Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
II. Majjhima-Paṇṇāsa
2. Bhikkhu Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
II. The Middle Fifty Discourses
2. The Division on Monks

Sutta 69

Gulissāni Suttaɱ

Discourse on Gulissāni

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

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[469] [141]

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

At one time the Lord was staying near Rājagaha
in the Bamboo Grove
at the squirrels' feeding place.

At that time a monk named Gulissāni,
forest-gone,
uncouth in his habits,
had arrived in the midst of an Order
on some business or other.

Thereupon the venerable Sāriputta addressed the monks
concerning the monk Gulissāni,
saying:

"Your reverences, a monk who is forest-gone
and who comes back to an Order
and is staying with an Order,
should be deferential
and respectful
towards his fellow Brahma-farers.

If, your reverences,
a monk who is forest-gone
comes back to an Order
and is staying with an Order,
and is not deferential
and respectful
towards his fellow Brahma-farers,
there will be those who speak about him and say:

'What is the good of this venerable one
who is forest-gone
and who lives alone in the forest
doing as he pleases
but who is not deferential
and respectful
towards his fellow Brahma-farers? -

there will be those who speak about him.

Therefore a monk who is forest-gone
and who has come back to an Order
and is staying with [142] an Order
should bo deferential
and respectful
towards his fellow-Brahma-farers.

Your reverences, a monk who is forest-gone
and who comes back to an Order
and is staying with an Order,
should be skilled about the seats,
thinking:

'I will sit down
not encroaching on[1]
(the space intended for)
monks who are elders,
nor will I keep newly ordained monks from a seat.'[2]

If, your reverences,
a monk who is forest-gone
comes back to an Order
and is staying with an Order,
and is not skilled about the seats,
there will be those who speak about him and say:

'What is the good of this venerable one
who is forest-gone
and who lives alone in the forest
doing what he pleases
but who does not even know the rule about decent conduct? -

there will be those who speak about him.

Therefore a monk who is forest-gone
and who has come back to an Order
and is staying with an Order
should be skilled about the seats.

Your reverences, a monk who is forest-gone
and who comes back to an Order
and is staying with an Order,
should not enter a village too early
nor return[3] during the day.

If, your reverences,
a monk who is forest-gone
comes back to an Order
and is staying with an Order,
and enters a village too early
and returns during the day,
there will be those who speak about him and say:

'What is the good of this venerable one
who is forest-gone
and who lives alone in the forest
doing as he pleases
but who enters a village too early
and returns during the day' -

there will be those who speak about him.

Therefore a monk who is forest-gone
and who comes back to an Order
and is staying with an Order
should not enter a village too early
and should not return during the day.

Your reverences, a monk who is forest-gone
and who comes back to an Order
and is staying with an Order
should not [470] call upon families
before a meal
or after a meal.[4]

If, your reverences,
a monk who is forest-gone
comes back to an Order
and is staying with an Order,
and calls upon families
before a meal
or after a meal,
there will be those who will speak about him and say:

'Is not this walking at a wrong time
frequently practised by this venerable one
who is forest-gone,
living alone in the forest
doing as he pleases,
and does not he also boast about it
to one who is in the Order?' -

there will be those who speak about him.

[143] Therefore a monk who is forest-gone
and who comes back to an Order
and is staying with an Order
should call upon families
neither before a meal
nor after a meal.

Your reverences, a monk who is forest-gone
and who comes back to an Order
and is staying with an Order,
should not be proud or inconsiderate.[5]

If, your reverences, a monk who is forest-gone
comes back to an Order
and is staying with an Order,
is proud and inconsiderate,
there will be those who speak about him and say:

'Is not this pride and inconsiderateness
frequently practised by this venerable one
who is forest-gone,
living alone in a forest
doing as he pleases,
and does not he also boast about it
to one who is in the Order? -

there will be those that speak about him.

Therefore a monk who is forest-gone
and who comes back to an Order
and is staying with an Order
should not be proud and inconsiderate.

Your reverences, a monk who is forest-gone
comes back to an Order
and is staying with an Order,
should not be scurrilous
or of loose talk.[5]

If, your reverences, a monk who is forest-gone
comes back to an Order
and is staying with an Order,
is scurrilous and of loose talk,
there will be those who speak about him and say:

'What is the good of this venerable one
who is forest-gone,
living alone in a forest
doing as he pleases,
but who is scurrilous
and of loose talk?' -

there will be those who speak about him.

Therefore a monk who is forest-gone
and who comes back to an Order
and is staying with an Order
should not be scurrilous or of loose talk.

Your reverences, a monk who is forest-gone
comes back to an Order
and is staying with an Order,
should be of pleasant speech,[6]
a friend of the lovely.[6]

If, .your reverences, a monk who is forest-gone
comes back to an Order
and is staying with an Order,
is of wrong speech,[7],
a friend of the evil,[6]
there will be those who speak about him and say:

'What is the good of this venerable one
who is forest-gone,
living alone in a forest
doing as he pleases,
but who is of wrong speech,
a friend of the evil?' -

there will be those who speak about him.

Therefore a monk who is forest-gone
comes back to an Order
and is staying with an Order,
should be of pleasant speech,
a friend of the lovely.

Your reverences,
a monk who is forest-gone
should be guarded as to the doors of his sense-organs.

If, your reverences,
a monk who is forest-gone
is not guarded as to the doors of his sense-organs,
there will be those who speak about him and say:

'What is the good of this venerable one
who is forest-gone,
living alone [144] in a forest
doing as he pleases,
[471]but who is not guarded as to the doors of his sense-organs?' -

there will be those who speak about him.

Therefore a monk who is forest-gone
should be guarded as to the doors of his sense-organs.

Your reverences,
a monk who is forest-gone
should be moderate in eating.

If, your reverences,
a monk who is forest-gone
is not moderate in eating,
there will be those who speak about him and say:

'What is the good of this venerable one
who is forest-gone,
living alone in a forest
doing as he pleases,
but who is not moderate in eating?' -

there will be those who speak about him.

Therefore a monk who is forest-gone
should be moderate in eating.

Your reverences,
a monk who is forest-gone
should be intent on vigilance.

If, your reverences,
a monk who is forest-gone
is not intent on vigilance,
there will be those who speak about him and say:

'What is the good of this venerable one
who is forest-gone,
living alone in a forest
doing as he pleases,
but who is not intent on vigilance?' -

there will be those who speak about him.

Therefore a monk who is forest-gone
should be intent on vigilance.

Your reverences,
a monk who is forest-gone
should be put forth energy.

If, your reverences,
a monk who is forest-gone
is lazy,
there will be those who speak about him and say:

'What is the good of this venerable one
who is forest-gone,
living alone in a forest
doing as he pleases,
but who is lazy?' -

there will be those who speak about him.

Therefore a monk who is forest-gone
should put forth energy.

Your reverences,
a monk who is forest-gone
should arouse mindfulness.

If, your reverences,
a monk who is forest-gone
is of muddled mindfulness,
there will be those who speak about him and say:

'What is the good of this venerable one
who is forest-gone,
living alone in a forest
doing as he pleases,
but who is of muddled mindfulness?' -

there will be those who speak about him.

Therefore a monk who is forest-gone
should arouse mindfulness.

Your reverences,
a monk who is forest-gone
should have concentration.

If, your reverences,
a monk who is forest-gone
has not concentration,
there will be those who speak about him and say:

'What is the good of this venerable one
who is forest-gone,
living alone in a forest
doing as he pleases,
but who has not concentration?' -

there will be those who speak about him.

Therefore a monk who is forest-gone
should have concentration.

Your reverences,
a monk who is forest-gone
should have wisdom.

If, your reverences,
a monk who is forest-gone
is poor in wisdom,
there will be those who [472] speak about him and say:

'What is the [145] good of this venerable one
who is forest-gone,
living alone in a forest
doing as he pleases,
but who is poor in wisdom?' -

there will be those who speak about him.

Therefore a monk who is forest-gone
should have wisdom.

Your reverences, earnest study[8] in Further-Dhamma,
in Further-Discipline[9]
should be made by a monk
who is forest-gone.

Your reverences,
there are those who will question
a monk who is forest-gone
on Further-Dhamma
and Further-Discipline.

If, your reverences,
a monk who is forest-gone,
on being asked a question on Further-Dhamma,
on Further-Discipline,
does not succeed (in answering it),
there will be those who speak about him and say:

'What is the good of this venerable one
who is forest-gone,
living alone in a forest
doing as he pleases,
but who, on being asked a question on Further-Dhamma,
on Further-Discipline,
does not succeed (in answering it)? -

there will be those who speak about him.

Therefore earnest study should be made in Further-Dhamma,
in Further-Disciphne
by a monk who is forest-gone.

Your reverences, earnest study
should be made by a monk who is forest-gone
concerning those that are the peaceful Deliverances[10]
and are incorporeal
having transcended material shapes.

There are, your reverences,
those who will question a monk who is forest-gone
about those that are the peaceful Deliverances
and are incorporeal
having transcended material shapes.

If, your reverences, a monk who is forest-gone,
on being asked a question
about those that are the peaceful Dehverances
and are incorporeal
having transcended material shapes,
does not succeed (in answering it)
there will be those who speak about him and say:

'What is the good of this venerable one
who is forest-gone,
living alone in a forest
doing as he pleases,
but who,
on being asked a question about those that are the peaceful Deliverances
and are incorporeal
having transcended material shapes,
does not succeed (in answering it)? -

there will be those who speak about him.

Therefore earnest study should be [146] made by a monk who is forest-gone
concerning those that are the peaceful Deliverances
and are incorporeal
having transcended material shapes.

Your reverences, earnest study
in states of further-men
should be made by a monk who is forest-gone.

There are, your reverences,
those who will question a monk who is forest-gone
about states of further-men.

If, your reverences, a monk who is forest-gone,
on being asked a question about states of further-men,
does not succeed (in answering it),
there will be those who speak about him and say:

'What is the good of this venerable one
who is forest-gone,
living alone in a forest
doing as he pleases,
but who does not even know the goal
for the sake of which he has gone forth? -

there will be those who speak about him.

Therefore earnest study
in states of further-men
should be made by a monk who is forest-gone."

This said, the venerable Moggallāna the Great
spoke thus to the venerable Sāriputta:

"Reverend Sāriputta,
are these things to be taken up and practised
only by a monk who is forest-gone
or [473] also by one staying near a village?"

"These things, reverend Moggallāna,
are certainly to be taken up and practised
by a monk who is forest-gone,
all the more[11] by one staying near a village."

Discourse on Gulissāni:
The Ninth

 


[1] Vin. iv. 43; cf. Vin. ii. 88.

[2] Cf. Vin. i. 47.

[3] I.e. to the monastery. See Pācittiya 85 (Vin. iv. 164 ff.), and Nuns' Pācittiya 17 (Vin. iv. 274).

[4] See Pācittiya 46 (Vin. iv. 99 f.).

[5] Cf. M. i. 32.

[6] See M. i. 43.

[7] dubbaca can also mean "difficult to speak to," see Vin. iii. M. i. 43.

[8] yoga, earnest application, a closing in on a subject until, in modem parlance, you have made it yours, are at one with it, "yoked" to it.

[9] abhidhamma abhivinaya; cf. A. i. 288 ff. MA. iii. 185 takes these as the Piṭakas; to the former it specially adds the Dhammahadayavibhaŋga (Vbh. 401). See Asl. p. 24: abhidhamme duppaṭipanno dhammacittam atidhāvanto acinteyyāni pi cinteti, tato cittavikkhepaṁ pāpuṇāti; translated at Expos. i. 31: "The bhikkhu who is ill-trained in the Abhidhamma makes his mind run to excess in metaphysical abstractions and thinks of the unthinkable. Consequently he gets mental distraction."

[10] See the eight vimokha at D. ii. 70, 71; also below, p. 152 ff.

[11] pag-eva, also meaning "much less," and a fortiori. It might here mean "in consequence also," suggesting that the village dweller should emulate the one who practises the austerity, dhutaŋga, of the forest dweller, since this was the original type of austere mode of living.

 


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