Incidents From The Life Of The Buddha: The Taste Of Dhamma

The Taste of Dhamma

During Lord Buddha’s time, there was a rich nobleman by the name of Jawtika. He lived in a magnificent house with his wife Atupakari who was exceptionally beautiful. The walls of the house were so studded with gems and precious stones that no lamp was necessary to light its interiors. Yet with all his wealth and other attractions, one day while visiting a monastery and paying respects to the Buddha, he forsook the life of a layman and became a monk. With only the robes he was wearing and his bowl to collect food he lived the life of a monk just like the monks today. One day, with the other monks, while following the Buddha on their daily alms round, they happened to pass his former home.

On seeing Jawtika’s house the young monks thought that he would be yearning for his old lifestyle and talked quietly among themselves. The Buddha heard them and upon reaching the monastery asked them what they were talking about. The young monks replied that they were talking about Jawtika and the Buddha told them that Jawtika was an arahat and that as such had no attachment whatsoever for his old lifestyle or its attractions. He had only the taste of Dhamma. “Sabbe rasam Dhamma rasam jinati.”

Among all the tastes and happinesses, the taste and happiness of Dhamma is the noblest, the highest, and the best. It is thousands of times better than that of kings, including the kings of the devas and bramhas. It is the taste of phala sampatti. If this taste had not been far higher than the enjoyment of his previous possessions, you can rest assured that Jawtika would not have given them up. What is more, it is possible to enjoy phala sampatti even during this very life.

-from a discourse given by Sayagi U Ba Khin

(Courtesy: International Vipassana Newsletter, Summer, 1980)



Dhamma Nanda

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