II. Nidāna Vagga
21. Bhikkhu Saɱyutta
The Connected Discourses of the Buddha
The Book of Causation Nidāna-Vagga
21. Connected Discourses with Bhikkhus
Ghaṭo or Mahā-Nāga Suttaɱ
Translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi
Copyright Bhikkhu Bodhi 2000, The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Wisdom Publications, 2000)
This selection from The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Saɱyutta Nikāya by Bhikkhu Bodhi is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthī in Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.
Now on that occasion the Venerable Sāriputta and the Venerable Mahā Moggallāna were dwelling at Rājagaha in a single dwelling in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrel Sanctuary.
Then, in the evening, the Venerable Sāriputta emerged from seclusion and approached the Venerable Mahā Moggallāna.
He exchanged greetings with the Venerable Mahā Moggallāna and, when they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, he sat down to one side and said to him:
"Friend Moggallāna, your faculties are serene, your facial complexion is pure and bright.
Has the Venerable Mahā Moggallāna spent the day in a peaceful dwelling?"
"I spent the day in a gross dwelling, friend, but I did have some Dhamma talk."
"With whom did the Venerable Mahā Moggallāna have some Dhamma talk?"
"I had some Dhamma talk with the Blessed One, friend."
"But the Blessed One is far away, friend.
He is now dwelling at Sāvatthī in Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.
Did the Venerable Mahā Moggallāna approach the Blessed One by means of spiritual power, or did the Blessed One approach the Venerable Mahā Moggallāna by means of spiritual power."
 "I didn't approach the Blessed One by means of spiritual power, friend, nor did the Blessed One approach me by means of spiritual power.
Rather, the Blessed One cleared his divine eye and divine ear element to communicate with me, and I cleared my divine eye and divine ear element to communicate with the Blessed One."
"What kind of Dhamma talk did the Venerable Mahā Moggallāna have with the Blessed One?"
"Here, friend, I said to the Blessed One:
'Venerable sir, it is said,
"one with energy aroused, one with energy aroused."
In what way, venerable sir, does one have energy aroused?'
The Blessed One then said to me:
'Here, Moggallāna, a bhikkhu with energy aroused dwells thus:
"Willingly, let only my skin, sinews, and bones remain, and let the flesh and blood dry up in my body, but I will not relax my energy so long as I have not attained what can be attained by manly strength, by manly energy, by manly exertion."
It is in such a way, Moggallāna, that one has aroused energy.'
Such, friend, is the Dhamma talk that I had with the Blessed One."
"Friend, compared to the Venerable Mahā Moggallāna we are like a few grains of gravel compared to the Himalayas, the king of mountains.
For the Venerable Mahā Moggallāna is of such great spiritual power and might that if so he wished he could live on for an aeon."
"Friend, compared to the Venerable Sāriputta we are like a few grains of salt compared to a barrel of salt.
 For the Venerable Sāriputta has been extolled, lauded, and praised in many ways by the Blessed One:
"'As Sāriputta is supreme
In wisdom, virtue, and peace,
So a bhikkhu who has gone beyond
At best can only equal him."
In this manner both these great nāgas rejoiced in what was well stated and well declared by the other.