Dhammapada Verse 408
giram sacca' mudiraye
yaya nahhisaje kanci
tamaham brumi brahmanam.
Verse 408: Him I call a brahmana, who speaks
gentle, instructive and true words, and who does not offend anyone by speech.
The Story of Thera Pilindavaccha
While residing at the Veluvana
monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (408) of this book, with reference to Thera
Vaccha, who was also known as Thera Pilindavaccha, due to his offensive ways.
Thera Pilindavaceha had a very
offensive way of addressing people: he would often say, "Come here, you
wretch", or "Go there, you wretch" and such other things. Other
bhikkhus reported about him to the Buddha. The Buddha sent for him, and spoke to
him on the matter. Then, on reflection the Buddha found that for the past five
hundred existences, the thera had been born only in the families of the brahmins,
who regarded themselves as being superior to other people. So the Buddha said to
the bhikkhus, "Bhikkhus! Thera Vaccha addresses others as 'wretch' only
by force of habit acquired in the course of his five hundred existences as a
brahmin, and not out of malice. He has no intention of hurting others, for an
arahat does not harm others."
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as
|Verse 408: Him I call
a brahmana, who speaks gentle, instructive and true words, and who
does not offend anyone by speech.