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Verse 66: The Story of SuppaBuddha, the Leper

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Versa (66) of this book, with
reference to SuppaBuddha, a leper.

SuppaBuddha the leper, while sitting at the back of the crowd and listening attentively to the
discourse given by the Buddha, attained Sotapatti Fruition. When the crowd had dispersed, he
followed the Buddha to the monastery, as he wished to tell the Buddha about his attainment of
Sotapatti Fruition. Sakka, king of the devas, wishing to test the leper's faith in the Buddha, the
Dhamma and the Sangha, appeared to him and said, "You are only a poor man, living on what you get
by begging, with no one to fall back on. I can give you immense wealth if you deny the Buddha, the
Dhamma and the Sangha and say that you have no use for them." To this, SuppaBuddha replied. "I
am certainly not a poor man, with no one to rely on. I am a rich man; I possess the seven attributes
which the Ariyas possess; I have faith (saddha), morality (sila), sense of shame to do evil (hiri),
sense of fear to do evil (ottappa), learning (suta), generosity (caga) and understanding (pañña).

Then, Sakka went to the Buddha ahead of SuppaBuddha and related the conversation between
himself and SuppaBuddha. To him the Buddha replied that it would not be easy even for a hundred
or a thousand Sakkas to coax SuppaBuddha away from the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha.
Soon after this, SuppaBuddha arrived at the monastery and reported to the Buddha about his
attainment of Sotapatti Fruition. On his way back from the Jetavana monastery, SuppaBuddha
was gored to death by an infuriated cow, who, in fact, was an ogress assuming the form of a cow.
This ogress was none other than the prostitute who was killed by SuppaBuddha in one of his
previous existences and who had vowed to have her revenge on him.

When the news of SuppaBuddha's death reached the Jetavana monastery, the Bhikkhus asked the
Buddha where SuppaBuddha was reborn and the Buddha replied to them that SuppaBuddha was
reborn in Tavatimsa deva realm. The Buddha also explained to them that SuppaBuddha was born a
leper because, in one of his previous existences, he had spat upon a Pacceka-Buddha.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 66. With themselves as their own enemies, fools lacking in intelligence,
move about doing evil deeds, which bear bitter fruits.

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


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