SUFFERING FOLLOWS THE EVIL-DOER
While residing at the Jetavana Monastery in Savathi, the Buddha spoke this verse with reference to Cakkhupala, a blind monk.
On one occasion, Monk Cakkhupala came to pay homage to the Buddha at the Jetavana Monastery. One night, while pacing up and down in meditation, the monk accidentally stepped on some insects. In the morning, some monks visiting the monk found the dead insects. They thought ill of the monk and reported the matter to the Buddha. The Buddha asked them whether they had seen the monk killing the insects. When they answered in the negative, the Buddha said, "just as you had not seen him killing the
insects. Besides, as the monk had already attained arahatship he could have no intention of killing, so he was innocent." On being asked why Cakkhupala was blind although he was as arahat, the Buddha told the following story:
Cakkhupala was a physician in one of his past existences. Once, he had deliberately made a woman patient blind. That woman had promised to become his slave, together with her children, if her eyes were completely cured. Fearing that she and her children would have to become slaves, she lied to the physician. She told him that her eyes were getting worse when, in fact they were perfectly cured. The physician knew she was deceiving him, so in revenge, he gave her another ointment, which
made her totally blind. As a result of this evil deed the physician lost hid eyesight many times in his later existences.
All that we experience begins with thought. Our words and deeds spring from thought. If we speak or act with evil thoughts, unpleasant circumstance and experiences inevitably result. Wherever we go, we create bad circumstance because we carry bad thoughts. We cannot shake off this suffering as long as we are tied to our evil thoughts. This is very much like the wheel of a cart following the hoofs of the ox yoked to the cart. The cart-wheel, along with the heavy load of the cart, keeps following the draught oxen.
The animal is bound to this heavy load and cannot leave it.
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dhamma- experience; manopubbangama - thought is precedes
manosettha - thought is predominant ce - therefore, if;
padutthene (with) corrupted; manasa: thought;
bhasati: (one) speaks;
karoti va: or acts; tato: due to it; dukkham: suffering;
nam: that person; anveti - follows;
vahato padam - draught animal's hoof;
cakkam iva - as the cart wheel.