Bhaddiya Kaligodha Sutta: Bhaddiya
translated from the Pali by John D. Ireland
A meditating monk proclaims the blissfulness of life as a forest recluse.
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Thus have I heard. At one time the Lord was staying at Anupiya in the Mango Orchard. At that time the Venerable Bhaddiya, Kaligodha's son, on going into the forest to the foot of a tree or to an empty place, constantly uttered, "Ah, what bliss! Ah, what bliss!"
A number of bhikkhus heard the Venerable Bhaddiya... constantly uttering, "Ah, what bliss! Ah, what bliss!" and the thought came to them: "No doubt, friend, the Venerable Bhaddiya, Kaligodha's son, is dissatisfied with leading the holy life, since formerly when he was a householder he enjoyed the bliss of royalty. And when recollecting that, on going into the forest... he utters, 'Ah, what bliss! Ah, what bliss!'"
Then a number of bhikkhus approached the Lord, prostrated themselves, sat down to one side, and reported this to the Lord.
Then the Lord addressed a certain bhikkhu: "Come, bhikkhu, in my name tell the bhikkhu Bhaddiya, 'The Teacher calls you, friend Bhaddiya.'"
"Very well, revered sir," the bhikkhu replied and approaching the Venerable Bhaddiya, Kaligodha's son, he said, "The Teacher calls you, friend Bhaddiya."
"Very well, friend," the Venerable Bhaddiya replied, and approaching the Lord he prostrated himself and sat down to one side. The Lord then said to him: "Is it true, Bhaddiya, that on going into the forest... you utter, 'Ah, what bliss! Ah, what bliss!'?"
"Yes, revered sir."
"But, Bhaddiya, what do you see that prompts you to do so?"
"Formerly, revered sir, when I was a householder and enjoyed the bliss of royalty, inside and outside my inner apartments guards were appointed; inside and outside the city guards were appointed; inside and outside the district guards were appointed. But, revered sir, although I was thus guarded and protected, I lived fearful, agitated, distrustful, and afraid. But now, revered sir, on going alone into the forest, to the foot of a tree or to an empty place, I am fearless, unagitated, confident, and unafraid. I live unconcerned, unruffled, my needs satisfied, with a mind become like a deer's. Seeing this, revered sir, prompts me, on going to the forest... to utter constantly, 'Ah, what bliss! Ah, what bliss!'"
Then, on realizing its significance, the Lord uttered on that occasion this inspired utterance:
- In whom exist no inner stirrings,
Having passed beyond being this or that,
Free from fear, blissful and sorrowless,
The devas are not capable of seeing him.