Pali text, illustration and English translation of Dhammapada verse 415:
yo’dha kāme pahātvāna anāgāro paribbaje |
kāmabhavaparikkhīṇaṃ tamahaṃ brūmi brāhmaṇaṃ || 415 ||
415. Who has abandoned lusting here as homeless one renouncing all, with lust and being quite consumed, that one I call a Brahmin True.
A Courtesan tempts a Monk (Sundara Samudda)
This verse was recited by the Buddha while He was in residence at Jetavana Monastery, with reference to Venerable Ocean-of-Beauty, Sundarasamudda. At Sāvatthi, we are told, in a great household possessing forty billion of treasure, was reborn a certain youth of station named Ocean-of-Beauty, Sundarasamudda Kumāra. One day after breakfast, seeing a great company of people with perfumes and garlands in their hands, going to Jetavana to hear the Dhamma, he asked, “Where are you going?” “To listen to the Buddha preach the Dhamma,” they replied. “I will go too,” said he, and accompanying them, sat down in the outer circle of the congregation. The Buddha’s discourse made him eager to retire from the world. Therefore, as the congregation departed he asked the Buddha to admit him to the Sangha. The Buddha said, “The Buddhas admit no one to the Sangha who has not first obtained permission of his mother and father.” Having obtained their permission, he retired from the world and was admitted to the Sangha by the Buddha. Subsequently, he made his full profession as a member of the Sangha. Then he thought to himself. “What is the use of my living here?” So departing from Jetavana, he went to Rājagaha and spent his time going his alms-rounds.
Now one day there was a festival at Sāvatthi, and on that day Ocean-of-Beauty’s mother and father saw their son’s friends diverting themselves amid great splendor and magnificence. Thereupon they began to weep and lament, saying, “This is past our son’s getting now,” At that moment a certain courtesan came to the house, and seeing his mother as she sat weeping, asked her, “Mother, why do you weep?” I keep thinking of my son; that is why I weep.” “But, mother, where is he?” “Among the monks, retired from the world.” “Would it not be proper to make him return to the world?” “Yes, indeed; but he doesn’t wish to do that. He has left Sāvatthi and gone to Rājagaha.” “Suppose I were to succeed in making him return to the world; what would you do for me?” “We would make you the mistress of all the wealth of this household.” “Very well, give me my expenses.”
Taking the amount of her expenses, she surrounded herself with a large retinue and went to Rājagaha. Taking note of the street in which the Venerable was accustomed to make his alms-round, she obtained a house in this street and took up her abode therein. And early in the morning she prepared choice food, and when the Venerable entered the street for alms, she gave him alms. After a few days had passed, she said to him, “Venerable, sit down here and eat your meal.” So saying, she offered to take his bowl, and the Venerable yielded his bowl willingly. Then she served him with choice food, and having so done, said to him, “Venerable, right here is the most delightful spot to which you could come on your round for alms.” For a few days she enticed him to sit on the veranda, and there provided him with choice food. That woman employed the devices of a woman, all the graces of a woman.
The monk thought, “Alas, I have committed a grievous sin! I did not consider what I was doing.” And he was deeply moved. At that moment the Buddha, although seated within the Jetavana, forty-five leagues distant, saw the whole affair and smiled. Venerable Ānanda asked him. “Venerable, what is the cause, what is the occasion of your smiling?” “Ānanda, in the city of Rājagaha, on the topmost floor of a seven-storied palace, there is a battle going on between the monk Ocean-ofBeauty and a harlot.” “Who is going to win, Venerable, and who is going to lose?” The Buddha replied, “Ānanda, Oceanof-Beauty is going to win, and the harlot is going to lose.” Having thus proclaimed that the monk would win the victory the Buddha, remaining seated where he was, sent forth a luminous image of himself and said, “Monk, renounce both lusts and free yourself from desire.” At the end of the lesson the monk attained arahatship, rose into the air by magical power, passing through the circular peak of the house; and returning once more to Sāvatthi, praised the body of the Buddha and saluted the Buddha. The monks discussed the incident in the Hall of Truth, saying, “Brethren, all because of tastes perceptible by the tongue the Venerable Ocean-of-Beauty was well nigh lost, but the Buddha became his salvation.” The Buddha, bearing their words, said, “Monks, this is not the first time I have become the salvation of this monk, bound by the bonds of the craving of taste; the same thing happened in a previous state of existence also.”
Explanatory Translation (Verse 415)
idha yo kāme pahatvāna anāgāro paribbaje
kāmabhava parikkhīṇaṃ taṃ ahaṃ brāhmaṇaṃ brūmi
idha: in this world: yo: if some person; kāme: sensual indulgences; pahatvāna: has given up; anāgāro [anāgāra]: (takes to) homeless; paribbaje: the ascetic life; (the life of the wandering ascetic); kāmabhava parikkhīṇaṃ [parikkhīṇa]: has got rid of the desire to continue the cycle of existence; taṃ: him; ahaṃ: I; brūmi brāhmano [brāhmana]: declare a brāhmaṇa