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p. 430 [Dph.406


Translated from the Dhammapada, and from Buddhaghosa's comment.

222. "What man his rising anger curbs,
Like chariot circling o'er the plain,
He, truly, is the charioteer--
Holders of reins all other folk."

   "What man his rising anger." This doctrinal instruction was given by The Teacher while dwelling in the Aggâlava shrine; and it was concerning a certain priest.

   For when The Teacher had given permission to the congregation of the priests to use houses, and houses were being built for them by the Râjagaha treasurer and others, a certain priest who dwelt in the forest, in making for himself a house, saw a particular tree, and began to cut it down. But the goddess who had been born therein and had a young son, took the child on her hip, and stood and begged, saying,

   "My lord, do not cut down my mansion. I cannot, with my little son, wander about with no place of abode."

   "It would not be possible for me to find another tree like this," thought the priest, and heeded not her request.

   "At least, consideration for the child will cause him to stop," thought the goddess, and placed her son on a bough of the tree; but the priest was unable to check his uplifted axe, and cut off the child's arm.

   The goddess, in a violent rage, had lifted up both her hands to smite the priest dead, when she thought,

   "This priest observes the precepts: if I kill him, I shall go to hell. And the other goddesses, also, when they see their trees cut down by priests, will follow my example, and kill the priests, thinking, 'It was thus that such and such a goddess killed a priest.' But this priest has a master: I will tell it to his master."

   Then she lowered her uplifted hands, and went weeping to The Teacher. And having done him obeisance, she stood respectfully at one side.

p. 431 [Dph.36412

   Then said The Teacher, "What is it, goddess?"

   "Reverend Sir," said she, "your disciple did so and so to me. I, however, when desirous of killing him, made such and such a reflection, and have come hither without killing him." And she related the whole story in full.

   "Well done, well done, goddess!" said The Teacher, when he had heard her story. "You did well in keeping your mounting anger under control, as one would a chariot circling hither and thither." And he pronounced this stanza:

"What man his rising anger curbs,
Like chariot circling o'er the plain,
He, truly, is the charioteer--
Holders of reins all other folk."

   Other folk:--By "other folk" are meant the charioteers of the king, of the deputy king, and so on. These are called holders of reins, but not charioteers in the highest sense.

   At the end of this instruction, the goddess became established in the fruit of conversion; and the instruction was of profit also to the assembled throng.

   But the goddess, though converted, continued to weep.

   Then said The Teacher, "What is it, goddess?"

   "Reverend Sir," said she, "my mansion is destroyed. What am I now to do?"

   "Nay, goddess, be not anxious. I will give you a mansion." And indicating a tree the goddess of which had passed into another existence on the previous day, and which was situated in the neighborhood of the perfumed chamber of Jetavana monastery, he said to her, "In such and such a spot is a deserted tree; go thither."

   And she went thither; and from that time on, even powerful goddesses did not dare to come and attempt to expel her from a tree that had been given her by The Buddha.

   The Teacher, when he had performed this benefaction, laid down for the priests the precept concerning vegetation.

The Story of a Priest.

Next: § 96. The Young Stone-Thrower