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The Story PARAJIKA 3

Chủ nhật - 15/10/2017 13:10

During one of his stays in the Gabled Hall at the Great Wood outside Vesali, the Buddha spoke in many ways encouraging the bhikkhus to develop the meditation on ‘Loathsomeness of the Body’ (asubhabhavana). When he subsequently entered solitary retreat for a half-month many of the bhikkhus practised over-zealously and without the Buddha to guide them, fell into wrong view. They came to despise their bodies as they would a rotting carcass and a number of them committed suicide. Some bhikkhus approached Migalandika, a sort of samana who subsisted off the remains from the bhikkhus’ meals, and asked him, “Be so good, Sir, as to deprive us of life; this bowl and robe will become yours”, Migalandika was simple-minded but strong and he severed their heads with a sword.


Soon after, Migalandika was overcome with remorse and went to a nearby river believing that there he could wash away his sins. Though he washed the blood from the sword the anguish of guilt remained. He was sitting by the river in bitter repentance at what he had done when an earth-devata appeared, coming towards him across the water. The deva was like-minded to Mara himself and in order to tempt Migalandika further it told him that he had nothing blameworthy; on the contrary he had made much merit for he had delivered many bhikkhus from the whirlpool of samsara. Migala01ika believed the devata and set off back to the monastery with gusto, anxious to make even more merit.


Migalandika went from dwelling to dwelling, kuti to kuti, brandishing his blood stained sword and calling out, “Who is not delivered? Who will be the next to be sent to the other shore?” Although some of the younger bhikkhus cowered in corners with their hair standing on end others, up to sixty a day, were willingly giving up their lives at the hand of Migala01ika. By the end o the half-month around 500 bhikkhus had thus been killed.


When the Buddha came out of retreat he addressed Ven. Ananda, “Ananda, how is it that the company of bhikkhus is so diminished as it is?” Then, on hearing the whole story, the Buddha called a meeting of all the bhikkhus living in the area and it was on this occasion that he delivered the famous teaching on the practice of Mindfulness of Breathing (anapanasati). Following that discourse, the Buddha laid down the training rule concerning the killing of people.

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