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11/03/11
425 LESSON 03 11 2011 Gavesin Sutta About Gavesin
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Posted by: @ 6:31 am

425 LESSON 03 11 2011 Gavesin
Sutta
 About Gavesin

 

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Pramānavārttika: The Ocean
of the Texts on Reasoning I

AN 5.180


PTS: A iii 214


Gavesin Sutta: About
Gavesin


translated from the Pali
by


Thanissaro Bhikkhu


© 2000–2011


On one
occasion the Blessed One was wandering on a tour among the Kosalans with a
large community of monks. As he was going along a road, he saw a large sala
forest in a certain place. Going down from the road, he went to the sala
forest. On reaching it, he plunged into it and at a certain
spot, broke into a smile. Then the thought occurred to Ven. Ananda,
“What is the cause, what is the reason, for the Blessed One’s breaking
into a smile? It’s not without purpose that Tathagata’s break into smile.”
So he said to the Blessed One, “What is the cause, what is the reason, for
the Blessed One’s breaking into a smile? It’s not without purpose that
Tathagata’s break into smile.”


“In
this spot, Ananda, there was once a great city: powerful, prosperous, populous,
crowded with people. And on that city, Kassapa the Blessed One,
worthy & fully self-awakened, dwelled dependent. Now, Kassapa the Blessed
One, worthy & fully self-awakened, had a lay follower named Gavesin who
didn’t practice in full in terms of his virtue. But because of Gavesin, there
were 500 people who had been inspired to declare themselves lay followers, and
yet who also didn’t practice in full in terms of their virtue.


“Then
the thought occurred to Gavesin the lay follower: ‘I am the benefactor of these
500 lay followers, their leader, the one who has inspired them. But I don’t
practice in full in terms of my virtue, just as they don’t practice in full in
terms of their virtue. In that we’re exactly even; there’s nothing extra [for
me]. How about something extra!’ So he went to the 500 lay followers and on
arrival said to them, ‘From today onward I want you to know me as someone who
practices in full in terms of my virtue.’


“Then
the thought occurred to the 500 lay followers: ‘Master Gavesin is our
benefactor, our leader, the one who has inspired us. He will now practice in
full in terms of his virtue. So why shouldn’t we?’ So they went to Gavesin the
lay follower and on arrival said to him, ‘From today onward we want Master
Gavesin to know the 500 lay followers as people who practice in full in terms
of their virtue.’


“Then
the thought occurred to Gavesin the lay follower: ‘I am the benefactor of these
500 lay followers, their leader, the one who has inspired them. I practice in
full in terms of my virtue, just as they practice in full in terms of their
virtue. In that we’re exactly even; there’s nothing extra [for me]. How about
something extra!’ So he went to the 500 lay followers and on arrival said to
them, ‘From today onward I want you to know me as someone who practices the
chaste life, the life apart, abstaining from intercourse, the act of villagers.’


“Then
the thought occurred to the 500 lay followers: ‘Master Gavesin is our
benefactor, our leader, the one who has inspired us. He will now practice the
chaste life, the life apart, abstaining from intercourse, the act of villagers.
So why shouldn’t we?’ So they went to Gavesin the lay follower and on arrival
said to him, ‘From today onward we want Master Gavesin to know the 500 lay
followers as people who practice the chaste life, the life apart, abstaining
from intercourse, the act of villagers.’


“Then
the thought occurred to Gavesin the lay follower: ‘I am the benefactor of these
500 lay followers, their leader, the one who has inspired them. I practice in
full in terms of my virtue, just as they practice in full in terms of their
virtue. I practice the chaste life, the life apart, abstaining from
intercourse, the act of villagers, just as they practice the chaste life, the
life apart, abstaining from intercourse, the act of villagers. In that we’re
exactly even; there’s nothing extra [for me]. How about something extra!’ So he
went to the 500 lay followers and on arrival said to them, ‘From today onward I
want you to know me as someone who eats only one meal a day, refraining in the
night, abstaining from a meal at the wrong time.’


“Then
the thought occurred to the 500 lay followers: ‘Master Gavesin is our
benefactor, our leader, the one who has inspired us. He will now eat only one
meal a day, refraining in the night, abstaining from a meal at the wrong time.
So why shouldn’t we?’ So they went to Gavesin the lay follower and on arrival
said to him, ‘From today onward we want Master Gavesin to know the 500 lay
followers as people who eat only one meal a day, refraining in the night,
abstaining from a meal at the wrong time.’


“Then
the thought occurred to Gavesin the lay follower: ‘I am the benefactor of these
500 lay followers, their leader, the one who has inspired them. I practice in
full in terms of my virtue, just as they practice in full in terms of their
virtue. I practice the chaste life, the life apart, abstaining from
intercourse, the act of villagers, just as they practice the chaste life, the
life apart, abstaining from intercourse, the act of villagers. I eat only one
meal a day, refraining in the night, abstaining from a meal at the wrong time,
just as they eat only one meal a day, refraining in the night, abstaining from
a meal at the wrong time. In that we’re exactly even; there’s nothing extra
[for me]. How about something extra!’


So he went to Kassapa the Blessed One, worthy & fully self-awakened,
and on arrival said to him, ‘Lord, may I receive the Going Forth in the Blessed
One’s presence. May I receive the Full Acceptance.’ So he received the Going
Forth in the presence of Kassapa the Blessed One, worthy & fully
self-awakened; he received the Going Forth. And not long after his admission —
dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute — he in no long time
reached & remained in the supreme goal of the chaste life, for which
clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing
it for himself in the here & now. He knew: ‘Birth is ended, the holy life
fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world.’
And thus Gavesin the monk became another one of the arahants.


“Then
the thought occurred to the 500 lay followers: ‘Master Gavesin is our
benefactor, our leader, the one who has inspired us. Having shaven off his hair
& beard, having put on the ochre robe, he has gone forth from the home life
into homelessness. So why shouldn’t we?’


“So
they went to Kassapa the Blessed One, worthy & fully self-awakened, and on
arrival said to him, ‘Lord, may we receive the Going Forth in the Blessed One’s
presence. May we receive the Full Acceptance.’ So they received the Going Forth
in the presence of Kassapa the Blessed One, worthy & fully self-awakened;
they received the Going Forth.


“Then
the thought occurred to Gavesin the monk: ‘I obtain at will — without
difficulty, without hardship — this unexcelled bliss of release. O, that these
500 monks may obtain at will — without difficulty, without hardship — this
unexcelled bliss of release!’ Then those 500 monks — dwelling alone, secluded,
heedful, ardent, & resolute — in no long time reached & remained in the
supreme goal of the chaste life, for which clansmen rightly go forth from home
into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for themselves in the here &
now. They knew: ‘Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There
is nothing further for the sake of this world.’ And thus did those 500 monks —
headed by Gavesin, striving at what is more & more excellent, more &
more refined — realize unexcelled release.


“So,
Ananda, you should train yourselves: ‘Striving at what is more & more
excellent, more & more refined, we will realize unexcelled release.’ That’s
how you should train yourselves.”

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Course Description:


This course is an in-depth study of Pramānavārttika by Dharmakīrti (ca. 7th
century) -


the influential work of Buddhist Pramāna tradition -
based on commentaries by the


Seventh Karmapa, Chödrak Gyamtso (1454–1506) and Sakya
Pandita (1182–1251). We


will explore the first two chapters: establishing the
Buddha as a source of valid cognition,


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