When the Bhagavā saw that the cloister of Venerable Soṇa‘s walking path was stained with blood he addressed the Bhikkhus: “Now why, Bhikkus, is this walkway stained with blood, just as there had been a slaughter of cattle?” “The Venerable Soṇa, O’ Bhante, in his strenuous efforts while walking up and down damaged his feet. That is why this cloister is stained with blood, just as there had been a slaughter of cattle.”
Then the Bhagavā approached the dwelling place of Venerable Soṇa. Having reached there he sat down at the appointed seat. Thereupon the Venerable Soṇa greeted the Bhagavā respectfully and sat down at one side. Having sat down at one side the Bhagavā addressed the Venerable Soṇa thus:
“How is it, Soṇa that during your solitary meditation the following thought arouse in your mind: ‘Those who are the disciples of the Bhagavā are putting forth strenuous efforts, I belong to them. But yet my mind is not freed from the impurities and tendency to cling to this world. Further there do exist those possessions of my family. It would be possible to enjoy these possessions and perform meritorious actions. What if I return to the worldly life and enjoy these possessions and perform meritorious actions?” “Yes, so it was, Bhante!”
“Now what do you think, Soṇa, were you not in your former life as householder well versed in playing the sound of the Veeṇa?” “Yes, so it was, Bhante!”
“Now what do you think, Soṇa, when the strings of your Veeṇa were too tight, did your Veeṇa at this time resonate with appealing sounds and was it fit for playing?” “No, it was not, Bhante!”
“Now what do you think, Soṇa, when the strings of your Veeṇa were too loose, did your Veeṇa at this time resonate appealingly and was it fit for playing?” “No, it was not, Bhante!”
“Now what do you think, Soṇa, when the strings of your Veeṇa were neither too tight nor too loose, but tuned evenly, did your Veeṇa at this time resonate appealingly and was it fit for playing?” “Yes, it was, Bhante!”
Now in this very way, Soṇa, putting forth too strenuous energy is conducive to restlessness, if energy is being put forth too sluggish it is conducive to slothfulness. Therefore, Soṇa, you should determine on exerting your energy evenly, likewise mastering the faculties evenly and taking up a meditative object! “Yes, Bhante!” replied the Venerable Soṇa to the Bhagavā.
Then, having thus advised the Venerable Soṇa with this exhortation the Bhagavā just as a strong man might stretch out his bent arm or bent back his outstretched arm returned from the cool grove of the Venerable Soṇa to the Vultures hill of Gijjhakūṭe.
From then on the Venerable Soṇa resolved on exerting his efforts evenly, mastering the faculties evenly and taking up a meditative object. There the Venerable Soṇa dwelled alone and secluded, diligent, ardent with resolute will. After no long time he realised the supreme fulfilment of the holy life, for the purpose of which many a householder’s son leave the householders life into homelessness by his own wisdom in this very life, abided in it and dwelled in it: “Destroyed is birth, the holy life is fulfilled, it is done what had to be done, there is no more state of becoming!”
This is how the Venerable Soṇa became one of the Arahants.
1. Soṇakoḷivisavatthu: Soṇa + koḷivisa + vattu: Soṇa + Koḷivisa + account