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Mv I 11
PTS: Mv I 1.14 | CS: vin.mv.01.11
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The Discussion of the Auspicious Group
Ven. Khematto Bhikkhu
Alternate translations/layout: reading layout

(Mv.I.14.1) [36] athakho bhagavā bārāṇasiyaṁ yathābhirantaṁ viharitvā yena uruvelā tena cārikaṁ pakkāmi.

Then the Blessed One, having stayed near Bārāṇasī as long as he liked, set out wandering to Uruvelā.

athakho bhagavā maggā okkamma yena aññataro vanasaṇḍo tenupasaṅkami upasaṅkamitvā taṁ vanasaṇḍaṁ ajjhogāhetvā aññatarasmiṁ rukkhamūle nisīdi.

Coming down from the road, the Blessed One went to a certain forest grove, plunged into it, and sat down at the root of a certain tree.

tena kho pana samayena tiṁsamattā bhaddavaggiyā sahāyakā sapajāpatikā tasmiṁ vanasaṇḍe paricārenti.

At that time, the Auspicious Group of thirty friends, were entertaining themselves with their wives in the forest grove.

bhaddavaggiyāti te kira rājakumārā rūpena ca cittena ca bhaddakā vaggabandhena ca vicaranti, tasmā “bhaddavaggiyā”ti vuccanti.

“Bhaddavaggiyas”: They say that they were princes/sons of chiefs, auspicious in physical appearance and in mind, and that they traveled around bound together (metaphorically) in a group. That’s why they were called “Bhaddavaggiyas”.

ekassa pajāpati nāhosi. tassatthāya vesī ānītā ahosi.

One of them had no wife, so, for that purpose, they brought a prostitute along.

athakho sā vesī tesu pamattesu paricārentesu bhaṇḍaṁ ādāya palāyittha.

As they were heedlessly entertaining themselves, the prostitute took his belongings and ran off.

(Mv.I.14.2) athakho te sahāyakā sahāyakassa veyyāvaccaṁ karontā taṁ itthiṁ gavesantā taṁ vanasaṇḍaṁ āhiṇḍantā addasaṁsu bhagavantaṁ aññatarasmiṁ rukkhamūle nisinnaṁ

Then the other friends, as they were helping him out — searching for the woman and wandering around in the forest grove — saw the Blessed One sitting at the root of a certain tree.

disvāna yena bhagavā tenupasaṅkamiṁsu upasaṅkamitvā bhagavantaṁ etadavocuṁ api bhante bhagavā itthiṁ passeyyāti.

On seeing him, they went to the Blessed One and on arrival said to him, “Could it be, lord, that the Blessed One has seen a woman?”

kiṁ pana vo kumārā itthiyāti.

“Young men, what do you want with a woman?”

idha mayaṁ bhante tiṁsamattā bhaddavaggiyā sahāyakā sapajāpatikā imasmiṁ vanasaṇḍe paricārayimhā

“Just now, lord, we, the Auspicious Group of thirty friends, were entertaining ourselves with our wives in the forest grove.

ekassa pajāpati nāhosi tassatthāya vesī ānītā ahosi

“One of us has no wife, so, for that purpose, we brought a prostitute along.

athakho sā bhante vesī amhesu pamattesu paricārentesu bhaṇḍaṁ ādāya palāyittha

“Then, as we were heedlessly entertaining ourselves, the prostitute took his belongings and ran off.

tena mayaṁ bhante sahāyakā sahāyakassa veyyāvaccaṁ karontā taṁ itthiṁ gavesantā imaṁ vanasaṇḍaṁ āhiṇḍāmāti.

“So we were helping our friend out — searching for the woman and wandering around in the forest grove.”

(Mv.I.14.3) taṁ kiṁ maññatha vo kumārā katamaṁ nu kho tumhākaṁ varaṁ yaṁ vā tumhe itthiṁ gaveseyyātha yaṁ vā attānaṁ gaveseyyāthāti.

“What do you think, young men, which is better for you: that you search for a woman, or that you search for the self?”

etadeva bhante amhākaṁ varaṁ yaṁ mayaṁ attānaṁ gaveseyyāmāti.

“Surely, lord, it’s better for us to search for the self.”[1]

tenahi vo kumārā nisīdatha dhammaṁ vo desessāmīti.

“In that case, young men, sit down. I’ll teach you the Dhamma.”

evaṁ bhanteti kho te bhaddavaggiyā sahāyakā bhagavantaṁ abhivādetvā ekamantaṁ nisīdiṁsu.

Responding, “Yes, lord” to the Blessed One, the the Auspicious Group of friends bowed down to the Blessed One and sat to one side.

(Mv.I.14.4) tesaṁ bhagavā anupubbikathaṁ kathesi seyyathīdaṁ dānakathaṁ sīlakathaṁ saggakathaṁ kāmānaṁ ādīnavaṁ okāraṁ saṅkilesaṁ nekkhamme ānisaṁsaṁ pakāsesi.

The Blessed One gave them a graduated talk: talk on generosity, talk on virtue, talk on heaven, talk on the drawbacks, lowliness, and defilement of sensuality, and talk on the rewards of renunciation.

yadā te bhagavā aññāsi kallacitte muducitte vinīvaraṇacitte udaggacitte pasannacitte atha yā buddhānaṁ sāmukkaṁsikā dhammadesanā taṁ pakāsesi dukkhaṁ samudayaṁ nirodhaṁ maggaṁ.

When the Blessed One knew that their minds were ready — malleable, free from hindrances, uplifted, and bright — he proclaimed the characteristic Dhamma talk of Buddhas: stress, origination, cessation, and path.

seyyathāpi nāma suddhaṁ vatthaṁ apagatakāḷakaṁ sammadeva rajanaṁ paṭiggaṇheyya evameva tesaṁ tasmiṁyevāsane virajaṁ vītamalaṁ dhammacakkhuṁ udapādi yaṅkiñci samudayadhammaṁ sabbantaṁ nirodhadhammanti.

Just as a clean piece of cloth, free from grime, would properly take dye, in the same way the dustless, stainless eye of Dhamma arose for them as they sat right there — “Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation.”

(Mv.I.14.5) te diṭṭhadhammā pattadhammā viditadhammā pariyogāḷhadhammā tiṇṇavicikicchā vigatakathaṁkathā vesārajjappattā aparappaccayā satthu sāsane bhagavantaṁ etadavocuṁ

Then they, having seen the Dhamma, having attained the Dhamma, having known the Dhamma, having fathomed the Dhamma, having crossed over and beyond uncertainty, having no more perplexity, having gained fearlessness, independence of others with regard to the Teacher’s message, said to the Blessed One,

labheyyāma mayaṁ bhante bhagavato santike pabbajjaṁ labheyyāma upasampadanti.

“May we receive the Going-forth in the Blessed One’s presence? May we receive the Acceptance?”

etha bhikkhavoti bhagavā avoca svākkhāto dhammo caratha brahmacariyaṁ sammā dukkhassa antakiriyāyāti.

“Come, monks.” Said the Blessed One. “The Dhamma is well-taught. Live the holy life for the right ending of stress.”

sā va tesaṁ āyasmantānaṁ upasampadā ahosi.

Such was the venerable ones’ Acceptance.

bhaddavaggiyasahāyakānaṁ vatthu niṭṭhitaṁ.

The story of the Auspicious Group of Friends is finished.


The second recitation section (is finished).


This is an example of the Buddha using the concept of self as a strategy [Dhp 160, AN 3.40]. By encouraging the Auspicious Group to search for the self, he is not implying the existence of a self in a metaphysical sense.
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