DN2.2. A Discussion With Jīvaka Komārabhacca

Sāmaññaphala Sutta ("The Fruits of the Ascetic Life")

Now at that time Jīvaka Komārabhacca was sitting silently not far from the king. Then the king said to him, “But my dear Jīvaka, why are you silent?”

“Sire, the Blessed One, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha is staying in my mango grove together with a large Saṅgha of 1,250 mendicants. He has this good reputation: ‘That Blessed One is perfected, a fully awakened Buddha, accomplished in knowledge and conduct, holy, knower of the world, supreme guide for those who wish to train, teacher of gods and humans, awakened, blessed.’ Let Your Majesty pay homage to him. Hopefully in so doing your mind will find peace.”

“Well then, my dear Jīvaka, have the elephants readied.”

“Yes, Your Majesty,” replied Jīvaka. He had around five hundred female elephants readied, in addition to the king’s bull elephant for riding. Then he informed the king, “The elephants are ready, sire. Please go at your convenience.”

Then King Ajātasattu had women mounted on each of the five hundred female elephants, while he mounted his bull elephant. With attendants carrying torches, he set out in full royal pomp from Rājagaha to Jīvaka’s mango grove.

But as he drew near the mango grove, the king became frightened, scared, his hair standing on end. He said to Jīvaka, “My dear Jīvaka, I hope you’re not deceiving me! I hope you’re not betraying me! I hope you’re not turning me over to my enemies! For how on earth can there be no sound of coughing or clearing throats or any noise in such a large Saṅgha of 1,250 mendicants?”

“Do not fear, great king, do not fear! I am not deceiving you, or betraying you, or turning you over to your enemies. Go forward, great king, go forward! Those are lamps shining in the pavilion.”

Subscribe to The Empty Robot

Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox

Spread the word: