Sariputta | Dhammapada | The Story of a Bhikkhu Who Associated With a Follower of Devadatta Sariputta

The Story of a Bhikkhu Who Associated With a Follower of Devadatta

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses (365) and (366) of this book, with reference to a bhikkhu who was on friendly terms with a follower of Devadatta.

Once, a bhikkhu disciple of the Buddha, being very friendly with a follower of Devadatta, paid a visit to the monastery of Devadatta and stayed there for a few days. Other bhikkhus reported to the Buddha that he had been mixing with the followers of Devadatta and that he had even gone to the monastery of Devadatta, spent there a few days, eating, sleeping and apparently enjoying the choice food and the comforts of that monastery. The Buddha sent for that bhikkhu and asked him whether what he had heard about his behaviour was true. The bhikkhu admitted that he had gone to the monastery of Devadatta for a few days, but he told the Buddha that he had not embraced the teaching of Devadatta.

The Buddha then reprimanded him and pointed out that his behaviour made him appear like a follower of Devadatta. To him the Buddha said, "My son, even though you have not embraced the doctrine of Devadatta, you are going about as if you were one of his followers. A bhikkhu should be contented with what he gets and should not covet other people's gains. A bhikkhu who is filled with envy at the good fortune of others will not attain concentration (samadhi), or Insight, or the Path that leads to Nibbana (Magga). Only the bhikkhu who is contented with whatever he gets will be able to attain concentration, Insight and the Path."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 365: One should not despise what one has received (by proper means), nor should one envy others their gains. The bhikkhu who envies others cannot attain Concentration (Samadhi).

Verse 366: Though he receives only a little, if a bhikkhu does not despise what he has received (by proper means), the devas will surely praise him who leads a pure life and is not slothful.
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