Chapter XI - JARA VAGGA - Old Age



Parijinnam idam rupam roga niddham pabhanguram
Bhijjati puti sandeho maranantam hi jivitam.

Thoroughly worn out is this body, a nest of diseases, perishable. This putrid mass breaks up. Truly life ends in death. [148]

XI:03 How the Buddha consoled an elderly nun (Uttara)

Bhikkhuni Uttara, who was one hundred and twenty years old, was one day returning from her almsround when she met a bhikkhu and requested him to accept her offering of almsfood. The bhikkhu consented. She gave the bhikkhu all her almsfood so she had none. The same thing happened on the next three consecutive days.

On the fourth day, while she was on her almsround, she met the Buddha on a narrow road. Respectfully, she paid homage to the Buddha and stepped back. While doing so, she accidentally stepped on her own robe and fell to the ground.

The Master went up to her and consoled her, 'You must understand that your body is getting old and infirm, it is ready to crumble.'

Reflecting mindfully on the advice given by the Master, Bhikkhuni Uttara attained the first stage of Sainthood.