Vinaya (3): The Cullavagga

by T. W. Rhys Davids | 1881 | 137,074 words

The Cullavagga (part of the Vinaya collection) includes accounts of the First and Second Buddhist Councils as well as the establishment of the community of Buddhist nuns. The Cullavagga also elaborates on the etiquette and duties of Bhikkhus....

Cullavagga, Khandaka 6, Chapter 4

1. Now at that time the householder Anātha Piṇḍika was the husband of the sister of the Rājagaha Seṭṭhi. And Anātha Piṇḍika the householder went to Rājagaha on some business or other. Now at that time the Saṃgha, with the Buddha at its head, had been bidden by the Seṭṭhi of Rājagaha for the morrow's meal. And the Seṭṭhi of Rājagaha gave command to his slaves and work-people, saying, 'So get up at early morn, my men, and cook congey, and cook rice, and prepare curries, and pre-pare delicacies[1]!' And it occurred to Anātha Piṇḍika the householder, 'Now formerly this householder was wont, when I arrived, to lay aside all other business, and exchange the greetings of courtesy with me; but now he appears excited, and is giving orders to his slaves and work-people. How can it be? Is he taking in marriage, or is he giving in marriage, or has he set a great sacrifice on foot, or has he invited the Māgadhan Seniya Bimbisāra, together with his retinue, for to-morrow's meal?'

2. Now when the Seṭṭhi of Rājagaha had given commandment to his slaves and his work-people, he went up to the place where Anātha Piṇḍika the householder was, and exchanged with him the greetings of courtesy, and took his seat on one side. And when he was so seated, Anātha Piṇḍika the householder [told him the thoughts that had passed through his mind].

'I am neither taking nor giving in marriage, O householder' (was the reply), 'nor have I invited the Māgadhan Seniya Bimbisāra to to-morrow's meal. But a great sacrifice I have set on foot, for the Saṃgha, with the Buddha at its head, has been invited for to-morrow's meal at my house.'

'Did you, O householder, say "the Buddha?"'

'Yes, it was "the Buddha" that I said.'

[And thrice the same question was put, and the same reply was given.]

'Hard is it, O householder, to meet even with the mere expression in the world—the news, that is, of "a Buddha, a Buddha[2]." Would it be possible for us, at this very time, to go and visit that Blessed One, the Arahat, the very Buddha[3]?'

'It is not now, O householder, the proper time to pay a visit to the Blessed One; but early on the morrow you shall go and visit him.'

Then Anātha Piṇḍika, pondering of the visit he was about to pay, lay down to sleep with his thoughts so bent upon the Buddha that thrice in the night he arose, thinking the daylight had appeared.

3. And Anātha Piṇḍika the householder went up to the gate leading to the Sītavana, and celestial beings opened the gate. And as he emerged from the city, the light disappeared and a thick darkness arose, and fear and trembling and consternation sprang up within him, so that a longing came upon him to turn back again from that spot. But Sīvaka the Yakkha, himself the while invisible, caused a sound to be heard, saying:

'A hundred elephants, a hundred steeds, a hundred chariots with mules[4],

'A hundred thousand virgins with their jewelled earrings on,- 'These are not worth, O householder, the sixteenth portion of one single stride.

'Go on, go on, O householder! Advance, and not retreat, shall profit thee.'

Then the darkness disappeared before Anātha Piṇḍika the householder, and a bright light arose, and the fear and trembling and consternation that had sprung upon within him were appeased.

[And a second and a third time the same thing happened, and the same words were heard, and with the same result.]

4. And Anātha Piṇḍika the householder arrived at the Sītavana; and at that time the Blessed One, who had arisen at early dawn, was walking up and down (meditating) in the open air. And the Blessed One saw Anātha Piṇḍika the householder when he was coming from afar; and the Blessed One left the place where he had been, walking up and down, and sat himself down on the seat put out for him. And when he was so seated, he addressed Anātha Piṇḍika the householder, and said:

'Come hither, Sudatta!'

Then Anātha Piṇḍika, glad and happy at the thought that the Blessed One had addressed him by his name, went up to the place where the Blessed

One was, and bowed down before him, falling at his feet, and said:

'I trust my lord the Blessed One has slept in peace!'

'He ever sleeps in peace, the Arahat who is free[5],

'Who is not touched by lusts, but calm and free from sin[6],

'Has broken all the bars (to freedom of the mind)[7], has quenched the anguish in his heart,

'Has fixed peace in his mind, and peaceful, sleeps in peace[8].'

5[9]. Then the Blessed One discoursed to Anātha Piṇḍika the householder in due order; that is to say, he spake to him of giving, of righteousness, of heaven, of the danger, the vanity, and the defilement of lusts, and of the advantages of renunciation. And when the Blessed One saw that Anātha Piṇḍika the householder had become prepared, softened, unprejudiced, and upraised and believing in heart, then he proclaimed that which is the special doctrine of the Buddhas; that is to say, Suffering, its Origin, its Cessation, and the Path. And just as a clean cloth from which all stain has been washed away will readily take the dye, just even so did Anātha Piṇḍika the householder obtain, even while sitting there, the pure and spotless Eye of the Truth; (that is to say, the knowledge that) whatsoever has a beginning, in that is inherent also the necessity of dissolution. Thus did Anātha Piṇḍika the householder see, and master, and understand, and penetrate the Truth; and he overcame uncertainty, and dispelled all doubts, and gained full knowledge, becoming dependent upon no one else for his knowledge of the doctrine of the Teacher. And he addressed the Blessed One, and said:

'Most excellent, Lord (are the words of thy mouth), most excellent! Just as if a man were to set up that which is thrown down, or were to reveal that which is hidden away, or were to point out the right road to him who has gone astray, or were to bring a light into the darkness so that those who had eyes could see external forms just even so, Lord, has the Truth been made known to me, in many a figure, by the Blessed One. And I, even I, betake myself, Lord, to the Blessed One as my refuge, to the Truth, and to the Order. May the Blessed One accept me as a disciple, as one who, from this day forth as long as life endures. has taken his refuge in him. And may the Blessed One consent to accept at my hand the to-morrow's meal for himself and for his Order of Bhikkhus.'

Then the Blessed One, by silence, granted his consent. And when Anātha Piṇḍika the householder perceived that his request had been granted, he rose from his seat, and bowed down before the Blessed One, and keeping him on his right hand as he passed him, he departed thence.

6. Now the Seṭṭhi of Rājagaha heard that the Order of Bhikkhus which has the Buddha at its head had been invited by Anātha Piṇḍika the householder for the morrow's meal. And the Seṭṭhi of Rājagaha said to Anātha Piṇḍika the householder: 'They say, O householder, that you have invited the Bhikkhu-saṃgha, with the Buddha at its head, for the morrow's meal, and, you are but a stranger here. I will provide the means[10], O householder, for you to provide the Order of Bhikkhus, which has the Buddha at its head, with food.'

'It is not necessary, O householder; I have means sufficient for the purpose.'

[And the townsman of Rājagaha[11], and Seniya Bimbisāra the Rāja of Magadha, made the same offer in the same words, and received the same reply.]

7. Then Anātha Piṇḍika the householder, when the night was far spent, made ready in the house of the Seṭṭhi of Rājagaha sweet food both hard and soft, and had the time announced to the Blessed One, saying, 'The time, Lord, has come; and the meal is ready.'

And the Blessed One, when he had dressed himself in the early morning, went duly bowled and robed to the house of the Seṭṭhi of Rājagaha, and sat down there on the seat spread out for him, together with the Order of Bhikkhus. And Anātha Piṇḍika the householder offered to the Order of Bhikkhus which had the Buddha at its head the sweet food both hard and soft, waiting upon them with his own hand[12]. And when the Blessed One had finished his meal, and had cleansed his hands and his bowl, Anātha Piṇḍika took his seat on one side; and, so seated, he said to the Blessed One: 'May the Blessed One consent to spend the rainy season of Was at Sāvatthi, together with the Order of Bhikkhus.'

'The Tathāgatas, O householder, take pleasure in solitude.'

'I understand, O Blessed One; I understand, O Happy One' (was the reply)[13].

Then the Blessed One, after he had instructed and aroused and incited and gladdened Anātha Piṇḍika the householder with religious discourse, arose from his seat, and departed thence.

8. Now at that time Anātha Piṇḍika the householder had many friends and' large acquaintance, and his word was held of weight[14]. When he had brought the business he had in hand at Rājagaha to its conclusion, he set out towards Sāvatthi; and on the way he gave orders to people, saying, 'Build dwellings, my good men, and make rest-houses ready, and prepare gifts. A Buddha has appeared in the world, and that Blessed One has been invited by me, and by this road will he come.' And those people [did all even as they were commanded].

And when Anātha Piṇḍika the householder had arrived at Sāvatthi, he examined all the region round about it, saying[15], 'Where now shall I fix the place for the Blessed One to stay in, not too far from the town and not too near, convenient for going and for coming, easily accessible for all who wish to visit him, by day not too crowded, by night not exposed to too much noise and alarm, protected from the wind[16], hidden from men, well fitted for a retired life?'

9. And Anātha Piṇḍika the householder saw that the garden of Jeta the Kumāra had [all these advantages]. And when he saw that, he went to Jeta the Kumāra, and said to him, 'Sir, let me have your garden to make an Ārāma on it.'

'It is not, Sir, for sale, even for (a sum so great that the pieces of money would be sufficient to cover it if they were) laid side by side.'

'I take, Sir, the garden at the price.'

'No, O householder, there was no bargain meant[17].' Then they asked the lords of justice whether a bargain of sale had been made or not. And the lords decided thus: 'The Ārāma is taken, Sir, at the price which you fixed.'

And Anātha Piṇḍika the householder had gold brought down in carts, and covered the Jetavana with (pieces) laid side by side[18].

10. Now the gold that he had brought down the first time did not suffice (after the rest of the garden was covered) to cover one small space close by the gateway. So Anātha Piṇḍika the householder told his servants to go back and fetch more gold, saying he would cover that piece also.

Then thought Jeta the Kumāra, 'This can be no ordinary matter[19] for which this householder is ready to lavish so much gold!' And he said to Anātha Piṇḍika the householder, 'It is enough, O householder. You need not have that space covered. Let me have that space, and it shall be my gift.'

Then Anātha Piṇḍika the householder thought[20], 'This Jeta the Kumāra is a very distinguished and illustrious person. Great would be the efficacy of the adherence of so well known a man as he to this doctrine and discipline.' And he gave up that space to Jeta the Kumāra. And Jeta the Prince erected thereon a gateway, with a room over it.

And Anātha Piṇḍika the householder built[21] dwelling-rooms, and retiring-rooms, and store-rooms (over the gateways), and service halls, and halls with fire-places in them, and storehouses (outside the Vihāra)[22], and closets, and cloisters, and halls for exercise, and wells, and sheds for the well[23], and bath-rooms, and halls attached to the bath-rooms, and ponds, and open-roofed sheds[24].

Footnotes and references:


Uttari-bhaṅgaṃ. Childers sub voce uttari is in doubt what the meaning of this phrase is. It is no longer uncertain that the word means 'delicacy' of some sort. Whether the term was more precise, and denoted some particular delicacy or not, is still doubtful. Compare the passages quoted in our note above on Mahāvagga VI, 14, 3 (adding Jātaka I, 186, and Cullavagga IV, 4, 5, VIII, 4, 4), which show that it was eaten with boiled rice or congey; is mentioned along with ghee and oil; and could be made from the flesh (or other parts) of a sucking-pig. If it were not for the latter circumstance (Jātaka I, 197) it might well be pickles or chutney.


'Much more so with the reality' is to be understood. Compare Mahā-parinibbāna Sutta VI, 63 (at the end).


On this rendering of Sammā-sambuddhaṃ, see Rh. D.'s Hibbert Lectures,' pp. 145-147.


Assatari. Compare vacchatarī at Mahāvagga V, 9, 1, 3. The word recurs below at VII, 2, 5.


Brāhmaṇo parinibbuto. To translate the first of these words by 'Brahman' would mislead English readers. It is constantly used in early Buddhist texts for Arahat. On the use of parinibbuto not in the sense of 'dead,' but of a living man in the sense of 'spiritually free,' compare Dhammapada, verse 89; Sutta Nipāta II, 13, I, 12, III, 12, 35; and Mahā-parinibbāna Sutta IV, 3.


Nirūpadhi, i.e. free from Kāma, Kilesa, and Kamma.


Sabbā āsattiyo chetvā. Having cut or broken all the āsatti's (from the root sañj, 'to hang'), the things which hang on to and burden a man in his spiritual progress. Compare the figure of speech at Jātaka I, 5 (āsattaṃ kuṇapaṃ chaddetvā). Buddhaghosa says sabbā āsattiyo chetvā ti . . . . hadaye darathaṃ citte kilesa-darathaṃ jinetvā.


Vineyya and appuya are no doubt gerunds. In a corresponding passage of the Aṅguttara Nikāya the Phayre MS. reads appeyya, which smoothes over a difficulty at the expense of the better reading.


The following section is in identical terms with Mahāvagga I, 7, 5, 10, V, I, 9, 10, VI, 26, 8, 9.


Veyyāyikaṃ formed from vyaya, expenditure. Veyyāyikan ti vayakaraṇaṃ vuccati (B.).


Rājagahako negamo. This person has been already mentioned, and there also in intimate connection with the Seṭṭhi of Rājagaha, in the Mahāvagga VIII, 1, 2, 16. It is tolerably clear from the connection that this is no ordinary citizen, but one holding a distinct and semi-official position. In this respect the word is an exact parallel to its neighbour the Seṭṭhi. For instances of the word in its more general sense, see Kaccāyana (ed. Senart), p. 219, and Dāṭhāvaṃsa III, 3.


Compare the note on Mahāvagga I, 8, 4.


Aññātaṃ bhagavā aññātaṃ sugatā ti. The first word is the standing expression used when the Buddha or a Thera has signified a request, not in so many words, but in some phrase from which the request may be implied, and the person addressed desires to express that he has perceived the intended implication. Compare Dīpavaṃsa XIV, 65, XV, 5.


Adeyyavāco ti tassa vacanaṃ bahujanā mānetabbaṃ maññantī ti attho (B.). In Puggala III, 11, we have the phrase tassa vacanaṃ ādheyyaṃ gacchati, which the commentary explains by hadaye ādhātabbaṃ ṭhapitabbaṃ.


The following speech is identical with that put into Bimbisāra's mouth on choosing the Veḷuvana, above Mahāvagga I, 22, 16, 17.


Vijanavātaṃ, of which neither the reading nor the meaning is certain. See the various forms given from the commentaries in the notes on the text of the passage in the Mahāvagga, loc. cit.


Na gahito: literally, 'it is not taken.'


It is evident from the illustration of this story on a bas relief at the Bharhut Tope that these pieces of money were supposed to be square, not round. See Cunningham's 'The Stūpa of Bharhut,' Plate No. LVII and pp. 84-86.


Na orakaṃ bhavissati. Compare Mahāvagga I, y, I, and the commencement of our next chapter below. The idiom recurs in VII, 3, 3.


The following phrase is identical with that put into the mouth of Ānanda, at Mahāvagga VI, 36, 3, with respect to Roja the Malla. In the text here there is a slight misprint; the full-stop after ñātamanusso should be struck out.


With the following list should be compared the list of things that laymen build for themselves given in Mahāvagga III, 5, 7.


Kappiya-kuṭiyo. See Mahāvagga VI, 33.


Udapāna-sālāyo. See above, V, 16, 2.


Maṇḍape. See Mahāvagga VIII, 1, 1, and above, Cullavagga VI, 3, 7.

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