Ja 2 The Story about a Sandy Place

In the present a monk gives up easily on his quest for insight. He is brought to the Buddha who points out that in an earlier life he had saved a caravan by his perseverance, and he then told the story of a caravan that became lost during the night, and was saved when a young boy followed his master’s orders and struck water (full story).

1. Akilāsuno, vaṇṇupathe khaṇantā,
Udaṅgaṇe tattha papaṁ avinduṁ,
Evaṁ munī viriyabalūpapanno,
Akilāsu vinde hadayassa santin-ti.

Untiring, digging in a sandy place, in the open, they found drinking water, so the sage, endowed with strength of effort, untiring, finds peace right here in his heart.

In this connection, untiring means not being lazy, having made an effort.

The sandy place is said to be sandy, having sand; on a sandy path is the meaning.

Digging means digging the ground.

In the open … in a place where people wander about, on an open piece of land, this is the meaning.

There means there on a sandy road.

They found water means they obtained water. Because water is in a drinkable state drinking water is said. Or, a lot of water is drinking water, a great deal of water is the meaning. This sounds odd, but it probably means that when there is a lot of water, as in a large river or lake, it will be relatively clean, and therefore drinkable. Whereas a small puddle of water may be muddy and undrinkable.

So is used to indicate the simile.

The sage, sageness is said to be knowledge, or a certain sagacity of body and so on, The three sagacities are sagacity of body, speech and mind. the person who is endowed with that is said to be a sage.

These: a sage with a home, a sage without a home, a sage in training, a sage beyond training, a sage who is an Independent Buddha, a Sage of Sages, these are the various kinds.

In this connection, a sage with a home means a householder who has attained fruition, one who knows the dispensation.

A sage without a home means such a one who has gone forth.

A sage in training means in one of the seven trainings. I.e. one who has attained Path or Fruit as a Stream-Enterer, a Once-Returner, a Non-Returner, as one who has the Path to Worthiness (Arahatta).

A sage beyond training is one who has destroyed the pollutants. i.e. one who has Fruit of Worthiness (Arahatta).

A sage who is an Independent Buddha means an Independent Sambuddha.

A Sage of Sages means a Perfect Sambuddha.

But in this meaning, because of being a benefactor of all he is reckoned a sage, when endowed with wisdom he is a sage, so it should be seen.

Endowed with strength of effort means endowed with effort and strength of body and the strength of knowledge.

Untiring means not being lazy, thinking:

Willingly, let only skin, tendons and bones remain, let the flesh and blood in the body dry up completely. This is a versification of a phrase said many times in the discourses, where it appears in this prose phrase: kāmaṁ taco ca nhāru ca aṭṭhi ca avasissatu, sarīre upassussatu maṁsalohitaṁ. See MN 70 Kīṭāgirisutta, passim.

so one who is said to be endowed with the four factors, Presumably referring to the four factors of being tapassī, lūkha, jegucchī and pavivitta (ascetic, coarse, scrupulous and secluded), see Mahāsīhanādasutta (MN 12), and passim. who is endowed with effort, is not lazy.

Finds peace right here in his heart means by causing a coolness of mind, of the heart-material, peace comes to be reckoned, what is reckoned as the absorptions, insight, super knowledges, the Path to knowledge of Arahatta, the noble Dhamma is found, is received, this is the meaning.

Therefore the Fortunate One said:

The lazy one suffers, monastics, SN 2.22 Dutiyadasabalasutta. being full of unskilful wrong thoughts, bringing to ruin his greatest good. One with effort aroused lives happily, monastics, secluded from unskilful wrong thoughts, fulfilling his greatest good. The highest good, monastics, is not attained by the weak.

Thus in many discourses it is explained in detail that the lazy one has a life of suffering, and that the one with effort aroused has a life of happiness is explained.

But here the one with effort aroused, free from clinging, having insight, whose happy life would be attained by strength of effort, is being shown:

“So the sage, endowed with strength of effort, untiring, finds peace right here) in his heart,” is said.

This is what is said: Just as tradesmen who are untiring, digging in a sandy place, obtain water, so in this dispensation, being untiring, the wise monastic who exerts himself obtains peace in his heart, which consists of the absorptions and so on.

“You, monk, previously, just for the purpose of gaining water, made an effort, but now in such a dispensation that leads out through giving path and fruit, why would you give up effort?”