Vinaya Pitaka (3): Khandhaka

by I. B. Horner | 2014 | 386,194 words | ISBN-13: 9781921842160

The English translation of the Khandhaka: the second book of the Pali Vinaya Pitaka, one of the three major ‘baskets’ of Therevada canonical literature. It is a collection of various narratives. The English translation of the Vinaya-pitaka (third part, khandhaka) contains many Pali original words, but transliterated using a system similar to the I...

On the going forth of Sāriputta and Moggallāna

Kd.1.23.1 At that time the wanderer Sañjaya[1] was residing in Rājagaha together with a great company of wanderers, with two hundred and fifty wanderers. Now at that time Sāriputta and Moggallāna fared the Brahma-faring under the wanderer Sañjaya, and an agreement came to be formed by these: “Whoever attains the deathless first, let him announce it.”

Kd.1.23.2 Then the venerable Assaji,[2]having dressed in the morning, taking his bowl and robe, entered Rājagaha for almsfood. He was pleasing whether he was approaching or departing, whether he was looking in front or looking behind, whether he was drawing in or stretching out (his arm), his eyes were cast down, he was possessed of pleasant behaviour.[3] The wanderer Sāriputta saw the venerable Assaji walking for almsfood in Rājagaha—pleasing whether he was approaching … possessed of pleasant behaviour—and seeing him, it occurred to him: “This is one of those monks who are indeed perfected ones in the world or who have entered on the way to perfection. What Vin.1.40 now if I, having approached this monk, should ask him: ‘On account of whom are you, your reverence, gone forth, or who is your teacher, or whose dhamma do you profess’?[4]

Kd.1.23.3 Then it occurred to the wanderer Sāriputta: “But it is not the right time to question this monk, he has gone in among the houses, he is walking for almsfood. What now if I should follow close after this monk who has learnt a way for those who need it[5]?” Then the venerable Assaji, having walked BD.4.53 for almsfood in Rājagaha, taking his almsbowl, returned. Then the wanderer Sāriputta approached the venerable Assaji; having approached, he exchanged greetings with the venerable Assaji; having exchanged courteous and friendly greetings, he stood at a respectful distance. As he was standing at a respectful distance, the wanderer Sāriputta spoke thus to the venerable Assaji: “Your reverence, your faculties are quite pure, your complexion very bright, very clear. On account of whom, your reverence, have you gone forth, or who is your teacher, or whose dhamma do you profess[6]?”

Kd.1.23.4 “There is, friend, a great recluse, a son of the Sakyans, gone forth from a Sakyan family. I have gone forth on account of this Lord and this Lord is my teacher and I profess this Lord’s dhamma.”

“But what is the doctrine of your reverence’s teacher, what does he point out?”

“Now, I, friend, am new,[7] not long gone forth, fresh to this dhamma and discipline. I am not able to teach you dhamma in full, but I can tell you its purport[8] briefly.”

Then the wanderer Sāriputta spoke thus to the venerable Assaji: “So be it, your reverence, tell me little or tell me much, (but) in any case explain to me its purport; I want just its purport. Why should you make a great elaboration[9]?”

Kd.1.23.5 Then the venerable Assaji uttered this terse expression[10] of dhamma to the wanderer Sāriputta:

BD.4.54 “Those things which proceed from a cause,
of these the Truth-finder has told the cause,
And that which is their stopping—
the great recluse has such a doctrine.”[11]

When the wanderer Sāriputta had heard this terse expression of dhamma, there arose dhamma-vision, dustless, stainless, that “Whatever is of the nature to uprise all that is of the nature to stop.” He said: “If this is indeed dhamma, you have penetrated as far as the sorrowless path, unseen, neglected for many myriads of ӕons.”[12]

Kd.1.23.6 Then the wanderer Sāriputta approached the wanderer Moggallāna. Then the wanderer Moggallāna saw the wanderer Sāriputta coming in the distance, and seeing Vin.1.41 the wanderer Sāriputta, he spoke thus: “Friend, your faculties are quite pure, your complexion very bright, very clear. Can it be that you, friend, have attained the deathless?”

“Yes, friend, I have attained the deathless.”

“But how did you, friend, attain the deathless?”

Kd.1.23.7 “Now, I, friend, saw the venerable Assaji walking for almsfood in Rājagaha—pleasing whether he was approaching or departing … as at Kd.1.23.2

Kd.1.23.8 “Then, friend, it occurred to me: ‘But it is not the right time to question this monk … as at Kd.1.23.3, Kd.1.23.4

Kd.1.23.9 “Then, friend, the venerable Assaji uttered this terse expression of dhamma:

‘Those things which proceed from a cause,
of these the Truthfinder has told the cause,
And that which is their stopping—
the great recluse has such a doctrine.’”

When the wanderer Moggallāna had heard this terse expression of dhamma Vin.1.42as at Kd.1.23.5

Kd.1.24.1 BD.4.55 Then the wanderer Moggallāna spoke thus to the wanderer Sāriputta: “Let us go, friend, to the Lord, (for) this Lord is the teacher for us.”

“Friend, these two hundred and fifty wanderers are staying here because of us, looking to us; do let us consult them so that they may do what they think (right).” Then Sāriputta and Moggallāna approached these wanderers; having approached, they spoke thus to these wanderers:

“We are going, friends, to the Lord, (for) this Lord is the teacher for us.”

“We, venerable ones, are staying here because of you, looking to you. If the venerable ones will fare the Brahma-faring under the great recluse all of us will fare the Brahma-faring under the great recluse.”

Kd.1.24.2 Then Sāriputta and Moggallāna approached the wanderer Sañjaya; having approached they spoke thus to the wanderer Sañjaya: “Sir, we are going to the Lord, (for) this Lord is the teacher for us.”

“No, friends, do not go; we three will one and all look after this group.” And a second time … And a third time … “… will look after this group.”

Kd.1.24.3 Then Sāriputta and Moggallāna, taking those two hundred and fifty wanderers, approached the Bamboo Grove; but on that self-same spot hot blood issued from the mouth of Sañjaya the wanderer.[13] The Lord saw Sāriputta and Moggallāna coming in the distance; seeing them, he addressed the monks saying:

“Monks, these two friends, Kolita and Upatissa,[14] are coming. This pair of disciples will be my chief, my eminent pair.”[15]

When, in the deep sphere of knowledge,
they had attained the matchless freedom
in which there is destruction of attachments,[16]
then the teacher explained about them
in the Bamboo Grove:

“These two friends,
Kolita and Upatissa, are coming.
This pair of disciples will be my chief,
my eminent pair.”

Kd.1.24.4 BD.4.56 Then Sāriputta and Moggallāna approached the Lord; Vin.1.43 having approached, having inclined their heads to the Lord’s feet, they spoke thus to the Lord: “Lord, may we receive the going forth in the Lord’s presence, may we receive ordination?”

“Come, monks,” the Lord said, “well taught is dhamma fare the Brahma-faring for making an utter end of ill.” So this was these venerable ones’ ordination.


Kd.1.24.5 Now at that time very distinguished young men belonging to respectable families of Magadha were faring the Brahma-faring under the Lord. People looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying: “The recluse Gotama gets along by making (us) childless, the recluse Gotama gets along by making (us) widows, the recluse Gotama gets along by breaking up families. A thousand matted hair ascetics have now been allowed to go forth by him, and these two hundred and fifty wanderers of Sañjaya have been allowed to go forth, and these very distinguished young men belonging to respectable families of Magadha are faring the Brahma-faring under the recluse Gotama.” Moreover, having seen the monks, they reproved them in this verse:

“The great recluse has come
to Giribbaja of the Magadhese
Leading all Sañjaya’s (followers).
Who will now be led by him?”

Kd.1.24.6 Monks heard these who … spread it about. Then these monks told this matter to the Lord. He said: “Monks, this noise will not last for long, it will last only for seven days, after seven days it will cease. Therefore, monks, if they reprove you in this verse:

‘The great recluse has come
to Giribbaja[17] of the Magadhese
Leading all Sañjaya’s (followers).
Who will now be led by him?’

You should reprove them in reply in this verse:

‘Verily great heroes, Truthfinders,
lead by what is true dhamma.
Who would be jealous of the wise,
leading by dhamma?’”

Kd.1.24.7 BD.4.57 Now at that time the people, having seen the monks, reproved them in this verse:

“The great recluse has come
to Giribbaja of the Magadhese
Leading all Sañjaya’s (followers).
Who will now be led by him?”

The monks reproved these people in reply in this verse:

“Verily great heroes, Truthfinders,
lead by what is true dhamma.
Who would be jealous of the wise,
leading by dhamma?” Vin.1.44

With the people saying: “It is said that the recluses, sons of the Sakyans, lead by dhamma, not by what is not-dhamma,” that noise lasted exactly seven days, after seven days it ceased.

Kd.1.24.8 Told is the Going Forth of Sāriputta and Moggallāna.

Told is the Fourth Portion for Repeating.

Footnotes and references:

1.

Dictionary of Pali Proper Names, ii.p.1000 identifies him with Sañjaya-Belaṭṭhiputta, one of the six famous heretical teachers of Gotama’s days, and whose doctrines are given at DN.i.58. See also Mrs. Rhys Davids, Sakya, p.123.

2.

This Assaji was one of “the group of five” friends to whom Gotama addressed his first and second Utterances. See Mrs. Rhys Davids, Sakya, p.122ff. for the view that the “subject of causation … is due directly to Assaji,” and her Gotama the Man, p.76f., p.108, p.242, Manual of Buddhism, p.215.

3.

Stock. Cf. e.g. MN.iii.35, MN.iii.90, DN.i.79, AN.ii.104, AN.ii.106, AN.ii.210, Vin.3.180.

4.

Cf. above Kd.1.6.7.

5.

atthikehi upaññātaṃ maggaṃ. Vin-a.975 says this means either a way that is known and practiced; or, there will be deathlessness for us who need it; and thus upaññāta means nibbāna, and so the meaning here is: tracking (or wayfaring after, magganto), seeking this.

6.

As at Kd.1.6.7.

7.

nava. If occurring with bhikkhu means a recently ordained monk. But not so combined here. It can also mean young, but other evidence is lacking to show that Assaji, the last of the group of five to attain dhamma-vision Kd.1.6.36 was young in years. He was however young in standing as a follower of Gotama, newly ordained.

8.

attha. This whole passage is controversial. Mrs. Rhys Davids takes attha here as “the well, the good,” Sakya, p.134f.; Coomaraswamy, Some Pali Words, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, vol.4, no.2, July 1939, p.172f. as “purport”. On the whole I am inclined to agree with his interpretation of the passage. See also E.J. Thomas, Life of Buddha, etc., p.93f.

9.

vyañjana. See Coomaraswamy, Some Pali Words, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, vol.4, no.2, July 1939, p.171ff. E.J. Thomas, Life of Buddha as Legend and History, p.94, n.1, says that this is a verse “in āryā metre … even if now corrupted”, and he prints it as verse as does Norman at Dhp-a.1.92.

10.

pariyāya, formula, paraphrase, circumlocution, see Coomaraswamy, Some Pali Words, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, vol.4, no.2, July 1939, p.172, n.1. Perhaps “epitome ”. Cf. AN.iv.63, where dhamma-pariyāya also appears to refer to verses.

11.

Referred to at Ja.i.85.

12.

= Tha-ap.i.149. See Mrs. Rhys Davids, Sakya, p.135. Vin-a.976 takes the phrase to mean “this sorrowless path, unseen by us for many myriads of aeons is neglected” (or passed by, abbhatītam). Or, taking abbhatītam to mean “in the past, what is passed and over”, this passage could be translated; “unseen by us for many myriads of ӕons in the past.”

13.

See Vinaya Texts i.149, n.1.

14.

Moggallāna was named Kolita, probably after his village, where he was born; Upatissa was Sāriputta’s name, as he is recorded to say at MN.i.150, “but my fellow Brahma-farers know me as Sāriputta”—a name derived from his mother’s, Rūpasārī.

15.

Quoted at Dhp-a.i.95.

16.

See Vinaya Texts i.149, n.3, for note on “extraordinary grammatical construction” of this passage. Note by Sujato: The reason for the “extraordinary grammatical construction” is that the passage is in verse, which was not recognized by editor or translator. I have not changed the text, but I have formatted it as verse.

17.

A name for Rājagaha, cf. Snp.408. Literally “cow-pen”. Vin-a.97 says Giribbaja was a town in the country of the Magadhese.