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Tipitaka >> Vinaya Pitaka >> Khandhaka >> Mahavagga >> First Khandaka >> 1.7

Adapted from the Translation by T. W. Rhys Davids and Hermann Oldenberg


MAHAVAGGA

FIRST KHANDHAKA(THE FORMATION OF THE ORDER OF BHIKKHUS)

Chapter-7 : Buddha Gives Initiation to a Rich Man's Son Yasa with Three Gems-Triratna.

1. At that time there was in Benares a noble youth, Yasa by name, the son of a setthi(rich businessman) and delicately nurtured. He had three palaces, one for winter, one for summer, one for the rainy season. In the palace for the rainy season he lived during the four months (of that season), surrounded with female musicians among whom no man was, and he did not descend from that palace (all that time). Now one day Yasa, the noble youth, who was endowed with, and possessed of the five pleasures of sense, while he was attended (by those female musicians), fell asleep sooner than usual; and after him his attendants also fell asleep. Now an oil lamp was burning through the whole night.

2. And Yasa, the noble youth, awoke sooner than usual; and he saw his attendants sleeping; one had her lute leaning against her arm-pit; one had her tabor leaning against her neck; one had her drum leaning against her arm-pit; one had dishevelled hair; one had saliva flowing from her mouth; and they were muttering in their sleep. One would think it was a cemetery one had fallen into. When he saw that, the evils (of the life he led) manifested themselves to him; his mind became weary (of worldly pleasures). And Yasa, the noble youth, gave utterance to this solemn exclamation: 'Alas! what distress; alas! what danger!'

3. And Yasa, the noble youth, put on his gilt slippers, and went to the gate of his house. Non-human beings opened the gate, in order that no being might prevent Yasa the noble youth's leaving the world, and going forth into the houseless state(i.e. monkhood). And Yasa, the noble youth, went to the gate of the city. Non-human beings opened the gate, in order that no being might prevent Yasa the noble youth's leaving the world, and going forth into the houseless state. And Yasa, the noble youth, went to the deer park Isipatana.

4. At that time the Lord Buddha, having arisen in the night, at dawn was walking up and down in the open air. And the Lord Buddha saw Yasa, the noble youth, coming from afar. And when he saw him, he left the place where he was walking, and sat down on a seat laid out (for him). And Yasa, the noble youth, gave utterance near the Lord Buddha to that solemn exclamation: 'Alas! what distress; alas! what danger!' And the Lord Buddha said to Yasa, the noble youth: 'Here is no distress, Yasa, here is no danger. Come here, Yasa, sit down; I will teach you the Truth (Dhamma).'

5. And Yasa, the noble youth, when he heard that there was no distress, and that there was no danger, became glad and joyful; and he put off his gilt slippers, and went to the place where the Lord Buddha was; having approached him and having respectfully saluted the Lord Buddha, he sat down near him. When Yasa, the noble youth, was sitting near him, the Lord Buddha preached to him in due course: that is to say, he talked about the merits obtained by alms-giving, about the duties of morality, about heaven, about the evils, the vanity, and the sinfulness of desires, and about the blessings of the abandonment of desire.

6. When the Lord Buddha saw that the mind of Yasa, the noble youth, was prepared, impressible, free from obstacles (to understanding the Truth), elated, and believing, then he preached what is the principal doctrine of the Buddhas, namely, Suffering, the Cause of stiffering, the Cessation of suffering, the Path. Just as a clean cloth free from black specks properly takes the dye, thus Yasa, the noble youth, even while sitting there, obtained the pure and spotless Eye of the Truth (divine insight): 'Whatsoever is subject to the condition of origination is subject also to the condition of cessation.'

7. Now the mother of Yasa, the noble youth, having gone up to his palace, did not see Yasa, the noble youth, and she went to the setthi, the householder (her husband), and having approached him, she said to the setthi(rich businessman), the householder: 'Your son Yasa, O householder, has disappeared.' Then the setthi, the householder, sent messengers on horseback to the four quarters of the horizon; and he went himself to the deer park Isipatana. Then the setthi, the householder, saw on the ground the marks of the gilt slippers; and when he saw them, he followed them up.

8. And the Lord Buddha saw the setthi, the householder, coming from afar. On seeing him, he thought: 'What if I were to effect such an exercise of miraculous power, that the setthi, the householder, sitting here, should not see Yasa, the noble youth, who is sitting here also.' And the Lord Buddha effected such an exercise of his miraculous power.

9. And the setthi, the householder, went to the place where the Lord Buddha was; having approached him, he said to the Lord Buddha: 'Pray, Lord, has the Lord Buddha seen Yasa, the noble youth?'

'Well, householder, sit down. Perhaps, sitting here, you may see Yasa, the noble youth, sitting here also.'

And the setthi(rich businessman), the householder, who thought: 'Indeed, sitting here I shall see Yasa, the noble youth, sitting here also I became glad and joyful, and having respectfully saluted the Lord Buddha, he sat down near him.

10. When the setthi, the householder, was sitting near him, the Lord Buddha preached to him in due course; that is to say, he talked about the merits obtained by alms-giving, . . . . (&c., as at end of § 5). And the setthi, the householder, having seen the Truth, having mastered the Truth, having penetrated the Truth, having overcome uncertainty, having dispelled all doubts, having gained full knowledge, dependent on nobody else for the knowledge of the doctrine of the Teacher, said to the Lord Buddha: 'Glorious, Lord! glorious, Lord! Just as if one should set up, Lord, what had been overturned, or should reveal what had been hidden, or should point out the way to one who had lost his way, or should bring a lamp into the darkness, in order that those who had eyes might see visible things, thus has the Lord Buddha preached the doctrine in many ways. I take my refuge, Lord, in the Lord Buddha, and in the Dhamma, and in the fraternity of Bhikkhus; may the Lord Buddha receive me from this day forth while my life lasts as a disciple who has taken his refuge in Him.'

This was the first person in the world who became a lay-disciple with the holy triad (Three gems - Triratna- Buddha , Dhamma & Sangha)

11. And Yasa, the noble youth, while instruction was administered (by the Buddha) to his father, contemplated the stage of knowledge which he had seen with his mind and understood; and his mind became free from attachment to the world, and was released from the Asavas. Then the Lord Buddha thought: 'Yasa, the noble youth, while instruction was administered to his father, has contemplated the stage of knowledge which he had seen with his mind and understood; and his mind has become free from attachment to the world, and has become released from the Asavas. It is impossible that Yasa, the noble youth, should return to the world and enjoy pleasures, as he did before, when he lived in his house. What if I were now to put an end to that exertion of my miraculous power.' And the Lord Buddha put an end to that exertion of his miraculous Power.

12. Then the setthi, the householder, saw Yasa, the noble youth, sitting there. On seeing him he said to Yasa, the noble youth: 'My son Yasa, your mother is absorbed in lamentation and grief; restore your mother to life.'

13. Then Yasa, the noble youth, looked at the Lord Buddha. And the Lord Buddha said to the setthi, the householder: 'What do you think then, O householder? That Yasa has (first) won only an imperfect degree of knowledge and insight into the Truth, as you have yourself? Or that rather he was contemplating the stage of knowledge which he had seen with his mind and understood; and that his mind has thus become free from attachment to the world, and has become released from the Asavas? Now would it then be possible, O householder, that Yasa should return to the world and enjoy pleasures as he did before, when he lived in his house?'

'Not so, Lord.' 'Yasa, the noble youth, O householder, had (first) won, like yourself, an imperfect degree of knowledge and insight into the Truth. But when he was contemplating the stage of knowledge which he had seen with his mind and understood, his mind has become free from attachment to the world, and has become released from the Asavas. It is impossible, O householder, that Yasa, the noble youth, should return to the world and enjoy pleasures as he did before, when he lived in his house.'

14. 'It is all gain, Lord, to Yasa, the noble youth, it is high bliss, Lord, for Yasa, the noble youth, that the mind of Yasa, the noble youth, has become free from attachment to the world, and has become released from the Asavas. Might, Lord, the Lord Buddha consent to take his meal with me to-day together with Yasa, the noble youth, as his attendant?'

The Lord Buddha expressed his consent by remaining silent. Then the setthi(rich businessman), the householder, when he understood that the Lord Buddha had accepted his invitation, rose from his seat, respectfully saluted the Lord Buddha, and passing round him with his right side towards him, departed from there.

15. And Yasa, the noble youth, soon after the setthi, the householder, was gone, said to the Lord Buddha: 'Lord, let me receive the pabbajja(initiation) and upasampada ordinations from the Lord Buddha.'

'Come, O Bhikkhu,' said the Lord Buddha, 'well taught is the doctrine; lead a holy life for the sake of the complete extinction of suffering.'

Thus this venerable person received the upasampada ordination. At that time these were the seven Arahats(Fully Enlightened) in the world.

End of the story of Yasa's pabbajja(initiation).

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