Samyukta Āgama (2) 9

Bhikkhu Saṃyutta

A young monk does his work

Thus have I heard, once, the Buddha was staying at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove, the Anāthapiṇḍika Park.

It happened that at that time a great number of monks had gathered in the Dhamma hall, and all were making robes. At that time there was one young monk, who had only recently gone forth and had just received the precepts. He sat among the monks, but was not making robes. The monks, once finished with the robes, went to the Buddha, paid homage at his feet and sat to one side. They told the Buddha: “World-honored One! We monks were sitting in the Dhamma hall, stitching our robes and this young monk sat between us, not doing anything to make robes for the community.” The Buddha said to the young monk: “Is it true that you did not help with the robes?” The monk answered the Buddha: “World-honored One! I too was striving to do my part of the monk’s work.” The World-honored One knew what the monk was thinking and told the other monks: “You should not reprimand this young monk for not working. This monk has done what is to be done, attained Arahatship, ended all defilements, cast off the heavy burden, and found right knowledge. His mind is liberated.”

At that time the Buddha spoke a verse:

“This nirvāṇic truth of mine /
is not something those
lazy and without knowledge /
can attain.

Like a good horse /
the best practitioner
breaks the fetter of attachment /
ends all defilements,
gives up the fourfold clinging /
attains Nirvāṇa,
can defeat Māra’s armies /
wears the final body.”

When the Buddha had finished speaking, the monks, having listened to what he had said, were happy and remembered it well.