[II. Progress of the Sāsana]

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16: The Going-Forth of the Fifty Householder Friends

About fifty of the venerable Yasa's householder friends, sons of the traditional leading families Comm: ancient and not-so-ancient on account of their lineage is the meaning.01 in the State heard: “The young man Yasa, it seems, after shaving off his hair and beard, and donning brown garments, has gone forth from the home to the homeless life.” After hearing (it), this occurred to them: “This is not an inferior Dhamma and Discipline, not an inferior going-forth in which the young man Yasa, after shaving off his hair and beard, and donning brown garments, has gone forth from the home to the homeless life.”

They approached the venerable Yasa, and after approaching and worshipping the venerable Yasa, they sat down on one side. Then the venerable Yasa took those fifty householder friends and approached the Gracious One, and after approaching and worshipping the Gracious One, he sat down on one side. While sitting on one side the venerable Yasa said this to the Gracious One: “These, venerable Sir, are about fifty of my householder friends sons of the traditional leading families in the State, please advise them, Gracious One, please instruct them.”

The Gracious One spoke about the gradual teaching to them, 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 they had ready minds, pliable minds, open minds, uplifted minds, confident minds, he explained to them 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 them 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.”

They, 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: “May we receive the going-forth, venerable Sir, in the presence of the Gracious One, may we receive the full ordination.” “Come, monks,” said the Gracious One, “the Dhamma has been well-proclaimed, live the spiritual life for the complete ending of suffering.” That was these venerable ones' full ordination.

Then the Gracious One gave advice and instruction with a Dhamma talk to those monks. As the Gracious One gave advice and instruction with a Dhamma talk their minds were liberated from the pollutants, without attachment, and at that time there were sixty-one Worthy Ones in the world.

The Going Forth of the Fifty Householder Friends is Finished