Ja 190 Sīlānisaṁsajātaka
The Story about the Advantages of Virtue (2s)
In the present one layman, wrapped up in contemplation of the Buddha, walks across the waves of a river. The Buddha tells a story in which two people were stranded on an island, but because of the virtue of one of them he was rescued by a Devatā. He only agreed to be saved if he could share merit with his companion, and he too could come.
The Bodhisatta = the Sea Devatā (Samuddadevatā),
Sāriputta = the king of the Nāgas (Nāgarājā),
Keywords: Meditation, Sharing, Devas.
“Behold the fruit of sacrifice.”
In the past, in the days when Kassapa was Supreme Buddha, a disciple, who had entered on the Paths, took passage on board ship in company with a barber of some considerable property. The barber’s wife had given him in charge of our friend, to look after him for better and for worse.
A week later, the ship was wrecked in mid-ocean. These two persons
The sea-spirit stood on board, crying, “Any passengers for Jambudīpa?” The lay brother said: “Yes, that’s where we are bound for.” “In with you then – on board with you!” He went aboard, and wanted to call his friend the barber. “You may come,” says the helmsman, “but not he.” “Why not?” “He is not a man of holy life, that’s why,” said the other, “I brought this ship for you, not for him.” “Very well: the gifts I have given, the virtues I have practised, the powers I have developed – I give him the fruit of all of them!” “I thank you, master!” said the barber. “Now,” said the sea-spirit, “I can take you aboard.” So he conveyed them both overseas, and sailed upstream to Benares. There, by his power, he created a store of wealth for both of them, and spoke to them thus:
“Keep company with the wise and good. If this barber had not been in company with this pious layman, he would have perished in the midst of the deep.” Then he uttered these verses in praise of good company:
1. “Behold the fruit of sacrifice, virtue, and piety:
A serpent in ship-shape conveys the good man o’er the sea.
2. Make friendship only with the good, and keep good company;
Friends with the good, this barber could his home in safety see.”
Thus did the spirit of the sea hold forth, poised in mid-air. Finally he went to his own abode, taking the Nāga king along with him.
The Teacher, after finishing this discourse, declared the Truths and identified the Jātaka, at the conclusion of the Truths the pious layman entered on the Fruit of the Second Path, “On that occasion the converted lay brother attained Nibbāna; Sāriputta was the Nāga king, and the sea-spirit was I myself.”
last updated: November 2021