Kāyena saṃvaro sādhu, sādhu vācāya saṃvaro Manasā saṃvaro sādhu, sādhu sabbattha saṃvaro Sabbattha saṃvuto bhikkhu, sabbadukkhā pamuccati 361 Restraint with the eye is good; good is restraint by the ear; restraint by the nose is good; good is restraint with the tongue.
Bodily restraint is good; good is restraint in speech; restraint of the mind is good; good in all respects is restraint. The monk who is in all respects restrained is freed from all suffering.
story related to Dhammapada Verse 360-361: Five Bhikkhus
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses 360 and 361 with reference to five bhikkhus.
Once there were five bhikkhus in Savatthi. Each of them practised restraint of just one out of the five senses and each of them claimed that what he was practising was the most difficult. There were some heated arguments over this and they could not come to an agreement. Finally, they went to the Buddha to ask for his decision. The Buddha said to them, "Each of the senses is just as difficult to control as the other; but all bhikkhus must control all the five senses and not just one. Only those who control all the senses would escape from the round of rebirths."
Verse 362 : The monk is fully controlled Hatthasaṃyato pādasaṃyato, vācāyasaṃyato saṃyatuttamo Ajjhattarato samāhito, eko santusito tam āhu bhikkhuṃ.
He who is controlled in hand, in foot, in speech, and in the highest (i.e. the head); he who delights in meditation, and is composed; he who is alone, and is contented — him they call a monk.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 362: Bhikkhu Who Killed a Swan (Hamsa) While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 362 with reference to a bhikkhu who killed a swan. Once there was a bhikkhu who was very skillful in throwing stones; he could even hit fast-moving objects without fail. One day, while sitting with another bhikkhu after having their bath in the Aciravati River, he saw two swans flying at some distance. He told his friend that he would get one of the swans by throwing a stone at it. At that instant, the swan, hearing voices, turned its neck and the bhikkhu threw a pebble at the bird. The pebble went through one eye and came out of the other eye of the bird. The bird cried out in pain and agony and dropped dead at the feet of the young bhikkhu. Other bhikkhus seeing the incident took the young bhikkhu to the Buddha. The Buddha reprimanded him and said, "My son, why have you killed this bird? Why especially you, a member of my Order, who should be practising loving-kindness to all beings and who should be striving ardently for liberation from the round of rebirths? Even during the period outside the Teaching, the wise practised morality and observed the precepts. A bhikkhu must have control over his hands, his feet and his tongue."
The bhikkhu who controls his mouth (speech) who speaks wisely with his mind composed, who explains the meaning and the text of the Dhamma, — sweet are the words of that bhikkhu.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 363: Bhikkhu Kokalika
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 363 with reference to Bhikkhu Kokalika.
Bhikkhu Kokalika had abused the two Chief Disciples, the Venerable Sariputta and the Venerable Maha Moggallana. For this evil deed Kokalika was swallowed up by the earth and had to suffer in Paduma Niraya (hell). Learning about his fate, the bhikkhus remarked that Kokalika had to suffer grievously because he did not control his tongue. To those bhikkhus, the Buddha said, "Bhikkhus! A bhikkhu must have control over his tongue; his conduct must be good; his mind must be calm, subdued and not flitting about as it pleases."
Verse 364 Who Delights in the Dhamma Does Not Fall
Dhammārāmo dhammarato, dhammaṃ anuvicintayaṃ Dhammaṃ anussaraṃ bhikkhu, saddhammā na parihāyati That monk who dwells in the Dhamma, who delights in the Dhamma, who meditates on the Dhamma, who well remembers the Dhamma, does not fall away from the sublime Dhamma.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 364: Thera Dhammarama
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 364 with reference to Thera Dhammarama. When it was made known to the disciples that the Buddha would realize Parinibbana in four months' time, most of the puthujjana bhikkhus (i.e., those who had not attained any of the Maggas) felt extremely depressed and were at a loss and did not know what to do. They just stayed close to the Buddha, hardly ever leaving his presence. However, there was a bhikkhu by the name of Dhammarama who kept to himself and did not go near the Buddha. His intention was to strive most ardently to attain arahatship before the passing away of the Buddha. So he strove hard in Insight Meditation Practice. Other bhikkhus, not understanding his attitude and his noble ambition, misunderstood his behaviour.
Those bhikkhus took Dhammarama to the Buddha and said to the Enlightened One, "Venerable Sir! This bhikkhu does not seem to have any affection or regard or reverence for you; he has been staying by himself while all the time other bhikkhus are staying close to Your Venerable presence." When other bhikkhus had said everything they wanted to say, Dhammarama respectfully explained to the Buddha why he had not come to see the Buddha and also reported that he had been striving his utmost in Insight Meditation Practice.
The Buddha was satisfied and was very pleased with the explanation and conduct of Dhammarama and he said, "My son, Dhammarama, you have done very well. A bhikkhu who loves and respects me should act like you. Those who made offerings of flowers, scents and incense to me are not really paying me homage. Only those who practise the Dhamma are the ones who truly pay homage to me."
At the end of the discourse Thera Dhammarama attained arahatship.
Verse 365-366: Be contented
Salābhaṃ nātimaññeyya, n’āññesaṃ pihayaṃ care Aññesaṃ pihayaṃ bhikkhu, samādhiṃ n’ādhigacchati.365
Appalābho’pi ce bhikkhu, salābhaṃ n’ātimaññati Taṃ ve devā pasaṃsanti, suddhājīviṃ atanditaṃ. 366
Let him not despise what he has received, nor should he live envying others. The monk who envies others does not attain concentration.
Though he receives little, if a monk does not despise his gains, even the gods praise such a one who is pure in livelihood and is not slothful.
Story related to dhammapada verse 365-366: Bhikkhu Who Associated With a Follower of Devadatta
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses 365 and 366 with reference to a bhikkhu who was on friendly terms with a follower of Devadatta.
Once, a bhikkhu disciple of the Buddha, being very friendly with a follower of Devadatta, paid a visit to the monastery of Devadatta and stayed there for a few days. Other bhikkhus reported to the Buddha that he had been mixing with the followers of Devadatta and that he had even gone to the monastery of Devadatta, spent there a few days, eating, sleeping and apparently enjoying the choice food and the comforts of that monastery. The Buddha sent for that bhikkhu and asked him whether what he had heard about his behaviour was true. The bhikkhu admitted that he had gone to the monastery of Devadatta for a few days, but he told the Buddha that he had not embraced the teaching of Devadatta. The Buddha then reprimanded him and pointed out that his behaviour made him appear like a follower of Devadatta. To him the Buddha said, "My son, even though you have not embraced the doctrine of Devadatta, you are going about as if you were one of his followers. A bhikkhu should be contented with what he gets and should not covet other people's gains. A bhikkhu who is filled with envy at the good fortune of others will not attain concentration (samadhi), or Insight, or the Path that leads to Nibbana (Magga). Only the bhikkhu who is contented with whatever he gets will be able to attain concentration, Insight and the Path."
Verse 367 A monk who has no attachment
Sabbaso nāmarūpasmiṃ, yassa natthi mamāyitaṃ Asatā ca na socati, sa ve “bhikkhū”ti vuccati
He who does not take the mind-and-body aggregate (nama-rupa) as "I and mine", and who does not grieve over the dissolution (of mind and body) is, indeed, called a bhikkhu.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 367: Giver of the First-Fruits of His Labour
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 367 with reference to a brahmin who was in the habit of making five offerings of first-fruits in charity. The first-fruits here refer to the first-fruits of the field. The first-fruits of the field are given in charity at the time of harvesting, at the time of threshing, at the time of storing, at the time of cooking and at the time of filling the plate. One day, the Buddha saw the brahmin and his wife in his vision and knew that time was ripe for the couple to attain Anagami Fruition. Accordingly, the Buddha set out for their house and stood at the door for alms food. The brahmin who was then having his meal, facing the interior part of the house, did not see the Buddha.
His wife who was near him saw the Buddha, but she was afraid that if her husband saw the Buddha standing at the door for alms-food, he would offer all his rice on the plate and, in that case, she would have to cook again. With this thought in her mind, she stood behind her husband so that he would not see the Buddha; when she quietly stepped backwards and slowly came to where the Buddha was standing, and whispered to him, "Venerable Sir! We do not have any alms-food for you today." But the Buddha had decided not to leave the house; he just shook his head. Seeing this gesture, the brahmin's wife could not control herself and she burst out laughing.
At that instant, the brahmin turned round and saw the Buddha. At once he knew what his wife had done, and he cried out, "O you, my wretched wife! You have ruined me." Then, taking up his plate of rice, he approached the Buddha and apologetically requested, "Venerable Sir! Please accept this rice which I have partly consumed." To him the Buddha replied, "O brahmin! Any rice is suitable for me, whether it is not yet consumed, or is partly consumed, or even if it is the last remaining spoonful."
The brahmin was very much surprised by the Buddha's reply; at the same time, it made him happy because his offer of rice was accepted by the Buddha. The brahmin next asked the Buddha by what standard a bhikkhu was judged and how a bhikkhu was defined. The Buddha knew that both the brahmin and his wife had already learned something about mind and body (nama-rupa); so he answered, "O brahmin! One who is not attached to mind and body is called a bhikkhu."
Verse 368-376 A monk radiates loving kindness
Mettāvihārī yo bhikkhu, pasanno Buddhasāsane Adhigacche padaṃ santaṃ, saṅkhārūpasamaṃ sukhaṃ.368
Siñca bhikkhu imaṃ nāvaṃ, sittā te lahum essati Chetvā rāgaṃ ca dosañca, tato nibbānam ehisi.369
Mitte bhajassu kalyāṇe, suddh’ājīve atandite Paṭisanthāravuty’assa, ācārakusalo siyā Tato pāmojjabahulo, dukkhass’antaṃ karissati.376
The monk who abides in loving-kindness, who is pleased with the Buddha’s teaching, attains to that state of peace and happiness, the stilling of conditioned things.
Empty this boat, O monk! Emptied by you it will move swiftly. Cutting off lust and hatred, to nibbāna you will thereby go.
Five cut off, five give up, five further cultivate. The monk who has gone beyond the five bonds is called a “Flood-Crosser.”
Meditate, O monk! Be not heedless. Do not let your mind whirl on sensual pleasures. Do not be careless and swallow a ball of lead. As you burn cry not “This is sorrow.”
There is no concentration in one who lacks wisdom, nor is there wisdom in him who lacks concentration. In whom are both concentration and wisdom, he is in the presence of nibbāna.
The monk who has retired to a lonely abode, who has calmed his mind, who perceives the doctrine clearly, experiences a joy transcending that of men.
Whenever he reflects on the rise and fall of the aggregates, he experiences joy and bliss. To “those who know” that is deathless.
This is the beginning for a wise monk: sense-control, contentment, restraint in the monastic discipline.
Association with good and energetic friends, of pure livelihood, and constant. Let him be cordial in his ways and refined in conduct. Filled thereby with joy, he will make an end of ill.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 368-376: Great Many Bhikkhus While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses 368 to 376, with reference to nine hundred bhikkhus.
Once there was a very rich lady in the town of Kuraraghara, about one hundred and twenty yojanas from Savatthi. She had a son who had become a bhikkhu; his name was Sona. On one occasion, Bhikkhu Sona passed through his home town. On his return from the Jetavana monastery his mother met him and organized a grand charity in his honour. Having heard that Bhikkhu Sona could expound the Dhamma very well she also requested him to expound the Dhamma to her and other people of the home town.
Bhikkhu Sona complied with her request. So a pavilion was built and a meeting was organized for Bhikkhu Sona to give a discourse. There was a large gathering at the pavilion; the mother of the bhikkhu also went to listen to the Dhamma expounded by her son. She took all the members of her household with her leaving only a maid to look after the house.
While the lady was away, some thieves broke into the house. Their leader, however, went to the pavilion where the mistress of the house was, sat down near her and kept an eye on her. His intention was to get rid of her should she return home early on learning about the theft at her house. The maid seeing the thieves breaking into the house went to report the matter to her mistress, but the lady only said, "Let the thieves take all my money, I don't care; but do not come and disturb me while I am listening to the Dhamma. You'd better go back." So the maid went home. There the girl saw the thieves breaking into the room where her mistress kept all her silverware. Again she went to the pavilion where her mistress was and reported to her that the thieves were taking away her silverware, but she was given the same answer as before. So she had to go back to the house. There she saw the thieves breaking into the room where her mistress kept her gold and she reported the matter to her mistress. This time, her mistress shouted at her, "O dear! Let the thieves take whatever they wish to take; why do you have to come and worry me again when I am listening to a discourse on the Dhamma? Why did you not go back when I told you to? Don't you dare come near me again and say things about the theft or the thieves."
The leader of the gang of thieves who was close at hand heard everything the lady had said and he was extremely surprised. Her words also kept him thinking, "If we take away the property of this wise and noble person, we will surely be punished; we might even be struck by lightning and our heads broken into many pieces." The leader got alarmed over this possibility and he hurried back to the house of the lady and made his followers return all the things they had taken.
He then took all his followers to where the mistress of the house was; she was still at the pavilion, listening attentively to the Dhamma.
Thera Sona finished his exposition on the Dhamma with the crack of dawn and came down from the dais from where he had expounded the Dhamma. The leader of the thieves approached the rich, noble lady, paid respect to her and revealed his identity to her. He also related to her how they had plundered her house and also that they had returned all her property on hearing her words to her maid, who reported the theft to her during the night. Then, the leader and all the thieves asked the lady to forgive them for having wronged her.
Then, they asked Thera Sona to admit them to the Order of bhikkhus. After the admission, each one of the nine hundred bhikkhus took a subject of meditation from Thera Sona and went to the nearby forest to practise meditation in seclusion.
From a distance of one hundred and twenty yojanas, the Buddha saw those bhikkhus and sent forth his radiance to them so that he seemed to be sitting in their midst. At the end of each verse, one hundred out of the nine hundred bhikkhus attain arahantship.
As the jasmine creeper sheds its withered flowers, even so, monks, you should totally cast off lust and hatred.
Story related to dhammapada verse 377 : Five Hundred Bhikkhus
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 377 with reference to five hundred bhikkhus. Five hundred bhikkhus from Savatthi, after taking a subject of meditation from the Buddha, set out for the forest to practise meditation. There, they noticed that the jasmine flowers which bloomed in the early morning dropped off from the plants onto the ground in the evening. Then the bhikkhus resolved that they would strive hard to free themselves from all moral defilements even before the flowers were shed from the plants.
The Buddha, through his supernormal power, saw them from his Perfumed Chamber. He therefore sent forth his radiance to them and made them feel his presence. To them the Buddha said, "Bhikkhus! As the withered flower is shed from the plant, so also, should a bhikkhu strive to free himself from the round of rebirths."
The monk who is calm in body, calm in speech, calm in mind, who is well-composed, who has renounced worldly things, is truly called a “peaceful one.”
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 378: Thera SantakayaWhile residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 378 with reference to Thera Santakaya. There was once a Thera named Santakaya, who had been a lion in his past existence. It is said that lions usually go out in search of food one day and then rest in a cave for the next seven days without moving. Thera Santakaya, having been a lion in his last existence, behaved very much like a lion. He moved about very little; his moments were slow and steady; and he was usually calm and composed.
Other bhikkhus took his behaviour to be very queer and they reported about him to the Buddha. After hearing the account given by the bhikkhus, the Buddha said to all of them "Bhikkhus! A bhikkhu should be calm and composed; he should behave like Santakaya."
At the end of the discourse Thera Santakaya attained arahatship.
Verse 379-380: He who guards himself lives happily Attanā coday’attānaṃ, paṭimaṃsetha attanā So attagutto satimā, sukhaṃ bhikkhu vihāhisi.379
Attā hi attano nātho, [ko hi nātho paro siyā], attā hi attano gati, tasmā saṃyamamattānaṃ, assaṃ bhadraṃ ’va vāṇijo.
Yourself reprove yourself. Yourself examine yourself. Thus self-guarded (and) mindful the almsman will live happily.
One is one’s own protector; what other protector should there be? Therefore control this self of yours as a trader (manages) a noble steed.
Story related to dhammapada Verse 379-380: Thera Nangalakula
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses 379 and 380 with reference to Thera Nangala.
Nangala was a poor field labourer in the service of a farmer. One day, a bhikkhu, seeing him ploughing a field in his old clothes, asked him if he would like to become a bhikkhu. When he replied in the affirmative, the bhikkhu took him along to the monastery and made him a bhikkhu.
After the admission to the Order, as instructed by his teacher, he left his plough and his old clothes in a tree not far away from the monastery. Because the poor man had left his plough to join the Order, he was known as Thera Nangala (nangala = plough). Due to better living conditions at the monastery, Thera Nangala became healthier and soon put on weight. However, after some time, he grew tired of the life of a bhikkhu and often felt like returning to home-life.
Whenever this feeling arose in him, he would go to the tree near the monastery, the tree where he had left his plough and his old clothes. There he would reproach himself saying, "O you shameless man! Do you still want to put on these old rags and return to the hard, lowly life of a hired labourer ?" After this, his dissatisfaction with the life of a bhikkhu would disappear and he would go back to the monastery. Thus, he went to the tree at an interval of every three or four days, to remind himself of the wretchedness of his old life.
When other bhikkhus asked him about his frequent visits to the tree, he replied, "I have to go to my teacher." In course of time, he attained arahantship and he stopped going to the tree. Other bhikkhus, noticing this, asked him teasingly, "Why don't you go to your teacher now?" To those bhikkhus, he replied, "I used to go to my teacher because I had a need for him; but now, I have no need to go to him." The bhikkhus understood what he meant by his answer and they went to the Buddha and reported, "Venerable Sir! Thera Nangala claims to have attained arahatship. It cannot be true; he must be boasting, he must be telling lies." To them the Buddha said, "Bhikkhus! Do not say so; for Nangala is not telling lies. My son Nangala, by reproaching himself and correcting himself, has indeed attained arahatship."
Full of joy and contentment in the Buddha’s teaching, the monk will attain peace, the bliss of stilling conditioned things.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 381: Thera Vakkali
While residing at the Veluvana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 381 with reference to Thera Vakkali. Vakkali was a brahmin who lived in Savatthi. One day when he saw the Buddha going on an alms-round in the city, he was very much impressed by the noble appearance of the Buddha. At the same time, he felt much affection and great reverence for the Buddha and asked permission to join the Order just to be near him.
As a bhikkhu, Vakkali always kept close to the Buddha; he did not care much about other duties of a bhikkhu and did not at all practise concentration meditation. So, the Buddha said to him, "Vakkali, it will be of no use to you by always keeping close to me, looking at my face. You should practise concentration meditation; for, indeed, only the one who sees the Dhamma sees me. One who does not see the Dhamma does not see me. So, you must leave my presence."
When he heard those words Vakkali felt very depressed. He left the Buddha as ordered, and climbed the Gijjhakuta hill with the intention of committing suicide by jumping down from the peak.
The Buddha, knowing full well the extent of Vakkali's grief and despondency, reflected that because of his great sorrow and despondency Vakkali might miss the chance of attaining the Maggas. Accordingly, he sent forth his radiance to Vakkali, made him feel his presence and appeared as if in person to Vakkali. With the Buddha near him, Vakkali soon forgot all his sorrow; he became cheerful and very much heartened. At the end of the discourse Vakkali attain arahantship.
Verse 382: A Devout Monk Illumines the World
Yo have daharo bhikkhu, yuñjati Buddhasāsane So’maṃ lokaṃ pabhāseti, abbhā mutto’va candimā
The monk who, while still young, devotes himself to the Buddha’s Teaching, illuminates this world like the moon freed from a cloud.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 382: Samanera Sumana
While residing at the Pubbarama monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 382 with reference to Samanera Sumana. Samanera Sumana was a pupil of Thera Anuruddha.
Although he was only seven years old he was an arahant, endowed with supernormal powers. Once, when his teacher Anuruddha was ill at a monastery in a forest of the Himalayas, he fetched water from the Anotatta lake which was five hundred yojanas away from the monastery. The journey was made not by land but by air through his supernormal power. Later, Thera Anuruddha took Samanera Sumana to the Buddha, who was then sojourning at Pubbarama, the monastery donated by Visakha.
There, other young bhikkhus and samaneras teased him by patting his head, or pulling his ears, nose and arms, and jokingly asked him if he was not feeling bored. The Buddha saw them and thought that he would make those young bhikkhus see the rare qualities of young Samanera Sumana. So it was made known by the Buddha that he wanted some samanera to get a jar of water from the Anotatta lake.
The Venerable Ananda searched among the bhikkhus and samaneras of the Pubbarama monastery, but there was none who was able to undertake the job. Finally, the Venerable Ananda asked Samanera Sumana who readily agreed to fetch water from the Anotatta lake. He took a big golden jar in front of the monastery and soon brought the water from the Anotatta lake for the Buddha. As before, he went to the Anotatta lake and came back by air through his supernormal power. At the congregation of the bhikkhus in the evening, the bhikkhus told the Buddha about the wonderful trip made by Samanera Sumana. To them the Buddha said, "Bhikkhus, one who practises the Dhamma vigilantly and zealously is capable of attaining supernormal powers, even though he is young."