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The Story of Five Bhikkhus

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While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses (360) and (361) of this book, with reference to five bhikkhus.

Once there were five bhikkhus in Savatthi. Each of them practised restraint of just one out of the five senses and each of them claimed that what he was practising was the most difficult. There were some heated arguments over this and they could not come to an agreement. Finally, they went to the Buddha to ask for his decision. The Buddha said to them, "Each of the senses is just as difficult to control as the other; but all bhikkhus must control all the five senses and not just one. Only those who control all the senses would escape from the round of rebirths."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 360: Restraint in the eye is good, good is restraint in the ear; restraint in the nose is good, good is restraint in the tongue.

Verse 361: Restraint in body is good, good is restraint in speech; restraint in mind is good, good is restraint in all the senses. A bhikkhu restrained in all the senses is freed from all ills (Samsara dukkha).

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