1. The Story of Citta the Householder

    Comment

    Verse 73: The foolish bhikkhu desires praise for qualities he does not have, precedence among bhikkhus, authority in the monasteries, and veneration from those unrelated to him.

    Verse 74: “Let both laymen and bhikkhus think that things are done because of me; let them obey me in all matters, great and small.” Such being the thoughts of the fool, his greed and his pride grow.

    1. parakulesu: those outside the family; (para = outside or others).

    2. gihi: short form for gahapati, householder.

    The Story of Citta the Householder

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses (73) and (74) of this book, with reference to Thera Sudhamma and Citta the householder.

    Citta, a householder, once met Thera Mahanama, one of the group of the first five bhikkhus (Pancavaggis), going on an alms-round, and invited the thera to his house. There, he offered alms-food to the thera and after listening to the discourse given by him, Citta attained Sotapatti Fruition. Later, Citta built a monastery in his mango grove. There, he looked to the needs of all bhikkhus who came to the monastery and Bhikkhu Sudhamma was installed as the resident bhikkhu.

    One day, the two Chief Disciples of the Buddha, the Venerable Sariputta and the Venerable Maha Moggallana, came to the monastery and after listening to the discourse given by the Venerable Sariputta, Citta attained Anagami Fruition. Then, he invited the two Chief Disciples to his house for alms-food the next day. He also invited Thera Sudhamma, but Thera Sudhamma refused in anger and said, “You invite me only after the other two.” Citta repeated his invitation, but it was turned down. Nevertheless, Thera Sudhamma went to the house of Citta early on the following day. But when invited to enter the house, Thera Sudhamma refused and said that he would not sit down as he was going on his alms-round. But when he saw the things that were to be offered to the two Chief Disciples, he envied them so much that he could not restrain his anger. He abused Citta and said, “I don’t want to stay in your monastery any longer,” and left the house in anger. Continue reading

  2. The Story of Satthikutapeta

    Comment

    Verse 72: The skill of a fool can only harm him; it destroys his merit and his wisdom (lit., it severs his head).

    1. sukkamsa: sukka + amsa : sukka means white, bright, pure or good; amsa means portion. According to the Commentary, sukkamsa means merit.

    2. muddha: head, top, summit. According to the Commentary, it means knowledge.

    The Story of Satthikutapeta

    While residing at the Veluvana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (72) of this book with reference to a peta-ghost named Satthikutapeta.

    The Chief Disciple Maha Moggallana saw this enormous peta-ghost while going on an alms-round with Thera Lakkhana. In this connection, the Buddha explained that Satthikutapeta, in one of his previous existences, was very skilful in throwing stones at things. One day, he asked permissions from his teacher to try out his skill. His teacher told him not to hit a cow, or a human being as he would have to pay compensation to the owner or to the relative, but to find a target which was ownerless or guardianless.

    On seeing the paccekabuddha, the idiots lacking in intelligence, thought the paccekabuddha, having no relative or guardian, would be an ideal target. So he threw a stone at the paccekabuddha who was on an alms-round. The stone entered from one ear and came out of the other. The paccekabuddha expired when he reached the monastery. The stone-thrower was killed by the disciples of the paccekabuddha and he was reborn in Avici Niraya. Afterwards, he was reborn as a peta-ghost and had since been serving the remaining term of the evil consequences (kamma) of his evil deed. As a peta-ghost his enormous head was being continuously hit with red-hot hammers.

    In conclusion, the Buddha said, “To a fool, his skill or knowledge is of no use; it can only harm him.”

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
    Verse 72: The skill of a fool can only harm him; it destroys his merit and his wisdom (lit., it severs his head).

    Dhammapada Verse 72
    Satthikutapeta Vatthu

    Yavadeva anatthaya
    nattam balassa jayati
    hanti balassa sukkamsam1
    muddhamassa2 vipatayam.

    Source: Tipitaka

  3. The Story of Ahipeta

    Comment

    Verse 71: An evil deed does not immediately bear fruit, just as the newly-drawn milk does not curdle at once; but it follows the fool burning him like live coal covered with ashes.

    The Story of Ahipeta*

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (71) of this book, with reference to a peta-ghost.

    The Chief Disciple Maha Moggallana was on one occasion going on an alms-round with Thera Lakkhana in Rajagaha. On seeing something, he smiled but said nothing. When they were back at the monastery, Thera Maha Moggallana told Thera Lakkhana that he smiled because he saw a peta-ghost with the head of a human being and the body of a snake. The Buddha then said that he himself had seen that very peta-ghost on the day he attained Buddhahood. The Buddha also explained that, a very long time ago, there was a paccekabuddha, who was respected by many. People going to his monastery had to traverse a field. The owner of the field, fearing that his field would be damaged by too many people going to and from the monastery, set fire to it. Consequently, the paccekabuddha had to move to some other place. The disciples of the paccekabuddha, being very angry with the land-owner, beat him and killed him. On his death he was reborn in Avici Niraya. In his present existence, he was serving out the remaining term of the evil consequences (kamma) as a peta-ghost.

    In conclusion, the Buddha said, “An evil deed does not bear fruit immediately, but it invariably follows the evil doer. There is no escape from the consequences of an evil deed.”

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
    Verse 71: An evil deed does not immediately bear fruit, just as the newly-drawn milk does not curdle at once; but it follows the fool burning him like live coal covered with ashes.

    * Ahipeta = Ahi + peta; ahi = snake + peta = peta-ghost, an ever-hungry spirit or ghost. In this instance a ghost with the head of a human being and the body of a snake.

    Dhammapada Verse 71
    Ahipeta Vatthu

    Na hi papam katam kammam
    sajju khiramva muccati
    dahantam balarnanveti
    bhasmacchannova pavako.

    Source: Tipitaka

  4. The Story of Thera Jambuka

    Comment

    Verse 70: Even though, month after month, the fool (living in austerity) takes his food sparingly with the tip of a grass blade, he is not worth even one-sixteenth part of those who have comprehended the Truth (i.e., the ariyas).

    The Story of Thera Jambuka

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (70) of this book, with reference to Thera Jambuka.

    Jambuka was the son of a rich man in Savatthi. Due to his past evil deeds he was born with very peculiar habits. As a child, he wanted to sleep on the floor with no proper bed, and to take his own excreta for food instead of rice. When he grew older, his parents sent him to the Ajivakas, the naked ascetics. When those ascetics found out about his peculiar food habits they drove him away. At nights he ate human excreta and in the day time stood still on one leg and kept his mouth open. He used to say that he kept his mouth open because he only lived on air and that he stood on one leg because it would otherwise be too heavy for the earth to bear him. “I never sit down, I never go to sleep,” he boasted and on account of this, he was known as Jambuka, a ‘jackal’.

    Many people believed him and some would come to him with offerings of choice food. Then Jambuka would refuse and say, “I do not take any food except air.” When pressed, he would take just a little of the food with the tip of a blade of grass and say, “Now go, this little will give you enough merit.” In this way, Jambuka lived for fifty-five years, naked and taking only excreta.

    One day, the Buddha saw in his vision that Jambuka was due to attain arahatship within a short time. So, in the evening, the Buddha went to where Jambuka was staying and asked for some place to spend the night. Jambuka pointed out to him a mountain-cave not far from the stone slab on which he himself was staying. During the first, second and third watches of the night, the Catumaharajika devas, Sakka and Mahabrahma came to pay homage to the Buddha in turn. On all the three occasions, the forest was lit up and Jambuka saw the light three times. In the morning, he walked over to the Buddha and enquired about the lights.

    When told about the devas, Sakka and Mahabrahma coming to pay homage to the Buddha, Jambuka was very much impressed, and said to the Buddha, “You must, indeed, be a wonderfully great person for the devas, Sakka and Mahabrahma to come and pay homage to you. As for me, even though I have practised austerely for fifty-five years, living only on air and standing only on one leg, none of the devas, nor Sakka, nor Mahabrahma has ever came to me” To him, the Buddha replied, “O Jambuka! You have been deceiving other people, but you cannot deceive me. I know that for fifty-five years you have been eating excreta and sleeping on the ground.”

    Furthermore, the Buddha explained to him how in one of his past existences during the time of Kassapa Buddha, Jambuka had prevented a thera from going with him to the house of a lay-disciple where alms-food was being offered and how he had also thrown away the food that was sent along with him for that thera. It was for those evil deeds that Jambuka had to be eating excreta and sleeping on the ground. Hearing that account, Jambuka was horrified and terror-stricken, and repented for having done evil and for having deceived other people. He went down on his knees and the Buddha gave him a piece of cloth to put on. The Buddha then proceeded to deliver a discourse; at the end of the discourse Jambuka attained arahatship and joined the Buddhist Order on the spot.

    Soon after this, Jambuka’s pupils from Anga and Magadha arrived and they were surprised to see their teacher with the Buddha. Thera Jambuka then explained to his pupils that he had joined the Buddhist Order and that he was now only a disciple of the Buddha. To them, the Buddha said that although their teacher had lived austerely by taking food very sparingly, it was not worth even one-sixteenth part of his present practice and achievement.

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
    Verse 70: Even though, month after month, the fool (living in austerity) takes his food sparingly with the tip of a grass blade, he is not worth even one-sixteenth part of those who have comprehended the Truth (i.e., the ariyas).

    Dhammapada Verse 70
    Jambukatthera Vatthu

    Mase mase kusaggena
    balo bhunjeyya bhojanam
    na so sankhatadhammanam
    kalam agghati solasim.

    Source: Tipitaka

     

  5. The Story of Theri Uppalavanna

    Comment

    Theri Uppalavanna and Nanda

    Verse 69: As long as the evil deed does not bear fruit, the fool thinks it is sweet like honey; but when his evil deed does bear fruit, the fool suffers for it.

    The Story of Theri Uppalavanna

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (69) of this book, with reference to Theri Uppalavanna.

    Once there was a young daughter of a rich man in Savatthi. Because she was so beautiful, with looks so tender and sweet, like a blue lotus flower, she was called “Uppalavanna”, the blue lotus. The fame of her beauty spread far and wide and there were many suitors: princes, rich men and many others. But she decided that it would be better for her to become a bhikkhuni, a female member of the Buddhist Order. One day, after lighting a lamp, she kept her mind fixed on the flame and meditating on the fire kasina (object of concentration) she soon achieved Magga Insight and finally attained arahatship.

    Some time later, she moved to the ‘Dark Forest’ (Andhavana) and lived in solitude. While Theri Uppalavanna was out on her alms-round, Nanda, the son of her uncle, came to her monastery and hid himself underneath her couch. Nanda had fallen in love with Uppalavanna before she became a bhikkhuni; his intention obviously was to take her by force. When Uppalavanna returned she saw Nanda and said, “You fool! Do no harm, do not molest.” But he would not be stopped. After satisfying himself, he left her. As soon as he stepped on the ground, the earth opened wide and he was swallowed up.

    Hearing about this, the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
    Verse 69: As long as the evil deed does not bear fruit, the fool thinks it is sweet like honey; but when his evil deed does bear fruit, the fool suffers for it.

    At the end of the discourse, many attained Sotapatti Fruition.

    The Buddha next sent for King Pasenadi of Kosala and told him about the dangers that bhikkhunis living in forests had to face from irresponsible persons obsessed with sex. The king then promised to build monasteries for bhikkhunis only in towns or close to the towns.

    Dhammapada Verse 69
    Uppalavannattheri Vatthu

    Madhumva mannati balo
    yava papam na paccati
    yada ca paccati papam
    atha dukkham nigacchati.

    Source: Tipitaka

  6. The Story of Sumana, the Florist

    Comment

    pink lotus fower animationVerse 68: That deed is well done if one has not to repent for having done it, and if one is delightful and happy with the result of that deed.

    The Story of Sumana, the Florist

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (68) of this book, with reference to Sumana the florist.

    A florist, named Sumana, had to supply King Bimbisara of Rajagaha with jasmin flowers every morning. One day, as he was going to the king’s palace he saw the Buddha, with a halo of light-rays radiating from him, coming into town for alms-food accompanied by many bhikkhus. Seeing the Buddha in his resplendent glory, the florist Sumana felt a strong desire to offer his flowers to the Buddha. Then and there, he decided that even if the king were to drive him out of the country or to kill him, he would not offer the flowers to the king for that day. Thus, he threw up the flowers to the sides, to the back and over and above the head of the Buddha. The flowers remained hanging in the air; those over the head formed a canopy of flowers and those at the back and the sides formed walls of flowers. These flowers followed the Buddha in this position as he moved on, and stopped when the Buddha stopped. As the Buddha proceeded, surrounded by walls of flowers, and a canopy of flowers, with the six-coloured rays radiating from his body, followed by a large entourage, thousands of people inside and outside of Rajagaha came out of their houses to pay obeisance to the Buddha. As for Sumana, his entire body was suffused with delightful satisfaction (Piti).

    The wife of the florist Sumana then went to the king and said that she had nothing to do with her husband failing to supply the king with flowers for that day. The king, being a Sotapanna himself, felt quite happy about the flowers. He came out to see the wonderful sight and paid obeisance to the Buddha. The king also took the opportunity to offer alms-food to the Buddha and his disciples. After the meal, the Buddha returned in the Jetavana monastery and the king followed him for some distance. On arrival back at the palace King Bimbisara sent for Sumana and offered him a reward of eight elephants, eight horses, eight male slaves, eight female slaves, eight maidens and eight thousand in cash.

    At the Jetavana monastery, the Venerable Ananda asked the Buddha what benefits Sumana would gain by his good deed done on that day. The Buddha answered that Sumana, having given to the Buddha without any consideration for his life, would not be born in any of the four lower worlds (Apaya) for the next one hundred thousand worlds and that eventually he would become a paccekabuddha. After that, as the Buddha entered the Perfumed Hall (Gandhakuti) the flowers dropped off of their own accord.

    That night, at the end of the usual discourse, the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 68: That deed is well done if one has not to repent for having done it, and if one is delightful and happy with the result of that deed.

    Dhammapada Verse 68
    Sumanamalakara Vatthu

    Tanca kammam katam sadhu
    yam katva nanutappati
    yassa patito sumano
    vipikam patisevati.

    Source: Tipitaka

  7. The Story of a Farmer

    Comment

    Buddha statue

    Verse 67: That deed is not well done, if one has to repent for having done it, and if, with a tearful face, one has to weep as a result of that deed.

    The Story of a Farmer

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (67) of this book, with reference to a farmer who handled poison.

    One day, some thieves having stolen some valuables and cash from the house of a rich man came to a field. There, they divided the stolen property among themselves and dispersed; but a packet containing one thousand in cash, having dropped from one of the thieves, was left behind unnoticed.

    Early in the morning on that day, the Buddha, on surveying the world with his supernormal power, perceived that a farmer, cultivating near that field, would attain Sotapatti Fruition on that very day. So, the Buddha went there, accompinied by the Venerable Ananda. The farmer on seeing the Buddha paid obeisance to him and continued to plough the field. The Buddha seeing the packet of money said to the Venerable Ananda, “Ananda, look at that very poisonous snake,” and Ananda replied, “Venerable Sir, yes, it is, indeed, a very poisonous snake!” Then, both the Buddha and the Venerable Ananda continued their way.

    The farmer, hearing them, went to find out if there really was a snake and found the packet of money. He took the picket and hid it in a place. The owners of the property coming after the thieves came to the field, and tracing the footprints of the farmer, found the packet of money. They beat the farmer and took him to the king, who ordered his men to kill the farmer. On being taken to the cemetery, where he was to be killed, the farmer kept on repeating, “Ananda, look at that very poisonous snake. Venerable Sir, I see the snake; it is, indeed, a very poisonous snake!” When the king’s men heard the above dialogue between the Buddha and the Venerable Ananda being repeated all the way, they were puzzled and took him to the king. The king surmised that the farmer was calling upon the Buddha as a witness; he was therefore taken to the presence of the Buddha. After hearing from the Buddha everything that had happened in the morning, the king remarked, “If he had not been able to call upon the Buddha as a witness of his innocence, this man would have been killed.” To him, the Buddha replied, “A wise man should not do anything that he would repent after doing it.”

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 67: That deed is not well done, if one has to repent for having done it, and if, with a tearful face, one has to weep as a result of that deed.

    At the end of the discourse, the farmer attained Sotapatti Fruition.

     

    Dhammapada Verse 67
    Kassaka Vatthu

    Na tam kammam katam sadhu
    yam katva anutappati
    yassa assumukho rodam
    vipakam patisevati.

    Source: Tipitaka

  8. The Story of Suppabuddha, the Leper

    Comment

    reclining Buddha

    Verse 66: With themselves as their own enemies, fools lacking in intelligence, move about doing evil deeds, which bear bitter fruits.

    The Story of Suppabuddha, the Leper

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (66) of this book, with reference to Suppabuddha, a leper.

    Suppabuddha, the leper, while sitting at the back of the crowd and listening attentively to the discourse given by the Buddha, attained Sotapatti Fruition. When the crowd had dispersed, he followed the Buddha to the monastery as he wished to tell the Buddha about his attainment of Sotapatti Fruition. Sakka, king of the devas, wishing to test the leper’s faith in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha, appeared to him and said, “You are only a poor man, living on what you get by begging, with no one to fall back on. I can give you immense wealth if you deny the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha and say that you have no use for them.” To this, Suppabuddha replied. “I am certainly not a poor man, with no one to rely on. I am a rich man; I possess the seven attributes which the ariyas possess; I have faith (saddha), morality (sila), sense of shame to do evil (hiri), sense of fear to do evil (ottappa), learning (sula), generosity (caga) and knowledge (panna).

    Then, Sakka went to the Buddha ahead of Suppabuddha and related the conversation between himself and Suppabuddha. To him the Buddha replied that it would not be easy even for a hundred or a thousand Sakkas to coax Suppabuddha away from the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha. Soon after this, Suppabuddha arrived at the monastery and reported to the Buddha about his attainment of Sotapatti Fruition. On his way back from the Jetavana monastery, Suppabuddha was gored to death by an infuriated cow, who, in fact, was an ogress assuming the form of a cow. This ogress was none other than the prostitute who was killed by Suppabuddha in one of his previous existences and who had vowed to have her revenge on him.

    When the news of Suppabuddha’s death reached the Jetavana monastery, the bhikkhus asked the Buddha where Suppabuddha was reborn and the Buddha replied to them that Suppabuddha was reborn in Tavatimsa deva realm. The Buddha also explained to them that Suppabuddha was born a leper because, in one of his previous existences, he had spat upon a paccekabuddha.

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 66: With themselves as their own enemies, fools lacking in intelligence, move about doing evil deeds, which bear bitter fruits.

    Dhammapada Verse 66
    Suppabuddhakutthi Vatthu

    Caranti bala dummedha
    amitteneva attana
    karonta papakam kammam
    yam hoti katukapphalam.

    Source: Tipitaka

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

     

  19. 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

     

  20. 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

     

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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