Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
II. Majjhima-Paṇṇāsa
1. Gahapati Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
II. The Middle Fifty Discourses
1. The Division on Householders

Sutta 55

Jīvaka Suttaɱ

Discourse to Jīvaka

Translated from the Pali by I.B. Horner, M.A.
Associate of Newham College, Cambridge
First Published in 1954

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[368] [32]

[1][chlm][upal] THUS have I heard:

At one time the Lord was staying at Rājagaha
in Jīvaka Komārabhacca's[1] Mango Grove.

Then Jīvaka Komāra- [33] bhacca approached the Lord;
having approached,
having greeted the Lord,
he sat down at a respectful distance.

As he was sitting down at a respectful distance,
Jīvaka Komārabhacca spoke thus to the Lord;

"This is what I have heard, revered sir:
that they kill living creatures on purpose for the recluse Gotama,
and that the recluse Gotama knowingly makes use of meat
killed on purpose
and specially provided for him.

Those who speak thus, revered sir:

'They kill living creatures on purpose for the recluse Gotama,
and the recluse Gotama knowingly makes use of meat
killed on purpose
and specially provided for him' -

now, are these quoting the Lord's own words, revered sir,
not misrepresenting the Lord
with what is not fact,
are they explaining in conformity with damma,
and does no reasoned thesis[2]
give occasion for contempt?"[3]

[369] "Jlvaka, those who speak thus:

'They kill living creatures on purpose for the recluse Gotama,
and the recluse Gotama knowingly makes use of meat
killed on purpose
and specially provided for him' -

these are not quoting my own words,
but are misrepresenting me
with what is not true,
with what is not fact.

I, Jīvaka, say
that in three cases
meat may not be used:

if it is seen,
heard,
suspected
(to have been killed on purpose for a monk).

In these three cases I, Jīvaka, say
that meat may not be used.

But I, Jīvaka, say
that in three cases
meat may be used:

if it is not seen,
heard,
suspected
(to have been killed on purpose for a monk).[4]

In these three cases I, Jīvaka, say
that meat may be used.

As to this, Jīvaka,
a monk lives depending on a village
or market town.[5]

He dwells having suffused the first quarter
with a mind of friendliness,
likewise the second,
likewise the third,
likewise the fourth;
just so above,
below,
across;
he dwells having suffused the whole world everywhere,
in every way,
with a mind of friendliness
that is far-reaching,
wide-spread,
immeasurable,
without enmity,
without malevolence.

A householder
or a householder's son,
having approached him,
invites him to a meal on the morrow.

The monk accepts, Jīvaka,
if he so desires.

At the end of that night,
having dressed in the early morning,
taking his bowl and robe,
he approaches [34] the dwelling of that householder
or householder's son;
having approached,
he sits down on the appointed seat,
and the householder
or householder's son
waits on him with sumptuous almsfood.

It does not occur to him:

'Indeed it is good
that a householder
or a householder's son
waits on me with sumptuous almsfood.

0 may a householder
or a householder's son
also wait on me in the future
with similar sumptuous almsfood' -
this does not occur to him.

He makes use of that almsfood
without being ensnared,
entranced
or enthralled by it,
but seeing the peril in it,
wise as to the escape.

What do you think about this,
Jīvaka?

Is that monk
at that time
striving for the hurt of self
or is he striving for the hurt of others
or is he striving for the hurt of both?"

"Not this, revered sir."

"Is not that monk
at that time, Jīvaka,
eating food that is blameless?"

"Yes, revered sir.

I had heard this, revered sir:

Sublime is abiding in friendliness.!

The Lord is seen as my witness for this, revered sir,
for the Lord is abiding in friendliness."[6]

"Jīvaka, that attachment,
that [370] aversion,
that confusion
through which there might be malevolence,
these have been got rid of by the Tathāgata,
cut off at the root,
made like a palm-tree stump
that can come to no further existence in the future.

If this is the meaning of what you said, Jīvaka,
I agree with you."

"This is the exact meaning of what I said, revered sir."

 


 

"As to this, Jīvaka,
a monk lives depending on a village
or market town.

He dwells having suffused the first quarter
with a mind of compassion,
likewise the second,
likewise the third,
likewise the fourth;
just so above,
below,
across;
he dwells having suffused the whole world everywhere,
in every way,
with a mind of compassion
that is far-reaching,
wide-spread,
immeasurable,
without enmity,
without malevolence.

A householder
or a householder's son,
having approached him,
invites him to a meal on the morrow.

The monk accepts, Jīvaka,
if he so desires.

At the end of that night,
having dressed in the early morning,
taking his bowl and robe,
he approaches the dwelling of that householder
or householder's son;
having approached,
he sits down on the appointed seat,
and the householder
or householder's son
waits on him with sumptuous almsfood.

It does not occur to him:

'Indeed it is good
that a householder
or a householder's son
waits on me with sumptuous almsfood.

0 may a householder
or a householder's son
also wait on me in the future
with similar sumptuous almsfood' -
this does not occur to him.

He makes use of that almsfood
without being ensnared,
entranced
or enthralled by it,
but seeing the peril in it,
wise as to the escape.

What do you think about this,
Jīvaka?

Is that monk
at that time
striving for the hurt of self
or is he striving for the hurt of others
or is he striving for the hurt of both?"

"Not this, revered sir."

"Is not that monk
at that time, Jīvaka,
eating food that is blameless?"

"Yes, revered sir.

I had heard this, revered sir:

Sublime is abiding in compassion!

The Lord is seen as my witness for this, revered sir,
for the Lord is abiding in compassion."

"Jīvaka, that attachment,
that aversion,
that confusion
through which there might be malevolence,
these have been got rid of by the Tathāgata,
cut off at the root,
made like a palm-tree stump
that can come to no further existence in the future.

If this is the meaning of what you said, Jīvaka,
I agree with you."

"This is the exact meaning of what I said, revered sir."

 


 

"As to this, Jīvaka,
a monk lives depending on a village
or market town.

He dwells having suffused the first quarter
with a mind of sympathetic joy,
likewise the second,
likewise the third,
likewise the fourth;
just so above,
below,
across;
he dwells having suffused the whole world everywhere,
in every way,
with a mind of sympathetic joy
that is far-reaching,
wide-spread,
immeasurable,
without enmity,
without malevolence.

A householder
or a householder's son,
having approached him,
invites him to a meal on the morrow.

The monk accepts, Jīvaka,
if he so desires.

At the end of that night,
having dressed in the early morning,
taking his bowl and robe,
he approaches the dwelling of that householder
or householder's son;
having approached,
he sits down on the appointed seat,
and the householder
or householder's son
waits on him with sumptuous almsfood.

It does not occur to him:

'Indeed it is good
that a householder
or a householder's son
waits on me with sumptuous almsfood.

0 may a householder
or a householder's son
also wait on me in the future
with similar sumptuous almsfood' -
this does not occur to him.

He makes use of that almsfood
without being ensnared,
entranced
or enthralled by it,
but seeing the peril in it,
wise as to the escape.

What do you think about this,
Jīvaka?

Is that monk
at that time
striving for the hurt of self
or is he striving for the hurt of others
or is he striving for the hurt of both?"

"Not this, revered sir."

"Is not that monk
at that time, Jīvaka,
eating food that is blameless?"

"Yes, revered sir.

I had heard this, revered sir:

Sublime is abiding in sympathetic joy!

The Lord is seen as my witness for this, revered sir,
for the Lord is abiding in sympathetic joy."

"Jīvaka, that attachment,
that aversion,
that confusion
through which there might be malevolence,
these have been got rid of by the Tathāgata,
cut off at the root,
made like a palm-tree stump
that can come to no further existence in the future.

If this is the meaning of what you said, Jīvaka,
I agree with you."

"This is the exact meaning of what I said, revered sir."

 


 

"As to this, Jīvaka,
a monk lives depending on a village
or market town.

He dwells having suffused the first quarter
with a mind of equanimity,
likewise the second,
likewise the third,
likewise the fourth;
just so above,
below,
across;
he dwells having suffused the whole world everywhere,
in every way,
with a mind of equanimity
that is far-reaching,
wide-spread,
immeasurable,
without enmity,
without malevolence.

A householder
or a householder's son,
having approached him,
invites him to a meal on the morrow.

The monk accepts, Jīvaka,
if he so desires.

At the end of that night,
having dressed in the early morning,
taking his bowl and robe,
he approaches the dwelling of that householder
or householder's son;
having approached,
he sits down on the appointed seat,
and the householder
or householder's son
waits on him with sumptuous almsfood.

It does not occur to him:

'Indeed it is good
that a householder
or a householder's son
waits on me with sumptuous almsfood.

0 may a householder
or a householder's son
also wait on me in the future
with similar sumptuous almsfood' -
this does not occur to him.

He makes use of that almsfood
without being ensnared,
entranced
or enthralled by it,
but seeing the peril in it,
wise as to the escape.

What do you think about this,
Jīvaka?

Is that monk
at that time
striving for the hurt of self
or is he striving for the hurt of others
or is he striving for the hurt of both?"

"Not this, revered sir."

"Is not that monk
at that time, Jīvaka,
eating food that is blameless?"

[35] "Yes, revered sir.

I had heard this, revered sir:

Sublime is abiding in equanimity!

The Lord is seen as my witness for this, revered sir,
for the Lord is abiding in equanimity."

"Jīvaka, that attachment,
that aversion,
that confusion
through which there might be annoyance,
through which there might be dislike,
through which there might be repugnance,
these have been got rid of by the Tathāgata,
cut off at the root,
made like a palm-tree stump
that can come to no further existence in the future.

If this is the meaning of what you said, Jīvaka,
I agree [371] with you."

"This is the exact meaning of what I said, revered sir."

"Jīvaka, he who kills a living creature on purpose
for a Tathāgata
or a Tathāgata's disciple
stores up much demerit in five ways:

In that, when he speaks thus:

'Go and fetch such and such a living creature,'

in this first way
he stores up much demerit.

In that, while this living creature is being fetched
it experiences pain and distress
because of the affliction to its throat[7] -
in this second way
he stores up much demerit.

In that, when he speaks thus:

'Go and kill that living creature' -

in this third way
he stores up much demerit.

In that, while this living creature is being killed
it experiences pain and distress,
in this fourth way
he stores up much demerit.

In that, if he proffers to[8] a Tathāgata
or a Tathāgata's disciple
what is not allowable,[9]
in this fifth way
he stores up much demerit.

He who, Jīvaka, kills a living creature on purpose for a Tathāgata
or a Tathāgata's disciple
stores up much demerit in these five ways."

When this had been said, Jīvaka Komārabhacca spoke thus to the Lord:

"It is wonderful, revered sir,
it is marvellous, revered sir.

Indeed, revered sir,
the monks eat food that is allowable;
indeed, revered sir,
the monks eat food that is blameless.

It is excellent, revered sir,
it is excellent, revered sir.

It is as if, revered sir,
one might set upright what had been upset,
or might disclose what was covered,
or point out the way
to one who had gone astray,
or might bring an oil-lamp into the darkness
so that those with vision might see material shapes -
even so is dhamma made clear
in many a figure by the Lord.

I am going to the Lord for refuge,
and to dhamma
and to the Order of monks.

May the Lord accept me as a lay-disciple
going for refuge
from this day forth
for as long as life lasts."

Discourse to Jīvaka:
The Fifth

 


[1] See Vin. i. 71 ff., 269 ff. Also B.D. iv. 381, n. 3. MA. iii. 45 says his name means "Prince-fed."

[2] vādānuvāda here; some texts read vādānupāta.

[3] Cf. M. i. 482, ii. 127, 222, iii. 77; A. i. 161; D. i. 161, iii. 115; S. ii. 33, 36, iii. 6, iv. 51, 340, 381, v. 6.

[4] Cf. Vin. i. 238, iii. 172.

[5] The next few paragraphs should be compared with A. i. 274 (Sutta 121); there are several interesting variations.

[6] Brahmā mettāvihārī ... bhagavā, hi mettāvihārī. Cf. Sn. 151, Khp. ix.: brahmam etaɱ vihāram idha-m-āhu, sublime is this abiding called here.

[7] galappavedhakena. MA. iii. 51 says: yottena gale bandhitvā kaḍḍhito galena pavedhentena (v.1. paveṭhiyamānena vā): having secured (or, bound) it with a thong (or, strap) round its throat, it is dragged along with agony (or, terror) in its throat.

[8] āsādeti. MA. iii. 51 gives kkādāpetva, having made to eat.

[9] akappiya, such as various kinds of meat named at MA. iii. 51. Other unallowable kinds are given at Vin. i. 218-219.

 


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