The Perfection of Morality - The danger in association with fools

It is most important with whom we associate. The ascetic Akitti said with regard

to himself that he did not wish to see, to hear or to be close to fools. The

Commentary to the “Basket of Conduct” compares association with fools to the

tasting of water that has a bitter, unpleasant flavour, and association with wise

persons to the tasting of sweet water.


Also the Bodhisatta had at times to associate with fools. For example, during

one of his lives the Bodhisatta belonged to a clan of people with wrong view.

In his life as the brahmin youth Jotipala he was born into a family of people who

had wrong view and no confidence in the Buddha. Jotipala followed his parents

in their disdain of the Buddha. The brahmins who had wrong view had no

confidence in the Buddha Kassapa, who was the last Buddha before the Buddha



The Commentary to the “Discourse on Ghatikara”, Middle Length Sayings,

the “Papaacasudani”, states that Bodhisatta had accumulated the perfections

until his life as Jotipala, when he came into contact with people of wrong view.

The Commentary compares the accumulated perfections to a brightly shining

fire which during that life came into contact with water and was therefore

extinguished by it so that the rays of light disappeared and only black charcoal

was left.


We do not know our past lives but we can learn from the story of the Bodhisatta

as Jotipala: although he had accumulated the perfections to a high degree, he

still associated with fools. We can learn that we should not be heedless and see

the danger in association with fools.


Topic 278