Majjhima Nikāya

The Middle Length Sayings

Cūḷa-assapura Suttaṃ

40. Lesser Discourse at Assapura

Thus have I heard:

At one time the Lord was staying among the Aṅgas; a township of the Aṅgas was called Assapura. While he was there the Lord addressed the monks, saying: “Monks.” “Revered one,” these monks answered the Lord in assent. The Lord spoke thus:

“‘Recluses, recluses,’ so the people know you, monks, and you, on being asked: ‘Who are you?’ should acknowledge: ‘We are recluses.’ Such being your, designations, monks, such being your vocations, thus you should train yourselves, monks: ‘We will follow those practices which are fitting for recluses; thus will this designation of ours become true and the vocation real; and the gifts of those things we make use of: robe-material, almsfood, lodging, medicines for the sick, will come to be of great fruit, of great advantage to us; and this our going forth will come to be not barren but fruitful and growing.’

And how, monks, does a monk come to be one who is not following the practice that is fitting for recluses? Monks, in any monk who is covetous, covetousness not got rid of; who is malevolent in mind, malevolence not got rid of; who is wrathful, wrath not got rid of; who is grudging, grudging not got rid of; who is hypocritical, hypocrisy not got rid of; who is spiteful, spite not got rid of; who is jealous, jealousy not got rid of; who is stingy, stinginess not got rid of; who is treacherous, treachery not got rid of; who is crafty, craftiness not got rid of; who is of evil desires, evil desires not got rid of; who is of wrong view, wrong view not got rid of; I, monks, say that if he does not follow the practice fitting for recluses, there is no getting rid of these stains on recluses, defects in recluses, faults in recluses, occasions for the sorrowful states, of what is to be experienced in a bad bourn.

Monks, as a deadly weapon for fighting with, double-edged and whetted sharp, may be covered and enveloped by his outer cloak; unto this do I, monks, liken this monk's going forth. I, monks, do not say that the recluseship of one who wears an outer cloak depends merely on his wearing an outer cloak. I, monks, do not say that the recluseship of one who is unclothed depends merely on his being unclothed. I, monks, do not say that the recluseship of one living in dust and dirt depends merely on his living in dust and dirt. I, monks, do not say that the recluseship of one who bathes ceremonially depends merely on the ceremonial bathing. I, monks, do not say that the recluseship of one who lives at the root of a tree depends merely on his living at the root of a tree. I, monks, do not say that the recluseship of one who lives in the open depends merely on his living in the open. I, monks, do not say that the recluseship of one who stands erect depends merely on his standing erect. I, monks, do not say that the recluseship of one who lives on a regimen depends merely on his living on a regimen. I, monks, do not say that the recluseship of one who meditates on chants depends merely on his meditating on chants. I, monks, do not say that the recluseship of one who has matted hair depends merely on his matted hair.

If, monks, the covetousness of one who is covetous and who wears an outer cloak could be got rid of merely by wearing an outer cloak; if the malevolence of mind of one who is malevolent; if the wrath of one who is wrathful; if the grudging of one who is grudging; if the hypocrisy of one who is hypocritical; if the spite of one who is spiteful; if the jealousy of one who is jealous; if the stinginess of one who is stingy; if the treachery of one who is treacherous; if the craftiness of one who is crafty; if the evil desires of one who is of evil desires; if the wrong view of one who is of wrong view and who wears an outer cloak could be got rid of merely by wearing an outer cloak; then his friends and acquaintances, kith and kin, would make him wear an outer cloak from the very day that he was born, would encourage him to wear an outer cloak, saying: ‘Come, you auspicious-faced, become a wearer of an outer cloak, for on your being a wearer of an outer cloak the covetousness of one who is covetous will be got rid of, merely by wearing an outer cloak; the malevolence of mind of one who is malevolent; the wrath of one who is wrathful; the grudging of one who is grudging; the hypocrisy of one who is hypocritical; the spite of one who is spiteful; the jealousy of one who is jealous; the stinginess of one who is stingy; the treachery of one who is treacherous; the craftiness of one who is crafty; the evil desires of one who is of evil desires; the wrong view of one who is of wrong view and who wears an outer cloak will be got rid of merely by wearing an outer cloak’; therefore I do not say that the recluseship of one who wears an outer cloak depends merely on his wearing an outer cloak.

If, monks, the covetousness of one who is covetous and who is unclothed could be got rid of merely by being unclothed; if the malevolence of mind of one who is malevolent; if the wrath of one who is wrathful; if the grudging of one who is grudging; if the hypocrisy of one who is hypocritical; if the spite of one who is spiteful; if the jealousy of one who is jealous; if the stinginess of one who is stingy; if the treachery of one who is treacherous; if the craftiness of one who is crafty; if the evil desires of one who is of evil desires; if the wrong view of one who is of wrong view and who is unclothed could be got rid of merely by being unclothed; then his friends and acquaintances, kith and kin, would make him go unclothed from the very day that he was born, would encourage him to go unclothed, saying: ‘Come, you auspicious-faced, become one who goes unclothed, for on your being one who goes unclothed the covetousness of one who is covetous will be got rid of, merely by being unclothed; the malevolence of mind of one who is malevolent; the wrath of one who is wrathful; the grudging of one who is grudging; the hypocrisy of one who is hypocritical; the spite of one who is spiteful; the jealousy of one who is jealous; the stinginess of one who is stingy; the treachery of one who is treacherous; the craftiness of one who is crafty; the evil desires of one who is of evil desires; the wrong view of one who is of wrong view and who is unclothed will be got rid of, merely by being unclothed; therefore I do not say that the recluseship of one who goes unclothed depends merely on his being unclothed.

If, monks, the covetousness of one who is covetous and who lives in dust and dirt could be got rid of merely by living in dust and dirt; if the malevolence of mind of one who is malevolent; if the wrath of one who is wrathful; if the grudging of one who is grudging; if the hypocrisy of one who is hypocritical; if the spite of one who is spiteful; if the jealousy of one who is jealous; if the stinginess of one who is stingy; if the treachery of one who is treacherous; if the craftiness of one who is crafty; if the evil desires of one who is of evil desires; if the wrong view of one who is of wrong view and who lives in dust and dirt could be got rid of merely by living in dust and dirt; then his friends and acquaintances, kith and kin, would make go live in dust and dirt from the very day that he was born, would encourage him to live in dust and dirt, saying: ‘Come, you auspicious-faced, become one who lives in dust and dirt, for on your being one who lives in dust and dirt the covetousness of one who is covetous will be got rid of, merely by living in dust and dirt; the malevolence of mind of one who is malevolent; the wrath of one who is wrathful; the grudging of one who is grudging; the hypocrisy of one who is hypocritical; the spite of one who is spiteful; the jealousy of one who is jealous; the stinginess of one who is stingy; the treachery of one who is treacherous; the craftiness of one who is crafty; the evil desires of one who is of evil desires; the wrong view of one who is of wrong view and who lives in dust and dirt will be got rid of, merely by living in dust and dirt; therefore I do not say that the recluseship of one who lives in dust and dirt depends merely by living in dust and dirt.

If, monks, the covetousness of one who is covetous and who bathes ceremonially could be got rid of merely by bathing ceremonially; if the malevolence of mind of one who is malevolent; if the wrath of one who is wrathful; if the grudging of one who is grudging; if the hypocrisy of one who is hypocritical; if the spite of one who is spiteful; if the jealousy of one who is jealous; if the stinginess of one who is stingy; if the treachery of one who is treacherous; if the craftiness of one who is crafty; if the evil desires of one who is of evil desires; if the wrong view of one who is of wrong view and who bathes ceremonially could be got rid of merely by bathing ceremonially; then his friends and acquaintances, kith and kin, would make him bathe ceremonially from the very day that he was born, would encourage him to bathe ceremonially, saying: ‘Come, you auspicious-faced, become one who bathes ceremonially, for on your being one who bathes ceremonially the covetousness of one who is covetous will be got rid of, merely by bathing ceremonially; the malevolence of mind of one who is malevolent; the wrath of one who is wrathful; the grudging of one who is grudging; the hypocrisy of one who is hypocritical; the spite of one who is spiteful; the jealousy of one who is jealous; the stinginess of one who is stingy; the treachery of one who is treacherous; the craftiness of one who is crafty; the evil desires of one who is of evil desires; the wrong view of one who is of wrong view and who bathes ceremonially will be got rid of, merely by bathing ceremonially; therefore I do not say that the recluseship of one who bathes ceremonially depends merely on bathing ceremonially.

If, monks, the covetousness of one who is covetous and who lives at the root of a tree could be got rid of merely by living at the root of a tree; if the malevolence of mind of one who is malevolent; if the wrath of one who is wrathful; if the grudging of one who is grudging; if the hypocrisy of one who is hypocritical; if the spite of one who is spiteful; if the jealousy of one who is jealous; if the stinginess of one who is stingy; if the treachery of one who is treacherous; if the craftiness of one who is crafty; if the evil desires of one who is of evil desires; if the wrong view of one who is of wrong view and who lives at the root of a tree could be got rid of merely by living at the root of a tree; then his friends and acquaintances, kith and kin, would make him live at the root of a tree from the very day that he was born, would encourage him to live at the root of a tree, saying: ‘Come, you auspicious-faced, become one who lives at the root of a tree, for on your being one who lives at the root of a tree the covetousness of one who is covetous will be got rid of, merely by living at the root of a tree; the malevolence of mind of one who is malevolent; the wrath of one who is wrathful; the grudging of one who is grudging; the hypocrisy of one who is hypocritical; the spite of one who is spiteful; the jealousy of one who is jealous; the stinginess of one who is stingy; the treachery of one who is treacherous; the craftiness of one who is crafty; the evil desires of one who is of evil desires; the wrong view of one who is of wrong view and who lives at the root of a tree will be got rid of, merely by living at the root of a tree; therefore I do not say that the recluseship of one who lives at the root of a tree depends merely on living at the root of a tree.

If, monks, the covetousness of one who is covetous and who lives in the open could be got rid of merely by living in the open; if the malevolence of mind of one who is malevolent; if the wrath of one who is wrathful; if the grudging of one who is grudging; if the hypocrisy of one who is hypocritical; if the spite of one who is spiteful; if the jealousy of one who is jealous; if the stinginess of one who is stingy; if the treachery of one who is treacherous; if the craftiness of one who is crafty; if the evil desires of one who is of evil desires; if the wrong view of one who is of wrong view and who lives in the open could be got rid of merely by living in the open; then his friends and acquaintances, kith and kin, would make him live in the open from the very day that he was born, would encourage him to live in the open, saying: ‘Come, you auspicious-faced, become one who lives in the open, for on your being one who lives in the open the covetousness of one who is covetous will be got rid of, merely by living in the open; the malevolence of mind of one who is malevolent; the wrath of one who is wrathful; the grudging of one who is grudging; the hypocrisy of one who is hypocritical; the spite of one who is spiteful; the jealousy of one who is jealous; the stinginess of one who is stingy; the treachery of one who is treacherous; the craftiness of one who is crafty; the evil desires of one who is of evil desires; the wrong view of one who is of wrong view and who lives in the open will be got rid of, merely by living in the open; therefore I do not say that the recluseship of one who lives in the open depends merely on living in the open.

If, monks, the covetousness of one who is covetous and who stands erect could be got rid of merely by standing erect; if the malevolence of mind of one who is malevolent; if the wrath of one who is wrathful; if the grudging of one who is grudging; if the hypocrisy of one who is hypocritical; if the spite of one who is spiteful; if the jealousy of one who is jealous; if the stinginess of one who is stingy; if the treachery of one who is treacherous; if the craftiness of one who is crafty; if the evil desires of one who is of evil desires; if the wrong view of one who is of wrong view and who stands erect could be got rid of merely by standing erect; then his friends and acquaintances, kith and kin, would make him stand erect from the very day that he was born, would encourage him to stand erect, saying: ‘Come, you auspicious-faced, become one who stands erect, for on your being one who stands erect the covetousness of one who is covetous will be got rid of, merely by standing erect; the malevolence of mind of one who is malevolent; the wrath of one who is wrathful; the grudging of one who is grudging; the hypocrisy of one who is hypocritical; the spite of one who is spiteful; the jealousy of one who is jealous; the stinginess of one who is stingy; the treachery of one who is treacherous; the craftiness of one who is crafty; the evil desires of one who is of evil desires; the wrong view of one who is of wrong view and who stands erect will be got rid of, merely by standing erect; therefore I do not say that the recluseship of one who stands erect depends merely by standing erect.

If, monks, the covetousness of one who is covetous and who lives on a regimen could be got rid of merely by living on a regimen; if the malevolence of mind of one who is malevolent; if the wrath of one who is wrathful; if the grudging of one who is grudging; if the hypocrisy of one who is hypocritical; if the spite of one who is spiteful; if the jealousy of one who is jealous; if the stinginess of one who is stingy; if the treachery of one who is treacherous; if the craftiness of one who is crafty; if the evil desires of one who is of evil desires; if the wrong view of one who is of wrong view and who lives on a regimen could be got rid of merely by living on a regimen; then his friends and acquaintances, kith and kin, would make him live on a regimen from the very day that he was born, would encourage him to live on a regimen, saying: ‘Come, you auspicious-faced, become one who lives on a regimen, for on your being one who lives on a regimen the covetousness of one who is covetous will be got rid of, merely by living on a regimen; the malevolence of mind of one who is malevolent; the wrath of one who is wrathful; the grudging of one who is grudging; the hypocrisy of one who is hypocritical; the spite of one who is spiteful; the jealousy of one who is jealous; the stinginess of one who is stingy; the treachery of one who is treacherous; the craftiness of one who is crafty; the evil desires of one who is of evil desires; the wrong view of one who is of wrong view and who lives on a regimen will be got rid of, merely by living on a regimen; therefore I do not say that the recluseship of one who lives on a regimen depends merely by living on a regimen.

If, monks, the covetousness of one who is covetous and who meditates on chants could be got rid of merely by meditating on chants; if the malevolence of mind of one who is malevolent; if the wrath of one who is wrathful; if the grudging of one who is grudging; if the hypocrisy of one who is hypocritical; if the spite of one who is spiteful; if the jealousy of one who is jealous; if the stinginess of one who is stingy; if the treachery of one who is treacherous; if the craftiness of one who is crafty; if the evil desires of one who is of evil desires; if the wrong view of one who is of wrong view and who meditates on chants could be got rid of merely by meditating on chants; then his friends and acquaintances, kith and kin, would make him meditate on chants from the very day that he was born, would encourage him to meditate on chants, saying: ‘Come, you auspicious-faced, become one who meditates on chants, for on your being one who meditates on chants the covetousness of one who is covetous will be got rid of, merely by meditating on chants; the malevolence of mind of one who is malevolent; the wrath of one who is wrathful; the grudging of one who is grudging; the hypocrisy of one who is hypocritical; the spite of one who is spiteful; the jealousy of one who is jealous; the stinginess of one who is stingy; the treachery of one who is treacherous; the craftiness of one who is crafty; the evil desires of one who is of evil desires; the wrong view of one who is of wrong view and who meditates on chants will be got rid of, merely by meditating on chants; therefore I do not say that the recluseship of one who meditates on chants depends merely on meditating on chants.

If, monks, the covetousness of one who is covetous and who has matted hair could be got rid of merely by having matted hair; if the malevolence of mind of one who is malevolent; if the wrath of one who is wrathful; if the grudging of one who is grudging; if the hypocrisy of one who is hypocritical; if the spite of one who is spiteful; if the jealousy of one who is jealous; if the stinginess of one who is stingy; if the treachery of one who is treacherous; if the craftiness of one who is crafty; if the evil desires of one who is of evil desires; if the wrong view of one who is of wrong view and who has matted hair could be got rid of merely by having matted hair; then his friends and acquaintances, kith and kin, would make him have matted hair from the very day that he was born, would encourage him to have matted hair, saying: ‘Come, you auspicious-faced, become one who has matted hair, for on your being one who has matted hair the covetousness of one who is covetous will be got rid of, merely by having matted hair; the malevolence of mind of one who is malevolent; the wrath of one who is wrathful; the grudging of one who is grudging; the hypocrisy of one who is hypocritical; the spite of one who is spiteful; the jealousy of one who is jealous; the stinginess of one who is stingy; the treachery of one who is treacherous; the craftiness of one who is crafty; the evil desires of one who is of evil desires; the wrong view of one who is of wrong view and who has matted hair will be got rid of, merely by having matted hair; therefore I do not say that the recluseship of one who has matted hair depends merely on having matted hair.

And how, monks, does a monk become one following practices fitting for recluses? In whatever monk who was covetous covetousness is got rid of, who was malevolent malevolence of mind is got rid of, who was wrathful wrath is got rid of, who was grudging grudging is got rid of, who was hypocritical hypocrisy is got rid of, who was spiteful spite is got rid of, who was jealous, jealousy is got rid of, who was stingy, stinginess is got rid of, who was treacherous, treachery is got rid of, who was crafty, craftiness is got rid of, who was of evil desires, evil desire is got rid of, who was of wrong view, wrong view is got rid of, I, monks, say that if he follows the practice fitting for recluses, there is a getting rid of those stains on recluses, defects in recluses, faults in recluses, occasions for the sorrowful states, of what is to be experienced in a bad bourn.

He beholds the self purified of all these evil unskilled states, he beholds the self freed. When he beholds the self purified of all these evil unskilled states, when he beholds the self feed, delight is born; rapture is born from delight; when he is in rapture the body is impassible; when the body is impassible he experiences joy; being joyful, the mind is concentrated. He dwells, having suffused the first quarter with a mind of friendliness, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth; just so above, below, across; he dwells having suffused the whole world everywhere, in every way with a mind of friendliness that is far-reaching, wide-spread, immeasurable, without enmity, without malevolence. He dwells, having suffused the first quarter with a mind of compassion, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth; just so above, below, across; he dwells having suffused the whole world everywhere, in every way with a mind of compassion that is far-reaching, wide-spread, immeasurable, without enmity, without malevolence. He dwells, having suffused the first quarter with a mind of sympathetic joy, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth; just so above, below, across; he dwells having suffused the whole world everywhere, in every way with a mind of sympathetic joy that is far-reaching, wide-spread, immeasurable, without enmity, without malevolence. He dwells, having suffused the first quarter with a mind of equanimity, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth; just so above, below, across; he dwells having suffused the whole world everywhere, in every way with a mind of equanimity that is far-reaching, wide-spread, immeasurable, without enmity, without malevolence.

Monks, it is as if there were a lovely lotus-pond with clear water, sweet water, cool water, limpid, with beautiful banks; and if a man were to come along from the east, overcome and overpowered by the hot-weather heat, exhausted, parched and thirsty, he, on coming to that lotus-pond, might quench his thirst with water, might quench the hot-weather fever. And if a man were to come along from the west, overcome and overpowered by the hot-weather heat, exhausted, parched and thirsty, he, on coming to that lotus-pond, might quench his thirst with water, might quench the hot-weather fever. And if a man were to come along from the north, overcome and overpowered by the hot-weather heat, exhausted, parched and thirsty, he, on coming to that lotus-pond, might quench his thirst with water, might quench the hot-weather fever. And if a man were to come along from the south, overcome and overpowered by the hot-weather heat, exhausted, parched and thirsty, he, on coming to that lotus-pond, might quench his thirst with water, might quench the hot-weather fever. From wherever a man might come along, overcome and overpowered by the hot-weather heat, exhausted, parched and thirsty, he, on coming to that lotus-pond, might quench his thirst with water, might quench the hot-weather fever.

Even so, monks, if from a noble's family one has gone forth from home into homelessness and has come into this Dhamma and discipline taught by the Tathāgata, having thus developed friendliness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity, he attains inward calm. I say it is by inward calm that he is following the practices fitting for recluses. Even so, monks, if from a brahman's family one has gone forth from home into homelessness and has come into this Dhamma and discipline taught by the Tathāgata, having thus developed friendliness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity, he attains inward calm. I say it is by inward calm that he is following the practices fitting for recluses. Even so, monks, if from a merchant's family one has gone forth from home into homelessness and has come into this Dhamma and discipline taught by the Tathāgata, having thus developed friendliness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity, he attains inward calm. I say it is by inward calm that he is following the practices fitting for recluses. Even so, monks, if from a worker's family one has gone forth from home into homelessness and has come into this Dhamma and discipline taught by the Tathāgata, having thus developed friendliness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity, he attains inward calm. I say it is by inward calm that he is following the practices fitting for recluses. Even so, monks, from whatever family one has gone forth from home into homelessness and has come into this Dhamma and discipline taught by the Tathāgata, having thus developed friendliness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity, he attains inward calm. I say it is by inward calm that he is following the practices fitting for recluses.

And if one has gone forth from home into homelessness from a noble's family, and by the destruction of the cankers, having here and now realised by his own super-knowledge freedom of mind, the freedom through intuitive wisdom that are cankerless, entering on them, abides therein, he is a recluse through the destruction of the cankers. If one has gone forth from home into homelessness from a brahman's family, and by the destruction of the cankers, having here and now realised by his own super-knowledge freedom of mind, the freedom through intuitive wisdom that are cankerless, entering on them, abides therein, he is a recluse through the destruction of the cankers. If one has gone forth from home into homelessness from a merchant's family, and by the destruction of the cankers, having here and now realised by his own super-knowledge freedom of mind, the freedom through intuitive wisdom that are cankerless, entering on them, abides therein, he is a recluse through the destruction of the cankers. If one has gone forth from home into homelessness from a worker's family, and by the destruction of the cankers, having here and now realised by his own super-knowledge freedom of mind, the freedom through intuitive wisdom that are cankerless, entering on them, abides therein, he is a recluse through the destruction of the cankers. If one has gone forth from home into homelessness from a whatever family, and by the destruction of the cankers, having here and now realised by his own super-knowledge freedom of mind, the freedom through intuitive wisdom that are cankerless, entering on them, abides therein, he is a recluse through the destruction of the cankers.

Thus spoke the Lord. Delighted, those monks rejoiced in what the Lord had said.

Lesser Discourse at Assapura: The Tenth