Dhammapada Verse 406
tamaham brumi brahmanam.
Verse 406: Him I call a brahmana, who is not
hostile to those who are hostile, who is peaceful (i.e., has laid aside the use
of force) to those with weapons, and who is without attachment to objects of
The Story of Four Samaneras
While residing at the Jetavana
monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (406) of this book, with reference to four
samaneras who were arahats.
Once, the wife of a brahmin sent
her husband the brahmin to the Jetavana monastery to invite four bhikkhus to an
alms-meal at their house. She told him to specifically request for senior
bhikkhus who were also true brahmanas. But four seven year old arahat samaneras,
viz., Samkicca, Pandita, Sopaka and Revata were sent along with him. When his
wife saw the young samaneras she was very much dissatisfied and blamed the
brahmin for bringing such young samaneras who were even younger than her
grandson. She was, in fact, furious with her husband, and so she sent him back
to the monastery to get older bhikkhus. In the meantime she refused to give the
young samaneras the higher seats reserved for the bhikkhus; they were given
lower seats and she did not offer them alms-food.
When the brahmin arrived at the
monastery, he met the Venerable Sariputta and invited him to his house. When the
Venerable Sariputta arrived at the house of the brahmin, he saw the four young
arahat samaneras and asked them if they had been offered alms-food yet. On
learning that the arahat samaneras had not been given alms-food yet and also
that food had been prepared only for four persons the Venerable Sariputta
returned to the monastery without accepting alms-food from the house of the
brahmin. So his wife sent the brahmin back again to the monastery to get another
senior bhikkhu. This time, the Venerable Maha Moggallana came along with the
brahmin, but he also returned to the monastery without accepting alms-food when
he learned that the young samaneras had not been offered alms-food and also that
food had been prepared only for four persons.
By this time, the samaneras were
feeling hungry. Sakka, king of the devas, seeing the state of things took the
form of an old brahmin and came to the house. The brahmin and his wife paid
respect to the old brahmin and offered him a seat of honour, but Sakka just sat
on the ground and paid respect to the four samaneras. Then he revealed that he
was Sakka. Seeing that Sakka himself was paying respect to the young samaneras,
the brahmin couple offered alms-food to all the five. After the meal, Sakka and
the samaneras manifested their supernormal power by going right up into the sky
through the roof. Sakka went back to his celestial abode, the samaneras returned
to the monastery.
When other bhikkhus asked the
samaneras whether they did net get angry when the brahmin couple refused to
offer alms-food to them, they answered in the negative. The bhikkhus not
believing them reported to the Buddha that the four young samaneras were falsely
claiming to be arahats. To them the Buddha said, "Bhikkhus, arahats bear
no ill will towards those who are hostile to them."
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as
|Verse 406: Him I call
a brahmana, who is not hostile to those who are hostile, who is
peaceful (i.e., has laid aside the use of force) to those with
weapons, and who is without attachment to objects of attachment.