Tuvaṭaka Sutta | Sn IV-14


14. Tuvaṭaka Sutta

Discourse on the Practice of Liberation

921. (Question): O Buddha, Kinsman of the Sun, may I ask of you this question:

O the Noblest of the Noble Ones, what sort of understanding must one aim at, so that a Bhikkhu realize the detachment (from physical involvements, etc.) through seclusion leading to cessation of all passion, with no clinging to anything whatever in life? (1)

922. (Said the Buddha): A Bhikkhu should, by the Path-Knowledge, strive for cessation of ignorance, and its allied evils that prolong the process of rebirth.

He should strive to have the delusion of “self” rooted out. Craving that is liable to arise within must be extinguished by means of constant practice of mindfulness. (2)

923. One should thoroughly know one's own as well as the virtues of others (particularly those of one's teacher), one should not be vainglorious about the virtues of either oneself or of one's teacher. For such vanity, according to the wise, is not conducive to liberation. (3)

924. One should not, in all vanity, consider oneself as superior or inferior or equal to another, thinking oneself as an accomplished one.

A complexity of personal comparisons is apt to arise; and this kind of considerations, it must be noted, is not worth having at all. (4)

925. A Bhikkhu should watch within, with mindfulness to quell, the rising tides of defilements. Vain it would be if he seeks for peace otherwise.

One, who has conquered the evils within, has no clinging to a deceptive self. Then how could the annihilation of self ever occur in his thinking? (5)

926. In the deep within of the vast ocean there are no stormy waves. Likewise one who has no desire whatever stands (unaffected by the vicissitudes of life).

A Bhikkhu should not let his thoughts wander to lustful thinking, lest he should fall a prey to lust. (6)

927. (Question): O Buddha with unobstructed vision, you have discoursed on the Dhamma that you have discovered yourself and that allays all foes (apparent or concealed);

now please show us the practice, the Path to Nibbāna; please tell us the Bhikkhu's conduct by way of precepts; please teach us how concentration could be cultivated. (7)

928. (Answer): Be not frivolous with your eye, have restraint about listening to low talk of the laity. Never thirst after the pleasures of the stomach. And do not want to possess anything whatever in life (including your own self) (8)

929. A Bhikkhu should not bewail or murmur under pain; be it illness or any affliction felt through whatever perception.

He should not yearn for any form of existence. And he should not shiver and shake in the face of external dangers. (9)

930. Having received foods and beverages, or any delicacies or raiment, a Bhikkhu should not store them up. When he does not get those things he should not be worried. (10)

931. Abiding in concentration, a Bhikkhu should not ramble. He should restrain himself from restlessness. He must never slacken in unmindfulness. He should dwell at a place that is not noisy. (11)

932. One who means to dry up defilements should not sleep much:

He should be as wakeful as possible. Sloth, deceit, joviality, frivolity, sexuality and personal adornment, all these must be abandoned. (12)

933. A devotee of the Buddha and his Teaching should not take up Atharva Veda, Interpretation of Dreams, Prognostication by Marks on the Body; as also Astronomy, Interpretation of Birds' cries, prevention of abortion, medicine. (13)

934. A Bhikkhu is indifferent to blame, and is not flushed with praise. He should drive away greed, anger and backbiting. (14)

935. Neither buyer nor seller be! See that no taints dwell in you deserving of blame. In the village avoid any involvements (with the laity). Never prattle in the hope of getting something. (15)

936. A Bhikkhu should never be boastful. He should not talk in a way leading to some gain. Not being given to impudence, he should not speak in a contentious manner. (16)

937. Being ever conscious of one's own motives, a Bhikkhu should refrain from lying, and from fraudulent acts.

He should not scorn others just because he can practise austerity, or has acquired certain learning, or has been able to observe certain ascetic practices. (17)

938. A Bhikkhu with an investigative mind, knowing these things (said above), should cultivate mindfulness all the time.

Knowing by Insight-Knowledge that pacification (of evils within) is Supreme Peace (Nibbāna), he should, under the guidance of Gotama Buddha, never slacken in his mental vigilance. (18)

939. Whether censured left and right by monk or layman, a Bhikkhu does not hit back in kind. A stilled one (Arahant) never wages a verbal war. (19)

940. The Buddha, having quelled (the 6 sensual perceptions), can never succumb (to defilements). He has seen the Dhamma by own realization, not by other's guidance.

That's why under the Buddha's Teaching, one should diligently and respectfully at all times, work out (for one's real benefit). (20)

End of the Tuvaṭaka Sutta