'If you like, sister, you could this very day make the Blessed One expel the venerable Dabba the Mallian.'
'But what shall I do, Sirs ? What is it that it is in my power to do?'
'Come now, sister; do you go to the place where the Blessed One is, and when you have come there say as follows: "This, Lord, is neither fit nor proper that the very quarter of the heavens which should be safe, secure, and free from danger, that from that very quarter should come danger, calamity, and distress—that where one might expect a calm, one should meet a gale. Methinks the very water has taken fire. I have been defiled, Lord, by Dabba the Mallian!"'
'Very well, Sirs!' said the Bhikkhuni Mettiyâ, accepting the word of the followers of Mettiya and Bhummagaka. And she went to the Blessed One [and spake even as she had been directed}
9. Then the Blessed One, on that occasion and in that connection, convened a meeting of the Samgha, and asked the venerable Dabba the Mallian:
'Are you conscious, Dabba, of having done such a thing as this Bhikkhuni says?'
'Even as my Lord, the Blessed One, knows me.' [And a second and a third time the Blessed One asked the same question, and received the same reply.]
- Literally, 'Do you recollect?' But it is quite clear from the technical words at the close of this section that the verb sarati had already acquired the secondary meaning 'to be conscious of.' The whole story is peculiarly valuable as illustrating the growth of the connotation of the verb and its allied meanings, and indirectly the origin and growth of the idea of 'conscience' which has played so great a part in theological and ethical speculation.