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 Chapter XXVI - BRAHMANA VAGGA - The Brahmana



Yo' dha kame pahatvana anagaro paribbaje
Kama bhava parikkinam tam aham brumi brahmanam.

He who in this world, giving up sense-desires, has renounced the worldly life and become a homeless one, he who has destroyed sense-desires and has come to the end of existence, - him I call a brahmana. [415]

XXVI: 32 A courtesan tempts a monk (Sundara Samudda)

Sundara Samudda was the son of a wealthy family from Savatthi. After he entered the Order, he left for Rajagaha, a distance away from Savatthi to practise meditation. One day while some festivals were going on in Savatthi, the parents of Sundara Samudda missed him very much. They felt very sorry for their son and both started to weep. At that time a courtesan saw them and enquired what the matter was. On hearing about their son, the courtesan said, 'If I could make your son leave the Order and return to the life of a layman, how would you reward me?' The parents answered that they would make her rich. The courtesan then asked for a large sum of money and left for Rajagaha.

At Rajagaha, she rented a house on the route where Sundara would come on his almsround. She prepared good food and waited for him. On the first few days, she offered almsfood to him at the door of her house. Later, she invited him to come inside. Meanwhile, she paid money to some children to come and play just outside the house about the time he usually came on his almsround. This gave her the excuse that it was very dusty and noisy on the ground floor. With this excuse she invited him to the top floor to have his meal. He consented and went up and as soon as he had entered the room, the courtesan closed the door. Then she started seducing him. She said, 'Venerable Sir! Please be my beloved husband, and I will be your dearly beloved wife. After our long and happy wedded life, we can both enter the Order and strive our very best to attain Nibbana.' When he heard those words the monk suddenly realised his mistake and got alarmed. Then he said to himself, 'I indeed, by being negligent and unmindful, have made a great mistake.'

At that instant, the Buddha realised what was happening to Sundara. He called Venerable Ananda and said to him, 'Ananda! On an upper storey of a pinnacled building in Rajagaha, there now goes on a struggle between Sundara and a courtesan; but in the end the monk will be the winner.' Using his supernormal power, the Buddha sent forth his radiance and exhorted him, 'My son! Get rid of the craving for wealth and sensual pleasures and free yourself from lust.' Reflecting mindfully on the advice given, Sundara attained Arahanthood.

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This webpage was updated 31st July 2023