Verse 99. The Passionless Delight In Forests

Delightful are the forests
where folk do not delight,
there the Passionless delight,
they’re not pleasure-seekers.

Explanation: Those fascinating forests that do not capture the mind of the worldly masses and in which they do not take worldly delight are attractive to the passionless ones. The Arahats take delight in the forests, because they are not pursuers of sensual pleasures.

The Story of a Woman (Verse 99)

While residing at the Jetavana Monastery, the Buddha spoke this verse, with reference to a woman of doubtful character. We are told that a certain monk who lived by his alms-bowl, got a meditation topic from the Buddha and retired to a dilapidated pleasure garden for the purpose of meditation. Now a certain courtesan made an appointment with a man, saying, “I will go to such and such a place and you meet me there” The woman kept the appointment, but the man did not. For some time she watched in vain the path by which she expected him to come. Finally, disappointed at his failure to keep his appointment, she strolled hither and thither and went into the pleasure garden. There she saw the monk sitting cross-legged. Looking this way and that, and seeing no one else about, she said to herself, “Here is a man; I will throw his thoughts into confusion” So standing in front of the monk, she took down her undergarment several times and put it on again, unloosened her hair and bound it up again, and clapped her hands and laughed. The Venerable became excited; his whole body, in fact, was suffused with excitement. “What does this mean?” thought he.

The Buddha considered within himself, “A monk obtained a meditation topic from me and went forth to perform his meditations. How is he getting on?” Seeing that woman, and observing her evil conduct, and perceiving that her evil conduct was upsetting the Venerable, still remaining seated in his perfumed chamber he spoke as follows, “Monks, there is no delight where those abide who seek after their lusts. But where those abide who are free from passion, that place is full of delight” So saying, he sent forth a radiant image of himself, and instructing the Venerable in the Dhamma, recited this stanza.


Treasury of Truth: Illustrated Dhammapada – 423 Verses

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