Agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajito

Renderings

agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajito: gone forth from the household life into the ascetic life

pabbajito: gone forth [into the ascetic life]

Introduction

Agārasmā anagāriyaṃ: abandonment of the household life

Agāra means house or hut, ‘usually implying the comforts of living at home,’ says PED (sv Agāra). DOP calls agāra ‘the household life,’ and anagāra ‘the homeless state; the ascetic life.’ We render agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajito as ‘gone forth from the household life into the ascetic life.’ What is abandoned in going forth is not a roof over one’s head, but the property, security, and pleasures of lay people, as expressed here:

• Abandoning an inconsiderable or considerable fortune, and an inconsiderable or considerable circle of relatives, he shaves off his hair and beard, clothes himself in ochre robes, and goes forth from the household life into the ascetic life.
So aparena samayena appaṃ vā bhogakkhandhaṃ pahāya mahantaṃ vā bhogakkhandhaṃ pahāya appaṃ vā ñātiparivaṭṭaṃ pahāya mahantaṃ cā ñātiparivaṭṭaṃ pahāya kesamassuṃ ohāretvā kāsāyāni vatthāni acchādetvā agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajati (M.1.179).

Illustrations

Illustration: agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajeyyan, go forth from the household life into the ascetic life; pabbājetu, let someone go forth (into the ascetic life)

Soṇa Koṭikaṇṇa said ‘It is not easy while living the household life to live the religious life, utterly perfect and pure as a polished shell.’
nayidaṃ sukaraṃ agāraṃ ajjhāvasatā ekantaparipuṇṇaṃ ekantaparisuddhaṃ saṅkhalikhitaṃ brahmacariyaṃ carituṃ

He said ‘How about if I shaved off my hair and beard, and went forth from the household life into the ascetic life?’
Yannūnāhaṃ kesamassuṃ ohāretvā kāsāyāni vatthāni acchādetvā agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajeyyan ti

Let me go forth [into the ascetic life], Master Mahākaccāna!”
Pabbājetu maṃ bhante ayyo mahākaccāyano ti.

Mahākaccāna replied, “It is hard, Soṇa, the life-long, one-meal-a-day, solitary bed, celibate life. Please, stay as a householder, apply yourself to the Buddha’s training system and, on the Observance Day, to observing one-meal-a-day, the solitary bed, and celibacy.
dukkaraṃ kho soṇa yāvajīvaṃ ekabhattaṃ ekaseyyaṃ brahmacariyaṃ iṅgha tvaṃ soṇa tattheva agārikabhuto samāno buddhānaṃ sāsanaṃ anuyuñja kālayuttaṃ ekabhattaṃ ekaseyyaṃ brahmacariyaṃ ti (Ud.57).

Illustration: pabbajitā, gone forth [into the ascetic life]

Having abandoned the household life and gone forth [into the ascetic life], having abandoned their beloved sons and cattle, having abandoned attachment and hatred, having discarded uninsightfulness into reality, the arahants, those whose āsavas are destroyed, are those in the world no longer avid.
Hitvā agāraṃ pabbajitā hitvā puttaṃ pasuṃ piyaṃ
Hitvā rāgañca dosañca avijjañca virājiya
Khīṇāsavā arahanto te lokasmiṃ anussukā ti
(S.1.15).

Illustration: agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajito, gone forth from the household life into the ascetic life

If I who have forsaken sensuous pleasures and gone forth from the household life into the ascetic life, should pursue sensuous pleasures still worse than before, that were unseemly of me.
Ahañce’va kho pana yādisake vā kāme ohāya agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajito tādisake vā kāme pariyeseyyaṃ tato vā pāpiṭṭhatare na me taṃ assa patirūpanti (A.1.148).

Illustration: agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajitvā, go forth from the household life into the ascetic life

Those of the four castes, khattiyas, brahmans, vessas, and suddas, having gone forth from the household life into the ascetic life in the teaching and training system made known by the Perfect One, give up their former names and identities and are just called ‘ascetic disciples of the Sakyans’ Son.’
☸ cattāro me vaṇṇā khattiyā brāhmaṇā vessā suddā te tathāgatappavedite dhammavinaye agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajitvā jahanti purimāni nāmagottāni samaṇā sakyaputtiyātveva saṅkhaṃ gacchantī (Ud.51).

Illustration: pabbajitā, gone forth [into the ascetic life]

Seven days after going forth [into the ascetic life] I attained the three final knowledges
sattāhaṃ pabbajitā tisso vijjā aphassayiṃ (Thī.v.433).

Illustration: pabbajjā, going forth [into the ascetic life]

The going forth [into the ascetic life] of all those noble young men was not in vain or barren, but fruitful and productive.
iti kho pana sabbesaṃ yeva tesaṃ kulaputtānaṃ amoghā pabbajjā ahosi avañjhā saphalā saudrayā ti (D.2.251).