DN4.7. Soṇadaṇḍa Declares Himself a Lay Follower

Soṇadaṇḍanta Sutta ("With Soṇadaṇḍa")

When he had spoken, Soṇadaṇḍa said to the Buddha, “Excellent, Master Gotama! Excellent! As if he were righting the overturned, or revealing the hidden, or pointing out the path to the lost, or lighting a lamp in the dark so people with good eyes can see what’s there, Master Gotama has made the Teaching clear in many ways. I go for refuge to Master Gotama, to the teaching, and to the mendicant Saṅgha. From this day forth, may Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life. Would you and the Order of monks please accept a meal from me tomorrow?” The Buddha consented in silence.

Then, knowing that the Buddha had consented, Soṇadaṇḍa got up from his seat, bowed, and respectfully circled the Buddha, keeping him on his right, before leaving. And when the night had passed Soṇadaṇḍa had a variety of delicious foods prepared in his own home. Then he had the Buddha informed of the time, saying, “It’s time, Master Gotama, the meal is ready.” Then the Buddha robed up in the morning and, taking his bowl and robe, went to the home of Soṇadaṇḍa together with the mendicant Saṅgha, where he sat on the seat spread out. Then Soṇadaṇḍa served and satisfied the mendicant Saṅgha headed by the Buddha with his own hands with a variety of delicious foods.

When the Buddha had eaten and washed his hand and bowl, Soṇadaṇḍa took a low seat and sat to one side. Seated to one side he said to the Buddha: “Master Gotama, if, when I have gone to an assembly, I rise from my seat and bow to the Buddha, that assembly might disparage me for that. And when you’re disparaged by the assembly, your reputation diminishes. When your reputation diminishes, your wealth also diminishes. But my wealth relies on my reputation. If, when I have gone to an assembly, I raise my joined palms, please take it that I have risen from my seat. And if I undo my turban, please take it that I have bowed. And Master Gotama, if, when I am in a carriage, I rise from my seat and bow to the Buddha, that assembly might disparage me for that. If, when I am in a carriage, I hold up my goad, please take it that I have got down from my carriage. And if I lower my sunshade, please take it that I have bowed.”

Then the Buddha educated, encouraged, fired up, and inspired the brahmin Soṇadaṇḍa with a Dhamma talk, after which he got up from his seat and left.

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