Chapter X - DANDA VAGGA - The Rod of Punishment

HE MODEST ARE RARE IN THIS WORLD

HE MODEST ARE RARE IN THIS WORLD

Hiri nisedho puriso koci lokasmim vijjati
Yo nindam appabodhati asso bhadro kasam iva.
[143]


Rare in this world is the kind of person who out of a sense of shame restrains from doing evil
and keeps himself awake like a good horse that gives no cause to be whipped.[143]


BE VIRTUOUS AND GET RID OF SUFFERING

Asso yatha bhadro kasanivittho atapino samvegino bhavatha
Saddhaya silena ca viriyena ca samadhina dhamma vinicchayena ca
Sampanna vijjacarana patissata pahassatha dukkham idam anappakam.
[144]


Like a thorough-bred horse, touched by the whip, even so be strenuous and zealous.
By confidence, by virtue, by effort, by concentration, by investigation of the Truth,
by being endowed withknowledge and conduct,and by being mindful, get rid of this great suffering. [144]



X:10 The monk and the ragged clothes (Pilotika)

Once, Venerable Ananda saw a shabbily dressed youth going round begging for food. Out of compassion Ananda advised that it would be better for him to join the Holy Order. After becoming a bhikkhu, the young man left his old clothes and begging plate at the foot of a tree. When he became a bhikkhu he was known as Pilotika. As a bhikkhu, he did not have to worry about food and clothing. Yet, sometimes he felt unhappy with his life as a bhikkhu and thought of going back to the life of a layman. Whenever he had this feeling, he would go back to that tree where he had left his old clothes and plate. There, at the foot of the tree, he would reprimand himself, 'Oh shameless one! Do you still want to put on these shabby clothes and go begging again with this old plate in your hand?' Thus, he would rebuke himself, and after calming down, he would return to the monastery.


After two or three days, when he felt like leaving the monastic life of a bhikkhu, he again went to the tree. After reprimanding himself, and reflecting on the wretchedness of his old life, he would return to the monastery. This was repeated many times. When questioned by other bhikkhus he told them he went to see histeacher. Thus focussing his mind on his old clothes as the subject of meditation, he came to realise the true nature of the aggregates or component things. After becoming an Arahant, he stopped going to the tree. Other bhikkhus, noticing that Pilotika had stopped going to the tree asked him, 'Why don't you go to your teacher any more?' To them, he answered, 'When I had the need, I had to go to him; but there is no need for me to go to him now.' When the bhikkhus heard his reply, they asked the Buddha, 'Venerable Sir! Is it true that Pilotika has attained Arahanthood?' The Buddha explained, 'Bhikkhus! Though Pilotika had a relationship with his teacher previously, now he has no relationship whatsoever with his teacher. Pilotika has instructed himself to differentiate right and wrong causes and to discern the true nature of things. He has now become an Arahant, and so there is no further attachment between him and his teacher.

Notes:

  1. A self-respecting bhikkhu or layman, when obsessed with evil thoughts, tries to eradicate them there and then. This verse indicates that such persons are rare.
  2. Vijjacarana. Eight kinds of Knowledge and fifteen kinds of Conduct. The eight kinds of Knowledge are:
    (1) Psychic Powers(Iddhividha), (2) Divine Ear(Dibba-sota), (3) Penetration of the minds of others(Ceto-pariya-nana), (4) Divine Eye(Dibbacakkhu), (5) Remembrance of former births(Pubbenivasa-nussati), (6) Extinction of corruptions(Asavakkhaya), (7) Insight(Vipassana), and (8) Creation of mental images(Manomayiddhi).
    The fifteen kinds of Conduct are: —
    Moral restraint, sense-restraint, moderation in eating, wakefulness, faith, moral shame, moral dread, great learning, energy, mindfulness, wisdom and the fourJhanas.