| Minor Stories Index
Verse 41: The Story of Tissa, the Thera with a Stinking
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (41) of this
reference to Thera Tissa.
After taking a subject of meditation from the Buddha, Thera Tissa was diligently
meditation when he was afflicted with a disease. Small boils appeared all over
his body and these
developed into big sores. When these sores burst, his upper and lower robes
became sticky and
stained with pus and blood, and his whole body was stinking. For this reason, he
was known as
Putigatta-Tissa, Tissa the thera with stinking body.
As the Buddha surveyed the universe with the light of his own intellect, the
thera appeared in his
vision. He saw the sorrowful state of the thera, who had been abandoned by his
resident pupils on
account of his stinking body. At the same time, he also knew that Tissa would
Arahatship. So, the Buddha proceeded to the fire-shed, close to the place where
the thera was
staying. There, he boiled some water, and then going, to where the thera was
lying down, took hold
of the edge of the couch. It was then only that the resident pupils gathered
round the thera, and
as instructed by the Buddha, they carried the thera to the fire-shed, where he
was washed and
bathed. While he was being bathed, his upper and lower robes were washed and
dried. After the
bath, the thera became fresh in body and mind and soon developed one-pointedness
concentration. Standing at the head of the couch, the Buddha said to him that
this body when
devoid of life would be as useless as a log and would be laid on the earth.
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
41. Before long, alas, this body, deprived of consciousness, will lie on
the earth, discarded
like a useless log.
At the end of the discourse Thera Tissa attained Arahatship together with
Analytical Insight, and
soon after passed away.
Translated by Daw Mya Tin, M.A.,
Burma Pitaka Association, Rangoon, Burma 1986.
24 December 2016