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Book 1: Ekanipāta

No. 135


Translated from the Pāli by
Robert Chalmers, B.A., of Oriel College, Oxford
Under the Editorship of Professor E. B. Cowell
Published 1969 For the Pāli Text Society.
First Published by The Cambridge University Press in 1895

This work is in the Public Domain. The Pali Text Society owns the copyright."



"Who sagely meditates." — This story too was told by the Master while at Jetavana about the interpretation of a problem by the Elder Sāriputta at the gate of Saɱkassa.



Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta, as he expired in his forest-home, answered his disciples' enquiries with the words — "Moonlight and Sunlight." With these words he died and passed to the Radiant Realm.

Now when the chief disciple interpreted the Master's words his fellows did not believe him. Then back came the Bodhisatta and from mid-air recited this stanza:—

Who sagely meditates on sun and moon,
Shall win (when Reason unto Ecstasy
Gives place) his after-lot in Radiant Realms.[1]

Such was the Bodhisatta's teaching, and, first praising his disciple, he went his way back to the Brahma Realm.



His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "Sāriputta was the chief disciple of those days, and I Mahā-Brahmā."


[1] These technical lines imply that, by taking the Sun and Moon as his kammaṭṭhāna, or subject for meditation, a Buddhist, by attaining Jhāna (or Insight) in the second (i.e. supra-rational) degree, can save himself from re-birth in a lower sphere of existence than the Ābhassaraloka or Radiant Realm of the corporeal Brahma-world.


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