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Tipitaka >> Sutta Pitaka >> Majjhima Nikaya >> Mahagosinga Sutta

Thus I heard.

At one time the Exalted One dwelled in the Gosinga Saala forest with many well versed elder disciples such as the venerables Saariputta, Mahaamoggallaana, Mahaakassapa, Anuruddha, Revata, Aananda and others. Emerging from his seclusion in the evening, the Venerable Mahaamoggallaana approached the Venerable Mahaakassapa and said, "Kassapa, let us go to the venerable Saariputta, to benefit from his knowledge." The Venerable Mahaakassapa agreed and all the bhkkhus approached the venerable Saariputta. The Venerable Aananda noticed the venerables Mahaamoggallaana, Mahaakassapa and Anuruddha approaching the venerable Saariputta and approached the venerable Revata and said, "Friend Revata, the three venerables approach the venerable Saariputta to benefit from his knowledge. It would be befitting that we too go to him." The Venerable Revata agreed and they both approached the venerable Saariputta.

The Venerable Saariputta saw the venerables Revata and Aananda coming in the distance and said, "Welcome friend Aananda, the close and near attendant of the Exalted One. Friend Aananda, in the moon light, the Saala forest is very pleasing. The flowers are in full bloom and emanate a heavenly scent. What kind of bhikkhu would most adorn this Saala forest?" Ananda replied, "Friend Saariputta, a learned bhikkhu, who bears all the Teaching, treasures that are is good at the beginning, in the middle and at the end, and declares the completely pure holy life. Of that Teaching he should become a bearer by words and practise. Of that teaching he must have experience through penetration. He would teach it to the fourfold gatherings, choosing his words without difficulty, for the destruction of the latent tendencies of those with sharp mental faculties. Friend Saariputta, such a bhikkhu would adorn the Gosinga Saala forest."

When this was said, the venerable Saariputta addressed the venerable Revata, "Friend Revata, venerable Aananda has declared this according to his understanding, now we ask you this. In the moon light, the Saala forest is very pleasing. The flowers in full bloom emanate a heavenly scent. What kind of bhikkhu would most adorn this Saala forest? Revata replied "Friend Saariputta, a bhikkhu who is delights in seclusion, yoked to internal appeasement of the mind. He would not neglect jhaana, be endowed with wise reflection, and would develop the abiding without thoughts and discursive thoughts. Such a bhikkhu would most adorn the Gosinga Saala forest."

When this was said, the venerable Saariputta addressed the venerable Anuruddha, "Friend Anuruddha, venerable Revata has declared this according to his understanding, now we ask you this. In the moon light, the Saala forest is very pleasing. The flowers in full bloom emanate a heavenly scent. What kind of bhikkhu would most adorn this Saala forest?" Anuruddha replied, "Friend Saariputta, the bhikkhu with the heavenly eye purified beyond the human would look at the thousandfold world systems. Like a man who has climbed to the top most storey of his mansion would be looking at a disc with thousandfold circumferences. In the same manner the bhikkhu with the heavenly eye purified beyond human would look at the thousandfold world systems. Such a bhikkhu would adorn the Gosinga Saala forest."

When this was said, the venerable Saariputta addressed the venerable Mahaakassapa, "Friend Kassapa, venerable Anuruddha has declared this according to his understanding, now we ask you this. In the moon light, the Saala forest is very pleasing. The flowers in full bloom emanate a heavenly scent. What kind of bhikkhu would most adorn this Saala forest?" Kassapa replied, "Friend Saariputta, the bhikkhu would be a forest dweller living in praise of forest dwelling. A partaker of morsel food living in praise of the partaking of morsel food. A rag robe wearer, living in praise of wearing rag-robes. Confined to three robes, living in praise of austerity. With few desires living in praise of few desires. Satisfied, living in praise of satisfaction. Secluded, living in praise of seclusion. Withdrawn, living in praise of withdrawal from the world. With aroused effort, living in praise of arousal of effort. Virtuous, living in praise of the endowment of virtues. Endowed with concentration, living in praise of the endowment of concentration. Wise, living in praise of the endowment of wisdom. Released, living in praise of the endowment of release. Endowed with the knowledge and vision of release, living in praise of the knowledge and vision of release. Such a bhikkhu would adorn the Gosinga Saala forest."

When this was said, the venerable Saariputta addressed the venerable Mahaamoggallaaana, "Friend Moggallaana, venerable Mahaakassapa has declared this according to his understanding, now we ask you this. In the moon light, the Saala forest is very pleasing. The flowers in full bloom emanate a heavenly scent. What kind of bhikkhu would most adorn this Saala forest?" Mogallaana replied, "Friend Saariputta, two bhikkhus discussing a deep point in the Teaching would ask questions of each other. They would findanswers for each others' questions. They would not fall out with each other and their talk would be timely and beneficial. Such a bhikkhu would adorn the Gosinga Saala forest."

Then the venerable Mahaamoggallaana addressed the venerable Saariputta, "Friend Saariputta, we all have declared this according to our understanding. Now we ask you this. In the moon light, the Saala forest is very pleasing. The flowers in full bloom emanate a heavenly scent. What kind of bhikkhu would most adorn this Saala forest?" Saariputta replied, "Friend Moggallaana, the bhikkhu wields power over the mind, and does not allow the mind to wield power over him. Whatever abiding he desires to abide in the morning, in that he abides in the morning. Whatever abiding he desires to abide in the mid day, in that he abides in the mid day. Whatever abiding he desires to abide in the evening, in that he abides in the evening. Like a head anointed king, or his chief minister who had a casket full of clothes of various colours would choose the set of clothes he wanted to wear in the morning, in the mid day, and in the evening. In the same manner the bhikkhu wields power over the mind and does not allow the mind to wield power over him. In whatever abidings he desires to abide in the morning, at mid day, and in the evening, in that abiding he abides in the morning, at mid day, and in the evening. Such a bhikkhu adorns the Gosinga Saala forest."

Then the venerable Saariputta addressed the venerable ones thus, "Let us approach the Exalted One. Let us relate this to him. Let us benefit from his knowledge. Let us bear what he says in mind. The venerable ones agreed. They approached the Exalted One and having paid homage to him sat on a side. Then the venerable Saariputta addressed the Exalted One thus, "Lord, the venerable Revata and the venerable Aananda approached me to benefit from my knowledge. Having seen and welcomed them, I asked of Ananda this, "Friend Aananda, in the moon light, the Saala forest is very pleasing. The flowers are in full bloom and emanate a heavenly scent. What kind of bhikkhu would most adorn this Saala forest?" Ananda replied, "Friend Saariputta, a learned bhikkhu, who bears all the Teaching, treasures that are is good at the beginning, in the middle and at the end, and declares the completely pure holy life. Of that Teaching he should become a bearer by words and practise. Of that teaching he must have experience through penetration. He would teach it to the fourfold gatherings, choosing his words without difficulty, for the destruction of the latent tendencies of those with sharp mental faculties. Friend Saariputta, such a bhikkhu would adorn the Gosinga Saala forest."

When this was said, Lord, I addressed the venerable Revata, "Friend Revata, venerable Aananda has declared this according to his understanding, now we ask you this. In the moon light, the Saala forest is very pleasing. The flowers in full bloom emanate a heavenly scent. What kind of bhikkhu would most adorn this Saala forest? Revata replied "Friend Saariputta, a bhikkhu who is delights in seclusion, yoked to internal appeasement of the mind. He would not neglect jhaana, be endowed with wise reflection, and would develop the abiding without thoughts and discursive thoughts. Such a bhikkhu would most adorn the Gosinga Saala forest."

When this was said, Lord, I addressed the venerable Anuruddha, "Friend Anuruddha, venerable Revata has declared this according to his understanding, now we ask you this. In the moon light, the Saala forest is very pleasing. The flowers in full bloom emanate a heavenly scent. What kind of bhikkhu would most adorn this Saala forest?" Anuruddha replied, "Friend Saariputta, the bhikkhu with the heavenly eye purified beyond the human would look at the thousandfold world systems. Like a man who has climbed to the top most storey of his mansion would be looking at a disc with thousandfold circumferences. In the same manner the bhikkhu with the heavenly eye purified beyond human would look at the thousandfold world systems. Such a bhikkhu would adorn the Gosinga Saala forest."

When this was said, Lord, I addressed the venerable Mahaakassapa, "Friend Kassapa, venerable Anuruddha has declared this according to his understanding, now we ask you this. In the moon light, the Saala forest is very pleasing. The flowers in full bloom emanate a heavenly scent. What kind of bhikkhu would most adorn this Saala forest?" Kassapa replied, "Friend Saariputta, the bhikkhu would be a forest dweller living in praise of forest dwelling. A partaker of morsel food living in praise of the partaking of morsel food. A rag robe wearer, living in praise of wearing rag-robes. Confined to three robes, living in praise of austerity. With few desires living in praise of few desires. Satisfied, living in praise of satisfaction. Secluded, living in praise of seclusion. Withdrawn, living in praise of withdrawal from the world. With aroused effort, living in praise of arousal of effort. Virtuous, living in praise of the endowment of virtues. Endowed with concentration, living in praise of the endowment of concentration. Wise, living in praise of the endowment of wisdom. Released, living in praise of the endowment of release. Endowed with the knowledge and vision of release, living in praise of the knowledge and vision of release. Such a bhikkhu would adorn the Gosinga Saala forest."

When this was said Lord, I addressed the venerable Mahaamoggallaaana, "Friend Moggallaana, venerable Mahaakassapa has declared this according to his understanding, now we ask you this. In the moon light, the Saala forest is very pleasing. The flowers in full bloom emanate a heavenly scent. What kind of bhikkhu would most adorn this Saala forest?" Mogallaana replied, "Friend Saariputta, two bhikkhus discussing a deep point in the Teaching would ask questions of each other. They would findanswers for each others' questions. They would not fall out with each other and their talk would be timely and beneficial. Such a bhikkhu would adorn the Gosinga Saala forest."

Then venerable Mahaamoggallaana addressed the Exalted One thus, "Lord, then I addressed the venerable Saariputta thus, "Friend Saariputta, we all have declared this according to our understanding. Now we ask you this. In the moon light, the Saala forest is very pleasing. The flowers in full bloom emanate a heavenly scent. What kind of bhikkhu would most adorn this Saala forest?" Saariputta replied, "Friend Moggallaana, the bhikkhu wields power over the mind, and does not allow the mind to wield power over him. Whatever abiding he desires to abide in the morning, in that he abides in the morning. Whatever abiding he desires to abide in the mid day, in that he abides in the mid day. Whatever abiding he desires to abide in the evening, in that he abides in the evening. Like a head anointed king, or his chief minister who had a casket full of clothes of various colours would choose the set of clothes he wanted to wear in the morning, in the mid day, and in the evening. In the same manner the bhikkhu wields power over the mind and does not allow the mind to wield power over him. In whatever abidings he desires to abide in the morning, at mid day, and in the evening, in that abiding he abides in the morning, at mid day, and in the evening. Such a bhikkhu adorns the Gosinga Saala forest."

When this was said the venerable Saariputta addressed the Exalted One thus, "Lord, whose words are the most true?" The Exalted one replied, "Saariputta, all the words were true, yet listen to what I have to say. Here, Saariputta, the bhikkhu, having partaken of his meal and returning from his alms round sits in the cross legged posture. Setting his body erect, bringing his mindfulness to the fore, he determines "Until my mind is released from desires, I would not change this posture." Such a bhikkhu, Saariputta, adorns most the Gosinga Saala forest."

Thus the Exalted One addressed the bhikkhus. Gratified, the venerable ones delighted in the words of the Exalted One.

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