This lovely Friday I'm delighted to present a wonderful story to you all.
The Four Novices
[From Bhikkhu Pesala]
A female lay supporter prepared food for four monks, and sent her husband to the monastery with instructions to invite and bring with him four senior elders. When he arrived he said, “Please assign me four Saints.” Four novices — Samkicca, Pandita, Sopaka, and Revata had attained Arahantship at the age of seven were assigned to him. The Brahmin’s wife arranged four luxurious seats, and stood waiting. When she saw the four novices she was furious, and scolded her husband for bringing four boys young enough to be his grandsons. Preparing some low seats, she told them to sit there, then sent her husband back to the monastery to bring some Saints. He found the Elder Sāriputta, and ask him to come to the house. When the Elder Sāriputta arrived, he asked, “Have these Saints been offered food yet?” On being told that they had not, since he knew that food had been prepared for four, he took his almsbowl and departed. When his wife asked, he told her what the Elder Sāriputta had said. Then she told him to go again to the monastery and bring another Saint. He brought the Elder Moggallāna, who said the same, and departed taking his almsbowl.
By this time, the novices were famished, so when the woman sent her husband to find another elderly Brahmin, the throne of Sakka began to manifest signs of heat due to the merit of the novices. Investigating the reason, he took the appearance of an elderly Brahmin, and sat in the finest seat of the Brahmins. Seeing him, the Brahmin was delighted, and invited him to his house. When she saw him, the Brahmin’s wife was delighted, and spread two seats as one for him to sit down. However, Sakka paid homage to the four novices, and sat nearby paying respects to them. The Brahmin’s wife was furious again, and scolded her husband for bringing a senile Brahmin old enough to be his father. She told him to throw the Brahmin out of their house, but try as he might, he was unable to. Both of them tried together, but when they thought they had they got him out, and come back inside, he was still sitting in the same place. They screamed in horror, and when Sakka revealed his identity, the couple offered the food to their five guests. When they had finished their meal, each of them departed in a different direction, breaking through the roof and the floor. Thus that house became known as the house with five openings.
When the novices returned to the monastery the monks asked them, “What was it like?” Saying, “You shouldn’t ask,” the novices related what had happened. When they had finished, the monks asked them if they were angry. When they said that they did not get angry, the monks reported this to the Buddha who confirmed by uttering the verse.
Verase 406. A Saint is Friendly Among the Hostile
Who is friendly among the hostile, who is peaceful among the violent,
Who is unattached among the attached — I call a Saint.
Love Buddha's dhamma,
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