The Dhammapada Atthakathā story of (Tuccha) Poṭṭhila, the Empty-Head (Dhp282)

Hello all!

I trust there are a few of us here in this forum who is familiar with the above talk from Ajahn Chah?

It is talk no. 15 I believe from The Collected teachings of Ajahn Chah.

I tried searching for it using the search function here at SC but it came up with nothing.

Does anybody know which sutta this is from?

Thanks in advance,


It’s a story from the Dhammapada Atthakathā.

When trying to source something cited by a Thai forest ajahn, it’s always best to begin with the Dhp-a. This is the first book that a Thai monk will learn to translate when he studies Pali and consequently much (perhaps most) popular preaching in Thailand is based upon it.


“If there are six holes in a given ant-hill, and a lizard enters the ant-hill by one of these holes, he that would catch the lizard stops up five of the six holes, leaving the sixth hole open, and catches the lizard in the hole by which he entered.
Precisely so should you deal with the six doors of the senses;
close five of the six doors, and devote your attention to the door of the mind.”
‘‘bhante, ekasmiṃ vammike cha chiddāni, tattha ekena chiddena godhā anto paviṭṭhā, taṃ gaṇhitukāmo itarāni pañca chiddāni thaketvā chaṭṭhaṃ bhinditvā paviṭṭhachiddeneva gaṇhāti,
evaṃ tumhepi chadvārikesu ārammaṇesu sesāni pañcadvārāni pidhāya manodvāre kammaṃ paṭṭhapethā’’

Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu :anjal:


Thankyou Bhante, much appreciated :grinning::anjal:


It’s a great talk, classic :grinning:

And read beautifully by Ajahn Amaro.

I was just thinking the other day about how, in the suttas greed, hatred and delusion are sometimes referred to as manacles or shackles i.e. restraints.

And it is interesting that the suttas talk about restraining the mind and the 5 sense doors…
So you have to “restrain” the mind and the senses to get rid of the “restraints” of greed, hatred and delusion…

How wonderful is the Dhamma, it really is beautiful in every sense :grinning: :anjal: