Khuddaka Nikaya

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Canto II. Psalms of Two Verses


Canto II.
Psalms of Two Verses


Translated from the Pali by Mrs. C.A.F. Rhys Davids.

Public Domain



Reborn in this Buddha-age, when the Master had passed away, in the kingdom of Avanti,[1] as a hrahmin's son, he was named Dhammapala. As he was returning from Takkasila, his schooldays finished, he saw on his way a certain Thera in a single cell,[2] and hearing from him the Norm, he believed, left the world, and acquired sixfold abhinna.

Now, as he was ruminating in the bliss of his achievement, two novices climbed a tree at the Vihara to pick blossoms, and a branch breaking, they were falling. Seeing them, the Thera caught them with his hand, and by his [150] iddhi-power[3] placed them unhurt upon the ground. And he taught them, saying:

[203] The brother who while young hath given himself
Wholly to carry out the Buddha's plan,
Who keepeth vigil in a sleeping world,
Not vainly, not for naught he spends his days.

[204] So let the wise man, so let him who aye
Remembereth that which Buddhas have enjoined,
Devote himself to faith and righteousness,
To know the blessedness They brought to us,
And the true vision of the holy Norm.[4]


[1] The country just east or north-east of Bombay. See Bud. India, p. 28.

[2] Ekasmim vihare. Cf. Dialogues, ii. 4, n. 1.

[3] Compendium, pp. 60 ff., '209.

[4] The literal Pali of these two lines is the two very pregnant terms pasadam (expressing relief, satisfaction, trust) and dhammadassanam (insight into or through the Dhamma).


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