Samyukta Āgama (2) 10

Bhikkhu Saṃyutta

Thera lives alone

Thus have I heard, once, the Buddha was staying at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove, the Anāthapiṇḍika Park.

At that time there was a monk called Thera, who lived alone, and praised living alone. At one time some monks went to the Buddha, paid homage at his feet, sat to one side, and told the Buddha: “World-honored One! This monk Thera praises living alone, wandering alone, sitting alone.” The Buddha told the monks: “Summon this monk Thera.” Then one monk went to Thera’s place and said to him: “The World-honored One calls you!” Having received the summons, monk Thera went to the Buddha, paid homage at his feet, and stood to one side. The Buddha said to Thera: “Is it true that you live alone and praise sitting alone to practise the Dhamma?” Thera answered the Buddha: “It is true, World-honored One.” The Buddha said: “How, now, do you enjoy living alone, how do you praise it?” And Thera said: “World-honored One! Alone I enter the villages for the alms-round, alone I leave them, alone I sit in meditation.” The Buddha said to him: “There is a way of living alone, which is superior to yours. What is this way? One in whom the residue of past desire has dried up, future desire will not arise, and present desire does not create karmic formationssuch a person is called a brāhmaṇa. Without “me” and “mine,” having cut through the fetter of doubt, keeping great distance from the sensual world, he has extinguished his defilements.”

At that time the Buddha spoke a verse:

“All the worlds /
I know them all.
Letting go of every thing /
ending the fetter of attachment,
this is the victorious teaching /
called living alone.”

When the Buddha had finished speaking, the monks, having listened to what he had said, were happy and remembered it well.