Honor
Yasa Sutta  (AN 8:103)

This is a longer version of the conversation reported in AN 5:30 and AN 6:42.

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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.

“Even some devas, Nāgita, 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. When you all live together, assemble together, and live committed to dwelling with a group, the thought occurs: ‘Surely these venerable ones 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, which is why they live together, assemble together, and live committed to dwelling with a group.’

[1] “There is the case, Nāgita, where I see monks laughing out loud, sporting around, tickling one another with their fingers. The thought occurs to me, ‘Surely these venerable ones 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, which is why they are laughing out loud, sporting around, tickling one another with their fingers.’

[2] “Then there is the case where I see monks—having eaten as much as they want, filling their bellies—live committed to the pleasure of lying down, the pleasure of sensory contacts, the pleasure of torpor. The thought occurs to me, ‘Surely these venerable ones 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, which is why they—having eaten as much as they want, filling their bellies—live committed to the pleasure of lying down, the pleasure of sensory contacts, the pleasure of torpor.

[3] “Then there is the case where I see a monk sitting in concentration in a village dwelling. The thought occurs to me, ‘Soon a monastery attendant will disturb this venerable one in some way, or a novice will, and rouse him from his concentration.’ And so I am not pleased with that monk’s village-dwelling.

[4] “But then there is the case where I see a monk sitting, nodding, in the wilderness. The thought occurs to me, ‘Soon this venerable one will dispel his drowsiness & fatigue and attend to the wilderness-perception,1 (his mind) unified.’ And so I am pleased with that monk’s wilderness-dwelling.

[5] “Then there is the case where I see a wilderness monk sitting unconcentrated in the wilderness. The thought occurs to me, ‘Soon this venerable one will center his unconcentrated mind, or protect his concentrated mind.’ And so I am pleased with that monk’s wilderness-dwelling.

[6] “Then there is the case where I see a wilderness monk sitting in concentration in the wilderness. The thought occurs to me, ‘Soon this venerable one will release his unreleased mind, or protect his released mind.’ And so I am pleased with that monk’s wilderness-dwelling.

[7] “Then there is the case where I see a village-dwelling monk who receives robes, alms food, shelter, & medicinal requisites for curing the sick. Receiving, as he likes, those gains, offerings, & fame, he neglects seclusion, he neglects isolated forest & wilderness dwellings. He makes his living by visiting villages, towns, & cities. And so I am not pleased with that monk’s village-dwelling.2

[8] “Then there is the case where I see a wilderness monk who receives robes, alms food, shelter, & medicinal requisites for curing the sick. Fending off those gains, offerings, & fame, he doesn’t neglect seclusion, doesn’t neglect isolated forest & wilderness dwellings. And so I am pleased with that monk’s wilderness-dwelling.3

“But when I am traveling along a road and see no one in front or behind me, at that time I have my ease, even when urinating & defecating.”

Notes

1. See MN 121.

2. This paragraph is not in GS.

3. This paragraph is also not in GS.

See also: MN 122; SN 17:3; SN 17:5; SN 17:8; AN 5:77; AN 5:80; AN 9:40; AN 10:70; AN 10:72; Sn 1:3; Sn 1:12