Dhammapada Verse 240
Ayasava malan samutthitam
tatutthaya tameva khadati
sani kammani nayanti duggatim.
Verse 240: Just as rust is formed from iron, and corrodes the iron from which
it is formed, so also, his own deeds lead the transgressor to a lower plane of
1. atidhonacarinam - transgressor: i.e., one who transgresses or indulges too
much in the use of 'dhona', the four requisites of a bhikkhu.
The Story of Thera Tissa
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered
Verse (240) of this book, with reference to Thera Tissa.
Once there was a thera named Tissa in Savatthi. One day, he
received a set of fine robes and was very pleased. He intended to wear those
robes the next day. But that very night he died and because he was attached to
the fine set of robes, he was reborn as a louse and lived within the folds of
the robes. As there was no one to inherit his belongings, it was decided that
this particular set of robes should be shared by other bhikkhus. When the
bhikkhus were preparing to share out among themselves, the louse was very much
agitated and cried out, "They are destroying my robes!" This
cry was heard by the Buddha by means of his divine power of hearing. So he sent
someone to stop the bhikkhus and instructed them to dispose of the robes only at
the end of seven days. On the eighth day, the set of the robes which belonged to
Thera Tissa was shared out by the bhikkhus.
Later, the Buddha was asked by the bhikkhus why he had told them
to wait for seven days before sharing out the robes of Thera Tissa. To them the
Buddha replied, "My sons, Tissa had his mind attached to this particular
set of robes at the time of his death, and so he was reborn as a louse and
stayed in the folds of the robes. When you all were preparing to share out the
robes, Tissa the louse was very much in agony and was running about to and fro
in the folds of the robes. If you had taken the robes at that time Tissa the
louse would have felt very bitter against you and he would have to go to niraya.
But now, Tissa has been reborn in the Tusita deva world, and that is why I have
allowed you to take the robes. Indeed, bhikkhus, attachment is very dangerous;
as rust corrodes iron from which it is formed, so also, attachment destroys one
and sends one to niraya. A bhikkhu should not indulge too much in the use of the
four requisites or be very much attached to them."
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
|Verse 240: Just as rust is formed from iron, and
corrodes the iron from which it is formed, so also, his own deeds lead
the transgressor to a lower plane of existence (duggati).