Chapter II - APPAMADA VAGGA - Heedfulness

Childish behaviour at a festival

BE HEEDFUL, NOT HEEDLESS

Pamadamanuyunjanti bala dummedhino jana
Appamadam ca medhavi dhanam settham'va rakkhati.
Ma pamadamanuyunjetha ma kamaratisanthavam
Appamatto hi jhayanto pappoti vipulam sukham.


Fools, men of little intelligence, give themselves over to negligence, but the wise man protects his diligence as a supreme treasure.
Therefore, one should not be negligent, nor be addicted to sensual pleasures. The man who meditates with diligence attains much happiness.



II:04 Childish behaviour at a festival

At one time, a popular festival was being celebrated in Savatthi. During the festival, many young men smeared themselves with ash and cow dung and roamed about the city shouting and making themselves a nuisance to the public. They would also stop at the doors of householders and leave only when given some money.


At that time also there were many lay disciples of the Buddha living in Savatthi. Knowing about these troublesome youths, they sent word to the Buddha requesting him to keep to the monastery and not to enter the city for seven days. They sent almsfood to the monastery and they themselves kept to their own residences. On the eighth day, when the festival was over, the Buddha and his disciples were invited into the city to deliver religious discourses. On being told about the childish behaviour of the young men during the festival, the Buddha commented that it was in the nature of those who were ignorant to behave without dignity and nobility.


The Buddha then advised the lay disciples not to be negligent nor to be addicted to sensual pleasures but at all times to try to practise mindfulness. Through mindfulness, one will be able to gain happiness and realise Nibbana -the bliss supreme.


While listening attentively to the discourse given by the Enlightened One himself, the lay disciples were filled with joy and happiness. Thus they developed more confidence (saddha) in the sublime truth of the Dhamma.