Dhamma Is For Everyone
… “Not by birth is one an outcast;
not by birth is one a Brahmin.
By deed one becomes an outcast,
by deed one becomes an Brahmin.”
The Buddha Dharma is open to all regardless of race, casts and status. The Buddha is the first teacher in his time to reach out to all castes and profess that his Dharma is for all who wish to be free from suffering. All are welcomed to enter his order of monks (Sangha). Kings and nobles venerate the Buddha and his retinue of monks so what if one of them is from the lowly outcast? Imagine it is even considered back luck coming across an outcast. Will it not cause controversy? One such monk was Sunita who was from the lowly outcast who became an Arahant.
Sunita was born in an outcast family avoided and looked down by people. His job was to collect all the wilted followers from temples.
One morning after collecting two basketful of flowers he walked down the village street on his way back, just then there was a commotion and many people were out on the street.
He too was curious, so standing by the side of the road a little further away from people less they chase him away he stood on his toe and strained his neck to see what was all the commotion about.
Then he saw a majestic figure walking with a lion gait and leading a retinue of monks slowly approaching. The people were murmuring Buddha! Buddha! They were venerating the majestic figure who was slowly approaching in his direction. At first Sunita stood astounded by the majestic person and wished he could be a monk but in a short while the Buddha was in front of him. Sunita panicked for how can he, a lowly cast, be in the presence of the majestic Buddha. Sunita tried to move away but slipped and fell spilling his the content of his two baskets. He tried to get up but again slipping on the spilled contents. He bowed venerating the Buddha. Where are you going Sunita? It is for you that I came. Hearing these words he ask the going forth from the Buddha.
The Buddha just replied, “Come monk.” And so Sunita became a member of the Sangha.
“Alone, I stayed in the wilds, untiring,
I followed the Teacher’s words,
just as he, the Conqueror, had taught me.
In the first watch of the night,
I recollected previous lives;
in the middle watch,
purified the divine eye;
in the last,
burst the mass of darkness.”
And so Venerable Sunita attain to Arahatship. Now the King got to know that the Buddha had accepted an outcaste as his disciple and he intend to complain about it to Buddha. How can a King bow in veneration to an outcast?
As he was approaching the Buddha he saw a monk sitting on a rock. Venerating the monk were bright and lustre Devas it was a sight to behold. The King and his retinue too venerated the monk.
When the King reached the Buddha he mentioned the wonderful sight to him and also spoke of his concern that the Buddha had accepted an outcast as a disciple. Then the Buddha explained explain that the monk he saw is a Noble One who had attained the state of an Arahant and those Devas the King saw venerating him were Brahma and Indra.. Then the Buddha said that the monk is Sunita who is the very person the King had come to complain about.