The 7th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Then Ven. Assaji, arising early in the morning, taking his robe and bowl, entered Rajagraha for alms: gracious in the way he approached and departed, looked forward and behind, drew in and stretched out his arm; his eyes downcast, his every movement consummate. Sariputta the wanderer saw Ven. Assaji going for alms in Rajagaha: gracious... his eyes downcast, his every movement consummate. On seeing him, the Thought occurred to him: "Surely, of those in this World who are Arahants or have entered the path to arahantship, this is one. What if I were to approach him and question him: 'On whose account have you gone forth? Who is your teacher? Of whose Dhamma do you approve?'"
But then the Thought occurred to Sariputta the wanderer: "This is the wrong time to question him. He is going for alms in the town. What if I were to follow behind this Monk who has found the path for those who seek it?"
Then Ven. Assaji, having gone for alms in Rajagaha, left, taking the alms he had received. Sariputta the wanderer approached him and, on arrival, having exchanged friendly Greetings and courtesies, stood to one side. As he stood there he said, "Your faculties are bright, my friend, your complexion pure and clear. On whose account have you gone forth? Who is your teacher? Of whose Dhamma do you approve?"
"There is, my friend, the Great Contemplative, a son of the Sakyans, gone forth from a Sakyan family. I have gone forth on account of that Blessed One. That Blessed One is my teacher. It is of that Blessed One's Dhamma that I approve."
"But what is your teacher's teaching? What does he proclaim?"
"I am new, my friend, not long gone forth, only recently come to this Doctrine and discipline. I cannot explain the Doctrine in detail, but I can give you the gist in brief."
Then Sariputta the wanderer spoke thus to the Ven. Assaji:
Speak a little or a lot, but tell me just the gist. The gist is what I want. What use is a lot of rhetoric?
Then Ven. Assaji gave this Dhamma exposition to Sariputta the Wanderer:
Whatever phenomena arise from cause: their cause & their cessation. Such is the teaching of the Tathagata, the Great Contemplative.
Then to Sariputta the Wanderer, as he heard this Dhamma exposition, there arose the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye: Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation.
— Mv 1.23.5
Then Mahapajapati Gotami [the first nun, and the Buddha's foster mother] approached the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down, stood to one side. As she was standing there, she said, "It would be good if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief so that I, having heard the Dhamma, might dwell alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, and resolute."
"...Gotami, the qualities of which you may know, 'These qualities lead to dispassion, not to passion; to being unfettered and not to being fettered; to self-effacement and not to self-aggrandizement; to modesty and not to ambition; to Contentment and not to discontent; to seclusion and not to entanglement; to the arousing of persistence and not to Laziness; to being unburdensome and not to being burdensome': You may definitely hold, 'This is the Dhamma, this is the Vinaya, this is the Teacher's instruction.'"
[According to the commentaries, Mahapajapati Gotami gained arahantship soon after receiving this instruction.]