Dhammapada Verse 315
Nagaram yatha paccantam
evam gopetha attanam1
khano vo ma upaccaga
khanatita hi socanti
Verse 315: As a border town is guarded both inside and outside, so guard
yourself. Let not the right moment go by for those who miss this moment come to
grief when they fall into niraya.
1. evam gopetha attanam: so guard yourself; i.e., to guard the internal as
well as the external senses. The six internal senses (sense bases) are eye, ear,
nose, tongue, body and mind; the six external senses (sense objects) are visible
object, sound, odour, taste, touch and idea.
The Story of Many Bhikkhus
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (315) of
this book, with reference to a group of bhikkhus who spent the vassa in a border
In the first month of their stay in that border town, the bhikkhus were well
provided and well looked after by the townsfolk. During the next month the town
was plundered by some robbers and some people were taken away as hostages. The
people of the town, therefore, had to rehabilitate their town and reinforce
fortifications. Thus, they were unable to look to the needs of the bhikkhus as
much as they would like to and the bhikkhus had to fend for themselves. At the
end of the vassa, those bhikkhus came to pay homage to the Buddha at the
Jetavana monastery in Savatthi. On learning about the hardships they had
undergone during the vassa, the Buddha said to them "Bhikkhus, do not
keep thinking about this or anything else; it is always difficult to have a
carefree, effortless living. Just as the townsfolk guard their town, so also, a
bhikkhu should be on guard and keep his mind steadfastly on his body."
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
|Verse 315: As a border town is guarded both inside and
outside, so guard yourself. Let not the right moment go by for those
who miss this moment come to grief when they fall into niraya.
At the end of the discourse those bhikkhus attained arahatship.