Chapter XIX - DHAMMATTHA VAGGA - The Just or Righteous

BY HARMLESSNESS ONE BECOMES A NOBLE (ARIYA)

BY HARMLESSNESS ONE BECOMES A NOBLE (ARIYA)

Na tena ariyo hoti yena panani himsati
Ahimsa sabba pananam ariyo' ti pavuccati.
[270]


He is not therefore an Ariya (Noble) if he harms living beings; through his harmlessness towards all living beings is he called an Ariya (Noble). [270]



XIX:09 Live up to the name (Ariya)

Once, there was a fisherman named Ariya, who lived near the north gate of Savatthi. One day through his supernormal power, the Buddha knew that the time was ripe for the fisherman to attain the first stage of Sainthood. So on his return from his almsround, the Buddha, followed by the bhikkhus, stopped near the place where Ariya was fishing. When he saw the Buddha, the fisherman threw away his fishing gear and came and stood near the Enlightened One. The Buddha then proceeded to ask the names of those bhikkhus in his presence and finally asked the name of the fisherman. When he replied that his name was Ariya, the Buddha said that the Noble Ones (ariyas) do not harm any living beings. But since the fisherman was taking the lives of fish, he was not worthy of his name. He immediately understood that the Buddha was urging him to renounce his harmful way of life and to take up the practice ofcompassionand loving kindness for all beings.

Notes:

    *One who seeks emancipation must refrain from taking any life, however small or insignificant it may seem. To attain complete harmony with and in the Universe one must scrupulously respect the sanctity of all forms of life. Modern conservation programmes underscore this point.