Dhammapada Verse 285
kumudam saradikamva panina
Nibbanam sugatena desitam.
Verse 285: Cut off your craving as one plucks an autumn lily with the hand.
Nibbana has been expounded on by the Buddha; cultivate that Path which leads to
1. santimaggam: the Path that leads to Nibbana, i.e. the Path with Eight
The Story of a Thera who had been a Goldsmith
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (285) of
this book, with reference to a bhikkhu, a pupil of Thera Sariputta.
Once, a young, handsome son of a goldsmith was admitted into the Order by
Thera Sariputta. The young bhikkhu was given loathsomeness of the dead body as
the subject of meditation by Thera Sariputta. After taking the subject of
meditation he left for the forest and practised meditation there; but he made
very little progress. So he returned twice to Thera Sariputta for further
instructions. Still, he made no progress. So Thera Sariputta took the young
bhikkhu to the Buddha, and related everything about the young bhikkhu.
The Buddha knew that the young bhikkhu was the son of a goldsmith, and also
that he had been born in the family of goldsmiths during his past five hundred
existences. Therefore the Buddha changed the subject of meditation for the young
bhikkhu; instead of loathsomeness, he was instructed to meditate on
pleasantness. With his supernormal power, the Buddha created a beautiful lotus
flower as big as a cart-wheel and told the young bhikkhu to stick it on the
mound of sand just outside the monastery. The young bhikkhu, concentrating on
the big, beautiful, fragrant lotus flower, was able to get rid of the
hindrances. He was filled with delightful satisfaction (piti), and step by step
he progressed until he reached as far as the fourth level of mental absorption
The Buddha saw him from his perfumed chamber and with his supernormal power
made the flower wither instantly. Seeing the flower wither and change its
colour, the bhikkhu perceived the impermanent nature of the flower and of all
other things and beings. That led to the realization of the impermanence,
unsatisfactoriness and the insubstantiality of all conditioned things. At that
instant, the Buddha sent forth his radiance and appeared as if in person to the
young bhikkhu and instructed him to get rid of craving (tanha).
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
|Verse 285: Cut off your craving as one plucks an
autumn lily with the hand. Nibbana has been expounded on by the
Buddha; cultivate that Path which leads to it.
At the end of the discourse the young bhikkhu attained arahatship.