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Saɱyutta Nikāya
II. Nidāna Vagga
21. Bhikkhu Saɱyutta

Sutta 10

Thera-Nāmo or Thera-Namaka Suttaɱ

In Name, 'Elder'

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 


 

[1][rhyc][than][bodh] I HERE TELL

Once Upon a Time, the Lucky Man, Rājagaha
Bamboo Grove,
the squirrels' feeding place
came-a revisiting.

That was at a time
when a certain beggar named Elder
had been living alone
and was speaking in praise of living alone.

Alone he entered the village for handouts,
alone he returned,
alone he sat in solitude,
alone he paced the place to pace.

There then a number of beggars
approached The Lucky Man
and drew near.

Having drawn near the Lucky Man
and exchanged greetings and salutations,
they took seats to one side.

Seated to one side then,
they said this to the Lucky Man:

"Here, bhante, a certain beggar named Elder
lives alone
and speaks in praise of living alone."

At that the Lucky Man addressed a certain beggar:

"Come you, beggar,
in my words invite bhikkhu Elder saying:

'The Master invites you, friend Elder.'

"Very well, bhante!"
this beggar responded to the Lucky Man
and then he approached the Ancient bhikkhu Elder
and drew near.

Having drawn near
he addressed the Ancient Elder saying:

'The Master invites you, friend Elder.'

"Very well, friend"
responded the Ancient Elder
who then approached the Lucky Man
and drew near.

Having drawn near
and exchanged greetings,
he took a seat to one side.

As he was seated to one side then,
the Lucky Man said this to him:

"Is it true Elder,
that you live alone
and speak in praise of living alone?"[1]

"Even so, bhante."

"But in detail, Elder,
what is the manner of your
living alone
and speaking in praise of living alone?"

"In this case, bhante,
alone I enter the village for handouts,
alone I return,
alone I sit in solitude,
alone I pace the place to pace.

Thus, bhante, do I
live alone
and speak in praise of living alone."

"This, Elder, is living alone,
I do not say it is not.

But there is, Elder,
a more satisfactory development
of living alone to be had.

Give ear!

Give your mind over to studious attention!

I will speak!"

And the ancient Elder responding:
"Even so, bhante!"
Bhagava said:

"And what, Elder,
is this more satisfactory development
of living alone to be had?

Here Elder,
whatsoever is of the past,
that is let go,
whatsoever is of the future,
that is abandoned,
and as to appearance in the present
of that which one has coming to the self,
wanting and lust is well removed.

This, Elder,
is this more satisfactory development
of living alone which may be had."

This is what the Lucky Man said.

 


 

The Well-gone having said this,
the Master added:

"Above it all, all knowing, wise
By all things unpolluted,
All rejecting, thirst destroyed, free —
Of such a hero I speak of as 'living alone'."

 


[1] Note that there is no elaboration of how he speaks in praise of living alone.


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