Dhammapada Verse 347
Ye ragaratt'nupatanti sotam
sayamkatam makkatakova jalam
etampi chetvana vajanti dhira
anapekkhino sabbadukkham pahaya.
Verse 347: Beings who are infatuated with lust, fall back into the Stream of
Craving they have generated, just as a spider does in the web it has spun. The
Wise, cutting off the bond of craving, walk on resolutely, leaving, all ills (dukkha)
The Story of Theri Khema
While residing at the Veluvana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (347) of
this book, with reference to Queen Khema.
Queen Khema was the chief queen of King Bimbisara. She was very beautiful and
also very proud.
The king wanted her to go to the Veluvana monastery and pay homage to the
Buddha. But she had heard that the Buddha always talked disparagingly about
beauty and she therefore tried to avoid seeing the Buddha.
The king understood her attitude towards the Buddha; he also know how proud
she was of her beauty. So the king ordered his minstrels to sing in praise of
the Veluvana monastery, about its pleasant and peaceful atmosphere, etc. Hearing
them, Queen Khema became interested and decided to set out for the Veluvana
When Queen Khema arrived at the monastery, the Buddha was expounding the
Dhamma to an audience. By his supernormal power, the Buddha made a very
beautiful young lady appear, sitting not far from him, and fanning him. When
Queen Khema came to the audience hall, she alone saw the beautiful young lady.
Comparing the exquisite beauty of the young lady to that of her own, Khema
realised that her beauty was much inferior to that of the young lady. As she
looked again intently at the young lady her beauty began to fade gradually. In
the end, she saw before her eyes an old decrepit being, which again changed into
a corpse, her stinking body being attacked by maggots. At that instant, Queen
Khema realized the impermanence and worthlessness of beauty.
The Buddha knowing the state of her mind remarked, "O Khema! Look
carefully at this decaying body which is built around a skeleton of bones and is
subject to disease and decay. Look carefully at the body which is thought of so
highly by the foolish. Look at the worthlessness of the beauty of this young
girl." After hearing this, Queen Khema attained Sotapatti Fruition.
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
|Verse 347: Beings who are infatuated with lust, fall
back into the Stream of Craving they have generated, just as a spider
does in the web it has spun. The Wise, cutting off the bond of
craving, walk on resolutely, leaving, all ills (dukkha) behind.
At the end of the discourse Queen Khema attained arahatship and was admitted
to the Order and became the Chief Female Disciple of the Buddha.