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Verse 61: The Story of a Resident Pupil of Thera Mahakassapa

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (61) of this book, with
reference to a resident pupil of Thera Mahakassapa.

When Thera Mahakassapa was residing near Rajagaha, he had two young Bhikkhus staying with him.
One of them was respectful, obedient and dutiful to the thera, but the other one was not. When
the old thera chided the latter for his slackness in his duties, he was very much offended. On one
occasion, he went to the house of a lay-disciple of the thera, and lied to them that the thera was ill.
Thus, he got some choice food from them for the thera; but he ate the food on the way. When
admonished by the thera for this, he became extremely angry. The next day, when the thera was
out on his alms-round, the young foolish Bhikkhu stayed behind, broke the pots and pans and set
fire to the forest hermitage.

When a Bhikkhu from Rajagaha told the Buddha about this, the Buddha said that it would have
been much better for Thera Mahakassapa to live alone, than to live with such a foolish companion.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 61: If a person seeking a companion cannot find one who is better than or equal to him, let
him resolutely go on alone; there can be no companionship with a fool.

At the end of the discourse, the Bhikkhu from Rajagaha attained Sotapatti Fruition.

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

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