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   Buddhist Writings.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
III. The Order
 
The Mendicant Ideal
 
Translated from the Samyutta-Nikya (xvi. 31)
 
 
THUS have I heard.  1
  On a certain occasion The Blessed One was dwelling at Svatthi in Jetavana monastery in Anthapindika’s Park. And there The Blessed One addressed the priests:  2
  “Priests,” said he.  3
  “Lord,” said the priests to The Blessed One in reply.  4
  And The Blessed One spoke as follows:  5
  “Take pattern by the moon, O priests, when ye go a-begging. Hold aloof, O priests, both in body and in mind, never weary your welcome, nor be impudent to your benefactors.  6
  “Just as a man, O priests, would regard a dilapidated well, or a rugged mountain, or a river difficult to ford, and hold aloof both in body and in mind, in exactly the same way, O priests, take pattern by the moon when ye go a-begging, hold aloof both in body and in mind, never weary your welcome, nor be impudent to your benefactors.  7
  “Kassapa, O priests, takes pattern by the moon when he goes a-begging. He holds aloof both in body and in mind, never wearies his welcome, nor is impudent to his benefactors.  8
  “What do you say to this, O priests? What sort of a priest is worthy to go a-begging?”  9
  “Reverend Sir, our beliefs derive from The Blessed One, have The Blessed One for their guide and their authority. Pray, Reverend Sir, let the answer to this find expression in the mouth of The Blessed One. Anything the priests hear from The Blessed One will be kept in mind.”  10
  Then The Blessed One waved his hand in the air: “Just as my hand, O priests, is not caught, nor seized, nor held fast by the air, in exactly the same way, O priests, when the mind of a priest who goes a-begging is not caught, nor seized, nor held fast, and when, willing that they should gain who wish for gain, and that they should acquire merit who wish to acquire merit, he is as delighted and pleased with the gains of others as with his own, such a priest, O priests, is worthy to go a-begging.  11
  “The mind of Kassapa, O priests, when he goes a-begging is not caught, nor seized, nor held fast, and willing that they should gain who wish for gain, and that they should acquire merit who wish to acquire merit, he is as delighted and pleased with the gains of others as with his own.  12
  “What do you say to this, O priests? What sort of a priest is an unworthy teacher of the Doctrine? And what sort of a priest is a worthy teacher of the Doctrine?”  13
  “Reverend Sir, our beliefs derive from The Blessed One, have The Blessed One for their guide and their authority. Pray, Reverend Sir, let the meaning of this saying find expression in the mouth of The Blessed One. Anything the priests hear from The Blessed One will be kept in mind.”  14
  “Then listen, O priests, and pay strict attention, and I will speak.”  15
  “Yes, Reverend Sir,” said the priests to The Blessed One in assent.  16
  And The Blessed One spoke as follows:  17
  “Any priest, O priests, who in teaching the Doctrine to others thinks as follows: ‘O that they may hear from me the Doctrine! and be won over by what they hear, and manifest delight towards me,’ such a priest, O priests, is an unworthy teacher of the Doctrine.  18
  “Any priest, O priests, who in teaching the Doctrine to others thinks as follows: ‘The Doctrine has been well taught by The Blessed One, avails even in the present life, is immediate in its results, is inviting and conducive to salvation, and may be mastered by any intelligent man for himself. O that they may hear from me the Doctrine, and be enlightened by what they hear, and as a result of their enlightenment begin to act accordingly!’ and thus teaches the Doctrine to others because of that Doctrine’s intrinsic goodness, and because of compassion, mercy, and kindness, such a priest, O priests, is a worthy teacher of the Doctrine.  19
  “Kassapa, O priests, in teaching the Doctrine to others, thinks as follows: ‘The Doctrine has been well taught by The Blessed One, is of advantage even in the present life, is immediate in its results, is inviting and conducive to salvation, and may be mastered by any intelligent man for himself. O that they may hear from me the Doctrine, and be enlightened by what they hear, and as a result of their enlightenment begin to act accordingly!’ and thus teaches the Doctrine to others because of that Doctrine’s intrinsic goodness, and because of compassion, mercy, and kindness.  20
  “I will admonish you, O priests, by the example of Kassapa, or by that of any one who may resemble Kassapa, and when you have been admonished, begin to act accordingly.”  21
 

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