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Gopakamoggallaanasuttam

To the Brahmin Gopakamoggallaana

I heard thus:

At a time, soon after the demise of the Blessed One, venerable Ánanda lived in the squirrels’ sanctuary in the bamboo grove in Rajagaha. At that time king Ajatashatru of Magadha the son of the Vedehas was fortifying Rajagaha, fearing an assault from king Pajjota. Venerable Ánanda wearing robes in the morning, taking bowl and robes entered Rajagaha for alms. Then it occurred to venerable Ánanda, it is too early to go for alms in Rajagaha, what if I approached the work place of the Brahmin Gopakamoggallaana. Then he approached the work place of the Brahmin Gopakamoggallaana and approached him. Seeing venerable Ánanda approaching in the distance he said to venerable Ánanda. ‘Come! Good Ánanda, it is after a long time we saw good Ánanda. Here the seat is ready, may good Ánanda, take a seat.’ Venerable Ánanda, sat on the prepared seat, and the Brahmin too sat on a side, taking a low seat and said. ‘Good Ánanda, is there a single Bhikkhu, who endowed with all those things is exactly like good Gotama perfect and rightfully enlightened?’

‘Brahmin, there is not a single Bhikkhu endowed with all those things is exactly like the Blessed One perfect and rightfully enlightened. The Blessed One is the founder the knower, the declarer of the path, not found, not known, and not declared before. He is clever and knows the path; his disciples today follow that path and are later endowed with those attributes.

When this conversation was taking place between venerable Ánanda and the Brahmin Gopakamoggallaana, the chief minister of Magadha, the Brahmin Vassakara approached the work site and approached the Brahmin Gopakamoggallaana to examine the work done in Rajagaha. Seeing venerable Ánanda, exchanged friendly greetings, sat on a side and asked. ‘With what conversation were you here venerable sir?’

‘Brahmin, this Brahmin Gopakamoggallaana asked me is there a single Bhikkhu who endowed with all those things is exactly like good Gotama perfect and rightfully enlightened, and I said. Brahmin, there is not a single Bhikkhu endowed with all those things, is exactly like the Blessed One perfect and rightfully enlightened. The Blessed One is the founder the knower, the declarer of the path, not found, not known and not declared before. He is clever and knows the path; his disciples today follow that path and are later endowed with those attributes. Brahmin, when this conversation was taking place, you arrived.’

‘Good Ánanda, is there a Bhikkhu appointed by good Gotama, saying after my demise your refuge will be this one, whom you follow now?’

‘Brahmin, there is not a single Bhikkhu appointed by good Gotama, saying, after my demise your refuge will be this one, whom we follow now.’

‘Good Ánanda, is there a single Bhikkhu appointed by a majority of elders in the Community of Bhikkhus, saying this one will be our refuge after the demise of the Blessed One?’

‘Brahmin, there is not a single Bhikkhu appointed by a majority of elders in the Community of Bhikkhus, saying this one will be our refuge after the demise of the Blessed One.’

‘Good Ánanda, even without a refuge, what is the reason for this unity?’

‘Brahmin, we are not without a refuge, there is to us the refuge of the Teaching.’

‘Good Ánanda, when asked, is there a Bhikkhu appointed by good Gotama, saying after my demise your refuge will be this one, you should follow him. It was said,

Brahmin, there is not a single Bhikkhu appointed by good Gotama, saying after my demise your refuge will be this one, you should follow him. When asked is there a single Bhikkhu appointed by a majority of elders in the Community of Bhikkhus, saying this one will be our refuge after the demise of the Blessed One, it was said, there is not a single Bhikkhu appointed by a majority of elders in the Community of Bhikkhus, saying this one will be our refuge after the demise of the Blessed One. When asked even without a refuge, what is the reason for this unity, it was said we are not without a refuge, there is to us the refuge of the Teaching. How could these words of venerable Ánanda be explained?’

‘Brahmin, the Blessed One who knows and sees, is perfect and rightfully enlightened has declared ten things which arouse confidence in us. Seeing these in the Teaching we abide revering and honoring the Teaching. What are the ten?

Brahmin, the Bhikkhu becomes virtuous abiding restrained in the higher code of rules, practices the right conduct seeing fear in the slightest fault. Becomes learned in the Teaching, good at the beginning, in the middle and the end, bearing it in the mind treasures it. Sees it full of meanings even in the words, explaining the complete and pure holy life. Of such a Teaching he becomes learned in words and meanings and penetratingly sees it himself. Becomes contented in whatever gains of robes, morsels, dwellings and requisites for the ill. Becomes a quick and easy gainer of the four Jhanas, the pure states of the mind, enjoyed gratis here and now. Enjoys the various super normal powers such as, one becomes many and many becomes one. Appears and disappears unhindered across walls, embankments and rocks, as though going in space. Dives and comes up from earth as in water. Walks unbroken on water as though on earth. Sits cross legged in space as birds small and large do. Touches and rubs off with the hand even moon and sun, so powerful as they are. Thus wields power with the body as far as the world of Brahma. With the purified heavenly ear beyond human, hears sounds both divine and human, far and near.

Penetratingly sees the minds of others. Knows the mind with greed and without greed, the angry mind and the not angry mind, the deluded mind and the not deluded mind. Knows the scattered mind and the not scattered mind, the lofty mind and the not lofty mind, the mind with a compare and the mind without a compare. Knows the concentrated mind and the not concentrated, the released mind and the not released mind. Recollects, the manifold previous births, such as one birth, two births...re...thus recollects the manifold previous births. With the divine eye purified beyond human sees beings appearing and disappearing, in inferior and superior states, beautiful and ugly, in hell and heaven, knows beings born according to their actions. Destroying desires, the mind released and released through wisdom, here and now realizes and abides. Brahmin, the Blessed One who knows and sees, is perfect and rightfully enlightened has declared these ten things which arouse confidence in us. Seeing these in the Teaching we abide revering and honoring the Teaching.

Then the chief minister of Magadha, the Brahmin Vassakara addressed the general Upananda. ‘Look general, these good sirs honor and venerate, what should be honored and venerated, why shouldn’t we honor and venerate the good sirs and live dependent on them.’

Then the chief minister of Magadha said, ‘Where does venerable Ánanda abide at present?’

‘Brahmin, at present I live in the bamboo grove.’

‘Good Ánanda, in the bamboo grove, is there a pleasant abiding, is it noiseless, away from human habitation and suitable for seclusion?’

‘Indeed Brahmin, in the bamboo grove there is a pleasant abiding, it is noiseless, away from human habitation and suitable for seclusion as long as those like you protect it.’

‘Indeed good Ánanda, in the bamboo grove there is a pleasant abiding, it is noiseless, away from human habitation and suitable for seclusion, because good sirs like you concentrate there. At one time good Gotama was living in the peaked hall in the Great forest, in Vesali and I approached him. At that time good Gotama was explaining concentration in various ways. Good Gotama too was concentrating at that time. Does good Gotama praise all concentrations?’

‘Brahmin, the Blessed One does not praise all concentrations, nor does he blame all concentrations. What kind of concentration does he not praise? Brahmin, a certain one abides overcome with sensual greed, not knowing the escape from arisen sensual greed, he concentrates with it, and wastes, decays and muses on account of it. Abides overcome with anger, not knowing the escape from arisen anger, he concentrates with it, and wastes, decays and muses on account of it. Abides overcome with sloth and torpor, not knowing the escape from arisen sloth and torpor, he concentrates with it, and wastes, decays and muses on account of it. Abides overcome with restlessness and worry, not knowing the escape from arisen restlessness and worry, he concentrates with it, and wastes, decays and muses on account of it. Abides overcome with doubts, not knowing the escape from arisen doubts, he concentrates with it, and wastes, decays and muses on account of it. The Blessed One did not praise such concentration. Brahmin, what kind of concentration did the Blessed One praise? Brahmin, the Bhikkhu secluded from sensual desires and thoughts of demerit, with thoughts and thought processes, and with joy and pleasantness born of seclusion abides in the first jhana. Overcoming thoughts and thought processes and the mind internally appeased and settled in one point, and with joy and pleasantness born of concentration abides in the second jhana...re...in the third jhana...re...abides in the fourth jhana. Brahmin, the Blessed One praises such concentration.’

‘Good Ánanda, good Gotama blames the Blameable concentration and praises the praiseworthy concentration. Now we will go, there is much work to be done.’

‘Brahmin, do so, if you think it is the time to go.’

‘The chief minister of Magadha, the Brahmin Vassakara delighted and agreeing with the words of venerable Ánanda got up from his seat and went away. Soon after he had gone away, the Brahmin Gopakamoggallaana said. ‘Good Ánanda, did not reply our question.’

‘Yet Brahmin, I told you. There is not a single Bhikkhu endowed with all those things is exactly like the Blessed One perfect and rightfully enlightened. The Blessed One is the founder the knower, the declarer of the path, not found, not known and not declared before. He is clever and knows the path, his disciples today follow that path and are later endowed with those attributes.’

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