Pali text, illustration and English translation of Dhammapada verse 164:
yo sāsanaṃ arahataṃ ariyānaṃ dhammajīvinaṃ |
paṭikkosati dummedho diṭṭhiṃ nissāya pāpikaṃ |
phalāni kaṭṭhakass’eva attaghaññāya phallati || 164 ||
164. Whatever man unwise relies on evil view and so condemns the Teaching of the Arahants, or Noble Ones who Dhamma live, he, as a bamboo fruiting, fruits to self-destruction.
The Story of Venerable Kāla
While residing at the Jetavana Monastery, the Buddha spoke this verse, with reference to Venerable Kāla.
Once in Sāvatthi, an elderly woman was looking after a monk named Kāla, like her own son. One day, hearing from her neighbours about the virtues of the Buddha, she wished very much to go to the Jetavana Monastery and listen to the discourses given by the Buddha. So she told Venerable Kāla about her wishes;but the monk advised her against it. Three times she spoke to him about her wishes but he always dissuaded her. But one day, in spite of his dissuasions, the lady decided to go. After asking her daughter to look to the needs of Venerable Kāla she left the house. When Venerable Kāla came on his usual round of alms-food, he learned that the lady of the house had left for the Jetavana Monastery. Then he reflected, “It is quite possible that the lady of this house is losing her faith in me.” So, he made haste and quickly followed her to the monastery. there, he found her listening to the discourse being given by the Buddha. He approached the Buddha respectfully, and said, “Venerable! This woman is very dull; she will not be able to understand the sublime Dhamma; please teach her only about charity (dāna) and morality (sīla).
The Buddha knew very well that Venerable Kāla was talking out of spite and with an ulterior motive. So he said to Venerable Kāla, “Monk! Because you are foolish and because of your wrong view, you scorn my Teaching. You yourself are your own ruin; in fact, you are only trying to destroy yourself.” At the end of the discourse, the elderly lady attained sotāpatti fruition.
Explanatory Translation (Verse 164)
yo dummedho pāpikaṃ diṭṭhiṃ nissāya arahataṃ
dhammajīvinaṃ ariyānaṃ sāsanaṃ paṭikkosati
kaṭṭhakassa phalāni iva attaghaññāya phallati
yo dummedho [dummedha]: if an ignorant person; pāpikaṃ diṭṭhiṃ nissāya: due to false beliefs; arahataṃ [arahata]: virtuous; dhammajīvinaṃ [dhammajīvina]: conducting life righteously; ariyānaṃ [ariyāna]: noble ones’; sāsanaṃ [sāsana]: teaching; paṭikkosati: obstruct; kaṭṭhakassa: his action (of the bamboo tree); phalāni iva: like the fruits; attaghaññāya: to one’s self destruction; phallati: is conducive
There are some ignorant ones who, due to some harmful views, obstruct the teachings of noble saints, who conduct their lives righteously. They, like the bamboo plants that are destroyed when they bear fruit, are self-destructive.
Commentary and exegetical material (Verse 164)
diṭṭhiṃ nissāya: because of views.
diṭṭhi: view, belief, speculative opinion, Insight. If not qualified by sammā, it mostly refers to wrong and evil view or opinion, and only in a few instances to right views, understanding or insight (e.g., diṭṭhippatta; diṭṭhi–visuddhi, purification of insight; diṭṭhi-sampanna, possessed of insight).
Evil views (micchā-diṭṭhi) are declared as utterly rejectable for being a source of wrong and evil aspirations and conduct, and liable at times to lead man to the deepest abysses of depravity, as it is said: “No other thing than evil views do I know, O monks, whereby to such an extent the unwholesome things not yet arisen arise, and the unwholesome things already arisen are brought to growth and fullness. No other thing than evil views do I know, whereby to such an extent the wholesome things not yet arisen are hindered in their arising, and the wholesome things already arisen disappear. No other thing than evil views do I know, whereby to such an extent human beings at the dissolution of the body, at death are passing to a way of suffering, into a world of woe, into hell.” Further: “Whatever a man, filled with evil views, performs or undertakes, or whatever he possesses of will, aspiration, longing and tendencies, all these things lead him to an undesirable, unpleasant and disagreeable state, to woe and suffering.”
It may be inferred that evil views, whenever they arise, are associated with greed. Numerous speculative opinions and theories, which at all times have influenced and still are influencing mankind, are quoted in the Sutta-texts. Amongst them, however, the wrong view which everywhere, and at all times, has most misled and deluded mankind is the personality-belief, the ego-illusion. This personality-belief (sakkāyadiṭṭhi), or ego-illusion (atta-diṭṭhi), is of two kinds: eternity-belief and annihilation-belief.
Eternity-belief (sassata-diṭṭhi) is the belief in the existence of a persisting ego-entity, soul or personality, existing independently of those physical and mental processes that constitute life, and continuing even after death. Annihilation-belief (uccheda-diṭṭhi), on the other hand, is the belief in the existence of an ego-entity or personality as being, more or less, identical with those physical and mental processes, and which therefore, at the dissolution of death, will come to be annihilated. Now, the Buddha neither teaches a personality which will continue after death, nor does he teach a personality which will be annihilated at death, but he shows us that personality, ego, individual, man, etc., are nothing but mere conventional designations (vohāra-vacana) and that in the ultimate sense (paramattha-sacca) there is only this self-consuming process of physical and mental phenomena which continually arise and again disappear immediately.