Dhammapada Verse 326
Idam pure cittamacari carikam
yenicchakam yatthakamam yathasukham
tadajjaham niggahessami yoniso
hatthippabhinnam viya ankusaggaho.
Verse 326: In the past, this mind has wandered as it liked, wherever it
liked, at its own pleasure. Now I will control my mind wisely, as a mahout with
his goad controls an elephant in must.
The Story of Samanera Sanu
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (326) of
this book, with reference to a young samanera named Sanu.
One day, Samanera Sanu was urged by older bhikkhus to go up on the dais and
recite parts of the Pali texts. When he had finished his recitation he solemnly
called out, "May the merits gained by me today for reciting these sacred
texts be shared by my mother and my father". At that time, the devas and
the ogress who had been the mother of the young samanera in a previous existence
were listening to his recitation. When they heard his words, the ogress was
elated and promptly cried out, "My dear son, how happy I am to share your
merit; you have done well, my son. Well done! Well done! (Sadhu! Sadhu!)."
On account of Samanera Sanu, the mother ogress came to be very much respected
and was given precedence in their assemblies by the devas and other ogres.
As the samanera grew older, he wanted to return to the life of a lay man; he
went home and asked for his clothes from his mother. His mother did not want him
to leave the Order and tried to dissuade him from leaving it, but he was quite
firm in his decision. So, his mother promised to give him the clothes after his
meal. As his mother was busy cooking his meal, the ogress, who was his mother of
a past existence, thought, "If my son Sanu leaves the Order, I shall be put
to shame and become a laughing stock among other ogres and devas; I must try and
stop him leaving the Order." So, the young samanera was possessed by her;
the boy rolled on the floor, muttering in coherently with saliva streaming out
of his mouth. The mother got alarmed; neighbours came and tried to appease the
spirits. Then, the ogress spoke out "This samanera wants to leave the
religious Order and return to the life of a lay man; if he does so he will not
be able to escape from dukkha." After saying those words, the ogress left
the body of the boy and the boy became normal again.
Finding his mother in tears and the neighbours crowding around him, he asked
what had happened. His mother told him everything that had happened to him and
also explained to him that to return to lay life after leaving it was very
foolish; in fact, even though living he would be like a dead person. The
samanera then came to realize his mistake. Taking the three robes from his
mother, he went back to the monastery and was soon admitted as a bhikkhu.
When told about Samanera Sanu, the Buddha wishing to teach him about the
restraint of mind said, "My son, one who does not restrain the mind
which wanders about cannot find happiness. So, control your mind as a mahout
controls an elephant."
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
|Verse 326: In the past, this mind has wandered as it
liked, wherever it liked, at its own pleasure. Now I will control my
mind wisely, as a mahout with his goad controls an elephant in must.
At the end of the discourse Thera Sanu comprehended the Four Noble Truths and
later attained arahatship.