Aṅguttara Nikāya

The Book of the Fives

30. Nāgita

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was wandering on tour among the Kosalans together with a large Saṅgha of bhikkhus when he reached the Kosalan brahmin village named Icchānaṅgala. There the Blessed One dwelled in the Icchānaṅgala woodland thicket. The brahmin householders of Icchānaṅgala heard: “It is said that the ascetic Gotama, the son of the Sakyans who went forth from a Sakyan family, has arrived at Icchānaṅgala and is now dwelling in the Icchānaṅgala woodland thicket. Now a good report about that Master Gotama has circulated thus: ‘That Blessed One is an arahant, perfectly enlightened, accomplished in true knowledge and conduct, fortunate, knower of the world, unsurpassed leader of persons to be tamed, teacher of devas and humans, the Enlightened One, the Blessed One. Having realized by his own direct knowledge this world with its devas, Māra, and Brahmā, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans, he makes it known to others. He teaches a Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing; he reveals a spiritual life that is perfectly complete and pure.’ Now it is good to see such arahants.”

Then, when the night had passed, the brahmin householders of Icchānaṅgala took abundant food of various kinds and went to the Icchānaṅgala woodland thicket. They stood outside the entrance making an uproar and a racket. Now on that occasion the Venerable Nāgita was the Blessed One’s attendant. The Blessed One addressed the Venerable Nāgita: “Who is making such an uproar and a racket, Nāgita? One would think it was fishermen at a haul of fish.”

“Bhante, these are the brahmin householders of Icchānaṅgala who have brought abundant food of various kinds. They are standing outside the entrance, wishing to offer it to the Blessed One and the Saṅgha of bhikkhus.”

“Let me never come upon fame, Nāgita, and may fame never catch up with me. One who does not gain at will, without trouble or difficulty, this bliss of renunciation, bliss of solitude, bliss of peace, bliss of enlightenment that I gain at will, without trouble or difficulty, might accept that vile pleasure, that slothful pleasure, the pleasure of gain, honor, and praise.”

“Let the Blessed One now consent, Bhante, let the Fortunate One consent. This is now the time for the Blessed One to consent. Wherever the Blessed One will go now, the brahmin householders of town and countryside will incline in the same direction. Just as, when thick drops of rain are pouring down, the water flows down along the slope, so too, wherever the Blessed One will go now, the brahmin householders of town and country will incline in the same direction. For what reason? Because of the Blessed One’s virtuous behavior and wisdom.”

“Let me never come upon fame, Nāgita, and may fame never catch up with me. One who does not gain at will, without trouble or difficulty, this bliss of renunciation … might accept that vile pleasure, that slothful pleasure, the pleasure of gain, honor, and praise.

(1) “Nāgita, what is eaten, drunk, consumed, and tasted winds up as feces and urine: this is its outcome. (2) From the change and alteration of things that are dear arise sorrow, lamentation, pain, dejection, and anguish: this is its outcome. (3) For one devoted to practicing meditation on the mark of unattractiveness, revulsion toward the mark of the beautiful becomes established: this is its outcome. (4) For one who dwells contemplating impermanence in the six bases for contact, revulsion toward contact becomes established: this is its outcome. (5) For one who dwells contemplating arising and vanishing in the five aggregates subject to clinging, revulsion toward clinging becomes established: this is its outcome.”