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With Hatthaka —Bhikkhu Sujato

Numbered Discourses 3

4. Messengers of the Gods

35. With Hatthaka

1.1So I have heard. 1.2At one time the Buddha was staying near Āḷavī, on a mat of leaves by a cow-path in a grove of Indian Rosewood.

1.3Then as Hatthaka of Āḷavī was going for a walk he saw the Buddha sitting on that mat of leaves. 1.4He went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said, 1.5“Sir, I trust the Buddha slept well?”

1.6“Yes, prince, I slept well. 1.7I am one of those who sleep well in the world.”

2.1“The winter nights are cold, sir, and it’s the week of mid-winter, when the snow falls. Rough is the ground trampled under the cows’ hooves, and thin is the mat of leaves. The leaves are sparse on the trees, the ocher robes are cold, and cold blows the north wind. 2.2And yet the Buddha says, 2.3‘Yes, prince, I slept well. 2.4I am one of those who sleep well in the world.’”

3.1“Well then, prince, I’ll ask you about this in return, and you can answer as you like. 3.2What do you think? Take the case of a householder or his son, who lives in a bungalow, plastered inside and out, draft-free, with latches fastened and windows shuttered. 3.3His couch is spread with woolen covers—shag-piled, pure white, or embroidered with flowers—and spread with a fine deer hide. It has a canopy above and red pillows at both ends. 3.4An oil lamp is burning there, 3.5while his four wives attend to him in all manner of agreeable ways. 3.6What do you think, prince, would he sleep well, or not? 3.7Or how do you see this?”

3.8“He would sleep well, sir. 3.9Of those who sleep well in the world, he would be one.”

4.1“What do you think, prince? 4.2Is it not possible that a fever born of greed—physical or mental—might arise in that householder or householder’s son, burning him so he sleeps badly?”

4.3“Yes, sir.”

5.1“The greed that burns that householder or householder’s son, making them sleep badly, has been cut off at the root by the Realized One, made like a palm stump, obliterated, and unable to arise in the future. 5.2That’s why I sleep well.

6.1What do you think, prince? 6.2Is it not possible that a fever born of hate … 6.3or a fever born of delusion—physical or mental—might arise in that householder or householder’s son, burning him so he sleeps badly?”

6.4“Yes, sir.”

7.1“The delusion that burns that householder or householder’s son, making them sleep badly, has been cut off at the root by the Realized One, made like a palm stump, obliterated, and unable to arise in the future. 7.2That’s why I sleep well.

8.1A brahmin who is fully extinguished
8.2always sleeps well.
8.3Sensual pleasures slide off them,
8.4they’re cooled, free of attachments.

9.1Since they’ve cut off all clinging,
9.2and removed the stress from the heart,
9.3the peaceful sleep well,
9.4abiding in peace of mind.”