Dhammapada (Illustrated)

by Ven. Weagoda Sarada Maha Thero | 1993 | 341,201 words | ISBN-10: 9810049382 | ISBN-13: 9789810049386

This page describes The Story of Cundasukarika which is verse 15 of the English translation of the Dhammapada which forms a part of the Sutta Pitaka of the Buddhist canon of literature. Presenting the fundamental basics of the Buddhist way of life, the Dhammapada is a collection of 423 stanzas. This verse 15 is part of the Yamaka Vagga (Twin Verses) and the moral of the story is “Seeing one’s own impure action the evil doer grieves and is vexed here and hereafter.”.

Verse 15 - The Story of Cundasūkarika

Pali text, illustration and English translation of Dhammapada verse 15:

idha socati pecca socati pāpakārī ubhayattha socati |
so socati so vihaññati disvā kamma kiliṭṭhamattano || 15 ||

15. Here one grieves, one grieves hereafter, in both wise does the evil-doer grieve; one grieves and is afflicted, one’s own base kammas seeing.

Sorrow Springs From Evil Deeds‌‌
Seeing one’s own impure action the evil doer grieves and is vexed here and hereafter.

The Story of Cundasūkarika

While residing at the Veluvana Monastery in Rājagaha the Buddha spoke this verse, with reference to Cunda the pork-butcher.

Although the Buddha was in residence at a neighbouring monastery, on not a single day did Cunda do him honour by offering him so much as a handful of flowers or a spoonful of rice, nor did he do a single work of merit besides.

One day he was attacked by madness, and while he yet remained alive, the fire of the realm of suffering rose up before him.

When the torment of the realm of suffering rose up before the pork-butcher Cunda, his mode of behavior was altered in correspondence with his past deeds. Even as he remained within his house, he began to grunt like a pig and to crawl on his hands and knees, first to the front of the house and then to the rear. The men of his household overpowered him and gagged him. But in spite of all they did (since it is impossible for anyone to prevent a man’s past deeds from bearing fruit), he kept crawling back and forth, grunting like a pig continually.

Not a person was able to sleep in the seven houses nearby. The members of his own household, terrified by the fear of death, unable otherwise to prevent him from going out, barricaded the doors of the house that he might not be able to go out. Having thus suffered for a period of seven days, he died and was reborn in the realm of suffering.

Some monks said to the Buddha “Venerable, for seven days the door of Cunda the pork-butcher’s house has been closed, and for seven days the killing of pigs has gone on; doubtless he intends to entertain some guests. So cruel and savage a being has never been seen before.”

Said the Buddha, “Monks, he has not been killing pigs these seven days. Retribution in keeping with his past deeds has overtaken him. Even while he yet remained alive, the torment of the realm of suffering rose up before him. By reason of this torment he crawled hither and thither in his house for seven days, grunting and squealing like a pig. Today he died, and was reborn in hell.” When the Buddha had thus spoken, the monks said, “Reverend Sir, having suffered thus here in this world, he went again to a place of suffering and was there reborn.”

Explanatory Translation (Verse 15)

pāpakārī idha socati pecca socati ubhayattha socati
so attano kiliṭṭhaṃ kammaṃ disvā socati so vihaññati

pāpakārī: the evil doer; idha: in this world; socati: grieves; pecca: in the next world; socati: grieves; ubhayattha: in both worlds; socati: grieves; so: he; attano [attana]: his own; kiliṭṭhaṃ kammaṃ [kamma]: blemished action; disvā: having seen; socati: grieves; so: he; vihaññati: is vexed.

The story of Cunda confirms the utterance of the first verse of the Dhammapada (1:1), that evil begets nothing but evil, by way of consequence. Also that some of the effects of evil deeds are suffered in this very life.

Commentary and exegetical material (Verse 15)

People who commit evil actions are unaware of their consequences at the moment of performance. Therefore, they tend to repent on seeing the consequences of what they did. This creates grief. This does not mean that a man must always suffer the consequences of his deeds, without any hope. If that is the case, there is no benefit in leading a religious life, nor is there any opportunity to work for one’s emancipation.

In this pair of verses, suffering and happiness in the next world are also indicated. Buddhists do not believe that this life on earth is the only life and that human beings are the only kind of being. Planes of existence are numerous and beings are innumerable. After death one may be born as a human being, in a subhuman state or in a celestial plane according to one’s actions. The so-called being in the subsequent life is neither the same as its predecessor (as it has changed) nor absolutely different (as it is the identical stream of life). Buddhism denies the identity of a being but affirms an identity of process.

Let's grow together!

I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased sources, definitions and images. Your donation direclty influences the quality and quantity of knowledge, wisdom and spiritual insight the world is exposed to.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: