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Verse 124: The Story of Kukkutamitta

While residing at the Veluvana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (124) of this book, with
reference to the hunter Kukkutamitta and his family.

At Rajagaha there was once a rich man's daughter, who had attained Sotapatti Fruition as a
young girl. One day, Kukkutamitta, a hunter, came into town in a cart to sell venison. Seeing
Kukkutamitta the hunter, the rich young lady fell in love with him immediately; she followed
him, married him and lived with him in a small village. As a result of that marriage, seven sons
were born to them and in course of time, all the sons got married. One day, the Buddha
surveyed the world early in the morning with his supernormal power and found that the
hunter, his seven sons and their wives were due for attainment of Sotapatti Fruition. So, the
Buddha went to the place where the hunter had set his trap in the forest. He put his
footprint close to the trap and seated himself under the shade of a bush, not far from the
trap.

When the hunter came, he saw no animal in the trap; he saw the footprint and surmised that
someone must have come before him and let cut the animal. So, when he saw the Buddha
under the shade of the bush, he took him for the man who had freed the animal from his trap
and flew into a rage. He took out his bow and arrow to shoot at the Buddha, but as he drew
his bow, he became immobilized and remained fixed in that position like a statue. His sons
followed and found their father; they also saw the Buddha at some distance and thought he
must he the enemy of their father. All of them took out their bows and arrows to shoot at
the Buddha, but they also became immobilized and remained fixed in their respective
postures. When the hunter and his sons failed to return, the hunter's wife followed them
into the forest, with her seven daughters-in-law. Seeing her husband and all her sons with
their arrows aimed at the Buddha, she raised both her hands and shout: "Do not kill my
father."

When her husband heard her words, he thought, "This must be my father-in-law", and her
sons thought, "This must be our grandfather"; and thoughts of loving-kindness came into
them. Then the lady said to them, ''Put away your bows and arrows and pay obeisance to my
father". The Buddha realized that, by this time, the minds of the hunter and his son; had
softened and so he willed that they should be able to move and to put away their bows and
arrows. After putting away their bows and arrows, they pad obeisance to the Buddha and
the Buddha expounded the Dhamma to them. In the end, the hunter, his seven sons and seven
daughters- in-law, all fifteen of them, attained Sotapatti Fruition.

Then the Buddha returned to the monastery and told Thera Ananda and other Bhikkhus
about the hunter Kukkutamitta and his family attaining Sotapatti Fruition in the early part
of the morning. The Bhikkhus then asked the Buddha, "Venerable Sir, is the wife of the
hunter, who is a sotapanna, also not guilty of taking life, if she has been getting things like
nets, bows and arrows for her husband when he goes out hunting?" To this question her
Buddha answered, "Bhikkhus, the sotapannas do not kill, they do not wish others to get
killed. The wife of the hunter was only obeying her husband in getting things for him. Just as
the hand that has no wound is not affected by poison, so also, because she has no intention
to do evil, she is not doing any evil."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 124. If there is no wound on the hand, one may handle poison; poison does not affect one
who has no wound; there can be no evil for one who has no evil intention.

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


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