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The Story of Matthakundali (Verse 2)

While residing at the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi,
the Buddha uttered Dhammapada Verse (2), with
reference to Matthakundali, a young Brahmin, whose
father, Adinnapubbaka, was very stingy and never gave
anything in charity. Even the gold ornaments for his
only son were made by himself to save payment for
workmanship. When his son fell ill, no physician was
consulted, until it was too late. When he realized
that his son was dying, he had the youth carried
outside on to the verandah, so that people coming to
his house would not see his possessions.

On that morning, the Buddha arising early from his
deep meditation of compassion saw, in his Net of
Knowledge, Matthakundali lying on the verandah. So
when entering Savatthi for alms-food with his
disciples, the Buddha stood near the door of the
brahmin Adinnapubbaka. The Buddha sent forth a ray of
light to attract the attention of the youth, who was
facing the interior of the house. The youth saw the
Buddha; and as he was very weak he could only profess
his faith mentally. But that was enough. When he
passed away with his heart in devotion to the Buddha
he was reborn in the Tavatimsa celestial world.

From his celestial abode the young Matthakundali,
seeing his father mourning over him at the cemetery,
appeared to the old man in the likeness of his old
self. He told his father about his rebirth in the
Tavatimsa world and also urged him to approach and
invite the Buddha to a meal. At the house of
Adinnapubbaka the question of whether one could or
could not be reborn in a celestial world simply by
mentally professing profound faith in the Buddha,
without giving in charity or observing the moral
precepts, was brought up. So the Buddha willed that
Matthakundali should appear in person; Matthakundali
soon appeared fully decked with celestial ornaments
and told them about his rebirth in the Tavatimsa
world. Then only, the audience became convinced that
the son of the brahmin Adinnapubbaka by simply
devoting his mind to the Buddha had attained much
glory.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 2: All mental phenomena have mind as their
forerunner; they have mind as their chief; they are
mind-made. If one speaks or acts with a pure mind,
happiness (sukha) follows him like a shadow that never
leaves him.

At the end of the discourse Matthakundali and his
father Adinnapubbaka attained Sotapatti Magga and
Sotapatti Phala. Adinnapubbaka also donated almost all
his wealth to the cause of the Buddha's Teaching.

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


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