Dhammapada Verse 114
Yo ca vassasatam jive
apassam amatam padam
ekaham jivitam seyyo
passato amatam padam.
Verse 114: Better than a hundred years in the life of a person who does not
perceive the Deathless (Nibbana), is a day in the life of one who perceives the
The Story of Theri Kisagotami
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, thc Buddha uttered Verse (114) of
this book, with reference to Kisagotami.
Kisagotami was the daughter of a rich man from Savatthi; she was known as
Kisagotami because of her slim body. Kisagotami was married to a rich young man
and a son was born to them. The boy died when he was just a toddler and
Kisagotami was stricken with grief. Carrying the dead body of her son, she went
about asking for medicine that would restore her son to life from everyone she
happened to meet. People began to think that she had gone mad. But a wise man
seeing her condition thought that he should be of some help to her. So, he said
to her, "The Buddha is the person you should approach, he has the medicine
you want; go to him." Thus, she went to the Buddha and asked him to give
her the medicine that would restore her dead son to life.
The Buddha told her to get some mustard seeds from a house where there had
been no death. Carrying her dead child in her bosom. Kisagotami went from house
to house, with the request for some mustard seeds. Everyone was willing to help
her, but she could not find a single house where death had not occurred. Then,
she realized that hers was not the only family that had faced death and that
there were more people dead than living. As soon as she realized this, her
attitude towards her dead son changed; she was no longer attached to the dead
body of her son.
She left the corpse in the jungle and returned to the Buddha and reported
that she could find no house where death had not occurred. Then the Buddha said,
"Gotami, you thought that you were the only one who had lost a son. As you
have now realized, death comes to all beings; before their desires are satiated
death takes them away." On hearing this, Kisagotami fully realized the
impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and insubstantiality of the aggregates and
attained Sotapatti Fruition.
Soon afterwards, Kisagotami became a bhikkhuni. One day, as she was lighting
the lamps she saw the flames flaring up and dying out, and suddenly she clearly
perceived the arising and the perishing of beings. The Buddha, through
supernormal power, saw her from his monastery, and sent forth his radiance and
appeared to her in person. Kisagotami was told to continue meditating on the
impermanent nature of all beings and to strive hard to realize Nibbana.
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
|Verse 114: Better than a hundred years in the life of
a person who does not perceive the Deathless (Nibbana), is a day in
the life of one who perceives the Deathless (Nibbana).
At the end of the discourse Theri Kisagotami attained arahatship.