Chapter X - DANDA VAGGA - The Rod of Punishment

THE GOOD CONTROL THEMSELVES

THE GOOD CONTROL THEMSELVES

Udakam hi nayanti nettika usukara namayanti tejanam

Darum namayanti tacchaka attanam damayanti subbata.
[145]


Irrigators lead the waters. Fletchers bend the shafts. Carpenters bend the wood. The virtuous control themselves. [145]



X:11 Sukha the novice monk

Sukha was ordained a samanera when he was very young by Venerable Sariputta. One day, the samanera followed Sariputta on his almsround. While doing the round they came across some farmers irrigating their fields, some fletchers straightening their arrows and some carpenters making objects like cart-wheels, etc. Seeing these, the young novice asked Sariputta whether those inanimate things could be guided to where one wished or be made into things one wished to make. Sariputta told him that these are possible if one has the required skills. Sukha then reflected that if this were so, there could be no reason why a person could not tame his mind and practise Tranquillity and Insight Meditation.


So, he asked permission from Sariputta to return to the monastery. Confined to his room, he practised meditation in solitude. Devas also helped him in his practice by keeping the monastery very quiet. That same day Sukha attained Arahanthood. In connection with this, the Buddha told the congregation, 'When a person earnestly practises the Dhamma, even the devas give protection and help. I myself have kept Sariputta at the entrance so that Sukha should not be disturbed. Having seen the farmers irrigating their fields, the fletchers straightening their arrows and the carpenters making cart-wheels and other things, he trained his mind and practised the Dhamma. Thus, he has now become an Arahant.'


*For a similar story, see Chapter VI Story (5)