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Itivuttaka

Itivuttaka 92 Sanghāṭikaṇṇa Sutta
Grabbing Hold of the Robe

The Buddha explains what it really means to be "close to the Buddha."

This discourse was taught by the Blessed One, taught by the Arahant, the fully enlightened Supreme Buddha. This is as I heard,

“Monks, even if a monk, grabbing hold of my robe, following right behind me and placing his feet in my footsteps, were greedy for sense pleasures, strongly passionate, angry, corrupt in thought, unmindful, lacking awareness, unconcentrated, confused, and living with uncontrolled sense faculties, then he would be far from me, as I am from him. What is the reason? Because, monks, that monk does not see the Dhamma. Not seeing the Dhamma, he does not see me.

But monks, a monk living one hundred kilometers away who had no greed for sense pleasures, was not strongly passionate, nor angry, was uncorrupted in thought and lived with mindfulness established, with wise awareness, with a concentrated and unified mind, and with controlled sense faculties, then he would be very close to me, and I would be very close to him. What is the reason? Because, monks, that monk sees the Dhamma. Seeing the Dhamma, he sees me.”

This is the meaning of what the Blessed One said. So, with regard to this, it was said:

Even though following right behind, one who is full of expectations and disappointments is far indeed from the Buddha! —

The desirous one is far from the one without desire.

The agitated one is far from the one with agitation extinguished.

The greedy one is far from the one without greed.

But those wise disciples who have realized the Dhamma and are well-versed in the Dhamma are without desire and grow still like a lake unruffled by wind.

See how close the liberated monk is to the Buddha!—

The monk without desire is to the desire-less.

The extinguished monk is to the extinguished.

The monk with no greed is to the one with no greed.

This, too, is the meaning of what was said by the Blessed One. This is exactly as I heard.

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Itivuttaka 92 Sanghāṭikaṇṇa Sutta: Grabbing Hold of the Robe

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