The Ariyan Silence

 

SILENCE

Once the Exalted One, Siddharta Gautama, the Buddha, was dwelling at Savatthi in East Park, at the storeyed house of Migara’s mother.  Then on that occasion Gautama Buddha, the Exalted One, was sitting surrounded by the Sangha of Bhikkhus, and it was the Uposatha.  Then the Exalted One, Siddharta Gautama, the Buddha, scanning the Sangha of Bhikkhus as they sat there in perfect silence, thus addressed the Bhikkhus:

   ‘Bhikkhus!  This Sangha is established in the Truth, in utter purity, with all idle chatter laid aside.  Such a Sangha of Bhikkhus as this, and such a company as this, Bhikkhus, is hard to come to behold in all the world.

   Such a Sangha of Bhikkhus, such a company as this is worthy of honour, worthy of reverence, worthy of gifts, worthy of hands lifted in worship, a field of merit unsurpassed in all the world.

   To such a Sangha of Bhikkhus, to such a company as this, even a slight gift is great, and a great gift is greater still.

   To behold such a Sangha of Bhikkhus, to behold such a company as this, Bhikkhus, one might well start off on a journey of many a long mile, with a satchel on one’s back to carry one’s food.

   Of such a sort, Bhikkhus, is this Sangha of Bhikkhus.’

                                                                              [Anguttara Nikaya, ii., 190].

 

THE ARIYAN SILENCE

   Thus have I heard.  On a certain occasion the Exalted One, Gautama Buddha was staying near Savatthi at Jeta Grove in Anathapindika’s Park.

   Then the Venerable Arhat Moggallana, the Great, said to the Bhikkhus:

   ‘Bhikkhus!’

   ‘Yes, friend,’ replied those Bhikkhus to the Venerable Arhat Moggallana, the Great.

   Then said the Venerable Arhat Moggallana the Great:

   ‘Here, friends Bhikkhus, when I was secluded and living all alone, this discursive thought occurred to me:

   ‘The Ariyan silence!  The Ariyan silence! they say.  Now what means this Ariyan silence?’

   Then, friends Bhikkhus, I thus thought:

   ‘Herein a brother Bhikkhu, by the suppression of discursive thought and investigation, enters on and abides in the Second Trance, a state of internal calm of heart concentrated on its object, free from discursive thought and investigation, born of mental balance, a state of zest and ease.  This is called the Ariyan silence.’

   So I, friends Bhikkhus by the suppression of discursive thought and investigation, entered on and abode in the Second Trance, a state of internal calm of heart, concentrated on its object, free from discursive thought and investigation, born of mental balance, a state of zest and ease: and, friends Bhikkhus, as I was abiding in that state, there came to me ideas, workings of mind, accompanied by discursive thought.

   There upon, friends Bhikkhus, the Exalted One, Gautama Buddha, by magic power [maha-iddhi] came to me and thus spake:

   “Moggallana, Moggallana! Desert not the Ariyan silence!  In the Ariyan silence establish thy mind!  In the Ariyan silence make thy mind sole arbiter!  In the Ariyan silence balance thy mind!”
                                                                                                                   [S.N. ii. 273]

   ……..

______________________

[‘Some Sayings of the Buddha – According to the Pali Canon’, translated from the Pali by F. L. Woodward, Pages 93, 94, 95, Oxford University Press, London, 1925].

 

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