Dhammapada Verse 221
Kodham jahe vippajaheyya manam
akincanam2 nanupatanti dukkha.
Verse 221: Give up anger, abandon conceit, overcome all fetters. Ills of life
(dukkha) do not befall one who does not cling to mind and body and is free from
1. samyojanam: a fetter. There are ten fetters of human passion
which bind man to the round of rebirths; these are cast off at different stages
of Magga Insight.
2. akincanam: free from kincana: the three kincana are passion,
ill will and ignorance.
While residing at the Nigrodharama monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (221)
of this book, with reference to Princess Rohini, sister of Thera Anuruddha.
On one occasion, Thera Anuruddha visited Kapilavatthu. While he was staying
at the monastery there, all his relatives, with the exception of his sister
Rohini, came to see him. On learning from them that Rohini did not come because
she was suffering from leprosy, he sent for her. Covering her head in shame,
Rohini came when she was sent for. Thera Anuruddha told her to do some
meritorious deed and he suggested that she should sell some of her clothing and
jewelry; and with the money raised, to build a refectory for the bhikkhu. Rohini
agreed to do as she was told. Thera Anuruddha also asked his other relatives to
help in the construction of the hall. Further, he told Rohini to sweep the floor
and fill the water-pots every day even while the construction was still going
on. She did as she was instructed and she began to get better.
When the hall was completed, the Buddha and his bhikkhus were invited for
alms-food. After the meal, the Buddha asked for the donor of the building and
alms-food, but Rohini was not there. So the Buddha sent for her and she came.
The Buddha asked her whether she knew why she was inflicted with this dreaded
disease and she answered that she did not know. So the Buddha told her that she
had the dreadful disease because of an evil deed she bad done out of spite and
anger, in one of her past existences. As explained by the Buddha, Rohini was, at
one time, the chief queen of the king of Baranasi. It so happened that the king
had a favourite dancer and the chief queen was very jealous of her. So the queen
wanted to punish the dancer. Thus one day, she had her attendants put some
itching powder made from cow-hage pods in the dancer's bed, her blankets, etc.
Next, they called the dancer, and as though in jest, they threw some itching
powder on her. The girl itched all over and was in great pain and discomfort.
Thus itching unbearably, she ran to her room and her bed, which made her suffer
As a result of that evil deed Rohini had become a leper in this existence.
The Buddha then exhorted the congregation not to act foolishly in anger and not
to bear any ill will towards others.
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
|Verse 221: Give up anger, abandon conceit, overcome
all fetters. Ills of life (dukkha) do not befall one who does not
cling to mind and body and is free from moral defilements.
At the end of the discourse, many in the congregation attained Sotapatti
Fruition. Princess Rohini also attained Sotapatti Fruition, and at the same time
her skin disease disappeared, and her complexion became fair, smooth and very