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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords
DhA.

VII:7 The loss of an eye

Once, a seven-year-old boy became a samanera (novice monk) at the request of his father. Before his head was shaved, the boy was given a subject of meditation. While he was being shaved, the boy had his mind fixed steadfastly on the object of meditation. As a result of his concentration and due to the ripening of his past good kamma, he attained Sainthood as they finished shaving his head.

After some time, Venerable Tissa, accompanied by the samanera, set out for Savatthi to pay homage to the Buddha. On the way, they spent the night in a village monastery. Tissa fell asleep, but the novice monk sat up the whole night beside the bed of the old monk and only went to sleep towards dawn. Early in the morning, Tissa thought it was time to wake up the young samanera. So he roused him with a palm-leaf fan, and accidentally hit his eye with the handle of the fan and damaged his eye. He covered that eye with one hand and went about doing his duties of getting water for Tissa to wash his face, sweeping the floor of the monastery, etc. When the samanera offered water with one hand Tissa said that he should offer things with both hands. Only then did Tissa learn that the novice monk had lost an eye. At that instant, he realised that the young samanera was a noble person. Feeling very sorry and humbled, he made an apology but the novice monk told Tissa that it was not his fault nor was it his own fault, and that it was only the result of kamma. He urged Tissa not to feel sad about it, but the old monk could not get over the unfortunate incident.

Then they continued their journey to Savatthi and arrived at the Jetavana monastery where the Buddha was in residence. When informed of all that had happened on the way, the Buddha said, 'My son, an Arahant does not get angry with anyone, he is restrained in his senses and is perfectly calm and serene.'

55/170 Dhammapada & Commentary Khuddhaka J.i.106ff. despair


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Last modified on: Sunday, 13 August 2000.