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Verse 29: The Story of the Two Companion Bhikkhus:

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha tittered Verse (29) of this book, with
reference to two Bhikkhus, who were friends.

Two Bhikkhus, after obtaining a subject of meditation from the Buddha, went to a monastery in
the forest. One of them, being negligent, spent his time warming himself by the fire and talking to
young novices throughout the first watch of the night, and generally idling away his time. The other
faithfully performed the duties of a Bhikkhu. He walked in meditation during the first watch,
rested during the second watch and again meditated during the last watch of the night. Thus,
being diligent and ever mindful, the second Bhikkhu attained Arahatship within a short time.

At the end of the rainy season (vassa) both of them went to pay obeisance to the Buddha, and the
Buddha asked them how they had spent their time during the vassa. To this, the lazy and negligent
Bhikkhu answered that the other Bhikkhu had been idling away his time, just lying down and
sleeping. The Buddha then asked, "But, what about you?" His reply was that he generally sat
warming himself by the fire during the first watch of the night and then sat up without sleeping.
But the Buddha knew quite well how the two Bhikkhus had spent their time, so he said to the idle
one: "Though you are lazy and negligent you claim to be diligent and ever mindful; but you have
made the other Bhikkhu appear to be lazy and negligent though he is diligent and ever mindful. You
are like a weak and slow horse compared to my son who is like a strong, fleet-footed horse."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 29: Mindful amongst the negligent, highly vigilant amongst the drowsy, the man of wisdom
advances like a race-horse, leaving the jade behind.

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


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