Adapted from the Translation by T. W. Rhys Davids and Hermann Oldenberg
FIRST KHANDHAKA(THE FORMATION OF THE ORDER OF BHIKKHUS)
Chapter-54 : Buddha Goes to His Home Town and Ordains His Son Rahul When Asked for Inheritance.
1. Then the Lord Buddha, after having resided at Rajagaha as long as he thought fit, went forth to Kapilavatthu. Wandering from place to place he came to Kapilavatthu. There the Lord Buddha dwelt in the Sakka country, near Kapilavatthu, in the Nigrodharama (Banyan Grove).
And in the forenoon the Lord Buddha, having put on his under-robes, took his alms-bowl and with his kivara on went to the residence of the Sakka Suddhodana (his father). Having gone there, he sat down on a seat laid out for him.
Then the princess(wife of Buddha), who was the mother of Rahula(son), said to young Rahula: 'This is your father, Rahula; go and ask him for your inheritance.'
2. Then young Rahula went to the place where the Lord Buddha was; having approached him, he stationed himself before the Lord Buddha (and said): 'Your shadow, Samana, is a place of bliss.'
Then the Lord Buddha rose from his seat and went away, and young Rahula followed the Lord Buddha from behind and said: 'Give me my inheritance, Samana; give me my inheritance, Samana.'
Then the Lord Buddha said to the venerable Sariputta: 'Well, Sariputta, confer the pabbajja. ordination on young Rahula.' (Sariputta replied): 'How shall I confer, Lord, the pabbajja ordination on young Rahula?'
3. In consequence of that and on this occasion the Lord Buddha, after having delivered a dhamma discourse, thus addressed the Bhikkhus: 'I prescribe, O Bhikkhus(Monks), the pabbajja ordination of novices by the threefold declaration of taking refuge.
'And you ought, O Bhikkhus(Monks), to confer the pabbajja ordination (on a novice) in this way: Let him first have his hair and beard cut off; let him put on yellow robes, adjust his upper robe so as to cover one shoulder, salute the feet of the Bhikkhus (with his head), and sit down squatting; then let him raise his joined hands and tell him to say: "I take my refuge in the Buddha, I take my refuge in the Dhamma, I take my refuge in the Sangha. And for the second time, &c. And for the third time, &c."
'I prescribe, O Bhikkhus(Monks), the pabbajja ordination of novices by this threefold declaration of taking refuge.'
Thus the venerable Sariputta conferred the pabbajja ordination on young Rahula.
4. Then the Shakya Suddhodana (Father of Buddha) went to the place where the Lord Buddha was; having approached him and having respectfully saluted the Lord Buddha, he sat down near him. Sitting near him the Sakka Suddhodana said to the Lord Buddha: 'Lord, I ask one boon of the Lord Buddha.' (The Buddha replied): 'The perfect Ones, Gotama, are above granting boons (before they know what they are).' (Suddhodana said): 'Lord, it is a proper and unobjectionable demand.' 'Speak, Gotama.'
5. 'Lord, when the Lord Buddha gave up the world, it was a great pain to me; so it was when Nanda did the same; my pain was excessive when Rahula too did so. The love for a son, Lord, cuts into the skin; having cut into the skin, it cuts into the hide; having cut into the hide, it cuts into the flesh, . . . . the ligaments, . . . . the bones; having cut into the bones, it reaches the marrow and dwells in the marrow. Pray, Lord, let their reverences not confer the pabbajja ordination on a son without his father's and mother's permission.'
Then the Lord Buddha taught the Sakka Suddhodana (&c., see chap. 39. 7).
'Let no son, O Bhikkhus(Monks), receive the pabbajja ordination without his father's and mother's permission. He who confers the pabbajja ordination (on a son without that permission), is guilty of a dukkata offence.'