Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
I. Mūlapaṇṇāsa
4. Mahā Yamaka Vagga

Sacred Books of the Buddhists
Volume V
Dialogues of the Buddha
Part IV

Further Dialogues of the Buddha
Volume I

Translated from the Pali
by Lord Chalmers
G.C.B.
Sometime Governor of Ceylon

London
Humphrey Milford
Oxford University Press
1926
Public Domain

Sutta 40

Cūḷa-Assapura Suttaɱ

The Recluse's Regimen

 


[199]

[1][pts][upal] THUS have I heard:

Once when the Lord was staying in the Angas' country,
where they have a township named Assapura,
he addressed the listening Almsmen as follows:

Recluses! -
that is the name by which people know you
and by which you would describe yourselves,
if asked who you were.

Such being your vocation
and profession
as recluses, you must train yourselves
to embrace and shew forth in your lives
the recluse's path of duty,
so as to prove your vocation true
and your profession a reality,
and to see to it
that the charity you enjoy
in the shape of clothing and food and other requisites
enures to fruit and profit in yourselves,
making your Pilgrimage not barren
but fruitful unto its harvest.

How does an Almsman not tread the recluses path of duty?

The Almsman who is greedy
and has not put greed from him,
or who is malicious of heart
and has not put malice from him,
or who is wrathful
and has not put wrath from him,
or who is revengeful
and has not put revenge from him,
or who is a hypocrite
and has not put hypocrisy from him,
or is fraudulent
and has not put fraud from him,
or who is jealous
and has not put jealousy from him,
or who is a niggard
and has not put niggardliness from him,
or who is treacherous
and has not put treachery from him,
or who is deceitful
and has not put deceit from him,
or whose desires are evil
nor has he put evil desires from him,
or who is wrong in his outlook
and has not put wrong outlooks from him, -
of such an Almsman
I say that he fails to tread the recluse's path of duty,
because [200] he has not put from him
these dispositions
which are blots
and blemishes
and defects
in a recluse,
leading to woe hereafter
and to a doom of pain.

It is just as if,
hidden away
and concealed beneath his robes,
the Brother had got a deadly stiletto,
two-edged and whetted keen; -
unto this do I liken that Almsman's Pilgrimage.

I say it is not the robe which makes the recluse,
nor nakedness,
nor dust and dirt,
nor bathing thrice a day,
nor living under a tree,
nor living in the open,
nor never sitting down,
nor punctilio in regimen,
nor intoning texts,
nor a shock head of matted hair.

If the mere wearing of the robe
could banish greed,
malice,
and so forth,
then, as soon as a child was born,
his friends and kinsfolk would make him wear the robe
and would press him to wear it, saying: -

Come, thou favoured of fortune!

Come, wear the robe;
for, by the mere wearing of it,
the greedy will put from them their greed,
the malicious their malice, ...
and those of wrong outlook will put from them their wrong outlook. -

It is because I see robe-wearers
who are greedy and malicious ...
and wrong in their outlook,
that I say the mere wearing of the robe
does not make the recluse.

[Similar paragraphs about nakedness, dust and dirt ... shock head of matted hair.]

How, on the other hand,
does an Almsman tread the recluse's path of duty?

The Almsman who is not greedy
but has put greed from him,
who is not malicious
but has put malice from him ...
who is not wrong in outlook
but has put wrong outlooks from him, -
of such an Almsman
I say that he succeeds
in treading the recluse's path of duty,
because he has put from him
those dispositions which are blots
and blemishes
and defects
in a recluse,
leading to woe hereafter
and a doom of pain.

Such an Almsman realizes
that he is cleansed and Delivered
from all those evil and wrong states of consciousness;
when he realizes this,
there is bred in him gladness of heart,
which in turn breeds zest,
which brings tranquillity to [201] the body,
which inspires those feelings of satisfaction
whereby the heart wins rapt concentration.

He dwells with radiant thoughts of good-will
pervading first one quarter of the world -
then the second -
then the third -
and then the fourth quarter;
he dwells with radiant good-will
pervading the whole length and breadth of the world,
above,
below,
around,
and everywhere, -
with radiant good-will all-embracing,
vast,
boundless,
wherein no hate or malice finds a place.

And as with good-will, so, in turn,
with radiant compassion,
sympathy,
and poised equanimity,
does he pervade the whole length and breadth of the world.

It is just as if there were a lake of clear bright water,
limpid,
easy to get down to,
and in every way delightful;
and as if from the east -
or the west -
or from the north -
or from the south -
there should come a man
overcome and Overpowered with the blazing heat of summer,
exhausted and beside himself with thirst,
who should quench in that lake's waters
the thirst and the fever which parched his frame; -
just in the same way,
if a noble -
or a brahmin -
or a middle-class man -
or a peasant -
leaving his home for homelessness as a Pilgrim
and coming to the Doctrine and Rule preached by the Truth-finder,
so develops good-will,
compassion,
sympathy
and poised equanimity
as to win inward peace,
then, by reason of his winning such inward peace,
he - say I - treads the recluse's path of duty.

If a noble -
Or a brahmin -
Or a middle-class man -
Or a peasant -
leaves home for hOmelessness as a Pilgrim
and if he, by extirpating the Cankers,
enters on,
and abides in,
that Deliverance of heart and mind,
from Cankers free,
which he has of and for himself
discerned and realized here and now, -
then he becomes a recluse
by the extirpation of the Cankers.

Thus spoke the Lord.

Glad at heart, those Almsmen rejoiced in what the Lord had said.


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