The Perfection of Patience - Analysis of the Elements VII

In the morning before Pukkusati went to stay in the potter’s workshop,

the Buddha investigated the world and saw the son of a prominent family, Pukkusti.

He considered, ‘This son of a prominent family left his kingdom

as soon as he had read the official letter that his friend sent him.

He went forth and dedicated himself specifically to me,

and he travelled all of the hundred and twentyone leagues to the city of Rajagaha.


If I do not go there he will not realize the fruits of a recluse

(he will not realize the four noble Truths);

he will not realize the three fruits of a recluse,

that is, he will not attain the third stage of enlightenment,

the stage of the non-returner (anagamí).

He will die without any refuge after he has dwelt there just for one night.

When I have gone there he will realize the three fruits of a recluse.

Since I have developed all the perfections during four incalculable periods

and a hundred thousand aeons only for the benefit and support of people,

I shall help the son of a prominent family, Pukkusati.’


In the early morning the Buddha saw to his bodily needs and surrounded by

he went on his almsround in the city of Savatthí.

After he had received almsfood he returned from his almsround

and entered his fragrant chamber.

He paused after the exertion of walking just for a moment

and he did not say anything to the elderly monks.

The Venerable Sariputta, the venerable Moggallana and other monks were present.

The Lord took his bowl and robe and went out alone.

While on his way, he did not fly through the air

nor did he make the stretch he walked shorter.

He considered again: ‘That son of a prominent family has shame and awe for me,

he does not even sit in a vehicle, on an elephant, horse, chariot or golden palaquin, etc.

and finally, he does not even use one layer of footwear,

nor does he carry a sunshade.

Therefore, I should walk afoot.’

Thus, the Buddha travelled just by walking.

The Buddha hid the splendour of his Buddhahood:

his eighty minor attributes,

his halo of two yards and the thirtytwo characteristics of a Great Man.

He travelled in the guise of an ordinary bhikkhu,

as the full moon which is hidden by a misty cloud.


In less than one day (after the meal),

he walked fortyfive leagues and reached at sundown the workshop of that potter.


When the Buddha walked in this way he did not intimidate people,

saying, ‘I am the Sammasambuddha.’

Thus, he just went to the potter’s workshop and stood at the gate.

In order to give the son of a prominent family an opportunity,

he said: ‘Bhikkhu, if it is not inconvenient to you,

I would like to lodge in this dwelling for just one night.’


Pukkusati answered: ‘Spacious, friend, is the potter’s dwelling;

stay, friend, according to your pleasure.’


The Lord of the World who was of a most delicate constitution

had left his fragrant Chamber which is like a divine dwelling,

he spread out a covering of grass in the potter’s workshop,

where ashes were scattered all over the place,

which was dirty because of broken ustensils, dry grass and so on

and which was like a heap of garbage.

He spread out his ragrobe and sat down 

as if he had entered his fragrant chamber with a divine odour,

just as if it was a divine dwelling. Thus he sat down.” 


Topic 282