Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
III. Upari-Paṇṇāsa
3. Suññata Vagga

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

Further Dialogues of the Buddha
Volume II

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

London
Humphrey Milford
Oxford University Press
1927
Public Domain

Sutta 124

Bakkula Suttaɱ

A Saint's Record

 


[124] [226]

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

Once when the reverend Bakkula was staying at Rājagaha
in the Bamboo grove
where the squirrels were fed,
an ancient friend of his lay days,
Acela Kassapa,
[125] came to him
and after greetings
took a seat to one side,
asking how long he had been an Almsman.

[227] It is eighty years, sir,
since I first became an Almsman.

In the course of those eighty years, Bakkula,
how often have you lain with women?

You should not ask your question like that,
Kassapa;
you should ask how often in the past
carnal desires have arisen within me.

Well, Bakkula,
in the course of those eighty years
how often have carnal desires arisen within you?

During the whole of my eighty years as an Almsman
I am not aware of their once arising.

[This too we Almsmen in conclave assembled
account a wonder and a marvel in the reverend Bakkula
that he is not aware of carnal desires
having once arisen within him during eighty years.]
[1]

During the whole of those eighty years as an Almsman
I am not aware that malevolence
or a desire to hurt
has once arisen within me.

[This too we Almsmen in conclave assembled account a wonder and a marvel in the reverend Bakkula that he is not aware of malevolence or a desire to hurt having once arisen within him during eighty years.]

During the whole of those eighty years as an Almsman
I do not admit that thoughts of lust -
or of malevolence -
or of hurt -
have once arisen within me.

[126] During the whole of those eighty years as an Almsman
I do not admit having once-accepted a layman's clothes,
cut out robes with shears,
sewn robes together with a needle,
dyed robes with dye-stuff,
sewn robes together on the frame,
for myself,
got my fellows in the higher life to work at my robes for me,
accepted an invitation (to a meal),
[228] entertained a wish
that someone would invite me,
taken a seat inside a dwelling,
taken a meal inside a dwelling,
thought about the conformation of women,
taught a woman the Doctrine,
even to the extent of a couplet,
gone to the Almswomen's quarters,
taught the Doctrine to an Almswoman,
or to a woman probationer
or to a woman novice,
admitted
or confirmed
or been answerable for an Almsman,
prepared a novice for admission to the Confraternity,
used a bathroom,
or bath-powder when bathing,
got my fellows in the higher life [127] to massage my limbs for me,
been ill, even triflingly,
taken medicine,
even an opening dose of myrobalan,
used a head-rest,
lain on a bed,
or passed the rainy season within the precincts of a village.

For a week I lived,
still unregenerate,
on what the country-side furnished,
but on the eighth day Knowledge came!

Reverend Bakkula,
I ask to be admitted and confirmed
in this Doctrine and Rule.

Nor was it long after his confirmation
before the reverend Kassapa,
dwelling alone and aloof,
strenuous ardent and purged of self,
won the prize in quest of which
young men go forth from home to homelessness,
that prize of prizes
which crowns the highest life; -
even this did he think out for himself,
realize and attain here and now;
and to him came the knowledge clear:

Rebirth is no more;
I have lived the highest life;
my task is done;
and now for me there is no more of what I have been.

Thus the reverend Kassapa too
was numbered among the arahats.

Time came when the reverend Bakkula went
key in hand
from cell to cell,
saying:

Come, reverend sirs, come;
to-day 1 shall pass away.

[229][This too we Almsmen in conclave assembled account a wonder and a marvel in the reverend Bakkula that he went key in hand from cell to cell, saying: - Come, reverend sirs, come; to-day I shall pass away.]

[128] Thereupon amidst the Confraternity
the reverend Bakkula passed away as he sat (on his pyre).

[This too we Almsmen in conclave assembled account a wonder and a marvel in the reverend Bakkula that amidst the Confraternity he passed away as he sat.]

 


[1] This refrain - intercalated by the Elders at the Recension, according to the Commentary-occurs in the text after each affirmation but will be omitted hereafter in translating the catalogue which follows, till p. 129 is reached.


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