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The Story of Thera Nanda (Verses 13 and 14)

While residing at the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi, the Buddha uttered Verses (13)
and (14) of this book, with reference to Thera Nanda, a cousin of the Buddha.

Once the Buddha was residing at the Veluvana monastery in Rajagaha when his father
King Suddhodana repeatedly sent messengers to the Buddha requesting him to visit the
city of Kapilavatthu. Accordingly, the Buddha made the journey in the company of twenty
thousand Arahats. On arrival at Kapilavatthu he related the Vessantara Jātaka to the
assembly of his relatives. On the second day, he entered the city, where by reciting the
verse beginning with "Uttitthe Nappamajjeyya..." (i.e., One should arise and should not be
unmindful...) he caused his father to be established in Sotapatti Fruition. On arrival at the
palace, the Buddha recited another verse beginning with "Dhammam care sucaritam..." (i.
e., One should practise the Dhamma...) and established the king in Sakadagami Fruition.*
After the meal he narrated the Candakinnari Jātaka, with reference to the virtues of
Rahula's mother.

On the third day, there was the marriage ceremony of Prince Nanda, a cousin of the
Buddha. The Buddha went there for alms and handed over the alms bowl to Prince Nanda.
The Buddha then departed without taking back the bowl. So the prince, holding the bowl,
had to follow the Buddha. The bride, Princess Janapadakalyani, seeing the prince
following the Buddha rushed forth and cried out to the prince to come back soon. At the
monastery, the prince was admitted into the Order as a Bhikkhu.

Later, the Buddha moved into the monastery built by Anathapindika, at Jeta Park in
Savatthi. While residing there Nanda was discontented and half-hearted and found little
pleasure in the life of a Bhikkhu. He wanted to return to the life of a householder
because he kept on remembering the words of Princess Janapadakalyani, imploring him to
return soon.

Knowing this, the Buddha, by supernormal power, showed Nanda, the beautiful female
devas of the Tavatimsa world who were far prettier than Princess Janapadakalyani. He
promised to get them for Nanda, if the latter strove hard in the practice of the Dhamma.
Other Bhikkhus ridiculed Nanda by saying that he was like a hireling who practised the
Dhamma for the sake of beautiful women, etc. Nanda felt very much tormented and
ashamed. So, in seclusion, he tried very hard in the practice of the Dhamma and eventually
attained Arahatship. As an Arahat his mind was totally released from all attachments, and
the Buddha was also released from his promise to Nanda. All this had been foreseen by
the Buddha right from the very beginning.

Other Bhikkhus, having known that Nanda was not happy in the life of a Bhikkhu, again
asked him how he was faring. When he answered that he had no more attachments to the
life of a householder, they thought Nanda was not speaking the truth. So they informed
the Buddha about the matter, at the same time expressing their doubts. The Buddha then
explained to them that, previously, the nature of Nanda was like that of an ill-roofed
house, but now, it had grown to be like a well-roofed one.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows: Verse 13: Just as rain penetrates a badly-
roofed house, so also, passion (raga) penetrates a mind not cultivated in Tranquillity and
Insight Development (Samatha and Vipassana).

Verse 14. Just as rain cannot penetrate a well-roofed house, so also, passion (raga)
cannot penetrate a mind well-cultivated in Tranquillity and Insight Development (Samatha
and Vipassana).

* Sakadagami Fruition: Sakadagami Phala, 'fruit or 'fruition'. This immediately follows
Sakadagami Magga which is the second Magga or the second stage of Enlightenment
attained by one who has practised Insight Meditation.

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_13_14.story.htm