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Khuddaka Nikaya

The Dhammapada Stories

Translated by Daw Mya Tin, M.A.,
Burma Pitaka Association (1986)

Source: http://www.nibbana.com

Chapter VI: The Wise (Pandita Vagga)


Verse 76

VI (1) The Story of Thera Radha

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (76) of this hook, with reference to Thera Radha, who was at one time a poor old Brahmin.

Radha was a poor brahmin who stayed in the monastery doing small services for the bhikkhus. For his services he was provided with food and clothing and other needs, but was not encouraged to join the Order, although he had a strong desire to become a bhikkhu.

One day, early in the morning, when the Buddha surveyed the world with his supernormal power, he saw the poor old brahmin in his vision and knew that he was due for arahatship. So the Buddha went to the old man, and learned from him that the bhikkhus of the monastery did not want him to join the Order. The Buddha therefore called all the bhikkhus to him and asked them, "Is there any bhikkhu here who recollects any good turn done to him by this old man?" To this question, the Venerable Sariputta replied, "Venerable Sir, I do recollect an instance when this old man offered me a spoonful of rice." "If that be so," the Buddha said, "shouldn't you help your benefactor get liberated from the ills of life?" Then the Venerable Sariputta agreed to make the old man a bhikkhu and he was duly admitted to the Order. The Venerable Sariputta guided the old bhikkhu and the old bhikkhu strictly followed his guidance. Within a few days, the old bhikkhu attained arahat ship.

When the Buddha next came to see the bhikkhus, they reported to him how strictly the old bhikkhu followed the guidance of the Venerable Sariputta. To them, the Buddha replied that a bhikkhu should be amenable to guidance like Radha ,and should not resent when rebuked for any fault or failing.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows :

Verse 76. One should follow a man of wisdom who rebukes one for one's faults, as one would follow a guide to some buried treasure. To one who follows such a wise man, it will be an advantage and not a disadvantage.

Verse 77

VI (2) The Story or Bhikkhus Assaji and Punabbasuka

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (77) of this book, with reference to bhikkhus Assaji and Punabbasuka.

Bhikkhus Assaji and Punabbasuka and their five hundred disciples were staying at Kitagiri village. While staying there they made their living by planting flowering plants and fruit trees for gain, thus violating the rules of Fundamental Precepts for bhikkhus.

The Buddha hearing about these bhikkhus sent his two Chief Disciples Sariputta and Maha Moggallana, to stop them from committing further misconduct. To his two Chief Disciples the Buddha said, "Tell those bhikkhus not to destroy the faith and generosity of the lay disciples by misconduct and if anyone should disobey, drive him out of the monastery. Do not hesitate to do as I told you, for only fools dislike being given good advice and being forbidden to do evil."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 77. The man of wisdom should admonish others; he should give advice and should prevent others from doing wrong; such a man is held dear by the good; be is disliked only by the bad.

Verse 78

VI (3) The Story of Thera Channa

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (78) of this book, with reference to Thera Channa.

Channa was the attendant who accompanied Prince Siddhattha when he renounced the world and left the palace on horseback. When the prince attained Buddhahood, Channa also became a bhikkhu. As a bhikkhu, he was very arrogant and overbearing because of his close connection to the Buddha. Channa used to say, "I came along with my Master when he left the palace for the forest. At that time, I was the only companion of my Master and there was no one else. But now, Sariputta and Moggallana are saying, 'we are the Chief Disciples,' and are strutting about the place."

When the Buddha sent for him and admonished him for his behaviour, he kept silent but continued to abuse and taunt the two Chief Disciples. Thus the Buddha sent for him and admonished him three times; still, he did not change. And again, the Buddha sent for Channa and said, "Channa, these two noble bhikkhus are good friends to you; you should associate with them and be on good terms with them."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 78. One should not associate with bad friends, nor with the vile. One should associate with good friends, and with those who are noble.

In spite of repeated admonitions and advice given by the Buddha, Channa did as he pleased and continued to scold and abuse the bhikkhus. The Buddha, knowing this, said that Channa would not change during the Buddha's lifetime but after his demise (parinibbana) Channa would surely change. On the eve of his parinibbana, the Buddha called Thera Ananda to his bedside and instructed him to impose the Brahma-punishment (Brahmadanda) to Channa; i.e., for the bhikkhus to simply ignore him and to have nothing to do with him.

After the parinibbana of the Buddha, Channa, learning about the punishment from Thera Ananda, felt a deep and bitter remorse for having done wrong and he fainted three times. Then, he owned up his guilt to the bhikkhus and asked for pardon. From that moment, he changed his ways and outlook. He also obeyed their instructions in his meditation practice and soon attained arahatship.

Verse 79

VI (4) The Story of Thera Mahakappina

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (79) of this book, with reference to Thera Mahakappina.

Mahakappina was king of Kukkutavati. He had a queen named Anoja; he also had one thousand ministers to help him rule the country. One day, the king accompanied by those one thousand ministers, was out in the park. There, they met some merchants from Savatthi. On learning about the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Samgha from these merchants the king and his ministers immediately set out for Savatthi.

On that day, when the Buddha surveyed the world with his supernormal power, he saw in his vision, Mahakappina and his ministers coming towards Savatthi. He also knew that they were due for arahatship. The Buddha went to a place one hundred and twenty yojanas away from Savatthi to meet them. There, he waited for them under a banyan tree on the bank of the river Candabhaga. King Mahakappina and his ministers came to the place where the Buddha was waiting for them. When they saw the Buddha, with six-coloured rays radiating from his body, they approached the Buddha and paid homage to him. The Buddha then delivered a discourse to them. After listening to the discourse the king and all his ministers attained Sotapatti Fruition, and they asked the Buddha to permit them to join the Order. The Buddha, reflecting on their past and finding that they had made offerings of yellow robes in a past existence, said to them, "Ehi bhikkhu", and they all became bhikkhus.

Meanwhile, Queen Anoja, learning about the king's departure for Savatthi, sent for the wives of the one thousand ministers, and together with them followed the king's trail. They too came to the place where the Buddha was and seeing the Buddha with a halo of six colours, paid homage to him. All this time, the Buddha by exercising his supernormal power had made the king and his ministers invisible so that their wives did not see them. 'The queen therefore enquired where the king and his ministers were. The Buddha told the queen and her party to wait for a while and that the king would soon come with his ministers. The Buddha then delivered another discourse; at the end of this discourse the king and his ministers attained arahatship; the queen and the wives of the ministers attained Sotapatti Fruition. At that instant, the queen and her party saw the newly admitted bhikkhus and recognized them as their former husbands.

The ladies also asked permission from the Buddha to enter the Order of Bhikkhunis; so they were directed to go ahead to Savatthi. There they entered the Order and very soon they also attained arahatship. The Buddha then returned to the Jetavana monastery accompanied by one thousand bhikkhus.

At the Jetavana monastery, Thera Mahakappina while resting during the night or during the day would often say, "Oh, what happiness!" (Aho Sukham). The bhikkhus, hearing him saying this so many times a day told the Buddha about it. To them the Buddha replied, "My son Kappina having had the taste of the Dhamma lives happily with a serene mind; he is saying these words of exultation repeatedly with reference to Nibbana."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 79. He who drinks in the Dhamma lives happily with a serene mind; the wise man always takes delight in the Dhamma (Bodhipakkhiya Dhamma) expounded by the Noble Ones (ariyas).

Verse 80

VI (5)The Story of Samanera Pandita

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (80) of this book, with reference to Samanera Pandita.

Pandita was a young son of a rich man of Savatthi. He became a samanera at the age of seven. On the eighth day after becoming a samanera, as he was following Thera Sariputta on an alms-round, he saw some farmers channeling water into their fields and asked the thera, "Can water which has no consciousness be guided to wherever one wishes ?" The thera replied, "Yes, it can be guided to wherever one wishes." As they continued on their way, the samanera next saw some fletchers heating their arrows with fire and straightening them. Further on, he came across some carpenters cutting, sawing and planing timber to make it into things like cart-wheels. Then he pondered, "If water which is without consciousness can be guided to wherever one desires, if a crooked bamboo which is without consciousness can be straightened, and if timber which is without consciousness can be made into useful things, why should I, having consciousness, be unable to tame my mind and practise Tranquillity and Insight Meditation?"

Then and there he asked permission from the thera and returned to his own room in the monastery. There he ardently and diligently practised meditation, contemplating the body. Sakka and the devas also helped him in his meditation by keeping the monastery and its precincts very quiet and still. Before Meal time Samanera Pandita attained Anagami Fruition.

At that time Thera Sariputta was bringing food to the samanera. The Buddha saw with his supernormal power that Samanera Pandita had attained Anagami Fruition and also that if he continued to practise meditation he would soon attain arahatship. So the Buddha decided to stop Sariputta from entering the room, where the samanera was. The Buddha went to the door and kept Sariputta engaged by putting some questions to him. While the conversation was taking place, the samanera attained arahatship. Thus, the samanera attained arahatship on the eighth day after becoming a novice.

In this connection, the Buddha said to the bhikkhus of the monastery, "When one is earnestly practising the Dhamma, even Sakka and the devas give protection and keep guard; I myself have kept Thera Sariputta engaged at the door so that Samanera Pandita should not be disturbed. The samanera, having seen the farmers irrigating their fields, the fletchers straightening their arrows, and carpenters making cart-wheels and other things, tames his mind and practises the dhamma; he has now become an arahat."

The Buddha then spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 80. Farmers (lit., makers of irrigation canals ) channel the water; fletchers straighten the arrow; carpenters work the timber; the Wise tame themselves.

Verse 81

VI (6) The Story of Thera Lakundaka Bhaddiya

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (81) of this book, with reference to Thera Bhaddiya.

Bhaddiya was one of the bhikkhus staying at the Jetavana monastery. Because of his short stature he was known as Lakundaka (the dwarf) to other bhikkhus. Lakundaka Bhaddiya was very good natured; even young bhikkhus would often tease him by pulling his nose or his ear, or by patting him on his head. Very often they would jokingly say, "Uncle, how are you? Are you happy, or are you bored with your life here as a bhikkhu?", etc. Lakundaka Bhaddiya never retaliated in anger, or abused them; in fact, even in his heart he did not get angry with them.

When told about the patience of Lakundaka Bhaddiya. the Buddha said, "An arahat never loses his temper, he has no desire to speak harshly or to think ill of others. He is like a mountain of solid rock; as a solid rock is unshaken, so also, an arahat is unperturbed by scorn or by praise."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 81. As a mountain of rock is unshaken by wind, so also, the wise are unperturbed by blame or by praise.

Verse 82

VI (7) The Story of Kanamata

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (82) of this book, with reference to the mother of Kana, Kanamata.

Kanamata was a devoted lay disciple of the Buddha. Her daughter Kana was married to a man from another village. As Kana had been on a visit to her mother for some time, her husband sent a message for her to come home. Her mother told her to wait for one more day as she wanted to send along some sweet meals with her for her husband. The next day, Kanamata made some sweetmeats, but when four bhikkhus stood at her door for alms, she offered some to them. The four bhikkhus told other bhikkhus about the sweetmeats from Kanamata's house and they also came to stand at the door of Kanamata, as a devotee of the Buddha and his disciples, offered her sweetmeats to the bhikkhus as they came in, one after another. The result was that in the end there was none left for Kana and she did not go home on that day. The same thing happened on the next two days; her mother made some sweetmeats, the bhikkhus stood at her door, she offered her sweetmeats to the bhikkhus, there was nothing left for her daughter to take home, and her daughter did not go home. On the third day, for the third time, her husband sent her a message, which was also an ultimatum stating that if she failed to come home the next day, he would take another wife. But on the next day also Kana was unable to go home because her mother offered all her sweetmeats to the bhikkhus. Kana's husband then took another wife and Kana became very bitter towards the bhikkhus. She used to abuse all bhikkhus so much so that the bhikkhus kept away from the house of Kanamata.

The Buddha heard about Kana and went to the house of Kanamata; there Kanamata offered him some rice gruel. After the meal, the Buddha sent for Kana and asked her, "Did my bhikkhus take what was given them or what was not given them ?" Kana answered that the bhikkhus had taken only what was given them, and then added, "They were not in the wrong; only I was in the wrong." Thus, she owned up her fault and she also paid homage to the Buddha. The Buddha then gave a discourse. At the end of the discourse, Kana attained Sotapatti Fruition.

On the way back to the monastery, the Buddha met King Pasenadi of Kosala. On being told about Kana and her bitter attitude towards the bhikkhus, King Pasenadi asked the Buddha whether he had been able to teach her the Dhamma and, make her see the Truth (Dhamma). The Buddha replied, "Yes, I have taught her the Dhamma, and I have also made her rich in her next existence." Then the king promised the Buddha that he would make Kana rich even in this existence. The king then sent his men with a palanquin to fetch Kana. When she arrived, the king announced to his ministers, "Whoever can keep my daughter Kana in comfort may take her." One of the ministers volunteered to adopt Kana as his daughter, gave her all his wealth, and said to her, "You may give in charity as much as you like." Every day, Kana made offerings to the bhikkhus at the four city-gates. When told about Kana giving generously in charity, the Buddha said, "Bhikkhus, the mind of Kana which was foggy and muddled was made clear and calm by my words."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 82. Like a lake which is deep, clear and calm, the wise after listening to the Teaching (Dhamma) become serene.

Verse 83

VI (8) The Story of Five Hundred Bhikkhus

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (83) of this book, with reference to five hundred bhikkhus.

At the request of a brahmin from Veranja, the Buddha was, on one occasion, staying at Veranja with five hundred bhikkhus. While they were at Veranja, the brahmin failed to look after them. The people of Varanja, who were then facing a famine, could offer very little to the bhikkhus when they went on their rounds for alms-food. In spite of all these hardships, the bhikkhus were not disheartened; they were quite contented with the small amount of shrivelled grain which the horse-traders offered them daily. At the end of the vasa, after informing the brahmin from Veranja, the Buddha returned to the Jetavana monastery, accompanied by the five hundred bhikkhus. The people of Savatthi welcomed them back with choice food of all kinds.

A group of people living with the bhikkhus, eating whatever was left over by the bhikkhus, ate greedily like true gluttons and went to sleep after their meals. On waking up, they were shouting, singing and dancing, thus making themselves a thorough nuisance. When the Buddha came in the evening to the congregation of bhikkhus, they reported to him about the behaviour of those unruly persons, and said, "These people living on the leftovers were quite decent and well-behaved when all of us were facing hardship and famine in Veranja. Now that they have enough good food they are going about shouting, singing and dancing, and thus make themselves a thorough nuisance. The bhikkhus, however, behave themselves here just as they were in Veranja".

To them the Buddha replied, "It is in the nature of the foolish to be full of sorrow and feel depressed when things go wrong, and to be full of gladness and feel elated when things go well. The wise, however, can withstand the ups and downs of life."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 83. Indeed, the virtuous give up all (i.e., attachment to the five khandhas, etc.); the virtuous (lit., the tranquil) do not talk with sensual desire; when faced with joy or sorrow, the wise do not show elation or depression.

Verse 84

VI (9) The Story of Thera Dhammika

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (84) of this book, with reference to Thera Dhammika.

Dhammika lived in Savatthi with his wife. One day, he told his pregnant wife that he wished to become a bhikkhu; his wife pleaded with him to wait until after the birth of their child. When the child was born, he again requested his wife to let him go; again, she pleaded with him to wait until the child could walk. Then Dhammika thought to himself, "It will be useless for me to ask my wife for her approval to join the Order; I shall work for my own liberation." Having made a firm decision, he left his house to become a bhikkhu. He took a subject of meditation from the Buddha and practised meditation ardently and diligently and soon became an arahat.

Some years later, he visited his house in order to teach the Dhamma to his son and his wife. His son entered the Order and he too attained arahatship. The wife then thought, "Now that both my husband and my son have left the house, I'd better leave it, too." With this thought she left the house and became a bhikkhuni; eventually, she too attained arahatship.

At the congregation of the bhikkhus, the Buddha was told how Dhammika became a bhikkhu and attained arahatship, and how through him his son and his wife also attained arahatship. To them the Buddha said, "Bhikkhus, a wise man does not wish for wealth and prosperity by doing evil, whether it is for his own sake or for the sake of others. He only works for his own liberation from the round of rebirths (samsara) by comprehending the Dhamma and living according to the Dhamma."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 84. For his own sake or for the sake of others, he does no evil; nor does he wish for sons and daughters or for wealth or for a kingdom by doing evil; nor does he wish for success by unfair means; such a one is indeed virtuous, wise and just.

Verses 85 and 86

VI (10) The Story of Dhamma Listeners

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses (85) and (86) of this book, with reference to a congregation of people who had come to listen to a religious discourse in Savatthi.

On one occasion, a group of people from Savatthi made special offerings to the bhikkhus collectively and they arranged for some bhikkhus to deliver discourses throughout the night, in their locality. Many in the audience could not sit up the whole night and they returned to their homes early; some sat through the night, but most of the time they were drowsy and half-asleep. There were only a few who listened attentively to the discourses.

At dawn, when the bhikkhus told the Buddha about what happened the previous night, he replied, "Most people are attached to this world; only a very few reach the other shore (Nibbana)."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 85. Few among men reach the other shore (Nibbana); all the others only run up and down on this shore.

Verse 86. But those who practise according to the well-expounded Dhamma will reach the other shore (Nibbana), having passed the realm of Death (i.e., samsara), very difficult as it is to cross.

VI (11) Verses 87, 88 and 89

The Story of Five Hundred Visiting Bhikkhus

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses (87), (88) and (89) of this book. with reference to five hundred visiting bhikkhus.

Five hundred bhikkhus who had spent the vassa in Kosala came to pay homage to the Buddha at the Jetavana monastery, at the end of the vassa.

The Buddha uttered the following three verses to suit their various temperaments.

Verse 87 & 88. The man of wisdom, leaving the home of craving and having Nibbana as his goal, should give up dark, evil ways and cultivate pure, good ones. He should seek great delight in solitude, detachment and Nibbana, which an ordinary man finds so difficult to enjoy. He should also give up sensual pleasures, and clinging to nothing, should cleanse himself of all impurities of the mind.

Verse 89. Those, with mind well-developed in the seven Factors of Enlightenment (bojjhanga), having rid themselves of all craving, rejoice in their abandonment of attachment. Such men, with all moral intoxicants eradicated, and powerful (with the light of Arahatta Magganana), have realized Nibbana in this world (i.e., with Khandha aggregates remaining).

End of Chapter Six: The Wise


Chapter VII: The Arahat (Arahantavagga)


Verse 90

VII (1) The Story of the Question Asked by Jivaka

While residing at the mango-grove monastery of Jivaka, the Buddha uttered Verse (90) of this book, with reference to the question raised by Jivaka to the Buddha.

Devadatta, on one occasion, tried to kill the Buddha by pushing a big rock from the peak o fGijjhakuta mountain (Vulture's Peak). The rock struck a ledge on the side of the mountain and a splinter struck the big toe of the Buddha. The Buddha was taken to the mango-grove monastery of Jivaka. There, Jivaka, the renowned physician, attended on the Buddha; he put some medicine on the toe of the Buddha and bandaged it. Jivaka then left to see another patient in town, but promised to return and remove the bandage in the evening. When Jivaka returned that night, the city-gates were already closed and he could not come to see the Buddha that night. He was very upset because if the bandage was not removed in time, the whole body would become very hot and the Buddha would be very ill.

Just about this time, the Buddha asked Thera Ananda to remove the bandage from his big toe and found that the wound was completely healed. Jivaka came to the monastery early next morning and asked the Buddha whether he felt great pain and distress the previous night. The Buddha replied, "Jivaka! Ever since I attained Buddhahood there has been no pain and distress for me."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 90. For him (an arahat) whose journey is ended, who is free from sorrow and from all (e.g. khandha aggregates), who has destroyed all fetters, there is no more distress.

At the end of the discourse many attained Sotapatti Fruition.

Verse 91

VII (2) The Story of Thera Mahakassapa

While residing at the Veluvana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (91) of this book, with reference to Thera Mahakassapa.

The Buddha once spent the vassa at Rajagaha with a number of bhikkhus. About two weeks before the end of the vassa, the Buddha informed the bhikkhus that they would soon be leaving Rajagaha and told them to prepare for departure. Some bhikkhus stitched and dyed new robes, some washed the old robes. When some bhikkhus saw Mahakassapa washing his robes, they speculated, "There are so many people inside and outside Rajagaha who love and respect Thera Mahakassapa and are constantly looking to all his needs; is it possible that the thera would leave his lay devotees here and follow the Buddha elsewhere?"

At the end of fifteen days, on the eve of his departure, the Buddha thought that there might be some occasions like alms-food offering ceremonies, initiation of novices, funerals, etc., and so it would not be proper for all the bhikkhus to leave. So he decided that some bhikkhus should remain at the Veluvana monastery and that the most suitable person would be Thera Mahakassapa. Consequently, Thera Mahakassapa remained in Rajagaha with some junior bhikkhus.

Then the other bhikkhus said scornfully, "Mahakassapa has not accompanied the Buddha, just as we have predicted!" The Buddha heard their remark and said to them, "Bhikkhus! Do you wish to say that my son Kassapa is attached to his lay disciples of Rajagaha and to the things they offer him? You are very much mistaken. My son Kassapa remains here under my instruction; he is not attached to anything here."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 91. The mindful strive diligently (in the Tranquillity and Insight Development Practice); they take no delight in the home (i.e., in the life of sensual pleasures); like swans (hamsa) that forsake the muddy pool, they abandon all home life (i.e., all cravings).

Verse 92

VII (3)The Story of Thera Belatthasisa

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (92) of this book, with reference to Thera Belatthasisa.

Thera Belatthasisa, after going on an alms-round in the village, stopped on the way and took his food there. After the meal, he continued his round of alms for more food. When he had collected enough food he returned to the monastery, dried up the rice and hoarded it. Thus, there was no need for him to go on an alms-round every day; he then remained in jhana concentration for two or three days. Arising from jhana concentration he ate the dried rice he had stored up, after soaking it in water. Other Bhikkhunis thought ill of the thera on this account, and reported to the Buddha about his hoarding of rice. Since then, the hoarding of food by the bhikkhus has been prohibited.

As for Thera Belatthasisa, since he stored up rice before the ruling on hoarding was made and because he did it not out of greed for food, but only to save time for meditation practice, the Buddha declared that the thera was quite innocent and that he was not to be blamed.

The Buddha then spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 92. Arahats do not hoard (anything); when taking food they reflect well over it (i.e., in accordance with the three parinnas).* They have as their object liberation from existence, that is, Nibbana which is Void and Signless. Their destination, like the course of birds in the air, cannot be traced.

* Parinnatabhojana: to take food according to the three parinnas. According to the Commentary, there are three parinnas that the bhikkhu should have concerning food, viz., (a) nataparinna, knowing the exact nature of the food being taken, (b) tiranaparrinna, being convinced of the vileness of material food, and (c) pahanaparrina, rejection of all pleasure in eating.

Verse 93

VII (4) The Story of Thera Anuruddha

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (93) of this book, with reference to Thera Anuruddha.

Thera Anuruddha was one day looking for some discarded pieces of cloth in a rubbish heap to make into a robe as his old robe was getting soiled and torn. Jalini, his wife of a previous existence, who was now in a deva world, saw him. Knowing that he was looking for some cloth, she took three pieces of good deva material and put them in the rubbish heap, making them barely visible. The thera found the pieces of cloth and took them to the monastery. While he was making the robe, the Buddha arrived with his Chief Disciples and senior disciples and they also helped stitch the robe.

Meanwhile, Jalini, assuming the form of a young lady, came to the village and learnt about the arrival of the Buddha and his disciples and also how they were helping Thera Anuruddha. She urged the villagers to send good delicious food to the monastery and consequently there was more than enough for all. Other bhikkhus, seeing so much surplus, put the blame on the thera and said, "Thera Anuruddha should have asked his relatives and lay disciples to send just enough food; may be, he just wanted to show off that he had so many devotees." To those bhikkhus, the Buddha said, "Bhikkhus, do not think my son Anuruddha has asked his relatives and lay disciples to send rice gruel and other foods. My son the thera did not ask for anything; arahats do not talk about such things like food and clothing. The excessive amount of food brought to the monastery this morning was due to the promptings of a celestial being and not of a man."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 93. The arahat is free from moral intoxicants (asavas); he is not attached to food. He has as his object liberation from existence, i.e., Nibbana which is Void and Signless. His path, like that of birds in the air, cannot be traced.

Verse 94

VII (5) The Story of Thera Mahakaccayana

While residing at the Pubbarama monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (94) of this book, with reference to Thera Mahakaccayana.

On a full moon day, which was also the end of the vassa, Sakka with a large company of devas came to pay homage to the Buddha, who was then in residence at Pubbarama, the monastery built by Visakha. At that time, the Buddha was being attended upon by the Chief Disciples and all the senior bhikkhus. Thera Mahakaccayana, who spent the vassa in Avanti, had not yet arrived, and a seat was kept vacant for him. Sakka paid homage to the Buddha with flowers, incense and perfumes. On seeing a vacant seat he declared how he wished that Thera Mahakaccayana would come so that he could pay obeisance to him also. At that instant Mahakaccayana arrived; Sakka was very pleased and eagerly paid obeisance to him with flowers, incense and perfumes.

The bhikkhus were awed by Sakka paying obeisance to Mahakaccayana, but some bhikkhus thought that Sakka was being partial to Mahakaccayana. To them, the Buddha said, "One who is restrained in his senses is loved by both men and devas."

The Buddha then spoke in verse as fellows:

Verse 94. The arahat whose sense-faculties are calm like horses well-tamed by the charioteer, who is free from pride and moral intoxicants - such an arahat is held dear even by the devas.

Verse 95

VII (6) The Story of Thera Sariputta

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (95) of this book, with reference to the Chief Disciple Sariputta and a young bhikkhu.

It was the end of the vassa; and Thera Sariputta was about to set out on a journey with some followers. A young bhikkhu, who bore some grudge against the thera, approached the Buddha and falsely reported that Thera Sariputta had abused him and beaten him. The Buddha therefore sent for the thera and questioned him, and Thera Sariputta replied as follows: "Venerable Sir! How could a bhikkhu, who steadfastly keeps his mind on the body, set out on a journey without apologizing, after doing wrong to a fellow bhikkhu? I am like the earth, which feels no pleasure when flowers are cast on it, nor resentment when rubbish and excreta are piled upon it. I am also like the door-mat, the beggar, the bull with broken horns; I also feel abhorrence for the impurity of the body and am no longer attached to it."

When Thera Sariputta spoke thus, the young bhikkhu felt very much distressed and wept bitterly, and admitted that he had lied about the Chief Disciple Sariputta. Then the Buddha advised Thera Sariputta to accept the apology of the young bhikkhu, lest a heavy punishment should fall on him and get his head crushed. The young bhikkhu then admitted that he had done wrong and respectfully asked for pardon. Thera Sariputta pardoned the young bhikkhu and also asked to be forgiven if he also had done any wrong.

All those present talked in praise of Thera Sariputta, and the Buddha said, "Bhikkhus, a bhikkhu like Sariputta has no anger or ill will in him. Like the earth and the door-post, he is patient, tolerant, and firm; like the lake free from mud, he is serene and pure."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 95. Like the earth, the arahat is patient and is not provoked to respond in anger; like the door-post he is firm; he is unperturbed by the ups and downs of life; he is serene and pure like a lake free from mud. For such an arahat there will be no more rebirth.

Verse 96

VII (7) The Story of a Samanera from Kosambi

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (96) of this book, with reference to a samanera, a pupil of Thera Tissa from Kosambi.

Once, a seven year old boy was made a samanera at the request of his father. Before his head was shaved the boy was given a subject of meditation. While he was being shaved, the boy had his mind fixed steadfastly on the object of meditation; as a result, he attained arahatship as soon as they finished shaving his head.

After some time, Thera Tissa, accompanied by the samanera, set out for Savatthi to pay homage to the Buddha. On the way, they spent one night in a village monastery. The thera fell asleep, but the young samanera sat up the whole night beside the bed of the old thera. Early in the morning, the old thera thought it was time to wake up the young samanera. So he roused up the samanera with a palm-leaf fan, and accidentally hit the eye of the samanera with the handle of the fan and damaged the eye. The samanera covered that eye with one hand and went about doing his duties of getting water for the thera to wash his face and clean his mouth, sweeping the floor of the monastery, etc. When the young samanera offered water with one hand to the thera, the thera chided him, and said that he should offer things with both hands. Only then, did the thera learn how the samanera lost his eye. At that instant, he realized that he had wronged a truly noble person. Feeling very sorry and humiliated, he made an apology to the samanera. But the samanera said that it was not the fault of the thera, nor his own fault, but that it was only the result of kamma, and so the thera was not to feel sad about it. But the thera could not get over the unfortunate incident.

Then they continued their journey to Savatthi and arrived at the Jetavana monastery where the Buddha was in residence. The thera then told the Buddha that the young samanera who came along with him was the most noble person he had ever met, and related all that had happened on their way. The Buddha listened to him, and replied, "My son, an arahat does not get angry with anyone he is restrained in his senses and is perfectly calm and serene."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 96. An arahat is calm in his mind, calm in his speech, and also in his deed; truly knowing the Dhamma, such an arahat is free from moral defilements and is unpurturbed by the ups and downs of life.

Verse 97

VII (8) The Story of Thera Sariputta

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (97) of this book, with reference to Thera Sariputtta.

Thirty bhikkhus from a village had arrived at the Jetavana monastery to pay homage to the Buddha. The Buddha knew that the time was ripe for those bhikkhus to attain arahatship. So, he sent for Sariputta, and in the presence of those bhikkhus, he asked, "My son Sariputta, do you accept the fact that by meditating on the senses one could realize Nibbana ?" Sariputta answered, "Venerable Sir, in the matter of the realization of Nibbana by meditating on the senses, it is not that I accept it because I have faith in you; it is only those who have not personally realized it, that accept the fact from others." Sariputta's answer was not properly understood by the bhikkhus; they thought, "Sariputta has not given up wrong views yet; even now, he has no faith in the Buddha."

Then the Buddha explained to them the true meaning of Sariputta's answer. "Bhikkhus, Sariputta's answer is simply this; he accepts the fact that Nibbana is realized by means of meditation on the senses, but his acceptance is due to his own personal realization and not merely because I have said it or somebody else has said it. Sariputta has faith in me; he also has faith in the consequences of good and bad deeds."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 97. He who is not credulous, who has realized the Unconditioned (Nibbana), who has cut off the links of the round of rebirths, who has destroyed all consequences of good and bad deeds, who has discarded all craving, is indeed the noblest of all men (i.e., an arahat).

At the end of the discourse, all those bhikkhus attained arahatship.

Verse 98

VII (9) The Story of Thera Revata

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (98) of this book, with reference to Thera Revata of the Acacia (khadira) Forest.

Revata was the youngest brother of the Chief Disciple, Sariputta. He was the only one of the brothers and sisters of Sariputta who had not left home for the homeless life. His parents were very anxious to get him married. Revata was only seven years old when his parents arranged a marriage for him to a young girl. At the wedding reception, he met an old lady who was one hundred and twenty years old, and he realized that all beings are subject to ageing and decay. So, he ran away from the house and went straight to a monastery, where there were thirty bhikkhus. Those bhikkhus had been requested earlier by Thera Sariputta to make his brother a samanera if he should come to them. Accordingly, he was made a samanera and Thera Sariputta was informed about it.

Samanera Revata took a subject of meditation from those bhikkhus and left for an acacia forest, thirty yojanas away from the monastery. At the end of the vassa, the samanera attained arahatship. Thera Sariputta then asked permission from the Buddha to visit his brother, but the Buddha replied that he himself would go there. So the Buddha accompanied by Thera Sariputta, Thera Sivali and five hundred other bhikkhus set out to visit Samanera Revata.

The journey was long, the road was rough and the area was uninhabited by people; but the devas looked to all the needs of the Buddha and the bhikkhus on the way. At an interval of every yojana, a monastery and food were provided, and they travelled at the rate of a yojana a day. Revata, learning about the visit of the Buddha, also made arrangements to welcome him. By supernormal power he created a special monastery for the Buddha and five hundred monasteries for the other bhikkhus, and made them comfortable throughout their stay there.

On their return journey, they travelled at the same rate as before, and came to the Pubbarama monastery on the eastern end of Savatthi at the end of the month. From there, they went to the house of Visakha, who offered them alms-food. After the meal, Visakha asked the Buddha if the place of Revata in the acacia forest was pleasant.

And the Buddha answered in verse as follows:

Verse 98. In a village or in a forest, in a valley or on a hill, wherever arahats dwell, that place is delightful.

Verse 99

VII (10) The Story of a Woman

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (99) of this book, with reference to a woman of doubtful character.

A bhikkhu, after taking a subject of meditation from the Buddha, was practising meditation in an old garden. A woman of doubtful character came into the garden and, seeing the bhikkhu, tried to attract his attention and seduce him. The thera got frightened; at the same time, his whole body was diffused with some kind of delightful satisfaction. The Buddha saw him from his monastery, and with his supernormal power, sent rays of light to him, and the bhikkhu received this message, which said, "My son, where worldlings seek sensual pleasures is not the place for bhikkhus; bhikkhus should take delight in forests where worldlings find no pleasure."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 99. Forests are delightful, but the worldlings find no delight in them; only those who are free from passion will find delight in them, for they do not seek sensual pleasures.

End of Chapter Seven: the Arahat



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updated: 18-03-2002