143 Anata Pindikovada Sutta

Anatapindikovada

Advice to Anathapindika


§ 1    [258] . THUS HAVE I HEARD. On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapindika’s Park.

§ 2.    Now on that occasion the householder Anathapindika was afflicted, suffering, and gravely ill. Then he addressed a certain man thus: “Come, good man, go to the Blessed One, pay homage in my name with your head at his feet, and say:

‘Venerable sir, the householder Anathapindika is afflicted, suffering, and gravely ill; he pays homage with his head at the Blessed One’s feet.’ Then go to the venerable Sariputta, pay homage in my name with your head at his feet, and say: ‘Venerable sir, the householder Anathapindika is afflicted, suffering, and gravely ill; he pays homage with his head at the venerable Sariputta’s feet.’ Then say: ‘It would be good, venerable sir, if the venerable Sariputta would come to the residence of the householder Anathapindika, out of compassion.'”

“Yes, sir,” the man replied, and he went to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to the Blessed One, he sat down at one side and delivered his message. Then he went to the venerable Sariputta, and after paying homage to the venerable Sariputta, he delivered his message, saying: “It would be good, venerable sir, if the venerable Sariputta would come to the residence of the householder Anathapindika, out of compassion.” The venerable Sariputta consented in silence.

§ 3.            Then the venerable Sariputta dressed, and taking his bowl and outer robe, went to the residence of the householder Anathapindika with the venerable Ananda as his attendant.

Having gone there, [259] he sat down on a seat made ready and said to the householder Anathapindika: “I hope you are getting well, householder, I hope you are comfortable. I hope your painful feelings are subsiding and not increasing, and that their subsiding, not their increase, is apparent.”

§ 4.                “Venerable Sariputta, I am not getting well, I am not comfortable. My painful feelings are increasing, not subsiding; their increase and not their subsiding is apparent. Just as if a strong man were splitting my head open with a sharp sword, so too, violent winds cut through my head. I am not getting well.. .Just as if a strong man were tightening a tough leather strap around my head as a headband, so too, there are violent pains in my head. I am not getting well…Just as if a skilled butcher or his apprentice were to carve up an ox’s belly with a sharp butcher’s knife, so too, violent winds are carving up my belly. I am not getting well…Just as if two strong men were to seize a weaker man by both arms and roast him over a pit of hot coals, so too, there is a violent burning in my body. I am not getting well, I am not comfortable. My painful feelings are increasing, not subsiding; their increase and not their subsiding is apparent.”

§ 5. “Then, householder, you should train thus: ‘I will not cling to the eye, and my consciousness will not be dependent on the eye.’1305
[MA says that clinging to the eye takes place by way of desire and lust; consciousness is dependent on the eye by way of craving and views. However, since Anathapindika was already a stream-enterer, dependence for him would have involved only craving, views having been eradicated by the path of stream-entry.]

Thus you should train. You should train thus: ‘I will not cling to the ear…I will not cling to the nose…I will not cling to the tongue…I will not cling to the body…I will not cling to the mind, and my consciousness will not be dependent on the mind.’ Thus you should train.

§ 6. “Householder, you should train thus:- ‘I will not cling to forms…I will not cling to sounds…I will not cling to odours…I will not cling to flavours…I will not cling to tangibles…I will not cling to mind-objects, and my consciousness will not be dependent on mind-objects.’ Thus you should train.

§ 7. “Householder, you should train thus: ‘I will not cling to eye-consciousness…I will not cling to ear-consciousness…I will not cling to nose-consciousness…I will not cling to tongue-consciousness…

I will not cling to body-consciousness…I will not cling to mind-consciousness, and my consciousness will not be dependent on mind-consciousness.’ Thus you should train.

§ 8.  “Householder, you should train thus: ‘I will not cling to eye-contact…[260]…I will not cling to ear-contact…I will not cling to nose-contact…I will not cling to tongue-contact…1 will not cling to body-contact…I will not cling to mind-contact, and my consciousness will not be dependent on mind-contact.’ Thus you should train.

§ 9. “Householder, you should train thus: ‘I will not cling to feeling born of eye-contact…I will not cling to feeling born of ear-contact…I will not cling to feeling born of nose-contact…I will not cling to feeling born of tongue-contact…I will not cling to feeling born of body-contact…I will not cling to feeling born of mind-contact, and my consciousness will not be dependent on feeling born of mind-contact.’ Thus you should train.

§ 10. “Householder, you should train thus: ‘I will not cling to the earth element…I will not cling to the water element…I will not cling to the fire element…I will not cling to the air element…I will not cling to the space element…I will not cling to the consciousness element, and my consciousness will not be dependent on the consciousness element.’ Thus you should train.

§ 11. “Householder, you should train thus: ‘I will not cling to material form…I will not cling to feeling…I will not cling to perception…I will not cling to formations…I will not cling to consciousness, and my consciousness will not be dependent on consciousness.’ Thus you should train.

§ 12. “Householder, you should train thus: ‘I will not cling to the base of infinite space…I will not cling to the base of infinite consciousness…I will not cling to the base of nothingness [261].. .1 will not cling to the base of neither-perception-nor-nonperception, and my consciousness will not be dependent on the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception.’ Thus you should train.

§ 13. “Householder, you should train thus: ‘I will not cling to this world, and my consciousness will not be dependent on this world. I will not cling to the world beyond, and my consciousness will not be dependent on the world beyond.’ Thus you should train.

§ 14. “Householder, you should train thus: ‘I will not cling to what is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, encountered, sought after, and examined by the mind, and my consciousness will not be dependent on that.’ Thus you should train.”

§ 15. When this was said, the householder Anathapindika wept and shed tears. Then the venerable Ananda asked him: “Are you foundering, householder, are you sinking?”

“I am not foundering, venerable Ananda, I am not sinking. But although I have long waited upon the Teacher and bhikkhus worthy of esteem, never before have I heard such a talk on the Dhamma.”

“Such talk on the Dhamma, householder, is not given to lay people clothed in white. Such talk on the Dhamma is given to those who have gone forth.”1306
[1306 This statement does not imply that there is any inherent exclusiveness or arbitrary discrimination in the Buddha’s way of presenting his teaching. But as those who remain in lay life must look after their families, possessions, and occupations, such talk leading to complete detachment would not have been appropriate for them.]

“Well then, venerable Sariputta, let such talk on the Dhamma be given to lay people clothed in white. There are clansmen with little dust in their eyes who are wasting away through not hearing [such talk on] the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.”

§ 16. Then, after giving the householder Anathapindika this advice, the venerable Sariputta and the venerable Ananda rose from their seats and departed. Soon after they had left, [262] the householder Anathapindika died and reappeared in the Tusita heaven.

§ 17. Then, when the night was well advanced, Anathapindika, now a young god of beautiful appearance, went to the Blessed One, illuminating the whole of Jeta’s Grove. After paying homage to the Blessed One, he stood at one side and addressed the Blessed One in stanzas:

“Oh blessed is this Jeta’s Grove,
Dwelt in by the sagely Sangha,
Wherein resides the King of Dhamma,
The fount of all my happiness.

By action, knowledge and Dhamma,
By virtue and noble way of life –
By these are mortals purified,
Not by lineage or wealth.

Therefore a wise person who sees
What truly leads to his own good,
Should investigate the Dhamma
And purify himself with it.

Sariputta has reached the peak
In virtue, peace, and wisdom’s ways;
Any bhikkhu who has gone beyond
At best can only equal him.”

That is what the young god Anathapindika said, and the Teacher approved. Then the young god Anathapindika, thinking:
“The Teacher has approved of me,” paid homage to the Blessed One, and keeping him on his right, he vanished at once.

When the night had ended, the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus:
“Bhikkhus, last night when the night was well advanced, there came to me a certain young god of beautiful appearance who illuminated the whole of Jeta’s Grove. After paying homage to me, he stood at one side and addressed me in stanzas thus:

‘Oh blessed is this Jeta’s Grove… At best can only equal him.’ [263]

§ 18. That is what the young god said. Then the young god, thinking:
‘The Teacher has approved of me,’ paid homage to me, and keeping me on his right, he vanished at once.”

§ 19. When the night had ended, the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Bhikkhus, last night when the night was well advanced, there came to me a certain young god of beautiful appearance who illuminated the whole of Jeta’s Grove. After
paying homage to me, he stood at one side and addressed me in stanzas thus:
                         ‘Oh blessed is this Jeta’s Grove…
………………….At best can only equal him.’ [263]

§ 20.           When this was said, the venerable Ananda said to the Blessed One: “Surely, venerable sir, that young god must have been Anathapindika. For the householder Anathapindika had perfect confidence in the venerable Sariputta.”

“Good, good, Ananda! You have deduced the right conclusion. That young god was Anathapindika, no one else.”

That is what the Blessed One said. The venerable Ananda was satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

2011-Brahm Retreat

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s