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Anguttara Nikaya VI.16

Nakula Sutta

Nakula's Parents


Once the Blessed One was staying among the Bhaggas in the Deer Park at Bhesakala Grove, near Crocodile Haunt. At that time, Nakula's father, the householder, was diseased, in pain, severely ill. Then Nakula's mother said to him: "Don't be worried as you die, householder. Death is painful for one who is worried. The Blessed One has criticized being worried at the time of death.

"Now it may be that you are thinking, 'Nakula's mother will not be able to support the children or maintain the household after I'm gone,' but you shouldn't see things in that way. I am skilled at spinning cotton, at carding matted wool. I can support the children and maintain the household after you are gone. So don't be worried as you die, householder. Death is painful for one who is worried. The Blessed One has criticized being worried at the time of death.

"Now it may be that you are thinking, 'Nakula's mother will take another husband after I'm gone,' but you shouldn't see things in that way. You know as well as I how my fidelity (lit., "householder-celibacy") has been constant for the past sixteen years. So don't be worried as you die, householder. Death is painful for one who is worried. The Blessed One has criticized death when one is worried.

"Now it may be that you are thinking, 'Nakula's mother will have no desire to go see the Blessed One, to go see the community of monks, after I'm gone,' but you shouldn't see things in that way. I will have an even greater desire to go see the Blessed One, to go see the community of monks, after you are gone. So don't be worried as you die, householder. Death is painful for one who is worried. The Blessed One has criticized being worried at the time of death.

"Now it may be that you are thinking, 'Nakula's mother will not act fully in accordance with the precepts after I'm gone,' but you shouldn't see things in that way. To the extent that the Blessed One has white-clad householder female disciples who act fully in accordance with the precepts, I am one of them. If anyone doubts or denies this, let him go ask the Blessed One, the worthy one, the rightly self-awakened one who is staying among the Bhaggas in the Deer Park at Bhesakala Grove, near Crocodile Haunt. So don't be worried as you die, householder. Death is painful for one who is worried. The Blessed One has criticized being worried at the time of death.

"Now it may be that you are thinking, 'Nakula's mother will not attain inner tranquillity of awareness after I'm gone,' but you shouldn't see things in that way. To the extent that the Blessed One has white-clad householder female disciples who attain inner tranquillity of awareness, I am one of them. If anyone doubts or denies this, let him go ask the Blessed One, the worthy one, the rightly self-awakened one who is staying among the Bhaggas in the Deer Park at Bhesakala Grove, near Crocodile Haunt. So don't be worried as you die, householder. Death is painful for one who is worried. The Blessed One has criticized being worried at the time of death.

"Now it may be that you are thinking, 'Nakula's mother will not reach firm ground in this Doctrine & Discipline, will not attain a firm foothold, will not attain consolation, overcome her doubts, dispel her perplexity, reach fearlessness or gain independence from others with regard to the Teacher's message [a standard description of a stream-winner],' but you shouldn't see things in that way. To the extent that the Blessed One has white-clad householder female disciples who reach firm ground in this Doctrine & Discipline, attain a firm foothold, attain consolation, overcome their doubts, dispel their perplexity, reach fearlessness, & gain independence from others with regard to the Teacher's message, I am one of them. If anyone doubts or denies this, let him go ask the Blessed One, the worthy one, the rightly self-awakened one who is staying among the Bhaggas in the Deer Park at Bhesakala Grove, near Crocodile Haunt. So don't be worried as you die, householder. Death is painful for one who is worried. The Blessed One has criticized being worried at the time of death."

While Nakula's father the householder was being exhorted by Nakula's mother with this exhortation, his disease was immediately allayed. And he recovered from his disease. That was how Nakula's father's disease was abandoned.

Then, soon after Nakula's father the householder had recovered from being sick, not long after his recovery from his illness, he went leaning on a stick to the Blessed One. On arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him, "It is your gain, your great gain, householder, that you have Nakula's mother -- sympathetic & wishing for your welfare -- as your counselor & instructor. To the extent that I have white-clad householder female disciples who act fully in accordance with the precepts, she is one of them. To the extent that I have white-clad householder female disciples who attain inner tranquillity of awareness, she is one of them. To the extent that I have white-clad householder female disciples who reach firm ground in this Doctrine & Discipline, attain a firm foothold, attain consolation, overcome their doubts, dispel their perplexity, reach fearlessness, & gain independence from others with regard to the Teacher's message, she is one of them. It is your gain, your great gain, householder, that you have Nakula's mother -- sympathetic & wishing for your welfare -- as your counselor & instructor."

Source: ATI - For Free Distribution Only, as a Gift of Dhamma.

Dhamma Essay:
Spiritual Faculties by Ayya Khema


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