I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion Ven. Sāriputta, Ven. Mahā Moggalāna, Ven. Mahā Kassapa, Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana, Ven. Mahā Koṭṭhita, Ven. Mahā Kappina, Ven. Mahā Cunda, Ven. Anuruddha, Ven. Revata, and Ven. Nanda went to the Blessed One. The Blessed One saw them coming from afar and, on seeing them, addressed the monks, "Monks, those are brahmans who are coming. Monks, those are brahmans who are coming."
When this was said, a certain monk who was a brahman by birth said to the Blessed One, "To what extent, lord, is one a brahman? And which are the qualities that make one a brahman?"
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Having banished evil qualities,
those who go about ever mindful,
awakened, their fetters ended:
They, in the world,
are truly brahmans.
- This translation follows the Thai and Burmese versions of this passage. The Sri Lankan version replaces Ven. Nanda in this list with Ven. Ānanda; the PTS version replaces him with Ven. Devadatta and Ven. Ānanda. These latter two readings would appear to be mistaken, as the Buddha in this sutta defines "brahman" as one whose fetters are ended — i.e., an arahant — whereas Ven. Ānanda became an arahant only after the Buddha's passing; Devadatta, after having caused a split in the Saṅgha toward the end of the Buddha's life, fell into hell.
- This line contains a wordplay on the words brāhmaṇa and bāhita (banished) — the same wordplay used in Dhp 388 and Ud 1.4.