Pali text, illustration and English translation of Dhammapada verse 194:
sukho buddhānaṃ uppādo sukhā saddhammadesanā |
sukhā saṅghassa sāmaggi samaggānaṃ tapo sukho || 194 ||
194. Blessed is the birth of Buddhas, blest True Dhamma’s Teaching, blest the Sangha’s harmony and blessed is their striving.
The Story of Many Monks
While residing at the Jetavana Monastery, the Buddha spoke this verse, with reference to many monks.
Once, many monks were discussing the question “What constitutes happiness?” These monks realized that happiness meant different things to different people. Thus, they said, “To some people to have the riches and glory like that of a king is happiness, to some people sensual pleasure is happiness, but to others to have good rice cooked with meat is happiness.” While they were talking, the Buddha came in. After learning the subject of their talk, the Buddha said, “The pleasures that you have mentioned do not get you out of the round of rebirths. In this world, these constitute happiness: the arising of a Buddha, the opportunity to hear the Teaching of the Sublime Truth, and the harmony among monks.” At the end of the discourse, those monks attained arahatship.
Explanatory Translation (Verse 194)
Buddhānaṃ uppādo sukho, saddhammadesanā sukhā,
saṅghassa sāmaggi sukhā, samaggānaṃ tapo sukho
Buddhānaṃ [Buddhāna]: of the Buddha; uppādo [uppāda]: arising; sukho [sukha]: (is) joyful; saddhammadesanā: the proclamation of the Dhamma; sukhā: is joyful; saṅghassa: of the brotherhood; sāmaggi: concord (unity); sukhā: (is) joyful; samaggānaṃ [samaggāna]: of those in concord; tapo: religious practice; sukho [sukha]: (is) joyful
The arising of the Buddhas is joyful. The proclamation of the Dhamma is joyful. The concord of the Sangha is joyful. Joyful indeed is spiritual practice in harmony.
Commentary and exegetical material (Verse 194)
Buddhānaṃ uppādo sukho: the arising of the Buddha is a blissful event. In the traditional lore regarding the birth of Prince Siddhattha, who was later to become Buddha, there is an indication of the happiness he would bring to the world later as the Buddha. Now other mortals on issuing from the maternal womb are disagreeable; but not so the Bodhisatta. He issued from his mother’s womb like a preacher descending from his pulpit, or a man coming down stairs, stretching out both hands and feet without any impurities like a jewel thrown upon a vesture of Vārānasi cloth.
There are further details about this blissful event.
Before the child touches the ground, he is received by four deities, and is presented to the mother, saying, “Be rejoiced, O’ Queen, you have given birth to a great being.”
Four great kings received the child from the deities into a soft leopard skin, and from them the child was received by the retinue of the Queen into a silken robe. The child set his feet on earth, and faced the Easterly direction. A white canopy was raised over him.
Innumerable universes appeared like one compound. Gods and men made offerings with flowers and incense, etc., and said, “O Great Being, there is none to equal you here;whence any superior.” Looking on all sides the Buddha saw no equal of his, and took seven steps in the Northern direction. As the seventh step was taken, the Buddha declared, “I am the chief of the world. This is my last birth. There will be no more births for me.” For, this is the birth of the Buddha, the unique and marvellous being, who is born in the world out of compassion for the world, for the good, the benefit and the happiness of gods and men.
As the Buddha was born, a limitless super radiance surpassing that of the gods traversed through the entire universe. Myriads of gods in the heaven of Tāvatiṃsa immensely rejoiced to hear of the birth of the future Buddha and engaged in much revelry and sport.
At the time of the birth of the Buddha, there were also born Bhaddhakaccānā (Yasodharā), the Ministers Channa and Kāludāyi, and Kanthaka, the horse. The Bodhi-tree and the four great treasures, too, arose at this time.
Saṅghassa sāmaggi: Sangha is the oldest, democratically constituted, historic celibate Order, founded by the Buddha. Strictly speaking, the Sangha denotes those noble disciples who have realized the four Paths and four Fruits. The ordinary bhikkhus of the present day are merely their representatives.