Udāna 1: Bodhivaggo
The Chapter (including the Discourses) about the Awakening (Tree)

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5: The Discourse about the Elders

 

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 venerable Sāriputta, venerable Mahāmoggallāna, venerable Mahākassapa, venerable Mahākaccāyana, venerable Mahākoṭṭhita, venerable Mahākappina, venerable Mahācunda, venerable Anuruddha, venerable Revata, and venerable Nanda went to the Gracious One. Ānando in BJT. Nando in ChS, which is to be preferred, as all the bhikkhus who are named are Arahants (Brāhmaṇas), while Ānanda was still a sekha (trainee).01

The Gracious One saw those venerable ones coming while still far away, Wijesekera, Syntax §131c has shown that dūrato in these contexts does not mean from afar (which makes it sound like they had come a long way, but while they were still a distance away (from him), which I follow in the translation here.02 and having seen (them), he addressed the monks (saying): “These brāhmaṇas are coming, monks; these brāhmaṇas are coming, monks.” Repetition as here is a common form of emphasis in the Pāḷi discourses.03

After that was said, a certain monk who was a brāhmaṇa by birth, said to the Gracious One: “To what extent, dear Gotama, is one a brāhmaṇa? And again what things make one a brāhmaṇa?”

Then the Gracious One, having understood the significance of it, on that occasion uttered this exalted utterance:

“Those who, having removed bad things, live always mindful,
The Buddhas who have destroyed the fetters, truly they are brāhmaṇas in the world.” Buddha is applied here to all who have attained Awakening: disciples, individual Buddhas, and Perfect Sambuddhas.04