48 Kosambiya Sutta

The Kosambians

§1. THUS HAVE I HEARD. On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Kosambi in Ghosita’s Park.

§2. Now on that occasion the bhikkhus at Kosambi had taken to quarreling and brawling and were deep in disputes, stabbing each other with verbal daggers. They could neither convince each other nor be convinced by others; they could neither persuade each other nor be persuaded by others.491[491 The background to this sutta is the quarrel at Kosambi, which is related at Vin Mv Kh 1 0 (Vin i. 337 ff.) and in Nanamoli, The Life of the Buddha, pp. 109-19. The quarrel, which began with a casual misunderstanding of a minor disciplinary rule, quickly flared up and divided a large part of the Sangha and laity resident at Kosambi into two hostile factions.]

§ 3. Then [321] a certain bhikkhu went to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to him, he sat down at one side and informed him of what was happening.

§ 4. Then the Blessed One addressed a certain bhikkhu thus:

“Come, bhikkhu, tell those bhikkhus in my name that the Teacher calls them.” – “Yes, venerable sir,” he replied, and he went to those bhikkhus and told them: “The Teacher calls the venerable ones.”

“Yes, friend,” they replied, and they went to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to him, they sat down at one side. The Blessed One then asked them: “Bhikkhus, is it true that you have taken to quarrelling and brawling and are deep in disputes, stabbing each other with verbal daggers; that you can neither convince each other nor be convinced by others, that you can neither persuade each other nor be persuaded by others?”

“Yes, venerable sir.”

§5. “Bhikkhus, what do you think? When you take to quarreling and brawling and are deep in disputes, stabbing each other with verbal daggers, do you on that occasion maintain acts of loving-kindness by body, speech, and mind in public and in private towards your companions in the holy life?”

“No, venerable sir.”

“So, bhikkhus, when you take to quarreling and brawling and are deep in disputes, stabbing each other with verbal daggers, on that occasion you do not maintain acts of loving-kindness by body, speech, and mind in public and in private towards your companions in the holy life. Misguided men, what can you possibly know, what can you see, that you take to quarreling and brawling and are deep in disputes, [322] stabbing each other with verbal daggers? That you can neither convince each other nor be convinced by others, that you can neither persuade each other nor be persuaded by others? Misguided men, that will lead to your harm and suffering for a long time.”

§ 6. Then the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus:

“Bhikkhus, there are these six memorable qualities that create love and respect and conduce to helpfulness, to non-dispute, to concord, and to unity.

What are the six?

  • “Here a bhikkhu maintains bodily acts of loving-kindness both in public and in private towards his companions in the holy life. This is a memorable quality that creates love and respect, and conduces to helpfulness, to non-dispute, to concord, and to unity.
  • “Again, a bhikkhu maintains verbal acts of loving-kindness both in public and in private towards his companions in the  holy life. This is a memorable quality that creates love and respect, and conduces to…unity.
  • “Again, a bhikkhu maintains mental acts of loving-kindness both in public and in private towards his companions in the holy life. This is a memorable quality that creates love and respect, and conduces to…unity.
  • “Again, a bhikkhu uses things in common with his virtuous companions in the holy life; without making reservations, he shares with them any gain of a kind that accords with the Dhamma and has been obtained in a way that accords with the Dhamma, including even the contents of his bowl. This is a memorable quality that creates love and respect, and conduces to…unity.
  • “Again, a bhikkhu dwells both in public and in private possessing in common with his companions in the holy life those virtues that are unbroken, untorn, unblotched, unmottled, liberating, commended by the wise, not misapprehended, and conducive to concentration. This too is a memorable quality that creates love and respect, and conduces to.. .unity.
  • “Again, a bhikkhu dwells both in public and in private possessing in common with his companions in the holy life that view that is noble and emancipating, and leads one who practices in accordance with it to the complete destruction of suffering.492 [MA: This is the right view belonging to the noble path.]  This too is a memorable quality that creates love and respect, and conduces to  helpfulness, to non-dispute, to concord, and to unity.

“These are the six memorable qualities that create love and respect, and conduce to helpfulness, to non-dispute, to concord, and to unity.

§7. “Of these memorable qualities, the highest, the most comprehensive, the. most conclusive is this view that is noble and emancipating, and leads the one who practises in accordance with it to the complete destruction of suffering. Just as the highest, the most comprehensive, the most conclusive part of a pinnacled building is the pinnacle itself, so too, [323] of these six memorable qualities, the highest…is this view that is noble and emancipating…

§ 8. “And how does this view that is noble and emancipating lead the one who practises in accordance with it to the complete destruction of suffering?

“Here a bhikkhu, gone to the forest or to the root of a tree or to an empty hut, considers thus: ‘Is there any obsession unabandoned in myself that might so obsess my mind that I cannot know or see things as they actually are?’ If a bhikkhu is obsessed by sensual lust, then his mind is obsessed. If he is obsessed by ill will, then his mind is obsessed. If he is obsessed by sloth and torpor, then his mind is obsessed. If he is obsessed by restlessness and remorse, then his mind is obsessed. If he is obsessed by doubt, then his mind is obsessed. If a bhikkhu is absorbed in speculation about this world, then his mind is obsessed. If a bhikkhu is absorbed in speculation about the other world, then his mind is obsessed. If a bhikkhu takes to quarreling and brawling and is deep in disputes, stabbing others with verbal daggers, then his mind is obsessed.

“He understands thus: ‘There is no obsession unabandoned in myself that might so obsess my mind that I cannot know and see things as they actually are. My mind is well disposed for awakening to the truths 493 [The Four Noble Truths.] This is the first knowledge attained by him that is noble, supramundane, not shared by ordinary people.

§ 9. “Again, a noble disciple considers thus: ‘When I pursue, develop, and cultivate this view, do I obtain internal serenity, do I personally obtain stillness?’

“He understands thus: ‘When I pursue, develop, and cultivate this view, I obtain internal serenity, I personally obtain stillness.’

This is the second knowledge attained by him that is noble, supramundane, not shared by ordinary people.

§ 10. “Again, a noble disciple considers thus: ‘Is there any other recluse or brahmin outside [the Buddha’s Dispensation] possessed of a view such as I possess?’

“He understands thus: “There is no other recluse or Brahmin outside [the Buddha’s Dispensation] possessed of a view [324] such as I possess.’ This is the third knowledge attained by him that is noble, supramundane, not shared by ordinary people.

§ 11.”Again, a noble disciple considers thus: ‘Do I possess the character 494 [Dhammata. of a person who possesses right view?’ What is the character of a person who possesses right view? This is the character of a person who possesses right view: although he may commit some land of offence for which a means of rehabilitation has been laid down,495 [This is a breach of the code of monastic discipline from which a bhikkhu can be rehabilitated either by a formal act of the Sangha or by confession to another bhikkhu. Even though a noble disciple may commit such an offence unintentionally or through lack of knowledge, he makes no attempt to conceal it but immediately discloses it and seeks the means of rehabilitation.] still he at once confesses,  reveals, and discloses it to the Teacher or to wise companions in the holy life, and having done that, he enters upon restraint for the future. Just as  a young, tender infant lying prone at once draws back when he puts his hand or his foot on a live coal, so too, that is the character of a person who possesses right view.

“He understands thus: ‘I possess the character of a person who possesses right view.’ This is the fourth knowledge attained by him that is noble, supramundane, not shared by ordinary people.

§ 12. “Again, a noble disciple considers thus: ‘Do I possess the character of a person who possesses right view?’ What is the character of a person who possesses right view? This is the character of a person who possesses right view: although he may be active in various matters for his companions in the holy life, yet he has a keen regard for training in the higher virtue, training in the higher mind, and training in the higher wisdom. Just as a cow with a new calf, while she grazes watches her calf, so too, that is the character of a person who possesses right view.

“He understands thus: ‘I possess the character of a person who possesses right view.’ This is the fifth knowledge attained by him that is noble, supramundane, not shared by ordinary people. [325]

§ 13. “Again, a noble disciple considers thus: ‘Do I possess the strength496 [Balata] of a person who possesses right view?’ What is the strength of a person who possesses right view? This is the strength of a person who possesses right view: when the Dhamma and Discipline proclaimed by the Tathagata is being taught, he heeds it, gives it attention, engages it with all his mind, hears the Dhamma as with eager ears.

“He understands thus: ‘I possess the strength of a person who possesses right view.’ This is the sixth knowledge attained by him that is noble, supramundane, not shared by ordinary people.

§ 14. “Again, a noble disciple considers thus: ‘Do I possess the strength of a person who possesses right view?’ What is the strength of a person who possesses right view? This is the strength of a person who possesses right view: when the Dhamma and Discipline proclaimed by the Tathagata is being taught, he gains inspiration in the meaning, gains inspiration in the Dhamma, gains gladness connected with the Dhamma.

“He understands thus: ‘I possess the strength of a person who possesses right view.’ This is the seventh knowledge attained by him that is noble, supramundane, not shared by ordinary people.

§ 15. “When a noble disciple is thus possessed of seven factors, he has well sought the character for realisation of the fruit of stream-entry. When a noble disciple is thus possessed of seven factors, he possesses the fruit of stream-entry.”498[MA calls those seven factors the “great reviewing knowledges” (mahapaccavekkhatJti:fia1Ja) of a stream-enterer. On the reviewing knowledges see Vsm XXII, 19-21.]

That is what the Blessed One said. The bhikkhus were satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

Majjima Nikaya-2

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