Ekamantaṃ

Renderings

ekamantaṃ: somewhere separately

ekamantaṃ: somewhere quiet

ekamantaṃ: somewhere out of the way

ekamantaṃ: somewhere suitable

ekamantaṃ: somewhere removed

ekamantaṃ: at a distance

ekamantaṃ: aside

ekamantaṃ: at one end

ekamantaṃ: to one side

ekamantaṃ… ekamantaṃ: on the one side… to the other side

ekamantaṃ: beside

ekamantaṃ: at an appropriate distance

ekamantaṃ: at a respectful distance

Introduction

Sitting at a respectful distance

Horner says that ekamantaṃ nisīdi means ‘literally sat down to one side, or end. In sitting down in the presence of an honoured person, care should be taken not to sit down in any of the six wrong ways. These are

• too far

• too near

• to windward

• on a higher seat

• too much in front

• too much behind’ (BD Part 2 p.42 n.5).

Accordingly, she renders the term as ‘he sat down at a respectful distance.’

‘Respectful distance’ and ‘appropriate distance’

Horner’s phrase ‘at a respectful distance’ and our preference ‘at an appropriate distance’ would seem to be justified by comparison with the etiquette concerning almsround. According to this, when a bhikkhu approaches a house for food, he should not stand too far away, he should not stand too close.
Nātidure ṭhātabbaṃ. Nāccāsanne ṭhātabbaṃ (Vin.2.216).

‘At an appropriate distance’ would be a good way to negotiate the following passage:

• Going on uninterrupted house-to-house almsround in Rājagaha, the Blessed One approached the residence of the brahman Aggika Bhāradvāja and stood at an appropriate distance.
Rājagahe sapadānaṃ piṇḍāya caramāno yena aggikabhāradvājassa brāhmaṇassa nivesanaṃ tenupasaṅkami. Upasaṅkamitvā ekamantaṃ aṭṭhāsi. (S.1.166).

Other meanings

See Illustrations.

DOP renderings

DOP’s renderings are:

1) to one side, at a respectful distance

2) on one side, aside; out of the way; a little apart

3) apart, at a distance; in private, on one’s own; in a solitary place

Illustrations

Illustration: somewhere separately

Then that man, in love with that bhikkhunī, appointing a bedroom for those bhikkhunīs, appointed a bedroom somewhere separately for that bhikkhunī.
Atha kho so puriso tāsaṃ bhikkhunīnaṃ seyyaṃ paññāpento tassā bhikkhuniyā seyyaṃ ekamantaṃ paññāpesi (Vin.4.228).

Illustration: somewhere quiet

Being mindful and fully conscious, I sat down somewhere quiet.
Satimā sampajānohaṃ ekamantaṃ upāvisiṃ (Th.v.317).

Illustration: somewhere quiet

Undertake the Buddha’s training system. Having done so one does not (later) regret it. Wash your feet quickly and sit down somewhere quiet.
Karotha buddhasāsanaṃ yaṃ katvā nānutappati
Khippaṃ pādāni dhovitvā ekamante nisīdatha
(Thī.v.118).

Illustration: somewhere quiet

Out of tender concern the Teacher gave me a (clean) foot-cloth, (saying): ‘Properly concentrate on this pure thing somewhere quiet.’
Etaṃ suddhaṃ adhiṭṭhehi ekamantaṃ svadhiṭṭhitaṃ (Th.v.560).

Illustration: somewhere out of the way

Wanting to spy on someone:

• they hid themselves somewhere out of the way.
ekamantaṃ nilīyiṃsu (Vin.3.22).

Illustration: out of the way

When they saw him, they put down their bows and sent their dogs out of the way.
Disvāna sajjāni dhanūni nikkhipitvā kukkurasaṅghaṃ ekamantaṃ uyyojetvā (A.3.75).

Illustration: somewhere out of the way

Now at that time bhikkhus urinated here and there in the monastery; the monastery was fouled. They told this matter to the Blessed One. He said: “I allow you bhikkhus, to urinate somewhere out of the way.
Tena kho pana samayena bhikkhū ārāme tahaṃ tahaṃ passāvaṃ karonti. Ārāmo dussati. Bhagavato etamatthaṃ ārocesuṃ. Anujānāmi bhikkhave ekamantaṃ passāvaṃ kātunti (Vin.2.141).

Illustration: somewhere suitable

Now at that time bhikkhus made fireplaces here and there in the monastic compound; the monastic compound became dirty. They told this matter to the Blessed One. He said: “I allow you to make a fire-hall somewhere suitable.”
Tena kho pana samayena bhikkhū parivene tahaṃ tahaṃ aggiṭṭhānaṃ karonti. Parivenaṃ uklāpaṃ hoti. Bhagavato etamatthaṃ ārocesuṃ. Anujānāmi bhikkhave ekamantaṃ aggisālaṃ kātunti (Vin.2.154).

Illustration: somewhere suitable

(Cūḷapanthaka:)

Then the Teacher sent a messenger to me to announce the mealtime. When the mealtime was announced, I approached (Jīvaka’s residence) through the air. Having venerated the Teacher’s feet I sat down somewhere suitable. Seeing that I was seated the Teacher received (the food offering).
Vanditvā satthuno pāde ekamantaṃ nisīdahaṃ
Nisinnaṃ maṃ viditvāna atha satthā paṭiggahī
(Th.v.564-5).

Illustration: somewhere removed

I allow you, bhikkhus, having first instructed somewhere removed, to ask about obstacles to ordination in the midst of the assembly of bhikkhus.
Anujānāmi bhakkhave ekamantaṃ anusāsitvā saṅghamajjhe antarāyike dhamme pucchituṃ (Vin.1.94).

Illustration: at a distance

Venerable MahāMoggallāna performed a feat of psychic power such that he made the Mansion of Migāra’s Mother shake, quake, and tremble with his big toe. Then the resident bhikkhus, dismayed and terrified, stood at a distance… 
Atha kho te bhikkhū saṃviggā lomahaṭṭhajātā ekamantaṃ aṭṭhaṃsu.

Then the Blessed One approached those bhikkhus and said to them: “Why are you standing at a distance, dismayed and terrified?”
Atha kho bhagavā yena te bhikkhu tenupasaṅkami. Upasaṅkamitvā te bhikkhu etadavoca kinnu tumhe bhikkhave saṃviggā lomahaṭṭhajātā ekamantaṃ ṭhitāti? (S.5.270).

Illustration: at a distance

Now at that time the Blessed One was seated, explaining the teaching, surrounded by a large assembly. A certain bhikkhu had eaten garlic, and had sat down at a distance, thinking: “May the bhikkhus not be troubled (by the stench of garlic).” The Blessed One saw that bhikkhu sitting at a distance, and asked the bhikkhus: “Bhikkhus, why is this bhikkhu sitting at a distance?”
☸ Tena kho pana samayena bhagavā mahatiyā parisāya parivuto dhammaṃ desento nisinno hoti. Aññatarena bhikkhunā lasunaṃ khāyitaṃ hoti. So mā bhikkhū vyābādhiyiṃsū ti ekamantaṃ nisīdi. Addasā kho bhagavā taṃ bhikkhuṃ ekamantaṃ nisinnaṃ. Disvāna bhikkhū āmantesi. Kinnu kho so bhikkhave bhikkhu ekamantaṃ nisinno ti
(Vin.2.140).

Illustration: aside

Having received his preceptor’s robe, he should lay it aside.
cīvaraṃ paṭiggahetvā ekamantaṃ nikkhipitabbaṃ (Vin.1.47).

Illustration: aside

When he is cleaning the dwelling-place, having first taken out the bowl and robes, he should lay them aside.
Vihāraṃ sodhentena paṭhamaṃ pattacīvaraṃ nīharitvā ekamantaṃ nikkhipitabbaṃ (Vin.2.218).

Illustration: aside

Then that man, having laid aside his sword and shield, having laid down his bow and quiver, approached the Blessed One.
Atha kho so puriso asicammaṃ ekamantaṃ karitvā dhanukalāpaṃ nikkhipitvā yena bhagavā tenupasaṅkami (Vin.2.192).

Illustration: aside

Having taken that bhikkhu aside, having had him dealt with according to the rule…
bhikkhu ekamantaṃ apanetvā yathādhammaṃ kārāpetvā (Vin.1.173).

Illustration: aside

Then, Kevaḍḍha, the Great Brahmā took that bhikkhu by the arm, led him aside and said…
Atha kho so kevaḍḍha mahābrahmā taṃ bhikkhuṃ bāhāyaṃ gahetvā ekamantaṃ apanetvā taṃ bhikkhuṃ etadavoca (D.1.221).

Illustration: aside

Please will you, venerable ones, stand aside for a short time while this bhikkhu declares his entire purity?
iṅgha tumhe āyasmantā muhuttaṃ ekamantaṃ hotha yāvāyaṃ bhikkhu pārisuddhiṃ deti’ti (Vin.1.122).

Illustration: at one end

Then the Blessed One entered the potter’s workshop, prepared a spread of grass at one end, seated himself cross-legged, set his body erect, and established mindfulness within himself
Atha kho bhagavā kumbhakārāvesanaṃ pavisitvā ekamantaṃ tiṇasanthā rakaṃ paññāpetvā nisīdi pallaṅkaṃ ābhujitvā ujuṃ kāyaṃ paṇidhāya parimukhaṃ satiṃ upaṭṭhapetvā (M.3.238).

Illustration: to one side

Being thus refused by the King, they withdrew to one side and considered:
Te raññā paṭikkhittā ekamantaṃ apakkamma evaṃ samacintesuṃ (D.2.180).

Illustration: on the one side… to the other side

When a large heap of grain is being winnowed, the grains that are firm and pithy form a pile on the one side, and the wind blows the spoiled grains and chaff to the other side.
Seyyathā pi bhikkhave mahato dhaññarāsissa pūyamānassa tattha yāni dhaññāni daḷhāni sāravannāni tāni ekamantaṃ puñjaṃ hoti yāni pana tāni dhaññāni dubbalāni palāpāni tāni vāto ekamantaṃ apakassati.(A.4.170).

Illustration: beside them

Then Suppabuddha the leper approached that large crowd. He saw the Blessed One sitting down, surrounded by a large assembly, explaining the teaching. Seeing this, he thought ‘There is no snacks or food being distributed here. This is the ascetic Gotama explaining his teaching to the assembly. Perhaps I should also listen to the teaching. So he took a seat right there beside them, thinking: ‘I, too, will listen to the teaching.’.. The Blessed One saw Suppabuddha the leper seated in that assembly…
Atha kho suppabuddho kuṭṭhi yena so mahājanakāyo tenupasaṅkami. Addasā kho suppabuddho kuṭṭhi bhagavantaṃ mahatiyā parisāya parivutaṃ dhammaṃ desentaṃ nisinnaṃ. Disvānassa etadahosi na kho ettha kiñci khādanīyaṃ vā bhojanīyaṃ vā bhājiyati. Samaṇo ayaṃ gotamo parisatiṃ dhammaṃ deseti. Yannūnāhampi dhammaṃ suṇeyyanti. Tattheva ekamantaṃ nisīdi. Ahampi dhammaṃ sossāmī ti… Addasā kho bhagavā suppabuddhaṃ kuṭṭhiṃ tassaṃ parisāyaṃ nisinnaṃ… (Ud.47-8).

Illustration: at a respectful distance

Now at one time bhikkhus were bathing in the Tapoda Hot Springs. Then King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha, wanting to bathe his head, having gone to Tapoda, waited for them at a respectful distance while they were bathing.
Tena kho pana samayena bhikkhu tapode nahāyanti. Atha kho rājā māgadho seniyo bimbisāro sīsaṃ nahāyissāmīti tapodaṃ gantvā yāva ayyā nahāyantiti ekamantaṃ patimānesi (Vin.4.117).

Illustration: at a respectful distance

Then King Ajātasattu approached the Blessed One and stood at a respectful distance. Standing thus, King Ajātasattu gazed at the assembly of bhikkhus which remained as silent as a serene lake.
Atha kho rājā māgadho ajātasattu vedehiputto yena bhagavā tenupasaṅkami. Upasaṅkamitvā ekamantaṃ aṭṭhāsi. Ekamantaṃ dhito kho rājā māgadho ajātasattu vedehiputto tuṇhībhūtaṃ tuṇhībhūtaṃ bhikkhusaṅghaṃ anuviloketvā rahadamiva vippasannaṃ (D.1.50).

Illustration: at a respectful distance

Welcomed, Sakka entered the Indasāla Cave, venerated the Blessed One, and stood at a respectful distance.
☸ Abhivadito sakko devānamindo bhagavatā indasālaguhaṃ pavisitvā bhagavantaṃ abhivādetvā ekamantaṃ aṭṭhāsi (D.2.270).

Illustration: at a respectful distance

‘I shall sit here in front of the ascetic Gotama.’ Then the brahman Brahmāyu approached the Blessed One; and having exchanged greetings and words of cordiality he sat down at a respectful distance… Then sitting down at a respectful distance the brahman Brahmāyu looked for the thirty-two marks of a Great Man on the Blessed One’s body
idhāhaṃ samaṇassa gotamassa santike nisīdissāmīti. Atha kho brahmāyu brāhmaṇo yena bhagavā tenupasaṅkami. Upasaṅkamitvā bhagavatā saddhiṃ sammodi. Sammodanīyaṃ kathaṃ sārāṇīyaṃ vītisāretvā ekamantaṃ nisīdi… Ekamantaṃ nisinno kho brahmāyu brāhmaṇo bhagavato kāye dvattiṃsamahāpurisalakkhaṇāni sammannesi (M.2.142-3).

COMMENT

santike: in the presence of, before, with (PED).

Illustration: at a respectful distance

Then the Blessed One approached the Cāpāla Shrine and seated himself on the prepared seat. Venerable Ānanda, having paid respects, sat down at a respectful distance. Then the Blessed One said to Venerable Ānanda, who was seated thus:
Atha kho bhagavā yena cāpālaṃ cetiyaṃ tenupasaṅkami. Upasaṅkamitvā paññatte āsane nisīdi. Āyasmā pi kho ānando bhagavantaṃ abhivādetvā ekamantaṃ nisīdi. Ekamantaṃ nisinnaṃ kho āyasmantaṃ ānandaṃ bhagavā etadavoca: (D.2.102).

Illustration: at a respectful distance

When the Blessed One had eaten and had withdrawn his hand from the bowl, Prince Abhaya taking a low seat, sat down at a respectful distance.
Atha kho abhayo rājakumāro bhagavantaṃ bhuttāviṃ onītapattapāṇiṃ aññataraṃ nīcaṃ āsanaṃ gahetvā ekamantaṃ nisīdi (M.1.393).