16. Kassapa Saŋyuttam
Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
Provenance, terms and conditons
[pts][bodh] I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Sanctuary. Then Ven. Maha Kassapa 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, "You are now old, Kassapa. Your robes made of cast-off hemp rags are heavy for you. So wear robes donated by householders, eat invitational meals, and live close by me."
"Lord, for a long time I have lived in the wilderness and have extolled living in the wilderness. I have been an almsgoer and have extolled being an almsgoer. I have worn cast off rags and have extolled wearing cast off rags. I have worn only one set of the triple robe and have extolled wearing only one set of the triple robe. I have been modest and have extolled being modest. I have been content and have extolled being content. I have been reclusive and have extolled being reclusive. I have been unentangled and have extolled being unentangled. I have kept my persistence aroused and have extolled having persistence aroused."
"But, Kassapa, what compelling reason do you see that you for a long time have lived in the wilderness and have extolled living in the wilderness... that you have kept your persistence aroused and have extolled having persistence aroused?"
"Lord, I see two compelling reasons that for a long time I have lived in the wilderness and have extolled living in the wilderness... that I have kept my persistence aroused and have extolled having persistence aroused: seeing a pleasant abiding for myself in the here and now, and feeling sympathy for later generations: 'Perhaps later generations will take it as an example: "It seems that the disciples of the Awakened One and those who awakened after him lived for a long time in the wilderness and extolled living in the wilderness; were almsgoers and extolled being almsgoers; wore cast off rags and extolled wearing cast off rags; wore only one set of the triple robe and extolled wearing only one set of the triple robe; were modest and extolled being modest; were content and extolled being content; were reclusive and extolled being reclusive; were unentangled and extolled being unentangled; kept their persistence aroused and extolled having persistence aroused."'"
"Good, Kassapa. Very good. It seems that you are one who practices for the happiness of many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, benefit, and happiness of beings human and divine. So continue wearing your robes of cast off hemp cloth, go for alms, and live in the wilderness."