Dhammapada Verse 83
Sabbattha ye sappurisa cajanti
na kamakama lapayanti santo
sukhena phuttha atha va dukhena
na uccavacam pandita dassayanti.
Verse 83: Indeed, the virtuous give up all (i.e., attachment to the five
khandhas, etc.); the virtuous (lit., the tranquil) do not talk with sensual
desire; when faced with joy or sorrow, the wise do not show elation or
The Story of Five Hundred 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 five hundred 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. In spite of all these hardships, the bhikkhus were not
disheartened; they were quite contented with the small amount of shrivelled
grain which the horse-traders offered them daily. At the end of the vasa, after
informing the brahmin from Veranja, the Buddha returned to the Jetavana
monastery, accompanied by the five hundred bhikkhus. The people of Savatthi
welcomed them back with choice food of all kinds.
A group of people living with the bhikkhus, eating whatever was left over by
the bhikkhus, ate greedily like true gluttons and went to sleep after their
meals. On waking 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
unruly persons, 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 enough good food they are going about shouting,
singing and dancing, and thus make themselves a thorough nuisance. 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."
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
|Verse 83: Indeed, the virtuous give up all (i.e.,
attachment to the five khandhas, etc.); the virtuous (lit., the
tranquil) do not talk with sensual desire; when faced with joy or
sorrow, the wise do not show elation or depression.