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Udāna

Udāna
3.3 Yasoja Sutta
Arahant Yasoja

When 500 monks come to see the Buddha, they make a great racket, leading the Buddha to dismiss them for a while.

This is what I heard from the Blessed One. Those days the Blessed One was living in the province of Sāvatthī, at Jeta’s Park, at Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. One day about 500 monks, headed by Venerable Yasoja, had arrived in Sāvatthī to see the Blessed One. As these visiting monks were exchanging greetings with the resident monks, setting their lodgings in order, and putting away their robes and bowls, they made loud noises, a great racket. Then the Blessed One asked Venerable Ānanda, “Ānanda, what is that loud noise, that great racket like fishermen catching fish?”

“Bhante, those are about 500 monks, headed by Venerable Yasoja, who have arrived in Sāvatthī to see the Blessed One. As these visiting monks are exchanging greetings with the resident monks, setting their lodgings in order, and putting away their robes and bowls, they are making loud noises, a great racket.”

“In that case, Ānanda, tell those monks in my name, ‘The Buddha calls you, friends.’”

Responding, “Yes, Bhante,” to the Blessed One, Venerable Ānanda went to the monks and said, “The Buddha calls you, friends.”

Responding, “Yes, friend,” to Venerable Ānanda, the monks went to the Blessed One and, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, the Blessed One asked them, “Monks, why were you making that loud noise, that great racket, like fishermen catching fish?”

When the Buddha asked this, Venerable Yasoja said to the Blessed One, “Bhante, these 500 monks have arrived in Sāvatthī to see the Blessed One. As they were exchanging greetings with the resident monks, setting their lodgings in order, and putting away their robes and bowls, they made loud noises, a great racket.”

“Go away, monks. I dismiss you. You are not to stay near me.”

Responding, “Yes, Bhante,” to the Blessed One, the monks got up from their seats, bowed down to the Blessed One, and left, circling him to the right. Setting their lodgings in order and taking their robes and bowls, they went to the province of the Vajjians. After travelling among the Vajjians, they came to the River Vaggamudā. There on the bank of the River Vaggamudā they made leaf-huts and entered the Rains Retreat.

Then Venerable Yasoja addressed the monks as they entered the Rains Retreat, “Friends, the Blessed One dismissed us, wishing for our benefit, seeking our wellbeing, being sympathetic, and acting out of sympathy. Let’s live in such a way that the Blessed One will be happy by our way of living.”

“As you say, friend,” the monks responded to Venerable Yasoja. They lived secluded, determined and strong willed. Every one of them realized the Triple Knowledge1 during that very Rains Retreat.

Then the Blessed One, having lived as long as he liked in Sāvatthī, went in the direction of Vesālī. Eventually, the Buddha arrived in the city of Vesālī and stayed there in the Peaked Roof Pavilion in the Great Wood. Then, reading with his own mind, the minds of the monks staying on the bank of the River Vaggamudā, the Buddha said to Venerable Ānanda, “That direction seems bright to me, Ānanda. That direction seems dazzling to me. It’s pleasing for me to think about that place and even to go there, where the monks on the bank of the River Vaggamudā are staying. Send a messenger into their presence to say, ‘The Buddha calls you, friends. The Buddha wants to see you.’”

Responding, “Yes, Bhante,” to the Blessed One, Venerable Ānanda went to a certain monk and said, “Come now, friend. Go to the monks on the bank of the River Vaggamudā and say to them, ‘The Buddha calls you, friends. The Buddha wants to see you.’”

Responding, “Yes, friend,” to Venerable Ānanda, the monk, just as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm, disappeared from the Peaked Roof Pavilion in the Great Wood and appeared in front of the monks on the bank of the River Vaggamudā. Then he said to them, “The Buddha calls you, friends. The Buddha wants to see you.”

Responding, “Yes, friend,” to the monk, the monks set their lodgings in order and, taking their robes and bowls, disappeared from the bank of the River Vaggamudā, just as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm, and appeared in the presence of the Blessed One in the Peaked Roof Pavilion in the Great Wood.

At that time the Blessed One was sitting in deep meditation.2 The thought occurred to the monks, “Now, in which stage of concentration is the Blessed One now in?” Then they realized, “He is in the powerful jhāna of arahantship.” So they all entered the powerful jhāna of arahantship, while sitting there.

Then Venerable Ānanda when the night was far advanced, at the end of the first phase of the night, got up from his seat, arranged his robe over one shoulder, stood facing the Blessed One, paying homage with his hands placed palm-to-palm over his heart, and said to him, “The night, Bhante, is far advanced. The first phase has ended. The visiting monks have been sitting here a long time. May the Blessed One talk to them.” When this was said, the Blessed One remained silent.

Then a second time, when the night was far advanced, at the end of the middle phase, Venerable Ānanda got up from his seat, arranged his robe over one shoulder, stood facing the Blessed One, paying homage to him with his hands placed palm-to-palm over his heart, and said to him, “The night, Bhante, is far advanced. The middle phase has ended. The visiting monks have been sitting here a long time. May the Blessed One talk to them.” When this was said, the Blessed One remained silent.

Then a third time, when the night was far advanced, at the end of the last phase, as dawn was approaching and night was fading, Venerable Ānanda got up from his seat, arranged his robe over one shoulder, stood facing the Blessed One, paying homage to him with his hands placed palm-to-palm over his heart, and said to him, “The night, Bhante, is far advanced. The last phase has ended. Dawn is approaching and the night is fading. The visiting monks have been sitting here a long time. May the Blessed One talk to them.”

Then the Blessed One, emerging from deep meditation, said to Venerable Ānanda, “Ānanda, if you had known, you would not have said anything. I, along with all 500 of these monks, have been sitting in the powerful jhāna of arahantship.”

Then, on realizing the benefit of liberation, the Blessed One spoke the following inspired verses:

“Whoever defeated the thorn of sense desire, insult, and assault, is unshaken like a mountain. He is unagitated by pain and pleasure, he is a ‘monk’.”

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Udāna 3.3 Yasoja Sutta: Arahant Yasoja

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