Pali text, illustration and English translation of Dhammapada verse 95:
paṭhavisamo no virujjhati indakhīlū’pamo tādi subbato |
rahado’va apetakaddamo saṃsārā na bhavanti tādino || 95 ||
95. Like earth is one who’s well-behaved, secure and not resentful, as city-post, as filth-free lake, no wanderings-on for One Who’s Thus.
The Story of Venerable Sāriputta
While residing at the Jetavana Monastery, the Buddha spoke this verse, with reference to the Chief Disciple Sāriputta and a young monk.
Once upon a time, at the conclusion of the rains, Venerable Sāriputta, desiring to go forth on an alms-pilgrimage, took leave of the Buddha, paid obeisance to him, and departed with his own retinue. Many other monks took leave of the Venerable. In dismissing the monks the Venerable mentioned the personal and family name of all of the monks who were known by personal and family names. A certain monk who was not known by a personal and family name said, “Oh, that the Venerable would greet me by a personal and family name in dismissing me.” But in the great throng of monks the elder did not notice him. Thereupon the monk said to himself, “He does not greet me as he does the other monks,” and straightaway conceived a grudge against the Venerable.
Besides that, the hem of the Venerable’s garment brushed against the monk, and this also served to intensify the hatred the monk felt towards the Venerable. So, as soon as he knew that the Venerable had passed beyond the entrance to the monastery, he approached the Buddha and said to him, “Venerable, Venerable Sāriputta, doubtless thinking to himself, ‘I am your chief disciple,’ struck me a blow that almost injured my ear. Having so done, without so much as begging my pardon, he set out on his alms-pilgrimage.” The Buddha caused the Venerable to be summoned.
Venerable Sāriputta came with the rest, saluted the Buddha, and sat down respectfully on one side. When the Buddha questioned him about the incident, the elder, instead of saying, “I did not strike that monk,” recited his own virtues.
As the Venerable recited his own virtues, remorse pervaded the whole body of the monk who had unjustly slandered him. And straightaway he fell at the feet of the Buddha, admitted that he was guilty of slander, and confessed his fault. The Buddha addressing the Venerable, said, “Sāriputta, pardon this deluded man, lest his head split into seven pieces.” Thereupon the Venerable crouched before the monk, and extending his clasped hands in an attitude of reverence, said to him, “Venerable, I freely pardon this venerable monk. Let this venerable monk also pardon me if I have in any way offended against him.” Thereupon the monks said, “Behold, brethren, the surpassing goodness of the Venerable! He cherishes neither anger nor hatred against this lying, slanderous monk. Instead, he crouches before him, extends his hands in an attitude of reverence, and asks his pardon.” When the Buddha heard the talk of the monks, he said, “Monks, what are you talking about?” When they told him, he said, “Monks, it is impossible for Sāriputta and his like to cherish anger or hatred. Sāriputta’s mind is like the great earth, like a threshold, like a pool of still water.”
Explanatory Translation (Verse 95)
subbato paṭhavīsamo no virujjati indakhīlūpamo tādi
rahado iva apetakaddamo tādino saṃsārā na bhavanti
subbato [subbata]: well conducted; paṭhavīsamo like the earth; no virujjati: does not stand opposed to anyone; indakhīlūpamo [indakhīlūpama]: like a fortress tower; tādi: stable; rahado iva: like the ocean; apetakaddamo [apetakaddama]: devoid of mud; tādino [tādina]: stable one; saṃsārā: (for him) wandering in existence; na bhavanti: does not happen
The noble Arahats never lose their temper whatsoever is done to them. They are as firm and unshaken as the gate-pillars that secure city-gates. They are as lucid and tranquil as the ocean and the lakes devoid of mud. That kind of noble person ceases to wander in the round of existence–saṃsāra.
Commentary and exegetical material (Verse 95)
indakhīla: either a column as firm and high as that of Sakka’s, or the main tower that stands at the entrance of a fortress, or city. Commentators state that these indakhīlas are firm posts which are erected either inside or outside the city as an embellishment. Usually they are made of bricks or of durable wood and are octagonal in shape. Half of the post is embedded in the earth, hence the metaphor ‘as firm and steady as an indakhīla’.
tādino: Tādi is one who has neither attachment to desirable objects nor aversion to undesirable objects. Nor does he cling to anything. Amidst the eight worldly conditions–gain and loss, fame and infamy, blame and praise, happiness and pain–an Arahant remains unperturbed, manifesting neither attachment nor aversion, neither elation nor depression.