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Verse 57: The Story of Thera Godhika

While residing at the Veluvana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (57) of this book, with
reference to Thera Godhika.

Thera Godhika was, on one occasion, diligently practicing Tranquillity and Insight
Development, on a stone slab on the side of Isigili mountain in Magadha. When he had
achieved one-pointedness of the mind (jhana) he became very ill; that impaired the
effectiveness of his practice. In spite of his sickness, he kept on striving hard; but every
time he was making some progress he was overcome by sickness. He was thus inflicted for six
times. Finally, he made up his mind to overcome all obstacles and attain Arahatship even if he
were to die. So, without relaxing he continued to practice diligently; in the end he decided to
give up his life by cutting his throat; at the point of death he attained Arahatship.

When Mara learned that Thera Godhika had died, he tried to find out where the thera was
reborn but failed to find him. So, assuming the likeness of a young man, Mara approached the
Buddha and enquired where Thera Godhika was. The Buddha replied to him, "It will be of no
benefit to you to learn of the destination of Thera Godhika; for having been freed of moral
defilements he became an Arahat. One like you, Mara, for all your power will not be able to
find out where such Arahats go after death."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 57. Mara cannot find the path taken by those who are endowed with virtue, who live
mindfully and have been freed from moral defilements by Right Knowledge.

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


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