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THE BUDDHIST ONLINE GOOD NEWS LETTER 26 03 2012 LESSON 562 FREE ONLINE eNālāndā Research And Practice UNIVERSITY
Verse 114. The Seer Of The Deathless Is A Worthy OneThough one should live a hundred yearsnot seeing the Deathless State,yet better is life for a single dayseeing Deathlessness.Explanation: A single day’s life of a person who sees the state of deathlessness is far greater and nobler than the hundred -years life-span of a person who does not perceive the deathless state.Dhammapada Verse 114Kisagotami VatthuYo ca vassasatam jiveapassam amatam padamekaham jivitam seyyopassato amatam padam.Verse 114: Better than a hundred years in the life of a person who does not perceive the Deathless (Nibbana), is a day in the life of one who perceives the Deathless (Nibbana).________________________________________The Story of Theri KisagotamiWhile residing at the Jetavana monastery, thc Buddha uttered Verse (114) of this book, with reference to Kisagotami.Kisagotami was the daughter of a rich man from Savatthi; she was known as Kisagotami because of her slim body. Kisagotami was married to a rich young man and a son was born to them. The boy died when he was just a toddler and Kisagotami was stricken with grief. Carrying the dead body of her son, she went about asking for medicine that would restore her son to life from everyone she happened to meet. People began to think that she had gone mad. But a wise man seeing her condition thought that he should be of some help to her. So, he said to her, “The Buddha is the person you should approach, he has the medicine you want; go to him.” Thus, she went to the Buddha and asked him to give her the medicine that would restore her dead son to life.The Buddha told her to get some mustard seeds from a house where there had been no death. Carrying her dead child in her bosom. Kisagotami went from house to house, with the request for some mustard seeds. Everyone was willing to help her, but she could not find a single house where death had not occurred. Then, she realized that hers was not the only family that had faced death and that there were more people dead than living. As soon as she realized this, her attitude towards her dead son changed; she was no longer attached to the dead body of her son.She left the corpse in the jungle and returned to the Buddha and reported that she could find no house where death had not occurred. Then the Buddha said, “Gotami, you thought that you were the only one who had lost a son. As you have now realized, death comes to all beings; before their desires are satiated death takes them away.” On hearing this, Kisagotami fully realized the impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and insubstantiality of the aggregates and attained Sotapatti Fruition.Soon afterwards, Kisagotami became a bhikkhuni. One day, as she was lighting the lamps she saw the flames flaring up and dying out, and suddenly she clearly perceived the arising and the perishing of beings. The Buddha, through supernormal power, saw her from his monastery, and sent forth his radiance and appeared to her in person. Kisagotami was told to continue meditating on the impermanent nature of all beings and to strive hard to realize Nibbana.Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:Verse 114: Better than a hundred years in the life of a person who does not perceive the Deathless (Nibbana), is a day in the life of one who perceives the Deathless (Nibbana). At the end of the discourse Theri Kisagotami attained arahatship.