Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
II. Majjhima-Paṇṇāsa
2. Bhikkhu Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
II. The Middle Fifty Discourses
2. The Division on Monks

Sutta 68

Naḷakapāna Suttaɱ[1]

Discourse at Naḷakapāna

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

Copyright The Pali Text Society
Commercial Rights Reserved
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[462] [135]

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

At one time the Lord was staying among the Kosalans near Naḷakapāna[2]
in the Judas-tree Grove.[3]

Now at that time
many well known young men of family
had gone forth from home
into homelessness through faith in the Lord:
the venerable Anuruddha[4]
and the venerable Nandiya
and the venerable Kimbila
and the venerable Bhagu[5]
and the venerable Kuṇḍadhāna[6]
and the venerable Revata
and the venerable Ānanda,
and many other well known young men of family.

Now at that time
the Lord [463] was sitting in the open
surrounded by an Order of monks.

Then the Lord addressed the monks
concerning these young men of family,
saying:

"Those young men of family, monks,
who have gone forth from home
into homelessness through faith in me -
I hope, monks,
that these monks are finding delight in the Brahma-faring?"

When he had spoken thus,
these monks became silent.

And a second time the Lord addressed the monks
concerning these young men of family,
saying:

"Those young men of family, monks,
who have gone forth from home
into homelessness through faith in me -
I hope, monks,
that these monks are finding delight in the Brahma-faring?"

And a second time
when he had spoken thus,
these monks became silent.

And a third time the Lord addressed the monks
concerning these young men of family,
saying:

"Those young men of family, monks,
who have gone forth from home
into homelessness through faith in me -
I hope, monks,
that these monks are finding delight in the Brahma-faring?"

And a third time
when he had spoken thus,
these monks became silent.

And a third time these monks became silent.

Then it occurred to the Lord:

"Now, suppose that I were to question
these young men of family themselves?"

Then the Lord addressed the venerable Anuruddha,
saying:

"I hope that you, Anuruddhas,[7]
are finding delight in the Brahma-faring?"

"Certainly we, revered sir,
are finding delight in the Brahma-faring."

[136]

"It is good, it is good, Anuruddhas.

This is fitting in you, Anuruddhas,
who are young men of family
gone forth from home
into homelessness through faith,
that you should find delight in the Brahma-faring.

Yet while you, Anuruddhas,
possessed of radiant youth,
in the prime of your lives,
with coal-black hair,
might be enjoying the pleasures of the senses,
you, Anuruddhas,
although possessed of radiant youth,
in the prime of your lives,
with coal-black hair,
have nevertheless gone forth from home
into homelessness.

But you, Aimruddhas,
are neither those that have gone forth
from home into homelessness
on the suggestion of kings[8]
nor are you those who have gone forth
from home into homelessness
on the suggestion of thieves
nor are you those who have gone forth
from home into homelessness
because of debt
nor are you those who have gone forth
from home into homelessness
through fear,[9]
nor are you those who have gone forth
from home into homelessness
because of having lost the means of livelihood.

Yet was it not with the thought:

'Although I am oppressed by birth,
ageing,
dying,
by grief,
sorrow,
suffering,
lamentation
and despair,
oppressed by anguish,
overcome by anguish,
yet perhaps some ending
of this whole mass of anguish
may be seen,'

that you, Anuruddhas, have gone forth from home into homelessness through faith?"

"Yes, revered sir."

"And when, Anuruddhas,
a young man of family has gone forth thus,
what is there to be done by him?

Anuruddhas,
aloof from pleasures of the senses,
aloof from unskilled states of mind,
if he does not win joy and happiness
or something more peaceful than that,[10]
then coveting persists in obsessing his mind,
and malevolence persists in obsessing his mind,
and sloth and torpor persists in obsessing his mind,
and restlessness and worry persists in obsessing his mind,
and doubt persists in obsessing his mind,
[464]and discontent persists in obsessing his mind,
and apathy persists in obsessing his mind.

Aloof, Anuruddhas, from pleasures of the senses,
aloof from unskilled states of mind,
he does not win joy and happiness
or something more peaceful than that.

Anuruddhas, aloof from pleasures of the senses,
aloof from unskilled states of mind,
if he wins joy and happiness
and something more peaceful than that,
then coveting does not persist in obsessing his mind,
and [137] malevolence does not persist in obsessing his mind,
and sloth and torpor does not persist in obsessing his mind,
and restlessness and worry does not persist in obsessing his mind,
and doubt does not persist in obsessing his mind,
and disconten does not persist in obsessing his mind,
and apathy does not persist in obsessing his mind.

Aloof, Anuruddhas,
from pleasures of the senses,
aloof from unskilled states of mind,
he wins joy and happiness
and something more peaceful than that.

What do you think about me, Anuruddhas?

That those cankers
which have to do with the defilements,[11]
with again-becoming,
which are fearful,
whose result is anguish,
making for birth,
ageing
and dying
in the future -
that these have not been got rid of
by the Tathāgata,
and that therefore the Tathāgata,
having considered,[12]
pursues one thing;
having considered,
endures another thing;
having considered,
avoids another thing;
having considered,
controls another thing?"[13]

"We, revered sir, do not think this of the Lord,
that those cankers which have to do with the defilements,
with again-becoming,
which are fearful,
whose result is anguish,
making for birth,
ageing
and dying
in the future -
that these have not been got rid of
by the Tathāgata,
and that therefore the Tathāgata,
having considered,
pursues one thing;
having considered,
endures another thing;
having considered,
avoids another thing;
having considered,
controls another thing.

We, revered sir, think this of the Lord,
that those cankers that have to do with the defilements,
with again-becoming,
which are fearful,
whose result is anguish,
making for birth,
ageing
and dying
in the future -
that these have been got rid of by the Tathāgata,
and that therefore the Tathāgata,
having considered,
pursues one thing;
having considered,
endures another thing;
having considered,
avoids another thing;
having considered,
controls another thing."

"It is good,
it is good, Anuruddhas.[14]

Those cankers of the Tathāgata
that had to do with the defilements,
with again-becoming,
which are fearful,
whose result is anguish,
making for birth,
ageing
and dying
in the future -
these have been got rid of,
cut off at the root,
made like a palm-tree stump
that can come to no further existence in the future.

Even, Anuruddhas, as a palm-tree
whose crown is cut off
can come to no further growth,
so, Anuruddhas, those cankers of the Tathāgata
that had to do with the defilements,
with again-becoming,
which are fearful,
whose result is anguish,
making for birth,
ageing
and dying
in the future -
these have been got rid of,
cut off at the root,
made like a palm-tree stump
that can come to no further existence in the future.

Therefore the Tathāgata,
having considered,
pursues one thing;
having considered,
endures another thing;
having considered,
avoids another thing;
having considered,
controls another thing."

[138] What do you think about this, Anuruddhas?

Beholding what special purpose
does the Tathāgata explain
the uprisings in which are disciples
who have deceased and passed away,
saying:

'Such a one has uprisen in one,
such a one has uprisen in another'?"[15]

[465]"Things for us, Lord,
are rooted in the Lord,
have the Lord for conduit,
the Lord for arbiter.

It were good indeed, Lord,
if the meaning of this speech of the Lord's
were explained;
having heard the Lord,
monks would remember."[16]

"Anuruddhas, the Tathāgata does not have the purpose[17] of defrauding people
nor the purpose of cajoling people
nor the purpose of gains,
honour,
fame
and material advantages,
nor the thought:

'Let people know me thus'[18]
when he explains
the uprisings in which are disciples
who have deceased and passed away,
saying:

'Such a one has uprisen in one,
such a one has uprisen in another.'

But there are, Anuruddhas,
young men of family
who have faith
and are of great enthusiasm,[19]
of great joyousness
and who, having heard this,
focus their minds on suchness.[20]

Anuruddhas, this will be for their weal and happiness
for a long time.

In this case, Anuruddhas, a monk hears:

'The monk so and so has passed away;
it is declared by the Lord
that he is established in profound knowledge.'

If a venerable one
has himself seen
or has heard by hearsay
that the venerable one
was of such moral habit
and that the venerable one
was of such mentality[21]
and that the venerable one
was of such wisdom
and that the venerable one
was such an abider
and that the venerable one
was freed thus,
he, while recollecting his faith
and moral habit
and learning
and giving up
and wisdom,
focusses his mind on suchness.

It is thus, Anuruddhas,
that there is abiding in comfort for a monk.

In this case, Anuruddhas, a monk hears:

'The monk so and so has passed away;
it is declared by the Lord
that by the utter destruction
of the five fetters binding to this lower (shore),
he is of spontaneous generation,
one that has attained nibbāna there,
not liable to return from that world.'

If a venerable one
has himself seen
or has heard [139] by hearsay
that the venerable one
was of such moral habit
and that the venerable one
was of such mentality
and that the venerable one
was of such wisdom
and that the venerable one
was such an abider
and that the venerable one
was freed thus,
he, while recollecting his faith
and moral habit
and learning
and giving up
and wisdom,
focusses his mind on suchness.

It is thus, Anuruddhas,
that there is abiding in comfort for a monk.

In this case, Anuruddhas, a monk hears:

'The monk so and so has passed away;
it is declared by the Lord
that by the utter destruction of the three fetters,
by the reduction of attachment,
aversion
and confusion,
he is a once-returner
who, having come back once only to this world,
will make an end of anguish.'

If a venerable one
has himself seen
or has heard by hearsay
that the venerable one
was of such moral habit
and that the venerable one
was of such mentality
and that the venerable one
was of such wisdom
and that the venerable one
was such an abider
and that the venerable one
was freed thus,
he, while recollecting his faith
and moral habit
and learning
and giving up
and wisdom,
focusses his mind on suchness.

[466] It is thus, Anuruddhas,
that there is abiding in comfort for a monk.

In this case, Anuruddhas, a monk hears:

'The monk so and so has passed away;
it is declared by the Lord
that by the utter destruction of the three fetters
he is a stream-attainer,
not liable to the Downfall,
assured,
bound for enlightenment.'

If a venerable one
has himself seen
or has heard by hearsay
that the venerable one
was of such moral habit
and that the venerable one
was of such mentality
and that the venerable one
was of such wisdom
and that the venerable one
was such an abider
and that the venerable one
was freed thus,
he, while recollecting his faith
and moral habit
and learning
and giving up
and wisdom,
focusses his mind on suchness.

It is thus, Anuruddhas,
that there is abiding in comfort for a monk.

 


 

In this case, Anuruddhas, a nun hears:

'The nun so and so has passed away;
it is declared of her by the Lord
that she is established in profound knowledge.'

If that sister has herself seen
or has heard by hearsay
that the sister
was of such moral habit
and that the sister
was of such mentality
and that the sister
was of such wisdom
and that the sister
was such an abider
and that the sister
was freed thus,
she, while recollecting her faith
and moral habit
and learning
and giving up
and wisdom,
focusses her mind on suchness.

It is thus, Anuruddhas,
that there is abiding in comfort for a nun.

In this case, Anuruddhas, a nun hears:

'The nun so and so has passed away;
it is declared of her by the Lord
that by the utter destruction
of the five fetters binding to this lower (shore),
she is of spontaneous generation,
one that has attained nibbāna there,
not liable to return from that world.'

If that sister has herself seen
or has heard by hearsay
that the sister
was of such moral habit
and that the sister
was of such mentality
and that the sister
was of such wisdom
and that the sister
was such an abider
and that the sister
was freed thus,
she, while recollecting her faith
and moral habit
and learning
and giving up
and wisdom,
focusses her mind on suchness.

It is thus, Anuruddhas,
that there is abiding in comfort for a nun.

In this case, Anuruddhas, a nun hears:

'The nun so and so has passed away;
it is declared of her by the Lord
that by the utter destruction of the three fetters,
by the reduction of attachment,
aversion,
confusion,
she is a once-returner
who, having come back once only to this world,
will make an end of anguish.'

If that sister has herself seen
or has heard by hearsay
that the sister
was of such moral habit
and that the sister
was of such mentality
and that the sister
was of such wisdom
and that the sister
was such an abider
and that the sister
was freed thus,
she, while recollecting her faith
and moral habit
and learning
and giving up
and wisdom,
focusses her mind on suchness.

It is thus, Anuruddhas,
that there is abiding in comfort for a nun.

In this case, Anuruddhas, a nun hears:

'The nun so and so has passed away;
it is declared of her by the Lord
that by the utter [140] destruction of the three fetters
she is a stream-attainer,
not liable to the Downfall,
assured,
bound for enlightenment.'

[467]If that sister has herself seen
or has heard by hearsay
that the sister
was of such moral habit
and that the sister
was of such mentality
and that the sister
was of such wisdom
and that the sister
was such an abider
and that the sister
was freed thus,
she, while recollecting her faith
and moral habit
and learning
and giving up
and wisdom,
focusses her mind on suchness.

It is thus, Anuruddhas,
that there is abiding in comfort for a nun.

 


 

In this case, Anuruddhas, a layfollower hears:

'The layfollower so and so has passed away;
it is declared of him by the Lord
that by the utter destruction
of the five fetters binding to this lower (shore),
he is of spontaneous generation,
one that has attained nibbāna there,
not liable to return from that world.'

If that layfollower has himself seen
or has heard by hearsay
that the layfollower
was of such moral habit
and that the layfollower
was of such mentality
and that the layfollower
was of such wisdom
and that the layfollower
was such an abider
and that the layfollower
was freed thus,
she, while recollecting his faith
and moral habit
and learning
and giving up
and wisdom,
focusses his mind on suchness.

It is thus, Anuruddhas,
that there is abiding in comfort for a layfollower.

In this case, Anuruddhas, a layfollower hears:

'The layfollower so and so has passed away;
it is declared of him by the Lord
that by the utter destruction of the three fetters,
by the reduction of attachment,
aversion,
confusion,
he is a once-returner
who, having come back once only to this world,
will make an end of anguish.'

If that layfollower has himself seen
or has heard by hearsay
that the layfollower
was of such moral habit
and that the layfollower
was of such mentality
and that the layfollower
was of such wisdom
and that the layfollower
was such an abider
and that the layfollower
was freed thus,
she, while recollecting his faith
and moral habit
and learning
and giving up
and wisdom,
focusses his mind on suchness.

It is thus, Anuruddhas,
that there is abiding in comfort for a layfollower.

In this case, Anuruddhas, a layfollower hears:

'The layfollower so and so has passed away;
it is declared of him by the Lord
that by the utter destruction of the three fetters,
he is a stream-attainer,
not liable to the Downfall,
assured,
bound for enlightenment.'

If that layfollower has himself seen
or has heard by hearsay
that the layfollower
was of such moral habit
and that the layfollower
was of such mentality
and that the layfollower
was of such wisdom
and that the layfollower
was such an abider
and that the layfollower
was freed thus,
she, while recollecting his faith
and moral habit
and learning
and giving up
and wisdom,
focusses his mind on suchness.

It is thus, Anuruddhas,
that there is abiding in comfort for a layfollower.

 


 

In this case, Anuruddhas, a laywoman follower hears,
'The laywoman follower so and so has passed away;
it is declared of her by the Lord
that by the utter destruction
of the five fetters binding to this lower (shore),
she is of spontaneous generation,
one that has attained nibbāna there,
not liable to return from that world.'

If that sister has herself seen
or has heard by hearsay
that the sister
was of such moral habit
and that the sister
was of such mentality
and that the sister
was of such wisdom
and that the sister
was such an abider
and that the sister
was freed thus,
she, while recollecting her faith
and moral habit
and learning
and giving up
and wisdom,
focusses her mind on suchness.

It is thus, Anuruddhas,
that there is abiding in comfort for a laywoman follower.

[468]In this case, Anuruddhas, a laywoman follower hears,
'The laywoman follower so and so has passed away;
it is declared of her by the Lord
that by the utter destruction of the three fetters,
by the reduction of attachment,
aversion,
confusion,
she is a once-returner
who, having come back once only to this world,
will make an end of anguish.'

If that sister has himself seen
or has heard by hearsay
that the sister
was of such moral habit
and that the sister
was of such mentality
and that the sister
was of such wisdom
and that the sister
was such an abider
and that the sister
was freed thus,
she, while recollecting her faith
and moral habit
and learning
and giving up
and wisdom,
focusses her mind on suchness.

It is thus, Anuruddhas,
that there is abiding in comfort for a laywoman follower.

In this case, Anuruddhas, a laywoman follower hears,
'The laywoman follower so and so has passed away;
it is declared of her by the Lord
that by the utter destruction of the three fetters,
she is a stream-attainer,
not liable to the Downfall,
assured,
bound for enlightenment.'

If that sister has himself seen
or has heard by hearsay
that the sister
was of such moral habit
and that the sister
was of such mentality
and that the sister
was of such wisdom
and that the sister
was such an abider
and that the sister
was freed thus,
she, while recollecting her faith
and moral habit
and learning
and giving up
and wisdom,
focusses her mind on suchness.

It is thus, Anuruddhas,
that there is abiding in comfort for a laywoman follower.

The Tathāgata, Anuruddhas, does not have the purpose of de- [141] frauding people
nor the purpose of cajoling people
nor the purpose of gains,
honour,
fame
and material advantages,
nor the thought:
'Let people know me thus'
when he explains the uprising
in which are disciples
who have deceased and passed away,
saying:
'Such and such a one has uprisen in one,
such a one has uprisen in another.'

But there are, Anuruddhas,
young men of family
who have faith
and are of great enthusiasm,
of great joyousness,
and who, having heard this,
focus their minds on suchness.

Anuruddhas, this will be for their weal and happiness
for a long time,"

Thus spoke the Lord.

Delighted, the venerable Anuruddha rejoiced in what the Lord had said.

Discourse at Naḷakapāna:
The Eighth

 


[1] Cf. Jā. No, 20 which describes how the Bodhisatta, as a monkey, taught his followers to drink water through a hollow reed; referred to ai MA. iii. 178.

[2] Cf. A. v. 122, 125.

[3] Palāsamna. MA. iii. 180 says that palāsa is kiɱsuka, "strange." P.E.D. gives Butea frondosa. The Palāsa jātaka is at Jā. iii. 23. Cf. also the simile of the kiɱsuka at S. iv. 193.

[4] For some of the following names see M. i. 205, 212, iii. 166; Vin. ii. 128.

[5] His verses are at Thag. 271-274. See Vin. i. 360.

[6] His verses are at Thag. 16. He has a place among the etad aggas at A. i. 24.

[7] For use of plural, Anuruddhā, see M.L.S. i. 257, n. 4.

[8] Cf. Iti. § 91; S. iii. 93; Miln.. 32. If a king or thieves to whom someone has done a wrong catch him, they say: 'If you will go forth, you can be free,' MA. iii. 180.

[9] If he is seared by a certain peril or fear (bhaya) - of a king and so forth, he goes forth. SA. ii. 302 gives the "perils" as those regarding kings, thieves, hunger, illness and debt.

[10] MA. iii. 181 says that if at this stage he does not win joy and so on, then he does not win the more peaceful happiness of the two following jhāna and the four ways.

[11] As at M. i. 250.

[12] sankhāya, as at A. ii. 143.

[13] Cf. M. i. 7 for these ways of dealing with the cankers. These four phrases are used in connection with the four apassena at D. iii. 224.

[14] This paragraph also at M. i. 250.

[15] Cf. D. ii. 200.

[16] As at M. i. 310.

[17] Cf. Iti. § 35, 36; A. ii. 20.

[18] MA. iii. 182, "the multitude will know me thus, a lovely report will go forth about me among the multitude."

[19] uḷāravedā, MA. iii. 182 saying mahantatuṭṭhino.

[20] tathattāya, the state of being so; but possibly here meaning that they imitate the monks who have died.

[21] evaɱ dhammo. Here dhamma, between sīla and paññā, seems to take the place of the more usual samādhi or citta, and so means having (right) mental objects.

 


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