091 Brahmayu Sutta

32 Noble Marks of A Buddha
Part 1 of Sutta Exposition by Ven Bhikku Bodhi
Part 2 of Sutta Exposition by Ven Bhikku Bpdhi

§ 1. THUS HAVE I HEARD.
On one occasion the Blessed One was wandering in the country of the Videhans with a large Sangha of bhikkhus, with five hundred bhikkhus.

§ 2. Now on that occasion the brahmin Brahmāyu was living at Mithilā. He was old, aged, burdened with years, advanced in life, and come to the last stage; he was in his hundred and twentieth year. He was a master of the Three Vedas with their vocabularies, liturgy, phonology, and etymology, and the histories as a fifth; skilled in philology and grammar, he was fully versed in natural philosophy and in the marks of a Great Man.850

[850: This is a stock description of a learned brahmin. According to MA, the Three Vedas are the Iru, Yaju, and Sāma (= Rig, Yajur, and Sāman). The fourth Veda, the Atharva, is not mentioned, but MA says its existence is implied when the histories (Itihāsa) are called “the fifth,” i.e., of the works regarded as authoritative by the brahmins. It is more likely, however, that the histories are called “the fifth” in connection with the four branches of study auxiliary to the Vedas that precede them in the description. The translation of technical terms here follows MA, with the help of Monier-William’s Sanskrit-English Dictionary (Oxford, 1899). On the marks of a Great Man, MA says that this was a science based on 12,000 works explaining the characteristics of great men, such as Buddhas, paccekabuddhas, chief disciples, great disciples, Wheel-turning Monarchs, etc. These works included 16,000 verses called “The Buddha Mantra.”]

§3. The brahmin Brahmāyu heard: “The recluse Gotama, the son of the Sakyans who went forth from a Sakyan clan, has been wandering in the country of the Videhans with a large Sangha of bhikkhus, with five hundred bhikkhus.

Now a good report of Master Gotama has been spread to this effect: ‘The Blessed One is accomplished, fully enlightened, perfect in true knowledge and conduct, sublime, knower of worlds, incomparable leader of persons to be tamed, teacher of gods and humans, enlightened, blessed. He declares this world with its gods, its Māras, and its Brahmās, this generation with its recluses and brahmins, with its princes and its people, which he has himself realised with direct knowledge. He teaches the Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing, and he reveals a holy life that is utterly perfect and pure.’ Now it is good to see such arahants.” [134]

§ 4 . Now at that time the brahmin Brahmāyu had a young brahmin student named Uttara who was a master of the Three Vedas…fully versed in natural philosophy and in the marks of a Great Man.

He told his student:
“My dear Uttara, the recluse Gotama, the son of the Sakyans who went forth from a Sakyan clan, has been wandering in the country of the Videhans with a large Sangha of bhikkhus, with five hundred bhikkhus…Now it is good to see such arahants. Come, my dear Uttara, go to the recluse Gotama and find out whether the report spread about him is true or not, and whether Master Gotama is one such as this or not. Thus we shall know about Master Gotama through you.”

§ 5. “But how shall I find out, sir, whether the report spread about Master Gotama is true or not, and whether Master Gotama is one such as this or not?”

“My dear Uttara, the thirty-two marks of a Great Man have been handed down in our hymns, and the Great Man who is endowed with them has only two possible destinies, no other.851

[851:- The thirty-two marks, enumerated in §9 below, are the subject of an entire sutta in the Dı̄gha Nikāya, DN 30, Lakkhaṇa Sutta. There each of the marks is explained as the kammic consequence of a particular virtue perfected by the Buddha during his earlier existences as a bodhisatta.

If he lives the home life, he becomes a Wheel-turning Monarch, a righteous king who rules by the Dhamma, master of the four quarters, all-victorious, who has stabilised his country and possesses the seven treasures. He has these seven treasures: the wheel-treasure, the elephant-treasure, the horse-treasure, the jewel-treasure, the woman-treasure, the steward-treasure, and the counsellor-treasure as the seventh.852

[852:- The seven treasures are discussed in MN 129.34–41. The acquisition of the wheel-treasure explains why he is called a “Wheel-turning Monarch.”]

His children, who exceed a thousand, are brave and heroic, and crush the armies of others; over this earth bounded by the ocean, he rules without a rod, without a weapon, by means of the Dhamma.

But if he goes forth from the home life into homelessness, he becomes an Accomplished One, a Fully Enlightened One, who draws aside the veil in the world.853

[853:- Loke vivattacchaddo. For hypotheses about the original form and meaning of this expression, see Norman, Group of Discourses II, n. to 372, pp. 217–18.
MA: The world, enveloped in the darkness of the defilements, is covered by seven veils: lust, hate, delusion, conceit, views, ignorance, and immoral conduct. Having removed these veils, the Buddha abides generating light all around. Thus he is one who draws aside the veil in the world. Or else vivattacchado can be resolved into vivatto and vicchaddo ; that is, he is devoid of the round vaṭṭarahito) and devoid of veils (chadanarahito). By the absence of the round (i.e., saṁsāra) he is an arahant; by the absence of veils, a Fully Enlightened One.]

But I, my dear Uttara, am the giver of the hymns; you are the receiver of them.”


§ 6. “Yes, sir,” he replied. He rose from his seat, and after paying homage to the brahmin Brahmāyu, keeping him on his right, he left for the country of the Videhans, where the Blessed One was wandering. [135] Travelling by stages, he came to the Blessed One and exchanged greetings with him. When this courteous and amiable talk was finished, he sat down at one side and looked for the thirty-two marks of a Great Man on the Blessed One’s body. He saw, more or less, the thirty-two marks of a Great Man on the Blessed One’s body, except two; he was doubtful and uncertain about two of the marks, and he could not decide and make up his mind about them: about the male organ being enclosed in a sheath and about the largeness of the tongue.

Then it occurred to the Blessed One: “This brahmin student Uttara sees, more or less, the thirty-two marks of a Great Man on me, except two; he is doubtful and uncertain about two of the marks, and he cannot decide and make up his mind about them: about the male organ being enclosed in a sheath and about the largeness of the tongue.”

§ 7. Then the Blessed One worked such a feat of supernormal power that the brahmin student Uttara saw that the Blessed One’s male organ was enclosed in a sheath.854

[ 854:- MA explains that the Buddha worked this feat after first ascertaining that Uttara’s teacher, Brahmāyu, had the potential for achieving the fruit of non-returning, and that his attainment of this fruit depended upon the dispelling of Uttara’s doubts.]

Next the Blessed One extruded his tongue, and he repeatedly touched both ear holes and both nostrils, and he covered the whole of his forehead with his tongue.

§ 8. Then the brahmin student Uttara thought: “The recluse Gotama is endowed with the thirty-two marks of a Great Man. Suppose I were to follow the recluse Gotama and observe his behaviour?”

Then he followed the Blessed One for seven months like a shadow, never leaving him. At the end of the seven months in the country of the Videhans, he set out to journey to Mithilā where the brahmin Brahmāyu was. When he arrived, he paid homage to him and sat down at one side. Thereupon, the brahmin Brahmāyu asked him:
“Well, my dear Uttara, is the report that has been spread about Master Gotama [136] true or not? And is Master Gotama one such as this or not?”

§9.  “The report that has been spread about Master Gotama is true, sir, and not otherwise; and Master Gotama is one such as this and not otherwise. He possesses the thirty-two marks of a Great Man.

Master Gotama sets his foot down squarely—this is a mark of a Great Man in Master Gotama.
On the soles of his feet there are wheels with a thousand spokes and ribs and hubs all complete…
He has projecting heels…
He has long fingers and toes…
His hands and feet are soft and tender…
He has netted hands and feet…
His feet are arched…
He has legs like an antelope’s…
When he stands without stooping, the palms of both his hands touch and rub against his knees…
His male organ is enclosed in a sheath…
He is the colour of gold, his skin has a golden sheen…
He is fine-skinned, and because of the fineness of his skin, dust and dirt do not stick on his body…
His body-hairs grow singly, each body-hair growing alone in a hair socket…
The tips of his body-hairs turn up; the up-turned body-hairs are blue-black, the colour of collyrium, curled and turned to the right…
He has the straight limbs of a Brahmā…
He has seven convexities…855
He has the torso of a lion…
The furrow between his shoulders is filled in…
He has the spread of a banyan tree; the span of his arms equals the height of his body, and the height of his body equals the span of his arms…
His neck and his shoulders are even…
His taste is supremely acute…856
He is lion-jawed…[137]
He has forty teeth…
His teeth are even…
His teeth are without gaps…
His teeth are quite white…
He has a large tongue…
He has a divine voice, like the call of the Karavīka bird…
His eyes are deep blue…
He has the eyelashes of an ox…
He has hair growing in the space between his eyebrows, which is white with the sheen of soft cotton…
His head is shaped like a turban—this is a mark of a Great Man in Master Gotama.857
Master Gotama is endowed with these thirty-two marks of a Great Man.

[855:- The seven are the backs of the four limbs, the two shoulders, and the trunk.]

[856:- Rasaggasaggı̄. The Lakkhaṇa Sutta expands (DN 30.2.7/ iii.166):
“Whatever he touches with the tip of his tongue he tastes in his throat, and the taste is dispersed everywhere.” It is difficult, however, to understand either how this quality could be considered a physical characteristic or how it could be perceived by others.]

[857:- This mark, the uṇhı̄sa, accounts for the protuberance commonly seen on the top of the head of Buddha images.]

§ 10. “When he walks, he steps out with the right foot first. He does not extend his foot too far or put it down too near. He walks neither too quickly nor too slowly. He walks without his knees knocking together. He walks without his ankles knocking together. He walks without raising or lowering his thighs, or bringing them together or keeping them apart. When he walks, only the lower part of his body oscillates, and he does not walk with bodily effort.

When he turns to look, he does so with his whole body. He does not look straight up; he does not look straight down. He does not walk looking about. He looks a plough yoke’s length before him; beyond that he has unhindered knowledge and vision.

§11. “When he goes indoors, he does not raise or lower his body, or bend it forward or back. [138] He turns round neither too far from the seat nor too near it. He does not lean on the seat with his hand. He does not throw his body onto the seat.

§ 12 . “When seated indoors, he does not fidget with his hands. He does not fidget with his feet. He does not sit with his knees crossed. He does not sit with his ankles crossed. He does not sit with his hand holding his chin. When seated indoors he is not afraid, he does not shiver and tremble, he is not nervous. Being unafraid, not shivering or trembling or nervous, his hair does not stand up and he is intent on seclusion.

§ 13. “When he receives the water for the bowl, he does not raise or lower the bowl or tip it forwards or backwards. He receives neither too little nor too much water for the bowl. He washes the bowl without making a splashing noise. He washes the bowl without turning it round. He does not put the bowl on the floor to wash his hands: when his hands are washed, the bowl is washed; and when the bowl is washed, his hands are washed. He pours the water for the bowl neither too far nor too near and he does not pour it about.

§ 14. “When he receives rice, he does not raise or lower the bowl or tip it forwards or backwards. He receives neither too little rice nor too much rice. He adds sauces in the right proportion; he does not exceed the right amount of sauce in the mouthful. He turns the mouthful over two or three times in his mouth and then swallows it, and no rice kernel enters his body unchewed, and no rice kernel remains in his mouth; then he takes another mouthful. He takes his food experiencing the taste, though not experiencing greed for the taste. The food he takes has eight factors: it is neither for amusement nor for intoxication nor for the sake of physical beauty and attractiveness, but only for the endurance and continuance of his body, for the ending of discomfort, and for assisting the holy life; [139] he considers: ‘Thus I shall terminate old feelings without arousing new feelings and I shall be healthy and blameless and shall live in comfort.’858

[858:- This is the standard reflection on the proper use of almsfood, as at MN 2.14.]

§ 15. “When he has eaten and receives water for the bowl, he does not raise or lower the bowl or tip it forwards or backwards. He receives neither too little nor too much water for the bowl. He washes the bowl without making a splashing noise. He washes the bowl without turning it round. He does not put the bowl on the floor to wash his hands: when his hands are washed, the bowl is washed; and when the bowl is washed, his hands are washed. He pours the water for the bowl neither too far nor too near and he does not pour it about.

§ 16 . “When he has eaten, he puts the bowl on the floor neither too far nor too near; and he is neither careless of the bowl nor over-solicitous about it.
“When he has eaten, he sits in silence for a while, but he does not let the time for the blessing go by.859

[859:- The blessing (anumodanā) is a short talk following the meal, instructing the donors in some aspect of the Dhamma and expressing the wish that their meritorious kamma will bring them abundant fruit.]

When he has eaten and gives the blessing, he does not do so criticising the meal or expecting another meal; he instructs, urges, rouses, and gladdens that audience with talk purely on the Dhamma. When he has done so, he rises from his seat and departs.

§ 18. “He walks neither too fast nor too slow, and he does not go as one who wants to get away.

§ 19. “His robe is worn neither too high nor too low on his body, nor too tight against his body, nor too loose on his body, nor does the wind blow his robe away from his body. Dust and dirt do not soil his body.

§ 20. “When he has gone to the monastery, he sits down on a seat made ready. Having sat down, he washes his feet, though he does not concern himself with grooming his feet. Having washed his feet, he seats himself cross-legged, sets his body erect, and establishes mindfulness in front of him. He does not occupy his mind with self-affliction, or the affliction of others, or the affliction of both; he sits with his mind set on his own welfare, on the welfare of others, and on the welfare of both, even on the welfare of the whole world. [140]

§ 21. “When he has gone to the monastery, he teaches the Dhamma to an audience. He neither flatters nor berates that audience; he instructs, urges, rouses, and encourages it with talk purely on the Dhamma. The speech that issues from his mouth has eight qualities: it is distinct, intelligible, melodious, audible, ringing, euphonious, deep, and sonorous. But while his voice is intelligible as far as the audience extends, his speech does not issue out beyond the audience. When the people have been instructed, urged, roused, and gladdened by him, they rise from their seats and depart looking only at him and concerned with nothing else.

§ 22. “We have seen Master Gotama walking, sir, we have seen him standing, we have seen him entering indoors, we have seen him indoors seated in silence, we have seen him eating indoors, we have seen him seated in silence after eating, we have seen him giving the blessing after eating, we have seen him going to the monastery, we have seen him in the monastery seated in silence, we have seen him in the monastery teaching the Dhamma to an audience. Such is the Master Gotama; such he is, and more than that.”860

[860: I here follow BBS, which is fuller than SBJ and PTS. MA: This is the intention: “The excellent qualities I have not described are far more numerous than those I have described. The excellent qualities of Master Gotama are like the great earth and the great ocean; expounded in detail they are infinite and immeasurable, like space.]

§ 23. When this was said, the brahmin Brahmāyu rose from his seat, and after arranging his upper robe on one shoulder, he extended his hands in reverential salutation towards the Blessed One and uttered this exclamation three times: “Honour to the Blessed One, accomplished and fully enlightened! Honour to the Blessed One, accomplished and fully enlightened! Honour to the Blessed One, accomplished and fully enlightened! Perhaps sometime or other we might meet Master Gotama, perhaps we might have some conversation with him.”

§ 24. Then, in the course of his wandering, the Blessed One eventually arrived at Mithilā. There the Blessed One lived in Makh̄deva’s Mango Grove. The brahmin householders of Mithil̄ heard: [141]

“The recluse Gotama, the son of the Sakyans who went forth from a Sakyan clan, has been wandering in the country of the Videhans with a large Sangha of bhikkhus, with five hundred bhikkhus, and he has now come to Mithilā and is living in Makhādeva’s Mango Grove. Now a good report of Master Gotama has been spread to this effect…(as in §3 above)…Now it is good to see such arahants.”

§ 25 .Then the brahmin householders of Mithilā went to the Blessed One. Some paid homage to the Blessed One and sat down at one side; some exchanged greetings with him, and when this courteous and amiable talk was finished, sat down at one side; some extended their hands in reverential salutation towards him and sat down at one side; some pronounced their name and clan in the Blessed One’s presence and sat down at one side; some kept silent and sat down at one side.

§ 26. The brahmin Brahmāyu heard: “The recluse Gotama, the son of the Sakyans who went forth from the Sakyan clan, has arrived in Mithilā and is living in Makhādeva’s Mango Grove in Mithilā.”

Then the brahmin Brahmāyu went to Makhādeva’s Mango Grove with a number of brahmin students. When he came to the Mango Grove, he thought:
“It is not proper that I should go to the recluse Gotama without first being announced.”

Then he addressed a certain brahmin student: “Come, brahmin student, go to the recluse Gotama and ask in my name whether the recluse Gotama is free from illness and affliction, and is healthy, strong, and abiding in comfort, saying: ‘Master Gotama, the brahmin Brahmāyu asks whether Master Gotama is free from illness…abiding in comfort,’ and say this: ‘The brahmin
Brahm̄yu, Master Gotama, is old, aged, burdened with years, advanced in life, and come to the last stage; he is in his hundred and twentieth year. He is a master of the Three Vedas with their vocabularies, liturgy, phonology, and etymology, and the histories as a fifth; skilled in philology and grammar, he is fully versed in natural philosophy and in the marks of a Great Man. Of all the brahmin householders who live in Mithilā, the brahmin Brahmāyu is pronounced the foremost of them in wealth, in knowledge of the hymns, [142] and in age and fame. He wants to see Master Gotama.’”

“Yes, sir,” the brahmin student replied. He went to the Blessed One and exchanged greetings with him, and when this courteous and amiable talk was finished, he stood at one side and delivered his message. [The Blessed One said:]
“Student, let the brahmin Brahmāyu come at his own convenience.”

§ 27. Then the brahmin student went to the brahmin Brahmāyu and said:
“Permission has been granted by the recluse Gotama. You may come, sir, at your own convenience.”
So the brahmin Brahmāyu went to the Blessed One. The assembly saw him coming in the distance, and they at once made way for him as for one who was well known and famous. Then the brahmin Brahmāyu said to the assembly:
“Enough, sirs, let each sit down in his own seat. I shall sit here next to the recluse Gotama.”

§ 28. Then he went to the Blessed One and exchanged greetings with him, and when this courteous and amiable talk was finished, he sat down at one side and looked for the thirty-two marks of a Great Man on the Blessed One’s body. [143] He saw, more or less, the thirty-two marks of a Great Man on the Blessed One’s body, except two; he was doubtful about two of the marks, and he could not decide and make up his mind about them: about the male organ being enclosed in a sheath and about the largeness of the tongue.

§ 29. Then the brahmin Brahmāyu addressed the Blessed One in stanzas:

“The two-and-thirty marks I learned
That are the signs of a Great Man—
I still do not see two of these
Upon your body, Gotama.
Is what should be concealed by cloth
Hid in a sheath, greatest of men?
Though called by a word of feminine gender,861
Perhaps your tongue is a manly one?
Perhaps your tongue is large as well,
According to what we have been taught?
Please put it out a little bit
And so, O Seer, cure our doubt
For welfare in this very life
And happiness in lives to come.
And now we crave for leave to ask
Something that we aspire to know.

[861- The Pali word for the tongue, jivhā, is of the feminine gender.]

§ 30 . Then it occurred to the Blessed One: “This brahmin Brahmāyu sees, more or less, the thirty-two marks of a Great Man on me, except two; he is doubtful and uncertain about two of the marks, and he cannot decide and make up his mind about them: about the male organ being enclosed in a sheath and about the largeness of the tongue.”

Then the Blessed One worked such a feat of supernormal power that the brahmin Brahmāyu saw that the Blessed One’s male organ was enclosed in a sheath. Next the Blessed One extruded his tongue, and he repeatedly touched both ear holes and both nostrils, and he covered the whole of his forehead with his tongue.

§ 31. Then the Blessed One spoke these stanzas in reply to the brahmin Brahmāyu:

The two-and-thirty marks you learned
That are the signs of a Great Man—
All on my body can be found:
So, brahmin, doubt no more on that.


What must be known I’ve directly known,
What must be developed I have developed,
What must be abandoned I have abandoned,
Therefore, brahmin, I am a Buddha
.862 [144]

[862:- What must be directly known (abhiññeyya) are the Four Noble Truths, what must be developed (bhāvetabba) is the Noble Eightfold Path, and what must be abandoned (pahātabba) are the defilements headed by craving. Here the context requires that the word “Buddha” be understood in the specific sense of a Fully Enlightened One (sammāsambuddha).]

For welfare in this very life
And happiness in lives to come,
Since leave is given you, please ask
Whatever you aspire to know
.”

§ 32. Then the brahmin Brahmāyu thought: “Permission has been granted me by the recluse Gotama. Which should I ask him about: good in this life or good in the lives to come?” Then he thought: “I am skilled in the good of this life, and others too ask me about good in this life. Why shouldn’t I ask him only about good in the lives to come?” Then he addressed the Blessed One in stanzas:


How does one become a brahmin?
And how does one attain to knowledge?863
How has one the triple knowledge?
And how is one called a holy scholar?
How does one become an arahant?
And how does one attain completeness?
How is one a silent sage?

And how is one called a Buddha?”864

[863:- Vedagū. This term and the following two—tevijja and sotthiya —seem to have represented ideal types among the brahmins; see too MN 39.24, 26, and 27.
The sixth and seventh terms—kevalı̄ and muni—were probably ideal types among the non-Vedic ascetic orders. By his reply, the Buddha endows these terms with new meanings derived from his own spiritual system.

[864:- Here and in the reply the word “Buddha” may signify simply one who is enlightened or awakened, in a sense applicable to any arahant, though Brahmāyu’s response also suggests it may be intended in the narrower sense of a Fully Enlightened One.]

§ 33 . Then the Blessed One spoke these stanzas in reply:

“Who knows about his former lives,
Sees heaven and states of deprivation,
And has arrived at birth’s destruction—
A sage who knows by direct knowledge,
Who knows his mind is purified,
Entirely freed from every lust,
Who has abandoned birth and death,
Who is complete in the holy life,
Who has transcended everything—
One such as this is called a Buddha.865 

[865:- MA offers an involved explanation of how the Buddha’s reply answers all eight of Brahmāyu’s questions.]

§ 34. When this was said, the brahmin Brahmāyu rose from his seat, and after arranging his upper robe on one shoulder, he prostrated himself with his head at the Blessed One’s feet, and he covered the Blessed One’s feet with kisses and caressed them with his hands, pronouncing his name: “I am the brahmin Brahmāyu, Master Gotama; I am the brahmin Brahmāyu, Master Gotama.”

§ 35. Those in the assembly wondered and marvelled, and they said:
“It is wonderful, sirs, it is marvellous, what great power and great might the recluse Gotama has, for the well-known and famous brahmin Brahmāyu to make such a
display of humility!”


Then the Blessed One said to the brahmin Brahmāyu: [145] “Enough, brahmin, arise; sit down in your own seat since your mind has confidence in me.”

The brahmin Brahmāyu then rose and sat down in his own seat.

§ 36. The Blessed One then gave him progressive instruction,866 that is, talk on giving, talk on virtue, talk on the heavens; he explained the danger, degradation, and defilement in sensual pleasures and the blessing of renunciation. When he knew that the brahmin Brahmāyu’s mind was ready, receptive, free from hindrances, elated, and confident, he expounded to him the teaching special to the Buddhas: suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the path. Just as a clean cloth with all marks removed would take dye evenly, so too, while the brahmin Brahmāyu sat there, the spotless immaculate vision of the Dhamma arose in him: “All that is subject to arising is subject to cessation.” Then the brahmin Brahmāyu saw the Dhamma, attained the Dhamma, understood the Dhamma, fathomed the Dhamma; he crossed beyond doubt, did away with perplexity, gained intrepidity, and became independent of others in the Teacher’s Dispensation.

[866: As at MN 56.18. Then the Blessed One gave Brahmin Brahmayu progressive instruction,
that is, talk on giving, talk on virtue, talk on the heavens; he explained the danger, degradation, and defilement in sensual pleasures and the blessing of renunciation. When he knew that the Brahmin Brahmayu’s mind [380] was ready, receptive, free from hindrances, elated, and confident, he expounded to him the teaching special to the Buddhas: suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the path.
Just as a clean cloth with all marks removed would take dye evenly, so too, while the Brahmin Brahmayu sat there, the spotless immaculate vision of the Dhamma arose in him: “All that is subject to arising is subject to cessation.”

Then the Brahmin Brahmayu saw the Dhamma, attained the Dhamma, understood the Dhamma, fathomed the Dhamma; he crossed beyond doubt, did away with perplexity, gained intrepidity, and became independent of others in the Teacher’s Dispensation.”]

§ 37. Then he said to the Blessed One:
“Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent, Master Gotama!
Master Gotama has made the Dhamma clear in many ways, as though he were turning upright what had been overthrown, revealing what was hidden, showing the way to one who was lost, or holding up a lamp in the dark for those with eyesight to see forms.

I go to Master Gotama for refuge and to the Dhamma and to the Sangha of bhikkhus. From today let Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge for life. Let the Blessed One, together with the Sangha of bhikkhus, consent to accept tomorrow’s meal from me.”

The Blessed One consented in silence. Then, knowing that the Blessed One had consented, the brahmin Brahmāyu rose from his seat, and after paying homage to the Blessed One, keeping him on his right, he departed.

§ 38. Then, when the night had ended, the brahmin Brahmāyu had good food of various kinds prepared in his residence, and he had the time announced to the Blessed One: “It is time, Master Gotama, the meal is ready.” [146]

Then, it being morning, the Blessed One dressed, and taking his bowl and outer robe, he went with the Sangha of bhikkhus to the brahmin Brahmāyu’s residence and sat down on the seat made ready. Then, for a week, with his own hands, the brahmin Brahmāyu served and satisfied the Sangha of bhikkhus headed by the Buddha with various kinds of good food.

§ 39. At the end of that week, the Blessed One set out to wander in the country of the Videhans. Soon after he had gone, the brahmin Brahmāyu died. Then a number of bhikkhus went to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to him, they sat down at one side and said:
“Venerable sir, the brahmin Brahmāyu has died. What is his destination? What is his future course?”

“Bhikkhus, the brahmin Brahmāyu was wise, he entered into the way of the Dhamma, and he did not trouble me in the interpretation of the Dhamma. With the destruction of the five lower fetters, he has reappeared spontaneously [in the Pure Abodes] and will there attain final Nibbāna, without ever returning from that world.”

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

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