Saṁyutta Nikāya — The Connected Discourses

SN21: Connected Discourses with Bhikkhus

SN21:6 Lakuṇṭaka Bhaddiya

1At Sāvatthī. Then the Venerable Lakuṇṭaka Bhaddiya approached the Blessed One.[n.390] His name means "Bhaddiya the Dwarf." The prose portion is at Ud 76; see too Ud 74,20–75,6. Spk notes that it was the monks of the "gang of six" (chabbhagiyā bhikkhū, the mischief-makers of the Saṅgha often mentioned in the Vinaya Piṭaka) who had been ridiculing him. Bhaddiya's ugliness, according to Spk, was the kammic result of his behaviour in a previous life when he was a king who mocked and harassed old people. Though ugly in appearance, he had a lovely voice, which resulted from another past life when he was a cuckoo who offered a sweet mango to the Buddha Vipassi. The Buddha declared him the foremost of bhikkhus having a sweet voice (mañjussara; AN I 23,24). His verses at Th 466–72 do not include the verses here. The Blessed One saw him coming in the distance and addressed the bhikkhus thus: "Bhikkhus, do you see that bhikkhu coming, ugly, unsightly, deformed, despised among the bhikkhus?"

"Yes, venerable sir."

"That bhikkhu is of great spiritual power and might. It is not easy to find an attainment which that bhikkhu has not already attained. And he is one who, by realizing it for himself with direct knowledge, in this very life enters and dwells in that unsurpassed goal of the holy life for the sake of which clansmen rightly go forth from the household life into homelessness."

This is what the Blessed One said … who further said this:

2"Geese, herons, and peacocks,
Elephants, and spotted deer,
All are frightened of the lion
Regardless of their bodies’ size.

3"In the same way among human beings
The small one endowed with wisdom—
He is the one that is truly great,
Not the fool with a well-built body." sn.ii.280

1Sāvatthiyaṁ vihārati. Atha kho āyasmā lakuṇḍakabhaddiyo yena bhagavā tenupasaṅkami. Addasā kho bhagavā āyasmantaṁ lakuṇḍakabhaddiyaṁ dūratova āgacchantaṁ. Disvāna bhikkhū āmantesi: "passatha no tumhe, bhikkhave, etaṁ bhikkhuṁ āgacchantaṁ dubbaṇṇaṁ duddasikaṁ okoṭimakaṁ bhikkhūnaṁ paribhūtarūpan"ti?

"Evaṁ, bhante".

"Eso kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu mahiddhiko mahānubhāvo, na ca sā samāpatti sulabharūpā yā tena bhikkhunā asamāpannapubbā. Yassa catthāya kulaputtā sammadeva agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajanti, tadanuttaraṁ brahmacariyapariyosānaṁ diṭṭheva dhamme sayaṁ abhiññā sacchikatvā upasampajja vihāratī"ti.

Idamavoca bhagavā … pe … satthā: 

2"Haṁsā koñcā mayūrā ca,
hatthayo pasadā migā;
Sabbe sīhassa bhāyanti,
natthi kāyasmiṁ tulyatā.

3Evameva manussesu,
daharo cepi paññavā;
So hi tattha mahā hoti,
neva bālo sarīravā"ti.