One) 31. Sunita, the Scavenger
Savatthi there was a scavenger named Sunita. He
was a road-sweeper and barely earned enough to feed
himself. Sunita slept on the roadside, for he did
not have a house to go to. He saw other people enjoying
themselves but he could not mix with them because
these people called him an outcast. Whenever a higher
caste person went on the road Sunita had to run
and hide so his shadow did not fall on them. If
he was not quick enough he would be scolded and
beaten. Poor Sunita lived a miserable life.
day, as he was sweeping a dirty, dusty road, Sunita
saw the Buddha with thousands of followers coming
towards him. His heart was filled with joy and fear
and finding no place to hide he just stood, joining
his palms in respect. The Buddha stopped and spoke
to poor Sunita in a sweet, gentle voice saying, "My
dear friend, would you like to leave this work and
had ever spoken to Sunita like this before. His
heart was filled with joy and his eyes with tears.
"O, most venerable Sir, I have always received
orders but never a kind word. If you accept a dirty
and miserable scavenger like me I will follow you."
the Buddha ordained Sunita and took him along with
the other monks. From that day forth no one knew
what Sunita's caste was, and nobody treated him
with disgust and cruelty. Everybody, even kings,
ministers and commanders, respected him.