Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
I. Mūlapaṇṇāsa
4. Mahā Yamaka Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
I. The First Fifty Discourses
4. The Greater Division of the Pairs

Sutta 31

Cūḷa Gosiŋga Suttaɱ

Lesser Discourse in Gosiŋga

Translated from the Pali by I.B. Horner, M.A.
Associate of Newham College, Cambridge
First Published in 1954

Copyright The Pali Text Society
Commercial Rights Reserved
Creative Commons Licence
For details see Terms of Use.

 


 

[1][chlm][ntbb][upal] THUS have I heard:

At one time the Lord was staying near Nādikā
in the brick hall.

Now at that time[1] the venerable Anuruddha
and the venerable Nandiya
and the venerable Kimbila
were staying in a grove[2]
in the Gosiŋga sāl-wood.

Then the Lord,
emerging from solitary meditation towards evening,
approached that grove in the Gosiŋga sāl-wood.

The keeper of the grove
saw the Lord coming from a distance;
and seeing him,
he spoke thus to the Lord:

"Do not, recluse,
enter this grove;
there are three young men of family
staying here desiring Self;[3]
do not cause them discomfort."

The venerable Anuruddha heard the keeper of the grove
conferring with the Lord;
having heard,
he spoke thus to the keeper of the grove:

"Do not, good grove-keeper,
impede the Lord.

It is our teacher,
the Lord,
who is arriving."

Then the venerable Anuruddha approached
the venerable Nandiya
and the venerable Kimbila;
having approached,
he spoke thus to the venerable Nandiya
and the venerable Kimbila:

"Go forward, venerable ones,
go forward, venerable ones;
our teacher,
the Lord
is arriving."

Then the venerable Anuruddha
and the venerable Nandiya
and the venerable Kimbila,
having gone out to meet the Lord,
one received his bowl and robe,
one made ready a seat,
one set out water for (washing) the feet.

Then the Lord sat down
on the seat made ready;
as he was sitting down
the Lord bathed his feet.

Then these venerable ones,
having greeted the Lord,
sat down at a respectful distance.

As the venerable Anuruddha was sitting down at a respectful distance,
the Lord spoke thus to him:

"I hope that things are going well with you, Anuruddhas,[4]
I hope you are keeping going,
I hope you are not short of almsfood?"

[258] "Things are going well, Lord,
we are keeping going, Lord,
and, Lord,
we are not short of almsfood."

 


 

"I hope that you, Anuruddhas,
are living all together on friendly terms
and harmonious,
as milk and water blend,
regarding one another with the eye of affection?"[5]

"Yes, certainly, Lord,
we are living all together on friendly terms
and harmonious,
as milk and water blend,
regarding one another with the eye of affection."

"And how is it that you, Anuruddhas,
are living all together on friendly terms
and harmonious,
as milk and water blend,
regarding one another with the eye of affection?"

"As to this, Lord, it occurred to me:[6]

'Indeed it is a gain for me,
indeed it is well gotten by me,
that I am living with such fellow Brahma-farers.'

On account of this, Lord,
for these venerable ones
friendhness[7] as to acts of body,
whether openly or in private,
has risen up in me,
friendliness as to acts of speech,
whether openly or in private,
has risen up in me,
friendhness as to acts of thought,
whether openly or in private,
has risen up in me.

Because of this, Lord,
it occurred to me:

Now, suppose that I,
having surrendered my own mind,
should live only according to the mind
of these venerable ones?

So I, Lord,
having surrendered my own mind,
am living only according to the mind
of these venerable ones.

Lord, we have divers bodies,[8]
but assuredly only one mind."

And the venerable Nandiya too spoke thus to the Lord:

"As to this, Lord, it occurred to me:

'Indeed it is a gain for me,
indeed it is well gotten by me,
that I am living with such fellow Brahma-farers.'

On account of this, Lord,
for these venerable ones
friendhness as to acts of body,
whether openly or in private,
has risen up in me,
friendliness as to acts of speech,
whether openly or in private,
has risen up in me,
friendhness as to acts of thought,
whether openly or in private,
has risen up in me.

Because of this, Lord,
it occurred to me:

Now, suppose that I,
having surrendered my own mind,
should live only according to the mind
of these venerable ones?

So I, Lord,
having surrendered my own mind,
am living only according to the mind
of these venerable ones.

Lord, we have divers bodies,
but assuredly only one mind."

And the venerable Kimbila too spoke thus to the Lord:

"As to this, Lord, it occurred to me:

'Indeed it is a gain for me,
indeed it is well gotten by me,
that I am living with such fellow Brahma-farers.'

On account of this, Lord,
for these venerable ones
friendhness as to acts of body,
whether openly or in private,
has risen up in me,
friendliness as to acts of speech,
whether openly or in private,
has risen up in me,
friendhness as to acts of thought,
whether openly or in private,
has risen up in me.

Because of this, Lord,
it occurred to me:

Now, suppose that I,
having surrendered my own mind,
should live only according to the mind
of these venerable ones?

So I, Lord,
having surrendered my own mind,
am living only according to the mind
of these venerable ones.

Lord, we have divers bodies,
but assuredly only one mind."

"Thus it is that we, Lord,
are living all together on friendly [259] terms
and harmonious,
as milk and water blend,
regarding one another with the eye of affection."

"It is good, Anuruddhas,
it is good.

 


 

And I hope that you, Anuruddhas,
are living diligent,
ardent,
self-resolute?"

"Yes, certainly, Lord,
we are living diligent,
ardent,
self-resolute."

"And how is it that you, Anuruddhas,
are living diligent,
ardent,
self-resolute?"

"As to this, Lord,
whichever of us returns first[9]
from (going to) a village for almsfood,
he makes ready a seat,
he sets out water for drinking
and water for washing (the feet),
he sets out a refuse-bowl.

Whoever returns last
from (going to) a village for almsfood,
if there are the remains of a meal
and if he so desires,
he eats them;
if he does not desire to do so,
he throws them out
where there are no crops
or drops them into water
where there are no living creatures;
he puts up the seat,
he puts away the water for drinking
and the water for washing,
he puts away the refuse-bowl,
he sweeps the refectory.

Whoever sees a vessel for drinking water
or a vessel for washing water
or a vessel (for water) for rinsing after evacuation,
void and empty,
he sets out (water).

If it is impossible for him (to do this)
by a movement of his hand,
having invited a companion to help us
by signalling (to him) with the hand,
we set out (the water);
but we do not, Lord,
for such a reason,
break into speech.

And then we, Lord,
once in every five nights
sit down together
for talk on dhamma.

It is thus, Lord,
that we are dwelling diligent,
ardent,
self-resolute."[10]

"It is good, Anuruddhas,
it is good.

 


 

But have you, Anuruddhas,
thus living diligent,
ardent,
self-resolute,
attained states of further-men,
the excellent knowledge and insight
befitting the ariyans,
an abiding in comfort?"[11]

"How could that not be, Lord?

For here we, Lord,
for as long as we like,
aloof from pleasures of the senses,
aloof from unskilled states of mind,
entering on the first meditation[12]
which is accompanied by initial thought and discursive thought,
is born of aloofness,
and is rapturous and joyful,
abide therein,

This, Lord, is for us
a state of further-men,
an excellent knowledge and insight
befitting the ariyans,
an abiding in comfort
reached while we are dwelling diligent,
ardent,
self-resolute."

[260] "It is good, Anuruddhas,
it is good.

But did you, Anuruddhas,
by passing quite beyond this abiding,
by allaying this abiding,
reach another state of further-men,
an excellent knowledge and vision
befitting the ariyans,
an abiding in comfort?"

"How could that not be, Lord?

Here we, Lord, for as long as we like,
by allaying initial thought and discursive thought,
with the mind subjectively tranquillised
and fixed on one point,
enter into
and abide
in the second meditation
which is devoid of initial and discursive thought,
is born of concentration,
and is rapturous and joyful.

By passing quite beyond that abiding, Lord,
by allaying that abiding,
another state of further-men,
an excellent knowledge and vision
befitting the ariyans,
an abiding in comfort,
is reached."

"It is good, Anuruddhas,
it is good.

But did you, Anuruddhas,
by passing quite beyond this abiding,
by allaying this abiding,
reach another state of further-men,
an excellent knowledge and vision
befitting the ariyans,
an abiding in comfort?"

"How could that not be, Lord?

Here we, Lord, for as long as we like,
by the fading out of rapture,
dwell with equanimity,
attentive and clearly conscious;
and experience in our persons
that joy of which the ariyans say:
'Joyful hves he who has equanimity and is mindful,'
and we enter into
and abide
in the third meditation.

By passing quite beyond that abiding, Lord,
by allaying that abiding,
another state of further-men,
an excellent knowledge and vision
befitting the ariyans,
an abiding in comfort,
is reached."

"It is good, Anuruddhas,
it is good.

But did you, Anuruddhas,
by passing quite beyond this abiding,
by allaying this abiding,
reach another state of further-men,
an excellent knowledge and vision
befitting the ariyans,
an abiding in comfort?"

"How could that not be, Lord?

Here we, Lord, for as long as we like,
by getting rid of joy,
by getting rid of anguish,
by the going down of our former pleasures and sorrows,
enter into
and abide
in the fourth meditation
which has neither anguish nor joy,
and which is entirely purified
by equanimity and mindfulness.

By passing quite beyond that abiding, Lord,
by allaying that abiding,
another state of further-men,
an excellent knowledge and vision
befitting the ariyans,
an abiding in comfort,
is reached."

"It is good, Anuruddhas,
it is good.

But did you, Anuruddhas,
by passing quite beyond this abiding,
by allaying this abiding,
reach another state of further-men,
an excellent knowledge and vision
befitting the ariyans,
an abiding in comfort?"

[261] "How could that not be, Lord?

Here we, Lord, for as long as we like,
by passing quite beyond all perception of material shapes,
by the going down of perception of sensory reactions,
by not attending to perception of variety,
thinking,
'Ether is unending,'
entering on the plane of infinite ether,
abide in it.

By passing quite beyond that abiding, Lord,
by allaying that abiding,
another state of further-men,
an excellent knowledge and vision
befitting the ariyans,
an abiding in comfort,
is reached."

"It is good, Anuruddhas,
it is good.

But did you, Anuruddhas,
by passing quite beyond this abiding,
by allaying this abiding,
reach another state of further-men,
an excellent knowledge and vision
befitting the ariyans,
an abiding in comfort?"

"How could that not be, Lord?

Here we, Lord, for as long as we like,
by passing quite beyond the plane of infinite ether,
thinking,
'Consciousness is unending,'
entering on the plane of infinite consciousness,
abide in it.

By passing quite beyond that abiding, Lord,
by allaying that abiding,
another state of further-men,
an excellent knowledge and vision
befitting the ariyans,
an abiding in comfort,
is reached."

"It is good, Anuruddhas,
it is good.

But did you, Anuruddhas,
by passing quite beyond this abiding,
by allaying this abiding,
reach another state of further-men,
an excellent knowledge and vision
befitting the ariyans,
an abiding in comfort?"

"How could that not be, Lord?

Here we, Lord, for as long as we like,
by passing quite beyond the plane of infinite consciousness,
thinking,
'There is not anything,'
entering on the plane of no-thing,
abide in it.

By passing quite beyond that abiding, Lord,
by allaying that abiding,
another state of further-men,
an excellent knowledge and vision
befitting the ariyans,
an abiding in comfort,
is reached."

"It is good, Anuruddhas,
it is good.

But did you, Anuruddhas,
by passing quite beyond this abiding,
by allaying this abiding,
reach another state of further-men,
an excellent knowledge and vision
befitting the ariyans,
an abiding in comfort?"

"How could that not be, Lord?

Here we, Lord, for as long as we like,
by passing quite beyond the plane of no-thing,
entering on the plane of neither-perception-nor-non-perception,
we abide in it.

By passing quite beyond that abiding, Lord,
by allaying that abiding,
another state of further-men,
an excellent knowledge and vision
befitting the ariyans,
an abiding in comfort,
is reached."

"It is good, Anuruddhas,
it is good.

But did you, Anuruddhas,
by passing quite beyond this abiding,
by allaying this abiding,
reach another state of further-men,
an excellent knowledge and vision
befitting the ariyans,
an abiding in comfort?"

"How could that not be, Lord?

Here we, Lord, for as long as we like,
by passing quite beyond the plane of neither-perception-nor-non-pereeption,
entering on the stopping of perception and feeling,
abide in it,
and having seen through intuitive wisdom,
our cankers come to be utterly destroyed.

By passing quite beyond that abiding,
Lord, by allaying that abiding,
another state of further-men,
an excellent knowledge and vision befitting the ariyans,
an abiding in comfort,
is reached.

But we, Lord, do not behold another abiding in comfort
that is higher
or more excellent than this abiding in comfort,"

"It is good, Anuruddhas,
it is good.

There is no other abiding in comfort
that is higher
or more excellent than this abiding in comfort."

Then the Lord,
having gladdened,
roused,
incited,
delighted the [262] venerable Anuruddha
and the venerable Nandiya
and the venerable Kimbila
with talk on dhamma,
rising from his seat,
departed.

Then when the venerable Anuruddha
and the venerable Nandiya
and the venerable Kimbila,
having escorted the Lord,
had turned back again from there,
the venerable Nandiya
and the venerable Kimbila
spoke thus to the venerable Anuruddha:

"Now, did we ever speak thus to the venerable Anuruddha:

'We are acquirers of this or that attainment in abiding,'[13] in virtue of which the venerable Anuruddha
when face to face with the Lord,
made this known of us
up to the destruction of the cankers?"

"The venerable ones have not said to me:

We are acquirers of this and that attainment in abiding.'

But by my mind
the minds of the venerable ones are known to me,
to the effect that
the venerable ones are acquirers
of this and that attainment in abiding.

And devatās also told me this matter:

'These venerable ones
are acquirers of this and that attainment in abiding.'

It is in this way
that the questions put by the Lord were answered."

Then Dīgha Parajana,[14] a yakkha,[15] approached the Lord;
having approached,
having greeted the Lord,
he sat down at a respectful distance.

As he was sitting down at a respectful distance,
Dīgha Parajana, the yakkha, spoke thus to the Lord:

"Indeed, it is profitable, Lord, for the Vajjis,
it is well-gotten and profitable for the Vajji people[16]
that the Tathāgata is staying (here),
the perfected one,
the fully Self-awakened One,
and these three young men of family:
the venerable Anuruddha
and the venerable Nandiya
and the venerable Kimbila."

The earth-devas,
having heard the sound of Dīgha Parajana, the yakkha,
made this sound heard:

"Indeed, it is profitable, Lord, for the Vajjis,
it is well-gotten and profitable for the Vajji people
that the Tathāgata is staying (here),
the perfected one,
the fully Self-awakened One,
and these three young men of family:
the venerable Anuruddha
and the venerable Nandiya
and the venerable Kimbila."

The four great Regent devas[17]
having heard the sound of the earth-devas,
made this sound heard:

"Indeed, it is profitable, Lord, for the Vajjis,
it is well-gotten and profitable for the Vajji people
that the Tathāgata is staying (here),
the perfected one,
the fully Self-awakened One,
and these three young men of family:
the venerable Anuruddha
and the venerable Nandiya
and the venerable Kimbila."

The devas of the Thirty-three,
having heard the sound of the four great Regent devas,
made this sound heard:

"Indeed, it is profitable, Lord, for the Vajjis,
it is well-gotten and profitable for the Vajji people
that the Tathāgata is staying (here),
the perfected one,
the fully Self-awakened One,
and these three young men of family:
the venerable Anuruddha
and the venerable Nandiya
and the venerable Kimbila."

The Yama devas,
having heard the sound of the four great Regent devas,
made this sound heard:

"Indeed, it is profitable, Lord, for the Vajjis,
it is well-gotten and profitable for the Vajji people
that the Tathāgata is staying (here),
the perfected one,
the fully Self-awakened One,
and these three young men of family:
the venerable Anuruddha
and the venerable Nandiya
and the venerable Kimbila."

The Happy devas,
having heard the sound of the Yama devas,
made this sound heard:

"Indeed, it is profitable, Lord, for the Vajjis,
it is well-gotten and profitable for the Vajji people
that the Tathāgata is staying (here),
the perfected one,
the fully Self-awakened One,
and these three young men of family:
the venerable Anuruddha
and the venerable Nandiya
and the venerable Kimbila."

The devas who delight in creation,
having heard the sound of the Happy devas,
made this sound heard:

"Indeed, it is profitable, Lord, for the Vajjis,
it is well-gotten and profitable for the Vajji people
that the Tathāgata is staying (here),
the perfected one,
the fully Self-awakened One,
and these three young men of family:
the venerable Anuruddha
and the venerable Nandiya
and the venerable Kimbila."

The devas who have power over the creation of others,
having heard the sound of the devas who delight in creation,
made this sound heard:

"Indeed, it is profitable, Lord, for the Vajjis,
it is well-gotten and profitable for the Vajji people
that the Tathāgata is staying (here),
the perfected one,
the fully Self-awakened One,
and these three young men of family:
the venerable Anuruddha
and the venerable Nandiya
and the venerable Kimbila."

The devas in the retinue of Brahmā,
having heard the sound of the devas who have power over the creations of others,
made this sound heard:

"Indeed, it is profitable, Lord, for the Vajjis,
it is well-gotten and profitable for the Vajji people
that the Tathāgata is staying (here),
the perfected one,
[263] the fully Self-awakened One,
and these three young men of family:
the venerable Anuruddha
and the venerable Nandiya
and the venerable Kimbila."

Thus in this moment,
in this second,
these venerable ones became known
as far as the Brahma-world.

"That is so, Dīgha,
that is so, Dīgha,.

If, Dīgha,,
that family
from which these three young men of family
have gone forth from home into homelessness
were to remember these three young men of family
with a beheving mind,
then for a long time
would there be welfare and happiness for that family.

If, Dīgha,,
that group of families
from which these three young men of family
have gone forth from home into homelessness
were to remember these three young men of family
with a beheving mind,
then for a long time
would there be welfare and happiness for that family.

If, Dīgha,,
that village
from which these three young men of family
have gone forth from home into homelessness
were to remember these three young men of family
with a beheving mind,
then for a long time
would there be welfare and happiness for that family.

If, Dīgha,,
that little town
from which these three young men of family
have gone forth from home into homelessness
were to remember these three young men of family
with a beheving mind,
then for a long time
would there be welfare and happiness for that family.

If, Dīgha,,
that town
from which these three young men of family
have gone forth from home into homelessness
were to remember these three young men of family
with a beheving mind,
then for a long time
would there be welfare and happiness for that family.

If, Dīgha,,
that district
from which these three young men of family
have gone forth from home into homelessness
were to remember these three young men of family
with a beheving mind,
then for a long time
would there be welfare and happiness for that family.

If, Dīgha,,
all nobles
were to remember these three young men of family
with a beheving mind,
then for a long time
would there be welfare and happiness for that family.

If, Dīgha,,
all brahmans
were to remember these three young men of family
with a beheving mind,
then for a long time
would there be welfare and happiness for that family.

If, Dīgha,,
all merchants
were to remember these three young men of family
with a beheving mind,
then for a long time
would there be welfare and happiness for that family.

If, Dīgha,,
all workers,
were to remember these three young men of family
with a beheving mind,
then for a long time
would there be welfare and happiness for that family.

And if, Dīgha,,
the world
with its devas,
with its Māras,
with its Brahmās,
if creation
with recluses and brahmans,
with devas and men,
were to remember these three young men of family
with a beheving mind,
then for a long time
would there be welfare and happiness for the world
with its devas,
with its Māras,
with its Brahmās,
if creation
with recluses and brahmans,
with devas and men.

See, Dīgha,,
how these three young men of family
are faring along for the welfare of the manyfolk,
for the happiness of the manyfolk,
out of compassion for the world,
for the good,
the welfare,
the happiness of devas and men."

Thus spoke the Lord.

Delighted, Dīgha, Parajana the yakkhaDīgha,rejoiced in what the Lord had said.

Lesser Discourse in Gosiŋga:
The First

 


[1] This Sutta, as far as p. 259, is the same as M. iii. 155-57, except for a few variations, which include the locations given for the events. Cf. also Vin. i. 350-52 (and see B.D. iv. 501 ff. for notes); and also M. i. 462 and Vin. ii. 182.

[2] MA. ii. 235-36 speaks of dāya as arañña, jungle or forest.

[3] attakāmarūpā.

[4] The plural Anuruddhā is here used for the three names of the three separate monks.

[5] Stock, as at M. i. 206, 398, iii. 156: A. i. 70, iii. 67, 104; S. iv. 225.

[6] Anuruddha himself is here supposed to be speaking.

[7] As at M. i. 222.

[8] kāyā.

[9] Cf. also Vin. i. 157.

[10] Vin. i. 352 goes on differently from here.

[11] M. iii. 157 goes on differently from here.

[12] At Vin. iii. 92, iv. 24 the jhānas form part of the definition of uttari-manussa-dhamma.

[13] Worldly and transcendental, beginning with the first jhāna, MA. ii. 244.

[14] Mentioned at D. iii. 205 among the yakkhas to whom Gotama's followers may appeal for protection. MA. ii. 244 says Dīgha was a devarājā, and Parajana was his name.

[15] There being no exact English equivalent for words denoting non-human beings, they are best left untranslated.

[16] MA. ii. 244 says it is profitable for them to see the Lord and the three disciples, to honour them, to give them gifts of faith, and to hear dhamma.

[17] As at Vin. i. 12, iii. 18-19.


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