Udāna 5: Soṇavaggo
The Chapter (including the Discourse) about Soṇa

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5: The Discourse about the Observance

 

Thus I heard:
at one time the Gracious One was dwelling near Sāvatthī, at the Eastern Monastery in Migāra's mother's mansion.

Then at that time the Gracious One was sitting surrounded by the Community of monks on the Observance Day.

Then venerable Ānanda, when the night had passed, when the first watch of the night had gone, after rising from his seat, arranging his robe on one shoulder, and raising his hands in respectful salutation, said this to the Gracious One: “The night has passed, reverend Sir, the first watch of the night has gone, for a long time the Community of monks has been sitting, may the Gracious One recite the Pātimokkha for the monks.”

When that was said, the Gracious One was silent.

For a second time venerable Ānanda, when the night had passed, when the middle watch of the night had gone, after rising from his seat, arranging his robe on one shoulder, and raising his hands in respectful salutation, said this to the Gracious One: “The night has passed, reverend Sir, the middle watch of the night has gone, for a long time the Community of monks has been sitting, may the Gracious One recite the Pātimokkha for the monks.”

For a second time the Gracious One was silent.

For a third time venerable Ānanda, when the night had passed, when the last watch of the night had gone, when dawn had risen, when the night had a joyful appearance, after rising from his seat, arranging his robe on one shoulder, and raising his hands in respectful salutation, said this to the Gracious One: “The night has passed, reverend Sir, the last watch of the night has gone, dawn has risen, the night has a joyful appearance, for a long time the Community of monks has been sitting, may the Gracious One recite the Pātimokkha for the monks.”

“The assembly is not compeletly pure, Ānanda.”

Then it occurred to venerable Mahāmoggallāna: “With regard to which person did the Gracious One say this: ‘The assembly is not compeletly pure, Ānanda’? ”

Then venerable Mahāmoggallāna applied his mind and encompassed fully the whole of that Community of monks with his mind. Venerable Mahāmoggallāna saw that person who was lacking in virtue, of bad character, of impure and doubtful conduct, who covered up his deeds, who was not an ascetic, though making it known he was an ascetic, who was not living the spiritual life, though making it known he was living the spiritual life, who was filthy inside, polluted, and gone rotten, sat in the middle of the Community of monks.

Having seen (him), after rising from his seat he went to that person, and after going, he said this to that person: “Get up, friend, you have been seen by the Gracious One, there is no longer communion for you with the monks.”

Then that person was silent.

For a second time venerable Mahāmoggallāna said this to that person: “Get up, friend, you have been seen by the Gracious One, there is no longer communion for you with the monks.”

For a second time that person was silent.

For a third time venerable Mahāmoggallāna said this to that person: “Get up, friend, you have been seen by the Gracious One, there is no longer communion for you with the monks.”

For a third time that person was silent.

Then venerable Mahāmoggallāna, having taken that person by the arm, having expelled him outside the doorway, and drawn the lock, went to the Gracious One, and after going, he said this to the Gracious One: “I have expelled that person, reverend Sir, the assembly is (now) compeletly pure, may the Gracious One, venerable Sir, recite the Pātimokkha for the monks.”

“It is wonderful, Moggallāna, it is marvellous, Moggallāna, how that foolish person waited until he was grabbed by the arm.”

Then the Gracious One addressed the monks: “From now onwards, monks, I will not hold the Observance, or recite the Pātimokkha. From now onwards, monks, you must hold the Observance, and recite the Pātimokkha. This is impossible, monks, it is not permitted, that the Realised One should hold the Observance in an assembly that is not compeletly pure, and should recite the Pātimokkha.

There are these eight wonderful and marvellous things about the great ocean, monks, which, having seen and considered, I translate disvā disvā here with it’s concrete and abstract meanings.01 the Asuras delight in the great ocean.

Which eight?

The great ocean, monks, gradually inclines, gradually slopes, gradually slants, certainly does not have an abrupt falling away.

That the great ocean, monks, gradually inclines, gradually slopes, gradually slants, certainly does not have an abrupt falling away, monks, is the first wonderful and marvellous thing about the great ocean, which, having seen and considered, the Asuras delight in the great ocean.

Furthermore, monks, the great ocean is a steady thing, which doesn't transgress the shoreline.

That the great ocean, monks, is a stable thing, which doesn't transgress the shoreline, monks, is the second wonderful and marvellous thing about the great ocean, which, having seen and considered, the Asuras delight in the great ocean.

Furthermore, monks, the great ocean does not endure a dead corpse, and when there is a dead corpse in the great ocean it quickly carries it to the bank, throws it up on dry ground.

That the great ocean, monks, does not endure a dead corpse, and when there is a dead corpse in the great ocean it quickly carries it to the bank, throws it up on dry ground, monks, is the third wonderful and marvellous thing about the great ocean, which, having seen and considered, the Asuras delight in the great ocean.

Furthermore, monks, whatever great rivers there are, that is to say: The Gaṅgā, the Yamunā, the Aciravatī, the Sarabhū, and the Mahī, having arrived at the great ocean, they give up their former lineages and names, and are then designated as the great ocean.

That, monks, whatever great rivers there are, that is to say: The Gaṅgā, the Yamunā, the Aciravatī, the Sarabhū, and the Mahī, having arrived at the great ocean, give up their former lineages and names, and are then designated as the great ocean, monks, is the fourth wonderful and marvellous thing about the great ocean, which, having seen and considered, the Asuras delight in the great ocean.

Furthermore, monks, the streams in the world flow into the great ocean, and showers fall from the sky, but it is not known that there is a depletion or filling of the great ocean by that.

That, monks, the streams in the world flow into the great ocean, and showers fall from the sky, but it is not known that there is a depletion or filling of the great ocean by that, monks, is the fifth wonderful and marvellous thing about the great ocean, which, having seen and considered, the Asuras delight in the great ocean.

Furthermore, monks, the great ocean has one taste, the taste of salt.

That, monks, the great ocean has one taste, the taste of salt, monks, is the sixth wonderful and marvellous thing about the great ocean, which, having seen and considered, the Asuras delight in the great ocean.

Furthermore, monks, the great ocean has many precious things, countless precious things, and therein are these precious things, that is to say: pearls, crystals, lapis lazuli, mother-of-pearl, quartz, coral, silver, gold, ruby, and cat's eyes.

That, monks, the great ocean has many precious things, countless precious things, and therein are these precious things, that is to say: pearls, crystals, lapis lazuli, mother-of-pearl, quartz, coral, silver, gold, ruby, and cat's eyes, monks, is the seventh wonderful and marvellous thing about the great ocean, which, having seen and considered, the Asuras delight in the great ocean.

Furthermore, monks, the great ocean is a dwelling place for great beings, and therein are these beings: Timis, Timiṅgalas, Timirapiṅgalas, Asuras, Nāgas, Gandhabbas, and there are in the great ocean individuals of a hundred leagues, and individuals of two hundred leagues, and individuals of three hundred leagues, and individuals of four hundred leagues, and individuals of five hundred leagues.

That, monks, the great ocean is a dwelling place for great beings, and therein are these beings: Timis, Timiṅgalas, Timirapiṅgalas, Asuras, Nāgas, Gandhabbas, and there are in the great ocean individuals of a hundred leagues, and individuals of two hundred leagues, and individuals of three hundred leagues, and individuals of four hundred leagues, and individuals of five hundred leagues, monks, is the eighth wonderful and marvellous thing about the great ocean, which, having seen and considered, the Asuras delight in the great ocean.

These are these eight wonderful and marvellous things about the great ocean, which, having seen and considered, the Asuras delight in the great ocean.

In the same way, monks, there are eight wonderful and marvellous things about this Dhamma and Discipline, which, having seen and considered, the monks delight in this Dhamma and Discipline.

Which eight?

Just as the great ocean, monks, gradually inclines, gradually slopes, gradually slants, certainly does not fall away abruptly, so, monks, in this Dhamma and Discipline there is a gradual training, a gradual performance, a gradual practice, it certainly does not have an abrupt penetration of knowledge.

That, monks, in this Dhamma and Discipline there is a gradual training, a gradual performance, a gradual practice, and it certainly does not have an abrupt penetration of knowledge, is the first wonderful and marvellous thing, monks, about this Dhamma and Discipline, which, having seen and considered, the monks delight in this Dhamma and Discipline.

Just as, monks, the great ocean is a steady thing, which doesn't transgress the shoreline, so, monks, those training rules which are laid down by me for my disciples, my disciples do not transgress even for the sake of life.

That, monks, those training rules which are laid down by me for my disciples, my disciples do not transgress even for the sake of life, is the second wonderful and marvellous thing, monks, about this Dhamma and Discipline, which, having seen and considered, the monks delight in this Dhamma and Discipline.

Just as, monks, the great ocean does not endure a dead corpse, and when there is a dead corpse in the great ocean it quickly carries it to the bank, throws it up on dry ground, so, monks, that person who is lacking in virtue, of bad character, of impure and doubtful conduct, who covers up his deeds, who is not an ascetic, though making it known he is an ascetic, who is not living the spiritual life, though making it known he is living the spiritual life, who is filthy inside, polluted, and gone rotten, the Community does not endure that (person), but quickly having assembled together, suspend him, and whoever was sitting in the midst of the Community of monks is then far from the Community, and the Community from him.

That, monks, that person who is lacking in virtue, of bad character, of impure and doubtful conduct, who covers up his deeds, who is not an ascetic, though making it known he is an ascetic, who is not living the spiritual life, though making it known he is living the spiritual life, who is filthy inside, polluted, and gone rotten, the Community does not endure that (person), but quickly having assembled together, suspend him, and whoever was sitting in the midst of the Community of monks, is then far from the Community, and the Community from him, is the third wonderful and marvellous thing, monks, about this Dhamma and Discipline, which, having seen and considered, the monks delight in this Dhamma and Discipline.

Just as, monks, whatever great rivers there are, that is to say: The Gaṅgā, the Yamunā, the Aciravatī, the Sarabhū, and the Mahī, having arrived at the great ocean, give up their former lineages and names, and are then designated as the great ocean, so, monks, there are these four classes: Khattiyas, Brāhmaṇas, Vessas, and Suddas, who, having gone forth from the home to homelessness in the Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One, give up their former lineages and names, and are then designated as Sakyan ascetics.

That, monks, there are these four classes: Khattiyas, Brāhmaṇas, Vessas, and Suddas, who, having gone forth from the home to homelessness in the Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One, give up their former lineages and names, and are then designated as Sakyan ascetics, is the fourth wonderful and marvellous thing, monks, about this Dhamma and Discipline, which, having seen and considered, the monks delight in this Dhamma and Discipline.

Just as, monks, the streams in the world flow into the great ocean, and showers fall from the sky, but it is not known that there is a depletion or filling of the great ocean by that, so, monks, even if many monks, are completely emancipated in the Emancipation-element which has no basis for attachment remaining, it is not known that the Emancipation-element is either depleted or filled by that.

That, monks, even if many monks, are completely emancipated in the Emancipation-element which has no basis for attachment remaining, it is not known that the Emancipation-element is either depleted or filled by that, is the fifth wonderful and marvellous thing, monks, about this Dhamma and Discipline, which, having seen and considered, the monks delight in this Dhamma and Discipline.

Just as, monks, the great ocean has one taste, the taste of salt, so, monks, this Dhamma and Discipline has one taste, the taste of freedom.

That, monks, this Dhamma and Discipline has one taste, the taste of freedom, is the sixth wonderful and marvellous thing, monks, about this Dhamma and Discipline, which, having seen and considered, the monks delight in this Dhamma and Discipline.

Just as, monks, the great ocean has many precious things, countless precious things, and therein are these precious things, that is to say: pearls, crystals, lapis lazuli, mother-of-pearl, quartz, coral, silver, gold, ruby, and cat's eye, so, monks, this Dhamma and Discipline has many precious things, countless precious things, and therein are these precious things, that is to say: the four ways of attending to mindfulness, the four right efforts, the four paths to power, the five faculties, the five strengths, the seven factors of Awakening, the eight-fold noble path.

That, monks, this Dhamma and Discipline has many precious things, countless precious things, and therein are these precious things, that is to say: the four ways of attending to mindfulness, the four right efforts, the four paths to power, the five faculties, the five strengths, the seven factors of Awakening, the eight-fold noble path, is the seventh wonderful and marvellous thing, monks, about this Dhamma and Discipline, which, having seen and considered, the monks delight in this Dhamma and Discipline.

Just as, monks, the great ocean, is a dwelling place for great beings and therein are these beings: Timis, Timiṅgalas, Timirapiṅgalas, Asuras, Nāgas, Gandhabbas, and there are in the great ocean individuals of a hundred leagues, and individuals of two hundred leagues, and individuals of three hundred leagues, and individuals of four hundred leagues, and individuals of five hundred leagues, so, monks, this Dhamma and Discipline is a dwelling place for great beings, and therein are these beings: the stream-enterer, and he who is practising for the direct realisation of the fruit of stream-entry, the once-returner, and he who is practising for the direct realisation of the fruit of once-returning, the non-returner, and he who is practising for the direct realisation of the fruit of non-returning, the Worthy One, and he who is practising for the direct realisation of the fruit of Worthiness.

That, monks, this Dhamma and Discipline is a dwelling place for great beings, and therein are these beings: the stream-enterer, and he who is practising for the direct realisation of the fruit of stream-entry, the once-returner, and he who is practising for the direct realisation of the fruit of once-returning, the non-returner, and he who is practising for the direct realisation of the fruit of non-returning, the Worthy One, and he who is practising for the direct realisation of the fruit of Worthiness, is the eighth wonderful and marvellous thing, monks, about this Dhamma and Discipline, which, having seen and considered, the monks delight in this Dhamma and Discipline.

These are the eight wonderful and marvellous things about this Dhamma and Discipline, which, having seen and considered, the monks delight in this Dhamma and Discipline.”

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

“On what is covered (defilement) pours down, on what is open it does not pour down,
Therefore what is covered open up, so that it does not pour down on you.”