Chapter X - DANDA VAGGA - The Rod of Punishment

DECAY AND DEATH ARE UNIVERSAL

DECAY AND DEATH ARE UNIVERSAL

Yatha dandena gopalo gavo paceti gocaram
Evam jara ca maccu ca ayum pacenti paninam.
[135]


As with a staff theherdsmandrives hiskinetopasture,even so do old age and death drive out the lives of beings. [135]



X:05 The ladies who observed precepts for different purposes

Once, a group of ladies from Savatthi came to the Pubbarama monastery to observe the Uposatha Sila (Precepts). The donor of the monastery, the renowned Visakha, asked different groups of ladies why they had come to observe the Precepts. She was given different answers. The old ladies came to the monastery to observe the Precepts to gain rewards in heaven; the middleaged ladies wanted to gain peace in their homes; the newly married ladies wanted their first-born to be sons; and the young girls had come hoping to get married to good husbands.


Having heard these answers, Visakha took all the ladies to the Buddha. When she told him about the various answers, the Buddha said, 'Visakha! Birth, ageing and death are always actively working in beings; because one is born, one is subject to ageing and decay, and finally to death. Yet, they do not wish to strive for liberation from the round of existences (samsara); they still wish to linger in samsara. It is very hard for people to realise that real happiness can only be gained by overcoming the desire for earthly satisfaction.'

Notes:

  1. Here the herdsman resembles decay and death.
  2. The cattle resembles life.
  3. The Pasture ground resembles death.