I can't help wondering if any other man can love his lady as much as Kamanita loved Vasitthi ????
Kamanita And Vasitthi
[~By KARL GJELLERUP]
THE LAST WISH
When these monks halted by the group which had
collected round the wounded man, many voluble tongues
at once related to them what had happened, and informed
them that they were just about to carry the wounded
pilgrim on a stretcher — which was then being fetched —
to the Mango Grove, to the Buddha, in order to fulfil the
man's overwhelming desire:— Could one of the younger
monks perhaps return with them to show them the shortest
way to the spot where the Master was at that moment
to be found?
"The Master," answered the old man with the
severe face, "is not in the Mango Grove, and we ourselves
don't know where he is."
At the answer a despairing groan burst forth from
Kāmanīta's wounded breast.
"But he certainly cannot be far from here," added
the younger. "The Master sent the company of monks on
ahead yesterday and pursued his journey alone. He
arrived late, I expect, and sought quarters somewhere,
probably in the suburbs. We are now on the way to look
"Oh, seek diligently — find him," cried Kāmanīta.
"Even if we knew where the Master was, it would
not be possible to carry this wounded man there," said the
stern monk. "For the shaking of the stretcher would soon
render his condition so much worse that, even if he
survived it, he would arrive on the point of death, with a
mind incapable of apprehending the Master's teaching. Let
him, however, take care of himself now, be treated by an
experienced surgeon and be carefully tended, and there is
always the hope that he may recover enough strength so
as to be able to listen to and comprehend the Master's words."
Kāmanīta, however, pointed impatiently to the
stretcher: "No time — dying — take me with you — see
him — touch — die happy — with you — hurry!"
Shrugging his shoulders the bhikkhu turned to the
"This poor man holds the Supremely Perfect One
to be some kind of image at whose touch one's imperfec‐
tions are dissolved."
"He has gained faith in the Tathāgata, Sāriputra,
even if he lacks the deeper understanding," said the other,
and he bent over the wounded man to ascertain what
strength he still had; "perhaps we might risk it after all. I
am sorry for the poor fellow and I believe we could do
nothing better for him than to make the attempt."
A grateful look from the pilgrim rewarded him for
"As you will, Ānanda," answered Sāriputra kindly.
At this moment there came striding past, from the
direction in which Kāmanīta had also come, a potter who
carried on his head a basket with all kinds of baked clay
wares. When he perceived Kāmanīta upon the stretcher —
where they had just laid him with great care though not
without causing him violent pain — he stopped, stricken
with horror, and so suddenly that the dishes and bowls,
piled one above another, came crashing down and were
broken into pieces.
"Holy Brahmā! What has happened here? That is
the young wanderer who honoured my hall by spending
the night there, in the company of a monk who wore a
robe like that of these reverend men."
"Was that monk an aged man and of lofty stature?"
"He was, Venerable Sir — and he seemed to me to
be not unlike yourself."
Then the monks knew that they did not need to
seek any longer — that the Master was in the house of the
potter. For 'The disciple who resembles the Master' was
the description by which Sāriputra was generally known.
"Is it possible?" said Ānanda, glancing up from the
wounded man, who, owing to the pain occasioned by his
being lifted, had become all but unconscious, and had not
noticed the arrival of the potter.*** "Is it possible that this
poor man should, the whole night through, have had the
happiness for which he so longs, without in the least
"That is the way of fools," said Sāriputra. "But let
us go. Now he can, of course, be brought along."
"One moment," called Ānanda, "he has been overcome by the pain."
Indeed Kāmanīta's blank stare showed that he
scarcely noticed what was happening around him. It
began to grow dark before his eyes, but the long strip of
morning sky which showed between the high walls
nevertheless pierced his consciousness, and may well
have appeared to him like the Milky Way crossing the
midnight sky. His lips moved, "The Gangā," he murmured.
"His mind wanders," said Ānanda.
Those standing next to Kāmanīta, who had heard
what he said, interpreted it differently.
"He now wishes to be taken to the Gangā in order
that the sacred waters may wash away his sins. But Mother
Gangā is far from here — who could possibly carry him
"First to the Buddha, then the Gangā," murmured
Sāriputra, with the wry pity a wise person bestows upon
the fool who, beyond the reach of help, falls out of one
superstition into another.
Suddenly, however, Kāmanīta's eyes become wonderfully animated,
a happy smile transfigured his face; he sought to raise himself.
Ānanda supported him.
"The Heavenly Gangā," he whispered, with weak but happy voice,
and pointed with his right hand to the strip of sky above his head.
"The Heavenly Gangā! We swore by its waves.. Vāsitthī"
His body quivered, blood gushed from his mouth,
and he passed away in Ānanda's arms.
Scarcely half an hour later Sāriputra and Ānanda,
accompanied by the monks, entered the potter's hall,
greeted the Master respectfully and sat down before him.
"Well, Sāriputra," asked the Master, after having
given them a friendly greeting, "did the company of young
monks under your leadership reach the end of their long
journey well and without accident? Did you have any lack
of food or medicine on the way? Are your disciples happy
"I am glad to be able to say, Master, that we lacked
for nothing and that the young monks, full of confidence
and zeal, have but one desire, namely, to see the Master
face to face. I have brought these noble youths, who
know the essentials and have faith in the Dharma, in order
to present them without delay to the Blessèd One."
And at these words three young monks arose and
greeted the Master with palms pressed together, in the
shape of a lotus bud:
"Greetings, Venerable Father."
"Welcome," said the Master, and with a gentle
glance and a small movement of his hand, invited them to
be seated again.
"And did you, Master, arrive after yesterday's
journey without too much fatigue or other ill‐effects? And
have you spent a passable night in this hall?"
"Even so, Sāriputra, I arrived at dusk without ill‐
effects from my journey and spent the night in the com‐
pany of a young stranger, a wandering seeker."
"That wanderer," began Sāriputra, "has been
robbed of his life in the streets of Rājagaha by a cow"
"And never dreaming with whom he had passed
the night here," added Ānanda. "His one desire was to be
brought to the feet of the Blessèd One."
"Soon afterwards, to be sure, he demanded that he
should be carried to the Gangā," remarked Sāriputra.
"Not so, Brother Sāriputra," Ānanda corrected him;
"for he spoke of the Heavenly Gangā. With radiant counte‐
nance he recalled a vow and, in doing so, uttered the
name of a woman — Vāsitthī, I believe — and so he died."
"With the name of some woman on his lips he went hence,"
said Sāriputra. "I wonder where he has entered again into existence?"
"Foolish as an unreasonable child was the pilgrim
Kāmanīta," said the Buddha. "This young seeker went
about in my name and wished to profess himself a follower
of the Buddha‐Dharma, yet when I expounded
the Teaching to him, entering into every detail, he took
offence at it. The longings and aspirations of his heart
were centred on bliss and heavenly joys. The pilgrim
Kāmanīta, bhikkhus, has entered again into existence in
Sukhavatī — The Paradise of the West — there to enjoy
the pleasures of heaven for thousands upon thousands
***************to be continued*************
Edited by yawares