Tale of Thulla Tissa Thero
May 05, 2016
Namo Buddhaya! May homage to the Blessed One, the Noble One, the Perfectly Enlightened One! 3rd,4th Stanzas Tale of Thulla Tissa Thero “Hatred cannot be appeased if one keeps on thinking about it. Hatred will be ceased only through love.” The Lord Buddha visited Kapilavatthu after attaining enlightenment. This trip was undertaken through kindness to His father (King Suddhodana), His step mother (Queen Prajapathi Gothami), Princess Yasodhara who was His queen, Prince Rahula and others. During that visit, many people were pleased on seeing the Lord Buddha and entered priesthood. Sakya clan is the Lord Buddha’s generation. Queen Mahamaya’s generation is Koliya clan. River Rohini flowed through the large tracts of fields in settlements belonging to both clans supplying necessary water for their work. During some dry seasons when River Rohini dries up, they sometimes quarrel each other about sharing the limited amount of water they had. When the parties were getting ready for such a fight, the Lord Buddha intervened and settled the fight. The peace was established. Members of the two clans were very much pleased. Five hundred princes from each clan became monks. The Lord Buddha had a cousin named Tissa. He was well fed and fat. He also became a monk. He was very proud because he came from a royal family. Because he was fat, he came to be known as Thulla Tissa. He did not have any respect for anyone. He took his relationship to Buddha in to head and did not follow the usual rituals. He used to sit on chairs meant for senior priests and enjoyed getting respected by devotees. One day, a very pious virtuous and honorable priest came. At that time Thulla Tissa thero was sitting on a big chair in a serious posture. The visiting noble priest thought that this was a senior priest and went near him. Even then he did not get up. Did not pay any respect. The noble priest then asked him “How many rainy seasons have you passed?” Thulla Tissa thero then got up immediately and mentioned that he was junior. The noble priest then advised him, “Very wrong, Very wrong, true disciple should not act like that. Those who deserve respect should be respected. Those deserving honor should be honored. One should be hospitable. One should be humble. If not, how can the life as a monk be great?” Thulla Tissa thero was angered by this advice. He shouted and wept. Hit his head with his hands. While weeping, he ran to the Lord Buddha and complained against that priest. Kind hearted Lord Buddha considered the facts and warned Thulla Tissa thero “Tissa, very wrong, very wrong. That is not the way a real Bhikku should behave. Those who should be honored must be honored. Those who should be revered must be revered. One must be hospitable and humble. If not, how can a Bhikku’s life be great? You go and apologize to that priest.” But Thulla Tissa thero did not heed the advice of even the Lord Buddha. He was under the impression that a great injustice was upon him. The Lord Buddha revealed that this person had fallen into serious difficulties because he did not heed the advice of virtuous people due to his stubbornness. Before that, He preached clearly some words of advice which are important for all. He scolded me – attacked me Beat me and snatched my belongings When they think like this over and over again it will result in arising of hatred Their hatred will never cease When someone thinks that someone scolded me, attacked me beat me and snatched my belongings, it will result in the arising of anger. If he doesn’t think like that, his anger will cease. The monks who were present desired to hear about the previous life of Thulla Tissa thero. The Lord Buddha related the previous incident. A long time ago, there lived in the city of Benares a hermit by the name of Kaladevalaka. He used to meditate in the Himala forest. After a long time, he wanted to eat something tasty, and so he came to the city. He came to the city and stayed in the hall of a maker of clay utensils. On the same day, another hermit by the name of Narada came to stay in the clay utensil maker’s hall. The potter said he could stay if he got the permission of the hermit who came earlier. Accordingly, hermit Narada obtained the permission of hermit Kaladevala and stayed in the hall. They engaged in friendly talk and both went to sleep. At the start, Kaladevala lay down close to the place where the hermit Narada was sleeping. But, after some time, he got up and slept close to the entrance. Sometime during the middle of the night hermit Narada wanted to go out. As he was going out, he trampled on the head dress of hermit Kaladevala. He shouted “Who is that, why did you trample my head dress?” “Oh, hermit I was not aware of you’re being sleeping there. Please pardon me” said hermit Narada and went out. Kaladevala thought “He trampled my head while going out. When he comes in he might trample me again.” So thinking, he changed position and lay down so that his head was where his feet were. Hermit Narada when returning to the hall thought “If I go the same way as earlier, I might trample his head. Therefore, I must go on the other side”. When he was going in this manner, he trampled Kaladevala’s head dress. Hermit Kaladevala thundered “You have done this willfully. You have trampled my neck. You be careful.” “Oh hermit, please pardon me. This time I wanted to go on the side on which your feet were. I did not know that you changed your position. Please pardon me.” “Pardon? You keep in mind that you trampled my head without knowing my powers. You will not be able to see the daylight tomorrow. By the time the sun rises, your head will split into seven pieces. It will definitely happen.” So saying, he cursed hitting the floor with his hands. Hermit Narada remained silent. Went inside and meditated. He checked up as to where the curse directed at him would end up when he had not committed any offence. He came to know that “The guilty party is Kaladevala himself. The root cause is his cruelty. His loathsome mind is the root cause. Therefore, it will be his head that will split in to seven parts.” Hermit Narada felt very sorry for Kaladevala. “This individual will unnecessarily fall in to trouble. I must save him.” So thinking, he prevented the sun from rising on the following day using his superior mental powers. People who gathered near the palace started shouting. They pleaded with the king “Oh Sir, what has happened? The darkness does not disappear. The sun does not rise. Something has gone wrong. Please Sir, save us from this.” The king got excited. He made inquiries. Ultimately, he came to know that two hermits from Himala forest were staying at the potter’s hall. The king went in search of them. Hermit Narada explained the matter. “Oh king, there was no offence on my part. Because this hermit was sleeping in the wrong place, I trampled his head accidentally as I was going out of the hall. I begged his pardon. When returning to the hall I came on the side where he had kept his feet. This time he had changed position and as a result I trampled his head again. I very humbly begged his pardon. He did not pardon me. Instead, he cursed me. He said let my head split into seven pieces with the sunrise. I am innocent. If the sun rises, his head will split into seven pieces. I am preventing the sun from rising in sympathy to prevent coming any harm for him. If he apologizes to me, this problem will be solved. The king approached hermit Kaladevala. He pleaded with him and requested him to apologize to Hermit Narada. But this foolish Kaladevala became more conceited because the king came to him. He was not willing to beg pardon. Ultimately, the king lost his patience. He dragged him to hermit Narada and placed his head at hermit Narada’s feet and forced him to beg pardon. Hermit Narada pardoned him. With a lump of clay of the size of his head placed on Kaladevala’s head, he was asked to immerse in water with only the lump of clay above water. Hermit Narada immediately decreed the sun to rise. Sun rose, and the lump of clay split in to seven pieces. Strange are the effects of bad deeds. How many people reject the advice of elders due to vanity and pride? They always get into trouble, develop hatred, seek vengeance, and accumulate sin. Therefore, the noble thing is not to hate. One must not keep on thinking of what others have done to you. The noble thing is spreading loving kindness without thinking things that create hatred. by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero.


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