SORROW SPRINGS FROM EVIL DEEDS
Idha socati pecca socati
Papakari ubhayattha socati
So socati so vihannati
Disva kammakilittham attano
Here one grieves One grieves hereafter,
In both wise does the evil – doer grieve;
One grieves and is afflicted,
One’s own base kammas seeing
While residing at the Veluvana Monastery in Rajagaha the Buddha spoke this
verse, with reference to Cunda the pork – butcher.
Although the Buddha was in residence at a neighbouring monastery, not on a
single day did Cunda do him honour by offering him so much as a handful of
flowers or a spoonful of rice, nor did he do a single work of merit besides.
One day he was attacked by madness, and while he yet remained alive, the fire of
the realm of suffering uprose before him.
When the torment of the realm of suffering uprose before the pork-butcher Cunda,
his mode of behavior was altered in correspondence with his past deeds. Even as
he remained within his house, he began to grunt like a pig and to crawl on his
hands and knees, first to the front of the house and then to the rear. The men
of his household overpowered him and gagged him. But in spite of all they did
(since it is impossible for anyone to prevent a man’s past deeds from bearing
fruit), he kept crawling back and forth, grunting like a pig continually.
Not a person was able to sleep in the seven houses nearby. The members of his
own household, terrified by the fear of death, unable otherwise to prevent him
from going out, barricaded the doors of the house that he might not be able to
go out’ Having thus suffered for a period of seven days, he died and was reborn
in the realm of suffering.
Some monks said to the Buddha “Venerable, for seven days the door of Cunda the
pork – butcher’s house has been closed, and for seven days the killing of pigs
has gone on; doubtless he intends to entertain some guests. So cruel and savage
a being has never been seen before,”
Said the Buddha, “Monks, he has not been killing pigs these seven days.
Retribution in keeping with his past deeds has overtaken him. Even while he yet
remained alive, the torment of the realm of suffering uprose before him; By
reason of this torment he crawled hither and thither in his house for seven
days, grunting and squealing like a pig. Today he died, and was reborn in hell.”
When the Buddha had thus spoken, the monks said, “Reverend Sir, having suffered
thus here in this world, he went again to a place of suffering and was there
People who commit evil actions are unaware of their consequences at the moment
of performance. Therefore, they tend to repent on seeing the consequences of
what they did. This creates grief. This does not mean that a man must always
suffer the consequences of his deeds. Without any hope. If that is the case,
there is no benefit in leading a religious life, nor is there any opportunity to
work for one’s emancipation.
In this pair of verses. Suffering and happiness in the next world are also
indicated. Buddhists do not believe that this life on earth is the only life and
that human beings are the only kind of being, Planes of existence are numerous
and beings are innumerable. After death one may be born as a human being, in a
subhuman state or in a celestial plane according to one’s action’ The so –
called being in the subsequent life is neither the same as its predecessor (as
it has changed) nor absolutely different (as it is the identical stream of
life). Buddhism denies the identity of a being but affirms an identity of