Dhammapada Verse 166
bahunapi na hapaye
Verse 166: For the sake of another's benefit, however great it may be, do not
neglect one's own (moral) benefit. Clearly perceiving one's own benefit one
should make every effort to attain it.
1. Attadattham: one's own benefit. According to the Commentary, in this
context, one's own benefit means Magga, Phala and Nibbana. (N.B. The above was
uttered by the Buddha in connection with Insight Meditation.)
The Story of Thera Attadattha
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (166) of
this book, with reference to Thera Attadattha.
When the Buddha declared that he would realize parinibbana in four months'
time, many puthujjana bhikkhus* were apprehensive and did not know what to do;
so they kept close to the Buddha. Attadattha, however, did not go to the Buddha
and, having resolved to attain arahatship during the lifetime of the Buddha, was
striving hard in the meditation practice. Other bhikkhus, not understanding him,
took him to the Buddha and said, "Venerable Sir, this bhikkhu does not seem
to love and revere you as we do; he only keeps to himself." The thera then
explained to them that he was striving hard to attain arahatship before the
Buddha realized parinibbana and that was the only reason why he had not come to
The Buddha then said to the bhikkhus, "Bhikkhus, those who love and
revere me should act like Attadattha. You are not paying me homage by just
offering flowers, perfumes and incense and by coming to see me; you pay me
homage only by practising the Dhamma I have taught you, i.e., the Lokuttara
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
|Verse 166: For the sake of another's benefit, however
great it may be, do not neglect one's own (moral) benefit. Clearly
perceiving one's own benefit one should make every effort to attain
At the end of the discourse Thera Attadattha attained arahatship.
*Puthujjana bhikkhus: bhikkhus who have not yet attained any Magga.
End of Chapter Twelve: Self (Attavagga)