[II. Progress of the Sāsana]

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15: The Going-Forth of (Yasa's) Four Householder Friends

Four of the venerable Yasa's householder friends, sons of good families of greater and lesser merchants in Bārāṇasī, (named) Vimala, Subāhu, Puṇṇaji and Gavampati Apart from Gavampati, for whom see Th. 38, this is the only mention of these monks in the Canon.01 heard: “The young man Yasa, it seems, after shaving off his hair and beard, and donning brown garments, It is not clear what colour kāsāya really was, as the dictionaries mention red, ochre, yellow and brown. According to CPD (s.v. kasāya) it was made from the juice of myrobalan. It is interesting that the word used in these stock phrases is vattha, garments or clothes, rather than cīvara, robes.02 has gone forth from the home to the homeless life.” After hearing (it), this occurred to them: “This is not an inferior Dhamma and Discipline, not an inferior going-forth in which the young man Yasa, after shaving off his hair and beard, and donning brown garments, has gone forth from the home to the homeless life.”

They approached the venerable Yasa, and after approaching and worshipping the venerable Yasa, they stood on one side. Then the venerable Yasa took those four householder friends and approached the Gracious One, and after approaching and worshipping the Gracious One, he sat down on one side. While sitting on one side the venerable Yasa said this to the Gracious One: “These, venerable Sir, are four of my householder friends sons of good families of greater and lesser merchants in Bārāṇasī, (named) Vimala, Subāhu, Puṇṇaji and Gavampati, please advise them, Gracious One, please instruct them.”

The Gracious One spoke about the gradual teaching to them, that is to say: talk about giving, talk about virtue, talk about heaven, the danger, degradation, and defilement of sensual desires, and the advantages of renunciation, (these) he explained. When the Gracious One knew that they had ready minds, pliable minds, open minds, uplifted minds, confident minds, he explained to them the Dhamma teaching the Awakened Ones have discovered themselves: Suffering, Origination, Cessation, Path.

Just as it is known that a clean cloth without a stain will take the dye well, just so to them on that very seat, the dust-free, stainless Vision-of-the-Dhamma arose:

“Whatever has the nature of arising, all that has the nature of ceasing.”

They, having seen the Dhamma, attained the Dhamma, understood the Dhamma, penetrated the Dhamma, crossed over uncertainty, being without doubts, having attained full confidence, having become independent of others in the Teacher's teaching, said this to the Gracious One: “May we receive the going-forth, venerable Sir, in the presence of the Gracious One, may we receive the full ordination.” “Come, monks,” said the Gracious One, “the Dhamma has been well-proclaimed, live the spiritual life for the complete ending of suffering.” That was these venerable ones' full ordination.

Then the Gracious One gave advice and instruction with a Dhamma talk to those monks. As the Gracious One gave advice and instruction with a Dhamma talk their minds were liberated from the pollutants, without attachment, and at that time there were eleven Worthy Ones in the world.