Gataddhino visokassa, vippamuttassa sabbadhi Sabbaganthappahīṇassa, pariḷāho na vijjati
For an arahant whose journey has ended, who is free from sorrow, for him who from everything is wholly free, who has destroyed all fetters, the fever of passion does not exists.
Story related to Dhammapa Verse 90: Question Asked by Jivaka
While residing at the mango-grove monastery of Jivaka, the Buddha uttered Verse 90 with reference to the question raised by Jivaka to the Buddha.
Devadatta tried to kill the Buddha by pushing a big rock from the peak of Gijjhakuta mountain (Vulture's Peak). The rock struck the side of the mountain and a splinter struck the big toe of the Buddha. The Buddha was taken to the mango-grove monastery of Jivaka. There, Jivaka, the renowned physician, attended on the Buddha; he put some medicine on the toe of the Buddha and bandaged it.
Jivaka then left to see another patient in town, but promised to return and remove the bandage in the evening. When Jivaka returned that night, the city-gates were already closed and he could not come to see the Buddha that night. He was very upset because if the bandage was not removed in time, the infection may spread and the Buddha would be very ill.
Buddha read Jivaka's thoughts and asked Thera Ananda to remove the bandage from his big toe and found that the wound was completely healed. Jivaka came to the monastery early next morning and asked the Buddha whether he felt great pain and distress the previous night. The Buddha replied,"Jivaka! Ever since I attained Buddhahood there has been no pain and distress for me." In other words, when one is enlightened he has destroyed all defilements/taints and will no longer suffer from sorrows and bonded to sensual desires.
Verse 91 (The mindful are not attached)
Uyyuñjanti satīmanto, na nikete ramanti te Haṃsā’va pallalaṃ hitvā, okam okaṃ jahanti te
The mindful strive diligently in the practice, they leave home and do not delight in an abode (life with sensual pleasures); Just like wild geese leaving a muddy lake again, they abandon all cravings.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 91: Thera MahakassapaWhile residing at the Veluvana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 91 with reference to Thera Mahakassapa.
The Buddha once spent the vassa at Rajagaha with a number of bhikkhus. About two weeks before the end of the vassa, the Buddha informed the bhikkhus that they would soon be leaving. Some bhikkhus stitched and dyed new robes, some washed the old robes.
When some bhikkhus saw Mahakassapa washing his robes, they speculated, "There are so many people inside and outside Rajagaha who love and respect Thera Mahakassapa and are constantly looking to all his needs; is it possible that the Thera would leave his lay devotees here and follow the Buddha elsewhere?"
On the eve of his departure, the Buddha thought that there might be some occasions like alms-food offering ceremonies, initiation of novices, funerals, etc., and it would not be proper for all the bhikkhus to leave. The residents of Rājagaha would need the services of the monks on such occasions of celebration and mourning so he decided that some bhikkhus should remain at the Veluvana monastery and the most suitable person would be Thera Mahakassapa. ThusThera Mahakassapa remained in Rajagaha with some junior bhikkhus.
Then the other bhikkhus said scornfully, "Mahakassapa has not accompanied the Buddha, just as we have predicted!" The Buddha heard their remark and said to them, "Bhikkhus! Do you wish to say that my son Kassapa is attached to his lay disciples of Rajagaha and to the things they offer him? You are very much mistaken. My son Kassapa remains here under my instruction; he is not attached to anything here." In other words, an enlightened one is no longer attach to any cravings or sensual pleasures.
Verse 92 (Reflect well over food)
Yesaṃ sannicayo natthi, ye pariññātabhojanā Suññato animitto ca, vimokkho yassa gocaro Ākāse’va sakuntānaṃ, gati tesaṃ durannayā
Arahats do not hoard anything; when taking food they reflect well over it. They have their object liberation from existence as Nibbana which is Void and Signless. Their destination, like the course of birds in the air, cannot be traced.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 92: Thera Belatthasisa
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 92 with reference to Thera Belatthasisa.
Thera Belatthasisa after an alms-round in the village, stopped along the way and ate his food there. After the meal, he continued his round of alms for more food. When he had collected enough food, he returned to the monastery and hoarded the rice. Thus, there was no need for him to go on an alms-round every day; then he can remain in jhana concentration for two or three days. Arising from jhana concentration he ate the dried rice he had stored up, after soaking it in water.
Other monks reported to the Buddha about his hoarding of rice. Since then, a new rule was set and the hoarding of food by the monks has been prohibited. As for Thera Belatthasisa, since he stored up rice before the ruling on hoarding was made and because he did it not out of greed for food, but only to save time for meditation practice, the Buddha declared that the thera was quite innocent and that he was not to be blamed.
In other words, an arahant has full understanding that nature is empty and objectless, the mind is free of craving, has nibbana as the destination and leaves no trace of its whereabouts like the paths of birds in flight.
Verse 93 (The Undefiled Ones Are Free)
Yassāsavā parikkhīṇā, āhāre ca anissito Suññato animitto ca, vimokkho yassa gocaro Ākāse’va sakuntānaṃ, padaṃ tassa durannayaṃ
He whose corruptions are destroyed, is not attached to food. He has as his object liberation from existence (Nibbana) which is Void and Signless. His path is like that of birds in the air which cannot be traced.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 93 : Thera AnuruddhaWhile residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 93 with reference to Thera Anuruddha.
Thera Anuruddha was one day looking for some discarded pieces of cloth in a rubbish heap to make into a robe as his old robe was getting soiled and torn. Jalini, his wife of a previous existence, who was now in a deva world, saw him. Knowing that he was looking for some cloth, she took three pieces of good deva material and put them in the rubbish heap, making them barely visible to him. The thera found the pieces of cloth and took them to the monastery. While he was making the robe, the Buddha arrived with his Chief Disciples and senior disciples and they also helped stitch the robe.
Meanwhile, Jalini, assuming the form of a young lady, came to the village and learnt about the arrival of the Buddha and his disciples and how they were helping Thera Anuruddha. She urged the villagers to send good delicious food to the monastery. Other bhikkhus, seeing so much surplus of food given, put the blame on the thera and said, "Thera Anuruddha should have asked his relatives and lay disciples to send just enough food; may be, he just wanted to show off that he had so many devotees."
To those bhikkhus, the Buddha said, "Bhikkhus, do not think Anuruddha has asked his relatives and lay disciples to send foods. He did not ask for anything; arahats do not talk requisites like food and clothing. The excessive amount of food brought to the monastery this morning was due to the promptings of a celestial being and not Anuruddha."
In other words, an arahant whose corruptions have been destroyed will not be attached to things like food. Their focus is the path to nibbana instead.
The arahant whose senses are calm like horses well controlled by the charioteer, has eradicated conceit and is free from corruptions. Such a steadfast one is held dear even by the devas.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 94 : Thera Mahakaccayana While residing at the Pubbarama monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 94, with reference to Thera Mahakaccayana. On a full moon day at the end of the vassa (rain retreat), Sakka (the king of gods) with a large company of devas came to pay homage to the Buddha, who was residing at Pubbarama, the monastery built by Visakha. The Buddha was being attended upon by the Chief Disciples and all the senior monks. Thera Mahakaccayana, who spent the vassa in Avanti, had not arrived and a seat was kept vacant for him. Sakka paid homage to the Buddha with flowers, incense and perfumes. Upon seeing a vacant seat he declared how he wished that Thera Mahakaccayana would come so that he could pay obeisance to him also. At that instant Mahakaccayana arrived; Sakka was very pleased and eagerly paid obeisance to him with flowers, incense and perfumes. The monks were awed by Sakka paying obeisance to Mahakaccayana and some monks thought that Sakka was being partial. To them, the Buddha said, "An arahant who is restrained in his senses is loved by both men and devas." In other words, an arahant whose senses are well subdued, free from taints and with abandonment of conceit will be well loved by men and devas.
Verse 95 (Arahants are noble)
Pathavi samo no virujjhati, indakhilupamo tādi subbato Rahado’va apetakaddamo, saṃsārā na bhavanti tādino
Like the earth, the arahant is not provoked to respond in anger; like the city gate pillar he stands firm; he is unperturbed by the ups and downs of life; he is serene and pure like a lake free from mud. For such an arahant there will be no more rebirth.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 95: Thera Sariputta
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 95 with reference to the Chief Disciple Sariputta and a young bhikkhu.
It was the end of the vassa; and Thera Sariputta was about to set out on a journey with some followers. A young bhikkhu, who bore some grudge against the thera, approached the Buddha and falsely reported that Thera Sariputta had abused him and beaten him.
Buddha sent for the thera and questioned him and Thera Sariputta replied as follows: "Venerable Sir! How could a bhikkhu, who steadfastly keeps his mind on the body, set out on a journey without apologizing, after doing wrong to a fellow bhikkhu? I am like the earth, which feels no pleasure when flowers are cast on it, nor resentment when rubbish and excreta are piled upon it. I am also like the door-mat, the beggar, the bull with broken horns; I also feel abhorrence for the impurity of the body and am no longer attached to it."
After hearing this, the young bhikkhu felt very much distressed and wept bitterly and admitted that he had lied about the Chief Disciple Sariputta. Then the Buddha advised Thera Sariputta to accept the apology of the young bhikkhu, lest a heavy punishment should fall on him. The young bhikkhu then admitted that he had done wrong and respectfully asked for pardon. Thera Sariputta pardoned the young bhikkhu and also asked to be forgiven if he also had done any wrong. All those present talked in praise of Thera Sariputta, and the Buddha said, "Bhikkhus, a bhikkhu like Sariputta has no anger or ill will in him. Like the earth and the door-post, he is patient, tolerant, and firm; like the lake free from mud, he is serene and pure."
In summary, an arahant has no more defilements and attachments just like a lake free from mud and the steadfast earth.
Verse 96 (Calm are the peaceful)
Santaṃ tassa manaṃ hoti, santā vācā ca kamma ca Sammadaññā vimuttassa, upasantassa tādino
An arahant is calm in his mind, in his speech, in his action; truly knowing the Dhamma, he is free from moral defilements, perfectly peaceful and equanimous.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 96: Samanera (novice) from Kosambi
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 96 with reference to a samanera, a pupil of Thera Tissa from Kosambi.
Once, a seven year old boy was made a samanera (novice) at the request of his father. Before his head was shaved the boy was given a subject of meditation. While he was being shaved, the boy had his mind fixed steadfastly on the object of meditation and thus he attained arahantship as soon as they finished shaving his head.
After some time, Thera Tissa, accompanied by the samanera, set out for Savatthi to pay homage to the Buddha. On the way, they spent one night in a village monastery. The thera fell asleep, but the young samanera sat up the whole night beside the bed of the old thera as he knew that his teacher would fall into an offence if he slept a fourth night with a non-bhikkhu.
Early in the morning, the old thera thought it was time to wake up the young samanera. So he tried to wake the samanera with a palm-leaf fan and accidentally hit the eye of the samanera with the handle of the fan and caused him to turn blind. The samanera covered that eye with one hand and went about doing his duties of getting water for the thera to wash his face and clean his mouth, etc.
When the young samanera offered water with one hand to the thera, the thera chided him, and said that he should offer things with both hands. Only then, did the thera learn how the samanera lost his other eye. At that instant, he realized that he had wronged a truly noble person. Feeling very sorry and humiliated, he made an apology to the samanera. But the samanera said that it was not the fault of the thera, nor his own fault, but that it was only the result of kamma, and told the thera not to feel sad about it. But the thera could not get over the unfortunate incident.
They continued their journey to Savatthi and arrived at the Jetavana monastery where the Buddha was staying. The thera told the Buddha that the young samanera who came along with him was the most noble person he had ever met, and related all that had happened on their way. The Buddha listened to him, and replied, "My son, an arahant does not get angry with anyone he is restrained in his senses and is perfectly calm and serene." In other words, an arahant is calm and peaceful with his thoughts, speech and actions. He is free from moral defilements and is unpurturbed by the ups and downs of life.
Verse 97 (An Excellent Man is Not Credulous )
Assaddho akataññūca, sandhicchedo ca yo naro Hatāvakāso vantāso sa ve uttamaporiso.
He who has no beliefs, who has realized the Unconditioned (Nibbana), who has cut off rebirths, who has destroyed all consequences of good and bad deeds (kamma), who has discarded all craving, is truly an excellent man (an arahant).
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 97: Thera Sariputta
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 97 with reference to Thera Sariputtta.
30 monks from a village had arrived at the Jetavana monastery to pay homage to the Buddha. The Buddha knew that the time was ripe for those monks to attain arahantship. So, he sent for Sariputta, and in the presence of those monks and he asked, "My son Sariputta, do you accept the fact that by meditating on the senses one could realize Nibbana ?"
Sariputta answered, "Venerable Sir, with regards to the realization of Nibbana by meditating on the senses, i do not believe it out of blind faith in you; it is only those who have not personally realized it, that accept the fact from others blindly without analysis." Sariputta's answer was not properly understood by the monk and they thought, "Sariputta has not given up wrong views yet as he has no faith in the Buddha."
Then the Buddha explained to them the true meaning of Sariputta's answer. "Monks, Sariputta's answer is simply this; he accepts the fact that Nibbana is realized by means of meditation on the senses, but his acceptance is due to his own personal realization/experience and not merely because I have said it or somebody else has said it. Sariputta has faith in me; he also has faith in the consequences of good and bad deeds (kamma)."
In summary, an arahant is an excellent person who has no more cravings, who has cut off the links leading to rebirth and someone who will not believe blindly.
In a village or in a forest, in a valley or on a hill, wherever arahats dwell, that place is delightful.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 98: Thera Revata
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 98 with reference to Thera Revata of the Acacia (khadira) Forest.
Revata was the youngest brother of the Chief Disciple, Sariputta. He was the only one of the brothers and sisters of Sariputta who had not left home for the monkshood. His parents were very anxious to get him married. Revata was only seven years old when his parents arranged a marriage for him to a young girl.
At the wedding reception, he met an old lady who was 120 years old, and he realized that all beings are subject to ageing and decay. So, he ran away from the house and went straight to a monastery, where there were 30 bhikkhus. Those bhikkhus had been requested earlier by Thera Sariputta to make his brother a samanera(novice) if he should come to them. Accordingly, he was made a samanera and Thera Sariputta was informed about it.
Samanera Revata took a subject of meditation from those bhikkhus and left for an acacia forest to meditate. At the end of the vassa, the samanera attained arahatship (enlightenment). Thera Sariputta then asked permission from the Buddha to visit his brother, but the Buddha replied that he himself would go there. So the Buddha accompanied by Thera Sariputta, Thera Sivali and 500 bhikkhus set out to visit Samanera Revata.
The journey was long, the road was rough and the area was uninhabited by people; but the devas looked to all the needs of the Buddha and the bhikkhus along the way.
Revata, learning about the visit of the Buddha, also made arrangements to welcome him. With supernormal power he created a special monastery for the Buddha and five hundred monasteries for the other bhikkhus, and made them comfortable throughout their stay there.
On their return journey, they traveled at the same rate as before, and came to the Pubbarama monastery on the eastern end of Savatthi at the end of the month. From there, they went to the house of Visakha, who offered them alms-food. After the meal, Visakha asked the Buddha if the place of Revata in the acacia forest was pleasant. Buddha answered in verse as follows: "In a village or in a forest, in a valley or on a hill, wherever arahats dwell, that place is delightful."
In other words, in places where an arahant (enlightened one) dwells in, it will be a delightful place.
Verse 99 (Forests Are Delightful to the Passionless )
Ramaṇīyāni araññāni, yattha na ramatī jano Vītarāgā ramissanti, na te kāmagavesino
Forests are delightful, but ordinary people find no pleasure in them; only those who are free from passion will find delight in them, for they do not seek sensual pleasures.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 99: A WomanWhile residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 99 with reference to a woman of doubtful character.
A bhikkhu, after taking a subject of meditation from the Buddha, was practicing meditation in an old garden. A woman of doubtful character came into the garden and tried to attract his attention and seduce him. The thera got frightened; at the same time, his whole body was diffused with some kind of delightful satisfaction. The Buddha saw him from his monastery with his supernormal power, sent rays of light to him, and the bhikkhu received this message, which said, "My son, where worldlings seek sensual pleasures is not the place for bhikkhus; bhikkhus should take delight in forests where worldlings find no pleasure." The bhikkhu continued his meditation after this message, ignored the sensual pleasures and attain arahantship. In others words, ordinary people seek places to fulfill their sensual pleasures' cravings. But an arahant who is free from cravings an defilements seek secluded places away from sensual pleasures.