MN 48 Kosambiya Sutta – The Discourse at Kosambi

Translated by Suddhāso Bhikkhu
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Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Kosambi, in Ghosita’s Park. On this occasion, the monks at Kosambi were engaged in disputes, arguments, and contention; they were verbally assaulting each other. They could not persuade each other, and they were not persuaded by each other; they could not convince each other, and they were not convinced by each other.

Then a certain monk approached the Blessed One, venerated him, and sat to one side. When he was seated to one side, that monk said to the Blessed One, “Here, Bhante, the monks at Kosambi are engaged in disputes, arguments, and contention; they are verbally assaulting each other. They can not persuade each other, and they are not persuaded by each other; they can not convince each other, and they are not convinced by each other.”

Then the Blessed One addressed a certain monk: “Monk, go and summon those monks with my words: ‘The Teacher summons you.’”

“Yes, Bhante,” that monk replied to the Blessed One. He approached the monks and said to them, “The Teacher summons you.”

“Yes, Venerable,” those monks replied to that monk. They approached the Blessed One, venerated him, and sat to one side. When they were seated to one side, the Blessed One said to those monks, “Monks, is it true that you are engaged in disputes, arguments, contention, and mutual verbal assault? Is it true that you can not persuade each other, and are not persuaded by each other; that you can not convince each other, and are are not convinced by each other?”

“Yes, Bhante.”

“Monks, what do you think? When you are engaged in disputes, arguments, contention, and mutual verbal assault, have physical actions… verbal actions… [and] mental actions based on loving-friendliness been established in regards to your co-practitioners, both publicly and privately?”

“Certainly not, Bhante.”

“Thus, monks, it is apparent that when you are engaged in disputes, arguments, contention, and mutual verbal assault, then physical actions… verbal actions… [and] mental actions based on loving-friendliness have not been established in regards to your co-practitioners, both publicly and privately. Foolish men, what could you possibly know or see that leads you to engage in disputes, arguments, contention, and mutual verbal assault, [such that] you can not persuade each other, and are not persuaded by each other; that you can not convince each other, and are are not convinced by each other? Foolish men, this will lead to your long-lasting detriment and suffering.”

[The Six Factors of Communal Harmony]

Then the Blessed One addressed the monks: “Monks, these six things are polite, create affection and respect, and lead to inclusiveness, non-contention, harmony, and unity. What six?

“Here, monks, a monk establishes physical actions based on loving-friendliness in regards to his co-practitioners, both publicly and privately. This is one thing that is polite, creates affection and respect, and leads to inclusiveness, non-contention, harmony, and unity.

“Monks, this is another one: A monk establishes verbal actions based on loving-friendliness in regards to his co-practitioners, both publicly and privately. This is another thing that is polite, creates affection and respect, and leads to inclusiveness, non-contention, harmony, and unity.

“Monks, this is another one: A monk establishes mental actions based on loving-friendliness in regards to his co-practitioners, both publicly and privately. This is another thing that is polite, creates affection and respect, and leads to inclusiveness, non-contention, harmony, and unity.

“Monks, this is another one: A monk unreservedly shares with his virtuous co-practitioners any possessions he has acquired properly – even the contents of his alms-bowl. This is another thing that is polite, creates affection and respect, and leads to inclusiveness, non-contention, harmony, and unity.

“Monks, this is another one: When living with his co-practitioners, a monk engages both publicly and privately in virtuous behaviors which are unbroken, undamaged, unstained, unblemished, liberating, praised by the wise, free of grasping, and conducive to concentration.

“Monks, this is another one: When living with his co-practitioners, a monk maintains both publicly and privately a perspective which is noble, salvific, and correctly leads the maintainer of that perspective to the elimination of suffering.

“Monks, these are six things that are polite, create affection and respect, and lead to inclusiveness, non-contention, harmony, and unity. Monks, of these six polite things, this is the best one, the all-inclusive one, the unifying one: the perspective which is noble, salvific, and correctly leads its maintainer to the elimination of suffering.

[The Seven Factors of Stream-Entry]

“Monks, what is the perspective which is noble, salvific, and correctly leads its maintainer to the elimination of suffering? Here, monks, a monk has gone to the forest, to the base of a tree, or to an empty building, and considers in this way: ‘Do I have an obsession which has not been abandoned, which can obsess my mind such that I will be unable to accurately know and see?’ Monks, if a monk is obsessed with sensual passion, then his mind is obsessed. Monks, if a monk is obsessed with aversion, then his mind is obsessed. Monks, if a monk is obsessed with lethargy and languor, then his mind is obsessed. Monks, if a monk is obsessed with restlessness and remorse, then his mind is obsessed. Monks, if a monk is obsessed with doubt, then his mind is obsessed. Monks, if a monk is intent upon this world, then his mind is obsessed. Monks, if a monk is intent upon the next world, then his mind is obsessed. Monks, if a monk is engaged in disputes, arguments, contention, and mutual verbal assault, then his mind is obsessed. He understands: ‘There is no obsession in me which has not been abandoned, which could obsess my mind such that I would be unable to accurately know and see. My mind is well-directed for awakening to the truth.’ This is the first knowledge that he has attained which is noble, transcendent, and not in common with ordinary people.

“Monks, this is another one: A noble disciple considers in this way: ‘When I pursue, develop, and commit to this perspective, do I personally acquire tranquility and peacefulness?’ He understands: ‘When I pursue, develop, and commit to this perspective, I personally acquire tranquility and peacefulness.’ This is the second knowledge that he has attained which is noble, transcendent, and not in common with ordinary people.

“Monks, this is another one: A noble disciple considers in this way: ‘Are there contemplatives and priests outside of this [teaching]1 who have the same kind of perspective as I do?’ He understands: ‘There are no contemplatives and priests outside of this [teaching] who have the same kind of perspective as I do.’ This is the third knowledge that he has attained which is noble, transcendent, and not in common with ordinary people.

“Monks, this is another one: A noble disciple considers in this way: ‘Do I have the disposition of a person who has attained [right] perspective?’ And, monks, what is the disposition of a person who has attained [right] perspective? Monks, this is the disposition of a person who has attained [right] perspective: If he commits an offense for which rehabilitation is possible, then he quickly tells, discloses, and clarifies it to the Teacher or to wise co-practitioners; and after telling, disclosing, and clarifying it, he is restrained in the future. Monks, just as a young, undeveloped infant that touches a hot coal with its hand or foot quickly withdraws, in the same way, monks, this is the disposition of a person who has attained [right] perspective: If he commits an offense… he is restrained in the future. He understands: ‘I have the disposition of a person who has attained [right] perspective.’ This is the fourth knowledge that he has attained which is noble, transcendent, and not in common with ordinary people.

“Monks, this is another one: A noble disciple considers in this way: ‘Do I have the disposition of a person who has attained [right] perspective?’ And, monks, what is the disposition of a person who has attained [right] perspective? Monks, this is the disposition of a person who has attained [right] perspective: He makes an effort to do whatever needs to be done for his co-practitioners, while still having a strong commitment to training himself in heightened virtue, heightened mentality, and heightened wisdom. Just as a cow with a young calf watches the calf while grazing, in the same way, monks, this is the disposition of a person who has attained [right] perspective: He makes an effort to do whatever needs to be done for his co-practitioners, while still having a strong commitment to training himself in heightened virtue, heightened mentality, and heightened wisdom. He understands: ‘I have the disposition of a person who has attained [right] perspective.’ This is the fifth knowledge that he has attained which is noble, transcendent, and not in common with ordinary people.

“Monks, this is another one: A noble disciple considers in this way: ‘Do I have the strength of a person who has attained [right] perspective?’ And, monks, what is the strength of a person who has attained [right] perspective? Monks, this is the strength of a person who has attained [right] perspective: When the Dhamma-Vinaya2 which has been declared by the Tathāgata is being taught, he listens to the Dhamma carefully, attentively, and wholeheartedly3. He understands: ‘I have the strength of a person who has attained [right] perspective.’ This is the sixth knowledge that he has attained which is noble, transcendent, and not in common with ordinary people.

“Monks, this is another one: A noble disciple considers in this way: ‘Do I have the strength of a person who has attained [right] perspective?’ And, monks, what is the strength of a person who has attained [right] perspective? Monks, this is the strength of a person who has attained [right] perspective: When the Dhamma-Vinaya which has been declared by the Tathāgata is being taught, he acquires an understanding of its meaning4, he acquires an understanding of the Dhamma, and he acquires joy connected with the Dhamma. He understands: ‘I have the strength of a person who has attained [right] perspective.’ This is the seventh knowledge that he has attained which is noble, transcendent, and not in common with ordinary people.

“Monks, when a noble disciple has these seven characteristics, he has sought out5 well the disposition that leads to realizing the attainment of stream-entry6. Monks, when a noble disciple has these seven characteristics, he has attained stream-entry.”

This is what the Blessed One said. Satisfied, those monks delighted in the Blessed One’s speech.

1 That is, contemplatives and priests who are not following the Buddha’s teachings.

2 Lit. “Teaching and Training.” This is the Buddha’s own term for his dispensation.

3 Sabba-cetasā samannāharitvā. Lit. “having gathered together his whole mind.”

4 Attha-veda. This can also mean “an understanding of the goal.”

5 Samanniṭṭha. This word appears only one other place in the Pāli canon – MN47 Vīmaṁsaka Sutta, where it is juxtaposed with samannesanā (“searching out”). Accordingly, we may reasonably conclude that samanniṭṭha is a past participle of the same verb.

6 The first irreversible stage of enlightenment.