the shorter Discourse at Gosiṅga

Cūḷagosiṅga Sutta

Majjhima Nikāya 31 of 152

Translated by: Bhikkhu Sujato
Read by: Roland Kitchen

Description (Nyanamoli Bhikkhu ©)

A Sutta which shows the good practice of Vinya and Dhamma by the bhikkhus of those days. Many of the practices here can be compared with present-day bhikkhu life in the forest Wats (monastries) of N.E. Thailand. The same spirit prevails both in this ancient document and in the modern forest wat: “you all live in concord and agreement, as undisputing as milk with water, viewing each other with kindly eyes.” And when people anywhere at any time want to live peacefully together they should take note of the factors here which give rise to concord. First, those three bhikkhus (who are in this Sutta, Arahants, but whose practices obviously preceded their attainment), are not selfishly bent on the attainment of their own desires. They give up their own goals and become one in mind with the others. This can be done only if one does as the venerable Anuruddha: “I maintain bodily, verbal and mental acts of loving-kindness (mettā) towards these venerable ones both in public and in private.” Second, they do whatever has to be done without any of the hassles of “He should have done it. It’s not my turn today.” They work harmoniously not because of orders but because of loving-kindness and diligent practice of Dhamma. And they are not noisy, speaking just for the sake of breaking the silence. They speak when necessary and about Dhamma. Venerable Anuruddha relates that their practice has bought them to Arahantship. And to Digha, at the Sutta’s end, the Buddha praising them says: “See Digha, how far those three clansmen are practicing the way of welfare and happiness of the many out of pity for the world, for the benefit , welfare and happiness of gods and men !” No greater benefit can be found than that example and those teachings given by those who are Arahants, who are Enlightened.