Majjhima Nikāya I
4. 2. Mahāgosingasuttaṃ
(32) The longer Discourse in the Gosinga Forest

I heard thus.

At one time the Blessed One lived in the Gosinga Sāla forest, with many well versed elder disciples such as venerables Sāriputta, Mahāmoggallāna, Mahākassapa, Anuruddha, Revata, Ānanda and many other well versed elder disciples. Venerable Mahāmoggallāna getting up from his seclusion in the evening approached venerable Mahākassapa and said; Kassapa, let us go to venerable Sāriputta, to hear the Teaching. Venerable Mahākassapa agreed and venerable Mahāmoggallāna, venerable Mahākassapa and venerable Anuruddha approached venerable Sāriputta. Venerable Ānanda saw venerables, Mahāmoggallāna, Mahākassapa and Anuruddha approaching venerable Sāriputta to hear the Teaching and venerable Ānanda approached venerable Revata and said, friend, Revata, the Great Men are approaching venerable Sāriputta to hear the Teaching, shall we too go to hear the Teaching. Venerable Revata agreed and venerable Revata and venerable

Ānanda approached venerable Sāriputta.

Venerable Sāriputta saw venerables Revata and Ānanda coming in the distance and said, welcome friend, Ānanda, the close and near attendant of the Blessed One. Friend, Ānanda, in the moon light, the Sāla forest is very pleasing the flowers in full bloom, give a heavenly scent. What kind of bhikkhu would adorn this Sāla forest? Friend, Sāriputta, a learned bhikkhu, who bears all the Teaching, treasures that, which is good at the beginning,in the middle and at the end, and declares the completely pure holy life. Of that Teaching he should become a bearer by words and practise and an experiencer of it through penetration. He would teach it to the fourfold gatherings, with the words coming to him without difficulty, for the destruction of the latent tendencies of those with sharp mental faculties. Friend, Sāriputta, such a bhikkhu would adorn the Gosinga. Sāla forest.

When this was said, venerable Sāriputta addressed venerable Revata, Friend, Revata, venerable Ānanda has declared this according to his understanding, now we ask you: Friend Revata, in the moon light, the Sāla forest is very pleasing, the flowers in full bloom give a heavenly scent. What kind of bhikkhu would adorn this Sāla forest? Friend, Sāriputta, a bhikkhu who is fond of seclusion, yoked to internal appeasement of the mind. He would not neglect jhāna, endowed with wise reflection, and would develop the abidings without thoughts and discursive thoughts. Such a bhikkhu would adorn the Gosinga Sāla forest.

When this was said, venerable Sāriputta addressed venerable Anuruddha: Friend, Anuruddha, venerable Revata has declared this according to his understanding, now we ask you. Anuruddha, in the moon light, the Sāla forest is very pleasing, the flowers in full bloom give a heavenly scent. What kind of bhikkhu would adorn this Sāla forest? Friend, Sāriputta, the bhikkhu with the heavenly eye purified beyond human would look at the thousandfold world systems. Like a man who has climbed to the top most storey of his mansion would be looking at a disc with thousandfold circumferences. In the same manner the bhikkhu with the heavenly eye purified beyond human would look at the thousandfold world systems. Such a bhikkhu would adorn the Gosinga Sāla forest.

When this was said, venerable Sāriputta addressed venerable Mahākassapa, Friend, Kassapa, venerable Anuruddha has declared this according to his understanding, now we ask you. Kassapa. in the moon light, the Sāla forest is very pleasing, the flowers in full bloom give a heavenly scent. What kind of bhikkhu would adorn this Sāla forest? Friend, Sāriputta, the bhikkhu, a forest dweller praises forest dwelling. A partaker of morsel food praises the partaking of morsel food. A rag robe wearer, praises wearing rag-robes. Confined to three robes, praises that. With few desires praises few desires, and satisfied praises satisfaction Secluded praises seclusion, withdrawn, praises withdrawal from the crowd. With aroused effort, praises arousal of effort and virtuous, praises endowment of virtues. Concentrated praises endowment of concentration and wise praises endowment of wisdom. Released praises endowment of release and endowed with the knowledge and vision of release, praises the knowledge and vision of release. Such a bhikkhu would adorn the Gosinga Sāla forest.

When this was said, venerable Sāriputta addressed venerable Mahāmoggallāana

Friend, Moggallāna, venerable Mahākassapa has declared this according to his understanding, now we ask you. Friend, Moggallāna, in the moon light, the Sāla forest is very pleasing, the flowers in full bloom give a heavenly scent. What kind of bhikkhu would adorn this Sāla forest? Friend, Sāriputta, two bhikkhus discussing a deep point in the Teaching would ask questions from each other. Would find replies for each others questions. They would not fall out with each other, their talk would be timely and beneficial. Such a bhikkhu would adorn the Gosinga Sāla forest.

Then venerable Mahāmoggallāna addressed venerable Sāriputta. Friend, Sāriputta we all have declared this according to our understanding. Now we ask you. Friend, Sāriputta, in the moon light, the Sāla forest is very pleasing, the flowers in full bloom give a heavenly scent, what kind of bhikkhu would adorn this Sāla forest. Here, friend, Moggallāna, the bhikkhu wields power over the mind, and does not abide in the power of the mind. Whatever abiding he desires to abide in the morning, in that, he abides in the morning. Whatever abiding he desires to abide in the mid day, in that he abides in the mid day. Whatever abiding he desires to abide in the evening, in that he abides in the evening. Like a head anointed king, or his chief minister who had a casket full of clothes of various colours, would choose the set of clothes he wanted to wear in the morning, in the mid day, and in the evening. In the same manner the bhikkhu wields power over the mind and does not abide in the power of the mind. In whatever abidings he desires to abide, in the morning, at mid day, and in the evening, in that respective abiding he abides in the morning, at mid day, and in the evening. Such a bhikkhu adorns the Gosinga Sāla forest.

Then venerable Sāriputta said thus to those venerable ones-Let us approach the Blessed One, and inform all this and as he explains it let us bear it in mind. Those venerable ones agreed and they approached the Blessed One, worshipped and sat on a side. Then venerable Sāriputta said thus to the Blessed One: Venerable sir, venerable Revata and venerable Ānanda approached me to hear the Teaching, I seeing venerables Revata and Ānanda coming in the distance, said welcome friend, Ānanda, the close and near attendant of the Blessed One. Friend, Ānanda, in the moon light, the Sāla forest is very pleasing the flowers in full bloom give a heavenly scent. What kind of bhikkhu would adorn this Sāla forest. ? Venerable sir, then venerable Ānanda said: Friend, Sāriputta, a learned bhikkhu, treasures the Teaching which is good at the beginning, in the middle and at the end. That Teaching which declares the completely pure holy life. Of that Teaching he should become a bearer by words and practise and an experiencer through penetration He would teach it to the fourfold gatherings, the words coming to him without difficulty, for the destruction of the latent tendencies of those with sharp mental faculties. Friend, Sāriputta, such a bhikkhu would adorn the Gosinga. Sāla forest. Good Sāriputta, as Ānanda himself has explained, is learned bears the Teaching and treasures the Teaching good at the beginning, in the middle and at the end. The Teaching which declares the complete and pure holy life. He bears it in mind by words and practise and experiences it through penetration and he teaches the four gatherings, the words coming to him without difficulty, for the destruction of the latent tendencies of those with sharp mental faculties.

When this was said, venerable sir, I addressed venerable Revata. Friend, Revata, venerable Ānanda has declared this according to his understanding, now we ask you: Revata, in the moon light, the Sāla forest is very pleasing, the flowers in full bloom give a heavenly scent. What kind of bhikkhu would adorn this Sāla forest?. When this was said, venerable Revata said thus to me. Friend, Sāriputta, a bhikkhu fond of seclusion, yoked to the internal appeasement of mind, would not neglect jhāna, endowed with wise reflection. [1] He would develop the abidings overcoming thoughts and discursive thoughts. Such a bhikkhu would adorn the Gosinga Sāla forest. Good, Sāriputta, As Revata himself explains is fond of seclusion yoked to the internal appeasement of mind, does not neglect jhāna develops abidings overcoming thoughts and discursive thoughts.

When this was said, venerable sir, I told venerable Anuruddha: Friend, Anuruddha, venerable Revata has declared this according to his understanding, now we ask you. Friend, Anuruddha, in the moon light, the Sāla forest is very pleasing, the flowers in full bloom give a heavenly scent. What kind of bhikkhu would adorn this Sāla forest?. When this was said venerable Anuruddha said thus to me. Friend, Sāriputta, the bhikkhu with the heavenly eye purified beyond human would look at the thousandfold world systems. Like a man who has climbed to the top most storey of his mansion would look at a disc with a thousandfold circumference. In the same manner the bhikkhu with the heavenly eye purified beyond human would look at the thousandfold world systems. Such a bhikkhu would adorn the Gosinga Sāla forest. Good, Sāriputta, as Anuruddha himself explains with the heavenly eye purified beyond human, he looks at the thousandfold world systems

When this was said, venerable sir, I told venerable Mahākassapa, Friend, Kassapa, venerable Anuruddha has declared this according to his understanding, now we ask you. Friend, Kassapa, in the moon light, the Sāla forest is very pleasing, the flowers in full bloom give a heavenly scent. What kind of bhikkhu would adorn this Sāla forest? When this was said, venerable Mahākassapa said thus to me. Friend, Sāriputta, the bhikkhu a forest dweller praises dwelling in the forest. Partaking morsel food praises the partaking of morsel food. A rag robe wearer, praises wearing rag-robes. Confined to three robes, praises that and with few desires praises few desires. Satisfied praises satisfaction, and secluded praises seclusion. Withdrawing from the crowd, praises withdrawal from the crowd. With aroused effort, praises arousal of effort and virtuous praises endowment of virtues. Concentrated praises endowment of concentration and wise, praises endowment of wisdom. Released praises endowment of release. Endowed with the knowledge and vision of release, praises the knowledge and vision of release. Such a bhikkhu would adorn the Gosinga Sāla forest. Good, Sāriputta, As Kassapa himself explains he a forest dweller praises forest dwelling, himself endowed with the knowledge and vision of release praises the knowledge and vision of release. .

When this was said, venerable sir, I told venerable Mahāmoggallāana Friend, Moggallāna, venerable Mahākassapa has declared this according to his understanding, now we ask you. Friend, Moggallāna, in the moon light, the Sāla forest is very pleasing, the flowers in full bloom give a heavenly scent. What kind of bhikkhu would adorn this Sāla forest? Friend, Sāriputta, two bhikkhus discussing a deep point in the Teaching would ask questions from each other. They would find replies for each others questions, would not fall out with each other. Their talk would be timely and beneficial. Such a bhikkhu would adorn the Gosinga Sāla forest. Good, Sāriputta, As Moggallāana himself explains he is a good preacher.

Then venerable Mahāmoggallāna said thus to the Blessed One: venerable sir,then I said to venerable Sāriputta. Friend, Sāriputta we all have declared this according to our understanding, now we ask you. Friend, Sāriputta, in the moon light, the Sāla forest is very pleasing, the flowers in full bloom give a heavenly scent, what kind of bhikkhu would adorn this Sāla forest. When this was said venerable Sāriputta said thus to me. Here, friend, Moggallāna, the bhikkhu wields power over the mind, and does not abide in the power of the mind. Whatever abiding he desires to abide in the morning, in that he abides in the morning, whatever abiding he desires to abide, at mid day, in that he abides, at mid day, whatever abiding he desires to abide in the evening, in that he abides in the evening. Like a head anointed king, or his chief minister who had a casket full of clothes of various colours. From it he would choose whatever set of clothes he wanted to wear in the morning, in the mid day, and in the evening. In the same manner the bhikkhu wields power over the mind and does not abide in the power of the mind. Whatever abiding he desires to abide in the morning, at mid day and in the evening, in that respective abiding he abides respectively Friend, Moggallāna, such a bhikkhu adorns the Gosinga Sāla forest. Good Moggallāna! As Sāriputta himself explains it, he wields power over the mind, and does not abide in the power of the mind. Whatever abiding he desires to abide in the morning, at mid day and in the evening, in those and those he would abide respectively..

When this was said venerable Sāriputta said thus to the Blessed One -Venerable sir, Whose words are the best?. Sāriputta, all these are good words, in a certain order, yet listen to what I have to say: Here, Sāriputta, the bhikkhu, when the meal is over and returning from the alms round sits in a cross-legged posture, keeping his body straight and mindfulness established in front. The he determines, until my mind is released without desires, I would not change this posture. Sāriputta, such a bhikkhu, adorns the Gosinga Sāla forest.

The Blessed One said thus and the venerable ones delighted in the words of the Blessed One.

[1] Would not neglect jhāna endowed with wise reflection (anīrākata jhāno vipassanāya samannāgato). When jhānas are practised, they should be accompanied with wise reflection. 'vipassanā bhāvanā' is this wise reflection and it is none other than reflecting that those pure thought moments are impermanent, changing, so they are unpleasant, and so it is foolish to appropriate them as me or mine. This helps the yogi to drop the self view little by little.