At the city of Sāvatthī…
One day, Suddhika Bhāradvāja of the brahmin caste went up to the Buddha, and exchanged greetings with him.
When the greetings and polite conversation were over, he sat down to one side, and recited this verse:
“No high caste brahmin in the world is ever purified
even though he’s virtuous and gives severe pains to the body.
But a person with true knowledge1 and higher conduct2 is purified, not these other monks.”
“Even though a person mutters many chants,
he cannot become a brahmin just by his high caste birth,
if he is filthy and corrupt within,
supporting himself by fraud.
“Regardless of whether one is a royal caste person,
or a brahmin high caste person,
merchant, worker, an outcast or an untouchable,
if he is energetic and dedicated to the Dhamma path,
always firm in striving,
he will attain the highest happiness, Nibbāna.
Know that for a fact, Suddhika.”
When the Buddha taught this Dhamma, Suddhika Bhāradvāja said to the Buddha, “Excellent, Master Gotama! Excellent! Just as if someone turned upright, what was upside down, revealed what was hidden, pointed out the path to whoever was lost, or lit a lamp in the dark so people with good eyes could see what’s there, Master Gotama taught me the Dhamma, which is clear in many ways. I go for refuge to Master Gotama, to the Dhamma, and to the Saṅgha. Bhante, may I become a monk under you?”
And he became a monk under the Buddha. Not long after his ordination, Bhante Suddhika Bhāradvāja, living alone, withdrawn, diligent, passionate, and firm, soon realized the supreme goal of the spiritual path in this very life. He achieved with his own wisdom the goal for which a son would leave the lay life to become a monk.
He realized: “Rebirth has ended. The spiritual journey has been completed. What had to be done to end suffering has been done. There will be no rebirth.” Therefore, Bhante Suddhika Bhāradvāja became one of the enlightened monks.