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Verses 26 and 27: The Story of Balanakkhatta Festival:

White residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses (26) and (27) of this book,
in connection with the Balanakkhatta festival.

At one time, the Balanakkhatta festival was being celebrated in Savatthi. During the festival, many
foolish young men smearing themselves with ashes and cow-dung roamed about the city shouting
and making themselves a nuisance to the public. They would also stop at the doors of others and
leave only when given some money.

At that time there were a great many lay disciples of the Buddha, living in Savatthi. On account of
these foolish young hooligans, they sent word to the Buddha, requesting him to keep to the
monastery and not to enter the city for seven days. They sent alms-food to the monastery and
they themselves kept to their own houses. On the eighth day, when the festival was over, the
Buddha and his disciples were invited into the city for alms-food and other offerings. On being
told about the vulgar and shameful behaviour of the foolish young men during the festival, the
Buddha commented that it was in the nature of the foolish and the ignorant to behave shamelessly.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 26. The foolish and the ignorant give themselves over to negligence; whereas the wise
treasure mindfulness as a precious jewel.

Verse 27.Therefore, one should not be negligent, nor be addicted to sensual pleasures; for he who
is established in mindfulness, through cultivation of Tranquillity and Insight Development Practice,
experiences supreme happiness (i.e., realizes Nibbana).

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


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