Saṃyutta Nikāya 21

Connected Discourses with Bhikkhus

10. A Bhikkhu Named Elder

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrel Sanctuary. Now on that occasion a certain bhikkhu named Elder was a lone dweller and spoke in praise of dwelling alone. He entered the village for alms alone, he returned alone, he sat alone in private, he undertook walking meditation alone.

Then a number of bhikkhus approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him: “Here, venerable sir, there is a certain bhikkhu named Elder who is a lone dweller and who speaks in praise of dwelling alone.”

Then the Blessed One addressed a certain bhikkhu thus: “Come, bhikkhu, tell the bhikkhu Elder in my name that the Teacher calls him.”

“Yes, venerable sir,” that bhikkhu replied, and he went to the Venerable Elder and told him: “The Teacher calls you, friend Elder.”

“Yes, friend,” the Venerable Elder replied, and he approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, and sat down to one side. The Blessed One then said to him: “Is it true, Elder, that you are a lone dweller and speak in praise of dwelling alone?”

“Yes, venerable sir.”

“But how, Elder, are you a lone dweller and how do you speak in praise of dwelling alone?”

“Here, venerable sir, I enter the village for alms alone, I return alone, I sit alone in private, and I undertake walking meditation alone. It is in such a way that I am a lone dweller and speak in praise of dwelling alone.”

“That is a way of dwelling alone, Elder, I do not deny this. But as to how dwelling alone is fulfilled in detail, listen to that and attend closely, I will speak.”

“Yes, venerable sir.”

“And how, Elder, is dwelling alone fulfilled in detail? Here, Elder, what lies in the past has been abandoned, what lies in the future has been relinquished, and desire and lust for present forms of individual existence has been thoroughly removed. It is in such a way, Elder, that dwelling alone is fulfilled in detail.”

This is what the Blessed One said. Having said this, the Fortunate One, the Teacher, further said this:

“The wise one, all-conqueror, all-knower,
Among all things unsullied, with all cast off,
Liberated in the destruction of craving:
I call that person ‘one who dwells alone.’”