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Tevijja-Vacchagotta Sutta

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Tipitaka >> Sutta Pitaka >> Majjhima Nikaya >> Tevijja-Vacchagotta Sutta

Translation by Sister Upalavanna


I heard thus.

At one time the Blessed One was living in the gabled hall in the great forest in Vesali. At that time the wandering ascetic Vacchagotta was living in the wandering ascetic’s hall Ekapundarikaa. The Blessed One putting on robes in the morning and taking bowl and robes entered Vesali for alms. It occurred to the Blessed One, it is too early to go for alms in Vesali. What if I approach the wandering ascetic’s hall Ekapundarikaa and approach the ascetic Vacchagotta. Then the Blessed One approached the wandering ascetic’s hall and the ascetic Vacchagotta. He saw the Blessed One approaching and said, Come! Blessed One. It’s after a long time that the Blessed One came, may the Blessed One take a seat. Here the seat is ready. The Blessed One sat on the prepared seat and the wandering ascetic Vacchagotta too taking a low seat sat on a side, and said to the Blessed One.

‘Venerable sir, I have heard this said: The recluse Gotama is all knowing and all seeing and acknowledges remainderless knowledge and vision in this manner, ‘while walking, standing, lying or awake, constantly and continually knowledge and vision is established, to me’.Venerable sir, those who say, these words, ‘The recluse Gotama is all knowing and all seeing and acknowledges remainderless knowledge and vision:while walking, standing, lying or awake, constantly and continually.’ Are they saying the words of good Gotama and are they not blaming the Blessed One falsely? Vaccha, those who say, the recluse Gotama is all knowing and all seeing and acknowledges remainderless knowledge and vision, while walking, standing, lying or awake, constantly and continually. They, do not say my words, they blame me falsely.

Venerable sir, saying how would it be said, correctly not blaming the Blessed One falsely? ‘The recluse Gotama knows the three knowledges. Saying it thus they would be saying the right thing, and not blaming me falsely. Vaccha, whenever I desire, I recollect the manifold previous births, such as one birth, two births, with all modes and all details, thus I recall the manifold previous births. Vaccha, when I desire, with the purified heavenly eye beyond human, see beings disappearing and appearing, in unexalted and exalted states, beautiful and ugly, in good and bad states,-- I see beings, according their actions. Vaccha, destroying desires, my mind released and released through wisdom, here and now by myself realising I abide. Vaccha, if it is said, the recluse Gotama knows the three knowledges, saying it thus, you would be saying the right thing and not blaming me falsely’.

When this was said, the wandering ascetic Vacchagotta said thus to the Blessed One: Good Gotama, are there any laymen who without giving up the lay bonds, would make an end of unpleasaantness after death? No, Vaccha, there aren’t any laymen who have made an end of unpleasantness. Without giving up the lay bonds. Good Gotama, are there any laymen born in heaven after death without giving up the lay bonds? Vaccha, not one hundred, not two hundred, not three hundred, not four hundred, not five hundred, many more, are born in heaven after death without giving up the lay bonds. Good Gotama, are there any ascetics who have made an end of unpleasantness after death? No, Vaccha, there isn’t any ascetic, who has madean end of unpleasantness, after death. Good Gotama, are there any ascetics who are born in heaven after death? Vaccha, I recollected so many as ninety one world cycles and did not see any ascetic born in heaven, except for a certain one who was of the view, there are results for actions. Good Gotama, if that is so, all other faiths are useless even without a birth in heaven.

The Blessed One said thus and wandering ascetic Vacchagotta delighted in the words of the Blessed One.

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