| Minor Stories Index
The Story of the Question raised by the Venerable Ananda
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses (54)
and (55) of this
book, with reference to a question raised by the Venerable Ananda.
While the Venerable Ananda was sitting by himself one evening, the problem
scents and perfumes came to his mind and he pondered: "The scent of wood, the
flowers, and the scent of roots all spread with the current of wind but not
Is there no scent, which would spread with the current of wind as well as
Is there no scent, which would pervade every part of the world?" Without
answering the question
himself, the Venerable Ananda approached the Buddha and solicited an answer from
The Buddha said, "Ananda, supposing, there is one who takes refuge in the
Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha), who observes the five moral precepts, who is
and not avaricious; such a man is truly virtuous and truly worthy of praise. The
that virtuous one would spread far and wide, and Bhikkhus, brahmins and laymen
would speak in praise of him, wherever he lives."
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
The scent of flowers cannot go against the wind; nor the scent of sandalwood,
of rhododendron (tagara), nor of jasmin; only the reputation of good people can
go against the wind.
The reputation of the virtuous ones (sappurisa) is wafted abroad in all
Verse 55. There are the scents of
sandalwood, rhododendron, lotus and jasmin;
but the scent of virtue surpasses all scents.
Translated by Daw Mya Tin, M.A.,
Burma Pitaka Association, Rangoon, Burma 1986.
24 December 2016