Sariputta | Dhammapada | The Story of the Disciples of Non-Buddhist Ascetics Sariputta

The Story of the Disciples of Non-Buddhist Ascetics

While residing at the Nigrodarama monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses (318) and (319) of this book, with reference to some disciples of the Titthis (non-Buddhist ascetics).

The disciples of the Titthis did not want their children to mix with the children of the followers of the Buddha. They often told their children, "Do not go to the Jetavana monastery, do not pay obeisance to the bhikkhus of the Sakyan clan." On one occasion, while the Titthi boys were playing with a Buddhist boy near the entrance to the Jetavana monastery, they felt very thirsty. As the children of the disciples of the Titthis had been told by their parents not to enter a Buddhist monastery, they asked the Buddhist boy to go to the monastery and bring some water for them. The young Buddhist boy went to pay obeisance to the Buddha after he had had a drink of water, and told the Buddha about his friends who were forbidden by their parents to enter a Buddhist monastery. The Buddha then told the boy to tell the non-Buddhist boys to come and have water at the monastery. When those boys came, the Buddha gave them a discourse to suit their various dispositions. As a result, those boys became established in faith in the Three Gems i.e., the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha.

When the boys went home, they talked about their visit to the Jetavana monastery and about the Buddha teaching them the Three Gems. The parents of the boys, being ignorant, cried, "Our sons have been disloyal to our faith, they have been ruined," etc. Some intelligent neighbours advised the wailing parents to stop weeping and to send their sons to the Buddha. Somehow, they agreed and the boys as well as their parents went to the Buddha.

The Buddha knowing why they had come spoke to them in verse as follows:

Verse 318: Beings who imagine wrong in what is not wrong, who do not see wrong in what is wrong, and who hold wrong views go to a lower plane of existence (duggati).

Verse 319: Beings who know what is wrong as wrong. who know what is right as right, and who hold right views go to a happy plane of existence (suggati).

At the end of the discourse all those people came to be established in faith in the Three Gems, and after listening to the Buddha's further discourses, they subsequently attained Sotapatti Fruition.
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