Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
II. Majjhima Paṇṇāsa
4. Rāja Vagga

Sutta 85

Bodhi-kumāra Suttaɱ

To Prince Bodhiraja

Translated from the Pali by Sister Upalavanna

 


 

[1][chlm][pts] I heard thus.

At one time the Blessed One was living in the deer park in the Bhesakala forest among the Sunsumara rocks in the Bhagga country. At that time prince Bodhiraja had recently completed a palace, Kokanada by name which was not yet occupied, by a recluse, a brahmin or any human. Then prince Bodhiraja addressed a certain young man Sanjikaputta and said to him. 'Come! Friend, Sanjikaputta, approach the Blessed One, worship the Blessed One, on my behalf and tell thus. 'Venerable sir, are you in good health, with few ailments, and do you have a pleasant abiding and tell the Blessed One: Venerable sir, prince Bodhiraja inquires your health, and likes to know whether you are with few ailments and have a pleasant abiding and also tell the Blessed One, may the Blessed One accept tomorrow's meal at the palace of prince Bodhiraja together with the community of bhikkhus,' The young man Sanjikaputta agreed and approached the Blessed One, worshipped and inquired from the Blessed One about his health and asked, whether he had few ailments and said. 'Venerable sir, prince Bodhiraja worships the feet of good Gotama, and inquires about the health of the Blessed One and also says. 'Venerable sir, accept tomorrow's meal at the palace of prince Bodhiraja,' The Blessed One accepted in silence, the young man Sanjikaputta knowing that the Blessed One had accepted, approached prince Bodhiraja and said. 'Good prince Bodhiraja, in your words, I have worshipped the feet of good Gotama, inquired his health and about his pleasant abiding, and I also said. May good Gotama accept tomorrow's meal together with the Community of bhikkhus at the palace of prince Bodhiraja. Good Gotama has accepted it,' Then prince Bodhiraja, at the end ofthat night made preparations of various nourishing eatables and drinks, and covered the palace Kokananda completely with white cloth as far as the lowest step of the stair case. Then he addressed the young man Sanjikaputta and said. 'Come friend, Sanjikaputta, approach the Blessed One, and tell, Venerable sir, it's time for the meal, the food is ready,' The young man Sanjikaputta agreed and approaching the Blessed One said. 'Venerable sir, the meal is ready,' Then the Blessed One putting on robes in the morning, taking bowl and robes approached the palace of prince Bodhiraja. At that time prince Bodhiraja was standing at the entrance of the palace expecting the arrival of the Blessed One. Seeing the Blessed One coming in the distance went forward, worshipped and followed the Blessed One up to the palace. The Blessed One stood at the lowest step of the stairs. Then prince Bodhiraja said thus to the Blessed One 'Venerable sir, walk on the cloth, for my pleasantness and well being for a long time,' When this was said, the Blessed One was silent. For the second time prince Bodhiraja said thus to the Blessed One. 'Venerable sir, walk on the cloth, for my pleasantness and well being for a long time,' When this was said, the Blessed One was silent, for the second time. For the third time prince Bodhiraja said thus to the Blessed. One. 'Venerable sir, walk on the cloth, for my pleasantness and well being for a long time. 'The Blessed One looked at venerable Ananda's face. Venerable Ananda, said thus to prince Bodhiraja. 'Royal prince, fold the cloth laid for treading, for the sake of the future generation. The Thus gone One does not tread on the cloth. 'Then prince Bodhiraja folded the cloth laid for treading and prepared the seats in the upper storey of the Kokanada palace. The Blessed One ascended the kokanada palace and sat on the prepared seats, together with the Community of bhikkhus. Then prince Bodhiraja with his own hands served and satisfied the Community of bhikkhus headed by the Blessed One with the nourishing food and drinks. When the Blessed One had finished the meal and had put away the bowl, prince Bodhiraja took a low seat, sat on a side, and said thus. 'Venerable sir, it occurs to me that pleasantness could not be attined by pleasantness, it has to be attained, with unpleasantness.'

Royal prince, before my enlightenment, when I was a seeker of enlightenment, it occurred to me, with pleasantness, pleasantness could not be attained, with unpleasantness, pleasantness could be attained. When I was young, even with black hair a subject of birth sought only birth, a subject of decay sought only decay, a subject of illness sought only illness, a subject of death sought only death, a subject of grief soughtonly grief, . a subject of defilements, sought only defiling things. Royal prince, I reflected subject to birth, why should I seek that, subject to illness, why should I seek that, subject to death, why should I seek that, subject to grief, why should I seek that, subject to defiling things, why should I seek that, subject of birth, knowing the dangers of birth; why shouldn't I seek that noble end of the yoke extinction? I, a subject of decay, knowing its dangers why shouldn't I seek that not decaying noble end of the yoke? I, asubjectofillness, . knowing its dangers, why shouldn't I seek that not ailingnoble end of the yoke? I, a subject of death, knowing its dangers, why shouldn't I seek that deathless noble end of the yoke? I, a subject of grief, knowing its dangers, why shouldn't I seek that griefless noble end of the yoke extinction? I, a subject to defiling, knowing its dangers, why shouldn't I seek that not defiling noble end of the yoke extinction?'

When in the prime of youth, even with black hair, against the wish of mother and father, when they were crying with tearing eyes, I shaved head and beard, donned yellow robes left the householdbecamehomeless and becoming a seeker of good and a seeker of the incomparable peaceful state. Then I approached Ālāra Kālāma and said, venerable one, I want to lead the holy life in this dispensation. Come friend, the wise like you before long realise this teaching and abide like the teacher. Royal prince, I quickly learned that Teaching to acknowledge I know and I see by uttering and reciting as the elders did. Then it occurred to me merely with this faith Ālāra Kālāma would not acknowledge, I abide knowing and realising this Teaching, indeed he abides knowing and seeing this teaching. Then I approached, Ālāra Kālāma and asked him. 'Venerable one, how do you abide knowing and realising this teaching?' When I asked Ālāra Kālāma declared the sphere of nothingness. Then it occurred to me, it is not only Ālāra Kālāma who has faith, effort, mindfulness, concentration and wisdom. I too have faith, effort, mindfulness, concentration and wisdom. What, if I arouse effort to realise this Teaching realised, by him? Before long I realised that Teaching and abode. Then I approached Ālāra Kālāma and asked. 'Venerable one, is it this much, the teaching you have realised and abide?' 'Friend, it is this much only, the teaching that I have realised, declare and abide'. Then I said. 'I too have realised this much and abide,' 'Venerable one, it is rare gain for us to meet co-associates like you in the holy life. That whatever Teaching I have realised and abide, that, you have realised and abide. So that, whatever Teaching I know, that, you know. Now the two of us are on equal grounds. Let the two of us together guide this following. Royal prince, it was in this manner, that my teacher, Ālāra Kālāma honoured me, his pupil, giving me equal status. Then it occurred to me. This teaching does not lead to giving up, detachment, cessation, appeasement, knowledge enlightenment and extinction. It leads up to the sphere of no-thingness only, not satisfied I turned away from it.

Becoming a seeker of good, and in search of the incomparable peaceful state, Iapproached, Uddaka Rāmaputta and said. 'Venerable one, I want to lead the holy life in this dispensation. Come friend, wise ones like you, before long realise this teaching and abide like the teacher. Royal prince, I quickly learned that teaching, to acknowledge I know and I see by uttering and reciting as the elders did. Then it occurred to me merely with this faith, Uddaka Rāmaputta would not acknowledge I abide knowing and realising this Teaching, indeed he abides knowing and seeing this Teaching. Then I approached Uddaka Rāmaputta and asked him. 'Venerable one, how do you abide knowing and realising this teaching?' When I asked, Uddaka Ramaputta declared the sphere of neither perception-nor non-perception. Royal prince, then it occurred to me, it is not only Uddaka Ramaputta who has faith, effort, mindfulness, concentration and wisdom I too have faith, effort, mindfulness, concentration and wisdom. What if I put forth effort to realise this teaching, realised by him. Before long I realised that teaching and abode. Then I approached Uddaka Ramaputta and asked, venerable one, is it this much, the Teaching, you have realised and abide. Friend, it is this much only, the Teaching, that I have realised, declare and abide Then I said, I too have realised this much and abide. 'Venerable one, it is rare gain for us, to meet co-associates like you in the holy life. That whatever teaching, I have realised and abide, that same you too have realised and abide. So that whatever Teaching I know, that Teaching, you too know. Now the two of us are on equal grounds. 'Come! friend, you guide this following,' Thus Uddaka Rāmaputta my co-associate honoured me as his teacher. Then it occurred to me, this Teaching does not lead to giving up, detachment, cessation, appeasement, knowledge enlightenment and extinction. It leads up to the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception only, not satisfied I turned away from it.

Becoming a seeker of good, and in search of the incomparable peaceful state wandering in stages came to the village of Senani in Uruwela, there I saw a pleasant plot of land, a forest, a flowing river with well formed white banks and in the vicinity a village to pasture. Then it occurred to me: Indeed this stretch of land is pleasant, there is a forest, a river flows and in the vicinity is a village to pasture. Then I sat thinking this is the ideal place to make effort for a clansman

Royal prince, then three comparisons occurred to me never heard before. Just as a man would come with an over cover to a wet, sappy log of wood put in the water, saying, I will make fire out of this. Royal prince, would he be able to make fire rubbing on that wet sappy log of wood -No, good Gotama. What is the reason. That wet, sappy log of wood put in the water, rubbed with the over cover, will not produce fire that man will reap only fatigue. Royal prince, in the same way, whoever recluses or brahmins, abide not even bodily secluded from sensuality that sensual interest, sensual need, sensual stupor, sensual thirst, sensual burning not well turned out internally, experience sharp rough unpleasant feelings and it is not possible that they should realise knowledge and vision and noble enlightenment. Even if these good recluses and brahmins do not feel sharp rough unpleasant feelings it is not possible that they should realise knowledge and vision and noble enlightenment. This is the first comparison that came to me not heard before.

Royal prince, then another comparison came to me never heard before. Just as a man would come with an over cover to a sappy log of wood put on dry land far away from water, saying I will make fire out of this. Royal prince, would he be able to make fire, rubbing that sappy log of wood put on dry land far away from water? No, good Gotama, --What is the reason? That sappy log of wood, however far it may be from water, rubbed with the over cover would not produce fire and that man will reap only fatigue. Royal prince, in the same way, whoever recluses and brahmins abiding not even bodilysecluded from sensuality that sensual interest, sensual need, sensual stupor, sensual thirst, sensual burning not well turned out internally, experience sharp rough unpleasant feelings and it is not possible that they should realise knowledge and vision and noble enlightenment. Even if these good recluses and brahmins do not feel sharp rough unpleasant feelings it is not possible that they should realise knowledge and vision and noble enlightenment. This is the second comparison that came to me not heard before.

Royal prince, a third comparison came to me never heard before. Just as a man would come with an over cover to a dry sapless log of wood, thrown far away from water, saying I will make fire out of this. Royal prince, would he be able to make fire rubbing that dry sapless log of wood, thrown far away from water? Yes good Gotama. What is the reason? That dry sapless log of wood, thrown far away from water, rubbed with the over cover would produce fire. Royal prince, in the same manner, whoever recluses and brahminsabiding bodilysecludedfromsensualitythat sensual interest, sensual need, sensual stupor, sensual thirst, sensual burning well turned out internally, even if they experience sharp rough unpleasant feelings it ispossible that they should realise knowledge and vision and noble enlightenment. Even if these good recluses and brahmins do not feel sharp rough unpleasant feelings it is possible that they should realise knowledge and vision and noble enlightenment. This is the third comparison that came to me not heard before.

Royal prince, it occurred to me, what if I pressed the upper jaw on the lower jaw, with the tongue pressing on the palate pushed out, expelled and burnt up thoughts in my mind. Then even while sweat was dripping from my armpits, I pressed the upper jaw on the lower jaw, with the tongue pressing on the palate pushed out, expelled and burnt up thoughts in my mind. Like a strong man taking hold of a weaker one would press him and worry him. In the same manner I pressed the upper jaw on the lower jaw, with the tongue pressing on the palate pushed out, expelled and burnt up thoughts in my mind, while sweat was dripping from my arm pits. My effort was aroused repeatedly, unconfusedmindfulnesswas established, the body was not appeased owing to the difficult exertion.

Royal prince, then it occurred to me, what if I practised stopping the in-breaths and the out-breaths, entering through the nose and mouth When I practised stopping in-breaths and out-breaths entering through the nose and mouth, air entering through the ear lobes made much noise. It was like the sound that comes from the bellows of the smithy. In the same manner when I stopped in-breaths and out breaths, entering through the nose and mouth, air entering through the ear lobes made much noise My effort was aroused repeatedly, unconfused mindfulness was established, the body was not appeased owing to the difficult exertion.

Royal prince, then it occurred to me what if I practised stopping the in-breaths and the out-breaths further. I stopped the air, entering through the nose and mouth and ear lobes. When I practised stopping in-breaths and out-breaths entering through the nose, mouth and the ear lobes, a lot of air disturbed my top. Like a strong man was carving my top with a sharp blade. In the same manner when I stopped in-breaths and out breaths, entering through the nose, mouth, and ear lobes, a lot of air disturbed my top. My effort was aroused repeatedly, unconfused mindfulness established, the body was not appeased owing to the difficult exertion.

Royal prince, then it occurred to me what if I practised stopping the in-breaths and the out-breaths still more. I stopped the air, entering through the nose, mouth and ear lobes, further. When I practised stopping in-breaths and out-breaths entering through the nose, mouth and the ear lobes further, I felta lot of pain in the head...Like a strong man giving a head wrap with a strong turban. In the same manner when I stopped in-breaths and out breaths, entering through the nose, mouth, and ear lobes further, I felt a lot of pain in the head. My effort was aroused repeatedly, unconfused mindfulness established, the body was not appeased owing to the difficult exertion.

Royal prince, then it occurred to me what if I practised stopping the in-breaths and the out-breaths, for a longer time. I stopped the air, entering through the nosemouth and ear lobes, for a longer time. When I practised stopping in-breaths and out-breaths entering through the nose, mouth and the ear lobes for a longer time, I experienced, a lot of pain in the stomach . As though a clever butcher or his apprentice was carving the stomach with a butcher's knife. In the same manner when I stopped in-breaths and out breaths, entering through the nose and mouth, and ear lobes for a longer time I experinced a lot of pain in the stomach. My effort was aroused repeatedly, unconfusedmindfulness was established, the body was not appeased owing the difficult exertion.

Royal prince, then it occurred to me what if I practised stopping the in-breaths and the out-breaths, for a longer time. I stopped the air, entering through the nosemouth and ear lobes, for a longer time. When I practised stopping in-breaths and out-breaths entering through the nose, mouth and the ear lobes for a longer time, I experienceda lot of burning in the body. Like a strong man taking a weaker one, by his hands and feet was burning and scorching him in a pit of burning charcoal. In the same manner when I stopped in-breaths and out breaths, entering through the nose and mouth, and ear lobes for a longer time I experinced, a lot of burning in the body. My effort was aroused repeatedly, unconfused mindfulness was established, the body was not appeased owing to the difficult exertion. Then the gods seeing me thus said. 'The recluse Gotama is dead,' A certain deity said. 'The recluse Gotama is not dead. Will not die, will abide, become perfect, likethis.'

Royal prince, then it occurred to me, what if I give up partaking all food. The gods approached me and said. 'Good sir, do not fall to that method, if you do we will inject heavenly essence through the pores of the skin and will support you in that manner,' Then it occurrd to me: When I abstain from all food if these gods inject, heavenly essence, that action of mine would be a deception. So I dismissed those gods.

Royal prince, then it occurred to me, what if I partake food in trifling amounts, drop by drop, the essence of, green grams, peas, chickpeas or pea soup. I partook of food in trifling amounts, the essence of, green grams, peas, chickpeas, or pea soup. Partaking food in this manner my body emaciated much. It seemed like I had reached my eightieth year or had come to the end of life. Thus were my limbs large and small. My back was like a camel's foot, the backbone was like a threaded string of beads when bending andstretching, My rib bones were like the beams of the roof of a decaying hall, that were about to fall apart. My eyes, deeply set in the sockets were like two stars set in a deep well. The skin of my head was like a bitter- goad plucked young, dried in the sun and hot air. Thus were my limbs large and small owing to taking trifling amounts of food. When I touched the skin of the stomach, I got hold of the backbone. When excreting or urinating, I fell face downwards. If I touched the body to appease it, the hairs of the body decayed at the roots, fell off. Thus was my body owing to taking trifling amounts of food. People seeing me said, the recluse Gotama is dark. One man said, he is not dark but tan. Another man said the recluse Gotama is neither dark nor tan but golden hued. Royal prince, my pure skin complexion was destroyed owing to partaking trifling amounts of food.

Royal prince, then it occurred to me, whoever recluse or brahmin experienced sharp, rough, unpleasant feelings, in the past, hedid not experience anything more than this. Whoever recluse or brahmin, would experience sharp rough unpleasant feelings in the future, would not experience anything more than this. Whoever recluse or brahmin experiences sharp, rough, unpleasant feelings, at present, he does not experience anything more than this. It occurred to me: Doing these difficult exertions, I will not attain, any noble distinctive knowledge and vision above human. There should be some other method for the realisation of enlightenment. Then royal prince, I recalled the experience under the shade of the rose apple tree near my father's field: Secluded from sensual thoughts and secluded from thoughts of demerit, with thoughts and discursive thoughts and with joy and pleasantness born of seclusion, how I attained to abode in the first jhana. Then consciousness arose this is the path to enlightenment. I thought, why should I fear this pleasantness, which is other than sensual pleasure and away from thoughts of demerit.

Royal prince, then it occurred to me, it is not easy to attain that pleasantness with this emaciated body, what if I take some coarse food some cooked rice and bread. At that time the fivefold bhikkhus attended on me, thinking whatever noble thing the recluse Gotama attains he will inform us. When I partook of coarse food such as cooked rice and bread, they went away disgusted, thinking the recluse Gotama has given up exerting and has returned to abundance.

I partaking coarse food and gaining strength, secluded from sensual thoughts and thoughts of demerit with thoughts and discursive thoughts and with joy and pleasantness born of seclusion attained to abode in the first jhana. Overcoming thoughts and discursive thoughts, with the mind internally appeased, and brought to a single point, without thoughts and without discursive thoughts and with joy and pleasantness born of concentration attained to abode in the second jhana. With joy and with equanimity to detachment abode mindful and aware, and with the body experienced pleasantness too. To this abiding the noble ones said, abiding mindfully in pleasantness. I attained to abode. in that third jhana. Dispelling pleasantness and unpleasantness, and earlier having dispelled pleasure and displeasure, without unpleasantness and pleasantness and mindfulness purified with equanimity, attainedto abode in the fourth jhana.

When the mind was concentrated, pure, free from minor defilements, malleable workable not disturbed, I directed the mind for the knowledge of previous births. I recollected the manifold previous births, one birth, two births, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred births, a thousand births, a hundred thousand births, innumerable forward cycles of births, innumerable backward cycles of births, innumerable forward and backward cycles of births. There I was of such name, clan, disposition, supports, experiencing such pleasant and unpleasant feelings and with such a life span. Disappearing from there was born there with such name, clan, disposition, supports, experiencing such pleasant and unpleasant feelings, with such a life span, disappearing from there, is born here. Thus with all modes and all details I recollected the manifold previous births. Royal prince, this is the first knowledge I attained in the first watch of the night, ignorance dispelled, knowledge arose, as it happens to those abiding diligent for dispelling.

When the mind was concentrated, pure, free from minor defilements malleable workable not disturbed, I directed the mind for the knowledge of the disappearing and appearing of beings. With the heavenly eye purified beyond human, I saw beings disappearing and appearing unexalted and exalted, beautiful and ugly, arising in good and bad states according to their actions: These good beings misbehaving by body, speech and mind, blaming noble ones, with the wrong view of actions, after death are born in loss, in decrease, in hell. As for these good beings, well behaved in body speech and mind, not blaming noble ones, with the right view of actions after death are born in heaven. Thus with the heavenly eye purified beyond human I saw beings disappearing and appearing. Royal prince, this is the second knowledge I attained in the second watch of the night, ignorance dispelled, knowledge arose, as it happens to those abiding diligent for dispelling.

When the mind was concentrated, pure, free from minor defilements, malleable workable not disturbed, I directed the mind for the destruction of desires. I knew, this is unpleasant, this is the arising of unpleasantness, this is the cessation of unpleasantness and this is the path to the cessation of unpleasantness as it really is. I knew these are desires this the arising of desires this the cessation of desires and this the pathtothecessation ofdesiresas it really is. When I knew and saw this the mind was released from sensual desires, from the desires 'to be' and from the desires of ignorance. When released knowledge arose. I'm released, birth is destroyed, what should be done, is done, the holy life is lived, I knew, there is nothing more to wish.

Royal prince, it occurred to me. This Teaching that I have realised is deep, difficult to see, and understand, appeased and exalted, cannot be realised logically, is clever and should be understood by the wise. The populace fond of settling and attached to settling, does not see this difficult point, that dependent arising is from this cause. This point too is difficult to see, that is the appeasement of all determinations. and the giving up of all endearments, destruction of craving, detachment, cessation and extinction. If I teach this to others they would not understand, and I would only reap fatigue. Then this wonderful stanza occurred to me.

I attained it with difficulty, why should I proclaim it,

By those overcome by greed and hate, this is difficult to be understood

Clever and going against the stream is deep and difficult to see

The greedily attached do not see it, shrouded with a mass of darkkness.

Royal prince, when I reflected this, my mind bent to non-action, and not to teach. Then to Brahma Sahampathi who knew my mind, this thought occurred, the world will disappear, it will vanish, that the Thus gone One has made up the mind to non-action andnotdeclaringtheTeaching . Then Brahma Sahampati vanished from the brahma world and appeared before me, as a strong man would stretch his bent arm or bend his stretched arm. Brahma Sahampati arranging the shawl on one shoulder and clasping hands towards the Blessed One entreated me. May the Blessed One teach. There are beings with little defilements, who would fall on account of not hearing the Teaching. There will be those who would realise the Teaching, and Brahma Sahampati further said thus.

In the past the Teaching arose in Magadha, impure with blemish.

Open the door to deathlessness sir, by making the pure Teaching to be heard.

Like a man on top of a rocky mountain would see the populace on all sides

Wise one, the comparison is that, ascend the rock and teach.

Remove the grief of the populace drenched in grief, look at them overcome by birth

anddecay.

Hero, get steady and win the battle, leading charioteer, abide in the world without a

debt.

May the Blessed One teach, there will be those who understand.

Heeding the entreaty of Brahma, and out of compassion for beings, I looked with the eye of the Enlightened One and saw beings with little defilements and with much defilements, with sharp mental faculties and weak mental faculties, with good dispositions and weak dispositions, and certain ones abiding fearing the other world. Like in a set of blue lotuses, red lotuses and white lotuses, a certain one would be born in the water grow and develop in the water and would bloom below the level ofthe water. Some others would be born in the water grow and develop and bloom in the level of the water and certain others would be born in the water, grow and develop and stand right above the water and bloom. In the same manner I saw beings with little defilements andmuch defilements, with sharp mental faculties, and weak mental faculties, with good dispositions and weak dispositions and certain ones fearing the other world. Then I replied to Brahma Sahampati saying a stanza.

. Brahma, I have opened the doors of deathlessness,

May those who have ears be released through faith,

With practice we will speak words with the perception of not hurting

And the populace will get the exalted Teaching...

Then Brahma Sahampati knowing I have made it possible for the Teaching to be heard, worshipped the Blessed One circumambulatedand vanished from there it self.

. Then it occurred to me to whom shall I give the first discourse, then I thought this Alara Kalama is very wise, has been with few defilements for a long time, if I give the first discourse to him, he will indeed realise this Teaching very quickly. Then the gods approached me and told venerable sir, he passed away seven days ago. Knowledge, arose its seven days since he passed away. Then it occurred to me, Ālāra Kālāma is wise if he had heard this Teaching, he would have realised it quickly. Again, it occurred to me, to whom shall give the first discourse. Uddaka Ramaputta is very wise and has long been with little defilements. If I give the first discourse to him, he will learn the Teaching quickly. Then the gods approached and told. 'Venerable sir, he passed away last night'. Then knowledge arose, he passed away last night. Again it occurred to me, to whom shall I preach the first discourse and who will know this Teaching quickly. Then it occurred to me, these fivefold bhikkhus were of great help, they attended on me until I gave up striving resolutely. Then it occurred to me, where are the fivefold bhikkhus living at present, then with my purified heavenly eye I saw them abiding in the deer park in Isipatana in Benares, After living as long as I wished in Uruwela, left to go to Benares bystages.

On the way I met the wandering ascetic Upaka, between Gaya and the Bo tree and he said; Friend, your mental faculties are pure and your skin colour is pure, under whom do you lead the holy life, who is your Teacher and whose Teaching appeals to you. I replied him with this verse.

I have overcome everything, I know everything, I'm not soiled by anything,

Giving up everything, with the destruction of craving I'm released,

I realised by myself, have no Teacher.

I do not have an equal among gods and men

Perfect in this world, I'm the incomparable Teacher

I realised Enlightenment rightfully, am cooled and extinguished.

I'm going to the city of Kāsi to set the wheel of the Teaching arolling

It is to sound the drum of deathlessness to the blindfolded world.

Friend, as you acknowledge it seems you are the world winner.

Upaka, all my demerits are overcome, therefore I'm winner.

When this was said the wandering ascetic Upaka shook his head and said friend, it may be so, taking a side track he went away.

Then bhikkhus, in stages coming to Benares, to Isipatana and to the deer park, I approached the fivefold bhikkhus. They seeing me approaching from a distance settled among themselves. This is that recluse Gotama who gave up striving and returned to a life of abundance we should not worship or attend on him and should not accept his bowl and robes, will prepare a seat, if he likes he may sit. Bhikkhus, as I approached closer and closer, the fivefold bhikkhus could not keep to their settlement, one approached to accept the bowl and robes, one prepared a seat, one placed water to wash the feet, yet they addressed me by name. Then I told the fivefold bhikkhus. 'Bhikkhus, do not address the Thus Gone One by name or as friend. The Thus Gone One is perfect and rightfully enlightened. Bhikkhus, to attain deathlessness listen. I will advice. Those following the method according to the advice given, before long, for whatever purpose sons of clansmen leave the household and become homeless, that highest end of the holy life they attain here and now and abide,' When this was said the fivefold bhikkhus said thus: 'Friend, Gotama, with that deportment, that method, and that difficult striving, you did not attain any distinct knowledge and vision above human, now having abandoned that striving and gone to abundance, what distinct knowledge and vision above human have you attained?' 'Bhikkhus, the Thus Gone One is perfect, rightfully enlightened, lend ear, I will advice to attain deathlessness. Those following the method according to the advice given, before long, for whatever purpose sons of clansmen leave the household and become homeless, that highest end of the holy life they attain here and now and abide,' For the second time the fivefold bhikkhus told me. 'Friend, Gotama, with that deportment, that method, and that difficult striving, you did not attain any distinct knowledge and vision above human. Now, having abandoned that striving and gone to abundance, what distinct knowledge and vision above human have you attained?' For the third time the fivefold bhikkhus said thus. 'Friend, Gotama, with that deportment, that method, and that difficult striving, you did not attain any distinct knowledge and vision above human. Now, having abandoned that striving and gone to abundance, what distinct knowledge and vision above human have you attained?' When this was said, Royal prince I asked the fivefold bhikkhus. 'Do you know me of talking like this before?' They said. 'No, venerable sir,' I said. 'Bhikkhus, the Thus Gone One is perfect, rightfully enlightened, lend ear, I will advice to attain deathlessness. Those following the method according to the advice given, before long, for whatever purpose sons of clansmen leave the household and become homeless, that highest end of the holy life, you attain here and now and abide,' 'Bhikkhus, I could convince the fivefold bhikkhus. Then I would advise two bhikkhus, and three would go for alms, out of what is brought by three bhikkhus, each is supported on one sixth. I sometimes advise three bhikkhus, and two go for alms, out of what is brought, each is supported on one sixth. Royal prince, the fivefold bhikkhus, thus instructed and advised by me before long, knowing, realising, attained to abode, in the noble end of the holy life, here and now.'

When this was said prince Bodhiraja said thus to the Blessed One. 'How long does the Thus Gone One train bhikkhus, to attain the noble end of the holy life.?'

Then the Blessed One said, I will cross question you on this and reply it as it pleases you. 'Royal prince, are you clever in riding elephants and handling the elephant hook?' 'Yes venerable sir, I'm clever in riding elephants and handling the elephant hook,' 'A man comes, saying prince Bodhiraja is clever in riding elephants, and handling the elephant hook. I will learn the art of riding elephants and handling the elephant hookfrom the prince. He has no faith, and whatever could be attained through faith that he does not attain. He has many ailments, and whatever attained, by one with few ailments, he does not attain. He is crafty and fraudulent and whatever attained by one not, crafty and fraudulent, that he does not attain. He is lazy and whatever attained by one, with aroused effort, he does not attain. He is without wisdom, and whatever attained by a wise one, he does not attain. What do you think prince, would that man learn the art of riding elephants and handling the elephant hook?'

Venerable sir a man with even one of those qualities would not learn the art of riding elephants or the art of handling the elephant hook. How could he learn it with five of those qualities?

Royal prince, A man comes saying. 'Prince Bodhiraja is clever in riding elephants, and handling the elephant hook. I will learn the art of riding elephants and handling the elephant hook from the prince,' He has faith, and whatever attained through faith, he attains. He is with few ailments, and whatever attained by one with few ailments, heattains. He is not, crafty nor fraudulent and whatever attained by one not crafty andfraudulent, that heattains. He is not lazy and whatever attained by one with aroused effort he attains. He is wise, and whatever attained by a wise one, he attains. What do you think prince, would that man, learn the art of riding elephants and handling the elephant hook.

'Venerable sir a man with even one of those qualities would learn, the art of riding elephants and the art of handling the elephant hook, with five of those qualities there wouldn't be any questions about it.'

'In the same manner, royal prince, establishing on these five factors, effort is made. What five? Here the bhikkhu takes faith about the enlightnment of the Thus Gone One:That Blessed One is perfect, rightfully enlightened, endowed with knowledge and conduct, well gone, knows of the worlds, is the incomparable tamer of those to be tamed, Teacher of gods and men, enlightened and blessed. He has few ailments and few disorders, promoting a good digestive system, not too cold and not too hot. He is not crafty nor fraudulent, shows his real self to the Teacher or to the wise co-associates in the holy life. Abides with aroused effort, for the dispelling of demerit and the accumulation of merit. Becomes firm not giving up the yoke for things of merit. [1] Becomes wise endowed with the noble ones penetration of the rising and falling of the five holding masses, for the rightful destruction of unpleasantness. Royal prince, these are the five factors on which effort is established. Royal prince, a bhikkhu endowed withthese five factors gaining the training from the Thus Gone One, for whatever cause sons of clansmen rightfully go forth homeless that highest end of the holy life, he here and now, knowing, realizing, will attain in seven years. Let alone seven years, six years, five years, four years, three years, two years, one year. Royal prince, let alone one year, a bhikkhu endowed with these five factors gaining the training from the Thus Gone One, for whatever cause sons of clansmen rightfully go forth homeless, that highest end of the holy life, he here and now, knowing, realizing, will attain, in seven months. Let alone seven months, six months, five months, four months, three months, two months, one month. Royal prince, let alone one month, a bhikkhu endowed with these five factors gaining the training from the Thus Gone One, for whatever cause sons of clansmen rightfully go forth homeless ones that highest end of the holy life, he here and now, knowing, realizing, will attain in seven nights and days. Let alone seven nights and days, six nights and days, five nights and days, four nights and days, three nights and days, two nights and days, one night and day. A bhikkhu endowed with these five factors gaining the training from the Thus Gone One in the morning, for whatever cause sons of clansmen rightfully go forth homeless that highest end of the holy life, he here and now, knowing, realizing, will attain in the evening, or advised in the evening would realise the next morning.

When this was said, prince Bodhiraja said thus to the Blessed One. 'O! The excellence of the enlightenment! The excellence of the well declared Teaching! Instructed in the evening it's attained in the morning and instructed in the morning it's attained in the evening.'

When this was said, the young man Sanjikaputta said thus to the royal prince Bodhiraja: Good Bodhi says O! The excellence of the enlightenment, and excellence of the well declared Teaching, but does not say I take refuge in good Gotama, in the Teaching and the Community of bhikkhus. Friend, Sanjikaputta do not say that, I have heard from my mother and accept it. When I was in her womb, she had approached the Bessed One, worshipped sat on a side and had said. 'Venerable sir, this boy or girl in my womb takes refuge in the Blessed One, in the Teaching and the Community of bhikkhus. May the Blessed One remember as taken refuge until the end of life. At one time the Blessed One was living in this same deer park in the Bhesakala forest among the Sunsumara hills in the Bhagga country, then my wet nurse had carried me on her hip and approached the Blessed One. She had worshipped the Blessed One and had said, venerable sir, this is the royal prince Bodhiraja and he takes refuge in the Blessed One, in the Teaching and the Community of bhikkhus. and had said Venerable sir, remember prince Bodhi as a lay disciple from today until life lasts. Friend Sanjikaputta, now I take refuge in the Blessed One, in the Teaching and the Community of bhikkhus for the third time until life lasts.

 


[1] Becomes firm, not giving up the yoke for things of merit. 'thāmavā dalhaprakkhamo anikkhittadhūro kusalesu dhammesu' These things of merit are attainment of some distinct thing above human. Ie. Entry into the stream of the Teaching. In Pali it is called the Sotāpatti magga.


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