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SHASTRI INDO-CANADIAN INSTITUTE
156 Golf Links,

New Delhi -3, India

Page 56

44 The Path of Purity

The Elder replied:
"

Through wrong perception is thy mind aflame
Pleasant appearances avoid, for they
Are full of lust, but cultivate the mind
In things unpleasant, that it may attain
To concentration and a single aim.

Things-in-the-making shalt thou see and know
Evil as other than thee, as not the self.

Slay the great lust. Burn not repeatedly."
x

And the Elder, repelling his lust, went his way.
Further, a brother who is fulfilling restraint of the con-

trolling faculties, should be like the Elder Cittagutta, who
lived in the great Kurandaka cave, and like the Elder Maha-

mitta, who lived in the great Coraka monastery.
It is said that there was a beautiful painting of the Re-

nunciation of Seven Buddhas in the great Kurandaka cave.
And many of the brethren, wandering round the dwellings,
saw the painting, and said:

"
Sir, beautiful is the painting."

The Elder said,
"

Lads, I have lived in the cave for over sixty

years and I did not even know whether the painting existed
or not. Now I know to-day through you who possess eyes."
Thus it is said that for so long the Elder living there never
lifted his eyes and looked up. And at the cave-entrance
there was a great ironwood tree. But the Elder had never
looked up at it. It is said that he knew that it was in blossom
when each spring he saw the filaments that fell to the ground.
The king, hearing of the Elder's virtuous attainments, and

wishing to pay his respects, sent for him three times. And
when the Elder did not come he caused to be shut up the
breasts of the women in the village who were suckling infants,
and had his seal put to this order: "As long as the Elder
does not come, so long these infants must not suck milk."

[39] And the Elder, out of compassion for the infants, went
to the village. And the king heard of it, and saying to his
ministers,

"
Go, I say, and introduce the Elder; I will acquire

the virtues," had the Elder brought within the palace, paid

1 S. i, 188, which gives a different order of the lines; Th. i, 1223 /.

Page 57

I. Exposition of Virtue 45

his respects, gave him his meal of food, and saying to him,
' '

Sir, to-day there is no opportunity. To-morrow I will

acquire the virtues," he took the Elder's bowl, accompanied
him a little distance, and having, together with the queen,
paid his respects, turned back. And the Elder said: "May
the king be happy !" whether it was the king that paid
respects or the queen. Thus seven days passed. And the
brethren said: "Sir, whether it was the king that paid
respects or the queen, why did you only say :

'

May the king
be happy '?

" The Elder replied :
"

Lads, I make no difference
as to the king or the queen." After seven days the king,

finding that the Elder was not happy there, let him go. The
Elder went back to the great Kurandaka cave, and at night
ascended to the promenade. And the deity that lived in
the ironwood tree stood holding a torch. Then the Elder's

subject of meditation became exceedingly pure and clear.
And the Elder was glad, saying to himself,

"
AVhy is mysubject

of meditation so exceedingly clear to-day ?" And causing
the whole mountain to resound, he attained Sanctity imme-

diately after the middle watch. And even so should any other
son of good family desirous also of his own benefit,

Let not the eye wander like forest-ape,
Or trembling wood-deer, or affrighted child.
The eyes should be cast downward : they should look
The distance of a yoke : he shall not serve
The eye's dominion, like a restless ape."

A poisonous boil once arose on the mother of the Elder
Mahamitta. Her daughter also had been ordained among the
sisters. The mother said to her daughter:

"
Girl, go to thy

brother's presence. Tell him I amunwell, and bring medicine."
The daughter went and told him. The Elder said:

"
I do not

know how to gather medicinal roots, and so forth, and to

prepare medicine. But this medicine will I tell of : since I have
become monk I have never broken the controlling faculties
with a mind accompanied by greed and looked at a female
form. By the virtue of this [40] declaration of truth may
mymother be relieved. Go, recite this, and shampoo the lay-

Page 111

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PK Buddhaghosa
4591 The path of purity
B78V513
1922
pt.l

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