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Verse 135: The Story of Some Ladies Observing the Moral Precepts:

While residing at the Pubbarama monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (135) of this book,
with reference to five hundred ladies.

Once, five hundred ladies from Savatthi came to the Pubbarama monastery to keep the
Uposatha Sila vows. The donor of the monastery, the well-renowned Visakha, asked
different age groups of ladies, why they had come to keep the observance day. She got different
answers from different age groups for they had come to the monastery for different reasons.
The old ladies came to the monastery to keep the observance day because they hoped to
gain the riches and glories of the devas in their next existence; the middle-aged ladies had
come to the monastery because, they did not want to stay under the same roof with the
mistresses of their respective husbands. The young married ladies had come because they
wanted their first born to be a son, and the young unmarried ladies had come because they
wanted to get married to good husbands.

Having had these answers, Visakha took all the ladies to the Buddha. When she told the
Buddha about the various answers of the different age groups of ladies, the Buddha said,
"Visakha! birth, ageing and death are always actively working in beings; because one is born,
one is subject to ageing and decay, and finally to death. Yet, they do not wish to strive for
liberation from the round of existences (samsara); they still wish to hang around in samsara"

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 135. As with a stick the cowherd drives his cattle to the pasture,
so also, Ageing and Death drive the life of beings towards the end.

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

Saved: 24 December 2016  https://What-Buddha-Said.net/Canon/Sutta/KN/Dhammapada.Verse_135.story.htm