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02/24/12
24 02 2012 LESSON 534 The Dhammapada Verses and Stories Dhammapada Verse 80 Panditasamanera Vatthu The Wise Control Themselves
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24 02 2012 LESSON 534 The Dhammapada Verses and Stories Dhammapada
Verse 80
Panditasamanera Vatthu The Wise Control Themselves

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 LESSONS 534

Practice a Sutta a
Day Keeps Dukkha Away

Verse 80. The Wise
Control Themselves

Irrigators
govern waters,
fletchers fashion shafts,
as joiners shape their timber
those who are wise tame themselves.

Explanation:
The irrigator who manages water is skilled in directing water to whatever place
he wants. The fletcher skilfully shapes a very straight arrow-shaft out of a
piece of wood by working skilfully on it. The carpenter selects a block of wood
and constructs whatever he wants out of it, depending on his need. In the same
way, the wise person works upon their mind, restraining it the way they desire.

Dhammapada Verse 80
Panditasamanera Vatthu

Udakam
hi nayanti nettika

usukara namayanti tejanam
darum namayanti tacchaka
attanam damayanti pandita.

Verse
80: Farmers (lit., makers of irrigation canals ) channel the water; fletchers
straighten the arrow; carpenters work the timber; the Wise tame themselves.


The
Story of Samanera Pandita

While residing
at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (80) of this book, with
reference to Samanera Pandita.

Pandita
was a young son of a rich man of Savatthi. He became a samanera at the age of
seven. On the eighth day after becoming a samanera, as he was following Thera
Sariputta on an alms-round, he saw some farmers channeling water into their
fields and asked the thera, “Can water which has no consciousness be
guided to wherever one wishes ?” The thera replied, “Yes, it can be
guided to wherever one wishes.” As they continued on their way, the
samanera next saw some fletchers heating their arrows with fire and
straightening them. Further on, he came across some carpenters cutting, sawing
and planing timber to make it into things like cart-wheels. Then he pondered,
“If water which is without consciousness can be guided to wherever one
desires, if a crooked bamboo which is without consciousness can be
straightened, and if timber which is without consciousness can be made into
useful things, why should I, having consciousness, be unable to tame my mind
and practise Tranquillity and Insight Meditation?”

Then
and there he asked permission from the thera and returned to his own room in
the monastery. There he ardently and diligently practised meditation, contemplating
the body. Sakka and the devas also helped him in his meditation by keeping the
monastery and its precincts very quiet and still. Before meal time Samanera
Pandita attained Anagami Fruition.

At that
time Thera Sariputta was bringing food to the samanera. The Buddha saw with his
supernormal power that Samanera Pandita had attained Anagami Fruition and also
that if he continued to practise meditation he would soon attain arahatship. So
the Buddha decided to stop Sariputta from entering the room, where the samanera
was. The Buddha went to the door and kept Sariputta engaged by putting some
questions to him. While the conversation was taking place, the samanera
attained arahatship. Thus, the samanera attained arahatship on the eighth day
after becoming a novice.

In this
connection, the Buddha said to the bhikkhus of the monastery, “When one
is earnestly practising the Dhamma, even Sakka and the devas give protection
and keep guard; I myself have kept Thera Sariputta engaged at the door so that
Samanera Pandita should not be disturbed. The samanera, having seen the farmers
irrigating their fields, the fletchers straightening their arrows, and
carpenters making cart-wheels and other things, tames his mind and practises
the dhamma; he has now become an arahat.”

The
Buddha then spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 80: Farmers
(lit., makers of irrigation canals) channel the water; fletchers straighten
the arrow; carpenters work the timber; the Wise tame themselves.

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