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VIII:10 Venerable Kondanna and the robbers
Venerable Kondanna, after taking a subject of meditation from the Buddha, went into the jungle to practise meditation and there attained Sainthood. Returning to pay homage to the Buddha, he stopped on the way to rest for a while. He sat on a stone-slab, his mind fixed in jhana concentration. At that moment, a group of robbers after looting a village came to the place where the monk was. Taking him for a tree stump they put their bundles of loot all over and around the body of the monk. When day broke they realised that what they took to be a tree stump was, in fact, a living being. Then again, they thought it was an evil spirit and tried to run away in fright.
The monk revealed to them that he was only a bhikkhu and not a spirit and told them not to get frightened. The robbers were awed by his words, and asked his pardon for mistaking him to be a tree stump. Soon afterwards, the robbers also decided to follow his religious way of life.
The monk, accompanied by the new bhikkhus reported the matter to the Buddha who admonished them, 'To live for a hundred years in ignorance, doing foolish things, is meaningless. Now that you have seen the Truth and have become wise, your lives of one day as wise men are much more worthwhile.'
The new bhikkhus practised what they were taught and strove diligently to work for their spiritual development.
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