Khuddaka Nikaya


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Udāna
7 9: Udapāna Suttaṃ

The Well

Translated from the Pali by John D. Ireland.
©1997 Buddhist Publication Society.
From The Udana: Inspired Utterances of the Buddha, (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1997). Copyright © 1997 Buddhist Publication Society. Used with permission.

 


 

[VII-9.1][than] Thus have I heard. At one time the Lord was journeying among the Mallas together with a large Order of bhikkhus and came to the brahman village of the Mallas called Thuna. The brahman householders who lived in Thuna heard: "The recluse Gotama, the Sakyan son who went forth from the Sakya clan, has been journeying among the Mallas together with a large Order of bhikkhus and has arrived at Thuna." They then filled the well to the brim with grass and chaff, thinking, "Don't let those shaven-headed recluses get water to drink."

Then the Lord stepped off the road, and going up to the foot of a certain tree, sat down on a seat prepared for him. Sitting there the Lord addressed the Venerable Ananda: "Come, Ananda, fetch me some water from that well."

Thereupon the Venerable Ananda said to the Lord: "Just now, revered sir, the brahman householders living in Thuna filled the well to the brim with grass and chaff, thinking, 'Don't let those shaven-headed recluses get water to drink.'"

Then a second time the Lord addressed the Venerable Ananda: "Come, Ananda, fetch me some water..." And a second time the Venerable Ananda said to the Lord: "Just now, revered sir, the brahman householders filled the well to the brim with grass and chaff..."

Then for a third time the Lord addressed the Venerable Ananda: "Come, Ananda, fetch me some water from that well."

"Yes, revered sir," the Venerable Ananda replied, and taking a bowl he went to the well. Now as the Venerable Ananda was approaching it, the well threw up all its grass and chaff from its mouth and stood filled to the brim with pure, clean, clear water, as if it were overflowing. Then the Venerable Ananda thought: "It is indeed wonderful, it is indeed marvellous, the great supernormal potency and power of the Tathagata! As I was approaching this well, it threw up all that grass and chaff from its mouth and now stands filled to the brim with pure, clean, clear water, as if it were overflowing." And taking some water in the bowl he approached the Lord and said: "It is indeed wonderful, it is indeed marvellous, the great supernormal potency and power of the Tathagata! This well... now stands filled to the brim with pure, clean, clear water, as if it were overflowing. Drink the water, Lord. Drink the water, Sugata."

Then, on realizing its significance, the Lord uttered on that occasion this inspired utterance:

What use is there for a well
If there is water everywhere?
When craving's root is severed
What should one go about seeking?


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