Dhammapada Verse 115
Yo ca vassasatam jive
ekaham jivitam seyyo
Verse 115: Better than a hundred years in the life of a person who does not
comprehend the Noble Dhamma (Dhammamuttamam), is a day in the life of one
who comprehends the Noble Dhamma.
1. dhammamuttamam: the Noble Dhamma or the Highest Dhamma (the Nine
Transcendentals). The Nine Transcendentals are: four Maggas, four Phalas and
The Story of Theri Bahuputtika
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (115) of
this book, with reference to Bahuputtika, a mother of many children.
Once in Savatthi, there lived a couple, with their seven sons and seven
daughters. All the children got married and the family was doing quite well.
Then, the father died and the mother kept all the property without giving
anything to the children. Her sons and daughters wanted the inheritance, so they
said, to their mother, "What benefit do we get from our property? Can't we
make it multiply? Can't we look after our mother?" They said such things
again and again so their mother thought that her children would look after her,
and she finally divided up the property without leaving anything for herself.
After the division of the property, she first went to stay with her eldest
son, but her daughter-in-law complained and said, "She has come and stayed
with us, as if she has given us two shares!", and such other things. So,
Bahuputtika went to stay with her second son, and the same things were said.
Thus, she went from one son to another, from one daughter to the next; but none
of them was willing to take her on for a long stretch of time and none paid her
The old lady was hurt and felt bitter against her children; she left her
family and became a bhikkhuni. Because she was a mother of many children she
came to he known as Bahuputtika. Bahuputika realized that she became a bhikkhuni
only in her old age and that she must not be negligent, but must make use of the
remaining period of her life to the utmost. So, for the whole night, she
meditated on the Dhamma taught by the Buddha. The Buddha seeing her from the
Jetavana monastery, through supernormal power, sent forth the radiance and
appeared seated in front of her. Then the Buddha said to her, "The life
of one who does not practise the Dhamma taught by me is useless, even if he were
to live for a hundred years."
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
|Verse 115: Better than a hundred years in the life of
a person who does not comprehend the Noble Dhamma (Dhammamuttamam),
is a day in the life of one who comprehends the Noble Dhamma.
End of Chapter Eight: The Thousand (Sahassavagga)