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Ariya Vamsa Sutta

The Discourse on the Traditions of the Noble Ones

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
For free distribution only

 

These four traditions of the Noble Ones -- original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning -- are not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and are un-faulted by knowledgeable contemplatives and priests. Which four?

There is the case where a monk is content with any old robe cloth at all. He speaks in praise of being content with any old robe cloth at all. He does not, for the sake of robe cloth, do anything unseemly or inappropriate. Not getting cloth, he is not agitated. Getting cloth, he uses it not tied to it, un-infatuated, guiltless, seeing the drawbacks (of attachment to it), and discerning the escape from them. He does not, on account of his contentment with any old robe cloth at all, exalt himself or disparage others. In this he is skillful, energetic, alert, and mindful. This, monks, is said to be a monk standing firm in the ancient, original traditions of the Noble Ones.

Furthermore, the monk is content with any old alms-food at all. He speaks in praise of being content with any old alms-food at all. He does not, for the sake of alms-food, do anything unseemly or inappropriate. Not getting alms-food, he is not agitated. Getting alms-food, he uses it not tied to it, un-infatuated, guiltless, seeing the drawbacks (of attachment to it), and discerning the escape from them. He does not, on account of his contentment with any old alms-food at all, exalt himself or disparage others. In this he is skillful, energetic, alert, and mindful. This, monks, is said to be a monk standing firm in the ancient, original traditions of the Noble Ones.

Furthermore, the monk is content with any old lodging at all. He speaks in praise of being content with any old lodging at all. He does not, for the sake of lodging, do anything unseemly or inappropriate. Not getting lodging, he is not agitated. Getting lodging, he uses it not tied to it, un-infatuated, guiltless, seeing the drawbacks (of attachment to it), and discerning the escape from them. He does not, on account of his contentment with any old lodging at all, exalt himself or disparage others. In this he is skillful, energetic, alert, and mindful. This, monks, is said to be a monk standing firm in the ancient, original traditions of the Noble Ones.

Furthermore, the monk finds pleasure and delight in developing (skillful mental qualities), finds pleasure and delight in abandoning (unskillful mental qualities). He does not, on account of his pleasure and delight in developing and abandoning, exalt himself or disparage others. In this he is skillful, energetic, alert, and mindful. This, monks, is said to be a monk standing firm in the ancient, original traditions of the Noble Ones.

These are the four traditions of the Noble Ones -- original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning -- which are not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and are un-faulted by knowledgeable contemplatives and priests.

And furthermore, a monk endowed with these four traditions of the Noble Ones, if he lives in the east, conquers displeasure and is not conquered by displeasure. If he lives in the west... the north... the south, he conquers displeasure and is not conquered by displeasure. Why is that, because the wise one endures both pleasure and displeasure.

This is what the Blessed One said. Having said this, he said further:

Displeasure does not conquer the enlightened one.
Displeasure does not suppress him.
He conquers displeasure
because he endures it.

Having cast away all deeds:
who could obstruct him?
Like an ornament of finest gold:
Who is fit to find fault with him?
Even the Devas praise him,
even by Brahma is he praised.

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