1.4.0 Saddhā, Confidence is the Necessary Base for Walking the Path*
“There, Brahmin, there arises in this world a Tathāgata, having destroyed all mental defilements, fully enlightened by his own efforts, perfect in knowledge and conduct, having reached the final goal, knower of the entire universe, incomparable trainer of men, teacher of gods and humans, the Enlightened One, the Blessed One. He proclaims this world with its Devas, Māras, Brahmas, its ascetics and Brāhmins, its people and gods, having realised it with his own perfected wisdom. He teaches the Dhamma which is beneficial in the beginning, beneficial in the middle, and beneficial in the end, with correct wording full of meaning, complete in itself, utterly pure and displaying the holy life.
A householder or householder’s son or one born in some other clan hears that Dhamma. On hearing the Dhamma he gains confidence in the Tathāgata. Grounded on that confidence he considers thus:
‘Life as a householder is obstructed and impure, life of someone gone forth is like an open sky. It is not easy, dwelling in a house to lead the holy life outright impeccable and pure as a polished shell. What if I was to cut off my hair and beard, dress in yellow robe, and go forth from the home life into homelessness.’ Then after some time he forsakes a smaller or larger amount of wealth and leaves a smaller or larger group of relatives behind and goes forth from the home life into homelessness.
Having thus gone forth, following the system of training and the way of living the life of a Bhikkhu, abandoning killing, he abstains from the taking of life. He dwells with his stick and his sword laid down, modest, showing sympathy for the welfare of all living beings he dwells in compassion.
Abandoning the taking of what is not given, he abstains from taking what is not given. He takes only what is given, accepts what is given as if desired, lives not by stealth but by means of a self that has become pure.
Abandoning non-celibacy, he lives a celibate life, aloof, refraining from the sexual act that is of the common people.
Abandoning false speech he abstains from untrue speech, he speaks the truth, holds up the truth, is trustworthy, reliable, not deceiving this world.
Abandoning malicious speech he abstains from malicious speech, having heard something here he does not spread it elsewhere in order to divide these people. Having heard something there he does not spread this in order not to cause dissension amongst those people. Thus he reconciles those who have broken up and supports those who are united. He loves and finds pleasure in concord, delights in harmony and utters words that generate harmony.
Abandoning abusive speech he abstains from abusive speech. Whatever speech is polite, is soothing to the ear, is affectionate and moves the heart, is appealing to many and pleasing many, such speech he utters.
Abandoning useless talk and gossip he abstains from useless talk and gossip. He speaks at the right time about facts, what is in accordance with the goal, with Dhamma and the Vinaya. He speaks words worth treasuring, at the proper time, reasonable, full of purpose, leading to the goal.
He abstains from injuring any seeds or plants. He eats only one meal a day by avoiding eating at night, he also avoid eating at an improper time, he abstains from dancing, singing, music, and worldly entertainments; he completely abstains from wearing garlands, perfumes, cosmetics; jewellery and other bodily adornments, he also abstains from sleeping in high or luxurious beds. He abstains from accepting any gold or silver. He abstains from accepting raw grain or corn and he abstains from accepting raw meat.
He abstains from accepting women or girls and abstains from accepting female or male slaves. He also abstains from accepting goats and sheep; he abstains from accepting fowl and pigs; he abstains from accepting elephants, cattle, horses, and mares. He abstains from accepting property and land. He abstains from going on errands and delivering messages. He abstains from any trading or business. He abstains from false scales, false weights, and false measures; he abstains from crookedness, fraud, dishonesty and deception. He abstains from hurting, murdering, binding, robbery, plunder, and violence.
He becomes content with robes to protect his body and with alms-food to sustain his stomach, and wherever he goes, he walks taking only these with him. Just as a bird, wherever it flies uses only its wings as its only burden, so too the Bhikkhu remains content with robes to protect his body and with alms-food to sustain his stomach, and wherever he goes, he walks taking only these with him. Thus being endowed with the quality of Noble Sīla he experiences within blameless happiness.
On seeing a form with the eye, he does not take up its signs and follow its characteristics. Since, if he was to dwell with the eye faculty unguarded, evil unwholesome states of craving and grief might befall him, thus he practices the way of its restraint, he guards the eye faculty, he undertakes the restraint of the eye faculty.
On hearing a sound with the ear…;
On smelling an odor with the nose…;
On tasting a flavor with the tongue…:
On touching something tangible with the body…;
On cognizing a mind-object with the mind, he does not take up its signs and follow its characteristics. Since, if he was to dwell with the mind faculty unguarded, evil unwholesome states of craving and grief might befall him, thus he practices the way of its restraint, he guards the eye faculty, he undertakes the restraint of the mind faculty.
By thus being endowed with the quality of noble restraint he experiences within unimpaired happiness…
*Cūḷahatthipadopamasuttaṃ: Cūḷa + hatthi + upada + upama + suttaṃ — elephant + footprint + simile + sutta