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Verse 28: The Story of Mahakassapa Thera

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (28) of this book, with
reference to Thera Mahakassapa.

On one occasion, while Thera Mahakassapa was staying at Pipphali cave, he spent his time
developing the mental image of light (aloka kasina) and trying to find out through Divine Vision,
beings who were mindful and beings who were negligent, also those who were about to die and
those who were about to be born.

From his monastery, the Buddha saw through his Divine Vision what Thera Mahakassapa was doing
and wanted to warn him that he was wasting his time. So he sent forth his radiance and appeared
seated before the thera and exhorted him thus: "My son Kassapa, the number of births and deaths
of beings is innumerable and cannot be counted. It is not your concern to count them; it is the
concern only of the Buddhas."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 28. The wise one dispels negligence by means of mindfulness; he ascends the tower of
wisdom and being free from sorrow looks at the sorrowing beings. Just as one on the mountain top
looks at those on the plain below, so also, the wise one (the Arahat) looks at the foolish and the
ignorant (worldlings).

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


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