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Buddha’s Wisdom, Chapters 15-21

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Buddha’s Wisdom, Chapters 15-21.

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Chapters 15-21

 

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001 Title Page

001 Title Page

161 Chapter 15 Deeds

161 Chapter 15 Deeds


Three different groups of monks see a crow die, a woman drowned and themselves buried alive on their way to the Buddha. They decide to ask him why it happened, and he explains there is nowhere to escape from the results of bad actions.

162 Deeds and their Results

162 Deeds and their Results


King Pasenadi defeats King Ajātasattu in battle, takes his four-fold army from him, and, showing mercy, releases him with his life.

163 The Revolution of Deeds

163 The Revolution of Deeds


A hunter blames a monk for his failure to catch game and he sets his dogs on him, chasing him up a tree. The monk’s robe falls over the hunter and the dogs devour him instead.

164 Offending the Inoffensive

164 Offending the Inoffensive


Being fooled by his wife a young man, who was faithfully performing his duty before, murders his parents.

165 The Fruit of Unjust Punishment 1

165 The Fruit of Unjust Punishment 1

166 The Fruit of Unjust Punishment 2

166 The Fruit of Unjust Punishment 2


A monk refuses to look after his requisities, thinking them not worth the trouble. The Buddha admonishes him.

167 Do not Despise Wickedness

167 Do not Despise Wickedness


A cousin of the nun Uppalavaṇṇā hides in her forest dwelling and rapes her when she returns. This is told to the Buddha.

168 The Ripening of Wickedness

168 The Ripening of Wickedness


A man burns down the hut of a Paccekabuddha and eventually is reborn as a snake-ghost, burning the whole length of his long body. He is seen by Ven. Mahāmoggallāna, who relates it to the Buddha.

169 Deeds do not Ripen at Once

169 Deeds do not Ripen at Once


A merchant sets out with 500 wagons but learns there are thieves ahead and thieves behind, and so stays put in a village. This is told to the Buddha who draws the lesson therefrom.

170 Avoiding Wickedness

170 Avoiding Wickedness


A young Devaputta called Khema recites these verses to the Buddha about the results of deeds.

171 Experiencing the Results of Deeds 1

171 Experiencing the Results of Deeds 1

172 Experiencing the Results of Deeds 2

172 Experiencing the Results of Deeds 2


Laymen are arguing as to which of the precepts is hardest to keep. The Buddha tells them they all are hard, but explains further.

173 The Result of not Keeping the Precepts

173 The Result of not Keeping the Precepts


A layman who has long been a supporter lies dying and the monks go to chant for him. Seeing celestial chariots coming to take him away he asks them to wait until the monks finish chanting, but the monks think he is asking them to stop and go away. Later the Buddha explains.

174 Rejoicing Here and Hereafter

174 Rejoicing Here and Hereafter


King Pasenadi reflects that if one holds oneself dear he would not engage in what is wrong but do what is right. The Buddha concurs.

175 Holding Oneself Dear

175 Holding Oneself Dear


Two Goddesses, who cannot decide precedence, vie with each other for lying on a virtuous householder’s couch. The one who is even more virtuous than the householder wins.

176 Fortune and Misfortune

176 Fortune and Misfortune


Yet more verses by which the Bodhisatta eventually persuades the man-eating King to give up his bad habit.

177 Consequences of Indulgence and Duty

177 Consequences of Indulgence and Duty


A King is willing to give up a charm to his wife even though it will cost his life. The Bodhisatta as Sakka, in the form of a goat, persuades him not to be so foolish.

178 Protecting Life First

178 Protecting Life First


Devadatta causes a split in the Community and informs Ānanda. The Buddha explains how easy it is to do what is wrong.

179 Good is Hard to Do

179 Good is Hard to Do


Devadatta causes a split in the Community and informs Ānanda. The Buddha explains how easy it is to do what is wrong.

180 The Bad find Good Hard to Do

180 The Bad find Good Hard to Do

181 Chapter 16 Effort

181 Chapter 16 Effort


A King, while enjoying the royal festivities, reflects on how he strove when he was lost in the ocean, never giving up hope of claiming his throne.

182 Never give up Hope

182 Never give up Hope


This is the teaching of the Devaputta Tāyana, which was confirmed by the Buddha, and recommended to the monks.

183 Wrong-Doing and the Well-done

183 Wrong-Doing and the Well-done


One of the verses spoken by the Buddha that were later analysed by the Buddha and, in separate discourses, by three of his monks.

184 The Need to Act Today

184 The Need to Act Today


The Buddha teaches how like attracts like: if one mixes with the indolent one becomes lazy; if one mixes with the energetic, one will make a good effort.

185 Shunning the Indolent

185 Shunning the Indolent


A brahmin student sleeps under a tree when he is supposed to be collecting wood. Being woken up he quickly climbs the tree and grabs some green wood. The following day the cook cannot cook with it, everyone is delayed, and they miss their lunch.

186 Doing ones Duties on Time

186 Doing ones Duties on Time


More advice to Sigāla on how to put aside his comfort and do his duty.

187 He who Does his Duty

187 He who Does his Duty


A marriage has been arranged, but an angry ascetic prevents one party from going, saying it is not auspicious. When they go the next day the girl has already been married off to another.

188 Taking Ones Opportunity

188 Taking Ones Opportunity


A young man, starting with a dead mouse, is careful in his trading and in making friends, and so by and by he makes his fortune.

189 Rags to Riches

189 Rags to Riches


A wood-collector has the chance of good luck, but looses it to an elephant-trainer, who by evening is raised to King of the country.

190 Fortune sides with the Meritorious

190 Fortune sides with the Meritorious


A pack of lions, wanting to avenge the insult on their sister, pounce on what looks like a jackal, but it is in fact only a reflection. They all die apart from the Bodhisatta who understands the situation and speaks these words.

191 Acting without Consideration

191 Acting without Consideration


A false ascetic is scolded by a Prince for his loose ways. The ascetic lies to the King and tries to get the Prince killed, but he defends himself successfully before retiring to the Himālayas.

192 Inconsiderate and Considerate Action

192 Inconsiderate and Considerate Action

193 Chapter 17 Wealth

193 Chapter 17 Wealth


A hare hears the noise of a fruit falling and thinking it omens the end of the world he starts to run which panics all the other animals who also flee. The Bodhisatta finds out the cause and calms them down.

194 The Wise do not Panic

194 The Wise do not Panic


A city crow named Saviṭṭhaka (Devadatta) has to leave his home and finds a water crow to serve. Thinking he can swim like his master he attempts to dive for fish, but dies in the attempt.

195 Keeping to ones own Habitat

195 Keeping to ones own Habitat


A jackal (Devadatta) who lives on the food left over by a Lion decides to act like a lion himself and against all good advice attacks an elephant, only to be slaughtered on the spot.

196 Knowing Ones Strengths

196 Knowing Ones Strengths


A King is very slothful so the Bodhisatta shows him a tortoise and explains its characteristics. The King understands the lesson and reforms his ways.

197 Acting at the Right Time and Speed

197 Acting at the Right Time and Speed


Horses that have been in battle are given fine wine but remain sober; while the strained leftovers are fed to the donkeys – who all become drunk on it.

198 Sobreity

198 Sobreity


A worthless fellow is given a jar that will provide him with all he needs, but being dissolute he uses it to get drunk, breaks it and is reduced to poverty once again.

199 Protecting Good Fortune

199 Protecting Good Fortune


A brahmin called Vedabbha is captured by thieves and brings down a shower of jewels to pay his ransom, but he is killed, and the thieves fight over the treasure until they also are all killed.

200 Wrong Means

200 Wrong Means


A servant knows where his late Master’s treasure was hidden, but when he takes the Son to the place he becomes arrogant because of his knowledge, abuses him and refuses to reveal it. The Bodhisatta explains.

201 Arrogance is a Give-Away

201 Arrogance is a Give-Away


A rich merchant dies after living like a pauper. The Buddha explains that when a man of low character obtains wealth he is unable to enjoy it.

202 The Reward of Using Wealth Wisely

202 The Reward of Using Wealth Wisely


Out of greed a man kills his brother’s son. The brother who is the Bodhisatta exhorts him with these words.

203 Wealth that goes to Waste 1

203 Wealth that goes to Waste 1

204 Wealth that goes to Waste 2

204 Wealth that goes to Waste 2


A short discourse listing the seven true treasures.

205 Seven True Treasures

205 Seven True Treasures

206 Chapter 18 Dwelling

206 Chapter 18 Dwelling


The Bodhisatta escapes some robbers and reflects on this back at home.

207 Live not with Enemies

207 Live not with Enemies


Two golden geese fly to Mount Neru and find to their surprise that even crows glowed golden in its shadow, and determine not to live in such an undiscriminating place.

208 Wise Discrimination

208 Wise Discrimination


A turtle stays behind in the mud when a drought threatens and is killed by someone digging there. As he dies he utters these words.

209 Non-Attachment to Home

209 Non-Attachment to Home


Two nāgas are exiled from their rich home and have to live on a dunghill where they are abused. The elder speaks these cautionary words.

210 Having Forbearance when Unknown

210 Having Forbearance when Unknown


A quail fools a hawk into attacking him on his home ground and dodges aside at the last moment leaving the hawk to plunge to his death.

211 The Strength of Being on Home Grounds

211 The Strength of Being on Home Grounds


The King of the Golden Mallards holds a festival so his daughter can pick a spouse. She likes the peacock best – until he exposes himself while dancing in joy.

212 Immodesty

212 Immodesty


A drummer earns money at a festival, but his son through too much drumming attracts thieves who beat and rob them.

213 Excess leads to Loss

213 Excess leads to Loss


An acrobat knows the four-javelin dance, but when he is drunk one day, despite being warned by his pupil, he tries to extend it to five, and is impaled.

214 Knowing Proper Limits

214 Knowing Proper Limits

215 Chapter 19 Speech

215 Chapter 19 Speech


A merchant named Superwise tries to cheat his partner named Wise by having his Father pose as a Tree-Deva. Wise sets fire to the tree, and out scampers the Father.

216 Deception

216 Deception


A young cuckoo is being fostered by a crow but gives his identity away when he cries out. The crow kills him and throws him out of the nest.

217 Correct and Timely Speech 1

217 Correct and Timely Speech 1

218 Correct and Timely Speech 2

218 Correct and Timely Speech 2


The High Divinity Tudu approaches Ven. Kokālika and advises him to have respect for the two Chief Disciples, but he is rebuked by the Venerable who is intent on blaming them.

219 The Dangers of Wrong Speech

219 The Dangers of Wrong Speech


The Buddha explains the four qualities that make for good speech, and summarises them with a verse, which is followed by another improvised by Ven. Vaṅgīsa, who was considered the foremost disciple in extemporary composition.

220 The Qualities of Good Speech

220 The Qualities of Good Speech


A bull wishes to repay his master and has him wage a bet he can draw a 100 wagons. But when the time comes the master scolds him, and he doesn’t make an effort. Later the master speaks kindly and the bull draws the wagons, earning his master a fortune.

221 Speaking Kindly

221 Speaking Kindly


The Bodhisatta gives and keeps his word to return to a man-eating King, who is threatening to eat him. In part of the dialogue which follows the Bodhisatta preaches on the virtue of keeping to one’s word.

222 Truth is the Sweetest Thing

222 Truth is the Sweetest Thing


Ven. Vaṅgīsa speaks another verse inspired by a teaching of the Buddha about truth.

223 Truth is Immortal

223 Truth is Immortal


A Queen asks the King if the mountain they see ahead were made of gold would he give her some. He says he would not.

224 Only Promise what can be Done

224 Only Promise what can be Done


King Sivi is very generous and resolves to give even his body parts away if asked. Sakka decides to test him and dressed as a brahmin asks for his eye to which the King agrees; the townsfolk try to persuade him to change his mind, and this is part of his reply.

225 Keeping Ones Promises

225 Keeping Ones Promises


Despite being warned of the dire consequences a King of old, desiring to raise a younger brother above an older one, tells a lie, and not only looses his magical powers, but is swallowed up by the Earth when he repeats it.

226 The Results of Lying 1

226 The Results of Lying 1

227 The Results of Lying 2

227 The Results of Lying 2


Ciñcā Māṇavikā falsely accuses the Buddha of impregnating her. The gods help reveal the lie, and Ciñcā falls into the Avīci hell.

228 The Liar is capable of all Wrong-Doing

228 The Liar is capable of all Wrong-Doing

229 Chapter 20 Faults

229 Chapter 20 Faults


A group of gods who constantly perceive offense speak offensively to the Buddha, implying that he is not without fault. This is part of the exchange.

230 The Buddha has no Faults

230 The Buddha has no Faults


A monk is reproved by a Devadhītā for smelling a lotus flower. He asks why she does not reprove someone who cuts down the lotuses instead. They do not accept reproof, she says, and adds the following.

231 A Small Wickedness appears Great to the Pure of Heart

231 A Small Wickedness appears Great to the Pure of Heart


A merchant goes to see the Buddha when he is passing through, but the outside ascetics try to persuade him not to by telling him falsely that he teaches there is no result of actions.

232 Seeing Ones own Faults

232 Seeing Ones own Faults


A monk is always finding fault with the others, so they ask the Buddha about it. This is his admonition.

233 The Fate of a Fault-Finder

233 The Fate of a Fault-Finder


When a lay-disciple invites the Buddha for a meal an ascetic she supports abuses both her and the Buddha, who tells her not to worry about what the ascetic is doing or saying, but to look to herself.

234 Looking to Ones own Deeds

234 Looking to Ones own Deeds


Sakka and other gods come to consult with the Bodhisatta. He asks questions and these are the replies.

235 Patience with Rough Speech 1

235 Patience with Rough Speech 1

236 Patience with Rough Speech 2

236 Patience with Rough Speech 2


The gods defeat the demons, and their leader Vepacitti is brought before Sakka, whom he abuses. Sakka remains calm, and the following conversation takes place between him and Mātali, his charioteer.

237 The Strength of Patience 1

237 The Strength of Patience 1

238 The Strength of Patience 2

238 The Strength of Patience 2

239 The Strength of Patience 3

239 The Strength of Patience 3

240 Chapter 21 Desires

240 Chapter 21 Desires


A golden goose goes occasionally and gives his former family one of his golden feathers and they grow rich. But greed overcomes his former wife and she plucks him. The feathers though, when stolen, are gold no more, and they sink back into poverty.

241 The Result of Greed

241 The Result of Greed


A King receives Sakka, the Bodhisatta, disguised as a young brahmin, who promises to help him conquer three cities. But the King is so mean he doesn’t even offer him lodging. In the morning the brahmin is nowhere to be found and the King falls sick thinking of his loss. Sakka preaches to him as the only way to cure his illness of greed.

242 Wisdom is the only Cure for Greed

242 Wisdom is the only Cure for Greed


A brahmin farmer wishing for his fields to prosper decides to make the Buddha his partner. Just before the crop is brought in floods wash it all away.

243 Craving brings on Grief and Fear

243 Craving brings on Grief and Fear


A brahmin farmer wishing for his fields to prosper decides to make the Buddha his partner. Just before the crop is brought in floods wash it all away.

244 Desires are never Satisfied 1

244 Desires are never Satisfied 1

245 Desires are never Satisfied 2

245 Desires are never Satisfied 2

246 Desires are never Satisfied 3

246 Desires are never Satisfied 3


A gardener named Sañjaya entices a deer into the palace through lining his grass with honey.

247 The Snare of Taste

247 The Snare of Taste


A teacher falls ill while being looked after by the King of Bāraṇāsī and none of his doctors can cure him. He goes to the Himālayas where he is cared for by his beloved pupil, the Bodhisatta, and gets better with his loving care.

248 Confidence is the Taste Supreme

248 Confidence is the Taste Supreme


King Pasenadi eats too much and is always uncomfortable; the Buddha speaks this verse, which the King has an attendant remember and repeat to him when he eats.

249 Knowing the Measure

249 Knowing the Measure


A short dialogue between a god, who speaks first, and the Buddha in Jeta’s Wood.

250 Neither Grieving nor Yearning

250 Neither Grieving nor Yearning

Chapters 15-21

 

Text by Ānanadajoti, Photos by Andreas Dīpaloka

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