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Verse 92: The Story of Thera Belatthasisa

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (92) of this book, with
reference to Thera Belatthasisa.

Thera Belatthasisa, after going on an alms-round in the village, stopped on the way and took his
food there. After the meal, he continued his round of alms for more food. When he had
collected enough food he returned to the monastery, dried up the rice and hoarded it. Thus,
there was no need for him to go on an alms-round every day; he then remained in jhana
concentration for two or three days. Arising from jhana concentration he ate the dried rice he
had stored up, after soaking it in water. Other Bhikkhus thought ill of the thera on this
account, and reported to the Buddha about his hoarding of rice. Since then, the hoarding of
food by the Bhikkhus has been prohibited.

As for Thera Belatthasisa, since he stored up rice before the ruling on hoarding was made and
because he did it not out of greed for food, but only to save time for meditation practice, the
Buddha declared that the thera was quite innocent, and that he was not to be blamed.

The Buddha then spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 92. Arahats do not hoard (anything); when taking food they reflect well over it.
They have as their object liberation from existence, that is, Nibbana which is Void and Signless.
Their destination, like the course of birds in the air, cannot be traced.

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


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