[I: The First Teachings]

right click to download mp3

2: The Story about the Goatherd’s (Tree) Cf. Udāna 1.4.
(The Grumbling Brāhmaṇa) The story of the grumbling brāhmaṇa is placed later in Mahāvastu, on the journey between Uruvelā and Isipatana, see the Text and Translation Uruvilvā to Ṛṣipatana elsewhere on this website.

Then with the passing of seven days, the Fortunate One, Jā Nid places the temptation by Māra’s daughters during this week, but it goes completely unnoticed in the earlier text. On the other hand Jā Nid does not mention the encounter with the brāhmaṇa recorded here. after arising from that concentration, approached the Goatherd’s Banyan (tree) Comm: it seems that the goat-herders, having gone to the shade of that Banyan tree, would sit down (there), therefore the name Goatherds’ Banyan tree arose. According to the commentary this was east of the Awakening tree. from the root of the Awakening tree, and after approaching the root of the Goatherds’ Banyan tree he sat in one cross-legged posture for seven days experiencing the happiness of liberation. Jā Nid states that it is now five weeks since the Awakening, the first week having been spent in blissful contemplation, the second worshipping the Bodhi Tree, the third walking in the jewelled walkway, and the fourth reflecting on the Abhidhamma collection; exactly where the first section recorded above fits in is not clear, unless it is taken as the conclusion of the last section.

Then a certain brāhmaṇa who was a grumbler by nature Described by the commentary as being one who believes that luck arises through what is seen, like seeing a lucky black cat in the morning, and says that he was a grumbler through conceit and through anger. approached the Fortunate One, and after approaching he exchanged greetings with the Fortunate One, and after exchanging courteous talk ChS adds: he spoke grumblingly, and he spoke in praise of speaking grumblingly, but this is unknown to the other texts. and greetings, he stood on one side. While standing on one side that brāhmaṇa said this to the Fortunate One:

“To what extent, dear Gotama, is one a brāhmaṇa? And again what things make one a brāhmaṇa?”

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

“That brāhmaṇa who has barred wickedness, There is a pun on bāhita (barred) and brāhmaṇa, which is nearly lost in Pāḷi owing to the reintroduction of the -r- element. In the original language it must have been *bāhmaṇa, or something very similar, where the pun would have been more obvious.
Not grumbling, free from blemish, self-restrained,
With perfect understanding, (and) the spiritual life accomplished,
Righteously he might speak a word about the Brahman, Comm: he might righteously speak this word, saying “I am a brāhmaṇa.” This may be the meaning, but it is not what it says, as Brahma- cannot be equal to brāhmaṇa-.
For him there is no arrogance Comm: there is no arrogance like the arrogance owing to passion, hatred, delusion, conceit or views. anywhere in the world.” This verse differs somewhat from the parallel verse in Mahāvastu, see Uruvilvā to Ṛṣipatana elsewhere on this website.

The Story about the Goatherd’s (Tree) is finished