Reply To: Useful Essays from DRARISWORLD and Other Websites

#46589
Gad
Participant

THE BODY: WANTED BY MANY WHEN LIVING; WANTED BY NONE WHEN DEAD

The young monk who was in love with Sirimā and had developed a desire to have her, was unaware that she had died. So when he heard that the Buddha and the other monks were going to see Sirimā, he also joined them and arrived at the cemetery. By now, the Buddha and the accompanying monks were on one side of Sirimā’s dead body while King Bimbisāra with his men and the other lay people were on the other side of the dead body. The Buddha then asked the king to call a drummer and to send him around the city announcing that Sirimā is available for anyone who is willing to pay one thousand pieces of money per night. No one came forward to pay one thousand pieces of money to have Sirimā for one night. Then the price to be paid per night was gradually brought down to almost nothing and because no one was coming forward to have her, finally it was announced that anyone can have her for nothing. Even then no one came forward to have Sirimā’s body and the king informed the Buddha that nobody wants Sirimā’s body even if it is given for nothing.

Then the Buddha said: “Monks, when Sirimā was living, there were many men in this city, who were willing to pay even one thousand pieces of money for the privilege of spending one night with her. But now, there is no one who wants her even if she is given for nothing. Monks, this body is subject to decay and deterioration”.

Then the Buddha recited the following verse which is recorded as the 147th verse of the Dhammapada.

Passa cittakataṁ bimbaṁ,
  arukāyaṁ samussitaṁ,
  āturaṁ bahusankappaṁ,
  yassa natthi dhuvaṁ thiti.”

“Look at this decked body,
a mass of sores, a heaped up entity,
diseased, imagined in many ways,
 which has nothing stable or firm.”

It is said that at the end of the Buddha’s discourse, the young monk who was in love with Sirimā and desired to have her, attained the first supra mundane stage of Stream Enterer (Sotāpanna).

My thought: I think that the general idea taught that one must meditate “on the repugnance of the body” comes from this story. However, I think that this monk’s attainment of the sotāpanna stage was through realizing the fruitless nature of the body.