The Holy Life Consists in Association with the Lovely

 

Thus have I heard.  Once Gautama Buddha, the Exalted One, was staying among the Shakyas, at Shakkara, a Shakyan township.

Then Bhikkhu Ananda came to the Exalted One, Gautama Buddha, saluted Him, and sat down at one side.  So seated, Bhikkhu Ananda said this:

‘The half of the holy life, Lord, it is the friendship with what is lovely, association with what is lovely, intimacy with what is lovely.’

‘Say not so, Ananda! Say not so, Ananda.  It is the whole, not the half of the holy life. Of a Bhikkhu so blessed with fellowship with what is lovely we may expect this, that he will develop the Ariyan Eightfold Path, that he will make much of the Ariyan Eightfold Path.

And how, Ananda, does a Bhikkhu so blessed develop and make much of the Ariyan Eightfold Path?

Herein, Ananda, he develops right belief, which is based on detachment, on passionlessness, on cessation; which is concerned with readiness for giving up.  He develops right aim, which is so based and concerned; likewise right speech, right action, right living, right effort, right midfulness, and right meditation, which is based on detachment, on passionlessness, on cessation; which is concerned with readiness for giving up.

That, Ananda, is how a Bhikkhu blessed with friendship with what is lovely, association with what is lovely, intimacy with what is lovely, develops and makes much of the Ariyan Eightfold Path.

This is the Method, Ananda, by which you are to understand how the whole of this holy life consists in fellowship, association, intimacy with what is lovely.  Truly, Ananda, beings liable to rebirth are liberated from rebirth; beings liable to decay, liable to death, liable to grief, woe, lamentation, and despair are liberated therefrom because of my fellowship with what is lovely.

By the Method, Ananda, you are to understand that the whole of the holy life consists in fellowship with what is lovely, in association with what is lovely, in intimacy with what is lovely.’

S.N. v.2

 

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[‘Some Sayings of the Buddha, According to the Pali Canon, translated from the Pali by F.L.Woodward, Oxford University Press, Madras/London, 1925].

 

 

 

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