| Minor Stories Index
Verse 197 to 199: The Story of the Pacification of the Relatives of the Buddha
The Buddha uttered Verse (197) to (199) of this book, in the Sakyan country,
reference to his relatives, who were quarrelling over the use of the water from
Kapilavatthu the town of the Sakyans and Koliya the town of the Koliya were
either side of the Rohini river. The cultivators of both towns worked the fields
the Rohini river. One year, they did not have enough rain and finding that the
other crops were beginning to shrivel up, cultivators on both sides wanted to
water from the Rohini river to their own fields. Those living in Koliya said
that there was not
enough water in the river for both sides, and that if only they could channel
the water just
once more to their fields that would be enough for the paddy to mature and
ripen. On the
other hand, people from Kapilavatthu argued that, in that case, they would be
denied the use
of the water and their crops would surely fail, and they would be compelled to
other people. They said that they were not prepared to go carrying their money
valuables to the opposite bank of the river in exchange for food.
Both sides wanted the water for their own use only and there was much ill will
due to abusive language and accusations on both sides. The quarrel that started
the cultivators came to the ears of the ministers concerned, and they reported
to their respective rulers, and both sides prepared to go to war.
The Buddha, surveying the world with his supernormal powers, saw his relatives
on both sides
of the river coming out to meet in battle and he decided to stop them. All
alone, he went to
them by going through the sky, and stopped immediately above the middle of the
relatives seeing him, powerfully and yet peacefully sitting above them in the
sky, hid aside
all their weapons and paid obeisance to the Buddha. Then, the Buddha said to
them, "For the
sake of some water, which is of little value, you should not destroy your lives,
which are of so
much value and priceless. Why have you begun this foolish action? If I had not
today, your blood would have been flowing like a river by now. You live hating
but I have none to hate; you are ailing with moral defilements, but I am free
from them; you
are striving to have sensual pleasures, but I do not strive for them."
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
Verse 197: Indeed we live very happily, not hating anyone among those who hate;
among men who
hate, we live without hating anyone.
Verse 198: Indeed we live very happily, in good health among the ailing; among
men who are ailing
we live in good health.
Verse 199: Indeed we live very happily, not striving (for sensual pleasures),
among these who
strive (for them); among those who strive (for them) we live without striving.
At the end of the discourse many people attained Sotapatti Fruition.
Translated by Daw Mya Tin, M.A.,
Burma Pitaka Association, Rangoon, Burma 1986.
24 December 2016