Khuddaka Nikaya


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Udāna
III.8: Pinda Suttaṃ

Alms

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
For free distribution only.

 


 

[III-8.1]I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Now at that time a large number of monks, after the meal, on returning from their alms round, had gathered 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 made ready. As he was sitting there, he addressed the monks: "For what topic are you gathered 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 gathered here at the kareri-tree pavilion when this discussion arose: [They repeat what had been said.] "

"It isn't right, 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 such as this --
    if he's not relying
    on fame and praise.

 


[1] A monk who makes a steady practice of eating only the food received while going for alms.

[2] Noble silence = the levels of jhana beginning with the second.


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