Udāna 1.10

Bāhiyasuttaṃ 10

The Discourse about Bāhiya

Thus I heard: At one time the Gracious One was dwelling near Sāvatthī, in Jeta’s Wood, at Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Then at that time Bāhiya of the Bark Robe was living near Suppāraka, on the bank of the ocean, being venerated, respected, revered, honoured, esteemed, in receipt of robes, almsfood, dwellings, and medicinal requisites to help when sick.

Then when Bāhiya of the Bark Robe had gone into hiding, into seclusion, this reflection arose in his mind: “Among those in the world who are Worthy Ones, or have entered the path to Worthiness, I am one of them.”

Then a devatā, who was a former blood-relative of Bāhiya of the Bark Robe, being compassionate and desiring his welfare, knowing with his mind the reflection in the mind of Bāhiya of the Bark Robe, went to Bāhiya of the Bark Robe, and after going, he said this to Bāhiya of the Bark Robe:

“You are certainly not a Worthy One, Bāhiya. Nor have you entered the path to Worthiness. This practice of yours is not one whereby you could be a Worthy One, or one who has entered the path to Worthiness.”

“Then who now in this world with its devas are Worthy Ones, or have entered the path to Worthiness?”

“There is, Bāhiya, in the northern countries a city by the name of Sāvatthī. There the Gracious One dwells at the present time who is a Worthy One, a Perfect Sambuddha. He, Bāhiya, the Gracious One, is certainly a Worthy One, and teaches the Dhamma for attaining Worthiness.”

Then Bāhiya of the Bark Robe being greatly moved by that devatā, immediately went away from Suppāraka, and staying for only one night in every place, went to Sāvatthī, Jeta’s Wood, and to Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Then at that time many monks were walking in meditation in the open air. Then Bāhiya of the Bark Robe went to those monks, and after going, he said this to those monks:

“Where, reverend Sirs, is the Gracious One living at present, the Worthy One, the Perfect Sambuddha? We have a desire to see the Gracious One, the Worthy One, the Perfect Sambuddha.”

“The Gracious One, Bāhiya, has entered among the houses for alms.”

Then Bāhiya of the Bark Robe having hurriedly left Jeta’s Grove and having entered Sāvatthī, saw the Gracious One walking for alms in Sāvatthī, confident, inspiring confidence, with sense faculties at peace, mind at peace, having attained supreme self-control and calm, controlled, guarded, with restrained faculties, a true nāga. After seeing him, he went to the Gracious One, and after going and prostrating himself with his head at the Gracious One’s feet, he said this to the Gracious One: “Let the Gracious One preach the Dhamma to me, reverend Sir, let the Fortunate One preach the Dhamma, that will be for my benefit and happiness for a long time.”

After that was said, the Gracious One said this to Bāhiya of the Bark Robe: “It is the wrong time for you, Bāhiya, we have entered among the houses for alms.”

For a second time Bāhiya of the Bark Robe said this to the Gracious One: “But it is hard to know, reverend Sir, the dangers to the Gracious One’s life, or the dangers to my life! Let the Gracious One preach the Dhamma to me, reverend Sir, let the Fortunate One preach the Dhamma, that will be for my benefit and happiness for a long time.”

For a second time the Gracious One said this to Bāhiya of the Bark Robe: “It is the wrong time for you, Bāhiya, we have entered among the houses for alms.”

For a third time Bāhiya of the Bark Robe said this to the Gracious One: “But it is hard to know, reverend Sir, the dangers to the Gracious One’s life, or the dangers to my life! Let the Gracious One preach the Dhamma to me, reverend Sir, let the Fortunate One preach the Dhamma, that will be for my benefit and happiness for a long time.”

“In that case, Bāhiya, you should train yourself thus: In what is seen there must be only what is seen, in what is heard there must be only what is heard, in what is sensed there must be only what is sensed, in what is cognized there must be only what is cognized. This is the way, Bāhiya, you should train yourself.

“And since for you, Bāhiya, in what is seen there will be only what is seen, in what is heard there will be only what is heard, in what is sensed there will be only what is sensed, in what is cognized there will be only what is cognized, therefore, Bāhiya, you will not be with that; and since, Bāhiya, you will not be with that, therefore, Bāhiya, you will not be in that; and since, Bāhiya, you will not be in that, therefore, Bāhiya, you will not be here or hereafter or in between the two—just this is the end of suffering.”

Then through the Gracious One’s brief teaching of this Dhamma Bāhiya of the Bark Robe’s mind was immediately freed from the pollutants, without attachment. Then the Gracious One, having advised Bāhiya of the Bark Robe with this brief advice, went away.

Then not long after the Gracious One had gone a cow with a young calf, having attacked Bāhiya of the Bark Robe, deprived him of life.

Then the Gracious One after walking for alms in Sāvatthī, while returning from the alms-round after the meal, after going out from the city with many monks, saw that Bāhiya of the Bark Robe had died. After seeing him, he addressed the monks, saying:

“Monks, take up Bāhiya of the Bark Robe’s body, and after putting it on a bier, carrying it away, and burning it, make a memorial mound for him, your fellow in the spiritual life, monks, has died.”

“Yes, reverend Sir,” said those monks, and after replying to the Gracious One, putting Bāhiya of the Bark Robe’s body on a bier, carrying it away, burning it, and making a memorial mound for him, they went to the Gracious One, and after going and worshipping the Gracious One, they sat down on one side.

While sat on one side those monks said this to the Gracious One: “Burnt, reverend Sir, is Bāhiya of the Bark Robe’s body, and the memorial mound for him has been made. What is his destination? What is his future state?”

“A wise man, monks, was Bāhiya of the Bark Robe, who practiced Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma, and did not trouble me on account of the Dhamma. Completely emancipated, monks, is Bāhiya of the Bark Robe.” Then the Gracious One, having understood the significance of it, on that occasion uttered this exalted utterance:

“In the place where the water, earth, fire, and wind find no footing,
There the stars do not shine, nor does the sun give light,
There the moon does not glow, there darkness is not found.

And when the sage, the brāhmaṇa, has experienced nibbāna through his own sagacity,
Then from both form and formless, happiness and suffering, he is free.”

This exalted utterance was also said by the Gracious One, so I have heard.