Dhammapada Verse 252
attano pana duddsam
paresam hi so vajjani
opunati yatha bhusam
attano pana chadeti
kalimva kitava satho.1
Verse 252: It is easy to see the faults of others, but difficult to see one's
own. A man broadcasts the fault; of others like winnowing chaff in the wind, but
hides his own faults as a crafty fowler covers himself.
1. Satho: a cheat, a gambler. According to the Commentary, it means a crafty
The Story of Mendaka the Rich Man
While residing near the town of Baddiya, the Buddha uttered Verse (252) of
this book with reference to the renowned rich man Mendaka and his family.
Once, during his tour of Anga and Uttara regions, the Buddha saw in his
vision that time was ripe for Mendaka, his wife, his son, his daughter-in-law,
his granddaughter and his servant, to attain Sotapatti Fruition. Seeing the
prospect of these six people attaining Sotapatti Fruition, the Buddha went to
the town of Baddiya.
Mendaka was an extremely rich man. It was said that he found a large number
of life-size golden statues of goats in his backyard. For this reason, he was
known as Mendaka (a goat) the rich man. Again, it was also said that during the
time of Vipassi Buddha he had donated a monastery for Vipassi Buddha and a
congregation hall complete with a platform for the preacher. On completion of
these buildings he made offerings of alms-food to Vipassi Buddha and the
bhikkhus for four months. Then, in yet another of his past existences, when he
was a rich man in Baranasi, there was a famine throughout the region. One day,
they had cooked a meal just enough for the members of the family when a
paccekabuddha stood at the door for alms-food. Then and there he offered all the
food. But due to his great faith and generosity, the rice pot was later found to
be miraculously filled up again; so also were his granaries.
Mendaka and his family, hearing that the Buddha was coming to Baddiya, went
to pay homage to him. After hearing the discourse given by the Buddha, Mendaka,
his wife Candapaduma, his son Danancaya, his daughter-in-law Sumanadevi, his
granddaughter Visakha and the servant Punna attained Sotapatti Fruition. Mendaka
then told the Buddha how on his way, some ascetics had spoken ill of the Buddha
and had tried to dissuade him from coming to see him. The Buddha then said, "My
disciple, it is natural for people not to see one's own faults, and to
exaggerate other people's faults and failings."
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
|Verse 252: It is easy to see the faults of others, but
difficult to see one's own. A man broadcasts the fault; of others like
winnowing chaff in the wind, but hides his own faults as a crafty
fowler covers himself.