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Verse (46): The Story of the Bhikkhu who Contemplates The Body as a Mirage

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (46) of this book, with
reference to a certain Bhikkhu.

On one occasion, a certain Bhikkhu, after taking a subject of meditation from the Buddha,
went to the forest. Although he tried hard he made little progress in his meditation; so he
decided to go back to the Buddha for further instruction. On his way back he saw a mirage,
which, after all, was only an illusive appearance on a sheet of water. At that instant, he came
to realize that the body also was insubstantial like a mirage. Thus keeping his mind on the
insubstantiality of the body he came to the bank of the river Aciravati. While sitting under a
tree close to the river, seeing big froths breaking up, he realized the impermanent nature of
the body.

Soon, the Buddha appeared in his vision and said to him, "My son, just as you have realized,
this body is impermanent like froth and insubstantial like a mirage."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 46. One who knows that this body is impermanent like froth, and comprehends that it is
insubstantial like a mirage, will cut the flowers of Mara (i.e., the three kinds of vatta or
rounds), and pass out of sight of the King of Death.

At the end of the discourse the Bhikkhu attained Arahatship.

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

Saved: 24 December 2016  https://What-Buddha-Said.net/Canon/Sutta/KN/Dhammapada.Verse_46.story.htm