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Saɱyutta Nikāya
III. Khandha Vagga
22. Khandhasaɱyutta

Sutta 80

Pindolya Sutta

Almsgoers

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
Provenance, terms and conditons

 


 

[1][pts][bodh] On one occasion the Blessed One was staying among the Sakyans
at Kapilavatthu in the Banyan Park.

Then, after having dismissed the community of monks
over a particular incident,
he early in the morning
put on his robes and,
carrying his bowl and outer robe,
went into Kapilavatthu for alms.

After having gone for alms in Kapilavatthu,
after his meal,
returning from his almsround,
he went to the Great Forest
for the day's abiding.

Plunging into the Great Forest,
he sat down
at the root of a beluva sapling
as his day's abiding.

Then, as he was alone in seclusion,
this line of thought arose in his awareness:

"I have turned away the community of monks.
But here there are monks who are new
— not long gone forth,
only recently come
to this Dhamma and discipline.
If they do not see me,
there may be alteration in them,
there may be change.

Just as when a young calf
does not see its mother,
there may be alteration in it,
there may be change;
in the same way,
there are monks who are new
— not long gone forth,
only recently come
to this Dhamma and discipline.
If they do not see me,
there may be alteration in them,
there may be change.

Just as when young seedlings
don't get water,
there may be alteration in them,
there may be change;
in the same way,
there are monks who are new
— not long gone forth,
only recently come
to this Dhamma and discipline.
If they do not see me,
there may be alteration in them,
there may be change.

What if I were to aid the community of monks
as I did before?"

Then Brahma Sahampati
— having known with his own awareness
the line of thinking in the Blessed One's awareness —
just as a strong man
might extend his flexed arm
or flex his extended arm,
disappeared from the Brahma-world
and reappeared in front of the Blessed One.

Arranging his upper robe
over one shoulder,
he knelt down
with his right knee on the ground,
saluted the Blessed One
with his hands before his heart,
and said to him:

"So it is, O Blessed One!
So it is, O One Well-gone!
The Blessed One has turned away
the community of monks.
But here there are monks who are new
— not long gone forth,
only recently come to this Dhamma and discipline.
If they do not see the Blessed One,
there may be alteration in them,
there may be change.

Just as when a young calf
does not see its mother,
there may be alteration in it,
there may be change;
in the same way,
there are monks who are new
— not long gone forth,
only recently come
to this Dhamma and discipline.
If they do not see me,
there may be alteration in them,
there may be change.

Just as when young seedlings
don't get water,
there may be alteration in them,
there may be change;
in the same way,
there are monks who are new
— not long gone forth,
only recently come
to this Dhamma and discipline.
If they do not see me,
there may be alteration in them,
there may be change.

Let the Blessed One
delight in the community of monks!
Let the Blessed One
welcome the community of monks!
Let the Blessed One
aid the community of monks
as he did before!"

The Blessed One acquiesced with silence.

Then Brahma Sahampati,
sensing the Blessed One's acquiescence,
bowed down to the Blessed One
and, after circumambulating him,
disappeared right there.

Then the Blessed One,
emerging from seclusion in the evening,
went to the Banyan Park.

On arrival he sat down
on a seat made ready.

After he had sat down
he worked a psychic feat
such that the monks
went to him contritely,
in ones and twos.

On arrival, they bowed down to him
and sat to one side.
As they were sitting there
the Blessed One said to them:

"Monks, this is the lowliest form of livelihood,
that of an almsgoer.
A term of abuse in the world is,
'You go about as an almsgoer
with a bowl in your hand!'

And yet sons of good family
take up [this livelihood] with compelling reason,
in dependence on a compelling reason
— not coerced by kings
nor coerced by thieves
nor from debt
nor from fear
nor to earn a livelihood,
but [with the thought]:
'I am oppressed with birth, aging, and death,
with sorrows, lamentations pains,
distresses, and despairs.
I am oppressed with stress,
overcome with stress.
Perhaps an ending
of this entire mass of suffering and stress
might be found!'

"And although this son of a good family
has gone forth in this way,
he is covetous,
with strong passion for sensual desires,
with a mind of ill will,
of corrupt resolves,
his mindfulness muddled,
unalert, unconcentrated,
his mind distracted,
loose in his sense faculties.

Just as a log from a funeral pyre,
burning at both ends,
smeared with excrement in the middle,
fills no use as timber
either in the village
or in the wilderness:
I speak of this person
with this comparison.

He has missed out
on the enjoyments of the householder,
and yet does not fulfill the goal
of the contemplative life.

"Monks, there are these three types of unskillful thinking:
thinking of sensuality,
thinking of ill will,
thinking of harm.

These three types of sensual thinking
cease without remainder
in one who dwells
with his mind well established
in the four frames of reference
or who develops the themeless concentration.[1]

This is reason enough, monks,
to develop the themeless concentration.
The themeless concentration,
when developed and pursued,
is of great fruit, great benefit.

"Monks, there are these two views:
the view of becoming
and the view of non-becoming.

There the instructed disciple of the noble ones considers thus:
'Is there anything in the world
to which I could cling
without being blameworthy?'

He discerns:
'There is nothing in the world
to which I could cling
without being blameworthy.'

He discerns:
'In clinging,
I would be clinging just to form.
In clinging,
I would be clinging just to feeling.
In clinging,
I would be clinging just to perception.
In clinging,
I would be clinging just to fabrications.
In clinging,
I would be clinging just to consciousness.

From that clinging of mine
as a requisite condition
would come becoming.
From becoming as a requisite condition,
birth.
From birth as a requisite condition,
then aging, illness, and death,
sorrow, lamentation pain,
distress, and despair
would come into play.
Thus would be the origination
of this entire mass of suffering and stress.'

"What do you think, monks
— Is form constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."

"And is that which is inconstant
easeful or stressful?"

"Stressful, lord."

"And is it fitting
to regard what is inconstant,
stressful,
subject to change as:
'This is mine.
This is my self.
This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"What do you think, monks
— Is feeling constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."

"And is that which is inconstant
easeful or stressful?"

"Stressful, lord."

"And is it fitting
to regard what is inconstant,
stressful,
subject to change as:
'This is mine.
This is my self.
This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"What do you think, monks
— Is perception constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."

"And is that which is inconstant
easeful or stressful?"

"Stressful, lord."

"And is it fitting
to regard what is inconstant,
stressful,
subject to change as:
'This is mine.
This is my self.
This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"What do you think, monks
— Are fabrications constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."

"And is that which is inconstant
easeful or stressful?"

"Stressful, lord."

"And is it fitting
to regard what is inconstant,
stressful,
subject to change as:
'This is mine.
This is my self.
This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"What do you think, monks
— Is consciousness constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."

"And is that which is inconstant
easeful or stressful?"

"Stressful, lord."

"And is it fitting
to regard what is inconstant,
stressful,
subject to change as:
'This is mine.
This is my self.
This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"Thus, monks, any form whatsoever
that is past, future, or present;
internal or external;
blatant or subtle;
common or sublime;
far or near:
every form is to be seen
as it actually is
with right discernment as:
'This is not mine.
This is not my self.
This is not what I am.'

"Any feeling whatsoever
that is past, future, or present;
internal or external;
blatant or subtle;
common or sublime;
far or near:
every feeling is to be seen
as it actually is
with right discernment as:
'This is not mine.
This is not my self.
This is not what I am.'

"Any perception whatsoever
that is past, future, or present;
internal or external;
blatant or subtle;
common or sublime;
far or near:
every perception is to be seen
as it actually is
with right discernment as:
'This is not mine.
This is not my self.
This is not what I am.'

"Any fabrications whatsoever
that is past, future, or present;
internal or external;
blatant or subtle;
common or sublime;
far or near:
every fabrication is to be seen
as it actually is
with right discernment as:
'This is not mine.
This is not my self.
This is not what I am.'

"Any consciousness whatsoever
that is past, future, or present;
internal or external;
blatant or subtle;
common or sublime;
far or near:
every consciousness is to be seen
as it actually is
with right discernment as:
'This is not mine.
This is not my self.
This is not what I am.'

"Seeing thus,
the instructed disciple of the noble ones
grows disenchanted with form,
disenchanted with feeling,
disenchanted with perception,
disenchanted with fabrications,
disenchanted with consciousness.

Through disenchantment,
he becomes dispassionate.
Through dispassion,
he is fully released.
With full release,
there is the knowledge,
'Fully released.'
He discerns that
'Birth is ended,
the holy life fulfilled,
the task done.
There is nothing further for this world.'"

 


[1] See MN 121.

 


 

References:

See also Iti 91.

 


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