Tale of the two fighting monks in Kosambe
May 06, 2016
Namo Buddhaya! May homage to the Blessed One, the Noble One, the Perfectly Enlightened One! 6th Stanza Tale of the two fighting monks in Kosambe “Many people do not know that those who get involved in fights get destroyed themselves.“ The Lord Buddha’s function is to explain four noble truths. We are stuck without being able to cross this sansara of being born and dying only because we have not been able to understand the Four Noble Truths. Everyone who has not understood the four noble truths is not safe from the risk of falling into any of the four sorrowful states of existence. When an enlightened one comes in to this world and explains the four noble truths to the humans and deities only the intelligent people pay heed to the doctrine. They practice the Dhamma and understand it and thereby avoid getting into the four sorrowful states of existence. They cross the sansara. Although an unwise individual becomes a monk with all good intentions, he strays from the basic objective because he lacks the necessary wisdom to follow the words of the Buddha. He gets trapped in seeking material wealth and social statusbecause of the desire for such worldly things. Ultimately they lose sight of the Four Noble Truths. Even in the time when the Lord Buddha was living, those two groups (seekers of material wealth and social status) were there among those who became monks with the idea of realizingthe Four Noble Truths. There were many noble monks who made a success of their monkhood by only thinking of what themselves did and did not irrelevant of others doings. Even at that time, there were many undisciplined and conceited monks who picked quarrels in respect of trivial matters. Even when the Lord Buddha was living, those Bhikkus failed to identify the wickedness arising in their minds. They did not pay heed to the teaching of the Lord Buddha. As a result, they created a serious problem. It happened like this. There was a very wealthy person named Ghoshita in the city ofKosambe. He spent quite a large sum of money and constructed a monastery, which could accommodate thousand monks and dedicated it for the use of Bhikkus. This temple was called Ghoshitaramaya. Five hundred monks who lived in this temple laid emphasis on the practice of Discipline described in the Dhamma while four hundred laid stress on the study of the Dhamma. One day, the leader of the Bhikkus who were practicing the Dhamma did not completely empty the water in the vessel used in the latrine. It is in fact a trivial matter. It could have been settled quite easily. But the Bhikkus practicing discipline spoke of it as a very serious offence. Based on this, there was a division. The patrons (Dayakas) also split. The chief patrons tried to bring about reconciliation. Because of their excessive pride, they did not unite. After donning robes, some people think too much of themselves. They do not heed the words of anyone. Such vain people think very highly of themselves. That is what happened here also. Ultimately, the Lord Buddha visited them thrice and advised them kindly to be united and preached Jataka story “Deeghiti Kosala”. Once upon a time, there lived in the city ofBenaresa rich king namedBenares. Close to this kingdom, there was a provincial king by the name Deeghiti Kosala. He was not as rich as kingBenares. He thought of invading the neighboring kingdom. King Deeghiti Kosala heard of it and he fled with his queen and started living by working as a laborer. They got caught to the spies of the king. They were sentenced to death. Garlandsof red flowers were placed on their necks and were taken along the streets while beating drums. At this time Deeghavu the only son of King Deeghiti Kosala was coming in search of his parents. When his parents were being taken to the beheading spot he crept through the crowd and jumped forward. King Deeghiti Kosala recognized the son. He shouted “Son Deeghavu, do not look near. Look far”. No one knew that the king had a son. Therefore, none understood what the king said. The son was very wise. He was able to understand his father’s advice instantly. He quietly moved backwards and disappeared among the crowd. The king and the queen were beheaded. Their limbs were torn apart and hung in different places. The son came in the night paid money to men, collected the body pieces and cremated. He then fled from the area. Prince Deeghavu had only one thing in his mind now. That was to seek vengeance for the killing of his parents. The prince grew up well and became handsome. He joined the king’s court. He was able to win the confidence of the king. He became the king’s best friend. One day, the king went hunting with his retinue. That day, the carriage was driven by prince Deeghavu. He took the carriage away from the crowd and the king got isolated. He was very tired. Only the king and the prince were there. King was feeling sleepy. He placed his head on the prince’s lap and fell asleep. The memories of previous incidents started to enter the mind of the prince. He could not bear the anger. “Yes, I will kill this man immediately. He who killed my parents should not be allowed to live one more moment.” Then he quietly drew his sword from scabbard. He held the handle of the sword tightly. The final advice given by his father before his death came to his mind at that instant, “Son, do not look near. Look far.” “Yes my father I will not look near. I will definitely look far,” thought the prince. He quietly put the sward in the scabbard. But in a moment, he forgot his father’s advice and avenging thoughts came back to his mind. He pulled out the sword once again. Surprisingly, his father’s advice came to his mind again. He put back the sword into the scabbard again. He pulled out the sward for the third time determined to kill the king this time. Again, the father’s advice came to his mind. Finally, he returned the sward to the sheath and started sighing. The king got startled and woke up. He was very much frightened. Eyes were wide open. He was breathing fast. “Son… I just now had a very fearful dream. I killed King Deeghiti Kosala and his queen. Their son came with a sword and tried to kill me. Son….I cannotthink why I dreamt it. I cannotthink of it.” Prince Deeghavu stood up quickly and took the sword in his hand. He held the king’s hair in his left hand. He cast a frightening look and grinding his teeth said “I am that son. Time has come to take revenge for killing of my parents.” The king got terribly frightened. He started shivering. He begged for mercy. The son instantly remembered the advice of his father. He threw away the swordand worshipped the king begging for his pardon. Finally, they embraced each other. They promised never to go against each other. The king came back to the palace and gave his daughter in marriage to the prince. He later handed over the kingdom to the Prince too. All benefits accorded because he recalled his father’s advice frequently. In this way, the Lord Buddha explained clearly the benefits of abiding by the advice. But those Bhikkus who were blinded by material benefits could not understand the danger of quarrelling. One Bhikku had the audacity to come to the Lord Buddha and say “Sir, may you relax. May you spend your time in meditation. We created this quarrel for gaining publicity.” The Lord Buddha relinquished everything went to Parileiya forest and rested alone. An elephant that was separated from the herd and wished to be alone was also in that forest. He attended to the needs of the Lord Buddha. The citizens of Kosambe were very much grieved. They were shocked. Because the Lord Buddha was compelled to go to Parileiya, displeasure towards those Bhikkus was increased further. The laymen decided not to give alms to those monks. Even though they walked all over the city of Kosambe, they did not get alms. “There is no one to offer alms to you who do not listen to the advice of the Lord Buddha or elderly priests, and also because you are bent on picking quarrels and disturb the minds of patrons. The Lord Buddha went to Parileiya forest because of your stubbornness. You should understand this at least now. Go. Go and meet the Lord Buddha. Beg for His pardon. Food will get served on to your begging bowl only if that happens.” The lay disciples stood firm in their decision. Because of the punishment from the lay disciples, the conceited monks became subdued. Therefore, they decided to become united. They got united and went to the Lord Buddha and begged for His pardon. The Lord Buddha pardoned them and preached a stanza. Its meaning is:- When people get involved in quarrels remain there They do not know that they will get destroyed When one understands that one gets destroyed by quarrels It will get quenched. A person getting involved in quarrels does not remember anything else. They forget good and bad. They do not remember even who they are. They do only whatever that comes to their minds. They do not see far. Enemies at such times stir up some more. Situation becomes more and more confused. The quarreling parties get entangled like a skein of a thread. Finally, the parties will get destroyed. One who gets involved in a quarrel and remains with an angry mind cannotdistinguish good from bad and so becomes devoid of merit. They deteriorate in good qualities. They lose humanitarian qualities. They live like animals. They think only of being satisfied by taking revenge. Morality, concentration, wisdom do not develop among such people. They do not talk about the Dhamma. There will be no peace of mind. Everyone will deteriorate in good qualities and perish. Ultimately, they will be born in hell and will suffer. Therefore, you should always strive for peace. You should work with one mind. The Lord Buddha preached that unity among monks is a pleasure. The meritorious deeds of those united give rise to happiness. If one acts to split a united group of monks, he is committing a sin of which the effects cannot be avoided (Anantarika).The effect will be suffering in hell for one kalpa. On the other hand, the Lord Buddha has explained that if a divided group of monks is unitedby someone, he will get the favorable effects that will give him a birth in heaven for a kalpa. Therefore, unity is the best happiness. by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero.

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