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The Story PARAJIKA 2

Chủ nhật - 15/10/2017 13:09

On one occasion, the Buddha was staying on the Vulture’s Peak at Rajagaha, Ven.Dhaniya the ‘Potter’s Son’ was residing in a simple grass hut that he had built on a nearby mountain slope. One morning during the hot season, while Ven. Dhaniya was in the village on alms round, some women came to the mountain slope collecting firewood. Seeing the vacant grass hut they thought it abandoned and so they knocked it down and carried off the sticks for firewood. Ven. Dhaniya built a new grass hut but then the women came again when he was away and destroyed that too. A third time he erected a grass hut and a third time it was dismantled and carried off by the women while he was on alms round. Fed up with building grass huts only to see them demolished soon after Ven. Dhaniya decided to employ his former skill as a potter. He collected and baked mud himself to construct a pretty, red-coloured, little mud hut, ‘just like a small ladybird’. A short time later the Buddha happened to pass by and seeing the mud hut he severely criticized Ven. Dhaniya for his lack of compassion, because in baking the mud many small creatures must have perished. The Buddha told the bhikkhus accompanying him to demolish the mud hut and then he laid down a rule prohibiting bhikkhus from building a hut purely of mud.


The frustrated Ven. Dhaniya decided to build himself a wooden hut and, unable to obtain timber elsewhere, he went into the city to the wood yard to ask for timber. At first, the overseer of the wood yard refused to give any wood to the bhikkhu for he was under orders from the King to keep this wood for times of emergency. But when Ven. Dhaniya assured him that the King himself had said that he could take some of this wood, the overseer gave it to him. Ven. Dhaniya carried off the timber and made a new hut.

Not long after, the Chief  Minister of  Magadha visited the wood yard on a tour of inspection and finding much wood missing questioned the overseer. The overseer told the Chief  Minister that he had given the missing timber to a bhikkhu on the King’s instructions. When the Chief Minister discovered that the King had given no

such instructions he immediately had the overseer  arrested. The poor overseer was dragged to the Palace in fetters and chains when Ven. Dhaniya happened to see him.

Feeling responsible for the overseer’s misfortune, Ven. Dhaniya went to the Palace as well to explain the affair to the King.


On being questioned, Ven. Dhaniya reminded the King that during the coronation ceremony the monarch had declared, “Let the recluses and Brahmins enjoy our gift of grass, wood and water”, and thus had the King given him the wood. The King was incensed! The crafty bhikkhu was using the King’s ceremonial statement as a mere pretext, as the common understanding was that it referred only to the grass, wood and water in the jungle without an owner, not to the wood in the King’s own yard! Even though King Seniya Bimbisara was enraged he would not have a bhikkhu punished so he released him saying, “You are free only on account of your shaven head.” When this affair became circulated around Rajagaha, the people became annoyed and upset. They said, “These disciples of Gotama are shameless, of bad conduct and they are liars. If they will cheat the King, how much more so ordinary folk.” Hearing of the people’s criticism the Buddha summoned Ven. Dhaniya, reprimanded him severely and then laid down a rule.

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