Pali text, illustration and English translation of Dhammapada verse 96:
santaṃ tassa manaṃ hoti santā vācā ca kamma ca |
sammadaññā vimuttassa upasantassa tādino || 96 ||
96. Peaceful his mind and peaceful his speech and action too, perfect in knowledge of freedom, One Thus is of utmost peace.
The Story of a Novice Monk from Kosambi
While residing at the Jetavana Monastery, the Buddha spoke this verse, with reference to a novice monk, a pupil of Venerable Tissa from Kosambi.
A certain youth of respectable family, residing at Kosambi, retired from the world and became a monk in the religion of the Buddha. After making his full profession, he was known as Venerable Kosambivāsī Tissa. After he had kept residence during the season of the rains at Kosambi, his supporter brought a set of three robes and offerings of ghee and palm sugar and laid them at his feet. “Venerable, if it be true that you have no novice to minister to your needs, my son will become your novice.” The Venerable graciously accepted the offer. The lay disciple brought his own son, but seven years old, to the Venerable, and committed him into the Venerable’s hands, saying, “Pray receive him into the Sangha, Venerable.” The Venerable moistened the boy’s hair, taught him how to meditate on the first five of the consistent parts of the body, and received him into the Sangha. The instant the razor touched his hair, he attained arahatship, together with the supernatural faculties. The Venerable, having received the youth into the Sangha, remained at Kosambi for a fortnight. Then, deciding to visit the Buddha, he directed the novice to take the requisites, and set out on his journey. On the way he entered a monastery. The novice obtained lodging for the Venerable and looked after it for him. While he was thus engaged, it grew dark and he was therefore unable to provide a lodging for himself. So assuming a cross-legged posture near the bed of his preceptor, the novice spent the night sitting up.
The Venerable rose at dawn and said to himself, I must cause the novice to go out.” So he took a fan which was placed at the side of the bed, struck the mat of the novice with the tip of the palm-leaf, and then, tossing the fan into the air, said, “Novice, go out.” The handle of the fan struck the novice in the eye and straightaway blinded his eye. “What did you say, Venerable?” said the novice. “Rise and go out,” was the reply. The novice, instead of saying, “Venerable, my eye has been blinded,” covered his eye with one hand and went out. Moreover, when it was time for him to perform his duties as novice, he did not say, “My eye has been blinded,” nor did he remain seated, but covering his eye with one hand and taking a hand-broom in the other hand, he swept out the privy and the wash-room, after which, setting out water for washing the face, he swept out the Venerable’s cell.
When he advanced to present the toothstick to the Venerable, the novice told him the whole story from the beginning. When the Venerable heard his story, he was deeply moved. The novice tried to comfort the Venerable but he would not be comforted. Overcome with remorse he took the novice to the Buddha. The Buddha asked him, “Monk, is everything really well?” The Venerable replied, “All is well with me. But here is a young novice whose good qualities surpass anything I have ever seen.” The Venerable told him the story. “Venerable, when I asked him to pardon me, he said, ‘You are not to blame in this matter, and neither am I.’” Said the Buddha to the Venerable, “Monk, those who have rid themselves of the depravities, cherish neither anger nor hatred towards anyone.”
Explanatory Translation (Verse 96)
sammā aññāya vimuttassa upasantassa tādino
tassa manaṃ santaṃ hoti vācā ca santā kammaṃ ca
sammā: harmonious; aññāya: by “disknowing”; vimuttassa: freed; upasantassa: tranquil within; tādino [tādina]: stable one’s; tassa manaṃ [mana]: mind; santaṃ hoti: is calm; vācā ca: also his speech; kammaṃ ca: his actions too; santā: (are) calmed
A noble arahat, who is freed by ‘disknowing’, is calm and unshaken by the impact of changing circumstances. His mind is at peace. His words are peaceful. His actions are peaceful.
Commentary and exegetical material (Verse 96)
santā: peaceful. The saintly–the arahat–is truly peaceful. He is peaceful because he has reached total “disknowing”, or freedom from knowing, as he has attained that level of calm that is not perturbed. Since the mind is the fountain of all activity, his words are calm. Since his mind and words are calm, his actions too are calm. Therefore he is totally serene in personality. This leads him to the status of total serenity–upasantā (tranquil within). ‘Disknowing’ means that one does not form opinions about circumstances based on past experience or present. When one does not, one remains unmoved and one is at peace.