Dhammapada Verse 126
Manikarakulupaka Tissatthera Vatthu
saggam sugatino yanti
Verse 126: Some are reborn as human beings, the wicked are reborn in a place
of continuous torment (niraya). The righteous go to the deva world, and those
who are free from moral intoxicants (viz., the arahats) realize Nibbana.
1. Gabbhameke uppajjanti: lit., some enter the womb; in this context,
"some are reborn as human beings."
2. anasava: free from moral intoxicants or passions. (Avas) i.e., they have
become khinasava or anasava or arahatassa.
The Story of Thera Tissa
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (126) of
this book, with reference to Thera Tissa.
Once, there was a gem polisher and his wife in Savatthi; there was also a
thera, who was an arahat. Every day, the couple offered alms-food to the thera.
One day, while the gem polisher was handling meat, a messenger of King Pasenadi
of Kosala arrived with a ruby, which was to be cut and polished and sent back to
the king. The gem polisher took the ruby with his hand which was covered with
blood, put it on a table and went into the house to wash his hands. The pet
crane of the family seeing the blood stained ruby and taking it for a piece of
meat picked it up and swallowed it in the presence of the thera. When the gem
polisher returned, he found that the ruby was missing. He asked his wife and his
son and they answered that they had not taken it. Then, he asked the thera and
the thera said that he did not take it; but he was not satisfied. As there was
no one else in the house, the gem polisher concluded that it must be the thera
who had taken the precious ruby: so he told his wife that he must torture the
thera to get admission of theft.
But his wife replied, "This thera had been our guide and teacher for the
last twelve years, and we have never seen him doing anything evil; please do not
accuse the thera. It would be better to take the king's punishment than to
accuse a noble one." But her husband paid no heed to her words; he took a
rope and tied up the thera and beat him many times with a stick, as a result of
which the thera bled profusely from the head, ears and nose, and dropped on the
floor. The crane, seeing blood and wishing to take it, came close to the thera.
The gem polisher, who was by then in a great rage, kicked the crane with all his
might and the bird died instantaneously. Then, the thera said, "Please see
whether the crane is dead or not," and the gem polisher replied, "You
too shall die like this crane." When the thera was sure the crane had died,
he said softly, "My disciple, the crane swallowed the ruby."
Hearing this, the gem polisher cut up the crane and found the ruby in the
stomach. Then the gem polisher realized his mistake and trembled with fear. He
pleaded with the thera to pardon him and also to continue standing at his door
for alms. To him the thera replied, "My disciple, it is not your fault, nor
is it mine. This has happened on account of what has been done in our previous
existences; it is just our debt in samsara; I feel no ill will towards you. As a
matter of fact, this has happened because I have entered a house. From today, I
would not enter any house; I would only stand at the door." Soon after
saying this, the thera expired as a result of his injuries.
Later, the bhikkhus asked the Buddha where the various characters in the
above episode were reborn, and the Buddha answered, "The crane was
reborn as the son of the gem polisher; the gem polisher was reborn in niraya;
the wife of the gem polisher was reborn in one of the deva worlds; and the
thera, who was already an arahat when he was living, realized Parinibbana."
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
|Verse 126: Some are reborn as human beings, the wicked
are reborn in a place of continuous torment (niraya). The righteous go
to the deva world, and those who are free from moral intoxicants
(viz., the arahats) realize Nibbana.