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The Connected Discourses of the Buddha - Selections

Chapter 35. Saḷāyatanasaṃyutta: Connected Discourses on the Six Sense Bases
Division III. The Third Fifty

III. The Householder

124 (1) At Vesālī
On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Vesālī in the Great Wood in the Hall with the Peaked Roof. Then the householder Ugga of Vesālī approached the Blessed One … and said to him.…
    (The question and the reply are exactly the same as in §118.)

125 (2) Among the Vajjians
On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Vajjians at Hatthigāma. Then the householder Ugga of Hatthigāma approached the Blessed One … and said to him.…
    (As in §118.) [110]

126 (3) At Nālandā
On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Nālandā in Pāvārika’s Mango Grove. Then the householder Upāli approached the Blessed One … and said to him.…
    (As in §118.)

127 (4) Bhāradvāja
On one occasion the Venerable Piṇḍola Bhāradvāja was dwelling at Kosambī in Ghosita’s Park. Then King Udena approached the Venerable Piṇḍola Bhāradvāja and exchanged greetings with him. When they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, he sat down to one side and said to him:
    “Master Bhāradvāja, what is the cause and reason why these young bhikkhus, lads with black hair, endowed with the blessing of youth, in the prime of life, who have not dallied with sensual pleasures, lead the complete and pure holy life all their lives and maintain it continuously?”
    “Great king, this was said by the Blessed One who knows and sees, the Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One: ‘Come, bhikkhus, towards women old enough to be your mother set up the idea that they are your mother; [111] towards those of an age to be your sisters set up the idea that they are your sisters; towards those young enough to be your daughters set up the idea that they are your daughters.’ This is a cause and reason, great king, why these young bhikkhus … lead the complete and pure holy life all their lives and maintain it continuously.”
    “The mind is wanton, Master Bhāradvāja. Sometimes states of lust arise even towards women old enough to be one’s mother; sometimes they arise towards women of an age to be one’s sister; sometimes they arise towards women young enough to be one’s daughter. Is there any other cause and reason why these young bhikkhus … lead the complete and pure holy life all their lives and maintain it continuously?”
    “Great king, this was said by the Blessed One who knows and sees, the Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One: ‘Come, bhikkhus, review this very body upwards from the soles of the feet, downwards from the tips of the hairs, enclosed in skin, as full of many kinds of impurities: “There are in this body head-hairs, body-hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone-marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, contents of the stomach, excrement, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, saliva, snot, fluid of the joints, urine.”’ This too, great king, is a cause and reason why these young bhikkhus … lead the complete and pure holy life all their lives and maintain it continuously.”
    “That is easy, Master Bhāradvāja, for those bhikkhus who are developed in body, developed in virtue, developed in mind, developed in wisdom. But it is difficult for those bhikkhus who are undeveloped in body, undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind, undeveloped in wisdom. Sometimes, though one thinks, ‘I will attend to the body as foul,’ one beholds it as beautiful. [112] Is there any other cause and reason why these young bhikkhus … lead the complete and pure holy life all their lives and maintain it continuously?”
    “Great king, this was said by the Blessed One who knows and sees, the Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One: ‘Come, bhikkhus, dwell guarding the doors of the sense faculties. Having seen a form with the eye, do not grasp its signs and features. Since, if you leave the eye faculty unguarded, evil unwholesome states of covetousness and displeasure might invade you, practise the way of its restraint, guard the eye faculty, undertake the restraint of the eye faculty. Having heard a sound with the ear … Having smelt an odour with the nose … Having savoured a taste with the tongue … Having felt a tactile object with the body … Having cognized a mental phenomenon with the mind, do not grasp its signs and features. Since, if you leave the mind faculty unguarded, evil unwholesome states of covetousness and displeasure might invade you, practise the way of its restraint, guard the mind faculty, undertake the restraint of the mind faculty.’ This too, great king, is a cause and reason why these young bhikkhus … lead the complete and pure holy life all their lives and maintain it continuously.”
    “It is wonderful, Master Bhāradvāja! It is amazing, Master Bhāradvāja! How well this has been stated by the Blessed One who knows and sees, the Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One. So this is the cause and reason why these young bhikkhus, lads with black hair, endowed with the blessing of youth, in the prime of life, who have not dallied with sensual pleasures, lead the complete and pure holy life all their lives and maintain it continuously. In my case too, when I enter my harem unguarded in body, speech, and mind, without setting up mindfulness, unrestrained in the sense faculties, on that occasion states of lust assail me forcefully. But when I enter my harem guarded in body, speech, and mind, [113] with mindfulness set up, restrained in the sense faculties, on that occasion states of lust do not assail me in such a way.
    “Magnificent, Master Bhāradvāja! Magnificent, Master Bhāradvāja! The Dhamma has been made clear in many ways by Master Bhāradvāja, as though he were turning upright what had been turned upside down, revealing what was hidden, showing the way to one who was lost, or holding up a lamp in the dark for those with eyesight to see forms. Master Bhāradvāja, I go for refuge to the Blessed One, and to the Dhamma, and to the Bhikkhu Saṅgha. From today let Master Bhāradvāja remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life.”

128 (5) Soṇa
On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Rājagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrel Sanctuary. Then the householder’s son Soṇa approached the Blessed One … and said to him.….
    (As in §118.)

129 (6) Ghosita
On one occasion the Venerable Ānanda was dwelling at Kosambī in Ghosita’s Park. Then the householder Ghosita approached the Venerable Ānanda … and said to him: [114] “Venerable Ānanda, it is said, ‘diversity of elements, diversity of elements.’ In what way, venerable sir, has the diversity of elements been spoken of by the Blessed One?”
    “Householder, there exists the eye element, and forms that are agreeable, and eye-consciousness: in dependence on a contact to be experienced as pleasant, a pleasant feeling arises. There exists the eye element, and forms that are disagreeable, and eye-consciousness: in dependence on a contact to be experienced as painful, a painful feeling arises. There exists the eye element, and forms that are a basis for equanimity, and eye-consciousness: in dependence on a contact to be experienced as neither-painful-nor-pleasant, a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling arises.
    “Householder, there exists the ear element … the nose element … the tongue element … the body element … the mind element, and mental phenomena that are agreeable, and mind-consciousness: in dependence on a contact to be experienced as pleasant, a pleasant feeling arises. There exists the mind element, and mental phenomena that are disagreeable, and mind-consciousness: in dependence on a contact to be experienced as painful, a painful feeling arises. There exists the mind element, and mental phenomena that are a basis for equanimity, and mind-consciousness: in dependence on a contact to be experienced as neither-painful-nor-pleasant, a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling arises.
    “It is in this way, householder, that the diversity of elements has been spoken of by the Blessed One.” [115]

130 (7) Hāliddakāni
Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Venerable Mahākaccāna was dwelling among the people of Avantī on Mount Papāta at Kuraraghara. Then the householder Hāliddakāni approached the Venerable Mahākaccāna … and said to him:
    “Venerable sir, it was said by the Blessed One: ‘It is in dependence on the diversity of elements that there arises the diversity of contacts; in dependence on the diversity of contacts that there arises the diversity of feelings.’ How is this so, venerable sir?”
    “Here, householder, having seen a form with the eye, a bhikkhu understands an agreeable one thus: ‘Such it is!’ There is eye-consciousness, and in dependence on a contact to be experienced as pleasant there arises a pleasant feeling. Then, having seen a form with the eye, a bhikkhu understands a disagreeable one thus: ‘Such it is!’ There is eye-consciousness, and in dependence on a contact to be experienced as painful there arises a painful feeling. Then, having seen a form with the eye, a bhikkhu understands one that is a basis for equanimity thus: ‘Such it is!’ There is eye-consciousness, and in dependence on a contact to be experienced as neither-painful-nor-pleasant there arises a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.
    “Further, householder, having heard a sound with the ear … having smelt an odour with the nose … having savoured a taste with the tongue … having felt a tactile object with the body … having cognized a mental phenomenon with the mind, a bhikkhu understands an agreeable one thus … [116] … a disagreeable one thus … one that is a basis for equanimity thus: ‘Such it is!’ There is mind-consciousness, and in dependence on a contact to be experienced as neither-painful-nor-pleasant there arises a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.
    “It is in this way, householder, that in dependence on the diversity of elements there arises the diversity of contacts, and in dependence on the diversity of contacts there arises the diversity of feelings.”

131 (8) Nakulapitā
On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Bhaggas at Suṃsumāragira in the Bhesakaḷā Grove, the Deer Park. Then the householder Nakulapitā approached the Blessed One … and said to him.…
    (As in §118.)

132 (9) Lohicca
On one occasion the Venerable Mahākaccāna was dwelling among the people of Avantī in a forest hut at Makkarakaṭa. [117] Then a number of brahmin youths, students of the brahmin Lohicca, while collecting firewood, approached the Venerable Mahākaccāna’s forest hut. Having approached, they stomped and trampled all around the hut, and in a boisterous and noisy manner they played various pranks, saying: “These shaveling ascetics, menials, swarthy offspring of the Lord’s feet, are honoured, respected, esteemed, worshipped, and venerated by their servile devotees.”
    Then the Venerable Mahākaccāna came out of his dwelling and said to those brahmin youths: “Don’t make any noise, boys. I will speak to you on the Dhamma.” When this was said, those youths became silent. Then the Venerable Mahākaccāna addressed those youths with verses:

“Those men of old who excelled in virtue,
 Those brahmins who recalled the ancient rules,
 Their sense doors guarded, well protected,
 Dwelt having vanquished wrath within.
 They took delight in Dhamma and meditation,
 Those brahmins who recalled the ancient rules.

“But these have fallen, claiming ‘We recite.’
 Puffed up by clan, faring unrighteously,
 Overcome by anger, armed with diverse weapons,
 They molest both frail and firm.

“For one with sense doors unguarded
 [All the vows he undertakes] are vain
 Just like the wealth a man gains in a dream: [118]
 Fasting and sleeping on the ground,
 Bathing at dawn, [study of] the three Vedas,
 Rough hides, matted locks, and dirt;
 Hymns, rules and vows, austerities,
 Hypocrisy, bent staffs, ablutions:
 These emblems of the brahmins
 Are used to increase their worldly gains.

“A mind that is well concentrated,
 Clear and free from blemish,
 Tender towards all sentient beings—
 That is the path for attaining Brahmā.”

Then those brahmin youths, angry and displeased, approached the brahmin Lohicca and told him: “See now, sir, you should know that the ascetic Mahākaccāna categorically denigrates and scorns the hymns of the brahmins.”
    When this was said, the brahmin Lohicca was angry and displeased. But then it occurred to him: “It is not proper for me to abuse and revile the ascetic Mahākaccāna solely on the basis of what I have heard from these youths. Let me approach him and inquire.”
    Then the brahmin Lohicca, together with those brahmin youths, approached the Venerable Mahākaccāna. [119] He exchanged greetings with the Venerable Mahākaccāna and, when they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, he sat down to one side and said to him: “Master Kaccāna, did a number of brahmin youths, my students, come this way while collecting firewood?”
    “They did, brahmin.”
    “Did Master Kaccāna have any conversation with them?”
    “I did have a conversation with them, brahmin.”
    “What kind of conversation did you have with them, Master Kaccāna?”
    “The conversation I had with those youths was like this:

“‘Those men of old who excelled in virtue,
  Those brahmins who recalled the ancient rules, …
  Tender towards all sentient beings—
  That is the path for attaining Brahmā.’

Such was the conversation that I had with those youths.”
    “Master Kaccāna said ‘with sense doors unguarded.’ In what way, Master Kaccāna, is one ‘with sense doors unguarded’?”
    “Here, brahmin, having seen a form with the eye, someone is intent upon a pleasing form and repelled by a displeasing form. He dwells without having set up mindfulness of the body, with a limited mind, [120] and he does not understand as it really is that liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder. Having heard a sound with the ear … Having cognized a mental phenomenon with the mind, someone is intent upon a pleasing mental phenomenon and repelled by a displeasing mental phenomenon. He dwells without having set up mindfulness of the body … cease without remainder. It is in such a way, brahmin, that one is ‘with sense doors unguarded.’”
    “It is wonderful, Master Kaccāna! It is amazing, Master Kaccāna! How Master Kaccāna has declared one whose sense doors are actually unguarded to be one ‘with sense doors unguarded’! But Master Kaccāna said ‘with sense doors guarded.’ In what way, Master Kaccāna, is one ‘with sense doors guarded’?”
    “Here, brahmin, having seen a form with the eye, someone is not intent upon a pleasing form and not repelled by a displeasing form. He dwells having set up mindfulness of the body, with a measureless mind, and he understands as it really is that liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder. Having heard a sound with the ear … Having cognized a mental phenomenon with the mind, someone is not intent upon a pleasing mental phenomenon and not repelled by a displeasing mental phenomenon. He dwells having set up mindfulness of the body … cease without remainder. It is in such a way, brahmin, that one is ‘with sense doors guarded.’”
    “It is wonderful, Master Kaccāna! It is amazing, Master Kaccāna! [121] How Master Kaccāna has declared one whose sense doors are actually guarded to be one ‘with sense doors guarded’! Magnificent, Master Kaccāna! Magnificent, Master Kaccāna! The Dhamma has been made clear in many ways by Master Kaccāna … (as in §127) … From today let Master Kaccāna remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life.
    “Let Master Kaccāna approach the Lohicca family just as he approaches the families of the lay followers in Makkarakaṭa. The brahmin youths and maidens there will pay homage to Master Kaccāna, they will stand up for him out of respect, they will offer him a seat and water, and that will lead to their welfare and happiness for a long time.”

133 (10) Verahaccāni
On one occasion the Venerable Udāyī was living at Kāmaṇḍā in the brahmin Todeyya’s Mango Grove. Then a brahmin youth, a student of the brahmin lady of the Verahaccāni clan, approached the Venerable Udāyī and greeted him. When they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, he sat down to one side, and the Venerable Udāyī instructed, exhorted, inspired, and gladdened him with a Dhamma talk. Having been instructed, exhorted, inspired, and gladdened by the Dhamma talk, the brahmin youth rose from his seat, approached the brahmin lady of the Verahaccāni clan, and said to her: “See now, madam, you should know that the ascetic Udāyī teaches a Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, [122] with the right meaning and phrasing; he reveals a holy life that is perfectly complete and pure.”
    “In that case, young man, invite the ascetic Udāyī in my name for tomorrow’s meal.”
    “Yes, madam,” the youth replied. Then he went to the Venerable Udāyī and said to him: “Let Master Udāyī consent to accept tomorrow’s meal from our revered teacher, the brahmin lady of the Verahaccāni clan.”
    The Venerable Udāyī consented by silence. Then, when the night had passed, in the morning the Venerable Udāyī dressed, took his bowl and outer robe, and went to the residence of the brahmin lady of the Verahaccāni clan. There he sat down in the appointed seat. Then, with her own hands, the brahmin lady served and satisfied the Venerable Udāyī with various kinds of delicious food. When the Venerable Udāyī had finished eating and had put away his bowl, the brahmin lady put on her sandals, sat down on a high seat, covered her head, and told him: “Preach the Dhamma, ascetic.” Having said, “There will be an occasion for that, sister,” he rose from his seat and departed.
    A second time that brahmin youth approached the Venerable Udāyī … (as above down to:) … “See now, madam, you should know that the ascetic Udāyī teaches a Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in the middle, [123] and good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing; he reveals a holy life that is perfectly complete and pure.”
    “In such a way, young man, you keep on praising the ascetic Udāyī, but when I told him, ‘Preach the Dhamma, ascetic,’ he said, ‘There will be an occasion for that, sister,’ and he rose from his seat and departed.”
    “That, madam, was because you put on your sandals, sat down on a high seat, covered your head, and told him: ‘Preach the Dhamma, ascetic.’ For these worthies respect and revere the Dhamma.”
    “In that case, young man, invite the ascetic Udāyī in my name for tomorrow’s meal.”
    “Yes, madam,” he replied. Then he went to the Venerable Udāyī … (all as above) … When the Venerable Udāyī had finished eating and had put away his bowl, the brahmin lady removed her sandals, sat down on a low seat, uncovered her head, and said to him: “Venerable sir, what do the arahants maintain must exist for there to be pleasure and pain? And what is it that the arahants maintain must cease to exist for there to be no pleasure and pain?”
    “Sister, the arahants maintain that when the eye exists there is pleasure and pain, and when the eye does not exist there is no pleasure and pain. [124] The arahants maintain that when the ear exists there is pleasure and pain, and when the ear does not exist there is no pleasure and pain…. The arahants maintain that when the mind exists there is pleasure and pain, and when the mind does not exist there is no pleasure and pain.”
    When this was said, the brahmin lady of the Verahaccāni clan said to the Venerable Udāyī: “Magnificent, venerable sir! Magnificent, venerable sir! The Dhamma has been made clear in many ways by Master Udāyī … (as in §127) … From today let Master Udāyī remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life.”
 

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© Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Wisdom Publications, 2000)

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