26th September 2016

Gārava Suttaṁ

The Discourse on Honoring the Teacher

This is how I heard. One time the Blessed One was stay­ing at the province of Uruvelā on the Nerañjarā river bank at the foot of the Goatherd’s Banyan Tree, just after he had become fully enlightened. Then, while the Blessed One was alone in meditation, a thought occurred in his mind thus: “One lives in suffering if one is without a teacher and the guidance of a teacher. Now what ascetic or Brahmin can I honor, respect and stay following his guidance?”

Then it occurred to the Blessed One: “It would be for the sake of fulfilling an unfulfilled aspect of virtue that I would honor, respect, and stay following the guidance of another ascetic or Brahmin. However, in this world with its gods, Māra, and brahma, in this generation with its ascetics and Brahmins, its gods and humans, I do not see another ascetic or Brahmin more perfect in virtue than myself, whom I could honor, respect, and remain following his guidance.

It would be for the sake of fulfilling an unfulfilled aspect of concentration that I would honor, respect, and stay fol­lowing the guidance of another ascetic or Brahmin. How­

ever, in this world with its gods, Māra, and brahma, in this generation with its ascetics and Brahmins, its gods and humans, I do not see another ascetic or Brahmin more per­fect in concentration than myself, whom I could honor, respect, and stay following his guidance.

It would be for the sake of fulfilling an unfulfilled aspect of wisdom that I would honor, respect, and stay following the guidance of another ascetic or Brahmin. However, in this world with its gods, Māra, and brahma, in this genera­tion with its ascetics and Brahmins, its gods and humans, I do not see another ascetic or Brahmin more perfect in wis­dom than myself, whom I could honor, respect, and stay fol­lowing his guidance.

It would be for the sake of fulfilling an unfulfilled aspect of liberation that I would honor, respect, and stay follow­ing the guidance of another ascetic or Brahmin. However, in this world with its gods, Māra, and brahma, in this genera­tion with its ascetics and Brahmins, its gods and humans, I do not see another ascetic or Brahmin more perfect in lib­eration than myself, whom I could honor, respect, and stay following his guidance.

It would be for the sake of fulfilling an unfulfilled aspect of the knowledge and vision of liberation that I would honor, respect, and stay following the guidance of another ascetic or Brahmin. However, in this world with its gods, Māra, and brahma, in this generation with its ascetics and Brahmins,

its gods and humans, I do not see another ascetic or Brah­min more perfect in the knowledge and vision of liberation than myself, whom I could honor, respect, and stay follow­ing his guidance.

Therefore, let me honor and live in dependence on this very Dhamma as my teacher, which I have fully realized.”

Then brahma Sahampati, having known the reflection in the Blessed One’s mind, just as quickly as a strong man extends his drawn-in arm or draws in his extended arm, disappeared from the brahma world and reappeared in front of the Blessed One. Brahma Sahampati arranged his upper robe over one shoulder, knelt down with his right knee on the ground, worshipping respectfully, he said to the Blessed One: “So it is, Blessed One! So it is, Well Gone One! Bhante, those who were the Arahants, the Supremely Enlightened Buddhas in the past—those Blessed Ones too honored, respected, and lived in dependence just on the Dhamma itself as a teacher. Those who will be the Arahants, the Supremely Enlightened Buddhas in the future—those Blessed Ones too will honor, respect, and live in dependence just on the Dhamma itself as a teacher. Let the Blessed One too, who is at present the Arahant, the Supremely Enlight­ened One, honor, respect, and live in dependence just on the Dhamma itself as a teacher.”

This is what brahma Sahampati said. Having said this, he further said this in verse:

“There lived the Supreme Buddhas in the past. There will live the Buddhas in the future. Remov­ing the sorrow of many beings, there lives the Supreme Buddha in the present.

“All the Buddhas who lived, will live, and live now, regarded the Dhamma as their teacher, deeply respecting it. This is a natural law for all the Bud­dhas.

“Therefore, the person desiring his own good, wishing for great spiritual growth, should deeply respect the Supreme Dhamma, recollecting the Buddha’s training.”

 

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