[II. Progress of the Sāsana]

Bhaddavaggiyasahāyakānaṁ Vatthu
20. The Tale of the Good Group of Friends

Atha kho Bhagavā Bārāṇasiyaṁ yathābhirantaṁ viharitvā,
Then the Gracious One, having dwelt in Bārāṇasī as long as he liked,

yena Uruvelā tena cārikaṁ pakkāmi.
left on a walking tour for Uruvelā. This is where he had attained Awakening before coming to Bārāṇasī and Isipatana. It is strange indeed that the Buddha seems to have made this journey alone.01

Atha kho Bhagavā maggā okkamma,
Then the Gracious One, having gone down from the road,

yena aññataro vanasaṇḍo tenupasaṅkami,
approached a certain jungle thicket, Named as Kappāsiya in Jā Nid.02

upasaṅkamitvā taṁ vanasaṇḍaṁ ajjhogāhetvā,
and after approaching and entering that jungle thicket,

aññatarasmiṁ rukkhamūle nisīdi.
he sat down at the root of a certain tree.

Tena kho pana samayena tiṁsamattā bhaddavaggiyā sahāyakā sapajāpatikā,
Then at that time a group of thirty good friends, At the beginning of the commentary to the Kaṭhinakkhandhaka they are said to have been 30 brothers having the Kosalan king as father (kosalarañño ekapitukabhātūnaṁ).03 together with their wives, In Mahāvastu this group are all said to be batchelors and they only bring along one harlot, who is named as Upārdha Kasikā, which indicates that she was from a farming background.04

tasmiṁ vanasaṇḍe paricārenti.
were amusing themselves in that jungle thicket.

Ekassa pajāpati nāhosi, tassa atthāya vesī ānītā ahosi.
One, who was not married, Lit: not a husband.05 had for that reason brought along a harlot. Literally vesī means a woman belonging to the third caste, but the word had come to mean a prostitute or a harlot. If Mahāvastu is correct about the name, then she would actually belong to the sudda caste.06

Atha kho sā vesī tesu pamattesu paricārentesu,
Then that harlot, while they were amusing themselves heedlessly,

bhaṇḍaṁ ādāya palāyittha.
having taken his belongings, ran away.


Atha kho te sahāyakā sahāyakassa veyyāvaccaṁ karontā,
Then those friends, doing their friend a service,

taṁ itthiṁ gavesantā taṁ vanasaṇḍaṁ āhiṇḍantā.
were searching for that woman and wandering around in that jungle thicket.

Addasaṁsu Bhagavantaṁ aññatarasmiṁ rukkhamūle nisinnaṁ,
They saw the Gracious One sitting at the root of a certain tree,

disvāna yena Bhagavā tenupasaṅkamiṁsu,
and after seeing (him) they approached the Gracious One,

upasaṅkamitvā Bhagavantaṁ etad-avocuṁ:
and after approaching they said this to the Gracious One:

“Api Bhante Bhagavā itthiṁ passeyyā?” ti
“Can the Gracious One, venerable Sir, see a woman?”

“Kiṁ pana vo kumārā itthiyā?” ti
“But why, young men, (look for) a woman?”

“Idha mayaṁ Bhante tiṁsamattā bhaddavaggiyā sahāyakā sapajāpatikā,
“Here, venerable Sir, we, a group of thirty good friends, together with our wives,

imasmiṁ vanasaṇḍe paricārayimhā.
were amusing ourselves in this jungle thicket.

Ekassa pajāpati nāhosi, tassa atthāya vesī ānītā ahosi.
One, who was not married, had for that reason brought along a harlot.

Atha kho sā Bhante vesī amhesu pamattesu paricārentesu,
Then that harlot, venerable Sir, while we were amusing ourselves heedlessly,

bhaṇḍaṁ ādāya palāyittha.
having taken his belongings, ran away.

Tena mayaṁ Bhante sahāyakā sahāyakassa veyyāvaccaṁ karontā,
Therefore we, venerable Sir, doing our friend a service,

taṁ itthiṁ gavesantā imaṁ vanasaṇḍaṁ āhiṇḍāmā.” ti
are searching for that woman and wandering around in this jungle thicket.”

“Taṁ kiṁ maññatha vo kumārā katamaṁ nu kho tumhākaṁ varaṁ:
“What do you think of this, young men, what is better for you:

yaṁ vā tumhe itthiṁ gaveseyyātha, yaṁ vā attānaṁ gaveseyyāthā?” ti
that you should search for a woman, or that you should search for yourselves?” Horner: seek for the self; which gives the wrong impression, as though they were to seek for their Higher Self. The word attānaṁ however is plural and no indication of the Self is given in the text.07

“Etad-eva Bhante amhākaṁ varaṁ yaṁ mayaṁ attānaṁ gaveseyyāmā.” ti
“This is better for us, venerable Sir, that we should search for ourselves.”

“Tena hi vo kumārā nisīdatha Dhammaṁ vo desessāmī.” ti
“Then, young men, be seated, I will teach the Dhamma to you.”

“Evaṁ Bhante” ti kho te bhaddavaggiyā sahāyakā,
“Certainly, venerable Sir,” said that group of good friends,

Bhagavantaṁ abhivādetvā ekam-antaṁ nisīdiṁsu.
and after worshipping the Gracious One, they sat down on one side.

Tesaṁ Bhagavā anupubbikathaṁ kathesi,
The Gracious One spoke about the gradual teaching to them,

seyyathīdaṁ: dānakathaṁ sīlakathaṁ saggakathaṁ,
that is to say: talk about giving, talk about virtue, talk about heaven,

kāmānaṁ ādīnavaṁ okāraṁ saṅkilesaṁ,
the danger, degradation, and defilement of sensual desires,

nekkhamme ānisaṁsaṁ pakāsesi.
and the advantages of renunciation, (these) he explained.

Yadā te Bhagavā aññāsi kallacitte muducitte,
When the Gracious One knew that they had ready minds, pliable minds,

vinīvaraṇacitte udaggacitte pasannacitte,
open minds, uplifted minds, confident minds,

atha yā Buddhānaṁ sāmukkaṁsikā Dhammadesanā taṁ pakāsesi:
he explained to them the Dhamma teaching the Awakened Ones have discovered themselves:

Dukkhaṁ Samudayaṁ Nirodhaṁ Maggaṁ.
Suffering, Origination, Cessation, Path.

Seyyathā pi nāma suddhaṁ vatthaṁ apagatakāḷakaṁ
Just as it is known that a clean cloth without a stain

sammad-eva rajanaṁ paṭiggaṇheyya,
will take the dye well,

evam-eva tesaṁ tasmiṁ yeva āsane,
just so to them on that very seat,

virajaṁ vītamalaṁ Dhammacakkhuṁ udapādi:
the dust-free, stainless Vision-of-the-Dhamma arose: Comm: kesañ-ci Sotāpattimaggo, kesañ-ci Sakadāgāmimaggo, kesañ-ci Anāgāmimaggo udapādi; to some arose the path of Stream-Entry, to some Once-Returning, to some Non-Returning.08

“Yaṁ kiñci samudayadhammaṁ,
“Whatever has the nature of arising,

sabban-taṁ nirodhadhamman.”-ti
all that has the nature of ceasing.”


Te diṭṭhadhammā pattadhammā,
They, having seen the Dhamma, attained the Dhamma,

viditadhammā pariyogāḷhadhammā tiṇṇavicikicchā vigatakathaṁkathā,
understood the Dhamma, penetrated the Dhamma, crossed over uncertainty, being without doubts,

vesārajjappattā aparappaccayā Satthusāsane Bhagavantaṁ etad-avocuṁ:
having attained full confidence, having become independent of others in the Teacher's teaching, said this to the Gracious One:

“Labheyyāma mayaṁ Bhante Bhagavato santike pabbajjaṁ,
“May we receive the going-forth, venerable Sir, in the presence of the Gracious One,

labheyyāma upasampadan.”-ti
may we receive the full ordination.”

“Etha bhikkhavo” ti Bhagavā avoca “svākkhāto Dhammo,
“Come, monks,” Notice that the Buddha is still giving the ehi bhikkhu ordination, even after the new going-for-refuge ordination procedure has been introduced. Indeed even much later he will give Sāriputta and Mahāmoggallāna the ehibhikkhu ordination also, see below.09 said the Gracious One, “the Dhamma has been well-proclaimed,

caratha brahmacariyaṁ sammā dukkhassa antakiriyāyā.” ti
live the spiritual life for the complete ending of suffering.”

Sā va tesaṁ āyasmantānaṁ upasampadā ahosi.
That was these venerable ones' full ordination. Jā Nid mentions that these too were sent off to teach in the different directions.10

Bhaddavaggiyasahāyakānaṁ Vatthu Niṭṭhitaṁ
The Tale of the Good Group of Friends is Finished

The Second Section for Recital [is Finished]