Be quick to do good deeds. Restrain the mind from evil. He who is sluggish in doing good, his mind delights in evil.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 116: Culekasataka While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 116 with reference to a brahmin couple by the name of Culekasataka.
There was once a brahmin couple in Savatthi, who had only one outer garment between the two of them. Because of this they were also known as Ekasataka. As they had only one outer garment, both of them could not go out at the same time. So, the wife would go to listen to the discourse given by the Buddha during the day and the husband would go at night. One night, as the brahmin listened to the Buddha, his whole body came to be suffused with delightful satisfaction and he felt a strong desire to offer the outer garment he was wearing to the Buddha.
But he realized that if he were to give away the only outer garment he had, there would be none left for him and his wife. So he wavered and hesitated. Thus, the first and the second watches of the night passed. Came the third watch and he said to himself, "If I am so miserly and hesitant, I will not be able to avoid falling to the four Lower Worlds (apayas); I shall now offer my outer garment to the Buddha." So saying, he placed the piece of cloth at the feet of the Buddha and cried out "I have won" three times.
King Pasenadi of Kosala, who was among the audience, heard those words and ordered a courtier to investigate. Learning about the brahmin's offering to the Buddha, the king commented that the brahmin had done something which was not easy to do and so should be rewarded. The king ordered his men to give the brahmin a piece of cloth as a reward for his faith and generosity. The brahmin offered that piece of cloth also to the Buddha and he was rewarded by the king with two pieces of cloth.
Again, the brahmin offered the two pieces of cloth to the Buddha and he was rewarded with four. Thus, he offered to the Buddha whatever was given him by the king, and each time the king doubled his reward. When finally, the reward came up to thirty-two pieces of cloth, the brahmin kept one piece for himself and another for his wife, and offered the remaining thirty pieces to the Buddha.
Then, thinking again commented that the brahmin had truly performed a very difficult task and so must be rewarded fittingly. The king sent a messenger to the palace to bring two pieces of velvet cloth, each of which was worth one hundred thousand, and gave them to the brahmin. The brahmin made those two pieces of valuable cloth into two canopies and kept one in the Perfumed Chamber where the Buddha slept and the other in his own house above the place where a bhikkhu was regularly offered alms-food. When the king next went to Jatavana monastery to pay homage to the Buddha, he saw the velvet canopy and recognized it as the offering made by the brahmin and he was very pleased. This time he made a reward of seven kinds in fours (sabbacatukka), viz., four elephants, four horses, four female slaves, four male slaves, four errand boys, four villages and four thousands in cash.
When the bhikkhus heard about this, they asked the Buddha, "How is it that, in the case of this brahmin, a good deed done at present bears fruit immediately?" To them the Buddha replied "If the brahmin had offered his outer garment in the first watch of the night, he would have been rewarded with sixteen of each kind; if he had made his offering during the middle watch, he would have been rewarded with eight of each kind; since he had made his offering only during the last watch of the night, he was rewarded with only four of each kind." So, when one wants to give in charity, one should do so quickly; if one procrastinates, the reward comes slowly and only sparingly. Also, if one is too slow in doing good deeds, one may not be able to do it at all, for the mind tends to take delight in doing evil. In other words, if possible when doing a good deed one should not hesitate and should do immediately.
Verse 117 (Do not do evil repeatedly)
Pāpañce puriso kayirā, na naṃ kayirā punappunaṃ Na tamhi chandaṃ kayirātha, dukkho pāpassa uccayo
If a man does evil, he should not do it again and again; he should not take delight in it; the accumulation of evil leads to suffering
Story related to Dhammapada117: Thera Seyyasaka While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 117 with reference to Thera Seyyasaka.
Once there was a monk by the name of Seyyasaka, who was in the habit of self sexual indulgence. When the Buddha heard about this, he rebuked the thera for doing something that would lead one farther away from the attainment of liberation. At the same time, the Buddha laid down the discipline prohibiting such indulgence in sexual pleasures, i.e.Samghadisesa Apatti, offences which require penance and suspension from the Order.
Then, the Buddha added, "This kind of offence can only lead to evil results in this world as well as in the next."
In other words, one should avoid doing evil actions again and again as it will cause more harm and suffering.
If a man does what is good, he should do it repeatedly; he should take delight in it as the accumulation of merit leads to happiness.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 118: Lajadevadhita While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 118 with reference to Laja, a female deva.
At one time Thera Mahakassapa stayed in the Pippali cave and remained in deep concentrated meditation (samapatti) for seven days. Soon after he had arisen from meditation, wishing to give someone a chance of offering something to a thera, he looked out and found a young maid frying corn in a field-hut. So he stood at her door for alms-food and she put all the pop corn into the bowl of the thera.
As she turned back after offering pop corn to the thera, she was bitten by a poisonous snake and died. She was reborn in Tavatimsa deva world and was known as Laja (pop corn) devadhita.Laja realized that she was reborn in Tavatimsa because she had offered pop corn to Thera Mahakassapa and felt very grateful to him.
So she concluded that she should keep on doing some services to the thera in order to make her good fortune more enduring. So every morning she went to the monastery of the thera, swept the premises, filled up water pots, and did other services. At first, the thera thought that young young novice monks had done those services; but one day, he found out that a female deva had been performing those services.
Then he told her not to come to the monastery any more, as people might start talking if she kept on coming to the monastery. Lajadevadhita was very upset; she pleaded with the thera and cried, "Please do not destroy my riches, my wealth." The Buddha heard her cries and sent forth the radiance from his chamber and said to the female deva, "Devadhita, it is the duty of my son Kassapa to stop your coming to the monastery; to do good deeds is the duty of one who is anxious to gain merit."
In other words, by doing good one creates good merits and thus should continue to do so.
Verse 119-120 (Evil Seems Sweet Until It's effects Ripens)
119 Pāpo pi passati bhadraṃ, yāva pāpaṃ na paccati Yadā ca paccati pāpaṃ, atha pāpo pāpāni passati. 120 Bhadro’pi passati pāpaṃ, yāva bhadraṃ na paccati Yadā ca paccati bhadraṃ, atha bhadro bhadrāni passati
Even an evil person may still find happiness so long as his evil deed does not bear fruit; but when his evil deed does bear fruit he will meet with evil consequences. Even a good person may still meet with suffering so long as his good deed does not bear fruit: but when it does bear fruit he will enjoy the benefits of his good deed.
Story related to dhammapada verse 119-120: Anathapindika While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses 119 and 120 with reference to Anathapindika, the famous rich man of Savatthi. Anathapindika was the donor of the Jetavana monastery, which was built at a cost of fifty-four crores. He was not only generous but also truly devoted to the Buddha. He would go to the Jetavana monastery and pay homage to the Buddha thrice daily. In the mornings he would bring along rice gruel, in the day-time some suitable rich food or medicine and in the evenings some flowers and incense.
After some time Anathapindika became poor, but being a sotapanna (stream winner) he was not shaken by misfortune and he continued to do his daily acts of charity. One night, the spirit guarding the gate to the house of Anathapindika appeared to him in person, and said, "I am the guardian of your gate. You have been offering your property to Buddha with no thoughts of your own future. That is why you are now a poor man. Therefore, you should make no more offerings to Buddha and instead look after your own business affairs and get rich again" Anathapindika drove the guardian spirit out of his house for saying such things, and as Anathapindika was a sotapanna the guardian spirit could not disobey him and so had to leave the premises. He had nowhere to go and wanted to return but was afraid of Anathapindika. So, he approached Sakka, king of the devas. Sakka advised him first to do a good turn to Anathapindika, and after that, to ask his pardon.
Then Sakka continued, "There are about eighteen crores taken as loans by some traders which are not yet repaid to Anathapindika; another eighteen crores buried by the ancestors of Anathapindika, which have been washed away into the ocean, and another eighteen crores, which belong to no one, buried in a certain place. Go and recover all these wealth by your supernatural power and fill up the rooms of Anathapindika. Having done so, you may ask his pardon". The guardian spirit did as instructed by Sakka, and Anathapindika again became rich.
When the guardian spirit told Anathapindika about the information and instructions given by Sakka, about the recovery of his riches from underneath the earth, from within the ocean and from the debtors, he was struck with awe. Then Anathapindika took the guardian spirit to the Buddha.
To both of them the Buddha said, "One may not enjoy the benefits of a good deed, or suffer the consequences of a bad deed for a long time; but time will surely come when his good or bad deed will bear fruit and ripen". In other words, an evil one will not think that doing bad deeds is bad until his kamma ripens and he suffers from the effects. A good person will not have enjoyed the benefits of his good deeds until the good kamma ripens. Kamma will ripens be it good or bad with time.
Verse 121 (Do not disregard evil)
Māvamaññetha pāpassa, na maṃ taṃ āgamissati Udabindunipātena, udakumbho’pi pūrati Bālo pūrati pāpassa thokathokam pi ācinaṃ
One should not think lightly of doing evil saying "It will not affect me"; just as a water-jar could be filled up by falling drops of rain, so too the fool is filled up with evil, by gathering it little by little.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 121 : Careless Bhikkhu While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 121 with reference to a bhikkhu who was careless in the use of furniture belonging to the monastery.
There was a monk who after using any piece of furniture belonging to the monastery, would leave it outside in the compound, thus exposing it to rain and sun and also to white ants. When other monks chided him for his irresponsible behaviour, he would retorted, "I do not have the intention to destroy those things; after all, very little damage has been done," and so on and so forth and he continued to behave in the same way.
When the Buddha came to know about this, he sent for the careless and said to him, "Bhikkhu, you should not behave in this way: you should not think lightly of an evil, however small it may be, because it will become big if you do it habitually." In other words, one should not think lightly of evil as cumulatively habitually it will result in a lot of bad kamma.
Verse 122 (Do not disregard merit) Māvamaññetha puññassa, na maṃ taṃ āgamissati Udabindunipātena, udakumbho’pi pūrati Dhīro pūrati puññassa, thokathokam pi ācinaṃ
One should not think lightly of doing good, saying 'A little will not affect me'; just like a water-jar is filled up by falling drops of rain, so too the wise one is filled up with merit, by gathering it little by little.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 122: Bilalapadaka While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 122 with reference to Bilalapadaka, a rich man.
Once, a man from Savatthi, having heard a discourse given by the Buddha, was very impressed and decided to practice what was taught by the Buddha. The exhortation was to give in charity not only by oneself but also to get others to do so and that by so doing one would gain much merit and have a large number of followers in the next existence.
So, that man invited the Buddha and all the resident bhikkhus in the Jetavana monastery for alms-food the next day. Then he went round to each one of the houses and informed the residents that alms-food would he offered the next day to the Buddha and other bhikkhus and so to contribute according to their wishes. The rich man Bilalapadaka seeing the man going round from house to house disapproved of his behaviour and murmured to himself, "O this wretched man! Why did he not invite as many bhikkhus as he could himself offer alms, instead of going round coaxing people?"
So when asked by the man to contribute for the alms, he put only a little rice, only a little butter, only a little molass. These were taken away separately and not mixed with what others had given. The rich man could not understand why his things were kept separately, and he thought perhaps that man wanted others to know that a rich man like him had contributed very little and so put him to shame. Therefore, he sent a servant to find out.
The promoter of charity put a little of everything that was given by the rich man into various pots of rice and curry and sweetmeats so that the rich man may gain much merit. His servant reported what he had seen; but Bilalapadaka did not understand the meaning and was not sure of the intention of the promoter of charity.
However, the next day he went to the place where alms-food was being offered. At the same time, he took a knife with him, intending to kill the chief promoter of charity, if he were to reveal in public just how little a rich man like him had contributed.
But this promoter of charity said to the Buddha, "Venerable Sir, this charity is a joint offering of all; whether one has given much or little is of no account; each one of us has given in faith and generosity; so may all of us gain equal merit."
When he heard those words, Bilalpadaka realized that he had wronged the man and pondered that if he were not to own up his mistake and ask the promoter of charity to pardon him, he would he reborn in one of the four lower worlds (apayas). So he said, "My friend, I have done you a great wrong by thinking ill of you; please forgive me." The Buddha heard the rich man asking for pardon, and on inquiry found out the reason. So, the Buddha said, "My disciple, you should not think lightly of a good deed, however small it may be, for small deeds will become big if you do them habitually."
In other words, one should not think lightly of doing little merits as cumulatively it becomes a great amount of merit.
Verse 123 (Shun Evil Like A Perilous Road) Vāṇijo’va bhayaṃ maggaṃ, appasattho mahaddhano Visaṃ jīvitukāmo’va , pāpāni parivajjaye
Just like a merchant with a small escort and much wealth avoids a dangerous road, one desirous of life shuns poison, one should keep clear of evil.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 123: Mahadhana While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 123 with reference to Mahadhana the merchant.
Mahadhana was a rich merchant from Savatthi. On one occasion, 500 robbers were planning to rob him, but thy did not get the chance to rob him. In the meantime, they heard that the merchant would soon be going out with 500 carts loaded with much wealth. The merchant Mahadhana also invited the bhikkhus who would like to go on the same journey to accompany him, and he promised to look to their needs on the way. So 500 bhikkhus accompanied him.
The robbers got news of the trip and went ahead to lie in wait for the caravan of the merchant. But the merchant stopped at the outskirts of the forest where the robbers were waiting. The caravan was to move on after camping there for a few days. The robbers got the news of the impending departure and made ready to loot the caravan; the merchant, in his turn, also got news of the movements of the bandits and he decided to return home.
The bandits now heard that the merchant would go home; so they waited on the homeward way. Some villagers sent word to the merchant about the movements of the bandits, and the merchant finally decided to remain in the village for some time. When he told the bhikkhus about his decision, the bhikkhus returned to Savatthi by themselves.
On arrival at the Jetavana monastery they went to the Buddha and informed him about the cancellation of their trip. To them, the Buddha said, "Bhikkhus, Mahadhana keeps away from the journey beset with bandits; one who does not want to die keeps away from poison; likewise a wise bhikkhu, realizing that the three levels of existence (level of sensuous existence,material existence and non-material existence) are like a journey beset with, danger, should strive to keep away from doing evil." In other words, one should steer clear from evil just like one will steer clear of dangerous roads and poisons.
Verse 124 (Evil Results From Bad Intentions)
Pāṇimhi ce vaṇo n’āssa, hareyya pāṇinā visaṃ Nābbaṇaṃ visam anveti, natthi pāpaṃ akubbato
If there is no wound on one’s hand, one may carry poison safely as poison does not harm one without a wound. Likewise there can be no evil for one who has no evil intention.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 124: KukkutamittaWhile residing at the Veluvana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 124 with reference to the hunter Kukkutamitta and his family.
At Rajagaha there was once a rich man's daughter who had attained Sotapatti Fruition (stream winner) as a young girl. One day, Kukkutamitta, a hunter, came into town in a cart to sell venison. Seeing Kukkutamitta the hunter, the rich young lady fell in love with him at first sight; she eloped with him, married him and lived with him in a small village.
As a result of that marriage, seven sons were born to them and in course of time, all the sons got married. One day, the Buddha surveyed the world early in the morning with his super-normal power and found that the hunter, his seven sons and their wives were due for attainment of Sotapatti Fruition. So, the Buddha went to the place where the hunter had set his trap in the forest. He put his footprint close to the trap and seated himself under the shade of a bush, not far from the trap.
When the hunter came, he saw no animal in the trap; he saw the footprint and surmised that someone must have come before him and released the animal. So, when he saw the Buddha, he took him for the man who had freed the animal from his trap and flew into a rage. He took out his bow and arrow to shoot at the Buddha, but as he drew his bow, he became immobilized and remained fixed in that position like a statue. His sons followed and found their father; they also saw the Buddha and thought he must be the enemy of their father. All of them took out their bows and arrows to shoot at the Buddha, but they also became immobilized and remained fixed in their respective postures.
When the hunter and his sons failed to return, the hunter's wife followed them into the forest, with her seven daughters-in-law. Seeing her husband and all her sons with their arrows aimed at the Buddha, she raised both her hands and shout: "Do not kill my father."
When her husband heard her words, he thought, "This must be my father-in-law", and her sons thought, "This must be our grandfather"; and thoughts of loving-kindness came into them. Then the lady said to them, ''Put away your bows and arrows and pay obeisance to my father".
The Buddha realized that, by this time, the minds of the hunter and his son; had softened and so he willed that they should be able to move and to put away their bows and arrows. After putting away their bows and arrows, they paid obeisance to the Buddha and the Buddha expounded the Dhamma to them. In the end, the hunter, his seven sons and seven daughters-in-law, all fifteen of them, attained Sotapatti Fruition (stream-winner).
Then the Buddha returned to the monastery and told Thera Ananda and other bhikkhus about the hunter Kukkutamitta and his family attaining Sotapatti Fruition. The bhikkhus then asked the Buddha, "Venerable Sir, is the wife of the hunter who is a sotapanna, also not guilty of taking life, if she has been getting things like nets, bows and arrows for her husband when he goes out hunting?"
To this question the Buddha answered, "Bhikkhus, the sotapannas do not kill, they do not wish others to get killed. The wife of the hunter was only obeying her husband in getting things for him. Just as the hand that has no wound is not affected by poison, so also, because she has no intention to do evil she is not doing any evil."
In other words, one who does not have intention to do evil will not do evil.
Verse 125 (Wrong done to others return to doer)
Yo appaduṭṭhassa narassa dussati, suddhassa posassa anaṅganassa Tam eva bālaṃ pacceti pāpaṃ, sukhumo rajo paṭivātaṃ ’va khitto
Whoever harms a harmless person, one pure and innocent, the evil falls back on the fool like fine dust thrown against the wind.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 125: Koka the Huntsman While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 125 with reference to Koka the huntsman.
One morning, as Koka was going out to hunt with his pack of hounds, he met a monk entering the city for alms-food. He took that as a bad omen and grumbled to himself, "Since I have seen this wretched one, I don't think I would get anything today," and he went on his way. As expected by him he did not get anything.
On his way home, he saw the same monk returning to the monastery after having had his alms-food in the city, and the hunter became very angry. So he set his hounds on the monk. Swiftly, the monk climbed up a tree to a level just out of reach of the hounds. Then the hunter went to the foot of the tree and pricked the heels of the bhikkhu with the tip of his arrow. The bhikkhu was in great pain and was not able to hold his robes on; so the robes slipped off his body on to the hunter who was at the foot of the tree.
The hounds seeing the yellow robe thought that the monk had fallen off the tree and pounced on the body, biting and pulling at it furiously. The monk, from his shelter in the tree, broke a dry branch and threw it at the dogs. Then the dogs discovered that they had been attacking their own master instead of the monk, and ran away into the forest. The monk came down from the tree and found that the hunter had died and felt sorry for him.
He also wondered whether he could be held responsible for the death, since the hunter had died for having been covered up by his yellow robes. So, he went to the Buddha to clear up his doubt. The Buddha said, "My son, rest assured and have no doubt; you are not responsible for the death of the hunter; your morality (sila) is also not soiled on account of that death. Indeed, that huntsman did a great wrong to one whom he should do no wrong and so had come to this grievous end." In other words, if one were to harm someone who is innocent and virtuous, no good will come to that person who did the bad deed.
Some are reborn as human beings; evil-doers are reborn in hell; the virtuous go to heaven; the Arahants attain nibbāna
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 126: Thera Tissa While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 126 with reference to Thera Tissa.
Once, there was a gem polisher and his wife in Savatthi; there was also a thera, who was an arahat. Every day, the couple offered alms-food to the thera. One day, while the gem polisher was handling meat, a messenger of King Pasenadi of Kosala arrived with a ruby, which was to be cut and polished and sent back to the king. The gem polisher took the ruby with his hand which was covered with blood, put it on a table and went into the house to wash his hands.
The pet crane of the family seeing the blood stained ruby and taking it for a piece of meat picked it up and swallowed it in the presence of the thera. When the gem polisher returned, he found that the ruby was missing. He asked his wife and his son and they answered that they had not taken it. Then, he asked the thera and the thera said that he did not take it; but he was not satisfied. As there was no one else in the house, the gem polisher concluded that it must be the thera who had taken the precious ruby: so he told his wife that he must torture the thera to get admission of theft.
But his wife replied, "This thera had been our guide and teacher for the past twelve years, and we have never seen him doing anything evil; please do not accuse the thera. It would be better to take the king's punishment than to accuse a noble one."
But her husband ignored her plea; he took a rope and tied up the thera and beat him many times with a stick, as a result of which the thera bled profusely from the head, ears and nose, and dropped on the floor. The crane, seeing blood and wishing to take it, came close to the thera. The gem polisher, who was by then in a great rage, kicked the crane with all his might and the bird died instantaneously.
Then, the thera said, "Please see whether the crane is dead or not," and the gem polisher replied, "You too shall die like this crane." When the thera was sure the crane had died, he said softly, "My disciple, the crane swallowed the ruby."
Hearing this, the gem polisher cut up the crane and found the ruby in the stomach. Then the gem polisher realized his mistake and trembled with fear. He pleaded with the thera to pardon him and also to continue standing at his door for alms. To him the thera replied, "My disciple, it is not your fault, nor is it mine. This has happened on account of my past kamma in my previous existences; it is just our debt in samsara; I feel no ill will towards you. As a matter of fact, this has happened because I have entered a house. From today, I would not enter any house; I would only stand at the door." Soon after saying this, the thera passed on as a result of his injuries.
Later, the bhikkhus asked the Buddha where the various people involved were reborn, and the Buddha answered, "The crane was reborn as the son of the gem polisher; the gem polisher was reborn in niraya (hell); the wife of the gem polisher was reborn in one of the deva worlds; and the thera, who was already an arahat when he was living, realized Parinibbana." In other words, where one is reborn depends on one's kamma (bodily, verbal and mental volitions).
Verse 127 (Nobody Can Escape the Effects of Kamma)
Na antalikkhe na samuddamajjhe, na pabbatānaṃ vivaraṃ pavissa Na vijjatī so jagatippadeso, yatthaṭṭhito mucceyya pāpakammā
Not in the sky, nor in mid-ocean, nor in a mountain cave, nowhere in the world in fact is there any place to be found where one may escape from the consequences of one’s evil deed.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 127: Three Groups of Persons While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 127 with reference to questions raised by three groups of bhikkhus concerning three extraordinary incidents.
The first group: A group of bhikkhus were on their way to pay homage to the Buddha and they stopped at a village on the way. Some people were cooking alms-food for those bhikkhus when one of the houses caught fire and a ring of fire flew up into the air. At that moment, a crow came flying, got caught in the ring of fire and dropped dead in the central part of the village. The bhikkhus seeing the dead crow observed that only the Buddha would be able to explain for what evil deed this crow had to die in this manner. After taking alms-food they continued on their journey to pay homage to the Buddha, and also to ask about the unfortunate crow.
The second group: Another group of bhikkhus wore travelling in a boat; they too were on their way to pay homage to the Buddha. When they were in the middle of the ocean the boat could not be moved. So, lots were drawn to find out who the unlucky one was; three times the lot fell on the wife of the captain. Then the captain said sorrowfully, "Many people should not die on account of this unlucky woman; tie a pot of sand to her neck and threw her into the water so that I would not see her." The woman was thrown into the sea as instructed by the captain and the ship could move on. On arrival at their destination. the bhikkhus disembarked and continued on their way to the Buddha. They also intended to ask the Buddha due to what evil kamma the unfortunate woman was thrown overboard.
The third group: A group of seven bhikkhus were also on their way to pay homage to the Buddha. On the way, they inquired at a monastery whether there was any suitable place for them to take shelter for the night in the neighborhood. They were directed to a cave, and there they spent the night; but in the middle of the night, a large boulder slipped off from above and effectively closed the entrance. In the morning, the bhikkhus from the nearby monastery coming to the cave saw what had happened and they went to bring people from seven villages. With the help of these people they tried to move the boulder, but it was of no avail. Thus, the seven bhikkhus were trapped in the cave without food or water for seven days. On the seventh day, the boulder moved miraculously by itself, and the bhikkhus came out and continued their way to the Buddha. They also intended to ask the Buddha due to what previous evil deed they were thus shut up for seven days in a cave.
The three groups of travelers met on the way and together they went to the Buddha. Each group related to the Buddha what they had seen or experienced on their way and the Buddha answered their questions.
The Buddha answer to the first group: "Bhikkhus, once there was a farmer who had an ox. The ox was very lazy and also very stubborn. It could not be coaxed to do any work; it would lie down chewing the cud or else go to sleep. The farmer lost his temper many times; so in anger he tied a straw rope round the neck of the ox and set fire to it, and the ox died. On account of this evil deed the, farmer had suffered for a long time in niraya (hell), and in serving out the remaining part of his punishment, he had been burnt to death in the last seven existences. The farmer was the crow who was burnt to death"
The Buddha's answer to the second group: "Bhikkhus, once there was a woman who had a pet dog. She used to take the dog along with her wherever she went and young boys of the city made fun at her. She was very angry and felt so ashamed that she planned to kill the dog. She filled a pot with sand, tied it round the neck of the dog and threw it into the water; and the dog was drowned. On account of this evil deed that woman had suffered for a long time in niraya (hell) and in serving the remaining part of her punishment, she had been thrown into the water to drown in the last one hundred existences. That was the captain's wife. "
The Buddha's answer to the third group: "Bhikkhus, once, seven cowherds saw an iguana going into a mound and they dosed all the seven outlets of the mound with twigs and branches of trees. After closing the outlets they went away, completely forgetting the iguana that was trapped in the mound. Only after seven days, they remembered what they had done and hurriedly returned to the scene of their mischief and let out the iguana. On account of this evil deed, those seven had been imprisoned together for seven days without any food, in the last fourteen existences. The cowherds were the bhikkhus yourselves."
Then, a bhikkhu remarked, "O indeed! There is no escape from evil consequences for one who has done evil, even if he were in the sky, or in the ocean, or in a cave." To him, the Buddha said, "Yes, Bhikkhu! You are right; even in the sky or anywhere else, there is no place which is beyond the reach of evil consequences." In other words, there's no place whereby one can escape the consequences of one's unwholesome deeds, there's no escape from kamma.
Verse 128 (No escape from death)
Na antalikkhe na samuddamajjhe, na pabbatānaṃ vivaraṃ pavissa Na vijjatī so jagatippadeso, yatthaṭṭhito nappasahetha maccu
Not in the sky, nor in the mid ocean, nor in a mountain cave, nowhere in the world in fact is there any place to be found where one will not be overcome by death.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 128: King Suppabuddha While residing at the Nigrodharama monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 128 with reference to King Suppabuddha.
King Suppabuddha was the father of Devadatta and father-in-law of Prince Siddhattha who later became Gotama Buddha. King Suppabuddha was very antagonistic to the Buddha for two reasons. First, because as prince Siddhattha he had left his wife Yasodhara, the daughter of King Suppabuddha, to renounce the world; and secondly, because his son Devadatta, who was admitted into the Order by Gotama Buddha, had come to regard the Buddha as his arch enemy.
One day, knowing that the Buddha would be coming for alms-food, he got himself drunk and blocked the way. When the Buddha and the bhikkhus came, Suppabuddha refused to make way, and sent a message saying, "I cannot give way to Samana Gotama, who is so much younger than me." Finding the road blocked, the Buddha and the bhikkhus turned back. Suppabuddha then sent someone to follow the Buddha secretly and find out what the Buddha said, and to report to him.
As the Buddha turned back, he said to Ananda, "Ananda, because King Suppabuddha had refused to give way to me, on the seventh day from now he would be swallowed up by the earth, at the foot of the steps leading to his palace." The king's spy heard these words and reported to the king. And the king said that he would not go near those steps and would prove the words of the Buddha to be wrong.
Further, he instructed his men to remove those steps, so that he would not be able to use them; he also kept some men on duty, with instructions to hold him back should he go in the direction of the stairs. When the Buddha was told about the king's instructions to his men, he said, "Bhikkhus! Whether King Suppabuddha lives in a pinnacled tower, or up in the sky, or in an ocean, or in a cave, King Suppabuddha will be swallowed up by the earth at the very place I have told you."
On the seventh day, about the time of the alms meal the royal horse got frightened for some unknown reason and started neighing loudly and kicking about furiously. Hearing frightening noises from his horse, the king felt that he must handle his pet horse and forgot all precautions, he walked towards the door. The door opened of its own accord, the steps which had been pulled down earlier were also there and his men forgot to stop him from going down. So the king went down the stairs and as soon as he stepped on the earth, it opened and swallowed him up and dragged him right down to Avici Niraya (hell). In other words, there is no place on earth where one can escape it's destined death.