[i]‘Thus have I heard.
At one time the Buddha was staying in Śrāvastī, at Jetṛ’s Grove, in Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park. Then the Exalted One said to the bhikṣus:
If a bhikṣus who lives in the forest at a secluded, quiet place remote from the crowds, he should always reverentially (gauravajāta) cultivate a mind that is content (tuṣṭa).
If, on the other hand, a bhikṣu, living in the forest at a secluded and quiet place, does not reverentially cultivate contentment (tuṣṭi), he will mainly occupy himself (vi-ni-√yuj) in staying with big crowds for the sake of what people talk about [because] he does not know what a forest-dweller’s practice (dharma) should be like.
How then has a bhikṣu, [although] fond of solitude, no reverential attitude and does not cultivate contentment?
The answer is [this], O bhikṣus: First the āraṇyaka bhikṣu, staying at a secluded, quiet place and avoiding the crowds, continually puts effort into [what is to be done] and does not [succumb to] laziness and arrogance (māna).[ii] First he is well aware of the necessity of what [he should] practise. If, in the course of his forest dwelling and abiding at a secluded, quiet place, he becomes lazy and arrogant, he will involve himself in all [sorts of] misconduct (duścarita), staying with big crowds for the sake of what people talk about. Such an āraṇyaka bhikṣu is lazy and lacking in effort.
For this reason, bhikṣus, a bhikṣu who is fond of solitude, living at a secluded, quiet place and avoiding the crowds, should always be gentle[iii] and cultivate contentment. Being rid of laziness and arrogance, reverentially[iv] and mindfully putting effort into [what is to be done], with unwavering determination and wholeheartedly taking upon oneself (upa-sam-√pad) all that is karmically wholesome – thus, O bhikṣus, you should train.
After listening to the Buddha’s words, the bhikṣus were pleased and respectfully applied themselves to practice.’
[i] CBETA, T02, no. 125, p. 600, b17-c2. This translation originally published as Ekottarāgama XXVIII, Buddhist Studies Review 18.2, 2001, p 226-227. Translated from the Chinese version by Thích Huyên-Vi and Bhikkhu Pāsādika in collaboration with Sara Boin-Webb.
[ii] ‘Being without arrogance’ (māna) clarifies as to why above stress is placed on gaurava (‘respect, reverence’) in the expression ‘reverentially’: forest-dwelling as a hermit is one of the special ascetic practices (dhu(ū)taṅgas) a practitioner of which naturally has to guard against having a tendency towards arrogance vis-à-vis Sangha members who do not practise any of the dhutaṅgas. As for preceeding notes on the dhutaṅgas, see BSR 13, 1 (1996), p.57, n. 6.
[iii] Cf. Hirakawa, p.107: ## = mṛdunā cittena.
[iv] Translated after Hayashi; T2, 600b29 has: ##, ‘without respect’.