Dhammapada Verse 282
Yoga ve jayati bhuri
etam dvedhapatham natva
bhavaya vibhavaya ca
tatha ttanam niveseyya
yatha bhuri pavaddhati.
Verse 282: Indeed, wisdom is born of meditation; without meditation wisdom is
lost. Knowing this twofold path of gain and loss of wisdom, one should conduct
oneself so that wisdom may increase.
The Story of Thera Potthila
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (282) of
this book, with reference to Thera Potthila.
Potthila was a senior bhikkhu who knew the Pitaka well and was actually
teaching the Dhamma to five hundred bhikkhus. Because he knew the Pitaka, he was
also very conceited. The Buddha knew his weakness and wanted him to mend his
ways and put him on the right path. So, whenever Potthila came to pay obeisance,
the Buddha would address him as 'Useless Potthila'. When Potthila heard
these remarks, he pondered over those words of the Buddha and came to realize
that the Buddha had made those unkind remarks because he, Potthila, had not made
any serious effort to practise meditation and had not achieved any of the Maggas
or even any level of mental absorption (jhana).
Thus, without telling anyone Thera Potthila left for a monastery at a place
twenty yojanas away from the Jetavana monastery. At that monastery there were
thirty bhikkhus. First, he went to the most senior bhikkhu and humbly requested
him to be his mentor; but the thera, wishing to humble him, asked him to go to
the next senior bhikkhu, who in his turn sent him on to the next. In this way,
he was sent from one to the other until he came to a seven year old arahat
samanera. The young samanera accepted him as a pupil only after ascertaining
that Potthila would obediently follow his instructions. As instructed by the
samanera, Thera Potthila kept his mind firmly fixed on the true nature of the
body; he was very ardent and vigilant in his meditation.
The Buddha saw Potthila in his vision and through supernormal power made
Potthila feel his presence and encouraged him to be steadfast and ardent.
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
|Verse 282: Indeed, wisdom is born of meditation;
without meditation wisdom is lost. Knowing this twofold path of gain
and loss of wisdom, one should conduct oneself so that wisdom may
At the end of the discourse Potthila attained arahatship.