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Kamanita And Vasitthi
[By KARL GJELLERUP]
DISCIPLE ANGULIMALAA FEW HOURS after sunrise today," he began, "I stood at the
edge of the forest, gazing out at the towers of Kosambī, I then
became aware of a solitary traveller on the road which leads from
the eastern gate of the city to the forest; he walked with a
gentle and easy motion, and was clad in an ochre robe.
And now I saw from his robes and his closely cropped hair that
he was a monk,one of those who belong to the order of the Son of the
Sākyans, and an old man of commanding stature.
I thought to myself: "This is truly strange! On this
road in the past, groups of ten, twenty, thirty or even forty
have set out in well‐armed companies, and they have one
and all fallen into my power; and this wanderer here
comes on alone — like a conqueror."
And it nettled me that he so openly defied my
power. I made up my mind to kill him, I seized my spear,
hung my bow and quiver over my shoulder, made for the
road and, step for step, followed the monk who had by
now entered the forest.
I took down my bow from my shoulder and shot an arrow so that
it would pierce the left side of his back and pass through his heart;
but it flew away, over his head.
"By some mistake a bad arrow must have got in
amongst the others," I said to myself as I took the quiver
in my hand and picked out a beautifully feathered and
faultless one, which I aimed so that it would transfix his
neck. But the arrow stuck into the trunk of a tree to his
left. The next flew past him to the right and the same thing
happened with all my arrows until my quiver was empty.
"Inconceivable! Amazing!" I thought to myself.Meanwhile the monk had walked a considerable
distance and I began to run after him in order to kill him
with my spear. But when I had come to within a distance
of about fifty paces from him I couldn't gain another step,
although I ran with all my might and he seemed to be
walking quite leisurely forward.
And I stopped and called out to him: "Stop, monk!
But he paced quietly on and called back: "I have
stopped, Angulimāla. You should stop too."
At this I was again much astonished, and thought:
"Plainly this monk has baffled my archery and my running
by some Rite of Truth. But how can he then utter a mani‐
fest untruth and assert that he is standing still while he
is in fact walking, and demand that I should stand still
although he sees perfectly well that I am already standing
as stationary as this tree. Surely there must be something
behind all this. Maybe it would be of more value to understand
the meaning of these words than to take the life of such a holy man."And I called to him: "Walking, you imagine yourself
to be standing still, monk; and me, whilst standing still, you
falsely claim to be walking. Explain what you mean by
this, great monk: how is it that you have stopped and I
have not."And he answered me:
"Angulimāla, I have stopped forever: I abstain from
doing harm to living things; I am at rest and wander in
Samsāra no more. But you, you who still rage against all
living things, must wander ceaselessly from one place of
suffering to another."
As he spoke thus, he turned round and motioned
to me with a friendly gesture to approach."Listen, then, and pay close attention."
He sat down in the shade of a large tree and bade
me seat myself before him. He began to teach me of
wholesome and unwholesome deeds, and of their conse‐
quences, all the time explaining everything as fully to me
as when one speaks to a child. When I came to myself again, I lay in the wood
under the huge tree, prostrate at the feet of the Master.
"Blessèd One! So you yourself are the Fully Enlightened
Buddha!"So you, the noblest of beings, have had compassion
for the worst! And will you allow me to stay with you?""I will," answered the Master. "And hear this also:
Even as there are among the few who see the
Master only a few who hear his Teaching, so too there are
but few who comprehend it. You, however, will both hear
the Teaching and will comprehend it. Come, disciple!"Thus I have now come to you Vāsitthī, not as the
robber or killer Angulimāla, but as the disciple Angulimāla. See, I
have cast from me the spear and the club, the knife and
the whip. I have forsworn killing and torturing, and towards
all living beings I now extend only a heart of peace
********************to be continued***************
Edited by yawares
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I remember reading this story before. It has a very profound message.
Suffering is asking from life what it can never give you.
mindfulness, bliss and beyond (page 8) wrote:Do not linger on the past. Do not keep carrying around coffins full of dead moments
If you see any unskillful speech (or other action) from me let me know, so I can learn from it.
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