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 32

Mahā Gosiŋga Suttaɱ

Greater 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.

Scanned, digitized and proofread by Waiyin Chow.

 


[263]

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

Thus have I heard:

At one time the Lord was staying in a grove in the Gosiŋga sāl-wood together with MA.y famous disciples who were elders:
with the venerable Sāriputta
and the venerable Moggallāna the Great
and the venerable Kassapa the Great
and [264] the venerable Anuruddha
and the venerable Revata[1]
and the venerable Ānanda
and with other famous disciples who were elders.

Then the venerable Moggallāna the Great,
emerging from solitary meditation towards the evening,
approached the venerable Kassapa the Great;
having approached,
he spoke thus to the venerable Kassapa the Great:

"Let us go, reverend Kassapa,
we will approach the venerable Sāriputta
so as to hear dhamma."

"Yes, your reverence,"
the venerable Kassapa the Great answered the venerable Moggallāna the Great in assent.

Then the venerable Moggallāna the Great
and the venerable Kassapa the Great
and the venerable Anuruddha
approached the venerable Sāriputta
so as to hear dhamma.

The venerable Ānanda saw the venerable Moggallāna the Great
and the venerable Kassapa the Great
and the venerable Anuruddha
approaching the venerable Sāriputta
so as to hear dhamma;
having seen them,
he approached the venerable Revata;
having approached,
he spoke thus to the venerable Revata:
"Reverend Revata, some who are true men
are approaching the venerable Sāriputta
so as to hear dhamma;
let us go, reverend Revata,
we will approach the venerable Sāriputta
so as to hear dhamma."

"Yes, your reverence,"
the venerable Revata answered the venerable Ānanda in assent.

Then the venerable Revata
and the venerable Ānanda
approached the venerable Sāriputta
so as to hear dhamma.

The venerable Sāriputta saw the venerable Revata
and the venerable Ānanda
coming in the distance;
having seen them,
he spoke thus to the venerable Ānanda:

"Let the venerable Ānanda come;
good is the coming of the venerable Ānanda
who is the Lord's attendant,
the Lord's companion.

Delightful,[2] reverend Ānanda,
is the Gosiŋga sāl-wood,
it is a clear moonlight night,
the sāl-trees are in full blossom,
methinks deva-like scents are being wafted around.

By what type of monk, reverend Ānanda,
would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined?"

"In this case, reverend Sāriputta,
a monk comes to be one who has heard much,
who MA.ters what he has heard,
who stores [265] what he has heard;
those teachings which are lovely at the beginning,
lovely in the middle,
lovely at the end,
which with the spirit and the letter
declare the Brahma-faring
which is completely fulfilled,
utterly pure -
such teachings come to be much heard by him,
borne in mind,
repeated out loud,
pondered over in the mind,
well comprehended by view;
he teaches dhamma to the four assemblies
with correct and fluent lines and sentences
for the rooting out of (latent) propensities.[3]

By a monk of such a type, reverend Sāriputta,
would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined."

When this had been said,
the venerable Sāriputta spoke thus to the venerable Revata:

"It has been explained, reverend Revata,
by the venerable Ānanda
according to his own capacity.

On this point we are now asking the venerable Revata, saying:

Delightful, reverend Revata,
is the Gosiŋga sāl-wood,
it is a clear moonlight night,
the sāl-trees are in full blossom,
methinks deva-like scents are being wafted around.

By what type of monk, reverend Revata,
would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined?"

"In this connection, reverend Sāriputta,
a monk delights in solitary meditation,
he is delighted by solitary meditation,
he is intent on mental tranquillity within,
his meditation is uninterrupted,
he is endowed with vision,
a cultivator of empty places.[4]

By a monk of such a type, reverend Sāriputta,
would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined."

When this had been said,
the venerable Sāriputta spoke thus to the venerable Anuruddha:

"It has been explained, reverend Anuruddha,
by the venerable Revata according to his own capacity.

On this point we are now asking the venerable Anuruddha:

Delightful, reverend Anuruddha,
is the Gosiŋga sāl-wood,
it is a clear moonlight night,
the sāl-trees are in full blossom,
methinks deva-like scents are being wafted around.

By what type of monk, reverend Anuruddha,
would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined?"

"In this connection, reverend Sāriputta,
a monk surveys the thousand worlds[5]
with purified deva-vision
surpassing that of men.

Reverend Sāriputta, as a MA. with vision
might survey a thousand concentric circles
from the top of a long house,
so, reverend Sāriputta, does a monk survey the thousand worlds
with purified deva-vision,
surpassing that of men.

By a monk of such a type, reverend Sāriputta,
would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined."

[266] When this had been said,
the venerable Sāriputta spoke thus to the venerable Kassapa the Great:

"It has been explained, reverend Kassapa,
by the reverend Anuruddha according to his own capacity.

On this point we are asking the venerable Kassapa the Great:

Delightful, reverend Kassapa,
is the Gosiŋga sāl-wood,
it is a clear moonlight night,
the sāl-trees are in full blossom,
methinks deva-like scents are being wafted around.

By what type of monk, reverend Kassapa,
[214] would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined?"

"In this connection, reverend Sāriputta,
a monk is both a forest-dweller himself
and one who praises forest-dwelling;
he is an almsman himself
and one who praises being an almsman;
he is a rag-robe wearer himself
and one who praises the wearing of rag-robes;
he wears three robes himself
and is one who praises the wearing of three robes;
he is of few wishes himself
and is one who praises being of few wishes;
he is contented himself
and is one who praises contentment;
he is aloof himself
and is one who praises aloofness;
he is ungregarious himself
and is one who praises ungregariousness;
he is of stirred up energy himself
and is one who praises stirring up energy;
he is possessed of moral habit himself
and is one who praises success in moral habit;
he is possessed of concentration himself
and is one who praises success in concentration;
he is possessed of intuitive wisdom himself
and is one who praises success in intuitive wisdom;
he is possessed of freedom himself
and is one who praises success in freedom;
he is possessed of the knowledge and vision of freedom himself
and is one who praises success in the knowledge and vision of freedom.[6]

By a monk of such a type, reverend Sāriputta,
would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined."

When this had been said,
the venerable Sāriputta spoke thus to the venerable Moggallāna the Great:

"It has been explained, reverend Moggallāna,
by the venerable Kassapa the Great according to his own capacity.

On this point we are now asking the venerable Moggallāna the Great:

Delightful, reverend Moggallāna,
is the Gosiŋga sāl-wood,
it is a clear moonlight night,
the sāl-trees are in full blossom,
methinks deva-like scents are being wafted around.

By what type of monk, reverend Moggallāna,
would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined?"

"In this connection, reverend Sāriputta,
two monks are talking on Further dhamma;[7]
they ask one another questions;
in answering [267] one another's questions
they respond and do not fail,
and their talk on dhamma goes forward.

By a monk of such a type, reverend Sāriputta,
would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined."

Then the venerable Moggallāna the Great
spoke thus to the venerable Sāriputta:

"It has been answered by all of us, reverend Sāriputta,
each one according to his own capacity.

On this point we are now asking the venerable Sāriputta:

Delightful, reverend Sāriputta,
is the Gosiŋga sāl-wood,
it is a clear moonlight night,
the sāl-trees are in full blossom,
methinks deva-like scents are being wafted around.

By what type of monk, reverend Sāriputta,
would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined?"

"In this connection, reverend Moggallāna,
a monk has rule over mind,
he is not under mind's rule;
whatever attainment of abiding[8] he wishes to abide in in the morning,
in that attainment of abiding he abides in the morning;
whatever attainment of abiding he wishes to abide in at middday,
in that attainment of abiding he abides at midday;
whatever attainment of abiding he wishes to abide in in the evening,
in that attainment of abiding he abides in the evening.

Reverend Moggallāna,
as a king[9] or a king's chief minister
might have a chest for clothes
filled with differently dyed cloths,
so that no MA.ter which pair of cloths he wished to put on in the morning,
he could put on that self-same pair of cloths in the morning;
no MA.ter which pair of cloths he wished to put on at midday,
he could put on that self-same pair of cloths at midday;
no MA.ter which pair of cloths he wished to put on in the evening,
he could put on that self-same pair of cloths in the evening -
even so, reverend Moggallāna,
a monk rules over mind,
is not under mind's rule;
whatever attainment of abiding he wishes to abide in in the morning,
in that attainment of abiding he abides in the morning;
whatever attainment of abiding he wishes to abide in at midday,
in that attainment of abiding he abides at midday;
whatever attainment of abiding he wishes to abide in in the evening,
in that attainment of abiding he abides in the evening.

By a monk of such a type, reverend Moggallāna,
would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined."

Then the venerable Sāriputta spoke thus to these venerable ones:

"It has been explained by all of us, your reverences,
each one according to his own capacity.

Let us go, your reverences,
we [268] will approach the Lord;
having approached,
we will tell this MA.ter to the Lord;
as the Lord explains it to us
so we will remember it."

"Very well, your reverence,"
these venerable ones answered the venerable Sāriputta in assent.

 


 

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

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

"Now, Lord, the venerable Revata
and the venerable Ānanda
approached me in order to hear dhamma.

And I, Lord, saw the venerable Revata and the venerable Ānanda coming in the distance,
and on seeing the venerable Ānanda,
I spoke thus:

'Let the venerable Ānanda come;
good is the coming of the venerable Ānanda
who is the Lord's attendant,
the Lord's companion.

Delightful, reverend Ānanda,
is the Gosiŋga sāl-wood,
it is a clear moonlight night,
the sāl-trees are in full blossom,
methinks deva-like scents are being wafted around.

By what type of monk, reverend Ānanda
would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined?'

When I had spoken thus, Lord
the venerable Ānanda spoke thus to me:

'In this connection, reverend Sāriputta, a monk comes to be one who has heard much,
who MA.ters what he has heard,
who stores what he has heard;
those teachings which are lovely at the beginning,
lovely in the middle,
lovely at the end,
which with the spirit and the letter
declare the Brahma-faring
which is completely fulfilled,
utterly pure -
such teachings come to be much heard by him,
borne in mind,
repeated out loud,
pondered over in the mind,
well comprehended by view;
he teaches dhamma to the four assemblies
with correct and fluent lines and sentences
for the rooting out of (latent) propensities.

By a monk of such a type, reverend Sāriputta,
would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined."

"It is good, Sāriputta,
it is good.|| ||

It is so that Ānanda,
in answering you properly,
should answer.

For Sāriputta, Ānanda is one who has heard much,
who MA.ters what he has heard,
who stores what he has heard;
those teachings which are lovely at the beginning,
lovely in the middle and lovely at the end,
which with the spirit and the letter
declare the Brahma-faring
which is completely fulfilled,
utterly pure -
such teachings come to be much heard by him,
borne in mind,
repeated out loud,
pondered over in the mind,
well comprehended by view;
he teaches dhamma to the four assemblies
with correct and fluent lines and sentences
for the rooting out of (latent) propensities."

"When this had been said, Lord,
I spoke thus to the venerable Revata:

'It has been answered, reverend Revata,,
by the venerable Ānanda
according to his own capacity.

On this point we are now asking the venerable Revata, saying:

Delightful, reverend Revata,
is the Gosiŋga sāl-wood,
it is a clear moonlight night,
the sāl-trees are in full blossom,
methinks deva-like scents are being wafted around.

By what type of monk, reverend Revata,
would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined?"

"In this connection, reverend Sāriputta,
a monk delights in solitary meditation,
[269] he is delighted by solitary meditation,
he is intent on mental tranquillity within,
his meditation is uninterrupted,
he is endowed with vision,
a cultivator of empty places.

By a monk of such a type, reverend Sāriputta,
would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined."

"It is good, Sāriputta,
it is good.

It is so that Revata,
in answering you properly,
should answer.

For, Sāriputta, Revata is one who delights in solitary meditation,
who is delighted by solitary meditation,
he is intent on mental tranquillity within,
his meditation is uninterrupted,
he is endowed with vision,
a cultivator of empty places."

"When this had been said, Lord, I spoke thus to the venerable Anuruddha:

'It has been answered, reverend Anuruddha,
by the venerable Revata according to his own capacity.

On this point we are now asking the venerable Anuruddha:

Delightful, reverend Anuruddha,
is the Gosiŋga sāl-wood,
it is a clear moonlight night,
the sāl-trees are in full blossom,
methinks deva-like scents are being wafted around.

By what type of monk, reverend Anuruddha,
would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined?"

"In this connection, reverend Sāriputta,
a monk surveys the thousand worlds
with purified deva-vision
surpassing that of men.

Reverend Sāriputta, as a MA. with vision
might survey a thousand concentric circles
from the top of a long house,
so, reverend Sāriputta, does a monk survey the thousand worlds
with purified deva-vision,
surpassing that of men.

By a monk of such a type, reverend Sāriputta,
would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined."

"It is good, Sāriputta, it is good.

It is so that Anuruddha,
in answering you properly,
should answer.

For, Sāriputta, Anuruddha surveys the thousand worlds
with purified deva-vision,
surpassing that of men."

"When this had been said, Lord, I spoke thus to the venerable Kassapa the Great:"It has been explained, reverend Kassapa,
by the reverend Anuruddha according to his own capacity.

On this point we are asking the venerable Kassapa the Great:

Delightful, reverend Kassapa,
is the Gosiŋga sāl-wood,
it is a clear moonlight night,
the sāl-trees are in full blossom,
methinks deva-like scents are being wafted around.

By what type of monk, reverend Kassapa,
would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined?"

"In this connection, reverend Sāriputta,
a monk is both a forest-dweller himself
and one who praises forest-dwelling;
he is an almsman himself
and one who praises being an almsman;
he is a rag-robe wearer himself
and one who praises the wearing of rag-robes;
he wears three robes himself
and is one who praises the wearing of three robes;
he is of few wishes himself
and is one who praises being of few wishes;
he is contented himself
and is one who praises contentment;
he is aloof himself
and is one who praises aloofness;
he is ungregarious himself
and is one who praises ungregariousness;
he is of stirred up energy himself
and is one who praises stirring up energy;
he is possessed of moral habit himself
and is one who praises success in moral habit;
he is possessed of concentration himself
and is one who praises success in concentration;
he is possessed of intuitive wisdom himself
and is one who praises success in intuitive wisdom;
he is possessed of freedom himself
and is one who praises success in freedom;
he is possessed of the knowledge and vision of freedom himself
and is one who praises success in the knowledge and vision of freedom.

By a monk of such a type, reverend Sāriputta,
would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined."

"It is good, Sāriputta,
it is good.

It is so that Kassapa,
in answering you properly,
should answer.

For Sāriputta,
Kassapa is a forest-dweller himself
and is one who praises forest-dwelling;
he is an almsman himself
and one who praises being an almsman;
he is a rag-robe wearer himself
and one who praises the wearing of rag-robes;
he wears three robes himself
and is one who praises the wearing of three robes;
he is of few wishes himself
and is one who praises being of few wishes;
he is contented himself
and is one who praises contentment;
he is aloof himself
and is one who praises aloofness;
he is ungregarious himself
and is one who praises ungregariousness;
he is of stirred up energy himself
and is one who praises stirring up energy;
he is possessed of moral habit himself
and is one who praises success in moral habit;
he is possessed of concentration himself
and is one who praises success in concentration;
he is possessed of intuitive wisdom himself
and is one who praises success in intuitive wisdom;
he is possessed of freedom himself
and is one who praises success in freedom;
he is possessed of the knowledge and vision of freedom himself
and is one who praises success in the knowledge and vision of freedom.

"When this had been said, Lord, I spoke thus to the venerable [270] Moggallāna the Great:

"It has been explained, reverend Moggallāna,
by the venerable Kassapa the Great according to his own capacity.

On this point we are now asking the venerable Moggallāna the Great:

Delightful, reverend Moggallāna,
is the Gosiŋga sāl-wood,
it is a clear moonlight night,
the sāl-trees are in full blossom,
methinks deva-like scents are being wafted around.

By what type of monk, reverend Moggallāna,
would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined?"

"In this connection, reverend Sāriputta,
two monks are talking on Further dhamma;
they ask one another questions;
in answering one another's questions
they respond and do not fail,
and their talk on dhamma goes forward.

By a monk of such a type, reverend Sāriputta,
would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined."

"It is good, Sāriputta,
it is good.

It is so that Moggallāna,
in answering you properly,
should answer.

For, Sāriputta, Moggallāna
is a talker on dhamma."[10]

When this had been said, the venerable Moggallāna the Great spoke thus to the Lord:

"Then I Lord, spoke thus to the venerable Sāriputta:

"It has been answered by all of us, reverend Sāriputta,
each one according to his own capacity.

On this point we are now asking the venerable Sāriputta:

Delightful, reverend Sāriputta,
is the Gosiŋga sāl-wood,
it is a clear moonlight night,
the sāl-trees are in full blossom,
methinks deva-like scents are being wafted around.

By what type of monk, reverend Sāriputta,
would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined?"

"In this connection, reverend Moggallāna,
a monk has rule over mind,
he is not under mind's rule;
whatever attainment of abiding he wishes to abide in in the morning,
in that attainment of abiding he abides in the morning;
whatever attainment of abiding he wishes to abide in at middday,
in that attainment of abiding he abides at midday;
whatever attainment of abiding he wishes to abide in in the evening,
in that attainment of abiding he abides in the evening.

Reverend Moggallāna,
as a king or a king's chief minister
might have a chest for clothes
filled with differently dyed cloths,
so that no MA.ter which pair of cloths he wished to put on in the morning,
he could put on that self-same pair of cloths in the morning;
no MA.ter which pair of cloths he wished to put on at midday,
he could put on that self-same pair of cloths at midday;
no MA.ter which pair of cloths he wished to put on in the evening,
he could put on that self-same pair of cloths in the evening -
even so, reverend Moggallāna,
a monk rules over mind,
is not under mind's rule;
whatever attainment of abiding he wishes to abide in in the morning,
in that attainment of abiding he abides in the morning;
whatever attainment of abiding he wishes to abide in at midday,
in that attainment of abiding he abides at midday;
whatever attainment of abiding he wishes to abide in in the evening,
in that attainment of abiding he abides in the evening.

By a monk of such a type, reverend Moggallāna,
would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined."

"It is good, Moggallāna,
it is good.

It is so that Sāriputta,
in answering you properly,
should answer.

For, Moggallāna,
Sāriputta has rule over mind,
he is not under mind's rule;
whatever attainment of abiding he wishes to abide in in the morning
in that attainment of abiding he abides in the morning;
whatever attainment of abiding he wishes to abide in at midday,
in that attainment of abiding he abides at midday;
whatever attainment of abiding he [271] wishes to abide in in the evening,
in that attainment of abiding he abides in the evening."[11]

When this had been said, the venerable Sāriputta spoke thus to the Lord:

"Now, by whom was it well spoken, Lord?"

"It was well spoken by you all in turn, Sāriputta.

But now hear from me by what type of monk the Gosiŋga sāl-wood would be illumined.

In this connection, Sāriputta,
a monk, returning from alms-gathering after the meal,
sits down cross-legged,
the back erect,
having raised up mindfulness in front of him,
and thinking:

'I will not quit this cross-legged (position)
until my mind is freed from the cankers
without any residuum (for rebirth) remaining.'

By such a type of monk, Sāriputta,
would the Gosiŋga sāl-wood be illumined."

Thus spoke the Lord.

Delighted, these venerable ones rejoiced in what the Lord had said.

Greater Discourse in Gosiŋga: the Second

 


[1] Cf. A. i. 24. MA. ii. 247 says Revata the Doubter is meant here, not Revata of the Acacia Wood (Khadiravaniya-Revata).

[2] MA. ii. 259 says delightfulness is twofold: that of woods and that of people. Here both kinds are meant, for the wood is full of flowers and scents, and here the highest person in the world, the All awakened one, is staying with 30,000 renowned monks.

[3] MA. ii. 254 says there are seven. See D. iii. 254. Ānanda is called chief of those who have heard much at A. i. 23.

[4] As at M. i. 33. Revata is called chief of meditators at A. i. 24.

[5] MA. ii. 254, "thousand world-elements." Anuruddha is chief of those with deva-sight, A. i. 23.

[6] At A. i. 23 Kassapa the Great is chief of those who uphold the austere practices.

[7] abhidhamma.

[8] MA. ii. 255 says worldly or other-worldly.

[9] Simile at S. v. 71; A. iv. 230.

Abhidhamma. This looks like MA.is itself confusing abhidhamma (knowledge of higher Forms) with The Abhidhamma (the commentary so called).

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[10] Moggallāna is called chief of those of psychic power, A. i. 23. MA. ii. 256 explains that "abhidhamma-men, having come to knowledge of subtle points, having increased their vision, can achieve a supermundane state." Non-abhidhamma-men get muddled between "own doctrine" (sakavāda) and "other doctrine" (paravāda).

[11] A. i. 23, he is chief in great wisdom.


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