Pali text, illustration and English translation of Dhammapada verse 414:
yo imaṃ paḷipathaṃ duggaṃ saṃsāraṃ mohamaccagā |
tiṇṇo pāragato jhāyī anejo akathaṅkathī |
anupādāya nibbuto tam ahaṃ brūmi brāhmaṇaṃ || 414 ||
414. Who’s overpassed this difficult path, delusion’s bond, the wandering-on,who’s crossed beyond, contemplative, uncraving with no questioning doubt, no clinging’s fuel so cool become, that one I call a Brahmin True.
Seven Years in the Womb
For once upon a time Suppāvāsā, a daughter of the Koliya clan, carried a child in her womb for seven years. And for seven days, since the child lay awry, she was stricken with distressing, acute, and bitter pains, and said to herself, “Supremely enlightened, truly, is the Buddha who preaches a religion for the putting away of suffering such as this. Walking in righteousness, truly, is the order of disciples of that Buddha, which walks in righteousness for the putting away of suffering such as this. Blessed, truly, is Nibbāna, where suffering such as this exists no more.” With these three reflections did she endure that pain. And she sent her husband to the Buddha to greet him in her name. When her husband greeted the Buddha and conveyed her message, the Buddha said, “May Suppāvāsā, the young woman of the Koliya clan, be healthy; in health and happiness may she bring forth a healthy son.”
The moment the Buddha spoke these words, Suppāvāsā brought forth a healthy son in health and happiness. Forthwith she invited the monks of the Sangha presided over by the Buddha to be her guests, and for seven days gave bountiful offerings. From the day of his birth her son took a water-pot provided with a strainer and strained water for the congregation of monks. After a time he retired from the world, became a monk, and attained arahatship. One day the monks began a discussion in the hall of truth: “Only think, brethren! So illustrious a monk as this, possessing the faculties requisite for the attainment of arahatship, endured suffering all that time in the womb of his mother! How great indeed was the suffering this monk passed through!” The Buddha drew near and asked, “Monks, what is the subject that engages your conversation now, as you sit here all gathered together?” When they told him, he said, “Monks, it is even so. My son has obtained release from all this suffering, and now, having realized Nibbāna, abides in the bliss thereof.”
Explanatory Translation (Verse 414)
yo imaṃ palipathaṃ duggaṃ saṃsāraṃ moham accagā
tiṇṇo pāragato jhāyī anejo akathaṃkathī
anupādāya nibbuto taṃ ahaṃ brāhmaṇaṃ brūmi
yo: if someone; imaṃ: this; palipathaṃ [palipatha]: the path of quagmire; duggaṃ [dugga]: the difficult crossing; saṃsāraṃ [saṃsāra]: the cycle of existence; moham: ignorance; accagā: has crossed over; tinno [tinna]: has reached the other shore; pāragato [pāragata]: gone fully over to the other side; jhāyī: meditates; anejo [aneja]: is bereft of craving; akathaṃkathī: has resolved doubts; anupādāya: not given to grasping; nibbuto [nibbuta]: is cooled; calmed; taṃ: him; ahaṃ: I; brāhmaṇaṃ brūmi: declare a brāhmaṇa
He has crossed over the quagmire of passion. He has gone beyond the difficult terrain of blemishes that is hard to traverse, and has crossed the cycle of existence. He has fully and totally reached the other shore. He is a meditator and is bereft of craving. His spiritual doubts are all resolved. He is no longer given to grasping. He is cooled. Such a person I describe as a true brāhmaṇa.
Commentary and exegetical material (Verse 414)
The story of arahat Sīvali: This mahā arahat gave most in the past. He practiced the art of giving or dāna pārami to the utmost limit. He became in due course the prince of receivers. Something notable in his career happened when he was born long ago in the dispensation of Vipassi Buddha. It was at this time the king and his people were vying with each other in the art of giving. There was a festival of giving alms to the Buddha and the Sangha. It was a matter of healthy and pleasant rivalry. When the turn of the people came, they ran short of milk and honey. This food would pave the way for success in the alms giving. They kept a man to watch at the city gates with sufficient money. He came across a young man carrying what they needed. Buyer was anxious to buy. But the seller was not so enthusiastic. The result was bargaining with a vengeance. In the East bargaining is compared to bargepoling on the river. Bidding rose from a gold coin. The seller, on learning of the almsgiving, wanted to partake of the merit. On hearing that there was no impediment he further inquired whether there was any one among them who could offer one thousand gold coins. On hearing there wasn’t any, he said that the pot of curd and honey were even worth two thousand coins and that if permitted he was willing to give it free. The offer was accepted. We are told that by the power of the Buddha, the curd and honey were found sufficient. On this occasion it was his aspiration that one day he would be the head of the recipients. Thereafter, he took his conception in the womb of Suppāvāsa, a daughter of the king of Koliya. Many were the windfalls that came to the lot of the family. The land became productive and the fields returned a record harvest. Whatever was given the receiver was amply satisfied. But both mother and son were not immune from demeritorious actions (akusala kamma) of the past. Had it been a lesser child the result would have been tragic. Faith (saddhā) worked marvels. In the Buddha, people had a sure guide and Kalyāna Mitta. Suppāvāsa naturally thought that she was at death’s door. For, at the end of the seventh year, she suffered terrible agony. She then implored her husband to invite The Buddha and the noble Sangha for an alms-giving. Upon being invited, the Blessed One saw that both mother and son would be saved. He accordingly gave His blessing and at that moment the child was born. Great was the rejoicing. The husband who left his gloomy home returned amidst scenes of mirth and joy. Hence the name of Sīvali was given to the son. Seven days almsgiving to the Buddha and the noble Sangha followed. Sīvali was thus a precocious lad. After seven days–he was nearly seven years old–at the parting of the first lock of hair, he entered the first stream of saintship and at the parting of the last lock, he had become a full-fledged arahat. It was well known in the noble Sangha that Venerable Sīvali was foremost among recipients.