Long Discourses

Chapter on the Virtues

8. The Lion’s Roar to Kassapa

The Naked Ascetic

Thus have I heard. The Blessed One was once dwelling at Uguññā, in the Kaṇṇakatthala deer-park. Now Kassapa, a naked ascetic, came to where the Exalted One was, and exchanged with him the greetings and compliments of civility and courtesy, and stood respectfully aside. And, so standing, he said to the Exalted One:

‘I have heard it said, O Gotama, thus: “The Samaṇa Gotama disparages all penance; verily he reviles and finds fault with every ascetic, with every one who lives a hard life.” Now those, O Gotama, who said this, were they therein repeating Gotama’s words, and not reporting him falsely? Are they announcing, as a minor tenet of his, a matter really following from his Dhamma (his system)? Is there nothing in this opinion of his, so put forward as wrapt up with his system, or as a corollary from it, that could meet with objection? For we would fain bring no false accusation against the venerable Gotama.’

‘No, Kassapa. Those who said so were not following my words, On the contrary, they were reporting me falsely. and at variance with the fact, ‘Herein, O Kassapa, I am wont to be aware, with vision bright and purified, seeing beyond what men can see, how some men given to asceticism, living a hard life, are reborn, on the dissolution of the body, after death, into some unhappy, fallen state of misery and woe; while others, living just so, are reborn into some happy state, or into a heavenly world—how some men given to asceticism, but living a life less hard, are equally reborn, on the dissolution of the body, after death into some unhappy, fallen state of misery and woe; while others, living just so, are reborn in some happy state, or into a heavenly world. How then could I, O Kassapa, who am thus aware, as they really are, of the states whence men have come, and whither they will go, as they pass away from one form of existence, and take shape in another—how could I disparage all penance; or bluntly revile and find fault with every ascetic, with every one who lives a life that is hard?

Now there are, O Kassapa, certain recluses and Brahmans who are clever, subtle, experiences in controversy, hair splitters, who go about, one would think, breaking into pieces by their wisdom the speculations of their adversaries. And as between them and me there is, as to some points, agreement, and as to some points, not. As to some of those things they approve, we also approve thereof. As to some of those things they disapprove, we also disapprove thereof. As to some of the things they approve, we disapprove thereof. As to some of the things they disapprove, we approve thereof. And some things we approve of, so do they. And some things we disapprove of, so do they And some things we approve, they do not. And some things we disapprove of, they approve of.

‘And I went to them, and said: “As for those things, my friends, on which we do not agree, let us leave them alone. As to those things on which we agree, let the wise put questions about them, ask for reasons as to them, talk them over, with or to their teacher, with or to their fellow disciples; saying: ‘Those conditions of heart, Sirs, which are evil or accounted as evil among you, which are blameworthy or accounted as such among you, which are insufficient for the attainment of Arahatship, or accounted as such among you, depraved or accounted as such among you—who is it who conducts himself as one who has more absolutely put them away from him, the Samaṇa Gotama, or the other venerable ones, the teachers of schools?’”

‘Then it may well be, O Kassapa, that the wise, so putting questions one to the other, asking for reasons, talking the matter over, should say: “The Samaṇa Gotama conducts himself as one who has absolutely put those conditions away from him; whereas the venerable ones, the other teachers of schools, have done so only partially.” Thus is it, O Kassapa, that the wise, so putting questions one to the other, asking for reasons, talking the matter over, would, for the most part, speak in praise of us therein.

‘And again, O Kassapa, let the wise put questions one to another, ask for reasons, talk the matter over, with or to their teacher, with or to their fellow disciples, saying: “Those conditions of heart, Sirs, which are good or accounted as such among you, which are blameless or accounted as such among you, which suffice to lead a man to Arahatship or are accounted as sufficient among you, which are pure or accounted as such among you—who is it who conducts himself as one who has more completely taken them upon him, the Samaṇa Gotama, or the other venerable ones, the teachers of schools?”

‘Then it may wen be, O Kassapa, that the wise, so putting questions one to the other, asking for reasons, talking the matter over, should say: “The Samaṇa Gotama conducts himself as one who has completely taken these conditions upon him, whereas the venerable ones, the other teachers of schools, have done so only partially.” Thus it is, O Kassapa, that the wise, so putting questions one to the other, asking for reasons, talking the matter over, would, for the most part, speak in praise of us therein.

‘[And further, also, O Kassapa, the wise would, for the most part, acknowledge that the body of my disciples were more addicted to that which is generally acknowledged to be good, refrain themselves more completely from that which is generally acknowledged to be evil, than the venerable ones, the disciples of other teachers.]

‘Now there is, O Kassapa, a way, there is a method which if a man follow he will of himself, both see and know that: “The Samaṇa Gotama is one who speaks in due season, speaks that which is, that which redounds to advantage, that which is the Norm (the Dhamma), that which is the law of self-restraint (the Vinaya).”

‘And what, Kassapa, is that way, what that method, which if a man follow, he will, of himself, know that, and see that. Verily it is this Noble Eightfold Path, that is to say: Right Views, Right Aspirations, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Mode of Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Rapture.

‘This, Kassapa, is that way, this that method, which if a man follow, he will of himself, both know and see that: “The Samaṇa Gotama is one who speaks in due season, speaks that which is, that which redounds to profit, that which is the Norm, that which is the law of self-restraint.”’

And when he had spoken thus, Kassapa, the naked ascetic, said to the Exalted One:

‘And so also, Gotama, are the following ascetic practices accounted, in the opinion of some Samaṇas and Brāhmaṇas, as Samaṇa-ship and Brāhmaṇa-ship.—.

‘He goes naked;

‘He is of loose habits (performing his bodily functions, and eating food, in a standing posture, not crouching down, or sitting down, as well-bred people do);

‘He licks his hands clean (after eating, instead of washing them, as others do);

‘(When on his rounds for alms, if politely requested to step nearer, or to wait a moment, in order that food may be put into his bowl), he passes stolidly on (lest he should incur the guilt of following another person’s word);

‘He refuses to accept food brought (to him, before he has started on his daily round for alms);

‘He refuses to accept (food) if told that it has been prepared) especially for him;

‘He refuses to accept any invitation (to call on his rounds at any particular house, or to pass along any particular street) or to go to any particular place);

‘He will not accept (food taken direct) from the mouth of the pot or pans (in which it is cooked; lest those vessels should be struck or scraped, on his account, with the spoon);

‘(He will) not (accept food placed) within the threshold (lest it should have been placed there specially for him);

‘(He will) not (accept food placed) among the sticks (lest it should have been placed there specially for him);

‘(He will) not (accept food place) among the pestles (lest it should have been placed there specially for him);

‘When two persons are eating together he wil not accept (food, taken from what they are eating, if offered to him by only one of the two);

‘He will not accept food from a woman with child (lest the child should suffer want);

‘He will not accept food from a woman giving suck (lest the milk should grow less);

‘He will not accept food from a woman in intercourse with a man (lest their intercourse be hindered);

‘He will not accept food collected (by the faithful in time of drought);

‘He will not accept food where a dog is standing by (lest the dog should lose a meal);

‘He will not accept food where flies are swarming round (lest the flies should suffer);

‘He will not accept fish, nor meat, nor strong drink, nor intoxicants, nor gruel;

‘He is a “One-houser” (turning back from his round as soon as he has received an alms at any one house), a “One-mouthful-man";

‘Or he is a “Two-houser,” a “Two-mouthful-man";

‘Or he is a “Seven-houser,” a “Seven-mouthful-man";

‘He keeps himself going on only one alms, or only two, or so on up to only seven;

‘He takes food only once a day, or once every two days, or so on up to once every seven days. Thus does he dwell addicted to the practice of taking food according to rule, at regular intervals, up to even half a month.

‘And so also, Gotama, are the following ascetic practices accounted, in the opinion of some Samaṇas and Brāhmaṇas, as Samaṇaship and Brāhmaṇaship;

‘He feeds on potherbs, on wild rice, on Nivāra seeds, on leather parings, on the water-plant called Haṭa, on the fine powder which adheres to the grains of rice beneath the husk, on the discarded scum of boiling rice, on the flour of oil-seeds, on grasses, on cow-dung, on fruits and roots from the woods, on fruits that have fallen of themselves.

‘And so also, Gotama, are the following ascetic practices accounted, in the opinion of some Samaṇas and Brāhmaṇas, as Samaṇaship and Brāhmaṇaship;

‘He wears coarse hempen cloth;

‘He wears coarse cloth of interwoven hemp and other materials;

‘He wears cloths taken from corpses and thrown away;

‘He wears clothing made of rags picked up from a dust heap;

‘He wears clothing made of the bark of the Tiritaka tree;

‘He wears the natural hide of a black antelope;

‘He wears a dress made of a network of strips of a black antelope’s hide;

‘He wears a dress made of Kusa grass fibre;

‘He wears a garment of bark;

‘He wears a garment made of small slips or slabs of wood (shingle) pieced together;

‘He wears, as a garment, a blanket of human hair;

‘He wears, as a garment, a blanket made of horses’ tails;

‘He wears, as a garment, a blanket made of the feathers of owls;

‘He is a “plucker-out-of-hair-and-beard,” addicted to the practice of plucking out both hair and beard;

‘He is a “stander-up,” rejecting the use of a seat;

‘He is a “croucher-down-on-the-heels,” addicted to exerting himself when crouching down on his heels;

‘He is a “bed-of-thorns-man,” putting iron spikes or natural thorns under the skin on which he sleeps;

‘He uses a plank bed;

‘He sleeps on the bare ground;

‘He sleeps always on one side;

‘He is a “dust-and-dirt-wearer,” (smearing his body with oil he stands where dust clouds blow, and lets the dust adhere to his body);

‘He lives and sleeps in the open air;

‘Whatsoever seat is offered to him, that he accepts (without being offended at its being not dignified enough);

‘He is a “filth-eater,” addicted to the practice of feeding on the four kinds of filth (cow-dung, cow’s urine, ashes, and clay);

‘He is a “non-drinker,” addicted to the practice of never drinking cold water (lest he should injure the souls in it);

‘He is an “evening-third-man,” addicted to the practice of going down into water thrice a day (to wash away his sins).

‘If a man, O Kassapa, should go naked, and be of loose habits, and lick his hands clean with his tongue, and do and be all those other things you gave in detail, down to his being addicted to the practice of taking food, according to rule, at regular intervals up to even half a month—if he does all this, and the state of blissful attainment in conduct, in heart, in intellect, have not been practised by him, realised by him, then is he far from Samaṇaship, far from Brāhmaṇaship. But from the time, O Kassapa, when a Bhikkhu has cultivated the heart of love that knows no anger, that knows no ill-will—from the time when, by the destruction of the deadly intoxications (the lusts of the flesh, the lust after future life, and the defilements of delusion and ignorance), he dwells in that emancipation of heart, that emancipation of mind, that is free from those intoxications, and that he, while yet in this visible world, has come to realise and know-from that time, O Kassapa, is it that the Bhikkhu is called a Samaṇa, is called a Brāhmaṇa!’

‘And if a man, O Kassapa, feed on potherbs, on wild rice, on Nivāra seeds, or on any of those other things you gave in detail down to fruits that have fallen of themselves, and the state of blissful attainment in conduct, in heart, in intellect, have not been practised by him, realised by him, then is he far from Samaṇaship, far from Brāhmaṇaship. But from the time, O Kassapa, when a Bhikkhu has cultivated the heart of love that knows no anger, that knows no ill-will—from the time when, by the destruction of the deadly intoxications (the lusts of the flesh, the lust after future life, and the defilements of delusion and ignorance), he dwells in that emancipation of heart, that emancipation of mind, that is free from those intoxications, and that he, while yet in this visible world, has come to realise and know—from that time, O Kassapa, is it that the Bhikkhu is called a Samaṇa, is called a Brāhmaṇa!

‘And if a man, O Kassapa, wear coarse hempen cloth, or carry out all or any of those other practices you gave in detail down to bathing in water three times a day, and the state of blissful attainment in conduct, in heart, in intellect, have not been practised by him, realised by him, then is he far from Samaṇaship, far from Brāhmaṇaship. But from the time, O Kassapa, when a Bhikkhu has cultivated the heart of love that knows no anger, that knows no ill-will—from the time when, by the destruction of the deadly intoxications (the lusts of the flesh, the lust after future life, and the defilements of delusion and ignorance), he dwells in that emancipation of heart, that emancipation of mind, that is free from those intoxications, and that he, while yet in this visible world, has come to realise and know—from that time, O Kassapa, is it that the Bhikkhu is called a Samaṇa, is called a Brāhmaṇa!’

And when he had thus spoken, Kassapa, the naked ascetic, said to the Blessed One: ‘How hard then, Gotama, must Samaṇaship be to gain, how hard must Brāhmaṇaship be!’

‘That, Kassapa, is a common saying in the world that the life of a Samaṇa and of a Brāhmaṇa is hard to lead. But if the hardness, the very great hardness, of that life depended merely on this ascetism, on the carrying out of any or all of those practices you have detailed, then it would not be fitting to say that the life of the Samaṇa, of the Brāhmaṇa, was hard to lead. It would be quite possible for a householder, or for the son of a householder, or for any one, down to the slave girl who carries the water-jar, to say: “Let me now go naked, let me become of low habits,” and so on through all the items of those three lists of yours. But since, Kassapa, quite apart from these matters, quite apart from all kinds of penance, the life is hard, very hard to lead; therefore is it that it is fitting to say: “How hard must Samaṇaship be to gain, how hard must Brāhmaṇaship be!” For from the time, O Kassapa, when a Bhikkhu has cultivated the heart of love that knows no anger, that knows no ill-will—from the time when, by the destruction of the deadly intoxications (the lusts of the flesh, the lust after future life, and the defilements of delusion and ignorance), he dwells in that emancipation of heart, in that emancipation of mind, that is free from those intoxications, and that he, while yet in this visible world, has come to realise and know—from that time, O Kassapa, is it that the Bhikkhu is called a Samaṇa, is called a Brāhmaṇa!’

And when he had thus spoken, Kassapa, the naked ascetic, said to the Blessed One: ‘Hard is it, Gotama, to know when a man is a Samaṇa, hard to know when a man is a Brāhmaṇa!’

‘That, Kassapa, is a common saying in the world that it is hard to know a Samaṇa, hard to know a Brāhmaṇa. But if being a Samaṇa, if being a Brāhmaṇa, depended merely on this asceticism, on the carrying out of any or each of those practices you have detailed, then it would not be fitting to say that a Samaṇa is hard to recognise, a Brāhmaṇa is hard to recognise. It would be quite possible for a householder, or for the son of a householder, or for any one down to the slave girl who carries the water-jar, to know: “This man goes naked, or is of loose habits, or licks his fingers with his tongue,” and so on through all the items of those three lists of yours. But since, Kassapa, quite apart from these matters, quite apart from all kinds of penance, it is hard to recognise a Samaṇa, hard to recognise a Brāhmaṇa, therefore is it fitting to say: “Hard is it to know when a man is a Samaṇa, to know when a man is a Brāhmaṇa!” For from the time, O Kassapa, when a Bhikkhu has cultivated the heart of love that knows no anger, that knows no ill-will—from the time when, by the destruction of the deadly intoxications (the lusts of the flesh, the lust after future life, and the defilements of delusion and ignorance), he dwells in that emancipation of heart, in that emancipation of mind, that is free from those intoxications, and that he, while yet in this visible world, has come to realise and know—from that time, O Kassapa, is it that the Bhikkhu is called a Samaṇa, is called a Brāhmaṇa!’

And when he had thus spoken, Kassapa, the naked ascetic, said to the Blessed One: ‘What then, Gotama, is that blissful attainment in conduct, in heart, and in mind?’

The next section in the Pali text is greatly abbreviated. The following is a fully expanded version, based on the text of DN 2, Sāmaññaphala Sutta as translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi. Note that it is not always possible to determine exactly how the expansion should be done.

“Herein, Kassapa, a Tathāgata arises in the world, a worthy one, perfectly enlightened, endowed with clear knowledge and conduct, accomplished, a knower of the world, unsurpassed trainer of men to be tamed, teacher of gods and men, enlightened and exalted. Having realized by his own direct knowledge this world with its gods, its Māras, and its Brahmās, this generation with its recluses and brahmins, its rulers and people, he makes it known to others. He teaches the Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, possessing meaning and phrasing; he reveals the holy life that is fully complete and purified.

“A householder, or a householder’s son, or one born into some other family, hears the Dhamma. Having heard the Dhamma, he gains faith in the Tathāgata. Endowed with such faith, he reflects: ‘The household life is crowded, a path of dust. Going forth is like the open air. It is not easy for one dwelling at home to lead the perfectly complete, perfectly purified holy life, bright as a polished conch. Let me then shave off my hair and beard, put on saffron robes, and go forth from home to homelessness.’

“After some time he abandons his accumulation of wealth, be it large or small; he abandons his circle of relatives, be it large or small; he shaves off his hair and beard, puts on saffron robes, and goes forth from home to homelessness.

“When he has thus gone forth, he lives restrained by the restraint of the Pātimokkha, possessed of proper behaviour and resort. Having taken up the rules of training, he trains himself in them, seeing danger in the slightest faults. He comes to be endowed with wholesome bodily and verbal action, his livelihood is purified, and he is possessed of conduct. He guards the doors of his sense faculties, is endowed with mindfulness and clear comprehension, and is content.

The Small Section on Moral Discipline

“And how, Kassapa, is the bhikkhu possessed of moral discipline? Herein, Kassapa, having abandoned the destruction of life, the bhikkhu abstains from the destruction of life. He has laid down the rod and weapon and dwells conscientious, full of kindness, sympathetic for the welfare of all living beings. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“Having abandoned taking what is not given, he abstains from taking what is not given. Accepting and expecting only what is given, he lives in honesty with a pure mind. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“Having abandoned incelibacy, he leads the holy life of celibacy. He dwells aloof and abstains from the vulgar practice of sexual intercourse. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“Having abandoned false speech, he abstains from falsehood. He speaks only the truth, he lives devoted to truth; trustworthy and reliable, he does not deceive anyone in the world. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“Having abandoned slander, he abstains from slander. He does not repeat elsewhere what he has heard here in order to divide others from the people here, nor does he repeat here what he has heard elsewhere in order to divide these from the people there. Thus he is a reconciler of those who are divided and a promoter of friendships. Rejoicing, delighting, and exulting in concord, he speaks only words that are conducive to concord. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“Having abandoned harsh speech, he abstains from harsh speech. He speaks only such words as are gentle, pleasing to the ear, endearing, going to the heart, polite, amiable and agreeable to the manyfolk. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“Having abandoned idle chatter, he abstains from idle chatter. He speaks at the right time, speaks what is factual and beneficial, speaks on the Dhamma and the Discipline. His words are worth treasuring; they are timely, backed by reasons, measured, and connected with the good. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“He abstains from damaging seed and plant life. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“He eats only in one part of the day, refraining from food at night and from eating at improper times. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“He abstains from dancing, singing, instrumental music, and from witnessing unsuitable shows. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“He abstains from wearing garlands, embellishing himself with scents, and beautifying himself with unguents. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“He abstains from high and luxurious beds and seats. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“He abstains from accepting gold and silver. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“He abstains from accepting uncooked grain, raw meat, women and girls, male and female slaves, goats and sheep, fowl and swine, elephants, cattle, horses and mares. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“He abstains from accepting fields and lands. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“He abstains from running messages and errands. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“He abstains from buying and selling. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“He abstains from dealing with false weights, false metals, and false measures. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“He abstains from the crooked ways of bribery, deception, and fraud. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“He abstains from mutilating, executing, imprisoning, robbery, plunder, and violence. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“This too pertains to his moral discipline. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

The Intermediate Section on Moral Discipline

“Whereas some recluses and brahmins, while living on food offered by the faithful, continually cause damage to seed and plant life—to plants propagated from roots, stems, joints, buds, and seeds—he abstains from damaging seed and plant life. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“Whereas some recluses and brahmins, while living on food offered by the faithful, enjoy the use of stored-up goods, such as stored-up food, drinks, garments, vehicles, bedding, scents, and comestibles—he abstains from the use of stored-up goods. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“Whereas some recluses and brahmins, while living on food offered by the faithful, attend unsuitable shows, such as:

  • shows featuring dancing, singing, or instrumental music;
  • theatrical performances;
  • narrations of legends
  • music played by hand-clapping, cymbals, and drums;
  • picture houses;
  • acrobatic performances;
  • combats of elephants, horses, buffaloes, bulls, goats, rams, cocks and quails;
  • stick-fights, boxing, and wrestling;
  • sham-fights, roll-calls, battle-arrays, and regimental reviews—

he abstains from attending such unsuitable shows. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“Whereas some recluses and brahmins, while living on food offered by the faithful, indulge in the following games and recreations:

  • aṭṭhapada (a game played on an eight-row chessboard);
  • dasapada (a game played on a ten-row chessboard);
  • ākāsa (played by imagining a board in the air);
  • parihārapatha (“hopscotch,” a diagram is drawn on the ground and one has to jump in the allowable spaces avoiding the lines);
  • santika (“spillikins,” assembling the pieces in a pile, removing and returning them without disturbing the pile);
  • khalika (dice games);
  • ghaṭika (hitting a short stick with a long stick);
  • salākahattha (a game played by dipping the hand in paint or dye, striking the ground or a wall, and requiring the participants to show the figure of an elephant, a horse etc.);
  • akkha (ball games);
  • paṅgacīra (blowing through toy pipes made of leaves);
  • vaṅkaka (ploughing with miniature ploughs);
  • mokkhacika (turning somersaults);
  • ciṅgulika (playing with paper windmills);
  • pattāḷaka (playing with toy measures);
  • rathaka (playing with toy chariots);
  • dhanuka (playing with toy bows);
  • akkharika (guessing at letters written in the air or on one’s back);
  • manesika (guessing others’ thoughts);
  • yathāvajja (games involving mimicry of deformities)—

he abstains from such games that are a basis for negligence. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“Whereas some recluses and brahmins, while living on food offered by the faithful, enjoy the use of high and luxurious beds and seats, such as:

  • spacious couches;
  • thrones with animal figures carved on the supports;
  • long-haired coverlets;
  • multi-colored patchwork coverlets;
  • white woollen coverlets
  • woollen coverlets embroidered with flowers;
  • quilts stuffed with cotton;
  • woollen coverlets embroidered with animal figures;
  • woollen coverlets with hair on both sides or on one side;
  • bedspreads embroidered with gems;
  • silk coverlets;
  • dance-hall carpets;
  • elephant, horse, or chariot rugs;
  • rugs of antelope-skins;
  • choice spreads made of kadali-deer hides;
  • spreads with red awnings overhead;
  • couches with red cushions for head and feet—

he abstains from the use of such high and luxurious beds and seats. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“Whereas some recluses and brahmins, while living on food offered by the faithful, enjoy the use of such devices for embellishing and beautifying themselves as the following:

  • rubbing scented powders into the body
  • massaging with oils
  • bathing in perfumed water
  • kneading the limbs
  • mirrors
  • ointments
  • garlands
  • scents
  • unguents
  • face-powders
  • make-up
  • bracelets
  • head-bands
  • decorated walking sticks
  • ornamented medicine-tubes
  • rapiers
  • sunshades
  • embroidered sandals
  • turbans
  • diadems
  • yaktail whisks
  • and long-fringed white robes—

he abstains from the use of such devices for embellishment and beautification. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“Whereas some recluses and brahmins, while living on the food offered by the faithful, engage in frivolous chatter, such as:

  • talk about kings, thieves, and ministers of state
  • talk about armies, dangers, and wars
  • talk about food, drink, garments, and lodgings;
  • talk about garlands and scents;
  • talk about relations, vehicles, villages, towns, cities, and countries;
  • talk about women and talk about heroes; s
  • treet talk and talk by the well;
  • talk about those departed in days gone by;
  • rambling chit-chat;
  • speculations about the world and about the sea;
  • talk about gain and loss—

he abstains from such frivolous chatter. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“Whereas some recluses and brahmins, while living on the food offered by the faithful, engage in wrangling argumentation, (saying to one another):

‘You don’t understand this doctrine and discipline. It is I who understand this doctrine and discipline.’

‘How can you understand this doctrine and discipline?’

‘You’re practising the wrong way. I’m practicing the right way.’

‘I’m being consistent. You’re inconsistent.’

‘What should have been said first you said last, what should have been said last you said first.’

‘What you took so long to think out has been confuted.’

‘Your doctrine has been refuted. You’re defeated. Go, try to save your doctrine, or disentangle yourself now if you can’—

he abstains from such wrangling argumentation. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“Whereas some recluses and brahmins, while living on the food offered by the faithful, engage in running messages and errands for kings, ministers of state, khattiyas, brahmins, householders, or youths, (who command them): ‘Go here, go there, take this, bring that from there’—he abstains from running such messages and errands. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“Whereas some recluses and brahmins, while living on the food offered by the faithful, engage in scheming, talking, hinting, belittling others, and pursuing gain with gain, he abstains from such kinds of scheming and talking. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

The Large Section on Moral Discipline

“Whereas some recluses and brahmins, while living on the food offered by the faithful, earn their living by a wrong means of livelihood, by such debased arts as:

  • prophesying long life, prosperity etc., or the reverse, from the marks on a person’s limbs, hands, feet, etc.;
  • divining by means of omens and signs;
  • making auguries on the basis of thunderbolts and celestial portents;
  • interpreting ominous dreams;
  • telling fortunes from marks on the body;
  • making auguries from the marks on cloth gnawed by mice;
  • offering fire oblations;
  • offering oblations from a ladle;
  • offering oblations of husks, rice powder, rice grains, ghee and oil to the gods;
  • offering oblations from the mouth;
  • offering blood-sacrifices to the gods;
  • making predictions based on the fingertips;
  • determining whether the site for a proposed house or garden is propitious or not;
  • making predictions for officers of state;
  • laying demons in a cemetery;
  • laying ghosts;
  • knowledge of charms to be pronounced by one living in an earthen house;
  • snake charming;
  • the poison craft, scorpion craft, rat craft, bird craft, crow craft;
  • foretelling the number of years that a man has to live;
  • reciting charms to give protection from arrows;
  • reciting charms to understand the language of animals—

he abstains from such wrong means of livelihood, from such debased arts. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“Whereas some recluses and brahmins, while living on the food offered by the faithful, earn their living by a wrong means of livelihood, by such debased arts as interpreting the significance of the colour, shape, and other features of the following items to determine whether they portend fortune or misfortune for their owners: gems, garments, staffs, swords, spears, arrows, bows, other weapons, women, men, boys, girls, slaves, slave-women, elephants, horses, buffaloes, bulls, cows, goats, rams, fowl, quails, lizards, earrings (or house-gables), tortoises, and other animals—

he abstains from such wrong means of livelihood, from such debased arts. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“Whereas some recluses and brahmins, while living on the food offered by the faithful, earn their living by a wrong means of livelihood, by such debased arts as making predictions to the effect that:

  • the king will march forth;
  • the king will return;
  • our king will attack and the enemy king will retreat;
  • the enemy king will attack and our king will retreat;
  • our king will triumph and the enemy king will be defeated;
  • the enemy king will triumph and our king will be defeated;
  • thus there will be victory for one and defeat for the other—

he abstains from such wrong means of livelihood, from such debased arts. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“Whereas some recluses and brahmins, while living on the food offered by the faithful, earn their living by a wrong means of livelihood, by such debased arts as predicting:

  • there will be an eclipse of the moon, an eclipse of the sun, an eclipse of a constellation
  • the sun and the moon will go on their proper courses
  • there will be an aberration of the sun and moon
  • the constellations will go on their proper courses
  • there will be an aberration of a constellation
  • there will be a fall of meteors
  • there will be a skyblaze
  • there will be an earthquake
  • there will be an earth-roar
  • there will be a rising and setting, a darkening and brightening of the moon, sun, and constellations
  • such will be the result of the moon’s eclipse, such the result of the sun’s eclipse, (and so on down to) such will be the result of the rising and setting, darkening and brightening of the moon, sun, and constellations—

he abstains from such wrong means of livelihood, from such debased arts. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“Whereas some recluses and brahmins, while living on the food offered by the faithful, earn their living by a wrong means of livelihood, by such debased arts as predicting:

  • there will be abundant rain
  • there will be a drought
  • there will be a good harvest
  • there will be a famine
  • there will be security
  • there will be danger
  • there will be sickness
  • there will be health
  • or they earn their living by accounting, computation, calculation, the composing of poetry, and speculations about the world—

he abstains from such wrong means of livelihood, from such debased arts. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“Whereas some recluses and brahmins, while living on the food offered by the faithful, earn their living by a wrong means of livelihood, by such debased arts as:

  • arranging auspicious dates for marriages, both those in which the bride is brought home and those in which she is sent out
  • arranging auspicious dates for betrothals and divorces
  • arranging auspicious dates for the accumulation or expenditure of money
  • reciting charms to make people lucky or unlucky
  • rejuvenating the foetuses of abortive women
  • reciting spells to bind a man’s tongue, to paralyze his jaws, to make him lose control over his hands, or to bring on deafness
  • obtaining oracular answers to questions by means of a mirror, a girl, or a god
  • worshipping the sun
  • worshipping Mahābrahmā
  • bringing forth flames from the mouth
  • invoking the goddess of luck—

he abstains from such wrong means of livelihood, from such debased arts. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“Whereas some recluses and brahmins, while living on the food offered by the faithful, earn their living by a wrong means of livelihood, by such debased arts as:

  • promising gifts to deities in return for favours
  • fulfilling such promises
  • demonology
  • reciting spells after entering an earthen house
  • inducing virility and impotence
  • preparing and consecrating sites for a house
  • giving ceremonial mouthwashes and ceremonial bathing
  • offering sacrificial fires
  • administering emetics, purgatives, expectorants, and phlegmagogues
  • administering medicines through the ear and through the nose, administering ointments and counter-ointments, practising fine surgery on the eyes and ears, practising general surgery on the body, practising as a children’s doctor—

he abstains from such wrong means of livelihood, from such debased arts. This, Kassapa, pertains to his perfection in moral discipline.

“Kassapa, the bhikkhu who is thus possessed of moral discipline sees no danger anywhere in regard to his restraint by moral discipline. Just as a head-anointed noble warrior who has defeated his enemies sees no danger anywhere from his enemies, so the bhikkhu who is thus possessed of moral discipline sees no danger anywhere in regard to his restraint by moral discipline. Endowed with this noble aggregate of moral discipline, he experiences within himself a blameless happiness. In this way, Kassapa, the bhikkhu is possessed of moral discipline. This, Kassapa, is that perfection in moral discipline.

Restraint of the Sense Faculties

“And how, Kassapa, does the bhikkhu guard the doors of his sense faculties? Herein, Kassapa, having seen a form with the eye, the bhikkhu does not grasp at the sign or the details. Since, if he were to dwell without restraint over the faculty of the eye, evil unwholesome states such as covetousness and grief might assail him, he practises restraint, guards the faculty of the eye, and achieves restraint over the faculty of the eye.

Having heard a sound with the ear the bhikkhu does not grasp at the sign or the details. Since, if he were to dwell without restraint over the faculty of the ear, evil unwholesome states such as covetousness and grief might assail him, he practises restraint, guards the faculty of the ear, and achieves restraint over the faculty of the ear.

Having smelled an odour with the nose the bhikkhu does not grasp at the sign or the details. Since, if he were to dwell without restraint over the faculty of the nose, evil unwholesome states such as covetousness and grief might assail him, he practises restraint, guards the faculty of the nose, and achieves restraint over the faculty of the nose.

Having tasted a flavour with the tongue the bhikkhu does not grasp at the sign or the details. Since, if he were to dwell without restraint over the faculty of the tongue, evil unwholesome states such as covetousness and grief might assail him, he practises restraint, guards the faculty of the tongue, and achieves restraint over the faculty of the tongue.

Having touched a tangible object with the body the bhikkhu does not grasp at the sign or the details. Since, if he were to dwell without restraint over the faculty of the body, evil unwholesome states such as covetousness and grief might assail him, he practises restraint, guards the faculty of the body, and achieves restraint over the faculty of the body.

Having cognized a mind-object with the mind, the bhikkhu does not grasp at the sign or the details. Since, if he were to dwell without restraint over the faculty of the mind, evil unwholesome states such as covetousness and grief might assail him, he practises restraint, guards the faculty of the mind, and achieves restraint over the faculty of the mind. Endowed with this noble restraint of the sense faculties, he experiences within himself an unblemished happiness. In this way, Kassapa, the bhikkhu guards the doors of the sense faculties.

Mindfulness and Clear Comprehension

“And how, Kassapa, is the bhikkhu endowed with mindfulness and clear comprehension? Herein, Kassapa, in going forward and returning, the bhikkhu acts with clear comprehension. In looking ahead and looking aside, he acts with clear comprehension. In bending and stretching the limbs, he acts with clear comprehension. In wearing his robes and cloak and using his alms-bowl, he acts with clear comprehension. In eating, drinking, chewing, and tasting, he acts with clear comprehension. In defecating and urinating, he acts with clear comprehension. In going, standing, sitting, lying down, waking up, speaking, and remaining silent, he acts with clear comprehension. In this way, Kassapa, the bhikkhu is endowed with mindfulness and clear comprehension.

Contentment

“And how, Kassapa, is the bhikkhu content? Herein, Kassapa, a bhikkhu is content with robes to protect his body and almsfood to sustain his belly; wherever he goes he sets out taking only (his requisites) along with him. Just as a bird, wherever it goes, flies with its wings as its only burden, in the same way a bhikkhu is content with robes to protect his body and almsfood to sustain his belly; wherever he goes he sets out taking only (his requisites) along with him. In this way, Kassapa, the bhikkhu is content.

The Abandoning of the Hindrances

“Endowed with this noble aggregate of moral discipline, this noble restraint over the sense faculties, this noble mindfulness and clear comprehension, and this noble contentment, he resorts to a secluded dwelling—a forest, the foot of a tree, a mountain, a glen, a hillside cave, a cremation ground, a jungle grove, the open air, a heap of straw. After returning from his alms-round, following his meals, he sits down, crosses his legs, holds his body erect, and sets up mindfulness before him.

“Having abandoned covetousness for the world, he dwells with a mind free from covetousness; he purifies his mind from covetousness. Having abandoned ill will and hatred, he dwells with a benevolent mind, sympathetic for the welfare of all living beings; he purifies his mind from ill will and hatred. Having abandoned dullness and drowsiness, he dwells perceiving light, mindful and clearly comprehending; he purifies his mind from dullness and drowsiness. Having abandoned restlessness and worry, he dwells at ease within himself, with a peaceful mind; he purifies his mind from restlessness and worry. Having abandoned doubt, he dwells as one who has passed beyond doubt, unperplexed about wholesome states; he purifies his mind from doubt.

“Kassapa, suppose a man were to take a loan and apply it to his business, and his business were to succeed, so that he could pay back his old debts and would have enough money left over to maintain a wife. He would reflect on this, and as a result he would become glad and experience joy.

“Again, Kassapa, suppose a man were to become sick, afflicted, gravely ill, so that he could not enjoy his food and his strength would decline. After some time he would recover from that illness and would enjoy his food and regain his bodily strength. He would reflect on this, and as a result he would become glad and experience joy.

“Again, Kassapa, suppose a man were locked up in a prison. After some time he would be released from prison, safe and secure, with no loss of his possessions. He would reflect on this, and as a result he would become glad and experience joy.

“Again, Kassapa, suppose a man were a slave, without independence, subservient to others, unable to go where he wants. After some time he would be released from slavery and gain his independence; he would no longer be subservient to others but a free man able to go where he wants. He would reflect on this, and as a result he would become glad and experience joy.

“Again, Kassapa, suppose a man with wealth and possessions were travelling along a desert road where food was scarce and dangers were many. After some time he would cross over the desert and arrive safely at a village which is safe and free from danger. He would reflect on this, and as a result he would become glad and experience joy.

“In the same way, Kassapa, when a bhikkhu sees that these five hindrances are unabandoned within himself, he regards that as a debt, as a sickness, as confinement in prison, as slavery, as a desert road.

“But when he sees that these five hindrances have been abandoned within himself, he regards that as freedom from debt, as good health, as release from prison, as freedom from slavery, as a place of safety.

“When he sees that these five hindrances have been abandoned within himself, gladness arises. When he is gladdened, rapture arises. When his mind is filled with rapture, his body becomes tranquil; tranquil in body, he experiences happiness; being happy, his mind becomes concentrated.

The First Jhāna

“Quite secluded from sense pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, he enters and dwells in the first jhāna, which is accompanied by applied and sustained thought and filled with the rapture and happiness born of seclusion. This pertains to his perfection in mind.

The Second Jhāna

“Further, Kassapa, with the subsiding of applied and sustained thought, the bhikkhu enters and dwells in the second jhāna, which is accompanied by internal confidence and unification of mind, is without applied and sustained thought, and is filled with the rapture and happiness born of concentration. This, too, pertains to his perfection in mind.

The Third Jhāna

“Further, Kassapa, with the fading away of rapture, the bhikkhu dwells in equanimity, mindful and clearly comprehending, and experiences happiness with the body. Thus he enters and dwells in the third jhāna, of which the noble ones declare: ‘He dwells happily with equanimity and mindfulness.’ This, too, pertains to his perfection in mind.

The Fourth Jhāna

“Further, Kassapa, with the abandoning of pleasure and pain, and with the previous passing away of joy and grief, the bhikkhu enters and dwells in the fourth jhāna, which is neither pleasant nor painful and contains mindfulness fully purified by equanimity. This, too, pertains to his perfection in mind. This, Kasspa, is his perfection in mind.

Insight Knowledge

“When his mind is thus concentrated, pure and bright, unblemished, free from defects, malleable, wieldy, steady and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to knowledge and vision. He understands thus: ‘This is my body, having material form, composed of the four primary elements, originating from father and mother, built up out of rice and gruel, impermanent, subject to rubbing and pressing, to dissolution and dispersion. And this is my consciousness, supported by it and bound up with it.’ This pertains to his perfection in wisdom.

The Knowledge of the Mind-made Body

“When his mind is thus concentrated, pure and bright, unblemished, free from defects, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to creating a mind-made body. From this body he creates another body having material form, mind-made, complete in all its parts, not lacking any faculties. This, too, pertains to his perfection in wisdom.

The Knowledge of the Modes of Supernormal Power

“When his mind is thus concentrated, pure and bright, unblemished, free from defects, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to the modes of supernormal power. He exercises the various modes of supernormal power: having been one, he becomes many and having been many, he becomes one; he appears and vanishes; he goes unimpeded through walls, ramparts, and mountains as if through space; he dives in and out of the earth as if it were water; he walks on water without sinking as if it were earth; sitting cross-legged he travels through space like a winged bird; with his hand he touches and strokes the sun and the moon, so mighty and powerful; he exercises mastery over the body as far as the Brahma-world. This, too, pertains to his perfection in wisdom.

The Knowledge of the Divine Ear

“When his mind is thus concentrated, pure and bright, unblemished, free from defects, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to the divine ear-element. With the divine ear-element, which is purified and surpasses the human, he hears both kinds of sound, the divine and the human, those which are distant and those which are near. This, too, pertains to his perfection in wisdom.

The Knowledge Encompassing the Minds of Others

“When his mind is thus concentrated, pure and bright, unblemished, free from defects, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to the knowledge of encompassing the minds (of others). He understands the minds of other beings and persons, having encompassed them with his own mind. He understands a mind with lust as a mind with lust and a mind without lust as a mind without lust; he understands a mind with hatred as a mind with hatred and a mind without hatred as a mind without hatred; he understands a mind with delusion as a mind with delusion and a mind without delusion as a mind without delusion; he understands a contracted mind as a contracted mind and a distracted mind as a distracted mind; he understands an exalted mind as an exalted mind and an unexalted mind as an unexalted mind; he understands a surpassable mind as a surpassable mind and an unsurpassable mind as an unsurpassable mind; he understands a concentrated mind as a concentrated mind and an unconcentrated mind as an unconcentrated mind; he understands a liberated mind as a liberated mind and an unliberated mind as an unliberated mind. This, too, pertains to his perfection in wisdom.

The Knowledge of Recollecting Past Lives

“When his mind is thus concentrated, pure and bright, unblemished, free from defects, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to the knowledge of recollecting past lives. He recollects his numerous past lives, that is, one birth, two births, three, four, or five births; ten, twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty births; a hundred births, a thousand births, a hundred thousand births; many aeons of world contraction, many aeons of world expansion, many aeons of world contraction and expansion, (recollecting): ‘There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance; such was my food, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such my span of life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose there. There too I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance; such was my food, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such my span of life. Passing away from that state I re-arose here.’ Thus he recollects his numerous past lives in their modes and their details. This, too, pertains to his perfection in wisdom.

The Knowledge of the Divine Eye

“When his mind is thus concentrated, pure and bright, unblemished, free from defects, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to the knowledge of the passing away and reappearance of beings. With the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, he sees beings passing away and reappearing—inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate—and he understands how beings fare according to their kamma, thus: ‘These beings—who were endowed with bad conduct of body, speech, and mind, who reviled the noble ones, held wrong views, and undertook actions governed by wrong views—with the breakup of the body, after death, have reappeared in the plane of misery, the bad destinations, the lower realms, in hell. But these beings—who were endowed with good conduct of body, speech, and mind, who did not revile the noble ones, held right views, and undertook actions governed by right views—with the breakup of the body, after death, have reappeared in the good destinations, in the heavenly world.’ Thus with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, he sees beings passing away and reappearing—inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate—and he understands how beings fare in accordance with their kamma. This, too, pertains to his perfection in wisdom.

The Knowledge of the Destruction of the Cankers

“When his mind is thus concentrated, pure and bright, unblemished, free from defects, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to the knowledge of the destruction of the cankers. He understands as it really is: ‘This is suffering.’ He understands as it really is: ‘This is the origin of suffering.’ He understands as it really is: ‘This is the cessation of suffering.’ He understands as it really is: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’ He understands as it really is: ‘These are the cankers.’ He understands as it really is: ‘This is the origin of the cankers.’ He understands as it really is: ‘This is the cessation of the cankers.’ He understands as it really is: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of the cankers.’

“Knowing and seeing thus, his mind is liberated from the canker of sensual desire, from the canker of existence, and from the canker of ignorance. When it is liberated, the knowledge arises: ‘It is liberated.’ He understands: ‘Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is nothing further beyond this.’ This, too, pertains to his perfection in wisdom. This, Kassapa, is his perfection in wisdom.

‘And there is no other state of blissful attainment in conduct and heart and mind which is, Kassapa, higher and sweeter than this.

‘Now there are some recluses and Brahmans, Kassapa, who lay emphasis on conduct. They speak, in various ways, in praise of morality. But so far as regards the really noble, the highest conduct, I am aware of no one who is equal to myself, much less superior. And it is I who have gone the furthest therein; that is, in the highest conduct (of the Path).

‘There are some recluses and Brahmans, Kassapa, who lay emphasis on self-mortification, and scrupulous care of others. They speak in various ways in praise of self-torture and of austere scrupulousness. But so far as regards the really noblest, the highest sort of self-mortification and scrupulous regard for others, I am aware of no one else who is equal to myself, much less superior. And it is I who have gone the furthest therein; that is, in the highest sort of scrupulous regard for others.

‘There are some recluses and Brahmans, Kassapa, who lay emphasis on intelligence. They speak, in various ways, in praise of intelligence. But so far as regards the really noblest, the highest intelligence, I am aware of no one else who is equal to myself, much less superior. And it is I who have gone the furthest therein; that is, in the highest Wisdom (of the Path).

‘There are some recluses and Brahmans, Kassapa, who lay emphasis on emancipation. They speak, in various ways, in praise of emancipation. But so far as regards the really noblest, the highest emancipation, I am aware of no one else who is equal to myself, much less superior. And it is I who have gone the furthest therein; that is, in the most complete emancipation (of the Path).

‘Now it may well be, Kassapa, that the recluses of adverse schools may say: “The Samaṇa Gotama utters forth a lion’s roar; but it is in solitude that he roars, not where men are assembled.” Then should they be answered: “Say not so. The Samaṇa Gotama utters his lion’s roar, and that too in the assemblies where men congregate.”

‘And it may well be, Kassapa, that the recluses of adverse schools should thus, in succession, raise each of the following objections;

“But it is not in full confidence that he roars;

“But men put no questions to him;

“But even when questioned, he cannot answer;

“But even when he answers, he gives no satisfaction by his exposition of the problem put;

“But men do not hold his opinion worthy to be listened to;

“But even when men listen to his word, they experience no conviction therefrom;

“But even when convinced, men give no outward sign of their faith;

“But even when they give such outward sign, they arrive not at the truth;

“But even when they arrive at the truth they cannot carry it out:"—

‘Then in each such case, Kassapa, they should be answered as before, until the answer runs; “Say not so. For the Samaṇa Gotama both utters forth his lion’s roar, and that too in assemblies where men congregate, and in full confidence in the justice of his claim, and men put their questions to him on that, and on being questioned he expounds the problem put, and by his exposition thereof satisfaction arises in their hearts, and they hold it worthy to listen to his word, and in listening to it they experience conviction, and being convinced they give outward signs thereof, and they penetrate even to the truth, and having grasped it they are able also to carry the truth out!

‘I was staying once, Kassapa, at Rājagaha, on the hill called the Vulture’s Peak. And there a follower of the same mode of life as yours, by name Nigrodha, asked me a question about the higher forms of austere scrupulousness of life. And having been thus questioned I expounded the problem put. And when I had thus answered what he asked, he was well pleased, as if with a great joy:

‘And who, Sir, on hearing the doctrine of the Exalted One, would not be well pleased, as if with a great joy. I also, who have now heard the doctrine of the Exalted One, am thus well pleased, even as if with a great joy. Most excellent, Lord, are the words of thy mouth, most excellent, just as if a man were to set up what has been thrown down, or were to reveal that which has been hidden away, or were to point out the right road to him who has gone astray, or were to bring a lamp into the darkness, so that those who have eyes could see external forms—just even so, Lord, has the truth been made known to me, in many a figure, by the Exalted One. And I, even I, betake myself as my guide to the Exalted One, and to the Doctrine, and to the Brotherhood. I would fain, Lord, renounce the world under the Exalted One; I would fain be admitted to his Order.’

‘Whosoever, Kassapa, having formerly been a member of another school, wishes to renounce the world and receive initiation in this doctrine and discipline, he temains in probation for four months. And at the end of the four months the brethren, exalted in spirit, give him initiation, and receive him into the Order, raising him up into the state of a Bhikkhu. But nevertheless I recognise, in such cases, the distinction there may be between individuals.’

‘Since, Lord, the four months’ probation is the regular custom, I too, then, will remain on probation for that time. Then let the brethren, exalted in spirit, give me initiation and raise me up into the state of a Bhikkhu.’

So Kassapa, the naked ascetic, received initiation, and was admitted to membership of the Order under the Exalted One. And from immediately after his initiation the venerable Kassapa remained alone and separate, earnest, zealous, and master of himself. And e’er long he attained to that supreme goal for the sake of which clansmen go forth from the household life into the homeless state: yes, that supreme goal did he, by himself, and while yet in this visible world, bring himself to the knowledge of, and continue to realise, and to see face to face. And he became sure that rebirth was at an end for him, that the higher life had been fulfilled, that everything that should be done had been accomplished, and that after this present life there would be no beyond!

And so the venerable Kassapa became yet another among the Arahats.

Here ends the Kassapa-Sihanada Suttanta.