Sāriputta Sutta | Sn IV-16


16. Sāriputta Sutta

Discourse on the Thera Sāriputta

961. (The Venerable Sāriputta addressed the Buddha thus):

O Great Teacher, who has descended from the pleasurable realm, of Tuṣita devas, Head of a company of devotees, possessor of mellifluous voice and benign speech, never had I seen You before nor heard of You. (1)

962. O Buddha, endowed with superb vision, unrivalled in all the worlds, You have let all men and devas see (each other) clearly, by dispelling all darkness.

You have found the ultimate peace and happiness. (2)

963. O Buddha, who has rejected craving and delusion, endowed with supreme patience, free from hypocrisy, leader of the (illustrious) company of devotees, Benefactor to the multitudes, and mentor to the Bhikkhu,

I have come here to ask You about a problem. (3)

964. For a Bhikkhu who loathing (the labyrinth of life) has left for seclusion at the foot of a tree, or a cemetery, or a mountain, or a cave, out of reach of the enticing objects, (to what extent is he exposed to serious dangers?) (4)

965. In a secluded hermitage where silence reigns, be it a comfortable one or a makeshift one, the Bhikkhu should be indifferent to the dangers that may abound.

To what extent is such a lonely Bhikkhu exposed to dangers? (5)

966. The Bhikkhu making his dwelling out of humanity's reach should be able to overcome the dangers. For him heading for the unknown place (Nibbāna),

- to what extent is he exposed to dangers? (6)

967. Under the Buddha's Teaching, what kind of speech is becoming to a Bhikkhu?

And what is the proper field, of movement for him? What kind of conduct, what kind of observances should he take upon himself? (7)

968. For a Bhikkhu, fully concentrated, profound in learning, and mindful all the time what kind of practice must be pursued, for purification of one's self, in the same manner as the goldsmith purifies the gold? (8)

969. (Replied the Buddha):

Sāriputta, a Bhikkhu loathing (the labyrinth of life) and intent (on the Path-Knowledge), retiring of seclusion at a quiet place, should abide by the following practice, which I will now impart to you as I found it out myself. (9)

970. A Bhikkhu observing strict self-discipline, and being mindful and wise, should ignore these 5 (common) dangers; viz.:

gnat-flies, mosquitoes and flies; snakes, scorpions, centipedes, and the like, lice etc., human action (perpetration), and quadrupeds. (10)

971. A merit-seeker should, on seeing the numerous terrible threats, and offensive conduct of the non-Buddhist devotees, remain unshaken.

Regarding other dangers too, he should be able to overcome. (11)

972. He should withstand the pangs of illness or hunger; he should bear with resignation cold and heat.

Whenever afflicted by such unpleasant feelings, he should not waver, but remain steadfast in his exertion. (12)

973. He should not take anything not given him; he should not utter falsehood. He should touch the hearts of worldlings and Arahants alike with loving-kindness (mettā).

Whenever the mind gets murky, he should know, that it's Māra's making and should correct it accordingly. (13)

974. Do not fall under the influence of anger or haughtiness; you should be able to root out their causes. Further, he who can suppress likes and dislikes, should suppress all things in life. (14)

975. Guided by wisdom, gladdened by good thoughts (such as thoughts about the Buddha, etc.), one could avert all the aforesaid dangers.

A Bhikkhu should resist boredom living in an out-of-the-way resort. He should put up with the 4 (following) causes that could lead to lamentation. (15)

976. The disciple on the training, not dwelling in craving, should put away these worries that could cause lamentation, viz.:

1. What shall I eat?
2. Where shall I eat?
3. Ah, what a bad sleep I had last night!
4. And where shall I sleep tonight? (16)

977. Under the Buddha's Teaching, a Bhikkhu, on getting appropriate alms-food or raiment (robes), should set proper limits to their use, guided by contentment.

In the village, the Bhikkhu, well-guarded in his faculties, should keep a non-covetous attitude to all material requisites. When confronted with, or provoked, he should never retort. (17)

978. A Bhikkhu should comport himself with downcast eyes; he should not be fond of wandering. Striving for concentration, he should be wakeful most of the time.

With a steadfast mind resulting from equanimity (of the 4th Jhāna), he should not think sensual thoughts. He must cut off restlessness and remorse. (18)

979. On being criticised regarding propriety (under the Vinaya rule of Bhikkhu conduct), a Bhikkhu should take it in good spirit.

He should not be guilty of misconceptions about his co-trainees.

Speaking only what is meritorious, he should not say things unseasonably or flippantly. He should never give bent to any reprehensible act. (19)

980. Further, in this world there are 5 kinds of dirt (defilements), such as the dirt of rūpa-rāga etc.; the mindful Bhikkhu is on the guard against them.

A disciplined one can withstand the lure of sensual objects; such as sights, sounds, smells, tastes and bodily touch. (20)

981. The Bhikkhu who makes a practice of examining (conditioned) things, whenever possible, who has freed himself of all hindrances, being mindful all the time, should expel all desire (for sensual objects).

Thus, single-minded and firm, he should be able to dispel the darkness (of ignorance etc.). (21)

End of the Sixteenth Sāriputta Sutta