“I considered thus: ‘To whom should I first teach the Dhamma? Who will understand this Dhamma quickly?” It then occurred to me: ‘Uddaka Ramaputta is wise, intelligent, and discerning; he has long had little dust in his eyes. Suppose I taught the Dhamma first to Uddaka Ramaputta. He will understand it quickly.’ Then deities approached me and said: ‘Venerable sir, Uddaka Ramaputta died last night.’ And the knowledge and vision arose in me: ‘Uddaka Ramaputta died last night.’ I thought: ‘Uddaka Ramaputta’s loss is a great one. If he had heard this Dhamma, he would have understood it quickly.’

“I considered thus: ‘To whom should I first teach the Dhamma? Who will understand this Dhamma quickly?’ It then occurred to me: ‘The monks of the group of five who attended upon me while I was engaged in my striving were very helpful. Suppose I taught the Dhamma first to them.’ Then I thought: ‘Where are the monks of the group of five now living?’ And with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, I saw that they were living at Baranasi in the Deer Park at Isipatana.

“Then, monks, when I had stayed at Uruvela as long as I chose, I set out to wander by stages to Baranasi. Between Gaya and the Bodhi, the Ajivaka Upaka saw me on the road and said: ‘Friend, your faculties are clear, the color of your skin is pure and bright. Under whom have you gone forth, friend? Who is your teacher? Whose Dhamma do you profess?’ I replied to the Ajivaka Upaka in stanzas:

‘I am one who has transcended all, a knower of all,
Unsullied among all things, renouncing all,
By craving’s ceasing freed. Having known this all
For myself, to whom should I point as teacher?

‘I have no teacher, and one like me
Exists nowhere in all the world
With all its devas, because I have
No person for my counterpart.

‘For I am the arahant in the world,
I am the teacher supreme.
I alone am a Perfectly Enlightened One
Whose fires are quenched and extinguished.

‘I go now to the city of Kasi
To set in motion the wheel of Dhamma.
In a world that has become blind
I go to beat the drum of the Deathless.’

‘By your claims, friend, you ought to be the universal victor.’

‘The victors are those like me
Who have won the destruction of taints.
I have vanquished all evil states,
Therefore, Upaka, I am a victor.’

“When this was said, the Ajivaka Upaka said: ‘May it be so, friend.’ Shaking his head, he took a bypath and departed.

 

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