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Verse 115: The Story of Theri Bahuputtika

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (115) of this book, with
reference to Bahuputtika, a mother of many children.

Once in Savatthi, there lived a couple, with their seven sons and seven daughters. All the
children got married and the family was doing quite well. Then, the father died and the
mother kept all the property without giving anything to the children. Her sons and daughters
wanted the inheritance, so they said, to their mother, "What benefit do we get from our
property? Can't we make it multiply? Can't we look after our mother?" They said such things
again and again so their mother thought that her children would look after her, and she
finally divided up the property without leaving anything for herself.

After the division of the property, she first went to stay with her eldest son, but her
daughter-in-law complained and said, "She has come and stayed with us, as if she has given us
two shares!", and such other things. So, Bahuputtika went to stay with her second son, and
the same things were said. Thus, she went from one son to another, from one daughter to the
next; but none of them was willing to take her on for a long stretch of time and none paid her
due respect.

The old lady was hurt and felt bitter against her children; she left her family and became a
Bhikkhuni. Because she was a mother of many children she came to he known as Bahuputtika.
Bahuputtika realized that she became a Bhikkhuni only in her old age and that she must not be
negligent, but must make use of the remaining period of her life to the utmost. So, for the
whole night, she meditated on the Dhamma taught by the Buddha. The Buddha seeing her from
the Jetavana monastery, through supernormal power, sent forth the radiance and appeared
seated in front of her. Then the Buddha said to her, "The life of one who does not practice
the Dhamma taught by me is useless, even if he were to live for a hundred years."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 115. Better than a hundred years in the life of a person who does not comprehend the
Noble Dhamma (Dhammamuttamam), is a day in the life of one who comprehends the Noble
Dhamma.

Translated by Daw Mya Tin, M.A.,
Burma Pitaka Association, Rangoon, Burma 1986.


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