8

In this answer, I mention that the Bodhisatta had trouble keeping down coarse alms food, to the extent that he felt like his stomach was going to leap out of his throat. @ThiagoSilva asked in a comment where the story is found, and I can't quite remember. Does anyone have a reference handy?

EDIT: Here's an example of how the passage is described, though no mention of where it comes from:

Having enjoyed the kingly bliss which was as great as that of a Universal Monarch only a matter of days ago, he made an effort to eat a morsel of food which was a mixture of coarse and fine edible things in assorted colours. As he was about to put the morsel into his mouth he felt miserable and almost vomited with the intestines turning upside down, for he had never seen such kind of food in his life and found it particularly disgusting. Then he admonished himself by saying; "You Siddhattha, in spite of the fact that you have been reigning supreme in a palace where food and drinks are available at your pleasure and where you have meals of three-year-old seasoned fragrant rice with different delicacies whenever you like, you, on seeing a recluse in robe of rags contemplated, "When shall I eat the meals obtained by going on alms round from house to house after becoming a recluse like him? When will the time come for me to live on meals thus collected? And have you not renounced the world and become a recluse with such thoughts? Now that your dream has come true, why do you like to change your mind?" Then without the slightest revulsion he took the meal that was so rough.

(source)

  • That quote appears to be from the Maha Buddhavamsa. Isn't the Maha Buddhavamsa therefore the answer to "where it comes from"? – ChrisW Jul 13 '15 at 16:05
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    @ChrisW The Maha Buddhavamsa is a later Burmese text, not to be confused (as it is here) with the Buddhavamsa of the Khuddaka Nikaya. – yuttadhammo Jul 13 '15 at 16:11
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I found it in the introduction to the Jatakas, which seems to be the original source:

Now the Great Being, after collecting a number of scraps, sufficient, as he judged, for his sustenance, left the city by the same gate he had entered, and sitting down with his face to the east, in the shade of Pandava rock, he attempted to eat his meal. But his stomach turned, and he felt as if his inwards were on the point of coming out by his mouth. Thereupon, in the midst of his distress at that repulsive food, --for in that existence he had never before so much as seen such fare,--he began to admonish himself, saying, "Siddhattha, although you were born into a family having plenty to eat and drink, into a station in life where you lived on fragrant third season's rice1 with various sauces of the finest flavors, yet when you saw a monk clad in garments taken from the rubbish heap, you exclaimed, 'Oh, when shall I be like him, and eat food which I have begged? Will that time ever come?' And then you retired from the world. And now that you have your wish, and have renounced all, what, pray, is this you are doing?" When he had thus admonished himself, his disgust subsided, and he ate his meal.

-- Jāt-A nidānakathā (from Buddhism In Translations, Henry Clarke Warren, trans.)

The relevant Pali is "antāni parivattitvā mukhena nikkhamanākārappattāni viya ahesuṃ" - It was like the intestines, having churned, attained the state of leaving through the mouth."

The Buddhavamsa doesn't mention this reflection, saying of his first alms round simply:

nisīditvā āhāraṃ paccavekkhitvā nibbikāro paribhuñji

Having sat down, having reflected on the food, unperturbed, he ate.

-- Bv-A, nidānakathā

5

The quote appears in this text. However it appears to be a Victorian-era translation of the Jâtaka without much details about the version of the original from which it was translated.

BUDDHISM

IN TRANSLATIONS

Passages Selected from the Buddhist Sacred Books

and Translated from the Original Pâli into English by

Henry Clarke Warren

Published by Harvard University Press {1896}

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/bits/bits007.htm

§ 7. THE GREAT STRUGGLE. Translated from the Introduction to the Jâtaka (i.6529).

NOW the Future Buddha, having thus retired from the world,--in that place there was a mango-grove named Anupiya, and here he first spent a week in the joy of having retired from the world,--in one day went on foot to Râjagaha, a distance of thirty leagues, and entering the city, he begged for food from house to house without passing any by. By the beauty of the Future Buddha, the whole city was thrown into a commotion, like that into which Râjagaha was thrown by the entrance of Dhanapâlaka, or like that into which the

p. 68 [J.i.664 heavenly city was thrown by the entrance of the chief of the Titans.

Then ran the king's men to the palace, and made announcement,--

"Sire, there is a being of such and such appearance going about the city begging for food. Whether he be a god, or a man, or a serpent, or a bird, we do not know."

Then the king, standing on the roof of his palace, and thence beholding the Great Being, became amazed and astonished, and commanded his men,--

"Look ye now! Go and investigate this! If this person be not a man, he will vanish from sight as soon as he leaves the city; if, namely, he be a god, he will depart by way of the air; if a serpent, he will sink into the ground. But if he be a human being, he will eat the food he has obtained in alms."

Now the Great Being, after collecting a number of scraps, sufficient, as he judged, for his sustenance, left the city by the same gate he had entered, and sitting down with his face to the east, in the shade of Pandava rock, he attempted to eat his meal. But his stomach turned, and he felt as if his inwards were on the point of coming out by his mouth. Thereupon, in the midst of his distress at that repulsive food, --for in that existence he had never before so much as seen such fare,--he began to admonish himself, saying, "Siddhattha, although you were born into a family having plenty to eat and drink, into a station in life where you lived on fragrant third season's rice1 with various sauces of the finest flavors, yet when you saw a monk clad in garments taken from the rubbish heap, you exclaimed, 'Oh, when shall I be like him, and eat food which I have begged? Will that time ever come?' And then you retired from the world. And

p. 69 [J.i.6622 now that you have your wish, and have renounced all, what, pray, is this you are doing?" When he had thus admonished himself, his disgust subsided, and he ate his meal.

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    @yuttadhammo Thanks, I noticed. I wasn't very sure of the translation - those pioneering Victorian gentlemen were not always careful about not making things up in translation. Anything from that era I try to verify from more than one source. Perhaps you could confirm it with the original Pali? – Buddho Jul 13 '15 at 16:40
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    Yeah, that's how I found it. The passage is "antāni parivattitvā mukhena nikkhamanākārappattāni viya ahesuṃ" - It was like the intestines, having churned, attained the state of leaving through the mouth." – yuttadhammo Jul 13 '15 at 16:58
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    @yuttadhammo thanks. Even post enlightenment there's residual conditioning. I remember a story about a Brahman Arhat monk who went around treating other monks shabbily, like one would (could) an inferior. The monks complained to the Buddha who reassured them he meant no ill will; it was merely his conditioning from numerous past lives as a high caste Brahman that was showing. Somewhere else it is commented that enlightenment is like emptying a wine bottle, the smell of wine will still be there for some time. Liking rich food while still unenlightened is understandable. – Buddho Jul 13 '15 at 17:02
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    Yeah, they call it "vāsanā" in the texts - only the Buddha is free from it. Buddhas don't have residual conditioning. – yuttadhammo Jul 13 '15 at 17:50
  • @yuttadhammo indeed, but does the Buddha ever advise the Arhats on getting rid of the vāsanās? Quite often it appears Arhats are misunderstood because of it, and the Buddha is called in to resolve it - quite often by vouchsafing for the clear mind and blameless intent of the Arhat. It might be a useful skill for Arhats to get rid of this too. – Buddho Jul 14 '15 at 17:01
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It is from the The Great Chronicles of the Buddhas by venerable Mingun Sayadaw.

Chapter 4, page 280, paragraph 3. It is preceded by the following.

The Bodhishtta's Visit to Rajagaha City

After becoming a recluse, the Bodhisatta, after spending seven full days in ascetic bliss in the nearby mango grove called Anupiya, travelled a journey of thirty yojanas on foot in one single day and entered the city of Rajagaha. (This is the statement made in the Buddhavamsa Commentary and the Jataka Commentary.) (According to the Sutta Nipata Commentary, however,) the Bodhisatta, after becoming a recluse, observed the Ajivattamaka sila, the Precepts with pure livelihood as the eighth, and journeyed to Rajagaha, thirty yojanas away from the banks of Anoma in seven days.

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    This reflection is actually not in the Bv-A, just the Jataka (see my answer). – yuttadhammo Jul 13 '15 at 16:30

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