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Tipitaka >> Sutta Pitaka >> Anguttara Nikaya >> Sariputta's Lion's Roar

AN 9:11 Sariputta's Lion's Roar

Translated from the Pali by Nyanaponika Thera and Bhikkhu Bodhi


On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapindika’s monastery. At that time the Venerable Sariputta approached the Blessed One. Having paid homage to the Blessed One, he sat down to one side and said to him:

“Lord, I have now completed the rains retreat at Savatthi and wish to leave for a country journey.”

“Sariputta, you may go whenever you are ready.” The Venerable Sariputta rose from his seat, saluted the Blessed One, and keeping him to his right, departed.

Soon after the Venerable Sariputta had left, one monk said to the Blessed One: “The Venerable Sariputta has hit me and has left on his journey without an apology.”

Then the Blessed One called another monk and said: “Go, monk, and call the Venerable Sariputta, saying, ’The Master calls you, Sariputta.’“The monk did as he was bidden, and the Venerable Sariputta responded, saying, “Yes, friend.”

Then the Venerable Mahamoggallana and the Venerable Ananda, taking the keys, went around the monks’ lodgings and said: “Come, revered sirs, come! For today the Venerable Sariputta will utter his lion’s roar in the presence of the Blessed One.”

The Venerable Sariputta approached the Blessed One, and after saluting him, sat down to one side. When he was seated, the Blessed One said: “One of your fellow monks here has complained that you hit him and left on your journey without an apology.”

“Lord, one in whom mindfulness directed to the body is not present in regard to the body may well hit a fellow monk and leave without an apology.

“Just as, Lord, people throw upon the earth things clean and unclean, dung, urine, spittle, pus and blood, yet for all that the earth has no revulsion, loathing or disgust towards it; even so, Lord, do I dwell with a heart that is like the earth, vast, exalted and measureless, without hostility, and without ill will. However, one in whom mindfulness directed on the body in regard to the body is not present may well hit a fellow monk and leave without an apology.

“Just as, Lord, people use water to wash things clean and unclean, things soiled with dung, urine, spittle, pus and blood, yet for all that the water has no revulsion, loathing or disgust towards it; even so, Lord, do I dwell with a heart that is like water, vast, exalted and measureless, without hostility, and without ill will. However, one in whom … and leave without an apology

“Just as, Lord, fire burns things clean and unclean, things soiled with dung, urine, spittle, pus and blood, yet for all that the fire has no revulsion, loathing or disgust towards it; even so, Lord, do I dwell with a heart that is like fire, vast, exalted and measureless, without hostility, and without ill will. However, he in whom … and leave without an apology.

“Just as, Lord, the wind blows over things clean and unclean, over dung, urine, spittle, pus and blood, yet for all that the wind has no revulsion, loathing or disgust towards it; even so, Lord, do I dwell with a heart that is like the wind, vast, exalted and measureless, without hostility, and without ill will. However, he in whom … and leave without an apology.

“Lord, just as a duster wipes over things clean and unclean, things soiled with dung, urine, spittle, pus and blood, yet for all that the duster has no revulsion, loathing or disgust towards it; even so, Lord, do I dwell with a heart that is like a duster, vast, exalted and measureless, without hostility, and without ill will. However, he in whom … and leave without an apology.

“Lord, just as an outcast boy or girl, begging-vessel in hand and clad in rags, enters a village or town with a humble heart; even so, Lord, do I dwell with a heart like that of an outcast youth, a heart that is vast, exalted and measureless, without hostility, and without ill will. However, he in whom … and leave without an apology.

“Lord, just as a bull with his horns cut, gentle, well tamed and well trained, when roaming from street to street, from square to square, will not hurt anyone with feet or horns; even so, Lord, do I dwell like a bull with horns cut, with a heart that is vast, exalted and measureless, without hostility, and without ill will. However, he in whom … and leave without an apology.

“Lord, just as a woman or a man, young, youthful and fond of ornaments, who has just washed the head, would be filled with revulsion, loathing and disgust if the carcass of a snake, a dog or a man were to be slung around the neck; even so, Lord, am I filled with revulsion, loathing and disgust for this foul body of mine. However, one in whom mindfulness directed to the body in regard to the body is not present may well hit a fellow monk and leave without an apology.

“Lord, just if one were to carry around a bowl of liquid fat that is full of holes and crevices, oozing and dripping; even so, Lord, do I carry around this body that is full of holes and crevices, oozing and dripping. However, one in whom mindfulness directed on the body in regard to the body is not present may well hit a fellow monk and leave without an apology.”

Then that accusing monk rose from his seat, arranged his upper robe over one shoulder, and with his head on the ground bowed at the feet of the Blessed One, saying: “Lord, I committed an offence when I was so foolish, stupid and unskilful that I accused the Venerable Sariputta falsely, wrongly and untruthfully. Let the Blessed One accept my admission of the offence and pardon me, and I shall practise restraint in the future.”

“Truly, monk, you committed an offence when you were so foolish, stupid and unskilful that you accused Sariputta falsely, wrongly and untruthfully. But as you have recognised your offence as such and make amends for it according to the rule, we pardon you. For it is a sign of growth in the Discipline of the Noble One that one recognises one’s offence, makes amends for it according to the rule, and in future practises restraint.”

The Blessed One then turned to the Venerable Sariputta and said: “Forgive this foolish man, Sariputta, before his head splits into seven pieces on this very spot.”

“I shall forgive him, Lord, if this revered monk asks for my pardon. And he, too, may forgive me.”

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