Home                                                                       Verses 21 , 22 & 23

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1. Twin Verses
2. Vigilance
3. The Mind
4. Flowers
5. The Fool
6. The Wise
7. The Worthy
8. The Thousands
9. Evil
10. Punishment
11. Old Age
12. The Self
The World  
Vigilance is the path to deathlessness. Negligence is the path to death.
The vigilant do not die. The negligent are as if dead already.

Distinctly understanding this difference of vigilance the wise rejoice
therein, delighting in the realm of the Noble.

These wise ones constantly meditative, ever preserving realize Nibbana,
which is free of all bonds and supreme.

Related Story:-

                   The Story of Sàmàvati

While residing at the Ghosita Monastery near Kosambi, the
Buddha spoke these verses, with reference to Sàmàvati, one of
the chief queens of Udena, king of Kosamby.
       There lived in the city of Bhaddàvati a treasurer named
Bhaddavatiya, and he was a friend of the treasurer Ghosaka,
although Ghosaka had never seen him. For the treasurer
Ghosaka heard, from traders who came from the city of
Bhaddàvati, of the wealth and age of the treasurer Bhaddavatiya,
and desiring to be friends with him, sent him a present. Thus,
although neither had seen the other, they dwelt as friends.
       After a time, an intestinal disease broke out in the house
of the treasurer Bhaddavatiya. When this disease breaks out,
the first to die are flies; afterwards, in regular order, insects,
mice, domestic fowls, swine, cattle, slaves both female and
male, and last of all the members of the household. Only those
that break down the wall and flee, save their lives. Now at
that time the treasurer Bhaddavatiya and his wife and
daughter fled in this manner, and intending to seek the treasurer
Ghosaka, set out on the road to Kosambi. While they were
still on their way, their provisions for the journey gave out,
and their bodies became exhausted from exposure to wind
and sun, and from hunger and thirst. Reaching Kosambi with
difficulty, they bathed in a pool of water in a pleasant place
and then entered a certain rest house at the gate of the city.
       Then the treasurer said to his wife, “Wife, those who
travel this way are not courteous even to a mother who has
borne a child. Now I have a friend who, they say, dispenses a
thousand pieces of money daily in alms to the blind, the poor,
and other unfortunate persons. We will send our daughter
there, have her bring us food, remain right here for a day or
two and refresh our bodies, and then we will go and see my
friend.” “Very well, husband,” she replied, and they took up
their residence right there in the rest house.
       On the following day, when meal-time was announced
and the blind, the poor, and other unfortunate persons went
to obtain food, the mother and father sent forth their daughter,
saying, “Daughter, go bring us food.” So the daughter of a
wealthy house, pride overcome with misfortune, hid her
shame, took a bowl, and went to the poor folk to procure food.
“How many portions will you have?” she was asked. “Three,”
she replied. So they gave her three portions. She carried the
food back to her parents, and the three sat down to eat together.
The mother and daughter said to the treasurer, “Master,
misfortune comes even to prominent families. Eat without
regarding us and do not worry.” After a good deal of urging, they
prevailed upon him to eat. But after he had eaten, he was
unable to digest his food, and when the sun rose, he died. The
mother and daughter wept, wailed, and lamented.
       On the following day the young girl went the second
time for food. “How many portions will you have?” “Two.”
She carried the food back to her mother, and after a good deal
of urging, prevailed upon her to eat. The mother yielded to
her pleading and consented to eat, but died on that very day.
The young girl, left alone to herself, wept, wailed and lamented
over the misfortune that had come upon her. On the follow-
ing day, suffering the pangs of hunger keenly, she went
weeping in the company of beggars to procure food. “How many
portions will you have, daughter?” “One,” was her reply.
        A householder named Mittà, remembering that she had
received food for three days, said to her, “Perish, vile woman.
Today, at last, you have come to know the capacity of your
belly.” This daughter of a respectable family, modest and
timid, felt as though she had received a sword-thrust in her
bosom, or as though salt water had been sprinkled on a sore.
She immediately replied, “What do you mean, sir?” “The day
before yesterday you took three portions, yesterday two, today
you take but one. Today, then, you know the capacity of your
belly.” “Sir, do not think that I took these for myself.” “Why
then did you take them?” “Sir, the day before yesterday we
were three, yesterday we were two, today I am left alone.”
“How is that?” he inquired.
        She then told him the whole story from the beginning.
As he listened to her story, he was unable to control his tears,
but was overcome by the power of the grief that arose within
him. Finally he said to her, “My dear girl, if this is the case, do
not worry. Hitherto you have been the daughter of the
treasurer Bhaddavatiya, but from this day forth you shall be my
very own daughter.” And he kissed her on the head, conducted
her to his own house, and adopted her as his own oldest
        One day she heard loud and piercing screams in the
refectory, whereupon she said to her foster-father, “Father, why
do you not keep these people quiet when you dispense alms?”
“It is impossible to do it, dear daughter.” “Father, it is quite
possible.” “How would you do it, dear daughter?” “Father, put a
fence around the refectory and hang two gates through which
the people may pass in and out, allowing only sufficient space
for one person to pass through at a time. Then direct the
people to pass in through one gate and out through the other. If
you do this, they will receive their alms peaceably and quietly.”
When the householder had heard her plan he remarked, “A
happy device, dear daughter,” and did as she suggested. Now
up to that time her name had been Sàmà, but through her
construction of a fence she received, the name Sàmàvati. From
that time on there was no more tumult in the refectory.
        Now the treasurer Ghosaka had long been accustomed
to hear this noise in the refectory and rather liked to hear it;
for it always made him think, “That is the noise in my
refectory.” But after hearing no noise at all for two or three days, he
asked the householder Mittà, who came one day to wait upon
him, “Are alms being given to the blind, the poor, and other
unfortunate persons?” “Yes sir.” “How then does it happen
that for two or three days past I have not heard a sound?” I
have arranged matters so that the people now received alms
without making any noise.” “Why didn’t you do so before?”
“I didn’t know how, sir.” “How did you happen to find a way
just now?” “My daughter told me how to do it, sir.” “Have you
a daughter whom I have never seen?” Then the householder
told him the whole story of the treasurer Bhaddavatiya,
beginning with the outbreak of the plague and ending with his
adoption of the young girl as his own oldest daughter.
        Then said the treasurer to him, “If this is the case, why
did you not tell me? My friend’s daughter is my own
daughter.” So he sent for her and asked her, “Dear girl, are you the
daughter of the treasurer?” “Yes, sir, I am.” “Well then, do not
worry; you are my own daughter.” Then he kissed her on the
head, gave her five hundred women for her retinue, and
adopted her as his own oldest daughter.
       One day a festival was proclaimed in this city. Now at
this festival daughters of respectable families, who do not
ordinarily go out, go on foot with their own retinue and bathe
in the river. Accordingly on that day Sàmàvati also,
accompanied by her five hundred women, went right through the
palace court to bathe in the river. King Udena stood at his
window and saw her. “Whose are those playful girls?” he
inquired. “Nobody’s playful girls, your majesty.” “Then whose
daughters are they?” “Your majesty, that is the daughter of
the treasurer Bhaddavatiya, and her name is Sàmàvati.” Then
the king conducted Sàmàvati and her retinue to the royal
palace and elevated her to the dignity of Queen Consort.
       Still another maiden gained the dignity of chief consort
of the king. She was Màgandiya who had once been rejected
by the Buddha when her father sought the Buddha as
husband for her. After she became chief consort she found that
the other chief consort Sàmàvati was an ardent follower of the
Buddha. She planned to take her revenge on the Buddha and
to harm Sàmàvati and her maids. Màgandiya told the king
that Sàmàvati and her maids had made holes in the walls of
their living quarters and were being unfaithful to him. King
Udena saw the holes in the walls, but when the matter was
explained to him he did not get angry.
      Màgandiya kept on trying to make the king believe that
Sàmàvati was trying to kill him. Once, Màgandiya inserted a
snake into a lute and covered the hole with a bunch of flowers.
The snake came out hissing. The king was furious. He com-
manded Sàmàvati to stand and all her ladies to line up behind
her. Then he fitted his bow with an arrow dipped in poison
and shot the arrow. But Sàmàvati and her ladies bore no ill
towards the king and through the power of goodwill, the arrow
did not hit the target. The king realised the innocence of
Sàmàvati and he gave her permission to invite the Buddha and his
disciples to the palace for almsgiving and religious discourses.
      Màgandiya, realising that none of her plots had
materialized, made a final, infallible plan. She sent a message to her
uncle with full instructions to go to Sàmàvati’s palace and
burn down the building with all the women inside. Sàmàvati
and her maids-of-honor, being advanced in spiritual
attainment, continued to meditate in spite of the danger. All
perished in the fire.
      The king suspected that it was done at the instigation of
Màgandiya but he did not show that he was suspicious.
Instead, the king pretended to be very pleased with her and
said that he would grant her a great favor, and honor all
her relatives. So, the relatives were sent for and they came
gladly. On arrival at the palace, all of them, including
Màgandiya, were seized and put to death in the palace courtyard.
      When the Buddha was told about these two incidents,
he said that those who are mindful do not die; but those who
are negligent are as dead even while living.

14. The Enlightened One
15. Happiness
16. Affections
17. Anger
18. Impurities
19. The Righteous
20. The Path
21. Miscellaneous
22.  Woeful State
23. The Elephant
24. Craving
25. The Bhikku
26. The Brahmin