Ja 121 The Story about the Grass Devatā
In the present Anāthapiṇḍika has a friend with an unfortunate name, whom he is loyal to anyway, as a true friend should be. The Buddha tells how in the past a lowly grass Devatā helped preserve the home of a Tree Devatā through his wisdom (full story).
1. Kare sarikkho, atha vā pi seṭṭho,
Nihīnako vā pi, kareyya mitto,
Kareyyum-ete byasane uttamatthaṁ,
Yathā ahaṁ Kusanāḷī rucāyan-ti.
The one the same, and then the one greater, and the one lower, let him make a friend, they should give utmost help to unfortunates, like I, Kusanāḷi, did to this tree.
In this connection, the one the same ... let him make means let him make friends with the one the same in birth and so on.
And then the one greater means let him make friends with the one greater in birth and so on.
And the one lower, let him make a friend means let him make friendship with the one lower in birth and so on. Therefore he should make friends with all of these, this is the explanation.
What is the reason? They should give utmost help to unfortunates means all of these to a companion in whom misfortune has arisen should give the utmost help in carrying their own burden, they should free his companion from suffering in body and mind, this is the meaning. Since he should do this to the low friend, how much more to the others?
In this connection, this is the simile: like I, Kusanāḷi, did to this tree, just as I, the Devatā Kusanāḷi, did to the Devatā residing in this tree, we made friends even with the powerless, therefore I am the same with the powerful, and his own suffering arose because of being foolish, because of lacking skill in means, I was not able to bear it, so being the same with the powerless, relying on the wise Devatā, I freed him from suffering.
last updated: July 2022