Dhammapada Verses 13 and 14
Yatha agaram ducchannam
evam abhavitam cittam
Yatha agaram suchannam
vutthi na samativijjhati
evam subhavitam cittam
rago na samativijjhati.
Verse 13: Just as rain penetrates a badly-roofed house, so also, passion
(raga) penetrates a mind not cultivated in Tranquillity and Insight Development
(Samatha and Vipassana).
Verse 14: Just as rain cannot penetrate a well-roofed house, so also, passion
(raga) cannot penetrate a mind well-cultivated in Tranquillity and Insight
Development (Samatha and Vipassana).
The Story of Thera Nanda
While residing at the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi, the Buddha uttered
Verses (13) and (14) of this book, with reference to Thera Nanda, a cousin of
Once the Buddha was residing at the Veluvana monastery in Rajagaha when his
father King Suddhodana repeatedly sent messengers to the Buddha requesting him
to visit the city of Kapilavatthu. Accordingly, the Buddha made the journey in
the company of twenty thousand arahats. On arrival at Kapilavatthu he related
the Vessantara Jataka to the assembly of his relatives. On the second day, he
entered the city, where by reciting the verse beginning with "Uttitthe
Nappamajjeyya ..." (i.e., One should arise and should not be unmindful
...) he caused his father to be established in Sotapatti Fruition. On arrival at
the palace, the Buddha recited another verse beginning with "Dhammam
care sucaritam ..." (i.e., One should practise the Dhamma...) and
established the king in Sakadagami Fruition*. After the meal he narrated
the Candakinnari Jataka, with reference to the virtues of Rahula's mother.
On the third day, there was the marriage ceremony of Prince Nanda, a cousin
of the Buddha. The Buddha went there for alms and handed over the alms bowl to
Prince Nanda. The Buddha then departed without taking back the bowl. So the
prince, holding the bowl, had to follow the Buddha. The bride, Princess
Janapadakalyani, seeing the prince following the Buddha rushed forth and cried
out to the prince to come back soon. At the monastery, the prince was admitted
into the Order as a bhikkhu.
Later, the Buddha moved into the monastery built by Anathapindika, at Jeta
Park in Savatthi. While residing there Nanda was discontented and half-hearted
and found little pleasure in the life of a bhikkhu. He wanted to return to the
life of a householder because he kept on remembering the words of Princess
Janapadakalyani, imploring him to return soon.
Knowing this, the Buddha, by supernormal power, showed Nanda, the beautiful
female devas of the Tavatimsa world who were far prettier than Princess
Janapadakalyani. He promised to get them for Nanda, if the latter strove hard in
the practice of the Dhamma. Other bhikkhus ridiculed Nanda by saying that he was
like a hireling who practised the Dhamma for the sake of beautiful women, etc.
Nanda felt very much tormented and ashamed. So, in seclusion, he tried very hard
in the practice of the Dhamma and eventually attained arahatship. As an arahat
his mind was totally released from all attachments, and the Buddha was also
released from his promise to Nanda. All this had been foreseen by the Buddha
right from the very beginning.
Other bhikkhus, having known that Nanda was not happy in the life of a
bhikkhu, again asked him how he was faring. When he answered that he had no more
attachments to the life of a householder, they thought Nanda was not speaking
the truth. So they informed the Buddha about the matter, at the same time
expressing their doubts. The Buddha then explained to them that, previously, the
nature of Nanda was like that of an ill-roofed house, but now, it had grown to
be like a well-roofed one.
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
Verse 13: Just as rain penetrates a badly-roofed
house, so also, passion (raga) penetrates a mind not cultivated in
Tranquillity and Insight Development (Samatha and Vipassana).
Verse 14: Just as rain cannot penetrate a
well-roofed house, so also, passion (raga) cannot penetrate a mind
well-cultivated in Tranquillity and Insight Development (Samatha and
* Sakadagami Fruition: Sakadagami Phala,
'fruit' or 'fruition'. This immediately follows Sakadagami Magga which is
the second Magga or the second stage of Enlightenment attained by one who has
practised Insight Meditation.