Majjhima Nikāya I.
5. 5 Cūladhammasamādānasuttaṃ
(45) The Shorter Discourse on Observances

I heard thus.

At one time the Blessed One was living in the monastery offered by Anāthapiṅḍika in Jeta's grove in Sāvatthi and the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus from there:

Bhikkhus, these four are the observances in the Teaching, what four. There is an observance, which is pleasant now and brings unpleasant results in the future. There is an observance which is unpleasant now and brings unpleasant results in the future. There is an observance which is unpleasant now and brings pleasant results in the future. There is an observance which is pleasant now and brings pleasant results in the future.

Bhikkhus, what is that observance which is pleasant now and brings unpleasant results in the future. Bhikkhus, there are certain recluses and brahmins who hold the view there is nothing wrong in sensuality, and they fall for sensuality. They are the followers of those wearing a knot on the head. They said, these good recluses and brahmins seeing what future fear in sensuality, declared the dispelling of sensuality with a thorough knowledge of it. The hairy soft hands of these young ascetic women are pleasant. Thus they falling for sensuality and after death went to loss and were born in hell. There they experience sharp rough unpleasant feelings. They then say, these good recluses and brahmins seeing this future fear in sensuality declared the dispelling of sensuality. Here we experience sharp rough unpleasant feelings on account of sensuality. Like in the last month of Summer the Māluwā shoots bear fruits. The seeds that have split and had fallen under the trees are collected under a certain tree. Then bhikkhus, the goddess who lived in that tree was frightened and shivered. Her friends, co-associates and blood relations, the forest gods, orchard gods, tree gods, gods wielding power over medicnal plants, grass and tall trees came and pasified her. Good one, do not be fightened, some of these seeds will be swallowed by peacocks and animals. Some will be burnt by forest fires and the foresters will uproot some. Termites will eat some and some will lose fertility. Yet with the heavy rains they grew well. The young, soft, hairy, Māluwā creepers hung on the Sāla tree and grew on her. Then it occurred to that goddess: My friends, co-associates and blood relations, the forest gods, orchard gods, tree gods, gods wielding power over medicnal plants, grass and tall trees came and pasified me. They said, good one, do not be fightened, some of these seeds will be swallowed by peacocks and animals and some will be burnt by forest fires. The foresters will uproot some, termites will eat some and some will lose fertility. Yet with the heavy rains they grew well. The young, soft, hairy, Māluwā creepers hang on the Sāla tree and grew on her. They have embraced the Sāla tree making an overhead tuft and have broken open large parts of the trunk. Now I experience sharp rough unpleasant feelings on account of the Māluwā seeds. Bhikkhus, in the same manner, there are certain recluses and brahmins who have this view. They saying there is nothing wrong in sensuality, fall for it. They are the followers of those wearing a knot on the head. They said, these good recluses and brahmins seeing what future fear in sensuality, asked the dispelling of sensuality declaring a thorough knowledge of sensuality. The hairy soft hands of these young ascetic women are pleasant. They falling for sensuality after death go to loss and are born in hell. There they experience sharp rough unpleasant feelings. Then they said, these good recluses and brahmins seeing this future fear of sensuality declared the dispelling of sensuality. Here we experience sharp rough unpleasant feelings on account of sensuality.

Bhikkhus, what is the observance which is now unpleasant and brings unpleasant results in the future. Here, bhikkhus, a certain one goes without clothes and without manners licks the hands. Does not accept an invitation, or extend an invitation. Does not accept what is brought, or specially prepared. Does not enjoy an invitation. Does not accept from the rim of a pot, the rim of a cooking vessel, when a goat is about the place, across a stick, across a broom, from two partaking food, from a woman bearing child, from a woman giving suck, from a woman gone with a man, from a defiled woman, or from where she is supported. Does not accept from a place where flies abound. Does not accept fish, meat, intoxicating drinks and brewed drinks. Is support in one house, on one morsel, in two houses on two morsels, or in seven houses on seven morsels. Or is supported on what is given by one woman, two women, or even seven women. Or is supported on what is brought by one man, two men, or seven men. Is yoked to this method of partaking food for half a month. Eats vegetables and millets, raw rice, Dadulla rice, water plants, husked rice powder, rice foam, flour of oil seeds, grass, cow dung, forest roots and fruits. Or is supported on what falls on the way. Wears hemp clothes, coarse clothes, miserable garments, rag clothes, bark clothes, skin clothes, strips of skin, grass clothes, bark clothes, clothes made of planks and of hair, tails and the wings of owls. Is yoked to pulling hairs of head and beard. Is yoked to standing, rejecting seats, is yoked to sitting, yoked to lying on a bed of thorns, descending in water up to three time by night fall. Thus practises the torture and mortification of the body, and after death goes to loss is born in hell. Bhikkhus, this is the observance which is unpleasant now and brings unpleasant results in the future.

Bhikkhus, what is the observance which is now unpleasant and brings pleasant results in the future. Bhikkhus, here a certain one who is greedy by nature, constantly feeling displeased and unpleasant on account of that greed. Angry by nature and constantly feeling displeased and unpleasant on account of anger. Deluded by nature and constantly feeling displeased and unpleasant on account of that delusion. With tears leads the holy life. He after death, goes to increase and is born in heaven. Bhikkhus, this is the observance which is now unpleasant and brings pleasant results in the future.

Bhikkhus, what is the observance which is now pleasant and also brings pleasant results in the future. Bhikkhus, here a certain one not greedy by nature, does not feel displeased and unpleasant on account of greed. Not angry by nature does not feel displeased and unpleasant on account of anger. Not deluded by nature does not feel displeased and unpleasant on account of delusion. He secluding the mind from sensual desires and demerit, with thoughts and thought processes and with joy and pleasant born of seclusion attained to abide in the first jhāna. Again overcoming thoughts and thought processes, and appeasing the mind internally brings it to one point, and without thoughts and thought processes and with joy and pleasantness born of concentration attained to abide in the second jhāna. Again with equanimity to joy and detachment abides mindful and aware experiencing pleasantness with the body and attained to abides in the third. Jhāna To this the noble ones say, abiding mindfully in pleasantness. Dispelling pleasantness and unpleasantness, and earlier having overcome pleasure and displeasure, without unpleasantness and pleasanstness and with equanimity mindfulness purified, attained to abides in the fourth jhāna. He after death is born in increase, in heaven. This is the observance which is pleasant now and also brings pleasant results in the future.

The Blessed One said thus and those bhikkhus delighted in the words of the Blessed One.