To Nāgita
Nāgita Sutta  (AN 5:30)

The frame story here is common to three suttas: AN 5:30, AN 6:42, and AN 8:103. Although the conversation takes a different turn in each case, in all three cases the Buddha takes the opportunity to teach some unusually plain-spoken truths.

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I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One, on a wandering tour among the Kosalans with a large Saṅgha of monks, arrived at a Kosalan brahman village named Icchānaṅgala. There he stayed in the Icchānaṅgala forest grove.

The brahman householders of Icchānaṅgala heard it said, “Gotama the contemplative—the son of the Sakyans, having gone forth from the Sakyan clan—on a wandering tour among the Kosalans with a large Saṅgha of monks—has arrived at Icchānaṅgala and is staying in the Icchānaṅgala forest grove. And of that Master Gotama this fine reputation has spread: ‘He is indeed a Blessed One, worthy & rightly self-awakened, consummate in clear-knowing & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the cosmos, unexcelled trainer of people fit to be tamed, teacher of devas & human beings, awakened, blessed. He has made known—having realized it through direct knowledge—this world with its devas, Māras, & Brahmās, its generations with their contemplatives & brahmans, their rulers & common people; has explained the Dhamma admirable in the beginning, admirable in the middle, admirable in the end; has expounded the holy life both in its particulars & in its essence, entirely perfect, surpassingly pure. It is good to see such a worthy one.’”

So the brahman householders of Icchānaṅgala, when the night was gone, taking many staple & non-staple foods, went to the gate house of the Icchānaṅgala forest grove. On arrival they stood there making a loud racket, a great racket.

Now at that time Ven. Nāgita was the Blessed One’s attendant. So the Blessed One addressed Ven. Nāgita: “Nāgita, what is that loud racket, that great racket, like fishermen with a catch of fish?”

“Lord, those are the brahman householders of Icchānaṅgala standing at the gate house to the Icchānaṅgala forest grove, having brought many staple & non-staple foods for the sake of the Blessed One & the Saṅgha of monks.”

“May I have nothing to do with honor, Nāgita, and honor nothing to do with me. Whoever cannot obtain at will—without difficulty, without trouble—as I do, the pleasure of renunciation, the pleasure of seclusion, the pleasure of peace, the pleasure of self-awakening, let him consent to this slimy-excrement-pleasure, this torpor-pleasure, this pleasure of gains, offerings, & fame.”

“Lord, let the Blessed One acquiesce (to their offerings) now! Let the One Well-Gone acquiesce now! Now is the time for the Blessed One’s acquiescence, lord! Now is the time for the Blessed One’s acquiescence, lord! Wherever the Blessed One will go now, the brahmans of the towns & countryside will be so inclined. Just as when the rain-devas send rain in fat drops, the waters flow with the incline, in the same way, wherever the Blessed One will go now, the brahmans of the towns & countryside will be so inclined. Why is that? Because such is the Blessed One’s virtue & discernment.”

“May I have nothing to do with honor, Nāgita, and honor nothing to do with me. Whoever cannot obtain at will—without difficulty, without trouble—as I do, the pleasure of renunciation, the pleasure of seclusion, the pleasure of peace, the pleasure of self-awakening, let him consent to this slimy-excrement-pleasure, this torpor-pleasure, this pleasure of gains, offerings, & fame.

“When one eats & drinks & chews & savors, there is excrement & urine: That is one’s reward.

“When one loves, there arises the state of change & aberration, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair: That is one’s reward.

“When one is committed to the theme of the unattractive, one takes a stance in the loathesomeness of the theme of beauty: That is one’s reward.

“When one remains focused on the inconstancy of the six media of sensory contact, one takes a stance in the loathsomeness of contact: That is one’s reward.

“When one remains focused on the arising & passing away of the five clinging-aggregates, one takes a stance in the loathsomeness of clinging: That is one’s reward.”

See also: MN 66; MN 122; SN 17:3; SN 17:5; SN 17:8; AN 4:263; AN 5:77; AN 8:30; AN 9:40; AN 10:72; Thag 1:86