Thus have I heard. The Buddha was once staying near Savatthi in the Jeta Grove at Anathapindika's monastery. On that occasion young Ven. Nanda, his brother, the biological son of the Buddha's adoptive mother, informed a number of monks:
"I am discontented with leading the high life [brahmacariya, the supreme, spiritual life as a celibate monastic], friends. I am unable to endure it [because of my fiance waiting in the palace for me, the beautiful Janapada Kalyani]. I will give up the training and return to the low life."
The monks had heard: "It is said Ven. Nanda, the Teacher's brother, is living the high life for the sake of space nymphs [akasha, space or sky, devis; apsaras]. It is said that the Buddha has guaranteed him that he will obtain a large number of pink-footed heavenly beauties."
Then his monastic-friends went about calling him "hireling" and "menial," saying:
"Ven. Nanda is a hireling! Ven. Nanda is a menial. Ven. Nanda is owned! He's living the high life for the sake of nymphs! It is said the Teacher has guaranteed that he will obtain a large number of heavenly pink-footed nymphs for his practice!"
Ven. Nanda was humiliated, ashamed, and dismayed by his friends calling him names and saying he was owned.
So living withdrawn, secluded, resolute, diligent, patient, and persistent, he soon realized here and now through his own direct insight-knowledge that unequalled goal of the high life for the sake of which members of good families rightly go forth from sensual home life into spiritual homeless wandering. And entering into it, he abided in it and knew with certainty:
"Finished is birth, lived is the high life, accomplished is what there was to accomplish, there is now no more of this mass of suffering." Ven. Nanda had become one of the fully enlightened ones.
Standing there respectfully that deva said to the Teacher [of devas and human beings]:
"Ven. Nanda, revered sir, the Venerable's brother, by doing away with the taints [asavas] has realized here and now through his own direct knowledge the taintless deliverance of mind/heart and deliverance by wisdom, and entering into it, he abides in it."
The knowledge also arose in the Buddha: "Nanda, by extirpating the taints, has realized here and now the taintless deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom, and entering into it, he abides in it."
When the night had ended Ven. Nanda approached the Buddha, bowed reverentially, sat down to one side, and said to him: "Revered sir, as to the Teacher's guarantee that I will obtain a large number of pink-footed celestial nymphs, I release him from that promise."
"Nanda, comprehending your mind with my mind, I already knew: 'Nanda has realized here and now the taintless deliverance of mind/heart and deliverance by insight-wisdom.' In addition, a deva told me. When, Nanda, your mind was released from the taints no longer grasping and clinging, I was then released from that promise."
Realizing its significance, the Buddha on that occasion announced this inspired utterance:
"That meditator who crosses the mire,
Crushes the thorn of sensual desire
And thereby the 'destruction of delusion' gains
Then is no more perturbed by pleasures and pains."
- Alternative translation: John D. Ireland (Ud 3.2)