[II. Progress of the Sāsana]

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[13: Yasa's father]

Then the young man Yasa's mother, having ascended the palace, and not finding Lit: not seeing.01 the young man Yasa approached the merchant householder, and after approaching the merchant householder, she said this: “Your son Yasa, householder, cannot be found.”

Then the merchant householder, after sending scouts on horses to the four directions, himself approached the Deer Park at Isipatana.

The merchant householder saw the cast-off golden sandals, and after seeing (them) he went after him.

The Gracious One saw the merchant householder, coming while still far away, and after seeing (him), this occurred to the Gracious One: “Now what if I were to so arrange it with my psychic powers that while the merchant householder is sitting here he could not see the young man Yasa sitting here?” Then the Gracious One so arranged it with his psychic powers.

Then the merchant householder approached the Gracious One, and after approaching he said this to the Gracious One: “Has the Gracious One, venerable Sir, seen the young man Yasa?” “Sit, householder, and it may be that while you are sitting here you will see the young man Yasa sitting here.” Then the merchant householder (thought): “It seems that while sitting here I will see the young man Yasa sitting here,” and joyful, uplifted, after worshipping the Gracious One, he sat down on one side.

To the merchant householder, sitting at one side the Gracious One spoke about the gradual teaching, that is to say: talk about giving, talk about virtue, talk about heaven, the danger, degradation, and defilement of sensual desires, and the advantages of renunciation, (these) he explained. When the Gracious One knew that the merchant householder had a ready mind, a pliable mind, an open mind, an uplifted mind, a confident mind, he explained to him the Dhamma teaching the Awakened Ones have discovered themselves: Suffering, Origination, Cessation, Path.

Just as it is known that a clean cloth without a stain will take the dye well, just so to the merchant householder on that very seat, the dust-free, stainless Vision-of-the-Dhamma arose:

“Whatever has the nature of arising, all that has the nature of ceasing.”

Then the merchant householder, having seen the Dhamma, attained the Dhamma, understood the Dhamma, penetrated the Dhamma, crossed over uncertainty, being without doubts, having attained full confidence, having become independent of others in the Teacher's teaching, said this to the Gracious One:

“Excellent, venerable Sir! Excellent, venerable Sir! Just as, venerable Sir, one might set upright what has been overturned, or open up what has been closed, or show a path to one who is lost, or carry an oil lamp into the darkness, (thinking): ‘those with vision will see forms’, just so has the Dhamma been explained by the Gracious One in countless ways. I go, venerable Sir, to the Gracious One for refuge, and to the Dhamma, and to the Community of monks. At this point there was no bhikkhunī saṅgha, but it seems this formula was still in use even after that saṅgha was formed, which is traditionally placed by Theravāda tradition in the 6th year after the Awakening.02 Please bear it in mind, Gracious One, that I am a lay follower who has gone for refuge from today forward for as long as I have the breath of life,” and he became the first lay disciple in the world with the three(-refuge) formula.

Then while Dhamma was being taught to the young man Yasa's father as (Yasa) was reflecting on the stage (he had reached), just as it was seen, as it was understood, his mind was liberated from the pollutants without attachment. Then this occurred to the Gracious One: “While Dhamma was being taught to the young man Yasa's father as (Yasa) was reflecting on the stage (he had reached), just as it was seen, as it was understood, his mind was liberated from the pollutants without attachment.

It is impossible that the young man Yasa could go back to enjoying the low life of sensual pleasures in the way he formerly did when he was at home. Now what if I were to allay my psychic powers?” Then the Gracious One allayed his psychic powers.

Then the merchant householder saw the young man Yasa sitting (there), and after seeing (him), he said this to the young man Yasa: “Your Mother, dear Yasa, is taken up with lamenting and grieving, give life to your Mother!” Then the young man Yasa looked up at the Gracious One.

Then the Gracious One said this to the merchant householder: “What do you think of this, householder, for the young man Yasa, with a trainee's knowledge, with a trainee's insight, who saw the Dhamma, just as you have, (but) as he was reflecting on the stage (he had reached), just as it was seen, as it was understood, his mind was liberated from the pollutants without attachment. Is it possible that he could go back to enjoying the low life of sensual pleasures in the way he formerly did when he was at home?”

“Certainly not, venerable Sir.”

“But for the young man Yasa, householder, with a trainee's knowledge, with a trainee's insight, he saw the Dhamma, just as you have, (and) as he was reflecting on the stage (he had reached), just as it was seen, as it was understood, his mind was liberated from the pollutants without attachment. It is impossible that the young man Yasa could go back to enjoying the low life of sensual pleasures in the way he formerly did when he was at home.”

“It is a gain for the young man Yasa, venerable Sir, it is a great gain, venerable Sir, for the young man Yasa, that the young man Yasa's mind is liberated from the pollutants without attachment. May the Gracious One, venerable Sir, consent to me (offering him) a meal today, together with the young man Yasa as the ascetic who attends on him.” Lit: follows after him, which sounds unidiomatic in English, the meaning is that he attends on him.03 The Gracious One consented by maintaining silence.

Then the merchant householder, having understood the Gracious One's consent, having worshipped and circumambulated the Gracious One, went away. Then the young man Yasa not long after the merchant householder had gone away This is a locative absolute construction, with past tense meaning, see Syntax, p.236. para c.04 said this to the Gracious One: “May I receive the going-forth, venerable Sir, in the presence of the Gracious One, may I receive the full ordination.”

“Come, monk,” said the Gracious One, “the Dhamma has been well-proclaimed, live the spiritual life for the complete ending of suffering.” That was this venerable one's full ordination, and at that time there were seven Worthy Ones in the world.

Yasa's Going Forth is Finished