unpleasantly and not in ease. The thought occurred to him: "I now live hemmed in by monks, nuns, male & female lay followers, kings, royal ministers, sectarians, & their disciples. Hemmed in, I live unpleasantly and not in ease. What if I were to live alone, apart from the crowd?"
So, early in the morning, the Blessed One adjusted his under robe and — carrying his bowl & robes — went into Kosambī for alms. Then, having gone for alms in Kosambī, after the meal, returning from his alms round, he set his own lodgings in order and, carrying his bowl & robes, without telling his attendant, without informing the community of monks — alone & without a companion — left on a wandering tour toward Palileyyaka. After wandering by stages, he reached Palileyyaka. There he stayed in Palileyyaka in the protected forest grove at the root of the auspicious sal tree.
It so happened that a certain bull elephant was living hemmed in by elephants, cow-elephants, calf-elephants, & baby elephants. He fed off grass with cut-off tips. They chewed up his stash of broken-off branches. He drank disturbed water. And when he came up from his bathing-place, cow-elephants went along, banging up against his body. Hemmed in, he lived unpleasantly and not in ease. The thought occurred to him: "I now live hemmed in by elephants, cow-elephants, calf-elephants, & baby elephants. I feed off grass with cut-off tips. They chew up my stash of broken-off branches. I drink disturbed water. And when I come up from my bathing place, cow-elephants go along, banging up against my body. Hemmed in, I live unpleasantly and not in ease. What if I were to live alone, apart from the crowd?"
So the bull elephant, leaving the herd, went to Palileyyaka, to the protected forest grove and the root of the auspicious sal tree — to where the Blessed One was staying. There he kept the grass down in the area where the Blessed One was staying, and brought drinking water and washing water for the Blessed One with his trunk.
Then, when the Blessed One was alone in seclusion, this train of thought appeared to his awareness: "Before, I lived hemmed in by monks, nuns, male & female lay followers, kings, royal ministers, sectarians, & their disciples. Hemmed in, I lived unpleasantly and not in ease. But now I live not hemmed in by monks, nuns, male & female lay followers, kings, royal ministers, sectarians, & their disciples. Not hemmed in, I live pleasantly and in ease."
And this train of thought appeared to the awareness of the bull elephant, "Before, I lived hemmed in by elephants, cow-elephants, calf-elephants, & baby elephants. I fed off grass with cut-off tips. They chewed up my stash of broken-off branches. I drank disturbed water. And when I came up from my bathing place, cow-elephants went along, banging up against my body. Hemmed in, I lived unpleasantly and not in ease. But now I live not hemmed in by elephants, cow-elephants, calf-elephants, & baby elephants. I feed off grass with uncut tips. They don't chew up my stash of broken-off branches. I drink undisturbed water. When I come up from my bathing place, cow-elephants don't go along, banging up against my body. Not hemmed in, I live pleasantly and in ease."[1]
Then the Blessed One, realizing his own seclusion and knowing the train of thought in the bull elephant's awareness, on that occasion exclaimed:
This
harmonizes
mind with mind —
the great one's with the great one's[2] —
the elephant with tusks like chariot poles:
that each finds joy,
alone,
in the forest.
Note
1.
Mv.X.4.6-7 places the story of the elephant's service to the Buddha in the context of the quarrel at Kosambī, but the details of how the Buddha left Kosambī given in Mv.X.3 are different.
2.
Great one = nāga. This term can mean magical serpent or large elephant, and is often used as an epithet for an arahant.
VI.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion Ven. Piṇḍola Bhāradvāja was sitting not far from the Blessed One, his legs crossed, his body held erect — a wilderness dweller, an alms-goer, a rag-robe wearer, an owner of only one set of three robes, modest, content, solitary, unentangled, his persistence aroused, an advocate of the ascetic practices, devoted to the heightened mind. The Blessed One saw Ven. Piṇḍola Bhāradvāja sitting not far away, his legs crossed, his body held erect — a wilderness dweller, an alms-goer, a rag-robe wearer, an owner of only one set of three robes, modest, content, solitary, unentangled, his persistence aroused, an advocate of the ascetic practices, devoted to the heightened mind.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Not disparaging, not injuring,
restraint in line with the Pāṭimokkha,
moderation in food,
dwelling in seclusion,
commitment to the heightened mind:
this is the teaching
of the Awakened.[1]
Note
1.
This verse also occurs at Dhp 185, where it forms part of a set including Dhp 183-184:
The non-doing of any evil,
the performance of what's skillful,
the cleansing of one's own mind:
this is the teaching
of the Awakened.
Patient endurance:
the foremost austerity.
Unbinding:
the foremost,
so say the Awakened.
He who injures another
is no contemplative.
He who mistreats another,
no monk.
VII.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion Ven. Sāriputta was sitting not far from the Blessed One — his legs crossed, his body held erect — modest, content, solitary, unentangled, his persistence aroused, devoted to the heightened mind. The Blessed One saw Ven. Sāriputta sitting not far away — his legs crossed, his body held erect — modest, content, solitary, unentangled, his persistence aroused, devoted to the heightened mind.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Of heightened awareness & heedful,
the sage trained in sagacity's way:
He has no sorrows, one who is Such,
calmed & ever mindful.[1]
Note
1.
This is the verse that Ven. Cūḷa Panthaka used to exhort the nuns in the origin story to Pācittiya 22. It also appears at Thag 1.68.
VIII.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. Now at that time the Blessed One was worshipped, revered, honored, venerated, and given homage — a recipient of robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick. The community of monks was also worshipped, revered, honored, venerated, and given homage — a recipient of robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick. But the wanderers of other sects were not worshipped, revered, honored, venerated, or given homage; nor were they recipients of robes, alms food, lodgings, or medicinal requisites for the sick.
So the wanderers of other sects — unable to stand the veneration given to the Blessed One and the community of monks — went to Sundarī the female wanderer and, on arrival, said to her, "Sundarī, would you dare to do something for the benefit of your kinsmen?"
"What shall I do, masters? What can I not do?[1] I have given up even my life for the benefit of my kinsmen!"
"In that case, sister, go often to Jeta's Grove."
Responding, "As you say, masters," to those wanderers of other sects, Sundarī the female wanderer went often to Jeta's Grove. When the wanderers of other sects knew that many people had seen Sundarī the female wanderer going often to Jeta's Grove, then — having murdered her and buried her right there in the moat-ditch surrounding Jeta's Grove — they went to King Pasenadi Kosala and, on arrival, said to him, "Great king, we can't find Sundarī the female wanderer."
"But where do you suspect she is?"
"At Jeta's Grove, great king."
"Then in that case, search Jeta's Grove."
Then those wanderers of other sects, having searched Jeta's Grove, having dug up what they had buried in the surrounding moat-ditch, having mounted it on a litter, took it into Sāvatthī and went from street to street, crossroad to crossroad, stirring up people's indignation: "See, masters, the handiwork of the Sakyan-son contemplatives. They're shameless, these Sakyan-son contemplatives: unvirtuous, evil-natured, liars, unholy, though they claim to be practicing the Dhamma, practicing what is harmonious, practicing the holy life, speakers of the truth, virtuous, fine-natured. They have no quality of a contemplative, no holy quality. Destroyed is their quality of a contemplative! Destroyed is their holy quality! From where is their quality of a contemplative? From where, their holy quality? Gone are they from any quality of a contemplative! Gone from any holy quality! How can a man, having done a man's business with a woman, take her life?"
So on that occasion, people seeing monks in Sāvatthī would insult, revile, irritate, & harass them with discourteous, abusive language: "They're shameless, these Sakyan-son contemplatives: unvirtuous, evil-natured, liars, unholy, though they claim to be practicing the Dhamma, practicing what is harmonious, practicing the holy life, speakers of the truth, virtuous, fine-natured. They have no quality of a contemplative, no holy quality. Destroyed is their quality of a contemplative! Destroyed is their holy quality! From where is their quality of a contemplative? From where, their holy quality? Gone are they from any quality of a contemplative! Gone from any holy quality! How can a man, having done a man's business with a woman, take her life?"
Then, early in the morning, a large number of monks adjusted their under robes and — carrying their bowls & robes — went into Sāvatthī for alms. Then, having gone for alms in Sāvatthī, after the meal, returning from their alms round, they went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there they said to the Blessed One, "At present, lord, people seeing monks in Sāvatthī insult, revile, irritate, & harass them with discourteous, abusive language: 'They're shameless, these Sakyan-son contemplatives: unvirtuous, evil-natured, liars, unholy.... How can a man, having done a man's business with a woman, take her life?'"
"Monks, this noise will not last long. It will last only seven days. With the passing of seven days, it will disappear. So in that case, when those people, on seeing monks, insult, revile, irritate, & harass them with discourteous, abusive language, counter their accusation with this verse:
"He goes to hell,
the one who asserts
what didn't take place,
as does the one
who, having done,
says, 'I didn't.'
Both — low-acting people —
there become equal:
after death, in the world beyond."[2]
So, having learned this verse in the Blessed One's presence, the monks — whenever people, on seeing monks in Sāvatthī, insulted, reviled, irritated, & harassed them with discourteous, abusive language — countered the accusation with this verse:
"He goes to hell,
the one who asserts
what didn't take place,
as does the one
who, having done,
says, 'I didn't.'
Both — low-acting people —
there become equal:
after death, in the world beyond."
The thought occurred to those people, "They're innocent, these Sakyan-son contemplatives. It wasn't done by them. They're taking an oath, these Sakyan-son contemplatives."[3] And so that noise didn't last long. It lasted only seven days. With the passing of seven days, it disappeared.
Then a large number of monks went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, they said to him, "It's amazing, lord. It's astounding — how well-said that was by the Blessed One: 'Monks, this noise will not last long. It will last only seven days. With the passing of seven days, it will disappear.' Lord, that noise has disappeared."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
They stab with their words
— people unrestrained —
as they do, with arrows,
a tusker gone into battle.[4]
Hearing abusive words spoken,
one should endure them:
a monk with unbothered mind.
Note
1.
Following the Sri Lankan and Burmese editions. In the Thai edition, this sentence reads, less effectively, "What can I do?"
2.
This verse = Dhp 306.
3.
Reading na imehi kataṃ, sapant'ime samaṇā sakya-puttiyā with the Sri Lankan and Burmese editions. The Thai reads, less grammatically, na imehi kataṃ, pāpant'ime samaṇā sakya-puttiyā.
4.
Because sarehi can mean either "with arrows" or "with voices," this verse can also be translated:
They goad with their words
— people unrestrained —
as they do, with shouts,
a tusker gone into battle.
The verse thus yields two equally valid interpretations:
a) The people stabbing the elephant with arrows (sarehi) are enemy soldiers, trying to bring it down.
b) The people goading the elephant with their shouts and voices (sarehi) are soldiers fighting on the same side as the elephant, urging it to charge into danger.
The Commentary gives only the first interpretation. But if we accept both interpretations, the verse contains a more useful double warning: When there's a controversy, beware of the unrestrained people on both sides. Learn to endure the hurtful words of those on the other side who want to bring you down, and the hurtful words of those on your side who try to rouse your anger so that you will say something rash.
IX.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rājagaha at the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Sanctuary. And on that occasion, when Ven. Upasena Vaṅgantaputta was alone in seclusion, this line of thinking appeared to his awareness: "What a gain, what a true gain it is for me that my teacher is the Blessed One, worthy and fully self-awakened; that I have gone forth from home to the homeless life in a well-taught Dhamma & Vinaya; that my companions in the holy life are virtuous and endowed with admirable qualities; that I have achieved culmination in terms of the precepts; that my mind is unified and well-concentrated; that I am an arahant, with effluents ended; that I have great power & great might. Fortunate has been my life; fortunate will be my death."
Then the Blessed One, comprehending with his awareness the line of thinking that had appeared to Ven. Upasena Vaṅgantaputta's awareness, on that occasion exclaimed:
He doesn't regret
what life has been,
doesn't grieve
at death,
if — enlightened[1] —
he has seen that state.
He doesn't grieve
in the midst of grief.
For one who has crushed
craving for becoming —
the monk of peaceful mind —
birth & the wandering on
are totally ended.
He has no further becoming.[2]
Note
1.
Enlightened (dhīra): Throughout this translation I have rendered buddha as "awakened," and dhīra as "enlightened." As Jan Gonda points out in his book, The Vision of the Vedic Poets, the word dhīra was used in Vedic and Buddhist poetry to mean a person who has the heightened powers of mental vision needed to perceive the "light" of the underlying principles of the cosmos, together with the expertise to implement those principles in the affairs of life and to reveal them to others. A person enlightened in this sense may also be awakened, but is not necessarily so.
2.
This last verse is identical with a verse in Sn 3.12 (verse 746 in the PTS edition).
X.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion Ven. Sāriputta was sitting not far from the Blessed One — his legs crossed, his body held erect — reflecting on the peace within himself. The Blessed One saw Ven. Sāriputta sitting not far away — his legs crossed, his body held erect — reflecting on the peace within himself.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
For the monk whose mind is
peaceful, at peace,
whose cord is cut,[1]
birth & the wandering on
are totally ended.
Freed is he
from Māra's bonds.
Note
1.
The cord (to becoming) is craving.
5. Sonavagga — The Chapter About Sona
I.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion King Pasenadi Kosala had gone with Queen Mallikā to the upper palace. Then he said to her, "Mallikā, is there anyone dearer to you than yourself?"
"No, great king. There is no one dearer to me than myself. And what about you, great king? Is there anyone dearer to you than yourself?"
"No, Mallikā. There is no one dearer to me than myself."
Then the king, descending from the palace, went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One, "Just now, when I had gone with Queen Mallikā to the upper palace, I said to her, 'Mallikā, is there anyone dearer to you than yourself?'
"When this was said, she said to me, 'No, great king. There is no one dearer to me than myself. And what about you, great king? Is there anyone dearer to you than yourself?'
"When this was said, I said to her, 'No, Mallikā. There is no one dearer to me than myself.'"
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Searching all directions
with your awareness,
you find no one dearer
than yourself.
In the same way, others
are thickly dear to themselves.
So you shouldn't hurt others
if you love yourself.
II.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. Then Ven. Ānanda, emerging from his seclusion in the late afternoon, went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "It's amazing, sir. It's astounding — how short-lived the Blessed One's mother was. Seven days after the Blessed One's birth she died and reappeared among the Contented [Tusita] (deva-) group."
"That's the way it is, Ānanda. That's the way it is, for the mothers of bodhisattas are short-lived. Seven days after the bodhisattas' birth, the bodhisattas' mothers pass away and reappear among the Contented (deva-) group."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Those who have come to be,
those who will be:
All
will go,
leaving the body behind.
The skillful person,
realizing the loss of all,
should live the holy life
ardently.
III.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rājagaha at the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Sanctuary. And on that occasion in Rājagaha there was a leper named Suppabuddha, a poor, miserable wretch of a person. And on that occasion the Blessed One was sitting surrounded by a large assembly, teaching the Dhamma. Suppabuddha the leper saw the large gathering of people from afar and thought to himself, "Without a doubt, someone must be distributing staple or non-staple food there. Why don't I go over to that large group of people, and maybe there I'll get some staple or non-staple food." So he went over to the large group of people. Then he saw the Blessed One sitting surrounded by a large assembly, teaching the Dhamma. On seeing this, he realized, "There's no one distributing staple or non-staple food there. That's Gotama the contemplative (sitting) surrounded, teaching the Dhamma. Why don't I listen to the Dhamma?" So he sat down to one side right there, [thinking,] "I, too, will listen to the Dhamma."
Then the Blessed One, having encompassed the awareness of the entire assembly with his awareness, asked himself, "Now who here is capable of understanding the Dhamma?" He saw Suppabuddha the leper sitting in the assembly, and on seeing him the thought occurred to him, "This person here is capable of understanding the Dhamma." So, aiming at Suppabuddha the leper, he gave a step-by-step talk, i.e., he proclaimed a talk on generosity, on virtue, on heaven; he declared the drawbacks, degradation, & corruption of sensuality, and the rewards of renunciation. Then when the Blessed One knew that Suppabuddha the leper's mind was ready, malleable, free from hindrances, elevated, & clear, he then gave the Dhamma-talk peculiar to Awakened Ones, i.e., stress, origination, cessation, & path. And just as a clean cloth, free of stains, would properly absorb a dye, in the same way, as Suppabuddha the leper was sitting in that very seat, the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye arose within him, "Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation."
Having seen the Dhamma, reached the Dhamma, known the Dhamma, gained a foothold in the Dhamma, having crossed over & beyond doubt, having had no more perplexity, having gained fearlessness & independence from others with regard to the Teacher's message, he got up from his seat and went to the Blessed One. On arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "Magnificent, lord! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has the Blessed One — through many lines of reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. I go to the Blessed One for refuge, to the Dhamma, and to the Community of monks. May the Blessed One remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge, from this day forward, for life."
Then Suppabuddha the leper, having been instructed, urged, roused, & encouraged by the Blessed One's Dhamma talk, delighting in & approving of the Blessed One's words, got up from his seat, bowed down to the Blessed One and left, circling him to the right. Not long after his departure he was attacked & killed by a cow with a young calf.
Then a large number of monks went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, they said to the Blessed One, "Lord, the leper named Suppabuddha, whom the Blessed One instructed, urged, roused, & encouraged with a Dhamma talk, has died. What is his destination? What is his future state?"
"Monks, Suppabuddha the leper was wise. He practiced the Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma and did not pester me with issues related to the Dhamma. With the destruction of the first three fetters, he is a stream-winner, not subject to states of deprivation, headed for self-awakening for sure."
When this was said, one of the monks said to the Blessed One, "Lord, what was the cause, what was the reason, why Suppabuddha the leper was such a poor, miserable wretch of a person?"
"Once, monks, in this very Rājagaha, Suppabuddha the leper was the son of a rich money-lender. While being escorted to a pleasure park, he saw Tagarasikhin the Private Buddha[1] going for alms in the city. On seeing him, the thought occurred to him, 'Who is this leper prowling about?' Spitting and disrespectfully turning his left side to Tagarasikhin the Private Buddha, he left. As a result of that deed he boiled in hell for many years, many hundreds of years, many thousands of years, many hundreds of thousands of years. And then as a remainder of the result of that deed he became a poor, miserable wretch of a person in this very Rājagaha. But on encountering the Dhamma & Vinaya made known by the Tathāgata, he acquired conviction, virtue, learning, relinquishment, & discernment. Having acquired conviction, virtue, learning, relinquishment, & discernment on encountering the Dhamma & Vinaya made known by the Tathāgata, now — on the break-up of the body, after death — he has reappeared in a good destination, the heavenly world, in company with the devas of the heaven of the Thirty-three. There he outshines the other devas both in beauty & in rank."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
As one with eyes & having energy
would
treacherous, uneven places,
so a wise one, in the world of life,
should
avoid
evil deeds.[2]
Note
1.
A Private Buddha is one who gains awakening without relying on the teachings of others, but who cannot formulate the Dhamma to teach others in the way a Full Buddha can.
2.
This verse is an example of a "lamp" — a poetic figure explained in the note to Ud 1.1. In this case the lamp-word is "should avoid."
IV.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion, a large number of boys on the road between Sāvatthī & Jeta's Grove were catching fish. Then early in the morning the Blessed One adjusted his under robe and — carrying his bowl & robes — went into Sāvatthī for alms. He saw the large number of boys on the road between Sāvatthī & Jeta's Grove catching little fish. Seeing them, he went up to them and, on arrival, said to them, "Boys, do you fear pain? Do you dislike pain?"
"Yes, lord, we fear pain. We dislike pain."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
If you fear pain,
if you dislike pain,
don't anywhere do an evil deed
in open or in secret.
If you're doing or will do
an evil deed,
you won't escape pain
catching up
as you run away.
V.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at the Eastern Monastery, the palace of Migāra's mother. And on that occasion, the Blessed One — it being the observance day — was sitting surrounded by the community of monks. Then Ven. Ānanda — when the night was far advanced, at the end of the first watch — got up from his seat, arranged his robe over one shoulder, stood facing the Blessed One, paying homage with his hands placed palm-to-palm over his heart, and said to him, "Lord, the night is far advanced. The first watch has ended. The community of monks has been sitting here long. May the Blessed One recite the Pāṭimokkha to them." When this was said, the Blessed One remained silent.
Then a second time, when the night was far advanced, at the end of the middle watch, Ven. Ānanda got up from his seat, arranged his robe over one shoulder, stood facing the Blessed One, paying homage with his hands placed palm-to-palm over his heart, and said to him, "Lord, the night is far advanced. The second watch has ended. The community of monks has been sitting here long. May the Blessed One recite the Pāṭimokkha to them." When this was said, the Blessed One remained silent.
Then a third time, when the night was far advanced, at the end of the last watch, as dawn was approaching and the face of the night was beaming, Ven. Ānanda got up from his seat, arranged his robe over one shoulder, stood facing the Blessed One, paying homage with his hands placed palm-to-palm over his heart, and said to him, "Lord, the night is far advanced. The last watch has ended. Dawn is approaching and the face of the night is beaming. The community of monks has been sitting here long. May the Blessed One recite the Pāṭimokkha to the community of monks."
"Ānanda, the gathering isn't pure."
Then the thought occurred to Ven. Mahā Moggallāna: "In reference to which individual did the Blessed One just now say, 'Ānanda, the gathering isn't pure'?" So he directed his mind, encompassing with his awareness the awareness of the entire community of monks. He saw that individual — unprincipled, evil, unclean and suspect in his undertakings, hidden in his actions, not a contemplative though claiming to be one, not leading the holy life though claiming to do so, inwardly rotten, oozing with desire, filthy by nature — sitting in the midst of the community of monks. On seeing him, he got up, went over to that individual, and on reaching him said, "Get up, friend. You have been seen by the Blessed One. You have no affiliation with the community of monks." Then the individual remained silent. A second time... A third time, Ven. Mahā Moggallāna said, "Get up, friend. You have been seen by the Blessed One. You have no affiliation with the community of monks." And for a third time the individual remained silent.
Then Ven. Mahā Moggallāna, grabbing that individual by the arm, having expelled him through the outside door of the porch and locking the bolt, approached the Blessed One and on arrival said, "I have expelled that individual, lord. The gathering is now pure. Let the Blessed One recite the Pāṭimokkha to the community of monks."
"Isn't it amazing, Moggallāna. Isn't it astounding, how that worthless man waited until he was grabbed by the arm." Then the Blessed One addressed the monks: "From now on I will no longer perform the observance or recite the Pāṭimokkha. From now on, you alone, monks, will perform the observance and recite the Pāṭimokkha. It is impossible, it cannot happen, that a Tathāgata would perform the observance or recite the Pāṭimokkha with an impure gathering.
"Monks, there are these eight amazing & astounding qualities of the ocean because of which, as they see them again & again, the asuras take great joy in the ocean. Which eight?
"[1] The ocean has a gradual shelf, a gradual slope, a gradual inclination, with a sudden drop-off only after a long stretch.[1] The fact that the ocean has a gradual shelf, a gradual slope, a gradual inclination, with a sudden drop-off only after a long stretch: This is the first amazing & astounding quality of the ocean because of which, as they see it again & again, the asuras take great joy in the ocean.
"[2] And furthermore, the ocean is stable and does not overstep its tideline... This is the second amazing & astounding quality of the ocean because of which, as they see it again & again, the asuras take great joy in the ocean.
"[3] And furthermore, the ocean does not tolerate a dead body. Any dead body in the ocean gets quickly washed to the shore and thrown up on dry land... This is the third amazing & astounding quality of the ocean because of which, as they see it again & again, the asuras take great joy in the ocean.
"[4] And furthermore, whatever great rivers there are — such as the Ganges, the Yamunā, the Aciravatī, the Sarabhū, the Mahī — on reaching the ocean, give up their former names and are classed simply as 'ocean'... This is the fourth amazing & astounding quality of the ocean because of which, as they see it again & again, the asuras take great joy in the ocean.
"[5] And furthermore, though the rivers of the world pour into the ocean, and rains fall from the sky, no swelling or diminishing in the ocean for that reason can be discerned... This is the fifth amazing & astounding quality of the ocean because of which, as they see it again & again, the asuras take great joy in the ocean.
"[6] And furthermore, the ocean has a single taste: that of salt... This is the sixth amazing & astounding quality of the ocean because of which, as they see it again & again, the asuras take great joy in the ocean.
"[7] And furthermore, the ocean has these many treasures of various kinds: pearls, sapphires, lapis lazuli, shells, quartz, coral, silver, gold, rubies, & cat's eyes... This is the seventh amazing & astounding quality of the ocean because of which, as they see it again & again, the asuras take great joy in the ocean.
"[8] And furthermore, the ocean is the abode of such mighty beings as these: whales, whale-eaters, & whale-eater-eaters; asuras, nāgas, & gandhabbas. There are in the ocean beings one hundred leagues long, two hundred... three hundred... four hundred... five hundred leagues long. The fact that the ocean is the abode of such mighty beings as these: whales, whale-eaters, & whale-eater-eaters; asuras, nāgas, & gandhabbas; and there are in the ocean beings one hundred leagues long, two hundred... three hundred... four hundred... five hundred leagues long: This is the eighth amazing & astounding quality of the ocean because of which, as they see it again & again, the asuras take great joy in the ocean.
"These are the eight amazing & astounding qualities of the ocean because of which, as they see them again & again, the asuras take great joy in the ocean.
"In the same way, monks, there are eight amazing & astounding qualities of this Dhamma & Vinaya because of which, as they see them again & again, the monks take great joy in this Dhamma & Vinaya. Which eight?
"[1] Just as the ocean has a gradual shelf, a gradual slope, a gradual inclination, with a sudden drop-off only after a long stretch; in the same way this Dhamma & Vinaya has a gradual training, a gradual performance, a gradual practice, with a penetration to gnosis only after a long stretch. The fact that this Dhamma & Vinaya has a gradual training, a gradual performance, a gradual practice, with a penetration to gnosis only after a long stretch: This is the first amazing & astounding quality of this Dhamma & Vinaya because of which, as they see it again & again, the monks take great joy in this Dhamma & Vinaya.
"[2] And furthermore, just as the ocean is stable and does not overstep its tideline; in the same way my disciples do not — even for the sake of their lives — overstep the training rules I have formulated for them... This is the second amazing & astounding quality of this Dhamma & Vinaya because of which, as they see it again & again, the monks take great joy in this Dhamma & Vinaya.
"[3] And furthermore, just as the ocean does not tolerate a dead body — any dead body in the ocean getting quickly washed to the shore and thrown up on dry land — in the same way, if an individual is unprincipled, evil, unclean & suspect in his undertakings, hidden in his actions — not a contemplative though claiming to be one, not leading the holy life though claiming to do so, inwardly rotten, oozing with desire, filthy by nature — the community has no affiliation with him. Having quickly gathered together, they suspend him from the community. Even though he may be sitting in the midst of the community of monks, he is far from the community, and the community far from him... This is the third amazing & astounding quality of this Dhamma & Vinaya because of which, as they see it again & again, the monks take great joy in this Dhamma & Vinaya.
"[4] And furthermore, just as whatever great rivers there are — such as the Ganges, the Yamunā, the Aciravatī, the Sarabhū, the Mahī — on reaching the ocean, give up their former names and are classed simply as 'ocean'; in the same way, when members of the four castes — noble warriors, brahmans, merchants, & workers — go forth from home to the homeless life in this Dhamma & Vinaya declared by the Tathāgata, they give up their former names and clans and are classed simply as 'contemplatives, sons of the Sakyan'... This is the fourth amazing & astounding quality of this Dhamma & Vinaya because of which, as they see it again & again, the monks take great joy in this Dhamma & Vinaya.
"[5] And furthermore, just as the rivers of the world pour into the ocean, and rains fall from the sky, but no swelling or diminishing in the ocean for that reason can be discerned; in the same way, although many monks are totally unbound into the property of unbinding with no fuel remaining, no swelling or diminishing in the property of unbinding for that reason can be discerned... This is the fifth amazing & astounding quality of this Dhamma & Vinaya because of which, as they see it again & again, the monks take great joy in this Dhamma & Vinaya.
"[6] And furthermore, just as the ocean has a single taste — that of salt — in the same way, this Dhamma & Vinaya has a single taste: that of release... This is the sixth amazing & astounding quality of this Dhamma & Vinaya because of which, as they see it again & again, the monks take great joy in this Dhamma & Vinaya.
"[7] And furthermore, just as the ocean has these many treasures of various kinds — pearls, sapphires, lapis lazuli, shells, quartz, coral, silver, gold, rubies, & cat's eyes — in the same way, this Dhamma & Vinaya has these many treasures of various kinds: the four establishings of mindfulness, the four right exertions, the four bases of power, the five faculties, the five strengths, the seven factors for awakening, the noble eightfold path... This is the seventh amazing & astounding quality of this Dhamma & Vinaya because of which, as they see it again & again, the monks take great joy in this Dhamma & Vinaya.
"[8] And furthermore, just as the ocean is the abode of such mighty beings as these: whales, whale-eaters, & whale-eater-eaters; asuras, nāgas, & gandhabbas, and there are in the ocean beings one hundred leagues long, two hundred... three hundred... four hundred... five hundred leagues long; in the same way, this Dhamma & Vinaya is the abode of such mighty beings as these: stream-winners & those practicing to realize the fruit of stream-entry; once-returners & those practicing to realize the fruit of once-returning; non-returners & those practicing to realize the fruit of non-returning; arahants & those practicing for arahantship. The fact that this Dhamma & Vinaya is the abode of such mighty beings as these — stream-winners & those practicing to realize the fruit of stream-entry; once-returners & those practicing to realize the fruit of once-returning; non-returners & those practicing to realize the fruit of non-returning; arahants & those practicing for arahantship: This is the eighth amazing & astounding quality of this Dhamma & Vinaya because of which, as they see it again & again, the monks take great joy in this Dhamma & Vinaya.
"These are the eight amazing & astounding qualities of this Dhamma & Vinaya because of which, as they see them again & again, the monks take great joy in this Dhamma & Vinaya."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Rain soddens what's covered
& doesn't sodden what's open.
So open up what's covered up,
so that it won't get soddened by the rain.[2]
Note
1.
The Pali here reads, na āyataken'eva papāto. The Commentary insists that this phrase means, "with no abrupt drop-off." There are three reasons for not accepting the Commentary's interpretation here. (a) The first is grammatical. The word āyataka means "long, drawn out; lasting a long time." To interpret āyatakena, the instrumental of a word meaning "long, drawn out," to mean "abrupt" makes little sense. (b) The second reason is geographical. The continental shelf off the east coast of India does have a sudden drop-off after a long gradual slope. (c) The third reason is doctrinal. As noted in the interpretation of the simile, the shape of the ocean floor corresponds to the course of the practice. If there were no sudden drop-off, there would be no sudden penetration to awakening. However, there are many cases of sudden penetration in the Canon, Exhibit A being Bāhiya's attainment of arahantship in Ud 1.10.
2.
This verse also appears among the verses attributed to Ven. Sirimaṇḍa at Thag 6.13 (verse 447 in the PTS edition).
VI.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana was living among the people of Avantī on Pavatta Mountain near the Osprey Habitat. And at that time the lay follower Soṇa Koṭikaṇṇa was Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana's supporter. Then as Soṇa Koṭikaṇṇa was alone in seclusion, this train of thought appeared to his awareness: "According to the Dhamma that Master Mahā Kaccāyana teaches, it's not easy living at home to practice the holy life totally perfect, totally pure, like a polished shell. What if I were to shave off my hair & beard, put on the ochre robes, and go forth from the household life into homelessness?"
So he went to Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana and on arrival, having bowed down to Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana, "Just now, venerable sir, as I was alone in seclusion, this train of thought appeared to my awareness: 'According to the Dhamma that Master Mahā Kaccāyana teaches, it's not easy living at home to practice the holy life totally perfect, totally pure, like a polished shell. What if I were to shave off my hair & beard, put on the ochre robes, and go forth from the household life into homelessness?' Give me the going-forth, Master Mahā Kaccāyana!"
When this was said, Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana said to Soṇa Koṭikaṇṇa, "It's hard, Soṇa, the life-long, one-meal-a-day, sleeping-alone holy life. Please, right there as you are a householder, devote yourself to the message of the Awakened Ones and to the proper-time [i.e., uposatha day], one-meal-a-day, sleeping-alone holy life." And so Soṇa Koṭikaṇṇa's idea of going-forth subsided.
Then a second time as Soṇa Koṭikaṇṇa was alone in seclusion, this train of thought appeared to his awareness: "According to the Dhamma that Master Mahā Kaccāyana teaches, it's not easy living at home to practice the holy life totally perfect, totally pure, like a polished shell. What if I were to shave off my hair & beard, put on the ochre robes, and go forth from the household life into homelessness?"
So he went to Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana and on arrival, having bowed down to Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana, "Just now, venerable sir, as I was alone in seclusion, this train of thought appeared to my awareness: 'According to the Dhamma that Master Mahā Kaccāyana teaches, it's not easy living at home to practice the holy life totally perfect, totally pure, like a polished shell. What if I were to shave off my hair & beard, put on the ochre robes, and go forth from the household life into homelessness?' Give me the going-forth, Master Mahā Kaccāyana!"
When this was said, Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana said to Soṇa Koṭikaṇṇa, "It's hard, Soṇa, the life-long, one-meal-a-day, sleeping-alone holy life. Please, right there as you are a householder, devote yourself to the message of the Awakened Ones and to the proper-time, one-meal-a-day, sleeping-alone holy life." And so Soṇa Koṭikaṇṇa's idea of going-forth subsided a second time.
Then a third time as Soṇa Koṭikaṇṇa was alone in seclusion, this train of thought appeared to his awareness: "According to the Dhamma that Master Mahā Kaccāyana teaches, it's not easy living at home to practice the holy life totally perfect, totally pure, like a polished shell. What if I were to shave off my hair & beard, put on the ochre robes, and go forth from the household life into homelessness?"
So he went to Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana and on arrival, having bowed down to Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana, "Just now, venerable sir, as I was alone in seclusion, this train of thought appeared to my awareness: 'According to the Dhamma that Master Mahā Kaccāyana teaches, it's not easy living at home to practice the holy life totally perfect, totally pure, like a polished shell. What if I were to shave off my hair & beard, put on the ochre robes, and go forth from the household life into homelessness?' Give me the going-forth, Master Mahā Kaccāyana!"
So Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana gave Soṇa Koṭikaṇṇa the going-forth.
Now at that time the southern country of Avantī was short of monks. So only after three years — having gathered from here & there with hardship & difficulty a quorum-of-ten community of monks[1] — did Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana give full admission to Ven. Soṇa. Then, after having completed the Rains retreat, as he was alone in seclusion, this train of thought appeared to Ven. Soṇa's awareness: "I haven't seen the Blessed One face-to-face. I've simply heard that he is like this and like this. If my preceptor would give me permission, I would go to see the Blessed One, worthy & rightly self-awakened."
So, leaving seclusion in the late afternoon, he went to Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana, "Just now, venerable sir, as I was alone in seclusion, this train of thought appeared to my awareness: 'I haven't seen the Blessed One face-to-face. I've simply heard that he is like this and like this. If my preceptor would give me permission, I would go to see the Blessed One, worthy & rightly self-awakened.'"
"Good, Soṇa. Very good. Go, Soṇa, to see the Blessed One, worthy & rightly self-awakened. You will see the Blessed One who is serene & inspires serene confidence, his senses at peace, his mind at peace, one who has attained the utmost tranquility & poise, tamed, guarded, his senses restrained, a Great One (nāga). On seeing him, showing reverence with your head to his feet in my name,[2] ask whether he is free from illness & affliction, is carefree, strong, & living in comfort, [saying: 'My preceptor, lord, shows reverence with his head to your feet and asks whether you are free from illness & affliction, are carefree, strong, & living in comfort.'"] [3]
Saying, "As you say, venerable sir," Ven. Soṇa — delighting in & approving of Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana's words — got up from his seat, bowed down to Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana, circled him to the right, set his lodging in order, and — taking his bowl & robes — set off wandering toward Sāvatthī. Wandering by stages, he arrived at Sāvatthī, Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. He went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One, "Lord, my preceptor, Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana, shows reverence with his head to the Blessed One's feet and asks whether the Blessed One is free from illness & affliction, is carefree, strong, & living in comfort."
"Are you well, monk? Are you in good health? Have you come along the road with only a little fatigue? And are you not tired of alms-food?"
"I am well, Blessed One. I am in good health, Blessed One. I have come along the road, lord, with only a little fatigue and I am not tired of alms-food."
Then the Blessed One addressed Ven. Ānanda, saying, "Ānanda, prepare bedding for this visiting monk."
Then the thought occurred to Ven. Ānanda, "When the Blessed One orders me, 'Ānanda, prepare bedding for this visiting monk,' he wants to stay in the same dwelling with that monk. The Blessed One wants to stay in the same dwelling with Ven. Soṇa." So he prepared bedding for Ven. Soṇa in the dwelling in which the Blessed One was staying. Then the Blessed One, having spent much of the night sitting in the open air, washed his feet and entered the dwelling. Likewise, Ven. Soṇa, having spent much of the night sitting in the open air, washed his feet and entered the dwelling. Then, getting up toward the end of the night, the Blessed One invited Ven. Mahā Soṇa,[4] saying, "Monk, I would like you to recite the Dhamma."
Responding, "As you say, lord," to the Blessed One, Ven. Soṇa chanted all sixteen parts of the Aṭṭhaka Vagga.[5] The Blessed One, at the conclusion of Ven. Soṇa's intonation, expressed high approval: "Good, monk. Very good. You have learned the Aṭṭhaka Vagga [verses] well, have considered them well, have borne them well in mind. You have a fine delivery, clear & faultless, that makes the meaning intelligible. How many Rains [in the monkhood] do you have?"
"I have one Rains, Blessed One."
"But why did you take so long [to ordain]?"
"For a long time, lord, I have seen the drawbacks in sensuality, but the household life is confining with many duties, many things to be done."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Seeing the drawbacks of the world,
knowing the state without acquisitions,
a noble one doesn't find joy in evil,
in evil
a clean one doesn't find joy.[6]
Notes
1.
Originally, a quorum of at least ten monks was required to ordain a new monk. In the version of this story given in the Vinaya (Mv.V.13.1-13), Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana sends a request to the Buddha via Ven. Soṇa that some of the Vinaya rules be relaxed outside of the middle Ganges valley, one of them being that the quorum required for ordination be reduced. As a result, the Buddha amended the relevant rule, stating that the quorum of ten was needed only within the middle Ganges valley, and that outside of the middle Ganges valley a quorum of five would be sufficient to ordain a new monk, provided that at least one of the five be knowledgeable in the Vinaya.
2.
The remainder of this paragraph does not appear in Mv.V.13.5. However, at this point in the story, Mv.V.13.5-7 inserts Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana's request that Ven. Soṇa, in his name, ask the Buddha to rescind four of the monks' rules in the Southern region, and that he explain a procedure dealing with gifts of cloth that Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana found unclear.
3.
The passage in brackets appears in the PTS and Burmese editions, but not in the Thai and Sri Lankan editions.
4.
This is the only point in the sutta where Ven. Soṇa has the prefix "Great" (Mahā) added to his name.
5.
This is apparently the Aṭṭhaka Vagga as we now have it in Sn 4.
6.
At Mv.V.13.10, the PTS version of this last line reads, "In the teaching a clean one finds joy." However, in the Thai, Burmese, and Sri Lankan versions of the same passage, the last line is the same as here.
VII.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion Ven. Revata the Doubter was sitting not far from the Blessed One, his legs crossed, his body held erect, reflecting on [his] purification through the overcoming of doubt. The Blessed One saw Ven. Revata the Doubter sitting not far away, his legs crossed, his body held erect, reflecting on [his] purification through the overcoming of doubt.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Any doubts,
about here or the world beyond,
about what is experienced
by/because of others,
by/because of oneself,[1]are abandoned — all —
by the person in jhāna,
ardent,
living the holy life.
Note
1.
This relates to the question of whether pleasure and pain are self-caused or other-caused. As Ud 6.5 and Ud 6.6 show, this question was a hot topic in the time of the Buddha. However, in SN 12.20, SN 12.35, and SN 12.67 the Buddha refuses to get involved in the issue. See the discussion in Skill in Questions, chapter 8.
VIII.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rājagaha at the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' refuge. And on that occasion, early in the morning of the uposatha, Ven. Ānanda adjusted his under robe and — carrying his bowl & robes — went into Rājagaha for alms. Devadatta saw Ven. Ānanda going for alms in Rājagaha and, on seeing him, went to him. On arrival, he said to him, "From this day forward, friend Ānanda, I will conduct the uposatha & community transactions apart from the Blessed One, apart from the community of monks."
Then Ven. Ānanda — having gone for alms in Rājagaha, after the meal, returning from his alms round — went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "Just now, lord, after adjusting my under robe early in the morning and carrying my bowl & robes, I went into Rājagaha for alms. Devadatta saw me going for alms in Rājagaha and, on seeing me, went up to me. On arrival, he said to me, 'From this day forward, friend Ānanda, I will conduct the uposatha & community transactions apart from the Blessed One, apart from the community of monks.' Lord, today Devadatta will split the community. He will conduct the uposatha & community transactions [apart from the community]."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
The good, for the good, is easy to do.
The good, for the evil, is hard to do.
Evil, for the evil, is easy to do.
Evil, for the noble ones, is hard to do.
IX.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was wandering among the Kosalans with a large community of monks. And on that occasion, a large number of youths passed by as if jeering[1] not far from the Blessed One. The Blessed One saw the large number of youths passing by as if jeering not far away.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
False pundits, totally muddled,
speaking in the range of mere words,
babbling as much as they like:
led on by what,
they don't know.
Note
1.
Reading sadhāyamāna-rūpā with the Burmese edition. The Thai edition reads, saddāyamāna-rūpā — "as if making an uproar" — which doesn't make much sense. The Sri Lankan edition reads, saddhāyamāna-rūpā — "as if showing faith" — which makes even less sense.
X.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion Ven. Cūḷa Panthaka was sitting not far from the Blessed One, his legs crossed, his body held erect, with mindfulness established to the fore. The Blessed One saw Ven. Cūḷa Panthaka sitting not far away, his legs crossed, his body held erect, with mindfulness established to the fore.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
With steady body,
steady awareness,
— whether standing, sitting, or lying down[1] —
a monk determined on mindfulness
gains one distinction
after another.
Having gained one distinction
after another,
he goes where the King of Death
can't see.
Note
1.
There's a slight paradox in this verse in that the word for "steady" (ṭhita) can also mean "standing." Thus when the body is steady and unmoving, it is "standing" regardless of its posture.
Hết phần Kinh Phật Tự Thuyết (Chương 1 đến chương 5) (Udāna)

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