WARREN: BUDDHISM IN TRANSLATIONS

411

 

 


 

 

Ī 84. The Order Receive Leave to Dwell in Houses

Translated from the Culla-Vagga (vi.1.1)

At that time The Buddha, The Blessed One, was dwelling at Rājagaha in Bamboo Grove, which is in Kalandakanivāpa. Now at that time The Blessed One had not given permission to the priests to use dwelling-houses. And the priests of his following dwelt wherever they could, -- in the forests, at the foot of trees, on the hills, in the valleys, in mountain caves, in cemeteries, in groves of trees, in open spaces, or in heaps of straw. And they would return early in the morning from their various resting-places, -- from the forests, from the foot of trees, from the hills, from the valleys, from the mountain caves, from the cemeteries, from the groves of trees, from the open spaces, or from the heaps of straw, winning the minds of men with their advancing and their retiring, with their looking and their gazing, with their drawing in their arms and their stretching out their arms, and having their eyes cast down, and perfect in their deportment.

Now at that time a Rājagaha treasurer went early in the morning to the park. And the Rājagaha treasurer saw those priests as they returned early in the morning from their various resting-places, -- from the forests, from the foot of trees, from the hills, from the valleys, from the mountain caves, from the cemeteries, from the groves of trees, from the open spaces, or from the heaps of straw, winning the minds of men with their advancing and their retiring, with their looking and their gazing, with their drawing in their arms and their stretching out their arms, and having their eyes cast down, and perfect in their deportment, -- and when he had seen them, his mind was won. Then the Rājagaha treasurer drew near to where those priests were, and having drawn near, he spoke to those priests as follows:

"Reverend sirs, if I were to build some monastery cells, would ye dwell in those my monastery cells?"

[412]"O householder, The Blessed One has not given permission to use monastery cells."

"In that case, reverend sirs, ask The Blessed One about the matter, and announce to me his answer."

"Very well, O householder," said those priests to the Rājagaha treasurer in assent, and drew near to where The Blessed One was; and having drawn near and greeted The Blessed One, they sat down respectfully at one side. And seated respectfully at one side, they spoke to The Blessed One as follows:

"Reverend Sir, a Rājagaha treasurer is desirous of building some monastery cells. Reverend Sir, how shall we act in the matter?"

Then The Blessed One, on that occasion, after he had delivered a doctrinal discourse, addressed the priests:

"O priests, I permit places of retreat of five different kinds; monastery cells, Bengal houses, storied mansions, mansions with attics, and huts."

Then those priests drew near to where the Rājagaha treasurer was; and having drawn near, they spoke to the Rājagaha treasurer as follows:

"O householder, The Blessed One has given permission to use monastery cells. Pray, suit your own convenience."

Then the Rājagaha treasurer in one day established sixty monastery cells. And the Rājagaha treasurer, having completed those sixty monastery cells, drew near to where The Blessed One was; and having drawn near and greeted The Blessed One, he sat down respectfully at one side. And seated respectfully at one side, the Rājagaha treasurer spoke to The Blessed One as follows:

"Reverend Sir, let The Blessed One consent to take breakfast at my house to-morrow, together with the congregation of the priests."

And The Blessed One consented by his silence.

Then the Rājagaha treasurer, perceiving that The Blessed One had given his consent, rose from his seat, and saluted The Blessed One; and keeping his right side toward him, he departed.

[413]Then the Rājagaha treasurer, when night was over, prepared excellent food, both hard and soft, and sent word to The Blessed One:

"Reverend Sir, breakfast is ready."

Then The Blessed One, having put on his tunic in the morning, took his bowl and his robes, and drew near to where the house of the Rājagaha treasurer was; and having drawn near, together with the congregation of the priests, he sat down in the seat that was spread for him. Then the Rājagaha treasurer served The Buddha and the congregation of the priests that followed him with excellent food, both hard and soft, with his own hands, until they were satisfied, and would take no more. And when The Blessed One had finished eating, and had washed his bowl and his hands, the Rājagaha treasurer sat down respectfully at one side. And seated respectfully at one side, he spoke to The Blessed One as follows:

"Reverend Sir, I have built these sixty monastery cells in the hope of merit, and in the hope of heaven. Reverend Sir, how shall I act in the matter of these monastery cells?"

"In that case, O householder, dedicate these sixty monastery cells to the Order, both present, and to come, and throughout the world."

"Very well, Reverend Sir," said the Rājagaha treasurer to The Blessed One in assent, and dedicated those sixty monastery cells to the Order, both present, and to come, and throughout the world.

Then The Blessed One gave thanks to the Rājagaha treasurer in the following stanzas: --

"The cold, the heat, it beateth back,
And ravenous beasts of every sort,
The snakes that creep, the gnats that bite,
The winter's cold, the heavy rains;
And when the dreaded, torrid winds
Spring up, they, too, are beaten back.
 
"A place for refuge, and for ease,
To meditate, and insight gain,
Are monasteries, best of gifts,
And of The Buddha highly praised.

[414]

"Therefore, if any man is wise,
And cherisheth his weal at heart,
Then monasteries let him build,
And lodge therein the erudite.
 
"Let food to eat, and also drink,
And clothes, and bedding in full store,
Be given to the holy men,
By him with a believing heart.
 
"To him the Doctrine they shall teach,
And all his miseries put to flight;
And he, when once he sees the truth,
Depraved no more, Nirvana gains."

Then The Blessed One, having given thanks to the Rājagaha treasurer in the foregoing stanzas, rose from his seat and departed.

 


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