1. The Story of Thirty Bhikkhus from Paveyyaka

    Comment

    Sleeping Buddha

    Verse 65: An intelligent man, even though he is associated with a wise man only for a moment, quickly understands the Dhamma, just as the tongue knows the taste of soup.

    The Story of Thirty Bhikkhus from Paveyyaka

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (65) of this book, with reference to thirty bhikkhus from Paveyyaka.

    Thirty youths from Paveyyaka were, on one occasion, enjoying themselves with a prostitute in a forest, when the prostitute stole some of their valuable ornaments and ran away. While searching for her in the forest, they met the Buddha on the way. As the Buddha delivered them a discourse the youths attained Sotapatti Fruition, and all of them joined the Order of the Buddha and followed him to the Jetavana monastery. While staying at the monastery, they strictly observed the austerity or purification practice (dhutanga). Later, when the Buddha delivered the Anamatagga Sutta (Discourse on Countless Existences), all those bhikkhus attained arahatship.

    When other bhikkhus commented that Paveyyaka bhikkhus were very quick in attaining arahatship, the Buddha replied to them in verse, as follows:

    Verse 65: An intelligent man, even though he is associated with a wise man only for a moment, quickly understands the Dhamma, just as the tongue knows the taste of soup.

    Dhammapada Verse 65
    Timsapaveyyakabhikkhu Vatthu

    Muhuttamapi ce vinnu
    panditam payirupasati
    khippam dhammam vijanati
    jivha suparasam yatha.

    Source: Tipitaka

  2. The Story of Thera Udayi

    Comment

    foggy-scene

    Verse 64: A fool, even though he is associated with a wise man all his life, does not understand the Dhamma, just as a ladle does not know the taste of soup.

    The Story of Thera Udayi

    While residing at tho Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (64) of this book, with reference to Thera Udayi, a pretentious bhikkhu.

    Thera Udayi would often go and sit on the platform from which learned theras delivered their discourses. On one occasion, some visiting bhikkhus, taking him for a very learned thera, put to him some questions on the five aggregates (khandhas). Thera Udayi could not answer, because he did not know anything of the dhamma. The visiting bhikkhus were greatly astonished to find that one staying in the same monastery with the Buddha knew so very little about the khandhas and the ayatanas (sense-bases and sense-objects).

    To them, the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 64: A fool, even though he is associated with a wise man all his life, does not understand the Dhamma, just as a ladle does not know the taste of soup.

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

    Dhammapada Verse 64
    Udayitthera Vatthu

    Yavajivampi ce balo
    panditam payirupasati
    na so dhammam vijanati
    dabbi suparasam yatha.

    Source: Tipitaka

  3. The Story of Two Pick-Pockets

    Comment

    Buddha

    Verse 63: The fool who knows that he is a fool can, for that reason, be a wise man; but the fool who thinks that he is wise is, indeed, called a fool.

    The Story of Two Pick-Pockets

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (63) of this book, with reference to two pick-pockets.

    On one occasion, two pick-pockets joined a group of lay-disciples going to the Jetavana monastery, where the Buddha was giving a discourse. One of them listened attentively to the discourse and soon attained Sotapatti Fruition. However, the second thief did not attend to the discourse as he was bent on stealing only; and he managed to snatch a small sum of money from one of the lay-disciples. After the discourse they went back and cooked their meal at the house of the second thief, the one who managed to get some money. The wife of the second thief taunted the first thief, “You are so wise, you don’t even have anything to cook at your house.” Hearing this remark, the first thief thought to himself, “This one is so foolish that she thinks she is being very smart.” Then, together with some relatives, he went to the Buddha and related the matter to him.

    To the man, the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 63: The fool who knows that he is a fool can, for that reason, be a wise man; but the fool who thinks that he is wise is, indeed, called a fool.

    At the end of the discourse, all the relatives of the man attained Sotapatti Fruition.

    Dhammapada Verse 63
    Ganthibhedakacora Vatthu

    Ya balo mannati balyam
    panditovapi tena so
    balo ca panditamani
    sa ve baloti vuccati.

    Source: Tipitaka

  4. The Thief…Tibetan teaching story

    Comment

    Buddha-Teaching-the-Five-Ascetics_sculpture-in-wat-ounalom

    Tibetan teaching story

    ‘The 12th century master Geshe Ben was renowned for his goodness and integrity.

    Once, while begging for alms, a family of devout Buddhists invited him to their home to be fed. He was so hungry that he found it difficult to wait while his hosts were elsewhere preparing the meal. To his complete shock he found himself stealing food from a jar when no-one was looking. Geshe Ben suddenly burst into loud cries of “Thief! Thief! I’ve caught you red-handed.”

    His hosts rushed into the room to find him berating himself and threatening his hand with being cut off it ever behaved like that again.’

    Source: viewonbuddhism.org

  5. The Rabbit – A Tale of Selfless Generosity

    Comment

    Rabbit

    Buddha used to be a rabbit in one of his previous lifetimes

    A Tale of Selfless Generosity.

    In this lifetime the Bodhisattva was born as an animal, a rabbit. Yet even as a rabbit, he possessed incredible virtue, goodness, beauty, and vigor; so much so that the other animals viewed him as their king. None feared him and none caused him fear. Among his devoted following, three animals in particular became his closest students and companions. They were an otter, a jackal, and a monkey, who through the Bodhisattva’s teaching, forgot their lower animal nature and became infinitely compassionate themselves.

    As instructed by the rabbit in a teaching one night, it was customary that on the next day, a holy day, to offer alms to anyone who passes through their forest. Later that night, the rabbit was distraught as he realized he had nothing to offer. His three companions had ample means to feed a guest, but the rabbit had nothing but the meager blades of grass he ate to sustain himself, which were far too bitter to offer a visitor. Then he realized he could offer his own flesh as food and without hesitation, decided this was what he would do.

    Hearing this, Shakra, the lord of gods, went to test the animals and disguised himself as a weary traveler who had lost his way. Hungry, thirsty, and crying with despair, the four beasts rushed to his aid. The otter was able to supply the man with seven fish, the jackal a lizard and some sour milk, and the monkey some soft ripe mangoes. Seeing that the man had built a fire, the rabbit explained that he was offering his own body and then, without hesitation, lept into the hot coals and swirling flames.

    Shakra rejoiced, reached into the fire and pulled out the rabbit and then lifted him up into the heavens and displayed him before the gods. Continue reading

  6. The Story of Ananda, the Rich Man

    Comment

    nature-and-lake-animation

    Verse 62: “I have sons, I have wealth”; with this (feeling of attachment) the fool is afflicted. Indeed, he himself is not his own, how can sons and wealth be his?

    1. putta: sons also means both son and daughter.

    The Story of Ananda, the Rich Man

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (62) of this book, with reference to a miserly rich man, named Ananda.

    There was once a very wealthy man named Ananda in Savatthi. Although he possessed eighty crores, he was very reluctant to give anything in charity. To his son, Mulasiri, he used to say, “Don’t think the wealth we have now is very much. Do not give away anything from what you have, for you must make it grow. Otherwise your wealth will dwindle away.” This rich man had five pots of gold buried in his house and he died without revealing their location to his son.

    Ananda, the rich man, was reborn in a village of beggars, not far from Savatthi. From the time his mother was pregnant, the income of the beggars decreased; the villagers thought there must be a wicked and unlucky one amongst them. By dividing themselves up into groups and by the process of elimination, they came to the conclusion that the pregnant beggar woman must be the unfortunate one. Thus, she was driven out of the village. When her son was born, the son proved to be extremely ugly and repulsive. If she went out begging by herself, she would get as before, but if she went out with her son she would get nothing. So, when the boy could go out by himself, his mother placed a plate in his hand and left him. As he wandered about in Savatthi, he remembered his old house and his past existence. So he went into the house. When the sons of his son Mulasiri saw him, they were frightened by his ugly looks and began to cry. The servants then beat him and threw him out of the house.

    The Buddha who was on his alms-round saw the incident and asked the Venerable Ananda to fetch Mulasiri. When Mulasiri came, the Buddha told him that the young beggar was his own father in his previous existence. But Mulasiri could not believe it. So, the Buddha directed the beggar boy to show where he had buried his five pots of gold. Then only, Mulasiri accepted the truth and from that time he became a devoted lay-disciple of the Buddha.

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 62: “I have sons, I have wealth”; with this (feeling of attachment) the fool is afflicted. Indeed, he himself is not his own, how can sons and wealth be his?

    Dhammapada Verse 62
    Anandasetthi Vatthu

    Putta1 ma’tthi dhanam ma’ tthi
    iti balo vihannati
    atta hi attano natthi
    kuto putta kuto dhanam.

    Source: Tipitaka

  7. The Story of a Resident Pupil of Thera Mahakassapa

    Comment

    Buddha

    Verse 61: If a person seeking a companion cannot find one who is better than or equal to him, let him resolutely go on alone; there can be no companionship with a fool.

    The Story of a Resident Pupil of Thera Mahakassapa

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (61) of this book, with reference to a resident pupil of Thera Mahakassapa.

    When Thera Mahakassapa was residing near Rajagaha, he had two young bhikkhus staying with him. One of them was respectful, obedient and dutiful to the thera, but the other one was not. When the old thera chided the latter for his slackness in his duties, he was very much offended. On one occasion, he went to the house of a lay-disciple of the thera, and lied to them that the thera was ill. Thus, he got some choice food from them for the thera; but he ate the food on the way. When admonished by the thera for this he was extremely angry. The next day, when the thera was out on his alms-round, the young foolish bhikkhu stayed behind, broke the pots and pans and set fire to the monastery.

    When a bhikkhu from Rajagaha told the Buddha about this, the Buddha said that it would have been much better for Thera Mahakassapa to live alone than to live with a foolish companion.

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 61: If a person seeking a companion cannot find one who is better than or equal to him, let him resolutely go on alone; there can be no companionship with a fool.

    At the end of the discourse, the bhikkhu from Rajagaha attained Sotapatti Fruition.

    Dhammapada Verse 61
    Mahakassapa saddhiviharika Vatthu

    Carance nadhigaccheyya
    seyyam sadisamattano
    ekacariyaram dalham kayira
    natthi bale sahayata.

    Source: Tipitaka

  8. The Story of a Person

    Comment
    King Pasenadi

    Lord Buddha with King Pasenadi Kosala, the King of Kosala, north of Magadha ruled by King Bimbisara.

    Verse 60: Long is the night to one who is wakeful; long is (the journey of) one yojana to the traveller who is tired; long is samsara (round of rebirths) to the fool, who is ignorant of the true Dhamma (the Teaching of the Buddha).

    1. Balavagga: Chapter on the Fool. Bala is the opposita of pandita; it means those who are ignorant, stupid and mentally dull. They cannot think or act right.

    2. yojanam/yojana: a measure of length, about twelve miles.

    The Story of a Person

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (60) of this book, with reference to a certain young man and King Pasenadi of Kosala.

    One day King Pasenadi, while going out in the city, happened to see a beautiful young woman standing at the window of her house and he instantly fell in love with her. So the king tried to find ways and means of getting her. Finding that she was a married woman, he sent for her husband and made him serve at the palace. Later, the husband was sent on an impossible errand by the king. The young man was to go to a place, a yojana (twelve miles) away from Savatthi, bring back some Kumuda lotus flowers and some red earth called ‘arunavati’ from the land of the dragons (nagas) and arrive back at Savatthi the same evening, in time for the king’s bath. The king’s intention was to kill the husband if he failed to arrive back in time, and to take the wife for himself.

    Hurriedly taking a food packet from his wife, the young man set out on his errand. On the way, he shared his food with a traveller. He also threw some rice into the water and said loudly, “O guardian spirits and dragons inhabiting this river! King Pasenadi has commanded me to get some Kumuda lotus flowers and arunavati red earth for him. I have today shared my food with a traveller; I have also fed the fish in the river; I now share with you the benefits of the good deeds I have done today. Please get the Kumuda lotus and arunavati red earth for me.” The king of the dragons, hearing him, took the appearance of an old man and brought the lotus and the red earth.

    On that evening, King Pasenadi, fearing that the young husband might arrive back in time, had the city-gates closed early. The young man, finding the city-gates closed, placed the red earth on the city-wall and stuck the flowers on the earth. Then he declared loudly, “O citizens! Be my witnesses! I have today accomplished my errand in time as instructed by the king. King Pasenadi, without any justification, plans to kill me.” After that, the young man left for the Jetavana monastery to take shelter and find solace in the peaceful atmosphere of the monastery.

    Meanwhile, King Pasenadi, obsessed with sexual desire, could not sleep, and kept thinking out how he would get rid of the husband in the morning and take his wife. At about midnight, he heard some eerie sounds; actually, these were the doleful voices of four persons suffering in Lohakumbhi Niraya . Hearing those weird voices, the king was terrified. Early in the morning, he went to the Buddha, as advised by Queen Mallika. When the Buddha was told about the four voices the king heard in the night, he explained to the king that those were the voices of four beings, who were the sons of rich men during the time of Kassapa Buddha, and that now they were suffering in Lohakumbhi Niraya because they had committed sexual misconduct with other people’s wives. Then, the king came to realize the depravity of the deed and the severity of the punishment. So, he decided then and there that he would no longer covet another man’s wife. “After all, it was on account of my intense desire for another man’s wife that I was tormented and could not sleep the whole of last night,” he reflected. Then King Pasenadi said to the Buddha, “Venerable Sir, now I know how long the night is for one who cannot sleep.” The young man who was close at hand also said, “Venerable Sir, because I had travelled the full distance of a yojana yesterday, I, too, know how long the journey of a yojana is to one who is weary.”

    Combining their two statements, the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 60: Long is the night to one who is wakeful; long is (the journey of) one yojana to the traveller who is tired; long is samsara (round of rebirths) to the fool, who is ignorant of the true Dhamma (the Teaching of the Buddha).
    At the end of the discourse, the young man attained Sotapatti Fruition.

    Dhammapada Verse 60
    Annatarapurisa Vatthu

    Digha jagarato ratti1
    digham santassa yojanam2
    digho balana samsaro
    saddhammam avijanatam.

    Source: Tipitaka

  9. The Story of Garahadinna

    Comment

    lotus flower

    Verses 58 – 59: As a sweet-smelling and beautiful lotus flower may grow upon a heap of rubbish thrown on the highway, so also, out of the rubbish heap of beings may appear a disciple of the Buddha, who with his wisdom shines forth far above the blind (ignorant) worldlings.

    1. sankarabhutesu: rubbish heap of beings.

    2. andhabhute puthujjane: blind worldlings. The worldlings are like the blind because they are lacking in knowledge.

    The Story of Garahadinna

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses (58) and (59) of this book, with reference to a rich man named Garahadinna and the miracle of the lotus flowers.

    There were two friends named Sirigutta and Garahadinna in Savatthi. Sirigutta was a follower of the Buddha and Garahadinna was a follower of the Niganthas, the ascetics who were hostile to the Buddhists. At the instance of the Niganthas, Garahadinna often said to Sirigutta, “What benefit do you get by following the Buddha? Come, be a follower of my teachers.” Having been told thus many times, Sirigutta said to Garahadinna, “Tell me, what do your teachers know?” To this, Garahadinna replied that his teachers knew everything; with their great power they knew the past, the present and the future and also the thoughts of others. So, Sirigutta invited the Niganthas to his house for alms-food.

    Sirigutta wanted to find out the truth about the Niganthas, whether they really possessed the power of knowing other people’s thoughts, etc. So he made a long, deep trench and filled it up with excreta and filth. Seats were then placed precariously over the trench; and big empty pots were brought in and covered up with cloth and banana leaves to make them appear as if they were full of rice and curries. When the Niganthas arrived, they were requested to enter one by one, to stand near their respective seats, and to sit down simultaneously. As all of them sat down, the flimsy strings broke and the Niganthas fell into the filthy trench. Then Sirigutta taunted them, “Why don’t you know the past, the present and the future? Why don’t you know the thoughts of others?” All the Niganthas then fled in terror.

    Garahadinna naturally was furious with Sirigutta and refused to talk to him for two weeks. Then, he decided that he would have his revenge on Sirigutta. He pretended that he was no longer angry, and one day asked Sirigutta to invite, on his behalf, the Buddha and his five hundred disciples to partake of alms-food. So Sirigutta went to the Buddha and invited him to the house of Garahadinna. At the same time, he told the Buddha about what he had done to the Niganthas, the teachers of Garahadinna. He also expressed his fear that this invitation might be a reprisal and so the invitation should be accepted only after due consideration.

    The Buddha, with his supernormal power, knew that this would be the occasion for the two friends to attain Sotapatti Fruition, and therefore accepted the invitation. Garahadinna made a trench, filled it with live coals and covered it with mats. He also kept some empty pots covered with cloth and banana leaves to make them appear as if filled with rice and curries. The next day, the Buddha came followed by five hundred bhikkhus in single file. When the Buddha stepped on the mat over the trench, the mat and live coals miraculously disappeared, and five hundred lotus flowers, each as large as a cart wheel, sprang up for the Buddha and his disciples to sit upon.

    Seeing this miracle, Garahadinna was very much alarmed and he said rather incoherently to Sirigutta, “Help me, dear friend. Out of my desire for revenge, I have truly done a great wrong. My bad designs have had no effect at all on your Teacher. The pots in my kitchen are all empty. Please help me.” Sirigutta then told Garahadinna to go and look at the pots. When Garahadinna found all the pots filled with food he was astounded and at the same time very much relieved and very happy. So the food was offered to the Buddha and his disciples. After the meal, the Buddha expressed his appreciation (anumodana) of the meritorious act and then said, “Ignorant worldlings, lacking in knowledge, do not know the unique qualities of the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha and so they are like the blind; but the wise, having knowledge, are like people with sight.”

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verses 58 – 59: As a sweet-smelling and beautiful lotus flower may grow upon a heap of rubbish thrown on the highway, so also, out of the rubbish heap of beings may appear a disciple of the Buddha, who with his wisdom shines forth far above the blind (ignorant) worldlings.
    At the end of the discourse, both Garahadinna and Sirigutta attained Sotapatti Fruition.

    End of Chapter Four: Flowers (Pupphavagga)

    Dhammapada Verses 58 and 59
    Garahadinna Vatthu

    Yatha sankaradhanasmim
    ujjhitasmim mahapathe
    padumam tattha jayetha
    sucigandham manoramam.

    Evam sankarabhutesu1
    andhabhute puthujjane2
    atirocati pannaya
    sammasambuddhasavako.

    Source: Tipitaka

  10. Conquering all Distractions

    Comment

    Buddha

    As dusk fell, Devaputra Mara, the chief of all the demons, or maras, in this world, tried to disturb Siddhartha’s concentration by conjuring up many fearful apparitions. He manifested hosts of terrifying demons, some throwing spears, some firing arrows, some trying to burn him with fire, and some hurling boulders and even mountains at him. Through the force of his concentration, the weapons, rocks, and mountains appeared to him as a rain of fragrant flowers, and the raging fires became like offerings of rainbow lights.

    Seeing that Siddhartha could not be frightened into abandoning his meditation, Devaputra Mara tried instead to distract him by manifesting countless beautiful women, but Siddhartha responded by developing even deeper concentration. In this way he triumphed over all the demons of this world, which is why he subsequently became known as a “Conqueror Buddha.”

    With this concentration he removed the final veils of ignorance from his mind and in the next moment became a Buddha, a fully enlightened being.

    Source: About Buddha

     

  11. The Story of Thera Godhika

    Comment

    Buddha

    Verse 57: Mara cannot find the path taken by those who are endowed with virtue, who live mindfully and have been freed from moral defilements by Right Knowledge.1

    1. Arahats having eradicated moral defilements are no longer subject to rebirths; so Mara, for all his power, cannot find out where such arahats go after death. (The Commentary)

    The Story of Thera Godhika

    While residing at the Veluvana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (57) of this book, with reference to Thera Godhika.

    Thera Godhika was, on one occasion, diligently practising Tranquillity and Insight Development, on a stone slab on the side of Isigili mountain in Magadha. When he had achieved one-pointedness of the mind (jhana) he became very ill; that impaired the effectiveness of his practice. In spite of his sickness, he kept on striving hard; but every time he was making some progress he was overcome by sickness. He was thus inflicted for six times. Finally, he made up his mind to overcome all obstacles and attain arahatship even if he were to die. So, without relaxing he continued to practise diligently; in the end he decided to give up his life by cutting his throat; at the point of death he attained arahatship.

    When Mara learned that Thera Godhika had died, he tried to find out where the thera was reborn but failed to find him. So, assuming the likeness of a young man, Mara approached the Buddha and enquired where Thera Godhika was. The Buddha replied to him, “It will be of no benefit to you to learn of the destination of Thera Godhika; for having been freed of moral defilements he became an arahat. One like you, Mara, for all your power will not be able to find out where such arahats go after death.”

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 57: Mara cannot find the path taken by those who are endowed with virtue, who live mindfully and have been freed from moral defilements by Right Knowledge.

    Dhammapada Verse 57
    Godhikattheraparinibbana Vatthu

    Tesam sampannasilanam
    appamadaviharinam
    sammadanna vimuttanam
    Maro maggam na vindati.

    Source: Tipitaka

     

  12. Ascetic Sumedha and Dipankara Buddha

    Comment
    Ascetic Sumedha and Dipankara Buddha

    Ascetic Sumedha and Dipankara Buddha

    Gautama Buddha (also known as Shakyamuni) in a former incarnation known as Sumedha, a rich Brahmin turned hermit kneeling and laying his long black hair on the ground, in an act of piety that the Dīpankara Buddha could cross a puddle of mud without soiling his feet. This story between Dīpankara Buddha and Shakyamuni, occurred many lifetimes before Shakyamuni’s eventual enlightenment. From this act, Dīpankara told Sumedha “In the ages of the future you will come to be a Buddha called ‘Shakyamuni'”, to which Sumedha replied, “I am to become a Buddha, awakened to enlightenment; may you tread with your feet on my hair – on my birth, old age, and death.” Dīpankara Buddha then said, “Freed from human existence, you will become an effective teacher, for the sake of the world. Born among the Shakyas, as the epitome of the Triple World, the Lamp of all Beings, you will be known as Gautama. You will be the son of King Suddhodana and Queen Maya. Shariputta and Moggallana will be your chief disciples. Your caretaker will name as Ananda.”

    Source: Sumedha Buddhmission

     

  13. The Story of Thera Mahakassapa

    Comment

    Buddha

    Verse 56: The scents of rhododendron and of sandal wood are very faint; but the scent (reputation) of the virtuous is the strongest; it spreads even to the abodes of the deva.

    While residing at the Veluvana monastery in Rajagaha, the Buddha uttered Verse 56 of this book, with reference to Thera Mahakassapa.

    Arising from nirodhasamapatti*, Thera Mahakassapa entered a poor section of the city of Rajagaha for alms-food. His intention was to give a poor man an opportunity of gaining great merit as a result of offering alms-food to one who had just come out of nirodhasamapatti. Sakka, king of the devas, wishing to take the opportunity of offering alms-food to Thera Mahakassapa, assumed the form of a poor old weaver and came to Rajagaha with his wife Sujata in the form of an old woman. Thera Mahakassapa stood at their door; the poor old weaver took the bowl from the thera and filled up the bowl with rice and curry, and the delicious smell of the curry spread throughout the city. Then it occurred to the thera that this person must be no ordinary human being, and he came to realize that this must be Sakka himself. Sakka admitted the fact and claimed that he too was poor because he had had no opportunity of offering anything to anyone during the time of the Buddhas. So saying, Sakka and his wife Sujata left the thera after paying due respect to him.

    The Buddha, from his monastery, saw Sakka and Sujata leaving and told the bhikkhus about Sakka offering alms-food to Thera Mahakassapa. The bhikkhus wondered how Sakka knew that Thera Mahakassapa had just come out of nirodhasamapatti, and that it was the right and auspicious time for him to make offerings to the thera. This question was put up to the Buddha, and the Buddha answered, “Bhikkhus, the reputation of a virtuous one as my son, Thera Mahakassapa, spreads far and wide; it reaches even the deva world. On account of his good reputation, Sakka himself has come to offer alms-food to him.”

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 56: The scents of rhododendron and of sandal wood are very faint; but the scent (reputation) of the virtuous is the strongest; it spreads even to the abodes of the deva.
    * Nirodhasamapatti: sustained deep mental absorption following the attainment of nirodha, i.e., temporary cessation of the four mental khandhas.

    Dhammapada Verse 56
    Mahakassapatthera Vatthu

    Appamatto ayam gandho
    yayam tagaracandani
    yo ca silavatam gandho
    vati devesu uttamo.

    Source: Tipitaka

  14. The Story of the Question Raised by the Venerable Ananda

    Comment

    Ananda

    Verse 54: The scent of flowers cannot go against the wind; nor the scent of sandalwood, nor of rhododendron (tagara), nor of jasmin (mallika)2; only the reputation of good people can go against the wind. The reputation of the virtuous ones (sappurisa) is wafted abroad in all directions.

    Verse 55: There are the scents of sandalwood, rhododendron, lotus and jasmin (vassika)3; but the scent of virtue surpasses all scents.

    1. sappuriso/sappurisa: good and pious people; virtuous persons. The virtuous are the Noble Ones (the ariyas) and the virtuous worldlings (kalyana puthujjana).

    2. mallika: Arabian jasmin.

    3. vassika: Spanish jasmin.

    The Story of the Question Raised by the Venerable Ananda

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses (54) and (55) of this book, with reference to a question raised by the Venerable Ananda.

    While the Venerable Ananda was sitting by himself one evening, the problem relating to scents and perfumes came to his mind and he pondered: “The scent of wood, the scent of flowers, and the scent of roots all spread with the current of wind but not against it. Is there no scent which would spread with the current of wind as well as against it? Is there no scent which would pervade every part of the world?” Without answering the question himself, the Venerable Ananda approached the Buddha and solicited an answer from him. The Buddha said, “Ananda, supposing, there is one who takes refuge in the Three Gems (the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Samgha), who observes the five moral precepts, who is generous and not avaricious; such a man is truly virtuous and truly worthy of praise. The reputation of that virtuous one would spread far and wide, and bhikkhus, brahmins and laymen all alike would speak in praise of him, wherever he lives.”

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 54: The scent of flowers cannot go against the wind; nor the scent of sandalwood, nor of rhododendron (tagara), nor of jasmin (mallika); only the reputation of good people can go against the wind. The reputation of the virtuous ones (sappurisa) is wafted abroad in all directions.

    Verse 55: There are the scents of sandalwood, rhododendron, lotus and jasmin (vassika); but the scent of virtue surpasses all scents.

    Dhammapada Verses 54 and 55
    Anandattherapanha Vatthu

    Na pupphagandho pativatameti
    na candanam tagara mallika va
    satanca gandho pativatameti
    sabba disa sappuriso1pavayati.

    Cadanam tagaram vapi
    uppalam atha vassiki
    etesam gandhajatanam
    silagandho anuttaro.

    Source: Tipitaka

  15. The Story of Visakha

    Comment

    Buddha

    Verse 53: As from a collection of flowers many a garland can be made by an expert florist, so also, much good can be done (with wealth, out of faith and generosity) by one subject to birth and death.

    1. kattabbam kusalam bahum: much good may be done. According to the Commentary, it means many deeds of merit should be done with wealth, out of faith and generosity.

    While residing at the Pubbarama monastery in Savatthi, the Buddha uttered Verse (53) of this book, with reference to Visakha, the famous donor of the Pubbarama monastery.

    When Visakha was seven years old, the Buddha came on a tour to Bhaddiya. On that occasion, the rich man Mendaka took Visakha and her five hundred companions with him to pay homage to the Buddha. After hearing the discourse given by the Buddha, Visakha, her grandfather and all her five hundred companions attained Sotapatti Fruition.

    When Visakha came of age, she married Punnavadahana, son of Migara, a fairly rich man from Savatthi. One day, while Migara was having his meal, a bhikkhu stopped for alms at his house; but Migara completely ignored the bhikkhu. Visakha, seeing this, said to the bhikkhu, “I am sorry, your reverence, my father-in-law only eats leftovers.” On hearing this, Migara flew into a rage and told her to leave his house. But Visakha said she was not going away, and that she would send for the eight elderly rich men who were sent by her father to accompany her and to advise her. It was for them to decide whether she was guilty or not. When the elders came, Migara said to them, “While I was having my rice-with-milk in a golden bowl, Visakha said that I was taking only dirt and filth. For this offence, I’m sending her away.” Thereupon, Visakha explained as follows: “When I saw my father-in-law completely ignoring the bhikkhu standing for alms-food, I thought to myself that my father-in-law was not doing any meritorious deed in this existence. he was only eating the fruits of his past good deeds. So, I said, ‘My father-in-law only eats leftovers.’ Now Sirs, what do you think, am I guilty?” The elders decided that Visakha was not guilty. Visakha then said that she was one who had absolute and unshakable faith in the Teaching of the Buddha and so could not stay where the bhikkhus were not welcome; and also, that if she was not given permission to invite the bhikkhus to the house to offer alms-food and make other offerings, she would leave the house. So permission was granted to her to invite the Buddha and his bhikkhus to the house.

    The next day, the Buddha and his disciples were invited to the house of Visakha. When alms-food was about to be offered, she sent word to her father-in-law to join her in offering food; but he did not come. When the meal was over, again she sent a message, this time requesting her father-in-law to join her in hearing the discourse that would soon be given by the Buddha. Her father-in-law felt that he should not refuse for a second time. But his ascetic teachers, the Niganthas, would not let him go; however, they conceded that he could listen from behind a curtain. After hearing the Buddha’s discourse Migara attained Sotapatti Fruition. He felt very thankful to the Buddha and also to his daughter-in-law. Being so thankful, he declared that henceforth Visakha would be like a mother to him, and Visakha came to be known as Migaramata.

    Visakha gave birth to ten sons and ten daughters, and ten sons and ten daughters each were born to everyone of her children and grand-children. Visakha possessed an immensely valuable gem-encrusted cloak given by her father as a wedding present. One day, Visakha went to the Jetavana monastery with her entourage. On arrival at the monastery, she found that her bejeweled cloak was too heavy. So, she took it off, wrapped it up in her shawl, and gave it to the maid to hold it and take care of it. The maid absentmindedly left it at the monastery. It was the custom for the Venerable Ananda to look after the things left by any one of the lay disciples. Visakha sent the maid back to the monastery saying, “Go and look for the bejeweled cloak, but if the Venerable Ananda had already found it and kept it in a place do not bring it back; I donate the bejeweled cloak to the Venerable Ananda.” But the Venerable Ananda did not accept her donation. So Visakha decided to sell the bejeweled cloak and donate the sale proceeds. But there was no one who could afford to buy that bejeweled cloak. So Visakha bought it back for nine crores and one lakh. With this money, she built a monastery on the eastern side of the city; this monastery came to be known as Pubbarama.

    After the libation ceremony she called all her family to her and on that night she told them that all her wishes had been fulfilled and that she had nothing more to desire. Then reciting five verses of exultation she went round and round the monastery. Some bhikkhus hearing her, thought she was singing and reported to the Buddha that Visakha was not like before, and that she was going round and round the monastery, singing. “Could it be that she had gone off her head?” they asked the Buddha. To this question, the Buddha replied, “Today, Visakha had all her wishes of the past and present existences fulfilled and on account of that sense of achievement, she was feeling elated and contented; Visakha was just reciting some verses of exultation; she certainly had not gone off her head. Visakha, throughout her previous existences, had always been a generous donor and an ardent promoter of the Doctrine of successive Buddhas. She was most strongly inclined to do good deeds and had done much good in her previous existences, just as an expert florist makes many garlands from a collection of flowers.”

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 53: As from a collection of flowers many a garland can be made by an expert florist, so also, much good can be done (with wealth, out of faith and generosity) by one subject to birth and death.

    Dhammapada Verse 53
    Visakha Vatthu

    Yathapi puppharasimha
    kayira malagune bahu
    evam jatena maccena
    kattabbam kusalam bahum

    Source: Tipitaka

     

  16. The Story of Chattapani, a Lay Disciple

    Comment
    Ven. Toum Vachana

    Ven. Toum Vachana

    Verse 51: Just as a beautiful flower, lacking in scent, cannot give the wearer the benefit of its scent, so also, the well-preached words of the Buddha cannot benefit one who does not practise the Dhamma.

    Verse 52: Just as a flower, beautiful as well as fragrant, will give the wearer the benefit of its scent, so also, the well-preached words of the Buddha will benefit one who practises the Dhamma.

    The Story of Chattapani, a Lay Disciple

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses (51) and (52) of this book, with reference to the lay disciple Chattapani and the two queens of King Pasenadi of Kosala.

    A lay disciple named Chattapani who was an anagami* lived in Savatthi. On one occasion, Chattapani was with the Buddha at the Jetavana monastery respectfully and attentively listening to a religious discourse, when King Pasenadi also came to the Buddha. Chattapani did not stand up because he thought that by standing up, it might mean that he was paying respect to the king, but not paying due respect to the Buddha. The king took that as an insult and was very much offended. The Buddha knew exactly how the king was feeling; so he spoke in praise of Chattapani, who was well-versed in the Dhamma and had also attained the Anagami Fruition. On hearing this, the king was impressed and favourably inclined towards Chattapani.

    When the king next met Chattapani he said, “You are so learned; could you please come to the palace and give lessons of the Dhamma to my two queens?” Chattapani declined but he suggested that the king should request the Buddha to assign a bhikkhu for this purpose. So, the king approached the Buddha in connection with this, and the Buddha directed the Venerable Ananda to go regularly to the palace and teach the Dhamma to Queen Mallika and Queen Vasabhakhattiya. After some time, the Buddha asked the Venerable Ananda about the progress of the two queens. The Venerable Ananda answered that although Mallika was learning the Dhamma seriously, Vasabhakhattiya was not paying proper attention. On hearing this the Buddha said that the Dhamma could be of benefit only to those who learn it seriously with due respect and proper attention and then practise diligently what was taught.

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 51: Just as a beautiful flower, lacking in scent, cannot give the wearer the benefit of its scent, so also, the well-preached words of the Buddha cannot benefit one who does not practise the Dhamma.

    Verse 52: Just as a flower, beautiful as well as fragrant, will give the wearer the benefit of its scent, so also, the well-pre

    Dhammapada Verses 51 and 52
    Chattapani upasaka Vatthu

    Yathapi ruciram puppham
    vannavantam agandhakam
    evam subhasita vaca
    aphala hoti akubbato.

    Yathapi ruciram puppham
    vannavantam sagandhakam
    evam subhasita vaca
    saphala hoti kubbato.

    Source: Tipitaka

     

  17. The Story of the Ascetic Paveyya

    Comment

    Buddha

    Verse 50: One should not consider the faults of others, nor their doing or not doing good or bad deeds. One should consider only whether one has done or not done good or bad deeds.

    The Story of the Ascetic Paveyya

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (50) of this book, with reference to the ascetic Paveyya and a rich lady.

    A rich lady of Savatthi had adopted Paveyya, an ascetic, as a son and was looking after his needs. When she heard her neighbours talking in praise of the Buddha, she wished very much to invite him to her house to offer him alms-food. So, the Buddha was invited and choice food was offered. As the Buddha was expressing appreciation (anumodana), Paveyya, who was in the next room, fumed with rage. He blamed and cursed the lady for venerating the Buddha. The lady heard him cursing and shouting and felt so ashamed that she could not concentrate on what the Buddha was saying. The Buddha told her not to be concerned about those curses and threats, but to concentrate only on her own good and bad deeds.

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 50: One should not consider the faults of others, nor their doing or not doing good or bad deeds. One should consider only whether one has done or not done good or bad deeds.
    At the end of the discourse the rich lady attained Sotapatti Fruition.

    Dhammapada Verse 50
    Paveyya ajivaka Vatthu

    Na paresam vilomani
    na paresam katakatam
    attanova avekkheyya
    katani akatani ca.

    Source: Tipitaka

     

  18. The Story of Kosiya, the Miserly Rich Man

    Comment

    little monks

    Verse 49: As the bee collects nectar and flies away without damaging the flower or its colour or its scent, so also, let the bhikkhu dwell and act in the village (without affecting the faith and generosity or the wealth of the villagers).

    The Story of Kosiya, the Miserly Rich Man

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (49) of this book, with reference to the Chief Disciple Maha Moggallana and the miserly rich man, Kosiya.

    In the village of Sakkara, near Rajagaha, there lived a miserly rich man by the name of Kosiya, who was very reluctant to give away even the tiniest part of anything belonging to him. One day, to avoid sharing with others, the rich man and his wife were making some pancakes in the uppermost storey of their house, where no one would see them.

    Early in the morning, on that day, the Buddha through his supernormal power, saw the rich man and his wife in his vision, and knew that both of them would soon attain Sotapatti Fruition. So he sent his Chief Disciple Maha Moggallana to the house of the rich man, with instructions to bring the couple to the Jetavana monastery in time for the midday meal. The Chief Disciple, by supernormal power, reached Kosiya’s house in an instant and stood at the window. The rich man saw him and asked him to leave; the Venerable Maha Moggallana just stood there without saying anything. In the end, Kosiya said to his wife, “Make a very small pancake and give it to the bhikkhu.” So she took just a little amount of dough and put it in the pan, and the cake filled up the whole pan. Kosiya thought his wife must have put in too much, so he took just a pinch of dough and put it into the pan; his pancake also swelled into a big one. It so happened that however little dough they might put in, they were unable to make small pancakes. At last, Kosiya asked his wife to offer one from the basket to the bhikkhu. When she tried to take out one from the basket it would not come off because all the pancakes were sticking together and could not be separated. By this time Kosiya has lost all appetite for pancakes and offered the whole basket of pancakes to Maha Moggallana. The Chief Disciple then delivered a discourse on charity to the rich man and his wife. He also told the couple about how the Buddha was waiting with five hundred bhikkhus at the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi, forty-five yojanas away from Rajagaha. Maha Moggallana, by his supernormal power, then took both Kosiya and his wife together with their basket of pancakes, to the presence of the Buddha. There, they offered the pancakes to the Buddha and the five hundred bhikkhus. At the end of the meal, the Buddha delivered a discourse on charity, and both Kosiya and his wife attained Sotapatti Fruition.

    Next evening, while the bhikkhus were talking in praise of Maha Moggallana, the Buddha came to them and said, “Bhikkhus, you should also dwell and act in the village like Maha Moggallana, receiving the offerings of the villagers without affecting their faith and generosity, or their wealth.”

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 49: As the bee collects nectar and flies away without damaging the flower or its colour or its scent, so also, let the bhikkhu dwell and act in the village (without affecting the faith and generosity or the wealth of the villagers).

    Dhammapada Verse 49
    Macchariyakosiyasetthi Vatthu

    Yathipi bhamaro puppham
    vannagandhamahethayam
    paleti rasamadaya
    evam game muni care.

    Source: Tipitaka

     

  19. The Story of Patipujika Kumari

    Comment

    Buddha walking in heaven

    Verse 48: Like one who picks and chooses flowers, a man who has his mind attached to sensual pleasures and is insatiate in them is over powered by Death.

    The Story of Patipujika Kumari

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (48) of this book, with reference to Patipujika Kumari.

    Patipujika Kumari was a lady from Savatthi. She married at the age of sixteen and had four sons. She was a virtuous as well as a generous lady, who loved to make offerings of food and other requisites to the bhikkhus. She would often go to the monastery and clean up the premises, fill the pots and jars with water and perform other services. Patipujika also possessed Jatissara Knowledge through which she remembered that in her previous existence she was one of the numerous wives of Malabhari, in the deva world of Tavatimsa. She also remembered that she had passed away from there when all of them were out in the garden enjoying themselves, plucking and picking flowers. So, every time she made offerings to the bhikkhus or performed any other meritorious act, she would pray that she might be reborn in the Tavatimsa realm as a wife of Malabhari, her previous husband.

    One day, Patipujika fell ill and passed away that same evening. As she had so ardently wished, she was reborn in Tavatimsa deva world as a wife of Malabhari. As one hundred years in the human world is equivalent to just one day in Tavatimsa world, Malabhari and his other wives were still in the garden enjoying themselves and Patipujika was barely missed by them. So, when she rejoined them, Malabhari asked her where she had been the whole morning. She then told him about her passing away from Tavatimsa, her rebirth in the human world, her marriage to a man and also about how she had given birth to four sons, her passing away from there and finally her return to Tavatimsa.

    When the bhikkhus learned about the death of Patipujika, they were stricken with grief. They went to the Buddha and reported that Patipujika, who was offering alms-food to them early in the morning, had passed away in the evening. To them the Buddha replied that the life of beings was very brief; and that before they could hardly be satiated in their sensual pleasures, they were overpowered by Death.

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 48: Like one who picks and chooses flowers, a man who has his mind attached to sensual pleasures and is insatiate in them is over powered by Death.

    Dhammapada Verse 48
    Patipujikakumari Vatthu

    Pupphani heva pacinantam
    bysssasattamanasam naram
    atittanneva kamesu
    antako kurute vasam.

    Source: Tipitaka

     

  20. The Story of Vitatubha

    Comment

    Buddha Kassapa

    Verse 47: Like one who picks and chooses flowers, a man who has his mind attached to sensual pleasures is carried away by Death, just as a great flood sweeps away a sleeping village.

    The Story of Vitatubha

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (47) of this book, with reference to Vitatubha, son of King Pasenadi of Kosala.

    King Pasenadi of Kosala, wishing to marry into the clan of the Sakyans, sent some emissaries to Kapilavatthu with a request for the hand of one of the Sakyan princesses. Not wishing to offend King Pasenadi, the Sakyan princes replied that they would comply with his request, but instead of a Sakyan princess they sent a very beautiful girl born of King Mahanama and a slave woman. King Pasenadi made that girl one of his chief queens and subsequently she gave birth to a son. This son was named Vitatubha. When the prince was sixteen years old, he was sent on a visit to King Mahanama and the Sakyan princes. There he was received with some hospitality but all the Sakyan princes who were younger than Vitatubha had been sent away to a village, so that they would not have to pay respect to Vitatubha. After staying a few days in Kapilavatthu, Vitatubha and his company left for home. Soon after they left, a slave girl was washing with milk the place where Vitatubha had sat; she was also cursing him, shouting, “This is the place where that son of a slave woman had sat”. At that moment, a member of Vitatubha’s entourage returned to fetch something which he had left at the place and heard what the slave girl said. The slave girl also told him that Vitatubha’s mother, Vasabhakhattiya, was the daughter of a slave girl belonging to Mahanama.

    When Vitatubha was told about the above incident, he became wild with rage and declared that one day he would wipe out the whole clan of the Sakyans. True to his word, when Vitatubha became king, he marched on the Sakyan clan and massacred them all, with the exception of a few who were with Mahanama and some others. On their way home, Vitatubha and his army encamped on the sandbank in the river Aciravati. As heavy rain fell in the upper parts of the country on that very night, the river swelled and rushed down with great force carrying away Vitatubha and his army into the ocean.

    On hearing about these two tragic incidents, the Buddha explained to the bhikkhus that his relatives, the Sakyan princes, had in one of their previous existences, put poison into the river killing the fishes. It was as a result of that particular action that the Sakyan princes had to die en masse. Then, referring to the incident about Vitatubha and his army, the Buddha said, “As a great flood sweeps away all the villagers in a sleeping village, so also, Death carries away all the creatures hankering after sensual pleasures.”

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 47: Like one who picks and chooses flowers, a man who has his mind attached to sensual pleasures is carried away by Death, just as a great flood sweeps away a sleeping village.

    Dhammapada Verse 47
    Vitatubha Vatthu

    Pupphani heva pacinantam
    byasattamanasam naram
    suttam gamam mahoghova
    maccu adaya gacchati.

    Source: Tipitaka

Khmer Tipitaka 1 – 110

Khmer Tipitaka 1 – 110

The Tipitaka or Pali canon, is the collection of primary Pali language texts which form the doctrinal foundation of Theravada Buddhism. The three divisions of the Tipitaka are: Vinaya Pitaka, Sutta Pitaka, Abhidhamma Pitaka. ព្រះត្រៃបិដក ប្រែថា កញ្រ្ចែង ឬ ល្អី​ ៣ សម្រាប់ដាក់ផ្ទុកពាក្យពេចន៍នៃព្រះសម្មាសម្ពុទ្ធ

Listen to Khmer literature and Dhamma talk by His Holiness Jotannano Chuon Nath, Supreme Patriarch of Cambodia Buddhism.

Jendhamuni

As a solid rock is not shaken by the wind, so the wise are not shaken by blame and praise. As a deep lake is clear and calm, so the wise become tranquil after they listened to the truth... Good people walk on regardless of what happens to them. Good people do not babble on about their desires. Whether touched by happiness or by sorrow, the wise never appear elated or depressed… ~The Dhammapada

Should anyone wish to ridicule me and make me an object of jest and scorn why should I possibly care if I have dedicated myself to others?

Let them do as they wish with me so long as it does not harm them. May no one who encounters me ever have an insignificant contact.

Regardless whether those whom I meet respond towards me with anger or faith, may the mere fact of our meeting contribute to the fulfilment of their wishes.

May the slander, harm and all forms of abuse that anyone should direct towards me act as a cause of their enlightenment.

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