Nidhīnaṃ ’va pavattāraṃ, yaṃ passe vajjadassinaṃ Niggayhavādiṃ medhāviṃ, tādisaṃ paṇḍitaṃ bhaje Tādisaṃ bhajamānassa, seyyo hoti na pāpiyo
Should one meets a wise man who is like a revealer of hidden treasure, pointing out faults and reproves; then it will be better for one to associate with such a wise person not worse.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 76: Thera Radha
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 76 of this book, with reference to Thera Radha, who was at that time a poor old Brahmin.
Radha was a poor brahmin who stayed in the monastery doing small services for the monks. For his services, he was provided with food and clothing and other needs, but was not encouraged to join the Order, although he had a strong desire to become a bhikkhu.
One day, when the Buddha surveyed the world with his super-normal power, he saw the poor old brahmin in his vision and knew that he was due for arahantship (enlightenment). So the Buddha went to the old man and learned from him that the bhikkhus of the monastery did not want him to join the Order.
The Buddha therefore called all the monks and asked them, "Is there any bhikkhu here who recollects any good turn done to him by this old man?" Venerable Sariputta replied: "Venerable Sir, I do recollect an instance when this old man offered me a spoonful of rice." Buddha said, "If that's so, shouldn't you help your benefactor get liberated from the ills of life?" Then Venerable Sariputta agreed to make the old man a bhikkhu and he was duly admitted to the Order. Venerable Sariputta guided the old bhikkhu and the old bhikkhu strictly followed his guidance. Within a few days, the old bhikkhu attained arahantship.
When the Buddha next came to see the bhikkhus, they reported to him how strictly the old bhikkhu followed the guidance of the Venerable Sariputta. To them, the Buddha replied that a bhikkhu should be amenable to guidance like Radha and should not resent when rebuked for any fault or failing. In other words, a wise person will guide the other and correct their mistakes. It is beneficial to be with a wise man.
Verse 77 (The virtuous cherish good advice)
Ovadeyyānusāseyya, asabbhā ca nivāraye Sataṃ hi so piyo hoti, asataṃ hoti appiyo
Let him advise, instruct, and dissuade one from evil; and the result will be that he will be dear to the good and detestable to the bad.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 77: Bhikkhus Assaji and Punabbasuka
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 77 with reference to bhikkhus Assaji and Punabbasuka.
Bhikkhus Assaji and Punabbasuka and their 500 disciples were staying at Kitagiri village. While staying there they made their living by planting flowering plants and fruit trees for gain thus violating the rules of Fundamental Precepts for bhikkhus.
The Buddha hearing about these bhikkhus sent his two Chief Disciples Sariputta and Maha Moggallana, to stop them from committing further misconduct. To his two Chief Disciples the Buddha said, "Tell those bhikkhus not to destroy the faith and generosity of the lay disciples by misconduct and if anyone should disobey, drive him out of the monastery. Do not hesitate to do as I told you, for only fools dislike being given good advice and being forbidden to do evil." In other words, the wise will guide others however their advice will be welcome by good and disliked by the bad.
Verse 78 (Cultivate good friendship)
Na bhaje pāpake mitte, na bhaje purisādhame Bhajetha mitte kalyāṇe, bhajetha purisuttame
Do not associate not with evil friends and mean men; Instead associate with good friends and noble men.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 78 : Thera Channa
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 78 reference to Monk Channa.
Channa was the attendant who accompanied Prince Siddhattha (Buddha) when he renounced the world and left the palace on horseback. When the prince attained Buddhahood, Channa also became a bhikkhu (monk). However Chana was very arrogant and overbearing because of his close connection to the Buddha.
Channa used to say, "I came along with my Master when he left the palace for the forest. At that time, I was the only companion of my Master and there was no one else. But now, Sariputta and Moggallana are saying, 'we are the Chief Disciples,' and are strutting about the place."
When the Buddha sent for him and admonished him for his behaviour, he kept silent but continued to abuse and taunt the two Chief Disciples. Thus the Buddha admonished him three times; still and he did not change. And again, the Buddha sent for Channa and said, "Channa, these two noble bhikkhus are good friends to you; you should associate with them and be on good terms with them."
Channa remained just as stubborn. Just before his demise, the Buddha told the Venerable Ānanda to impose a severe penalty (Brahmadaṇḍa) on Channa. He was to be ostracised and not admonished nor spoken to by any other monk. When the Saṅgha imposed this penalthy, the Elder Channa reformed his attitude and practiced hard then he soon attained Arahantship. In summary, we should associate with the good and wise people and stay away from the bad.
He who imbibes the Dhamma abides in happiness with mind pacified; the wise man ever delights in the Dhamma expounded by the Noble Ones.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 79 :Thera Mahakappina
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 79 with reference to Thera Mahakappina.
Mahakappina was king of Kukkutavati and his queen was Anoja. He had 1000 ministers to help him rule the country. One day, the king accompanied by his ministers was out in the park. There, they met some merchants from Savatthi. On learning about the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha from these merchants the king and his ministers immediately set out for Savatthi.
On that day, when the Buddha surveyed the world with his supernormal power, he saw in his vision, Mahakappina and his ministers coming towards Savatthi. He also knew that they were due for arahantship (enlightenment).
The Buddha went to a place 120 yojanas away from Savatthi to meet them. There he waited for them under a banyan tree on the bank of the river Candabhaga. When King Mahakappina and his ministers saw the Buddha, with six-coloured rays radiating from his body, they approached the Buddha and paid homage to him. The Buddha then delivered a discourse to them. After listening to the discourse the king and all his ministers attained Sotapatti Fruition (first stage of enlightenment) and they asked the Buddha to permit them to join the Monks Order. The Buddha, reflecting on their past and finding that they had made offerings of yellow robes in a past existence said to them, "Ehi bhikkhu", and they all became monks.
Meanwhile Queen Anoja learnt about the king's departure for Savatthi, sent for the wives of the 1000 ministers and together with them followed the king's trail. They too came to the place where the Buddha was and seeing the Buddha with a halo of six colours, they paid homage to him. During this time, the Buddha by exercising his supernormal power had made the king and his ministers invisible so that their wives did not see them.
The queen therefore inquired where the king and his ministers were. The Buddha told the queen and her party to wait for a while and that the king would soon come with his ministers. The Buddha then delivered another discourse; at the end of this discourse the king and his ministers attained arahatship (enlightenmeny); the queen and the wives of the ministers attained Sotapatti Fruition. At that instant, the queen and her party saw the newly admitted bhikkhus and recognized them as their former husbands.
The ladies also asked permission from the Buddha to enter the Order of Bhikkhunis (nuns); so they were directed to go ahead to Savatthi. There they entered the Order and very soon they also attained arahatship. The Buddha then returned to the Jetavana monastery accompanied by one thousand bhikkhus.
At the Jetavana monastery, Thera Mahakappina while resting would often say, "Oh, what happiness!" (Aho Sukham). The bhikkhus heard him say this so many times a day and they informed the Buddha about it. To them the Buddha replied, "My son Kappina having had the taste of the Dhamma lives happily with a serene mind; he is saying these words of exultation repeatedly with reference to the bliss of Nibbana."
In other words, the wise one is delighted with the teachings of the Buddha and his mind is blissful. That's the bliss of Nibbana.
Irrigators channel off waters; fletchers straighten arrows; carpenters shape wood; the wise control themselves.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 80 : Samanera Pandita
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 80 with reference to Samanera Pandita.
Pandita was a young son of a rich man of Savatthi. He became a samanera (novice) at the age of seven. On the eighth day after becoming a samanera, as he was following Venerable Sariputta on an alms-round, he saw some farmers channeling water into their fields and asked: "Can water which has no consciousness be guided to wherever one wishes ?" Venerable Sariputta replied, "Yes, it can be guided to wherever one wishes."
As they continued on their way, the novice next saw some fletchers heating their arrows with fire and straightening them. Further on, he came across some carpenters sawing timber to make it into things like cart-wheels. Then he pondered, "“If inanimate things without consciousness could be so controlled, why should I, having consciousness, be unable to tame my mind and practice Tranquility and Insight Meditation?"
Then he asked permission from VenerabSariputt and returned to his own room in the monastery. There he ardently and diligently practiced meditation, contemplating the body. Sakka and the devas also helped him in his meditation by keeping the monastery and its precincts very quiet and still. Before meal time Samanera Pandita attained Anagami Fruition (non-returner third stage of enlightenment).
At that time Venerable Sariputta was bringing food to the samanera. Then Buddha saw with his super-normal power that Samanera Pandita had attained Anagami Fruition and if he continued to practice meditation he would soon attain arahantship (enlightenment). So the Buddha decided to stop Sariputta from entering the room where the samanera was. Thus Buddha went to the door and kept Sariputta engaged by putting some questions to him. While the conversation was taking place, the samanera attained arahantship. Thus, the samanera attained arahantship on the eighth day after becoming a novice. Then the Buddha said to the monks of the monastery, "When one is earnestly practicing the Dhamma (teachings), even Sakka and the devas will give protection and keep guard; I myself have kept Sariputta engaged at the door so that Samanera Pandita should not be disturbed. The samanera, having seen the farmers irrigating their fields, the fletchers straightening their arrows, and carpenters making cart-wheels and other things, tames his mind and practices the dhamma; he has now become an arahant."
In other words,the wise person works upon their mind, restraining it the way they desire and practice the dhamma accordingly.
Verse 81( The wise are unshaken like a rock)
Selo yathā ekaghano, vātena na samīrati Evaṃ nindāpasaṃsāsu, na samiñjanti paṇḍitā
Just like a solid rock which cannot be shaken by the wind, even so the wise is unmoved by praise or blame.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 81 : Thera Lakundaka Bhaddiya
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 81 with reference to Monk Bhaddiya. Bhaddiya was one of the bhikkhus staying at the Jetavana monastery. Because of his short stature he was known as Lakundaka (the dwarf) to other bhikkhus. Even young bhikkhus would often tease him by pulling his nose or his ear, or by patting him on his head.
However Lakundaka Bhaddiya never retaliated in anger, or abused them; in fact, even in his heart he did not get angry with them.
When told about the patience and good nature of Lakundaka Bhaddiya, the Buddha said, "An arahant (enlightened one) never loses his temper, he has no desire to speak harshly or to think ill of others. He is like a mountain of solid rock; as a solid rock is unshaken, so also, an arahat is unperturbed by scorn or by praise."
In other words, a wise person is as sturdy as a rock, he is undisturbed by praise and humiliation.
Just like a deep lake which is clear and still, the wise become exceedingly peaceful after hearing the teachings.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 82: Kanamata
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 82 with reference to the mother of Kana, Kanamata.
Kanamata was a devoted lay disciple of the Buddha. Her daughter Kana was married to a man from another village. As Kana had been on a visit to her mother for some time, her husband sent a message for her to come home. Her mother told her to wait for another day as she wanted to send along some sweetmeats with her for her husband. The next day, Kanamata made some sweetmeats, but when four monks stood at her door for alms, she offered some to them. The four monks told other bhikkhus about the sweetmeats from Kanamata's house and they also went there for alms. As Kanamata is a devotee of the Buddha and his disciples, she offered her sweetmeats to the monks one after another. In the end there was none left for Kana and she did not go home on that day.
The same thing happened on the next two days; her mother made some sweetmeats and she offered her sweetmeats to the bhikkhus thus there was nothing left for her daughter to take home and her daughter did not go home. On the third day, her husband sent her a message saying if she failed to come home the next day, he would take another wife. But on the next day also Kana was unable to go home because her mother offered all her sweetmeats to the monks. Kana's husband then took another wife and Kana became very bitter towards the monks. She used to abuse all monks so much so that the monks stay away from the house of Kanamata.
The Buddha heard about Kana and went to the house of Kanamata; there Kanamata offered him some rice gruel. After the meal, the Buddha sent for Kana and asked her, "Did my monks take what was given them or what was not given them ?" Kana answered that the bhikkhus had taken only what was given them and then added, "They were not in the wrong; only I was in the wrong." Thus, she owned up her fault and she also paid homage to the Buddha. The Buddha then gave a discourse. At the end of the discourse, Kana attained Sotapatti Fruition (first stage of attainment).
On the way back to the monastery, the Buddha met King Pasenadi of Kosala. Upon hearing about Kana and her bitter attitude towards the monks, King Pasenadi asked the Buddha whether he had been able to teach her the Dhamma and make her see the Truth (Dhamma). The Buddha replied, "Yes, I have taught her the Dhamma, and I have also made her rich in her next existence." Then the king promised the Buddha that he would make Kana rich even in this existence. The king then sent his men to fetch Kana. When she arrived, the king announced to his ministers, "Whoever can keep my daughter Kana in comfort may take her." One of the ministers volunteered to adopt Kana as his daughter, gave her all his wealth, and said to her, "You may give in charity as much as you like." Everyday, Kana made offerings to the monks at the four city-gates. When told about Kana's generosity in charity, the Buddha said, "Bhikkhus, the mind of Kana which was foggy and muddled was made clear and calm by my words."
In other words, after hearing the teachings taught by Buddha, one's mind will become calm and peaceful like a still lake.
Verse 83 ( The Wise Are Neither Elated Nor Depressed)
Sabbattha ve sappurisā cajanti, na kāmakāmā lapayanti santo Sukhena phuṭṭhā athavā dukhena, na uccāvacaṃ paṇḍitā dassayanti
The virtuous renounce everything; the peaceful do not wish for sensual pleasures: when faced with joy or sorrow, the wise show neither elation nor depression
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 83 : 500 Bhikkhus
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (83) of this book, with reference to five hundred bhikkhus.
At the request of a brahmin from Veranja, the Buddha was, on one occasion, staying at Veranja with 500 bhikkhus. While they were at Veranja, the brahmin failed to look after them. The people of Varanja, who were then facing a famine, could offer very little to the bhikkhus when they went on their rounds for alms-food. Despite all these hardships, the bhikkhus were not disheartened; they were contented with the small amount of shriveled grain which the horse-traders offered them daily. At the end of the rain seasons, after informing the brahmin from Veranja, the Buddha returned to the Jetavana monastery, accompanied by the 500 bhikkhus. The people of Savatthi welcomed them back by providing a variety of foods.
A group of people living with the bhikkhus, ate the left over food greedily like true gluttons and went to sleep after their meals. when they woke up, they were shouting, singing and dancing, thus making themselves a thorough nuisance. When the Buddha came in the evening to the congregation of bhikkhus, they reported to him about the behaviour of those people, and said, "These people living on the leftovers were quite decent and well-behaved when all of us were facing hardship and famine in Veranja. Now that they have good food they are behaving rowdily. The bhikkhus, however, behave themselves here just as they were in Veranja".
To them the Buddha replied, "It is in the nature of the foolish to be full of sorrow and feel depressed when things go wrong, and to be full of gladness and feel elated when things go well. The wise, however, can withstand the ups and downs of life." In other words, the wise ones do not react emotionally when faced with different ups and downs in life as they are not attached to sensual desires.
Verse 84 (The wise live correctly)
Na attahetu na parassa hetu, na puttamicche na dhanaṃ na raṭṭhaṃ Na iccheyya adhammena samiddhim attano, sa sīlavā paññavā dhammiko siyā
Not for one’s own sake, nor for the sake of others, one should not desire children, wealth, or kingdom; one should not desire success for oneself by unjust means. He who behaves in such a way is virtuous, wise and just.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 84 : Thera DhammikaWhile residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 84 with reference to Thera Dhammika.
Dhammika lived in Savatthi with his wife. One day, he told his pregnant wife that he wished to become a monk; his wife pleaded with him to wait until after the birth of their child. When the child was born, he again requested his wife to let him go but she pleaded with him to wait until the child could walk.
Then Dhammika thought to himself, "It will be useless for me to ask my wife for her approval to join the Order; I shall work for my own liberation." Having made a firm decision, he left his house to become a monk. He took a subject of meditation from the Buddha and practiced meditation ardently and diligently and soon became an arahant.
Some years later, he visited his house in order to teach the Dhamma to his son and his wife. His son entered the Monks Order and he too attained arahantship. The wife thought, "Now that both my husband and my son have left the house, I would leave it, too." With this thought she left the house and became a nun; eventually, she too attained arahantship.
At the congregation of the monks, the Buddha was told how Dhammika became a bhikkhu and attained arahantship, and how through him his son and his wife also attained arahantship. To them the Buddha said, "Bhikkhus, a wise man does not wish for wealth and prosperity by doing evil, whether it is for his own sake or for the sake of others. He only works for his own liberation from the round of rebirths (samsara) by comprehending the Dhamma and living according to the Dhamma." In other words, the wise does not crave and does not have attachment to sensual desires for the sake of himself or others. But the wise follows the teachings and practice them.
Verse 85-86 (A few reach the other shore)
Appakā te manussesu, ye janā pāragāmino Athāyaṃ itarā pajā, tīramevānudhāvati. Ye ca kho sammadakkhāte, dhamme dhammānuvattino Te janā pāramessanti, maccudheyyaṃ suduttaraṃ
Few men go beyond and reach the other shore (Nibbana); the rest of mankind only run up and down on this shore. But those who practice according to the well-expounded Dhamma (teaching) will reach Nibbana, will pass over the Realm of Death (samsara), so difficult to transcend.
Story related to Dhammapada verse 85-86 : Dhamma Listeners
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses 85 and 86 with reference to a congregation of people who had come to listen to a discourse in Savatthi.
On one occasion, a group of people from Savatthi made special offerings to the bhikkhus collectively and they arranged for some bhikkhus to deliver discourses throughout the night. Many in the audience could not sit up the whole night and they returned to their homes early; some sat through the night but most of the time they were half-asleep. There were only a few who listened attentively to the discourses. At dawn, when the bhikkhus told the Buddha about what happened the previous night, he replied, "Most people are attached to this world; only a very few reach the other shore (Nibbana)."
In other words, only a few who study and practice the teachings diligently will reach liberation. The rest will continue to be caught up in samsara.
The wise man leaves the home of craving and having nibbana as his goal; he should abandon dark states and cultivate the pure,good ones.
He would seek delight in seclusion, which ordinary man feels so hard to enjoy. Giving up sensual pleasures, with no craving, the wise should cleanse the mind of impurities.
Those who have perfected the factors of enlightenment are without clinging, and delight in renunciation. They are the corruption-free,radiant and powerful- have attained nibbāna even in this world
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 87-89: 500 visiting monks
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses 87, 88 and 89 with reference to five hundred visiting bhikkhus.
500 bhikkhus who had spent the vassa in Kosala came to pay homage to the Buddha at the Jetavana monastery, at the end of the vassa (rain retreat). After listening to their experiences during the retreat he admonished them. The Buddha uttered the following three verses to suit their various temperaments. In other words, the wise one who has renounced, goes into solitude, cultivates wholesome actions, abandon craving and purifies the mind off defilements. Such a wise one will achieve liberation in this world itself.