Chapter VII - ARAHANTA VAGGA - The Worthy

ARAHANTS ARE FREE FROM ATTACHMENT

ARAHANTS ARE FREE FROM ATTACHMENT

Uyyunjanti satimanto na nikete ramanti te
Hamsa' va pallalam hitva okam okam jahanti te.


The mindful strive diligently;they take no delight in the home.Like swans that forsake the muddy pool, they abandon all homelife.[91]



VII:02 An Arahant has no attachment (Maha Kassapa)

The Buddha once spent the vassa at Rajagaha with a number of bhikkhus. About two weeks before the end of the vassa, the Buddha informed the bhikkhus that they would soon be leaving Rajagaha and told them toprepare for departure. Some bhikkhus stitched and dyed new robes, some washed the old robes. When some bhikkhus saw Venerable Maha Kassapa washing his robes, they speculated, 'There are so many people inside and outside Rajagaha who love and respect Kassapa and are constantly looking to all his needs. Is it right for Kassapa to leave his lay devotees here and follow the Buddha elsewhere?'
At the end of fifteen days, on the eve of his departure, the Buddha decided that there might be some occasions like almsfood offering ceremonies, initiation of novices, funerals, etc., and so it would not be proper for all the bhikkhus to leave. So he decided that some bhikkhus should remain at the Veluvana monastery and that the most suitable person to lead them would be Kassapa. Consequently Kassapa remained in Rajagaha with some junior bhikkhus.


Then the other bhikkhus remarked, 'Kassapa has not accompanied the Buddha, just as we have predicted!' The Buddha heard their remark and said to them, 'Bhikkhus! Do you wish to say that my son Kassapa is attached to his lay disciples of Rajagaha and to the things they offer him? You are very much mistaken. Kassapa remains here under my instruction; he is not attached to anything here.

Notes:

  1. Arahants wander whithersoever they like without any attachment to any particular place as they are free from the conception of 'I' and 'mine'.

*It is a customary practice of the Buddhas to inform the bhikkhus whenever a Buddha is about to go on an alms-pilgrimage with his bhikkhus. This will give them time to prepare for the departure.