4.16. Sāriputta asks the Buddha
Not seen before by me,
nor heard by anyone:
such sweetly-spoken Teacher
from Tusita came to lead a group.
One by himself attained to bliss,
all darkness he dispelled,
so that the One-With-Eyes be seen
by world together with the gods.
One’s who’s “Thus”, the unattached,
that Buddha undeceptive,
with many disciples, devotees,
for them I ask a question.
For a monk avoiding society,
seeking out a lonely place—
bone yards, at the base of trees,
or caves within the mountain wastes—
Living-places high or low,
How many are the terrors there,
that a monk in his silent place
trembles not at all?
How many are the troubles here
for a monk to overcome,
while living in a place remote,
or going to the Ungone-Point.
What ways of speaking would be his?
What place should he frequent?
What sorts of rules, kinds of vows,
For the monk with mind intent?
What is the training he adopts,
one-pointed, mindful, wise;
to blow away all blemishes,
as does a smith with silver?
As One who Knows I’ll explain to you,
what’s pleasant for you practicing avoidance,
who live and who rest in a lonely abode,
wishing Awakening in keeping with Dharma.
Within limits the mindful monk practices,
then of five fears is this wise one not afraid:
March-flies and mosquitoes, of slithering snakes,
of men’s assaults, and fierce four-footed beasts.
Nor be disturbed by those with differing Dharma,
even having seen their many perils,
further then, this seeker of the good
will overcome all fearfulness too.
Afflicted by sicknesses, hunger as well,
the cold and strong heat he should endure,
by these many touches should he be unmoved,
having energy stirred and striving with strength.
Neither should he steal, nor should he tell lies,
but let love suffuse the fearful and the unafraid,
and when his mind is agitated let him know
“This should be removed”—it’s on the Dark One’s side.
Into the power of anger and of arrogance
he shouldn’t fall, but firm, eradicate their roots,
all being attached he overcomes complete,
all that is dear to him, all that repels.
With wisdom esteemed, with joy purified,
removing supports for all fearfulnesses,
let him conquer dislike for his lone lodging-place,
and conquer the four that cause him to lament:
“Alas, what shall I eat” and “where indeed eat it”,
“last night l slept badly” and “where sleep today”—
one-in-training, a wanderer, of no flag the follower
should such thoughts let go, leading to lamentation.
Satisfied, receiving timely food and clothes,
knowing moderation in them, and
protected by them, in a village he’s restrained
though roughly he’s addressed, speaks no harsh word.
With eyes cast down, feet not longing-guided,
to jhāna devoted, very watchful he should be,
let him grow in equanimity with mind composed,
check his scruples, how he inclines to doubt.
With words of reproof let the mindful one rejoice,
and shatter his scorn for his fellow-celibates;
and utter skilful words at the proper time,
and think not upon views and beliefs of common folk.
And then in the world, there are the dusty five
in which the mindful one guided, trains himself well,
lust overcoming to bodies and to sounds,
to tastes, to perfumes and touches too.
And when in these things he has guided desire,
mindful, that bhikkhu of a well-liberated mind,
then he in due time thoroughly examining Dharma,
with mind become one he shall the darkness rend.