[I. The First Teachings]

[Isipatanasamosaraṇaṁ]
[8. The Meeting at Isipatana]

Atha kho Bhagavā anupubbena cārikaṁ caramāno
Then the Gracious One, while walking gradually on walking tour

yena Bārāṇasī Isipatanaṁ Migadāyo
o approached Bārāṇasī and the group-of-five monks

yena pañcavaggiyā bhikkhū tenupasaṅkami.
at the Deer Park in Isipatana. Mahāvastu and Lalitavistara again have more detail. apparently the Buddha met some yakkhas on the way; and had an encounter with a ferryman when he needed to cross the river Ganges, but having no money he crossed by supernatural power (see From Uruvilva to Ṛṣipatana elsewhere on this website); this incident is said to have led to King Bimbisāra abolishing fares for monks on ferries.01

Addasaṁsu kho pañcavaggiyā bhikkhū Bhagavantaṁ dūrato va āgacchantaṁ
The group-of-five monks saw the Gracious One coming from afar

disvāna aññam-aññaṁ saṇṭhapesuṁ:
and after seeing (him), they resolved among themselves (on this course of action):

“Ayaṁ āvuso Samaṇo Gotamo āgacchati bāhuliko,
“This Ascetic Gotama who is coming, friends, is given to luxury,

padhānavibbhanto āvatto bāhullāya.
forsaking the striving he has gone back to luxury.

So neva abhivādetabbo na paccuṭṭhātabbo,
He should certainly not be worshipped or stood up for,

nāssa pattacīvaraṁ paṭiggahetabbaṁ,
nor should his bowl and robe be taken,

api ca kho āsanaṁ ṭhapetabbaṁ sace ākaṅkhissati nisīdissatī.” ti
however, we can prepare a seat - if he wishes he will sit down.”

Yathā yathā kho Bhagavā pañcavaggiye bhikkhū upasaṅkamati,
As the Gracious One approached the group-of-five monks,

tathā tathā te pañcavaggiyā bhikkhū sakāya katikāya asaṇṭhahantā,
the group-of-five monks were unable to continue with their own agreement, According to Jā Nid this was because the Buddha was pervading them with loving-kindness (mettā).02

Bhagavantaṁ paccuggantvā, eko Bhagavato pattacīvaraṁ paṭiggahesi,
and after going out to meet the Gracious One, one took the Gracious One's bowl and robe,

eko āsanaṁ paññāpesi,
one prepared the seat,

eko pādodakaṁ pādapīṭhaṁ pādakathalikaṁ upanikkhipi.
one placed the water (for washing) the feet, the foot-stool, and the foot-stand,

nisīdi Bhagavā paññatte āsane,
and the Gracious One sat down on the prepared seat,

nisajja kho Bhagavā pāde pakkhālesi.
and while sitting the Gracious One washed his feet.

 

Apissu Bhagavantaṁ nāmena ca āvusovādena ca samudācaranti.
Then they addressed the Gracious One by name and by the word ‘friend’.

Evaṁ vutte Bhagavā pañcavaggiye bhikkhū etad-avoca:
After this was said, the Gracious One said this to the group-of-five monks:

“Mā bhikkhave Tathāgataṁ nāmena ca āvusovādena ca samudācarittha,
“Do not address the Gracious One by name, monks, and by the word ‘friend’,

Arahaṁ bhikkhave Tathāgato Sammāsambuddho,
the Realised One is a Worthy One, a Perfect Sambuddha,

odahatha bhikkhave sotaṁ, Amatam-adhigataṁ aham-anusāsāmi,
lend an ear, monks, I will instruct you about the attainment of the Deathless, Comm: Amataṁ Nibbānaṁ mayā adhigatan-ti dasseti; the Deathless Emancipation attained by me is what is meant; which refers the clause back to himself, though one might have thought it meant the Buddha intends teaching the others the Path to the Deathless Emancipation, in the Pāḷi it can be read either way.03

ahaṁ Dhammaṁ desemi, yathānusiṭṭhaṁ tathā paṭipajjamānā,
I will teach the Dhamma, (and) following the path as it has been preached,

na cirasseva, yassatthāya kulaputtā sammad-eva
after no long time you will (attain) that good for which young men of good family

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajanti,
rightly go forth from the home to the homeless life,

tad-anuttaraṁ brahmacariyapariyosānaṁ,
that unsurpassed conclusion to the spiritual life,

diṭṭhe va dhamme sayaṁ abhiññā sacchikatvā upasampajja viharissathā.” ti
and will dwell having known, experienced, and attained it yourselves in this very life.”

 

Evaṁ vutte pañcavaggiyā bhikkhū Bhagavantaṁ etad-avocuṁ:
After this was said, the group-of-five monks said this to the Gracious One:

“Tāya pi kho tvaṁ āvuso Gotama cariyāya,
“But you, friend Gotama, They are still using āvuso and his clan name, even though told not to because they are still unconvinced of the Buddha's achievement.04 by that (ascetic) lifestyle,

tāya paṭipadāya tāya dukkarakārikāya,
that practice, that difficult way of living,

nevajjhagā uttarimanussadhammaṁ alam-ariyañāṇadassanavisesaṁ.
did not arrive at a state beyond (ordinary) human beings, a distinction of what is truly noble knowledge and insight.

Kiṁ pana tvaṁ etarahi bāhuliko,
So how can you now, given to luxury,

padhānavibbhanto, āvatto bāhullāya, adhigamissasi
forsaking the striving, gone back to luxury, attain

uttarimanussadhammaṁ alam-ariyañāṇadassanavisesan?”-ti
a state beyond (ordinary) human beings, a distinction of what is truly noble knowledge and insight?”

Evaṁ vutte Bhagavā pañcavaggiye bhikkhū etad-avoca:
After this was said, the Gracious One said this to the group-of-five monks:

“Na bhikkhave Tathāgato bāhuliko,
“The Realised One, monks, is not given to luxury,

na padhānavibbhanto, na āvatto bāhullāya.
is not forsaking the striving, and has not gone back to luxury.

Arahaṁ bhikkhave Tathāgato Sammāsambuddho,
The Realised One is a Worthy One, a Perfect Sambuddha,

odahatha bhikkhave sotaṁ Amatam-adhigataṁ aham-anusāsāmi,
lend an ear, monks, I will instruct you about the attainment of the Deathless,

ahaṁ Dhammaṁ desemi yathānusiṭṭhaṁ thatā paṭipajjamānā,
I will teach the Dhamma, (and) following the path as it has been preached,

na cirasseva, yassatthāya kulaputtā sammad-eva
after no long time (you will attain) that good for which young men of good family

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajanti,
rightly go forth from the home to the homeless life,

tad-anuttaraṁ brahmacariyapariyosānaṁ,
that unsurpassed conclusion to the spiritual life,

diṭṭhe va dhamme sayaṁ abhiññā sacchikatvā upasampajja viharissathā.” ti
and will dwell having known, experienced, and attained it yourselves in this very life.”

 

Dutiyam-pi kho pañcavaggiyā bhikkhū Bhagavantaṁ etad-avocuṁ:
For a second time the group-of-five monks said this to the Gracious One:

“Tāya pi kho tvaṁ āvuso Gotama cariyāya,
“But you, friend Gotama, by that (ascetic) lifestyle,

tāya paṭipadāya tāya dukkarakārikāya,
that practice, that difficult way of living,

nevajjhagā uttarimanussadhammaṁ alam-ariyañāṇadassanavisesaṁ.
did not arrive at a state beyond (ordinary) human beings, a distinction of what is truly noble knowledge and insight.

Kiṁ pana tvaṁ etarahi bāhuliko,
So how can you now, given to luxury,

padhānavibbhanto, āvatto bāhullāya, adhigamissasi
forsaking the striving, gone back to luxury, attain

uttarimanussadhammaṁ alam-ariyañāṇadassanavisesan?”-ti
a state beyond (ordinary) human beings, a distinction of what is truly noble knowledge and insight?”

Dutiyam-pi kho Bhagavā pañcavaggiye bhikkhū etad-avoca:
For a second time, the Gracious One said this to the group-of-five monks:

“Na bhikkhave Tathāgato bāhuliko,
“The Realised One, monks, is not given to luxury,

na padhānavibbhanto, na āvatto bāhullāya.
is not forsaking the striving, and has not gone back to luxury.

Arahaṁ bhikkhave Tathāgato Sammāsambuddho,
The Realised One is a Worthy One, a Perfect Sambuddha,

odahatha bhikkhave sotaṁ Amatam-adhigataṁ aham-anusāsāmi,
lend an ear, monks, I will instruct you about the attainment of the Deathless,

ahaṁ Dhammaṁ desemi yathānusiṭṭhaṁ tathā paṭipajjamānā,
I will teach the Dhamma, (and) following the path as it has been preached,

na cirasseva, yassatthāya kulaputtā sammad-eva
after no long time (you will attain) that good for which young men of good family

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajanti,
rightly go forth from the home to the homeless life,

tad-anuttaraṁ brahmacariyapariyosānaṁ,
that unsurpassed conclusion to the spiritual life,

diṭṭhe va dhamme sayaṁ abhiññā sacchikatvā upasampajja viharissathā.” ti
and will dwell having known, experienced, and attained it yourself in this very life.”

 

Tatiyam-pi kho pañcavaggiyā bhikkhū Bhagavantaṁ etad-avocuṁ:
For a third time the group-of-five monks said this to the Gracious One:

“Tāya pi kho tvaṁ āvuso Gotama cariyāya,
“But you, friend Gotama, by that (ascetic) lifestyle,

tāya paṭipadāya tāya dukkarakārikāya,
that practice, that difficult way of living,

nevajjhagā uttarimanussadhammaṁ alam-ariyañāṇadassanavisesaṁ.
did not arrive at a state beyond (ordinary) human beings, a distinction of what is truly noble knowledge and insight.

Kiṁ pana tvaṁ etarahi bāhuliko,
So how can you now, given to luxury,

padhānavibbhanto, āvatto bāhullāya, adhigamissasi
forsaking the striving, gone back to luxury, attain

uttarimanussadhammaṁ alam-ariyañāṇadassanavisesan?”-ti
a state beyond (ordinary) human beings, a distinction of what is truly noble knowledge and insight?”

Evaṁ vutte Bhagavā pañcavaggiye bhikkhū etad-avoca:
After this was said, the Gracious One said this to the group-of-five monks:

“Abhijānātha me no tumhe bhikkhave ito pubbe evarūpaṁ bhāsitam-etan?”-ti
“Are you aware of my having spoken to you like this before?”

“No hetaṁ Bhante.”
“Certainly not, venerable Sir.” Here they address the Buddha as Bhante, rather than āvuso, marking their conviction that he really has attained Sambodhi, and their willingness to listen to him with respect.05

“Arahaṁ bhikkhave Tathāgato Sammāsambuddho,
“The Realised One is a Worthy One, a Perfect Sambuddha,

odahatha bhikkhave sotaṁ Amatam-adhigataṁ aham-anusāsāmi,
lend an ear, monks, I will instruct you about the attainment of the Deathless,

ahaṁ Dhammaṁ desemi yathānusiṭṭhaṁ tathā paṭipajjamānā,
I will teach the Dhamma, (and) following the path as it has been preached,

na cirasseva, yassatthāya kulaputtā sammad-eva
after no long time (you will attain) that good for which young men of good family

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajanti,
rightly go forth from the home to the homeless life,

tad-anuttaraṁ brahmacariyapariyosānaṁ,
that unsurpassed conclusion to the spiritual life,

diṭṭhe va dhamme sayaṁ abhiññā sacchikatvā upasampajja viharissathā,” ti
and will dwell having known, experienced, and attained it yourself in this very life,”

asakkhi kho Bhagavā pañcavaggiye bhikkhū saññāpetuṁ.
and the Gracious One was able to persuade the group-of-five monks. Comm: “Ahaṁ Buddho” ti jānāpetuṁ asakkhi; was able to persuade them: “I am a Buddha”.06

Atha kho pañcavaggiyā bhikkhū Bhagavantaṁ sussūsiṁsu,
Then the group-of-five monks listened to the Gracious One,

sotaṁ odahiṁsu aññāya cittaṁ upaṭṭhāpesuṁ.
they lent an ear, (so as) to attend with their mind to deep knowledge.