Dhammapada Verse 118
Punnace puriso kayira
kayira nam punappunam
tamhi chandam kayiratha
sukho punnassa uccayo.
Verse 118: If a man does what is good, he should do it again and again; he
should take delight in it; the accumulation of merit leads to happiness.
The Story of Lajadevadhita
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (118) of
this book, with reference to Laja, a female deva.
At one time Thera Mahakassapa stayed in the Pippali cave and remained in
sustained absorption in concentration (samapatti) for seven days. Soon after he
had arisen from samapatti, wishing to give someone a chance of offering
something to a thera just arisen from samapatti, he looked out and found a young
maid frying corn in a field-hut. So he stood at her door for alms-food and she
put all the pop corn into the bawl of the thera. As she turned back after
offering pop corn to the thera, she was bitten by a poisonous snake and died.
She was reborn in Tavatimsa deva world and was known as Laja (pop corn)
Laja realized that she was reborn in Tavatimsa because she had offered pop
corn to Thera Mahakassapa and felt very grateful to him. Then she concluded that
she should keep on doing some services to the thera in order to make her good
fortune more enduring. So, every morning she went to the monastery of the thera,
swept the premises, filled up water pots, and did other services. At first, the
thera thought that young samaneras had done those services; but one day, he
found out that a female deva had been performing those services. So he told her
not to come to the monastery any more, as people might start talking if she kept
on coming to the monastery. Lajadevadhita was very upset; she pleaded with the
thera and cried, "Please do not destroy my riches, my wealth." The
Buddha heard her cries and sent forth the radiance from his chamber and said to
the female deva, "Devadhita, it is the duty of my son Kassapa to stop
your coming to the monastery; to do good deeds is the duty of one who is anxious
to gain merit."
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
|Verse 118: If a man does what is good, he should do it
again and again; he should take delight in it; the accumulation of
merit leads to happiness.
At the end of the discourse, Lajadevadhita attained Sotapatti Fruition.