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Verse 84: The Story of Thera Dhammika

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (84) of this book, with
reference to Thera Dhammika.

Dhammika lived in Savatthi with his wife. One day, he told his pregnant wife that he wished to
become a Bhikkhu; his wife pleaded with him to wait until after the birth of their child. When
the child was born, he again requested his wife to let him go; again, she pleaded with him to
wait until the child could walk. Then Dhammika thought to himself, "It will be useless for me to
ask my wife for her approval to join the Order; I shall work for my own liberation." Having
made a firm decision, he left his house to become a Bhikkhu. He took a subject of meditation
from the Buddha and practised meditation ardently and diligently and soon became an Arahat.

Some years later, he visited his house in order to teach the Dhamma to his son and his wife. His
son entered the Order and he too attained Arahatship. The wife then thought, "Now that both
my husband and my son have left the house, I'd better leave it, too." With this thought she left
the house and became a Bhikkhuni; eventually, she too attained Arahatship.

At the congregation of the Bhikkhus, the Buddha was told how Dhammika became a Bhikkhu
and attained Arahatship, and how through him his son and his wife also attained Arahatship. To
them the Buddha said, "Bhikkhus, a wise man does not wish for wealth and prosperity by doing
evil, whether it is for his own sake or for the sake of others. He only works for his own
liberation from the round of rebirths (samsara) by comprehending the Dhamma and living
according to the Dhamma."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 84. For his own sake or for the sake of others, he does no evil; nor does he wish for sons
and daughters or for wealth or for a kingdom by doing evil; nor does he wish for success by
unfair means; such a one is indeed virtuous, wise and just.

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


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