Pali text, illustration and English translation of Dhammapada verse 412:
yo’dha puññca pāpañ ca ubho saṅgaṃ upaccagā |
asokaṃ virajaṃ suddhaṃ tam ahaṃ brūmi brāhmaṇaṃ || 412 ||
412. Here who’s gone beyond both bonds to goodness and to evil too, is sorrowless, unsullied, pure, that one I call a Brahmin True.
Renounce both Good and Evil
This religious instruction was given by the Buddha while He was in residence at Pubbārāma, with reference to Venerable Revata.
Again one day the monks began a discussion, saying, “Oh, how great was the novice’s gain! Oh, how great was the novice’s merit! To think that one man should build many habitations for many monks!” Just then the Buddha came near. “Monks,” said He, “what is the subject that engages your attention now as you sit here all gathered together?” “Such and such,” was the reply. Then said the Buddha, “Monks, my son has neither merit nor demerit: he has renounced both.”
Explanatory Translation (Verse 412)
idha yo puññaṃ pāpañ ca ubho saṅgaṃ upaccagā
asokaṃ virajaṃ suddhaṃ taṃ ahaṃ brāhmaṇaṃ brūmi
idha: in this world; yo: if someone; puññaṃ [puñña]: merit; pāpaṃ ca: and the evil; ubho: the two; saṅgaṃ [saṅga]: the clingings; upaccagā: has gone beyond; asokaṃ [asoka]: he who is without sorrow; virajaṃ [viraja]: bereft of blemishes; suddhaṃ [suddha]: pure; taṃ: him; ahaṃ: I; brāhmāno brūmi: describe as a brāhmaṇa
If any person in this world has travelled beyond both the good and the bad, and the attachments, and if he is without sorrow, and is bereft of blemishes, and is pure, him I describe as a true brāhmaṇa.
Commentary and exegetical material (Verse 412)
Story of Venerable Revata: He was so called because he took nothing for granted. He saw everything under a question mark. Everywhere he would see reason for doubt. He was also fond of going into trance (jhāna) and enjoying the bliss of emancipation (nirodhasamāpatti) again and again. This was a gift of transcending the mundane world for seven days at a stretch, possessed by certain arahants. He had a yearning for this special privilege. He became an adept.
Before he became an arahant, his mind was greatly perturbed as to what was permissible to use or not to use. He was ranked among the most eminent disciples. In a discussion with some of them, he had extolled habitation in the abodes of solitude and the delights of meditation.
He was born to a wealthy family in this dispensation at Srāvasti. Not long afterwards the Buddha, addressing the monks and the laity, declared that Kankha Revata was the foremost for his quick transition to trance (jhāna) in the noble Sangha.
To him are the why and wherefore,
His food. Subjects all to question.
He seeks solitude before
Seeking the bliss by meditation.