Pabbajā Sutta | Sn III-1



1. Pabbajā Sutta

The Going Forth

407. How the All-seeing One, weighing the pros and cons by investigation, came to imbibe a Bhikkhu’s life, I will now tell you. (1)

408. Confined is the householder's life, the breading ground (base) for the dusty defilements; open and free as the sky is a Bhikkhu’s life, seeing thus the Buddha-to-be became a Bhikkhu. (2)

409. Having become a Bhikkhu the Buddha-to-be avoided all evil body deeds gave up all evil speech, and lived a clean, purified life. (3)

410. The Buddha-to-be visited Rājagaha in Māgadha, the city surrounded by 5 mountains (hills). And there he went on an alms-round, with the unique appearance (adorned) graced by the manifold marks of auspicious distinction all over the noble body. (4)

411. King Bimbisāra, standing at (the balcony of) his royal palace saw the magnificent personage passing by, possessed of marvellous marks, signifying sublimity, and said as follows: (5)

412. I say, men, look there: look at that one there, how beautiful, how robust, how clean are his features. And the gentle gait in which he goes, looking no farther than a yoke's length ahead. (6)

413. With his eyelids cast down demurely, watching, every movement he marks in mindfulness, this Bhikkhu belongs to no mean caste, I vouch: run after him, messengers, and watch where he's going. (7)

414. And the messengers followed the Buddha-to-be closely to see, where he is going, and then where he means to stay. (8)

415. Keeping the door of the senses, with a well-controlled mind, conscious of every movement he made, the Buddha-to-be made the regular house-to-house alms-round and got the alms- bowl filled in no time. (9)

416. The Muni, the Buddha-to-be, after the alms round, left the city and made his way to Pāṇḍava Mountain where he meant to stay. (10)

417. The 3 royal messengers saw the Buddha-to-be heading for the mountain and approached him there, at the foot one of them returned to the royal palace to report to the King. (11)

418. Your Majesty, he said, there he stays, in a cave on the eastern side of Mount Pāṇḍava, with all the dignity and sedateness of the tiger in his den or the leader-bull in his herd, or the lion in his lair. (12)

419. On hearing the messenger's report, King Bimbisāra had his royal carriage prepared, and aglow with anticipation rode to Mount Pāṇḍava forthwith. (13)

420. He rode up to far as a carriage could go; thence onwards he dismounted and made his progress on foot, till he got before the Buddha-to-be, where he sat down. (14)

421. Having himself seated, he exchanged with the Buddha-to-be the friendly compliments and memorable remarks.

Then he respectfully said as follows. (15)

422. Venerable Sir, you are young, youthful, in your first stage of life, a mere lad, stately built, you must be of royal blood, I presume. (16)

423. Venerable Sir, I offer you as my presents certain wealth, beginning with my army.

May you enjoy this wealth and splendour, well supported by this powerful army? And (by the way,) may I know of your lineage, Sir? (17)

424. O King, as you look straight from the foot of the Haimavata Range there is my province, included in the State of Kosala, endowed with wealth and might - that is my native home. (18)

425. I am descended from the Sun. By caste, I belong to the Śākya clan, which I renounced to become a Bhikkhu. I do not care for any sensual (worldly) pleasures, O King. (19)

426. There's danger in all sensual pleasures, O King, and having seen this I have directed my attention to safety, where I could find release from the evils of sensual pleasures.

I have set my heart on Nibbāna, and I am going forth to strive for it, I take delight in this pursuit. (20)

End of the First Pabbajā Sutta