Aññadatthu uyyojanikapaṭisaṃyuttaṃyeva kathaṃ kattā hoti


aññadatthu uyyojanikapaṭisaṃyuttaṃyeva kathaṃ kattā hoti: he is one whose words are exclusively connected with religious inspiration


Other translations: Horner and Bodhi

This phrase is intended to illustrate how the ideal bhikkhu converses with visitors. It occurs in the Mahāsuññata Sutta (M.3.111) and the Anuruddha Sutta (A.4.233). Horner says it is ‘a passage of great difficulty,’ and says this is because of the two meanings of uyyojeti

(1) to incite, instigate, inspire, persuade

(2) to dismiss.

For her translation she chooses the first meaning, saying the Buddha ‘speaks there as one intent only on inspiring them.’ Bodhi, however, takes the second meaning and says:

• ‘He invariably talks to them in a way concerned with dismissing them’
aññadatthu uyyojanikapaṭisaṃyuttaṃyeva kathaṃ kattā hoti (Bodhi, MLDB p.972).

• ‘He gives them a talk invariably concerned with dismissing them’
aññadatthu uyyojanikapaṭisaṃyuttaṃyeva kathaṃ kattā hoti (Bodhi, NDB p.1164).

Attitude uncharacteristic of Buddhism

Bodhi’s translation suggests bhikkhus should adopt an attitude that is uncharacteristic of Buddhism. For example, the scriptures are critical of the bhikkhu who is incapable of benefiting others (nālaṃ paresaṃ) by instructing, inspiring, rousing, and gladdening his companions in the religious life (no ca sandassako hoti samādapako samuttejako sampahaṃsako sabrahmacārīnaṃ (A.4.298 ).

Uyyojeti: to dismiss

In the meaning ‘to dismiss’ uyyojeti commonly occurs at the end of religious discourses. For example:

• Then the Blessed One, having instructed, inspired, roused, and gladdened the lay-followers of Pāṭaligāma with a religious discourse until far into the night, he dismissed them (uyyojesi), saying: ‘Householders, the night is nearly over. Now it is time for you to do as you think fit.’
Atha kho bhagavā pāṭaligāmiye upāsake bahudeva rattiṃ dhammiyā kathāya sandassetvā samādapetvā samuttejetvā sampahaṃsetvā uyyojesi abhikkantā kho gahapatayo ratti yassa’dāni tumhe kālaṃ maññathā ti (D.2.86).

In addressing the lay-followers of Pāṭaligāma, the Buddha was clearly doing so for inspirational purposes, and the talk was eventually concluded with a dismissal. It makes little sense, therefore, to say that the Buddha’s sermons were ‘invariably concerned with dismissing’ his audience, as if that had been his abiding objective.

The ideal bhikkhu’s conversation

The Mahāsuññata Sutta, in which our passage occurs, goes on to helpfully explain the nature of the ideal bhikkhu’s conversation, as follows:

• If, Ānanda, this [ideal] bhikkhu… inclines to speaking, then he thinks: ‘I will not talk that kind of talk which is low, vulgar, the way of the common man, ignoble, and unconducive to spiritual well-being, and which does not conduce to disillusionment [with originated phenomena], nor to non-attachment [to originated phenomena], nor to the ending [of originated phenomena], nor to inward peace, nor to transcendent insight, nor to enlightenment, nor to the Untroubled
Tassa ce ānanda bhikkhuno iminā vihārena viharato kathāya cittaṃ namati. So yāyaṃ kathā hīnā gammā pothujjanikā anariyā anatthasaṃhitā na nibbidāya na virāgāya na nirodhāya na upasamāya na abhiññāya na sambodhāya na nibbānāya saṃvattati (… evarūpiṃ kathaṃ na kathessāmiti).

… That is to say: talk of kings, thieves, great ministers, armies, dangers, battles, food, drink, clothes, beds, garlands, scents, relations, vehicles, villages, market towns, towns, the country, women, valiant men, streets, wells, departed spirits, tittle-tattle, legends about the world, legends about the sea, talk of honour and renown.’
Seyyathīdaṃ rājakathā corakathā mahāmattakathā senākathā bhayakathā yuddhakathā annakathā pānakathā vatthakathā sayanakathā mālākathā gandhakathā ñātikathā yānakathā gāmakathā nigamakathā nagarakathā janapadakathā itthikathā purisakathā surākathā visikhākathā kumbhaṭṭhānakathā pubbapetakathā nānatthakathā lokakkhāyikā samuddakkhāyikā itibhavābhavakathā iti vā iti evarūpiṃ kathaṃ na kathessāmiti.

… But, Ānanda, in regard to that talk which is helpful for erasing defilements, which helps free the mind from the five hindrances, and which leads to complete disillusionment [with originated phenomena], to non-attachment [to originated phenomena], to the ending [of originated phenomena], to inward peace, to transcendent insight, to enlightenment, and to the Untroubled
Yā ca kho ayaṃ ānanda kathā abhisallekhikā cetovinīvaraṇasappāyā ekantanibbidāya virāgāya nirodhāya upasamāya abhiññāya sambodhāya nibbānāya saṃvattati.

… That is to say: talk about fewness of needs, talk about contentment, talk about physical seclusion, talk about remaining aloof [from householders and ascetics alike], talk about the exertion of energy, talk about moral habit, talk about inward collectedness, talk about penetrative discernment, talk about liberation [from perceptually obscuring states], talk about the knowledge and vision that follows liberation [from perceptually obscuring states], he thinks: ‘I will utter speech like this.’
Seyyathīdaṃ appicchakathā santuṭṭhikathā pavivekakathā asaṃsaggakathā viriyārambhakathā sīlakathā samādhikathā paññākathā vimuttikathā vimuttiñāṇadassanakathā iti evarūpiṃ kathaṃ kathessāmīti (M.3.113).

This shows that the ideal bhikkhu is, in fact, quite willing to converse for the sake of religious inspiration. We have seen, for a similar purpose, with the lay-followers of Pāṭaligāma, that the Buddha would be even willing to talk ‘far into the night.’ So, again, to say that the Buddha’s sermons were ‘invariably concerned with dismissing’ his audience is hardly justified.

Uyyojeti: other contexts

We have already noted that uyyojeti can mean ‘to incite, instigate, inspire, persuade.’ It occurs in these meanings in the following passages:

1) When the bhikkhunī Thullanandā arranged for a layman to be punished, that layman had a dwelling made for the Ājīvaka ascetics close to the nunnery, and instigated (uyyojesi) those ascetics, saying: “Denigrate these nuns.”
Atha kho so puriso daṇḍito bhikkhunūpassayassa avidūre ājīvakaseyyaṃ kārāpetvā ājīvike uyyojesi. Etā bhikkhuniyo accāvadathā ti (Vin.4.224).

2) When a prostitute refused to visit a group of men, one of them suggested that Master Udāyī should be told about it. He would surely persuade her (ayyo udāyī uyyojessatī ti). So they told Udāyī that it would be good if he persuaded the prostitute (taṃ vesiṃ uyyojetu t). When Udāyī questioned the prostitute, she complained she did not know the men. Udāyī told her ‘Go with them. I know them’ (Gacchimesaṃ ahaṃ ime jānāmī) (Vin.3.138).

3) When a bhikkhunī refused to accept food from a man who was in love with her, because it would have been an offence for her to do so, another bhikkhunī persuaded her (uyyojeti) to accept it, saying ‘What can this man do to you, since you are not in love with him? Please accept and eat the food this man is offering’ (Vin.4.235).

According to these meanings of uyyojeti, aññadatthu uyyojanikapaṭisaṃyuttaṃyeva kathaṃ kattā hoti would mean a bhikkhu is one whose words are exclusively connected with inciting, instigating, inspiring, or persuading. Which is meaningless. Inciting what? Persuading what?

Brahmāyu Sutta: gladdening an audience with talk exclusively connected with the teaching

To elicit a reasonable solution to this question, we will consider the Brahmāyu Sutta (M.2.139) which says that after eating the meal, the Buddha instructs, inspires, rouses, and gladdens the audience with talk exclusively connected with the teaching.
aññadatthu dhammiyāva kathāya taṃ parisaṃ sandasseti samādapeti samuttejeti sampahaṃseti (M.2.139).

Here aññadatthu is now connected to dhammiyāva kathāya sandasseti samādapeti samuttejeti sampahaṃseti. We take this phrase to be synonymous with aññadatthu uyyojanikapaṭisaṃyuttaṃyeva kathaṃ kattā hoti because it occurs in a similar context. In other words, if a bhikkhu instructs, inspires, rouses, and gladdens his audience with talk exclusively connected with the teaching, then he is ‘one whose words are exclusively connected with religious inspiration.’ This, then, is our rendering of the phrase in question.


Illustration: aññadatthu uyyojanikapaṭisaṃyuttaṃyeva kathaṃ kattā hoti, one whose words are exclusively connected with religious inspiration

‘This teaching is for those who live secludedly, not for those given to the enjoyment of company.’ So it was said. In reference to what was it said?
Pavivittassāyaṃ bhikkhave dhammo nāyaṃ dhammo saṅgaṇikārāmassā ti iti kho panetaṃ vuttaṃ kiñcetaṃ paṭicca vuttaṃ

In this regard, the bhikkhu living secludedly may be visited by bhikkhus, bhikkhunīs, laymen, laywomen, kings and kings’ ministers, and non-Buddhist ascetics and their disciples. In that case, the bhikkhu, mentally inclining, verging, and drifting towards seclusion [from sensuous pleasures and spiritually unwholesome factors], psychologically withdrawn [from sensuous pleasures and spiritually unwholesome factors], taking delight in the practice of unsensuousness, is one whose words are exclusively connected with religious inspiration.
idha bhikkhave bhikkhuno pavivittassa viharato bhavanti upasaṅkamitāro bhikkhū bhikkhūniyo upāsakā upāsikāyo rājāno rājamahāmattā titthiyā titthiyasāvakā. Tatra bhikkhu vivekaninnena cittena vivekapoṇena vivekapabbhārena vavakaṭṭhena nekkhammābhiratena aññadatthu uyyojanikapaṭisaṃyuttaṃyeva kathaṃ kattā hoti (A.4.233).