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Verse 145: The Story of Samanera* Sukha

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (145) of this book,
with reference to a samanera named Sukha.

Sukha was made a samanera at the age of seven years by Thera Sariputta. On the eighth day
after being made a samanera he followed Thera Sariputta on his alms-round. While doing the
round they came across some farmers irrigating their fields, some fletchers straightening
their arrows and some carpenters making things like cart-wheels, etc. Seeing these, he asked
Thera Sariputta whether these inanimate things could be guided to where one wished or be
made into things one wished to make, and the thera answered him in the affirmative. The
young samanera then pondered that if that were so, there could be no reason why a person
could not tame his mind and practice Tranquillity and Insight Meditation.

So, he asked permission from the thera to return to the monastery. There, he shut himself up
in his room and practised meditation in solitude, Sakka and the devas also helped him in his
practice by keeping the monastery very quiet. That same day, the eighth day after his
becoming a samanera, Sukha attained Arahatship. In connection with this, the Buddha said to
the congregation of Bhikkhus, "When a person earnestly practices the Dhamma, even Sakka
and the devas give protection and help. I myself have kept Sariputta at the entrance so that
Sukha should not be disturbed. The samanera, having seen the farmers irrigating their fields,
the fletchers straightening their arrows and the carpenters making cart-wheels and other
things, trained his mind and practised the Dhamma. Thus, he has now become an Arahat."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 145 Farmers* channel the water; fletchers straighten the arrows; carpenters work the
timber; the wise tame themselves.

* This story is the same as that of Samanera Pandita (Verse 80)

** Farmers (lit., makers of irrigation canals)

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


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