Dhamma Verses

7. The Chapter about the Arahats

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The Arahat has no passions

Devadatta hurled a rock down on the Buddha, which cut his foot; the Buddha’s physician Jīvaka applied medicine which needs to be applied for only a short time, but immediately thereafter he had to leave and was unable to return; the Buddha knew his thoughts though and asked Ven. Ānanda to remove the medicine; the next day Jīvaka asked if the Buddha suffered pain because of his oversight, and this was his reply.

90. Gataddhino visokassa vippamuttassa sabbadhi,
sabbaganthappahīnassa, pariḷāho na vijjati.

For the one who has reached his goal,
who grieves not, released on all sides,
who has abandoned all the knots,
no consuming fever is found.

The mindful abandon their homes

The Buddha set out on walkabout with a great host of monks, but seeing none left behind in Sāvatthī, he sent Ven. Mahākassapa and his entourage back; some monks, not knowing of the instruction, accused the elder of being attached to his regular supporters, but the Buddha explained it was otherwise.

91. Uyyuñjanti satīmanto na nikete ramanti te,
haṁsā va pallalaṁ hitvā, okam-okaṁ jahanti te.

The mindful ones who are striving
do not delight in a dwelling,
like geese who abandon a lake,
they abandon fondness for homes.

The track of the liberated is hard to find

Ven. Belaṭṭhisīsa took to storing up food so as not to be bothered with the almsround; the monks reported it to the Buddha, who laid down a rule forbidding the storing of food, and gave this teaching.

92. Yesaṁ sannicayo natthi, ye pariññātabhojanā,
suññato animitto ca vimokkho yesa’ gocaro,
ākāse va sakuntānaṁ, gati tesaṁ durannayā.

For those who have no stores,
who know their food aright,
for those whose resort is
the liberation that
is empty or signless,
like the birds in the sky,
their track is hard to find.

The footprint of the one who is free is hard to find

The Buddha and the monks gathered round to help make a robe for Ven. Anuruddha; a former relative of his, who was then a goddess, incited the villagers to give alms, which they did, but the monks suspected Ven. Anuruddha gave the order for a great alms feast; the Buddha reproved them with this verse.

93. Yassāsavā parikkhīṇā, āhāre ca anissito,
suññato animitto ca vimokkho yassa gocaro,
ākāse va sakuntānaṁ, padaṁ tassa durannayaṁ.

For him whose pollutants
are destroyed, who is not
dependent on the foods,
for him whose resort is
the liberation that
is empty or signless,
like the birds in the sky,
his footprint’s hard to find.

The gods envy the Arahat

Ven. Mahākaccāyana, even though he lived far away, would regularly come to hear the Buddha teach; one day Sakka saw the elder was absent and wished he would come, and suddenly he appeared; Sakka paid homage to him and the Buddha recited this verse.

94. Yassindriyāni samathaṁ gatāni,
assā yathā sārathinā sudantā,
pahīnamānassa anāsavassa –
devā pi tassa pihayanti tādino.

For the one whose senses are stilled,
like horses well-trained by their groom,
who has abandoned all conceit,
who is without all pollutants –
even the gods envy such a one.

One who is untroubled is not reborn

Ven. Sāriputta is slandered by one of the monks, and the Buddha called him to account for himself; instead of defending himself he enumerated his virtues, which caused the great earth to quake; the monk who slandered him then asked pardon and Ven. Sāriputta asked pardon in return; the Buddha then spoke this verse.

95. Paṭhavisamo no virujjhati,
indakhīlūpamŏ tādi subbato,
rahado va apetakaddamo –
saṁsārā na bhavanti tādino.

One untroubled just like the earth,
steadfast just like a city-post,
like a lake mud-free – such a one
continues not in births and deaths.

The one liberated is calm in all he does

Ven. Tissa ordained a novice, who in the ordination hall became an Arahat; later they travelled, and through the carelessness of the monk the novice’s eye was put out; the novice, however, didn’t get angry but went about his duties as normal; the Buddha explained it with this verse.

96. Santaṁ tassa manaṁ hoti, santā vācā ca kamma’ ca,
sammad-aññāvimuttassa, upasantassa tādino.

His mind is calm, his speech is calm
and his actions are also calm,
liberated by right knowledge,
such a one is truly peaceful.

The Arahat is the person supreme

Ven. Sāriputta, when questioned by the Buddha, declared he didn’t have faith simply through listening to others, implying he has seen for himself; other monks thought he has said he didn’t have faith in the Buddha, so the latter taught this verse to explain the situation.

97. Assaddho akataññū ca sandhicchedo ca yo naro,
hatāvakāso vantāso, sa ve uttamaporiso.

The one who is beyond mere faith,
who knows that which is unmade,
who has cut off rebirth-linking,
who has destroyed the occasion,
who has thrown out hope and desire,
is surely the person supreme.

Wherever Arahats live is delightful

Ven. Sāriputta’s youngest brother Revata escaped from the household life, ordained, and soon after became an Arahat; after the Rains Retreat the Buddha visited him, and by spiritual power he transformed the thorn thickets he lived in into something well-equipped and quite delightful; when two old monks returned they found only a thorn thicket; the Buddha explained how it is so.

98. Gāme vā yadi vāraññe, ninne vā yadi vā thale,
yattharahanto viharanti, taṁ bhūmiṁ rāmaṇeyyakaṁ.

Whether in the village or wilds,
whether on low or on high ground,
wherever the Arahats live,
that ground is surely delightful.

The Arahats delight in the wilderness

A courtesan came across a meditating monk in the wilderness and sought to seduce him by stripping and flirting with him, when he saw her he became excited; the Buddha sent forth his image and gave the monk this advice.

99. Ramaṇīyāni araññāni yattha na ramatī jano,
vītarāgā ramissanti, na te kāmagavesino.

The delightful wildernesses
where the people do not delight,
those without passion delight in,
but not those who seek sense pleasures.

Arahantavaggo Sattamo
The Chapter about Arahats, the Seventh