Dhammapada Verse 239
Annatara brahmana Vatthu
thokam thokam khane khane
Verse 239: By degrees, little by little, from moment to moment a wise man
removes his own impurities (moral defilements), as a smith removes the dross of
silver or gold.
The Story of a Brahmin
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (239) of
this book, with reference to a brahmin.
Once, a brahmin saw a group of bhikkhus re-arranging their robes as they were
preparing to enter the city for alms-food. While he was looking, he found that
the robes of some of the bhikkhus touched the ground and got wet because of dew
on the grass. So he cleared that patch of ground. The next day, he found that as
the robes of the bhikkhus touched bare ground, the robes got dirty. So he
covered that patch of ground with sand. Then again, he observed that the
bhikkhus would sweat when the sun was shining and that they got wet when it was
raining. So finally, he built a rest house for the bhikkhus at the place where
they gathered before entering the city for alms-food.
When the building was finished, he invited the Buddha and the bhikkhus for
alms-food. The brahmin explained to the Buddha how he had performed this
meritorious deed step by step. To him the Buddha replied "O Brahmin! The
wise perform their acts of merit little by little, and gradually and constantly
they remove the impurities of moral defilements."
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
|Verse 239: By degrees, little by little, from moment
to moment a wise man removes his own impurities (moral defilements),
as a smith removes the dross of silver or gold.
At the end of the discourse the brahmin attained Sotapatti Fruition.