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Tipitaka » Sutta Pitaka » Khuddaka Nikaya » Dhammapada

Source: Adapted from the original translation by Daw Mya Tin, M.A.


Dhammapada Verse 281 - Sukarapeta Vatthu[edit | edit source]

Vacanurakkhi manasa susamvuto

kayena ca nakusalam kayira

ete tayo kammapathe visodhaye

aradhaye magga' misippaveditam.


Verse 281: One should be careful in speech, be well-restrained in mind, and physically, too, one should do no evil. One should purify these three courses of action and accomplish the practice of the Path of Eight Constituents made known by the Buddhas.



The Story of a Swine-Peta(Pig Headed Ghost with Human body)

While residing at the Veluvana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (281) of this book, with reference to a swine-peta.

Once Thera Maha Moggallana was coming down the Gijjhakuta hill with Thera Lakkhana when he saw a miserable, ever-hungry peta, with the head of a swine and the body of a human being. On seeing the peta, Thera Maha Moggallana smiled but did not say anything. Back at the monastery, Thera Maha Moggallana, in the presence of the Buddha, talked about the swine-peta with its mouth swarming with maggots. The Buddha also said that he himself had seen that very peta soon after his attainment of Buddhahood, but that he did not say anything about it because people might not believe him and thus they would be doing wrong to him. Then the Buddha proceeded to relate the story about the swine-peta.

During the time of Kassapa Buddha, this particular peta was a bhikkhu who often expounded the Dhamma. On one occasion, he came to a monastery where two bhikkhus were staying together. After staying with those two for some time, he found that he was doing quite well because people liked his expositions. Then it occurred to him that it would be even better if he could make the other two bhikkhus leave the place and have the monastery all to himself. Thus, he tried to set one against the other. The two bhikkhus quarrelled and left the monastery in different directions. On account of this evil deed, that bhikkhu was reborn in Avici Niraya(hell) and he was serving out the remaining part of his term of suffering as a swine-peta with its mouth swarming with maggots. Then the Buddha exhorted, "A bhikkhu should be calm and well-restrained in thought, word and deed."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:


Verse 281: One should be careful in speech, be well-restrained in mind, and physically, too, one should do no evil. One should purify these three courses of action and accomplish the practice of the Path of Eight Constituents made known by the Buddhas.


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