Mystic Lotus

Dhammapada Verse 74



THE IGNORANT SEEK UNDUE FAME








Cittagahapati Vatthu

THE IGNORANT SEEK UNDUE FAME



Asataṁ bhāvanam-iccheyya,
purekkhārañ-ca bhikkhusu,
āvāsesu ca issariyaṁ,
pūjā parakulesu ca:


The fool will desire undue reputation,
precedence among monks,
authority in the monasteries,
honour among other families.


“Mameva kata’ maññantu gihī pabbajitā ubho,
mameva ativasā assu, kiccākiccesu kismici”,
iti bālassa saṅkappo, icchā māno ca vaḍḍhati.


Let both laymen and monks think,
"by myself was this done;
in every work, great or small,
let them refer to me".
Such is the ambition of the fool;
his desires and pride increase.


Story


Citta, a householder, once met Thera Mahanama, one of the group of the first five bhikkhus (Pancavaggis), going on an alms-round, and invited the thera to his house. There, he offered alms-food to the thera and after listening to the discourse given by him, Citta attained Sotapatti Fruition. Later, Citta built a monastery in his mango grove. There, he looked to the needs of all bhikkhus who came to the monastery and Bhikkhu Sudhamma was installed as the resident bhikkhu.



One day, the two Chief Disciples of the Buddha, the Venerable Sariputta and the Venerable Maha Moggallana, came to the monastery and after listening to the discourse given by the Venerable Sariputta, Citta attained Anagami Fruition. Then, he invited the two Chief Disciples to his house for alms-food the next day. He also invited Thera Sudhamma, but Thera Sudhamma refused in anger and said, "You invite me only after the other two." Citta repeated his invitation, but it was turned down. Nevertheless, Thera Sudhamma went to the house of Citta early on the following day. But when invited to enter the house, Thera Sudhamma refused and said that he would not sit down as he was going on his alms-round. But when he saw the things that were to be offered to the two Chief Disciples, he envied them so much that he could not restrain his anger. He abused Citta and said, "I don't want to stay in your monastery any longer," and left the house in anger.



From there, he went to the Buddha and reported everything that had happened. To him, the Buddha said, "You have insulted a lay-disciple who is endowed with faith and generously. You'd better go back to him and own up your mistake." Sudhamma did as he was told by the Buddha, but Citta would not be appeased; so he returned to the Buddha for the second time. The Buddha, knowing that the pride of Sudhamma had dwindled by this time, said, "My son, a good bhikkhu should have no attachment; a good bhikkhu should not be conceited and say 'This is my monastery, this is my place, these are my lay-disciples,' etc., for in one with such thoughts, covetousness and pride will increase."


Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

The fool will desire undue reputation,
precedence among monks,
authority in the monasteries,
honour among other families.

Let both laymen and monks think,
"by myself was this done;
in every work, great or small,
let them refer to me".
Such is the ambition of the fool;
his desires and pride increase.



At the end of the discourse, Sudhamma went to the house of Citta, and this time they got reconciled; and within a few days, Sudhamma attained Arahatship.







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