Sariputta | Dhammapada | The Story of Many Bhikkhus Sariputta

The Story of Many Bhikkhus

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (315) of this book, with reference to a group of bhikkhus who spent the vassa in a border town.

In the first month of their stay in that border town, the bhikkhus were well provided and well looked after by the townsfolk. During the next month the town was plundered by some robbers and some people were taken away as hostages. The people of the town, therefore, had to rehabilitate their town and reinforce fortifications. Thus, they were unable to look to the needs of the bhikkhus as much as they would like to and the bhikkhus had to fend for themselves. At the end of the vassa, those bhikkhus came to pay homage to the Buddha at the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi. On learning about the hardships they had undergone during the vassa, the Buddha said to them "Bhikkhus, do not keep thinking about this or anything else; it is always difficult to have a carefree, effortless living. Just as the townsfolk guard their town, so also, a bhikkhu should be on guard and keep his mind steadfastly on his body."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 315: As a border town is guarded both inside and outside, so guard yourself. Let not the right moment go by for those who miss this moment come to grief when they fall into niraya.

At the end of the discourse those bhikkhus attained arahatship.
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