Chapter XXV - BHIKKHU VAGGA - The Bhikkhu or The Mendicant

EVEN A YOUNG MONK, IF DEVOUT, CAN ILLUMINE THE WHOLE WORLD

EVEN A YOUNG MONK, IF DEVOUT, CAN ILLUMINE THE WHOLE WORLD

Yo have daharo bhikkhu yunjati buddha sasane
So imam lokam pabhaseti abbha mutto' va candima.
[382]


The bhikkhu who, while still young, devotes himself to the Buddha's Teaching,
illumines this world like the moon freed from a cloud. [382]



XXV:12 The novice monk who performed a miracle (Sumana)

Samanera Sumana was a pupil of Venerable Anuruddha. Although he was very young, due to his past goodkammahe became an Arahant endowed with supernormal powers. Once, when his teacher Anuruddha was ill, he fetched water from the Anotatta lake, a lake which was very far away from monastery and difficult to reach. But because of his supernormal power, he was able to perform the journey through the air. Sometime later, Anuruddha took Sumana to pay homage to the Buddha at Pubbarama monastery.


At the monastery, many samaneras teased Sumana and made fun of him because he was very young. The Buddha wanted to make those samaneras see the rare qualities of Sumana. So the Buddha announced that he wanted some samaneras to get a jar of water from the Anotatta lake. However, none of them was able to undertake the job. Finally, at the request of Venerable Ananda, Sumana went to get the jar of water for the Buddha. As before, he went to the Anotatta lake and came back through the air by his supernormal power.


At the congregation of the bhikkhus in the evening, the bhikkhus told the Buddha about the wonderful trip made by Sumana. The Buddha said, 'Bhikkhus, one who practises the Dhamma zealously is capable of attaining supernormal powers, even though he is young.'

Notes:

    *Attachment hinders spiritual development. For this reason, Buddhism does not encourage any personality cult, however great or holy a religious teacher might be. In the Buddha's Teachings we have to work for our own emancipation without depending on others.