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Udāna

Udāna
3.8 Pindapāthika Sutta
Alms round

A large number of monks discuss the reasons why they want to go alms-collecting when the Buddha advises them that their way of thinking is not proper.

This is what I heard from the Blessed One. Those days, the Blessed One was living in the province of Sāvatthī, in Jeta’s Park, at Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. One day, a large number of monks, after the meal, on returning from their alms round, were sitting gathered together at the kareri-tree pavilion when this discussion arose, “Friends, an alms-collecting monk, while going for alms, from time to time sees beautiful sights with the eye. He from time to time hears sweet sounds with the ear… smells pleasant odours with the nose… tastes delicious flavors with the tongue… touches agreeable tangibles with the body. An alms-collecting monk, while going for alms, is honored, respected, revered, venerated, and given homage.”

“So, friends, let’s become alms-collecting monks. Then we, too, while going for alms, will from time to time get to see beautiful sights with the eye… to hear sweet sounds with the ear… to smell pleasant odours with the nose… to taste delicious flavors with the tongue… to touch agreeable tangibles with the body. We, too, while going for alms, will be honored, respected, revered, venerated, and given homage.” And this discussion was left unfinished.

Then the Blessed One, emerging from his seclusion in the late afternoon, went to the kareri-tree pavilion and sat down on the prepared seat. Seated, the Buddha addressed the monks, “What were you discussing just now, and what was left unfinished?”

“Just now, Bhante, after the meal, on returning from our alms round, we were sitting gathered together here at the kareri-tree pavilion when this discussion arose: An alms-collecting monk, while going for alms, from time to time sees beautiful sights with the eye. He from time to time hears sweet sounds with the ear… smells pleasant odours with the nose… tastes delicious flavors with the tongue… touches agreeable tangibles with the body. An alms-collecting monk, while going for alms, is honored, respected, revered, venerated, and given homage.”

“It isn’t proper, monks, that you monks, on having ordained out of faith, should talk on such a topic. When you have gathered you have two duties, either to discuss the Dhamma or to maintain noble silence in a meditation.”

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

“The monk going for alms, searches for something only to feed himself. He does not feed others. He is not shaken by ups and downs of life. He is not delighted in the praise which spreads about him. Even gods hold dear such a monk.”

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Udāna 3.8 Pindapāthika Sutta: Alms round

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