Know what Buddha had to preach to a dedicated boy who tried too hard to become monk, yet could not attain sainthood

While, watching the Zee TV Buddha and gaining an insight on his teachings, I remembered this story of a boy who tried too hard to become a monk, but couldn’t satisfy himself. What Buddha taught him is something worth sharing –

The Boy Who Tried Too Hard to Become A Monk

Sukhumala Sona or Sona Kolivasa Thera was the son of a very affluent businessman. Ever since he was conceived, his father’s wealth multiplied. Since he was raised in luxury and wealth only, sources says that his skin was very soft and delicate just like the bandhu jivika flowers. It was widely spread that his hair grew from the skin of his sole.

Hearing the news of this strange boy, King Bimbisara expressed his desire to see him. Sona, who enjoyed listening to veena and also knew how to play the instrument started his journey along with 80,000 townsmen from Campa (capital of Anga) to Rajagaha (capital of Magadha).

buddha Buddhas Teachings : The Boy Who Strived Too Hard to Become a Monk

After reaching Rajagaha and staying near the Vulture’s Peak rock, Sona decided to hear Buddha’s discourse which was on ‘happiness without the wordly attachment’. Buddha that rainy season was staying in Rajgaha.

After hearing the discourse, Sona was so impressed that he ordained as a monk with his parents consent. He was very enthusiastic and so carried out every thing very sincerely. Being very delicate, he also hurt his legs with blood oozing out from his soft feet. However, no matter how much he strove hard, he could never attain happiness and joy, all he could get was pain and displeasure.

This disappointed him so much that he decided it is better to return to original life where he gained happiness through a simple deed of charity.

When Buddha heard Sona’s decision to return back to his lay life. He came and met Sona. Sona expressed his concern. 

Buddha then said, “What if I tell you the reason why couldn’t be successful, will you then stay here andgive it a try once again?

Yes Buddha!” At once replied Sona.

Buddha then explained Sona by asking him questions related to his favorite thing in the world that is playing veena.

He asked, “Can you produce good music if you hold the strings of your veena too tight?”

No Lord, I can’t” replied Sona.

And what if the strings were too loose?” asked Buddha again.

Then I can’t even produce music, forget good music” replied Sona.

Now tell me Buddha asked Sona, “Could you produce good music when the strings were neither too tight nor too slacky?”

Buddha Victory Over Mara Buddhas Teachings : The Boy Who Strived Too Hard to Become a Monk

‘”Yes, My Lord” Sona answered.

Then Buddha replied the boy who tried too hard to become a monk with a simple rule of life which even we should apply – You tried too hard to meditate, so much that you eventually strained yourself. Do it calmly and in a relaxed mode (but not slacky) and you will attain satisfaction and happiness that you seek.

Surprisingly, Sona stayed back in the monastery continued just the way Buddha said and he attain sainthood!

Gyaan For Us – Determination is a positive aspect but straining yourself too hard can never give you any results. Then whether it is weight loss, yoga, meditation, success in career, relationships, or anything else

With inputs from: Buddha’s teachings, PALI TEXT

Image Source: Buddha

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