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Verse 93: The Story of Thera Anuruddha

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (93) of this book, with
reference to Thera Anuruddha.

Thera Anuruddha was one day looking for some discarded pieces of cloth in a rubbish heap to
make into a robe as his old robe was getting soiled and torn. Jalini, his wife of a previous
existence, who was now in a deva world, saw him. Knowing that he was looking for some cloth,
she took three pieces of good deva material and put them in the rubbish heap, making them
barely visible. The thera found the pieces of cloth and took them to the monastery. While he
was making the robe, the Buddha arrived with his Chief Disciples and senior disciples and they
also helped stitch the robe.

Meanwhile, Jalini, assuming the form of a young lady, came to the village and learnt about the
arrival of the Buddha and his disciples and also how they were helping Thera Anuruddha. She
urged the villagers to send good delicious food to the monastery and consequently there was
more than enough for all. Other Bhikkhus, seeing so much surplus, put the blame on the thera
and said, "Thera Anuruddha should have asked his relatives and lay disciples to send just
enough food; may be, he just wanted to show off that he had so many devotees." To those
Bhikkhus, the Buddha said, "Bhikkhus, do not think my son Anuruddha has asked his relatives
and lay disciples to send rice gruel and other foods. My son the elder did not ask for anything;
Arahats do not talk about such things like food and clothing. The excessive amount of food
brought to the monastery this morning was due to the promptings of a celestial being and not
of a man."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 93. The Arahat is free from mental fermentations (asavas); he is not attached to food.
He has as his object liberation from existence, i.e., Nibbana which is Void and Signless.
His path, like that 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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