Subha Sutta ("With Subha")

SO I HAVE HEARD. At one time Venerable Ānanda was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. It was not long after the Buddha had become fully extinguished.

Now at that time the brahmin student Subha, Todeyya’s son, was residing in Sāvatthī on some business. Then he addressed a certain student, “Here, student, go to the ascetic Ānanda and in my name bow with your head to his feet. Ask him if he is healthy and well, nimble, strong, and living comfortably. And then say: ‘Sir, please visit the student Subha, Todeyya’s son, at his home out of compassion.’”

“Yes, sir,” replied the student, and did as he was asked.

When he had spoken, Venerable Ānanda said to him, “It’s not the right time, student. I’ve drunk sufficient refreshments for today. But hopefully tomorrow I’ll get a chance to visit him.”

“Yes, sir,” replied the student. He went back to Subha, and told him what had happened, adding, “This much, sir, I managed to do. At least Master Ānanda will take the opportunity to visit tomorrow.”

Then when the night had passed, Ānanda robed up in the morning and, taking his bowl and robe, went with Venerable Cetaka as his second monk to Subha’s home, where he sat on the seat spread out. Then Subha went up to Ānanda, and exchanged greetings with him. When the greetings and polite conversation were over, he sat down to one side and said to Ānanda:

“Master Ānanda, you were Master Gotama’s attendant. You were close to him, living in his presence. You ought to know what things Master Gotama praised, and in which he encouraged, settled, and grounded all these people. What were those things?”

“Student, the Buddha praised three sets of things, and that’s what he encouraged, settled, and grounded all these people in. What three? The entire spectrum of noble ethics, immersion, and wisdom. These are the three sets of things that the Buddha praised.”

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