Dhammapada Verse 145
Udakam hi nayanti nettika
usukara namayanti tejanam
darum namayanti tacchaka
attanam damayanti subbata.
Verse 145: Farmers1 channel the water; fletchers straighten the
arrows; carpenters work the timber; the wise tame themselves.
1. Farmers: lit., makers of irrigation canals.
The Story of Samanera* Sukha
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (145) of
this book, with reference to a samanera named Sukha.
Sukha was made a samanera at the age of seven years by Thera Sariputta. On
the eighth day after being made a samanera he followed Thera Sariputta on his
alms-round. While doing the round they came across some farmers irrigating their
fields, some fletchers straightening their arrows and some carpenters making
things like cart-wheels, etc. Seeing these, he asked Thera Sariputta whether
these inanimate things could be guided to where one wished or be made into
things one wished to make, and the thera answered him in the affirmative. The
young samanera then pondered that if that were so, there could be no reason why
a person could not tame his mind and practise Tranquillity and Insight
So, he asked permission from the thera to return to the monastery. There, he
shut himself up in his room and practised meditation in solitude, Sakka and the
devas also helped him in his practice by keeping the monastery very quiet. That
same day, the eighth day after his becoming a samanera, Sukha attained
arahatship. In connection with this, the Buddha said to the congregation of
bhikkhus, "When a person earnestly practises the Dhamma, even Sakka and
the devas give protection and help. I myself have kept Sariputta at the entrance
so that Sukha should not be disturbed. The samanera, having seen the farmers
irrigating their fields, the fletchers straightening their arrows and the
carpenters making cart-wheels and other things, trains his mind and practises
the Dhamma. Thus, he has now become an arahat."
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
|Verse 145: Farmers** channel the water; fletchers
straighten the arrows; carpenters work the timber; the wise tame
* This story is the same as that of Samanera Pandita (Verse 80)
** Farmers: lit., makers of irrigation canals
End of Chapter Ten: Punishment (Dandavagga)