Book V. The Simpleton, Bāla Vagga

V. 6. From Vice to Virtue This story is derived from the Vinaya, Mahā Vagga, i. 14: i. 23-24. See also Story i. 8 e: i. 100. Text: N ii. 32-33.01

65. If an intelligent man, but for a moment...

This religious instruction was given by the Teacher while he was in residence at Jetavana with reference to the thirty Pāṭheyyaka monks. {2.32}

For the Exalted One first preached the Law to these men in Kappāsika Grove, where they were seeking a woman. At that time all of them obeyed the command, “Come, monks!” and received bowls and robes created by supernatural power. Taking upon themselves the Thirteen Pure Practices, they returned after a long time to the Teacher, hearkened to his discourse on the Beginningless, Saṁyutta, xv: ii. 178-193. For a translation of the greater part of this remarkable Saṁyutta, see Introduction, § 2 a.02 and before leaving their seats, attained Arahatship.

The monks began a discussion in the Hall of Truth: “In how short a time did these monks perceive the Law!” The Teacher, hearing this, said to them, “Monks, this is not the first time these thirty companions committed sin. They did the same thing in a previous state of existence also. But hearing the religious instruction of Mahā Tuṇḍila in the Tuṇḍila Jātaka, Jātaka 388: iii. 286-293.03 {2.33} they perceived the Law very quickly and took upon themselves the Five Precepts. It was solely through the merit acquired by this act that they attained Arahatship just now, even as they sat in their seats.” So saying, he pronounced the following Stanza,

65. If an intelligent man, but for a moment, be associated with a wise man,
He quickly perceives the Law, just as the tongue perceives the taste of broth.