Dhammapada Verse 159
Attanance tatha kayira
sudanto vata dametha
atta hi kara duddamo.
Verse 159: One should act as one teaches others; only with oneself thoroughly
tamed should one tame others. To tame oneself is, indeed, difficult.
The Story of Thera Padhanikatissa
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (159) of
this book, with reference to Thera Padhanikatissa.
Thera Padhanikatissa, after taking a subject of meditation from the Buddha,
left for the forest with five hundred other bhikkhus. There, he told the
bhikkhus to be ever mindful and diligent in their meditation practice. After
thus exhorting others he himself would lie down and go to sleep. The young
bhikkhus did as they were told. They practised meditation during the first watch
of the night and when they were about to go to bed, Padhanikatissa would get up
and tell them to go back to their practice. When they returned after meditation
practice during the second and third watches also he would say the same thing to
As he was always acting in this way, the young bhikkhus never had peace of
mind, and so they could not concentrate on meditation practice or even on
recitation of the texts. One day, they decided to investigate if their teacher
was truly zealous and vigilant as he posed himself to be. When they found out
that their teacher Padhanikatissa only exhorted others but was himself sleeping
most of the time, they remarked, "We are ruined, our teacher knows only how
to scold us, but he himself is just wasting time, doing nothing." By this
time, as the bhikkhus were not getting enough rest, they were tired and worn
out. As a result, none of the bhikkhu made any progress in their meditation
At the end of the vassa, they returned to the Jetavana monastery and reported
the matter to the Buddha. To them the Buddha said, "Bhikkhus! One who
wants to teach others should first teach himself and conduct himself
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
|Verse 159: One should act as one teaches others; only
with oneself thoroughly tamed should one tame others. To tame oneself
is, indeed, difficult.
At the end of the discourse those five hundred bhikkhus attained arahatship.