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Saɱyutta Nikāya
II.Nidāna Vagga
XII.Nidāna Saŋyutta
II.Āhāra Vagga

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
Part II. The Book Called the Nidāna-Vagga
Containing Kindred sayings on Cause
and Other Subjects
12. The Kindred Sayings on Cause
2. Sustenance-Suttas

Sutta 17

Acela-Kassapa Suttaṃ

The Unclothed (Ascetic)

Translated by Mrs. Rhys Davids
Assisted by F. L. Woodward

Originally Published by
The Pali Text Society
Public Domain

 


[18] [14]

[1][than][bodh] Thus have I heard:

The Exalted One was once staying near Rājagaha,
in the Bamboo Grove at the Squirrels' Feeding-Ground.

Now the Exalted One in the early morning dressed himself,
and taking bowl and robe
entered Rājagaha, for alms.

And Kassapa the Unclothed[1] saw the Exalted One coming from afar,
and seeing him
he came up to the Exalted One and greeted him,
and when compliments of friendship and courtesy had been exchanged
he stood at one side.

So standing Kassapa the Unclothed said:

'We would fain ask Master [15] Gotama concerning one point,[2]
if he would give us opportunity
of hearing him reply to our question.'

'It is untimely just now for questions, Kassapa.

We have entered the village.'[3]

But a second time Kassapa Kassapa the Unclothed said:

'We would fain ask Master Gotama concerning one point,
if he would give us opportunity
of hearing him reply to our question.'

And a second time The Exalted One responded:

'It is untimely just now for questions, Kassapa.

We have entered the village.'

And a third time Kassapa Kassapa the Unclothed said:

'We would fain ask Master Gotama concerning one point,
if he would give us opportunity
of hearing him reply to our question.'

And a third time The Exalted One responded:

'It is untimely just now for questions, Kassapa.

We have entered the village.'

When the Exalted One had thus spoken,
Kassapa the Unclothed said:

It is not many things
we are fain to ask of Master Gotama.'

'Ask, Kassapa, what you will.'

Now then, Master Gotama,
is suffering wrought by one's self?"[4]

"Not so verily, Kassapa,"
said the Exalted One.

"What then, Master Gotama,
is one's suffering wrought by another?

"Not so verily, Kassapa,"
said the Exalted One.

"What then, Master Gotama,
is suffering wrought both by one's self
and by another?"

"Not so verily, Kassapa,"
said the Exalted One.

"What then, Master Gotama,
has [the] suffering [which is] wrought neither by myself
nor by another,
befallen me by chance?"[5]

"Not so verily, Kassapa,"
said the Exalted One.

"What then, Master Gotama,
is suffering non-existent?"

"Nay, Kassapa, suffering is not non-existent;
suffering is."

"Then Master Gotama
neither knows nor sees suffering?"

"Nay, Kassapa, I am not one who knows not suffering
nor sees it.

I am one that knows suffering, Kassapa,
I am one that sees suffering."

"How now, Master Gotama?

When asked:
'is suffering wrought by one's self?'
you have answered:
'Not so verily, Kassapa.'

When asked:
'What then, Master Gotama,
is one's suffering wrought by another?'
you have answered:
'Not so verily, Kassapa.'

When asked:
'What then, Master Gotama,
is suffering wrought both by one's self
and by another?'
you have answered:
'Not so verily, Kassapa.'

When asked:
'What then, Master Gotama,
has [the] suffering [which is] wrought neither by myself
nor by another,
befallen me by chance?'
you have answered:
'Not so verily, Kassapa.'

When asked:
'What then, Master Gotama,
is suffering non-existent?'
you have answered:
[16] 'Not so verily, Kassapa.'

When asked:
'Then Master Gotama
neither knows nor sees suffering?'
you have answered:
'Nay, Kassapa, I am not one who knows not suffering
nor sees it.
I am one that knows suffering, Kassapa,
I am one that sees suffering.'

Declare then to me, Master, Exalted One,[6]
[the nature of] suffering.

Teach me, Master, Exalted One,
the nature of suffering.'

"'One and the same person
both acts and experiences [the results]'

-this, Kassapa, which you called at first

'suffering self-wrought,'

amounts to the Eternalist theory.

'One acts,
another experiences [the result]'

this, Kassapa, which
to one smitten by the feeling
occurs as

'suffering caused by another,'

amounts to the Annihilationist theory.

To you, Kassapa, the Tathāgata,
not approaching either extreme,
teaches the Norm by a middle [way]:

Conditioned by ignorance activities come to pass,
conditioned by activities consciousness;
conditioned by consciousness, name-and-shape;
conditioned by name-and-shape, sense;
conditioned by sense, contact;
conditioned by contact, feeling;
conditioned by feeling, craving;
conditioned by craving, grasping;
conditioned by grasping, becoming;
conditioned by becoming,
birth,
decay-and-death,
grief,
suffering,
sorrow,
despair come to pass.

But from the utter fading away and ceasing of ignorance [comes] ceasing of activities;
from ceasing of activities ceasing of consciousness;
from ceasing of consciousness ceasing of name-and-shape;
from ceasing of name-and-shape ceasing of sense;
from ceasing of sense ceasing of contact;
from ceasing of contact ceasing of feeling;
from ceasing of feeling ceasing of craving;
from ceasing of craving ceasing of grasping;
from ceasing of grasping ceasing of becoming;
from ceasing of becoming ceasing of birth;
from ceasing of birth,
old age-and-death, grief, lamenting, suffering, sorrow, despair cease.

Such is the ceasing of this entire mass of ill.

When this had been said Kassapa the Unclothed said to the Exalted One:

"Most excellent, lord!

Most excellent!

Just as if a man were to set up
that which had been thrown down,
or were to reveal
that which was hidden away,
or were to point out the right road
to him who had gone astray,
or were to bring a lamp into the darkness,
so that those who had eyes could see shapes, -
even so, lord, has the lord Gotama shown me
his doctrine in various ways.

I, even I, lord, betake myself to the Exalted One as my refuge,
to the Norm
and to the Order.

I would leave the world
under the Rule of the Exalted One.

I would be ordained."

"He, Kassapa, who, being formerly a votary of another doctrine,[7]
desires to leave the world
to obtain orders in this Doctrine and Rule,
remains on probation for four months.

At the end of four months
spent in seclusion,
the brethren,
moved in heart and willing,
receive him from the world
and [17] ordain him to be a brother.

Nevertheless, I acknowledge a difference in persons."

"If, lord, he who, formerly a votary of another doctrine,
desires to leave the world,
to obtain orders in this Doctrine and Rule,
goes on probation for four months,
and if at the end of four months
spent in seclusion,
the brethren,
moved in heart and willing,
receive him from the world
and ordain him to be a brother,
I will live on probation for four years.

At the end of four years
so living
may the brethren,
moved in heart and will,
receive me
and ordain me as a brother."

So Kassapa the Unclothed was received
under the Exalted One
and obtained ordination.

And not long after his ordination
the venerable Kassapa,
remaining alone and separate,
earnest,
ardent
and strenuous,
attained ere long
to that supreme goal of the divine life,
for the sake of which the clansmen
rightly go forth from home into the homeless:
yea, that supreme goal did he,
by himself,
even in this present life,
come to understand and realize,
namely, that birth was destroyed,
that the divine life was lived,
that the task was done,
that for life in these conditions
there was no hereafter.[8]

And that venerable Kassapa became one of the Arahants.

 


[1] We are not given by B. any tradition as to which of the many Kassapas this is; possibly he of Dialogues, i, 223; M. ii, 120. Another Acela'-Kassapa becomes Arahant below, iv, XLI, Ī 9.

[2] Desaṃ.

[3] So the Comy., the phrase otherwise meaning 'within the house, or 'threshold,' not as here, outside it.

[4] Sayaṃ. There is no attā (unchanging identical soul) who is the maker (of both act and) of the action's unhappy result. Comy.

[5] Adhicca-samuppannaṃ.

[6] Note the altered mode of address, as if the wonderful influence exercised by the Teacher's presence had made itself felt.

[7] Cf. Dialogues, ii, 168. 'Years' (vassāni) is there rendered 'months.'

[8] On this term see above i, 177, n. 1. Comy.: aparaṃ khandhasantānaṃ natthi — 'hereafter body-and-mind-conditions there is not.'


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