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Dhammapada Verses 153 and 154(1) - Udana Vatthu

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Tipitaka » Sutta Pitaka » Khuddaka Nikaya » Dhammapada

Source: Adapted from the original translation by Daw Mya Tin, M.A.


Dhammapada Verses 153 and 154(1) - Udana VatthuEdit

Anekajatisamsaram

sandhavissam anibbisam

gahakaram gavesanto(2)

dukkha jati punappunam(3)

Gahakaraka ditthosi(4)

puna geham na kahasi(5)

sabba te phasuka bhagga(6)

gahakotam visankhatam(7)

visankharagatam cittam(8)

tanhanam khayamajjhaga(9)


Verse 153: I, who have been seeking the builder of this house (body), failing to attain Enlightenment (Bodhi nana or Sabbannuta nana) which would enable me to find him, have wandered through innumerable births in samsara. To be born again and again is, indeed, dukkha!


Verse 154: Oh house-builder! You are seen, you shall build no house (for me) again. All your rafters are broken, your roof-tree is destroyed. My mind has reached the unconditioned (i.e., Nibbana); the end of craving (Arahatta Phala) has been attained.


1. Footnotes to Verses 153 and 154: These two verses are expressions of intense and sublime joy the Buddha felt at the very moment of his attainment of Enlightenment; as such, they are replete with a wealth of sublime meaning and deep feeling.

2. gahakaram gavesanto: lit., "I who have tried to find the builder of the house" The house is the body, the builder is Craving (Tanha). The meaning of Verse (153) as given in the Commentary is as follows:

I who have been seeking the builder of this house, knowing that he could be seen only with a certain wisdom, have been trying to attain such wisdom (Bodhi nana) ever since Dipankara Buddha prophesied that I would, one day, become a Buddha like him. But failing to attain Bodhi nana, I have wandered through this course of hundreds of thousands of existences in the endless round of rebirths.

3. dukkha jati punappunam: To be born again and again is dukkha(suffering/rebirth). This is the reason for trying to find the builder of this house, the Carpenter Craving.

Birth which comes together with aging, disease and death is dukkha; that is why I have been incessantly looking for the Householder Craving.

4. ditthosi: You are seen: I have seen you now that I have attained Enlightenment or Bodhi nana, the all comprehending wisdom, with my own Insight.

5. puna geham na kahasi: No house shall be built again: You shall not build another house (for me) in this round of rebirths.

6. sabba te phasuka bhagga: All your rafters are broken: I have destroyed all the remaining defilements.

7. gahakutam visankhatam The roof-tree has been destroyed: I have dispelled Ignorance.

8. visankharagatam cittam: lit., my mind has reached the Unconditioned, having Nibbana as its object, my mind has realized Nibbana.

9. tanhanam khayamajjhaga: The end of craving has been attained. I have attained Arahatta Fruition.



The Story Concerning the "Words of Exultation of the Buddha"

These two verses are expressions of intense and sublime joy felt by the Buddha at the moment of attainment of Supreme Enlightenment (Bodhi nana or Sabbannuta nana). These verses were repeated at the Jetavana monastery at the request of the Venerable Ananda.

Prince Siddhattha, of the family of Gotama, son of King Suddhodana and Queen Maya of the kingdom of the Sakyans, renounced the world at the age of twenty-nine and became an ascetic in search of the Dhamma (Truth). For six years, he wandered about the valley of the Ganges, approaching famous religious leaders, studying their doctrines and methods. He lived austerely and submitted himself strictly to rigorous ascetic discipline; but he found all these traditional practices to be unsound. He was determined to find the Truth in his own way, and by avoiding the two extremes of excessive sensual indulgence and self-mortification(10), he found the Middle Path which would lead to Perfect Peace, Nibbana. This Middle Path (Majjhimapatipada) is the Noble Path of Eight Constituents, viz., Right view, Right thought, Right speech, Right action, Right livelihood, Right effort, Right mindfulness and Right concentration.

Thus, one evening, seated under a Bo tree(Pipal tree) on the bank of the Neranjara river, Prince Siddhattha Gotama attained Supreme Enlightenment (Bodhi nana or Sabbannuta nana) at the age of thirty-five. During the first watch of the night, the prince attained the power of recollection of past existences (Pubbenivasanussati-nana) and during the second watch he attained the divine power of sight (Dibbacakkhu nana). Then, during the third watch of the night he contemplated the Doctrine of Dependent Origination (Paticcasamuppada) in the order of arising (anuloma) as well as in the order of cessation (patiloma). At the crack of dawn, Prince Siddhattha Gotama by his own intellect and insight fully and completely comprehended the Four Noble Truths. The Four Noble Truths are: The Noble Truth of Dukkha/Sufferring (Dukkha Ariya Sacca), the Noble Truth of the Cause of dukkha/sufferring (Dukkha Samudaya Ariya Sacca), the Noble Truth of the Cessation of dukkha/sufferring (Dukkha Nirodha Ariya Sacca), and The Noble Truth of the Path Leading to the Cessation of dukkha/sufferring (Dukkha Nirodha Gamini Patipada Ariya Sacca). There also appeared in him, in all their purity. The knowledge of the nature of each Noble Truth (Sacca nana), knowledge of the performance required for each Noble Truth (Kicca nana), and the knowledge of the completion of the performance required for each Noble Truth (Kata nana); and thus, he attained the Sabbannuta nana (also called Bodhi nana) of a Buddha. From that time, he was known as Gotama the Buddha.

In this connection, it should be noted that only when the Four Noble Truths, under their three aspects (therefore, the twelve modes), had become perfectly clear to him that the Buddha acknowledged in the world of Men, the world of devas(angels) and that of Brahmas(Archangels) that he had attained the Supreme Enlightenment and therefore had become a Buddha.

At the moment of the attainment of Buddhahood,

the Buddha uttered the following two verses:


Verse 153: I, who have been seeking the builder of this house (body), failing to attain Enlightenment (Bodhi nana or Sabbannuta nana) which would enable me to find him, have wandered through innumerable births in samsara. To be born again and again is, indeed, dukkha!


Verse 154: Oh house-builder! You are seen, you shall build no house (for me) again. All your rafters are broken, your roof-tree is destroyed. My mind has reached the unconditioned (i.e., Nibbana); the end of craving (Arahatta Phala) has been attained.


(10) Kamasukhallikanuyoga and Attakiamathanuyoga.

CreditsEdit

Translated by Daw Mya Tin, M.A.

Edited by Editorial Committee, Burma Tipitaka Association Rangoon, Burma, 1986

Courtesy of Nibbana.com

For free distribution only, as a gift of dhamma.

Wikipitaka edition © 2014.

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