THE BLESSED ONE SEEKS SOLITUDE
(FROM THE UDANA, IV, 5)
(Closely following trans, by Maj. Strong)
Thus have I heard. On a certain occasion the Blessed
One dwelt at Kosambi, in the Ghosita monastery.
. Now at that time the Blessed One was living surrounded
by a crowd of monks and nuns, of male and female lay disciples,
of kings and their ministers, as well as by heretical sects and
their pupils, and he suffered annoyance and discomfort.
And this thought occurred to him : " Surrounded by
a crowd of monks and nuns, male and female votaries, of
kings and their ministers, as well as by heretical sects and
their pupils, I suffer annoyance and discomfort. What
if I were to live alone, remote from the crowd ? "
And the Blessed One, robing himself in the forenoon and
taking his alms-bowl and robe, entered Kosambi for alms.
Having walked about Kosambi for alms, he returned from his
rounds and after finishing his meal, he himself put in order his
sleeping place, and taking his alms-bowl and robe, and without
informing his servitor or giving notice to the Brethren he
departed, alone, without a companion, in the direction of
Palileyyaka, and wandering from place to place, he reached
Palileyyaka, and took up his abode there.
And the Blessed One sojourned in the dense grove Rakkhila,
in the vicinity of Palileyyaka, at the foot of the Bhadda
Now a certain noble elephant lived there, who was much
worried by a crowd of male and female elephants, young
elephants and elephant calves. He had to feed on blades
of grass with their tips broken off, and they ate the young
branches which he himself had broken down. He had also
to drink water that had been polluted and when he plunged
(into the water) to cross over, the female elephants rubbed
their bodies against him. In consequence of this crowd
he was annoyed and lived ill at ease.
And this thought occurred to the noble elephant : " Sur-
rounded by a crowd of male elephants, female elephants,
young elephants and elephant calves, I have to feed on blades
of grass with their tips broken off and they eat the young
branches I myself have broken down. I have also to drink
water that has been polluted and when I plunge to cross
over, the female elephants rub their bodies against me. In
consequence of this crowd I am annoyed and live ill at ease.
What if I were to live alone, remote from the crowd ? "
And the noble elephant leaving the herd went to the deep
groves of Rakkhila in the vicinity of Palileyyaka, to the
foot of the Bhadda Sal tree, where the Blessed One was.
And when he arrived there, he removed the grass from the
spot which the Blessed One occupied, and brought with his
trunk drinking water for the Blessed One.
And as the Blessed One was rejoicing in the calm of solitude
and isolation this thought arose : " Formerly I lived a life
of annoyance and discomfort surrounded by monks and
nuns . . . Now no longer surrounded by monks and nuns
... I live in comfort and at ease."
And in the mind of the noble elephant this thought arose :
" Formerly, I lived a life of annoyance and discomfort
surrounded by male elephants and female elephants . . .
Now no longer surrounded I live in comfort and at ease."
And the Blessed One, with reference to his own solitude,
and perceiving what was passing in the mind of that noble
elephant, breathed forth this solemn utterance : " The heart of the noble elephant (with tusks like plough-poles)
Is at one with the heart of the Noble One
In that alone he delights in the forest."