Samyuktagama 113

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Saṃyuktāgama 113. [Discourse on Eradicating the Dukkha of Bodily Form]

Thus have I heard. At one time the Buddha was staying at Mount Makula, with an attendant monk by the name of Rādha.

Then a group of heterodox wanderers approached the venerable Rādha. Having exchanged polite greetings, they withdrew to sit at one side. They asked the venerable Rādha:

“For what sake have you gone forth to cultivate the holy life under the recluse Gotama?”

The venerable Rādha replied: “I have gone forth to cultivate the holy life under the Blessed One for the sake of abandoning dukkha.”

They asked again: “For the sake of abandoning what kind of dukkha have you gone forth to cultivate the holy life under the recluse Gotama?”

Rādha replied: “I have gone forth to cultivate the holy life under the Blessed One for the sake of abandoning the dukkha of bodily form; I have gone forth to cultivate the holy life under the Blessed One for the sake of abandoning the dukkha of feeling … perception … formations … consciousness.”

Then the heterodox wanderers, hearing what the venerable Rādha had said, were not pleased in their minds. They rose from their seats, blamed him, and left.

At that time the venerable Rādha, knowing that the heterodox wanderers had left, thought: “Having proceeded to speak in this way, did I not misrepresent the Blessed One? Did I speak as I should speak? Did I speak according to the Dharma, did I speak the Dharma in accordance with the Dharma? On being closely interrogated by others, will I not be censured and fall into an occasion of being defeated?”

At that time the venerable Rādha, having risen from meditation in the afternoon, approached the Buddha, paid respect with his head at the Buddha's feet, and withdrew to sit at one side. He completely told the Buddha about the above matter, [saying]: “Blessed One, having proceeded to speak in this way, did I not incur a fault? Did I not misrepresent the Blessed One? On being closely interrogated by others, will I not be censured and fall into an occasion of being defeated? Did I speak as I should speak? Did I speak according to the Dharma, did I speak the Dharma in accordance with the Dharma?”

The Buddha said to Rādha: “You spoke truthfully. You did not misrepresent the Tathāgata. You spoke as you should speak. You spoke according to the Dharma, speaking the Dharma in accordance with the Dharma. Why is that? Rādha, bodily form is dukkha. One goes forth [under me] to cultivate the holy life for the sake of abandoning that dukkha. Feeling … perception … formations … consciousness is dukkha. One goes forth [under me] to cultivate the holy life for the sake of abandoning that dukkha.”

When the Buddha had spoken this discourse, hearing what the Buddha had said the monk Rādha was delighted and received it respectfully.