The Discourse about the Great Emancipation

[The Fourth Chapter for Recitation]

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[32: Cunda's Great Gain]

Then the Gracious One with a great Community of monks went to the river Kakutthā, and after going, and entering into the river Kakutthā, bathing, and drinking, and coming back out, he approached the mango wood, and after approaching, he addressed venerable Cundaka, (saying): “Come now, Cundaka, prepare the outer robe folded in four for me, I am weary, Cundaka, and will lie down.” The Commentary explains that Ānanda was still wringing out his bathing robe (udakasāṭakaṁ), so the Buddha asked Cundaka to help. We can see from this and other references that it was normal for the monks to spread their robes on the floor and to sit or lie down on them.01

“Very well, reverend Sir”, said venerable Cundaka, and after replying to the Gracious One, he prepared the outer robe folded in four. Then the Gracious One, lay down on his right side in the lion's posture, after placing one foot on the top of the other, mindfully, with full awareness, having applied his mind to the thought of rising. And venerable Cundaka sat down right there in front of the Gracious One.

“The Awakened One, having gone to the little river Kakutthā,
Which had water that was transparent, pleasant, and clear,
The Teacher, very weary, entered (the river),
the Realised One, who is unmatched here in the world.

After washing and drinking, the Teacher came out,
And in the middle of the Community of monks, at the front,
The Teacher, the Gracious One, having taught the Teaching here,
The Great Sage went to the mango wood.

He addressed the monk called Cundaka, (saying):
“Spread out (the robe) folded in four for me to lie down on,”
Cunda, urged by the One with Developed Mind,
Very quickly spread (the robe) folded in four.
The Teacher, very weary, lay down,
With Cunda sat right there at the front.” Comm: imā pi gāthā Saṅgītikāle yeva ṭhapitā; these verses were placed (here) at the time of the (First) Council.02

Then the Gracious One addressed venerable Ānanda, (saying): “It may be, Ānanda, that someone might cause remorse for the smith Cunda, (saying): ‘There is no gain for you, friend Cunda, it is a poor gain for you, in that the Realised One, after eating his last almsfood from you, attained Final Emancipation.’

If there is remorse for Cunda the Smith, Ānanda, drive it out in this way, (saying): ‘There is a gain for you, friend Cunda, it is a good gain for you, in that the Realised One, after eating his last almsfood from you, attained Final Emancipation. I heard this face to face with the Gracious One, friend Cunda, I learned it face to face: ‘There are these two almsfoods which have the very same excellent fruit, have the very same excellent result, that is a greater fruit, a greater result than other almsfood.

Which two?

That almsfood which, after eating, the Realised One awakens to the unsurpassed and Perfect Awakening; and that almsfood which, after eating, the Realised One attains Final Emancipation in the Emancipation-element which has no basis for attachment remaining. These are the two almsfoods which have the same fruit, have the same result, that is an exceedingly greater fruit, a greater result than other almsfood.

Friend Cunda the Smith has accumulated a (good) deed that is conducive to long life, friend Cunda the Smith has accumulated a (good) deed that is conducive to beauty, friend Cunda the Smith has accumulated a (good) deed that is conducive to happiness, friend Cunda the Smith has accumulated a (good) deed that is conducive to fame, friend Cunda the Smith has accumulated a (good) deed that is conducive to heaven, friend Cunda the Smith has accumulated a (good) deed that is conducive to sovereignty.’ (If) there is remorse for Cunda the Smith, Ānanda, it should be driven out in this way!”

Then the Gracious One, having understood the significance of it, on that occasion uttered this exalted utterance:

“For the one who gives merit is increased,
From restraint hatred is not accumulated.
The skilful one gives up what is bad,
Through the destruction of passion, hatred, and delusion, he is emancipated.”

The Fourth Chapter for Recital (is Finished).