Chapter IV - PUPPHA VAGGA - Flowers

MORAL FRAGRANCE WAFTS EVERYWHERE

MORAL FRAGRANCE WAFTS EVERYWHERE

Na puppha gandho pativatam eti na candanam tagara mallika va
Satan ca gandho pativatam eti sabba disa sappuriso pavati.
Candanam tagaram va'pi uppalam atha vassiki
Etesam gandha jatanam silagandho anuttaro.


The scent of flowers cannot go against the wind; nor the scent of sandalwood, nor of tagara, nor of jasmine; only the reputation of the virtuous ones (sappurisa) pervades in every direction.
There are the scents of sandalwood, tagara, lotus and jasmine; but the scent of virtue surpasses all scents



IV:09 The question raised by the Venerable Ananda

While 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 the wind as well as against it? Is there no scent which would pervade every part of the world?' The Buddha answered, 'Ananda, supposing there is one who takes refugein the Triple Gem (Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha), 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.

Notes:

*Refuge: A practising Buddhist is encouraged to recite theTi-sarana(Three Refuges) daily. By reciting the following verses, one outwardly professes one's faith. The verses are:


  1. Buddham saranam gacchami — I take my refuge in the Buddha!
  2. Dhammam saranam gacchami — I take my refuge in the Dhamma!
  3. Sangham saranam gacchami — I take my refuge in the Sangha!