Dhammapada Verse 149
Sambahula Adhimanikabhikkhu Vatthu
tani disvana ka rati
Verse 149: Like gourds thrown away in autumn are these dove-grey bones; what
pleasure is there in seeing them?
The Story of Adhimanika Bhikkhus
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (149) of
this book, with reference to some bhikkhus who over-estimated themselves.
Five hundred bhikkhus, after taking a subject of meditation from the Buddha,
went into the woods. There, they practised meditation ardently and diligently
and soon attained deep mental absorption (jhana) and they thought that they were
free from sensual desires and, therefore, had attained arahatship. Actually,
they were only over-estimating themselves. Then, they went to the Buddha, with
the intention of informing the Buddha about what they thought was their
attainment of arahatship.
When they arrived at the outer gate of the monastery, the Buddha said to the
Venerable Ananda, "Those bhikkhus will not benefit much by coming to see
me now; let them go to the cemetery first and come to see me only
afterwards." The Venerable Ananda then delivered the message of the
Buddha to those bhikkhus, and they reflected, "The Enlightened One knows
everything; he must have some reason in making us go to the cemetery
first." So they went to the cemetery.
There, when they saw the putrid corpses they could look at them as just
skeletons, and bones, but when they saw some fresh dead bodies they realized,
with horror, that they still had some sensual desires awakening in them. The
Buddha saw them from his perfumed chamber and sent forth the radiance; then he
appeared to them and said, "Bhikkhus! Seeing these bleached bones, is it
proper for you to have any sensual desire in you?"
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
|Verse 149: Like gourds thrown away in autumn are these
dove-grey bones; what pleasure is there in seeing them?
At the end of the discourse, those five hundred bhikkhus attained arahatship.