Dhammapada Verse 116
pipa cittam nivaraye
dandham hi karoto punnam
papasmim ramati mano.
Verse 116: One should make haste in doing good deeds; one should restrain
one's mind from evil; for the mind of one who is slow in doing good tends to
take delight in doing evil.
The Story of Culekasataka
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (116) of
this book, with reference to a brahmin couple by the name of Culekasataka.
There was once a brahmin couple in Savatthi, who had only one outer garment
between the two of them. Because of this they were also known as Ekasataka. As
they had only one outer garment, both of them could not go out at the same time.
So, the wife would go to listen to the discourse given by the Buddha during the
day and the husband would go at night. One night, as the brahmin listened to the
Buddha, his whole body came to be suffused with delightful satisfaction and he
felt a strong desire to offer the outer garment he was wearing to the Buddha.
But he realized that if he were to give away the only outer garment he had,
there would be none left for him and his wife. So he wavered and hesitated.
Thus, the first and the second watches of the night passed. Came the third watch
and he said to himself, "If I am so miserly and hesitant, I will not be
able to avoid falling to the four Lower Worlds (apayas); I shall now offer my
outer garment to the Buddha." So saying, he placed the piece of cloth at
the feet of the Buddha and cried out "I have won" three times.
King Pasenadi of Kosala, who was among the audience, heard those words and
ordered a courtier to investigate. Learning about the brahmin's offering to the
Buddha, the king commented that the brahmin had done something which was not
easy to do and so should be rewarded. The king ordered his men to give the
brahmin a piece of cloth as a reward for his faith and generosity. The brahmin
offered that piece of cloth also to the Buddha and he was rewarded by the king
with two pieces of cloth. Again, the brahmin offered the two pieces of cloth to
the Buddha and he was rewarded with four. Thus, he offered to the Buddha
whatever was given him by the king, and each time the king doubled his reward.
When finally, the reward came up to thirty-two pieces of cloth, the brahmin kept
one piece for himself and another for his wife, and offered the remaining thirty
pieces to the Buddha.
Then, thinking again commented that the brahmin had truly performed a very
difficult task and so must be rewarded fittingly. The king sent a messenger to
the palace to bring two pieces of velvet cloth, each of which was worth one
hundred thousand, and gave them to the brahmin. The brahmin made those two
pieces of valuable cloth into two canopies and kept one in the Perfumed Chamber
where the Buddha slept and the other in his own house above the place where a
bhikkhu was regularly offered alms-food. When the king next went to Jatavana
monastery to pay homage to the Buddha, he saw the velvet canopy and recognized
it as the offering made by the brahmin and he was very pleased. This time he
made a reward of seven kinds in fours (sabbacatukka), viz., four elephants, four
horses, four female slaves, four male slaves, four errand boys, four villages
and four thousands in cash.
When the bhikkhus heard about this, they asked the Buddha, "How is it
that, in the case of this brahmin, a good deed done at present bears fruit
immediately?" To them the Buddha replied "If the brahmin had
offered his outer garment in the first watch of the night, he would have been
rewarded with sixteen of each kind; if he had made his offering during the
middle watch, he would have been rewarded with eight of each kind; since he had
made his offering only during the last watch of the night, he was rewarded with
only four of each kind." So, when one wants to give in charity, one
should do so quickly; if one procrastinates, the reward comes slowly and only
sparingly. Also, if one is too slow in doing good deeds, one may not be able to
do it at all, for the mind tends to take delight in doing evil.
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
|Verse 116: One should make haste in doing good deeds;
one should restrain one's mind from evil; for the mind of one who is
slow in doing good tends to take delight in doing evil.