I’m reading this sutta and am little bit confused. Namely, in the intro it is said how monks returned from the almsround and started discussion about those who go for alms, how they are respected and have opportunity to experience various pleasant sense stimuli. The conclusion of their talk is this:
Come, we too should eat only almsfood. From time to time we too will get to see pleasing sights, hear pleasing sounds, smell pleasing smells, taste pleasing tastes, and encounter pleasing touches. We too shall wander for alms being honored, respected…
Somehow I don’t get this conclusion, since they themselves are already the one who go for almsfood.
Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated.
I believe what is going on is that these monks (like many) would be getting their food in a variety of ways. But there are some monks who observe the practice of only eating almsfood, rejecting other ways of getting a meal. And especially since it mentions the hounour that comes to this type of monk, I assume they are talking about becoming exclusively almsfood eaters.
@Snowbird has it, eating only almsfood is the third dhutaṅga, one of 13 special practices that a monk can adopt to make their lives more difficult
Well… It’s really to help them live more peacefully and get enlightened. But yes, I guess it’s more difficult.
The confusion may be the transltion ‘on return from the almsround’
Now at that time, after the meal, on return from almsround, several mendicants sat together in the in the pavilion by the kari tree and this discussion came up among them:
Tena kho pana samayena sambahulānaṁ bhikkhūnaṁ pacchābhattaṁ piṇḍapātapaṭikkantānaṁ karerimaṇḍalamāḷe sannisinnānaṁ sannipatitānaṁ ayamantarākathā udapādi:
maybe something like, “after the alms round time when all the monks had finished their meals, a group of monks got to talking” is better, but I’m no translator anyway, the Pali does not imply that the monks talking had been on almsround, just that it was afternoon when the appropriate time for almsround and eating had finished.
Idk: It’s quite a chore to hop between several meal offerings, having done that before. I much prefer the ease of eating just once as soon as I return from alms round and having the rest of my morning free. Less difficult in my opinion! (Though, I am blessed to get a lot of food from alms round.)
Thank you @Snowbird and @josephzizys for your replies.
Yes, it is possible these monks were talking about obtaining food only by almsround. But since they were already going to almsround, they must have experienced some respect and some pleasant sights, sounds etc. so far. Therefore, their idea is just to get more of that.
@josephzizys Well, I am trying to be a Pali translator and as far as I can understand, the most plausible way of reading Pali text is that monks who are speaking returned from the almsround and had a meal (pacchābhattaṁ piṇḍapātapaṭikkantānaṁ), not some others. But experts might say otherwise
I am no expert AT ALL- so I will defer to you on this- another plausible explanation is that the standard formula ”having returned from almsround, after the meal etc…” is just used here because it’s, well, standard, and the slight loss of sense is caused by that.