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

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4: The Discourse about the Banyan (Tree)


Thus I heard:
at one time the Gracious One was dwelling near Uruvelā, on the bank of the river Nerañjarā, at the root of the Goatherd's Banyan tree, in the first (period) after attaining Awakening.

Then at that time the Gracious One was sitting in one cross-legged posture for seven days experiencing the happiness of freedom.

Then with the passing of those seven days, the Gracious One arose from that concentration. Then a certain brāhmaṇa who was by nature a grumbler went to the Gracious One, This construction yena <person (or place)> tenupasaṅkami is an idiom, meaning literally: by where the < person (or place)> was, by there he approached. For a study of these approach formulas (based on Dīghanikāya) see Mark Allon, Style and Function (Tokyo, 1997).01 and after going he exchanged greetings with the Gracious One. After exchanging courteous talk and greetings, he stood on one side. While stood on one side that brāhmaṇa said this 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:

“That brāhmaṇa who has removed bad things, There is a word play here between brāhmaṇo & bāhita-, which is almost lost with the Sanskritisation of brāhmaṇo, which re-introduces the -r- element, which must have been missing in the original dialect. The word play is even more obscured in the Udānavarga version (33-13), where bāhita- has become vāhita-. The same word play occurs in the udāna in the following discourse also.02
Not grumbling, free from blemish, self-restrained,
With perfect understanding, (and) the spiritual life accomplished,
Righteously he might speak a word about the Brahman, Another word play, this time having reference to the Brāhmaṇical doctrine of the impersonal Brahman, as found in the Upaniṣads.03
For him there is no arrogance anywhere in the world.” Ussada is from ussīdati, to raise oneself up. It seems preferable to take the word as being used in an ethical sense.04