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Discourse on outcasts –Vasala Sutta –Aggika Bharadvaja Sutta

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Devram Vehera near Shravasthi. One day in the forenoon the Blessed One went for alms in Shravasthi. At that time a fire had been lit in the house of Brahmin Bharadvaja and a burnt offering was being prepared. The Blessed One came close to the place of offering. The Brahmin who got angry when he saw the Blessed One abused in the language of outcasts and threatened Him to stay where He was and not to come closer. The Blessed One spoke to the Brahmin and enquired from him whether he was aware who an outcast was and the circumstances under which one becomes an outcast.
The Brahmin said he did not know and requested the Blessed One to tell him what they were. On that occasion the Blessed One spelt out 34 conditions under which a person becomes an outcast.

Thus have I heard: - On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling in the monastery of Anatapindika at Jeta grove near Shrawastri. One day the Blessed One dressed Himself in the fore noon and taking His bowl and double robes went to the city of Shrawastri for alms. At that time Brahmin Aggika Bharadvaja was making arrangements for an offering in his house and a fire was kept burning. The Blessed One who was going for alms in the streets came close to the house of the Brahmin and the Brahmin said   “Stay there you bold haired ascetic. Stay there you wandering recluse, stay there you outcast.”

When he spoke thus the Blessed One asked Brahmin Aggika Bharadvaja whether he knows who an outcast is and the conditions which make one an outcast.

The Brahmin said “Indeed Venerable Gautama I do not know who an outcast is and the conditions which make one an outcast.  I wish to know from venerable Gautama who an outcast is and the conditions which makes one an outcast. May I please request Venerable Gautama to preach Dhamma to enable me to know who an outcast is and the conditions which make one an outcast?”

“Listen then Brahmin attentively. I shall tell that to you” Buddha told the Brahmin.

“Yes, Venerable Sir,”Aggika Bharadvaja expressed his desire to listen to the Blessed One.

  1. 01.“If a person gets angry very often, cherishes hatred, does not like to speak well of others (reluctant to appreciate the worth of others) behaves in a way which is not moral, and acceptable and who is deceitful, identify such a person as an outcast.”
  2. 02.“If a person in this world kills a living being once born or twice born and who has no sympathy on living beings identify such a person as an outcast.”

03. “If a person besieges and destroys villages and hamlets and becomes a notorious criminal identify such a person as an outcast.”

  1. 04.“Whether in the village or in the forest if a person steals the belongings of others, takes whatever is not given by the owners identify such a person as an outcast.”

05. “If a person gets indebted to some other party and absconds or escapes     saying “I am not indebted to that party identify such a person as an outcast”

  1.  06.“If a person being covetous kills a person walking on the road and robs     him identify such a person as an outcast.”
  2. 07. “If a person gives false evidence as a witness for his own sake or for the sake of others or for the sake of wealth identify such a person as an outcast.”
  3.  08.“If a person associates with the spouses of relatives or friends by force or with mutual consent identify such a person as an outcast.”
  4.  09. “If a person who is wealthy enough does not look after his aged parents identify such a person as an outcast.”
  5.  10. “If a person assaults his mother, father, brothers, sisters or in-laws   identify such a person as an outcast.”
  6. 11. “If a person when questioned about some matter says deceitfully something harmful or detrimental to others and talks in an evasive manner identify such a person as an outcast.”
  7. 12.“If a person who has committed an evil act takes action to keep that act a secret and thereby commits further sins identify such a person as an outcast.”
  8. 13.“If a person who goes to someone else’s house and enjoys food and luxuries does not entertain the others when they visit his place, identify such a person as an outcast.”
  9. 14. “If a person who deceives a Brahamin or an ascetic or any other mendicant by telling lies identify such a person as an outcast.”
  10.  15.“If a person who does not offer meals to a Brahmin or ascetic who appears during meal time but abuses and angers him by using harsh words, identify such a person as an outcast.”
  11. 16. “If a person shrouded with ignorance speaks harsh or false words with a view to gain something identify such a person as an outcast.”
  12. 17.  “If a person due to excessive pride and prejudice exalts himself and   belittles others identify such a person as an outcast.”
  13. 18. “If a person angers others, is avaricious, cherishes base desires, is selfish, deceitful and has no fear or shame to commit sins identify such a person as an outcast.”
  14. 19. “If a person reviles the Enlightened One, a disciple of the Buddha, a recluse or a house holder, identify such a person as an outcast.”
  15. 20.  “If a person who is not on Arahant pretends to be an Arahant he is a thief in the universe with gods and Brahmas identify such a person as an outcast.”
  16.  
  17. 21. “By birth is not one an outcast, by birth is not one a Brahmin. By deed is one an outcast, by deed is one a Brahmin.”
  18.  22. “An example can be cited to show that one is not an outcast by birth; Sopaka who was the son of an outcast came to be known as Matanga.”
  19.  23.  “Matanga who was born to an outcast family gained the highest fame and many Kshatriyas (warriors) and Brahmins came to attend to him.”
  20. 24.  “Sopaka who was ordained gave up passions and mounted the celestial   chariot- the Noble Eightfold Path and reached Brahma realm.”
  21. 25.  “His birth in a so called outcast family did not stand on his way to the Brahma realm. There are Brahmins born in the families of preceptors, kinsmen of (Veda) hymns who often commit sins.”
  22. 26.  “They who are despised in the previous birth are born again in an evil state of existence. High birth cannot prevent them from the evil state or being despised.”
  23. 27.  “By birth is not one an outcast, by birth is not one a Brahmin. By   deed or karma one becomes a Brahmin or an outcast.”

              When Buddha said thus Brahmin Aggika Bhradvaja said thus to the     Buddha:-

           “O Gautama your teaching is superb”

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