Home  |  Minor Stories Index

Verses 73 and 74: he Story of Citta the Householder

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses (73) and (74) of this book,
with reference to Thera Sudhamma and Citta the householder.

Citta, a householder, once met Thera Mahanama, one of the group of the first five Bhikkhus
(Pancavaggis), going on an alms-round, and invited the thera to his house. There, he offered alms-
food to the thera and after listening to the discourse given by him, Citta attained Sotapatti
Fruition. Later, Citta built a monastery in his mango grove. There, he looked to the needs of all
Bhikkhus who came to the monastery and Bhikkhu Sudhamma was installed as the resident Bhikkhu.

One day, the two Chief Disciples of the Buddha, the Venerable Thera Sariputta and the Venerable Maha
Moggallana, came to the monastery and after listening to the discourse given by the Venerable
Thera Sariputta, Citta attained Anagami Fruition. Then, he invited the two Chief Disciples to his house
for alms-food the next day. He also invited Thera Sudhamma, but Thera Sudhamma refused in
anger and said, "You invite me only after the other two." Citta repeated his invitation, but it was
turned down. Nevertheless, Thera Sudhamma went to the house of Citta early on the following day.
But when invited to enter the house, Thera Sudhamma refused and said that he would not sit down
as he was going on his alms-round. But when he saw the things that were to be offered to the two
Chief Disciples, he envied them so much that he could not restrain his anger. He abused Citta and
said, "I don't want to stay in your monastery any longer," and left the house in anger.

From there, he went to the Buddha and reported everything that had happened. To him, the Buddha
said, "You have insulted a lay-disciple, who is endowed with faith and is generous. You'd better go
back to him and apologize for your mistake." Sudhamma did as he was told by the Buddha, but Citta would
not be appeased; so he returned to the Buddha for the second time. The Buddha, knowing that the
pride of Sudhamma had dwindled by this time, said, "My son, a good Bhikkhu should have no
attachment; a good Bhikkhu should not be conceited and say 'This is my monastery, this is my
place, these are my lay-disciples,' etc., for in one with such thoughts, covetousness and pride will
increase."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 73. The foolish Bhikkhu desires praise for qualities he does not have, precedence among
Bhikkhus, authority in the monasteries, and veneration from those unrelated to him.

Verse 74. "Let both laymen and Bhikkhus think that things are done because of me; let them obey
me in all matters, great and small." Such being the thoughts of the fool, his greed and his pride
grow.

At the end of the discourse, Sudhamma went to the house of Citta, and this time they got
reconciled; and within a few days, Sudhamma attained Arahatship.

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


Saved: 24 December 2016  https://What-Buddha-Said.net/Canon/Sutta/KN/Dhammapada.Verse_73_74.story.htm