Ud 3.8: Pinda Sutta — Alms

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I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion a large number of monks, after the meal, on returning from their alms round, were sitting gathered together at the kareri-tree pavilion when this discussion arose: "Friends, an alms-collecting monk,[1] while going for alms, periodically sees agreeable sights via the eye. He periodically hears agreeable sounds via the ear... smells agreeable aromas via the nose... tastes agreeable flavors via the tongue... touches agreeable tactile sensations via the body. An alms-collecting monk, while going for alms, is honored, respected, revered, venerated, and given homage.

"So, friends, let's become alms-collecting monks. Then we, too, while going for alms, will periodically get to see agreeable sights via the eye... to hear agreeable sounds via the ear... to smell agreeable aromas via the nose... to taste agreeable flavors via the tongue... to touch agreeable tactile sensations via the body. We, too, while going for alms, will be honored, respected, revered, venerated, and given homage." And this discussion came to no conclusion.

Then the Blessed One, emerging from his seclusion in the late afternoon, went to the kareri-tree pavilion and, on arrival, sat down on a seat laid out. Seated, he addressed the monks: "For what topic are you sitting together here? And what was the discussion that came to no conclusion?"

"Just now, lord, after the meal, on returning from our alms round, we were sitting gathered together here at the kareri-tree pavilion when this discussion arose: [They repeat what had been said.]"

"It isn't proper, monks, that sons of good families, on having gone forth out of faith from home to the homeless life, should talk on such a topic. When you have gathered you have two duties: either Dhamma-talk or noble silence."[2]

Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:

The monk going for alms, supporting himself and no other: The devas adore one who is Such if he's not intent on fame & praise.

Note

1.
A monk who makes a steady practice of eating only the food received while going for alms.
2.
SN 21.1 equates noble silence with the second jhāna. This apparently relates to the fact that directed thought and evaluation, which MN 44 identifies as verbal fabrications, are abandoned when going from the first jhāna into the second.