70 Kitagiri Sutta

At Kitagiri

TALK 1

§ 1. THUS HAVE I HEARD. On one occasion the Blessed One was wandering in the Kasi country together with a large Sangha of bhikkhus. There he addressed the bhikkhus thus:

§ 2. “Bhikkhus, I abstain from eating at night. By so doing, I am free from illness and affliction, and I enjoy health, strength, and a comfortable abiding. Come, bhikkhus, abstain from eating at night. By so doing, you too will be free from illness and affliction, and you will enjoy health, strength, and a comfortable abiding.”696 [See n.671. From this passage and that to follow, it appears that the Buddha restricted the allowable time for bhikkhus’ meals in two successive stages, first prohibiting only the afternoon meal and allowing a night meal. However, in the Vinaya account of the origin of Pac 37 (Vin iv .85) no mention is made of this successive prohibition. To the contrary, the text seems to assume that it is an item of common knowledge that monks should not consume food past noon, and it shows the Buddha laying down the rule against untimely eating with one complete pronouncement valid for all meals past noon In agreement with MN 66.6, MA explains that the Buddha had first prohibited the afternoon meal and then at a later time prohibited the night meaL He did this out of concern for the delicate bhikkhus in the Order, since they might have become fatigued too quickly if both late meals were prohibited simultaneously]
“Yes, venerable sir,” they replied.

§ 3. Then, as the Blessed One was wandering by stages in the Kasi country, he eventually arrived at a Kasi town called Kitagiri. There he lived in this Kasi town, Kitagiri.

Now on that occasion the bhikkhus named Assaji and Punabbasuka were residing at Kitagiri.697 [697 In the Vinaya Pitaka, Assaji a n d Punab basuka are described as “unscrupulous and depraved” monks and are shown indulging in various kinds of bad conduct that bring about the corruption of the laity. At Kitagiri an act of banishment was pronounced against them, and their refusal to obey led to the promulgation of Sanghadisesa 13 (Vin iii.179-84).]

Then a number of bhikkhus went and told them: “Friends, the Blessed One and the Sangha of bhikkhus now abstain from eating at night. By so doing, they are free from illness and affliction, and they enjoy health, strength, and a comfortable abiding. Come, friends, abstain from eating at night. By so doing, you too will be free, from illness and affliction, and you will enjoy health, strength, and a comfortable abiding.” [474] When this was said, the bhikkhus Assaji and Punabbasuka told those bhikkhus:
“Friends, we eat in the evening, in the morning, and in the day outside the proper time. By so doing, we are free from illness and affliction, and we enjoy health, strength, and a comfortable abiding. Why should we abandon [a benefit] visible here and now to pursue [a benefit to be achieved] at a future time? We shall eat in the evening, in the morning, and in the day outside the proper time.”

§5. Since the bhikkhus were unable to convince the bhikkhus Assaji and Punabbasuka, they went to the Blessed One. After paying homage to him, they sat down at one side and told him all that had occurred, adding: “Venerable sir, since we were unable to convince the bhikkhus Assaji and Punabbasuka, we have reported this matter to the Blessed One.”

§6. Then the Blessed One addressed a certain bhikkhu thus:
“Come, bhikkhu, tell the bhikkhus Assaji and Punabbasuka in my name that the Teacher calls them.”
“Yes, venerable sir,” he replied, and he went to the bhikkhus Assaji and Punabbasuka and told them: “The Teacher calls you, friends.”
“Yes, friend,” they replied, and they went to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to him, sat down at one side.

The Blessed One then said: “Bhikkhus, is it true that when a number of bhikkhus went and told you: ‘Friends, the Blessed One and the Sangha now abstain from eating at night.. .Come, friends, abstain from eating at night [475]…,’ you told those bhikkhus: ‘Friends, we eat in the evening.. .Why should we abandon [a benefit] visible here and now to pursue [a benefit to be achieved] at a future time? We shall eat in the evening, in the morning, and in the day outside the proper time’?” –
“Yes, venerable sir.”

“Bhikkhus, have you known me to teach the Dhamma in such a way as this:
‘Whatever this person experiences, whether pleasant or painful or neither- painful-nor-pleasant, unwholesome states diminish in him and wholesome states increase’?”698[MA: This statement is made with pointed reference to pleasure experienced in eating a night meal, which does not conduce to the practice of a monk’s duties.]
“No, venerable sir.”

§7. “Bhikkhus, have you not known me to teach the Dhamma in such a way as this: ‘Here, when someone feels a certain kind of pleasant feeling, unwholesome states increase in him and wholesome states diminish; but when someone feels another kind of pleasant feeling, unwholesome states diminish in him and wholesome states increase.699 [MA: The former type of pleasant feeling is the joy based on the household life, the latter the joy based on renunciation. Similarly, the next two sentences refer to the grief and equanimity based, respectively, on the household life and on renunciation. See MN 137.9-15.]

Here, when someone feels a certain kind of painful feeling, unwholesome states increase in him and wholesome states diminish; but when someone feels another kind of painful feeling, unwholesome states diminish in him and wholesome states increase. Here, when someone feels a certain kind of neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, unwholesome states increase in him and wholesome states diminish; but when someone feels another kind of neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, unwholesome states diminish in him and wholesome states increase’?” – “Yes, venerable sir.”

§8. “Good, bhikkhus.700 [§§8-10 serve to provide, by appeal to the Buddha’s perfect understanding, the grounds for his injunction to abandon all feelings based on the household life and to develop the feelings based on renunciation.]

  • And if it were unknown by me, unseen, unfound, unrealised, uncontacted by wisdom thus: ‘Here, when someone feels a certain kind of pleasant feeling, unwholesome states increase in him and wholesome states diminish,’ would it be fitting for me, not knowing that, to say: ‘Abandon such a kind of pleasant feeling’?” –
    “No, venerable sir.”
  • “But because it is known by me, seen, found, realised, contacted by wisdom thus:
    ‘Here, when someone feels a certain kind of pleasant feeling [476], unwholesome states increase in him and wholesome states diminish,’ that I therefore say: ‘Abandon such a kind of pleasant feeling.’
  • “If it were unknown by me, unseen, unfound, unrealised, uncontacted by wisdom thus: ‘Here, when someone feels another kind of pleasant feeling, unwholesome states diminish in him and wholesome states increase,’ would it be fitting for me, not knowing that, to say: ‘Enter upon and abide in such a kind of pleasant feeling’?”
    – “No, venerable sir.”
  • “But because it is known by me, seen, found, realised, contacted by wisdom thus: ‘Here, when someone feels another kind of pleasant feeling, unwholesome states diminish in him and wholesome states increase,’ that I therefore say: ‘Enter upon and abide in such a kind of pleasant feeling.’

§9. “If it were unknown by me unseen, unfound, unrealised, uncontacted by wisdom thus:.Here, when someone feels a certain kind of painful feeling, unwholesome states increase in him and wholesome states diminish,’

..But because it is known by me…contacted by wisdom thus:

  • ‘Here, when someone feels a certain kind of painful feeling, unwholesome states increase in him and wholesome states diminish,’ that I therefore say:
    ‘Abandon such a kind of painful feeling.’
  • “If it were unknown by me…But because it is known by me…contacted by wisdom thus:
    ‘Here, when someone feels another kind of painful feeling, unwholesome states diminish in him and wholesome states increase,’ that I therefore say: ‘Enter upon and abide in such a kind of painful feeling.’

§10. “If it were unknown by me…But because it is known by me…contacted by wisdom thus:

  • Here, when someone feels a certain kind of neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, unwholesome states increase in him and wholesome states diminish,’ that I therefore say: ‘Abandon such a kind of neither-painful nor- pleasant feeling.
  • “If it were unknown by me…But because it is known by me…contacted by wisdom thus: ‘Here, when someone feels another kind of neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, unwholesome states diminish in him and wholesome states increase,’ that I therefore say: [477] ‘Enter upon and abide in such a kind of neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.’

§11. “Bhikkhus, I do not say of all bhikkhus that they still have work to do with diligence; nor do I say of all bhikkhus that they have no more work to do with diligence.

§12. “I do not say of those bhikkhus who are arahants with taints destroyed, who have lived the holy life, done what had to be done, laid down the burden, reached the true goal, destroyed the fetters of being, and are completely liberated through final knowledge, that they still have work to do with diligence. Why is that? They have done their work with diligence; they are no more capable of being negligent.

§13. “I say of such bhikkhus who are in higher training, whose minds have not yet reached the goal, and who are still aspiring to the supreme security from bondage, that they still have work to do with diligence. Why is that? Because when those venerable ones make use of suitable resting places and associate with good friends and balance their spiritual faculties, they may by realising for themselves with direct knowledge here and now enter upon and abide in that supreme goal of the holy life for the sake of which clansmen rightly go forth from the home life into homelessness. Seeing this fruit of diligence for these bhikkhus, I say that they still have work to do with diligence.

§14. “Bhikkhus, there are seven kinds of persons to be found existing in the world.701
[Here follows a seven-fold classification of noble individuals 
which categorises them not merely on the basis of their path and fruit attainment – as the more familiar eight-fold scheme does – but according to their dominant faculty.
Alternative definitions of these seven are offered by Pug 1 :30-36 / 14-15.]
What seven?

They are:

  • one liberated-in both ways,
  • one liberated-by-wisdom,
  • a body-witness,
  • one attained-to-view,
  • one liberated-by-faith,
  • a Dhamma-follower, and
  • a faith-follower.

Talk 2

§15. “What kind of person is one liberated-in-both-ways?

Here some person contacts with the body and abides in those liberations that are peaceful and immaterial, transcending forms, and his taints are destroyed by his seeing with wisdom. This kind of person is called one liberated-in-both-ways.702 [Ubhatobhagavimutta. MA: He is “liberated-in-both-ways”
because he is liberated from the physical body by the immaterial attainments and from the mental body by the path (of arahantship). The Pug definition reads: “He contacts · with the body and abides in the eight liberations, and his taints are destroyed by his seeing with wisdom.”
MA says that the ubhatobhagavimutta includes those who attain arahantship after emerging from one or another of the four immaterial attainments and the one who attains
it after emerging from the attainment of cessation.]

I do not say of such a bhikkhu that he still has work to do with diligence.
Why is that?
He has done his work with diligence; he is no more capable of being negligent.

§16. “What kind of person is one liberated-by-wisdom?

Here some person does not contact with the body and abide in those liberations that are peaceful and immaterial, transcending forms, but his taints are destroyed by his seeing with wisdom.
This kind of person is called one liberated-by-wisdom.703 [478][Panna-vimutta. MA: This includes those who attain arahantship either as dry-insight meditators (sukkha-vipassaka)
or after emerging from one or another of the four jhanas. The Pug definition merely substitutes the eight liberations for “those liberations . . . transcending forms. “]

I do not say of such a bhikkhu that he still has work to do with diligence.
Why is that?
He has done his work with diligence; he is no more capable of being negligent.

§17. “What kind of person is a body-witness? Here some person contacts with the body and abides in those liberations that are peaceful and immaterial, transcending forms, and some of his taints are destroyed by his seeing with wisdom. This kind of person is called a body-witness.704 [Kayasakkhin. MA: This type includes the six individuals – from the one established in the fruit of stream-entry up to the one on the path of arahantship – who first contact the (immaterial) jhanas and subsequently realise Nibbana. MT stresses that one or another of the immaterial attainments including cessation is needed to qualify as kayasakkhin. The Pug definition merely substitutes the eight liberations.]

I say of such a bhikkhu that he still has work to do with diligence.
Why is that?

Because when that venerable one makes use of suitable resting places and associates with good friends and balances his spiritual faculties, he may by realising for himself with direct knowledge here and now enter upon and abide in that supreme goal of the holy life for the sake of which clansmen rightly go forth from the home life into homelessness. Seeing this fruit of diligence for such a bhikkhu, I say that he still has work to do with diligence.

§18. “What kind of person is one attained-to-view?

Here some person does not contact with the body and abide in those liberations that are peaceful and immaterial, transcending forms, but some of his taints are destroyed by his seeing with wisdom, and he has reviewed and examined with wisdom the teachings proclaimed by the Tathagata. This kind of person is called one attained-to-view.705 [Ditthipatta. MA says that this type includes the same six individuals included under kaya sakkhin – from the stream-enterer to the one on the path of arahantship – but without possession of the immaterial attainments. Pug defines him as one who has understood the Four Noble Truths and who has reviewed and examined with wisdom the teachings proclaimed by the Tathagata.]

I say of such a bhikkhu that he still has work to do with diligence.
Why is that?
Because when that venerable one…into homelessness. Seeing this fruit of diligence for such a bhikkhu, I say that he still has work to do with diligence.

§19. “What kind of person is one liberated-by-faith?

Here some person does not contact with the body and abide in those liberations that are peaceful and immaterial, transcending forms, but some of his taints are destroyed by his seeing with wisdom, and his faith is planted, rooted, and established in the Tathagata.706 [Saddhavimutta. MA says that this type too includes the same six. Pug defines him in the same way as it defines the ditthipatta, but adds that he has not reviewed and examined the teachings with wisdom to the same extent that the ditthipatta has.]
This kind of person is called one liberated-by-faith.

I say of such a bhikkhu that he still has work to do with diligence.
Why is 
that?
Because when that venerable one [479]…into homelessness. 
Seeing this fruit of diligence for such a bhikkhu, I say that he still has work to do with diligence.

§ 20. “What kind of person is a Dhamma-follower?

Here some person does not contact with the body and abide in those liberations that are peaceful and immaterial, transcending forms, and his taints are not yet destroyed by his seeing with wisdom, but with wisdom he has sufficiently gained a reflective acceptance
of those teachings proclaimed by the Tathagata. Furthermore, he has these qualities: the faith faculty, the energy faculty, the mindfulness faculty, the concentration faculty, and the wisdom faculty. This kind of person is called a Dhamma-follower.707 [MA says that this type, the dhammllnusarin, and the next, the saddhtinusarin, are individuals on the path of stream-entry, the former with predominance of wisdom, the latter with predominance of faith. For more on these two types, see n.273.]

I say of such a bhikkhu that he still has work to do with diligence.
Why 
is that?
Because when that venerable one…into homelessness.

Seeing this fruit of diligence for such a bhikkhu, I say that he still has work to do with diligence.

§  21. “What kind of person is a faith-follower?

Here some person does not contact with the body and abide in those liberations that are peaceful and immaterial, transcending forms, and his taints are not yet destroyed by his seeing with wisdom, yet he has sufficient faith in and love for the Tathagata.

Furthermore, he has these qualities:

  • the faith faculty, the energy faculty, 
  • the mindfulness faculty,
  • the concentration faculty, and
  • the wisdom faculty.

This kind of person is called a faith-follower.
I say 
of such a bhikkhu that he still has work to do with diligence.
Why is that?
Because when that venerable one makes use of 
suitable resting places and associates with good friends and balances his spiritual faculties, he may by realising for himself with direct knowledge here and now enter upon and abide in that supreme goal of the holy life for the sake of which clansmen rightly go forth from the home life into homelessness. Seeing this fruit of diligence for such a bhikkhu, I say that he still has work to do with diligence.

§ 22. “Bhikkhus, I do not say that final knowledge is achieved all at once. On the contrary, final knowledge is achieved by gradual training, by gradual practice, by gradual progress. [480]

§ 23. “And how does there come to be gradual training, gradual practice, gradual progress?

Here one who has faith [in a teacher] visits him; when he visits him, he pays respect to him; when he pays respect to him, he gives ear; one who gives ear hears the Dhamma; having heard the Dhamma, he memorises it; he examines the meaning of the teachings he has memorised; when he examines their meaning, he gains a reflective acceptance of those teachings; when he has gained a reflective acceptance of those teachings, zeal springs up in him; when zeal has sprung up, he applies his will; having applied his will, he scrutinises; having scrutinised, he strives; resolutely striving, he realises with the body the ultimate truth and sees it by penetrating it with wisdom.708 [MA: With the mental body he realises Nibbana, the ultimate truth, and he penetrates it with the wisdom
pertaining to the supramundane path.]

§ 24. “There has not been that faith,709 [That is, these bhikkhus have not had the faith required to undertake the training laid down for them by the Buddha.] bhikkhus, and there has not been that visiting, and there has not been that paying of respect, and there has not been that giving ear, and there has not been that hearing of the Dhamma, and there has not been that memorising of the Dhamma, and there has not been that examination
of the meaning, and there has not been that reflective acceptance of the teachings, and there has not been that zeal, and there has not been that application of will, and there has not been that scrutiny, and there has not been that striving. Bhikkhus, you have lost your way; bhikkhus, you have been practising the wrong way. How far you have strayed, misguided men, from this Dhamma and Discipline!

§ 25. “Bhikkhus, there is a four-phrased statement, and when it is recited a wise man would quickly understand it.710 [MA says that the “four-phrased statement” (catuppadaril
veyyakaraJJaril) is the teaching of the Four Noble Truths. However I no mention is made here of the four truths.]

I shall recite it to you, bhikkhus. Try to understand it.”
“Venerable sir, who are we that we should understand the Dhamma?”

§ 26. “Bhikkhus, even with a teacher who is concerned with material things, an heir to material things, attached to material things, such haggling [by his disciples] would not be proper: ‘If we get this, we will do it; if we don’t get this, we won’t do it’; so what [should be said when the teacher is] the Tathagata, who is utterly detached from material things?

§ 27. “Bhikkhus, for a faithful disciple who is intent on fathoming the Teacher’s Dispensation, it is proper that he conduct himself thus:

‘The Blessed One is the Teacher,
I am a disciple;
the 
Blessed One knows,
I do not know.’

For a faithful disciple who is intent on fathoming the Teacher’s Dispensation, the Teacher’s Dispensation is nourishing and refreshing. For a faithful disciple who is intent on fathoming the Teacher’s Dispensation, [481] it is proper that he conduct himself thus: ‘Willingly, let only my skin, sinews, and bones remain, and let the flesh and blood dry up on my body, but my energy shall not be relaxed so long as I have not attained what can be attained by manly strength, manly energy, and manly persistence.’711 [MA: By this the Buddha shows that the ideal disciple practises by arousing his energy and resolving: “I shall not rise up so long as I have not attained arahantship. “] 

For a faithful disciple who is intent on fathoming the Teacher’s Dispensation, one of two fruits may be expected: either final knowledge here and now or, if there is a trace of clinging left, non-return.”

That is what the Blessed One said.

The bhikkhus were satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

susara-pothuwel

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