To Lohicca
Lohicca Sutta  (DN 12)

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was on a wandering tour among the Kosalans with a large Saṅgha of monks—approximately 500 monks in all—and arrived at Sālavatikā. Now at that time the brahman Lohicca was reigning with feudatory rights over Sālavatikā—together with its wealth, grass, timber, & grain—through a royal grant bestowed by King Pasenadi Kosala. And at that time an evil viewpoint to this effect had arisen to him: “Suppose that a contemplative or brahman were to arrive at a skillful Dhamma. Having arrived at a skillful Dhamma, he should not declare it to anyone else, for what can one person do for another? It would be just the same as if, having cut through an old bond, one were to make another new bond. I say that such a thing is an evil, greedy deed, for what can one person do for another?”

Then Lohicca heard it said, “Gotama the contemplative—the son of the Sakyans, having gone forth from the Sakyan clan—on a wandering tour among the Kosalans with a large Saṅgha of monks, approximately 500 monks in all—has arrived at Sālavatikā. And of that Master Gotama this fine reputation has spread: ‘He is indeed a Blessed One, worthy & rightly self-awakened, consummate in clear-knowing & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the cosmos, unexcelled trainer of people fit to be tamed, teacher of devas & human beings, awakened, blessed. He has made known—having realized it through direct knowledge—this world with its devas, Māras, & Brahmās, its generations with their contemplatives & brahmans, their rulers & common people; has explained the Dhamma admirable in the beginning, admirable in the middle, admirable in the end; has expounded the holy life both in its particulars & in its essence, entirely perfect, surpassingly pure. It is good to see such a worthy one.’”

So Lohicca said to Rosika the barber: “Come, dear Rosika. Go to Gotama the contemplative and, on arrival, ask whether he is free from illness & affliction, is carefree, strong, & living in comfort, saying: ‘The brahman Lohicca, Master Gotama, asks whether you are free from illness & affliction, are carefree, strong, & living in comfort.’ And then say: ‘May Master Gotama, together with the Saṅgha of monks, acquiesce to tomorrow’s meal with the brahman Lohicca.’”

Responding, “As you say, sir,” to the brahman Lohicca, Rosika the barber went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, bowing down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One, “The brahman Lohicca, lord, asks whether the Blessed One is free from illness & affliction, is carefree, strong, & living in comfort. And he says, ‘May the Blessed One, together with the Saṅgha of monks, acquiesce to tomorrow’s meal with the brahman Lohicca.’” The Blessed One acquiesced through silence.

Then Rosika the barber, understanding the Blessed One’s acquiescence, rose from his seat, bowed down to the Blessed One, circumambulated him—keeping him to his right—and returned to the brahman Lohicca. On arrival he said to him, “I have informed the Blessed One of your words, (saying,) ‘The brahman Lohicca, lord, asks whether the Blessed One is free from illness & affliction, is carefree, strong, & living in comfort. And he says, “May the Blessed One, together with the Saṅgha of monks, acquiesce to tomorrow’s meal with the brahman Lohicca.”’ And the Blessed One has acquiesced.”

Then, as the night was ending, the brahman Lohicca had choice staple & non-staple foods prepared in his own home and then said to Rosika the barber, “Come, dear Rosika. Go to Gotama the contemplative and on arrival announce the time, (saying,) ‘It is time, Master Gotama. The meal is ready.’”

Responding, “As you say, sir,” to the brahman Lohicca, Rosika the barber went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, bowing down to him, stood to one side. As he was standing there, he announced the time, (saying,) “It is time, lord. The meal is ready.”

Then the Blessed One early in the morning—having adjusted his lower robe and taking his bowl & outer robe—went together with a Saṅgha of monks to Sālavatikā. Meanwhile, Rosika the barber was following right behind the Blessed One and said to him, “Lord, an evil viewpoint to this effect has arisen to the brahman Lohicca: ‘Suppose that a contemplative or brahman were to arrive at a skillful Dhamma. Having arrived at a skillful Dhamma, he should not declare it to anyone else, for what can one person do for another? It would be just the same as if, having cut through an old bond, one were to make another new bond. I say that such a thing is an evil, greedy deed, for what can one person do for another?’ It would be good if the Blessed One would extract the brahman Lohicca from this evil viewpoint.”

“Perhaps that will be, Rosika. Perhaps that will be.”

Then the Blessed One went to the brahman Lohicca’s home. On arrival, he sat down on a seat made ready. The brahman Lohicca, with his own hand, served & satisfied the Blessed One & the Saṅgha of monks with choice staple & non-staple foods. Then, when the Blessed One had eaten and had removed his hand from his bowl, the brahman Lohicca took a lower seat and sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him, “Is it true, Lohicca, that an evil viewpoint to this effect has arisen to you: ‘Suppose that a contemplative or brahman were to arrive at a skillful Dhamma. Having arrived at a skillful Dhamma, he should not declare it to anyone else, for what can one person do for another? It would be just the same as if, having cut through an old bond, one were to make another new bond. I say that such a thing is an evil, greedy deed, for what can one person do for another?’?”

“Yes, Master Gotama.”

“What do you think, Lohicca? Don’t you reign over Sālavatikā?”

“Yes, Master Gotama.”

“Now, suppose someone were to say, ‘The brahman Lohicca reigns over Sālavatikā. He alone should consume the fruits & revenues of Sālavatikā, and not share them with others.’ Would someone speaking in this way be a creator of obstacles for your subjects, or would he not?”

“He would be a creator of obstacles, Master Gotama.”

“And, being a creator of obstacles, would he be sympathetic for their welfare or not?”

“He would not be sympathetic for their welfare, Master Gotama.”

“And in one not sympathetic for their welfare, would his mind be established in good will for them, or in animosity?”

“In animosity, Master Gotama.”

“When the mind is established in animosity, is there wrong view or right view?”

“Wrong view, Master Gotama.”

“Now, for one of wrong view, Lohicca, I tell you, there is one of two destinations: either hell or the animal womb.

“What do you think, Lohicca? Doesn’t King Pasenadi Kosala reign over Kāsi & Kosala?”

“Yes, Master Gotama.”

“Now, suppose someone were to say, ‘King Pasenadi Kosala reigns over Kāsi & Kosala. He alone should consume the fruits & revenues of Kāsi & Kosala, and not share them with others.’ Would someone speaking in this way be a creator of obstacles for King Pasenadi’s subjects—you & others—or would he not?”

“He would be a creator of obstacles, Master Gotama.”

“And, being a creator of obstacles, would he be sympathetic for their welfare or not?”

“He would not be sympathetic for their welfare, Master Gotama.”

“And in one not sympathetic for their welfare, would his mind be established in good will for them, or in animosity?”

“In animosity, Master Gotama.”

“When the mind is established in animosity, is there wrong view or right view?”

“Wrong view, Master Gotama.”

“Now, for one of wrong view, Lohicca, I tell you, there is one of two destinations: either hell or the animal womb.

“So then, Lohicca, if anyone were to say, ‘The brahman Lohicca reigns over Sālavatikā. He alone should consume the fruits & revenues of Sālavatikā, and not share them with others,’ he, speaking in this way, would be a creator of obstacles for your subjects. Being a creator of obstacles, he would not be sympathetic for their welfare. In one not sympathetic for their welfare, the mind would be established in animosity for them. When the mind is established in animosity, there is wrong view. For one of wrong view, I tell you, there is one of two destinations: either hell or the animal womb.

“In the same way, if anyone were to say, ‘Suppose that a contemplative or brahman were to arrive at a skillful Dhamma. Having arrived at a skillful Dhamma, he should not declare it to anyone else, for what can one person do for another? It would be just the same as if, having cut through an old bond, one were to make another new bond. I say that such a thing is an evil, greedy deed, for what can one person do for another?’—he, speaking in this way, would be a creator of obstacles for those children of good family who, coming to the Dhamma & Vinaya revealed by the Tathāgata, attain the sort of grand distinction where they attain the fruit of stream-entry, the fruit of once-returning, the fruit of non-returning, the fruit of arahantship; and for those who ripen deva wombs for the sake of bringing about the deva state. Being a creator of obstacles, he would not be sympathetic for their welfare. In one not sympathetic for their welfare, the mind would be established in animosity for them. When the mind is established in animosity, there is wrong view. For one of wrong view, I tell you, there is one of two destinations: either hell or the animal womb.

“And if anyone were to say, ‘King Pasenadi Kosala reigns over Kāsi & Kosala. He alone should consume the fruits & revenues of Kāsi & Kosala, and not share them with others,’ he, speaking in this way, would be a creator of obstacles for King Pasenadi’s subjects—you & others. Being a creator of obstacles, he would not be sympathetic for their welfare. In one not sympathetic for their welfare, the mind would be established in animosity for them. When the mind is established in animosity, there is wrong view. For one of wrong view, I tell you, there is one of two destinations: either hell or the animal womb.

“In the same way, if anyone were to say, ‘Suppose that a contemplative or brahman were to arrive at a skillful Dhamma. Having arrived at a skillful Dhamma, he should not declare it to anyone else, for what can one person do for another? It would be just the same as if, having cut through an old bond, one were to make another new bond. I say that such a thing is an evil, greedy deed, for what can one person do for another?’—he, speaking in this way, would be a creator of obstacles for those children of good family who, coming to the Dhamma & Vinaya revealed by the Tathāgata, attain the sort of grand distinction where they attain the fruit of stream-entry, the fruit of once-returning, the fruit of non-returning, the fruit of arahantship; and also for those who ripen deva wombs for the sake of bringing about the deva state. Being a creator of obstacles, he would not be sympathetic for their welfare. In one not sympathetic for their welfare, the mind would be established in animosity for them. When the mind is established in animosity, there is wrong view. For one of wrong view, I tell you, there is one of two destinations: either hell or the animal womb.

“Lohicca, there are these three sorts of teacher who are worthy of criticism in the world, and when anyone criticizes these sorts of teachers, the criticism is true, factual, righteous, & unblameworthy. Which three?

“There is the case where a certain teacher has not attained the goal of the contemplative life for which one goes forth from the home life into homelessness. He, not having attained that goal of the contemplative life, teaches his disciples, ‘This is for your welfare. This is for your happiness.’ His disciples don’t listen, don’t lend ear, don’t put forth an intent for gnosis. They practice in a way deviating from the teacher’s instructions. He should be criticized, saying, ‘You, venerable sir, have not attained the goal of the contemplative life for which one goes forth from the home life into homelessness. Not having attained that goal of the contemplative life, you teach your disciples, “This is for your welfare. This is for your happiness.” Your disciples don’t listen, don’t lend ear, don’t put forth an intent for gnosis, and practice in a way deviating from the teacher’s instructions. It’s just as if a man were to pursue (a woman) who pulls away, or to embrace one who turns her back. I say that such a thing is an evil, greedy deed, for what can one person do for another?’ This is the first teacher who is worthy of criticism in the world, and when anyone criticizes this sort of teacher, the criticism is true, factual, righteous, & unblameworthy.

“And further, there is the case where a certain teacher has not attained the goal of the contemplative life for which one goes forth from the home life into homelessness. He, not having attained that goal of the contemplative life, teaches his disciples, ‘This is for your welfare. This is for your happiness.’ His disciples listen, lend ear, put forth an intent for gnosis, and practice in a way not deviating from the teacher’s instructions. He should be criticized, saying, ‘You, venerable sir, have not attained the goal of the contemplative life for which one goes forth from the home life into homelessness. Not having attained that goal of the contemplative life, you teach your disciples, “This is for your welfare. This is for your happiness.” Your disciples listen, lend ear, put forth an intent for gnosis, and practice in a way not deviating from the teacher’s instructions. It’s just as if a man, neglecting his own field, were to imagine that another’s field should be weeded. I say that such a thing is an evil, greedy deed, for what can one person do for another?’ This is the second teacher who is worthy of criticism in the world, and when anyone criticizes this sort of teacher, the criticism is true, factual, righteous, & unblameworthy.

“And further, there is the case where a certain teacher has attained the goal of the contemplative life for which one goes forth from the home life into homelessness. He, having attained that goal of the contemplative life, teaches his disciples, ‘This is for your welfare. This is for your happiness.’ His disciples don’t listen, don’t lend ear, don’t put forth an intent for gnosis. They practice in a way deviating from the teacher’s instructions. He should be criticized, saying, ‘You, venerable sir, have attained the goal of the contemplative life for which one goes forth from the home life into homelessness. Having attained that goal of the contemplative life, you teach your disciples, “This is for your welfare. This is for your happiness,” but your disciples don’t listen, don’t lend ear, don’t put forth an intent for gnosis, and practice in a way deviating from the teacher’s instructions. It’s just as if, having cut through an old bond, one were to make another new bond. I say that such a thing is an evil, greedy deed, for what can one person do for another?’ This is the third teacher who is worthy of criticism in the world, and when anyone criticizes this sort of teacher, the criticism is true, factual, righteous, & unblameworthy.”

When this was said, the brahman Lohicca said to the Blessed One, “But is there, Master Gotama, any teacher who is not worthy of criticism in the world?”

“There is, Lohicca, a teacher who is not worthy of criticism in the world.”

“But which teacher, Master Gotama, is not worthy of criticism in the world?”

“There is the case, Lohicca, where a Tathāgata appears in the world, worthy & rightly self-awakened. He teaches the Dhamma admirable in its beginning, admirable in its middle, admirable in its end. He proclaims the holy life both in its particulars & in its essence, entirely perfect, surpassingly pure.

“A householder or householder’s son, hearing the Dhamma, gains conviction in the Tathāgata and reflects: ‘Household life is confining, a dusty path. The life gone forth is like the open air. It is not easy living at home to practice the holy life totally perfect, totally pure, like a polished shell. What if I were to shave off my hair & beard, put on the ochre robes, and go forth from the household life into homelessness?’

“So after some time he abandons his mass of wealth, large or small; leaves his circle of relatives, large or small; shaves off his hair & beard, puts on the ochre robes, and goes forth from the household life into homelessness.

“When he has thus gone forth, he lives restrained by the rules of the monastic code, seeing danger in the slightest faults. Consummate in his virtue, he guards the doors of his senses, is possessed of mindfulness & alertness, and is content [for details, see DN 2] …

Abandoning the Hindrances

“Endowed with this noble aggregate of virtue, this noble restraint over the sense faculties, this noble mindfulness & alertness, and this noble contentment, he seeks out a secluded dwelling: a wilderness, the shade of a tree, a mountain, a glen, a hillside cave, a charnel ground, a forest grove, the open air, a heap of straw. After his meal, returning from his alms round, he sits down, crosses his legs, holds his body erect, and brings mindfulness to the fore.

“Abandoning covetousness with regard to the world, he dwells with an awareness devoid of covetousness. He cleanses his mind of covetousness. Abandoning ill will & anger, he dwells with an awareness devoid of ill will, sympathetic with the welfare of all living beings. He cleanses his mind of ill will & anger. Abandoning sloth & drowsiness, he dwells with an awareness devoid of sloth & drowsiness, mindful, alert, percipient of light. He cleanses his mind of sloth & drowsiness. Abandoning restlessness & anxiety, he dwells undisturbed, his mind inwardly stilled. He cleanses his mind of restlessness & anxiety. Abandoning uncertainty, he dwells having crossed over uncertainty, with no perplexity with regard to skillful mental qualities. He cleanses his mind of uncertainty.

“Suppose that a man, taking a loan, invests it in his business affairs. His business affairs succeed. He repays his old debts and there is extra left over for maintaining his wife. The thought would occur to him, ‘Before, taking a loan, I invested it in my business affairs. Now my business affairs have succeeded. I have repaid my old debts and there is extra left over for maintaining my wife.’ Because of that he would experience joy & happiness.

“Now suppose that a man falls sick—in pain & seriously ill. He does not enjoy his meals, and there is no strength in his body. As time passes, he eventually recovers from that sickness. He enjoys his meals and there is strength in his body. The thought would occur to him, ‘Before, I was sick....Now I am recovered from that sickness. I enjoy my meals and there is strength in my body.’ Because of that he would experience joy & happiness.

“Now suppose that a man is bound in prison. As time passes, he eventually is released from that bondage, safe & sound, with no loss of property. The thought would occur to him, ‘Before, I was bound in prison. Now I am released from that bondage, safe & sound, with no loss of my property.’ Because of that he would experience joy & happiness.

“Now suppose that a man is a slave, subject to others, not subject to himself, unable to go where he likes. As time passes, he eventually is released from that slavery, subject to himself, not subject to others, freed, able to go where he likes. The thought would occur to him, ‘Before, I was a slave.… Now I am released from that slavery, subject to myself, not subject to others, freed, able to go where I like.’ Because of that he would experience joy & happiness.

“Now suppose that a man, carrying money & goods, is traveling by a road through desolate country. As time passes, he eventually emerges from that desolate country, safe & sound, with no loss of property. The thought would occur to him, ‘Before, carrying money & goods, I was traveling by a road through desolate country. Now I have emerged from that desolate country, safe & sound, with no loss of my property.’ Because of that he would experience joy & happiness.

“In the same way, when these five hindrances are not abandoned in himself, the monk regards it as a debt, a sickness, a prison, slavery, a road through desolate country. But when these five hindrances are abandoned in himself, he regards it as unindebtedness, good health, release from prison, freedom, a place of security. When he sees that they have been abandoned within him, gladness is born. In one who is gladdened, rapture is born. Enraptured at heart, his body grows calm. His body calm, he is sensitive to pleasure. Feeling pleasure, his mind becomes concentrated.

The Four Jhānas

“Quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities, he enters and remains in the first jhāna: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. He permeates & pervades, suffuses & fills this very body with the rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal. Just as if a dexterous bathman or bathman’s apprentice would pour bath powder into a brass basin and knead it together, sprinkling it again & again with water, so that his ball of bath powder—saturated, moisture-laden, permeated within & without—would nevertheless not drip; even so, the monk permeates… this very body with the rapture & pleasure born of seclusion. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture & pleasure born of seclusion.

“When a disciple of a teacher attains this sort of grand distinction, Lohicca, that is a teacher not worthy of criticism in the world, and if anyone were to criticize this sort of teacher, the criticism would be false, unfactual, unrighteous, & blameworthy.

“And further, with the stilling of directed thought & evaluation, he enters & remains in the second jhāna… the third jhāna… the fourth jhāna: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. He sits, permeating the body with a pure, bright awareness. Just as if a man were sitting covered from head to foot with a white cloth so that there would be no part of his body to which the white cloth did not extend; even so, the monk sits, permeating the body with a pure, bright awareness. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by pure, bright awareness.

“When a disciple of a teacher attains this sort of grand distinction, Lohicca, that is a teacher not worthy of criticism in the world, and if anyone were to criticize this sort of teacher, the criticism would be false, unfactual, unrighteous, & blameworthy.

Insight Knowledge, etc.

“With his mind thus concentrated, purified, & bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to knowledge & vision… to creating a mind-made body… to the modes of supranormal powers… to the divine ear-element… to knowledge of the awareness of other beings… to knowledge of the recollection of past lives… to knowledge of the passing away & re-appearance of beings… to the knowledge of the ending of effluents. He discerns, as it is has come to be, that ‘This is stress… This is the origination of stress… This is the cessation of stress… This is the way leading to the cessation of stress… These are effluents… This is the origination of effluents… This is the cessation of effluents… This is the way leading to the cessation of effluents.’ His heart, thus knowing, thus seeing, is released from the effluent of sensuality, the effluent of becoming, the effluent of ignorance. With release, there is the knowledge, ‘Released.’ He discerns that ‘Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.’

“Just as if there were a pool of water in a mountain glen—clear, limpid, & unsullied—where a man with good eyesight standing on the bank could see shells, gravel, & pebbles, and also shoals of fish swimming about & resting, and it would occur to him, ‘This pool of water is clear, limpid, & unsullied. Here are these shells, gravel, & pebbles, and also these shoals of fish swimming about & resting.’ In the same way—with his mind thus concentrated, purified, & bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability—the monk directs & inclines it to the knowledge of the ending of effluents. He discerns, as it has come to be, that ‘This is stress… This is the origination of stress… This is the cessation of stress… This is the way leading to the cessation of stress… These are effluents… This is the origination of effluents… This is the cessation of effluents… This is the way leading to the cessation of effluents.’ His heart, thus knowing, thus seeing, is released from the effluent of sensuality, the effluent of becoming, the effluent of ignorance. With release, there is the knowledge, ‘Released.’ He discerns that ‘Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.’

“When a disciple of a teacher attains this sort of grand distinction, Lohicca, that is a teacher not worthy of criticism in the world, and if anyone were to criticize this sort of teacher, the criticism would be false, unfactual, unrighteous, & blameworthy.”

When this was said, the brahman Lohicca said to the Blessed One: “Master Gotama, it’s as if a man, having seized by the hair another man who was falling into the pit of hell, were to pull him up & set him on firm ground. In the same way, Master Gotama has pulled me up as I was falling into the pit of hell and has set me on firm ground. Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has Master Gotama—through many lines of reasoning—made the Dhamma clear. I go to Master Gotama for refuge, to the Dhamma, & to the Saṅgha of monks. May Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge, from this day forward, for life.”

See also: MN 95; MN 137; SN 6:1; AN 2:19; AN 3:22; AN 3:62; AN 4:111; AN 10:95; Sn 2:8