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The Story of Kosambi Bhikkhus (Verse 6)

While residing at the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi, the Buddha uttered Verse (6) of
this book, with reference to the Bhikkhus of Kosambi.

The Bhikkhus of Kosambi had formed into two groups. One group followed the master of
Vinaya and the other followed the teacher of the Dhamma and they were often
quarrelling among themselves. Even the Buddha could not stop them from quarrelling; so he
left them and spent the vassa, residence period of the rains, all alone in Rakkhita Grove
near Palileyyaka forest. There, the elephant Palileyya waited upon the Buddha.

The lay disciples of Kosambi, on learning the reason for the departure of the Buddha,
refused to make offerings to the remaining Bhikkhus. This made them realize their
mistake and reconciliation took place among themselves. Still, the lay disciples would not
treat them as respectfully as before, until they owned up their fault to the Buddha. But
the Buddha was away and it was in the middle of the vassa; so the Bhikkhus of Kosambi
spent the vassa in misery and hardship.

At the end of the vassa, the Venerable Ananda and five hundred Bhikkhus approached the
Buddha and gave the message from Annathapindika and other lay disciples imploring him
to return. In due course the Buddha returned to the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi. The
Bhikkhus followed him there, fell down at his feet, and owned up their fault. The Buddha
rebuked them for disobeying him. He told them to remember that they must all die some
day and therefore, they must stop their quarrels and must not act as if they would never
die.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows: Verse 6: People, other than the wise, do not
realize, "We in this world must all die," (and not realizing it continue their quarrels). The
wise realize it and thereby their quarrels cease.

At the end of the discourse, all the assembled Bhikkhus were established in Sotapatti
Fruition.

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


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