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Saɱyutta-Nikāya,
II. Nidāna-vagga
16. Kassapa Saɱyutta

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
II. The Nidana Book
16. Kindred Sayings on Kassapa

Sutta 11

Cīvara Suttaṃ

The Robe

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

Originally Published by
The Pali Text Society
Public Domain

 


[217] [146]

[1][bodh] Thus have I heard:

The venerable Mahā-Kassapa was once staying at Rājagaha,
in the Bamboo Grove at the Squirrels' Feeding-ground.

Now at that time
the venerable Ānanda was making a tour about the Southern Hills[1]
with a great company of brethren.

Now at that time
as many as thirty brethren,
followers of [147] Ānanda,
and for the most part youths,
had renounced the training,
and turned to low things.

Now the venerable Ānanda
when he had toured in the Southern Hills
as long as it pleased him,
came to Rājagaha,
and going to the Bamboo Grove,
to the Squirrels' Feeding-ground,
he entered the venerable Mahā-Kassapa's presence,
saluted him
and sat down.

To him so seated
Mahā-Kassapa said this:

"What were the several advantages, friend[ed1], Ānanda,
on account of which were
'three only at a meal'[2]
prescribed by the Exalted One
for the families?"

"There are three advantages, your reverence, Kassapa,
on account of which was
'three only at a meal'
prescribed by the Exalted One
for the families,
namely:

For restraining ill-natured persons,[3]
for the well-being of pious brethren,
(lest evil-wishers, backed by a clique, should bring discord into the Order),
and for the tender care of the families.

It is these three advantages
on account of which was
'three only at a meal'
prescribed by the Exalted One
for the families."[ed2]

"Then why on earth dost thou, friend Ānanda,
tour about with these young brethren
who have the gates of their senses unguarded,
who are without moderation in their food,
who are not devoted to vigils?

Corn-trampler methinks art thou!

Despoiler of the families methinks art thou!

Thy following, friend Ānanda,
is breaking up.

Thy youngsters, friend,
are melting away!

This boy does not know his own measure!"

"Surely my head is growing grey hairs, your reverence,
and yet we are not vexed at the venerable Mahā-Kassapa
even at this time of day
calling us 'boy.'"

"Verily, friend Ānanda,
it is thus that thou goest on tour
with these new brethren
who have the gates of their senses unguarded,
who are without moderation in their food,
who are not devoted to vigils.

Corn-trampler methinks art thou!

Despoiler of the families methinks art thou!

Thy following, friend Ānanda,
is breaking up.

Thy youngsters, friend,
are melting away!

This boy does not know his own measure!"

[148] Now sister Fat Tissa heard that Father Ānanda
the learned sage
had been chidden
and called 'boy'
by Father Mahā-Kassapa.

Then sister Fat Tissa
displeased
gave vent to her displeasure saying:

"What now!
does Father Mahā-Kassapa,
who was once a heretical teacher,
deem that he can chide Father Ānanda
the learned sage,
calling him 'boy'?

Now the venerable Great Kassapa
heard that sister Fat Tissa was talking thus.

And he said to the venerable Ānanda:

"In faith, friend Ānanda,
it is an outrageous
and a thoughtless word
that Sister Fat Tissa has been saying,
seeing that I, friend,
when I cut off my hair
and donned the saffron raiment
and went forth from home into the homeless,
acknowledged myself learner from no teacher
save the Exalted One,
Arahant,
Buddha supreme.

While I was still leading house-life, friend,
this came to me:

'Stuffy it is to live in a house,
a dusty procedure.

Free as air
is life out of the world.

Not easy is this,
that one dwelling in the house
should lead the divine life
entirely perfect,
entirely pure as a polished shell.

Let me now shave my hair,
don the saffron raiment
and go forth from home
into the homeless.

Now I, friend,
later on
had an under-robe made of cut cloth
and, following the example of the world's Arahants,
I shaved my head,
donned the saffron robes
and left home for the homeless.

And having thus left the world,
and being on the highway between Rājagaha and Nalanda,[4]
saw the Exalted One seated at the shrine of the Many Children,
and seeing him I thought:

'0 to think that I may see the Master,
the Exalted One!

0 to think that I may see the Well-Farer,
the Exalted One!

0 to think that I may see the Supreme Buddha,
the Exalted One!'

And forthwith I fell prone
at the feet of the Exalted One
and said:

'My teacher, lord,
is the Exalted One!

His disciple am I!'"

Thereupon the Exalted One said:

'He, Kassapa, who,
not recognizing a disciple with his will thus fully made up,
should say
"I know,"
who not seeing him should say
"I [149] see,"
his head would split asunder.

But I, Kassapa, recognizing say
"I know,"
seeing say
"I see."

Wherefore, Kassapa,
thou must thus train thyself:

"There shall be a lively conscientiousness and discretion
manifested among seniors,
novices,
and them of middle status."

'Wherefore also, Kassapa,
thou must thus train thyself:

"Whatever doctrine I shall hear,
bearing upon what is good,
to all that doctrine
I will hearken with attentive ear,
digesting it,
pondering on it,
gathering it all up with my will."

'Wherefore also, Kassapa,
thou must thus train thyself:

"Happy mindfulness
with respect to the body
shall not be neglected by me."

Yea, thus must thou train thyself.'

Then the Exalted One, friend,
when he had thus exhorted me,
rose from his seat and departed.

And I, friend,
for seven days,
not yet liberated,[5]
ate the country's alms;[6]
on the eighth day
arose in me assurance of salvation.

Now it happened, friend,
that the Exalted One came off the road
and went up to the roots of a tree.

Then I folded my under-robe of cut cloths
into a square
and said this to him:

'May the lord the Exalted One sit down hereon,
that it may be for many a day
to my good and happiness.'

And the Exalted One sat down
on the seat I had prepared.

So seated, he said to me this:

'Soft, Kassapa, is thy underrobe of patched cloths.'

'Would the lord, the Exalted One, accept from me
the under robe of patched cloths
out of his compassion for me?'

'But wilt thou, Kassapa,
wear my rough rag-robes
that are past wear?'

'I will wear, lord,
the Exalted One's rough rag-robes past wear.'

And I, friend, made a gift to the Exalted One
of my patched-cloth under-robe,
while I used the rough rag-robes past wear
of the Exalted One.

Verily, friend, if one might speak truly of me,
truly might [150] he say
that here is a very son of the Exalted One,
born of his mouth,
born of the Norm,
created by the Norm,
heir of the Norm,[7]
who has received from him
his rough cast-off rag-robes.[8]

I, friend,
according as I desire [can],
aloof from sense and evil,
attain to
and abide in First Jhāna,
wherein thought is applied and sustained,
which is born of solitude
and filled with zest and pleasant emotion.[9]

I, friend,
according as I desire,
from the subsiding of thought applied and sustained,
[can] attain to
and abide in Second Jhāna,
which is inward tranquillizing,
uplifting of will,
where is no applying and sustaining of thought,
which is born of concentration
and filled with zest and pleasant emotion.

I, friend,
according as I desire,
from the fading out of zest,
[can] attain to
and abide in Third Jhāna,
abiding with even mind,
mindful and discerning,
aware in the body
of that pleasant emotion
whereof the Ariyans declare:

Happy doth he abide with even, lucid mind!

I, friend,
according as I desire,
from putting away both pleasant and painful emotion,
by the dying out
of the joy and sorrow I felt before,
[can] attain to
and abide in Fourth Jhāna,
that utterly pure lucidity
and indifference of mind,
wherein is neither happiness nor unhappiness.

I, friend,
according as I desire,
by passing entirely beyond the awareness of visible shapes,
by the dying out of the awareness of resistances,
by paying no heed to the awareness of diversity,
[can] attain to
and abide in
the conceptual sense of space as infinite,
thinking:

'Infinite is space.'

I, friend,
according as I desire,
when I have wholly passed beyond the sense of space as infinite,
[can] attain to
and abide in
the sense of consciousness as infinite, thinking

'Infinite is consciousness.'

I, friend,
according as I desire,
when I have wholly passed beyond the sense of consciousness as infinite,
[can] attain to
and abide in
the sense of nothingness, thinking,

'There is nothing.'

I, friend,
according as I desire,
when I have wholly passed beyond the sense of nothingness,
[can] attain to
and abide in
the sense of neither percipience nor non-percipience.

I, friend,
according as I desire,
when I have passed wholly beyond the sense of neither percipience nor non-perci-pience,
[can] attain to
and abide in [that state in which there is]
ceasing of percipience and feeling.

I, friend,
according as I desire,
enjoy manifold mystic power:

Being one I become many,
being many I become one;
here visible
there invisible
I go without let or hindrance through wall,
through rampart,
through hill,
as if through air;
I dive into earth
and up again
as if in water;
I walk on water
without cleaving it
as on earth;
I travel seated crosslegged through air
as if I were a bird on the wing;
I can handle and stroke with the hand
this moon and sun,
mighty and powerful though they be;
I can control the body
even to Brahma world."

I, friend,
according as I desire,
with with purified hearing of devas
passing that of men,
can hear sounds both of devas and of men
whether far or near.

I, friend,
according as I desire,
know in mind
the mind of other beings,
other persons,
I know the passionate heart as passionate,
the dispassionate heart as dispassionate,
I know the heart of hate as hating,
the heart of amity as amiable;
I know the dull heart as dull,
the intelligent heart as intelligent;
I know the confused mind as confused,
the intent mind as tense,
the lofty mind as such,
the mean mind as mean,
the far-seeing mind as far-seeing mind,
the cramped vision as cramped vision,
the concentrated mind as concentrated mind,
the desultory mind as desultory mind,
the freed mind as freed,
the bound mind as bound.

I, friend,
according as I desire,
can remember my divers former lives,
that is to say,
one birth,
or two,
or three,
or four,
or five births,
or ten,
twenty,
thirty,
forty,
fifty births,
or a hundred,
a thousand
or even a hundred thousand,
or even more than one seon of involution
or more than one aeon of evolution,
or more than one of both involution and evolution:
'Such an one was I by name,
of such a clan,
of such a social status,
so was I nourished,
such happy and painful experiences were mine,
so did the span of life end,
deceasing thence
so did I come to be,
there too was I such by name,
of such a clan,
of such a social station,
so was I nourished,
such happy and painful experiences were mine,
so did the span of life end,
deceasing thence
so did I come to be here:'
I can thus call to mind
in circumstance
and detail
my former lives.

I, friend,
according as I desire,
can behold with purified deva-vision
past that of man,
beings as they decease
and come to be
mean or excellent,
fair or foul,
I can know them going
according to their deeds
to weal or woe,
thinking:

'Lo! these good people
whose deeds were evil,
whose speech was evil,
whose thoughts were evil,
abusers of Ariyans,
having wrong views
and undertaking the acts that [come from] wrong views -
they at the breaking up of the body,
after death
have come to be
in the Waste,
the Woeful Way,
the Downfall,
hell.

Lo! those good people
whose deeds were good,
whose speech was good,
whose thoughts were good,
who abused not Ariyans,
of right views
and who undertook the acts that [come from] right views -
they at the breaking up of the body,
after death
have come to be in a good destiny,
in a bright world.'

Thus do I behold beings
with pure deva-sight
passing that of men,
how they decease,
and come to be
mean or excellent,
fair or foul,
I know them
as going according to their actions
to weal or woe.

And I, friend,
by the withering of the intoxicants,
have entered into
and abide in
that sane and immune emancipation of will,
that emancipation of insight
which I have come thoroughly to know
and to realize for myself
even in this present life.

It were as easy, friend,
to imagine that an elephant
seven to eight cubits high
could be hidden under a young palmleaf,
as to imagine that the six Super-knowledges of me
could be hidden.

But sister Fat Tissa fell away from the holy life.

 


[1] The southern portion of the hills lying round about Rājagaha - Comy. The time, it says, was just after the Parinibbana. Ānanda, as a new Arahant, with all the prestige of his intimacy with his great Master, and the possession of his bowl and robe, had become a notable personage.

[2] I.e., at a layman's house (Vin. Texts iii, 251).

[3] Dummanku-: dussīla-. Comy.

[4] Cf. Dialogues i, 1, and the Comy. Sumangala-Vilāsinī, i, 34.

[5] Sāṇo.

[6] Cf. Dhammapada, verse 308; cf. M. iii, 127.

[7] Cf. Dialogues iii, 81.

[8] Cf. Pss. of the Brethren, p. 361.

[9] The text after giving the First Jhāna formula resumes this and the rest as the nine achievements in due order, the five Super-knowledges, then states the sixth. [Ed.: Here fully expanded.] See Ī 9.

 


[ed1] Mrs. Rhys Davids incorrectly has Mahā Kassapa addressing Ānanda as 'your reverence' and also incorrectly has the next paragraph being spoken by Mahā Kassapa, and there addressing Ānanda as 'friend'.

[ed2] Mrs. Rhys Davids incorrectly has here: 'prescribed by the Order.'


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