Dhammapada Verse 291
vera so na parimuccati.
Verse 291: He who seeks his own happiness by inflicting pain on others, being
entangled by bonds of enmity, cannot be free from enmity.
The Story of the Woman Who Ate up the Eggs of a Hen
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (291) of
this book, with reference to a feud between a woman and a hen.
Once, there lived a woman in a village near Savatthi. She had a hen in her
house; every time the hen laid an egg she would eat it up. The hen was very much
hurt and angry and made a vow to have vengeance on the woman and made a wish
that it should be reborn as some being that would be in a position to kill the
offspring of that woman. The hen's wish was fulfilled as it was reborn as a cat
and the woman was reborn as a hen in the same house. The cat ate up the eggs of
the hen. In their next existence the hen became a leopard and the cat became a
deer. The leopard ate up the deer as well as its offspring. Thus, the feud
continued for five hundred existences of the two beings. At the time of the
Buddha one of them was born as a woman and the other an ogress.
On one occasion, the woman was returning from the house of her parents to her
own house near Savatthi. Her husband and her young son were also with her. While
they were resting near a pond at the roadside, her husband went to have a bath
in the pond. At that moment the woman saw the ogress and recognized her as her
old enemy. Taking her child she fled from the ogress straight to the Jetavana
monastery where the Buddha was expounding the Dhamma and put her child at the
feet of the Buddha. The ogress who was in hot pursuit of the woman also came to
the door of the monastery, but the guardian spirit of the gate did not permit
her to enter. The Buddha, seeing her, sent the Venerable Ananda to bring the
ogress to his presence. When the ogress arrived, the Buddha reprimanded both the
woman and the ogress for the long chain of feud between them. He also added, "If
you two had not come to me today, your feud would have continued endlessly.
Enmity cannot be appeased by enmity; it can only be appeased by
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
|Verse 291: He who seeks his own happiness by
inflicting pain on others, being entangled by bonds of enmity, cannot
be free from enmity.
At the end of the discourse the ogress took refuge in the three Gems, viz.,
the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha, and the woman attained Sotapatti