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Kassapa Sutta: Mahā Kassapa

Summary: url=index.html#ud.1.06.than Ven. Maha Kassapa chooses to go on his almsround among the poor and indigent, rather than among the devas.

Ud 1.6

PTS: Ud 4

Kassapa Sutta: Mahā Kassapa

translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Alternate format: udana_en.pdf (??pages/0.9MB)

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rājagaha at the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Sanctuary. And on that occasion Ven. Mahā Kassapa was staying at the Pipphali Cave, afflicted, in pain, & seriously ill. Then, at a later time, he recovered from his illness. When he had recovered from the illness, the thought occurred to him: “What if I were to go into Rājagaha for alms?”

Now on that occasion 500 devatās were in a state of eagerness for the chance to give alms to Ven. Mahā Kassapa. But Ven. Mahā Kassapa, turning down those 500 devatās, early in the morning adjusted his under robe(1) and — carrying his bowl & robes — went into Rājagaha for alms along the streets of the poor, the streets of the indigent, the streets of the weavers. The Blessed One saw that Ven. Mahā Kassapa had gone into Rājagaha for alms along the streets of the poor, the streets of the indigent, the streets of the weavers.

Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:

Supporting no others, unknown,(2) tamed, established in what is essential, effluents ended, anger disgorged: He's what I call a brahman.



According to the protocols given in Cv.VIII, a monk leaving a monastery in the wilderness with the purpose of going for alms would wear just his under robe, while carrying his upper and outer robes folded over his shoulder or upper back. On approaching an inhabited area he would stop and make sure that his under robe was neatly arranged: covering the area from above his navel to below his knees, and hanging down evenly in front and behind. Then he would put on his upper and outer robe, arranged so that the upper robe was a lining for the outer robe. If he was wearing sandals, he would take them off and place them in a small cloth bag. Only then would he enter the inhabited area for alms.


There is an alliterative play of words here on anañña (no others) and aññāta (unknown).

en/tipitaka/sut/kn/uda/uda.1.06.than.txt · Last modified: 2023/03/24 06:10 by Johann