Dhammapada Verses 133 and 134
Mavoca pharusam kanci
vutta pativadeyyu tam
dukkha hi sarambkakatha1
patidanda phuseyyu tam.
Sace neresi attanam
kamso upahato yatha
esa pattosi nibbanam
sarambho te na vijjati.
Verse 133: Do not speak harshly to anyone; those who are thus spoken to will
retort. Malicious talk is indeed the cause of trouble (dukkha) and retribution
will come to you.
Verse 134: If you can keep yourself calm and quiet like a broken gong which
is no longer resonant, you are sure to realize Nibbana, there will be no
harshness in you.
1. sarambkakatha: Malacious talk. According to the Commentary it means
talk belittling others.
The Story of Thera Kondadhana
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses (133) and
(134) of this book, with reference to Thera Kondadhana.
Since the day Kondadhana was admitted to the Order, the image of a female was
always following him. This image was seen by others, but Kondadhana himself did
not see it and so did not know about it.
When he was out on an alms-round, people would offer two spoonfuls to him,
saying, "This is for you, Venerable Sir, and this is for your female
companion." Seeing the bhikkhu going about with a woman, people went to
King Pasenadi of Kosala and reported about the bhikkhu and the woman. They said
to the king, "O king! Drive out the bhikkhu, who is lacking in moral
virtues, from your kingdom." So the king went to the monastery where that
bhikkhu was staying and surrounded it with his men.
Hearing noises and voices, the bhikkhus came out and stood at the door, and
the image also was there not far from the bhikkhu. Knowing that the king had
come, the bhikkhu went into the room to wait for him. When the king entered the
room, the image was not there. The king asked the bhikkhu where the woman was
and he replied that he saw no woman. The king wanted to make sure and he asked
the bhikkhu to leave the room for a while. The bhikkhu left the room, but when
the king looked out, again he saw the woman near the bhikkhu. But when the
bhikkhu came back to the room the woman was nowhere to be found. The king
concluded that the woman was not real and so the bhikkhu must be innocent. He
therefore invited the bhikkhu to come to the palace every day for alms-food.
When other bhikkhus heard about this, they were puzzled and said to the
bhikkhu, "O bhikkhu with no morals! Now that the king, instead of driving
you out of his kingdom, has invited you for alms-food, you are doomed!" The
bhikkhu on his part retorted, "Only you are the ones without morals; only
you are doomed because you are the ones who go about with women!"
The bhikkhus then reported the matter to the Buddha. The Buddha sent for
Kodadadhana and said to him, "My son, did you see any woman with the
other bhikkhus that you have talked to them thus? You have not seen any woman
with them as they have seen one with you. I see that you do not realize that you
have been cursed on account of an evil deed done by you in a past existence. Now
listen, I shall explain to you why you have an image of a woman following you
"You were a deva in your last existence. During that time, there were
two bhikkhus who were very much attached to each other. But you tried to create
trouble between the two, by assuming the appearance of a woman and following one
of the bhikkhus. For that evil deed you are now being followed by the image of a
woman. So, my son, in future do not argue with other bhikkhus any more; keep
silent like a gong with the rim broken off and you will realize Nibbana."
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
Verse 133: Do not speak harshly to anyone; those who
are thus spoken to will retort. Malicious talk is indeed the cause of
trouble (dukkha) and retribution will come to you.
Verse 134: If you can keep yourself calm and quiet
like a broken gong which is no longer resonant, you are sure to
realize Nibbana, there will be no harshness in you.