3.4. To Sundarika-Bhāradvāja on Offerings
At one time the Radiant One was dwelling among the Kosalans. At that time the brahmin Sundarika-Bhāradvāja performed on the bank of the Sundarika river the fire sacrifice and offered the fire-ritual. Having completed the sacrifice and ritual the brahmin rose from his seat and surveyed the four directions, thinking, “Who will partake of the remains of this sacrifice?” It happened then that the brahmin saw the Radiant One seated at the foot of a tree not far away, but with his head covered. Seeing him, the brahmin grasped the sacrificial remains in his left hand and a water-vessel in his right and approached the Radiant One who, hearing his approach, uncovered his head. Then the brahmin thought:
“This venerable one is shaven-headed, a mere shaveling” and desired to turn back. But it occurred to him: “Though shaven-headed there are some brahmins here like this. It would be good to inquire about his ‘birth’.” Then Sundarika-Bhāradvāja the brahmin approached the Radiant One and having done so, said this: “Of what ‘birth’ is the venerable one?” Then the Radiant One addressed these verses to the brahmin:
If that is so, O brahmin, lend your ears,
and in the Dharma I shall instruct you.
Ask not of “birth” but of behaviour enquire—
truly from sticks of wood the sacred fire is born,
so though of lowly line, a sage becomes a thoroughbred,
one both resolute, and restrained by self-respect,
In whom does not dwell deceit or conceit,
who’s greed-free, unselfish, having no desire,
who anger has lost, exceeding Cool of self,
that Brahmin who’s removed impurity of grief:
such a Tathāgata’s worthy of sacrificial cake.
In whom no conditions for delusion can be found,
a seer with wisdom among all the dharmas,
one who’s the bearer of the ultimate body,
attained to the blissful unexcelled Awakening
to this extent there s purity among the powerful:
such Tathāgata’s worthy of sacrificial cake.
In the past I sacrificed, now let my sacrifice be true,
for now I have met such a one of wisdom’s qualities;
you’re Brahmā manifest indeed, accept from me O Radiant,
may the Radiant One eat my sacrificial cake.
Chanting sacred verses for comestibles—
that’s not done by me,
for those who rightly see, brahmin,
it accords not with Dharma.
Chanting sacred verses thus
is rejected by the Buddhas,
such is the Dharma, brahmin,
such is their practice.
When this was said, the brahmin Sundarika-Bhāradvāja said to the Radiant One: “Magnificent, master Gotama! The Dharma has been clarified by Master Gotama in many ways, as though he was righting what was overthrown, revealing what was hidden, showing the way to one who was lost, or holding a lamp in the dark so that those with eyes can see forms. I go for Refuge to Master Gotama, to the Dharma, and to the Bhikkhu-Saṅgha that I may receive the Leaving home from the venerable Gotama with ordination.” Then the brahmin Sundarika-Bhāradvāja received this.
Not long after his ordination the venerable, living in solitude, secluded, diligent and zealous by realizing from himself with Direct Knowledge here and now entered upon and abided in that supreme goal of the Good Life for the sake of which clansmen rightly leave home for homelessness. He Knew directly: birth is destroyed, the Good Life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more coming to any state of being. And the venerable Sundarika-Bhāradvāja became one of the arahants.