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Saṁyutta Nikāya — The Connected Discourses

SN41: Connected Discourses with Citta

SN41:9 The Naked Asetic Kassapa

1Now on that occasion the naked ascetic Kassapa, who in lay life had been an old friend of Citta the householder, had arrived in Macchikasaṇḍa. Citta the householder heard about this and approached the naked ascetic Kassapa. He exchanged greetings with him and, when they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, he sat down to one side and said to him:


"How long has it been, Venerable Kassapa, since you went forth?"

"It has been thirty years, householder, since I went forth."

"In these thirty years, venerable sir, have you attained any superhuman distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones,[n.325] Reading with Be and Se, koci uttari manussadhammā alamariyañāṇadassanaviseso Ee should be amended accordingly. The expression occurs often in the suttas as an umbrella term for all the higher meditative attainments and stages of realization. The analysis at Vin III 91 bifurcates the the two main components of the compound and treats uttari manussadhammā as an independent plural compound, but the singular koci here (and just below, the evarūpaṁ before -visesaṁ) indicates that in sutta usage uttari manussadhammā functions as an adjectival ablative in relation to alamariyañāṇadassanavisesa. Spk explains manussadhamma, "the human norm," as the ten courses of wholesome action. What is beyond that (tato manussadhammato uttari) is "superhuman." Alamariyañāṇadassanavisesa is explained as "distinction of knowledge and vision capable of engendering the state of a noble one." any dwelling in comfort?"

"In these thirty years since I went forth, householder, I have not attained any superhuman distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones, no dwelling in comfort, but only nakedness, and the shaven head, and the brush for cleaning my seat."[n.326] Pāvaḷanipphoṭanā. According to Spk, this is a brush made from peacock's feathers, used to sweep the ground of grit and dust before sitting down.

When this was said, Citta the householder said to him: "It is wonderful indeed, sir! It is amazing indeed, sir! How well expounded is the Dhamma[n.327] Dhammassa svākkhātatā. It is not clear to me whether Citta's exclamation is intended as a straightforward praise of the Buddha’s teaching or as an ironic putdown of the ascetic's teaching. in that, after thirty years, sn.iv.301 you have not attained any superhuman distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones, no dwelling in comfort, but only nakedness, and the shaven head, and the brush for cleaning your seat."


2"But, householder, how long has it been it since you became a lay follower?"

"In my case too, venerable sir, it has been thirty years."

"In these thirty years, householder, have you attained any superhuman distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones, any dwelling in comfort?"

"How could I not, venerable sir?[n.328] I read with Se: kiṃ hi no siyā bhante For to whatever extent I wish, secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, I enter and dwell in the first jhāna, which is accompanied by thought and examination, with rapture and happiness born of seclusion. Then, to whatever extent I wish, with the subsiding of thought and examination, I enter and dwell in the second jhāna … . Then, to whatever extent I wish, with the fading away as well of rapture … I enter and dwell in the third jhāna … . Then, to whatever extent I wish, with the abandoning of pleasure and pain … I enter and dwell in the fourth jhāna. Further, if I were to die before the Blessed One does, it would not be surprising if the Blessed One were to declare of me: ‘There is no fetter bound by which Citta the householder could return to this world.’"[n.329] This means he is a nonreturner, having eradicated the five lower fetters binding beings to the sense-sphere realm.

When this was said, the naked ascetic Kassapa said to Citta the householder: "It is wonderful indeed, sir! It is amazing indeed, sir! How well expounded is the Dhamma, in that a layman clothed in white can attain a superhuman distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones, a dwelling in comfort. sn.iv.302 May I receive the going forth in this Dhamma and Discipline, may I receive the higher ordination?"

3Then Citta the householder took the naked ascetic Kassapa to the elder bhikkhus and said to them: "Venerable sirs, this naked ascetic Kassapa is an old friend of ours from lay life. Let the elders give him the going forth, let them give him the higher ordination. I will be zealous in providing him with robes, almsfood, lodging, and medicinal requisites."

Then the naked ascetic Kassapa received the going forth in this Dhamma and Discipline, he received the higher ordination. And soon, not long after his higher ordination, dwelling alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent, and resolute, the Venerable Kassapa, by realizing it for himself with direct knowledge, in this very life entered and dwelt in that unsurpassed goal of the holy life for the sake of which clansmen rightly go forth from the household life into homelessness. He directly knew: "Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being." And the Venerable Kassapa became one of the arahants.

1Tena kho pana samayena acelo kassapo macchikāsaṇḍaṁ anuppatto hoti cittassa gahapatino purāṇagihisahāyo. Assosi kho citto gahapati: "acelo kira kassapo macchikāsaṇḍaṁ anuppatto amhākaṁ purāṇagihisahāyo"ti. Atha kho citto gahapati yena acelo kassapo tenupasaṅkami; upasaṅkamitvā acelena kassapena saddhiṁ sammodi. Sammodanīyaṁ kathaṁ sāraṇīyaṁ vītisāretvā ekamantaṁ nisīdi. Ekamantaṁ nisinno kho citto gahapati acelaṁ kassapaṁ etadavoca:


"kīvaciraṁ pabbajitassa, bhante kassapā"ti?

"Tiṁsamattāni kho me, gahapati, vassāni pabbajitassā"ti.

"Imehi pana te, bhante, tiṁsamattehi vassehi atthi koci uttari manussadhammā alamariyañāṇadassanaviseso adhigato phāsuvihāro"ti?

"Imehi kho me, gahapati, tiṁsamattehi vassehi pabbajitassa natthi koci uttari manussadhammā alamariyañāṇadassanaviseso adhigato phāsuvihāro, aññatra naggeyyā ca muṇḍeyyā ca pāvaḷanipphoṭanāya cā"ti.

Evaṁ vutte, citto gahapati acelaṁ kassapaṁ etadavoca: "acchariyaṁ vata, bho, abbhutaṁ vata, bho. Dhammassa svākkhātatā yatra hi nāma tiṁsamattehi vassehi na koci uttari manussadhammā alamariyañāṇadassanaviseso adhigato abhavissa phāsuvihāro, aññatra naggeyyā ca muṇḍeyyā ca pāvaḷanipphoṭanāya cā"ti.


2"Tuyhaṁ pana, gahapati, kīvaciraṁ upāsakattaṁ upagatassā"ti?

"Mayhampi kho pana, bhante, tiṁsamattāni vassāni upāsakattaṁ upagatassā"ti.

"Imehi pana te, gahapati, tiṁsamattehi vassehi atthi koci uttari manussadhammā alamariyañāṇadassanaviseso adhigato phāsuvihāro"ti?

"Gihinopi siyā, bhante. Ahañhi, bhante, yāvadeva ākaṅkhāmi, vivicceva kāmehi vivicca akusalehi dhammehi savitakkaṁ savicāraṁ vivekajaṁ pītisukhaṁ paṭhamaṁ jhānaṁ upasampajja viharāmi. Ahañhi, bhante, yāvadeva ākaṅkhāmi, vitakkavicārānaṁ vūpasamā dutiyaṁ jhānaṁ upasampajja viharāmi. Ahañhi, bhante, yāvadeva ākaṅkhāmi, pītiyā ca virāgā … pe … tatiyaṁ jhānaṁ upasampajja viharāmi. Ahañhi, bhante, yāvadeva ākaṅkhāmi, sukhassa ca pahānā … pe … catutthaṁ jhānaṁ upasampajja viharāmi. Sace kho panāhaṁ, bhante, bhagavato paṭhamataraṁ kālaṁ kareyyaṁ, anacchariyaṁ kho panetaṁ yaṁ maṁ bhagavā evaṁ byākareyya: ‘Natthi taṁ saṁyojanaṁ yena saṁyojanena saṁyutto citto gahapati puna imaṁ lokaṁ āgaccheyyā’"ti.

Evaṁ vutte, acelo kassapo cittaṁ gahapatiṁ etadavoca: "acchariyaṁ vata bho, abbhutaṁ vata bho. Dhammassa svākkhātatā, yatra hi nāma gihī odātavasano evarūpaṁ uttari manussadhammā alamariyañāṇadassanavisesaṁ adhigamissati phāsuvihāraṁ. Labheyyāhaṁ, gahapati, imasmiṁ dhammavinaye pabbajjaṁ, labheyyaṁ upasampadan"ti.

3Atha kho citto gahapati acelaṁ kassapaṁ ādāya yena therā bhikkhū tenupasaṅkami; upasaṅkamitvā there bhikkhū etadavoca: "Ayaṁ, bhante, acelo kassapo amhākaṁ purāṇagihisahāyo. Imaṁ therā pabbājentu upasampādentu. Ahamassa ussukkaṁ karissāmi cīvarapiṇḍapātasenāsanagilānappaccayabhesajjaparikkhārānan"ti.

Alattha kho acelo kassapo imasmiṁ dhammavinaye pabbajjaṁ, alattha upasampadaṁ. Acirūpasampanno ca panāyasmā kassapo eko vūpakaṭṭho appamatto ātāpī pahitatto vihāranto nacirasseva – yassatthāya kulaputtā sammadeva agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajanti, tadanuttaraṁ – brahmacariyapariyosānaṁ diṭṭheva dhamme sayaṁ abhiññā sacchikatvā upasampajja vihāsi. "Khīṇā jāti, vusitaṁ brahmacariyaṁ, kataṁ karaṇīyaṁ, nāparaṁ itthattāyā"ti abbhaññāsi. Aññataro ca panāyasmā kassapo arahataṁ ahosīti.

Navamaṁ.